Vaping With The Hartley-Barnes – Airflow Control
We are pissed at ourselves today. We feel defeated. We have been hoisted by our own petard. I’ll explain.
After spending hours hammering together a column for today we, as in Keira and I, watched in horror as the arguments we so proudly and carefully crafted crumpled into a heap of nonsensical garbage. I hate it when that happens.
Whenever we try to get ‘philosophical’ using electronic cigarettes as a topic our proposed column fails somewhere along the way to the finish line, like a weak link in a chain, and it just gives out, bringing the entire column down with it.
I suppose the truth is electronic cigarettes do not lend themselves to these kinds of columns. I also suppose that we need to keep in mind that an eCigarette column should remain practical. eCigarettes are nothing more than a substitution for smoking tobacco… or a hobby. Neither of which are very complicated. Though they are a lot of fun, and they provide a pleasurable pastime for millions of people. Still, I doubt anyone could write a thesis on them to obtain a Masters Degree.
So instead of trying to lie out a treatise on how the ecigarette industry has left its infancy behind and is now in the throes of young adulthood, we’ll present a column of a more practical topic. We will present a column that does not reveal some deep meaning or truism about vaping, or in any way attempts to dig for meaning in an industry that doesn’t have much meaning. Nor will we go off on some idealistic tirade about how a simple, relatively safe device that is saving literally millions of lives and yet is constantly under attack from ill-informed, agenda-seeking, progressive snots that believe they can violate the very fabric of what makes a ‘free’ society free in order to make sure that anything that looks like smoking is made illegal. Although that subject does lend itself to hundreds of columns, both already published and yet to be published.
Instead, let’s talk about the newest phase in clearomizers/glassomizers and tanks… the airflow controller.
The Airflow Controller
The airflow controller, now nearly ubiquitous in all new high-end glassomizers and tanks have caused the biggest improvement is the quality of vaping since eLiquid mixologists learned how to get the artificial taste out of their ejuice. Soon, very soon, the airflow control for every clearomizer, and perhaps even every cig-a-like product will become a reality. Why is that?
Looking back at certain reviews we’ve written, and other staff members have written, over the past two and a half years, there are several mentions of certain eCigarettes or clearomizers having an easy draw and producing an unpleasant vape where the there is too much ‘air’ mixing with the vapor and diluting the taste and vapor production horribly. Indeed, the fastest way to get a failing grade from us is to produce something that requires twice the effort and produces half the quality.
Even as late as the latter part of 2013 many clearomizers just couldn’t perform to the level that we wanted. Even big tanks, like the first ProTank was too airy for its own good. But not only that, how many reviews have you read, or seen in a video, that talks about drilling air holes or widening air holes already drilled in rebuildables? This ‘too much air or too little air’ problem has been around for quite a while. Hell, we remember one review written here where the suggestion was to break off the tip of a toothpick into one of the predrilled air holes in order to get a deeper, stiffer draw.
Kanger to the Rescue?
We could be wrong here, after all we do not spend 23 hours a day studying clearomizers, glassomizers, and tanks. There are other pursuits in our lives, like yourselves, though we do spend what I think is ‘enough’ time studying these things. So, if we’re wrong we sincerely apologize, but it seems to us that the first widespread use of an airflow controller came in late 2013 with the Kanger Aerotank. From that point on the airflow controller was something the manufacturers became very interested in. And with good reason; most people loved them.
Kanger went on to produce the Aerotank Mini and Mega, and has now released the Version 2 of the original Aerotank. Soon a v2 of the Mini and Mega are expected.
Aspire came next with the magnificent Nautilus and its wonderful airflow controller. Next up, in late July of this year the Aspire Nautilus Mini will be widely applauded for its good looks (a mini version of the bell tower Nautilus of today), and an improved airflow controller in a smaller footprint.
Now, the Joyetech Delta, with an even more improved airflow controller is only a couple of weeks away from wide release, with its new “slot” shaped airflow controller. Finally, a product from Innokin, the Gladius, will soon be under review here at Spinfuel eMagazine.
The Airflow Controller as ‘A la Carte’
A new Kanger Airflow Controller, called Kanger Airflow Control – 2 Large, is now available as a standalone product, and is available through MyVaporStore for $6.98. It’s already at Version 2, and it will bring airflow control to the Protank 2, 3, Aerotank v2 (here it’s the replacement in case you break yours), and the original Aerotank (essentially making it a V2 Aerotank)
In order to get some use out of a few Protank 3’s Keira and I had lying around we obtained a few of these controllers and have replaced the bottom portion of our Protank 3’s with them. The improvement to the performance is spectacular.
These airflow controllers are used like any other, to decrease or increase the flow of air coming into the draw. The best thing about the controllers, in the financial sense anyway, is that they do not require you to change the atomizer heads you would normally use in the device.
Thankfully, Kanger has also freed the airflow controllers for Mini and Mega glassomizers. Like the one above, they too are just $6.98. The ‘Mini’ is used with the Protank 2 and 3 mini versions as well as an upgrade to the Aerotank Mini v1 and a replaceable controller for the Aerotank v2.
The Mega airflow controller is a little different. Instead of being backward compatible with anything else, it’s a replaceable controller for the Aerotank Mega. At $6.98 it’s a smart way to protect your $30 Aerotank Mega purchase. If for whatever reason the Aerotank Mega suffers damage to the airflow controller this will bring it back into service, saving us big bucks since we don’t have to toss it and buy another glassomizer.
While Aspire is working on a Nautilus Mini and expected to arrive on shelves by August, we wonder what there plans are for other clearomizers, or even replacements for the Nautilus. You can purchase a stainless steel tank or glass tube for the Nautilus, but as of now there doesn’t seem to be a standalone airflow controller for your Nautilus. There should be, but perhaps Aspire is waiting until the Nautilus Mini arrives and will then turn their focus to putting out replacement airflow controllers.
The X.Jet Spider, an Aspire product, is a clearomizer we use a lot around here. We buy them by the hundreds, about 100 a month, along with 100 replacement coils. They are our most used clearomizers for the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team. No one here has any issues with flavor fidelity, vapor production, or draw. To the staff, there is no better $8 clearomizer on the market. Still, would an airflow controller make them even better? We think it just might.
Standalone Airflow Control
But that begs and even bigger question; wouldn’t all clearomizers and glassomizers improve with an airflow controller? If the answer is a resounding “yes”, and I think it would be, then it would seem to me that there is an untapped market for all-purpose airflow controllers. Since that product already exists we wonder why it’s not being exploited, and expanded with better and better devices. The two below aren’t bad, not by any measure, but they are also quite simple.
Our first introduction to the two airflow controllers for eGo batteries and 510-tanks happened many months ago, and what an introduction it was. MyVaporStore sells both models for a very affordable $1.99, and while not nearly as sophisticated as the controllers for the Kanger products they do a great job at one thing; tightening the draw. The Controller called “eGo Battery Airflow Controller” does not work with eGo tanks, cartomizers or clearomizers as those cover the outer threads on the eGo battery, but all the others are fine.
These inexpensive devices do not replace any part of a clearomizer or tank; they are instead placed between the battery and the clearomizer or tank. The controllers’ only work in one direction, they tighten the draw. If your clearomizer or tanks have a good draw now chances are you won’t be interested in this item. We don’t use them with the X.Jet Spider, but they are a godsend for the Innokin iClear 16 we sometime use.
Tank Airflow Controller
Keira: Julia and I do make a lot of use out of the Tank Airflow Controller because it works with every 510-thread tank we have. Screw it into the battery first, then attack your tank, and the result is the ability to control the inflow of air with any cartomizer based tank, or any tank utilizing any coil head type. Tanks with 510-threads have air holes drilled into the threading and this controller fits the threading. You’re essentially covering up the air holes on the threads and funneling them through the controller. It’s simple and its effective. Finding the right draw means finding the maximum amount of vapor for the type of vaper you are. You do that by adjusting the amount of air mixing with the vapor.
The Airflow Controller has made a huge difference in our lives and if you’ve yet to experience any clearomizer/glassomizer or tank with an airflow controller you’re missing out on an important aspect of your vape experience. The right ‘draw’ can make all difference; it can alter the flavor of the juice, it can turn ordinary clearomizers into cloud-chasing competitors, and they are so simple they will last forever. While not nearly as ‘engineered’ as the Kanger or Aspire airflow controllers they still do an excellent job of tightening a draw when you need it most.
If you want to add life back into the Protanks you’ve purchased in the past but ultimately set aside when the first Aerotank came out and made them obsolete, the Kanger Airflow controllers are worth their weight in gold. We strongly recommend them to anyone that owns a Protank 2 or 3, and we would like to suggest that for $6.98 having a backup controller for your AeroTanks and other Kanger devices make a lot of sense.
As for the simpler airflow controllers, $1.99 price tag makes this a no-brainer… if you are still using clearomizers without the benefit of airflow control.
All the items talked about are available now at MyVaporStore, and they have been kindly donated to Spinfuel eMagazine for the purpose of this review.
Julia and Keira Hartley-Barnes