Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil 8


Welcome to my blog post about the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil, which was provided for free by The Pen Company. This blog post has also been published on their blog.

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50 years of the Lamy 2000

The Lamy 2000 was first released in 1966 so this year is its 50th anniversary – and after several special editions covering materials like grenadill wood, ceramic, titanium, and more, we can expect a new special edition in 2016. I went ahead and compiled a list of the special editions so far, which can be seen at the still unnamed pen wiki. I checked with the company that handles the launch of the 50 years Lamy 2000 special edition. They checked with Lamy and I was told that the list is complete. I wonder whether someone has all of them. Maybe the person who bought the Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson special edition in red?

 

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The material

It’s still not clear how the special edition will look, but however it looks, the ‘normal’ edition is stunning in itself. The main body is made from Makrolon (polycarbonate) and the surface is brushed, which means that use over time will slowly start to polish the surface and it will become shinier. This reminds me very much of Lexikaliker’s ‘beauty through use’ post (Translation / Original). It is a beautiful concept and idea and just one of the things I love about the Lamy 2000.

The surface of the Lamy 2000 in the middle changed after years of use.

The surface of the Lamy 2000 in the middle changed after years of use.

The Lamy 2000 Fountain pen

Even though I’ve been using Lamy (Safari) fountain pens since the 1980s, I only bought my first Lamy 2000 fountain pen in 2008. The most expensive fountain pen I had before that was probably a Parker, which was less than half the 2000’s price. Before I bought it I was looking at the 2000 pen for several months before I decided that it’s worth the €89.95(~$102; £72) it cost back then, and in the end I got this pen as a Christmas gift that year from my wife. It’s a great pen! After I got it, it was the only fountain pen I used for a very long time. One unusual thing about my 2000 fountain pen is the enormous ink flow you get if you start using a bit of force. The M nibbed one I have is like this, but I wouldn’t know whether all Lamy 2000 in M are like that. Well, I liked this pen so much that I bought an EF version a bit later, mainly because of the fairly big line variation I got from my version in M.

Lamy 2000 fountain pen and mechanical pencil

Lamy 2000 fountain pen and mechanical pencil

Even today, after Lamy has increased their prices a few times, they provide excellent value for money. You won’t find many piston fillers with a gold nib for the price the Lamy 2000 fountain pen sells for – and you’ll find even fewer fountain pens as handsome as the Lamy 2000, especially not for this price.

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

The Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

Well, technically it’s not really the 50th anniversary of the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil; even though the fountain pen was released in 1966 the mechanical pencil was only added in 1970 (and the ballpoint pen in 1968).

Despite loving wood-cased and mechanical pencils, and despite the good reviews out there, I hadn’t had the pleasure of using a Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil until I got one from The Pen Company in January 2016.

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Vitals

My first impressions: the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil was much lighter than expected. I know these numbers won’t mean much to most readers, but in case you want to compare it to another pen, here are the vitals: The length of the pen is just under 14cm, with the thickest part of the barrel having a diameter of 12mm. The weight is just under 19g. The centre of gravity is very much in the middle as you can see from the picture where the 2000 is balanced on a type.

What a well-balanced pencil!

What a well-balanced pencil!

Look and Feel

One of the other things I noticed first was that the Lamy 2000 pencil is much slimmer than the Lamy 2000 fountain pen version. As I was used to the thickness of the fountain pen version I did initially find the mechanical pencil too slim, but by now I like it the way it is. The clip has a similar design as the fountain pen, but again, is slimmer. This is a good thing as many users of mechanical pencils will rotate them in their hand, so a slimmer clip makes it less obtrusive when it rests on the purlicue between the thumb and index finger. You’ll still notice the clip in your hand though, because the corners are not rounded – the clip is still quite noticeable and can even be distracting.

The clip

The clip

If you write using a fairly acute angle, i.e. if you hold the pencil very flat, the pencil’s body can still be too wide, especially when writing near the spine in a notebook where the pages don’t lie flat. In that case, the body of the pen can touch the paper, making writing difficult – but this issue doesn’t usually occur.

The grip section

The grip section

The good thing about the cap is that it fits quite firmly on the pen and there is no danger of it falling off by mistake. I mention this because the cap of the my Caran d’Ache 844 is quite loose and can come off easily.

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Speaking of the cap: the 5 on the cap seems to be laser etched, similar to what you get on some keyboards, so I don’t expect the 5 to rub off anytime soon.

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Conclusion

This is a great mechanical pencil. I am sure I will enjoy it for many years to come. Since I got it, it has been my most used mechanical pencil.

The fountain pen and the mechanical pencil – easy to distinguish in your shirt pocket

The fountain pen and the mechanical pencil – easy to distinguish in your shirt pocket


Price: 2008

Exchange rates: April 2016

I would like to thank The PenCompany for providing this pen free of charge for this review.

You can find more about the origins of the Lamy 2000 design on the Fountain Pen Network.

Dave has a review of the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil too.

If you like the Lamy 2000, have a look at the Lamy Scribble, as well.

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8 thoughts on “Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil

  • Chandon

    Thank you very much for a very comprehensive review, which I really enjoyed, of what is a great mechanical pencil. This pencil does not get nearly enough attention and praise. I use mine all of the time at work. The Lamy 2000 pencil are one of the most ergonomic designs out there, and as you say, they are perfectly balanced. Do you prefer the 0.5mm or the 0.7mm for writing? Also, i would be interested to read what you think of the Lamy leads as compared to some of the Japanese ones? I tend to write using a Pentel or Pilot 2B lead in this pencil, as they give a darker line and the lead seems stronger. Thanks once again.

  • Brendan

    Nice, informative post, as always.
    I agree with you about the pencil, it is a very good one.
    I think that there is a typo mistake. It says the Lamy 2000 fountain pen was first released in 1966, making this year its 60th anniversary. This would be the 50th, then.

  • Gunther

    Thank you for this great post about a great mechanical pencil! The photos are amazing – I especially like the perspective in the last but one 🙂

  • Matthias

    Thank you very much for your kind comments.

    Chandon, thanks, how long have you had yours? I prefer 0.5mm – usually the finer the line the better, that’s why I also enjoy the Orenz in 0.2mm very much, probably because my handwriting is very small, as writing small makes me think I can get more information on a page. It doesn’t make much sense (because I can’t fill the notebooks I have anyway), but that’s how it is.
    I thought the Lamy leads are nice, but a bit soft for my liking. I do like a dark line, and in mechanical pencils frequent sharpening is not a problem, but I don’t like leads to be smudgy (my wife doesn’t like it either). I am mentioning this because the leads that came with the Lamy Scribble were far too soft and made a mess in the notebooks where I used them. Do you prefer Pentel or Pilot, and which lead ‘model’ is it?

    Brendan, thanks for making me aware of this, slightly embarrassing that I got it wrong, but I got it right in the Wiki. I changed all 60s to 50s. Please let me know if you find other mistakes.

    Gunther, thanks, what a shame hardly anyone would look at them in high resolution, except the last two images they are more than 4000 pixels wide and quite sharp. I did experiment with a zoom plugin once, until I was told it makes the page not load in Safari.. Maybe I”ll look again another time in the future for some other way of making it easier to see the details, other than opening the image in a new tab. Do you mean the perspective in the shirt pocket image?

  • Chandon

    Thanks for the interesting feedback. I have been using the Lamy 2000 fountain pen and pencil since the 1980s, when I bought the pair of them in a pen shop in Munich. I have bought a few more over the years, but have given some of them away. I last bought a pencil in Brighton in January of this year at Pen and Paper. I use Pentel Ain leads as my first choice preference as they are good quality and easy to find in the shops. I also like Pilot Neox graphite but these are harder to find in the UK shops. I did load up on them when I was recently in Singapore at kinokuniya bookstore. Staedtler also make good ones, which I rate over Faber Castell, but that is a personal preference. I really enjoy your blog, so thank you for all of the effort you put in.

  • Matthias

    Chandon, thank you for all these details.
    Wow, you used yours since the 1980s. The use must have polished the surface quite a bit by now. Would you say the surface is fairly shiny by now?
    I know that Lamy keeps changing the fountain pen and the new ones look different ‘under the nib’ than the old ones. Does your pencil from the 1980s look like the disassembled one in my photos, or is it different, i.e. Lamy changed the pencil over time?
    I do like the neox and Staedtler’s leads, see https://bleistift.memm.de/2015/12/pilot-neox-graphite/ – like you said the neox is difficult to find in stores, but luckily it is easy to order on the Internet, even if you only want one or two containers.
    I am glad to read that you like my blog, it’s nice to know other people share the same interests and like to read my observations in this fascinating area.

  • Chandon

    The Lamy pencil looks less shiny than the fountain pen of the same age. Maybe the fountain pen has had a tougher life? Thank you for the link to review of thePilot Neox leads. Do you know if Lamy has ever made the 2000 pencil with a wooden barrel, as they have done this with the 2000 ballpoint. I would have thought that it would have been something that they might have done, as it would look very nice. They could use different woods, as Graf Von Faber Castell have done with their pernambuco and grenadilla pencils.

  • Matthias

    Oh, I guess you are right, the fountain pen must have had a tougher life – I guess the process of making both must be the same so they should age in a similar way.
    As far as I know there is no wooden version, even though I would like one (buy probably wouldn’t afford one). The only editions that I am sure were available as mechanical pencils are the metal and the red edition. The edition that will come out later this year won’t feature a mechanical pencil either 8^(