Ferrer broke twice in the first set and recovered from a break down in the second before wrapping the match up in 79 minutes when former world number one Safin sent a forehand long.
Safin, who has slumped to 93 in the world and needed a wildcard invitation just to get into the main draw, became increasingly frustrated with himself and chair umpire Carlos Berado.
The former world number one suffered another on-court meltdown as the lid blew spectacularly once again on his famously explosive temper.
In the seventh game of the second set the Russian destroyed his racquet against a courtside chair before screaming at Berado: 'Give me a f****** break!' as he debated another contentious call.
But Safin, who also had an ongoing debate with watching ATP Tour supervisor Thomas Karlsberg, only had himself to blame for his untidy exit as he fired an ugly 52 unforced errors in his 77-minute match.
Federer scrapes through
Meanwhile Federer, top seed, survived a huge scare in his second round match against Spanish qualifier Ramirez Hidalgo, ranked 137 in the world, winning 6-1, 3-6, 7-6.
Ramirez Hidalgo served for the match twice in the third set, but Federer, runner-up to Nadal for the past two years at Monte Carlo, came back from the brink to take the deciding set to a tie-break and win it 7-1.
"I could have lost today but I got through and I'm happy about that," said Federer, who next meets Frenchman Gael Monfils in the third round.
|"I could have lost today but I got through and I'm happy about that."|
"I played well in the first set but he came back well."
Earlier, Safin's compatriot Davydenko, who retired from the Estoril Open final last Sunday with a leg injury, raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set but Bolelli raised his game to level at 4-4.
Davydenko double-faulted on his first match point but converted his second opportunity with a fine passing shot.
"When I was 4-1 up he started to play so good that I had no choice but to go for a tiebreak," Davydenko said.
Nadal, second seed and triple defending champion, faces Croatian Mario Ancic in what will be the Spaniard's first claycourt match in 2008 as he begins his build-up to what he hopes will be a fourth successive French Open title.
Nadal boasts a formidable record on the surface winning 107 of 110 matches on clay over the last three years, a sequence which has also yielded 17 of his 23 career titles.