Lamy Pen Tutorial
[Disclaimer: I’m in no way affiliated to the Lamy Company, so please be aware that the information given on this site might not be accurate or up to date.]
When it comes to sketching with fountain pens, I do prefer my Lamy pens, since their abillity to write in almost each position is legendary.
Recently I noticed that more and more people seem to be interested in them, but only few know the facts, so I decided to write this little tutorial. I really hope that it will be of help to some of you and if you still have any questions left, don’t hesitate to ask me, chances that I might know the answer aren’t that bad :).
A little bit of background information on Lamy. Lamy is a German company (located in Heidelberg btw) that produces high quality writing instruments and accessories, mainly fountain pens. In Germany kids at school write only with fountain pens (and non waterproof, erasable ink) and Lamy has probably been the most popular brand among them for many years now.
To meet the demands of all of their customers, the company regularly produces pens in new colors, styles, materials, etc. The insides of these pens and the nibs stay very much the same, it’s only colors and materials that vary. Oh, and yes, the prices, of course ;).
Here’s just a little part of my private Lamy collection:
What I consider more important than the outward style of the pen, is the nib:
Nibs can be bought separately (every nib will suit every pen – they are all built in the same way!) and they come in different sizes. There is also a special nib for the left-handed, its size being medium (nice for writing, but perhaps a little bit large for sketching?), although AFAIK most left-handed people won’t face any trouble using the regular nibs.
You can get your pen with these nibs:
- EF (extra fine)
- F (fine)
- M (medium)
- MK (medium kursive)
- B (bold)
- LH (left-handed, medium)
- Calligraphy-nibs (1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm)
For sketching you should try the EF nib or F, depending on what you like better. Nibs are made either of steel (black or silver) or of gold (F,M,B only). I’ve never observed any differences between the black steel nibs and the silvery steel nibs, but there is a big difference between the steel nibs and the gold nibs, the latter being much more elastic and thus more pleasant to write with. Unfortunately the gold nibs do not come in EF, they would be gorgeous for sketching :).
[Further information on the Lamy nibs, 2010 April]
How to change nibs.
Get your pen and a nib. Since changing nibs is a little bit messy, you might also want to wear some disposable gloves and get a piece of scratch paper to work upon.
Turn your pen upside down:
The pale pink circle indicates the spot where you should place the cap…
…push the cap gently down with one of your hands while pulling the pen with your other hand…
…this should remove the nib from the pen. Clean the removed nib with warm water (never use soap or anything else for cleaning, just warm water) and carefully dry it with the help of a paper towel.
Now get your pen and gently slide-in the new nib…
… until it has reached its final position.
Congrats, you’re done :)!
Please note: this method will not work for the calligraphy nibs. If you want to get rid of a calligraphy nib, you’ll have the messy task to use your fingers instead of the pen’s cap or you can use the tape method.
How to fill your pen with ink.
Lamy ink is sold in bottles and ink cartridges (packs of five)…
…and it is available in the following colors:
The blue ink is erasable with common ink erasers. None of those inks are water-resistant.
(I have been asked occasionally what ink erasers are and how they are used, so I made this little blog entry about those nifty little tools.)
It’s beneficial to clean your pen regularly, but you do have to clean it, whenever you want to change the color of the ink used. Otherwise you will end up with a pretty ugly mud color in your pen. I’m sure you don’t want to.
All you need for cleaning your pen is a cup with warm water (tap water will do, destilled water would be even better) and an empty converter.
Fill up and empty the converter over and over again and change the water whenever it has become too dirty. Repeat this procedure until the water remains clear. Now your pen is cleaned and ready to be charged with a new ink cartridge.
Now, if you are going to sketch and draw with your pen, you surely will like to have a waterproof ink and since the ink that is supplied with your Lamy isn’t waterproof at all, it’s time to replace it with a water-resistant ink like Noodler’s.
There are two possibilities for doing this.
The safe method would be, to get a converter, to fill it with ink and use it in your pen. It isn’t difficult to handle, the only thing I do object about the converter is that it tends to suck up too much air and too little ink and it’s an annoying procedure to fill and refill this thingie until it’s filled to an acceptable degree.
The second method is to use a disposable syringe to refill your ink cartridge. Well, I assume that you are all old enough to know that you should be very careful while working with a syringe. Always reclose it immediately after using. And don’t let your children/pets/whatever play with them. The advantages of this technique is that it is much cheaper and that you will have more ink in your pen. (Check the photo for size comparison between ink cartridge and converter.)
Perhaps you are drawing with your pen using a F nib …
and you would like to have a finer tip for sketching details. Instead of changing to an EF nib, just turn your pen! 🙂
This might feel a little scratchy first, but it works!
To be continued, but until then, you may want to check out the Pen & Ink page that will lead you to all the blog entries about pen and ink on this blog.
Enjoy your pen!
This is the best review of Lamy pens that I have seen, it is so practical – especially your coverage of changing nibs.
Its amazing tips..and review and thanking you for making it available for us ..but i have two doubts related to the ink cartiage ..kindly tell me that if i change the ink color then will it affect the performance / writing quality /ink color of the new ink ..
also tell me how to make nibs shiny ..
Thank you so very much for this useful and informative blog.
Very helpful! Thanks for doing this.
Agreed again on how helpful results this review. Highly recommended.
I am interested in getting a Lamy Safari, my first seriously-needed fountain pen, for using with my Moleskine.. and this review is very useful.. Thank you!
You don’t want to use a fountain pen in a moleskin. Big mistake. Moleskin paper is shit, buy a Rhodia.
Thanks so much.. your steps to changing the nibs are very detailed and the pictures are a great help!
hahaaha. i love the bit about turning the nib around. I have been doing that for years. great to see that others do it too! ahaha
are there different procedures for cleaning when you are using the waterproof inks
Vicky, the cleaning procedure will stay the same, no matter what kind of ink was used or is going to be used in that pen.
The only thing that is important is to remember to always use only clean water without any soap, detergents or cleaner in it.
A note about waterproof ink; one should never use India ink in fountain pens! It’s varnish-based and will ruin them very quickly. Noodler’s Bulletproof inks are waterproof on cellulose (paper) but not on hands or other surfaces.
Just a comment from a chemical perstective.
If a pen is very dirty, using only tap water will take FOREVER, and may not remove certain contaminants eg. oils and paper surface treatments, which can affect ink flow. A small amount of a wetting agent will greatly accelerate the re-dissolving of caked-on ink. However, the cleaning solution should ideally be at a neutral pH, so that the materials that the pen is made of will not be corroded by either an acidic or caustic solution. BTW diluted household ammonia is very caustic, pH 11 !!, and if the exposure is too long, can severely corrode soft metal components of some pens and even the “plastic” that the pen is made of. Also a “detergent” additive should not be just any soap or detergent, but preferably a non-ionic type to minimize possible detrimental interactions between the detergent itself and the chemicals in the ink.
Just a comment from a chemical engineer perstective.
Well, If your ink is based on a polar liquid, it won’t take you so much time by cleaning with water…
Hi, is it safe to use Noodler’s ink on a fountain pen? I thought waterproof ink should never be used on fountain pens. Also, is there any ink brand you can recommend for fountain pens? Thank you.
Hello Alex, well I only had good experiences with my Noodler’s Bulletproof Black.
However, I switched to De Atramentis Document Inks (waterproof) some time ago, mainly for two reasons: 1) it’s more easy available here, 2) the ink flow is even better, especially in my EF nibs.
Great post! Lamy and Pelikan are my fav. brands.
You say that every nib suits every pen. That may be so with pens for drawing but I don’t think I would attempt changing a nib on my 2000 even if it could be done (can it?)
Regards and thank you for the useful tutorial.
To remove an italic nib (or any nib) without getting inky fingers, just cut a piece of clear tape and lay it on top of the nib so that it hangs loosely down on the sides. Hold the pen horizontally in your left hand pointing to the right, and tape your right index finger under the pen with the tape ends that are handing down. Squeeze the tape tightly between your finger and thumb.
With gentle downward pressure to keep the tape secure on the nib, pull straight back and the nib should slide off the feed.
Also, instead of using a real syringe, you can get blunt syringes that come with inkjet printer refills, or go to a kitchen store and see if they have blunt syringes for injecting meat with marinades. Much safer!
Great Tip about using Blunt syringe, but it is advisable to use seperete converter insted of filling ink in cartridge
Erhard, as I never handled a 2000 myself, I cannot say for sure how easy or difficult it might be to change its nib. Yet, as this pen comes with 8 (!) different nib sizes, I am pretty sure that there must be some way to change them, too. However, this pen comes with gold nibs… and one should always be extremely careful with gold nibs… a little bit too much tweezing and they’ll be ruined… it’s safer to have those nibs changed by persons with the right know-how.
Neill, thank you very much for your answer. I will update my article soon with your neat little tips if you don’t mind ^-^!
I’ve had my Lamy Safari for the last two years, it is the black one with a black medium nib. Recently I bought another Safari and Al-Star with medium nibs, but the nibs in both pens are very scratchy compared to my old one, which was always a very smooth writer. I noticed that the nibs, although black, have a silver coloured tip, unlike my old safari, which was all black, including the tip. Have Lamy changed the nibs they put in Safaris and Al-Stars? Did anyone notice that?
Vuv, I haven’t bought a new nib (or a new pen) in a long time, so I can’t tell for sure if they changed anything. However, if the pens feels scratchy, you might try as a trick to take a little sheet of very fine sanding paper and write with your pen three words on it. Then try again to write on normal paper and see whether the scratchiness has disappeared. If it still feels a little bit scratchy, just repeat the whole procedure until you feel that the pens glides smoothly over your paper. This trick should do it, no matter what kind of material the nib is made of.
However, you should know that even careful sanding will always make the tip of your nib slightly broader and thus your line will become broader as well.
Thanks for your help. I know I can grind the nib, I used to do it in the past, but what appealed to me in my old Safari was that I didn’t have to do anything and the nib was really nice and smooth, though it was just a standard one, most popular medium nib. I see on your pictures, that the medium nib of your pen has a black tip, unlike my new ones. I was just wondering why the new nibs are different and why did Lamy decide to change the design of their nibs, if the change didn’t do anything good – but well, I still have my old one and it seems I will have to take care of it now, as it seems I won’t be able to get another one like that anymore:)
BTW I use my pens for drawing, and I must admit that recently I discovered broad nibs, they are nice for a change. I’ve been using Rotring ArtPens for quite a while, F and EF nibs, but (surprisingly?) I find Safari more flexible – I can vary the line by pressing the pen a bit harder. ArtPens give a nice, thin, but very regular line, a bit boring.
Vuv, could you post a picture of your nib somewhere? I’d be curious to see what your nibs look like.
Until now I’ve only known the silver ones and of the black ones. Yet, the *backside* of the tip (the spot where the nib touches the paper) is silver colored on the black nibs, too.
My problem has been solved, I got replacement nibs, which are all black, as in my old pen, and write really smooth:) The nibs I got previously had both top (where the letters are) and bottom (writing) part of the tip “silvery” as if ground and flattened, and I still don’t know whether it was Lamy or the shop that had these strange nibs, but next time I think I will avoid buying any pens online.
Thank you for your review and great tutorial on Safaris:)
Thank you so much for the nib changing hint. I would never have thought of doing it that way – it worked a treat. Like the German schools, I too was taught to write with a fountain pen (in Ireland) but trust me after many years i have perfected my writing so that it can be as bad a ballpoint pen user 🙂
hi, i found the best site to buy the pens, and they come with the converter free, which saves another $4.50. let me know if you want it. do you think, if it is affordable, it is best to have the pens for drawings ready,nsoyou do not have to change the nibs?
do you use both of the drawing sizes in one drawing?
where is a good place to buy the inks?
is only the blue erasable? i never heard of an ink eraser, are they obvious at an art store or is just an eraser that works best?
thank you so much. i have a couple and i love them. it’s fun to always have different color inks already ready.
this was so helpful!
Be careful. Those Lamy Safaris that come with a free converter are known to be counterfeit. This article goes into good detail on how to spot these knockoffs:
Hi Paula :),
actually I have to confess that I avoid changing nibs at all costs, because it is a messy thing to do. Especially when I am about to draw something then changing a nib would distract me too much. Since I only draw with black (and sometimes blue) ink I have found a simple solution: I have many pens. Each filled with the same ink, but having a different nib :).
About ink erasers: I have just added a little link to the tutorial, hope this will be helpful, too :).
I just recently bought the yellow Lamy and I must say, this is one of the best, smoothest, fountain pens I have used…and at a fair price! Great review here!
I have a question though. For a really rich black ink, because the Lamy ink is not, what ink brand would you recommend? Is Noodlers the best?
1) every time i refill my pens, even when just cleaned, i have trouble getting them started?
2) i also bought the lamy blue ink and have had no success in erasing it?
I even bought a slightly coarser eraser, as would be used for india ink and i still cannot erase it?
3) last, i have yet to fill my pen without getting ink on my fingers, what do use, a paper towel the entire procedure?
is it possible to aner my questions on my email? i hope this site is still active.
thank you so much!!!!!
nice article .thank you for this tutorial
A 10 to 1 water and ammonia solution or drop of dish soap in cup of water to clean too. I gotta git a white safari with silver EF tip now.
great tut! i have the al-star graphite too!
question on cleaning: how do you clean the compartment between the nib and the casing, where you rest the ends of your fingers? does it even need to be cleaned?
It doesn not need to be cleaned too often, but if you feel you would like to, just get one of these tiny make-up sponges (those one that have these sharp edges) or something similar in form and gently clean it with warm tap water :).
My interest in pens is primairily as a fountain pen collector.
But on hollydays I like to make sketches. And in the last few years I’ve come to use Lamy Safari’s (a yellow one, easy to find, and a black one) and Caran d’Ache Dunas (sand color and charcoal black). And turning the pen upside down to produce a thinner line is something everyone must have tried who makes sketches. And, being Dutch, of course I use the syringe-method to fill cartridges and I find Pelikan India black for fountain pens great for sketching. And I did also know Lamy-nibs are available for replacement in different sized.
But I must confess that without your tutorial I would not have realized that putting all these suggestions together you’d come to have the ideal combination of pen, nib and ink to make for sketching. Thank you!
i use lamy calligraphy pens for cartooning. my problem iis that it is very difficult to get the extra nibs india. it willbe a matter of real pleasure if you write me the dealers of extra nibs of lamy. thanks s.c bhattacharya, cartoonist, india
Dear s.c bhattacharya, unfortunately I’m no dealer for this company nor am I in any way associated to them, hence I do not know how many retailer of nibs there might be and if there are any close to where you live.
I’d suggest that you try to cantact the folks at Lamy company, I’m sure they can give you advice whether there is a retailer for nibs in INdia, too.
I purchase my Lamy’s from Dromgooles in Houston, TX. I live about 20 miles from them but in Houston it’s a 2 hour round trip, so I have them mail. They are very efficient and all they sell are pens (it’s like the TV show Cheers where “everybody knows your name” type of place). Interesting note: the “pen doctor” that comes in once a week is actually the county coroner. Yep…he studies dead bodies for a living! You can “google” them. Good luck!
Im a complete novice about fountain pens and am in the market to buy my first nice one after going through a whole host of ecomony “junk”. one of my favorite pens is the pilot dr grip because of the weight and shape but i hate the endless skipping. I tried to switch to ballpoint but the pressure you have to use makes my hand cramp and since i do so much writing i decided that a nice fountain would be the way to go. Ive been doing some reading and i was wondering what you think would be a good lemy for me? like i said i like the dr grip shape and weight but i dont like how much ink g2 cartrages throw out. I heard that this can be adjusted with different viscosity bottle inks. Im a very light handed writer with fairly small cursive as well (about 3/4 of a line taken up on college rulled paper). any help would be greatly appreciated
Chris, the best advice I can give you is getting different kind of inks (from different companies) and just try and test whatever suits you best.
I like Lamy Safrie, (misspelled) has places for your fingers to grip the pen!
i have tried level best to get a safari with ef nib in india. s.c bhattacharya cartoonist india
i have tried my level best to get a safari with ef nib in india but coold not get. s.c bhattacharya cartoonist india
Contact Linc India Mumbai office
Hey I just clean my pen, and it begin to write and a new pen… it just become alive again 🙂
Keep posting tricks please!
Just got my first Lamy today! Thank you very much for all the information.
dude (or dudess) that nib removal tech is awe-inspiring. i fall at your feet. did you think it up yourself???
i was searching for information on Lamy pen and got to your site from google. I like using ink pen ( which has really vanished from sight in our country India). i really liked your tutorial on keeping the lamy pen — nice write up. i am totally taken in by lamy accent Briarwood finish model. wish to buy one.
finally I am really surprised to see that there are so many visits to your site from India :). I guess that you are from germany ( from lamy and pelikan pens in your examlpes)
bye , regards
Where can I get a white Safari with black clip like the one in the picture above?Can you send me the link or the individual who is selling one exactly like that one.
Hi, again….. Can I get a white pen like your’s!! Can you send me one and let me know how much it is….to NYC… Or… can I get a link from u to a white Safari with Black Clip….please.
I’d like to make that purchase of your older white Safari with black clip…+shipping to USA. Please send me a note by my e mail….not on this blog, and let’s see if we can effect that. Inner cap liner OK? and can I get the old nib along with the new one you installed please and the original converter too? Tx.
Congrats, Silvia, you manage to impress my mother!
She just loves her Lamy T10. Recently, she dropped it on the floor, straight on the tip. So she had to get a new nib. As it was on my way, I went to get it at Essence du papier, a small chain of stationery-focused stores.
Thing is, the clerk who sold me the nib didn’t say anything about changing it. I thought it might be obvious so I didn’t think anything of that and brought back the nib. My mother, loving her pen, was afraid of breaking it while changing the nib.
It took me a while to get around to looking online for a way to replace the nib. And that’s how I ended up here, from my iPod touch, while talking with my mother. Showed her the tutorial, which impressed her very much. I replaced the nib and it didn’t work right away, as the ink wasn’t coming through. A vigorous shake was all that was needed.
So, thanks for this useful tutorial!
Glad that I could be of help :))! Hope your mother is going to fully enjoy her pen now.
She is. Yet I was more taken by her reaction to the power of the Web. This is exactly the kind of thing which would work really well with an iPad.
Oh yes, the iPad. I’d love to have one, but unfortunately Apple is delaying their release month after month here -_-
Hi Silvia – I’ve just brought a Lamy pen with a converter but can’t seem to get the converter in enough. It didn’t come with any instructions and not sure if I’m supposed to force it. Do you know how you’re supposed to do it?
sorry, my reply will most likely be too late, but anyway. What makes you think that converter isn’t in enough? I can tell you that the converter gets in more smoothly than the cartridges, it doesn’t click into place like them. Just try to close your pen. If you can screw it up with the converter in place, you can be sure that it rests in place. 🙂
Great Site! I have a question. I have a Lamy Al-star that was purchased in Europe. I want a finer nib on it, but it bears no nib identification on it – no B, M, F, EF, etc. even though it it clean. Is there any way to tell which nib I currently have, so that I can order the next smaller size? Thanks, Doug
The nibs that come with the pens usually don’t have their size marked on them. Yet, there’s always a little sticker attached to the pen (the one with the barcode) and there they also note down the size. From my experience most pens come with size M as default, but I have seen F and B as well. I’m afraid without direct comparison with the lines from other pens you wouldn’t be able to tell the size.
Great! I own a couple of them. One of them with the MK nib. Don’t know what’s sssooooooo special about it (yet?).
Sylvia – you note above 18 Feb replying to Doug, that the nibs don’t have their sizes marked on them. All my safaris and al-stars and cp1 have the nib size on them as do your photos above. I am rather surprised that Doug’s Al-star did not have a size noted on the nib. Maybe European safaris don’t have their size marked but that seems odd to me. Am I missing something here.
Kevin, I’ve checked it and I think it got something to do with the age of the pens. The newer Lamys all seem to come with the size marked on the nibs, however the older versions never had their size marked on the default nib.
I’m going to take a few photos of those different kind of nibs and I’m going to post a little update to my blog today or tomorrow. This article needs some reworking anyway ^-^.
PS: Until then, please have a look here.
Many thanks for this extremely useful blog. I’ve just started selling Lamy pens on the web, although I’ve been selling them in my shop for many years. I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve put a link from my site to yours to help customers wanting to change nibs on their Lamy pens.
Thanks for your tutorial, it was very informative.
I just got my first fountain pen (Lamy Al-Star) last week, and I was wondering how loose the nib should be? As in how loose is too loose?
The tip, when I push it back and forth, seems to move as much as 1mm side to side. I was thinking of returning it for a new one, but I wanted to see what a fountain pen expert thought was an appropriate amount of play.
Hi Andrew, sorry for my late reply, but perhaps it will still be helpful. The nib itself shouldn’t be too loose. Yet, I admit it depends from nib to nib. I have some that will slide off fairly easy, whereas others are difficult to get off. As a rule of thumb I would say, that a nib shouldn’t come off by itself when shaking the pen (careful! ink splashes 😉 ) or when writing.
Hi, Just wanted to thank you for your post and let you know that the nib-changing tutorial is still being useful to those of us googling the topic.
Hi Dani, glad to know that my blog is still of use to someone out there :)).
To be honest, I haven’t been very active on this blog during the recent months, because other activities have taken all of my spare time, but I’ll promise to update it soon with all the missing information I promised long ago ;).
Well, posting on a blog is like feeding a maimed bird. Once you start doing it, you have to keep doing it… 😉
And the thing with tutorials is that they live on. Especially well-made ones such as this one.
That’s a funny comparison – and true. Well, I’ll try my very best to feed it now and then ;).
A very nice post indeed! I am a student but I do like collecting different fountain pens and trying the different feel of each one…
Do you have any suggestions about nice, not heavyly priced pens.
I have 2 Lamy’s a parker and one Waterman for now.
Thanks and keep up the good work!
I just bought a Lamy Al-Star (the same graphite one you have in your pics), and I noticed that the ink seems to be leaking into the clear grip, so the grip is filled with ink. It’s not getting on my hands or anything, but it seems like it could be a waste of ink and also make it harder to change colors… is this supposed to be happening?
Well, I don’t know whether it is really supposed to happen, but truth is I had this happen to all of my pens. So I’d say it’s normal.
I’ve never experienced any problems because of this. If you clean the pen properly between the use of two different ink colors, you’ll be fine, please don’t worry 😉
Thank you so much for this post. I purchased a while back a Lamy Safari with a LH nib and I’ve been wanting to get an extra nib for it, but smaller. I have been wondering what size the LH nib was though, as it doesn’t seem to say anywhere on the Lamy site. Thanks so much, I can finally order a new nib with confidence!
Thank you so much for instructions with pictures! I take notes with a Lamy Safari EF and a Pilot M. I love the Pilot. The EF is just a little too fine for me. I bought a F nib and have looked everywhere for instructions. Never would’ve thought about using the cap until I saw you do it here. Thanks so much!
Thanks a bunch for the wonderful tutorial. i just used it to clean out and replace my lamy studio nib and it now works like a dream.
At first i thought i messed up your instructions after i cleaned it out but it just took some time for the ink to flow through again properly.
Thanks again and ill be sure to visit your blog again!
Thanks for the nice Tutorial. I been using Lamy Safary fountain pens for more than 16 years now, I love them, used them in Highschool, University and now at work. I have 5 of them and every year try to look for the “special edition colour” of the years. Once I receive as a gift an expensive Montblanc but after couple days I just went back for my old Lamy Safary.
Now, I want to buy the orange colour special edition from 2004 Lamy Safary anyone knows if the ones that you can find on e-bay from Malasya are originals or fakes? Thanks.
Yes, I saw these Lamys from Malaysia and Thailand on Ebay, too. I have no idea whether those are legit or only copies. I’m afraid those ones are fake, but if anyone ever tried them or knows for sure I’d be glad to get some light on this topic.
Well now I can tell everyone my online purchase experience.
Last december I bought online a 2009 Limited edition Orange Lamy Safari and the pen looks original but the writing was really scratchy. It seems that a lot of people did have the same online scratchy nib problem and specially with the M size.
Also I still have one of my first Lamy Safari from 1992 and the nib is different than the new Lamy Safari.
Pico, I do have a couple of questions. Where did you buy your Lamy from? Was it from an European/US dealer or was it from Thailand/China? Second, does your Lamy have that metal plate on the top of the cap?
I’ve followed different auctions on eBay lately, and I can say that I’m pretty sure now, that there are copies sold. I’m going to post about it, as soon as I know more.
What is true though is that the nib design changed in the last couple of years. However not so drastically that it should result in scratchy nibs?!? Have you tried writing on wet sanding paper to get rid of the scratchiness?
This is one super awesome tutorial. Thanks so much! I’ve recently become interested in trying out drawing inks. I’ve read a lot of stuff about how you should absolutely not put them in your fountain pens but should instead get a drafting pen or technical pen. Do you have any advice about drawing ink? drafting or technical pens?
Well, I’d say if you want to be on the safe side, better go with what is written on the ink bottle. If it really reads that you must not put it in fountain pens, then better be careful with it. On the other hand, I know that there are plenty, like really plenty of ink colors, different colors, different permanences and different stuff that was extra formulated to go well with fountain pens, so why not just check out one of those? Or if you really want to work with drawing inks then dip pens are the way to go. Seriously. Truth to be told whenever I’m working on a more fancy drawing I still prefer my dip pens over my fountain pens. The lines of a dip pen are way more elegant and vivid. Get yourself a *good* drawing nib (those are much finer than even the EF nibs) or a good shorthand nib and you’ll be amazed what awesome lines you can achieve with the help of those.
Awesome thanks! I’ll try that!
I just bought a Lamy Vista today (the clear one) and I’m really enjoying it. It’s so very smooth. I am also very impressed with the quality of the tutorial on the nibs and such. It was very helpful to me, I was a little hesitant to change the nibs at first since I wasn’t sure how complicated it was, but now seeing the tutorial has made me a little less afraid. I still probably won’t change the tip anytime soon (messy business) but it’s good to know how at least.
Great article, thanks! Can you tell me how large your syringe is? Looking online (amazon) it’s hard to really tell the capacity of a 10ml or 30cc syringe etc. The size you showed seems like it’s a good size for filling up a cartridge. Thanks!
Ben, the syringe I am using is a 2ml one. I got mine from our local pharmacy 😉
Also looking for a good source for Lamy nibs if anyone knows of any.
Awesome review! Thanks for the detailed and very visual article on the great Lamy. Its good to know all nibs go into all pens! thats great.
Hi there! My name is Jorge I’m from México, your post was really helpful to selfservice my Yellow Lamy!!! 🙂 Thank you!
Hi I’m Robee (F :)I had my Lamy as a gift from my mom from Germany. I’m so excited! I had calligraphy pens and all, but when it comes to the fountain pen, i almost broke my nails and the pen itself replacing the nibs!! grr. Boy am i so glad find this great review!! Thanks a ton!
This is a very nice blog. I have had Lamys for a long time, but in past years I have moved to Pelikan because the Lamy nibs feel hard ans scratchy. Recently, Lamy issued a new pen with a gold nib (It’s a vanishin point pen). I am hoping that I can replace the old nib of my Lamy with one of those 18k nibs. Any experience with thode? Are they compatible?
They offer a 14k gold nib. It seems to be the same as the regular ones, so I should be able to replace it following your instructions.
Here is where I found it:
Let me know what you think.
Hi Alejandro, judging from the photo they look like the nibs in my Lamy Studio so they should be replacable. However, I admit that I tend to not replace the gold nibs in my pens very often. You always have to be more careful with those it’s easier to deform them.
Thanks for the nib changing tips~ but take care not to use the reverse side of the nib to write. If its scratchy, there’s too much friction which i think is a bad thing~
I was reading your great instructions for refilling the cartridge, but i didn’t have a syringe near, so i tried a different technique that worked surprisingly well.
Thought you might be interested:
Take the cartridge out, and take a paperclip or other thin piece of wire and stick it into the cartridge so that an inch or so sticks out the top.
Then take your ink (I have a rapidograph squeeze bottle) and drip it SLOWLY onto the paper clip near the top. It will run down the wire into the cartridge amazingly well.
I was surprised this worked so well.. maybe it’s an old trick?
I am a recent convert to Lamy pens and found your Blog very informative . Thank you Silvia for the effort.
A wonderful resource for Lamy pens, thank you so much, I never even knew I could change the nib!!
HELP! Thanks for your tutorial, but I just bought a new nib for my metal Studio and it doesn’t fit, like literally it’s jammed three quarters on…I have no idea what the heck to do? What do you suggest? Somebody knocked my desk at school and the pen fell off, just slightly unbalancing the original nib, so I bought a new one….is it possible i’ve wrecked the actual feeder or?
Hi. Thanks for the tip on pen cleaning. I am about to clean my LAMY Safari.
Using your method, do I have to ensure that the pen is completely dry after cleaning before I refill it with ink ?
Hi Dominic, sorry for my late reply, but no, you do not really have to make sure that the pen is completely dry. However, if there’s still too much water in the ink system left it will result in a horribly diluted ink at first. (There’s luckily a remedy to this, too: press a paper towel gently on the nib to draw the diluted ink out of the pen. Repeat again and again until you find that the ink has reached its normal color intensity)
Happy New Year! Thank you for your excellent review and information. I have a question which may not make sense, but here goes. You mentioned left-handed nibs. I am left-handed, but I hold my hand nearly the same way as a right-hander. The trouble with Lamys is that the shape of the nib-holder is wonderful, but I have to hold the pen on the high points, not in the carved areas. If I could rotate the nib about 1/8″ my fingers would settle into the carved areas and I’m sure the pen would be more comfortable to hold. Do you know if there’s a way to do that?
This has not kept me from buying Lamy pens, and I find myself using them quite a bit as I really like the nib / balance / ink flow. Always EF nibs for me. Your description of changing the nib is going to put two unused F nib pens back into rotation! Thank you!
This is an excellent blog, and ever so helpful to pen-obsessed people! The problem that ‘m facing is this. My Lamy Safari fountain pen is the old style one with the black clip and an M nib. It was never too smooth to begin with, but off late, the ink flow has started getting obstructed and it is very scratchy. I’ve tried cleaning it a couple of times, as per your directions, but it doesn’t seem to help.
Do you think the nib’s gone bad or the ink delivery system? In either case, what should I do? Should I be looking for a replacement nib?
Thanks so much!
Just bought a Lamy Safari Vista after weeks of researching. This is one of the best guides I’ve ever read on how to use and maintain it. 🙂 Thanks!
Lamy does offer gold nibs in EF (I have one in a Lamy Accent).
Nice blog. I would like to upgrade from my safari, do the other series in terms of smoothness improve ? or is it just the build and material that is changing. Thanks again
Thank you so much, I really needed to clean my Lamy Safari and this is the best tutorial I’ve found.
Thanks alot. The information given was quite useful. I will go for the syrengie technique, which seems to be quite sound and practical.
hi silvia, i have a LAMY fountain pen from the ABC series from about 17 years ago. There is an nib on it with the mark “FA”, but i can’t find out what the FA stands for. You have any idea?
Well, don’t count me on this, but as far as I know, the F stands for “fine” and the A for “right-handed” (a nib that comes with a rounder tip, as opposed to the more oblique angle of the nib for the left-handed, that would be marked with “L” instead of an A).
0< This is a pictogram of a maimed bird with its mouth open. Thanks for your great blog. Here's my question: I recently bought a Lamy Safari, but I didn't buy Lamy ink because the color choice wasn't very wide. I bought Winsor and Newton "Calligraphy Ink." On the back of the bottle, it says it is for fountain pens. However, the pen is often "dry" even though it is full of ink. After reading your blog, I got out my magnifying glass to read the back of the bottle, and noticed this: "…professional calligraphy ink for fountain pen….bright, non-waterproof…clean equipment after use." Since most of us do not clean a fountain pen after (each) use, I'm concluding that the ink is gumming up the nib. Any thoughts on inks?
Jennifer, as for inks I would strongly recommend to stay with those inks especially designed for fountain pens. The ones you can leave without any trouble for weeks in your pen. I usually use fountain pen inks made by Lamy, Pelikan, Parker and so on. I’ve made a post about the inks I’m using some months ago, I think maybe I should add a link to this post as well.
thanks for very educative and helpful info.
Any suggestions for changing feeder unit / nib feed of Lamy Safari.
I need to do that without any damage to the pen .
Oh my, I have absolutely no idea how to do that. I’m not even sure if it is possible at all without damaging the pen.
Excellent tutorial. I have used Lamys for several years, mainly for sketching, and wanted to know how to switch nibs.
You taught me a few things I didn’t know.
Glad I could be of help 🙂
If I were you, I wouldn’t turn a nib upside-down unless it is a double nib, which is a specialist nib available in some pens (not Lamy, I believe). Extra nibs are not expensive, so I would purchase an extra nib instead of upturning the nib. If you are an artist drawing with these pens, my advice would be to purchase all the nibs you need, and have a pen for each nib. This is purely for ease, so you needn’t swap nib every time you wish for a different line width. Also, writing upside-down with a non-double nib can damage the nib, as it will probably not have tipping on the top of the nib, and be a lot more vulnerable. Don’t risk it!
Very helpful. Thank you, Silva. ^__^
Hello Silvia. Great blog. I have just received a Lamy Studio from a friend. It will be my first time to use it. It has no instruction on how to install the supplied T10 ink cartridge. I would like a guide on how to install it. It appears so sealed. Do I have to pierce a pin-hole in it before inserting it into the pen? Do I just push it in position and the ink will flow? Or what? I do not want to do something which will result in damage to my pen. Please help.
All you need to do is push it into position. You don’t have to open it up or pierce it in any way the pen will do that for you. (It’s actually even advisable to let the pen pierce through the sealing, because that way the cartridge will only be opened as much as needed to ensure a good ink flow.) Much fun with your new pen! 🙂
Oh fantastic!!! Thank u very much for the super fast response. U r the best!! Let me start enjoying my pen. Thanks again!!
I was expecting a post like this! More than anything else, I want to thanks you for sharing this post
Very great site thank you so much for your time in writing the posts for all of us to learn about.
Thanks for the all the well written instructions and the comments too.
I do have one question. I just bought my first fountain pen (Lamy Safari), and I noticed that it was skipping on down-strokes. I cleaned it a couple times and then noticed it was really just sensitive to the angle, being right handed, on a down-stroke it is pointing to the left and is canted over on it’s right edge a bit. I looked at the nib and notice that there was only ink in the middle of the underside. Should it travel to the edge of the tip so that you can roll the pen around, or do you have to practice holding it exactly straight?
sir my fountain pen is catridge one. but i have a problem when i shake it it spits ink.Is this common problem?
Thank you for making the effort to put detail around the Lamy Fountain Pen it was very informative. As you can all see we all are fans of Lamy 🙂 What would be nice to have additionally on this blog is the Nib Sizes as well and a sample of nib foot print.
This is great! Thank you so much!
great blog. i have a similar problem what Aditi has mentioned above. My Lamy Safari fountain pen is the old style one with the black clip and an M nib. It was never too smooth to begin with, but off late, the ink flow has started getting obstructed and it is very scratchy. I’ve tried cleaning it a couple of times, as per your directions, but it doesn’t seem to help.
Do you think the nib’s gone bad or the ink delivery system? In either case, what should I do? Should I be looking for a replacement nib?
your review has shed enough light on lamy fountain pens. I am considering buying the al star model as I prefer a better finish on the body.. with regard to the nib size, if I purchase a medium nib, will it grant some sort of fine lines?
I visited various sites except the audio quality for audio songs existing at this website is really wonderful.
Hi, Thanks for posting these wonderful information 🙂
The calligraphy Joy pen looks amazing however I want to use this pen for sketching, so can I replace the calligraphy nib with the EF or F nib? Will the pen still work smoothly or changing the nib would cause likeage or any other problems. Please help me on this.
Also can you suggest me which is a more smoother nib – EF or F for sketching purpose?
Thanks & Regards 🙂
Can’t wait to get the Lamy Safari and practise cursive writing, thank you for nice information. ❤
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Having grown up with a Lamy (the wooden one in grad 1) and then finally getting the fountain pen for the “big” kids, I had a white one, followed by a red one for years and silver one, when entering University. All these years and I never knew how to exchange the tip. Very neat a bit hesitant in trying… but sure will give it a try!
[…] Lamy Pen Tutorial. […]
you can use scotch tape when you want to take out the nip. avoid using bare hands to take them out.
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pitty no flexible nibs for us enthusiasts. My dream is to find a modern pen with very fine and flexible nib suitable for copperplate (and possibly wet noodles). I know that few people appreciate this but its a great pitty that we have to hunt for old pens.
I feel you. Actually I do have the same problem as I like to work with flexible nibs. My favorites are those especially created for shorthand writing, because they allow for various lines widths going from very fine to very broad. Unfortunately these nibs are very hard to get nowadays, because shorthand isn’t really that important anymore.
I do have some sort of brush-pen that does work to some extent, however, I’ve ordered an Ackerman pen (a pen that can be used with every kind of nibs, if it works well I’ll post about it.
This is a great blog. Just got a Lamy Al Star through Amazon. Never owned a fountain pen before. Can’t stop looking for things to write just for the sheer joy of it.
It’s a great blog ! I use a LAMY fountain pen for many years with a converter and it works perfectly. My only issue is that the cap opens too easily. I guess the seal between the two parts of the pen is too old now ? Did someone find a solution for this issue ? Thanks !!
[…] to Completely Disassemble a Lamy Z24 Converter Lamy Pen Tutorial Lamy Z4 Converter Safely Removing a Lamy […]
I have many lamy pens. my medium lamy pens were all scratch when I first used them… after about 1 km of writing and cleaning with water they glide really well.
Hi…! I bought my first Lamy today, a Safari White with EF grade nib 🙂 The only bothersome factor is the ink that came with it. I washed the pen and inserted the standard Lamy cartridge with blue ink that comes with it, and it doesn’t look very solid. It looks like I’m waterwashing with weak paint more than I am writing with a fountain pen. It would be great help if you could suggest a solid-writing ink that would be available in India and would not corrode my precious Lamy. 🙂 Thanks a lot!
P.S. Great post! Very informative and helpful.
Just received my 1st Lamy fountain pen and I hate to admit it but I’m clueless on how to pierce the ink cartridge! Does the skinny part go towards the bottom of the pen or towards the nib? Do I pierce it with a pin or is there something in the top part of the pen that pierces it (which mine does not do)? I must be a real dummy : (
The skinny part goes towards the bottom of the pen. The thicker part goes towards the nib. You just push it firmly into place, it will open itself :). However if it is the first time that this pen is used you might want to gently shake it, so that the ink starts flowing. Good luck! 🙂
amazing blog… very simple and useful… i am using LAMY vista… and cartridge broke..:( so can i fill ink directly to the pen… or let me know if i get only the converters separately. please let me know 🙂
I’ve been thinking for a long time about buying a Lamy Fountain Pen and today I had all the intention to do it after intense research and I found out that in every store the only ink available is blue!! I want to sketch and perhaps ink with the fountain pen so blue wasn’t really much of an option. Now I know I can change the ink and use a waterproof one as well!
My only question is this, I have a bunch of Rotring waterproof inks that are meant for drawing, will they work well with the Lamy or will it end up corroding the pen or staining it? Rotring is a german brand like Lamy…
Thanks a bunch for this post! And hope you can help me with this =)
You might want to check on the label of these inks if they are meant to be used with a fountain pen. Many drawing inks are formulated to be used only in dip pens, yet there are some drawing inks that can be used in regular fountain pens as well.
I’m not so familiar with the rotring inks, the only inks I know them for a waterproof inks that are meant to be used with technical drawing pens. Do not use this ink in a fountain pen as it will clog up fairly fast. These inks only work with the technical pens – and I can tell you from experience (as I have had two rotring rapidographs in use for some) that even with them they tend to clog up fast if you don’t clean them religiously.
If you want to go for waterproof inks try the waterproof inks from Noodler’s. If the colorful inks don’t have to be waterproof, there are quite a lot of companies who offer a wide variety of colors, for instance Herbin or Pilot.
I hope this helps 🙂 – and have much fun drawing!
Thank you!! This is really helpful! I think the ink I have is the one that you’re talking about, so you just saved me.
Thanks for the tips!
Dear Silvia, thanks to your advice on how to remove the nib (by using the cap) I bended and destroyed my new Lamy Extra Fine nib. It is a highly risky way to remove the nib, especially for inexperienced fountain pen users. There are easier and safer ways to remove a nib. I advise you next time to think twice before suggesting new ”innovative” methods to clean or do other things with a fountain pen.
the way to remove the nib by using the cap isn’t innovative, but simply the way it is done here in the average fountain pen shop when buying a Lami pen. It was changed that way back in the year 1989 when I bought my first Lami pen and it was still done like that back in 2008 when I bought my last Lami. So no new innovation here from my side, but actually a tried and true method.
However, since I have been made aware that there are also fountain pen collectors that are too scared to scratch the cap(!) I also showed and explained other methods in this blog.
This is the first time I’ve heard of someone destroying the nib? You obviously used way too much force. I strongly advise you to use less force, even with the other methods, otherwise you might ending up bending the nibs either way, too.
Hi. I’m just bought my first fountain pen, lamy joy, and I really don’t know how to fill the pen with ink… I’m all new to this… thankful for help
Whether it is likely that Lamy Joy gives more ink than Safari or Al-Star? I asked because I thinknabout using italic nib to Safari/Al-Star.
I’ve used the calligraphy nibs on my safari pens and v.v. without any problems so you should be fine, too. Personally I don’t think there is any difference in the ink flowing system in both pens, however I do not know for sure.
Thx for response. Have a nice day.
After flushing it, do I have to leave it to dry first or can I refill it with ink right away?
Thank for the tutorial. Clear and very helpful.
Hi – thanks for the blog article, very informative. I also am a Lamy enthusiast and use the Lamy Safari for drawing with an EF nib. I use De Atramentis black document ink and it works perfectly.
I’m left-handed, and as you say I have no problem with the nib. The problem though, is the way Lamy have made the bit where you hold the pen. It’s a sort of triangle. This triangle is not the same shape as how I hold my fingers. With the nib the right way up I have to hold it on the edges of the triangle. It is fine with the nib the wrong way up.
My question: is there any way of removing the whole nib assembly and turning it through 180 degrees?
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