Many of you have had some great suggestions on other fountain pens to review in my series of what I consider to be beginner or starter fountain pens. I know that a lot of people might not really consider the Lamy Safari to be a true beginner fountain pen but my view on this is that if you have owned and used one of the two other beginner fountain pens that I reviewed (Pilot Varsity or Platinum Preppy) then I think you have enough experience to decide if you want to upgrade to a slightly more advanced but relatively inexpensive and beginner fountain pen.
Now as I mentioned, the Lamy Safari fountain pen is a step (or more) above the other two beginner fountain pens that I reviewed. I feel that if you have used either of the other two and you even slightly enjoyed them, then its time to take another step forward with the Safari. The Lamy Safari fountain pen is a much more sturdy fountain pen that is also designed smarter with its comfortable grip, smooth writing nib, and functional clip. The version of the Safari that you are looking at here is the charcoal body with EF nib, and I purchased the converter for the ink so I could use my own ink instead of the cartridges. I really like how the stainless steel nib is black, so it matches the pen.
This fountain pen was my first purchase from the Writers Bloc site, and I was impressed with their good pricing, quick shipment and nice packaging. For the record, I was not given any complimentary or discounted items from Writers Bloc in exchange for this review. The Lamy Safari itself was $25, and the converter was an additional $4.95, so the overall cost (not including shipping) was $29.95. You can also pick up the Lamy Safari EF from Amazon, but I was not able to find any converters that pair up for free shipping. Having a fountain pen with a converter is something that really helps a new user to enjoy the experience of using all of the different inks that are available. Again, I am sure that many people probably cringe at the idea of a $30 beginner fountain pen, but the intent of this series of reviews was to just get a look at some options if you are just getting started, it was not intended to be for just bargain models. The simplicity of the Lamy Safari, along with the high quality associated with the Lamy brand really make it a great option for the money.
Writing with the Lamy Studio is very smooth, and very comfortable. In my initial research on fountain pens, I came across lots of questions that people had regarding the extra fine nibs and if they were “scratchy” because of their small size. In my opinion, this is a non-issue with the Lamy Safari, and it also was not an issue with my Lamy Studio with the same size EF nib, they both write very smoothly. The grip area (also known as the “section”) on this pen has a unique design with two flat areas that help you position the nib perfectly on the paper, while also providing for a very naturally comfortable place to rest your fingers while writing. In comparing the Lamy Safari fountain pen to the Lamy Studio I also noticed that the converter is slightly easier to use because the design of the part which you twist is a little easier on the fingers due to some slightly more rounded edges.
The thing that makes the Lamy Safari fountain pen such a great beginner fountain pen in my opinion is not only that it offers quality and flexibility with a very smooth writing experience, but it is also a pen that you will want to use regardless of what other fountain pens you have around. Even though I consider this a beginner fountain pen, I still get as much enjoyment out of my Lamy Safari as I do with someof my other more expensive fountain pens. I think the value that you get with the Lamy Safari is huge because as long as you think you will like fountain pens in general, this one is a keeper that you will look forward to using for years to come.
An update for Emily on the Lamy Safari Fountain Pen as requested below in the comments.
I think the performance of the Lamy 2000 is not quite what it seems, I think the Lexington Grey ink might spread a little more than the other inks on the page here. Overall though they are all pretty close in size when compared on this standard printer paper.