Rebuildable atomizers are becoming a growing trend in the electronic cigarette industry. It's also a trend I've avoided up until this point, mostly because I'm sort of challenged in the coil building department. That's partly why I've been sitting on this Phoenix Bully atomizer for ages now without writing a review. However, rebuildables are starting to show up in many shapes at many stores. I simply feel that I can't avoid the topic. Plus, you can buy pre-built wicks now. Welcome to, what I'm sure will be the first of many rebuildable atomizer reviews.
Before I get into this section, I'm going to mention what I won't be covering. That would be actually making coil and wick assemblies. It's a little above my level of expertise, plus it's probably better done in video form. Fortunately, there are a bunch of tutorials on YouTube for you to peruse if you are so inclined.
One more gotcha before we dive into the design. While prefab coils are available for devices like the Bully, these atomizers are still very much a product for advanced users. You'll want to own and know your way around a multimeter to use one of these. An improperly built coil could damage your favorite personal vaporizer quickly if things go horribly wrong.
The bottom part is the workhorse of the atomizer. It features two posts with small screws at the top. Each end of the coil wire goes into one of the holes in the side of the posts and are held in place by the screws.
Each hole is angled in a way that should prevent the coil wires from touching. However, care should be taken when replacing the coil to make sure the wires don't touch and that no wire touches the sidewall of the atomizer. Either of those things will cause a short-circuit.
The raised side walls in the bottom piece serve as a sort of juice well that allows excess liquid prolonging the time between drips. The atomizer can house 15 or more drops of e-liquid.
Underneath, the battery connector is totally sealed to prevent any excess e-liquid from running out the bottom of the cartomizer.
The airway is provided via a small hole in the side of the top part of the atomizer. The top half screws on easily to securely keep the complete atomizer together. When assembled, the complete atomizer is larger than a traditional atomizer.
The overall thickness is about the same as an eGo style cartomizer and the height is close to that of a standard cartomizer. The top of the Phoenix Bully atomizer has a collar to accomodate most 510 drip tips.
Using the Phoenix Bully Rebuildable
Rebuildables are sort of tricky to nail down when talking in performance terms. There are so many ways to build a coil and many different materials to choose from for wicks including silica, cotton and stainless steel. To keep things straight, I'll simply use the stock wick and coil that came pre-installed in the atomizer.
The stock coil comes in at around 2.5 ohm. I used it mostly at around 4.5v and the results were not bad at all. Vapor production was good, but I think it could have been better. The draw on this cartomizer is incredibly airy.
It seems that the small vent hole lets in too much air which somewhat limits the vapor production. I tried partially obstructing the hole with varying degrees of success. Too much blockage cut vapor way down, although it provided an amazing throat hit.
Not that the normal throat hit was any slouch of course. Flavor reproduction, however, was outstanding. If the airflow could be accurately adjusted I think this device would be a top performer.
When talking about atomizers and dripping, there is one other factor to consider: what happens when it starts to run dry. Some atomizers are subtle about it and signal with just a slight flavor degradation Others give almost no warning and you are greeted with a choking, burning sensation when you expected smooth vapor.
The stock wick and coil are middle of the road in this department. I did notice a slight vapor production when liquid levels got a little too low. If I ignored those signs, there was a dry hit sensation not unlike a clearomizer that isn't wicking well. Not too harsh, but slightly unpleasant.
Naturally, a lot of that sensation will depend on the wicking material. The stock Bully uses silica wicks, so it's not surprising the burn is similar to a clearomizer. People who use other wicking materials often report better results.
Before closing out the usage section, there is one other gotcha with this atomizer. To be fair, I think this is typical in several rebuildable atomizers. You have to keep them upright or they will leak.
While the battery connector is sealed, there is still the side air hole and the drip tip available as pathways for errant e-liquid. Because these atomizers can house more liquid than the wicks hold at any given time, there is opportunity for leakage when the atomizer is laid on its side or inverted.
Between the potential for leakage and the need to drip, I don't consider these devices to be very portable. This is the type of think I keep at my desk when I can use it at my leisure.
Too Long; Didn't Read
There has been a lot of excitement about rebuildable atomizers lately. Using the Phoenix Bully, I can see why. There are endless customization possibilities and rebuilding supplies are inexpensive making these atomizers very long lasting. Because of the complexity, however, these types of atomizers are strictly for the experienced vaper. You can pick this atomizer up at several places, I purchased this one from GotVapes.
- Fully customized experience
- Something for tinkerers
- Great out of the box performance
- Excellent flavor reproduction
- Inexpensive to repair
- Designed for advanced users
- May leak if not kept upright
- Overly airy draw
Product name: Phoenix Bully Rebuildable Atomizer
Purchased from: GotVapes