Saturday, February 7, 2009

Is Bigger Better? Size comparison of Pelikan M200, Lamy Safari, Sailor Sapporo and also a full sized 1911

Sailor Sapporo and Pelikan M200

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.

Sailor Sapporo and Pelikan M200

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.

Sailor Sapporo and Pelikan M200

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 Sailor 1911 (Full Size)

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.

Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M200 and Sailor 1911 (Full Size)

Posted, the 1911 jumps ahead in length.

Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M200 and Sailor 1911 (Full Size)

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

Pelikan M200 and a Sailor 1911 (Full Size)

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.

Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M200, Sailor 1911 (Full Size) and a Lamy Safari (Steelers Colors)

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)

Sailor Sapporo, Pelikan M200, Sailor 1911 (Full Size) and a Lamy Safari (Steelers Colors) on a Red Moleskine

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.


jmkeuning said...

OK, I am convinced. Nice pictures!

Biffybeans said...

Thanks James! And thanks for stopping by the blog!

Andy Hoffman said...

Bigger isn't always better, but I prefer my Pelikan M600 to my 200. I also have an M1000 but find I ink it and use it rarely.

Good comparison descriptions and very nice photos!

S.L. Dixon said...

Great stuff. I always thought the Safari was a small pen, at least until this post. I know you don't have a Lamy 2000 anymore but can you remember how it compared in size?

Jared said...

If only the Sailors would make them piston fill like the Pelikans, and interchangable nibs...hmmm, I guess I like the Pelikan design, but the Sailor nibs.

Anonymous said...

Bigger is not always better it depends on the man who use it.

Felyne said...

I've just measured the Safari against the 2000 and the Safari is 5/32 of an inch longer.

But.. ZOMG You've got a vintage Sheaffer? I LOVE my vintage sheaffers!!! I have a couple sentinels, a lady, a stylist and an imperial.

zenracer said...

One of the few hard-worker pens I have owned were Lamy Safari Pens. For someone who has big hands,or get writers cramps from writing long periods of time, it is most comfortable in feel and balance.

Anonymous said...

well... is it bigger better or what? you didn't seem to land a point or conclusion!

Biffybeans said...

Anonymous - it's simply a post to show the relative difference between pen sizes and it's up to the reader to decide whether or not a larger pen will suit their needs, or if it's just too much for the hand.

penspouse said...

Very nice pictures. I appreciated the shots of the pens posted. Frequently posted measurements of pens are left out of descriptions. I almost always post my pens, and had wondered about the Sapporo's size in relation to the M200/400 (my favorite length). I now see a Sapporo in the collection someday in the future.

Biffybeans said...

The more I use my various pens, the more I ]think that the Sapporo is the pen that fits my hand the best - specifically when in comes to balance. I love that pen!

James Konzem said...

Hello! I am new to using fountain pens and interestingly this was the first site I looked at about pens.
I just got an M200 (per your excellent recommendation!) and I was curious if it leaves a mark on the body once it has been posted repeatedly. Thanks!

Biffybeans said...

James - to easily answer your question, all of my pens have posting marks on them - though not as noticeable on the Lamy Safari and I haven't used my Studio enough to see if it leaves marks. I feel like in most cases, I want the pen posted because it helps to better balance the pen in my hand. My Parker 51 is one of the few I don't post because I think it's too top heavy when posted.

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