The Augvape Merlin Nano MTL RTA is the follow up to the hugely popular original tank and really does have a lot to live up to – as to if it has we shall see in this review.
Along the way and under the same name we’ve had the Merlin Mini RTA which could be a tricky one to wick [for me anyway lol] and the Merlin RDTA which I reviewed and really enjoyed – apart from the ornate finish.
Augvape seems to have steadily upped its vape game and it’s rare to find a bad product coming from them.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of reviewing their products for quite some time and standouts for me include the awesome V200 mod – very sexy – the Druga Foxy – awesome design – the Occular RDA – chunky – and my personal go-to dripper the BTFC RDA which is a flavour and cloud chasers dream.
So What can We Expect From the Merlin Nano RTA by Augvape?
Straight off the bat, the clue is in the name – this is a tiny little tank to say the least at just 18mm and 22mm with the beauty ring.
Being so small and including a kind of removable dome covering the deck means hopefully the flavour will be concentrated within the chamber and therefore be exceptionally good – we shall see.
The kit comes with x3 little airflow inserts which means you can tailor the tightness of your vape and as to how these work we shall, of course, be taking a look at.
There’s a lot going on for such a little tank to say the least!
OK, this was sent to me free of charge direct from Augvape – thank you – and as always freebies don’t influence my thoughts and opinions.
Inside the Box
Augvape seems to have dumped the tube and now replaced them with a regular box and inside you’ll find:
- x1 Merlin 18mm Nano Tank
- x1 22mm Beauty Ring
- x1 3.5ml PCTG Bubble Tank
- x1 Screwdriver
- x1 Kanthal 1 Ohm Coil
- x1 Nichrome 0.6 Ohm Coil
- User Manual
Adjustable Airflow Inserts
- 1mm Airflow Hole
- 1.2mm Airflow Hole
- 1mm Dual Airflow Holes
Choice of colours at this stage is down to either black or stainless steel.
The word Nano here is definitely key – this is tiny! It’s an 18mm tank however they have included a 22mm ‘beauty ring’ which whilst lengthening the tank somewhat does make it sit prettier on smaller mods.
There’s no airflow control ring – instead, the air is sucked in via a small gap, around and between the main tank and base. To control the amount of air getting in you choose from three airflow inserts – 1mm – 1.2mm and a dual 1mm airflow insert making it 2mm.
It’s a dual post single coil deck and this, in turn, is covered by what looks like a Delrin cap in the shape of a beehive with two tiny juice ports on either side –more on this later.
Filling is a little shall we say fiddly as you need to turn the tank upside down – remove the base and fill directly into the glass or plastic chamber – fiddly yes but easy enough.
As to the glass, well that’s a 2ml capacity and if you want more [3.5ml] you’ll need to add the PCTG [poly carbonate] bubble glass.
However, unless you want to look ridiculous [see photo lol] then I’d stick with the straight glass! What on EARTH is that design all about lol!
The two included coils are a definite 1.0ohm mouth to lung [MTL] and a 0.6ohm which suggests the possibility of an extremely tight direct to lung [DTL] draw – as to if that’s the case we’ll touch on soon.
Read more about the differences between Mouth to Lung and Direct to Lung vaping.
Design and Build Quality
Pretty much all the Augvape products I’ve reviewed have had decent to very good materials and build quality and the Merlin Nano is no different – well sort of!
The threads on the base to the main tank are at times reluctant to line up which runs the very real possibility of cross-threading.
After almost three weeks use whilst I haven’t managed to screw them up yet I’ve come very close – so take your time and back up often! Once in line and screwed in they are smooth with no crunchiness – it just needs a bit of care!
Design-wise it’s sleek and whilst a tad long with that 22mm beauty ring on it sits nicely on your mod and in my black version, the Merlin Nano logo is subdued and definitely not in your face.
The deck screws are chunky Phillips style and definitely look like they’re built to last, whilst the tiny little airflow inserts [7mm by 4mm] do have an O ring on the base to help pop them in and out of the deck – it’s fiddly and very tight in there to say the least, however once popped in they are pretty secure.
So it looks good – in straight glass mode – and all the moving parts kind of fit together nicely – so how does the Augvape Merlin Nano RTA vape?
How Does the Augvape Merlin Nano RTA Perform?
OK, first up we’ll take a look at the build deck.
It’s a bit fiddly getting them in and out the first few times but once you’re happy with the one you’re using they stay in place thanks to the tiny little O ring.
Far far too tight for me! If you like the experience of sucking until you’re red in the face and your cheeks meet in the middle – this is the setting for you!
To be honest I really couldn’t tell the difference between this and the 1mm – impossibly tight for my style of MTL vaping and after half a dozen puffs off both I got a little light-headed!
If you like a tight and I mean a really tight draw those two are for you!
One of the best MTL draws I’ve ever had – absolutely perfect and on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being super tight, this is about a 6.5 to 7.
You don’t have to work too hard to get a mouthful of vapour and using Manabush Nokomis, 12mg 50/50 VG/PG mix I got a lovely throat hit too.
Building on the Augvape Merlin Nano RTA
Note: You need to change the airflow inserts BEFORE you add the coil!
As you can guess it’s pretty tight in there – however, the deck is quite open meaning you have more space than you think. The screws are solid and slotting the coil legs in is a cinch with the top of the screws biting in and really clamping down well.
I found the coil placement was important too. If you get it too high the top cover will come into contact and whilst I didn’t get a short, it certainly messed up the cotton and build. Too low and the flavour dipped significantly. I found the top of the coils peeping above the screws by about a third was spot on.
A quick word about that top cap too. It simply sits on top of the deck rather than screwing in. And as far as I can see there’s no guide as to where you place the two juice ports. I lined mine up right on the tails of the cotton which I guess is pretty obvious when you think about it!
As for wicking, you don’t need much at all. I found a thin sliver of Muji vape cotton worked well and mine was well raked out and cut just above the deck – once again less is more.
Mine actually read as 1.1ohm and I vaped at a steady 18.5w using the 2mm airflow insert.
The vape was on the cooler side of warm however the flavour was incredible.
Yeah I said it…incredible!
Wow is all I can say and despite such a low wattage and a 50/50 mix the vapour coming off this little thing was impressive too!
So this one read as 0.69ohms and still using the 2mm airflow insert I began at 21w.
The vape was a tad warmer but not by much and once again the flavour popped, to say the least.
Vapour was good and very dense using the 80/20PG/VG Kind Juice and it wicked like a charm.
I was indeed able to get a slightly restricted direct to lung hit and bumped up to the sub-ohm 30W power point the vape warmed up a fair bit and the flavour just got better.
I did feel after chain vaping things were getting a little to warm with the possible threat of a burn and found a very happy medium at 27w.
BTW, you can find out more about the differences in PG and VG vape juice mixes here.
Good Lord above that’s a horrible design! What on earth were they thinking lol!
With that extension plastic bubble on top, it looks like a football trophy or the BT Tower in London!
Not only is it a bit of an eyesore, it makes the tank a little top-heavy and to be honest – and this might just be a brain thing – the flavour isn’t so good.
Plus given it’s polycarbonate, using acidic e-liquids might see it crack over time. I’ve been using the last of my Kind Juice range and so far the tank hasn’t cracked, however, experience tells me sharper fruitier flavours will result in a crack. Although PCTG does have a very good chemical resistance unlike some earlier plastic tanks that were released.
Glass would have been a much better option though to be honest given the tanks sleek design any shape of bubble would just look daft.
Like most MTL RTAs out there 2ml capacity is more than enough and I’ve got at least half a day out of each fill.
- Superb flavour
- Amazing clouds
- Dead simple build
- x2 different resistance coils
- Choice of airflow inserts
- No leaks for me!
- Competitive price!
- Threads a little tight
- Extension just looks daft
- 1mm airflow insert super tight!
Final Review Verdict
I think we may have just found one of the best MTL RTA releases of the year and if this doesn’t win awards then there’s no justice lol.
Quite simply the flavour off both the coils is outstanding with vapour to match.
I’ve thrown both runny and thick e-liquids at this little cutie and its wicked like a champ even chain vaping like a loon.
I’d like to say this is definitely one for newbies to MTL RTAs, however, given all the moving parts – the inserts and that beehive cap, I’d say maybe!
Popping in the coils and wicking is certainly easy – dead easy, however, it may be a bit much for those fresh out of the gates. Saying that not everyone is as useless at building as me so go for it 😉
Better Than A Kayfun?
I’ve seen a lot of people in the know saying this stares down the hugely popular Kayfun series of high-end tanks. Having tried one of those quite a while ago now, I can’t comment.
But what I can say is that’s a huge compliment to what is a surprisingly low priced tank.
As far as I’m concerned Augvape has produced a superb little RTA with a ton of features you can tinker with to find your perfect vape. The Merlin Nano is definitely being used more than the superb 3Cvape Savour RTA as my go-to MTL tank which says it all.
The only reason I’ve marked this one down slightly is that silly extension tank and the difficulty in lining up those threads – flavour wise it certainly matches the Savour and then some.
Bravo Augvape – now go buy one 😉