I hate new year’s resolutions. I refuse to make them. I may establish some writing or reading goals early in the year, but they are not declarations. One of my goals for 2020 is to resist the urge to buy pens that I won’t love or use. And that reminds me of the contrast between Sailor and LAMY fountains pens…

Sailor Professional Gear II v. Sailor 1911 Black Luster Full Size

I will cut right to the chase. These are two of my favorite pens. I ordered them both with custom nib grinds (left oblique for a left-handed underwriter), so it feels like cheating to compare them to other pens. I ink them with only Sailor Black. The writing experience is exquisite. They both offer distinct line variation with a slight flex to the nib. The feedback is perfect (at least for me). The only real drawback is the ink capacity. I have a few pens that rank higher with some style points, but these two are the standard to which I compare other pens. My OCD may require me to purchase new and exciting Sailor pens, but trust that I will love them and use them, and therefore, I will not fail to meet my stated 2020 goal.

LAMY 2000 v. LAMY Studio LX

I swore I would never buy another LAMY, but I broke that vow twice last year. (For the record, I have remained true to my vow to never purchase another TWSBI. Terrible pens.)

It’s been a few months since I’ve touched the LAMY 2000, but I decided to spare myself the agony of writing with that thing again. I remember the horror well-enough to describe it here; no sense re-living it. The gold, hooded nib of the 2000 inks a smooth line, but it is highly sensitive to angle and rotation. I am convinced the size and the grip were designed to irritate me. The pen will not stay still as I write. As a result, it skips. A. Lot. I tried a couple of different inks, all with the same result. The experience was closer to a dime-store felt-tip pen than it was to a gold-nib fountain pen. Save yourself a ton of money and buy a box of Paper Mates on Amazon.

The Studio LX Special Edition Black is a (slightly) better story. I inked it with LAMY Obsidian Black. The size and shape of the LX are similar to the 2000, but the medium steel nib is far superior to the gold on the 2000. It has more feedback and the pen remains stable as I write; it inks a consistent line. The LX is a better overall writing experience. The restart was a little slow after sitting a couple of days, but that is typical for pens in this price range.  I also liked the obsidian ink. LAMY earned back a couple of points after all the previous disappointments (Safari’s, I am talking about you).

All this said I am confident I will resist another LAMY purchase in 2020.

Pen Nib Filling System Capacity (ml) Weight (grams) Price (MSRP) Rating PQ
Sailor 1911 Black Luster 21kt Gold Converter 0.9 22 $392 26 $15.08
Sailor Pro Gear II 21kt Gold Converter 0.5 24 $328 25 $13.12
LAMY 2000 14kt Gold Piston 1.35 15 $219 16 $13.69
LAMY Studio LX Steel Converter 1.08 22 $149 19 $7.84