Monday, September 22, 2008
The red Lamy Safari pictured above, was my first fountain pen. Even after owning 20+ fountain pens in the last year, my Safaris are still some of my favorite pens.
And why is the Safari still one of my favorites?
* Cheap - about $30 with a converter - very cheap for such a well made pen
* Very durable ABS plastic
* See through ink window - lets you know when ink is running low
* Grip - better handwriting when the pen can be held securely
* Replaceable nibs - $11 and very simple to replace
* Easy to flush & refill with a different color ink
* Very firm nib - no flex - great for drawing
* Custom nib grinding $15 from Pendemonium
Even though the Safari is quite wonderful and a great first pen, there are a few things that some people don't like about it. I don't really have any of these problems, though I did have a hard time with Diamine Imperial Purple staining my yellow Safari. Luckily, I was able to get it fully clean again.
* Large pen - when posted, (cap on back of pen) can be too large for some people
* Grip - some people find the angled grip annoying
* Plastic can get stained - especially white or yellow pens
* Nibs run wide - too wide for some people
* Nibs are inconsistent. Same size nibs can write different than another. Once in a while, can get a scratchy nib. I think I've only had one scratchy out of 7 nibs, and that one I sent off and had turned into a cursive italic nib.
When I bought my first one, I bought it with a medium nib. The Lamy medium is a smoooooooooth writing nib, but it ended up eventually being too wide for me. I now prefer the Lamy extra fine nibs for daily writing. Remember that the Safari nibs run wide, so there would be a world of difference in line width from the Lamy to say... a Sailor extra fine because Japanese pen nibs tend to run narrow.
This is what I've gone and done in just one year of using fountain pens. Some were purchased new, some were from eBay, some were bought used from the Marketplace on the Fountain Pen Network.
4 Lamy Safari (One is always in rotation)
1 Lamy AL-Star (Too large - doesn't get used)
1 Lamy 2000 (Sold it - too many issues with this one)
2 Pelikan M200 (Love it - use one all the time)
1 Sailor Sapporo (Love it - use it often)
1 Sailor 1911 (My new big sexy pen. It's in heavy rotation now.)
1 Hero 329 (Never use it)
2 Wing Sung Celluloid (Junk - threw away)
1 Pelikan Future (Sold)
1 Waterman Phileas (Sold, but was damaged when I bought it)
1 Namiki Vanishing Point (Sold almost immediately)
2 Parker 51 Vacumatic (Sold)
1 Parker 51 Vacumatic Demi (Sold)
1 Sheaffer Fineliner (Sold)
1 Sheaffer Calligraphy Set (Use rarely)
1 Reform Piston Filler (Gave away)
1 Esterbrook J (Doesn't get used - I should sell it)
Things I've learned:
* I don't like hooded pens (Parker 51, Hero 329, Lamy 2000)
* I don't like pens without some kind of grip (Lamy 2000, Parker 51)
* I prefer piston fillers to C/C (Piston: Pelikan M200, Lamy 2000, Reform 1745. C/C Lamy Safari, Waterman Phileas, Sailor Sapporo.)
* I don't like Vacumatics or Aeromatic pens (Parker 51, Hero 329, Wing Sung Celluloid)
* Lever fillers are ok (Esterbrook)
Why do I use a fountain pen? Click here to read that post.