Introduction to the Vandy Vape Maze Sub Ohm BF RDA
We’re looking at a strange hybrid today, the Vandy Vape Maze. Sitting somewhere between an RDA and a subtank, the Maze from Vandy Vape uses disk-shaped notch coils (similar to Aspire’s radial coils).
These have a set 0.2 ohm resistance and use SS316L, so they can be used in temperature control too. The Maze also comes with a squonk pin, in addition to the adjustable 510. Let’s have a look at what we get in the kit…
Disclaimer: We received the Vandy Vape Maze for the purpose of this review. All opinions are based on my own experience and road testing.
What’s in the box:
- Maze Sub Ohm BF RDA
- 1 x extra 510 pin
- 1 x refill tube
- 2 x Maze coilhead
- User manual
- Quality certificate
- Extras: 510 drip tip adapter | o-rings | allen key
- Height: 22.5 mm (30 mm including drip tip)
- Diameter: 24 mm
- Material: stainless steel
- Drip tip height: 7.5 mm
- Inner drip tip diameter: 10 mm
- Outer drip tip diameter: 18 mm
- Uses Maze coils – similar to Aspire Radial coils
- Coil resistance: 0.2 ohm
- Coil wattage range: 50 – 100 W (best settings: 70 – 80 W)
- Coil material: 316L SS
- Juice well capacity: 2 mL
- Threading: gold-plated adjustable 510 pin (to be used with refill tube)
- Squonk pin (to be used with closed off top tube in squonk mode)
- Available colors: silver | matte black | gold | rainbow
Design and Build Quality
The Maze comes in a little box packed with extras: adjustable gold-plated 510 pin (so it’s hybrid safe), squonk pin, two Maze coils to start you off, a 510 drip tip adapter for a tighter draw, and two different refilling tubes, for use in squonk and “subtank” modes. You also get extra o-rings, an Allen key for the BF pin, and an instruction guide.
Machining / Fit and Finish
I’ve come to expect excellent build quality from Vandy Vape and the Maze doesn’t disappoint. Straight out of the box the tank is free from any machine oil aroma, and tolerances on all the parts feel good. The top cap is a bit tight when dry, but it does have some chunky knurling set around it to make airflow adjustment easy.
“Build deck” is a bit of a misnomer here – there is none! Instead what we have is a threaded centre post. Your notch coil screws down directly onto that post. The empty space below – that’s the reservoir, or tank, where e-liquid will feed the coil.
Directly above the coil we have five airflow inlets, set at even internals around the perimeter. Each inlet consists of 9 separate holes, and remind me quite a lot of the Bonza RDA.
Ease of Build
Ease of build? As easy as winding the coil into place, and filling up the tank!
To use the Maze as a top-fill tank, you’ll want to use the refill tube with the opening above the coil. Simple insert the nozzle, squeeze, and you’re good to go.
Except – how much to fill up?
The lower reservoir is a solid metal piece, so it’s impossible to really know when the tank is full. You’ll begin to notice air bubbles escaping out the edges around the coil, and after that, e-liquid. This design element makes it easy to overfill unfortunately.
As a squonkable RDA, you will do much the same, but in this case you’ll need the closed-off refill tube, to prevent e-liquid from sitting on the top of the coil. Unfortunately, dripping directly onto the coil’s surface will only give you a lot of fiery spitback.
On a mech mod, the coil’s resistance of 0.2 ohm still puts you within safe limits on a single 18650. Accounting for typical voltage drop on a fresh 18650, you could expect to draw around 18 amps, and 68 W. That sits comfortably within the wattage ratings of the coil, as well as the safety limits of several decent 18650 batteries.
However, please always read up on your Ohm’s law before working with mechanical mods, and always check that the 510 pin sits proudly (at least 1 mm) free from the surrounding enclosure and insulator.
My last experience with notch coils was with the Aspire Revvo tank. That had a decent 3.6 mL capacity. The Maze caps out at 2 mL, which feels a bit stingy. For RDA’s, that a decent juice well; but since this is somewhere between an RDA and a subtank, you will be refilling a lot!
It’s very hard to tell when you’re running empty: usually the first sign is a nasty dry hit. The coil material seems more affected by this, showing signs of charring and discoloration.
Unlike the Revvo tank, which used a novel (and smart) method of capillary motion to draw e-liquid up into the coil, the Maze seems to rely more on the natural tilting that occurs when you’re vaping to keep the cotton moist.
Airflow and Controller
A good amount of fine tuning is available through the AFC. Those five airflow inlets can be closed down bit by bit, although the AFC would perhaps have benefitted from a stepped design (think the Drop’s airflow system for example).
On first impressions the airflow holes seem set a little high, until you realise that the AFC openings are set on an angle. This channels the airflow downwards to hit the coil surface directly.
All those minute holes make for a very smooth airflow, from wide open to almost closed off. However, this is not the quietest tank, and some settings can be quite noisy.
Top Cap | Drip tip
The top cap is held in place via a single o-ring and fits snugly onto the mid barrel. The inside is nicely domed (for flavour) and that outer notching gives you something to grab onto when making adjustments.
While you could use your own 510 drip tip courtesy of the included adapter, the 810 drip tip this bad boy comes with is one of my favourite features of the kit! The stainless steel version ships with a green and red resin drip tip; other versions are similarly coordinated.
Not too much to say on the aesthetics here, as it’s just a simple subtank/RDA. “Maze” is engraved on one side, not too deeply. The small capacity of this tank creates a compact, well proportioned appearance.
How Does The Vandy Vape Maze Perform?
For the purpose of this review, I’ve tested the Maze with BangJuice’s Kola Kannonball. (kinda like Coorong Cola, just sweeter!) 70/30 VG/PG, 3 mg/mL nic, self-mixed.
How the Maze performs will depend a lot of whether you use it in straight power or temperature control.
I dialled in the standard setting on the Paranormal 250 DNA mod for 316L stainless steel. As long as the tank is full (and the coil is getting sufficient liquid to it) flavour is quite dense and full. Cloud production (for the 70W I’ve been throwing at it) isn’t bad either. It’s a good step above what I would expect from a lot of subtanks, at least. I prefer the airflow closed off about halfway.
To give the coil an extra push, I prefer to go for straight wattage though. The only problem with this is – as mentioned – you never know when you’re about to run out of e-liquid, and refilling is messy at times.
I don’t find the coil spitty, but I do notice e-liquid coming up onto my lips from the drip tip. Without any capillary motion to force liquid into the coil, you either have to tilt the tank (which leads to the liquid on the lips), or keep it constantly filled.
As with Aspire’s radial coils in the Revvo tank, flavour is good but a bit shallow at times. This may be a marriage of RDA flavour with subtank ease of use, but I would definitely stick to an RDA for flavour chasing.
- Excellent build quality
- O-rings, tolerances etc – all very good
- Great choice of resin drip tip that you won’t want to chuck out
- Flavor on the coils
- SS316L makes for VW and TC compatibility
- Adjustable gold-plated 510 as well as squonk pin
- Inability to accurately gauge where e-liquid level is at
- 2 mL capacity
- Tilts rather than uses capillary motion to wet the cotton
- Flavour is better than some subtanks, but can’t beat a good RDA
- E-liquid seeps through to your mouth
Vandy Vape look like they put some thought into this project, kitting it out with enough extras to please just about everyone. You can squonk with it, top-fill, use it pretty much as a standard subtank – or even put it on a mech mod.
What we have here is a compromise between a subtank and an RDA, that doesn’t necessarily offer the best of both worlds. The Maze coils get decent flavour, but real flavourchasers are better served with a dedicated RDA in my opinion.
This might be something for those of you who don’t feel confident with making your own coils… but for the price of the Maze (as well as the cost of replacement coils), you might be better off buying a decent RDA and some pre-made coils.
For convenience and the decent flavour you get though, the Vandy Vape Maze can’t be faulted.