You want great flavor, easy build and reliability. Hey – I don’t blame you. I want that too! The good news is, you’ve got lots of options, pal. The bad news? You’ve got a lot of options. But that’s OK, because I’m gonna help you sort through them. Read on…
The one that started it all. Though its little brother and his copycat buddy have become more popular, the Kayfun 3.1 was a revolutionary device.
Pros: Ushered in a new category of rebuildable atomizers.
Cons: Questionable vapor production. Juice filling requires plastic needle tip. It’s ginormous.
You want one. I want one. Everyone out there wants one. But good luck finding an authentic KFL+ without paying an arm and a leg, or importing from overseas (which might cost you a kidney). Of course, there’s a reason it’s so popular. The Kayfun Lite+ does pretty much everything right. Great flavor, decent vapor, easy build, good loooks and it’s flexible enough to use with silica or cotton. And the “plus” model introduced the much-needed airflow control. If you can find one under $100, buy it.
Pros: Amazing flavor. Easy build. Durable. Window or all stainless option.
Cons: Questionable vapor production. Filling any way but through the bottom fill hole can result in leaking. Easy to block air or juice flow and cause dry hits. Difficult to obtain.
Technically, the R91 is a Kayfun Lite clone with the addition of an airflow control. It’s the rare clone that matches the original in quality, while surpassing it in features. Add to that the fact it’s generally about 20% cheaper, and we have a winner. In fact, such a winner, SvoeMesto added airflow control to the Kayfun Lite and dropped their price just to compete.
Pros: Excellent build quality. Includes box and goodies absent from Kayfun. Easier to obtain than a Kayfun at a lower price. Includes 510 drip tip converter.
Cons: Odd finish matches almost nothing.
Consistently the best all-around performer in my stable, but sometimes I look at my mod and wonder why there’s a diving bell attached to it. But as annoying as the ginormous thing is, I know it’s gonna perform every time I pick it up.
Pros: Large capacity. Window or all-stainless tank option. Practically leak-proof. Easy to add juice without emptying.
Cons: Big, bulky and heavy. Large diameter doesn’t match up with some devices. Complicated build.
In concept, the SQuape solves a lot of problems encountered with other RBAs (rampant hotspots, awkward build space), but in practice, the design still needs some refining. While it’s forgiving as far as shorts, I find the wick length, diameter and placement must be absolutely perfect to get good performance. I get more dry hits from the SQuape than any other RBA listed here.
Pros: Easiest build in class. Large capacity. Easy to add juice without emptying.
Cons: Bulky. Questionable juice flow at times. Air chamber is coated with non-conductive material. No airflow control.
The MVP in my collection. Set it up properly and you will be richly rewarded with billowy, flavorful clouds. Designed for dual-coils, the Aqua can atomize twice as much liquid as its rivals. Throw in brilliant juice and air control systems, and we have a winner. Oh, and did I mention it can be converted to a hybrid with the Origin mod? A lot of people have called it the Kayfun killer, but its inherent complexity and difficult build mean it will never have the same mass appeal.
Pros: Excellent air and juice flow control. Remarkable quality. Designed for dual-coils. Very good vapor production. Well-designed adjustable bottom pin.
Cons: Expensive. Not designed for single coils. Small tank capacity. Not compatible with standard 510 tips. No window. Small diameter doesn’t match up with some devices. Can be frustrating to build.
“If you build it. It will flood.” Notoriously gurgle-prone, the Fogger began life as a Fogatti clone, but evolved into something of its own device. Unfortunately, The Fogger is one of the most difficult RBAs to build, and often rewards the diligent vaper with dry hits. And just when you think you’ve got the Fogger figured out, you’ll get a mouth full of turgid diesel vapor followed by a warm trickle of juice in your lap.
Pros: Affordable. Solid Construction. Pyrex and plastic tank options.
Cons: Leaky, leaky, leaky. Difficult to build. Not good with cotton or silica. Glass tank is prone to breakage. Alternating dry hits with flooding, depending on its mood.
The Bottom Line
I own, or have owned, all the atomizers listed above. If I could have only one, I’d take the Aqua. But building and filling it can become tedious. The Russian 91% is the overall best atomizer on this list, though the Taifun is very, very close, simply for its reliability.
You can’t go wrong with any of these choices, except the Fogger. Avoid the Fogger. Curse the Fogger. And you might want to wait until a V2 of the SQuape is released. It’s not bad in its current state, but it could certainly be better. At its premium price point I expect more.