Lamy Safari

Ah, the Lamy Safari. A classic in the fountain pen realm. Any member of the fountain pen community will have heard of this pen at some point. For many beginner fountain pen users, the Lamy Safari is the first pen they ever use. After using this pen for quite some time, I feel every person into fountain pens should own it. The quality is outstanding, it is a really reliable writer, and it doesn’t break the bank. What more could you ask for?

Some will be turned off by the Safari’s looks. It has a large cap, a giant, and I mean giant, clip, and an unusual looking body. However, this design works surprisingly well. The clip, because of its large size, holds on tight, whether it be a shirt pocket, jeans pocket, or the pocket of a notebook.

The cap is a snap-on cap, which does feel a little loose at first. I was surprised to find it holds on tight, so there is no worry about it falling off and ruining your shirt, or-shutters-your nib.

The Safari also has a very comfortable trip-grip style grip section. The grip section makes writing sessions easier for me, as I don’t have to worry about the pen accidentally rotating and not being put to the paper properly. Unfortunately, this can be a deal-breaker for some, as you have to hold the Safari in a specific manner in order to write with if comfortably.

The body of the pen is quite light without the cap, as the pen is made out of ABS plastic. Again, some people may be turned off by this. However, the plastic is extremely durable, and takes quite a beating. You don’t have to be careful with this pen like you would with a TWSBI. I have never heard of a Safari cracking because of being dropped.

Finally, this brings us to the nib. The nibs are all manufactured by Lamy in-house in Germany. This is rare, as many pen companies tend to purchase their nibs from a separate company, suck as Bock or Jowo, brand them, and put them on their pens. Kaweco and TWSBI are both companies that do this. While there is nothing wrong with this, as the nib quality is outstanding from both companies, it is interesting to see a company that manufactures their own nibs with an intricate assembly line like Lamy’s.

The nib on my specific Safari is completely black, though you can purchase them without any finish. The nibs are swappable, so you can purchase a Lamy italic nib if you feel so inclined. I personally prefer a fine nib. The pen writes smoothly, though there is a little scratchiness that I quite like. Something about it makes that writing more satisfying. It puts out a steady flow of ink that is not too wet or too dry, which is perfect for everyday writing. The only issues I’ve had with the nib is that it skips once in a blue moon and there is quite a bit of drag when writing on cheap notebook paper, as that is the staple crop of school classrooms.

Overall, the Lamy Safari is an excellent pen. For only $30, the Safari is one of the best affordable fountain pens on the market. I am really pleased with how it has served me, especially in school. And trust me, my school is a pretty risky place to bring a fountain pen. I think anyone in the fountain pen community should own one. Which pen would you rather have at school, on the bus, or in the subway? A Visconti, an eye-catching, expensive, fine work of art as much as it is a pen, or an average-looking fountain pen that is extremely affordable as well as durable? I’ll let you decide.

5 Comments

  1. Great review. I found that some people don’t like the design of the Safari-Vista-Al-Star-Lx family. That is perfectly subjective. I started a quest to find a – sort of Holy Grail – fountain pen that is 1) cheap; 2) has a steel nib; 3) has a smooth writing experience; 4) has a reliable ink-flow. I’ve tried several pens under €100 just to realise that it’s been in my collection the whole time: my good old Safari. Long story short: while certain aspects of the Safari can be debated, I think there is a strong consensus in the community that price/performance-wise the Safaris are one of the best fountain pens.

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  2. Excellent review. I just purchased my first Lamy, a Studio, with a Fine nib, which seems closer to a Medium, and another nib a 1.5 mm stub that I haven’t yet tried. I am very pleased with the quality of this pen , its workmanship, its feel in the hand, and the smoothness of the writing with this nib.

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  3. hi i have small hands, so lamy safari is perfect on weight, and i have oily hands too , so lamy safari on the matte finish are my ideal .
    great review

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