TWSBI Vac-20 Inkwells

You may have recently seen my video on the TWSBI Diamond 50, and I wanted to follow that up with a video on the recently released Vac-20 inkwell. It’s different than the Diamond 50, and I cover how in the video.

TWSBI Vac-20 inkwells, available in blue, orange, black, red, and green.

The Vac-20 is a bottle that’s specifically designed to fit the TWSBI Vac-700, and nothing else (at least from the adapter). It fits onto the grip section of the pen and allows you to fill it to the max without getting ink all over the pen like you would get if filling from a normal open bottle. It’s a pretty cool little bottle, and greatly enhances the utility of what’s already a pretty cool pen. Of course, you can always remove that cap and fill it like a normal bottle, with any pen.

It looks nice, but isn’t incredibly fancy. It’s all plastic, and smaller than the Diamond 50. If you’ve seen the packaging of the TWSBI Diamond 50, you know how overzealous that is. This one is much smaller and simpler, about 1/4 of the size of the Diamond 50.

Another cool thing about the Vac-20 is that the cap is swappable with the Diamond 50 bottle, so if you already have one of those, you can use the nicer glass base of the Diamond 50 with the same filling capability of the Vac-20. It’s definitely not necessary, but it is nice that TWSBI considered that in their design.

For $12.99, it’s a pretty handy bottle if you already have a Vac-700. What do you think?

2017-10-11T03:39:23+00:00 February 26th, 2013|Other Reviews|14 Comments
  • Rafael R. Pappalardo

    Do you know if the traslucent plastic thing is the color cap has any utility? It's some kind of cone?

  • thank you for the demonstration. I was trying to find out how it worked. I had squirted ink out the sides the first time and learned there was not enough ink with a sample vial. That is a disappointment that the underside lip is so high. Minimum ink fill must be 4-5ml in order to get a decent fill. It might have to be greater but I havent determined that yet. I also tried to fill from the little plastic "cup" but that was another disaster. Now my hands are Diamine Matador and look like I dipped in blood…eeewwwwkkkkk..

  • Thanks for the great review Brian! Since I just got a new 1.1 nib for my vac 700 it is fast becoming my favorite pen. This would be the perfect thing to pair it with.

  • It's what seals the bottle closed. Without it, ink would get all into the black part of the cap, which would then get the ink all over the grip section of the pen. Because of that clear plastic part, the bottle seals so that no ink gets into the black cap.

  • Yikes! I'm sorry for the trouble…this bottle does work best when it's at least a quarter full of ink.

  • Nice…That's what I have on my Vac 😉

  • Rafael R. Pappalardo

    I see. Thanks and great video!

  • Tony Belding

    A few observations, having tinkered with one of these myself… You must not fill the Vac 20 bottle completely full. There needs to be some airspace, or else it will develop too much pressure in the bottle when you cycle the Vac 700's filler, and something will have to give.

    Two strokes should make a full fill, and it's nice that you don't need to wipe the section or worry about ink getting into the pen's threads. However, you really should use a tissue to wipe the nib and blot the feed, just as with most other fountain pens. If you don't, the excess ink in the feed can dribble onto your page and make a mess.

  • Marlo Gonzales

    You note that the Diamond 50 cap is compatible with this bottle, but that it makes the whole thing a bit top-heavy. I wonder if the cap from the new plastic version is going to be more balanced; you might want to try again once those bottles come in.

  • That's a good point. The announcement of the Diamond 50P is a recent development, and I didn't want to go speculating anything about it in this video. I anticipate that it will will this bottle, and work well on the Vac-20 since the cap will be so much lighter.

  • Thanks for the tip, I hadn't tried filling the bottle all the way and using it. That's also a good point about wiping the nib, I could have mentioned that in my video. Sorry, it was a small oversight on my part.

  • David

    Another bad TWSBI design IMO. The pen sticks too far up into the bottle, so you cannot fill using all the ink in the bottle. The neck of the bottle should be a bit longer. Another benefit of a longer neck is that it will reserve a small compressible air space so you can fill the entire bottle section with ink and still fill your VAC 700.

  • I'm sure they had their reasons for designing it this way, but yeah, it would have been nice if you could get all of the ink out of the bottle. C'est la vie. You can still fill a Vac-700 more with this bottle than any conventional ink bottle, and short of spending $100+ on a Visconti Traveling Inkpot, this is the best option out there.

  • Alpha_Geek_Mk2

    Is there any chance you'd offer a bundle of the Diamond 50 with the Vac-20 lid? That'd be great for people who want a glass inkwell with more capacity, but don't own a Diamond-series pen (and don't want to buy two bottles just for the extra lid!)