Vapefly Brunhilde RTA Review

The Brunhilde has been designed by the German 103 Team and built by Vapefly. Brunhilde was a Valkyrie in the Norse versions of the myth, and an Amazonian-like Queen in the Germanic (hence the winged helmet on the tank). This tank is pretty noteworthy for using stainless steel rope as a wicking material. This has largely fallen out of fashion, especially as it required blow torching the ends to give it a non-conductive shield. The Brunhilde happily avoids faff this by using the steel as a transport wick up to the deck, and then you just use cotton as normal on top of these to draw the liquid up to your coil. The German 103 Team are a group that share ideas to design their attys, their previous one was the Core RTA. I’m not sure how well designing by committee ever works, and the stainless steel ropes as wicks certainly are a little bit different. So let’s take it to pieces and see what it’s like..

Build Quality & Design

There’s no getting around the fact that this is an exceptionally tall tank, in fact when you have it’s drip tip on, it’s a hair taller than an 18650 battery. It’s 25mm diameter and I have it in the Stainless Steel. The biggest break from the norm is the 4 stainless steel rods you have running down the tank, these are here for wicking, and me that you don’t have to shove a load of cotton into the tank like you would with other top coil RTAs.

It’s got a good looking 810 style drip tip, with the o-rings inside the top cap. A nice detail is that they stepped the tip slightly, so it’s got a really positive feeling as you push it into place. Next up you have the top cap and the sleeve, the top cap rotates to allow you to adjust your airflow. On the sleeve you have two lines of four equal sized holes on top of one another, this is mirrored on the other side being a dual coil deck. The top cap then has a cut out step, so as you twist it from fully open, you close of first the top row, and then the bottom row. Even with those fully closed though, that’s not the only airflow in this atty. The way the sleeve fits over the deck section you have two holes set on opposite sides near the bottom of the sleeve.

One is marked with a three droplet symbol, which is your side fill port (more about this in a moment) and the other larger hole is another airflow intake. This airflow then comes up through the posts and is expelled from a semi concave wall that separates your two coils, blasting outwards through a wide honeycomb. This way, the coil is getting hit with air from both sides. If you want, you can turn off the outside airflow entirely and just use the inner, but it’s not really designed for you to be able to turn off the inner one. As when you rotate the sleeve to stop the hole lining up with the air intake, you’re also moving the side airflow holes so they’ll no longer be covering the length of the coil. Not a major irritation, and I’ve found I get a nice semi-restricted vape, with the main air flow set to have the bottom row of four holes open and the top shut off.

The deck is nice and easy to build on, it’s a pretty simple 2 coil deck, with leg holes above and below one another. You’ve got enough room here that you can actually get away with clipping your legs after placing your coils, but I’d still say it’s easier to use a coily and pre-clip then to the right size. Placement is easy as you have the wall between them (with the central airflow) to line them up against. When you’re wicking this, you should think of wicking it like a dripper, rather than a tank. With the stainless steel wicks poking up slightly into their own little wells, you want to aim to place your wick into these such that they’re coming into contact with the steel and spreading out around the bottom of the well. The way the steel works is via capillary action, and you want to make sure there’s plenty of surface area on the cotton for your juice to continue it’s journey.

Moving down the tank you have a really nice glass section that is enclosed by an engraved cage showing a winged helmet. When I saw photos of this online I was worried it might feel a little cheap or tacky. But actually it’s subtle enough that it’s not a big deal at all, and the metal feels quality throughout.

Finally the base with your 510, which you can unscrew from the central chamber for cleaning. Just be aware that the steel wicks are likely resting on this, and whilst the tension will generally keep them in place, if you shake it about once you’ve taken off the bottom, they will just fall out. Happily you get a spare with the tank if you ever manage to lose one!

How does the Vapefly Brumhilde RTA perform?

I’m going to address the point first that a lot of people may be worried about. The stainless steel wicking. It’s not something we see much over here these days, but back in the days of genesis atomisers, people would get stainless wire, torch the end to carbonise it, and then wrap their coils around the wire itself. The wire in the Brunhilde is made up of 7 strands of stainless steel coiled together to make one thick strand, and then 7 of those are then coiled to make your final steel rope. The juice flows up through the tiny cracks and crevices between the wires due to capillary action, and it actually works incredibly well. I have really challenged this tank to give me a dry hit, chain vaping on it heavily, and I have yet to manage it. The steel wicks just drink the liquid up, and then the small amount of cotton you have in just finishes the journey. In fact, I’ve found that the wire actually wicks a lot better than the cotton I would drop into the tank on a similar top coiling RTA.

Flavour is another absolute winner here, unlike the attys that require loads of cotton going into a tank, the stainless wire doesn’t seem to impart any flavour. So the break in time on your cotton should be similar to if you were using a dripper. The muji that I tend to prefer isn’t bad for break in, but I’m still happy to get rid of that little cotton flavour as quickly as possible. Obviously if you were having to drop a load of cotton in place of the steel, your break in time would be that much longer. Regardless of the benefit of break in time, the flavour is still excellent. I think the airflow hitting both sides of the coil helps here, and the wall separating the two sides of the deck means the air is naturally going to get pushed straight up as there’s no where else for it to go.

My only really major quibble with this tank is the fill port. This is a big tank, with the international version having an 8ml capacity, I believe the TPD version uses a silicon plug, but I don’t have one to check how easily that’s removed. However having such a big tank means you want to be able to fill it up with a decent flow of juice so you’re not sitting there for ages, and that’s where the tiny little fill hole starts to get irritating. You really need to make sure your bottle is pressed into it at exactly 90º, any little wobble and you’ll end up with juice coming out of the fill hole as the hole in your bottle stops lining up with the tiny hole in the tank. If you have a needle nosed bottle this is ok-ish, if a little bit on the slow side, as you can’t just squeeze like crazy, and need to be a bit measured about it to stop you from overloading the hole. Anything larger than this however and you don’t have a chance, and I would suggest decanting the juice you want to use into something with a fine nozzle. Personally I find even the standard needle nosed bottles are just challenging enough to be irritating, and I am seriously considering drilling out this fill hole a little to make my life easier.

Final Review Verdict

I’m actually really pleased with this tank, although I was a little bit worried that the steel wick wouldn’t work that well, I’ve been consistently impressed with how well it carries the liquid. It’s certainly a bit of a statement piece with it’s size, but paired with the right mod it certainly makes an impact. Flavour and cloud production are both pretty impressive, and as a 25mm mod, I think it looks the business on my Ehpro Mod 101 Pro.

Summary

An old idea, designed by 103 people, in an enormously tall tank. It shouldn’t work, but it really, really does!

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