The release of the Augvape Merlin RDTA has been much anticipated in the vaping community particularly when the first ‘sneaky peek’ images were released – it is a striking piece of kit to look at.
It’s a ‘genesis style’ and designed to take those popular big fancy new coil builds and features a simple as it gets top fill system.
Augvape’s products have on the whole been well received by the vape community with the Merlin Mini in particular becoming a tank of choice for those in the know.
So do you need to be a coil building wizard to get the best out of the Merlin RDTA?
Let’s see if the magical Merlin has cast a spell on me.
Inside the Box
As is the norm with Augvape products the box is a sturdy tube with everything packed neatly away.
Once popped open you’ll find:
- One Merlin RDTA
- One Additional Glass Tank Section
- Extra O-Ring and Screw Pack
- Phillips Driver
- User Manual
Merlin RDTA Features
- 304 SS
- Derlin Top Cap And Drip Tip
- Peek Insulator
- Borosilicate Glass Tube
- Elegant Hollowed-out Logo
- Easy to wick and refill
Apart from its very ornate design – which I’ll talk about later – by far the keyest of features has to be to top fill and the enormous build deck.
It is probably the simplest RDTA I’ve seen to fill given you simply screw off the top cap [proprietary] and squeeze your e-liquid straight down the central hole.
The stem has a sealed stopper which makes sure there’s no e-liquid leakage.
As for the build deck those of you who like your builds big and beautiful have a ton and I mean a ton of room in there.
However that’s not without its issues which I’ll come to later.
The ornate cut-out logo seems to be not only there for aesthetics as I’ve noticed e-liquid seems to naturally settle around the curves acting as almost a stairway to the wicks.
Speaking of wicking – again it’s probably one of the easiest ‘Genesis style’ RDTA’s you’ll ever find to wick – the juice holes are HUGE!
And as for airflow you have two large side ports which should be aligned directly next to your coils and fully open there’s plenty of air and very little noise.
Design and Build Quality
Build wise it’s well machined with no sharp edges and on opening was extremely clean with no machine oil residue.
I received the ‘rose gold’ version – which I can honestly say would never be my first choice of atty or mod come to that.
However I do think it looks OK on black mods – especially Smok’s V8 Stick – black and stainless steel are also available.
For me it is a little too ornate looking in my opinion like an ornament my Nan might have had on her sideboard ‘back in the day’ – so you’re either going to love it or hate it.
The fancy S design is actually an inner cage – which for me seems a little odd as being inside leaves the glass exposed.
As I’ve mentioned it does seem to trap e-liquid and help with the wicking – but your glass is open to knocks though a spare is included.
Building on the Merlin RDTA
OK and a bit like the design, if you like to keep your coils simple and slim then this might not be for you.
The Merlin RDTA deck is massive with extremely wide post holes meaning you can get some seriously large coils in there.
I say coils – this is dual coil with no single coil option at the time of review.
I tried two basic 23mm 7 wrap coils to begin with and found the grub screws failed to clamp onto them tightly enough – meaning I had coil slippage – like I said you really need to stuff larger coils in there.
After a bit of trial an error with the pre-made coils I had available to me [I’ve ran out of wire lol] I found a couple of 23mm ‘Tank Track’ coils that were just about big enough to fill the post holes and allow the screws enough surface area to clamp.
Like I said if you like big beefy fancy coils then this is an ideal platform for you.
Wicking the Merlin RDTA
Just like the filling the wicking on this RDTA is an absolute doddle.
Because you will be able to put huge builds in there obviously means you’re going to be able to use a ton of cotton.
The juice ports are – just like the post holes – massive!
I saw another reviewer say they were maybe a little too big but as a newbie to building I found them an absolute cinch to wick.
I wicked two ways.
First I left enough cotton so the tails ‘dangled’ into the e-liquid and the other way was to just rest the ends of the cotton above the juice so not on view through the glass and logo.
I found that both ways worked but I much preferred having the cotton resting above the e-liquid with the natural tipping back and forth whilst vaping helping the wicking process.
As the tank began to empty – for fun and science I tipped the Merlin RDTA completely upside down to get the juice to the cotton and had absolutely no leaking whatsoever.
I have had wicking issues in the past with a couple of RDTAs I’ve tried as many need to be wicked specifically and perfectly or there will be leakage.
With the Merlin RDTA wicking is about as simple as you get so long as you make sure the juice flow holes are covered with cotton and you keep your wick away from the airflow ports.
I’ve mentioned filling earlier and it really is easy and even with the airflow holes open I had zero leaking.
Left on its side over-night with the airflow wide open and I had the tiniest – and I mean the tiniest – bead of e-liquid on the barrel.
How Does the Augvape Merlin RDTA Perform?
I’m a relative newbie to builds and if I can get this RDTA working perfectly you’ll have no problems – and once you get the right sized coils in there as I’ve already mentioned wicking is simple.
When you’re good to go you’ll see the Augvape Merlin RDTA is an absolute dream to vape on.
My coils were reading 0.32 ohms and at 75 watts with the airflow wide open the vape was silky smooth and extremely cool temperature wise.
Flavour was pretty good too but when I took it as high as 115 watts the vape was pleasantly ‘warm’ however the flavour absolutely popped – this RDTA gave me a great taste.
As for cloud production – let’s just say I haven’t had this much fun blowing ‘dem clouds since the SMOK TFV12 – nowhere near as thick and dense obviously – but holy crap does this tank chuck!
The airflow control is silky smooth and wide open whilst there’s the tiniest [and I mean tiniest] hint of a flavour dim it’s nothing to worry about.
I found with the airflow ¾ open at 90 watts gave me the perfect vape – and I mean perfect – I love this performance on this RDTA!
One of the larger reviewers out there mentioned the drip tip and what I assume is the spit back guard.
I can see that after use there’s a little drizzle of e-liquid on there which he says meant he kept getting e-liquid in his mouth.
All I can say is I have used this for 10 days now and not had any e-liquid in my mouth nor have I experienced any spit back whatsoever – and don’t forget I’ve turned it upside down a few times when the tank level has dropped to help with the wicking!
What I Like
OK you need to get past the oversized post holes and build deck by using larger coils and then you’ll see the beauty of this RDTA.
When I say beauty I don’t mean the design – I’ll get to that – I mean the way it all comes together – easy to build – easy to wick and easy to fill and almost completely leak-free.
Flavour is very good – not excellent – but certainly the Merlin RDTA gives a great flavour profile and as the saying goes you will get ‘clouds for days…and days’.
Vaping on the Merlin RDTA is an absolute joy – even a pleasure and given in the real world I’ve been described more than once as a ‘grumpy tw*t’ – this little beauty put a big smile on my vape face – can’t say much more than that!
What I Don’t Like
It might be the fact I received the rose gold colour – but I find the whole thing too ornate for my tastes.
Like I said earlier you’re gonna love it or hate it.
I don’t hate the design I just find it over fussy – but again that could just be down to the colour I’ve received – I’d have gone for the super smart stainless steel version personally.
The three calligraphy styled S’s and the larger almost Aztec logo on the barrel and the pronounced knurling on the base are just too much for me – like I said maybe they pop out more with mine being rose gold.
It is a bit of a juice guzzler but to be fair I have found that with other RDTAs I’ve tried and I have been vaping at a higher wattage than I would normally do.
Other than that and if you like those big chunky fancy coils then what’s not to like.
Final Review Verdict
Newcomers to RDTAs will find the Merlin the perfect place to start – it really doesn’t get any easier than this trust me.
Experts will be able to build the biggest baddest coils in their collection because this will take pretty much anything you want to throw in there.
The design – just like taste – is subjective and for me it’s a little too fancy – but don’t let that put you off it vapes like a charm.
I had considered getting a rose coloured matchy match mod – but I think I’m going to get my hands on a stainless steel version of the Augvape Merlin RDTA because to be honest I’ve been vaping on nothing else since I got this bad boy going.
I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending it and it’s a decent price too.
- Huge build deck
- Huge wicking ports
- Simple as could possibly be filling
- Good airflow control
- Good flavour
- Awesome cloud production
- Decent price
- Needs big old coils!
- Design might be too ornate for some
- Dual coil only
- It’s thirsty!