Volcano Lavabox M DNA 75 Review
Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes is based in Hawaii, have been providing the vaping community with quality products since 2009 and most known for the Lavabox DNA 200 Box Mod. After the success of such a well-built and powerful device, why not reduce the size by 20% while maintaining the beautiful aesthetic of the first; and the Lavabox M DNA 75 was born. (The “M” stands for “Mini”) Ever since the Lavabox DNA 200 was released I’ve always loved the simple but powerful appearance so I’m glad Volcano decided to shrink the Mini down without steering away from the original design. Best of all, our partners at Element Vape carries the Lavabox line, and the Lavabox M DNA 75 is just $89.99, $10 less than Volcano sells it for!
The Lavabox M DNA 75 is 10mm shorter than the DNA 200 version and a few millimeters smaller around the perimeter. Weighing in at a staggering low 96g (the SMOK TFV8 Cloud Beast weighs 79g for a comparison), 141g with a battery installed, it’s extremely lightweight, compact and portable enough to carry in your pocket without any discomfort or bulkiness. With the Lavabox M DNA 75, spending your money for a quality, precise American designed Box Mod is what you get if you decide to jump on board with Volcano.
Crafted out of 6061 billet aluminum, an alloy that’s very lightweight, durable and corrosion resistant should provide you many years of reliable vaping bliss. 6061 aluminum alloy is used in a wide variety of applications from aircraft wings and fuselages, scuba tanks and tactical flashlights to aluminum cans; it’s the most common alloy of aluminum for general-purpose use. The aluminum is then Black Anodized which helps prevent wear and tear, then treated with a high-grade oxidized Black paint resulting in a beautiful, top notch fit and finish.
I received the all Black version for review and is also available in Blood Red (Red body and Red buttons, accented with Black). But with optional colored battery doors (Red, Blue and White sold separately) available for $9.99 at Volcano eCigs website gives you freedom to further personalize your device. Hopefully they release a Limited Edition Bone White as that was my favorite color variation with the Lavabox DNA 200.
The Lavabox Mini can fire to 75W running on a single high-drain 18650 battery (not included). I’m using a Sony VTC5a cell and has been working just fine (Volcano recommends at least a 20A continuous rating). This removable option differs from the larger DNA 200 versions Lithium Polymer Battery Pack. The battery makes connection with Gold-plated battery terminals resulting in zero rattle or extra movement. The DNA 75 board allows internal charging up to 1A when plugged in to the micro USB port on the front face, but I recommend removing and charging all batteries externally. When maxed out at the full 75W, the device will get warm but the battery venting supplied on the bottom helps alleviate this heat issue. The Lavabox Mini has upgradeable firmware capability through the Escribe software.
The Volcano Lavabox M DNA 75 features the Evolv DNA 75 chipset along with Escribe customization software (PC only). A 6.2V output limit and the ability to fire to 0.25Ω in Power Mode and 0.15Ω in TC Modes (I was able to fire my SS316L 0.07Ω build in both modes) with temperatures between 200°F-600°F. The eight preprogrammed profiles include the standard coil options (Nickel, Titanium and SS) along with Power but with Escribe, you can input any TCR of your preferred wire used for vaping and setup your own personal profiles. Evolv’s Temperature Protection Technology will give you unlimited comfort when vaping in TC Modes with proven accuracy and safety in mind. ** Remember to lock your coil resistance (in TC Mode only) while the coils are at room temperature for an optimal more precise vape experience.
The interchangeable Stealth Black and Rubber-coated Polypropylene Plastic battery door has a great feel to it and is comfortable when holding the mod for long periods of time. It’s held firmly in place with two large magnets (rare-earth magnets is how Volcano describes them), one on the top and bottom which differs from the door of the Lavabox DNA200 that was attached by screws. Pulling the door off is simple and when installed holds on tight making battery exchanges a quick and straightforward process. Inside the battery door is some engraving and an example of great attention to detail Volcano maintained with the Lavabox Mini. I’ve heard complaints of the magnets falling out but I personally haven’t had this problem for the couple weeks I’ve used it.
The notched channel design (eight bored channels) on top of the mod surrounding the buttery smooth Stainless Steel 510 threads and a spring-loaded, Brass-plated 510 connection pin is a great design cue. The channels serve no real purpose other than being aesthetically pleasing. Conductivity was never an issue and a variety of tanks screwed down flush with zero play or hesitation when installing or removing. One issue I do have with the Lavabox line of devices is attaching any tank over 22mm will result in front overhang. From side to side a 25mm tank seats nice and flush but that front overhang is a disappointment for me. If Volcano shifted back the 510 connection a few millimeters, you could easily fit a larger atomizer. Some of the heavier tanks I attached made the whole setup very top-heavy since the Atomizers weighed as much as the mod!
The aluminum 9.6mm square fire button is elegantly smooth and responsive without any misfires or firing delay. The 6.2mm regulatory buttons are also a square shape with both clearly marked with a (+) (-) and are equally responsive as the fire button. Even with hard edges and sharp lines, Volcano created an easy to hold Box Mod that fits comfortably in the hand with a well-placed button arrangement. Normally I trigger fire my mods but the way it feels in my hand flipped the other direction just works.
After removing the appreciated screen protector film, the 0.91 inch OLED display isn’t as bright as other DNA devices only because the Smoked out (tinted) glass that covers the display screen dims the otherwise bright text. Not a deal breaker since this feature is what separates the Lavabox Mini from all its DNA 75 competitors; but a hindrance in brighter light conditions. On the older Lavabox DNA 200, I’ve seen pictures of vapers removing the tinted screen protector for a clearer display. Personally, I wouldn’t do that as the blacked out glass is a standout feature in my eyes, doesn’t scratch easily and gives the overall device a sleek and elegant look.
My Lavabox M DNA 75 is getting a lot of Sub-Ohm Tank use since the 75W wattage limitation is perfect for mid-ohm coil heads. More specifically, I resurrected my original Rose Gold Uwell Crown which contrasts perfectly with the Black and ultimately created my go-to portable configuration at the moment. The price over at Element Vape is $89.95 ($99.99 on Volcano eCigs website) which could be a turnoff for some. But if Volcano decides to release a Bone White version, I’ll be in a tug of war with my wallet between me and my girlfriend and end up adding another to my collection.
Final Grade – A
“The Volcano Lavabox M DNA 75 is designed and executed inside and out to a very high standard. If 75W isn’t enough wattage, pick up the Lavabox DNA 200. But for a lot of my Sub-Ohm Tanks, the Lavabox Mini has become a routine pick for lower wattage vaping. Now let’s see if Volcano comes out with a Lavabox DNA 250!”