Monday, March 16, 2015

REVIEW: Kamry K100 and clones

For affordability and sturdiness, there is likely no better mechanical mod than the Kamry K100. The K100 is a clone of the Empire mod, and there are now clones of the clone. In this case, the mod is simple enough that there is little difference in performance between the originals and the clones.

If it's beauty that is being sought, then, well, it's gonna be in the eye of the beholder. I have two of these mods on the table in front of me - one original Kamry clone (odd to have to write it like that, but the Kamry is, at this point, better known that the empire version) with a silver finish, and one or the clones of the clone with a gold (more orange, honestly) anodized aluminum.

As it originally shipped from Kamry, it came with an 18650 battery and an 18350 battery, a single bay charger with a spring-loaded connector so either battery could be charged, a vape safe fuse, a case, a drip shield, two XL 510 cartomizers, a drip tip, and a case. I have no idea what these cost when first introduced, but the Empire Mod is listed at $139, and I picked up my first one - sans kit, just the body - for $10 and a second as a full kit for $19.99 plus shipping.

The compatibility of this mod is off the charts. It is a telescoping mod that will, with a couple twists of the barrel-like main body, accept an 18350, an 18490/18500, an 18650, or an 18650 with the vape safe fuse, an 18500 with a kick, or an 18350 with a kick. The documentation says that it wall also accept stacked 18350, but I am not a fan of stacked batteries. The compatibility parade continues with a 510 connector surrounded by an eGo connector in a deep well. It shipped with an XL 510 cartomizer with a matching drip shield threaded onto the eGo ring and a matching drip tip. I've used the cartomizer, and I've attached a Kanger EVOD2 glassomizer, a Rocket RTA, a, Octopus RDA, a Kanger Subtank Mini, and an old CE4 to the device and all have worked. The Kanger T3D was a smidge too large to fit into the well surrounding the eGo threading.

A note regarding the vape safe fuse.
Although I recognize this as an important safety feature and applaud the inclusion of it with this kit, the telescoping nature of this mod in conjunction with the vape safe fuse can lead to damaged batteries. Do not over-tighten the device when using the vape safe fuse.

However, it is the 510/eGo connector that I feel makes the device's beauty to fade. The eGo threading well tapers just a tad and, at the top, is just around 16 mm on the outside, and 14.5 mm on the inside. Good luck finding an atomizer that looks neat and flush with those dimensions. Adding insult to injury in that quest is the color of the anodized aluminum sleeves. Gold is rather orange, and a gold mini RDA I purchased fits nicely, but looks off just a bit. With that color discrepancy, I am hesitant to buy another tank or atomizer online for fear that it won't match. The Kanger EVOD looked OK, the original drip shield/cartomizer/drip tip assembly looks sharp. Most other atomizers look a little big and bulbous. Is it important for the operation of the device? Not at all. Does it bother me? A little.

The outer barrel of the device is 25 mm, The battery tube is about 19 mm. The overall length without atomizer and adjusted for an 18650 battery is about 129 mm tall. When adjusted down for an 18350, the length is around 99 mm tall without atomizer. The firing button is located on the bottom beneath a reverse threaded locking ring. Above the locking ring is a knurled ring with 3 battery vent holes. The clone offers an additional vent holes in the center of the battery tube. The battery tube is about 49 mm with the bottom 7 mm being thread, and the top 12 mm being the eG0/510 connector assembly. The eGo/510 well also has three holes to allow for airflow. The weight of the device without battery or atomizer is around 100 g. A typical 18650 will add another 42 g, and an 18350 will add another 22 g. This makes for a nice, sturdy, pocketable device. Oddly enough, the second device is about 16 g heavier and the threading is different across the board.

The switch has a nice throw, and is smooth. It is a little stiff, but I can still easily operate it with my pinky finger on either hand. The switch is stiff enough, though, that I feel relatively safe in setting the device down without locking it. I am torn between thinking this is a good thing because it saves me effort each time I want to vape on it, and thinking that it's a bad thing because it teaches a bad habit. You should always lock your mod when setting it down especially with mods using a bottom firing switch.

As far as function is concerned, this is a great device. There appears to be no noticeable voltage drop, and it functions as expected every time the firing switch is activated. It is also a very solid device. I have had both of my models knocked down or off of the table on more than one occasion, and they have not suffered much, if at all.

Would I buy this device (again, for a third time)? You bet. For the money, this cannot be beat!

  • Finish 8/10 - It's attractive enough as it ships with an eye catching design and discrete logos (if any) and the threading appears to work fine for each device even though it is different between the two devices I own. I am not a huge fan of the anodized aluminum and the wonky color schemes available. I also find it difficult to find atomizers or tanks that look just right with it.
  • Form 10/10 - As a telescoping mod, this one will fit just about anyone's hand and can be used in stealth mode or as a full sized personal vaporizer.
  • Function 9/10 - The heavy-enough-to-set-down-without-locking switch is both a blessing and a curse.
  • Final - 9/10 Solid
You can find this device in a lot of places. When looking, make sure it is the entire kit you're purchasing. Several sites I have come across are selling just the body for as much as other sites sell the entire kit. It's also worth noting that the K101 device is identical in construction, but opted for a different shaped barrel and drip shield. Here it is, labelled as a Sigelei, in stock, for $19.99 from one of my favorite vendors.