Everything you need to know about Bantam and billet boxes, the pro’s, the con’s and lots of personal opinion.
The Bantam Box
I’ve always had a fascination with small stealthy setups. I must have had 5 or 6 different pod style devices, but the flavour they were able to produce was just unbearable. I don’t need to spend £50 on a device to taste fresh air, I can do that for free.
So, when I happened across the bantam box on Fasttech, whilst aimlessly scrolling to satisfy my shinyitus habit, I was intrigued to say the least. The Bantam Box takes stock coils or rebuildables, it’s tiny (65mm by 55mm) and there’s a whole host of stuff out there for it from different tanks to custom panels and buttons. Of course I bought one. It would be rude not to. And, I must admit, the Bantam box is great!
Battery life, using an 18350, is comparable to any pod system only the flavour, using the Vape shell bridge, is on par with any RTA. The Bantam Box uses the same boro tank as its bigger brother (the Billet Box), because of this, there is a whole host of different options for coils. There are adaptors for Smok Nord coils, Aspire Nautilus, Kangertech…. And there are loads of different rebuildable options ranging from a tight draw MTL set up all the way to loosey goosey DTL and everything in between.
The Billet Box
The original Billet Box is expensive. You’re looking at £300+ just for the box and then another £80+ for a rebuildable bridge. This is because they are American made, using American DNA chips that are expensive in themselves.
If you don’t have that sort of money (this is the category I fall into unfortunately) there are several clones available, some using exactly the same chips as the original (DNA60). Whilst I don’t advocate the use of clones, in this instance, I think it’s OK. Billet Box Vapour didn’t lose any money from me buying an SXK Billet box because the chances of me having a spare £300 to spend on a mod are slim to none. If anything, it has made me more likely to part with the money to buy an original in the future, as I like them so much.
First released in early 2013, it has evolved a little over the years but remains basically the same form factor and usability. The fact it has been so popular for 6+ years means there are companies all over the place selling custom panels, drip tips, buttons… You name it. If it can be unscrewed from the billet box, you can buy a custom version of it somewhere. Here’s a list of some companies that offer some really nice bits and bobs for the Billet/ Bantam Boxes:
The billet box shares all the same details as the Bantam box above only they are slightly bigger (100mm by 55mm) which allows them to house an 18650 battery that obviously increases battery life as well as allowing for higher power.
Be careful if you own a clone and are buying aftermarket bits for it. Not everything fits the clones and considering some of the bits you can buy can cost more than the clones themselves, it can be an expensive mistake to make.
My one bug bear with the billet and bantam boxes is that the 510 connector doesn’t sit flush to the box, meaning there is a little space between the drip tip and the box. As seen below (pictured with my signature tips comfort drip tip and button set).
This is the kind of thing that would gnaw at my soul if I had one. We all know I sold that time ago, but it does bug me. With the DNA60 version (original and newer clones) you can buy a flush fit 510 nut, unfortunately this doesn’t fit the 70w version I have bought (found out the hard way). Signature tips make an Ultem tip that is supposed to hide the 510 – https://www.signaturetips.com/collections/billetbox/products/billet-box-o-atty-narda-510-ultem-drip-tip
Works on my Bantam but unfortunately the 510 is still noticeable on my 70w billet box clone. I know right? Stop moaning. I bought a clone. What do I expect?
If you’re thinking of buying a billet box my advice would be to buy the real deal if you can afford it. If for nothing else than if it craps itself, I’m sure Billet Box Vapor will just sort you out a new one, whereas I doubt SXK would honour the warranty at all. On the other hand, you can have 3 SXK billet boxes for the same price as one original one. From a moral standpoint I think it’s better to support the creators though, so in other words, Do as I say, not as I do…
Bantam and Billet Boxes: Updated 15/01/2020
Well 6 months on and I’m still in love with my Billet Box. The Bantam Box gets used less frequently as overall the Billet Box is superior because of its extra battery life and ability to handle lower builds. I bought myself a sweet Button and drip tip combo from https://crispycaps.com/ which I cannot recommend highly enough. Reasonably priced too, considering they are shipped from the USA.
One of the biggest disappointments for my Billet Box (as I mentioned above) is that with all this aftermarket stuff available for the original Billet Box, it can be very hard to tell what is going to fit the clone. Panels should fit, although SXK (the cheeky little monkeys) may have put the magnets the wrong way around on some boxes. I’ve tested a couple and they are all the correct way around so maybe that is a problem of the past. Most other types of aftermarket parts won’t fit my 70w SXK clone box. Shame. SXK offer a few clone bits and bobs which (should) fit and of course I’d expect most, if not all button and drip tip combos designed to fit the original will also fit the clones. The Crispy Caps set I have certainly fit extremely well.