As if the vaping industry didn’t have enough problems already, and many of them created internally, this week another major issue has been uncovered. Primarily it will affect the rebuildable market, but I fear yet more bad press is simply driving us closer to “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. Let’s get into it, because I’m beyond frustrated about this one. Enough so I’ve hung up my drippers for awhile…..
A popular YouTube vape reviewer, Jai Haze, who is also a brick & mortar vape shop owner from the east coast, shared his story with the community on Sunday May 6th 2018. After an employee built a coil they were noticing the ohm’s resistance not being what was expected so they began to investigate. Come to find out, the “Kanthal A1” (a type of metal wire commonly used in vaping for making coils) was not magnetic, and due to the iron in Kanthal alloy, it should ALWAYS be magnetic. Deductive reasoning means this wire that doesn’t ohm out as expected for Kanthal and an experienced builder, that is also not magnetic, means it’s not Kanthal! Now Jai Haze had purchased this wire from THE prominent supplier for the entire industry as he’s been using this particular supplier for over 5 years. They double checked the labels, did some further testing with resistance and magnetism, and finally came to the conclusion that the company, Kidney Puncher, had made a massive serious error, or was up to something nefarious. I finished the YouTube video and my brain was on fire with the fresh sting of being played for a fool.
I began doing business with Kidney Puncher in 2013. Later when they opened a true wholesale division, KP Distro, I was one of the founding customers. I’ve tried and used lots of different wire over the years, but for all intents and purposes, all I’ve personally used and sold for over 5 years has been KP wire. Thousands and thousands of coils, while me, and most of this industry, trusted this USA company, and their superior USA made wire! It had to be a labeling mistake right? Jai paid for custom labeling of spools with his logo and certainly someone just crapped the bed? This is what I kept telling myself.
Once back at the shop I pulled out my entire inventory of KP wire, 53 – Kanthal A1 spools, and 12 – SS316L spools. Out of 53 Kanthal products, 9 aren’t magnetic. And out of 12 stainless products, 3 are magnetic. What in the actual f%^k?? Martin, the wholesale sales team lead for KP, was on a phone call during Jai’s video saying this problem began a year ago and they had instituted magnetic testing in manufacturing. He also said this appeared to be a simple issue of mislabeling. Wait, what? So for a year KP knew they may or may not be selling correctly labeled wire? And if it was just mislabeling, why am I finding similar results?
This story is far from over and my writing might be premature. KP offered to “make right” Jai’s wire but as of yet hasn’t offered any further explanation to him, or assurances to the industry. The evidence so far is basic, common sense, speculative, but overwhelming. They are obviously practicing extremely gross negligence, or malicious intent. If my wire on the west coast, from a different account, with different labels, and different time lines have the same problems as Jai’s on the east coast, and KP has known this was at least a possibility for over a year, they obviously don’t care or it’s being done on purpose. The easy assumption is that KP is cutting costs by using inferior, or completely wrong metallurgy, disregarding customer safety, and endangering the general public for corporate gains. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I know KP has A LOT of explaining to do, and A LOT of trust to win back. Time will tell, but for me at least, I’ve switched to a subohm tank for the moment and I’m quickly getting fed up with all the immoral and unethical “business” I see in the vape industry.