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Twsbi Vac 700 Broken

twsbi vac 700 cracked

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64 replies to this topic

#21 Lyander0012

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:33

Yikes, I'm currently considering a Vac700 to use as a daily writer, but now I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I much prefer its aesthetic to that of the Diamond 5X0 series as well as its filling system, but all things considered, I may as well get the Diamond.

Hmm, or not. Apparently TWSBI released a much of new pens lately. Wonder if the Vac Mini is any good?


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From what I've heard, a lot of newer Pelikans have trouble writing out of the box. You'll invariably require a bit of tweaking done to get your Pel writing well :P
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#22 Sham69

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 08:42

ok now thats a bump, i own two modern twsbi vac's and they have no problems. however the 580 is the superior pen if you ignore the filling system. 

 

the vac filling system is a useless gimmick, all it ends up being is harder to clean. 



#23 OiRogers

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:09

I have two TWSBI caps broken in the same manner... A 530 and a 540. Neither abused or treated roughly.
I also have a leaky 530 filler and a 540 with a cracked section.... I should really email and see about replacement caps, pistons and sections.
I also have a 580 that so far has held up ok... But I am honestly a bit put off by TWSBI currently. I have plenty of other pens that work without breakings.

I will be sending my money elsewhere until these issues are corrected... I really want a Vac too... Shame.

#24 Albus

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:25

Just curious. Would dipping the twsbi in hot water reduce the chances of cracks?

Edited by Albus, 09 January 2014 - 11:25.


#25 NKessler

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 19:48

ok now thats a bump, i own two modern twsbi vac's and they have no problems. however the 580 is the superior pen if you ignore the filling system. 

 

the vac filling system is a useless gimmick, all it ends up being is harder to clean. 

 

I've got to disagree about the vacuum system being a gimmick.  My Vac 700s hold much more ink than any other pen I own and are actually much easier to clean than piston fillers in my experience.  If you're extremely concerned with the pen being completely free of water before you fill it again, though, I can see prefering a piston filler, but calling vacuum filling a gimmick simply because of that is rather ignorant.

 

My Vac 700s haven't had any problems as of yet and I've abused them thoroughly, but that doesn't mean these problems are acceptable.  TWSBI has had plenty of time to fix this stuff and seem to have done so with the Mini and Classic, but a full-fledged re-visit of their older pens seems to be in order.  I'd like to see them re-design the cap of the Vac series using either a different type of plastic or a more cautious manufacturing process, then send new caps to anyone who requests one.  It wouldn't be an actual solution, but it would be a sign that they're as concerned about this as we are.

 

I know they've done exactly that with the 5xx series with limited success and some of us may not be happy to see the same thing happening again, but this is definitely a problem that needs fixing.



#26 tonybelding

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 21:11

the vac filling system is a useless gimmick, all it ends up being is harder to clean. 

 

Not sure where you got that idea?  The vac-fill is faster and easier to flush, also holds more ink.  It really is nice, and mechanically simple too.

 

I may be wary of TWSBI now, but my favorite vintage pen of all time is still my vac-fill Sheaffer Triumph desk pen.



#27 Sham69

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 00:06

i have two of each twsbi system, its sooo much easier to clean and fill the 580 to capacity then the vac 700. you just turn a nob to get 1.7ml of ink in the 580 where one plunge only gets you 1.3 in the vac; then you need to do annoying dizzy pen inversion method to get a complete fill. It's not worth the extra .3ml of ink.

 

Although the #6 nib is nicer then the 580's i must admit, but the 580 is more aesthetic. 

 

My vac-700's have just become bay state pens; have worked fine for ages. 


Edited by Sham69, 10 January 2014 - 00:08.


#28 Water Ouzel

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 00:27

Yikes, I'm currently considering a Vac700 to use as a daily writer, but now I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I much prefer its aesthetic to that of the Diamond 5X0 series as well as its filling system, but all things considered, I may as well get the Diamond.

Hmm, or not. Apparently TWSBI released a much of new pens lately. Wonder if the Vac Mini is any good?

I've got two Vac700s, and they're among my favorite of the 30-odd fountain pens I currently have and use. And strangely enough, my favorite of the two has a Bock EF nib (the which many complained about dry/erratic writing, etc.) that I'd originally swapped for the Jowo EF Twsbi shipped with the pen (this being during the transition from Bock to Jowo last year).

 

I kept thinking about how smooth the original nib had felt, and ended up swapping it back in place of the Jowo, and did some adjustment to the nib and feed. No slicing/grinding/hammering, mind. It's very smooth, and writes consistently and reliably; not too wet, not too dry. So even the older Bock nibs can be made to work.

 

Of cracks or any other manufacturing fault, there have been none. And it holds a boatload of ink, to boot. My wife confiscated the Mini Classic, and is going to keep it. She had one episode of ink leaking around the section, but I traced it to being inadequately tightened, and it's worked perfectly since then.

 

As for the Mini Vac … I'm waiting for them to announce and begin shipping them. Perhaps you were thinking about the recently-released Classic?



#29 Flounder

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:36

I was listening to the Penaddict Podcast recently, and one of the hosts mentioned his 540 ROC cap breaking apart at the same place, the cap separating from the metal band.

 

I'd really like a TWSBI. Larger pens suit my hand best. Most large pens are either very expensive flagship pens, or in an unappealing combination of being cheaply made & very heavy. For me, the 700 is the right size at the right weight at a good price. I don't like TWSBI reliability or the aesthetic choices made (the 700 just kind of lacks cohesion, IMO). I'm awaiting the vac mini with keen interest; from the renders it looks fantastic. If it's a bit stronger and they decide to upscale it, that will be the TWSBI for me.


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#30 Lyander0012

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 03:40

Hmm, wouldn't an upscaled Vac Mini be... a Vac?  :P

 

Haha, but I see your point. I might just wait for TWSBI to release the Vac Mini, as I'm something of a chronic pen poster and the Vac 700 apparently doesn't take posting too well (neither does the Diamond 580, but no pen's perfect). Besides that, I'm also considering a TWSBI Mini now, thanks to the fact that it's an excellent pocket pen that doesn't have any trouble whatsoever with posting; I kinda need a portable one for when I'm wearing jeans, you see :)

 

Hmm, from my standpoint, the 580 has better durability and nicer aesthetics, while the 700 has a better ink capacity plus a nicer nib! This is turning into a tough decision, haha.

 

 

Cheers!

Kevin

 

P.S.

This is no thread revival. I once posted in a thread nearly 5 years after the last reply, since I needed a question answered! Call me the thread necromancer :P


Edited by Lyander0012, 10 January 2014 - 03:46.

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#31 Flounder

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 00:07

I mean the shape of the Vac Mini, but the size of the current vac. Does that make sense?


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#32 Lyander0012

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 08:34

You mean with regard to the proportions and design of the pen? I can see why, as the Mini looks cooler than its older sibling. Haha, I'd buy an upscaled Vac Mini too, if that were the case XD


Kevin
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#33 b8amack

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:35

I reached for my smoke colored TWSBI Vac 700 today and started to uncap it -- and only part of the cap came off.

 

twsbi_vac_700_broken.jpg

 

This is the second Vac 700 of mine that's had a major component snap in two.  I didn't abuse it.  There was no warning.  It just came apart.

 

I went through the cracking problems with the Diamond 530.  I assumed TWSBI had figured it all out and fixed things on the Vac 700.  They had years to straighten out their difficulties, and the Vac 700 was their new flagship pen, and I hadn't heard about anyone else having problems with them.  And besides, I simply adored EVERYTHING else about these pens.  After the first one failed, I was willing to shrug and chalk it up as a freak occurrence that probably would never happen again.  But no more.

 

The only thing I can figure out is that TWSBI are injection-molding these pens out of styrene, or some sort of thermoplastic that simply isn't durable enough for the job and is never going to be.  That's how they can make their pens so cheap, but no amount of jiggering the design is ever going to turn this into a durable material.  This is why other pens companies machine theirs from rods of cast acrylic plastic, or similar materials.

 

I've been recommending these pens to everyone, and now I am ashamed.  Obviously I won't be doing that anymore, and I won't be carrying and using them anymore.

 

 

This is the exact same break that happened to me, just now. It's not my first problem with the Vac700, though. Nib is always drying out, despite being one of the newer nibs that were supposed to fix the previous drying out problem. 



#34 Ecriveur

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 05:05

TWSBI could stand to do a better job on quality control. In return for that great price, sometimes you get a great pen, but you also incur a more than trivial risk that you'll get a dud.



#35 b8amack

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:24

I should add that I emailed TWSBI a photo of my broken cap, and they sent me a replacement cap right away, from Taiwan, so they're still alright with me. 



#36 andymcc

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 12:31

I've just stumbled onto this thread today, yesterday I had to email TWSBI as I found a crack on my 1 year old Diamond Mini just above the cap band, the pen has never been dropped(it's never even left the house, I have Kaweco Sports for that).  My concern is that should the crack spread the cap band could fall off as it has for people here  :unsure:  hopefully TWSBI get back in touch soon to resolve the problem.

I ordered a Micarta on Thursday and found the crack on my Mini the next day...maybe my Mini was jealous and is trying to kill itself  :lol:



#37 CF.

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 10:05

I am starting to understand why some have such bad opinions of TWSBI. I had one 540 with lingering problems which trace back to a crack in the mating threads of the feed. So, that is a 10% failure rate for all the TWSBIs I own or have given to others, at least two orders of magnitude too high in my view for something so simple, albeit not that much worse compared with other makes to be fair. I am now pretty sure that I would have had a much worse failure rate if the 540 had not taught me a few things about how not to handle TWSBIs particularly when reassembling them after cleaning.

 

The fault still is TWSBI's - there is a mismatch between the self-maintenance concept and the design itself; they are not owner-proof. They had not allowed for the fact that owners do not have the know-how of a pen maker when it comes to knowing the limits and methods of their designs.

 

The comments about polycarbonate and PMMA are great. Polycarb with scratch resistant coatings are great performers in the right application (Lexan in greenhouses), but along with fabrication stress, not so great for cyclic loading or torsion loading. I am unconvinced about the annealing step which is not a sure thing unless you are prepared to inspect every piece under polarised light, doable but not practical. They have clearly thought about overcoming cracks and breakages from dropping and knocking - they are tough pen in those situations, but not in over tightening of cap, section/feed.

 

Rather than messing around with materials, I think they ought to accept the limitations imposed by their need for transparency, scratch resistance and self-maintenance, change the design to prevent exposing the material to stress. Owner-proofing is possible I think (just playing with a few concepts on scrap paper over a cup of coffee) either by redesigning form or use of other materials in addition, latter being less elegant and more complex. 



#38 andymcc

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 14:37

Living up to their great reputation for customer service Philip got in touch today to offer a replacement cap for my Mini :)

I can understand some peoples bad opinions of TWSBI, having a fault is never ideal but I also think that when problems do arise that's when you get to see the real side of a company.  TWSBI go out of their way to resolve any problems and they respond to emails very quickly, I have no problem recommending their pens to anyone, for the price they are still some of the best pens around and they seem to listen and care about their customers and their complaints and recommendations  :D



#39 TheInkluminati

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:46

This just happened to mine. This was my reaction:
389-Impossibru.jpg

#40 discopig

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:23

Although great customer service is nice, I don't think it excuses the fact that they've had years to figure this problem out, yet pens are still cracking regularly and breaking. I will definitely not be buying a TWSBI until this problem is resolved for good. It's a shame, because I really liked the looks of the Vac 700 and Classic.


Edited by discopig, 21 June 2014 - 06:23.







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