Stingray X Clone Review: Everything You Need To Know
The SXK/Infinite Stingray X is a 1:1 clone of the authentic Stingray X mod by JD Tech, and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to review this mechanical mod, because it is the one mod that I absolutely had to have in 2014. China clone manufacturers really appear to be on their game these days, as the authentic version was just released two months ago. The authentic Stingray X by JD Tech retails for $235.00 USD.
The Stingray X clone featured in this review comes from Focalecig.com via their US Warehouse, SKU 14031, and is priced at $35.99 USD. The mechanical mod comes packaged in a nice leather-like gift box, with felt inserts containing the mod, a hybrid adapter, and a matching drip tip.
SXK/Infinite Stingray Review
Brand: SXK/Shenzhen Shenxingkang Technology Co, LTD
Type: modular mechanical
Materials: 304 grade stainless steel, copper, brass
Connection threading: 510 (top cap and hybrid adapter)
Weight: 120g (200g total package)
Airflow vented top cap
Floating fire pin
Silver plated copper contacts
Magnetic bottom firing switch with adjustable throw
304 grade stainless steel locking ring
Milled engraving logo and serial number on main body tube, and switch
Brass hybrid adapter
Stainless steel and copper drip tip
Straight out of the box, it is simply stunning to behold, at least in my opinion. I was instantly struck by the heavy brushed finish, which is identical to the authentic Stingray X. This being a modular, extension tube mod is comprised of a main body 350 tube with locking ring, two smaller extension tubes for the 18500/650 battery configurations, a top cap with floating pin, and a magnetic switch.
The aspect of this clone that I find truly impressive is the accurate replication of the complex Stingray X logo design, which is unlike anything presently available on the market. Deep milled engravings spell out the name, with decorative cutouts on either side of the engraving, which reveal the copper inner tube beneath the outer stainless steel tube.
Unlike some Stingray X clone variants, the inner copper and outer stainless steel tubes have been welded together and cannot be separated, as it is with the authentic Stingray X. In my opinion, this was a genius way to provide the high electrical conductivity of copper, without having to deal with the maintenance involved in keep a copper mod clean, and patina free and no stinky hands, yay!
I did receive mine with one minor flaw, which was a very loose floating pin that moves freely up, and down within the 510 connection. Thankfully this has not negatively affected the overall functionality of the top cap. Like the main body construction, the top cap and switch are also copper wrapped in stainless steel. There are eight air holes around the outer diameter of the top cap for those devices that receive their air through the 510 connection. The top cap is also constructed with a 2mm lip around the top which can affect your ability to use certain atomizers, a point that I will elaborate on later in the review.
While the switch design is very similar to the original switch design, there are some differences. The height of the switch is now shorter, with a redesigned delrin insulator, and ring magnets instead of the disk magnets that were used in the prior design. There is still adequate venting in the updated switch design, with slotted threads that lead out to vent holes around the switch. In addition, the updated switch also brings with it a shorter throw, and on a mechanical mod that is always welcomed.
The hybrid adapter included in this kit is constructed of thickly cut brass, which is threaded around the diameter and has two large holes drilled completely through the adapter which are intended to aid removal of the adapter from the inner tube of the mod. The authentic model actually comes with the removal tool for the hybrid adapter, the clone, however, does not.
The overall machining quality is simply amazing. The extension tubes are seamless and have the appearance of one solid tube when configured in 18650, and 18500 modes. The heavy brushed finish plays very well to the ornate style logo of the Stingray X, and the copper accents seen throughout.
It has a tested voltage drop of 0.1, which is excellent in terms of conductivity. However, one issue that I encountered right away is the inability to use short or flush 510 atomizer pins with the Stingray X top cap. My Infinite KFL V2 has a nearly flush 510 connection pin, which was not able to make contact with the fire pin in the Xs top cap. I believe this is due to the raised lip design around the top cap. Being that it is a 1:1 copy of the authentic X, I don’t consider this to be a flaw, as much as it is the nature of the authentic Xs design.
In the photo illustration below, I have compared varying 510 pin lengths to demonstrate which 510 pin length is appropriate for use with the Stingray X top cap. All 510 connection pins that are 1mm, and longer will work fine with the Stingrays top cap, and likewise any 510 pin that is .5mm, and shorter in length will not fire with the top. However, you can use most shorter 510 pins with the hybrid adapter, and a nipple top battery. I will elaborate further on this point later.
The Stingray X is 4mm shorter in length than the prior design, thanks in part to the redesigned switch housing. The updated switch design also has a shorter throw, and a smoother switch action. The locking ring also requires fewer turns to engage/disengage, which is approximately 3 turns of a finger.
There is no wobble when it is standing in the unlocked position, nor does it fire under its own weight with a full-size Kayfun attached. It is worth noting that they switch throw is even shorter when used in hybrid mode.
As previously mentioned, short 510 pins may have difficulty making contact with the fire pin in the top cap. However, the Infinite KFL V2 works just fine with the hybrid adapter.
Important user note: Hybrid adapters are for advanced/experienced users only, due to the inherent risks involved when using an atomizer to make direct contact to a battery. In light of the lack of insulation on the included hybrid adapter, it is recommended that you use a nipple top battery in conjunction with a shorter 510 pin.
It is my opinion that the shape and smaller contact surface area of a nipple top battery is less likely to inadvertently make contact with the metal surface of the hybrid adapter, thereby causing a hard short. However, in my opinion, the use of flat top batteries in combination with a long 510 pin (more than 1mm) is also less likely to cause a hard short, although the possibility of shorting out your device in either scenario still exists, so user beware.
In hybrid mode, it is the same size as the 4nine mechanical mod in all battery configurations, and considerably shorter than the prior version of the mod. In terms of overall performance, the Stingray X kills the 4nine in my opinion.
In my honest opinion, The Stingray X by JD Tech is one of the most innovative and impressive mechanical mods designs to hit the market in 2014. The 1:1 clone made by SXK/Shenxingkang Technologies is a truly impressive replication in my opinion. Both the functional and aesthetic design is a genius answer to the current Copper Craze that is presently dominating the market. It is the perfect alternative for those who want the superior electrical conductivity of copper, yet do not care for the high maintenance involved in keeping this especially patina prone metal clean.
In addition to the exceptional performance of this, which has only a .1 voltage drop, you also get versatility with the option to use this in hybrid mode. I personally love using it in both the standard set up and with the hybrid adapter, which further streamlines the already-compact form factor of this new design. And for those who have had issues with the crunchy switch on the Stingray V1, your complaints have been heard, and this issue has been addressed with this newer switch design.
There are a few manufacturers of this clone, including Skorite, and iVogo, and I have heard positive consumer feedback for both of those clone variants. However, barring any manufacturing defects the Stingray X 1:1 clone made by Shenxingkang Technology is the only clone that absolutely nailed the construction of the stainless steel wrapped copper tubes, and the intricate main body logo details.
For me, the Stingray X is the best mechanical mod released so far in 2014.
The one criticism that I must express to the manufacturer of this stunning 1:1 replication, is regarding QUALITY CONTROL issues I am aware of with other mod’s. Being that I’m an active, and participating member within the vape community, I am aware that there have already been sporadic reports of manufacturing defects on the Stingray X clone by SXK.
I have heard of minor issues like my own, with the loose floating pin, to major issues like a missing logo, and poorly milled inner tubes. While these types of occurrences regarding machining defects are the exception and not the rule, it has to be noted.
Where to Buy a Stingray X Mechanical Mod?