Sunday, 3 December 2017

Ares vs Kayfun Prime

Here it goes, another very subjective assessment of two completely different MTL tanks, Ares and Kayfun Prime.




Tested with the same build (round Kanthal, 27 GA, 6 wraps, 2.5 mm) and same juice (70%VG/30%PG).


Packaging

Ares wins hands down. The package is not just nicely designed but also includes everything (pre-made coils, Kanthal, cotton, tools, etc) you need to use the tank. Well done!
 score A:5+   KP:3

Cleanliness on arrival

Both tanks arrived clean with no smell of oil. Quick rinse and you good to go.
score A:5 KP:5

Finishing/Threading

Both are excellent.
score A:5 KP:5


Mouth Piece (drip tip)

Equally  comfortable narrow bore mouth pieces, but personally I slightly prefer Ares. One niggle - orings on Ares drip tips are a bit thin and you can knock it off when opening/closing the lid. I am using my other drip tips with both tanks.
score A:4 KP:4


Juice flow Control (JFC)

There is none on Ares. KP has it, it might not be the best implementation because you still need to count rotations, but works well.
On the other hand, with Ares suspended (sky) deck you don't need one. Unlike the Berserker RTA there is no gurgling or flooding whatsoever. For this reason - no score

Air flow control (AFC)

AFC ring on Ares is not too tight or too loose, and provides plenty of options to choose.  You can go from a tight  to a very loose MTL. KP implementation is a bit over engineered, fewer options and rotation action is stiff.
score A:5 KP:4

Top fill

 Kayfun is using screw down top cap, Ares is using a sliding lid. Both work very well and not pushing liquid down to the chamber on the closing, yet, both not perfect.

Sometimes it's difficult to catch the threading on Kayfun. The sliding lid on Ares catches a bit of that white silicon seal around the fill port when the lid  is pushed back.





It doesn't affect anything, the action is still smooth with reassuring clicking sound. Just cosmetics. May be that seal is a bit thick, or may be I should have dropped a bit of ejuice on it before closing for the first time.
Nevertheless, score A:4 KP:4


Ease of re-building

Both are  easy to re-build without draining the tank, but Ares is a winner in this department, super easy to put new coil/cotton.
score A:5, KP:4

Flavour

Both produce excellent flavour
score A:5 KP:5

Draw

Both are true MTL tanks. But Ares is more flexibile, you can make it tighter  than Kayfun Prime or airier than Kayfun, which may have appeal to a broader audience. At the middle settings  they are almost identical. Both are very quiet, produce smooth draw with no turbulence.
score A:5 KP:4

Aesthetics (no score)

Ares looks very nice, but too much of etchings/stamping to my liking. Can be addressed with the supplied smoked glass. This is very subjective but I prefer the cleaner look of KP.

Cost (no score)

One is made in China, another one in Germany. Ares comes with many spares  and you can buy 3 of them for the price of one KP.

Bottom line. They are very different RTAs and yet both deliver excellent quality mouth-to-lung vape. I can recommend them both to any MTL user with no hesitation, but if you are new to building - go with Ares.

Ares excellent tutorials by Innokin/PBusardo

https://www.innokin.com/ares-rta/


Cheers,
Victor

Friday, 1 December 2017

Ares - a very bromantic RTA

Couple days ago I bought Ares, a highly anticipated  MTL RTA from Innokin, designed by Phil Busardo and Dimitris Agarafiotis.


RTA arrived in a very nicely designed package which includes everything you need to build your first coil and start vaping. The quality of of machining/threading is excellent, on par with the very best and way more expensive atties. The top lid sliding action is smooth with reassuring clicking sound at the both ends. AFC ring is not too tight or too loose, just perfect. Many small things here are done so right.

The vape is excellent, smooth, quiet with tones of flavour. I am still testing it, vaping side by side with my other RTAs, but already can say  - this is a very welcome addition to my little collection of MTL tanks.




I planning to post another  comparison (Ares vs ....) in couple days, until then - all the best,

Victor


 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Kayfun Mini V3 vs. Kayfun Prime

I am a big fan of Kayfun Mini V3. It was my favourite MTL tank for the past almost 1.5 years because of its flavour production, tight draw and simplicity. Never had a single issue with it, no gurgling, flooding or leaking. 

So how does it stack up against the latest Svöe Mesto MTL RTA - Kayfun Prime?

As with my previous post it’s not a review but rather a comparison based on my very subjective scoring system. As always, you can find plenty of detailed reviews (size, weight, length, etc) on the YouTube.

Here it goes, another very subjective assessment of two MTL tanks, Kayfun Mini V3 (2 ml) and Kayfun Prime (4.5ml). 

Tested with build (round Kanthal, 27 GA, 6 wraps, 2.5 mm) and same juice (70%VG/30%PG). 

Cleanliness on arrival

Both tanks arrived clean with no smell of oil. Quick rinse and you good to go.

score KM:5 KP:5

Finish/threading

Both are flawless.

score KM:5 KP:5

Stock mouth piece (drip tip)

I prefer Kayfun Prime, it’s not perfect but at least it’s not all metal. You can replace both easily with standard 510 drip of your choice.

score KM:3 KP:4

Juice flow Control (JFC)

It is almost identical and works well, but you still need to count turns.

score KM:4 KP:4 

Air flow control (AFC)

This is one of the main differences between two tanks. KM3 has an internal screw (like Kayfun 4) to control the air flow. You need to take the tank off the mod, unscrew the bottom plate and then adjust the airflow with tiny screwdriver. And then put everything back. Kayfun Prime is using an external ring, not perfect, but definitely more convenient.

score KM3:2 KP:4

Top fill

Same, no gurgling or flooding. But Prime’s top cap is designed better and juice ports are wider.

score KM:4 KP:5

Ease of re-building

Both are excellent, but Prime’s deck is a bit easier to build due to the post construction. 

score KM:4, KP:5

Note for Prime: Supplied flat head screws secure coil leads better than those with the philips heads in the previous picture



Flavour

Both produce excellent flavour.

score KM:5 KP:5

Draw

Both are true MTL tanks. You can make KM3 tighter than Kayfun Prime.

Both produce smooth draw with no turbulence, but KM3 is noisier.

score KM:4 KP:5

Aesthetics (no score)

This is very subjective but I prefer the look of Prime over Mini, with its 22 mm  it looks more balanced than skinny tall KM3.

Cost (no score)

Prime is about $20 more and 4.5 ml tank is optional (extra $$). No 4.5 ml option for KM3.

Bottom line. They are similar and yet very different RTAs but both deliver a very good quality mouth-to-lung vape. Kayfun Prime might not be a revolutionary step above Kayfun Mini V3 but definitely a significant improvement.

Cheers,

Victor

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Berserker MTL RTA vs. Kayfun Prime


When I decided to quit smoking, about 2.5 years ago, my local vape shop wisely recommended a starter kit with Nautilus Mini tank. The logic was simple, Nautilus tank mimics cigarette “tight draw”, meaning that you have to suck the vape into your mouth first and then inhale into the lungs. It’s called Mouth To Lung (MTL). Other tanks are more suited for an “open draw”, when you can inhale directly to lungs (DTL).

Usually the tank is either MTL or DTL or, sometimes,  it's a hybrid tank (a DTL tank with interchangeable air flow reducers).

For the past couple years the market was completely dominated by DTL tanks/RDAs/RDTAs and etc. with few exceptions. True MTL tanks were still produced by artisan shops in Europe but in small batches and were (and still are) difficult to get.

I tried a few sub-ohm tanks but never really liked them. I was enjoying Kayfun Mini 3 and almost lost hope to see new proper MTL products.

And then, in September, the MTL crowd was treated with not just one but two true MTL tanks. The first is Berserker MTL RTA, made in China by Vandy Vapes, and another one is Kayfun Prime, made in Germany by Svöe Mesto.

I bought them both immediately and after vaping them side by side for a few days decided to share my opinion.

It is not a review  but rather a comparison based on my very subjective scoring system.

Here it goes, my very subjective assessment of two new MTL tanks, Berserker (4.5 ml) and Kayfun Prime (with 4.5ml tank extension).



Tested with the same build (round Kanthal, 27 GA, 6 wraps, 2.5 mm) and same juice (70%VG/30%PG).


Cleanliness on arrival

Both tanks arrived clean with no smell of oil. Quick rinse and you good to go.
score B:5 KP:5

Finish

Both are excellent, but KP has an edge here, machining and threading on it is flawless.
score B:4 KP:5

Mouth Piece (drip tip)

I prefer Berserker, the shape of their mouth piece is very comfortable. KP looks good and does the job but it's just another drip tip with the narrow bore.
score B:5 KP:4


Juice flow Control (JFC)

There is none on Berserker. KP has it, it might not be the best implementation because you still need to count rotations, but works well
score B:0 KP:4

Air flow control (AFC)

AFC ring on Berserker is under engineered, it’s loose and can be easily knocked off into a different position. KP implementation is much better, but over engineered and stiff.
score B:2 KP:4

Top fill

Without JFC it doesn’t work well for Berserker and leads to gurgling and flooding. Kayfun - as expected (due to JFC) zero issues. I have to mention that bottom fill addresses gurgling/flooding with Berserker
score B:1 KP:5


Ease of re-building

Both are excellent, super easy to re-build without draining the tank
score B:5, KP:5

Flavour

Both produce excellent flavour
score B:5 KP:5

Draw

Both are true MTL tanks. But overall Berserker seems tighter while Kayfun Prime is a bit more open, which may have appeal to a broader audience. At the middle settings  they are almost identical, yet KP seems a bit more airy. Both are very quiet, produce smooth draw with no turbulence.
score B:5 KP:5

Aesthetics (no score)

This is very subjective but I prefer the cleaner look of KP with no visible gaskets/o-rings.

Cost (no score)

One is made in China, another one in Germany. Berserker comes with both tank options and you can buy 4 of them for the price of one KP. 4.5 ml tank is extra for KP. How important is price difference is up to you.

Bottom line. They are similar and yet very different RTAs but both deliver excellent quality mouth-to-lung vape. I can recommend them both to any MTL user with no hesitation.

Cheers,
Victor

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

LieFeng 510 Flat Mouthpiece Drip

Couple new drip tips, nothing fancy. Good quality, no sharp edges, works.


Cheers,
Victor

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Pods for JUUL by ZiiP Lab

As much as I like JUUL there is one big issue - it's almost impossible to get pods in Canada.  About a month ago I came across new company, ZiiP Lab, they claim that their pods are compatible with JUUL batteries. Almost immediately I ordered couple packages, Tobacco and Strawberry Milk.

The initial impression was very positive. Each pod contains 1 ml of juice at 30 mg strength, works well with original JUUL batteries.


A week later after getting my first order  ZiiP Lab  announced Mango-flavoured pods. Obviously  I ordered them too along with Mint and Cappuccino.


The second batch pods are slightly different in size. The first ones were a bit too tight, but now they perfectly fit JUUL. No leaking or dry hits, good throat hit, the flavours are subtle but good, and reflect the description, may be except for tobacco, but I am really picky when it comes to tobacco flavours. Mango is really tasty!

According to ZiiP Lab, they will be releasing their own device soon, again very similar to JUUL,


followed by BO/MVE compatible pods in the next month or so.

Bottom line, those ZiiPs work fine and it's great to have "JUUL" pods finally available for non-US customers

That's all,

Victor

Sunday, 2 April 2017

New toys

Nicotine Salts.
Originally introduced by JUUL, nicotine salts supposedly are closer to natural nicotine found in tobacco leafs  than traditional freebase nic which is used in conventional e-liquids.  Is it because of salts or high nic level - I don’t know, but JUUL vaping is extremely satisfying, I need only several puffs to get my nic fix.

Followed JUUL’s success other companies also started making salts-based e-liquids. I found Mr. SALT-E readily available here in Toronto and decided to test it side by side with JUUL. I chose 48mg concentration.




The first impression is very positive, it might not have the same throat hit as JUUL by very satisfying vape. Definitely would like to try their Tobacco line.  Obviously, at this concentration, it is not intended for your standard atomizer or chain vaping. Considering that I am vaping  less frequently now the juice consumption is very low and one 30 ml bottle will probably last several weeks.

What else... happy with my recently purchased iCare Solo. It's a solid little clearomizer, very well made, no leaking, good flavour. Now is being used exclusively with nic salts.


Vaping old school style.
Couple weeks ago I came across LR510 SLR Bridgeless 1.0ohm Atomizer, a non rebuildable dripping atty that also can be used with bottom feeding squonkers. It was popular back in 2012 and several models are still manufactured by Avid Vaper, available in various colours, lengths, ohm resistances.



Works very well to test new juices and great fun to use. BTW, that Le Patriote SE is now my favourite tobacco-flavoured juice.

That's all,

Victor

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Serpent, a single coil RDTA by Wotofo

After watching positive reviews I decided to pick one up when it was on flash sale at GearBest for $20. Actually, I was surprised with the quality of the product, very well machined. It looks and feels like a more expensive atty. The package includes two drip tips, spare glass, o-rings, cotton and couple clapton coils. You can use your own drip tip ( as on the pic below) with ultem 510 adapter



Obviously, it's made for an open draw. You can get a restricted lung hits, but not MTL. I wish the air flow reducers (like for Kayfun V5) were included. Domed top cap produces excellent flavour. Super easy to build and refill, no leaking.



My only negative is - it's a bit noisy.

What else new? Got supply for my beloved JUUL which I am using daily in the office setup.


That's all for today.

Cheers!
Victor

Thursday, 2 February 2017

BO One

Another modern "cigalike",  I got it from JWELL in France, quick shipment to Canada.


After using it for a few weeks I have to say it's good. Very close to JUUL and better, for me, than MVE.



It's a bit bigger than JUUL, throat hit is not the same and occasionally spits back. But still good.

Here is Vic's review:

BO One Review by Vaping With Vic

JWELL just released a TC (temperature control) version, I might get it too.

Cheers,
Victor

Saturday, 19 November 2016

JUUL v2 by PAX Labs

Finally, I managed to get JUUL, another well-regarded modern cigalike, arguably the best on the market today.



It’s a small, lightweight, user-friendly device that delivers excellent throat hit. I don't get any spitbacks or dry hits. Size comparison:



The draw (tight, MTL) and throat hit are very close to a real cigarette (as I remember). With 5% nicotine, it’s obviously not meant for chain vaping. After just couple hits I feel light headed. On the other hand, I don’t have urges for another good hour or two.
If you are a smoker who is trying to quit, this little device will definitely make your transition to vaping easy.
For me, JUUL is perfect for a quick stealth nicotine fix in the office.

The only con is JUUL is not available here in Canada,  I hope that eventually one of the local retailers will become an official distributor for Pax Labs products.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Hadaly by Psyclone Mods

I think it's worth the hype.

Made in China, 304 SS. RDA is well machined, clean on arrival, low profile, super easy to build, does both MTL and DTL (thanks to the dual air flow channels), BF pin is included. Readily available and price is very reasonable.



The draw can be adjusted from loose MTL to restricted DTL and the flavour is really excellent.

Little niggles.
The fit and finish outside is very good, inside - could have been done a bit better. But I didn’t expect the same quality as the SnapDragon and the price reflects it.


The allen key for BF pin is not included, I tried a few hex wrenches and none of them matches the pin (2.5 is too big, 2.0 is too small) so I used flat head screw.
* The right size is 3/32

Bottom line, Hadaly is an excellent flavour RDA and super easy to build. Definitely a keeper.

Victor

Thursday, 8 September 2016

My. Von Erl. Tabak Menthol

Tastes much better, very subjective of course. Reminds me real menthol smoke.



Nice packaging.



Next is Le Patriote, which I have already tried in my  Kayfun M3 and like it. We'll see.

Victor

Monday, 5 September 2016

Re-filling My. Von Erl. pods

It didn't take long. I finished my first pod and, instead of throwing it away, decided to re-fill it. I know, that was not the reason to buy it in the first place, but I'm a hobbyist after all :)
Disclaimer: If you want to follow instructions below, please do it at your own risk

Actually, it was pretty easy and straight forward. All you need is a pair of tweezers.

1. Pull out the base (with coil and cotton) and also little "plastic chimney", which covers the base and attached to the metal tube.



2. Fill the pod with your juice (it takes about 1.6 ml)



3. Attach that little "plastic chimney" to the base and push the assembly back into the pod



4. Make sure that everything sits secure and you are good to go




Not sure how long it will last or how many times you can re-fill the pod, but so far no leaking and it seems working just fine.

Cheers,

Victor

Sunday, 4 September 2016

My. Von Erl.

Lately, I feel tired of all the maintenance that my style of vaping is required. Re-wicking, re-coiling, dealing with leaking, etc. Even clearomizers still sometimes pain in the neck. I also find myself constantly vaping rather than having an indulging “smoke break”. Yes, the quality of vape is excellent but my life doesn't revolve around vaping gear and sometimes I just need a quick, "no hassle", nicotine fix. After reading some positive reviews I decided to try what by many considered as the most convenient way to get this nicotine fix - the new generation of cigalikes. Powerful and yet small and light, capable of producing decent vape without a hassle. My.VonErl. is my first foray into the closed systems.


Designed in Austria and assembled in Canada, the e-liquid is also made in Canada.


Even my smallest combo is still way heavier than Von Erl which you can use "hands-free", like a small cigar.



Compact, light and super easy to use. No buttons, power or airflow adjustments. Leak proof, pocket-friendly. Very well made and sleek. Kind of an Apple approach to get a quick nicotine fix.

The draw is very consistent but a bit loose. In my opinion it's more suited for restricted directly-to-lung hits rather than mouth-to-lung.

On a few occasions device misfired and I sucked some of the e-juice. I don't like the supplied "Tabak", it has some floral notes. Definitely not the best choice for tobacco flavor, considering that Labo LVS has their excellent Le Patriote and Movember e-liquids.

Yes, it's way more expensive than DIY approach but I don't mind to pay extra for the convenience.
Apparently you can re-fill the pods, just check youtube, but in my opinion, it defeats the purpose.

I am not sure yet what role “closed systems” will play in my "smoke free" life, but so far I like the experience. JUUL is next on the list.  

Cheers,

Victor

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Squonking

I have couple good quality RDAs but never was really into dripping, didn't like the idea of adding juice after every few puffs. Here is my first foray into squonking. Please welcome SnapDragon and Halcyon.



SnapDarogon is a top notch RDA made by Eden Mods. Absolutely marvelous piece of engineering and craftsmanship. You can use it either as a dripper or, with provided bottom-feeding pin, with the squonker.
Halcyon is a squonking mod with DNA 200 board made by Lost Vape. It is not small!



The bottle holds up to 8 ml of juice. The quality is OK, there are few minor annoyances but everything works fine.

I am using a single coil clapton build in SnapDragon and the quality of vape, especially flavour, is truly outstanding. Very happy with my purchase.


Cheers!