I’m not particularly familiar with the Chinese manufacture Augvape, or its range of atomizers and vape mods.
In fact I’ll be totally honest and say that I’ve completely missed all of their previous releases.
So when the hype train started to gain momentum around Augvapes’ newest RTA release, I decided to buy myself a ticket and jump aboard the Augvape Merlin Mini express.
So, does the Merlin Mini warrant all of the recent hype of being one of the best RTA’s? Or is it just another run of the mill RTA…….. let’s take a look and see!!
What’s In The Box
- 1 x Merlin Mini RTA
- 1 x Single coil build deck
- 1 x Dual coil build deck
- Spare Glass Tank
- Bag of Spares
- Size 24mm Diameter x 42mm high
- Liquid capacity 2.0ml
- Constructed from 304 Stainless steel
- 1 x 18mm Single coil deck (Pre-installed)
• 2 x 2mm post holes squared
• Internal 4.5mm airflow holes
• 2mm and 1.5mm airflow hole inserts
• 3 x 4mm holes for liquid
- 1 x 18mm Dual coil deck
• Post holes 2 x 2.5mm
• Dual 3.5mm Square airflow holes
• Deck style velocity
- Well settled Peek insulator
- Contact material gold plated on brass
- Bottom airflow holes 2 x 12mm
Build Quality & Design
When you first open the box, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that this RTA has a chrome finish.
It’s shiny, but quite simplistic in appearance with a very nice overall finish. There is the customary branding on the build deck outer barrel but it’s very discreet.
So, starting at the top, we have a low profile interchangeable black delrin driptip which can be easily removed and the top cap can happily accommodate most other styles of driptips.
The top section of the tank which can be unscrewed to reveal three generous sized filling ports.
I had absolutely no issues removing this as all threads where very smooth.
Next we have the tank section which primarily consists of a stainless steel top section and a bottom section incorporating airflow control.
Between both of these we have a glass barrel which form the tank.
Located inside the tank we have the build deck and outer housing with four juice inlet holes at its base and at the top there is a short chimney which screws directly into the top section of the RTA.
The base section of the Merlin Mini incorporate an airflow control ring which contains two elongated airholes each measuring approximately 12mm x 1.5mm.
The ring can easily be adjusted to the desire position with just the right amount of resistance for it to remain in place when set.
The Merlin Mini comes complete with two build decks!
The first is a dual coil velocity style deck which appears pretty standard for this type & style of popular deck.
There are the two posts, positive & negative, each with two 2.0mm x 2.5mm post holes and grub screws on the outer edge of the posts.
On the base of the deck there are two good sized airflow holes each measuring approximately 4.0mm x 2.5mm.
The remaining space around the airholes comprises of 4mm deep juice well with four 2.5mm diameter horizontal juice holes which correspond with the juice inlet holes on the build deck outer barrel.
The second deck for the Merlin Mini is, as mentioned earlier, a single coil velocity style deck, but with a slight difference to standard velocity decks.
The posts on the single coil deck are offset to one side, which provides a large amount of space for your coil.
In addition to this feature, the airflow hole, which is 4.5mm in diameter, sits directly below the coil and has two alternative inserts which can be removed or added to adjust the amount of airflow passing over the coil, making it more suited for ‘Mouth To Lung’ styled vaping.
An excellent feature.
Overall, the design of the Merlin Mini is well thought out yet simplistic!
And all components are well machined and can be unscrewed easily with excellent threading, for cleaning and building.
How Does The Augvape Merlin Mini?
Coiling & wicking on both decks of the Merlin Mini was incredibly easy, more so on the single coil deck thanks to the large amount of real estate available.
If you’re going to use the single coil deck I would suggest setting up your airflow prior to installing your coil as it can be tricky to install and remove the airflow inserts once the coil is in place.
With regards to wicking, I personally found it best to keep your cotton light & fluffy and not to push all the cotton down into the juice holes, but enough to stop any flooding and still ensuring good juice flow.
And while we’re on the subject of juice flow, the juice flow control doesn’t seem to do anything on the Merlin Mini. I used several different VG/PG ratios in the tank, 80/20 being the highest, and even with the juice flow closed off the cotton wicked.
Figure that one out!! I’ll mention more about wicking and juice flow later.
What I Liked
For me personally, the star of the show is the single coil deck in the Merlin Mini.
The offset posts provide a wealth of space on the deck allowing you to install some very large and complex coil builds.
When it wicks properly, the flavour production from this RTA is pretty good particularly on the single coil deck. Vapour production was pretty much as expected considering the coil & e-Liquid used.
Aesthetically, the Merlin Mini is a great looking well constructed RTA.
Did I mention that it’s really shiny!!
What I Didn’t Like
I mentioned earlier that I would say something about wicking & juice flow! Boy, did I have a lot of wicking/dry hit issues with this RTA.
Initially, this seemed to be caused by the small gap between the glass tank and the build deck outer housing which is incredibly narrow and restricted the natural flow of E-liquid.
I spent an incredible amount of time re-wicking the coil with different styles of wick.
Turned out in the end it wasn’t anything to do with the wick it was air trapped in the tank caused by a slight build-up of pressure when the top cap was screwed back on to the tank.
To resolve this I would fill the tank as normal and replace the top cap but only giving it a single complete turn, then turned the tank upside down and screw the top cap firmly into place.
This had the effect of forcing the trapped air out of the tank through the juice holes…. Issue resolved.
My other gripe with the Merlin Mini is that it is supposed to be ‘Mouth To Lung’ compatible due to the fact that it comes with interchangeable inserts to restrict airflow, which is fantastic if your preference is MTL.
However Augvape have missed the fact that the wide bore drip tip is not really suited to MTL and possibly could have included something more appropriate.
But you can of course use your own MTL / small bore drip tips.
Final Review Verdict
Overall, the Augvape Merlin Mini is a good piece of vaping hardware.
The star of this atomizer being the single coil velocity style deck with its very generous space allowing you to install some very big and complex builds.
Also, Augvape have gone some way to considering Mouth To Lung (MTL) vapers by including the airflow inserts allowing the user to fine tune their vaping experience.
Hats off to you Augvape, a very nice addition.
- 2.0ml tank capacity (TPD Compliant)
- Top filling with two large juice slots
- Single Coil & Dual Coil deck included
- Airflow inserts for restricted & MTL vaping
- Very well machined
- Can accommodate large and complex single coil builds
- Easy to switch between decks
- Juice flow control does seem to work
- Driptip not suitable for ‘Mouth To Lung’
- Air can become trapped in the tank causing poor wicking