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Vandy Vape Kylin Mini II Review: Extended Half Pipe Airflow

Stu Dowling
October 6, 2020

Product intro and specs

Vandy Vape has once again brought us another RTA from the Kylin series. It’s the Kylin Mini II, and it was designed by Stefen Z (Zhang), who is the Chief Engineer, CEO, and lead designer of all current Vandy Vape products.

The Kylin Mini II is a 24.4 mm RTA that comes with both a straight glass and a bubble tank, both of which are Pyrex. The straight glass holds 3 mL while the bubble tank holds 5 mL. It’s using what Vandy Vape calls a 270° honeycomb airflow. It encompasses the entire bottom and sides of the coil, and since it’s top airflow, it won’t leak. For many, that was a problem with previous versions, with the exception of the Kylin M. In fact, after the first release of the original Kylin, Vandy Vape had to send out replacement decks due to leaking.

But the question remains: do we need another Kylin?

This RTA was sent to me by MyVpro for the purpose of this review.

Price: $32.99 (at MyVpro)
Colors: Matte black, SS, rainbow, gold, gunmetal, frosted grey

Specifications

  • Diameter: 24.4 mm
  • Capacity: 3 mL standard capacity / 5 mL bubble tank capacity
  • Materials: 316 stainless steel / Pyrex glass reinforcement
  • Threaded top fill system - dual fill ports
  • Postless build deck - 2 deck-based terminals
  • Side secured by hex head screws
  • Single coil installation
  • PEEK insulator
  • Adjustable dual honeycomb top airflow
  • Ventilates 270° around bottom of coil
  • Threaded 510 connection

Kit contents

  • 1 x Kylin Mini v2 RTA
  • 1 x Pyrex glass tube 3 mL
  • 1 x Spare parts bag
  • 1 x Coil lead guide
  • 1 x Instruction manual
  • 1 x Pre-built fused Clapton coil 0.3 ohm

Build quality and design

The Kylin Mini II has the same high-quality construction and materials you would expect from Vandy Vape. The machining is good and all of the O-ring tolerances are perfect. I can’t fault the build quality at all, but there are a couple of things about the design I have to point out later in the review; mainly the post hole orientation and the fact that the deck spins freely on the base, but we’ll get to that.

The tank currently comes in six different finishes. I received the stainless-steel version and I have to say that I find it to be an aesthetically pleasing RTA. There is some deep notched knurling on the fill cap and base and some branding on the bell.

The RTA measures 24.4 mm in diameter at the base and is 37.7 mm from the base to the top, not including the drip tip. The drip tip itself is a healthy 9 mm tall, which I prefer because it helps keep your lips away from the top cap. But there’s only one in the package unfortunately. The chimney is 18 mm at the deck and it doesn’t taper, but instead has a slightly domed chamber reduced to approximately 7 mm as it travels up between the airflow, fill holes, and drip tip.

The fill holes are kidney style but squared off around the edges. They’re hard to measure since they are 8 mm below where the top cap threads on, but they are about 11 mm by 4 mm. The reason they sit so low is because the entire area under the fill cap behind the AFC ring can be filled with liquid.

The tank is fairly straightforward and somewhat easy to use, though there are a couple of issues I need to point out. For one, the deck spins freely on the base. I didn’t have any trouble building on it, but you have to remove the base from your atomizer to assemble it after you’ve got it wicked. It was a little difficult for me to thread the chimney onto the base, the threads didn’t want to catch until I’d spun it around a couple times and felt it click into place. It’s not a huge deal, but I have to point it out. Another thing is that the post holes are aligned for coils that are wrapped counter-clockwise, and most of your pre-built coils are wrapped clockwise, but we’ll get to that in the building section of this review.

On the website it says both the standard version and the TPD version have a 3 mL straight glass and a 5 mL bubble tank, yet to be TPD compliant it cannot exceed 2 mL. Websites selling them have listed the capacity as “3 mL / 5 mL (2 mL TPD [UK])”, so it’s a little confusing. I don’t know if the TPD version has a straight glass that is 2 mL instead of 3 mL, or if it’s listed that way just to satisfy the requirements of the EU, but on the website, the straight glasses for both versions look the same. The bubble glass comes pre-installed and the straight glass is included in the package.

Build deck and wicking

The Kylin Mini II has a postless deck with a hex head grub screw on each side. For some reason, websites selling them state that its side-secured by Phillips head screws, but mine are hex head and came with two spare flathead screws in the package. It even came with the Allen wrench to adjust the hex head screws but no screwdriver to adjust the flathead screws.

Note: I have a sample package so I don't know if retail versions are different. Let me know in the comments whether you have hex head or Phillips head grub screws, and what kind of spare screws you get.

One thing I found strange was that they give you a coil but they don’t include any cotton. At least throw in a single piece of agleted shoelace cotton or a square pad or something! I also think they should have thrown in another drip tip, but I digress.

Building

The RTA has a stainless-steel build deck that is roughly 17.4 mm in diameter including the wicking ports. The post holes are around 2 mm by 1.5 mm with a distance of 10 mm between them. That works well for slightly longer coils that are six or seven wraps, depending on how wide your wire is. A typical fused Clapton with five wraps will be a little short, so you either have to space it or bend the leads out a little in order to reach the holes. The space between the airflow on each side of the deck is 9 mm, so the diameter of your coil can be pretty much as large as you like.

I really wanted to use the included coil for this review, which is a Kanthal dual core fused Clapton, but I ran into a problem; the coil was compromised somehow. I decided to install it anyway. I cut the leads at 7 mm like it suggests, which was just right, and when I tried to dry fire it, I couldn’t get the hot spots out no matter what I tried. I suspect some of the wraps were broken. It’s likely isolated to me, but it still happened.

Next, I decided to use one of my Coilology framed staple coils, but when I took it out of the container and went to install it, the post holes were opposite where they needed to be for me to use it. All of my pre-built coils, no matter who the manufacturer is, are wrapped clockwise. I ultimately had to wrap my own coil from a spool of fused Clapton wire. I had to wrap the coil counter-clockwise, which meant I had to go underhand instead of overhand, which I’m not used to—but I’ve had to do it before with other atomizers. It would have actually been better if the post holes were in line with each other, as they were in the original Kylin Mini.

I finally got a 3 mm coil with six wraps installed, and as I expected, it didn’t take long to get the hot spots out and I was ready to wick. Once you have the coil wrapped in the right direction, it’s actually quite easy to build.

Wicking

As with any RTA, my method for getting a good, moist vape without dry hits is to wick it a little loose and give the ends a good comb-out. Depending on the size of your coil and the size of the wicking channels, some may require more of a comb-out than others. With a 3 mm coil, this one will require a good comb-out.

The wicking channels on this aren’t really channels per se, the tails of the cotton just sort of fall over a ledge into a rectangular space that is 9 mm wide by 1 mm deep. It’s better if you wet the cotton with liquid first and press and shape the cotton into place. Then you can thread the cap over the deck, just make sure there’s no cotton poking out over the threads. Remember, you have to remove the base from your atomizer or build stand before you can screw the atomizer together due to the spinning deck.

The juice flow holes are around 5 mm x 3 mm; big enough to let plenty of liquid through to the cotton. It’s been wicking well and I haven’t experienced any dry hits, even when chain vaping. I haven’t experienced any leaking either, but that’s due to the top airflow. So even if you wick it a little loose and comb out your cotton a good bit, you don’t have to worry about leaks. I can’t say for sure if that will be the case for you if you lay it on its side, but I laid mine on its side for a few minutes and no liquid came out.

Airflow

The Kylin Mini II has honeycomb top airflow that feeds into two slits behind the airflow control ring. Each slit is around 11 mm wide and tapers down to 8 mm, and is 3 mm from top to bottom. The AFC ring has three rows of seven holes on each side for a total of 21 holes. Each hole is slightly larger than 1 mm. To adjust the airflow simply turn the AFC ring, it has a stopper and will stop at fully open or fully closed. It turns smoothly without being too loose or too tight due to snug O-ring tolerances.

But the main attraction of the RTA is the airflow with its “270° radius” around the coil, which is where the extended half-pipe design comes into focus.

The deck has two rows of five holes on each side of the coil, and seven rows of three around the bottom, for a total of 41 holes. This creates the 270° radius around the coil. It has the appearance of an extended half pipe (if you’re into extreme sports). These holes are slightly smaller than those in the AFC ring, measuring 1 mm in diameter.

The airflow is really smooth and just barely restricted. I don’t remember what the airflow was like on the original Kylin Mini, and I don’t have one to compare at the moment. But I can tell you that it’s not as wide open as the Kylin II, and it’s not nearly as restricted as the Blotto. I like an airy draw, and the draw I’m getting from this is actually pretty good. I’m using a 3 mm coil, so if you use a 4 mm coil or bigger you may end up restricting the airflow some. But with 3 mm coil I find it to be just right.

Kylin Mini II performance

I really wanted to use the included coil with this RTA for the review, but as I mentioned earlier, that coil was compromised. With my Coilology 3 mm tri-core fused Clapton coil, the resistance came out to 0.3 ohms and the sweet spot was around 55 watts.

With that 270° airflow, I would expect it to have good flavor—especially since it’s hitting underneath the coil. Whether it has more flavor than previous versions it’s hard for me to tell. I think the flavor is pretty good, though that’s hardly a ringing endorsement.

The airflow is smooth and relatively quiet. The Blotto RTA has 272° honeycomb airflow but it had too much restriction for my tastes. The Kylin Mini II surpasses that by a wide margin. I run it all the way open and the restriction feels much more appropriate for how the deck appears. I find it to be quite suitable.

Pros / Cons

  • Good build quality
  • Great looks
  • 5 mL bubble tank
  • Smooth airflow
  • Easy to build
  • No leaking
  • Good flavor
  • Deck spins freely on base
  • Reverse-oriented post holes
  • Hard to thread chimney to base
  • Only one drip tip
  • No cotton included

Verdict

The Kylin Mini II is a well-built RTA with smooth threads and good O-ring tolerances. I’m not getting any leaking or dry hits, and the flavor is pretty good.

When I think of free spinning decks, I think of the Sigelei Moonshot, where they gave you a little tool to stick through the airflow hole to hold the deck in place while doing your build. No, you don’t need any tool for this. It’s actually easy to build on but you have to remove the base from your mod to screw the RTA together, and I did have some difficulty threading the chimney to the base.

The post hole orientation was another issue, but if you have coils that are wrapped counter-clockwise or you wrap your own, that won’t be a problem.

All in all, if you like single coil RTAs with a slightly restricted draw and good flavor, and you want something that doesn’t leak, then you might want to try this one.

As a musician by trade for the past 30 years I also smoked cigarettes even longer. There wasn't a time you wouldn't see a lit cigarette stuck to the end of my guitar on every song at every gig. I watched my mom die at the age of 54 from lung cancer as a result of smoking, yet I continued to smoke. Around seven years ago a friend let me try an old-school clearomizer filled with apple-flavored eliquid and that's all it took. I started with clearomizers, then subohm tanks, then rebuildables, and I've been helping people who want to make the switch ever since.
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