Last Updated on April 6, 2018 by Team Spinfuel
If you told me that Uwell – makers of the legendary Crown tanks, and the stellar Valyrian sub-ohm monster – was going to make a Vape Mod, I would have expected a standard, dual-18650 device. But, knowing how creative the company is, I shouldn’t be surprised that its first entry is a unique, single-battery stick mod – the Uwell Nunchaku.
I also shouldn’t be surprised that the Nunchaku performs really well. It’s not a flawless device, by any means, and I’m not 100% sure what audience will be best served by it. But for a first effort, the Nunchaku gets a lot more right than wrong. Let’s dive in and see why.
Initial Impressions of the Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit
The Uwell Nunchaku was named after the handled assault weapon used by ninjas and occasional Stallone victims. And I suppose that’s what the tapered, ergonomic tube design was meant to represent … even if my metallic purple test model likely won’t instill fear in many enemies.
But the bowed-out, curvaceous format makes the single-18650 Nunchaku extremely comfortable to hold, even if it is a little weightier than I first expected from its size. And there’s no denying that the tapered top half makes for a seamless look and feel – especially when paired with the companion Nunchaku tank. I don’t mean to be redundant, but the pairing looks fantastic together, and those who don’t usually prefer stick/tube Mods might find themselves taking a second glance.
As a guy who doesn’t usually prefer this style of Mod, I was a little taken aback by the Nunchaku’s minuscule display and adjustment buttons. I made a Vamo reference in the preview, and with good reason – while the Nunchaku is clearly more advanced than the seminal Vamo tubes, the displays and controls are shockingly similar.
That said, the Nunchaku is easy enough to operate, with one exception – the positioning of the controls and screen at the bottom of the tube, rather than in plain sight near the tank portion. At just 94mm tall, it’s not like you need to crane your neck to see the information necessary. And it’s not as much of a distraction as I may have portrayed, but it’s still confusing from a functionality standpoint.
The display itself is a throwback, to be sure. With a look and feel similar to Eleaf’s seminal Box Mods, the crammed screen manages to convey all necessary readings, without getting in the way. It’s not going to win any awards, but with just 80 watts of power and limited temperature control functionality, there isn’t much the display needs to convey, anyway.
Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit specs:
- Size: 27.4 mm x 94.5 mm
- Material: stainless steel
- Power range: 5-80W
- Voltage range: 0.7-7V
- Resistance range: 0.1-3 ohms (VW), 0.1-1ohms (TC), 0.1-0.5ohms (Bypass)
- Multiple work modes: power mode, TC mode(NI,SS), bypass mode.
- Replaceable 18650 battery, or charge over USB
Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit contents:
- Uwell Nunchaku mod
- Uwell Nunchaku tank
- Extra quartz glass
- 0.25Ω coil (installed)
- 0.4Ω coil
- Pack of replacement O-rings
- Micro USB cable
- User manual
The Spinfuel VAPE Score
Operating the Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit
While the display might be limiting, the straightforward menu system is a highlight, just because of how easy it is to use. Today, with so many systems and menu tree operations to learn, it’s all-too-easy to forget how simple things used to be, just a few years ago. The standard “three-click” system is in place, and works well, without any confusion about what to do, or where to go next.
The fire and operation buttons are a mixed bag, unfortunately. Though the fire key is suitably clicky and firm, I had it stick on me several times – usually after longer draws. It always popped right out and fired well afterwards. But this was a nuisance I wasn’t expecting.
The up/down buttons, on the other hand, are outstanding. Firm, clicky, with the right amount of responsiveness – these tiny interfaces manage to be another highlight of the Uwell Nunchaku.
My only concern with the Nunchaku’s simple setup is that installing and removing the 18650 cell was a little awkward, with some rough threading on the battery cap, which made for some less-than-secure connections. It eventually smoothed out with repeated use, but for such a polished Vape Mod Kit, I was a little surprised by this poor machining error.
(And with a tagline like “…makes the tube as safe as a box mod” the last place I expected to find flaws was near the battery. Safety first, Uwell…)
The Uwell Nunchaku Tank
Despite so many great tanks in Uwell’s growing lineup, I was surprised to see a new device introduced with the Nunchaku. But overall, the Nunchaku sub-ohm tank was a pretty good performer, even if it didn’t make me forget about my Valyrian.
With 25mm diameter, 5mL of capacity and proprietary coils designed to produce massive flavor and vapor at low wattages, the Nunchaku tank is an interesting beast. But most of the marketing talk included with the tank turned out to be just that – talk.
First, there is the “condensation holder” section, which made no sense to me, but was supposed to make the tank easier to clean. Well, maybe it’s just me, but I cleaned the Nunchaku tank the same way I clean all the others in my collection. Not a big deal, but why did Uwell feel the need to draw attention to a non-factor?
Secondly, the flavor-focused coils – 0.25 and 0.4 ohms, respectively – were indistinguishable from one another, except when the Nunchaku was cranked to its maximum 80 watts. Both offered decent flavor and surprisingly decent vapor production, but neither were as good as the Crown SE-1 or Valyrian offerings, and neither lasted that long, either.
If the key selling point here are coils that offer high-wattage performance at low wattages, why did I have to max out the Nunchaku to get the most from either of them?
As a part of this matched kit, I liked the Nunchaku. But as a standalone atomizer, I’m not sure I’d be as willing to spend my money when there are better options out there.
Vaping the Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit
Simplicity is the name of the game with the Nunchaku Mod Kit, and to that end, it delivers in spades. Just seconds after priming the coils and installing the 18650 battery, I was vaping at a modest 45 watts, and enjoying the experience. And things only got better as I moved the needle higher toward the Nunchaku’s 80-watt maximum.
In power mode, the Nunchaku ramped smoothly, and hit its marks without much trouble. There were some minor missteps above 70 watts, but no misfires or severe pulsing. It was to be expected with a single-18650 device, but we wish it wasn’t the case.
I switched atomizers and tried the limited temp control functionality, and was satisfied with the performance, even if the tiny display and linear menus made it a little difficult to get things where I wanted them. With support for only nickel and stainless coils, I don’t see the Nunchaku as a desirable Mod for temp control enthusiasts, but I suppose options are nice to have.
Surprisingly, I found the most enjoyment from using the Nunchaku as a mechanical-type mod, through bypass mode. I almost never bother with this type of vaping, but with the Nunchaku, I thought it might be good to go retro, and see how direct voltage vaping worked on battery life. And sure enough, it provided the steadiest, longest battery life of the three available modes.
That said, the single-18650 format isn’t going to get you very far, regardless of what mode you’re in. I averaged less than three hours of moderate vaping before having to recharge. And these numbers dwindled once I started using the max wattage settings.
Again, not surprising for a single-18650 setup. But perhaps a larger battery type (or even a high-capacity internal cell) would have served the Nunchaku better than the current format.
One of our biggest questions from our Uwell Nunchaku Mod Kit preview was “why?” As in, “why would Uwell enter the Vape Mod market with a single-18650 stick mod?” Or, “why would they introduce a new tank SKU when they have so many winners on shelves already?”
I’m not sure I have the answers, to be quite honest. On one hand, the Nunchaku is a sharp, compact, solidly performing Vape Mod that harkens back to a simpler time in vaping. On the other, it’s a limited device that seems to only sing at its maximum capabilities. So, it’s hard to determine what type of vaper would be best served from owning one.
At face value, there’s an awful lot to like with the Uwell Nunchaku. But I also find myself hoping this company puts out a true, dual-battery, mid-to-high wattage Mod, paired with one of its flagship tanks, to see what they can come up with next.