A couple of weeks ago the lovely Vapesmarter got in touch and asked if he could send me something to have a look at, he was interested to hear my thoughts on a vape device he’d made. Knowing nothing more than this, I agreed (quite excited actually as it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Vapesmarter mod)
A little run down on Vapesmarter… His name is Stu (and he has the cutest little dog called Alfie!) he’s a mod maker, and he makes vape products from sustainable wood that he sources in the UK. Sometimes adding resin to make Stabwood. Everything is done by hand in his workshop from start to finish. Stu will liaise with the vaper to agree design, colours, board, and whatever else is needed to make each vape device exactly what the customer wants, and each piece is truly unique!
Black Angel – The Arrival
So fast forward a week and a package landed on my doorstep, and that package was like Christmas came early! Inside was a beautiful little wooden box that contained a drawstring pouch, and nestled inside that, a handmade stabilized wood 18350 unregulated e-pipe! Stu had also included a tank with coil, a pipe mouthpiece, and a battery (good job as all my 18350’s are from 8 years ago and could no way run a sub ohm coil) And just as a bonus there was a little wooden pipe and tank stand.
One quick bit of advice from me, an unregulated device needs some knowledge! Do your research and learn ohms law! Teach yourself about amps, and learn the acceptable ohms for each type of battery. See more on ohms law here.
Now I’ve always liked pipes, my grandfather was a pipe smoker and he had several different kinds all rowed up on the table next to him. I can clearly remember him sitting in his chair after walking his dog, filling his pipe with tobacco and lighting it, rich aromatic smoke would fill the room! This was his down time, his time to relax.
I’ve had a couple of different e-pipes in the past, so it will be nice to see how Black Angel compares. Stu has warned me that Black Angel is a prototype, so not yet perfect.
Black Angel – Features
Black Angel Bowl – The pipe bowl is stabwood, made from sustainable Pear wood and a small amount of Resin. The resin has a tinge of blue to it depending on the light reflecting on it. The resin is mainly at the top of the bowl, but there are a couple of smaller slithers around the base.
The bowl itself is a really nice shape, slightly contoured in the middle, with rather a slanted bottom. The pipe will stand on this slanted base, but unfortunately not with the tank attached. Once the tank is in place that makes it rather top heavy and it will just fall backwards. However, for display purposes if you remove the tank the pipe will sit on the base, and does look really good.
You will also find the Vapesmarter ‘modmakers’ mark on the bowl too, in the form of Alfie’s pawprint insert. I love this little touch, and you will find Alfies paw print on everything made by Stu.
Black Angel Battery Tube – The battery tube is in the wooden bowl and chamber part of the pipe. The tube is made by Stealthvape and is apparently one of the smallest tubes you can buy at this moment. Smaller tube means smaller bowl! (and I like small when it comes to vaping!)
Pop your battery in positive end first, so the battery cap covers the negative end. The battery cap is rather a strange one, not going to try and explain but you can see on the pics that it is mainly open, and I guess this helps with removal of the battery cap. Other mods that I have seen and reviewed of Stu’s have a full battery cap, and you need to use a coin to remove them, however with this new one you can actually get your nails in (or fingers if you don’t have long nails) and twist it. One thing I will say, don’t over tighten the cap or you may well find yourself having to use pliers to remove it, and with how dainty it is, using pliers is going to be a definite no-no
One little niggle that I do have is the position of the battery tube, you can see from the pics that it is slightly off centre. Now I’m not sure if there’s a reason to this? Maybe it has to be more to one edge because of the wiring, but I do find this slightly irritating. Then again Black Angel is a prototype so hopefully this is something fixable in the future.
Black Angel 510 – The 510 tube holds the Clickfet chip, this means that Black Angel is an unregulated device, you cannot set the power. A fully charged battery will start at 4.2v and the output power will drop as the battery depletes. When the vape gets to the point where it feels unacceptable, this is the time to change the battery. With a Clickfet board you do get basic protection – low voltage detection, timeout and short protection, and also reverse polarity protection to stop the board from frying if you pop the battery in the wrong way round.
You can find the small chrome firing button on the right hand side of the tube. The tube is brass, with a silver 510 plate. It does look a little mismatched, however with having brass, silver and chrome going on, and also the dark blue, blackish colour around the top of the bowl, it does mean that you can pop a tank on with any of those colours and it does even things out a little. The 510 has a nice springy pin, and will accommodate tanks up to 22mm, anything larger and you will have an overhang.
Black Angel Stem – The stem (or mouthpiece) that Stu sent with the pipe is just a standard short stem, of course you can ask Stu for any type of stem you wish. Short will provide a warmer vape, and of course a longer stem would give a much cooler vape.
How Does Black Angel Perform?
Stu sent me an iJoy captain tank, and the coil came in at around 0.48 ohms (a little lower than I would have liked but it is acceptable) so on a fully charged battery it’s vaping at around 36w. The vape from a fully charged battery really is quite punchy, however that initial power does tail off fairly quickly and the pipe settles down to a nice comfortable vape.
Black Angel paired with the short stem gives a warm and rich, flavourful vape. Of course the type of vape experience will depend on the tank and coil that you choose, as well as the type of stem, after all Black Angel is just the power source.
I’ve had no problems or mis-fires at all, and she has happily powered any other tanks that I have attached to her (coils within amp range of the battery of course) but… this pipe is not a cloud chasing device! You really need to stick with coils over 0.5ohms to stay within the 10amp range of the battery.
Final Thoughts on The Black Angel E-pipe
Black Angel really is a stunning piece of work from Stu, from the smooth wood and resin to the 510 tube and chrome switch, it does have a rather classy feel to it. It’s also much smaller than I would have expected it to be, which for me was a very pleasant surprise
It fits into the hand really well, and just feels very natural to hold. Although Stu has classed Black Angel as a left handed pipe due to the placement of the fire button, I found it just as easy to use my thumb to press the button when holding it in my right hand.
With Black Angel using a single, small 1100mAh 18350 battery, you won’t get a long run time. Switching out for a new battery once the vape tails off, can be likened to filling the bowl with more tobacco once it has burnt away, but of course Black Angel doesn’t have the down side of thousands of carcinogens like traditional tobacco pipes do.
Black Angel certainly isn’t the kind of vape device you would take to work, nor is she the kind of device you would take on a shopping trip in town, although you would definitely catch the eye of many other vapers if you did. Black Angel is a wind down kind of device, something to use whilst you’re relaxing with a G&T or beer and watching a movie, and she will definitely make a great a talking point at the next family gathering.
All in all, I do really like this pipe, its a far better experience than other e-pipes that I’ve used in the past. Black Angel certainly is a stunning creation, and apart from the one little irritation of the slightly off centre battery tube (which doesn’t affect the use in any way at all) she has been a real pleasure to vape with!
I’m not giving Black Angel a score, as she is a prototype and just the beginning of the next awesome journey that Vapesmarter is embarking upon (but if I did it would have to be a 4.5/5)
Will Black Angel be retired to the shelf? – No… because I have to send her back!!
If you’re looking for a real pipe experience, you won’t go wrong with an e-pipe from Vapesmarter. The good thing is, with having a pipe made by Stu, you work out the details together. Tell him what kind of designs you like, the colours you want, and you’ll soon be the proud owner of a Black Angel sibling!
Pop over and take a look at the Vapesmarter site and if you fancy owning something like Black Angel, give Stu a shout. You can also find him on over on Instagram displaying all of his hand made vape gear. Go on…. go and take a look!