Kanger KBOX 120/200 TC Box Mod Review
KBOX 120w TC – $47.99 requires 2x 18650
KBOX 200w TC – $57.99 requires 2x 18650 –
I was so looking forward to writing a fairly easy, straightforward review for both the KBOX 120W TC and KBOX 200W TC. These two box mods from Kanger are a delight to use, and both are apt devices with plenty of power, features, and good looks, and because they are available at an affordable price it would be easy to recommend either one based on how much you might want to spend, and how much power you really need. Once I got into the manual things began to change somewhat.
Ni-Chrome in TC Mode?
Both KBOX mods are capable of utilizing Ni-Chrome coils, and supposedly in TC (Temperature Control) mode. It is my understanding, and I recently wrote about Ni-Chrome here, that Ni-Chrome 80 does not change in resistance enough to be used for accurate temperature control. If Kanger’s new chip can accurately determine and manipulate the coefficient offset of Ni-Chrome 80 then something big is happening here.
I’ve also heard rumors that the KBOX 120 and 200 can also use regular Kanthal coils in TC mode as well. I have not checked the NiChrome in TC mode claim of accuracy, but I foolishly attempted to use a regular Kanthal coil in TC Ni mode and the attempt was followed by my near panic as my throat was ‘toasted’ by extreme heat in a split second after pressing the fire button. The KBOX series does not allow you to change the wattage of the device (like the new Joyetech Cuboid can) while in TC mode, so because Kanthal has virtually no resistance the full 120W of power was sent directly to the coils and the temperature setting of 400F meant nothing. Hopefully, this puts an end to the rumors. If you attempt to use Kanthal coils in TC mode, you’ve been warned.
For the sake of efficiency and accuracy I’ve decided to limit any further reference to NiChrome coils in this review. That needs to be addressed in a Knowledge Base article.
The Proper Review
Both the KBOX 120W TC and KBOX 200W TC are made with a high-quality zinc and aluminum alloy for strength and durability. The paint, in Black, Red, or White, is glazed to a nice sheen and the end result is a gorgeous looking device. The rounded corners, the contrasting black or red buttons, and the bright OLED display adds up to ‘much appreciated’ accents on this modestly priced duo. Both the 120W and 200W KBOX need high-amp dual 18650 batteries. Although Kanger claims a full 200w of power with the KBOX 200W TC, that 200w is only attainable while both batteries are fully charged. As the batteries drain that 200w becomes unattainable.
Kanger uses the now-ubiquitous magnetic battery cover (shed) and it works well. Simply slip off the cover, replace the batteries, affix the cover and you’re ready to go.
The KBOX mods have an adjustable Pin so users can utilize a wide array of 510-threaded tanks, RDA’s and RBA’s. I tried more than a dozen different tanks and a handful of RDA’s, all fit flush with a secure connection.
Lastly, while Kanger claims that the display is HD OLED (HD = High Definition, or Hi-Res) it should be noted that while the display is bright, when compared to a Joyetech eVic–Mini or Cuboid mod it is far from HD or Hi-Res. Still, the display is nicely lit and displays enough information, though it would have a good idea to include a battery icon for each battery so you could determine the quality of the batteries and how each one is draining.
The new chip, developed by Kanger, is easily Kanger’s most sophisticated yet. It offers either 120W or power or 200W, depending on which model fits your needs. The wattage is 7-watts to the maximum, in .1-watt increments. Interestingly, the increments in temperature are 1-degree instead of the usual 10-degree increments.
With the new chip ‘sensing’ ability the temperature of the coils is monitored at the rate of 1000 times per second, improving both temperature accuracy and the consistency of each drag from the tank’s drip tip. As indicated above, in addition to Ni-Chrome, the chip can sense coils made with Ni200 (pure Nickel), Titanium, and Stainless Steel. Through the various tanks I used I was able to get a sense of accuracy with all but NiChrome, and each seemed to work just fine, although each of the metals have their own set of characteristics that exceed the purpose of this review.
Using the KBOX mod
Turning on the mod is done with 5 swift clicks of the fire button. Turning it off is done in the same manner. Accessing the various modes are done by clicking the fire button 3 times. For me, my first engagement with the KBOX mods I was presented with TC Ni mode, without a tank attached. As I did, you will cycle through the modes until you reach the one you desire. You should note that there are no memory modes, so you’ll go from TC Ni to Ti to NiChr, to SS, and then to Power, or Variable Wattage. The KBOX does not offer a Bypass mode, which is fine by me.
Locking the KBOX so you don’t accidentally increase or decrease wattage or temperature, or somehow move out of one mode to another, you simply hold down the fire button, plus and minus adjustment buttons until you see ‘LOCKED’ displayed on the screen. Unlocking is done the same way. In the locked mode you can still use it but the adjustment buttons will not work, nor can you gain access to the system with the usual 3 clicks of the fire button. You’ll need to unlock the device to change anything.
When changing tanks, or atomizers in the current tank on the KBOX mod, make sure the coil heads or coils are room temperature. If the coils are too cold, or too hot, the chip won’t be able to calculate, or sense the temperature accurately, so your choices of temperature in TC mode will be off. When first attempting to use the new tank or coil the display asks you if the coil is new or if you’ve just refilled the same tank, or otherwise removed it and placed it back on. Answer with the proper click of the plus or minus adjustment button and the chip will calculate the rest.
Another interesting feature of the KBOX mod is its ability to flip the contrast of the display. By holding the plus button (nearest to the display) and the fire button for 3 seconds flips the display to white with black characters or black with white characters. While playing with this feature I decided I like the white background and black characters, much easier to read, for me anyway.
The KBOX can also switch the orientation of the display to accommodate left or right handed users. Press and hold the plus and minus buttons for 3 seconds and the display switches. Repeat to change it back.
The KBOX has a long fire time of 10 seconds. Try and take a drag longer than 10 seconds will result in the power being cut off to the coils and when looking at the display it will read “10 sec over”.
Charging batteries can be done internally, but you’ll need to supply your own micro-USB cable. As always, we recommend external charging with a Nitecore charger.
The KBOX 120W TC and KBOX 200W TC are both firmware upgradeable through a USB cable and your computer. I’ve yet to see a firmware upgrade so I can’t say if Kanger will include a Mac version along with a PC version, nor do I know what Kanger’s future plans are for firmware upgrades. Perhaps better coefficient tables for NiChrome coils, or upping the wattage to 150W for the KBOX 120W TC. Just guessing here.
Both KBOX mods can also fire atomizers as low 0.05 ohms in Temperature Control mode and 0.10 ohms in Variable Wattage Mode.
The rest of the features found in the KBOX mods include pass-through vaping, high temp protection, reverse polarity protection, short circuit protection, low voltage protection and battery charging and discharge for each battery.
Formal Features and Specs
- Kangertech KBOX 200W TC Features:
- Variable Wattage Capability
- Ohms Reader
- Battery Level Indicator
- Large and Clear OLED Screen
- Temperature Sensing and Limiting
- Variable Voltage Capability
- Supports Nickel, Titanium, and Stainless Steel Coils
- Made With Durable and Light Aluminum Alloy
- Power Output of an Incredible 200W
- Pass-through Capability
- Upgradeable Firmware
- Takes External Batteries (Sold Separately)
- Spring-Loaded Center Pin
- Magnetic Battery Door Cover
- Ergonomically Designed
- Three Gorgeous Color Combinations Available
- High Temperature Protection
- Reverse Polarity Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
- Low Voltage Protection
- Over-Discharge Protection
- Over-Charge Protection
Kangertech KBOX 200W TC Specifications:
- Manufacturer: Kangertech
- Threading: 510
- Body Material: Stainless Steel
- Pin Type: Self-Adjusting, Spring-Loaded
- Battery Compatibility: 2 x High-Drain 18650 (35A) – (Sold Separately)
- Temperature Range Range: 200°F – 600°F (100℃ – 315℃)
- Wattage Range: 7W – 200W
- Coil Types: Kanthal, Nickel, Titanium, Stainless Steel
- Height: 3.30 Inches (86mm)
- Width: 2.20 Inches (56mm)
- Depth: 0.86 Inches (22mm)
What’s in the Box?
- 1 x Kanger KBOX 200W TC Box MOD
- 1x Dual Use Manual – 120/200
Before offering my opinion on what Kangertech should have included in the KBOX mods I want to make sure that you understand that, overall, I think the KBOX series are superb box mods, especially for the price. The number of metals you can use in Temperature Control mode is impressive, as well as the quality of the workmanship.
I may not choose to avail myself of the Ni-Chrome coil TC mode, but with Stainless Steel, Titanium, Ni200, there are plenty of ways, and modes, to fine-tune anyone’s vape experience. And of course, with Variable Wattage Mode and Kanthal you’ll get a fine experience with either KBOX.
First, I believe Kanger should have included the following features on the chipset:
- Memory settings – 3 memory settings for your favorite tank/metal is plenty
- Adjustable wattage while in TC mode. This feature is being found in more and more TC devices and it can play a big part in extending the fine-tuning aspect of your vaping.
- The ability to use a single battery with 75-watt max output.
That’s about all I find missing from this otherwise rich set of features. I am puzzled about way Kanger found it necessary to release two devices though. The price spread is only $10, so why not opt for something you can grow into, namely the 200W, instead of topping out at 120W. At the same time, 120W is plenty of power for the vast majority of vapers and the advanced vapers that may want to build coils that can be used at close to 200W are few and far between.
The only difference between the two mods is the maximum wattage output. Physically they look identical, they both need 2x 18650 high-amp batteries to operate.
Although Kanger says the KBOX 200W TC can output the full 200W, I sincerely doubt you can stay at 200W very long. The manuals for the KBOX 120w TC and KBOX 200w TC are also identical, going so far as to call the manual the KBOX 120/200.
Recommendations: If you like Kanger and want to move up to their newest offering then by all means do so. The prices, $47.99 and $57.99 make both affordable and the value is definitely there. Only you can know which one will fit your needs, now and in the future. Either KBOX is a good device for users new to vaping or are already adept at advanced vaping techniques.
Pick one up today at Vapor Authority.