View Full Version : Which pen? Parker 21 or Safari?
02-20-2010, 05:30 PM
I've been researching fountain pens as the only ones I have got my hands on are cheap ones from Michael's and Hobby Lobby. I've done some research and I've done some pricing. I can find a Parker 21(not the super 21) for around 20-30 dollars shipped. I know the Safari's are around 30 new. Basically I'm trying to get help making up my mind as to which I'd do better starting with. Let me know your opinions, please.
Is the 21 restored and guaranteed? If not, I would get the Safari.
I have a couple of 21s, and they are just o.k. They were dirt cheap back then. Can you get a Super 21?
BTW, the Parker 51 is my favorite pen, but the 21 ain't no 51.
02-20-2010, 06:01 PM
Seems like it depends on what you're looking for.
I haven't used the Lamy, although I hear good things. I hear they are both good writers.
(Edit: Given the price, I'm assuming you are looking at a NOS Parker.)
The Lamy..................The Parker
Has a steel nib...........Has a steel nib
Solidly built................Solidly built
Uses cartridges..........Uses a built-in aero filler
Molded grip...............Classic design
Ink window...............No ink window
Open nib..................Hooded nib
I would go with the Parker. I feel it looks more professional, and I'm never going to use a cartridge. Also, the hooded nib stay wet nicely as I have a tendency to get distracted while writing. :blushing: Its also $10 cheaper ($15-$20 if you want a converter in your Lamy).
If you want a more modern look, and the ability to switch between cartridges and converter, I'd say go with the Lamy.
There's literally a slew of reviews for the Lamy over at FPN. Although, it looks like there is a dearth of 21 reviews. Go figure!
Granted, the 21 is not a 51. I'm guessing that you're looking at exploring more than getting a fountain pen you know you are going to use for life. If you know you enjoy FPs, and are looking for a permanent addition, I'm guessing your price barrier would be higher. (That's not to say that either the Lamy or 21 are not good pens. They're fine, just not "grail pens.")
I am curious as to what you pick, though.
02-20-2010, 06:04 PM
the 21 isn't NOS, unfortunately. Super 21's are as much as a 51. The 20-30 range on the 21's is for just on ebay. I'm looking for something more than a chinese pen or the "Hobby Lobby" specials.
02-20-2010, 08:08 PM
I'd go with the Safari. Very reliable and a good everyday pen. Never could get used to the hooded nib on the Parker.
02-20-2010, 08:29 PM
If you can't try the 21 out first, go for the Safari. A 21 is much more likely to have problems than, say, a 51, in my experience.
02-21-2010, 05:32 AM
21. Check the bst forum on fountainpennetwork (you have to join for access- free). Much better than eBay in terms of pricing and seller trustworthiness.
02-21-2010, 10:41 AM
The Lamy can be held effortlessly by me for long periods of time. Odd looking, but good ergonomics.
02-21-2010, 10:59 AM
I'd go with the Safari, too. Although I don't personally own one, I'm wanting to buy one soon. I do, however, own a Lamy pen with the same type of nib the Safari does (at least the ones with silver nibs, as opposed to the black coated ones) and it writes very smoothly! If you like cartridge pens, it's not a bad deal. However, I chose to buy a converter and a couple of bottles of ink because it's cheaper in the long-run and slightly better for the environment because you won't be throwing plastic cartridges away all the time.
Also, as a matter of personal preference I prefer an open nib to a hooded nib. I'm sure the hoodded nibs are gerat for keeping the nib wet if you leave the pen uncapped, but I odn't have problems letting my open nib pen sit for a few minutes then writing with it again, it just takes a little priming (doodling in the margins or something).
Just my two cents! Once you start in with fountain pens, you'll never want to write with anything else :)
02-22-2010, 12:55 PM
I use a Safari as my daily note-taker. I'm partial to the Lamy blue cartridges over black as they seem to flow a bit better. Haven't tried out bottled inks yet but I've got a converter for when I go that route. The nib is a bit stiff from what I hear, but once you get used to FP writing (not sure if you are or not) it's a very reliable writing instrument.
02-22-2010, 01:55 PM
You guys make these things way too complicated. The answer is get both. If you decide you don't like one, sell it. If you like them both, then you're collection is ahead of the game.
02-24-2010, 11:38 AM
Of those two, I've only used the Safari. I have absolutely no complaints about it, so I'm sure it'd be an excellent choice.
If you want me to complicate things any, I can tell you to also keep your eyes open for a Waterman Phileas. They cost about as much as these others, are relatively easy to find, and are absolutely fantastic writers with more of a classic look than the modern Safaris.
02-24-2010, 03:54 PM
For the money, there is no better pen than the Safari.
03-01-2010, 09:37 PM
I don't have much experience with different fountain pens but I use a Lamy Safari everyday and love it. :001_wub:
03-01-2010, 10:06 PM
Yet another advocate of the Lamy safari. The converter is really cool, lets you play with cool Noodler's inks and all that. I've been using my safari nonstop since its arrival for school notes, assignments, doodling, lists, etc...
Get the fine nib, or maybe even extra fine, as from what I understand the Lamys run a bit on the big side of things.
03-01-2010, 10:35 PM
I'd go with the 21. The Safari leaves me cold. To me, they're just too ugly. If you want classic looks, but don't trust vintage, there are other options.
Oh and I'll second the classifieds on Fountain Pen Network.
03-02-2010, 06:35 AM
how about upping the budget slightly and getting a pelikan?
03-02-2010, 07:36 PM
I've owned a few of each. The Lamy is going to be the easiest to get started with since it is new (ie: won't need repairs) and you can use cartridges. After you've used a fountain pen for a while, it is likely that you'll only want to use bottled ink. By that time, your taste will have probably changed, and you'll want to buy a new pen anyway.
For the money, there is no better pen than the Safari.
I don't know the Parker 21, but I recommend the Safari to everyone, especially as a first fountain pen. It's one of my absolute favorite pens. I have the fine nib, the bold nib, and the italic nib, all of which I like, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend fine for a first pen: it's smooth for a fine nib, but the medium or bold will put a gel pen to shame.
For the best price, I recommend you go here: http://www.isellpens.com/lamy.html
(You'll have to scroll down or do a ctrl-F search to find the Safari, but I promise it's there.)
Just for reference, I use fountain pens almost exclusively, and take compulsive notes. Sometimes I'll write with for up to 3 hours at a stretch (I usually run out of ink and switch halfway through). My rotation includes a few pretty high-end pens, which are lovely, but for really long sessions, the bold nib Safari is my absolute favorite.
A few notes: most Lamy pens have fairly rigid nibs; they use proprietary cartridges and converter (the converter lasts a long time before you have to replace it, though, and it draws well); the Safari is both wide and lightweight, which, combined with the bright colors, may not be the most dignified thing in the world. (The balance isn't bad with the cap posted, but if you like a heavy pen, this won't be for you.)
The fine nib is excellent if you have small handwriting and/or plan on using runny or very dark ink. The line it puts down is just a smidgen wider than a 0.7 mm mechanical pencil, and about equivalent to the average ballpoint. The bold is about twice that, and the medium is closer to the bold than the fine.
On a random note, the Lamy Al-Star has the same nib as the Safari, only with a metal barrel. It's a little heavier, and cool to the touch, which is not true of the Safari. I'm not sure if they make them anymore, but you might run into one somewhere.
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