Vandy Vape x El Mono Vapeador Widowmaker RTA: That's a Tall Tank!
Product intro and specs
Vandy Vape and El Mono Vapeador have teamed up again to bring you the Widowmaker RTA. El Mono Vapeador is a Spanish reviewer with a huge fanbase in the Spanish-speaking vape crowd. The Widowmaker RTA is the follow-up to the RDA of the same name, and it is very unique, with a lot of features and many moving parts.
The Widowmaker RTA is 25 mm in diameter and, at a whopping 57 mm with the included drip tip. It’s one of the tallest vape tanks I’ve ever seen. It comes with a straight glass and a bubble glass, has bottom and side airflow adjustability, and a number of airflow intake options courtesy of the three included sleeves.
Large RTAs seem to be making a comeback lately, although they are still a kind of a niche market. Keep reading to see if the Widowmaker has enough to go mainstream.
Colors: Matte Black, Stainless Steel, Gold, Gunmetal, Rainbow, Frosted Grey, Blue
Price: $39.95 (Here)
- Diameter: 25 mm
- Capacity: 5 mL standard / 6 mL bubble tank
- 304 stainless steel construction
- Quick release top fill system
- Two-post / quad-terminal deck
- Side secured via hex screws
- PEEK insulator
- Dual-coil configuration
- Dual-sided bottom adjustable airflow
- Three interchangeable side airflow rings
- Adjustable juice-flow control
- Low-profile 810 Delrin drip tip
- Threaded 510 connection
- 1 x Widowmaker RTA
- 1 x Bubble glass
- 2 x Extra airflow sleeves
- 2 x Tri-core fused Clapton coils
- 1 x Coil lead guide
- 1 x Spare parts bag
Build quality and design
The Widowmaker RTA is what you would expect from Vandy Vape as far as quality goes. It is machined well, the O-ring tolerances are perfect, and the threads are nice and smooth. As I mentioned in the intro, it is by far taller than anything I’ve ever used. Whether it is aesthetically pleasing or not is completely subjective, but I can tell you that if you put it on a small mod, your setup will get top-heavy—and you could find yourself knocking it over like I did with it on my SMOK Veneno. My suggestion would be to put this on a beefier mod like the Aegis Legend, the Aegis X, or a Reuleaux RX Gen3. I ultimately settled for the Legend.
I wish they would have included an acrylic drip tip though they did include an adapter for those who still use their 510 drip tips.
The amount of moving parts may be a little overwhelming at first, but once you get it all together it will make more sense. It has a quick release fill cap that moves along a track or groove. It requires half a turn and it comes right off. There is some knurling that makes it easier to grip, and there’s an interesting radial design above the knurling that tapers down as it goes up to the drip tip. Under the fill cap there is a single, kidney shaped fill hole that is roughly 10 mm by 3 mm. I’m not sure why they went with a single hole rather than having a second one to let air escape while you fill it, but I didn’t have any issues while using it.
The Widowmaker comes with a straight glass that holds 5 mL of liquid, and a glass bubble tank that holds 6 mL. I would normally go with the straight glass for looks, but this time I went for capacity and put the bubble glass on. I kind of like it with the bubble glass, it reminds me of some kind of futuristic turret or tower. It’s very interesting indeed.
There is something I have to point out about removing the glass. There are a couple of reviewers who couldn’t get the glass off, but it should be simple if you follow these steps: after you take the fill cap off, unscrew the top piece with the fill hole and remove it. Then you can remove the glass from the bottom O-ring—it won’t slide up over the top O-ring.
Building and wicking
The Widowmaker has a two-piece postless deck with quad terminals. It is a dual-coil RTA, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t run a single coil with this deck. There’s no single-coil airflow option, but you could use the airflow sleeve with the smallest hole and cut off the bottom airflow if you wanted to try something like that.
The coil cutting guide suggests cutting your leads at 5 mm, which seemed a little long since your coils will be raised a good bit above the deck. I think it may have something to do with the fact that the juice comes from the top and you have to have your cotton up against those juice holes inside. In any case, I cut mine at 4 mm because I don’t like my coils that high off the deck, and it worked just fine.
The chamber is interesting. On two sides you have slots where the airflow comes in and on the two other sides you have slots where the juice comes in. It reduces the size and there is very little room so make sure you position your coils just inside the two circles you see at each end of the honeycomb airflow holes. If you go outside of those circles, there’s a good chance your coils will touch the chamber.
The best way to wick this RTA so you get a moist, flavorful vape without dry hits is to not have your cotton too tight and give it a good comb-out on the ends.
The two wells where you tuck the ends of the cotton are pretty shallow so you want to cut your cotton pretty short. You don’t want to cram a bunch of excess cotton in there soaking up liquid that could be going to your coils. I found that cutting them right in line with the outside of the base gives you just the right length.
Since the liquid comes from the top, I like to give the cotton a good fluff on the top to make sure they’re going to meet up with those juice slots. I really like the fact that it does this rather than feed from the bottom. It seems a lot more efficient having direct-to-wick feeding rather than capillary action from below. It prevents dry hits and really does give you a nice, dense vape. And with the juice flow control, you can adjust how much liquid you have flowing to your cotton.
One good thing about this RTA is all the airflow options it offers. You can use both the bottom airflow and side airflow simultaneously, or any combination of the two. The bottom airflow has honeycomb style air holes on both the airflow control ring and on the deck. The airflow control ring has seven small holes on each side while the deck has 36 smaller holes (in a 3 x 12 grid) directly below the coils.
The three sleeve airflow rings are very similar to the ones that come with the Widowmaker RDA. One has honeycomb style airflow with 15 holes on each side in a 3 x 5 formation. Then you have one with a single, round hole on each side that is a whopping 4 mm, and the last one has with a smaller, horizontal slot that measures 5 mm by 1.5 mm.
When trying out the three different sleeves, I found the one with the honeycomb airflow preferable to the other two. The one with the single, round hole will give you the most airflow, but it is the loudest. It’s not real loud, but you can definitely hear it. The one with the horizontal slots will give you a slightly restricted lung hit, but it’s just barely restricted. You still get plenty of airflow using that one. The amount of noise between the one with the honeycomb airflow and the one with the horizontal slots is about the same.
Vandy Vape Widowmaker performance
The Widowmaker seems like a complicated RTA at first glance. But once you get used to all the moving parts and what they do, it really is a nice vape. I like how all the parts move independently from each other once you have it all screwed together tight. Turning the glass tank will open and close the juice-flow control. Turning the barrel cuts down the side airflow, and turning the airflow control ring controls the bottom airflow.
I do like the fact that they indicate what material the coils are, which is Kanthal in this case. However, I didn’t use the included coils but instead used a pair nichrome fused Claptons. I’ve had no leaking or dry hits from this RTA and the flavor is actually pretty good. I found myself having to turn up the wattage a bit more than normal and I think that has something to do with the height of the tank. But after doing so I got a nice, warm, flavorful vape.
The idea of having juice-flow control is not really necessary on RTAs in my opinion, but with this one you need it if you want to remove the deck while you have liquid in the tank—unless you remove the deck while holding the RTA upside down. I run it all the way open, even when filling it, because I don’t really worry about leaking when wicked properly.
I found that I couldn’t get the deck off of the mod after installing coils because the airflow control ring just spins around freely, so you have to grab it by the deck. This means being extra careful not to mess up your coils or cotton. Once you screw it all together, the airflow control ring no longer spins freely, and it has a stopper in both directions. I find it a little hard to turn after it’s all together, so I just leave it wide open.
Pros / Cons
- (+) Great build quality
- (+) High liquid capacity (5-6 mL)
- (+) Quick release fill cap
- (+) Straight glass and bubble tank
- (+) Bottom and side airflow
- (+) Side/bottom airflow and juice flow can be adjusted independently
- (+) Three airflow sleeves
- (+) Juice flow control (allows to reveal the deck when the tank is full)
- (+) Coil material indicated
- (+) Easy wicking
- (+) Wicks efficiently
- (+) Good flavor
- (-) Could be top heavy
- (-) AFC ring spins freely when trying to remove deck from mod
- (-) Only comes with one drip tip
The Vandy Vape Widowmaker is a tall RTA, but if you’ve made it this far, I am sure you don’t mind the extra millimeters on top of your mod. With this out of the way, the Widowmaker has a lot going for it. You get three interchangeable airflow sleeves, a deck that’s easy to work with, good flavor, and even juice flow control.
If you don’t like fiddling with a lot of moving parts, then you might want to try something else. But if you like to have a number of options that allow you to fine tune your vape, and you want a solid built RTA that vapes really well, then I think you will like this one.
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Article Author: Stu Dowling