If you ask someone that’s been vaping for a while to name the rockstars of MTL, the name Kayfun is sure to crop up sooner or later. Svoëmesto first made waves in 2012 with the Kayfun 3.1 ES, this was the first tank that they had made in Germany, and it quickly earned them a following of people that would wax lyrical about the flavour and the precision of the machining. This was followed up by the Kayfun Mini 2.1, and the Kayfun 3.1. With high quality German engineering though comes high prices, and it’s this that the original Kayfun Lite sought to address in 2013. Providing people with a premium Kayfun experience, at a more affordable price. The original Kayfun Lite was (and still is!) regarded as one of the best MTL RTA’s around, despite some design quirks due to it’s age. Grimm Green recently did a video on “The Kayfun Lite Plus Five Years Later”.
But things have changed a lot since 2013, with more MTL RTA’s coming out every month, does the new Kayfun do enough to hold on to it’s crown?
Build Quality & Design
The Kayfun Lite (2019) come in two sizes, the traditional 22mm that I have, and a larger 24mm. They are absolutely identical except for the diameter, and therefore juice capacity. The 22mm holding a TPD safe 2ml, whereas the 24mm holds 3.5ml. Otherwise the deck, chimney and height is the same for both. With the original Kayfun Lite, there was quite a large market for aftermarket accessories. This time Svoëmesto are bringing out a variety of accessories for these as well, including a long mode and a transparent dome (both of these raise the capacity to 4ml and 5ml respectively) or a bell top cap, and also a drip tip. All of these are available in either the yellowish ultem that makes up the window section of the tank when you first receive it, or PMMA, a frosted acrylic that goes clear when touching liquid, which they are calling Fire and Ice. Aside from the looks of these, it’s worth remembering that the ultem will be more resistant to any really aggressive e-liquids.
On opening the rather understated packaging, the first thing you’ll find is a small bag with the manual and spares, keep this close because you’re going to need it soon! Underneath is the Kayfun itself and what a tiny little beauty it is. 33mm tall and as mentioned above, this is a German made tank, and it feels reassuringly high quality. The threads are silky smooth, the finish is perfect, even the ultem window section looks high class.
To get at the deck you twist off the base section of the tank, as you remove it take a look inside the top and you’ll see that this is a bottom filling tank. Not something we see much of in 2019, and with TPD restrictions limiting us to 2ml tanks, I can certainly understand people being a bit disappointed by this. On the other hand, it keeps the size, and complexity of the tank down, which though I think is a worthwhile trade off, you mileage may vary!
Now, remember that pack of spares? Good, because you’ll find that the deck comes without it’s post screws in place, so open up the little baggy, and take two of them out, you get another two as spares, and all are cross head. When you’re putting the screws in place BE CAREFUL, Svoëmesto has had some minor quality issues on the first run. These screws aren’t made by Svoëmesto, and in fact there are only two manufacturers of the M1.6 screws they use in the whole of Germany. A small number of people have had these snap whilst screwing them in, so be gentle, and if you feel any resistance, gently screw it out and try again. If you’re really unlucky though, make sure to get in contact with Svoëmesto and they’ll look after you, all my experience of their customer service has been of the quality you’d expect from a company that makes a premium product.
It’s a nice simple build deck, and like the rest of the tank, small but perfectly formed. You’re not going to be fitting any stapled Clapton’s in here! Remember, this is a MTL tank, so a simple coil is the order of the day. The post screws are opposite one another rather than offset, so combined with the small air-hole that you want for a decent MTL draw, you’re limited in how many wraps you can put in. Currently I’m vaping on a Kanthal 28 gauge, 2.5ID with 7 wraps, coming out to about 1.3. You can fit a 3mm coil in here, but not much bigger.
There are actually two decent ways of mounting your coil, one way is to go between the build screw and the wall it is sitting next to, simply trapping it underneath the coil head. I think of this as the standard way.
The other way of doing it is going round the outside of the little walls and tucking it under the lip they have on the outside, screwing down to trap them there. This way allows a little bit of extra length in the coil.
However you build your coil wicking is straight forward, just gently tuck it inside the build deck but especially if you are using a 3mm coil, don’t overstuff it with cotton and pull or snip some off if you have too much.
As you put the tank back together you might noticed another of the “quirks” of this new Kayfun, the ultem section of the tank doesn’t have any O-rings keeping it sealed. This might seem a bit worrying, especially as you’ll be using thinner liquids, but in a solid week of vaping I haven’t had any leaks, and the seams appear pretty tight and leak-proof except when I accidentally unscrew it all (more on that later!).
Now your tank is back together you may well be looking it at and wondering where the airflow control is. No, they haven’t cut that out to save costs! In fact the airflow control is inside the 510 connector. So turn the tank over, take a flat head screwdriver and slide it into the hollow 510. Inside is a tiny nylon grub screw (you have spares in the packet) and this allows you to adjust your airflow from a middling MTL draw to a “sucking a hedgehog down a hosepipe”. I find that the easiest way to do this is to keep taking a draw on it dry, adjusting, and repeating until I’m happy. You’re not really going to be able to get even a restrictive lung hit off this, and it’s nice to see a company go all in on MTL, rather than trying to do two different things in the same tank. Obviously since you need to get at the 510 with a screwdriver, you’re not going to be changing this often, Svoëmesto calls it a “set it and forget it”. Some people have said that they’ve found that a small amount of juice leaks out this hole, but I’ve yet to experience that. I suspect that as with most bottom air flows, it’s all dependent on the wicking.
How does the Svoëmesto Kayfun Lite (2019) perform?
First of all, what amazing flavour! Vaping some of my favourite juices is rather like listening to a well known song on a really good set of headphones, you end up picking up on subtleties that you’d never noticed before. This has especially been the case with the darker smokey flavoured liquids that run to tobaccos, spices, and the like. Provided you’ve wicked it properly, you shouldn’t have any gurgling, and the draw is incredibly smooth and satisfying.
The amount of vapour is pretty impressive for such a little beast. However, if you’re going to be chain vaping, then watch out for the top cap getting hot. Because the drip tip that it comes with is also steel (with an incredibly subtle logo on it, the only one on the tank) this can heat up quite quickly. Having said that, I’ve always preferred the feel of a metal drip tip, so I’m fine with that. If you do find that it doesn’t suit your favoured wattage/frequency of taking a draw, then you can always get one of the coloured plastic drip tips, or use any other 510 that suits your fancy.
But it’s not all roses unfortunately! When it comes to filling the tank, turning it upside down is no big hardship, my first tank was an Aspire Nautilus with bottom fill, and I still use that now and again. But the resistance between unscrewing to remove the base and build deck, and unscrewing to remove the chimney section, is just a little too close for my liking. Because of this there have been a few time where I’ve gone to fill it up, and accidentally ended up loosening the chimney section from the top cap, resulting in e-liquid running all over the tank and my hands! There’s definitely a knack to it, and I’d advise looking at Svoëmesto’s site to see how they suggest you prepare it and which o-rings to grease. Even following their instructions to the letter though, I’m still not 100% confident I’m not going to end up in a mess when I go to refill it. Having said that, being an MTL tank with a high resistance coil, your e-liquid will last a surprisingly long time, so I can happily get a day of vaping out of it, and then fill it up at home later. Even then, I tend to use a small build tool in the air hole to give me the purchase I need to unscrew it.
Final Review Verdict
There’s no getting around the fact that this is a premium product, with a premium price, though cheaper than some of the other modern Kayfuns. Is it good enough to compete in a world where almost every major tank maker seems to have at least one MTL RTA?
In short, yes. This is a stunning little piece, from the fit and finish, to the quality of the flavour that it’s capable of extracting. There are definitely some things about it that I’m less keen on, but when you consider all of the choices that have gone in to making this as simple, and small a tank as it is, I’m really happy with the end result.
Premium tank, premium price, but the flavour is worth every penny.