Monday, May 05, 2008

Lamy Pur (Model 148) Mechanical Pencil Review

Lamy Pur (Model 148) Mechanical Pencil Review

You know I’ve got to say that when I opened up the parcel containing my nice new Lamy Pur, I took one look at that big long presentation tube and started thinking about cigars. Not that I smoke, and I don’t recall my grandfather smoking either, but he did have a lot of cigar boxes which I really liked going through when I was a little fellow. Lots of interesting things in those cigar boxes – but no cigars! Of course with a different background the clear presentation tube looks a modern or futuristic design rather than tobacconist. But anyway, on to the pencil.The Lamy Pur is a fairly decent sized pencil, long but solid looking, with some widely spaced longitudinal grooves running the length of the body in a somewhat simple interpretation of guilloche patterning. The body is aluminium with a slightly sandblasted type finish rather than a high sheen polished finish. Some black plastic accenting and a splash of chrome are added for highlights. Overall it’s a fairly simple look, somehow modern yet traditional. For the record, I like it.

Picking the Pur up, I was surprised at how light it is. I expected something heavier for its size, but that’s aluminium for you. Somehow the feel in the hand is of a wider diameter pencil than my ruler measures. I guess it’s just one of those writing instruments whose looks and feel are a bit of a surprising combination, never quite what you expect, a case one sense misleading the other. There are no grip enhancements, but the grip is reasonable. The lead sleeve is a 3mm retractable thin tube so it would not be totally useless amongst a set of hole templates and french curves. The pocket clip is spring loaded and quite functional. Combined with the retractable lead sleeve we of course have a pocket safe pencil.

When it comes to advancing the lead this is a plain old standard push top ratchet mechanism. 10 clicks will get you about 9mm of the lead, which is 0.7mm diameter. I don’t believe there are any other lead diameter options available. I know mine’s 0.7mm lead because Lamy have thoughtfully engraved a big “7” in the black top cap of the Pur. The only other marking on the pencil is the word “LAMY” in black towards the top of the body. As always, Lamy prefer understatement rather than overkill when it comes to branding. There is no eraser under the top cap because, despite what it looks like, the top cap doesn’t come off. Well, correction, if you pull really hard it does come off, but let’s just say it’s not supposed to, because as soon as it does, the word “Oops” springs to mind.

I’m really starting to sound like a stuck record here (that’s old vinyl LP album talk for you youngsters out there), or perhaps in today’s terminology, I’m sounding like a scratched CD on repeat, but yet again I have ended up with a pencil and no refill instructions. So, initially I just assumed you pulled that top section off, seemed reasonable to me, and as you have read above, if you pull really hard it does come off, but there’s no lead refilling to be done under there! I perused the Lamy website but it did not indicate anything for the Pur. That’s actually rather bad – refill instructions are given for some models, but the list is not complete. Eventually I decided that the only other possibility was for it to be one of those annoying tip refill systems, and I was right. You unscrew the tip to get at the lead storage magazine and to refill it. There is a needle to assist in clearing lead jams, but no eraser.So, the final overall assessment? Quite good. Not great, but quite good. Worth having in the collection.
  • Best Points – Surprising combination of size and weight, and I like the cigar tube presentation case.
  • Not So Good Points – Having to unscrew the tip to refill with leads.
  • Price Range – Mid.

Dimensions – Length 147mm, diameter 11mm. Balance point about 75mm up from the tip.

Note: I did find some information indicating that a non-grooved body version is available in Lamys corporate gift range which is not available for general retail sale.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I've been reading it for a while but never left a comment. But now, after seeing your massive organized collection...I just have to say, you are more obsessed than me! I love your passion for pencils! I've collecting since I was a kid, but I never took it seriously. People always made fun of me. You give me motivation to start my own collection again = ) Thank you and keep up the good work!

Germ said...

Lamy's are quite nice pencils. I like their styling. but for some reason, I just can't bring myself to buy them. Maybe it has to do with alot of them are plastic and over $20 here in the states? no biggie.

Fishsay - people made fun of you? i hope you educated them. if not for pencils, and later, mechanical pencils for the past 80 yrs, not much would have been built...... I still get rolled eyes and naysayers. thats ok. we can have pity on them. :)

Kiwi-d said...

Obsessed. Obsessed? Obsessed?!? Who's obsessed? I'm not obsessed! I can quit any time I want to!!

Best regards
Non-obsessed Dave

Max said...

Oh but how can you not have a Lamy? My two favourite pencils are Lamy - the Lamy 2000 and the Scribble. You should read Dave's review of both. When I have to to some serious writing or note taking, I use my 2000. It's such delight and it takes a LOT of leads. But if $20 is your max I can see that it's a tad expensive. But then there's the Caran d'Ache metal collection for you ;) It comes in just under $20 and is my workhorse pencil at work.

Anonymous said...

Before now I was throwing away all my mechanical pencils as a result of frustration of not knowing how to refill them. Just recently I was give an expensive pen set and a mechanical pencil was included. Finally all the lead is gone and I refuse to throw this pencil away excially since coming to your site and learning step by step on how to refill a pencil properly. THANKS! a million:)

kczenitsuj said...

Hey, was wondering if you would be doing any reviews on Lamy Spirit mechanical pencils? I couldn't find it in any shops thus was wondering about the comfort of using it.

Kiwi-d said...

Well I've got a Spirit. I'll put it on my To Do list - maybe in a month or so.