lamy 1.1 mm italic – quality for a few bucks

A short while ago I wrote a review of the Lamy Safari (you find it here) but I didn’t write much about the nib. The Safari/Vista/Al-Star is often mentioned as a pen for the newbie, but not for the advanced users. It is an affordable pen and as such good for a beginner that doesn’t want to shell out a huge amount of money on a pen.

I think their regular round nibs are good – not exceptional, but good. They write a bit on the broad side and are stiff, but still good quality nibs. As a more “advanced” user one might find them lacking some character, but they are still good and reliable. What is a well-kept secret, which I wasn’t aware of until I decided to try a Safari with it, is that their 1.1 mm italic nib is top notch. I had used the 1.9 mm almost every day for 1 year (mostly) as a highlighter.

It is nice, but since it is a little too broad for extensive and fast writing, I have seen it as a good and reliable nib that gives a good bang for the buck. So, when I decided to treat myself with the pink Safari a while ago I thought I’d might as well try the 1.1 mm italic and I am very happy that I did. It is a great little nib.

It is very smooth, but still gives a great line variation- maybe somewhere around 3:1 – and is very pleasant even for fast writing. It is stiff, but I don’t mind that since it is still very nice to write with. I have used the 1.1 mm italics very much recently and haven’t had any flow problems even when I’ve written fast and lengthy.

I’ve tried a quite broad range of italics – some customized and/or rather expensive – for everyday writing and the Lamy 1.1 mm italic is stands up very well in the competition – reliable, smooth, even flow and very, very cheap. If the nib should break it can be replaced for as little as £4 (~$6) ordered from the UK.  And, if one wants the nib on another pen than the Safari/Vista/Alstar it also fits the Joy, Nexx, Studio, Pur, Linea…

The more I see and try Lamy pens, the more fond of them I become. I like their focus on function and reliability, their unadorned aesthetics. They produce quality pens to reasonable prices without outsourcing the production to dump the wages. No brand succeeds in covering everything, but I do think Lamy has reason to be proud over their ability to produce quality pens with a design of their own to the masses, rather than luxury items for the few. I’ve tried too many expensive pens that – despite a fancy pricetag and a nice exterior – are of inferior quality when it comes to writing and Lamy proves that one can both produce for the mass market and have an excellent quality control.


About dandelion

perpetually moving
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16 Responses to lamy 1.1 mm italic – quality for a few bucks

  1. Holly says:

    You have very sexy handwriting. I’ve been considering the Safari and thanks to your post, I will go ahead and get it along with the 1.1 italic nib. What ink did you use in your samples?

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  3. annie says:

    Hi there ! Thanks for posting this interesting review. I wanna get a Lamy Safari too, but they ask me if I want the extra fine, the fine, medium or large pen (nib). Which one have you chosen?

    • dandelion says:

      Hi Annie. I prefer the italics – particularly the 1.1 mm italic. Many retailers only sell the standard nibs (EF, F, M, B) though and of them I prefer the EF, but that is a matter of personal taste.

      • annie says:

        Thanks for your response; in the meantime I own one !! I’m very pleased with it writing very smooth and had thin lines. Thanks !!!!

  4. Phil Deane says:

    The 1.1 Nib is my favourite nib. My 1,5 is a little scratchy, but they are great pens.

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  7. iHanna says:

    What a great and lengthy review of a nib! I’m just sitting here thinking about buying a lamy safari (my first) but I will add the nib you mention, and hopefully figure out what kind of add on I need to use ink from a bottle too! I would love a pink pen, but I didn’t see on at jetpens that I’ve been clicking around at the last hour… :-)

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  9. dandelion says:

    Thanks for positive response! I’m happy that these seem to have a rather big fan club of theirs! :)

  10. ladyinthemists says:

    I, too, am a fan of the Lamy Safari, particularly with the 1.1 italics nib. I have a pink, a yellow and an orange Safari and EF, 1.1, 1.5 and 1.9 nibs. I’m considering getting a white Safari and maybe a Vista as well.

  11. I wasn’t much impressed with the Lamy B nib, so I replaced it with a finer nib (EF) in my black Safari, since when I have used that Safari much more. The ease with which you can swap nibs makes the 1.1mm Lamy a low-risk option for people who have yet to try an italic nib. Thanks for the review.

    You’re right about Lamy as a company – well designed products, well made by their own employees with pride, and at reasonable prices.

  12. Bill Scherer says:

    The 1.5mm is a nice nib too. I have most, if not all, sizes of LAMY nibs… EF, F, M, A, 1.1, 1.5, and 1.9. I run with 4 inked LAMY pens (3 Safari, 1 All-Star), currently sporting an EF, 1.5, 1.9, and an M. I guess I need a few more Safari pens so I can have all nibs at the ready…

  13. TaketheKey says:

    Agreed – I’m a big fan of the Lamy 1.1 italic nibs, too. I do prefer Richard Binder’s work, but for the price and availability the Lamy ones are fantastic, and I usually have one inked.

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