Review for the Uwell Nunchaku RDA Starter Kit – A while back, we did a review of Uwell’sfirst-ever vape mod, the 80-watt, stick-style Nunchaku… which was, by and large, a mid-range vape device shaped like Nunchucks. It was a pretty benign, but decent single-18650 offering that did more right than wrong – hardly a small feat these days.
At the time, the mod surprised us because of how innovative Uwell had been with its legendary tank systems. The surprise came from how straightforward and uncomplicated the mod really was. So, it was REALLY surprising when we were asked to review the new Uwell Nunchaku RDAmod kit. Not because it improved on the device in so many ways. But rather because it did absolutely nothing to change it at all – this is the exact same mod, kids. Right down to the quirks and annoyances.
What’s different? Well, unlike the original release, which was paired with a middling sub-ohm tank, this Nunchaku kit comes with a companion RDA.
…and that’s it. Nothing else has been updated, upgraded, upsized or downloaded to make the Nunchaku RDA kit a different entity. This is simply the same 80-watt stick mod we reviewed under a year ago, with a decent but unremarkable dripper packed inside the box.
So, we’re not going to waste a TON of digital ink on the mod itself, since we’ve basically already done it. But we will give you a good overview of the device, who it’s for, what it does, and the like. Then we’ll get into the Nunchaku RDA, to see if it’s worth purchasing the kit for that element alone. Let’s dive in… again.
Getting reacquainted with the Nunchaku was fairly easy, since its simple operations and uber-comfortable curved design made it a pleasure to grip. We always appreciated the Nunchaku’s unique take on a very sterile type of mod design, and that hasn’t changed a year later.
That said, the pen-vape format is still extremely limiting, and the Nunchaku’s limitations are a little more glaring a year down the road. For starters, minuscule OLED display might have been adequate on the Vamo a few hundred years ago, but in 2018, vapers have come to expect more real estate to see how their devices are operating. Even “mass market” vape devices are showing more details than the Nunchaku, and newcomers are likely wanting the same.
When you factor in that the Nunchaku does temperature control and bypass modes, the needfor onscreen information is all the more important. While the display is clear and legible, its size and odd positioning at the bottom of the tube make it a non-factor.
The same complaints can be levied toward the controls, which work fine, with nice, clicky buttons. But the positioning means your thumbs will block part of the display whenever making adjustments, leading to awkward two-hand operation, when one hand should have been enough. Am I splitting hairs? Maybe, but on a vape mod designed for simplicity, this was surprising.
One area of improvement over the original Nunchaku was the MUCH improved threadingon the battery. I lamented the machining in the original review, but this updated edition seems to have sorted out the problem, so it’s not such a pain to change batteries this time around.
The Uwell Nunchaku RDA
Much like the Uwell Nunchaku sub-ohm tank was a perfect design match for the mod, so is the all-new Nunchaku RDA (time to find a new marketing team, Uwell). This understated 24mm dripper is pretty rudimentary in its appearance, aside from some branding on the side of the cap. But when paired with the Nunchaku device, it makes for a seamless, unified look.
The inside of the RDA is just as low-key, with a simplistic, two-post format that makes for easy, uncomplicated building, and a pretty no-fuss experience. The deep juice well is forgiving for newcomers, and also creates a nice “pooling area” for those who use the included BF pinto squonk with the Nunchaku RDA.
Overall, it’s a pretty solid offering. Are you going to drop that TigerTek NADA or HellVape Dead Rabbit to get a hold of the Nunchaku? Not likely, but as a complete kit, it’s a solid pairing.
One major positive was the pair of Ni80 coils included in the box. These 0.3-ohm gems somehow performed well above their paygrade, with long-lasting, smooth heating draws that FAR outshined even the best “pro” coils in my arsenal. I was floored by how well they compared to some of my favorite builds.
That said, the RDA’s best moments came when used on other mods…
Observations While Vaping
One of our few gripes about the Nunchaku mod was how it seemed a little underpowered, even for a mod only rated to go to 80 watts. Though it was designed to offer “big cloud” performance with minimal wattage output, I never felt like it truly got up to speed. Plus, with stuttering performance above 70 watts, it had a few more black marks than a simple stick mod ever should.
Unfortunately, none of these issues have been rectified. The single-18650 format means power output can vary unpredictably. When using the standard tank coils, rated for 45 watts or so, this lack of power is less noticeable. But when running the device with a pair of included coils reading 0.15 ohms, well… you’re gonna need more power.
But the Nunchaku didn’t have much more power to give. Cranking the device all the way to its 80-watt maximum, I managed to get some decent flavor and cloud production, but nowhere near the performance I got by using the same RDA on more-capable mods. Normally, this wattage would be enough to get that build moving, but again, I don’t think the Nunchaku was putting out a true 80 watts. And the experience suffers as a result.
Like last time, the bypass mode – making the Nunchaku operate like a mechanical mod – seemed to generate a little more “oomph” behind each draw. But these were incremental gains, not game-changing improvements.
Maybe a larger battery type, or dual-18650 format would allow the Nunchaku to perform as expected. But this pairing wasn’t nearly as well-suited as the original’s sub-ohm pairing – the RDA is just too demanding to recommend this updated kit.
The first time around, we gave the Uwell Nunchaku Sub-Ohm Kit a respectable (if not a little generous) score of “B.” But eight months later, with a more-demanding dripper attached, the Uwell Nunchaku RDA Mod Kit just doesn’t make as much sense. Not only is it hindered by a small display and odd controls, but the erratic, underpowered output never lets the atomizer do what it’s meant to.
I really like the design and feel of the Nunchaku, but it’s going to need a serious infusion of power and usability before I can honestly recommend it to vapers of any type.
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