Vapefly Brunhilde MTL RTA (RDTA?)
Supplied by Vapefly For Review Purposes:
I had mixed feelings prior to this review. Part of me was fascinated by the interesting design, and part of me was wondering what makes this any different to traditional long wick RDTAs. Do the wire rope wicks make much difference? – the answer was an outstanding YES! Read on for my experiences with this RTA (Spoiler Alert – it’s frikkin awesome!).
Here’s a little info before I get into the nitty gritty……
Just in case you were wondering (I had to look it up), Brunhild, also spelled Brynhild, Brunhilda, Brunhilde, or Brünhild, is a beautiful Amazon-like princess in ancient Germanic heroic literature, so now we know.
Vapefly Brunhilde MTL RTA is the cooperation of Vapefly and German 103 team. I honestly have no idea who the ‘German 103 Team’ are, I suspect they could be high end designers. All I know is I am glad they were onboard.
The capacity of tanks is up to 5ml and aimed towards mouth to lung vaping. It features bottom airflow with six levels of airflow control. The included stainless steel wires are made from premium material from Germany. It has a single coil build deck. All parts of the atomizer can be detached and reassembled for easy cleaning and maintaining. Plug the outer diameter of the bigger refilling port is 3.2mm
I do like the way Vapefly do their packaging, the box-art especially with the cool helmet imposed over the illustration. Removing the outer sleeve, there is a plain black box. The very welcome notches in the box make it effortless to open. Then you’re greeted with the Brunhilde assembled with a spare glass, underneath is a treasure trove of goodies including:
- 1 × Brunhilde MTL RTA
- 1 × Glass tube
- 1 × Long drip tip(resin) BERSERKER … Cough Cough….
- 2 × Spare Stainless steel wires
- 6 × Screw airflow sets
- 9 × O-rings
- 2 × Pre-built 1.0ohm 26GA (Ni 80)
- 1 × Allen Key (Allen sure has a lot of keys!)
- 1 × T-type screwdriver
- 8 × Screws
- 2 × Firebolt Cotton
- 1 × User manual
The airflow control inserts are very nicely packaged and it feels like you are getting an optional extra included. Also, the additional driptip is waaaaaay better than the preinstalled one though it resembles a Berserker drip tip. I am delighted with it being included. All in all, there is everything you need to build and wick, the spare SS Ropes/wires are also very welcome.
Pre build first impressions
It is only when you get to hold it that you get the impression of its size, this is the largest MTL (Mouth To Lung) atomiser I own. This thing is a whopper, taller than a tall thing, especially after you add the ‘Berserker’ styled drip tip. The assembly feels very high quality and is just beautiful to look at. I found myself simply admiring the intricate design, pulling it apart and equally admiring the components. First impressions were very good indeed.
I couldn’t wait to get the photographs done so I could throw my first build in it. I haven’t been this excited by an RTA for a while, the Steam Crave GLAS Mini MTL was the last time I had anything this interesting.
Here’s a little info I extracted from tinternet n that…..
More specs than you can shake a badger at:
(With my own little commentary & more spoilers)
- 5ml large e-juice capacity – 5ml MTL ooooh yeeeeeah.
- Automatic e-juice transfer – RTAs aren’t they all?
- Convenient side filling design, easy to use – No idle boast
- 6 levels airflow control meet your different demands – I demanded and I received
- Premium stainless steel wires from Germany – Is Germany famous for SS Wires?
- Easy single coil building, best coil position – Easy peasy lemon sqeezy
- Bottom airflow system for fabulous flavour – And they are not referring to farting!
- Detachable structure, easy to clean and maintain – Very easy indeed
- Stainless steel wire – Erm… haven’t they already mentioned that?
- 45.6mm tall (65mm with taller drip tip) – MTL atty in DTL size clothing
- 510 threading connection – Duh what else would it be these day?
- 23mm overall diameter – Shame it wasn’t 22mm
Stripping it down to its main components (it will strip down a little further such as the build deck) is very easy apart from the drip tip, that was tighter than me when it is my round for drink. Once I eventually got it off, the first to do is lubricate the drip tip seal with eliquid. The rest is near perfect, the resistance of the top section to the build deck is just right so no frustration of that getting stuck.
One thing I did find odd was that the inside of the top chamber is machined square instead of domed. We have been so accustomed to domed chambers which in theory deliver a smoother flavour and tend to condensate less, I am left wondering if this is deliberate? Does the condensation reach your mouth too easily if it was domed? I really don’t know but I do know Vapefly’s attention to detail so I am sure there is a reason for it.
‘Wire’ they using SS Ropes for Wicking? (Why are they – if my poor puns go over your head)
So one of the main innovations and one already being copied is the wire rope juice delivery system. I have heard of mesh being used for wicking before and wire rope is new to me at least. Only by trying it can I understand the reason for it, there must be something in it as it is very much on trend.
So anyway, yeah, they are using not any old wire but German wire no less! The preinstalled wire ropes slip easily into the two holes in the bottom of the build deck and should naturally rest on the bottom of the tank section when assembled. They will feed the juice up from the tank underneath, which in theory is ‘bottom fed’ and not unlike an RDTA (rebuildable dripping tank atomiser). Juice will be fed upwards by capillary action to your cotton wicks in the build deck.
Split Personality – Is it an RTA or an RDTA?
You might think ‘who cares about labelling it’, but bear with me as they are two different beasts. Anyone expecting a vape similar to a traditional RTA are in for a surprise, for me this is very much an RDTA. I will use two of Vapefly’s own products to illustrate this:
Vapefly Galaxies MTL RDTA
Vapefly Galaxies MTL RTA
Without going into too much detail, RDAs are commonly used for dripping or squonking, which you either drip eliquid directly onto the coil from the top or they can be bottom fed (such as squonking). They give you a far more saturated vape. An RDTA is basically an RDA with a juice tank below and wicking inserted from the coil down into the tank, with the build deck above the above the tank and closer to your mouth. This tends to deliver a more intense flavour, I’m already waffling on so in a nutshell:
- RDTA = Dripper like, intense saturated flavour and more vapour – HIGHER Juice Consumption.
- RTA = Traditional stock coil like flavour/vape – LESS Juice Consumption.
Hopefully that made some sense?
Now as far as I am concerned this IS an RDTA, it is a dripper sat on top of a bottom fed tank (and yes you can drip with it by removing the drip tip).
So now that is out of the way, let’s build and wick this RDTA!
Build & Wick
Before you begin, it is best to fit in the airflow restriction screw. Now I took a total guess at it and went for the second smallest, it turned out to be a lucky guess as it was a perfect ciggie like tight draw. The smallest would have been like sucking a golf ball through a straw. If you prefer a looser draw or are unsure, then perhaps try one of the two middle sizes. I found it very easy to screw in using the tri-tool provided, but I do recommend you do it over a work surface or tray so you don’t lose it.
Unfortunately, if your guess doesn’t suit your demands then you will need to remove the coil to change it over again.
Once that is done, you can turn your attention onto fitting the supplied coil. I was a little disappointed with the clamping style of the build deck, it was superb except one thing and that was the post screws. For thin gauge wire, it is all too easy for the wire to slip from underneath the screw and catch on the inside of the deck. It wasn’t too much of a problem once you are aware of it, for any thicker wire or Clapton style this issue vanishes.
The more positive parts are: left or right hand orientation option for prewrapped coils, coil leg recess to make trimming the leads easier, a large coil area will allow you to use larger diameter and exotic coils, HUGE wicking ports which are very much like an RDA (though this needs more wick than you would expect).
The provided coil is a slightly spaced Ni80 26awg plain wire wrapped at 2.5mm inside diameter. This is clearly labelled on the baggie, something I have come to expect from Vapefly who are excellent at providing specs. Fitting it, once I got past the post screws issue, took under a minute including trimming the legs, I pulsed it at 8 watts to burn off any residue. It did not require strumming for hotspots as the spacing was perfect ☺
For the coil height, I opted to let the legs sit parallel to the bottom of the post screws. This was a bit of an educated guess but again, it seemed to work well for me. I might play around on other builds as there is tons of room to experiment.
So onto the wicking. Using the included Firebolt cotton, I needed to thin it out slightly as it was a bit too tight in the coil. I wasn’t so lucky guessing the length and it took two attempts to get it right. My first attempt, I hadn’t got enough wick to fill the huge juice wells which resulted in far too much juice saturating the coil.
Above is probably the minimum amount of cotton you will require, it should be enough to kink it off to one side so plenty rests on top of the wicking wires. You are better off with too much wick than too little. Once you have that part done, pre-soak your coil and wick with your chosen eliquid.
I chose one of my favourite flavours, Juice Head Peach Pear 20mg Nic Salt. I also took the opportunity to lubricate the drip tip and top chamber so it would go together and rotate easily.
Convenient side filling design, easy to use
I have to admit I was sceptical about the above claim and the filling method, I have seen this before. I think it was the Limitless XL, from memory, and I had ‘limited’ success, often resulting in me wearing eliquid.
It turns out my scepticism was unfounded as it works so damn well!
Firstly, you need to rotate the top chamber, which also doubles as an air inlet, twist it until the hole matches the pre-marked ‘drops’ symbol which then gives you access to the juice fill port. Press the nozzle from your chosen juice against it and simply squeeze until you see the tank section full. Once you have filled it up, rotate the top chamber 180 degrees until the air hole is exposed. I have filled this tank up numerous times using small nozzle and gorilla style nozzles and not so much as a drop of excess eliquid spilt – LOVE IT.
So now for the moment you’ve been waiting for (well I was anyway), how does it perform?
I lobbed the Brunhilde onto a regulated mod to test it, set it to 12 watts and set about trying it out. The first draws were well over-saturated, I put this down to my overzealous coil priming but it didn’t go away. I examined the build deck and could see there was far too much juice, no leaking, just too much juice getting through. That was when I realised I had stuffed up my wicking!
Live and learn and appreciated that it was my fault, I rewicked it with longer legs and that sorted it straight out, so back to the vape…..
12 watts wasn’t quite cutting it, I was closer to a whopping 15 watts which is unusual for the Ni80 coil. Purely my opinion, but I put this down to the top chamber and deck being so roomy. Who knows, but damn the vape is freakin' awesome!!
The thing hits like a train, to the degree that my usual 20mg nic salts were too strong for me. Being a ‘dripper’ style vape, you naturally consume more eliquid. In my experience RDTAs consume even more as the wicking is far more consistent than dripping.
The flavour you get from this ‘Amazon-like Princess’ is top draw, to the point where some of my Sink Fodder juices were woken up. The downside was that I couldn’t put this down so my nicotine intake was noticeably too high. I have since changed to 10mg nic salts or 6mg freebase and am loving every ml of it.
Airflow wise, the restrictor does the job perfectly. My lucky guess of the second smallest size was spot on for my ‘demands’, giving me that tight ciggie like draw (or roll-up in my case). The airflow hole in the upper chamber is fine to be left fully open as the restrictor will only pull in the air you chose. Now you could tighten the draw even more if you wished, or if you chose too large a restrictor.
SO “Is the 510 spring loaded Vic” ooops sorry I drifted off to another reviewer then…….
SO what about the wire rope malarkey?
Now I see the point in using wire rope as a juice delivery method. I have never experienced anything like it, the thing keeps up with wicking incredibly fast. I thought tradional cotton wick RDTAs were consistent, but this beast is on another level. Not only that, but it is very efficient as it soaks up and delivers every last drop from the tank. I’ve run it bone dry a few times for the novelty factor.
Wire rope attys are the future, you heard it here first………. Well okay maybe not ‘here’ as Vapefly are well ahead of me on that one!
I was initially going to do a comparison to the above mentioned Vapefly Galaxies MTL RDTA but they really are two different attys. I love both of them for different reasons, the Galaxies is still suitable for 20mg nic salts and less thirsty, the Brunhilde is clearly a more saturate vape and more flavourful as a result.
Cleaning is so simple. A hot water rinse cleaned everything perfectly including the wicking wires, there are no signs of any wear on them and as long as you take care when handling them, I think they should last ages. If not, you always have a spare pair in the extras pack.
Is the Brunhilde the perfect MTL atomiser?
Well that depends on a couple of factors. Some people simply don’t like dripping. For those that don’t, then this might not be for you. If you haven’t tried dripping, then the Brunhilde is one of the best ways to try it without the mess or hassle of actually dripping, the other one is…….
The elephant In The Room
The Brunhilde is quite the jumbo, mostly due to the 65mm height of it (including alternate drip-tip). Also being 23mm wide will likely look silly on small mods. This became evident when I attempted to find a mod that suits it. Vapefly sent me the Blue version which was more of a challenge. I tried it on so many of my mods, my usual suspect for MTL simply looked wrong, the size is more akin to 24mm DTL tanks which led me to trying some of my cloud chukker mods.
If I had chosen the stainless steel option, I would have had more choice. In my case, my Geekvape Athena mech squonk mod suited it the best but obviously it doesn’t come with a squonking pin. You might notice the Vaporesso Target Mini 2, it half looks okay but the feel and weight made it quite comical and something that didn’t do the Brunhilde justice. Forget it as a ‘Stealth’ setup, it's large and proud!
Already a fan of Vapefly, all my previous reviews were self bought and without a doubt I would have purchased the Brunhilde for myself so I was delighted when it came up for review. Admittedly, I did have reservations as I couldn’t see how they could improve on the Galaxies MTL RDTA, but instead they have exceeded my expectations without making the Galaxies redundant. I like both for different individual reasons. The Brunhilde will now be my go-to for flavour testing sub 12mg juices.
The styling is truly a thing of beauty, perhaps subjective but those that it appeals to will have got this far and perhaps agree. The size could potentially put some people off, examining the construction I’m sure they could have shaved 1mm from the diameter making it fit 22mm mods better without overhang. Height? I’m not sure if it would benefit from being 2ml capacity as it is quite a thirsty tank for MTL, nowhere near as thirsty as sub-ohm, but I like that it has 5ml capacity. The size doesn’t bother me now I have found a matchey matchey home for it, but it is something to consider.
Pros and Cons
- Flavour flavour flavour and flavour
- Whopping 5ml capacity for MTL
- Wire rope wicking efficiency is staggering
- High end quality at an affordable price
- Smoothest airflow I have tried
- Airflow restrictions to suit all MTL fans
- Juice filling port works a treat
- So many extras
- 2 drip-tips
- Easy to maintain
- The size might be off putting for some
- Post screws can be a pain for thin gauge coils (30awg and thinner)
- It’s an RDTA not a RTA
I thought there would be more cons as us MTL fans are a fussy bunch, but that’s all I could come up with.
Score: a solid 9/10
Almost perfect, a Brunhilde Mini would be very welcome
I’m staggered just how quick things change. Just when you think traditional MTL wire rebuildable tanks have evolved as far as they can, then Vapefly come out with the Brunhilde which raises the bar even higher. I was certain the next evolution would be in the coil style, perhaps mesh, but there’s life in the old dog yet. Vapefly have done it again, and I have yet to have anything duff from them.
Supplied by Vapefly For Review Purposes: