When I first got into mechanical mods, I was foaming at the mouth at the possibilities for this epipe mod. It’s cheap, simple and fits a variety of different devices. At the time, I didn’t really understand yet that 18350 mods are more limited in terms of power than their larger counterparts and I also didn’t quite grasp the fact that this isn’t an entirely mechanical device. So unfortunately I wasn’t able to bring all of my wild ideas to fruition, but ultimately this is still a pretty solid device.
The first thing you need to understand is it isn’t fully mechanical – there are wires on the inside of it. When I got my epipe, the first thing I did was coil up a T4 and stick it on there. I got lucky on my first try, but my inexperience quickly caught up with me. On my second try, I left one of the coil legs too long which caused a short. The short resulted in the wire breaking, rendering my pipe useless instantly. I was lucky that nothing worse happened, and it was a good learning experience if nothing else. Even better, Fasttech customer support was awesome and sent me out a replacement at no charge, so I was back in action. Now that I have a much better understanding of how to correctly use this device, I haven’t had any problems with it.
What I DIDN’T like about the Smoktech Epipe
First off, it only takes an 18350 battery. Now this is mostly out of necessity because it would look kind of dumb with any larger battery than that, but it does limit the amount of power you can draw from it. Personally, I don’t like fucking around with weaker batteries, and this particular device will break if you don’t use it correctly, so as a result I wouldn’t run this below 1 ohm ever. That does limit the performance capabilities, but you can still get a clean hit off a 1 ohm coil on a mech so it’s not the end of the world.
Second off, it really doesn’t work with anything except flat top batteries. That really sucked for me at first because the only 18350s I had were nipple top so I had to order all separate batteries just for this device. In retrospect, I would never get nipple top 18350s again anyway, so it was mostly my bad. If you try to run a nipple top in this unit, at a minimum you need to place it in upside down or it will auto fire. There are other issues that occur from using a battery upside down so I really don’t recommend that either.
Third, there is no way to lock the device, and the button is not recessed, so this is not the kind of piece you want to leave unattended in your pocket or your purse because it could easily auto fire.
Last, the 510 connection is kind of odd. It is recessed, and it actually appears like it should be ego threaded and 510 threaded, but alas, it is only 510 threaded. It’s really a shame because I think clearomizers are the way to go with this piece, and you have to use an adapter to make that happen. Additionally, the diameter around the 510 connection doesn’t seem to sync that well with anything, so it always looks a little off whatever atty you decide to put on it.
What I DID like about the Smoktech E-Pipe
It looks pretty cool. It’s such a simple idea, I can’t believe that there aren’t a lot more similar devices like this popping up.
It’s cheap. For under $20, it’s a solid, nice looking mod.
It fits really well in the hand. You can palm this and click the fire button effortlessly with your thumb, making for a really smooth, casual vaping experience.
It looks like a pipe. If people see you puffing on this with your buddies outside, they are going to know what it is. Compare that to some of the crazy mods that are out these days that look somewhere between a pipe bomb and a vibrator, it makes this suddenly seem like a much less nerdy approach.
Who is it good for?
You can’t really be a performance junkie and use this piece on a regular basis. If you crave a strong throat hit, you’re only into chasing clouds, or you never run anything over o.5 ohms, then this is definitely not the device for you. If you’re into a more smooth, and relaxed vape, you could go a long way with this piece.
Where to buy?
Do I use it?
Meh. Not really. I have had it for quite a while. I had such high hopes when I first ordered it, I could not wait to get it. I was to the point where I was even thinking about hitting up a brick and mortar and paying about $40 more just to get one without having to wait. I’m glad I didn’t because for me it didn’t really live up to the hype. It’s a good device, but it is a little delicate and doesn’t have the power capabilities I prefer, so for me, it’s more of a novelty than anything.
The Bottom Line
Quality. Overall I think it is pretty shitty quality. Now this is the clone, not the authentic. After looking over the specs for both carefully, I couldn’t figure any good reason to spend twice as much for basically the same thing. I strongly suspect that the authentic is pretty much the same as this one. As far as quality goes, I don’t ever really trust that the wires are going to last for very long. They could break any time. Also, the threading is pretty crunchy on the top and the bottom.
Performance. This really is not a high performance device. This is a device you buy more for style than performance. If you’re satisfied with a moderate ohm coil on an 18350 battery, it will perform just fine. If you desire serious sub ohm builds, this one is best left alone.
Ease of Use. It’s decently easy to use. If you ever have the misfortune of trying to unscrew the top cap and the plastic piece within, you can irreparably damage the device. If you accidentally put a nipple top 18350 battery in the device, it could lead to a serious problem. All in all, it is a relatively simple piece, but you have to be extra careful with it.
Appearance. The strong point of this unit is the appearance. It actually looks like a pipe. That’s pretty much the main benefit you get from it. If you are into the terminator meets corn cob pipe look, then this is the piece for you.
Price. I think the price is OK. The quality is not that great for $20, and there are certainly much better mechs available in that range. That said, if this is the look you want, $20 is a fair price for what you get. I can’t see how it could really get much lower…
Overall. I was really disappointed by this piece – so much, in fact, that I was originally going to write a really scathing review of it back when I first was using it. I’m glad now that I waited because I can now kind of respect it a little more for what it is. It just isn’t a high power device. As long as you don’t expect it to be one and treat it like one, it will serve you well. If you are only interested in crazy sub ohm builds, you shouldn’t be looking at 18350 devices to begin with. Bottom line – this is a pretty cool piece, and it is fairly unique. It looks like a pipe and vapes very well when set up correctly. If you’re willing to have the patience to learn how to use it correctly, it can serve you well.
- Ease of Use