I was practically frothing at the mouth to pick one of these guys up early last November, so much so that I didn’t even wait for FT to get one and picked up one from 101vape for $45.
The Kato Hammer Clone is kind of an e-pipe looking mod. It’s heavy as hell, has some cool engravings and is built for 18350 batteries, although it does have extension tubes for 18500 and 18650 – more on that later.
Unlike the Smoktech e-pipe, this one doesn’t use any wires and is a fully mechanical beast. It even has a built in locking ring at the top, something else the smoktech epipe was missing.
Overall, it looks amazing on paper…
What I DIDN’T like about the Hammer
Here’s the thing with the Hammer – it kind of advertises itself as being very versatile – with the ability to run any kind of battery with the help of extension tubes. The problem is, the tubes look fucking ridiculous. I would say the first thing that comes to mind when I see this thing in 18650 mode is “bionic dog boner”. Here’s an example:
As you can see, when it’s fully extended, it is just about as long as the atomizer end of it, making kind of a weird V shape. Now just being real here, I can’t imagine too many people go out on the town rocking this thing in 18650 mode. Shit, I don’t even feel comfortable using it in the privacy of my own home looking like that. It just makes me feel dirty.
Additionally, it fits in the hand really weird and does not create a very positive vaping experience.
So I think the fact that these tubes even exist is a little ridiculous because frankly I would feel bad for anyone who actually had to use it like this on a regular basis. Not only does it look awful, and bordering on inappropriate, it doesn’t fit well in the hand at all.
Minus the tubes, then you’re stuck in 18350 mode. Personally, I am no fan AT ALL of 18350 mechs. It just doesn’t even really make sense to me. You get far less power, your battery will shit on you faster and it kind of defeats the purpose of having a mech to begin with – which is pure unregulated power.
Now I love the look of this thing in 18350 mode – I actually think it looks cool as hell, but take my current setup for a example – I’ve got a .9 ohm dual coil Fogger V4 running on it. On a freshly charged battery, it will hit like a beast – for the first few hits. Then the battery quickly starts draining and the output is decreased.
Not only that, but I have a feeling this mod has some voltage drop issues. The pin from the atomizer only connects with a tube in the interior which is something I haven’t seen on any other device. I can run an atty that hits like a beast on a regular mech on the Hammer and it provides maybe a passable performance at best – case in point – my Fogger V4 setup. Works brilliantly on just about every other device I have tried it on – and on the Hammer you are good for maybe like 30 minutes tops.
So overall, I just don’t think this piece has nearly the power of a normal mech, and coupled by the fact that you pretty much have to run it in 18350 mode, it’s a recipe for a lackluster vaping session.
Another problem is that the diameter of the piece that holds the atty is such that I personally think it looks really awkward if you don’t have a really large diameter atomizer on it – pretty much Fogger, Taifun or Kayfun are the primary ones big enough to look halfway normal on here. I’ve tried it with drippers and smaller genesis atties and it looks stupid IMO.
Additionally, the button is decent on this, don’t get me wrong, but it is a slight bit crunchy. I can live with that. The main problem is that the locking ring is really a bitch to work with. I don’t like it at all. It easily gets hard threaded down on the tube and it’s so small that it’s difficult to get back out. I tried taking this out with me the other day just to give it a fair shake, and I could not get the stupid locking ring to work and ended up leaving it in my car all day so I wouldn’t inadvertently blow a hole through my pocket.
Last, the cool engraved piece that you screw your atty to also causes me some problems – I seem to have to screw my atty in pretty tight to make a connection, but in at least 2/3 trys, the piece you screw it into ends up getting threaded hard on to your atomizer and it is a real bitch to get it off.
What I DID like about the Hammer
Pretty much the only good thing about this piece is it looks fucking cool. It’s a small super solid, super heavy pipe looking device. I think it looks excellent with the Fogger attached and I also don’t mind it with Kayfuns.
The engravings are all really nicely done and look professional.
The styling of the piece you screw your atty into also looks extremely cool, even though you can’t see it unless you don’t have anything screwed in.
There are no wires – it’s a full mechanical. That does put it a slight bit ahead of the Smoktech epipe, but that’s about it.
Who is it good for?
In my opinion, this piece is at best, a good novelty. It looks kind of cool and it gives you a cheap, decent looking epipe. Unfortunately, I think the performance is so bad that you will not be likely to use it much unless it’s pretty much your only available option.
So really, I don’t think this is good for anyone unless they mostly plan on having it for display.
Where to buy?
You can pick one up here from Fasttech for around $20. If you DO decide for some reason to buy one, I highly recommend NOT getting the full kit with all the tubes – just get the 18350 kit. The tubes are seriously ridiculous and once you see them up close I would be shocked if you still wanted to be seen using them. They have this in stainless, brass and mixed versions.
Do I use it?
I BADLY wanted this thing to be awesome and be the cornerstone of my rotation, but it’s really just not close. Basically every other mod I own performs better than this one, and it isn’t for lack of trying. This thing just doesn’t work well. It’s down there with my Sigeli #20 in terms of performance.
The Bottom Line
Quality. It looks OK on the outside. Personally, I think the threading is super shitty on it. Either that or it just isn’t designed well to the point where the locking ring works and the piece your screwing your atty into isn’t all over the fucking place. Otherwise, it’s not the worst. The engravings are nicely done and the button is a wee bit crunchy but not nearly as bad as some mods that have serious crunching issues.
Performance. It’s simply one of the worst performing mods I have ever used. The only other ones that even come to mind would be the Sigeli 19 and Sigeli 20. I could probably beat the performance of this thing with my automatic Vapor Zeus cigalike – seriously, no jokes
Ease of Use. It’s relatively easy to use, but the threading is really a bitch. Additionally, you’re going to be using an 18350 battery and you’re going to have to be changing it a lot which is a fuck of a pain in the ass.
Appearance. By far the coolest thing about this mod is the appearance. I was suckered in by it only to find that it’s actually a really pretty shitty piece. For display purposes, it looks awesome. For practical purposes, I would rather have some better functionality.
Price. You can get these generally in the $20 to $30 range. Considering some of the other mods I have gotten for far less and perform FAR better, I think it’s a pretty shitty deal. You could actually probably get 2 really good mechs for the price of just this one. So while 20 bucks isn’t bad if you want to roll the dice on this thing, there are way better things you can spend it on that you will actually USE.
Overall. I just really didn’t like this one at all. As soon as I got it to my desk, screwed on the 18650 tube and realized it looked fucking horrible, I was pretty much certain that this one would be a dud. I have really tried a lot of different setups to get it primed for 18350 use, and I just haven’t been able to find anything I like – that is part of the reason I suspect there is some fairly significant voltage drop on this piece, because I have practically brand new 18350 batteries and I haven’t been able to come up with any build that has any balls at all. It’s a cool concept, I like the fact that it is all mechanical, and it’s nice that they thought to include the extension tubes, but the execution is just not there. This thing has very poor performance and is more of a pain in the ass than anything. It’s just not worth it. If you’re jonesing for a pipe that bad, I would sadly still put the smoktech pipe ahead of this in the cheap range – otherwise you will probably have to look into some more expensive models if you want to get anything that is actually going to work well.
Absolutely not recommended under any circumstances.
- Ease of Use