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Twsbi Vac700 Vs 580?



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Hi all, I am coming of of my first pen (Lamy Safari) and I was wondering which of the two you would recommend and why. The price of the 580 is much more appealing to me ($60 vs $85), and I don't know if the Vac is worth the extra cost. Thanks!

 

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  • Strombomboli

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nomadhacker

The 580 would probably be a better next step for someone newish to fountain pens. The vac is notable for its unique filling system. Yes it holds a figurative ton of ink but the piston fill is a more fidgety procedure. Both good pens and great prices for what they are. For a straightforward pen, the 580 is hard to top.

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Waski_the_Squirrel

I use both interchangeably. The writing feels about the same with both. I like the filling mechanism on the Vac 700 better just because it's cool. However, it adds no performance value to the pen, just aesthetic value. Also, I'm sure the novelty will eventually wear off (although I still get excited when it gets empty because I still love filling it). Maybe I'll grow up eventually.

 

It comes down to whether the filling mechanism is worth the extra dollars to you.

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

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I would vote for the 580 (which I don't own) over the Vac 700 (which I do).

 

The Vac is more like an ancient eyedropper with a shutoff valve than modern designs. And it has all the fiddly problems of an eye dropper of old. This is off set by the valve, so if I watch carefully I prevent it from blobbing. It is a fun pen to play with, but I see why Sheaffer dumped the design for the Touch down and kept making lever fillers concurrently with their Vac Fills.

 

The 580 ( I am guessing from using several Pelikans of similar design) would probably be closer to the reliability of a Safari (probably among the most reliable witers around).

YMMV

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  • 4 weeks later...
Strombomboli

I have both, and I'd vote for the Vac 700. Sure, I had to follow the instructions in one of Brian Goulet's videos and remove the o-ring on the plunger that separates the two tanks, and this not only in order to not have to screw the knob each time I wanted to write, but also in order to be able to write at all.

The pen ran very dry in the beginning, and I realized that the little tank was emptied by writing approximately two words of medium length with a 1.5 mm stub nib. I might exaggerate here, but not very much. Since this o-ring has gone, the pen writes beautifully! It's always wet, and the nib is smoother than the one on my 580.

I had the 580 first, and I do love it dearly as well, but it dries up after a while, so that I regularly shake that pen, which is some sort of fun, but not for a very long time. Like the Vac 700, it is equipped with a 1.5 mm stub nib, but this one is a little scratchy. Of course, I fiddled with both nibs on an old nail polish buffer, but the one in the 580 seems not to respond as well.

The nib in the 700 is larger, maybe that's the reason. At least, it looks larger, maybe it's just fit in differently.

It's possible that the drying up problem in the 580 has to do with the ink in it, which is Noodler's American Eel Cactus Fruit, but in the Vac 700 I use Noodler's Antietam which should not be that different. Or is it? I don't know.

The 580 doesn't like Clairefontaine paper, the 700 does. Again, this might be due to the ink.

I would a lubricating ink expect to be smoother or wetter or whatchamaycallit than a regular one, though; so maybe, it is not the ink after all, but the pen.

Last, not least, I like the grip of the Vac 700 much better! People complain about the steep step from the barrel to the grip section, but I actually like it. I have medium sized hands and feel very comfortable when holding the 700. Maybe because I can't make mistakes when holding it, I don't know.

Before I bought it, I was afraid that the little metal rod in the middle of the pen, on which the plunger sits, might annoy me, but it doesn't. Filling it is a nice special effect which I like as well.

 

So, if the prize difference is not your major issue, go for the Vac 700. And for the 580 later on. You can't have just one TWSBI! They're lovely pens, even with all their issues. Maybe because they're nice to look at while being so big (they always remind me of children's pens).

Iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Mashkov (1881-1944): Self-Portrait; 1911, which I photographed in the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

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What nib are you planning to get? If you are looking for the italics, then my preference is for the crispier line of the Vac 700; the Diamond 580 1.1 mm is a lovely paintbrush, smooth and soft, but not my favourite writer (and I have two of them).

 

I like the travel aspects of the 700 - with the dedicated Vac 20 inkpot and the stopper of the vacuum filler it is just great on planes, trains, and more.

 

The other advantage (for me) of the 700 is that it takes a #6 nib so I can replace it with a Goulet nib or something else - #6 are easy to come by.

 

That being said, the 580 works beautifully and loves the bigger TWSBI inkpots, so take your pick.

I am no longer very active on FPN but feel free to message me. Or send me a postal letter!

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The Vac 700 is a better pen. It posts relatively securely and and on the barrel (although slightly back heavy), while the 580 posts on the piston knob (a recipe for disaster.) The Vac 700 also holds enough ink to get even the busiest college students through several days of heavy note taking. The Vac 700 is also the more interesting and unique filler system. It is quite common to see piston fillers among the FP crowd, but you hardly ever come across a vacuum filler, so it has some exotic vibes.

Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane.

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What nib are you planning to get? If you are looking for the italics, then my preference is for the crispier line of the Vac 700; the Diamond 580 1.1 mm is a lovely paintbrush, smooth and soft, but not my favourite writer (and I have two of them).

 

I like the travel aspects of the 700 - with the dedicated Vac 20 inkpot and the stopper of the vacuum filler it is just great on planes, trains, and more.

 

The other advantage (for me) of the 700 is that it takes a #6 nib so I can replace it with a Goulet nib or something else - #6 are easy to come by.

 

That being said, the 580 works beautifully and loves the bigger TWSBI inkpots, so take your pick.

I agree that the Vac 700 1.1 is a different experience that the 580 1.1. Both write well but the Vac 700 writes much better for me and it holds more ink. The ink pot for the Vac 700 rocks!

Change is not mandatory, Survival is not required.

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mikehodgman

I love them both, but the Vac 700 is definately better IMO. Great filling system and the nib is superb. It is a crazy looking pen and it is very big which can be off putting for some. You can't really go wrong with either!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Vac 700 is a pen requiring a TWSBI filler bottle so you get a complete fill without tinkering. The 580 is fill and go with a chance of getting ink on your fingers . The Vac advantage in theory is no ink on the fingers for the fill coupled with the entire reservoir being filled super fast.

 

I like my Vac 700 but it stops in meetings and will be a hard start requiring fidgeting with the filler nob....frankly very annoying so it is a weekend pen I throw in my bag or hang off my tshirt collar and away I go. The other 540/580 have both worked and are reliable and issue free....as far as a recommendation buy the cheaper pen it works better.

Rob Maguire (Plse call me "M or Mags" like my friends do...)I use a Tablet, Apple Pencil and a fountain pen. Targas, Sailor, MB, Visconti all wonderful.

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Strombomboli

The Vac 700 is a pen requiring a TWSBI filler bottle so you get a complete fill without tinkering.

 

No, you don't need the bottle. I don't have one, and I find the tinkering to be part of the fun. I feel like an expert when filling it, i.e., like someone who knows how to get a vacuumfiller filled to the full because I have studied the pen. It doesn't need much study, though, that's why it is fun.

Iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Mashkov (1881-1944): Self-Portrait; 1911, which I photographed in the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

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Gloucesterman

Just got a Pendleton 580 at the NE Pen Show. Really enjoy using it.

 

After hearing about the 530/540 for so long I'm glad I waited. I don't think I am missing much by not having spent the extra $35.00 for a 700.

 

As for getting ink on your fingers - that's why napkins were invented.

 

Oh, you thought they were for wiping your mouth? Nope, that's what what sleeves are for! ;)

JMO.
P.S. Just to let you know, filling the pen is no big deal. Heck, I still drive a 5 speed!

Edited by brgmarketing

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Gloucesterman

Duplicate post. Pardon...

Edited by brgmarketing

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've noticed that there are conflicting views on the ink capacities of the two pens. Some people say the Vac700 holds significantlymore ink while others say it's negligible. Does anyone have any measurements on the ink capacities?

Edited by mikhasan
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I've noticed that there are conflicting views on the ink capacities of the two pens. Some people say the Vac700 holds significantlymore ink while others say it's negligible. Does anyone have any measurements on the ink capacities?

 

When I looked it up, I believe the 700 has 2.3ml when totally full vs the 580 which is like 1.9.

 

It doesnt seem like much, but 0.4ml difference is am extra few pages easy.

 

Ive been looking at getting a TWSBI as my next pen. I look more at nib size (Im a sucker for a big nib) and weight distribution. I prefer the majority of weight from a pen be in my palm. I'm settling a 700 for now. Ill probably pick up a 580 when some of the new colors come out.

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Strombomboli

Good choice.

Iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Mashkov (1881-1944): Self-Portrait; 1911, which I photographed in the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

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  • 1 year later...
deacondavid

Using a heft test without popping them on the scale, I would say that a full Vac 700 is just slightly heavier than the 580. If you find a 580 is heavy, you're likely to find the Vac 700 the same.

Current Daily Carry: Pilot Custom 743 with 14k Posting nib (Sailor Kiwa-Guro), Sailor 1911L Realo Champagne with 21k Extra Fine nib (Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu). Platinum Century 3776 Bourgogne (Diamine Syrah), Nakaya Portable Writer Midori with 14k Extra Extra Fine nib (Lamy Peridot), Pilot Vanishing Point Stealth Black with Extra Fine nib unit (Pilot Blue Black), a dozen Nockco DotDash index cards of various sizes and a Traveler's Notebook.

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