I have to admit, there’s just something about pipes that give them some sort of feeling of sophistication. Back in the day before “denormalization” you’d see smart guys in movies puffing away on a pipe. e-Pipes aren’t exactly anything new, I’ve reviewed them before. Most can be pretty pricey even though they are gorgeous. Smoktech’s Chaser ePipe mod is going more for function than looks, but it still feels good to hold. check out the rest of the review to get the skinny.
Chaser Pipe Mod Design
As I mentioned in the intro, the Chaser isn’t exactly one of those fancy-pants e-Pipes that looks like a beautiful hand-crafted English pipe. The fact that it’s shiny chrome from stem to stern gives that away as soon as you open the thick cardboard gift box.
The other thing is that it’s much smaller than most traditional pipes. This mod houses a compact 18350 IMR battery and the main body of the chaser isn’t much larger than that. In fact, the battery cap holds about 1/3 of the battery.
Speaking of the battery, here’s an oddity with this device. You put the battery in backwards. Rather than the spring being housed in the end cap, it’s built into the battery tube. You place the battery in negative end first with the positive terminal against the endcap. That’s a little weird and may catch you if you’re unaware.
There’s a mechanical switch at the top of the body. The way this works is there’s a strong magnet both in the button itself and in the top of the mod’s body. Each magnet has the same polarity facing one another so the natural position of the switch is for it not to make contact. A bezel screws on to hold the button in place and keep the magnets from propelling the shiny button across the room.
Why magnets? Essentially, they make for a much more reliable switch than mechanical buttons that rely on springs for activation. This also provides a much smoother button press action and a great tactile feel.
Jutting out from the body at an angle is the neck and battery connector portion of the pipe. The fit is excellent here with no noticeable gaps along the seam between the body and the neck.
Inside the neck area you’ll find a recessed 510 connector that sits flush with the top of the part. There’s a gap between the battery post and the sides of the neck. However, there is no eGo threading, and the distance between battery connector and the pipe would be too shallow for most eGo clearomizers like the Aro tank to fit.
A little technical note: because the battery connector is not immediately on top of the battery, there are wires and solder between the battery and the 510 connection. Therefore, this can be classified as a semi-mechanical mod. There are, however, no electronics, so the Chaser can still handle low resistance rebuildables. I’ll discuss that more in the performance section.
From this point, how pipe-like the Chaser will look is going to depend largely on what you attach to it. It’s clearly designed for tanks, and I found the Trophy tank works pretty well on the device. It doesn’t really do a whole lot for the pipe look. For that I went with a small rebuildable atomizer and a specialized drip tip to complete the look. That’s what you see in the pictures in this review.
In general the Chaser has an excellent hand feel and is easy to hold whatever you might be running with it. There’s just something reassuring about holding a pipe.
Chaser Pipe Mod Performance
Like any mechanical mod, the actual vapor performance is going to depend a lot on what you connect to it. Granted, there’s a whole pecking order of mechanicals as far as how well their connections conduct and so forth. The Chaser is going to be more of an entry level device as compared to a handcrafted 18650 mod.
I will note that while the magnetic button is nice, the one on my unit seemed just a little touchy. If I pressed down on the button in the wrong spot, it simply wouldn’t fire. For example, if I pressed down on toward the outer edge of the button instead of the center or by the stem, there was no contact.
I also found that if I rotated the button that dead spot would move accordingly. It seems to me that there is likely a spot on the button itself that isn’t quite plum with the rest of the button. It’s likely that this is a problem specific to my pipe and it might not be present in others.
The main limitation of the Chaser Pipe is the tiny 18350 batteries it sports. First of all, if you do try to run sub ohm builds on this pipe, your battery life can probably be measured in minutes. There are also not a lot of ultra high amperage batteries in that small size.
Using an AW IMR battery, I did briefly run a coil I built at .5 ohms. It worked just fine, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. That’s too close to the battery’s amp limit for my tastes. Plus the little atomizer I was using got positively hot. Since the Chaser is a small metal device, the whole thing ended up getting quite warm.
Ultimately, I ran with coils in the low 1 ohm neighborhood with much saner results. This low resistance while not suitable for cloud chasing, did produce excellent results. I still got some excellent cloud action, and I got to feel like a professor holding my pipe and occasionally turning it around to point at things with the extended stem.
In other words, this e-pipe is just a lot of fun to use. You can pick one of these up yourself here and have your own fun times.
Too Long’ Didn’t Read
The Chaser Pipe Mod from Smoktech is an 18350 powered semi-mechanical pipe mod. The small battery does limit its role as a high performance mod for use with subohm atomizers. That doesn’t mean you can’t still use low ohms with it and have a good experience. The pipe shape is fun to use and it’s a solidly built device.
- Solid build
- Great hand feel
- Magnetic switch
- 18350 battery limits its life and performance
- Doesn’t look much like a real pipe
- Switch was a little flakey in my model
disclosure: this review features affiliate links.