Many thanks to NYX E-Cigs. They sent us the package you see at the right to test and review.
This is the GeekVape Griffin with a capacity of 3.5 ml. This Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA) is clearly the leader of this category.
Up until about one year ago, all RTAs were compared to the Kayfun. Most were promoted as the Kayfun "killer". None really were, some came close.
The Kayfun killer ended up being the Kayfun V4 and basically killed off the line. You needed a master's degree to disassemble and reassemble the behemoth. And for most, it ended up being a heavy paperweight.
The GeekVape Griffin brings back this category of atomizers to glory. This is a simple tank with borosilicate glass tank and silicone seals. Top filling, and light, it will make its mark and challenge vapers to consider building their own coils to get the incredible flavor this tank generates. This is engineering at its best: simple and leak-proof top filling, generous adjustable air flow, build deck that is simple to wick, and liquid flow that is adjustable from the bottom. And it's non-obtrusive. It looks like a clearomizer, generates clouds like a dripper, and flavor that is extreme.
The GeekVape Griffin is available in two finishes: we received the black unit at the left to test and review. It's also available in brushed stainless steel as shown at the right.
Both feature delrin drip tips to keep things cool.
The top threads on/off for the top filling feature, and the threads are incredibly smooth.
We've had the unit apart several times now to inspect its design and build. All of the threaded parts are buttery smooth.
Take a close look at the picture at the right. The black unit has two graphics inside the tank and one on the exterior of the top filling ring. The three graphics create quite a contrast against the black. If you prefer "unobtrusive" vaping, you might want to consider the brushed stainless steel version.
Also in the picture, note the knurled ring at the bottom. That is to control the inner tank hole position that exposes or restricts liquid flow to the wicks. It's a bit tight to work, but an incredible feature that lets you customize the vape experience and amount of juice you end up using.
We've been using this tank for about one week now, with not one single bit of liquid leaking or coming out through the air flow slots ... and those air flow slots are quite a generous size.
The build deck is where the rubber meets the road.
This is what is known as velocity style deck. That is the posts are at the other extremeties and the screws for the coil legs are mounted with the head at the side. The gap between the posts and the large air holes under the coil create a vortex of air flow that cascades the heated coils with air that extracts every bit of flavor that is possible.
Each coil leg hole in the posts are 2 mm in size and designed for even the largest Clapton style coil. The layout of the holes in the posts is absolutely perfect. Legs in coils are offset just by the nature of how they are wrapped. With this setup, you can insert one leg in the top hole and the other leg in the opposing post bottom hole and end up awful close to a level coil configuration. We had to adjust slightly, but without ending up with a wonky look.
We tested this using twisted wrap Kanthal coils, each at 0.56 ohms. The total ended up being 0.28 ohms.
As with most other RTAs, there are no instructions in the box. Wicking WAS a bit of a challenge, but we ended up finding out the secret to getting it just right.
Look at the picture at the right. The red arrow points to a very thin ring that is threaded. To properly wick, you should remove that ring and slide your cotton to the bottom where the blue arrow points to.
The cotton should be loose and the thin ring should slip easily over the cotton to thread it back on. If the cotton is tight, you will restrict liquid flow.
Now, we need to point out that there are instructions you can find through a Google search that give instructions to cut the wick at the top edge of that ring. Doing so will mean that you will end up with leaks and dry hits. The liquid flow holes in the shroud are lined up with those liquid channels – if you do not have cotton in those channels, the liquid will be free flowing and will end up getting into the air flow channels that are underneath the coils. Only other point to make here is that the shroud that covers the build deck – while buttery smooth threads – is tight to put on and take off. The seal at the bottom is quite tight against the sides of the shroud.
When you get your GeekVape Griffin RTA, take the time to clean it out before you do anything else. We found quite a bit of machining oil left in the tank and it was visible at the top of the air flow chimney just taking the top off on initial disassembly. Despite diligent cleaning that included hot water and a used tooth brush, we still ended up with the initial tank and residual tastes of machining oil.
Now the best part. Gheez, the flavor is incredible. I really liked the Kayfun and just about every dripper tank I've tested. The Kayfun generates incredible flavor, and most dripper tanks do too. I had to stop using them though. For some time, I have been unable to make coils because of hand tremors (health issue). Fortunately for me (and many others that don't want to – or can't – wrap their own coils) there are now pre-built coils available in just about every possible configuration you can think of. I used coils from the UD Ferris Wheel kit (Canvape, $22.95) that includes 70 pre-built coils. I picked two of the twisted 0.5 ohm coils that came out to 0.56 each. Not the perfect solution, I'd like to be able to build my own like I used to, but a workable solution for now. And another tip for beginners in coil building, Canvape also carry the GeekVape DIY kit that includes everything you need to make your own coils including the "521 Tab" for reading your coil resistance and a fire option so you do not have to use your mod (powered by one single 18650 battery).
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth it?
Absolutely worth every cent. Kudos to GeekVape for one well designed tank that is simple to use, simple to build, and reasonably simple to wick. GeekVape have recently announced the Griffin 25 with a capacity of 6.2 Ml. Personally, I prefer this original design with 3.5 Ml capacity. As an RTA, it is fairly simple to do a flavor change and swap out to different juices. A larger capacity tank would mean waiting longer or some waste. I particularly liked the ability to turn the tank slightly on its base to adjust the amount of juice that could flow to the wicks. I like it wide open for lots of juice to hit those coils. The air flow is immense and I kept it wide open all the time – with an exception, I tested it with restricted air flow to make sure mouth inhalers would like it too. Works perfect. An all around excellent RTA. Definitely leading the category ....
What’s in the box?
- Griffin RTA by Geek Vape
- Wide Bore Delrin Drip Tip
- 510 Drip Tip Adaptor
- Replacement Glass
- Bag of O-Rings and Spare Screws (Hex Head)
- Hex L shaped tool