Hardware Review: SMOK Pipe Mod

likeasir

I sat on the fence about getting one of these for a long time. I like the idea of an ePipe, I just want a larger battery.

When these were released, the general consensus was that you had to use only flattop 18350 batteries in them, and that was kind of a hangup for me. Apparently that isn’t exactly true.

After spending a couple of hours drooling over ePipes, I decided that for ~$35 I couldn’t go wrong with this guy (I got mine here).

Specs

Length: 54mm (2.125″)
Diameter: 23mm (0.905″)
Battery type: 18350 only
Battery Connection: 510 (some units are apparently 510/eGo, mine is not)
MSRP: $49.99USD
What’s in the box:

SMOK Pipe Mod box contents - click to enlarge

SMOK Pipe Mod box contents – click to enlarge

  • (1) Pipe Mod body with tail cap

The body is chrome plated brass, so it’s nice and hefty.

Pros

  • Price.
  • ePipe.
  • Small overall size.

Cons

  • Only takes 18350 batteries.
  • No fuse.
  • No room for a fuse.
  • Small (I want an 18650 version!).

I actually really like this ePipe, which is a bad thing, because now I know I want a high end ePipe. My wallet hates this pipe. I still want an ePipe with a bigger battery. The shape of this pipe is surprisingly good.

Errata

Configuration

With an iClear 16 attached, the pipe will stand on its own, but with a Protank, it’s just gonna fall over without a stand. With something like a mini Vivi Nova or an iClear 16 the pipe is really pretty small, and not bad for low key vaping. That’s not what I had in mind though.

Pipe Mod with Protank - Click to enlarge

Pipe Mod with Protank – Click to enlarge

This is an original Protank on the Pipe Mod. If you click that picture, you can see that the Protank base is slightly larger than the battery connection on the pipe. I have no idea why SMOK didn’t make that larger, or just make it a standard 510/eGo connector so that I could have put a beauty ring on it. It doesn’t really bother me, it’s just one of those things that I notice and it screws with my OCD (I’m not really OCD, but if I were I wouldn’t be able to do this combo because of that connection). I’ve thought about filing down a Protank base so that it looks right, and I may yet do that.

This is my current configuration for the Pipe Mod:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

That’s a Kanger Protank 2 with a Captivape DS60 drip tip. I had to modify the DS60 to get it working with the Protank 2.

Eventually I was able to obtain the Captivape BDS90 that I had initially wanted:

Final configuration - click to enlarge

Final configuration – click to enlarge

I only run AW IMR batteries in my APVs (this one is no exception), so I have no trouble running the Protank with a 1.8ohm head.

It vapes really good in this configuration. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve seen people run these with everything from an RSST (I’m not sure how that would even work), to carto tanks, to 306 dripping atomizers, so your wallet is your limit.

 

Button top 18350s take one

In almost every single review I’ve seen, the reviewer claims this takes flat top 18350 batteries only. Not in my experience. The first thing I found was a forum post saying that you could use 18350 button top batteries if you reversed the battery in the pipe. Ostensibly the positive battery connection goes up towards the button, and the negative goes down towards the battery cap, as shown in this image:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Flipping the battery works, but in theory it is a bad idea because the body of the battery is a negative connection, and if the battery is reversed in the tube, and if the protective wrapper on the battery is damaged, you could in theory have a dead short and a small fire/explosion in your pocket/hand/face. In practice, this isn’t an issue with this device, as the battery sits inside a plastic tube, not directly against the metal body of the pipe.

Interior view - Click to enlarge

Interior view – Click to enlarge

Button top 18350s take two

If you’re just not comfortable with flipping the battery upside down (I get it, we’re not exactly using batteries designed for this to begin with), there is another option (well a couple actually, but I’m only going to discuss the ones that do not involve permanent modifications to the unit). On some of these units button top 18350s may just work, right out of the box.

The fire button is threaded and will move up and down when rotated. Mine was rotated all the way up right out of the box, but some units come with the button sitting flush with the retaining ring. On those units, if you insert a button top 18350, the pipe will just fire continuously until the battery fails.

If you have one that fires as soon as the battery cap is screwed down, remove the ring holding the fire button on the pipe, and adjust the button as shown here:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

That should do it, your button top 18350 batteries should work fine now.

I was actually surprised at how much I liked this APV. I haven’t smoked a real pipe since 1996 or so (I started hacking up black crap and figured I should probably lay off the pipes), and I didn’t realize how much I like the form factor. If you are on the fence, pick one up. They are surprisingly good.

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One thought on “Hardware Review: SMOK Pipe Mod

  1. Not sure if you know by now or not, but you can order battery extensions for this from NHaler. One allows a 18500, and a second will allow a 18650.
    I’d probably get an extension myself, but I got the gold pipe… the extensions only come in chrome. 😐

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