One of my favorite things to write with is a fountain pen. I love technology, but there is something to be said for writing with a pen and especially a fountain pen. I usually write three to four notes a week thanking or encouraging people, I journal, and take notes in meetings. I almost always have one of my fountain pens with me. I have a range of disposable pens that cost about $3.00 to some mid-range pens as well.
Today I want to talk about the fountain pens from Lamy. They have a great selection of “starter” pens. Their pen selection starts at $26 and goes up to $200.00 dollars. I have a Safari and an All Star. Most people either love or hate these pens. So let’s look at them.
Here is a picture of the “All Star” pen that sells for $47.00 dollars. This has a nice light weight aluminum frame and I have a broad nib on it. One of the advantages of the Lamy pens is that their nibs are interchangeable. I also have a fine point nib as well. For most of my correspondence I use the broad nib. I have done a sample with the broad nib and the fine nib so you can see the difference.
The 1.1 broad nib gives the letters just enough of a difference to show a slight thickness when you make certain strokes. You can see with the fine nib there is no variation in the thickness of the letters. The fine nib is really not that fine compared to most pens, and I would order the extra fine if I was ordering again.
How do they perform: I gauge all my nibs by the nib on my Parker 51 that was made in 1948 and writes like a dream. It is the smoothest nib I have ever written with and I have one pen that I sent to a nib master to smooth and tune. The Parker still outperforms it.
This is where most people have issues with the Lamy Safari and All Star. Their complaint is that the nibs are a little scratchy when you are writing with them. There is some truth to this. I feel some of drag when you are writing, but in all fairness I was not expecting perfection from a low end pen. I did not have any skips when writing and the flow of the pen was good.
What I liked: These pens are tanks. You can leave them in your briefcase for two months and then pull the pen out and it will write. With a lot of other fountain pens when you leave them that long without using them you have to prime them again to get them started. I like the fact that you can change nibs without much expense and keep the same pen.
What needs improving: Honestly I think it is a decent pen for the money, but I would like to see the price point a little lower. I think if it sold in the $25-$30 dollar range it would be better. There is not much of anything else you can change.