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5stars

Vandy Vape Pulse 22 BF RDA Review

Price: $22.99

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As the name suggests, the Pulse 22 BF RDA from Vandy Vape is a 22 mm RDA primarily designed with squonkers in mind. The BF stands for “bottom feeding”, in case you haven’t figured it out, so the Pulse is mainly meant to be used with squonk mods, which feed juice into the atomizer through a hollow connection pin. It works just as well in dripping mode, but it’s the squonking functionality that really makes this atomizer stand out from the hundreds of other RDAs.

If you’re reading this review, you’re probably already familiar with squonking, but just in case you’ve never even heard the term, squonker mods or bottom feeders are specially designed vaporizers that carry a bottle of juice on board. Instead of always having to drip juice into the atomizer, all you have to do is squeeze the plastic bottle through a small window and e-liquid will be fed straight to the atomizer through a tube. Releasing the pressure will suck excess juice back into the bottle. It’s a great alternative to dripping that’s been around since 2010, but, interestingly enough, it only recently started becoming popular.

Vandy-Vape-Pulse-22

Even though more and more vapers are starting to discover the benefits of squonking, it’s still not as widespread as you might think. In fact, many manufacturers haven’t put out any squonking products yet, and that makes “sqonkers” both hard to procure and more expensive than traditional vape gear. That is likely to change as the practice becomes mainstream, but for the moment sqounking remains a niche kind of thing.

A Look at the Contents

The Vandy Vape Pulse 22 RDA comes in a small, blue cardboard box that, surprisingly, looks a lot better than most atomizer packaging options I’ve seen. The blue color definitely makes it stand out from the plethora of black boxes most manufacturers opt for, and everything, from the whole layout of the information to the plasticized writing and the inconspicuous pulse logo, just feels well thought out.

Pulse-22-RDA

Inside the box, we have the Pulse 22 atomizer sitting in a holder, next to a 510 drip tip adapter, and underneath, we have a user manual and a back of spare parts and accessories. The bag contains several spare o-rings, two grub screws for the build deck, a standard connection pin and an adapter for it, a small screwdriver, as well as a stainless steel rod for twisting your own coils. All in all, a nice package, although I would have liked to see a high-quality coil and some cotton included, for us folks who don’t always have nice wire or pre-made coils on hand. Maybe I’m asking too much, I don’t know.

Design and Build Quality

The Pulse 22 RDA measures 22 mm in diameter, and 32 mm in length, with the stock Goon-style Ultem drip tip. It has the “Pulse” logo laser etched on one side, and the Vandy Vape logo on the other. On the base, you will notice a “Tony B” signature. If you’re unfamiliar with the name – I know I didn’t realize who it was at first – that’s Tony, from the Vapor Trail YouTube Channel, one of the most popular vaping-related channels on YouTube.  The guy seems super nice and apparently has some very good design ideas as well. He has been working together with Stephen Z of VandyV Vape, and I think they’ve done an awesome job.

Pulse22-BF

Anyway, back to the RDA, it has two slanted side air slots on each side – very similar with those of the Recoil RDA – which align with the coil perfectly. They are positioned higher than on most RDAs I’ve seen, so that even if you somehow overdrip, the juice will not reach these slots and pour out. The rounded top cap has just the right amount of tension, making it easy to remove and turn to adjust the airflow, but at the same time remain in the same position if you’re not messing with it. The Ultem drip tip is a Goon-style 810, but you can use your favorite 510 drip tip as well, thanks to the included adapter.

The Vandy Vape Pulse 22 comes installed with a hollow squonking connection pin, which is a pretty clear hint that it was designed primarily with squonking enthusiasts in mind. However, removing it and replacing it with the standard pin is very easy. All you have to do is use one of the heads of the included screwdriver to take out the hollow pin, and then screw the regular pin in the adapter and then into the base of the atomizer.

Vandy-Vape-Pulse

The deck of the Vandy Vape Pulse is probably its most impressive feature. It’s a postless, single coil deck that’s extremely intuitive to build on and does a great job of distributing the juice evenly between the two juice well, when you squonk. The juice port in the middle of the deck has two openings, facing each well, and you press the juice bottle, e-liquid flows in both wells evenly, with any excess getting sucked back into the bottle. I haven’t seen too many squonking RDAs, but this definitely is the best of them, at least as far as juice distribution goes.

The screws that hold your coil in place come in from the side of the RDA base, and they are oriented in such a way that they don’t twist your coil at all when pressing against the leads, which I was very impressed by. You can literally install the coil without a rod for support, and it will not twist at all. And even though this is a postless deck, and the wire holes are drilled right into the base of the deck, juice doesn’t flow in them and out through the screw channels. Even if it did, though, the base is insulated on the outside by two o-rings.

Pulse22-BF-RDA

As I mentioned, installing a coil on the Vandy Vape Pulse 22 is a breeze. Just pop the leads into the two holes to get an idea of how much you need to clip them. Tony B recommends leaving the leads a bit longer, so that it comes up right between the four slanted air pipes, for optimal flavor, but you can cut them shorter as well, just as long as the coil doesn’t make contact with the raised juice feeder on the bottom. Once you’ve tightened the coils and the leads are fixed in place, you have to twist the coil a little bit so that it is facing the two divets cut into the edge of the build deck. Just place the stainless steel rod through the deck, and turn it until the rod is positioned right above the two divets. Than take it out and wick the coil.

One of the nicest features of the Pulse 22 RDA is that it has some deep juice wells for its size. That might not matter very much if you plan on using it exclusively for squonking, but for drippers, it means that it can hold more juice, so you won’t have to top it off as often.

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Once you’re done wicking the coil, just slide over the stainless steel barrel of the atomizer, and you’ll see that the four airflow pipes are all facing the coil. Than put on the top cap, adjust the airflow and squonk some juice. Actually, I recommend making sure that the cotton is nice and saturated before putting the RDA back together, to avoid dry hits.

Overall, the Vandy Vape Pulse 22 is a great looking atomizer. I don’t know how big of a role Tony B played in the design of this thing, but it turned out great. Everything makes sense, from the positioning of the airflow slots, to the way the juice flows evenly on both sides of the juice well, and even the markings on the side of the deck that help you twist the coil in the right position. The quality of the machining is great as well, and the o-rings have just the right tolerance. I just don’t have anything bad to say about the design and build quality of the Pulse.

Pulse22-atomizer

How It Vapes

Whether you’re planning on using the Pulse 22 for squonking or dripping, you can rest assured that you will enjoy about the best flavor you can get from an RDA, or any other type of atomizer, for that matter. The amount of vapor you get out of it depends very much on what kind of coil you are using, as well as the power output of your mod, but Tony B and Vandy Vape have made it very clear that this is, first and foremost, a flavor RDA.

Even though this is a single-coil atomizer, you can get some pretty huge clouds of warm vapor, just as long as you use it with a low-enough resistance coil. For example, I’ve been using it with a 0.22Ω framed staple coil from Geek Vape and it’s been putting out some impressive clouds. The only problem is that I’ve been experiencing some spitback, especially when the cotton is most saturated with juice. This may be a coil issue, or I might have just wicked it too tight, but I just thought I’d mention it.

Pulse-22-RDA-deck

The flavor you get with the Vandy Vape Pulse is simply phenomenal, and I wasn’t expecting anything less, especially after hearing Tony B stalk about how great it is. I just don’t think a decent guy like him would put his reputation on the line to promote a product if it didn’t perform as well as expected, and this truly is a great flavor RDA.

If I were to come up with a con, albeit a subjective one, is that this is still a small 22 mm, single-coil atomizer. So if you’re not going to use it for squonking, or if you prefer very warm vapor and lots of it, this may not be for you. Other than that though, this thing rocks.

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Conclusion

I was really impressed by this little guy, I have to admit. I just didn’t expect to like a 22 mm RDA so much, especially after getting used to 24 and 25 mm atomizers, like the Geek Vape Peerless, or the Medusa Reborn, but it surprised me. Not only does it introduce some really innovative and effective ideas, but it’s also intuitive and easy to work with. Performance wise, the flavor is right up there with the best you can get from an RDA, and the vapor is pretty nice as well, provided you’re using the right type of coil. You really couldn’t ask for more from a $22.99 RDA.

The Vandy Vape Pulse 22 BF RDA was provided to me for the purpose of this review, by Gearbest.

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