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Twsbi 580 Vs Vac Mini: Is The Grass Greener?

twsbi vac mini twsbi 580 comparison

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19 replies to this topic

#1 flyingpenman

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 16:33

All,

 

I'm in a dilemma with my current TWSBI pen. Bottom line: I have a Vac Mini which I enjoy but am wondering if I would appreciate a 580 more.

 

I love the design of most of TWSBI's pens (Precision notwithstanding...) and I like having a demonstrator with swappable nib units (though I have yet to buy an extra). As for the Vac Mini itself, I do enjoy the novelty of the plunger/vacuum filling system though it's not a selling point to me, and the nib writes very well.

 

But...my Vac mini has been very "fiddly" which I don't love: the plunger knob keeps coming off when I unscrew it despite my best efforts and help from Philip Wang on how to reattach. I had to order new barrel O-rings because one just fell off, so it doesn't post well at the moment, and it's a PITA to clean. I bought it as a "travel pen" and the one time I flew with it, I had ink leak significantly despite a full fill, ink chamber sealed, and storing it nib-up (thankfully it was in a Ziploc bag). Finally, it's reasonably comfortable to write with posted (I have relatively small hands), I don't find myself reaching for it because of the effort to post/unpost constantly when writing, and the section is a bit narrow.

 

Do any of you own both a 580 and a Vac Mini? If so let me know if you think I'd enjoy the 580 more over the Vac based on my issues with it -- I've made a decision to self-limit my pen collection so this would be a "swap" -- I'd likely sell or trade the Vac Mini to any interested and buy a 580. I don't like the look of the Vac 700 but am reconsidering it as well.

 

~AK


Edited by AK-47, 26 March 2018 - 16:36.

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.
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#2 Driften

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 17:30

I don't have the Vac Mini but I have the 700r, Eco, and two 580's. I like my 580's the best. I don't need the high capacity of the 700r and I do find the  piston on the 580 easier to deal with and clean without taking it apart. It seems like I always just removed the rod setup on the 700r to wash it out and at some point doing that lost the piston seal and had to get them to send me a replacement.

 

I have both the standard 580 and one of the 580 AL with the Rose finish. I was not sure I would like the color but I do. I look forward to the next limited edition color of the AL models.  



#3 Jamerelbe

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:19

I have a Vac Mini, a blue 540 and two 580s.  I enjoy writing with the Vac Mini, but definitely prefer the Diamond 580 for all the reasons you've outlined: slightly larger grip section, greater ease of maintenance and cleaning, less fiddly to empty and refill, and no need to post (actually, it's better *not* to post the 580!).  Also, I find the slightly larger nib just a *little* wetter and springier - though there's not much in it.  I have one or two of my  580s inked up pretty constantly - and am also quite fond of the Diamond Mini, though they tend to write a little drier.  The Vac Mini gets pulled out much less often - though it's a decent pen in its own right, and has a unique use case (supposedly) in terms of being more easy to transport.



#4 marcelo

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:13

What about the cracking issues? Are both equally prone to them?

#5 almoore

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 14:00

Hi

 

I have both, but I found the Mini a bit too small to be practical for me so it now lives in its box. The AL 580 was a lot better but I prefer the Vac 700R; it's just personal preference because I find the shape of the pen more comfortable.

 

Of the two I'd go for the 580 but do consider the Vac 700R; if possible try them both before you decide.

 

Al



#6 MightyEighth

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 14:58

I have both, but the Vac mini is a bit newer to me so I'm just getting used to it, though I like it so far, quirks and all. I bought it as my first Vac pen and because I wanted it specifically for flight -- looks like from your experience I'm taking my chances (will find out tomorrow!).  I chose the mini over the 700 because I find the full size 580 too long for most of my shirt pockets, and I've relegated my two examples to the un-inked shelf. Other than size, the I found the 580 to be quite a nice pen, though while cycling the piston during cleaning one of the them the knob came off, so I had to disassemble it and get it back together.  Yeah, I guess TWSBIs can be a bit temperamental. 

 

   - Marc


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#7 flyingpenman

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 00:42

Thanks all for your input! Still not 100% decided but the 580 is sounding nice (a new pen always does!). But now to decide between the AL and the original...

I have both, but the Vac mini is a bit newer to me so I'm just getting used to it, though I like it so far, quirks and all. I bought it as my first Vac pen and because I wanted it specifically for flight -- looks like from your experience I'm taking my chances (will find out tomorrow!)


Let me know how it goes — I think in hindsight it may not have been the pen’s fault, as the ink leaked was all around the section, so it’s possible the section was just a tad unscrewed. I seem to be the exception, though I would think any ink in the nib/feed is always a risk of leaking into the cap even if the ink chamber is sealed.

If you end up loving your Vac Mini let me know if you have any interest in a trade for one of your 580s. I’m still deciding but leaning towards it since I don’t typically travel with a pen in a shirt pocket and have been leaning towards larger pens lately.

~AK
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#8 MightyEighth

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:12

Thanks all for your input! Still not 100% decided but the 580 is sounding nice (a new pen always does!). But now to decide between the AL and the original...



Let me know how it goes — I think in hindsight it may not have been the pen’s fault, as the ink leaked was all around the section, so it’s possible the section was just a tad unscrewed. I seem to be the exception, though I would think any ink in the nib/feed is always a risk of leaking into the cap even if the ink chamber is sealed.

If you end up loving your Vac Mini let me know if you have any interest in a trade for one of your 580s. I’m still deciding but leaning towards it since I don’t typically travel with a pen in a shirt pocket and have been leaning towards larger pens lately.

~AK


Thanks, AK. I have one regular and one AL 580, and I sort of prefer the regular one purely for visual reasons. If you’d like to trade for the AL, I could consider it. Don’t know if you were implying trading with the Vac Mini, but I wouldn’t need another one of those, but maybe something else.

- Marc

Ink 'em if you got 'em!


#9 Driften

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 01:59

I have the standard 580 and the AL. I like the AL better. It's not much different though. 



#10 flyingpenman

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:07

Thanks, AK. I have one regular and one AL 580, and I sort of prefer the regular one purely for visual reasons. If you’d like to trade for the AL, I could consider it. Don’t know if you were implying trading with the Vac Mini, but I wouldn’t need another one of those, but maybe something else.

- Marc


I was, but no worries! Thanks for the offer, MightyEighth.

The only other pen I’d be willing to trade that’s in the same price range is my Conklin Duragraph (Merlot) but I need to hang on to it for now since I use a stub for my bible transcription and its my only one until my custom Edison Menlo w/0.8 cursive italic comes in the summer...can’t wait.

Driften, do you find the AL more comfortable to write because of the weight, or like it better for aesthetics?

~AK
Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.
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#11 MightyEighth

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 02:22

I was, but no worries! Thanks for the offer, MightyEighth.

The only other pen Id be willing to trade thats in the same price range is my Conklin Duragraph (Merlot) but I need to hang on to it for now since I use a stub for my bible transcription and its my only one until my custom Edison Menlo w/0.8 cursive italic comes in the summer...cant wait.

Driften, do you find the AL more comfortable to write because of the weight, or like it better for aesthetics?

~AK

Your Conklin is safe; not on my wish list. Good luck in your TWSBI quest!

Edited by MightyEighth, 29 March 2018 - 02:46.

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#12 Driften

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 03:31

Driften, do you find the AL more comfortable to write because of the weight, or like it better for aesthetics?

~AK

 

 

For me all of the above. I like the feel of the AL section better, The pen feels slightly better balanced, and I think it will hold up better.

 

But is all small differences... 


Edited by Driften, 29 March 2018 - 03:38.


#13 MightyEighth

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 22:44

Let me know how it goes I think in hindsight it may not have been the pens fault, as the ink leaked was all around the section, so its possible the section was just a tad unscrewed. I seem to be the exception, though I would think any ink in the nib/feed is always a risk of leaking into the cap even if the ink chamber is sealed.


~AK


The Vac Mini survived the 2-hour flight with no issues. As Johnny Bench would say, "No runs, no drips, no errors."


Edited by MightyEighth, 30 March 2018 - 14:11.

Ink 'em if you got 'em!


#14 TSherbs

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 23:22

You might have to sell your Mini at a discount, because it sounds defective to me. 

 

I like my Mini, but I don't own a 580: too big for my shirt pocket.



#15 flyingpenman

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 01:43

It’s possible - haven’t been on a commercial flight with it since my mishap with it (which wasn’t really that bad) so it’s hard to know.

~AK
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#16 flyingpenman

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 12:22

You might have to sell your Mini at a discount, because it sounds defective to me. 
 
I like my Mini, but I don't own a 580: too big for my shirt pocket.

So I thought about this some more and did a full disassembly. Check it out: based on the disassembly posts online and TWSBIs own diagram, it looks like my Vac Mini is missing the lower O-ring on the plunger assembly that seals off the ink chamber.

Can anyone back me up on this? (Compare to pictures here: http://www.clumsypen...i-fountain-pen/)

EDIT: It seems this could be a design change based on the below thread, but still unsure how this single O-ring is enough to seal the chamber if so... (http://www.fountainp...o-the-vac-mini/)
~AK

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Edited by AK-47, 31 March 2018 - 12:26.

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#17 writerstephen

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 14:53

I have both and I DEFINITELY enjoy my 580 more. It's got a better nib (in my opinion), is more comfortable to hold, quicker to deploy, and easier to fill and disassemble. Also, the VAC Mini frustrates me because I've NEVER been able to fill it more than halfway.



#18 flyingpenman

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 18:09

I can get a full fill by inverting it after the first fill, slowly pushing the remaining air out, and reinserting it in the ink while holding the plunger and completing the downstroke. Risky, but high reward!

I decided to hold on to my Vac Mini for now - unless someone wants to trade a 580 for it. I did a thorough disassembly and cleaning and it seemed to address the ink leakage: I think it was leaking through the section. I also changed inks so who knows...

~AK

Edited by AK-47, 17 April 2018 - 21:07.

Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I found out long ago.
~C.S. Lewis
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#19 marcelo

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 01:19

I can get a full fill by inverting it after the first fill, slowly pushing the remaining air out, and reinserting it in the ink while holding the plunger and completing the downstroke. Risky, but high reward!

~AK


Yes! I always filled mine completely this way, and no ink spillage.

#20 VRI39C

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 19:56

I have the Vac Mini, 2 x Diamond Mini, 2  x Vac 700 and the 580 AL (Aluminium).  I have not inked them up in years due to cracking issues, if you are looking for the convenience of quick note writing without posting, then the 580 is the way to go.  Just as an aside, I opted for the 580 AL because of the concerns I had with the cracking issues.







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