______________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION Hello everyone, Pizza Dave here, delivering you a review of the Ratel by Mechlyfe. Alright, so Mechlyfe can try as hard as they want to in calling this a pod system, but let’s be real here…. This is isn’t a pod system. This is a rebuildable AIO. It is big, it is rebuild ONLY, runs off a single 18650, and it goes up to 80w. Calling this a pod system is like calling a Harley a moped. I am tossed a few builds in this, ran it through its paces, and here I am with what I think. DISCLAIMER: This device and liquid was sent to me by Heavengifts for review. ______________________________________________________________________________ WHAT YOU GET 1 Mechlyfe Ratel 80w AIO 2 MTL fused Clapton 1 Bag of Cotton 1 Screwdriver 4 spare post screws Spare O-rings Paperwork - Utilizes a 510-drip tip, with a matching resin drip tip sold separately (SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED) Available in black frames with resin panels which are red, blue, white, green, and “carbon fiber”. STOCK SHOT SAMPLE PACKAGING OUT OF BOX ______________________________________________________________________________ DETAILS Measures 104mm x 42mm x 26mm Battery – Single 18650 Capacity – 4ml Pod Type – Rebuildable only Output – 5-80w Resistance range - .05 – 3.5-ohms Modes - TC, VW, VV, Bypass Material – Aluminum Alloy with resin side panels ______________________________________________________________________________ FIRST IMPRESSIONS LEGIT. Out of the box, this thing looks awesome. I totally dig what they did with the massive resin panels. The aluminum feels light, but solid. The buttons all feel clicky and firm, and this has ZERO rattle throughout. Once I started popping off the panels, I found that the internals are well laid out and kept neat and the magnets holding the doors are just the right amount of tension. There is very little play in the doors as well. Without using it at all, it is rather impressive. ______________________________________________________________________________ OPERATION One thing to note is that this is going to function more like a typical single battery box mod than any sort of pod system. 5 clicks of the fire button turn this on and off, with 3 clicks of the fire button cycling through the modes. That is really it. There is not screen flips, there is no button lock, there is no menu system. Clicking through the modes and you will find the following. VW – Variable wattage 5-80w VV – Variable voltage .5-5.1v Bypass – Acts like a mech mod directly outputting battery voltage TC-S – Stainless Steel temp control TC-N – Nickel temp control TC-T – Titanium temp control That is all you really need to know about running the thing. It is a dumbed down chip which is super simple to use. It doesn’t offer much for adjustability, and I REALLY wish it had a screen flip option and a button lock. It is what it is. ______________________________________________________________________________ PODS Yeah…so pods? This is not a pod system. It has a plastic tank that looks like a pod, but that’s it. This is a rebuildable 2 post device, which has a wide variety of air flow adjustment so it can be used for mtl or direct lung applications. BUILD#1 – Included micro coil Lost my notes on where this little coil came out for resistance. I am thinking somewhere in that 1-ohm mark? It was installed easily, and wicking was a breeze. I only ran this coil for a day or so and found that it worked really well for 6mg nicotine at about 30w. It satisfied me quite well and provided flavor like we would see in a small single coil atomizer (something like VV Berserker RTA?). Air flow has the option to get down to 1-hole, providing a loose MTL vape. This isn’t super tight, but still decent for those higher mg nic liquids BUILD #2 – Badazd MTL coil Seriously, if you haven’t reached out to Badazd on Reddit, you should. I love his coils. They are all SSS316L, and they are unique. He doesn’t do super advanced coils such as Aliens or Staple-Fused Claptons, but he makes some solid flattened and twisted coils. This MTL build was a little better for flavor and vapor than the round-wire build. I still used 6mg nic and bumped up to 35w for this. Really good for a loose MTL vape. BUILD #3 – Ni80 3mm fused Clapton This test was for the higher wattage realm. Build also popped in with ease and wicking also worked perfectly. I had to thin the ends a little, but I had no issues getting this wicked. I varied my vape experience this by trying it from 40-60w. I had to thin the wicking a little bit more for 60w or it would start to get dry, so I usually stuck to that 50w range for the best vape experience I could get with less fiddling. Excellent flavor, nice amount of vapor, and rather easy to get right with wicking. The only other things I have to note about the pods are a few negative things. 4ml capacity isn’t too bad, but you have to keep your eye on it to ensure the liquid flows around the center chamber, they left the tolerances real tight here, so thicker liquids don’t move about quite right. I wish they would have bumped the tank out and into the windows on the side panels. This would increase capacity, and keep that liquid flowing where it needs to. The other con with the pods is the refill port. It isn’t super big, and even though they provide a tab to grasp, it is kind of a bitch. Also, with that tight chamber, you must fill this slowly, and wait for liquid to get around that chimney or you’ll make a mess. ______________________________________________________________________________ MISCELLANEOUS PHOTOS ______________________________________________________________________________ HOW IT VAPES / FINAL THOUGHTS I pretty much already stated how this vapes above, but basically it does what it is designed to. It works as a loose MTL device and provides a airier direct lung vape. The air flow is a little noisy when rocking this as direct lung, but not really worse than any sub-ohm tank out there. It has a lot of good things going for it. It is simple to build and wick, and I never had much for dry hits and had ZERO leaking throughout use. Power output is more than enough for a satisfying direct lung vape and having an external 18650 is fucking sweet. Battery life for days with MTL and 25-35 use. Also, I don’t have to wait around to charge the things. Just pop in a fresh 18650 and move on with my life. So yeah, it’s got some good, but hey, it also has some bad. Right out of the gate the first thing you will notice is the size. It’s basically the size of a single battery box mod with a tank on top. It is still pocketable, but not if you are wearing them skin-tight jeans all the kids these days are wearing. (I use kids lightly here, but you get the point) Other cons I found is that TC is a no go. It doesn’t work right at all, so if you want this for TC vaping, don’t bother. Maybe they will do a firmware update, but don’t hold your breath. Another con is with the rebuildable section and O-rings. I tore the shit out of one right out of the gate. Essentially, this rebuildable section screws into a base, and has two O-rings sealing it in the chamber. The first one was kind of janky out of the gate, and the replacement has been going good with me lubing it up with liquid as I installed it. The last con is the “pod” design itself. Refilling kind of sucks and could have been executed better. Also, that clearance issue around the chamber and the side of the tank is annoying, as it hinders liquid dispersion and refilling speed. All in all, I still really like this thing. It is an awesome on the go device. Everything is all contained in a package that just works. It isn’t small, and it has some cons, but I dig it. I would love to see some small tweaks done, mostly to the tank section, and give it a whirl again. ______________________________________________________________________________ THE OVEN TEST If this one accidentally went into the pizza oven, would I go out and buy another? I am going to keep on rocking this thing, and it has officially become my “bar mod” or “pub mod” for all you classy folks across the pond. ______________________________________________________________________________ PROS Solidly Built Nice color options with the resin 18650 battery Easy to build and wick Decent amount of airflow adjustment Good Flavor Not leak-prone ______________________________________________________________________________ CONS Large size Refill port is wonky Tank section doesn’t have enough room between sides and chamber TC function is trash No screen flip No button lock Thank you all for reading this review and thank you to Heavengifts for sending this my way for review. They have these listed for $75 on their site, currently on pre-order. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Pizza Dave – Delivering real reviews, with no extra toppings ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ REVIEW CRITERIA: I use each item for about two weeks to ensure I have collected enough data to adequately write a review. I use the same e liquid in tanks or rdas throughout all my reviews to ensure that I am comparing apples to apples between all modern equipment. I do not post reviews until I feel confident that I have used it enough to give an educated review. The reason I started doing reviews was due to poor purchasing decisions in my vaping infancy about two years ago. Back then, I purchased several different pieces of hardware without really enjoying it and I hope my reviews can guide people into spending their hard-earned money more wisely than I did! ****Keep in mind that some items I receive may be pre-release and not in retail packaging. Quality may be less than the finished product and what is in the package may differ from the retail package as well.