I picked up another LAMY Safari fountain pen this past summer. I've owned a Safari with a F nib for quite some time and, liking the line but wanting something a bit more precise, thought that picking up an EF nibbed version would be an excellent choice.
LAMY's Safari line is manufactured from plastic. It's a particularly robust plastic that doesn't have the "cheapness" feel of other inexpensive pens on the market. I haven't experienced any cracking or other such damage in the years that I've owned Safaris. It's nothing too exciting but it's functional as all get out.
The Safari line is impeccably constructed. There are no unwanted wiggles, rattles (it's a fountain pen, there usually aren't any rattles as there usually aren't any internal moving parts to rattle about), or other such undesirables.
The barrel screws down onto the grip section smoothly and tightens down to align the nib with the two facets of the barrel. The "LAMY" logo on the top of the barrel can either find itself facing upward or downward but the shape of the pen remains the same consistently.
The pen utilizes a capped design, as do most fountain pens. Unlike most, however, the cap snaps on well and posts tight when open.
Initially, I owned a F nib Safari and found that it wasn't nearly as fine as I would have wanted. The EF nib on this particular model is more to my liking.
I have been using Noodler's "Bad Belted Kingfisher." It's just the right kind of blue...
The nib lays down an impeccably smooth line of a consistent thickness and color.
Writing Comfort: 1
There's technically a "right way" to hold fountain pens which LAMY has embraced in the design of their Safari series of pens. Featuring two flattened grip areas ever so slightly flanking the top of the grip, the Safari promotes "proper" technique, allowing one to properly align the pen within one's fingers.
I do like this grip design, but occasionally, when feeling lazy or otherwise attempting to write with a different pen orientation, I find the grip to be unforgiving. The crisp edges, while comfortable when writing "correctly," can be quite uncomfortable even when ever so slightly misaligned.
Design Concept: 2
The Safari series is a rather well-received line primarily because of LAMY's impeccable attention to its design. It's easy to say that the LAMY Safari line is iconic in the world of writing instruments.
Its clean and thoughtful lines are exactly what I look for in a pen.
Markings and Insignia: 2
LAMY has their logo molded into the top of the barrel. It pops just enough to be noticed but not enough to be gaudy. The nib sports LAMY's logo, too, and also features the size (EF, in this case). On the very top of the pen LAMY notes their German origins.
It's a very clean pen without any superfluous text or logos.
Carry Method: 2
The Safari uses a large pocket clip that mounts to the pen very high on the cap. This allows it to sit low in the pocket, a feature that I prefer.
Carry Durability: 1
The clip works well. However, it does lose tension over time and if consistently clipped to thicker fabrics (jeans, for example) will begin to show signs that the mount is being over-stressed.
I haven't experienced a failure of the pocket clip in any of the Safaris I own, but they do appear to wear faster than other designs on the market (the rOtring 600 series, for example).
Carry Comfort: 1
The body and cap of the pen are relatively wide making the Safari feel rather large when clipped in a front pocket. It is, however, exceptionally lightweight. Its volume is really the only thing that makes it noticeable when carried.
The LAMY Safari is a great pen for the money. The EF nib performs as expected and will meet the needs of most writers without fuss. It's an excellent pen for both those new to fountain pens and long-time veterans.