Update: Sadly, the Copper Hex has been discontinued. This review will be left up to serve as a sort of historical reference.
In the world of e-cigarette mods there are devices that are built to be stylish, and there are models that are all about the performance. Vapor Alley's Copper Hex falls so far into the latter category, one could argue that the device has its own unique style in its unabashed utilitarian stance. Without further fanfare, let's get down with a little Copper Hex review!
|Shined up and ready to vape|
The first thing to note about the Copper mods is the material from which they are constructed. You'd think from the name the thing is made out of copper. In fact, it's actually made out of brass. I'm not quite sure why the name, maybe early versions were copper but brass proved more durable or something.
Durable is the name of the game here. Just looking at the Hex you can tell it was built for durability. This thing looks like it belongs in one of those pickup truck commercials where they race around a steel mill or load a few tons of boulders in the back.
The Copper Hex is essentially a length of brass pipe with a hexagonal end cap on either end. The threads of the tube are exposed under the cap giving the mod a very industrial feel. If the Mario Brothers vaped, this is what they'd use! I'd probably avoid taking this particular device to the airport.
The device is a dual voltage mod. This means that you can vape at 3.7 volts using a single 15400 battery. Drop in two tiny 3.2 volt 15270 batteries to enjoy some high voltage vaping at 6v. I've been using dual and triple coil cartomizers at 6 volts primarily.
Picking up this device tells you what you probably already guessed, this is not a lightweight mod. There is a definite heft to the thing that says you don't have to worry about being gentle. Dropping the Copper only adds character.
|It's called a patina, thank you!|
Also adding to the character is the brass color easily dulls from contact with the oils in your hand. Personally, I feel that it kind of personalizes the copper. If you want shiny, there are probably other options out there for you. In fact, there are several models of the copper including a more civilized, polished copper with round end caps.
As is naturally befitting such a rough hewn device, the Copper is a purely mechanical affair. There's no lights or really even a discernable button to take away from the macho vibe of this device.
Which leads to the second unique feature of the Copper lineup. The atomizer connector at the top of the device serves a dual function as the activation switch. The connector is spring loaded pushing down on your cartomizer completes the circuit and fires off the atomizer.
|Have a nice vape.|
Activating the unique firing mechanism on the Copper Hex is certainly something that takes getting used to. There are several methods, some people press against their drip tip with their teeth to activate. I generally found myself sticking a fingernail between the connector and the carto to activate mine.
I also found it easier to fire off using oversized cartomizers, particularly large capacity tank mods since there's so much more surface to press down upon. Using a syringe modded CE2 with the syringe flange still intact with the flange serving as a handle also works very well.
One issue I found in using my copper was the connection between certain cartomizers and the connector on the Hex. Certain cartos didn't make good contact (even after adjusting the battery connector on the carto). The result was I had to use quite a bit of force to activate the device. I was able to resolve this by using a 510-510 shorty adapter between the Copper and the cartomizer.
Other than the flaky connection, I didn't find any big faults with the mechanics of the dual function connector. My biggest gripe is that the connector spins freely so you have to stabilize it a little when screwing on a cartomizer. The connector feels a little bit wobbly because it is spring loaded, but has held on just fine.
Since the connector isn't sealed, in theory, juice could seep into the battery compartment from a leaky atomizer. Perhaps the biggest drawback of this design is the lack of an on/off switch. If you want to pocket this thing, you'll want to remove or loosen the cartomizer as misfires could occur pretty easily.
Once you find your personal mojo to deal with the unusual connector, the Hex is a reliable device. Ergonomically, it is the right size to have a comfortable hold while in use. Rounded edges on the hex end caps mean you won't get weird creases in your hands from use.
Too Long; Didn't Read
The Copper Hex from Vapor Alley is about as steampunk as personal vaporizers come. Built from what ostensibly looks like leftovers from a construction site, the Hex tells you its here to perform, not look pretty. A unique push-in battery connector firing mechanism keeps the minimalist thing going.
That unusual firing mechanism along with its unapologetic industrial design may not be for everyone. However, if you are immune to unusual looks from passers-by and want something that is as tough as nails (or brass pipes), the Hex might be a good choice. You can pick yours up at VaporAlley (formerly Atmos USA).
- Dual Voltage
- No external switches
- Easily stands up on a workbench
- Minimalistic, industrial design
- Minimalistic, industrial design
- No safety on/off switch
- Firing mechanism takes some getting used to
- Won't stay shiny very long
Product: Copper Hex
Purchase it From: Vapor Alley
Price: $52.95 (mod only) $74.99 Complete Kit
Voltage: 3.7 or 6
Batteries: 14500 or 2x 15270
Disclosure: I feature affiliate links and banners for Vapor Alley. I won the Copper Hex in a contest held on e-cigarette-forum.com sponsored by (at the time) Atmos USA.