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Pilot Custom 74 Vs. Twsbi Vac 700R

pilot twsbi review india pen gold nib vacuum filler

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#1 RudraDev

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:17

I looking to buy a new pen and I'm tied between the TWSBI Vac 700r and the Pilot Custom 74. I know there quite a lot of differences between the two, but here's why I like them: I love the gold nib and smooth writing of the Custom 74, but I really want to try out a vacuum filler and a larger ink capacity is of great convenience to me, plus I like demonstrators. The Vac 700 sells for around 7,700 rupees whereas the Custom 74 sells for about 8000 rupees.
Which one should I go for?

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#2 RudraDev

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:20

I looking to buy a new pen and I'm tied between the TWSBI Vac 700r and the Pilot Custom 74(NOT the demonstrator version). I know there are quite a lot of differences between the two, but here's why I like them: I love the gold nib and smooth writing of the Custom 74, but I really want to try out a vacuum filler and a larger ink capacity is of great convenience to me, plus I like demonstrators. Both pens sell for about the same price here(around $120).
Which one should I go for?

Edited by RudraDev, 28 February 2019 - 11:21.


#3 steve50

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:53

Well Pilot con-70 is basically a vacuum filler, just smaller and detachable. Between a good nib and a fancy filling system, I would always go for the former. Not that Twsbi nibs have something wrong with them, but Pilot comes with more interesting nib options. 


Edited by steve50, 28 February 2019 - 11:53.


#4 Tseg

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:55

I have a vacuum fill on my Pilot Custom 823, very similar to the Vac 700.  The novelty wears off quickly.  But there is massive ink capacity and I can isolate the resevoir when I do ait travel, which is a lot.  It is my work pen, and changing out ink color is not easy.  The Custom 74 CON-70 also holds a decent amount of ink and is not so easy to change out ink colors.  I see the Custom 74 as more sophisticated and the VAC 700r.  Long term maintenance is easier on the Custom 74.  TWSBI nibs work, just without a whole lot of character, with that said, Pilot nibs don't necessarily ooze character either.  Both of the pens you are suggesting can be work-horses.  If I'm newer to pens and want to try a lot of inks and see how they work on different nibs and papers, choosing a converter may be a better bet, but not necessarily the CON-70.



#5 Karmachanic

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:17

.  If I'm newer to pens and want to try a lot of inks and see how they work on different nibs and papers, choosing a converter may be a better bet, but not necessarily the CON-70.

 

To add. If one searches one can find the older Con-20 and Con-50 converters for the Pilot


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#6 almoore

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:28

Hi

 

I have both (x3 Vac 700R's) and both are very good pens so I would say buy the one you like most, however, if you can try them out first do so as there is a considerable size difference between the two pens

 

The Custom 74 is a lovely pen to use and mine feels like it is floating across the page and is a solid reliable pen, mine was inked for over 6 months and never hard start or a skip.

 

The 700R's are great mine have been inked and re-inked over the last year and work perfectly every time and are easy enough to clean and refill but they are a larger pen and the vac mechanism has the advantage of being able to lock it off for travel but this does mean leaving the cap at the end of the barrel open when you want to write more than a few notes.

 

I collect demonstrators so if I was forced to choose I'd probably by the 700R first and then order a Custom 74 and a couple of Con 70 converters later.

 

Al



#7 FountainClogger

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:34

If you just want to try a vacuum filler, there are cheaper options such as the PENBBS 456.



#8 Driften

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 17:01

I also think the PenBBS 456 is a nicer pen then my TWSBI 700r, unless you want a B or Stub nib. You would have to swap in a Jowo nib in those cases where you can buy the TWSBI with a wide selection of nibs.

 

The Custom 74 and TWSBI 700r are very different feeling pens. The TWSBI is a much larger non-posting pen. They don't feel anything like each other. You might also look at the Pilot 91 and 92. Same basics as the 74 but flattop and the 92 is a piston filler.

 

More pens similar to the 74 are the Platinum 3776 and Sailor 1911L.



#9 alexander_k

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 17:40

In terms of performance and writing experience, I have nothing but praise for the Custom 74. Given the price difference, I would certainly go for it as far as writing and maintenance are concerned. Of course, there are also other criteria, from aesthetic preference to curiosity. 



#10 Honeybadgers

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 22:52

Depends on your interests. Also consider the vac mini, which I personally consider the best TWSBI pen.

 

Will you travel via air with the pen? VAC700 

 

Do you really want to post the cap? 74 or Vac mini (the 700 doesn't post)

 

Do you need to be able to post but want to use it both ways? 74.

 

Does the pen need to be slid into a shirt pocket? 74 or vac mini (the knob on the 700 is kind of tailor made to not want to slide into a breastpocket - does fine with pants and such)

 

Are you after a really, really fine line, a soft, semi-flexible nib, or a big double broad, or a music nib? 74 (don't recommend the 74 music unless you're ready to spend a long time tuning it, but it's a ludicrous, semiflex three tined stub) 

 

Does a big step between the section and barrel bother you? Because the 700 has one.

 

Do you want to swap nibs? the 700R will swallow any #6 nib.

 

Personally, I couldn't choose between the two. Neither is objectively more correct. the 74 is a reliable, always well made thing and the TWSBI is a little more prone to occasionally getting a dud nib, and I personally find the nibs uninspired. BUT, I love both of them, and I went so far as to have a custom $300 14k superflexible nib put into my vac700r. But I use my two custom 74's all the time too.

 

I think it comes down to - do you need to post the pen? the 74. Do you prefer a heavier pen? 700 (it's not heavy, but it is heavier). Do you travel much? 700R (the 700R can even be gotten with a $20 inkwell for traveling for mess-free filling) Does the gold nib REALLY excite you? 74. Do you like a light pen? 74. Does a sharp step to the barrel bother you? 74. Your vac700R is probably going to stain eventually, too. Mine hasn't yet, but be prepared for that eventuality. The 74 will "wear" better. I wouldn't put one as being more durable than the other. 


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#11 TSherbs

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 11:17

Badgers, that post is a great breakdown.

#12 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 22:45

Hi all,

This post prompted me to buy a vac because I don't have one yet... and I considered the mini, but it has what I consider a "fatal flaw"... for me, at any rate.

The pen's size will require most people to want to post it... but when posting the pen... the cap must be SCREWED ON... it is not a slip fit... the cap actually has to be screwed on... and you have to be careful about the clip's position when you start, or the clip will be digging into the web of your hand.

If you're a long, steady writer, such as a student... that's not such a big deal,... but I'm a "quick jab" writer... a signature here,... a notation there, etc. So, threaded posting is gonna get really old,... really quick... so I opted for the full-size 700R... I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it.


The only thing that concerns me right now is the step. :unsure:


Be well all. :)


- Anthony


Edited for typo.

Edited by ParkerDuofold, 02 March 2019 - 22:48.

With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#13 sirgilbert357

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 04:31

Hi all,

This post prompted me to buy a vac because I don't have one yet... and I considered the mini, but it has what I consider a "fatal flaw"... for me, at any rate.

The pen's size will require most people to want to post it... but when posting the pen... the cap must be SCREWED ON... it is not a slip fit... the cap actually has to be screwed on... and you have to be careful about the clip's position when you start, or the clip will be digging into the web of your hand.

If you're a long, steady writer, such as a student... that's not such a big deal,... but I'm a "quick jab" writer... a signature here,... a notation there, etc. So, threaded posting is gonna get really old,... really quick... so I opted for the full-size 700R... I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it.


The only thing that concerns me right now is the step. :unsure:


Be well all. :)


- Anthony


Edited for typo.


I'd love to hear your thoughts when you get it. I was considering a 700r too, but went with the PenBBS 456 for the thicker grip section and an attractive color (sort of a mocha swirl) I couldn't resist.

#14 RudraDev

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 07:30

Hi all,

This post prompted me to buy a vac because I don't have one yet... and I considered the mini, but it has what I consider a "fatal flaw"... for me, at any rate.

The pen's size will require most people to want to post it... but when posting the pen... the cap must be SCREWED ON... it is not a slip fit... the cap actually has to be screwed on... and you have to be careful about the clip's position when you start, or the clip will be digging into the web of your hand.

If you're a long, steady writer, such as a student... that's not such a big deal,... but I'm a "quick jab" writer... a signature here,... a notation there, etc. So, threaded posting is gonna get really old,... really quick... so I opted for the full-size 700R... I'll let you know what I think of it when I get it.


The only thing that concerns me right now is the step. :unsure:


Be well all. :)


- Anthony


Edited for typo.

Should I just get both of them?
I have a huge pen store a few hours away from me where they have both the pens.

Edited by RudraDev, 03 March 2019 - 07:31.


#15 jchch1950

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 07:55

Twsbi Vac700r is a very nice pen to travel with: good ink capacity, no leaks, acceptable nibs, comfortable size, efficient feeling system. What can be improved is a version with solid colours. ;)



#16 Mongoosey

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 11:54

Vac700R may be good if you are:

  • Flying often***
  • Like heavier pens (Vac system and extra ink capacity adds significant weight to pen)
  • Don't mind a rigid nail-like nib (many like that).
  • Want a large ink capacity and don't mind the characteristics or drawbacks of a Vac Filler (added weight, having to unscrew the knob to open ink reservoir).

Custom 74 may be good if you:

  • Prefer a better quality nib overall. 
  • Looking for something more durable/better longevity.
  • Prefer to try their Soft Nib (fantastic).
  • Prefer a lighter pen (can feel quite light if you use/refill cartridges instead of a con70)
  • Don't mind the smaller Pilot #5 nib

I personally prefer the Custom 74/91 with a Soft Gold nib.  the 74 and 91 use a con70, which holds a lot of ink.  

 

I don't purchase TWSBI's for many reasons, but the one that stands out the most is the fact that I don't like nibs that rigid.  Some do like nails.  My preference leans more towards soft nibs.

 

I'm also personally not a fan of the Vac filling system in general.  I find it heavy, a pain to have to unscrew to use, and frankly unnecessary unless I was flying often.  It is cool, but IMO it's not worth it unless you are flying often and must use a fountain pen.


Edited by Mongoosey, 03 March 2019 - 11:57.


#17 ParkerDuofold

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 13:21

I'd love to hear your thoughts when you get it. I was considering a 700r too, but went with the PenBBS 456 for the thicker grip section and an attractive color (sort of a mocha swirl) I couldn't resist.


Hi SG,

I will do that. :)

Please do likewise with the BBS... their name keeps popping up here again and again... I had sworn off Chinese pens, but my curiosity is getting piqued.

I have Picasso's and WS 698s and the like... and they're light years better than the Jinhao's, (which are great for a while, but then self-destruct like an episode of Mission Impossible... hey! ... maybe their the pen for spies :D ), and Hero's and the like, but even the newer offerings from China are not the equals of most Japanese and European offerings. (I'd rather pay more for top quality, than save a few bucks and feel unfulfilled).

I'll keep you posted on the Vac. Be well. :)



Should I just get both of them?
I have a huge pen store a few hours away from me where they have both the pens.


Hi RD,

Cannot say for sure... haven't tried out the 700 yet... cool your jets, RD... :D ...and remember that patience is a virtue. :)

I'd rather see you wait and get the exact pen you'd like and be as satisfied as possible, then put out an additional $120 that could have been better spent elsewhere,... (or saved up ;) ).

I have a couple of 74s and they are great performers... but they are also a bit boring, too. Let's see what the Vac can do.

In the meantime, glut yourself on written and video reviews of both pens in your spare time... do that until you stop seeing all the pretty, sparkling rainbow lights dancing around the pens... and see them for what they REALLY are... both their virtues and foibles alike. :thumbup:

It'll better equip you to make a decision you'll be truly satisfied with. Be well, my friend. :)


- Anthony

Edited for typo.

Edited by ParkerDuofold, 03 March 2019 - 13:23.

With thanks to my Mom & Dad; who taught me to run free, but not run wild.

Please pray the Rosary daily. Thank You, St. Jude, for favors granted. :)

Grab life with both arms and give it a bear hug every day! :D

#18 mehandiratta

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:10

Ultimately you will buy both... Both are great Pens...
Custom 74 is what I would suggest you to buy first

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#19 mehandiratta

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:10

Also heard that Pilot is due for price increase

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#20 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 03:50

Should I just get both of them?
I have a huge pen store a few hours away from me where they have both the pens.

 

I mean, they're both great things.

 

Consider the penbbs 456 though as an alternative to the vac700R - the 456 is honestly very good. I like the nibs less, but they are a standard #6 so any old JoWo or bock nib for $10 will fit, and they post properly, which the 700R does not. 


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)






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