The El Kapitan 1.5 is an updated version of a beautiful mechanical mod from the Philippines. Made by Wu Tang House of Mods, the El Kapitan 1.5 features distinct looks and great performance. For those of you not familiar with Wu Tang House of Mods, it’s highly regarded by enthusiast vapers, but isn’t as well known (to American vapers, anyway) as other Filipino vaping companies like Grand Vapor and VapeHead Origins. With products like the El Kapitan 1.5, Wu Tang’s reputation will burgeon. It’s an attractive vaping device that’s among my favorite Filipino mods.
Build Quality and Construction: The El Kapitan 1.5 is available with a stainless steel body with brass caps or a brass body with stainless steel caps. For the last few weeks, I’ve been using the former version. The materials are quality and the craftsmanship is mostly impressive. The stainless steel body is cut well and the threads are totally smooth. While the brass caps screwed on smoothly, you can see burrs on the threads. Some vapers won’t care about this since the caps attach just fine, but it will bother those that enjoy the collectibility aspect of mods.
Ergonomics and Design: Using the El Kapitan 1.5 is just like using other mechanical mods. It comes with 18650 and 18350 tubes, both of which are inline with similarly sized vaping devices. The mod is comfortable to hold and is relatively light. Its 22mm diameter makes it a great match for several Genesis-style and bottom-coil silica atomizers.
One unique feature of the El Kapitan 1.5 is its reverse-telescoping pin. The pin slides up and down, similar to how self-adjusting pins work. However, it also has a smaller section on the top that can be adjusted. For vapers that use different types of atomizers and different brands of batteries, the pin isn’t the simplest solution. It’s not that it’s difficult to use, but it’s not as mindless as floating pins or self-adjusting pins. For anal-retentive vapers that insist on zero battery rattle, a minute or two of pin adjustment is require when changing to a different atomizer or battery.
The firing button on the El Kapitan 1.5 has a short throw and a medium feel. The spring is firm enough that the device can be placed down while unlocked. The throw is short enough that a relatively soft press is needed to fire the mod. Since the firing mechanism uses a somewhat narrow spring, off-center hits can give the mod a clicky feel. Overall, I enjoyed the feel of the El Kapitan 1.5’s firing button; I love that I can place it on a table without having to worry about it firing, while also enjoying a relatively light button press.
Lastly, the design of the El Kapitan 1.5 is just lovely. Several of the more popular Filipino mods have numerous bold lines and/or stylized knurling. The El Kapitan eschews those aggressive designs for something that’s distinctly elegant. It has two engraved swirls going up the body, an anchor logo at the base, and the Wu Tang logo on the firing cap. Put it all together and you have a mod that stands out, but isn’t as hyper-aggressive as some of its competitors. Naturally, looks are subjective. Personally, I think the El Kapitan is one of the most distinctly beautiful mods from the Philippines.
Performance: The contact points on the El Kapitan 1.5 are gold-plated brass. Gold is an excellent electricity conductor that isn’t affected by air, moisture, and most corrosive agents. One thing to keep in mind is that gold is a relatively soft metal, so care should be used when cleaning the contact points. The gold-and-brass combination offers a nice blend of power and relatively low maintenance. The mod’s design combined with its materials help it delivery performance that will satisfy most vapers. Voltage drop isn’t as low as some competing high-end mods, but it’s certainly acceptable.
Verdict: Since Wu Tang House of Mods is a relatively small company, vapers can take advantage of direct sales. Wu Tang, along with some trusted Facebook group-buy runners, routinely makes his products available for a relatively low price. People that follow Wu Tang on Facebook were able to get the El Kapitan 1.5 for around $172 shipped. At retail, I’ve seen it for $220 to $250. For $172, this mod is a sweet deal. Even $220 is a reasonable price for a unique mod with high performance.
The issues I have with the El Kapitan 1.5 are minor ones. The caps thread smoothly, but don’t have the smoothest appearance. The reverse-telescoping pin is mildly annoying to use. Those issues are easy to sweep under the rug when you look at everything else the El Kapitan 1.5 brings to the table. The mod is made from quality materials, the workmanship is impressive, the performance is very strong, and it’s simply a gorgeous device. Whenever I meet up with vapers, the El Kapitan 1.5 gets attention for its looks and keeps attention with its performance. If you want a mod that’s beautiful and hits hard, the El Kapitan 1.5 is a fine choice.