Please allow me to open with a terrible joke. Here goes nothin’…
SCAR-18 > COVID-19
Why the bad pun? Because even in a year that most vape companies understandably slowed production, SMOK has soldiered through, producing some of its best devices since the mid-point of the decade.
The all-new SCAR-18 kit may not redefine high-wattage vaping, but it’s arguably the best mod kit SMOK has produced in years, serving as a new flagship for the venerable vape company. Let’s see why, starting with the impressive specs.
Shop the SMOK SCAR-18 230W Box Mod, featuring a dual 18650 battery bay, IP67 rating, and offers a 510 connection for rebuildables or sub-ohm tanks. Outputting up to 230W, the SCAR 18 Box Mod can accommodate two high amp 18650 batteries within the zinc-alloy chassis. Equipped with a IP67 rating, the SMOK SCAR-18 is shockproof and protected against water and dust intrusion, prolonging the lifespan of the device. Featuring the rapid IQ-X Chipset, the SCAR-18 Box Mod can deliver outstanding vapor when paired with the right tank or atomizer.
SMOK SCAR-18 230W Box Mod Features:
- IQ-X Chipset
- Dimensions – 88mm by 54mm by 30.6mm
- Dual High-Amp 18650 Batteries – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range – VW Mode: 1-230W
- Wattage Output Range – TC Mode: 10-230W
- Voltage Output Range: 0.5-8.0V
- Resistance Range – VW Mode: 0.10-2.5ohm
- Resistance Range- TC Mode: 0.05-2.00ohm
- Temperature Range: 200°F-600°F / 100°-315°C
- VW Mode
- TC Mode
- Bypass Mode
- Zinc-Alloy Chassis Construction
- IP67 Rating – Shock, Dust, Waterproofing
- Single Firing Button
- 96″ TFT Display Screen
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- Intelligent Atomizer Recognition
- Puff Monitoring System
- 8 Seconds Cut-off
- Short Circuit Protection
- Overheating Protection
- Low-Battery Warning
- MicroUSB Port
- Available in Fluid 7-Color, Fluid Red, Fluid Blue, Fluid Gold, Fluid Black White, Red Stabilizing Wood, Green Stabilizing Wood, Black
SMOK SCAR-18 Kit Includes:
Aesthetics SMOK SCAR-18 Starter Kit
SMOK hasn’t always been known for subtlety, but the SCAR-18 does a really good job balancing bright colors with more mature design choices. My “Fluid Red” test model is definitely noticeable in a crowd, thanks to the bright, almost demonic-looking grip section, but it’s offset with black, rubberized frame coating, and just a touch of shine from some accent sections. It’s nicely done all around.
The SCAR-18 is also nicely framed. It can accommodate up to 30mm tanks without overhang or looking unbalanced, while also remaining pocket-friendly and compact. I’m not sure how SMOK managed to address all of these things, while still leaving room for a chipset and two 18650 cells, but they pulled it off without sacrificing a thing.
The full-color display is among the best the company has made to date, rivaling the awesome Procolor and X-Priv screens, while also getting more information on screen, rather than in the menus. And it does it with less available real estate on the side of the mod.
Our only complaint? The SCAR-18’s leather-like colored grip section gets a little slick, and may have you thinking there’s e-liquid dripping down the side of the mod. I kept a small paper towel handy whenever this happened, and it rectified itself quickly. But it got annoying on several occasions.
The SMOK TFV-9 Tank
Much like iPhones, I’ve lost track of SMOK’s tank numbering system. But the TFV-9 is an all-new device, despite there being countless regular and “baby” versions of higher-numbered tanks.
We’re going to be doing a separate review of the TFV-9 in the coming weeks, so we won’t dive in too deeply here. But know this — if you own a TFV-8 “Baby Beast” you practically own this tank, as well. Not only are the two cross-compatible, but they’re also identical, save for a new locking cap mecha.
The performance was strong, and the new mesh V9 coils offer predictably great flavor and vapor, so no complaints in this area. Just know that SMOK hasn’t redefined the sub-ohm market with the TFV-9, and it isn’t a standalone reason to buy this kit.
Vaping the SMOK Scar-18 Kit
Firing up the Scar-18 was like reconnecting with an old friend. Not because the design or function is antiquated, but rather because SMOK seemingly took everything that worked on previous devices and melded them into a fantastic whole.
Though I didn’t bother taking the SCAR-18 to its 230-watt limit (because it’s 2020 and that’s a ridiculous wattage level) I can say it seamlessly climbed to 150 watts on low-resistance coils without stuttering. It was smooth, never got overly warm, and never misfired. It was everything we want from a modern mod, with nothing that we don’t.
The durable, weighty, high-end feel is countered by effortless usability. The IQ-X chipset minimized the menu trees to a simple, linear format that makes navigation a breeze without sacrificing any functionality. And though I’d still always prefer a dedicated “enter/action” button in addition to the up/down controls, SMOK really nailed down the classic menu format here.
Speaking of durable, we’ve seen a lot of mods claim waterproofing and shock protection. But sadly, I had the chance to test it here. During an unfortunate series of events that led to my new SCAR-18 falling into a 100-degree hot tub, I raced to save it and was THRILLED to see that nothing was damaged or even affected by the quick swim.
Will I submerge it for 30 minutes or throw it off a cliff? Probably not. But the SCAR-18 is designed for people to use, not cradle it in bubble wrap.
Finally, the dual-18650 battery performance was above average, with a pair of fresh cells giving me roughly six hours of steady use before tapping out. Hardly the best we’ve seen, but still in the upper 25% of high-wattage mods currently clogging store shelves.
SMOK SCAR-18 STARTER KIT
- Durable, high-end look and feel
- Can accommodate almost every coil
- A lot of power for such a compact device
- Included tank isn’t very innovative
- Grip section gets a little slick
- Display could be a little larger
SMOK has had a productive year, even when the rest of the industry slowed things a bit. But, even better, the products have been excellent. The SCAR-18 may have felt a little like a throwback device, but it was a welcome trip down memory lane with smooth high-wattage performance and a pleasingly simple interface. Highly recommended!