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NorCalVapes – The Altoid Tin e-Cigarette Experience

Altoid Tin e-Cigarette By Julia Barnes

So a couple of weeks ago I get a Twitter Direct Message from the owner of NorCalVapes, a one-man shop where handmade Altoid tin vaping devices are made.  He indicated that he wanted to send me one of his ‘vaping tins’ (as I like to call them), no-strings attached. He simply wanted me to have one. Out of the blue. Is this a great community or what?

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The Altoid Tin vaping device is something I’ve been hearing about for months. I never really thought to do a review of one because, frankly, I didn’t think they would work very well, and even if they did the question ‘why’ kept popping into my head. Why would anyone want one? Did they think they were attractive? And, why hadn’t I read a real review of one before?

I thought, from the photos I had seen, that they were, well… weird. But here was an opportunity to take a look at one up close and personal like. Something unique that I could write a review of, something very different from the usual fare we review all the time. So I accepted his offer and waited for it to arrive. I didn’t have to wait long.

The Altoid Tin Concept

The idea of creating a vaping tin is to provide Vapers with a very powerful vaping experience. Often made with two (2) 18650 batteries working together so that you not only vape powerfully, you can vape for days without having to worry about recharging it.

There are singular voltage versions and variable-voltage versions that put out anywhere from 3.7v to 6v. The one I ultimately received from NorCalVapes is variable voltage tin with a maximum voltage of 7.4v!

Most, if not all, Altoid vaping tins have a ubiquitous 510-thread connector making the choice of attys and carts as wide as possible. You can attach a simple 3.0-ohm 510-cartomizer or dual-coil tanks and everything in-between.  I’ll outline what I used with mine down below.

Guts And Glory

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Opening the tin you’ll see the guts of the device laid bare. A dual 18650-battery tin will have the batteries on each side, the circuit board underneath, and a plastic screw for adjusting the voltage as well as a switch for turning it on and off. On the outside of the tin are both the 510-connector and a large ‘horn’ button for activating the device. Hold the button down for as long as you like and experience a vape you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

The Appeal

The Altoid vaping tin is fun. It’s different. Inexpensive. Lasts forever. But more than anything else an Altoid vaping tin is fun. Wait, I said that already…

Clouds of Vapor from a NorCalVapes Altoid Tin

There are several different Altoid tin designs as well as several ‘Newman’s Own’ tins with unique designs. I was given the choice between all the Altoid and Newman tins and decided upon the Newman’s Own ‘Wintergreen Mints’ design which sports a polar bear on the lid and a green and white color scheme. For some reason that particular design struck a cord with me. I thought it would make a great looking vaping tin.

Handmade

The coolest thing about NorCalVapes Altoid tins is that they are 100% handmade. This gives you a feel of authenticity that it was built just for you, a true one-of-a-kind.

All the vaping tins shipped out by NorCalVapes are fully tested and safe if use as instructed. That means don’t try to stack smaller batteries into each slot, don’t use unprotected batteries, and for heaven’s sake don’t try to mod it yourself. God knows we don’t need another vaping accident like last year’s Florida case where someone had made his own device and wound blowing half his face off. NorCalVapes will build you a handmade, one-of-a-kind vaping tin that will be safe to use because he knows what he’s doing and uses high quality parts. Follow the instructions and you won’t have to worry about a thing.

That Great Ole Vaping Tin Of Mine

My Polar Bear, Newman’s Own vaping tin is the coolest vaping tin around. After popping in two (2) fully charged 18650 batteries I tested it out with a 510-cartomizer filled with NorCalVapes ‘Caramel Apple’ eLiquid (awesome flavor!) and tried it out. The vapor production actually frightened me for a moment, the tin pushed a lot of power to the carto and together created a vapor-filled ‘drag’ that was the thickest plume I’d ever seen.

Over the past several days (and without needing to recharge the original batteries) I’ve used the new Vision STV NOVA Tank System, a Texas Tuff Tank, dual coil cartomizers, and the new “Double Barrel” cartomizer system (two 3.0-ohm SR Cartomizers working in tandem) with the vaping tin, all went extremely well.

No matter which unit I used the vaping tin provided amazing vapor and flavor, but once I put on the Double Barrel cartomizer I knew the Double Barrel, along with the vaping tin would make an near-ultimate vaping experience. The vape was so incredible I may to urge NorCalVapes to create a “kit” that includes a couple of these Double Barrel cartomizers. (Just make sure the cartomizers are Standard Resistance 3-ohm)

Should You or Shouldn’t You

Whether you should own a vaping tin is a decision that only you can make. Unlike the hardware products I review all the time the vaping tin does carry some risks that you should be aware of. I don’t want to attempt to persuade you to buy an Altoid tin without informing you of both the pleasures and risks involved in owning one.

The Handmade Risk (Double-Edge Sword)

As I said, the Altoid Tin is a handmade vaping device. Right there it carries more of a risk than products made on the assembly line or designed and made in a factory by engineers and trained factory workers. The Altoid tin is made by a single person, with parts he has assembled himself. You have to put a certain amount of faith in the guy that builds them. I happen to trust him, especially after seeing it and using it repeatedly without a single issue.

Do not attempt to use any Low Resistance cartomizers on an Altoid vaping tin because you’ll fry the board in an instant. Make sure that you are using Standard Resistance cartomizers and attys in your tanks, double barrels, or whatever else. Something you might want to try is the High Voltage (HV) SLB 510 Atomizer, which is made to work with 6v+ handmade mods. You can even use 2 of these babies in the Double Barrel for maximum vaping pleasure.

Use the right batteries. Don’t try to use flattop batteries in these mods, they won’t work and they heighten the risk factor. I also wouldn’t try to find the highest mAh rated18650 batteries, stay within the 1300mAh range, it cuts down the time a bit, but otherwise I feel a little more secure using them. And most of all don’t mix the batteries. Use identical batteries… always.

Clouds of Vapor from a NorCalVapes Altoid Tin

You can make sure the vaping experience you enjoy with a NorCalVapes Altoid Tin MOD is a safe one by applying common sense. Follow the rules above, don’t take unnecessary chances by attempting to mod it yourself, and don’t run it a 7.4v all day long. Taking unwarranted risks with a device that you keep a couple of inches from your face is just incredibly stupid.

Bottom Line

I don’t plan on using this incredibly cool (and cute!) mod all the time, but when the time is right I’m going to be thankful that I have it. Just last night I was at home watching an intense ‘thriller’ movie on TV that literally had me at the edge of my seat.  This was a great time for a wicked vape so I hauled out my Polar Bear vaping tin and attached the same Vision STV Nova tank I had used earlier and vaped away. I don’t think anything else would have soothed me in the way my vaping tin did last night.

For most people a vaping tin won’t be their only vaping device, and that’s how it should be. But, because they are inexpensive, fun, and provide a first class vape they would make a wonderful gift at the holidays as well as a nice gift for yourself.

I don’t know who made the first Altoid tin, nor do I really care. I do know that the vaping tin NorCalVapes sent me is a wonderfully well made device that I have no doubt will last a very long time. Now that I have one I wonder why it took me so long to act. Like I said at the beginning of the review, I’d heard about them for months. But I’d never read a real review of one. If I had read a review for it I might have acted sooner. No, I ‘would’ have acted sooner. I think…

My Polar Bear embossed Newman’s Own vaping tin is a one of the coolest things I’ve seen in the vaping community. It’s not a “must have” product, but it is a ‘fun to own’ and ‘fun to use’ vaping product.

If you’ve ever thought about buying an Altoid Tin I can highly recommend NorCalVapes as a terrific Modder that makes high-quality handmade vaping tins. Just be careful with it, okay?

PROS:

Handmade
High Quality
Powerful
Durable
Price
 
CONS
Handmade
Precaution-heavy
 RATED: 4 Stars 
Where to buy:
NorCalVapes
www.norcalvapes.com
$42.99

Julia Barnes 

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About The Author

All original content is written and produced for our readers by the Spinfuel Staff, and the Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team. The writing staff includes Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, and Dave Foster. Spinfuel also publishes guest contributors on occasion, including Pascal Culverhouse. All original content is protected by US copyright laws.

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