The German manufacturer Svoëmesto makes a come-back with the Kayfun X, an atomiser dedicated to MTL.
Although just as well-built and accurate as its predecessor, it is much more practical to use. A great find for fans of high-end!
With a clearomizer, you change the coil when it wears out. With an atomizer, you make your own coil, giving rise to the name “rebuildable”. These atomizers feature a mounting plate with two posts, one that’s connected to the positive pole of the battery, the other to the negative pole, so you can mount the coil. To do that, you wind round a suitable wire. You also insert the cotton wick by hand. Compared to ready-made clearomizer coils, rebuildables are less practical and it certainly takes time to learn how to use them. Making your own assembly isn’t rocket science, but you need to understand some basic concepts and practise a bit before you can do it properly. Fortunately, doing it yourself has its advantages.
The first benefit is financial. Making your own coils only needs very basic equipment and you’ll quickly recoup the small initial outlay. Whereas a clearomizer coil costs 2 to 4 Euro on average, an assembly costs only a few cents. But the main advantage of rebuildables is the total freedom they give you to make your own coils. You choose the type of wire, the diameter and the number of turns depending on the vaping experience you want. You can experiment and tweak your design until you find your perfect assembly. Until only recently, there was a major difference in vaping quality between rebuildables and clearomizers. In particular, flavour rendering was noticeably better with rebuildables. But manufacturers have made huge progress with coils and the difference is now much less obvious. In fact, some clearomizers render flavour incredibly well. But the best rebuildables are still better for flavour rendering, plus they give enthusiasts the chance to experience tailor-made vaping with their atomizer. Rebuildables aren’t the only way to experience high-quality vaping any more, but for enthusiasts they are still the best option.
Like clearomizers, atomizers fall into two main categories: those designed for direct inhalation and those intended for MTL. Their air intakes are different. MTL devices have a much smaller intake to restrict air flow, and MTL mounting plates are also smaller. So the posts are also designed to work with the smaller sizing. On the other hand, atomizers designed for high-powered use have posts designed to accommodate bigger assemblies, often using wires like claptons and other unusual designs. Some atomizers are relatively versatile, but are fundamentally designed and optimized for one vaping style. Another difference is whether they use single or dual coils, depending on the number of coils they hold, how you fill them, whether the air flow is on the top or the bottom, and more. Being well aware that these appeal to discerning enthusiasts, manufacturers are keen to explore all the options and regularly bring out new ideas.
We assess a lot of factors during our testing, but three stand out. Production quality, ease of assembly and flavour rendering. Certain criteria, such as excessive hissing from the air flow, can also bring down a model’s score. The best atomizers are the ones manufactured to have a long life and be totally reliable, designed to be easy to assemble and that produce wonderful tasting, dense vapour. Ultimately, our tests are simple but extremely demanding.
That’s probably the most tightly-guarded secret when you start getting into rebuildables. Which wire, how many turns, on what size of pin, are the turns close together or spaced out?
The easiest way is to get started in two steps. First make coils that will give you the vaping style you want, and secondly optimize your assemblies. To start with, you’d be better to use single coils instead of claptons or other complex coil designs. They’re easier to work with, and you can use any on-line calculator to find out how many turns you need for the wire you’re using and the power you want.
Start with simple assemblies, usually 5 or 6 turns on a 2.5 or 3 mm pin to get your hand in. Once you’ve managed assemblies like these, the principles are much easier to grasp and the differences become more obvious too. You can then try out more complex assemblies as you’ll have got the hang of it, and discovered what works and what doesn’t.
Sometimes you need a few tries before you find the best assembly, the one that gives the best results with an atomizer, refining as you go.
While most atomizers on the market cost from 30 to 60 Euro, for some models makers will happily charge you over 100 Euro. The question, then, is whether they’re worth the difference in price. The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
Large-scale production models have made huge progress in recent years, and being able to compare their build quality with high-end models is no longer that unusual. And anyway, any differences between them are now pretty minimal. Gone are the days of having to break the bank to get a good quality atomizer, which is great news. At least it is for users. It’s not so good for manufacturers of high-end kit, who have to justify their prices through truly exceptional performance or with truly original design.
Nor can we ignore our own subjectivity when it comes to choosing an atomizer. Every decision is irrational to some extent: we might like an atomizer just because of the way it looks, or feel an emotional draw to a specific maker. Which is still an excellent reason to get a top-of-the-range model!
One potential advantage of rebuildables is that you can clean the coils instead of replacing them each time. This avoids having to make them again, which saves you a little time and energy, and a small amount of money.
The most effective method is to dry burn the coil. Take out the wick and just heat the coil until it glows. Repeat this several times, and rinse the coil under cold running water once it’s glowed for a few seconds. Then brush it with a suitable tool (like an old toothbrush), and finally dry it with a dry cloth or leave it to air dry. The result is pretty impressive: all the residue goes, leaving the metal looking like new and ready to use.
But be careful. You might notice that the colour of the coil has changed, and in fact its surface changes chemically at very high temperatures. This has led some scientists to say we shouldn’t use the dry burn method, and should replace clogged coils with new ones.
The average retail price for an atomizer is usually 30 or 40 Euro.
Following numerous tests by our experts, we can confidently name the best atomizer at the moment is the Kayfun [lite] Plus 2021 by SvoëMesto.
While some vapers prefer atomizers with a tight draw, i.e. indirect inhalation atomizers, others prefer their vapour very airy and like taking deep puffs. You’ll have to try both ways of inhaling to find the one that suits you best. But we would say this: if you’re looking for a draw like a tobacco cigarette, you’ll want an indirect inhalation atomizer.
Have a look at our dedicated video on the subject. You’ll see just how easy it is to make a coil.
Choosing the capacity of your atomizer will depend on several factors. The first is how often you know you’ll be able to refill it. If you know you won’t be able to refill the liquid in your atomizer for several hours, it might be wiser to choose a high-capacity model (4 ml minimum). On the other hand, if you can refill your tank whenever you want, choosing a lower capacity model (2 ml for example) will allow you to get you a smaller, more discreet device. It’s up to you to choose the capacity of your atomizer based on your lifestyle and how often you’ll be able to refill it, so you don’t run out of e-liquid.
If the taste of your e-liquid changes, it’s a safe bet that it’s time to change your coil. It is also important to check the condition of your coil regularly by just looking at it. If you notice a dark or blackened deposit forming on your coil, it’s also time to replace it. If you make your own coils, remember that making one only costs you a few cents! So be sure to change your coil regularly.
Unlike clearomizer coils, there’s no recommended power range for DIY coils for your atomizer. To find out what power to use for your coil, just try it on a few different settings. Start on low power first (around 10W), then increase it until you get the amount of vapour and the flavour you want.
Yes, like all the other parts of your e-cigarette, you need to look after your atomizer. So be sure to remove it from the battery regularly and rinse it thoroughly in lukewarm water to remove any e-liquid residue or dust there may be inside it.
Yes, nowadays all atomizers offer good performance. While you might still come across a model that turns out to be of average quality, the vast majority of products manufactured in 2021 offer good performance.
Yes. It shouldn’t be a problem to use your atomizer with the box you already have. In fact, whether it’s an atomizer or a clearomizer, both should have a standard 510 connection designed to adapt to any battery or box mod.
If you want to use vaping to quit smoking, then a single-coil atomizer, i.e. one with a single coil, will do just fine. Atomizers with multi-coil mounting plates are really the territory of cloud chasing enthusiasts.
No, it’s easy to buy ready-made coils for your atomizer. Some manufacturers sell packs of ready-made coils that you just trim the ends off before mounting them in your device. Just be aware that they cost a lot more than making them yourself.
The price of ready-made coils can vary depending on a lot of criteria. Some might be made of better quality wire, or even made by hand. The price of a coil made in a Chinese factory is a lot lower than one made by a passionate, independent coil maker in France. We call them builders. Some coils are also made with several types of wire. Assemblies like those are often time-consuming to get right, making them more expensive.
All of the wicks sold on specialist sites are fibres made specifically for vaping, so they are all fairly similar. We recommend trying a few and doing some research to choose one that will suit you.
Yes, you should be able to use any e-liquid with your atomizer. Just be aware that a few models designed for indirect inhalation can be quite finicky if you use e-liquids that are too thick. If your model falls into this category, try adding some PG to your liquid in order thin it a bit. That will help your atomizer.
Vapers looking to make a lot of vapour with their kit should go for a vapour atomizer. E-cigarette users who prefer to enjoy the subtleties of their favourite e-liquid flavour should choose a flavour atomizer. But don’t let the names fool you: a flavour atomizer can make vapour and a vapour atomizer will deliver flavour. Let’s just say that each type is a bit better at one thing or the other.
RTA is the acronym for a Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. It’s just what our English speaking friends call these atomizers. So an atomizer and an RTA are exactly the same.
I theory, an atomizer has an unlimited lifespan as long as the tank glass doesn’t get broken or cracked by a fall, and the thread for closing the atomizer is not worn. Either way, if you look after your atomizer it will last for many years because the only consumable part is the coil.