Clones, Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em?

It seems like the electronic cigarette world is especially attractive to knock-off manufacturers.  It’s often easier to find a “clone” than it is to find the actual item. From the earliest ecigs and continues to today’s hottest atomizers, nearly identical copies of the best devices are everywhere.  The good news is that a lot of these clones are comparable and sometimes even a little better than the original.  The bad news is that many clones are not identified as such and it’s often hard to tell the difference when buying.  And of course it just plain stinks for the original creator of a device.

eGos are a prime example.  The number of eGo electronic cigarettes on the market is staggering, but hardly any of them are from the original eGo designer.  Even the Joye eGo that is considered by many to be the “original” eGo is, in fact, a clone of the Janty eGo.  This serves as a good device to consider because the Joye eGo and many of the clones introduced since are actually pretty good devices.  Most of them do what they are supposed to do and usually at a lower price.  The problem is that just about every fat battery device with 510 inner threads and outer cone threads is now referred to as an eGo, often with no reference as to the manufacturer.  It becomes nearly impossible to compare quality from one vendor to the next, and buying an eGo can be a hit-or-miss affair.

Another good example can be found in the popular Kayfun rebuildable atomizers.  Originally a Russian design manufactured in Germany (at least I think I have that right), the Kayfun design has now been copied by a number of Chinese manufacturers.   These “clones” are quite a bit less expensive than the original and in my experience, many have the same level of performance.  The difference can often be found in the details, such as rough threading and poor gasket life.  Again, the problem is that even though they are usually referred to as clones, there is often no way to tell one from another.  Some manufacturers like HCigar and EHPro are easy to spot, but many are not.

At this point, I’d love to advocate buying only the original device made by the original manufacturer, but I realize that just might not be realistic.  $100 is a lot of money for an atomizer when a good clone is available for less than $50.  I’d also love it if manufacturers would stop referring to their clones by the name of the original device, but that too is not going to happen and actually  might make things even more confusing.  I guess I’ll have to be satisfied with telling you to make sure you do your research and read reviews of both vendors and manufacturers where possible to make sure you get the best clone for your money.  Clones can be very good or junk, but it’s hard to tell the difference.

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