Before we go any further, it’s important to note that this review is for this exact Stingray clone. This is the first Stingray clone that was released by FT. Since then there have been a ton of different iterations including copper and several 26650 models.
At the time this one came out, I was fully enamored with DNA20 devices (DNA30 wasn’t out yet), and I hadn’t even used a mech in a long time. Not only that, at the time I wasn’t even sure if I would ever use a mech again because I was SO in love with DNA20.
I had passed on quite a few other mechs that came out, but this one stuck out to me. Despite the fact that it costs $30, higher than some other perfectly serviceable mechs, I felt that this mod basically had almost every possible feature you could want in a mod – nice design, bottom locking ring, silver contacts, magnetic switch, standard diameter, multiple tubes for use with different batteries. Really, there’s not a lot you could ask for that this mod doesn’t have. In fact, here’s a picture of the guts so you can see everything that is included:
Once I received it, I was really impressed with the appearance, but still not much into mechs so I let it sit for at least a good month or two. Finally, I worked my way back into using mechs more frequently and busted this thing out. I still love DNA devices but I also have an equal appreciation for mechs now as well.
I have had an opportunity to test out some really nice mechs lately including the Copper Nemesis and the Panzer, so I was honestly not sure how this baby would stack up. After several weeks of heavy use, the results are in, and this baby chucks clouds with the best of ’em.
What I DIDN’T like about the Stingray
The bottom locking ring has worked pretty well for me across the board, so I hate to say I don’t like it, but it is definitely still not as good as the locking ring on some other devices. I would rate it easily above the Nemesis and JM22, and not quite as good as the Panzer – although, the Panzer is so heavy that you basically have to lock it whenever you stand it upright. With the Stingray, as long as you don’t have a crazy heavy atty on top of it, you can stand it up without locking it relatively safely, although as a general rule I still wouldn’t unless I was going to be in the same room so I can keep an eye on it.
It doesn’t fit a kick. Not an issue at all for me, but if you’re a kick user you might be disappointed to find that it won’t fit a kick.
It uses multiple tubes. I really STRONGLY prefer single tube mods. The one good thing about this one is, the tubes screw in together MUCH easier than the Copper Nemesis, and they actually fit together so well you can barely see a seam at all.
The button is a little different than what you might be used to. I really like the magnetic button and haven’t had any problems, but it can be quite a bit different than a spring based button. You really don’t have to press hard at all to fire the device, and sometimes it may not even feel like you are depressing the button at all, so it’s kind of something you need to get used to.
What I DID like about the Stingray
It’s really a beautiful piece. I hadn’t had an all brass mod since my Poldaic UMA way back about this time last year. As much as I liked the UMA at the time, and felt the brass was cool, I hated the fact that there weren’t a lot of brass atomizers to pair with it. Luckily, a year later there are quite a few really nice brass RDAs that pair beautifully with a brass mod, so it is no longer a problem. This piece looks practically like solid gold when you first receive it. It’s shiny and polished and beautiful. After weeks of use, mine has gradually developed a really nice patina along with the atty and drip tip I have paired with it. In fact, I like it just as much with the patina as I do in “shiny mode”. So I acutually love the fact that it’s brass. I even went back and took a peek at the stainless model before writing the review, and I don’t think it has anything on this one. This one really is a beautiful piece. The chrome accents also really help to make it pop!
I mentioned the magnetic button as a partial negative above, but that is mostly due to the unusual feel of using it if you aren’t used to using a mod with a magnetic switch. The fact of the matter is, it has worked flawless every time and no crunch at all. So once I got accustomed to the different feel of pushing the button, I was fully hooked.
Same with the locking ring. It’s not my favorite locking ring ever, but it has never failed me either and I have been taking this device out with me a lot in situations where I need to use it, and haven’t had any problems with it sticking at all.
Most importantly, this thing hits like a beast. This is a super hard hitting mod – probably largely due in part to the brass tubes and silver connections. With my current setup, I’m getting some of the best vapes I’ve ever had on a mech – no jokes at all. This baby hits.
Who is it good for?
This is really a great all around mod. It’s great for beginners because it’s easy to set up and has basically every feature you could ever want. Rather than saving 10 bucks and starting out with a more basic setup, you might as well dive in and get everything you need up front. You will quickly learn to respect all the nice features this has.
For advanced vapers, it’s basically good for all the same reasons. Great connections, magnetic switch, etc. Also, the look and feel is really quite excellent and this is a wonderful piece for pairing with brass atomizers.
No matter what your vaping level, this is a great all around mod.
Where to buy?
Do I use it?
I really love this mod a lot. The fact of the matter is, mechs are a dime a dozen and I have a lot to test, so I really only use any given mech for a few weeks at a time – just until I have a good enough feel for it to give it a review. That said, I don’t see myself ever getting rid of this one. It’s a great all around piece that has every possible feature I could want, and looks amazing to boot, so it’s definitely a keeper.
My ideal setup
Since I started using this baby, I have only really used one setup – the all brass stingray paired with a Crown RDA using a brass sleeve, and the stingray drip tip (yes, it has it’s own drip tip made just for it – best $2 you’ll ever spend).
The Crown has a single parallel coil at around .5 ohms. This thing hits like a beast and looks great doing it.
The Bottom Line
Quality. I have to say this is probably the best quality mechanical mod clone I have come across to date. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s really well made. The threads are all fantastically smooth like butter. The bottom button has never crunched a single time. The locking ring has never jammed. It has silver contacts. I mean really, what more could you possibly want for $30??
Performance. I’m loving the overall performance of the Stingray. As with any mech, the performance is largely going to depend on the quality of the wick and coil you attach to it, but the great conductivity definitely seems to help this thing produce some seriously bad-ass throat hits.
Ease of Use. Unlike the Nemesis, this one isn’t going to take you 30 minutes to get configured to fit your battery. I had it up in running in about a minute. Everything is pretty self-explanatory. You never really need to mess with the button at all – or at least I haven’t, and I haven’t had to fuss with the connection pin either. The tubes screw together really smooth and snug and this thing basically doesn’t require a lot of work. The only thing you might have to do is polish it every once in a while, since it will continue to tarnish.
Appearance. I’ve said it multiple times already – this is really a beautiful piece. All the engravings are super smooth. The bottom button looks awesome and I actually like the logo on it – unlike a lot of mechs where I think the logos generally tend to be more on the corny side. The chrome embellishments are a great touch, and I love the fact there is a drip tip made just for this mod that looks just as awesome as the mod itself – plus it’s wide enough bore to drip through. Score.
Price. At $30, this runs a little higher than a lot of other clones out there – even the Panzer has gotten cheaper as time has gone by but this guy has stayed firm at around $30. Normally I wouldn’t be too keen on that pricepoint, but this piece really does have all the bells and whistles to justify the extra $10 or so you’re going to pay over the cost of a more entry-level mod like the original Nemesis clone.
Overall. Really, there are not enough good things I can say about this piece. It basically does everything you could possibly want a mod to do and looks great while doing it. Additionally they have other styles if brass isn’t your thing. I don’t really care for the look of the stainless one nearly as much as I like this one, but the copper and black combo stingray looks pretty cool and of course has the bonus of copper materials. So there’s a lot of choice out there. Personally I think if you’re looking for a brass mod, this one is an absolute no-brainer.
- Ease of Use