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Lamy Safari Grip


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A few weeks ago I hade purchased a Lamy Safari, Jinaho x450, Pilot Met, and a TWSBI ECO. I absolutely love all these pens and use them for different situations. At first, the safari wasn't really my favorite amongst all the pens I own in terms of my everyday writer. My opinion has changed the more and more I use it. My initial reason for it not being my favorite had nothing to do with triangle grip, but more to do with how it wrote. Maybe because I am using my pens more and my writing is getting better that or maybe there is a wear-in period; do some pens wear-in?

My main question about the safari is when I grip the pen I naturally want to put my index on the right flat part, my thumb on the left fat part, and my middle finger rests under the pen on the rounded part. However, when I hold the pen like this I notice the nib is aligned at a slight angle.

Here is a picture of what I'm talking about. Apologies it was hard to grip the pen and take pic one handed.

This is the grip of how I naturally hold the Safari, but nib is angled slightly


Adjusted grip to align nib straight. Doesn't feel as natural. To grip pen this way I have to put index finger on top in between the left and right flat sides.

Is it ok if the nib is angled like in Grip1? or should the nib be written like in Grip2?

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In about 2 hours when I'm home, I'll take some pictures of me gripping a Lamy Al-Star (same grip section). When I hold it as expected by the shape of the grip section, the nib is straight on to the paper. It looks to me like you have very large hands - at least compared to mine (not hard :D ) - or maybe your middle finger isn't as far under the pen as I keep mine, or your wrist rotation / arm position is different (or some combination of the above).


NOTE: It doesn't matter how you hold it as long as it's comfortable and it will write well. But the angle in the top picture makes me worry that only the left tine is touching the paper (unless you press hard) and that you'll have a problem with ink flow.

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OK, Vunter, here are two images of me holding an Al-Star with a 1.1 stub flat on the paper... Let me know if a different angle would help any...





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Vunter, when I'm printing or writing italic (where the nib is supposed to be at a 45º angle to the writing line), I hold the Safari as it's designed to be held, as in your first photo, and this gives a good angle for those hands. If I'm writing cursive (American cursive/business hand), I often adjust the hold as in your second photo, so that my forefinger is on top of the pen between to two flat surfaces. If I hold the pen lightly enough, I find it comfortable for long sessions either way.



"To read without also writing is to sleep." - St. Jerome


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So I just got home and I wrote two full rhodia a5 pages per grip type and the only difference I saw was grip1 was slighly finer line width, barely noticeable though. between the two grips with the pen tilt they wrote the same, same nib smoothness, same ink flow; same everything.

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So I just got home and I wrote two full rhodia a5 pages per grip type and the only difference I saw was grip1 was slighly finer line width, barely noticeable though. between the two grips with the pen tilt they wrote the same, same nib smoothness, same ink flow; same everything.


Then I'd say you can use whichever is most comfortable to you. Or mix 'em up just for fun! :)

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Obviously anyone can hold their pen in any way they like, but the wider the nib, ( meaning 'B' and and wider ) the more important it is to keep the tipping horizontal to the paper, or the nib cannot put down ink as it was designed to.

Eventually a nib will wear to the angle it's held to the paper, then it will write slightly wider and more smoothly.

( To the question; do nibs 'wear in', yes they do, and it can take dozens of pages of writing to really know how a nib will write.)

It's not obvious how much a nib wears in to your own style, until you buy a new pen, or nib, when it will probably seem strange again.

Bear in mind that the Safari (I believe) was at least partly aimed at the school market, and to teach the user how to hold a pen in the 'correct' way, and to me it does feel slightly forced, but there has to be a compromise in the design as there is no left-handed version.

I have adapted to the design, and my several Safaris are solid favorites, I carry one most days, need it or not.

Edited by Mike 59
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  • 4 weeks later...

I hold my Safari the way you do in grip 1. I did find it a bit odd at first as most of my fountain pens have round tapering grips but I've got used to it and the writing quality of the pen becomes better as time progresses(5 years I think).

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