The vaping industry is in a constant turmoil with numerous innovations making their way on the market each month and improved versions of older products selling like never before. But there is a niche that everyone is aware of, yet nobody knows if it has a productive role in the whole community – clones and knockoffs. If you browse the internet looking for a mechanical mod, advanced personal vaporizer or rebuildable atomizer you are more than likely to stumble upon sites that features, besides authentic products, numerous ‘clones’ of renowned devices. You know it’s a respectable vendor, you see tens or hundreds of reviews but you dare ask yourself – “Why are they selling clones?”
A clone is very in depth representation of an original product made from cheaper or same quality materials but sold at a more affordable price. Of course there are differences in terms of the level of detail, the feel of the product and electrical conductivity in the case of mechanical mods or rebuildable atomizers but it seems that people give them positive reviews, sometimes the number being greater that in case of the original item. This happens because only a limited number of people can afford paying for instance $250 for a mechanical mod or $150 for a rebuildable atomizer. One thinks that the difference in cash outweighs the minor differences in detail and performance and who doesn’t want something that looks very expensive to show off ?
And let’s face it, if you ever bought a clone chances are it performed rather fairly for the price tag and couldn’t complain about the build quality. Sometimes these clones are so good it’s hard to tell them apart from the original piece if you don’t have them standing side by side. But in this case, why would you pay the full price? Prestige, self-respect and a statement – besides of course the better threads, the genuine Swarovski crystal and surgical grade stainless steel. Is it worth it? Well, it depends who you are asking. A person driving an expensive car, wearing designer clothes and a refined perfume will definitely say yes – on the other hand a person earning minimum wage but wanting to save money from switching to e-cigarette will have a totally different opinion.
This is why clones sell so well – they offer a reasonable quality and the chance to dream of a better life and give the feeling of owning something top notch. If you take the Smoktech Magneto V1 and compare it to the Nzonic V3 you’ll notice the similarities in design and firing button feel but the first sells at around a fraction of the original. This doesn’t make the Magneto a clone inferior in comparison with other mods in the same price range – in fact, it’s one of the best performing gizmos with a an enchanting firing mechanism – but it fades when placed next to the jewel that is the Nzonic.
Therefore clones have their role in allowing vapers to take advantage of the innovations in the industry but at a fraction of the cost. Some are marketed as clones while others tend to mimic a much fancier product (like in the case of the Magneto and the Nzonic) but there is a clear distinction to be made between these products and knockoffs.
Knockoffs are purely made replicas of expensive products that are usually sold at a much bigger price than worth as cost of production. A knock-off is a faulty product that lacks essential characteristics and it has a more deceiving purpose. You won’t see knock offs on the sites of the respectable vendors that also sell clones – you are more likely to get scammed with such products then ordering from ebay or from shady vendors. You can definitely spot a knock of right out of the box – poorly made threading, unresponsive buttons, missing airflow holes and cheap springs or O-rings. These products are in no way beneficial for anyone in the vaping community and are more a source of sorrow than of joy. Never buy you vaping gear, and especially e-liquids from ebay or street corner vendors. It’s both risky for your health and wallet, so stay away!
If you want to read a review for an original mod you can check this one:
The Flagship Mechanical Mod
If you want to read more about a clone we tested a few months ago you can check this review:
The Zero 50W box mod by Cigreen