With almost every product that I've used, there has been a learning curve to it. I mean even the simple replaceable clearomizer and eGo battery had issues galore. You had to deal with flooding. And burning. And. And. And. And you learned how to make it work.
But it's taken a long time for me to finally understand that much of my first experience with ANY new vaping product has to be discounted. You almost need to pretend your first experience didn't happen, because there has only been one product that I've bought that just worked right out of the box: the Aspire Nautilus. And I've certainly read my fair share of testimonials of folks who've had trouble with them. I guess I just had good luck because I'd already learned the ins and outs of the regular Aspire BDC product line and applied the same logic.
So I took it somewhat personally when I hated the Kayfun. And I mean I HATED the Kayfun. My very first one I bought was the very first Russian 91% clone. It was/is awful. The machining on it sucks. The threads are like fingernails down a chalkboard rough. I built a coil on it using silica wick after watching a how-to video. And after filling it, I turned it over and every bit of juice in it flowed out the air hole and right down my arm. And it was really expensive juice I was using.
At that point, I was done....for the moment. I attempted one more build on that Russian and filled it only half full the second time with crap juice...only to have the same thing happen again. A month or so later, I was given a Kayfun by a local shop in my town that sells pretty much only eGo batteries and they didn't know what to do with the thing. It had been sent to them for free because they'd placed a multi-thousand dollar order with a distributor and he wanted them to try it.
Without even working with it, I sold it to a friend. And that friend has reminded me almost every time I've seen him "Dude, you need to give the Kayfun another try." So this weekend, I finally broke down and followed his advice. We had been shopping at our local brick and mortar store and they got the black Tobeco Kayfun clones in. And I haven't yet found anything that looked right on my black Nzonic. So I told the dude at the shop that I'd buy one if he'd teach me how to build it successfully.
We sat down at the table in the shop and he built a reasonably simple micro coil of like 10 wraps of 28 gauge and put a regular old cotton ball wick in it. You see, there is the second thing that has changed since my last Kayfun experience. The first time I tried cotton in a dripper, I hate it and swore it off because I was using the wrong cotton. Now that I'm wicking my drippers in almost nothing but cotton, I certainly don't mind doing the same in a Kayfun.
That leads to my second learning lesson. The Kayfun seems to be pretty easy to build on if you have your drill bit or nail or whatever you are wrapping on left in the coil. You can position it correctly while getting the coil leads wrapped around the screw posts. And here was yet another revelation. The Russian 91% screw heads suck. They. Are. Tiny. This new Tobeco Kayfun has good sized screw heads that are relatively easy to wrap your wire around.
And lesson number three: The coil needs to be a good bit up off the deck so air can flow around it. You see, unlike a dripper, there just doesn't seem to be much flexibility in how you set the Kayfun up. There is a pretty standard micro coil build that just works. And, well, I needed someone to show me the ins and outs of that specific build.
I'm sure many of you seasoned vapers are reading this and thinking "well, duh," but I know you'll relate to trying a new product, failing at it and writing it off. I might not have done that if it didn't cost me $50 to buy another one. And still the only reason I bought the black Kayfun was because, welp, it's black. And good God, you have to admit, it looks downright badass on that Nzonic clone. I already had the Kick to put into the Nzonic. I stole it from my Nemesis that I've been using with a carto tank on it.
This whole setup is really pretty fantastic since I was not really using the Nzonic clone for anything at all due to the extreme voltage drop as a mechanical mod. If it was sitting there next to my copper Caravela clone, I'd pick the copper mod every time. But putting a Kick into the Nzonic makes it work like a charm. It's a great form factor. It feels really good in your hand. And I'm not sure whether this is accurate or not, but I'm pretty sure that the Kick is factoring the resistance of the whole circuit into its tiny brain and therefore is actively compensating for any resistance already in the mod itself.
So what have I learned from this experience? What are my views of the Kayfun now?
1. There is a BIG difference between a crappy clone and a good quality clone.
2. The Kayfun has a much easier deck to build on than the Russian 91% due to better screws.
3. The Kayfun DOES have the best flavor I've found in a rebuildable. I really like cartomizers because I feel like the flavor is richer in them. I get similar richness from the Kayfun.
4. Vapor production is muchhhhhh higher on my drippers, though that is to be expected. Nothing beats a dripper for big clouds of vapor. The Kayfun is kind of low on vapor production, but MORE than makes up for it in flavor.
5. I'm still not entirely convinced that I'd carry this on-the-go with me over the Aspire Nautilus. Time will tell.
6. The Tobeco clone of the Kayfun is solid. Nice machining. Good threads. Worth the money.
Conclusions: In some respects, the Kayfun seems to have the best of many worlds. It's got great flavor. It's got a nice size reservoir for juice. It's a whole lot less work than dripping while still giving you the quality, longevity, and low cost of your own coil build. BUT it's not perfect either. Though I've now learned how to build one and could probably do it pretty quickly, it's a fair amount more work than building a coil on a dripper. The dripper is just very forgiving. If your coil is sitting too high, it still works. If you use too much wick, it probably still works too. The Kayfun wants a pretty exacting build. And I'm still not a fan of having to wrap my wire leads around a screw post. I'd much prefer putting them through a hole in the post.
I sure as hell haven't mastered this thing, but I at least now see the appeal. And I'm willing to admit, just like I did about cotton wicking...I was probably wrong about the Kayfun. That said, as I sit here typing, I'm still tooting on my Caravela with an IGO-W on top of it with a very simple .5 ohm double coil build and some stellar 5P Grandmaster.
Oh, and this morning just for grins, I tore that whole terrible Russian 91% clone apart and inspected every single part of it and found that it had a completely destroyed O-ring where the chimney cap sits on the inner tube. Interestingly enough, I don't think the Kayfun even uses an O ring there, but I replaced the one in the Russian with the replacement it came with, rebuilt it this morning...and it's not leaking. It's still a festering turd of a clone, but at least it's now a working festering turd.
Postscript: I've always thought the iTaste SVD looked like a light saber. I'm pretty sure if Darth Vader was a vaper, he'd be using a black Nzonic with a black Kayfun. It's just a truly sick looking setup. You must own one.