IntroductionThe Mechanical Mod was supplied by the kind team at www.sparksecigs.co.uk for the purpose of the review.
It is described on the Sparks Ecig website as follows :
Exclusive to Sparks in the UK. This unique design features a fold out mouthpiece and is machined from high quality alloy. It can be used in two battery modes 18350 and 18650. This model can also be used with a standard atomizer - we suggest the MT4 bottom fill atomizer - this would make an ideal spare !
And the kit is available to purchase on the Sparks Ecigs website for £36.95 in a choice of black or gold.
PresentationThe kit comes in a good quality case that zips up, around the outer edge, and is finished in a tough black plastic with a sort of carbon effect on it, with the Sparks Ecigs logo on.
The kit it's self includes the Mod, atomiser, 18350 & 18650 Battery, Safety Fuse, Charger, needle top filler bottle, and simple instructions. And all fits nicely into the carry case.
Features & SpecsName : R80 Folding Pipe Mod
Type : Mechanical Mod
Main Material : machined High Quality Alloy
Atomiser Connection: 510 & Ego cone threading
Key Feature: Telescopic tube - Folding Pipe Action.
Battery Size: 18350-18650
Battery Contacts : Stainless Steel
Firing Mechanism: Top Mounted - Spring Loaded - Switch
Locking Mechanism: Adjustable threaded locking Ring
Built in Safety : One bottom Vent Holes - Removal Safety fuse
The R80 comes fully assembled in the kit and ready to use, once the batteries and safety fuse have been installed.
The R80 can easily be broken down into the following components for cleaning and maintence.
The firing switch is easily removed from the Mod body by simple unscrewing, the larger section of the switch at the bottom, below the locking ring, this part of the switch mechanism has a good level of hatching on it, which provides a good level of grip, and is easily distinguished from the smaller diameter locking ring.
Once removed, you can clearly see the exposed workings of the switch, a simple plunger design, with a large spring and stainless steel firing pin. This pin is non-adjustable. As all the adjustment is given through the telescoping body section.
The firing switch can be locked through screwing up the locking ring, the fire switch it's self has a wide switch, finished in a shiny gun metal coating. The top of the switch is curved inwards, and feels nice under the thumb, the switch mechanism has a very lite push pressure, and a very springy feel to it.
The gun metal finished stainless steel threaded telescoping tube has a removable matt black textured plastic sleeve on it, and gives the tube a really nice tactile feel to it, when it is exposed whilst using the mod in 18650 mode, as you do fined yourself holding it when vaping, as it extends the body of the mod. The bottom threading on the tube is wide and well machined.
On the opposite end you have finer threading which allows the firing switch to attach,
Mod Main Body.
The main body of the Mod is described as being produced from a high quality Alloy, and is well machined out of one piece. The R80 i was supplied with, was nicely finished in matt black, it has downward grooves running down the whole body of the mod, which gives it a well made feel in the hand with plenty of grip. The side section of the body, is well moulded and provides a secure resting place for your atomiser when folded. The bottom section of the side moulding also acts as a stop when the atomiser is folded out.
The Folding Hinge.
I was very impressed with the spring loaded folding mechanism, it opens and closes with ease, and moves in to place with a nice snap, in the open and closed position. There is none to little side ways movement, and really nice solid hinge, that has been built to last. The 510 connection forms the bottom section of the hinge with the power supply wire nicely concealed in a small metal tube, underneath the hinge, protected and out of sight.
The hinge over time I would imagine will loosen, but can be easily tighten with the hinge screws either side.
The bottom of the mod body is finished with a nicely made stainless steel bottom cap, that has one small safety venting hole in the middle, of the main section, this bottom cap also continues underneath the hinged section, which nicely finishes the hinge, and keeps the workings out of site.
The Atomiser and Shield.
The R80 Folding Pipe kit comes preloaded with one of the sparks Ecigs atomiser, that easily unscrews to allow wick changes and refilling, the atomiser shield neatly attaches to the ego cone threading, to give an amount of protection to the atomiser, plus adds to the overall look of the mod.
This kit came with two batteries an 18650 and an 18350, to allow you to use the R80 in both extended and standard mode.
To install the batteries simple lock off the firing switch, and unscrew the outer ring on the top can,
The kit also comes with a magnetic safety fuse which simple attaches to the bottom of the battery, before you insert it, this will prevent the battery overheating due to firing for an excess amount of time, and will cut out should there be any other kind of battery issue, once the fuse is in place the battery can be dropped into place and the telescoping tube tighten down, once secure, there is no battery rattle, and the whole unit feels very solid and secure.
Safety Note : this unit cannot be used with nipple/ button top battery's , due to the fact that it will cause premature firing when you tighten down the top cap, even with the locking ring in place, due to the battery nipple/ button making contact with the firing pin through the spring.
Aesthetics & Build Quality
I really liked the look of the R80, and liked the whole retro look and feel of it. With its top mounted gun metal piston style firing pin, and over sized top cap.
The casing of mod has a very solid feel to it, and seems to be very well engineered.
It would have been nice if the gunmetal top cap and switch matched the bottom cap, but from a looks point of view, that is my only real point of compliant.
It has a really smooth folding action, and when folded has the cool look of a sidewinder mod, and can be used so in 18350 mode.
Performance & Real World Experience
I have been using this R80 pipe mod as my all day device for the last 3 days, and I must say it has performed really well, and hasn't really missed a beat.
The standard fitted atomiser, performs ok, but I feel does to a certain degree hold the overall performance of the mod back. It seems to work much better when it was swapped out for one of my Smok Tech dual Coil Cartomisers, which also fitted in well, with the overal pipe look, and folded away perfectly. It is a real bonus that this mod comes with both a 510 and ego cone threading, which is unusual on a mechanical Mod, so a real plus.
It did take a little while to get used to vaping on a pipe, but once you got used to it, found it really comfortable to hold, with a really natural firing switch position, using either your thumb or fore finger.
RecommendationThis is a great little mechanical mod, and the perfect size to just lock off and fold up to slip into you pocket of bag. And would be a great choice for someone looking to move to a mechanical mod for that extra bit of performance, whilst still wanting to use there existing Carto and ego style atomisers.
I don't think you would necessarily compare the performance of the R80, with some of the more performance lead mechanical mods on the market, but I think for the kit price of £36.95 including two good quality batteries and an atomiser and single unit charger, it is great value for someone wanting to try out a Mechical Mod, or an experienced Vapor wanting to add a pipe style mod to their collection.
I think it would be nice if as an existing vapor you could buy just the Mod on its own, if they didn't need the charger and batteries etc.
Note: Mechanical mods are unregulated mods that operate by point of contact, therefore the device is powered by the battery touching the contacts inside the unit.They do not have any wiring. Because mechanical mods are unregulated you must use protected li-ion batteries or safe chemistry IMR batteries as an unprotected battery can cause short circuit and overheating
Vendor Details : www.sparksecigs.co.uk
Price : £36.95