Mechanical Sqonkers! Vapers have been going googly eyed for these for over a year now. There is of course the king of these (Frankenskull), but lately there have been quite a few other players in the segment. Runt Mods is no stranger to mech squonkers, but their latest offering, The Mini Runt, is a tight little package with some nice innovations in what is other wise a rather simple mod/space.
We have said it before and will say it again, we don’t get the romance/popularity of mech mods. Let’s put aside safety (don’t use one if you don’t understand battery safety, ohms law, and proper attys to use, period), it’s the battery/power fade, why use a mech when you can have the control, safety, and longevity of a chipset? The idea of caring a wack of batteries around is so unappealing. Okay mech rant over.
As for the Runt, it’s super compact, lightweight, well thought out, and made by a super nice guy (Dave Hibbert). The Runt is tastefully branded with a couple nice hits of branding on each side of the mod. The outer box design is curved at the corners and feels great in the hand. There is also a new V2 with a curved radius behind the battery to make it even more comfortable (we like the look of the V1 more). The resolution of the printing and quality of the material is pretty good. There is a rough texture to it, but it helps give you a nice grip on this tiny little mod. There is a great little touch on the door design, there is an inner lip to help hide the battery from view through the squonk hole. Really these boxes all look pretty similar and sure there are plenty of colour combinations, stab wood doors (third party), and button options to help you make it a bit more your own. But in the end it’s a simple mech with simple metal connections to complete the electrical circuit. Sure there is a novelty to vaping with these and paired with an awesome Super Soft squonk bottle it’s easy to use, but the novelty wears off.
Conductivity should be good for such a simple circuit. You can even purchase additional sterling silver contacts to improve your voltage drop. But there is a serious flaw to the Runt’s system. It’s the Fatty Daddy Vapes Ultimate BF 510. The design of the spring loaded 510 pin has too much horizontal play. This causes some pretty serious voltage drop. We have found that longer 510 attys help because they fully compress the spring and stop the play, but this is a small percentage of attys on the market (many of the most popular attys have trouble). There is some more great thinking on the design, there is an inner tray that doubles for both the battery and bottle which keeps everything nicely in place. This is a feature that most of the competition hasn’t thought about. Runt has improve the design in the V2 to allow a bit more room for disassembly near the 510. But some other competitors have ingenious button locks (adds safety) or custom bolt configurations to help keep the 510 steady to improve conductivity. As nice as the Runt is, we have had trouble getting consistent performance, sometimes it hits hard and fast and other times you can press the button with little results. It’s the 510 connection for sure. 0.15-0.6 Ohm builds do well, giving a great vape when everything is firing. To be clear about the FDV 510, we had one with tons of play and Dave was super kind and sent us a second. While it is better, it still has the same issues.
Battery Life, what battery life? It’s a mech, it’s good for a short time. Your battery choice makes a difference for sure, but no matter what it’s only good from about 4.2-3.7V then it’s time for a fresh one. Using one of these babies around the house is great, on the road, no thanks (we would need about 4 batteries to get through a day).
Fit & Finish is decent. The 3D print looks good. The finish goes through to the core of the material, so no unsightly scratches, you can mark the material though if you’re not careful. Magnets on the door keep it in place with a battery installed. We had a magnet go loose and a simple dab of instant glue fixed it right up. There is a little bit of play vertically on the door (1mm) and a more concerning 2-3mm of play horizontally. It is most likely a fact of the quality and ability of the 3D printer, but less play would be nice.
Squonking thanks to the Super Soft bottle and the short, straight connection to the 510 make it a pleasure to use. A quick, soft press is all you need. Maybe it’s this responsive easy squonk action that keeps these types of mods so popular.
In the midst of this mech 3D squonking craze the Runt Mini is a solid contender. It’s easier to acquire than some and Dave is a pretty stand up, nice bloke. The Runt needs a new 510, plain and simple, we don’t like the FDV Ultimate. An ON/Off toggle switch would be nice. If you need to have a mech squonker, not sure why, then the Runt should be considered. Why this segment with all it’s popularity won’t consider mass production, more accessibility, and cheaper cost of entry is beside us. But hey to each their own. There is something to these little boxes though, as much as we have a polarizing opinion, we can’t seem to part with ours.
- Aesthetics - 9.5/109.5/10
- Hand Feel - 9.5/109.5/10
- Fit & Finish - 9/109/10
- Materials - 10/1010/10
- Conduction - 7.5/107.5/10
- Features - 8.5/108.5/10
- Size/Weight - 10/1010/10
- 510 Connection - 5/105/10
- Button Feel - 8/108/10
- Durability - 9/109/10
- Value - 6/106/10
- Super Clean Aesthetic
- Small & Compact
- High Resolution/Quality 3D Printing
- Unique Battery/Bottle Tray Design
- Great Hand Feel
- Super Light Weight
- Decent Fit & Finish
- Many Colourway Options (9 Body colours, 11 Door/Button options)
- Copper or Sterling Silver Contacts
- Durable Finish
- Easy Disassembly/Cleaning
- Tasteful Branding
- Amazing, Friendly, Fair Customer Service
- 2-3mm of Door Play (Common in this segment)
- FDV Ultimate v4 BF 510 (Bad Conductivity)
- No Safety Protection
- Hard to Get/Expensive