Review: Lamy 2000 (Makrolon)

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Hand Over That Pen, please!

Katherine: This pen looks pretty cool. I like the brushed finish of the Makrolon and the hooded nib. I also really like how the pen has an ink window, but it’s pretty subtle. AND it has a slip cap, +10 points for Gryffindor.

Franz: The Lamy 2000 is such a great looking pen that is also an awesome writer. The first feature that attracted me to this pen is the almost invisible line that separates the piston knob and barrel. I love that it looks so solid from afar. And Katherine is right about the brushed finish. It just gives a nice feel to the hand.

Uncapped, there is a contrast between the section and the barrel. I definitely love this feature. Once you cap the Lamy 2000, there is a satisfying click that lets you know it’s secure.

Pam: The Lamy 2000 is the Dr. Who of pens.  It is such a classic with it’s minimalist design that the pen appears ageless.  You would never guess that the Lamy 2000 is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year! With the clean lines, brushed finish and contrast between the metal and Makrolon, this pen also looks like it belongs in the future.  Like Dr. Who, it also has a cult following, is always in style and has a special place in my nerdy heart.

In the Hand: Lamy 2000 (posted) — from left to right: Katherine, Pam and Franz

 

In the Hand: Lamy 2000 (unposted) — from left to right — Franz, Pam & Katherine (we like to mix up the ordering!)

 

The Business End

Katherine: I’ve tried Lamy 2000s in the past and I’ve never been a fan. I find the Lamy nib way too smooth. I feel like I’m writing with a glass chopstick — but this is totally personal preference, this just isn’t my favorite nib. The Extra Fine nib is a little less smooth, especially on some papers with more texture like Midori’s MD paper. On super-smooth Tomoe River paper though, writing with this nib gives me a weird sense of nails-against-glass feeling. Also, this EF is nothing like a Japanese EF, which I prefer, but it’s usable. 

Franz: When I got my Lamy 2000, it was a medium nib. A smooth, juicy, and springy medium nib out of the box and I liked it for what it was. I wrote on a Rhodia Webnotebook for journaling and I found the nib just gliding on the paper. Initially, it does take a conscious effort to make sure that I am holding the pen correctly. If I rotate the pen too much, it may not write as smoothly as it’s supposed to. After continued writing, you do get used to how to grip it and how much rotation you get away with.

I speak of the nib in the past tense because at the first pen show I attended which was the 2014 LA Pen Show, it was made into a cursive italic by Mr. Mike Masuyama. I didn’t just like the nib anymore, I loved it. I find that it’s quite a versatile pen as I use it on Tomoe River paper, Rhodia notepads, my Hobonichi planner, and cheap copy paper from work.

In contrast with Katherine’s experience, the performance of the Lamy 2000’s nib is one of the reasons why I like this pen.

Pam: For someone who loves/prefers Japanese extra fine and fine nibs, I was resigned to the fact that the Lamy EF would be “too broad” for me.  I have never been so happy to be WRONG about this nib.  The nib is unique in it’s shape.  Unlike most nibs where the tipping is round, the tipping on the Lamy 2000 is almost triangular.  Maybe it’s just me, but that gives a very specific characteristic to the lines created by this pen.  With the way I hold my Lamy 2000, I feel like I get a “stub-like” line variation in my handwriting.  (Or maybe that is my imagination.)

My Lamy 2000 is constantly inked up with Sailor Yama-Dori and performs well on all papers.  It glides over Tomoe River paper and Rhodia and has some texture when I write on cheap copy paper at work.  The nib is springy and responsive enough that you can see the sheen of Yama-Dori come through. Depending on my writing pressure, the nib will even be wet enough to cause the ink to sheen on cheap copy paper. There are few pens that perform as admirably on copy paper as the Lamy 2000.  I prefer to use this pen, and it’s “broader” EF nib for editing and auditing while at work.

Katherine’s EF nib and her writing sample — on Maruman Mnemosyne
Franz’s medium cursive italic nib
Pam’s writing sample of her extra fine nib

 

Write It Up

(20-minute writing experience)

Katherine: Once I’ve got the grip right, it’s a comfortable pen. I use it unposted and, feedback aside, I found it very comfortable. It’s a light pen, so it’s easy to forget that the pen is there. On smoother paper though, the smoothness bugs me. I’d be happy journaling with this pen if my journal wasn’t Tomoe River paper.

Franz: I post the cap and grip the pen a little far back up. My index finger seems to always land right on the “ears” that keep the cap in place. This actually gives me a reference as to how much  I’ve rotated the pen.

Needless to say, the 20-minute writing experience was fun and relaxing. As the pen wrote, my thoughts flowed.

Pam: I really can’t get a decent “tripod” or “traditional” grip on the Lamy 2000, so I had a hard time using Franz’s Lamy with a cursive italic grind. With my “iron grip,” or fist like grip, the width of the pen being wider than most other pens is more comfortable for longer writing sessions.  The non-FP equivalent of this pen is like the Dr. Grip pens where the width is part of the comfort. I prefer to write with the pen posted.  The slightly added weight is just enough for me to enjoy the weight of the pen in hand and prevent me from losing the cap while at work.

The Lamy 2000 is great for quick notes at work, but the pen shines with lengthier writing times.  I get entranced with the lines from the EF nib and the sheen from Yama-Dori.  (Or perhaps I am easily entertained.)  I prefer the pen/ink combo with Tomoe River paper.  I typically find myself looking for an excuse to write with this pen or I find myself missing the writing experience if I don’t use this pen for a journaling session at least once a week.  

 

        EDC-ness

Katherine: Writing experience aside, I really enjoy this pen as a work pen. I love that it is a clean, classic looking pen that my coworkers don’t bat an eye at. And, the snap cap makes it very convenient for jotting down quick notes.

Franz: I love this pen’s ease of use. Snap cap for fast deployment, spring clip for the shirt pocket, and the awesome nib to write whatever is required. This is definitely a pen I’d use everyday at work. On my days off, I seem to always clip this in my shirt pocket and have it as a knockabout pen.

Pam:  To echo Katherine and Franz, the pen is VERY work friendly.  The clip is great whether it is clipped to the pocket of my white coat or clipped to my hobonichi cover.  It’s not the tightest of clips, but that’s perfectly alright with me given my use case.  The Lamy 2000’s clip is secure and will glide in and out of pockets.

This was also the pen I recommended to a colleague who asked for a fountain pen that would tolerate being dropped.  (A happy ending for my colleague: No Pelikans have since been harmed with the use of the Lamy 2000, sparing the Pelikans a tragic and heartbreaking fate of cracked bindes and weeks of repairs.)  I have been thanked for this recommendation for the last year and a half.  It’s often his favorite fountain pen within his collection.

 

        Final Grip-ping Impressions

Katherine: I was surprised at how light this pen is. It’s a fairly comfortable pen when I hold it correctly, but because of the hooded nib and the way the pen looks (no obvious “up”) sometimes I pick it up funny and end up trying to write at a silly angle. The pen is long enough that I didn’t even think of posting it. Was I supposed to post it?

I really enjoy the look of this pen — so slick and modern! But, the nib on this pen is a deal breaker for me. I’d consider buying one used perhaps in a Fine or Medium nib and having it ground.

Franz: The Lamy 2000 is a nice sized pen and I do recommend this for almost every hand size. My large paw does not get uncomfortable journaling with this pen as long as it’s posted. Unposted, it is still comfortable for quick notes and signatures. I love the ink capacity of piston-filled pens and this isn’t any different. I can go for days, or even a full week without refilling.

This is a solid choice for pen enthusiasts or even just for a person who wants a fountain pen for utility. The pen’s shape, the brushed black makrolon material, and the nice nib section, are just a few features that for me makes it an “iconic” pen. Iconic is a subjective term so let me define what it means to myself. For me, an iconic pen means it is a well-known, great quality pen that is recommended for one to have in their collection. I may get some flak for saying this but in my humble opinion, I think that the Lamy 2000 can be called a modern-day Parker 51 because of how utilitarian and iconic of a pen it’s been. There. I said it.

If you have never held, or written with this pen before, give it a try and you just might like it. It’s been a pen model manufactured by Lamy since the mid-1960’s. I think they’ve done something right.

Pam:  Many state that this pen is a great “first gold nib” pen or “upgraded $100+ pen.”  For me, this was THE pen.  Not only was it a simply beautiful and classic design, but the material is unique, the finish is immaculate and did I mention the hooded nib that is wonderfully smooth and consistent?  I have since accumulated other “grail” pens, but the Lamy 2000 is a special kind of favorite, no matter what else is in my collection.  (You can’t really choose a favorite child… or can you?)

 

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Closed pen from left to right: Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Edison Beaumont, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari

 

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Posted cap from left to right: Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Edison Beaumont, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari

 

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Unposted/Open from left to right: Parker 75, Franklin-Christoph Model 20, Edison Beaumont, Lamy 2000, Pelikan M805, and Lamy Safari

 

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12 Comments

  1. Nice review! Keep it up!

    I also find my Lamy 2000 EF nib overly smooth. Another problem I had with mine is the ink always gets on the pen section when I uncap it, and the cap never seems secure, making it a bad choice for EDC for me even though it looks so professional. Maybe I got a dud. I’m trying to learn to love it, but I find myself rarely inking it up. Maybe I’ll try Yamadori next.

    1. Thanks for checking our review out. I hope the different ink choice will make a difference for you, Update us if it did or did not.

  2. Congratulations.. The Musketeers are a brilliant combination as each bring their perspective… This is really interesting to get the different points of view. The Lamy 2000 is what I call a benchmark pen.. Not The benchmark pen but one of a set that fountain pen enthusiasts need to use/try … It gives one a perspective about what the user likes and dislikes and creates self awareness leading to better choices. I love this pen and that’s it… So congratulations! And look forward to reading more about the adventures of the Three Musketeers!

  3. The Lamy 2000 is an iconic pen and one of the most reviewed as well. I love the fresh approach you took with your review. You found new things to write about this pen.
    Please take on another icon, the Pilot Vanishing Point.

    1. Hi Scott! Thanks for your thoughts and for reading our post.

      The Pilot VP is on our list to review soon enough. There are a few different size versions of the pen and we need to figure out our approach so it wouldn’t be redundant but also meaningful. We’ll get it done. =)

  4. Love this format!! I have a love/hate relationship with my Lamy 2000. Some days it is the best pen I own, and other days I can’t seem to find the sweet spot and it just frustrates me. The only other real issue I’ve come across is that ink seems to leak into the cap more often than most of my other pens, depending on which ink I use. Liberty’s Elysium leaked like crazy, and now Oxblood hasn’t leaked at all. A mystery I tell you!

  5. Love this review! Such an interesting idea, to try it in different hands to get different perspectives. Fountain pens are so subjective, one persons favorite could be another persons least loved. Keep up the awesome work guys. 🙂

    1. Thanks very much Madigan! And yes, pens are very subjective.

      We are having a great time doing these reviews and intend to continue. Glad you liked it.

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