Lamy Joy Calligraphy Pen Review
Firstly I’m not sure how many of these fountain pen reviews I’ll do as I’m a lefty and find it very difficult to write using pens in general without smudging never mind a fountain pen. Although I do love the idea of writing with a fountain pen and adore the aesthetics I’ve just always found them tricky to handle. What I do tend to use the few I do own for is sketching, they are fantastic tools to draw with, check out one of my favourite illustrators of all time as an example… Sir Quentin Blake. Now he does not use a Lamy Joy but a dipping pen.
Lamy Joy Specs
- Material: Shiny black resin barrel, grip and cap.
- Clip: Spring brass wire clip.
- Filling: Cartridge filling system with ink cartridge LAMY T 10 blue (can be modified for use with converter Z 28)
- Nib: Stainless steel nib with varying chisel points | 1.1mm, 1.5mm , 1.9mm
- Colour: Black body with red highlights. (Also comes in white)
- Weight: 17g
- Length with cap: 17.9 cm
- Length without cap: 16.9 cm
- Length Posted: 17.6cm
- Barrel Diameter: 9.5mm
- Grip Diameter: 9.01mm
- Where to buy: Amazon
Lamy Joy: First Impressions
It has been a while since I last used a fountain pen never mind a calligraphy pen, I think the last FP I used was a Parker Vector Which I still have lurking in the depths of my office. The Lamy Joy is a beast in comparison. It seems to me to be very long, good looking but long. The way the barrel tapers away from the grip makes it look like a paintbrush handle which is a design choice I really like on this pen. As soon as I removed the Joy from its card box and plastic covered prison, I must say I loved the design, look, weight and feel of this pen. To me it looks fantastic.
– Now, because I’m a bit sad I like to hear and feel how solid a cap is once removed and clicked back in place. (I can’t stand lids that have really faint clicks or feel slack once on) I do this a few times to get a feel for it. Please please please somebody tell me I’m not the only one who does this! Anyway this cap feels great and gives a very satisfying albeit quiet click when closed.
I checked the cartridge and popped it in place to get the ink flowing and threw down some lines to test how it wrote. I must say I love the smoothness and it seems to write perfectly well with a new writing technique I’m considering changing to. It’s slightly wonky leaning to the left but I’ll see how it goes. The Lamy Joy has passed the first impressions test with flying colours and is actually making me rethink this whole fountain pen thing!
Lamy Joy: Design
The look of this pen is one of the reasons I asked for this model. It resembles the look of a paintbrush and stands out amongst other pens in the same class. The tapered barrel is gorgeous the and I really enjoy the gloss plastic finish. One of the other things I like about this pen is that it is smeared in Lamy character, you instantly know it’s a Lamy item from its chunky logo on the barrel to that amazingly large brass wire clip on the lid. I’m always drawn to stationery that breaks the mould slightly and I feel this pen pulls it off rather well.
Some people are put off by the length of pens as they can often feel unbalanced, especially when posted or it may be that it just looks weird but like I said above, yes it’s long but personally I love the look of this pen. Here it is next to some other items so you have a better idea of scale…
The Lamy Joy came to me with a 1.5mm ‘stub’ nib preinstalled for calligraphy purposes which I won’t be using as I’m left handed and write with a claw apparently so I ordered a fine nib to replace it with. I did try the standard nib but it just didn’t happen for me.
Anyway changing nibs was a process I thought would be difficult, how wrong was I! It was incredibly easy, you just slide one nib off then slide the one you want on. I feel I must mention it was tricky getting the nib off but that is because it’s meant to be secured in place with no movement. How I got it off very easily was to place some sellotape on the nib and pull it off.
It’s also worth noting that the nibs can be used on other compatible popular pens from the Lamy range such as the Safari, Al-Star and Vista.
I do like the nib, it’s nothing special in terms of looks but the simplicity and efficiency is the aim here. There is no fancy engraved patterns or a mix of gold and silver just a plain nib that works.
Lamy Joy: Comfort
The Lamy Joy has faced criticism over the grip as I’ve read many times online and to be honest if you like to hold your pens in a particular way that the Lamy doesn’t cater for then you’re not going to like this pen. The grip is notched with 2 huge grooves for your thumb and forefinger.
Any attempt I made to find an alternative finger position just lead to it feeling uncomfortable to both hold and use. Because there is only one way to hold the pen comfortably is both a blessing and a curse, it will and has undoubtedly turned a lot of people off from buying or recommending this pen to others but it is one of the signature Lamy traits that allows it to stand out from the crowd and a lot of people love it.
I often choose which stationery items to carry around based on portability as I don’t tend to carry a pencil case, I like things that fit fit nicely in my pocket. The only real criticism from me about the Lamy Joy is that it is at a level of ‘chunkiness’ which is too much for my pocket. This is maybe an unfair judgement as it seems trivial but to me and many others ‘if it doesn’t fit in my pocket snuggly then it is not going in’. But if you use a case or a roll of sorts then this is no issue.
Lamy Joy: Performance
I have been using this pen everyday for 2 weeks and it is great at both sketching and writing. It is much smoother than I expected a fountain (calligraphy) pen to be, almost buttery smooth and the ink flows extremely well through the nib with no stoppages, I tried applying a little pressure to see if the ink stroke broadened but with the nibs being quite stiff there is really no give. Also, I love how the ink collects at the end of the pen stroke on the paper.
I tried doing a few small very quick 20 second sketches for this post 🙂 showing how smooth the nib glides over the Baron Fig paper and how well the ink flows.
It is an excellent pen to begin your calligraphy journey as it gives your great results from that stub nib. Even if you are a seasoned calligraphy pro you will enjoy this pen it works very well. Here’s my lame attempt at some calligraphy…
- Striking looks
- Easy to use and refill with either LAMY T cartridges or can be modified for use with converter Z 28
- Comfortable to hold
- Solid build
- Light (subjective I know)
- Price £14.50
- Easy to get
- The grip may not work for some people
- Top heavy when posted
- Quite thick to carry in your trouser/jean pocket
Lamy Joy: Final Thoughts
As you can see in the cons section above I’ve nit-picked slightly a there’s almost no reason to not buy this pen. It looks great and performs even better putting down solid lines with smooth application. Like I said you may not like the grip but I love it and means that for the most part my writing remains consistent.
I am actually so impressed with this pen that it has opened the door to me using more fountain pens and will also be the first of many more Lamy purchases 🙂 Lamy has a great product here and it only fills me with confidence about buying other models.