Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Vandy Vape Berserker - Review


Today we're taking a look at the Berserker MTL (Mouth to Lung) RTA made by Vandy Vape and "inspired by" Alex the Moldovan reviewer from VapersMD on YouTube, but as I unfortunately don't speak Russian I can't learn much from him...


I have the black version in for review, it's a 24mm single coil, mouth to lung RTA that comes with an ultem “tube” installed that keeps it TPD compliant holding 2ml of e-liquid and a spare pyrex glass and chimney extension that takes the capacity to 4ml. The paint seems to be of great quality, a lovely gloss black on mine (also available in Stainless Steel, gold and rainbow), and all the threads are silky smooth, everything seems to be machined really well. Straight out the box it has an ultem 510 drip tip installed with a slight fluted shape to it making it very comfortable to vape on, and another spare made out of Delrin the exact same shape.

The airflow ring around the bottom rotates easily, moving through a selection of single holes ranging from 0.8mm to 1.6mm, they all offer a very good MTL vape just with varying amounts of restriction, I've been hovering around the middle ranges on the scale, the 1.2mm hole is perfect for me most of the time, giving a tight pull, but delivering a satisfying cloud and nicotine hit.

I'm not usually a MTL vaper, I like very low ohm builds on an RDA with huge amounts of airflow, but I have to say I think I'm converted! I've had the Berserker for almost 2 weeks now, I wanted to use it properly before I gave an opinion and I've found myself being drawn to it every day. It's perfect first thing in the morning, when I'm watching a movie and don't want to fill the room with clouds, and especially at those times when I'm stressed, or maybe had a glass of wine or two too many and I can feel my fianceé's cigarettes calling me, then I grab my Berserker and I'm instantly satisfied, so I can thankfully remain The Beardey Vaper!


My only issue with the whole device would be the build deck, its a very simple single coil deck with a screw either end to hold your wire, but I feel it'd be far better with a small clamp either side. The screws don't have much clearance within the posts and the heads aren't particularly large so it can be tricky to get your wire tucked underneath and held properly, but with a little wiggle it's managable, just not as neat a situation as I'd like.

Wicking can also be a tad tricky (for me at least), the first time I tried it leaked like a sieve as I didn't use enough cotton, and my second attempt used too much cotton and so it didn't wick very well giving me dry hits if I chain vaped (thankfully low wattage dry hits aren't too bad). Third time was the charm though, with a 2.5mm ID coil, using just enough cotton to fill the coil, then cutting the wick at a slight angle and fluffing it up to fill the wicking channels it's vaping perfectly and not leaking at all.

My build is a very simple twisted 32 gauge SS316L 2.5mm ID coil, reading 0.47Ω. I've been vaping at anywhere between 20-30W using Flavour Boss Blackcurrant Tunes made up to 15mg with nicotine salts, and it's been pretty much perfect. I find I get more mint/menthol out of the juice than fruity blackcurrant, but as I was a menthol smoker I'm not finding that a bad thing at all! The other bonus to a device like this is that instead of the usual 30ml of e-liquid I can easily get through in a normal day I'm now using 2-3ml and haven't felt like I'm lacking in nicotine at all.


All in all, if you're either a new vaper and want feel like you're still smoking a cigarette or you're more experienced and struggling to keep off the stinkies at the weekends, then at just £26.99 at ecigone.co.uk it's an amazing buy, go and treat yourself!

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Coilmaster Skynet Kit - A quick review


Today we're having a quick look at the Coilmaster Skynet kit, a handy little box filled with 48 coils in 8 varieties, yes some are a little boring, just basic Claptons, but there are some lovely parallel wrapped types that look really fancy, but are they any good?!


I've saved this review because I wanted to use each type of coil before I wrote about them, and I've got to say there isn't a bad one in the box! They're all wrapped really well, the parallels have handy little metal clips holding them together so they don't unwind and they all vape very well!

I think my only gripe would be the Ohm ratings for each type of coil they seem to include the long legs and so when you cut them down to use them the resistance drops pretty dramatically, now I like a low build, and so it doesn't bother me too much, but on a couple of the regulated devices I use when I put a dual coil build in then it's reading too low for the mod to fire! It's a little annoying, but it's not a deal breaker, I use grab a different mod! Unfortunately most vapers out there will only have one mod and so once you fit some of these coils they might be a bit useless to you!

They're all made of either Ni80 or A1 Kanthal and while I definitely prefer the Ni80, I've no bad experience with the Kanthal.

At only £17.99 here https://www.ecigone.co.uk/accessories/coil-master-skynet-coil-case I feel it's an absolute bargain for 48 coils, they might not be as fancy as some of the lovely hand wrapped sets out there, but at the same time if you can't be bothered wrapping your own wire or coils, and just want nice coils you can easily grab and use on a daily basis for a relatively small amount of money then this may be the kit for you!

In short, you want a handy little box of fancy coils then you'll struggle to go wrong with this little kit!



Saturday, 10 February 2018

Boss Shots - Blackcurrant Tunes - Review

Today we're talking about DIY e-liquid and in particular the Boss Shot by Flavour Boss.


Now, many of us have tried DIY e-liquid and found it to be harsh flavourless swill that ended up down the drain, or on the other end of the scale it was utterly delicious, but just destroyed coils and so we got fed up. This is where the Boss Shot comes in, I've been using them for well over a year now, and other than my monthly treat of a Zamplebox (review coming soon) it's just about the only e-liquid I now vape.

What is a "Boss Shot"? Well basically it's a large bottle (either 500ml or 1l, with 250ml offering coming soon) delivered to your door containing usually around 50-100ml of flavour concentrate to which you add PG, VG and if you so desire nicotine, give it a shake up and vape! Some varieties require steeping (locking away in a dark cupboard) to fully develop the flavour, but I'm incredibly impatient and they never last that long!

So today we're looking at Blackcurrant Tunes, if you're from the UK and you've had a cold then you know exactly what these delicious little lozenges taste like, and this e-liquid will not let you down! Developed by Messrs Kerr and McKenzie (if you're active in any e-liquid mixing groups on Facebook you will know them), it's a minty eucalyptus inhale with rich fruity blackcurrant on the exhale and it's utterly amazing! They say you can add Koolada to the recipe, but I really don't think it needs it.

At £23.99 for the 1 litre Boss Shot it's incredible value too, all you need is some PG and VG, available online in bulk for very little money and then nicotine if you desire, again even now in nic-shot form pretty cheap. 

People will always turn their noses up at DIY e-liquid as they believe USA made premium e-liquid is better, usually because they've only ever tried super cheap, poorly made home-brew before and refuse to try these recipes from reputable companies, but I must say, give them a try, you won't be disappointed! 

Now I'm aware I'm gushing and this must sound like a paid advert, but I can assure you this isn't the case, at the time of writing no-one at Flavour Boss is aware of my existence, but their products are ones I truly believe in and so in my own little way will try and support them!


Friday, 9 February 2018

Advocacy - You've got to fight for your rights...

You might think “Why do I care?”

Well, presumably as you're reading this, you're a vaper and you'd quite like to carry on vaping... But as we're seeing around the world there are laws like the TPD coming into place and we're even seeing countries banning vaping outright, and this is just ridiculous!

I don't want to have to get my tin foil hat out and become too much of a conspiracy theorist, but I think we can all agree that vaping is taking money away from the big tobacco companies and presumably they aren't very happy about this. They are also some of the largest companies in the world, Phillip Morris who own Marlboro had sales of over $47 billion in the year 1999, and so they have rather a huge amount of political pull! We also see slightly worrying stories like this of MPs here in the UK wining and dining tobacco firms.

In Canada, which I like to think of as a free-thinking well rounded country it is technically illegal to sell vaping products, thankfully it's widely unenforced, but it's still madness!

A lot of mud is thrown at the vaping community for being appealing to children, and while some very irresponsible companies do brand their wares to look like candy bars or fizzy drinks, the majority of the industry is very responisble and enforced customer ID checks before it was a legal requirement!

Now, there isn't a huge amount we as common citizens can do, but there is something... and you may feel like it's a lot of hassle, but it's really not! We can all write to our representatives in government and let them know how we feel, and tell them in no uncertain terms that unless they support vaping we simply won't support them. Here in the UK we all have a Member of Parliament that represents us, and its very easy to get hold of their office address or email address, it's also just as easy in the USA or Australia.


Now, I'd like to stress here, we're not contacting these people to shout at them or give any kind of abuse, but instead we need to send them a nice, happy email, letting them know in no uncertain terms if they don't support vaping then you won't support them.

We see articles all the time telling us all the time that vaping is lethal and that it will kill us, (I, however, refuse to link to the most recent article, as it was utter nonsense). We do also see pieces from the likes of Cancer Research UK that wholeheartedly advise vaping and tell us that it is far safer than smoking!


In short, if you want to keep vaping, you need to fight for your rights...

  

Dead Rabbit SQ - by Heathen and Hellvape - Review

Today we're taking a look at the Dead Rabbit SQ by Heathen and Hellvape... We've all seen the original Dead Rabbit out there and the first thing I'm going to talk about is the name, as I see so many people asking out there, “'Dead Rabbit' that's... erm... nice...?!” Well, firstly Heathen, the awesome youtube reviewer who designed this loves the movie “Gangs of New York” and if you remember, one of the gangs are the Dead Rabbits, so now it all starts to make sense, but if you dive a little closer and look at the deck, you'll see little floppy bunny ears sat there waiting for your coils and it all comes together!


This Dead Rabbit SQ is the new single coil, 22mm version designed for squonking, and I don't want to jump the gun here, but it's bloody brilliant!

So, what do we get in the box? Hopefully you'll find an RDA with a gorgeous, but unfortunately random coloured resin drip tip, my initial one was purple and as I wanted to use this on my red VandyVape Pulse squonker then I was a tad annoyed to say the least! Then if you open the little box you'll find an extra Delrin 810 drip tip, a 510 drip tip adaptor and Mouth to Lung (MtL) drip tip, then a whole selection of allen keys, spares and a great little flat head screwdriver.


I'm going to touch on the MtL usage of this firstly as it's probably my only real complaint, it just didn't seem to work well for me, whether I'm just being fussy I'm not sure, and I will keep trying with different builds and liquids, I just haven't found my sweet spot with it yet!

However, the building on the raised bunny ear deck, the locking barrel (which stops your airflow moving around), the angled airflow straight to your coil and the little bit of PEEK insulator that directs your juice from the squonk pin to your cotton are just perfect, I can't fault them in any way!


I have the blacked out version here, and I've also found it online in stainless steel and a black with silver coloured engraving, and it just looks gorgeous.


I've had a roughly 0.12 ohm build in it for my testing, on top of a Vandy Vape Pulse mod and the flavour and cloud production are just amazing, I really can't fault it.


So in conclusion, yes there are little gripes, I personally don't like the MtL usage of this and the random coloured drip tips can be a little annoying, but throw a bit fat Ni90 single coil in there, crank open the airflow, get a fresh battery in your device and it'll throw clouds with the big boys, for the amazing price of just £22 online if you've a squonker and you're looking for an RDA on it, you can't really go wrong with the Dead Rabbit SQ!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Nicotine shots - what are they and how do we use them?!

So, unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years you'll have heard of the TPD, but do you really know what it is? Basically the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) was a piece of law that came into effect on the May 20th 2016, giving the industry a year to comply, and turning vaping in the EU on it's head.

If I've my sensible head on I'll happily concede that e-liquid probably should have had some sort of regulation put on it, as we didn't really know what we were vaping and so it potentially has made vaping safer. It's just a shame that this isn't where the TPD ended, it made all atomizers hold a maximum of 2ml e-liquid and the maximum strength of nicotine us poor consumers can purchase a measly 20mg/ml or 2% in a maximum bottle size of just 10ml.

A huge amount of vapers won't have given this a second thought, and happily gone about their day vaping their 10ml bottles of 12mg e-liquid, although I as a DIY e-liquid mixer was having heart palpitations! No longer would I be able to buy litres of 72mg nicotine to make my own liquid, how ever was I going to cope?!

This is where the Nicotine shot, or Nic shot as I'll be calling it, came in to save the day! Even nearly 12 months after the TPD tore apart the vaping industry I see people every day on Facebook groups and in Instagram posts asking what you do with a Nic shot, and how they work.

Nic shots are handy little bottles of just nicotine and dilutant, either PG or VG, that you can add to your DIY eliquid very easily with no mess or fuss, so you can still get that hit of nicotine you need to keep you off the stinkies. One little 10ml bottle at 18mg as sold on ELFC added to 50ml of nicotine free e-liquid will make 60ml of delicious and more important in my miserly opinion, cheap 3mg juice, and it's exactly what we needed as a community. I've an expert (ish) tip here too, throw your Nic shot in your liquid, get the nozzle and cap on, then put the full bottle on a warm radiator for just a minute, it'll warm your juice through and make it less viscous (more runny as my Dad would say) so you can shake it together in seconds, saving the wrist workout usually required!

I have to say I love even just the idea of the nicotine shot, it feels to me a rebellious thing to be able to buy, the TPD seemed certain in my eyes to kill DIY and large bottles of e-liquid as the overwhelming majority of vapers want juice containing nicotine. They're sitting in a little loophole that thankfully quite a few companies came to fill just when we needed them to, yes they're more expensive than huge bottles of 72mg nicotine, but they're also far more expensive to produce so I can't complain too much at the extra cost.

In short, DIY and large bottles of e-liquid looked doomed until some bright spark came up with the idea of the Nic shot to save the day, personally, I bow down to them...


Daedalus Pro by Avidartisan Review...

So, most of us here have tried mixing our own e-liquid at one point or another, and a lot of us wrap our own coils using fused clapton wire or some other such fancy design, but how many of us have tried making that wire, probably not many, and why not? Well, because it's really difficult! We watch the videos online and think all we need is a Black and Decker to make some of the gorgeous builds we see gracing the pages of Instagram, but alas, it's not that easy. That's where the Daedalus Pro by Avidartisan comes in... 

 It's essentially a small drill with directional and speed control powered by 2 18650 batteries or USB cable along with a jig that holds your wire and very easily makes the best claptons you've ever seen, all with very little effort or to be honest, skill. It made my day when I saw it takes 18650s as I've at least half a dozen lying round that I keep thinking I need to recycle as they're at the end of their life and so no good for vaping with, but they're perfect here.


In the box you get the Daedalus body, Smart coil jig, a clamp with swivel attached, 3 “magical” clapton tools for making multicore wire, a really nice spool of 40 gauge Lightning Vapes Ni80 wire to get you started and then various spares and parts. All it takes is watching a couple of quick videos on YouTube as the instructions that come included are a little vague and you're up and running.


Clamp one end of your wire in the drill and the other in the swivel, line up your jig, flick the switch and a couple of minutes later you'll have expertly wrapped clapton wire perfect to take arty Instagram ready photos of. It might not be cheap, but at £47 online and when you can find basic round wire for so little, compared to the cost of standard spools of clapton or alien wire for which you're paying big money, and even more so for pre-wrapped coils it'll pay for itself in no time. The Daedalus Pro seems to be built very well too, so as long as you take care of it then you should be wrapping your own wire with ease for years to come! 

 The biggest challenge I had was making the staggered spaced claptons I found a video of, they're essentially two pieces of wire with a spaced spring around each, fastened to each other by yet another piece of wire. Didn't get that? I don't blame you, I didn't either and I was watching them being made! It took me a couple of attempts and lot's of foul language, but eventually I got the grasp of it and they not only looked amazing, but the flavour and cloud production off them was outstanding. 

 In short, if you're a coil builder and fancy a new challenge you could do a lot worse than trying the Daedalus Pro by Avidartisan.


To Squonk or not to Squonk...

 Look in any e-cig shop or browse any online store and currently you are bombarded with “squonkers” and “squonk-ready RDA's”, but what is squonking?

Basically squonking is the act of vaping with a Rebuildable Deck Atomiser (RDA for short), and instead of dripping your liquid into it as you usually would you have an internal bottle you can squeeze, or squonk, your liquid through the central pin of your RDA to fill it with e-liquid.

They are a brilliant way of getting the awesome flavour and other benefits of an RDA with the convenience of having anything around 8ml of e-liquid you can easily vape!

The only issue for a lot of new vapers is that squonkers are usually mechanical devices, that being, they have little to no inbuilt safety features and so you do need some prior knowledge. A quick read around the internet and amazing websites like www.steam-engine.org can get you started very quickly though and will ensure you stay safe!

To get going you will need

  • A squonk mod, usually a plastic box with space for a battery, a squeezy bottle of e-liquid and a 510 connector with a hole through the centre for juice to flow to your RDA.
  • An RDA, there are literally hundreds of different types out there costing anything from ten to hundreds of pounds, generally I just look around youtube, you will find an e-cig reviewer who vapes in a similar way to you, and it will help you choose.
  • A battery, now I'm not getting too deep into battery safety here, as whatever I say will always be wrong in someone's opinion, and I'm too old to be arguing on the internet. However, do a quick search online for Battery Mooch, he is the man when it comes to battery testing and making sure the battery you buy will be safe for your use, and please make sure you have a read up on Ohm's Law before you start, you don't need a degree in Physics, it's one very simple formula, and it will make sure you stay safe!
  • E-liquid! It's pretty obvious, but when squonking on a great RDA that blows huge clouds and has amazing flavour (you'll be surprised how much better an RDA is than a normal sub-ohm tank) you will use so much more juice, this is why DIY-ing is definitely the future!

This may all seem like a lot, especially when you factor in wire and cotton too, but as there's so little that can go wrong with a simple mech device it should last you years if you look after it properly, and spools of wire and packs of cotton will last you months if you don't waste too much when building.


Building an RDA and using a great little squonker is your next step to be coming in some small way self sufficient and saving huge amounts of money in the vaping world, and for the prices of squonk mods these days, £30 for some brilliant little devices, I feel they're definitely worth the investment!