eGrip 2 – A Remarkable Upgrade
Before beginning our review for the Joyetech eGrip 2, I want to confess the reason the last eGrip never made it to our reviews. The last time we received a Joyetech eGrip was just a few months ago, I think. It was the eGrip VT. After passing a few around the staff for a couple of days we decided not to move forward with a review. This happens more often than you might suspect, with plenty of mods, tanks, and e liquids. As far as the eGrip VT getting the axe, it had everything to do with our collective opinion that there were several, better, devices on the market in the same price range, and we would rather write about those devices. Our reviews have always been real reviews, not ‘spun’ product page text from a vendor or manufacturer website.
Having said that, it’s important to go over some of the features and specs of the eGrip VT in order to better understand our review for the eGrip II, or eGrip 2.
That eGrip VT offered 30W of power, Variable Temperature Sensing, and the wattage/temperature was controlled by a moveable bezel surrounding the fire button. You simply spun the dial to make power/temp adjustments. The bezel itself felt cheap, and easily breakable.
The eGrip VT was also too complicated for its own good. Using a Joyetech adjustment tool (a screwdriver with a half-moon coin-type arch, and a tiny flat head pointy end) to regulate airflow, as well as removing the drip tip then using that tool to detach the vent pipe, and on and on.
During a time when Joyetech was releasing terrific devices, one right after another it seemed, this particular eGrip felt like a big misstep.
Here’s a quick rundown of this December-2015 eGrip VT:
Battery Capacity: 1500mAh
Variable voltage: 2.0V to 8.0V;
Variable Wattage: 5W to 30W;
Variable Temperature for Nickel and Titanium
E-juice Capacity: 3.6ml
Output Mode: VT-Ni/VT-Ti/VW Mode
E-juice Capacity: 3.6ml
Resistance Range:0.2-1.0ohm for VT mode
Resistance Range:0.4-3.5ohm for VW mode
The raw specs only tell half the story, its small size, the tiny screws, and the complicated process of replacing coil heads tell the other half. It was better suited as a MTL mod for new vapers, but there were several other $50+ mods on the market that did a better job for new Vapers.
The eGrip 2, or eGrip II – Meet the New Boss
Here we are not quite 6 months later with the release of the eGrip II. With the eGrip 2 Joyetech has given the name ‘eGrip’ a new whole ‘reason for being’. Borrowing technology from the Joyetech Cuboid and Cubis and inverting them for a device that creates a Cubis tank inside a small Cuboid-like body, changes the eGrip series as a whole new category. And the result is nothing less than spectacular, with just a couple of cautionary concerns.
Keeping with Joyetech’s recent advancements in temperature control technology and leak-proof top-down coil head technology the eGrip II is equipped with Joyetech’s latest chipset/board and firmware v4.03, giving it TFTA Tank technology, which means the eGrip II is Top Filling and Top Airflow enabled, allowing the entire top section and coil head apparatus to be removed as one unit, like having a Cubis tank on the inside the mod.
To make things even more interesting, Joyetech has included an Atomizer Adapter that allows the user to switch between the “buried” Cubis-like tank to a full-fledged 510-tank of the user’s choice. With a resistance range of 0.05-1.5-ohm in VT mode, and 0.1-3.5-ohm in VW/Bypass mode, plus 80 watts of power there aren’t many tanks that wouldn’t perform exceptionally well on the eGrip II.
Other features on the chip board adds a nonsensical Game to the mix, a choice between several differently colored lights going off inside the glass reservoir tank, and an analog face or digital working clock displaying on the screen in vertical or horizontal position. The display, by the way, is pretty much the same size and resolution as the award-winning display on the eVic, Cuboid mods.
Finally, the eGrip II is firmware upgradable through the USB port using a Mac or PC software app. We need more manufacturers to adopt the Mac platform when it comes to our mods, to this day the Evolv company doesn’t allow Mac users to install their software on our Macs.
eGrip 2 – Official Specs & Features
80 watts of power
Built-in 2100mAh charge capacity
Flappy Bird mini game
Stealth mode – (no display)
TFTA tank with 3.6ml juice capacity
Digital or analog clock readout
0.25 Notch coil and 0.5 SS coil included
RBA section included
Reads resistance down to 0.1 ohms
VT mode offers 200 – 600 Degrees Fahrenheit operating temps
Three memory settings for manually adjusted TCR value
Firmware upgradeable (version 4.03 installed)
Temp control supports SS, Ni, and Titanium
Pass Through Vaping while charging
OLED color variations in tank, includes blue, green, yellow, red, purple, cyan and white
Multiple integrated safety features included.
In the eGrip 2 Box:
Joyetech eGrip 2
Mini USB cable,
BF-RBA section with drip tip,
Notch coil 0.25 ohm
BF SS316L 0.5-ohm coil
Replacement chimney/510 section.
Narrow bore drip tip w/splash guard.
Coil Head Choices
The following coil heads are compatible with the eGrip II; NotchCoil™ 0.25ohm DL head, BF SS316 Series Heads, BF Clapton-1.5ohm head, BF Ni, BF Ti and BF RBA head.
Real World Usage
It began with Joyetech Cubis tank and has plagued every Joyetech atomizer since. I’m talking about spitback, that ugly, painful incident where droplets of e liquid pop out of the drip tip and land on the tip of the vapers tongue. Not every tank nor every coil of this new design (top down coil heads) produce spitback, but it happens far too often.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for why this happens, but it does happen…a lot. So-much-so that when I use any device or tank equipped with this top-down coil design I can never take a big lung hit in fear of 400-600 degree drops landing on my tongue.
Some vapers swear it never happens, my wife for one, she swears by the Cubis tank and refuses to use anything else. Julia was so impressed with the Cubis she wrote a standalone review on the tank.
Some swear the spitback happens all the time. Some say the reason is too many drops of e liquid were applied to the coil head before attaching it to the atomizer, while others say it is a certain coil head, either the NotchCoil or the Clapton coil, or a DL coil or MTL coil. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
In an effort to nail this issue down I’ve used every coil type compatible with both the Lyche tank and the eGrip II. I’ve tried using 5 drops of juice applied to the coil and then Zero drops of juice applied to the inside of the coil. Some coils are definitely better than others, but at one time or another, a spitback coil is going to spitback for any reason, seemingly at random.
The true cause for the spitback continues to elude me. As far as the eGrip 2 goes, there are a couple of measures you can take that makes the device worth buying.
Initial Installation 1– Apply at most 2 drops of e liquid to the coil before attaching it to the atomizer. This makes the “flooded coil” cause a non-starter.
Initial Installation 2 – Don’t apply any juice to the coil head. Allow the complete setup to sit for about 30-minutes to an hour and allow the liquid to seep through to the coil.
Pre-Launch – Always, always, always, pull on the drip tip 3-5 times with no power from mod. This helps the liquid to saturate the coils in a natural, though sped up, fashion.
Pre-Burn – Once you’re ready to start vaping, turn the power on, set it to 20-25 watts and hold the fire button down for 3 or 4 seconds and release. Repeat 3 or 4 times. Afterward, begin your climb up the wattage or temperature ladder till you reach your vaping preference.
The Outcome – Sometimes there is nothing you can do to eliminate spitback from a coil head. I think Joyetech needs to continue tweaking their top-down coil head design until they nail it. Sometimes you won’t experience spitback at all, cherish those moments.
That Narrow Drip Tip – In the box, along with a USB cable and extra coil heads you’ll see another drip tip. This drip tip has built-in spitback protection, it’s sort of knurled on the inside, which disrupts the flow of the vapor just enough to block most of the spit-back. You can still use the DL (Direct Lung) coil heads and you can still get big clouds of vapor with it, though not as big as you can with the wide-bore drip tip. I use this drip tip when faced with a coil head causing quite a bit of spitback and I can actually hear the droplets hitting the knurled parts inside. Switching to this drip tip is a better solution then tossing the coil and using a new one.
I suppose the best news about these coil heads is that, with time, a day, maybe two, maybe three, the break-in period will eventually cause the spitback to disappear or at least become just a minor annoyance.
Though, until Joyetech perfects the top-down coil head, perhaps Joyetech should develop some silicon tongue guards to wear during this break in period. 😉
Note* We received the Joyetech eGrip 2’s a couple of weeks ago. We spent a lot of time investigating this spitback issue with both the eGrip 2 and the Lyche Tank, which is being under review after almost a month. With the eGrip 2 we simply couldn’t wait any longer to produce reviews for a major new release from one of the top manufacturers. If we could find the cause, and fix it, then our reviews would present the fixes. Finally, we had to move on.
With regards to the Lyche; we were sent new, modified coil heads that did eliminate the majority of the spitback issue, but not all. Our suggestion to minimize spitback from a top down coil head is to put just 2 small drops of e liquid into the coil head and allow the device to sit for at least an hour, or put no drops in the coil head and wait a couple of hours before pre-burning. (Pre-burn means to fire the mod for 5 seconds, 3 times, then 2 seconds, 5 times. This helps break in the coil head and reduce the period of potential spitback.)
Flavor and Vapor
During the times when the coil head is not spitting back blisteringly hot liquid, the flavor of the coil heads, especially the NotchCoil, is superb. Some vapers I know regard the NotchCoil as a cloud chaser coil, not a flavor coil, but I disagree, I get both flavor and flavor from the coil. The Clapton MTL 1.5-ohm coil is also very good with flavor, but its mouth to lung vaping style produces only so much vapor, and I really don’t like MTL anymore. Joyetech is generous with the number of coils in the box, so use them all before buying replacement coils, you might prefer one coil over another, or one style over another, so use them.
Airflow – The new Joyetech hidden airflow design is a truly innovative way of dealing with airflow control, and using it in the all-in-one eGrip 2 is every bit as welcome as it was on the Cubis tank. Tuning the airflow is simple, and effective.
As for the body styling and the specs, the eGrip 2 is lightyears better than any previous eGrip. It’s soft, rubberized finish with the Black model, it’s round edges, and the large hi-res OLED display is worthy of any Joyetech device. I think the eGrip has come of age, and we can welcome it at the adults table now.
The eGrip 2 can be marvelous all-in-one mod. It’s basically a remodeled Cuboid with a built in Cubis tank, a brilliant idea for this period we’re in where pushing out as much product as you can by August 8th, is paramount to the survival of the bigger manufacturers. It should sell exceedingly well because, worst case scenario, it will remain on the market for 2 years while our own government finally pushes everything made after 2007 off the market or until the extortion money is paid.
My only gripe about the eGrip 2 is the spitback issue, and I really hope Joyetech can figure it out. I decided to continue using my eGrip II after the review period because of its small footprint and mighty power, only now when I change a coil head I use only 1 drop in the coil head and I let the device sit for a few hours before using it. After the break-in period, the eGrip II is a damned good performer for a small, powerful, all-in-one DL mod.
One last thing; Just in case the TPD goes through as is on May 20th in the UK, Joyetech has produced a EU edition of the eGrip 2, with 2ML capacity for juice, and a childproof lockout. Oh, you gotta love this whole “We know what you need better than you do universe we live in now…”
Grade: A (for the mod)
Grade: C- (for the coil heads)