So, you've decided to start your adventure in the wonderful world of fountain pens. Kudos to you and welcome aboard! The Lamy Safari is one of the top choices for starter fountain pens for their durability, writing quality, and affordable price. To help you select your ideal Lamy nib size, we compare the common LZ50 steel nib sizes in the video below.
Lamy Safari Fountain Pen Nib Size Comparison
Here are some general comments regarding fountain pen nib sizing how Lamy's sizing corresponds to other well-known brands. Much like clothes and shoes with arbitrary letter sizing (S, M, L, XL), nib sizes have a similar sizing designation (EF, F, M, and B). Since there isn't any international standard for what each of those sizes represent, we make relative comparisons. For example, pen enthusiasts know that Western (German and Italian) nib sizes are about a size thicker than Eastern (Japanese) nib sizes. Lamy does fall into the category as a Western nib, writing a size thicker than most Pilot, Sailor, or Platinum pens. The line weight of a Lamy nib is also thicker than many European brands. So, a Lamy EF will write more like a Jowo/Bock F nib.
Fun fact: most Europeans will refer to the nib sizes by their letter abbreviation. They would say, "I prefer writing with a B nib" instead of, "I prefer writing with a broad nib."
Extra Fine (EF)
The Lamy extra fine provides the thinnest line that works the best on various types of paper. Prefer writing small, slow, and neat? An extra fine is an ideal nib size for you. Lefties: if dry time is a concern, an extra-fine line will dry quickest, especially if paired with a fast-drying ink.
The next size up provides a slightly thicker line with an incrementally higher degree of smoothness and flow. Fine is a best seller for its general purpose writing ability.
At this point size, we begin to see more depth of the ink color and a greater feeling of smoothness. Keep in mind the type of paper you write on when choosing this nib size and up. If you don't have access to premium, fountain pen-friendly paper, then you either need to select a smaller nib size or upgrade your notebooks and stationery. For this comparison, we selected a Rhodia dot grid pad with 80gsm paper.
The Lamy broad nib is the smoothest round nib of this set, providing an ample flow and thick line. This nib size is best suited for large and fast handwriting styles.
Calligraphy (1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm)
Lamy offers its stub calligraphy nib in a 1.1mm, 1.5mm, and 1.9mm size. Instead of a rounded ball tip, the calligraphy nib has a flat, broad edge for drawing thick downstrokes and thin horizontal strokes. This line variation adds instant flair to everyday handwriting.
While I wouldn't recommend the calligraphy stub nibs for fountain pen newbs, if you're going to learn calligraphy styles like italic, blackletter, roman and unical, then go for it.
Why pick one when you can have them all? Lamy LZ50 nibs are interchangeable on Safari, AL-Star, Studio, Logo, Joy, Scala, Nexx, and CP1. All you have to do is get a little tape. Stick the tape on the base of the metal nib, then slide it out with your thumb. Slide the new nib straight in over the rails of the feed. You're good to go. Just make sure the fountain pen is cleaned out before swapping nibs to avoid inky messes.
Lamy LZ50 stainless steel nibs can be purchased separately in both the silver and black-plated styles. The difference is only in appearance. The black nibs match nicer with the black trim Safari pens.
This year, we're expecting several exciting and colorful Lamy pens, including a set of pastel Safari pens. Let us know in the comments which Lamy you're looking forward to this year and which nib size or sizes you'll be getting.
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