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Vac Mini Compared To Twsbi Mini (And Others)

twsbi vac mini nib unit size

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#41 shane27

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 03:39

Amber, I can totally see it! Dunno if that makes me a Jedi or not...



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#42 amberleadavis

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Posted 27 December 2015 - 03:49

Amber, I can totally see it! Dunno if that makes me a Jedi or not...

 

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#43 gorbon

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 15:48

 

Goulet's website says 2.0 ml for the Vac Mini...

 

Well that sounds a bit much considering the full size Vac 700 holds a max of ~2.1ml. TWSBI mentioned at Facebook that ink capacity is "about the same as the Diamond Mini."



#44 shane27

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 20:32

 

Well that sounds a bit much considering the full size Vac 700 holds a max of ~2.1ml. TWSBI mentioned at Facebook that ink capacity is "about the same as the Diamond Mini."

 

That can't be right.  If you look at the Diamond Mini and the Vac Mini side by side, you can see the piston mechanism in the Diamond Mini takes up a good third of the barrel.  When you consider that and how easy it is to get a 100% fill in these vacuum fillers, I would expect the Vac Mini to have almost twice the ink capacity of the regular Mini.  I would love to see someone with all of these pens weigh in on this :)



#45 Mishka5050

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Posted 01 January 2016 - 20:59

Fantastic post, thank you :)
I don't have any vacs yet, so this will be my first....eeeek!!! :)

#46 Greebe

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 18:10

So for those of you that have both the vac mini and piston mini which do you like the best?

 

I am looking at getting one or the other, but not sure which one. I have one of the origional 540's and while I like it, it is just to large for my liking especially with the cap posted. I have been wanting one of the vac pens for a while and it would be something different which would be cool. However I really like the look of the black mini. If the vac mini came with a black cap like the piston mini I would jump on that.


Edited by Greebe, 12 February 2016 - 18:11.


#47 sirgilbert357

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 22:21

So for those of you that have both the vac mini and piston mini which do you like the best?

 

I am looking at getting one or the other, but not sure which one. I have one of the origional 540's and while I like it, it is just to large for my liking especially with the cap posted. I have been wanting one of the vac pens for a while and it would be something different which would be cool. However I really like the look of the black mini. If the vac mini came with a black cap like the piston mini I would jump on that.

 

Give them time and I bet they make one like that. I liked my Mini Classic quite a bit, but ended up selling it in a consolidation to get a Franklin Christoph Model 03. The Mini is actually the only pen I miss...not sure I'd repurchase it though. I only bought it for the nibs (1.1 and 1.5 stubs) and I now have a Franklin Christoph with a 1.1 and I'll be getting a 1.5 for my Lamy Studio at some point...so yeah.



#48 Jamerelbe

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Posted 13 February 2016 - 01:27

So for those of you that have both the vac mini and piston mini which do you like the best?

 

I am looking at getting one or the other, but not sure which one. I have one of the origional 540's and while I like it, it is just to large for my liking especially with the cap posted. I have been wanting one of the vac pens for a while and it would be something different which would be cool. However I really like the look of the black mini. If the vac mini came with a black cap like the piston mini I would jump on that.

 

I really, *really* like my Vac Mini - but at present reviewers of the pen seem to be divided between those who love it, and those who are having issues with ink flow.  And the cross-threading when you screw the cap onto the back of the pen is, admittedly, a bit irritating.  For those reasons, I'd probably advise going with the Diamond Mini right now - also a really good pen, but the ink filling mechanism is more straightforward, you can already buy replacement nibs for it (if you want), and any 'kinks' in the design have been well and truly ironed out.



#49 wikeh2004

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 18:19

 

I really, *really* like my Vac Mini - but at present reviewers of the pen seem to be divided between those who love it, and those who are having issues with ink flow.  And the cross-threading when you screw the cap onto the back of the pen is, admittedly, a bit irritating.  For those reasons, I'd probably advise going with the Diamond Mini right now - also a really good pen, but the ink filling mechanism is more straightforward, you can already buy replacement nibs for it (if you want), and any 'kinks' in the design have been well and truly ironed out.

 

I've had a Diamond Mini for years and recently got a Vac Mini. I like them both very much and their size is convenient. The standard Diamonds and especially the Vac700 can be a little long in my shirt pockets and don't post well. I like that the Mini cap can be screwed on to post, as it's very secure and if done carefully, results in less wear to the cap and barrel. The posted pen is a comfortable length, unlike the bigger TWSBI pens, which are too long when posted. Haven't had any flow issues with my Vac Mini. I got it with an F nib, and if anything, it's a little wet. As usual with new pens, I did a flush with a very dilute detergent solution and rinsed with water thoroughly before inking. I love that the Vac Mini has a very generous ink capacity for its size.


Edited by wikeh2004, 18 February 2016 - 18:21.


#50 Greebe

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 01:40

I ordered the Mini in black with a 1.1 Stub. It is suppose to arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to trying it out. Hopefully it does not crack.



#51 TSherbs

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 01:53

I ordered the Mini in black with a 1.1 Stub. It is suppose to arrive tomorrow. Looking forward to trying it out. Hopefully it does not crack.

Mine's two years old and still ok, but I am careful how tight I screw the section on. I love my 1.1 (I have Diamine Midnight in it right now).



#52 1pen2pen

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 16:46

apologies for bumping an old thread. i'd used the info here to make my Vac Mini purchase and it turns out i got rather a different pen than is pictured in the original post (OP). i thought i'd pop in to share what i've found:

  • okay, to begin with my Vac Mini is pretty much a Franken-pen right out of the box. comparing it to the photos in the OP mine is all Diamond Mini in terms of barrel, nib unit, etc but it has the usual Vac pump mechanism. for reference i have two Vac 700s, two 580s, a 540 and three ECOs. and yes, i do like TWSBIs. :)  the pen i just received is my first Mini.
  • according to the Tech Specs i've seen on the two pens -- Diamond Mini and Vac Mini -- mine measures closer to the Vac Mini: 124 mm closed, 149 mm posted.
  • and now to business, the nib: the shocker for me was that the actual nib is nothing like either the 580s or any other TWSBi i know _except_ the ECO. in fact the nib is an ECO nib (afaict) and totally cross-compatible with them. i yanked a M nib out of one of my ECOs -- meaning I pulled out the feeder and removed the actual steel nib -- and installed it in my Vac Mini in 2 minutes, no problems at all. installs and writes exactly as you'd expect an ECO to. the upshot of this is that theoretically i'd be able to use the #5.5 nibs from FPR no problem, as i do with my ECOs (more or less).
  • for the record the 580 nibs are definitely not the same. pull out the feeder/nib from a 580 nib unit and look at the tail end of the nib. on mine there is a marked step up on both sides of that tail end. no such step on the ECO/Vac Mini nibs. in terms of trying to install the 580 nib in the Vac Mini i stopped there, i've no interest in buggering up the feed holder on my Franken Vac Mini just to prove a point.
  • i've never seen a Diamond Mini so i can't comment on how it would compare.
  • i've seen mention of cross-threading issues with some of the Minis, i've had no such problems. i like it that the cap screws down when posted but no hint (yet) of troubles with that.

anyway, i hope that info is of interest and use to others. as i mentioned at the beginning i was guided by the info i read here -- was specifically interested in the cross-usage of nibs -- and even though a fair bit of that info now seems outdated i'm none the worse off because i swap ECO nibs all the time and if my Vac Mini is up for that then there'll be no complaints from me.



#53 1pen2pen

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:29

just occurred to me that a decent photo would probably be in order here. i trust this will suffice:

 

 

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  • 20170110_101344_cropped.jpg

Edited by 1pen2pen, 10 January 2017 - 10:30.


#54 Jamerelbe

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:28

@1pen2pen, thanks for the picture - I couldn't figure out what differences you were pointing out until I saw it.  Now that I have, I can confirm a few things for you - based on my experience with 2 Diamond Minis, 1 Vac Mini, 3 Ecos and a handful of Diamond 540/580 pens...

 

First of all, the only difference I can see between the grip section of your pen and that in the original photo is the colour.  Both are longer then the grip section on the Diamond Mini; both are straighter (the Diamond Mini has more of a taper from barrel end to nib end).

 

Second, the barrel of the pen looks identical to the barrel on my Vac Mini (which in turn is identical to the Vac Mini in the OP).  I agree, it's similar to the Diamond Mini, both in length and diameter - though to my eyes the Diamond Mini has some diagonal faceting (similar to the 540/580) whereas the Vac Mini's internal angles run straight up and down.

 

Third, I can confirm your observation that the Vac Mini has the same nib and feed as the Diamond Mini.  In fact, the Diamond 530/540/580 is the "odd man out" here, with a wider "wingspan" than the others: the Vac Mini, Diamond Mini, Eco and Classic ALL use a slightly narrower nib than the 540/580.  (Brian Goulet calls this smaller nib a #4 nib, as compared to the #5 on the 580, but technically I think he's got that wrong).  The nib assemblies for the two Mini pens aren't interchangeable, though - there are some differences in shape towards the nib-end of the "feeder tube" - and the nib and feed are a much tighter fit in the feed tube, so much so that there's a significant risk of damage if you try to remove them.

 

One final observation, based on your photo: it *does* appear that the piston knob (or whatever it's called on a Vac pen) has been redesigned on your Vac Mini - mine tapers towards the end, where yours appears straighter, and maybe a bit longer?

 

I don't think you can call the redesign a "frankenpen" though: the only thing that's changed externally (apart from colour) is the back end / piston knob.  In all other respects, it's pretty much identical to the original design.  



#55 Jamerelbe

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:07

Just in case a comparison photo is helpful, here's an original Vac Mini, compared to a "Classic" (black-and-clear) Diamond Mini:

 

S19fuAG.jpg

 

[You'll notice, if you look closely enough, that I've swapped a customised #5 JoWo nib from fpnibs.com into the Vac Mini...]



#56 1pen2pen

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 19:00

@ Jamerelbe : many thanks for taking the time to reply in detail on this. i think we've making good progress toward narrowing down the differences between the pens here.

 

as i'd said previously i've never seen a Diamond Mini (DM) so my comments were and are based on owning two Vac 700s, two 580 Diamonds, one 540 Diamond and three ECOs. that and comparing my Vac Mini against the pictures in the OP. let's take the Vac Mini (VM) I received section by section:

 

barrel: in my experience the Vac series has sturdy, smooth barrels without faceting. the Diamonds of course have "diamondy" facets. my VM has _external_ facets that run the length of the barrel, no facet tapering like the Diamonds. from what I could tell the VM barrel in the OP's post was all smoothness and no facets of any kind. so mine's more DM afaict.

 

screw-cap-thingy at the business end of the pump: the VM in the OP's post looks to me like it's got a pretty stubby unit there. the DM is decidedly longer looking and smooth. i think it fair to say mine is more DM than the original VM.

 

nib section: mine isn't really like either the OP's DM or his VM. as he'd documented his nibs had the 580 style internal nib unit which mine certainly doesn't. my VM's nib section mostly looks like the nib section of the Vac 700s in that the entire section screws off as a single replaceable piece -- no detachable collar or sleeve -- though it's slimmed down from the Vac 700s probably to fit the 5mm feeder. as mentioned, if you tug on the actual nib it comes out with the feeder just like an ECO and is swappable with the ECOs.

 

the bottom line IMO is that if someone went shopping for the VM as pictured and described in the OP's post they would be in for a surprise: the VM i received -- and quite like by the way -- differs in a number of ways, not the least of which is what i personally find most significant: the nibs. anyone hoping to swap nibs into a VM like mine from the 580s etc is going to be sorely disappointed because it ain't gonna happen. mayby strong-arming the nibs out of the 580 nib unit will work but (a) i don't like strong-arming my pens and ( b ) the feeders are said to be pretty fragile which is another big red flag for me to find something else to do.

 

so i guess we should probably agree to disagree on this. i do find the VM i received to be substantially different than that pictured in the OP's post. is it fair to call my VM a "Frankenpen"? maybe not, i'd certainly concede that that's a matter of choice.


Edited by 1pen2pen, 10 January 2017 - 19:00.


#57 Jamerelbe

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 00:47

Hi @1pen2pen, I'll try to reply point-by-point where there's any disagreement or confusion - so here goes:

@ Jamerelbe : many thanks for taking the time to reply in detail on this. i think we've making good progress toward narrowing down the differences between the pens here.

 

as i'd said previously i've never seen a Diamond Mini (DM) so my comments were and are based on owning two Vac 700s, two 580 Diamonds, one 540 Diamond and three ECOs. that and comparing my Vac Mini against the pictures in the OP. let's take the Vac Mini (VM) I received section by section:

 

barrel: in my experience the Vac series has sturdy, smooth barrels without faceting. the Diamonds of course have "diamondy" facets. my VM has _external_ facets that run the length of the barrel, no facet tapering like the Diamonds. from what I could tell the VM barrel in the OP's post was all smoothness and no facets of any kind. so mine's more DM afaict.

 

I think that's just the way the VM looks in the original photo: the straight-up-and-down facets (which are actually external on my earlier-version Vac Mini also) don't show up very well, but they're there - so this is not a design change.

 

screw-cap-thingy at the business end of the pump: the VM in the OP's post looks to me like it's got a pretty stubby unit there. the DM is decidedly longer looking and smooth. i think it fair to say mine is more DM than the original VM.

Yep, no argument here - this is where your pen looks like it's been "updated".

 

 

nib section: mine isn't really like either the OP's DM or his VM. as he'd documented his nibs had the 580 style internal nib unit which mine certainly doesn't. my VM's nib section mostly looks like the nib section of the Vac 700s in that the entire section screws off as a single replaceable piece -- no detachable collar or sleeve -- though it's slimmed down from the Vac 700s probably to fit the 5mm feeder. as mentioned, if you tug on the actual nib it comes out with the feeder just like an ECO and is swappable with the ECOs.

 
My VM nib unit looks exactly like his - and (apart from colour) exactly like yours.  I think you'll find, if you apply a little bit of force (not too much!), that the collar and sleeve on your nib unit are also detachable / separatable.  This is the problem with not having the two pens you're comparing in hand, I guess - I can easily do this.  The Diamond 580 collar and sleeve come apart much more readily than the VM, while on the DM the metal "collar" sits over plastic threading to reinforce it - I'm not game to try and separate them!  
 
I think the OP made a mistake here, too: their original "blurb" said that the VM and 580 nib assemblies (minus collars and sleeves) could be interchanged, but the photos show a swap between the VM and the DM.  You don't get to see the VM and 580 nibs side-by-side, which is a shame...
 
Incidentally, I agree with you re the removability of nib and feeder - it's easier for the VM than for DM, at least on my pen.  My 580 nib units can also come apart fairly easily - whereas on the DM, they're really wedged in, and the risk of damage to the feed fins is substantial.
 

 

the bottom line IMO is that if someone went shopping for the VM as pictured and described in the OP's post they would be in for a surprise: the VM i received -- and quite like by the way -- differs in a number of ways, not the least of which is what i personally find most significant: the nibs. anyone hoping to swap nibs into a VM like mine from the 580s etc is going to be sorely disappointed because it ain't gonna happen. mayby strong-arming the nibs out of the 580 nib unit will work but (a) i don't like strong-arming my pens and ( b ) the feeders are said to be pretty fragile which is another big red flag for me to find something else to do.

 

To my eyes, judging from your photo, there's very little difference between your newer Vac Mini and the original version.  The nibs, nib assemblies / grip sections, and pen bodies are the same, except for the fact that you've purchased the newer smoke version (?), so that the grip section / sleeve is darker.  The only real surprise here is the vac-filler actuator / piston knob thingummy - that is a definite, visible change, which may well be associated (one can only hope) with a more reliable threading for the cap to post onto.  

 

Thanks for detailing your discoveries - I think you've "found" some differences between your VM and the original that aren't really there (!), but hopefully your post highlights one of the VM's better features even so: you can more easily swap nibs with the Eco than is the case for the Diamond Mini.



#58 Jamerelbe

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:07

In case a picture might help, here are four of my TWSBI pens side by side.  

 

From left to right:

TWSBI Diamond 580 (M nib)

TWSBI Vac Mini (B nib)

TWSBI Eco (F nib),

TWSBI Diamond Mini (M nib with custom grind)

 

JYpH8yu.jpg

 

The Diamond 580 definitely has a wider "wingspan" than the other three - which are all identical, though the Eco sits deeper in the section than the other two...



#59 1pen2pen

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:56

"My VM nib unit looks exactly like his - and (apart from colour) exactly like yours.  I think you'll find, if you apply a little bit of force (not too much!), that the collar and sleeve on your nib unit are also detachable / separatable."

 

sorry but i think we're barking up different trees here insofar as the nib sections go. another picture (my VM nib section) might help show that (see attached).

 

to my eyes this looks nothing like the nib section of either Mini as the OP showed in his 5th picture. it does look very much like the nib section of a Vac 700 though it's a slimmed down version.

 

perhaps the collar and sleeve (?) on my unit are detachable, i'm not sure that matters. the point afaict is that it's not like what the OP showed in either of his Minis. i have a 540 and two 580s and immediately recognize his nib units -- with the sleeves removed -- as those that i got when i bought nib replacements for my 540/580s. absolutely not the same as the nib unit on my VM. and -- more relevant to my interests -- the nib and feeder are easily removed from my VM nib unit just as they are on the ECOs and very much not so on my Vac 700 and 540/580 nib units.

 

as to the barrels, what can i say? i look at the OP's barrels, even zoom in and to me the VM barrel looks smooth just like the Vac 700s, no external facets. you say they're there so fair enough, i'll defer to your better knowledge on that.

 

anyway, i've accomplished my purpose which was to show the differences between the VM i received recently and the VM documented by the OP. you say i'm imagining some of those differences. to each their own i guess. as previously suggested, let's agree to disagree.

Attached Images

  • 20170110_182736-cropped-smaller.jpg

Edited by 1pen2pen, 11 January 2017 - 08:57.


#60 Jamerelbe

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 13:55



"My VM nib unit looks exactly like his - and (apart from colour) exactly like yours.  I think you'll find, if you apply a little bit of force (not too much!), that the collar and sleeve on your nib unit are also detachable / separatable."

 

sorry but i think we're barking up different trees here insofar as the nib sections go. another picture (my VM nib section) might help show that (see attached).

 

to my eyes this looks nothing like the nib section of either Mini as the OP showed in his 5th picture. it does look very much like the nib section of a Vac 700 though it's a slimmed down version.

 

perhaps the collar and sleeve (?) on my unit are detachable, i'm not sure that matters. the point afaict is that it's not like what the OP showed in either of his Minis. i have a 540 and two 580s and immediately recognize his nib units -- with the sleeves removed -- as those that i got when i bought nib replacements for my 540/580s. absolutely not the same as the nib unit on my VM. and -- more relevant to my interests -- the nib and feeder are easily removed from my VM nib unit just as they are on the ECOs and very much not so on my Vac 700 and 540/580 nib units.

 

as to the barrels, what can i say? i look at the OP's barrels, even zoom in and to me the VM barrel looks smooth just like the Vac 700s, no external facets. you say they're there so fair enough, i'll defer to your better knowledge on that.

 

anyway, i've accomplished my purpose which was to show the differences between the VM i received recently and the VM documented by the OP. you say i'm imagining some of those differences. to each their own i guess. as previously suggested, let's agree to disagree.

 

Happy to agree to disagree, but I believe I'm disagreeing with good reason: your nib assembly (above) looks exactly like mine, which in turn looks exactly like the OP's (smoke colour aside) - although the way the OP screwed the internal assembly out minus its plastic sleeve means that you can't make a direct comparison with your picture above.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, here's a 2,050 word 'essay' in defense of my case  :) :

 

AmB1bPB.jpg

TWSBI Diamond Mini on top, Diamond 580 on bottom, Vac Mini in the middle.

 

And here's an "exploded" (disassembled) view of same:

 

g5cp3lP.jpg

 

The Diamond Mini and 580 internal assemblies are almost identical, while the Vac Mini is quite different: the rim around the base of the nib is more square, and sits snugly inside the metal collar, while the rims on the Diamond pens are both designed to sit 'proud' of their metal collars (see pic above).  I don't have a Vac 700, but I suspect you're right: the Vac Mini assembly is probably a slimmed-down version of the larger pen, rather than a brand new design.

 

Thanks for the interaction: we may still end up disagreeing, but it's good to get different perspectives out there in a public forum like this.







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