UPDATE: We would like to make it very clear that NicStick was not in any way looking for a online magazine that would accept money in exchange for a positive review. We believe we made that abundantly clear but there has been some confusion about this. We believe they were vetting us to make sure we were honest brokers. We apologize to NicStick and our readers if you thought otherwise. – John Manzione
Without a doubt this review has proved to be the most difficult one we’ve encountered to date. Unlike every other vendor we’ve had contact with, NicStick appear to be an enigma. Other than a few small “affiliate” site “blurbs”, not much as been written about NicStick. There does seem to be several consumer videos on YouTube however.
Our first email exchange with NicStick was back on June 12th and it included a question from NicStick that read; “Do you charge anything to review products?” After we replied that we did not and would not ever charge for conducting a review we didn’t hear back from them for several weeks, and that was only after we followed up with them.
During our follow up we were once again were asked if we charged for reviews. After some discussion with NicStick, they sent us a few different products to review. It was around this time that we began to wonder if there were websites out there that wrote, what we used to call back in the 80’s “editorial reviews” which clients paid for, and those reviews would rave about the company and it would then appear in a newspaper somewhere. Do these ‘editorial reviews’ still exist today?
Clearly, NicStick wanted to know that if they shipped product for review they would be treated with honesty and integrity. Since Spinfuel is somewhat new the industry, we would do the same thing. It’s a good idea to vet the company that is about to tell others what they think about your product. Hopefully our review will lead to many more US-based publications to take a deeper look at their product line. They certainly deserve the exposure here in the states.
NicStick sent us 3 products to review – a 510-compatible “Tank” system, an eGo T System, and a 510-compatible “Sirius Deluxe” mini-kit. All the products were nicely packaged, nicely spec’d (all Joyetech products), and competitively priced. Our first impression upon inspecting the contents of the box was positive. NicStick products use eLiquid supplied by DeKang, one of the most respected Chinese made eLiquids on the market. There are literally millions of people that love DeKang eLiquid, unfortunately no one here at Spinfuel feel that way.
The Unknown Product
The Sirius Deluxe doesn’t appear on the US NicStick website anywhere, yet it was one of the products we received. This is because it is basically a product sold in the UK.
Not finding the Sirius Deluxe led to a couple of hours of Google searching, which led us to reviews about NicStick coming up over and over again from two particular websites, electronic-cigarette-best.com and electronic-cigarette-brand.info. Both are Chinese registered websites written in English. To put it lightly both websites were found to be ‘suspect’ after reading a few of their strangely written posts. Investigating the domain names with WHOIS let to discovering that both domains, and more than a couple of dozen other domains with electronic-cigarette-‘something’ or electric-cigarette-‘something’ were all registered to Chinese companies.
Any Real Reviews?
When it came to finding real reviews about the Sirius Deluxe or any other products by NicStick they were nowhere to be found except on sites deemed to be nothing more than sites that seem to feature fake reviews or paid reviews. Websites where all the brands represented are fantastic, the best, #1 best selling, and so forth.
What To Do?
Honestly, we are the ones that contacted NicStick requesting a review. It was our responsibility to the vendor, and the readers, to conduct the reviews regardless of what information we could, or couldn’t find about the company.
It took a little digging, but we did finally learn that NicStick is an authorized Joyetech OEM distributor. So you can trust that the products you buy from NicStick are going to be genuine Joyetech.
The eGo-T kit we received, called the NicStick Tank eGo Duo ($52.95) a Joyetech eGo T, and that the NicStick Tank Single ($29.95) is a Joyetech 510-compatible battery. The quality is there for both products, and we’ve had no issues with any of the hardware so far.
NicStick Corporation says it is a privately owned American company based in the United States. They write on their website that their underlying business practices are “to provide a positive experience for both its customers and its employees.” If true, and we have no indicators that they are not, that would be a positive indicator that NicStick is a quality company seeking to sell good quality vaping products for those that use eCigarettes.
Let’s Do The Reviews!
For this review I invited Julia Barnes, Asst. Editor, to join me and help give you, our readers, our unbiased experiences while using the products. While we do have plans on reviewing their entire product line, our first time out is the eGo-T kit, the mini-eCig Tank kit, and lastly, the Sirius Deluxe.
The mini-eCig 510-compatible “NicStick Tank System”.
The mini-eCigarette battery used by NicStick is rated at 240mAh and has a 510-thread. Battery life is above average. In fact, once we initially charged up the battery we left it alone for several days, when we returned to begin our review it was still fully charged.
The “Single Tank” kit ships with an atomizer, USB charger with an auto-shut off feature that prevents overcharging, and 3 prefilled cartridges. In essence it’s a 3-piece mini-eCig, but with the ever popular 510-thread you can easily switch to prefilled or blank 510 Cartomizers.
The prefilled cartridges off the rounded tip (our favorite) cartridge. With the atomizer and cartridge in place it provides and excellent “pull” and decent vapor production. It should be noted that neither Julia nor myself enjoy eCigarettes that are too easy to pull, or that draw too much air when you inhale. The NicStick “pull” felt just right.
Also of note is the cartridges are the newer type cartridge; they do not contain any filler material. This type of cartridge allows for a larger capacity and a cleaner taste of the eJuice.
The NicStick Tank eGo Duo
Their eGo T Tank system uses the 650mAh battery; the atomizer & cone are one piece, much like Apollo’s TGo system (basically the same mechanics). The eGo T by Joyetech is a fine battery, and the rated ‘650’ puffs or draws, is pretty close but your experience may be different based upon how you hit it. If you are a heavy inhaler it will last less than 650 drags.
The Tank eGo Duo contains 2 eGo T batteries, 2 eGo T atomizer/cones, 5 1.1ML prefilled Cartridges (no filler material), 1 USB Connector/Charger with the auto shut off feature, a Wall charger, and a faux leather carrying slipcase. At $52.95 you get quite a bang for the buck.
NicStick uses DeKang eLiquid in both kits, but they also sell empty cartridges for each kit at a great price; $4.95 for packs of 5. We received a box of each, and were delighted to have a pack of empty 510-compatible cartridges with rounded tips. (We’ve been looking for them to use in other devices).
It should be noted again that neither Julia nor myself particularly enjoy DeKang eJuice. That is in no way a negative about the products we reviewed since there are millions of people that enjoy DeKang every day. So, because we wanted to be true to NicStick we did use the prefilled cartridges for a couple of hours and then switched to using the empty cartridges we received and used a variety of juices from Virgin Vapors, Mountain Oak Vapors, Johnson Creek, and even Halo Cigs. The impressions below are based off of our experience using both DeKang and the other eJuices.
NicStick Tank Single – Mini-eCig
Julia: – I rather liked this product. Sure, no one who is heavy into vaping is going to buy a single-battery starter kit but if you are just starting out, or if you’re not sure vaping is for you, a small investment of $29.95 is a great way to experiment. DeKang eLiquid isn’t a bad choice either. I may not enjoy their juice but others will.
The draw was terrific using the atomizer and cartridge method. The system provided plenty of flavor and vapor as well. Since there is no filler material in the rounded tip cartridge you simply fill the tank/cartridge with eJuice, push it into the atomizer, attach the atomizer to the battery and go.
This cartridge is the way of the future folks. Without the filler material NicStick provides a way to get to the unadulterated flavor from the juice and it provides a nice 1ML capacity in a small size. Oh, and I love the rounded tip on these cartridges.
The battery life was more than adequate, and recharge time was fairly fast. I would suggest that if you are just starting out and are thinking about buying this kit you should toss in one of their 5-pack empty cartridges just in case you want to try another brand of eJuice. A total investment of $35 to get a nice quality mini-kit is an excellent investment.
John: I’d like to add that DeKang is a very popular Chinese eJuice and it does have its fair share of fans, so there is no denying that NicStick chose well, IF it had to pick a Chinese made eJuice it would be DeKang.
Since the Tank system is a 510-compatible product you certainly aren’t stuck using DeKang if you want to go exploring some of the American-Made eJuice we’ve written about in July. You can also buy 510-compatible atomizers and empty cartridges on the cheap, even the round tip cartridges you like so much, and fill them with whatever you want. And let’s not forget that the Tank system can also use prefilled or fill-your-own cartomizers. It’s a versatile kit for very little money.
The bottom line is that for $29.95 you are buying a Joyetech battery, atomizer, and a few cartridges, along with a USB charger. Purchased separately you’d spend quite a bit more. As an introduction to vaping this just might be the way to go.
NicStick eGo-T Tank System “Tank Ego Duo”
The Tank Ego Duo offers 2 eGo-T NicStick batteries running at 3.7 Volts, 650mAh, and two atomizer/cones. The Kit comes with 5 prefilled cartridges (1.1ML capacity). Also included are the USB Connector/Charger, Wall Adapter and a soft carrying case (quite nice). The USB connector will not overcharge the battery. This rather complete kit will cost you $52.95.
Julia: I have a variety of eGo batteries and kits because I like them. I have batteries in 650mAh to 1100mAh strengths and the only difference is the amount of puffs, or drags, you get from them. In other words, don’t think you’re going to get a better experience with a 900mAh battery over a 650mAh battery. The amount of voltage they put out is identical, 3.4 volts (they are rated at 3.7 volts, but in reality 99.99% all put out 3.4 volts).
Having said that, the 650mAh batteries are a nice size, and with the atomizer/cone in place the balance is really nice. The eGo T puts out ample vapor, and with this tank system you get a good amount of eJuice in each cartridge, 1.1ML. You can buy higher capacity cartridges as well for the eGo T, allowing you to go as high as 2ML.
For $52.95 you are getting quite a bit of hardware, and when you check other brands (well, they are mostly Joyetech, so I’m talking rebranding here) you are going to pay more.
John: You know, we don’t point out the eGo battery ratings enough, and we should. When you choose your eGo battery think in number of drags you’re going to get, not how much power you’re going to send to the atomizer. Thanks for pointing that out Jules.
I’d also like to mention that the batteries in the NicStick package have that rubberized paint job that I love so much, so it feels great to hold.
We both liked the eGo T, the performance was fine, the battery life was good, so no complaints. Once again I want to emphasize that there are millions of customers that love DeKang, and perhaps we would have been among them if we hadn’t just spent the last 6 weeks reviewing nothing but American-Made eJuice.
The most important factor to consider in either of these products is what you get now, and later. If you like the DeKang eJuice you’re all set. Price is great, quality is Joyetech, so no problem there, and the cost of buying refill cartridges is in line with everyone else. You’re not going to be ripped off by purchasing NicStick.
DeKang is Expensive
We were surprised by the price of the DeKang juice offered by NicStick. Paying a dollar a ML is too much, and NicStick charges even more than that. Their 5ML bottles (which are way too small) are a whopping $7.99, the 10ML (minimum size) is $12.99 and their 15ML is $18.95. Compare that to the American made Johnson Creek Smoke Juice where you can pick up any of their flavors in 30ML size for $19.95, and that’s without a myriad amount of discount codes and sales they run. NicStick’s price for DeKang is more than double what a good American made juice will cost you.
Julia: This is the problem. The hardware is good, I mean, it’s Joyetech. The price of the hardware includes prefilled cartridges, but the cost of buying DeKang is so outrageously high why would you want to do it?
John: I agree. I enjoyed using their products, especially the 510 Tank Single. But the price of DeKang refills is just ridiculous. The funny thing is, when you buy 5-pack prefilled cartridges you are buying them at $9.95, which is a good price when compared to buying prefilled cartomizers from Green Smoke, South Beach Smoke, or a dozen others.
The Sirius Deluxe
NicStick is available in thousands of retail outlets, and I imagine that the Sirius Deluxe is probably the product that is most available in these retail spots. In essence, it’s the 510-compatible battery (we’re assuming the batteries are Joyetech); only this time out NicStick offers prefilled cartomizers instead of cartridges. These are the NicStick 2-piece offering.
Julia: There is not a lot we can say about them. These products are not listed on the NicStick website and we cannot find any information on them on the Internet. We have no idea what they cost.
John: We know that you get 2 batteries, 1 USB charger and 2 prefilled cartomizers. They come in black and white batteries, with black cartomizers for the black battery and yellow-ish cartomizers for the white batteries. (The white batteries have a thin line running down the batteries to emulate the look of a paper cigarette.
The 510-compatible Tank System, and the eGo T Tank Duo are priced right. The quality is there, we had no complaints at all with the hardware. I particularly liked the rubberized finish on the eGo T batteries and Julia liked the round tips of the 510 cartridges.
If you are looking for a good eGo T at a good price we can recommend the NicStick eGo T Duo, and if you are just starting out and want to get your feet wet with an inexpensive investment we highly recommend the NicStick mini-eCig Tank system.
We see no real value in buying the DeKang eJuice from NicStick. A 15ML bottle selling for $18.95 is more than twice the cost of great juice made right here in America, including Johnson Creek Smoke Juice.
Julia: I would like to point out though that we do not think NicStick is attempting to draw you in and rip you off with the DeKang eJuice. If that were the case they would stick to selling prefilled cartridges and cartomizers. By selling empty cartridges for a great price ($4.95 for a 5-pc) you are free to use whatever eJuice you want.
Finally, we see no need for NicStick to pay anyone to review its products. We also don’t understand why there are not more American and European websites with legitimate reviews of their products. If we’ve missed anything let us know, please.
As far as we can tell, these Joyetech made products by NicStick are good quality, priced to sell, and stood up to our heavy vaping. What more could you want?
Stop by their website and take a look. Oh, and if you see the Sirius Deluxe let us know will ya? We’d like to review the one we got, but until we know it’s actually for sale, we’d rather not. UPDATE: The Sirius Deluxe is a product sold in the UK through US distributors and sometime in the fall will be a product available on the US website.
John Manzione and Julia Barnes