Although the Lamy fountain pen range has an absolutely huge user base, we often see people asking for advice on a number of different pen models from Lamy. For todays article, we are going to be going over two of their more popular entry level pen options with our ultimate Lamy Nexx vs Safari comparison.
Due to a large number of people looking to make the move over to a fountain pen rather than to stick with a rollerball or ballpoint pen, we have noticed more and more questions about the entry level fountain pen range. Although our regular readers will already be aware, we feel that the Lamy Safari is one of the best entry-level fountain pens ever created and is the default option for anyone looking for a sub-$50 pen in our opinion.
That said though, the Lamy Nexx has managed to build up a solid following over the years and also has an excellent reputation too. Due to this, we have seen a number of people reaching out and asking if the Nexx is worth the additional cash instead of just sticking with the Safari.
As usual, we have our comparison table below going over the key features of both pens followed up by a short summary of our thoughts to ensure we are able to help any of our readers who are short on time. Below the comparison table section, we have our more in-depth breakdown of both pen models going into as much detail as possible in the hope that we are able to help any of our readers who have more free time and want to know as much as possible.
Lamy Nexx Vs Safari Head To Head
As you can see from our Lamy Nexx vs Safari comparison table above, although the Lamy Nexx is a solid entry-level fountain pen, we still feel that the vast majority of our readers at this price point in the market would be better off just going with the cheaper Lamy Safari and saving the difference. This should help you save for a better pen such as the Lamy 2000 that we feel is the best intermediate price point fountain pen on the market.
When it comes to the entry-level fountain pen range though, the Lamy Safari reigns supreme and it would seem that Lamy have shot themselves in the foot by making their cheapest pen better than it needed to be. This has made it difficult for them, and their competition to release a fountain pen that comes in at a similar price point but beats its features and performance and is why we don’t think that the Lamy Nexx is worth the higher price tag due to it being very similar to the Lamy Safari.
Lamy Safari Review
Kicking off with our detailed look at our primary recommendation for our readers, the Lamy Safari that outright dominates the entry-level fountain pen price bracket and has done for some time. Due to the Safari having reigned as the best entry-level fountain pen for so long and so many competitors having come and gone when trying to dethrone it and failing, we doubt that anything is going to change anytime soon.
The Nib Of The Lamy Safari
One of the main reasons that so many entry-level fountain pens tend to do poorly and fail to establish themselves amongst their competition is due to their nib being substandard. Thankfully though, the design of the Lamy nibs is second to none and although they use a stainless steel variant on the Lamy Safari, it is essentially the same nib design that they use on some of their higher price point fountain pens that is usually made of 14-carat gold for their more expensive pens.
Due to the nibs on the Lamy Safari being interchangeable with each other, you are able to ditch the standard stainless steel nib that comes with it and upgrade it to a gold nib if required anyway. That said though, this will not be required for the vast majority of our readers as the stainless steel variant of the nib that comes with the Lamy Safari is ideal for the majority of situations most people looking for a fountain pen at this price point in the market will find themselves in anyway.
The Safari is available with a nib size of extra fine, fine, medium, and broad as standard from Lamy and although there is a distinct lack of a double-broad, fine-medium, and oblique nib option, we doubt that this will really matter. Those nib sizes to tend to be more specific with a much smaller market share than the standard nib sizes and are rarely found on entry-level fountain pens anyway.
With Lamy being a German fountain pen brand, their nib sizes conform to the standard nib sizing conventions that the majority of other western fountain pen brands tend to stick or with their nibs. This means that if you do currently use a fountain pen from a different western fountain pen brand and you are looking to keep the same font size when writing that you have on your Safari, you can pretty much do a one for one swap and go from a medium nib to a medium nib with minimal change.
That said though, if you currently use an Asian fountain pen brand then you may want to upsize your nib options when moving over to a Lamy. This is due to the majority of Asian pen brands sticking to their own nib size convention that tends to be ever so slightly smaller than their western counterparts. For example, a medium on a Japanese fountain pen will be closer to a fine on your Lamy so keep this in mind if you want to keep a similar font size when migrating over to a western pen from an Asian pen.
The nib size that you select for your Lamy Safari will also come into play with how wet the nib will write during use too. Both the extra-fine and fine nib sizes can be on the dryer size so have no issues with ghosting or bleeding during use but they can be a little scratchy on cheaper paper. On the flipside of that, the medium and broad nib sizes tend to be on the wetter size and smoother to writer with on cheaper paper but can sometimes have slight ghosting when writing on thin paper.
Thankfully, you are able to fix the issues with the smaller nibs scratching and the larger nibs ghosting by upgrading to some high GSM paper that is thicker than the cheaper paper. Thankfully, over the years the prices of higher GSM paper has fallen drastically and it is a similar price to thinner paper these days while offering a much smoother writing experience while also having fewer issues with ghosting, bleeding, and feathering too.
The Lamy Safari Barrel
Due to the price tag of the Lamy Safari, both its cap and barrel are made from plastic and this is common for all pens at this price point in the market as it is the easiest way for the manufacturer to keep their costs down. That said though, the plastic is surprisingly decent and pretty touch while also being lightweight too. This means that it should easily be able to take any bumps coming its way without breaking while also being light enough to prevent any issues with fatigue build up too.
The barrel of the Lamy Safari hides the cartridge convertor system well while also ensuring that it is quick and easy to switch out your old ink cartridges for a new one once they are empty. The Lamy T10 ink cartridge has an excellent track record too and mounts seamlessly to the convertor to prevent the Lamy Safari and all other Lamy pens that use the system from having issues with ink laking that scores it points over other entry-level fountain pens.
The barrel of the Lamy Safari is available in a wide range of different colors to help ensure that you are always able to find the perfect design to fit your personality. On top of the wide range of color options for the standard Safari, Lamy also releases some special edition designs and colors for the Safari each year too. Although this can give your pen a unique look to it, very few fountain pen collectors will pay a premium for a limited edition Safari so the resale value of the pen is minimal.
The Cap Of The Lamy Safari
The cap of the Lamy Safari is also made from the same plastic as its barrel helping to keep it as light as possible while also being pretty tough considering that it is an entry-level, plastic fountain pen. The lightweight nature of the cap on the pen offers additional advantages though as it helps to ensure that you will not have any issues with the pen back weighting when posted and spoiling your writing experience.
This alone is able to push the Lamy Safari to the front of the pile of the entry-level fountain pens as back weighting can be an issue at this price point and is an annoyance for users of a number of popular pen models. Thankfully though, the design of the Lamy drastically reduces the issues with this to help keep the pen balanced and the lightweight plastic of the cap helps to prevent it adding too much weight to the back of the pen when writing while posted.
The cap of the Lamy Safari does use a push lock system and although we do personally prefer a twist lock system, the threading required for a twist lock will hike the price up so this is why the vast majority of entry-level pens all use a very similar push lock system to each other. The system on the Safari does perform well in all fairness to Lamy and in the unlikely situation that the lock does fail and cause the Safari to fall and break or end up missing then the pen is cheap enough to replace without breaking the bank anyway.
The Safari uses a standard stainless steel clip on its cap to help you to secure the pen in place and this helps to score the pen more points over other cheaper pens too as many brands still use a standard plastic clip. The stainless steel clip that Lamy has opted to use with their Safari should easily be able to keep the pen secured to your jacket pocket or to any paper you clip it to with ease and without issue though.
The Lamy Safari Ink Reservoir
As the Lamy Safari is based around a cartridge convertor, it has no built-in ink reservoir due to it using the Lamy T10 ink cartridges meaning that they govern the maximum ink capacity for the pen coming in at 0.7ml of ink. Although this is lower than average, the cartridges are cheap enough for you to stock up and swap them out as required with ease.
Another advantage of the Lamy T10 ink system is that the cartridges are available in a wide range of colors helping to ensure that you are able to easily find the ink color you need for any task at hand. The majority of the other entry-level pens on the market right now use cartridge systems that are only available with either black, blue or red in with green being available on the rare occasion too.
The Lamy T10 system has an excellent track record of mounting to the cartridge converter with ease allowing you to quickly and easily switch out an empty cartridge for a full one when required. On top of this, the seal mounts perfectly drastically reducing the chances of you having any issues or problems with the ink leaking too.
Lamy Safari Writing Samples
Lamy Nexx Review
Although the Lamy Nexx is not our primary recommendation when put up against the Lamy Safari, the Lamy Nexx is still a solid pen and outright beats a bunch of other pens on the market right now. In our opinion though, when put up against the Lamy Safari it is a better option to just go with the Safari and save until you can get something like the Lamy 2000 that is the best intermediate price point fountain pen ever made in our opinion.
The Lamy Nexx Nib
The Lamy Nexx also uses the same standard stainless steel nib as the majority of other entry-level price point Lamy fountain pens on the market right now too. This offer you the same benefits as the nib on the Lamy Safari without any real improvements to your writing experience while the Nexx also has a higher price tag.
As we touched on, the nib on the Lamy Nexx is made from stainless steel but if you really want to, you are able to get both gold plated and 14-carat gold nib options and replace the standard nib. We don’t feel that this is worth the additional cost though and just keeping your money and putting it towards a future upgrade to something like the Lamy 2000 will be a much better option.
The Lamy Nexx is also available with the standard nib size options of extra-fine, fine, medium, and broad ensuring that the vast majority of people should be able to find a nib size that they need for the task at hand. Similar to the other entry-level fountain pens though there is no fine-medium, double-broad or oblique nib options for the Lamy Nexx but you will usually be looking at specialist fountain pens or general fountain pens with a price tag of over $100 for these options anyway.
Just like the other Lamy entry-level nib using pens, the extra-fine and fine nib sizes on the pen can be a little scratch on cheaper paper where as the medium and broad variants can have issues with ghosting on thin paper. As we touched on for the Lamy Safari above though, both of these issues can easily be avoided by spending an extra dollar or two on some high GSM paper that is thicker and smoother.
The nib system on the Lamy Nexx is a little easier to clean with a cheap flush kit than the nib on the Lamy Safari. This is due to the feed on both fountain pens being slightly different and it being easier to flush the feed on the Nexx and although everyone usually knows they should be cleaning their pen regularly, most people don’t. If you know that you wont be taking the time to flush your pen and clean it every few months then this advantage of the Nexx can be discounted.
The Barrel Of The Lamy Nexx
The main advantage of the Lamy Nexx over the Lamy Safari and the main reason behind its price hike is its anodised aluminium barrel. This makes the Lamy Nexx tougher than the Lamy Safari and enables its barrel to take more punishment from bumps and knocks without breaking. That said though, you will have to consider what you are actually going to be doing with your Lamy Nexx and if it will be subject to additional bumps and knocks making this advantage actually worth it.
Most of our readers who will be using either of these fountain pens will probably be working at a desk in optimal conditions meaning that their pen barrel and cap will be taking minimal damage. If you know that you will be working in a similar situation then the tougher build quality of the Lamy Nexx is not required and it can be better to go with the Lamy Safari and just save the additional funds.
Another advantage of the Lamy Nexx and in our opinion, the only real reason that anyone would opt for it over the Safari is the grip on the barrel. The grip is excellent and ensures that you are able to quickly and easily grip the barrel of the pen and write with it. If you will be using your pen in an artists environment where your fingers and thumb maybe wet due to working with watercolors then this is and advantage.
Additionally, if you are looking for a fountain pen for a child then the Lamy Nexx is perfect and is one of the main targt audiences of the pen. The grip is ideal for anyone who is learning to writer as it offers additional support and control over the barrel to make the writing process as easy as possible.
Although it probably won’t matter to the majority of people, the barrel of the Lamy Nexx is identical with the standard silver look to it with the black grip. The only different between the different options for the pen is the color of the cap of the pen and even then it is limited. We just wanted to point this out as we know some people like to try and have as much of their stationary matching as possible.
The Lamy Nexx Cap
Unlike the barrel of the Nexx that is made from high-quality anodised aluminium, the cap of the fountain pen is made from a slightly higher quality plastic to that used on the Lamy Safari. Although we are not sure, we would guess that Lamy have done this to keep the cap of the pen as light as possible while also keeping its costs low too.
Thankfully though, the cap of the Nexx is lightweight due to being made from plastic and its design does help to keep the pen balanced when posted to help prevent back weighting too. This ensures that you will be able to write with the Nexx for long periods of time with the cap posted without having issues with fatigue building up and cramping your hand.
The cap uses the standard push lock system that we touched on earlier that is common on fountain pens at this price point in the market. As we mentioned earlier in the article though, we do prefer twist-lock cap systems but it is rare to find them on any fountain pen that is less than $100.
Lamy Nexx Writing Samples
That brings our ultimate Lamy Nexx vs Safari comparison article to a close. We hope that we have been helpful and that we have managed to explain why we feel you are better opting to go with the Lamy Safari over the Lamy Nexx and although both pens are great, we just don’t see any reason to spend the extra money on the Lamy Nexx for the majority of our readers. The features and writing experience that are offered by the Lamy Safari are excellent for its price tag and show why it is so popular and has such an excellent reputation amongst the community.