Tokugawa RDA by Tendou Vapor review by VapeMaster

Review Date: 
06.02.2017

Tokugawa RDA by Tendou Vapor

I have been buying a few new RDA’s recently and one of the ones that really appealed to me was the Tokugawa by Tendou Vapor. I had heard good reports about the flavour it offered and I found its unique design to be intriguing.

The Tokugawa is 24mm in diameter and has adjustable dual side airflow slots as well as adjustable bottom airflow. The deck caters to single or dual coil builds and should you wish not to use the bottom airflow the box does contain a screw which allows you to seal it off. Designed with both large vapour production and excellent flavour in mind the Tokugawa seemed very appealing to me so let’s dive into the review so you can find out exactly what I thought of it!

Tokugawa RDA by Tendou Vapor features

  • 24mm Diameter
  • 303/304 Stainless Steel Construction
  • Cross Post Design for Centre Coil Construction
  • Caters to Dual and Single Coil Builds
  • Gold Plated Brass Contact
  • 2.5mm Open Post Holes
  • Adjustable Bottom Airflow (Includes Bottom Airflow Seal Cap)
  • Adjustable Side Airflow
  • 6.0mm Deep Juice Well
  • Delrin Wide Bore Drip Tip
  • Delrin Jaw Cap 2.0
  • 28.0mm Overall Height

What’s in the box?

  • Tokugawa RDA
  • Delrin Wide Bore Drip Tip (Pre-Fitted)
  • Spare Screws
  • Bottom Airflow Seal Cap
  • Delrin Jaw/Chuff Cap
  • Authenticity Card
  • Spare O-Rings

Tokugawa RDA by Tendou Vapor styling and build quality

Tendou Vapor are based in Arcadia California and all of their products are designed in the United States and I believe the production is done in China to keep costs down. All of their products are themed around Japan’s Sengoku Jidai (The age of the country at war) period so they are frequently named after famous Samurai Daimyo’s (Warlords) such as Oda Nobunaga, Takeda Shingen and lastly Ieyasu Tokugawa who succeeded in unifying all of Japan with his established Shogunate ruling between 1603 and 1867.

As you might realise I am something of a Samurai fan and in many respects I likely would have purchased this RDA purely on its looks alone because it really is gorgeous with the Tokugawa Clan Mon (Emblem) beautifully engraved on both sides of the main barrel.

The RDA is 24mm in diameter so it tends to look good on a lot of newer mods, I have it one of my Lost Vape Therion’s at present. Unusually the Tokugawa is made from both 303 and 304 Stainless Steel but the finish and machining is truly excellent and all of the various parts fit together extremely well! The O-rings are brilliant and have a superb tolerance to them but you do need to lubricate them thoroughly since the top cap and the airflow adjustment ring can be a bit stiff when the RDA is brand new. The O-rings are also very unique since they are coloured yellow which is something I certainly haven’t come across before.

On the top cap of the Tokugawa and wrapping around its edge you will find “Tokugawa” nicely engraved with the name being split in half on opposite sides. The included drip tip is fairly wide bore and made from Delrin being secured by a single O-ring in the top cap but it does not use a standard 510 connector which means you won’t be able to use many of your own drip tips. There is a large chuff cap also included in the box that Tendou call the “Jaw” cap and while it certainly fits well it does mean that you cannot close down the side airflow since you have to remove the top cap to fit it.

However more than likely due to a deliberate design decision by Tendou Vapor the drip tip and the chuff cap from the Goon 24 RDA both fit the Tokugawa and one very useful feature is that the Goon’s chuff cap still allows you to close off the upper airflow unlike the included Jaw cap. The 510 pin is made from brass and gold-plated. It does protrude sufficiently far enough to allow you to safely use the RDA on a hybrid top cap.

In terms of its sheer uniqueness the deck is very different to a lot of other RDA’s out there and uses a cross post design. You can easily tell which ones are which since the same type face one another. The positive terminals are also recognisable due to the insulators beneath them. When looking directly down at the deck it certainly has a very pleasing design that in some ways resembles a four leaf clover. If you unscrew the 510 pin you can remove the positive posts and this allows you to see the large PEEK insulators.

The post holes are 2.5mm in diameter which is sufficient for most typical builds but when using thicker wire you may have to first remove the flathead grub screws. The screws are quite small so it is quite easy to lose them if you don’t take care and in my opinion the grooves in the screw heads are a little shallow and could do with being deeper.

The well is reasonably large being 6mm deep and located in the bottom centre is a large air hole about 4mm in diameter. Interestingly enough Tendou Vapor include a screw in the package which allows you to seal up the bottom airflow, The screw is easy to fit but ideally should have been a flathead or Philips design to allow you to use a screwdriver instead of your finger and thumb. 

Airflow

The Tokugawa is certainly not short of airflow and has both side and bottom airflow. The bottom airflow features two sets of three air holes that are fully adjustable and the side airflow uses two large Cyclops style slots that can be fully opened up or closed down. If that is still not enough airflow for you then you can fit the included Jaw cap.

The bottom airflow adjustment ring can be a bit stiff so do remember to lubricate it with a little juice or some VG. The side airflow adjustment worked fine straight out of the box and surprisingly didn’t need any lubrication.

If for some reason you decide you don’t want to use the bottom airflow you can seal it with the included screw.

Ease of use

Building this RDA is actually quite straightforward but things can get a little bit fiddly if you are using larger diameter coils since there isn’t a massive amount of space in there. The small screws do tend to make the job a bit more awkward than it needs to be and you do need to take care that the screws go back in straight if you remove them because you could accidentally strip the threads if you aren’t careful.

Providing you stick to single coils things are certainly easier and with a little effort you can get the wire under the screws without removing them. I have tried a dual coil build but I used large diameter coils and that made installation a bit of a pain so if I were to attempt it again I would use much smaller coils. A standard large Clapton or fused Clapton build works really well when setting the Tokugawa up with a single coil and if you want to you can position it vertically and wrap the cotton around it which I found gave the flavour a little more punch. 

How does it vape?

No matter what juice I used in this RDA the flavour was amazing! My first vape was using Manabush Coyote Coconut and the coconut in the juice was incredibly sweet and crisp but not at the expense of the other ingredients such as the tobacco which I could still distinctly pick out. It made for a truly delicious vape!

The next one to go into the Tokugawa was The Yorkshire Vaper Butterscotch Custard which is a real favourite of mine and the butterscotch taste was rich and creamy and really quite fantastic in this RDA. Next up was some Fallstreak Stratus from Plumeblu which is a gorgeous Latte coffee flavour and that tasted lovely and really reminded me of drinking the real thing.

Moving on to another Plumeblu juice I went for some Colonel Boom’s Lt. Ripley which is an outstanding raspberry ice cream flavour and I was blown away by the flavour I got from the raspberry in this particular RDA which was insane being so very sweet, juicy and refreshing while being very well balanced with the delicious ice cream!

As you might expect I quickly went on to vape yet more E-Liquids in this RDA such as Mother’s Milk by Suicide Bunny, then some Colonel Boom’s Key West and then some Colonel Boom’s Marshal’s Traite before finally ending an especially awesome and very tasty vaping session with some Bunkr Apple Strudel! All of which were fantastic to vape and I think that in terms of its flavour the Tokugawa will prove itself very useful when I have a bunch of juice reviews to do.

So as you might gather flavour is very impressive but the question remains are things just as good in the cloud production department? Well you can rest assured that the Tokugawa puts out plenty of vapour even when using a single coil so I doubt you will be disappointed! If you want even more clouds you can always open up the side airflow which surprisingly doesn’t affect flavour too badly when using a large single coil as long as you only have it about one third to halfway open and you can also fit the large jaw/chuff cap if you want to but this means the side airflow cannot be closed down.

The juice well size is reasonably deep but the real downside is that due to the excellent flavour you will want to keep vaping and that means you will need to refill often but I can’t say it bothers me because the top cap is quick and easy to remove and I happen to like frequently switching flavours to keep things interesting. In some respects on a day off I could really see myself using this RDA all day long, dripping like a juice fiend and quickly getting through a 30ml bottle which could get expensive fast but it would certainly be extremely enjoyable!

One thing which will be immediately obvious is that if you have the bottom airflow open there is the potential for leaking but this will only ever happen if you carelessly over-drip so I don’t see it as a con at all since the same issue applies to other bottom airflow RDA’s such as the Kennedy.

Conclusion

The Tokugawa is a superbly built RDA that looks highly stylish, puts out plenty of clouds (even with a single coil) and offers an amazing flavoursome vape when using the bottom airflow!

It does have some issues which may or may not bother you, namely the small screws which can feel a bit fiddly until you get used to them and the fact that there isn’t a huge amount of room for large dual coils (Claptons, staggered/fused Claptons etc.) which can make installation a little bit difficult. Also given that larger dual coils are only partially hit by the bottom airflow things can get a little bit hot and it is possibly for part of the cotton to dry out and burn so I would suggest that if you want to run this RDA with dual coils you use ones with a much smaller diameter and open up the side airflow a bit. There are of course ways around this design especially if you’re a very skilled coil builder which sadly I am not but I have seen some ingenious examples of people using split dual coils and other exotic builds.

Of course if you decide to stick to a single coil and if you go with something like a large fused Clapton coil I guarantee it will give you an awesome vape that is full of flavour!  It does of course get even better if you decide to mount the coil vertically which isn’t really that difficult to do and it is currently my favourite build for this RDA.

All in all I think this is brilliant RDA but one that not everyone will immediately get to grips with (due to dual coil space limitations, small screws, unusual deck) but if you mainly stick to single coils or small diameter dual coil builds then you will certainly love the impressive flavour and vapour that the Tokugawa has to offer!

I purchased the Tokugawa RDA from BEAUM VAPE who are based in Cardiff. This was the first time I placed an order with them and I found their service to be excellent! The RDA arrived within two days and it was very well packaged so if you would like to purchase one you can get it directly from them where it is currently priced at £50.00.