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Screwdriver MKI - follow up

Discussion in 'Commercial Ecigarette Reviews and Videos' started by Switched, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    I have been using this device for two weeks. I believe the time is right to provide a follow up to my first impressions.

    Follow up from - First Impressions
    The unit is slick and priced reasonably at $122 shipped to Canada from the UK. It did not perform as expected with the mini, but performed well with the 510 atomiser fitted. The stock (RN4075) atomisers are not becoming seasoned nor improving with age. I have tried to season them on regulated 3.7 volt devices to no avail. I have varied the cart filling with various known cartridge modifications (cart mods) to no avail.

    The JoyE 510 is a hard hitting atomizer, capable of producing great vapour and throat hit (TH). It is also refered to as a relatively hot atomizer. A stock 510 atty runs with a 2.5 Ohm resistance when compared to the 801 and 901 which in turn have resistances varying between 3.3 and 3.7 Ohms. This in turn will run the atty cooler. In doing so, vapour production and TH are also diminished, providing for a cooler more flavourful and somewhat wetter/milder vape. This type of experience is welcome at times, and why I ordered the SD with the RN4075 connection.

    After two weeks, the RN4075 is still not on my list of favourite atties. Although, I was able to troubleshoot the RN4075 atomizers with a few on line members, the atty has a steep learning curve, at least for me. The delicate balance between the atomizer being "just wet" (read moist) and flooded is a matter of one drop. It seems my frustrations stemed from user error more than anything else.

    To further complicate things, the filling contained in the carts as shipped is inadequate for proper wicking. Based on the finicky nature of the atomiser itself, this only compounds the frustration. When the atty is producing, it produces a pleasant experience. On the other hand once that balance is lost, the experience turns into a nightmare.

    In concluding our atomizer discussion, it is my recommendation to anyone that has not previously tried a particular atomiser to either buy or borrow an adapter and try them out on their own equipment vice purchasing a new device fitted with an untried atomizer fitting. It will save disappointment and frustrations.


    • The batteries are overrated and their longevity falls way short from the advertised 1000 mAh expectations;
    • The charger barely holds the battery in place (not enough tension) which makes it difficult to use in any position off horizontal. Even after gently prying/bending the contacts closer;
    • The charger is inadequate to charge the 16340s - 6-8 hrs plus to charge a battery from dead. I use my multi charger with better results, although nothing to write home about. On one occasion the battery was in the charger for over 8hrs. I took it out and checked the voltage 4.1 volts. The charger's light never changed. I do not like nor trust this charger, and would definitely not recommend it's use to anyone (especially with non-protected batteries). The battery on a different occasion re-charged in 6 hrs from dead on my own charger;
    • The unit cannot be pocketed perse without unscrewing the atomiser as the button is too delicate. This has been addressed if - you want to use the neck lanyard, but there are occasions the last thing I want is a screwdriver hanging from my neck. I have since made a button protector, similar to the one available with the MKII from an 801 cart protector.
    The batteries are still very much a disappointment. Following recommendations I used the nano charger exclusively, because I was convinced that the nano would provide a better charge than my "multi, fast charger". I found this not to be the case. batteries last at best 4-5 hrs between recharge cycles, regardless of charger used. Charge time from dead 8-9 hrs.

    I have new batteries on order and should it prove different, I will update my review. having multiple chargers in use is not an option in my humble opinion.

    With regards to the button protector, the cap did not serve it's purpose as intended (to prevent accidental firing of the atty while pocketed). My solution was to purchase a spring with slightly more resistance for my second unit. I have not modified the one I use at home, but the one I take with me has a stiffer spring. This slight modification has been satisfactory to date. The vendors recommendations with regards to spring tension was to use the case provided or the neck lanyard. The latter did not solve the problem (more on vendor experience later on).

    Some final thoughts - The unit performs as expected for a 3.7V device. Not being an HV (high voltage) vaper, it has a place in my daily arsenal. I ordered the MKI because I was under the impression (from the vendors site) that the MKI was retro-fitted to incorporate the modifications of the MKII with the exception of the new battery. This is not so:

    • The MKI does not have the switch cover, nor the extra battery capacity;
    • However in all fairness the o-rings which I believe are indeed part of the MKII and the MKII switch form part of the unit; (the vendor states the MKII is not fitted with the o-rings, yet the review I saw on the MKII from Totally Wicked does)
    • The information contained on the main site with regards to spare parts is ambiguous at best, with regards to what fits what, unlike the Totally Wicked site (their main distributor in the UK and the US) which categorically state the MKII parts with the exception of the switch, are not interchangeable; and
    • Certain parts can only be ordered as part of larger package deals. Totally Wicked as a vendor as been reviewed with much reservation. The fact that they do not ship to Canada makes that an unfortunate problem. Although limited parts can be ordered via e-mail, from the main distributor. Ordering from the UK can become expensive. Fortunately, the screwdriver is well designed and should provide many hours of continuous use without failure. The Achilles heal if I can find one would be the "top cap". In my humble opinion that is the only "spare part" on the unit that could/would need replacement. The former switch is said to have been problematic and was replaced with a totally mechanical one. There is absolutely nothing that could possibly go wrong there and should the spring fail (weakest component) another spring can be had relatively cheap and locally.
    It is a little pre-mature to offer a thorough review with regards to the SD. I will do a follow up at a later date as these are just my first impressions. However, I believe the developers sat far too long on a great product, enjoying the fruits of their labour vice improving the device, in doing so, I further believe they would have earned a greater market share, with some very minor tweaks.

    I will not deny the fact that my experience with the owner has been anything but pleasant. hee hee. I will leave things at that for the benefit of all.

    My conclusion is that the Screwdriver manufactured by Trog is a great device and in no way should be compared with the DSE 905, the Nomad etc... there is only one Screwdriver, and it works.

    That being said it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the business plan of the Screwdriver. I purchased the SD MKI because I could not get a MKII shipped to Canada. From the Screwdriver site, I was under the impressions that former models were retrofitted to incorporate the MKII modifications with the exception of the battery case and top plate. This is not really so unusual, as other vendors/manufacturers have done similarly in the past as well.

    A promotion was carried out for a period of time, in which the first 50 customers received a spare body with any full kit purchased (this promotion was extended however). A two for one sale is always tempting. Will the Screwdriver site carry spares in the future, that is anyone's guess.

    Outside of the promotion, which is now over, I can't fully endorse purchasing a MKI when the MKII sells for the same price, with a larger battery capacity. Should someone want a piece of history, then by all means order both, albeit the MKII is beefier and of course heavier.

    There's a consensus of "why change something that isn't broke". True, but the Studebaker has long been a part of history. A good device that never kept up with the times! Well it did, it became the MKII. I believe the vendor did not take too kindly to my remark of the "Studebaker". That is indeed unfortunate, because although it might have been interpreted as an insult - it was probably the best compliment he could have received hee hee.

    The views expressed in both my reviews are my own impressions and opinions. They are honest reflections of what I think of a product with out all the fanfare that is usually associated with product reviews.
  2. skeetr

    skeetr Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    When did the SD switch to 16340's? I've only had mine for 3months and it came with 18350's.
  3. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    The MKI comes with 16340 3.6V as stock, always have AFAIK, the MKII comes with 18350s
  4. skeetr

    skeetr Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    I've been looking at a few hv mods lately. Yet the SD seems so solid it is odd that there isn't an expansion tube to allow for stacking batteries. Have you come across any in your searching?
  5. JollyRogers

    JollyRogers Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    I have 3 MKI's with the new switch and a MKII. I for the most part agree with your review.

    I did not purchase the MKI kit, just the bodies, as I have 510 attys and 16340 batteries. I however have two of those chargers, one is a SBT that came with my MKII, and the other is a nano that I ordered from The nano holds the battery better, otherwise it is identical. As far as batteries, I use AW's and they perform well. I agree with charge time being slow, but that is because of the mA the charger is rated at. It charges slow. This is supposed to be better for the batteries, but thats IMO. OThers will differ, I am sure.

    The MKI's are smaller, no button cap and available in 510, 901, and 801 versions. The MKII is only available in 901 and also comes with the RN4075 attys, which I found flood resisitant, but I didn't like them compared to the 510. It comes with a button cap, which also fits my silve MKI, but not the black or "gold". It is to small for those two. I converted my MKII 901 to a 510 vice using an adapter (adapters make the unit all that much longer!).

    The MKII's are larger, and battery life IMO is a little better (this is realy based on the batts you use regardless). It comes with a button cap, which makes it more pocket friendly IMO. I found unscrewing the atty a few turns not fireproof on the MKI, don't ask how I know!

    Both units are very dependable, as long as you don't drop them, but replacement switches are avail from TW USA or UK and maybe radio shack. The top ends IMO are better built on the MKI's. I found this out when converting the MKII and MKI to 510 connections. I don't suggest converting a MKI, but with a little skill, the MKII is easy to do.

    I like the MKI's a little better. Batteries are avail online everywhere, it is a little smaller and lighter, and it is avail with different atty connectors. The only drawback IMO is no button cap. Otherwise it would be almost a perfect 3.7 device. They both just work regardless.

    Nice review BTW. Thanks for the 801 protector idea for a button. They are loose on my MKI's, but I think I can make em work with a little effort.
  6. chuckie

    chuckie Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 16, 2009
    miami fl USA
    I've had a SD for over a year,and have never experenced any of the problems you are having. I also use 4075's and find them much better than both the 510's and regular 901's and I've never seasoned any of them. I wish u better luck in the future.
  7. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    That's because the majority of the community is moving away from HV. Check post #38 out. Mind you that does not sell product.

    There is a lot of discussion going on right now wrt batteries and performance, and how things are not created equal, even with batteries, for example:

    • where an LIMn 14500, not out yet out performs an LI Ion 14500; whilst
    • the LI ion 18650 out performs the 18650 LI Mn.
    Once all this stuff is extrapolated and put to good use, we may not need HV devices. I can guarantee you this. If ever e cigs get approved, it will be at 3.7V, for safety reasons.
  8. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Thank you I try to always be as objective as I possibly can, to include but not limited to retractions where applicable.

    A trickle charge is always better than a rapid charge no doubt, as with deep cycle batteries. However, my experience with LI Ion batts is limited. I do know that the difference between a slow charge on deep cycle batts made little difference wrt performance. Now whether or not this decreased the overall battery life? I don't know, and welcome all discussion wrt subject. Sometime performance outweighs minimal gains in longevity IMHO. I guess it boils down to personal expectations. Rechargeable batts have a given recharge cycle. Am I loosing 10 recharges or 100? I can live with ten, but on the other hand if I am loosing 100, that's a whole different kettle of fish.

    I have 8 more batts coming, with them I should be able to rotate through the set while having one on the charger for 8-9 hrs, so yes I may revisit the "nano".

    Now that's interesting, I didn't know that. I will need to add that to my review.

    At the time I was looking to purchase the 901 version (RN4075), so never paid much attention, but now that you pointed that out your are correct. That being said, adapters can be fitted to convert. Personally I do not like long tubes sticking out the top. The small adapters work great but some of these adapters are quite long, not my cup of tea.

    ... absolutely.
    Do you mind expanding on that?

    My opinion as well, mind you I don't have the MKII to compare, but it is not necessary.

    Your welcome! Yeah I found out that only 1 out of ten worked, properly. My cure was a stiffer spring, but not too stiff.
  9. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    I have heard that one before as well. I mentioned it in my follow up user error. I also mentioned there is a delicate balance wrt the atty being flooded (although no gurgling) and working as it should. Carts properly dispensing is yet another issue. I have read the RN4075 user manual.

    Some folks have not had any problems using the 901 or RN4075, some on the other hand have. I have no problems using the 801s or 510s. IMHO the learnign curve of the 901 is steep and finicky. No doubt once I master it, I not unlike you will endorse the 901, because as stated in my review, I enjoy the 901 when it performs, but it is definitely not my favourite atty, just one that has it's place in our vaping arsenal.
  10. skeetr

    skeetr Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Your link to the post didn't work for some reason, but I catch your drift. As long as my LR atty keeps ticking for more than a few weeks I suppose a hv mod will be unecessary.
  11. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    I'm sorry, it's the eGo group only avail through invite, but here's the info of post #38

    Did you drip or use a cart? The LRs were not intended to be used with carts.

    Some useful data to explain what is going on:

    • the LR 1.5 Ohms @ 3.7V = 9.1 watts;
    • stock 2.25 Ohms @ 3.7V = 6 watts
    • stock 2.25 Ohms @ 5V = 11 watts;
    • SLBs 3.25 Ohms @ 3.7V = 4.2 watts;
    • SLBs 3.25 Ohms @ 5V = 7.7 watts;
    • SLBs 3.25 Ohms @ 6V = 11.1 watts;
    • SLBs 3.25 Ohms @ 7V = 15.1 watts;
    • HV 4.5 Ohms @ 6V = 8 watts;
    • HV 4.5 Ohms @ 7V = 10.8 watts;
    • HV 4.5 Ohms @ 7.4V = 12.1 watts;
    • HV 4.5 Ohms @ 8.4V = 15.7 watts;
    • XHV 5.2 Ohms @ 7V = 9.8 watts;
    • XHV 5.2 Ohms @ 7.4V = 10.9 watts; and
    • XHV 5.2 Ohms @ 8.4V = 15.7 watts
    So what does all this mean you might ask? Well there is a sweet spot in vaping. The sweet spot is said to be between 7 and 12 watts of power. There seems to be a move back down towards 3.7V single cell use. My personal sweet spot si around 7 watts, which I can achieve fairly easily with various atty/voltage combinations.

    My biggest device is a regulated 5V box mod, which produces 4.7 volts under load. I use that device for my SLBs and 801s. The 801s on that device outshine the LR hands down for flavour, vapour and TH.

    The LR atty runs cooler on the eGo battery at 3.1V that is what all 3.7V JoyE devices/batts produce. The LR on my 3.7V box mod runs way hotter supplied from a 14500 batt. I don't like using my eGo batts $30 a pop, compared to a fraction of the cost for the 14500.

    As mods were created, so were people creative. Attys were used at various voltages and found to provide extra vapour and TH. There was a cost asso iated with that. Premature atty failure.

    It was also said that VG produces more vapour, so folks started to mess with that as well up to 20/80 PG/VG mix. The cost of more vapour, flavour.

    Folks state their carts don't flow well ect... then came those mods. te culprit VG once again.

    How do we cure proper flow, good vapour an decent TH. A mix that is poperly balanced let's say at, 80/20 PG/VG with as little 1% distilled water, not only flows well produces more vapour, without masking the flavour.

    Want more TH, use a higher mg liquid or add a little PGA to your liquid less that 1% provides more than adequate results, without changing the flavour.

    Are you smoking or chewing bubble gum. I have heard of flavours as high as 25-30%. They are usually associated with mixes with excessive amounts of VG. I vape flavoured tobacco at a rate of 12-18% mostly 15%. But mind you this is all subjective as well. Heavily flavoured juices also reduce vapour, especially certain flavours. They clogg attys, coat coils etc... further reducing the vaping experience. The latter is further compounded by using "hotter" atties, or like Tim would say "more power".

    PG is a humectant, you need to drink lots of fluids read water. Gargle with scope prior to going to bed and that helps like you wouldn't believe, followed by a glass of water. My kidneys tell me when I don't drink enough, so does my urine.

    as far as I know the LRs are 1.5 Ohms, just like you will get the odd 2.5 Ohms stock atty. For higher resistance atties, use 'em in different devices as previously mentioned. I vape my menthols on a stock 510 batt with an SLB 3.7 Ohm atty. That juice and atty combo, does not work well on anything but my stock batts. I will miss that atty when it dies. No other atty gives me so much satisfaction with my menthol juice.
    Hope this helps...
    I have my main vapes, but I vape about 4-5 different flavours/day, dependant on time of day and mood.

    My main daily vape is 60% RY4 mixed with 40% 555 @24mg. If I have a sweet tooth that day RY4.

    I also like a good shot of flue cured or DK TAB when I need that analog feeling. 1 drop of marshmallow in 10ml, takes away the dryness of tobacco flavours without masking the taste.

    In the evening, seevral cigar concoctions I came up with. Or Irish cream after supper (prior to the evening).

    Hope all this was helpful.

    PS: If I need a fix, that is what the HV device is for. My main PVs are the SD and the eGo, with the stick for a calmer vape fitted with an 801 atty in the evenings. Once you have tuned your needs, to your liquids, to your devices, it is pure heaven. Heck it's almost orgasmic.
  12. prof beard

    prof beard Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stafford UK
    I noticed someone had had the same "wicking" issue with 4075 carts - as I've said before there seem to be issues with "901" carts working with 4075 attys (length mainly).

    For reference this is a REAL 4075 cart:


    The filler in them is "folded" and seem to wick well for me - I don't get flooding issues either...
  13. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    As stated previously prof, mine are single colour (black) but do have the folded filling. I'm not quite sure what that filling is though.

    I tell you what, as soon as I am done here, I am going to use a 510 fresh from the factory (with the folded filler from a spare 901 RN4075) with Dekang juice and see what transpires, as I would sure like to put this puppy to rest.
  14. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Well I did take out the filling of an RN4075 cart and stuffed it in a 510 cart and it has made quite a bit of difference, and the RN4075 performs as would be expected. It is still not my favourite atty, but at least we have discovered the problem. Like I said, I intended/and I am using it for my morning vapes. Today it has performed flawlessly (with the 510 cart).

    In closing, you might wan't to share that with Trog hee hee.
  15. JollyRogers

    JollyRogers Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    The top ends IMO are better built on the MKI's.
    Do you mind expanding on that?

    Sure NP:
    I had a MKI and MKII which were both 901 type connectors. I wanted to switch them to 510 connectors vice using adapters (I find adapters add more length then I care for plus they are easy to loose).

    So I started on the MKII first. I used an old 901 atty and a pair of pliers. Screwed 901 atty onto it, and started wiggling it back and forth. The batt connector came loose rather easy. It was just pressed in with maybe a touch of glue. Underneath is a single wire soldered to the + center of the connector and the center of the circuit board inside, which is in turn soldered to the spring. I desoldered it from the connector, used a 510 connector and soldered it, then press seated it with a soft hammer! It is seated nice and centered, checked it with an ohm meter for shorts/opens and then used it. It is working right now as I type.

    Well I got the idea the MKI 901 couldn't be much different. Totally wrong!!! The battery connector for the atomizer is inside a sleeve (happens to be the same size as an atomizer tube) and soldered to it. That sleeve is in turn seated inside the MKI top and secured with a set screw. Otherwise, not much difference. However, that battery connector is NOT coming out of the MKI top very easy at all. It is secured much better then the MKI. I managed to get it back together w/ a 510 connector using the body of an old 901 atty as the sleeve. It works now, but the connector is not centered perfectly. Oh well, it's a gold one that was donated, and it's a backup. It does get used though :)

    Wish I had pictures, I even had my camera out for the disassembly, but I got really frustrated when I started trying to pull the MKI's batt connector out and ended up taking the rubber gasket and circuit board out from the other side and using a chisel to press it out of there. The MKI battery connector is set 100X better then the MKII's.
  16. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Thanks for taking the time to explain. The adapter works for me and as noted the RN4075s are coming around, with a 510 cart, which in turn fit loosely.
  17. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Where does one get original RN4075 carts?
  18. JollyRogers

    JollyRogers Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    When I ordered carts from TW, those are what I got. Don't use them anymore...
  19. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    The 2 colour ones? I have no intention ordering from TW especially not the UK store because the US store does not ship to Canada, and prior to that both now have a $25 shipping fee. You know what they can kiss... Especially considering that I have received many orders from the US varying between $7-15. Those that want to gouge us, simply don't get my patronage.
  20. JollyRogers

    JollyRogers Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    I was suggesting I could mail them to you. You are in Nova Scotia? I don't know if I have any brand new ones, but I could clean them and drop em in a little envelope and send them. Just PM me if you want.
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