The Stumpy Intro
The Stumpy by Element Mods is one of the newest short-profile RDAs on the market (released on 6/12/15). Standing at a mere 19 mm (minus the 510 connection and drip tip), The Stumpy is quite small. And just like all the others in its class, The Stumpy can produce incredible vapor and flavor – two of the main reasons why this style of RDA has become so popular.
The Stumpy looks a little different from the others – The Derringer, The Bambino, The Rogue, The REMatty, etc. – because The Stumpy’s top cap is slightly domed with circulating, deep triangular-esque cutouts. This simple departure from the aesthetic sameness of those other RDAs makes The Stumpy instantly recognizable.
Aesthetics aside, is The Stumpy just the same ol’ short-profile RDA made by a different company? No. Of course it is like the others, but The Stumpy stands out from the pack because of one key difference under the cap. That difference is not just cosmetic or there for the sake of being different, it actually does make a difference – a big difference – in a good way.
The Stumpy Specs and Features
- 1 x The Stumpy RDA
- 1 x Full set of O-rings
- 1 x Full set of grub screws (socket head)
- 1 x Allen key
- 1 x SS Cool Cap (adapter for 510 drip tips)
A small, logo-branded rectangular cardboard box. Everything fits snugly inside. No wasted space or anything unnecessary.
This one feature is why I was more excited to buy The Stumpy over other similar RDAs – it’s what ultimately sets it apart from them. It has a two-post deck! I’ve owned RDAs with two-post decks, but lately I’ve become so accustomed to three-post decks (for RDAs like this) I don’t even question the convention. Luckily, Element Mods did question it.
Ease of build
Two-post decks are almost too easy to build on! This type of deck is likely the simplest set-up to get your single- or dual-coil build placed squarely in the sweet spot of the deck. No advanced techniques required. No compromising your build because you don’t possess those techniques. You simply take your two leads and insert them into your posts like a plug in a socket (on both sides or just one*, since The Stumpy can be used in single- or dual-coil mode). After you have your coil(s) in where you want them, just tighten down the screws. Getting them tidy from there is a cinch because they’ll already be sitting smack dab in between the two posts.
Most RDAs like The Stumpy have the easier-to-manufacturer three-post or split-post build decks. [Split-post decks – also called T-post decks – are like three-post decks except they have a positive post with a two-connection block for your leads. That makes it easy to install dual coils, but it doesn’t help at all to get the coils centered.] With those decks, you have to either have your coil(s) off to the side or with strategically placed bends in your leads so the coil(s) are in the middle of the deck (making what is called a “center-post build”). Having your coils in the middle of your deck is important because it maximizes the space for wicking, the efficiency of the wicking and, arguably, it can optimize airflow around your coils. If your coils are off-center, the negative-post side of the wick can get choked — causing poor wicking — due to the lack of room between the negative lead(s) and the wall of the chamber. Not good for the vape.
As far as I am concerned, making center-post builds for RDAs like this is just the “right” way to do it, but many people will find achieving quality center-post builds challenging on three- or split-post decks. You might see a lot of quality center-post builds online (or at vape shops/meets), but they are not likely made from casual builders. I can do one fairly well on those types of decks, but I’d prefer not to have to do them! On The Stumpy, making a good center-post build is almost automatic and about as easy as installing a coil head on a sub-ohm clearomizer. Well, maybe not that easy, but ultimately effortless for an RDA! Being able to make a good center-post build with a significant amount of ease means more vapers will be able to enjoy it without struggle. That’s a good thing. A very good thing!
If unaware of what “center-post builds” look like, just google it and check out the images. You should be able to spot the good ones.
Note: As I was typing this, I decided to install a single-coil Clapton build running inside of the two posts (a slightly advanced approach, but not by much). I did a single-coil Clapton on it before – the normal way, just on one side of the deck – but it was a little too hot because I was only using the single-coil option of airflow (if I would’ve used the dual-coil airflow option that way, one set of air holes would’ve been too far away from the coil to be efficient). I realized that due to the two-post deck having no center post, I could install the coil inside of the two posts and trap the leads on opposing sides. This allows me to run a single coil, but with equidistant dual-coil airflow. Now the coil gets dripped on directly and it has the perfect amount of air to cool it off. I think I just found my perfect vape for this atty — and I can’t do that build on a three-post deck!
If interested in the details of what a Clapton coil is or how it is made, you can search YouTube. It’s way too difficult to summarize it here (and I likely wouldn’t be able to anyway.
Another aspect of The Stumpy that sets it apart from a few others is its 4.5 mm deep juice well. For such a small atomizer, I am really impressed by how much liquid it holds. You might find a little bit of relief from having to drip so often if you are used to vaping with RDAs like this. It actually holds more liquid than many other RDAs that aren’t even considered “short-profile”.
It is also very easy to see directly into the well, since there is no positive post, so when you drip you can get a very clear picture of how much liquid you are adding. But, it can leak if you over-drip due to it not having top-fed airflow like The Rogue or The REMatty. Just be mindful of the amount you are dripping; don’t tilt the mod and atty too much while vaping and you should be fine.
Three sets of three 2.5mm air holes. You can use one or two sets and adjust them partially closed off or totally open. I’ve used several of these super-short RDAs and they all seem to have approximately the same amount of airflow. Wide open they have a generous amount of airflow. Not tight. Not excessively open.
This is likely the only con of this atty. The airflow controller is essentially adjusted by pinching and turning the cutouts on the top cap (it’s hard on fingernails!). The problem is that the controller is extremely tight on the barrel of the atty. Luckily, I don’t need to change airflow (I just keep it wide open); I set it and leave it.
A tip to get it to adjust more easily: take the top cap off the barrel of the atty and add a little bit of pure vg to the rim – that will give it some lubrication to make adjusting it easier. If you don’t have pure vg, just use your highest vg eliquid.
The Stumpy RDA atomizer does come with a 510 drip-tip adapter — unlike the annoying, proprietary drip-cap trend in RDAs right now – so you can use your favorite drip tip if you want. Although, the best looking tips for The Stumpy, IMO, are the Element Mods Chuff tips which you would have to buy separately (and those are proprietary tips to be used without the 510 adapter), but you are not bound to those.
Machined well with a nice finish. The tolerances are good across the board except the overly tight airflow controller.
Performance (vapor and flavor)
Stunning flavor and great vapor. In my opinion, it can perform just as well as The Derringer or any other atty in its class, but because it has more space to build and a lack of a center post, it gets a confident nod for the most versatile for the super-short RDAs.
- Incredible flavor
- Great vapor
- Easy as hell to build on (two-post deck)
- Single-coil or dual-coil options
- Deep juice well
- Large post slots for thicker gauge wires
- No spinning positive post
- No wonky screws that will loosen
- PEEK insulators
- Comes with a 510 drip tip adapter
- Plenty of spare parts
- Came clean as a whistle (no machine oil)
- Well machined
- Very versatile for this type of atty and the builds you can use
- Simple and minimal look, but not so minimal its boring
- A bit pricey
- Difficult to adjust the airflow while in use
- Possible leaking if you over drip