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Buying my first TWSBI pen


Asteris

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A little backstory so you could understand:

My first pen is a Pilot mr and now I'm currently looking for a step up. I have been looking for Pelikan and sailor pens, but also TWSBI (for it's relatively low price). The pen I'll get will be my workhorse pen and for Twsbi I'm between the 580 and the vac700r. I want to hear the experience of people who have used these pens for prolonged writing, if they recommend TWSBI and if yes, which one of them. Note: I know the difference between european and japanese nibs

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I have a couple of 580s and one Vac 700.  

There are pros and cons to them.  They are moderately heavy pens (a LOT heavier than a Metropolitan) so that is an immediate issue (especially if you post your cap).

They do hold a lot of ink, which is a plus.  And the pens come with a gadget to remove then and feed, plus some silicone grease.  

But....

In my experience, there is what I consider a design flaw with the 580s (and from what people who have the smaller Eco and Eco-T pens have said is also the case) --  the piston does not extend all the way to the back of the feed; as a result, the ink chamber can get air bubbles in it, which can block the ink flow to the feed.

The Vac 700 is a fairly recent acquisition (as in the past month or so).  The plunger filler takes some getting used to (I actually had to come on here and ask if I was doing something wrong), and the diagram/instructions are a little on the vague side. I would NOT consider it a beginner pen.  I've been playing with various types of fill systems for almost a decade, and at first the plunger filler system really had me stumped.  I am getting used to it now, after several weeks of having the pen inked up, but the learning curve was higher than I had expected.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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I have a couple of TWSBI 580 and a rainbow of TWSBI Eco because I find the Eco more comfortable to hold. If you are happy with the position of the threads on the Metropolitan the 580 may be fine, but for me, on both they feel sharp where they rest on my middle finger. The Eco has a longer section and doesn't do that, so for long writing sessions for me it's an Eco every time.

It's all about the greys...

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5 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

I have a couple of 580s and one Vac 700.  

There are pros and cons to them.  They are moderately heavy pens (a LOT heavier than a Metropolitan) so that is an immediate issue (especially if you post your cap).

They do hold a lot of ink, which is a plus.  And the pens come with a gadget to remove then and feed, plus some silicone grease.  

But....

In my experience, there is what I consider a design flaw with the 580s (and from what people who have the smaller Eco and Eco-T pens have said is also the case) --  the piston does not extend all the way to the back of the feed; as a result, the ink chamber can get air bubbles in it, which can block the ink flow to the feed.

The Vac 700 is a fairly recent acquisition (as in the past month or so).  The plunger filler takes some getting used to (I actually had to come on here and ask if I was doing something wrong), and the diagram/instructions are a little on the vague side. I would NOT consider it a beginner pen.  I've been playing with various types of fill systems for almost a decade, and at first the plunger filler system really had me stumped.  I am getting used to it now, after several weeks of having the pen inked up, but the learning curve was higher than I had expected.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Regarding wheight of the 700 uncaped, does it tire your hand when writing for porlonged periods (let's say one page without stoping and more). On the filling system, I'm not afraid to learn it.

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2 hours ago, AmandaW said:

I have a couple of TWSBI 580 and a rainbow of TWSBI Eco because I find the Eco more comfortable to hold. If you are happy with the position of the threads on the Metropolitan the 580 may be fine, but for me, on both they feel sharp where they rest on my middle finger. The Eco has a longer section and doesn't do that, so for long writing sessions for me it's an Eco every time.

I have no problem with the threads on the metro and I'm aiming for the vac 700 for the higher quality resin and bigger ink capacity.

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The Twsbi 580, without been posted, can be an excellent writer, not heavy and with the right ink flow.The 580 has good ink capacity,transparent barrel and an aceptable choice of different nibs. Service is quite easy and you can do it yourself.

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17 minutes ago, jchch1950 said:

The Twsbi 580, without been posted, can be an excellent writer, not heavy and with the right ink flow.The 580 has good ink capacity,transparent barrel and an aceptable choice of different nibs. Service is quite easy and you can do it yourself.

Is the grip round or triangular?

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10 hours ago, Asteris said:

I think you are just unlucky and I'm thinking about the full size one anyways.


I don't think so. There are too many reports of leaking TWSBIs for them being a matter of luck.

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I have a TWSBI Eco and I'm very pleased with it.  It hasn't cracked, it's never leaked and the 1.1mm stub nib is a joy.  (I wish Leonardo stubs were as nice as TWSBI's.) But (there has to be a but doesn't there) they are built to a price and you may find faults which affect usability.  I'd used my Eco for about 6 months before I discovered the feed is only held in place by a light friction fit.  I've had it for over a year now and it still performs perfectly but the "what if" the feed should slip out in a pocket or bag means that it's purely a desk pen these days.  Other than that it's a great little pen and a pleasure to write with.  

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10 hours ago, Asteris said:

Is the grip round or triangular?

The Diamond 580 has a round grip (as does the Diamond Mini).  The Eco *also* has a round grip, though there's a triangular appearance to the "flare" on the grip section just proximal to the nib.

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I have one ECO(Broad), one Diamond 580(1.1mm) and two Vac 700 R (Both Broad) 

Personally, I have no trouble with them at all and use them to write letters all the times (usually three A4 pages in one go) But I have not traveled with them ever, can't say much about related aspects.

 

One thing I love the most is how great their ink flows are. With broad and 1.1mm nibs, they handle sheen and shimmer inks amazingly. All of my TWSBI now have sheen/shimmer inks in them.

 

For my own conveniences, I did purchase two Vac 20A ink bottles for filling my two Vac 700 R. They help a lot.

Please check out my shop on Etsy - Sleepy Turandot

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8 hours ago, Chi said:

I have one ECO(Broad), one Diamond 580(1.1mm) and two Vac 700 R (Both Broad) 

Personally, I have no trouble with them at all and use them to write letters all the times (usually three A4 pages in one go) But I have not traveled with them ever, can't say much about related aspects.

 

One thing I love the most is how great their ink flows are. With broad and 1.1mm nibs, they handle sheen and shimmer inks amazingly. All of my TWSBI now have sheen/shimmer inks in them.

 

For my own conveniences, I did purchase two Vac 20A ink bottles for filling my two Vac 700 R. They help a lot.

Thanks for the advice. Indeed the vac20 is very usefull based on the comments I've heard.

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We have 4 Vac700Rs in the house with different nibs.  I use the F nib Iris daily in my Hobonichi journal and on basic paper for note taking.  I also own a 2 Diamond 580s and my daughter has a couple of ecos which she loves.  I personally like the vac700R more than the others.  I find something about the larger nib that equates to a better writing experience for me.  It is smoother with a hint of feedback which is my preference.  YMMV.  For me the 700 has been very robust with zero issues.  I would not avoid this pen because others have been unlucky.  Considering the volume of pens TWSBI sells it is conceivable that there will be some issues with some pens.  I suspect the sales volume of the Eco is more than all their other models combined times 10.  There are a lot of Ecos out in the wild, it is no surprise that we see frustrated owners venting their frustrations - it is truly unfortunate that they had issues.  This does not mean, however, that they have a high failure rate in comparison to other brands.  This is my opinion and I freely admit is based simply on conjecture using personal experience and anecdotal evidence.  YMMV.

 

I can tell you that from personal experience, at least in the US, their customer service is very good and very responsive.  My diamond 580 RG II had a mis aligned nib out of the box.  I send some pictures to the general mail address and within 4 hours a new one was on the way to me.  I think you can go with any model you fancy and have confidence they will stand behind you should anything unfortunate take place.  Our TWSBIs have treated us well and we enjoy them all.   Hope this helps, and best of luck!

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On 1/16/2022 at 11:39 PM, Asteris said:

Regarding wheight of the 700 uncaped, does it tire your hand when writing for porlonged periods (let's say one page without stoping and more). On the filling system, I'm not afraid to learn it.

It does not, but the three TWSBIs top off at 28 grams capped or posted.  The weight took a little getting used to, because I have small hands.  

I have NOT had the issues with cracking that was reported in the past (TWSBI changed their barrel material a few years ago.  But I wouldn't buy another 580-AL (or ALR) because of the issue with the piston not extending all the way to the back of the feed -- I had air bubbles in the ink chamber that blocked ink flow to the feed, and have heard that the Ecos and Eco-Ts have the same issue (which I consider a design flaw).  And the ribbed section on the ALR is a major PITA to wipe clean.

Whether I get another Vac?  That depends....  Now that I know understand why I had trouble getting the ink chamber to dry after the initial flush?  I will see how well it dries out after the pen gets flushed out for real.  

But honestly?  I'm not all that enamored of clear barreled or translucent barreled pens in general.  Nothing wrong with them if you like them -- it's just a personal preference.  I do like having an ink window (in principal, anyway) but had a 1980s Pelikano break right where the window met the barrel awhile back.  Total bummer.  For a $5 US pen (got it at a pen show) it was a nice smooth writer.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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22 hours ago, Holben said:

We have 4 Vac700Rs in the house with different nibs.  I use the F nib Iris daily in my Hobonichi journal and on basic paper for note taking.  I also own a 2 Diamond 580s and my daughter has a couple of ecos which she loves.  I personally like the vac700R more than the others.  I find something about the larger nib that equates to a better writing experience for me.  It is smoother with a hint of feedback which is my preference.  YMMV.  For me the 700 has been very robust with zero issues.  I would not avoid this pen because others have been unlucky.  Considering the volume of pens TWSBI sells it is conceivable that there will be some issues with some pens.  I suspect the sales volume of the Eco is more than all their other models combined times 10.  There are a lot of Ecos out in the wild, it is no surprise that we see frustrated owners venting their frustrations - it is truly unfortunate that they had issues.  This does not mean, however, that they have a high failure rate in comparison to other brands.  This is my opinion and I freely admit is based simply on conjecture using personal experience and anecdotal evidence.  YMMV.

 

I can tell you that from personal experience, at least in the US, their customer service is very good and very responsive.  My diamond 580 RG II had a mis aligned nib out of the box.  I send some pictures to the general mail address and within 4 hours a new one was on the way to me.  I think you can go with any model you fancy and have confidence they will stand behind you should anything unfortunate take place.  Our TWSBIs have treated us well and we enjoy them all.   Hope this helps, and best of luck!

Thanks for the advice!

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11 hours ago, inkstainedruth said:

It does not, but the three TWSBIs top off at 28 grams capped or posted.  The weight took a little getting used to, because I have small hands.  

I have NOT had the issues with cracking that was reported in the past (TWSBI changed their barrel material a few years ago.  But I wouldn't buy another 580-AL (or ALR) because of the issue with the piston not extending all the way to the back of the feed -- I had air bubbles in the ink chamber that blocked ink flow to the feed, and have heard that the Ecos and Eco-Ts have the same issue (which I consider a design flaw).  And the ribbed section on the ALR is a major PITA to wipe clean.

Whether I get another Vac?  That depends....  Now that I know understand why I had trouble getting the ink chamber to dry after the initial flush?  I will see how well it dries out after the pen gets flushed out for real.  

But honestly?  I'm not all that enamored of clear barreled or translucent barreled pens in general.  Nothing wrong with them if you like them -- it's just a personal preference.  I do like having an ink window (in principal, anyway) but had a 1980s Pelikano break right where the window met the barrel awhile back.  Total bummer.  For a $5 US pen (got it at a pen show) it was a nice smooth writer.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

Thanks fornthe answer!

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All I can say is that I have 12 pens from 7 different brands and the only one that has issues is the TWSBI. 

 

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I have a TWSBI Eco, and enjoy it in numerous scenarios. 

 

As daily writer and workhorse types of pens are concerned, I probably wouldn't jump up from the Ecos to the 580s because there are a number of other products, pens, paper, ink and more that I would prefer to spend the money on. But that's just me. If the 580s and other models are anything like the Eco, I would say there's a number of scenarios in which you will enjoy the pen. 

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