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Is Bigger Better? Size comparison of Pelikan M200, Lamy Safari,

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11 replies to this topic

#1 biffybeans



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Posted 08 February 2009 - 02:44

Full review with pictures HERE

It was a a beautiful day today. Perfect for taking a few snaps for the blog.

I was picking through my pens, trying to decide what to shoot, and it hit me that I never really did any comparison shots between my different pens. I know that when I was looking to buy some of these, I was struggling to understand their true sizes. (Measurements mean nothing to me. I may as well be reading Greek.)

Starting off with a Sailor Sapporo, and a Pelikan M200. Capped, they are very close in size.

Uncapped, the Sapporo gets tiny. I don't usually write without the cap posted, so the Sapporo doesn't bother me. I'd like to add that the Sapporo is a C/C (cartridge/converter) pen, and the M200 a piston filler. Piston fillers hold way more ink. My Sapporo is a medium nib and I'm always re-filling that converter.

Sapporo and M200 posted. They are now once again, closer in size. The M200 is a very light pen, and the Sapporo while not heavy by any stretch of the imagination, feels more significant in my hand. Nibs are very different. M200 is soft and slightly flexy, the Sapporo an "H" for hard, and it writes as such. I like them both, but the M200 is the exception to the rule for me. I tend to prefer a firmer nib.

Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M200 and a full-size Sailor 1911 uncapped. The 1911 is also a C/C filler and uses the same converter that the Sapporo does. It also has an "H" (hard) nib.

Posted, the 1911 jumps ahead in length.

As flat as I could get them and still hold the camera steady.

I noticed something interesting. While wider, the full sized Sailor 1911 uncapped is only a smidge longer than an M200. Never would have thought that.

Let's throw a Lamy Safari (in Steelers colors) into the mix to show what a giant it is. I have 4 of them. I love them. They are light as can be, durable, and inexpensive. (As far as fountain pens go.) Their nibs are very firm. (I love that for drawing)

The whole gang, posted and hovering over a red Moleskine. The M200 and 1911 stay similar in length, the Sapporo appears to shrink and the Safari to grow....

I am very fond of each of these pens, and I use all but the Sapporo fairly regularly- each as the mood strikes me. (My Sapporo is a wet medium nib that's a tad on the wide side for me. I wish it was a fine...)

If you are curious about their price range, Swisher Pens sells the Safari for $24, (add $5 for a converter) the M200 for $79, The Sapporo for $142, (converter included) and the 1911 for $232. (converter included)

I'd like to add that I purchased my two Sailors in used, but like new condition at significantly reduced prices, in the Marketplace Section on the Fountain Pen Network. It's a great place to buy, sell & trade pens. I just bought a vintage Shaeffer the other day... But that's for another day.

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#2 BerneseMtDogEatsArco


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Posted 08 February 2009 - 16:01

Nice review! Your picture of the Sapporo and the M200 posted side by side shocked me - I had no clue that the Sapporo was that cute! Do klaxons shriek when a guy says that a Sapporo is adorable?

I chuckled when at your title - having just (oh, so gleefully) ordered a Mikado, these wonderful pens you cover are like crackerjacks for the behemoth!

That said, I noticed that no matter how big or small a pen gets, it normally works out pretty well. After all, I was raised on bics!

<Chomp, chomp - M200 tastes good!>
I'll take an Aurora, please. Aurora black.

#3 sarai



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Posted 08 February 2009 - 17:50

Very nice review and wonderful pictures. And you have a very good taste for nice pens! Says me, who myself have a M200 and a Sapporo and three Safaris.... tongue.gif
Only the tame birds have a longing.
The wild ones fly.

- Elmer Diktonius, Finnish poet (translation by sarai)

#4 stevlight


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Posted 08 February 2009 - 23:55

Biffy----great review-- I just ordered a 1911 full size from classical pens --with a ZOOM nib!!! It comes wednesday-can't wait!!

#5 Bluto Carpaccio

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 21:10

Nice review. Thanks, B
Too many pens, not enough fingers

#6 wing6


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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:34

This is an excellent review. I like your blog too.

#7 musorah


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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:43


Good to get a visual benchmark of sizes. The nib sizes were also interesting!


#8 biffybeans



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Posted 23 October 2009 - 16:44

Thank you all! I'm glad you found this post useful.

#9 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 17:35

good review :) I think you should start thinking of a m800 and a m1000, those are bigger than the m200 but they have some of the very best nibs you will ever get.
Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#10 biffybeans



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Posted 24 October 2009 - 18:50

Thanks for that! But I am pretty happy with my Sailor 1911. :)

good review :) I think you should start thinking of a m800 and a m1000, those are bigger than the m200 but they have some of the very best nibs you will ever get.

#11 returnofpenguy



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Posted 25 October 2009 - 15:29

Nice pictures. One suggestion. For guys like me, it would be helpful if you label your pens in your picture. I know Lamay, but others I could not distinguished. Just a thought.

#12 Flourish



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Posted 28 October 2009 - 23:23

Your reviews are always so helpful and have on many an occasion been the deciding factor in trying new products, especially paper and notebooks in my case. I absolutely love my Sailor 1911 Demonstrator in rhodium trim with its truly exceptional extra fine nib and my Sailor 1911 Medium with extra fine nib is my boating pen of choice, I think I shall regrind it to full flex soon though. And after many years of pondering Safari's your repeated reviews were one of the main deciding factors in my recent purchases to create a full set of color coded matching calligraphic pens.

But if you're truly asking if bigger is better than the Pilot 823 with a Falcon nib modified to xxxfine is my biggest and bestest most favorite pen so far. The Pilot 823 has everything that I've ever personally wanted in a pen; a super smooth transitioning full flex nib to die for, a gargantuan piston filled ink capacity that lasts 30-50 pages of the most flourished of musings at a letter height of 1 1/2" with a perfect ink flow for my styles of roundhand, and since I chose the black transparent version it is equally at home at my desk, in a coffee shop, at art openings and even when meeting important personages in the most ostentatious of places. So in the Pilot 823's case yes bigger is better, and the thing can even handle air travel which no other modern pen can do without spewing forth its opinion upon the matter.

And I do so love the Pelikan M200 and M400, especially with xxxf full flex nibs. Yeah, I'm at the opposite end of the nib loving spectrum, if it isn't flexed I'm supremely vexed. Then again I do love an Italic nib, especially if it has a slight flex to it so I can push my thicks and thins just that little bit farther.

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