I have always had a soft spot for completely mechanical mods. Their simplicity, their toughness, and their simplicity (wait, I said that already) are an alluring factor for many Vapers, myself included. When MyVaporStore sent us the new Magneto from SMOKTech I had to be the one to write the review. In the words of Mordin the Salarian in the magnificent “Mass Effect Trilogy” would say, “Someone else might have gotten it wrong”. There is much to like about the Magneto, and one or two annoyances as well.

The Mech-Mod Goes Upscale

Okay, so first of all, the Magneto is a good-looking mod. Far better looking than just about any other mechanical mod I’ve used in the past year and a half. Is it as good looking as something coming from Vape Rev, like an Atmomixani Nemesis”? Well, no, then again, the glorious Nemesis is a $175 mod and the Magneto is just $49.95 (at MyVaporStore), so there’s that. It’s also not an Otto Carter $3000 hand-engraved piece of art, but no matter, it is still a good-looking mod that has taken the mech-mod to a higher scale than we’ve seen in some time (the above-mentioned mods excluded of cou
rse
). But there is more to the Magneto than just good looks, a lot more.

Magneto Means Magnets

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The Magneto mech-mod is the first I’ve used that uses a magnetic switch. The inclusion of a magnetic switch instead of the usual spring means the action is smoother, cleaner, without the worry of wearing out the spring action or breaking it completely. Some call it revolutionary, I call it smart engineering. The Magneto is going to outlive every other mod you have. And the “throw” of the switch is damn near perfect.

Spinfuel eMagazine Reviews the SMOKTech Magneto from MYVaporStore
At $49.95, how can you not want one?

Inside the magnetic switch lie two magnets, with the poles facing each other. If you remember your high school physics class you know that when two magnets face each other with the same pole they push each other away, creating resistance. This resistance isn’t strong enough that you can’t make a connection, just strong enough to create a nice smooth action switch, and the ability to stand it upright without having the switch depress and activated.  Even with a new SMOKTech Carto-Tank loaded with eJuice sitting atop the magneto the magnetic switch keeps it from depressing and activating. A very cool feature, and one you’ll insist upon from future PV’s. The switch is also lockable with a turn of the button, which makes it impossible to depress by accident.

Telescopic in Nature

This cool little mech-mod also handles just about every kind of battery you might want to use. It’s telescopic feature will allow you to slip in a small 18350 battery, an 18500, or even a 18650 flat-top battery, so you have the ability to adjust the overall length, or charge times, by choosing the right battery for the occasion. It does this ‘accommodating’ without extension tubes, which is really nice. All you do is lengthen the device by unscrewing the tube to fit the battery you want to use.

You can even use a Kick with a flattop battery to increase the power, but more on that later. In just a few short days I’m learning that certain kicks work better than others and the consensus, so far, is leaning toward a Sigelia Kick, not the Evolv.  I haven’t used a Kick in this yet, so if you have used one your comments are welcome. The point is, with the Magneto you have options galore.

Before I dive into my real world experience with the Magneto, here are the actual specs on the device, straight from MyVaporStore:

  • Brushed Stainless Steel Finish
  • Fully Magnetic Switch: Offers longer life than spring loaded switches
  • 510 Threaded with air channels offer compatibility with flush sitting tanks
  • Lockable fire button
  • Brass connections for better conductivity
  • Telescopic: Fits 18350, 18500 and 18650 LiMh batteries
  • Kickable with 18350 and 18500 Flat Top batteries
  • Dimensions with 18350: 3-3/8″L x 7/8″D
  • Dimensions with 18650: 4-3/8″L x 7/8″D

My Real World Impressions

The first thing you need to get used to is not the size, although there’s that too, it’s the fact that this is another mod with the firing button on the bottom. You can get used to it in a matter of a couple of hours, but if you’re like me and you switch your hardware around you might spend some time getting used to it over and over as you move from a side activator to the bottom activator. What I do like about the bottom activator is that it’s the entire bottom of the mod that’s the firing button, no searching for it blindly. (The engraved spider is also a nice thing about the firing button) And of course, since it’s a magnetic switch there is no spring to worry about.

I’ve used an 18350, an 18500 and the 18650 batteries in the Magneto. The difference in size isn’t that great, but the length of time you can use it before recharging or switching out the battery for a fresh one does make a big difference. Clearly the 18650 will last the longest, but it also increases the length to the point where you begin to think it’s too thin to be this long, if that makes any sense. (It does to me anyway).

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Spinfuel eMagazine Reviews the SMOKTech Magneto from MYVaporStore
This mod comes without battery, charger, etc. Just the body. But what a body!

When you get the Magneto it is set up to accept the 18350 battery, it’s smallest size, and you’ll marvel at the high-quality concept of the mod. It looks expensive, it feels expensive, and with the ‘350 battery inside the entire mod fits in the palm of your hand. If you are currently using something like the eVic, ProVari, or the SID you’ll notice it instantly. It will seem tiny in comparison. And it is…tiny, I mean.

Usage

I was really impressed with the heft of the mod and the looks. It screams quality. Well, okay, it doesn’t “scream” quality, but it talks loudly. Like I said, there are some very expensive mods out there, and if you have the money then by all means dive in (I plan to one day), but if you want to spend as little money as possible the Magneto should fit your budget nicely.

I was given the Magneto for review purposes on a Monday and it wasn’t until Wednesday of that week that I dove in and started using it. The reason had everything to do with the bottom activator button. It just didn’t appeal to me at the time. After watching SmokenJoey’s video and seeing how he placed his hand while using it I thought it would be a pain in the butt. So I waited until someone asked me “How’s the review going?” before I started using it. Surprisingly, when you do get used to the bottom button it begins to feel natural… in a way. I mean, after a couple of years of side-activators a bottom button is never going to feel “as” natural, but it was okay. More than okay, really, it felt decent enough to use on a consistent basis.

So, for about 10 days I put away my VAMO 3 and used the Magneto and all was well. It outputs a nice 3.7v to 4.2v, takes most if not all 510-threaded devices, and even worked really well with several of my RBA’s, including my RSST (though it made it look a little out of proportion). Strangely enough, my AGA’s wouldn’t fire and I have since learned that in order to get it to work I would need to tweak the AGA’s, something I’m not willing to do. Besides, as a mech-mod why would I want to use an RBA a lot anyway? I’d rather have the electronics of a true APV to tweak my sweet spots with sophisticated RBA’s. I’m not a gearhead Vaper, I don’t really want to get into every bit of the minutia of a mech-mod or even RBA’s, and I’d rather just enjoy the vapor anyway. It would be nice if SMOKTech had included an adjustable center pin though. (UPDATE: I’m being told that an updated Magneto with an adjustable pin is on the way. We’ll see.)

The Magneto is brushed stainless steel except for the bottom ring at the base, which is a nice shiny brass. Very smart looking.

Should you buy it and why…

Are you in the market for fully mechanical mod? If you are this is one of the nicest going, especially for the price. A mech-mod like this will last a lifetime and you won’t have to worry about the electronics, though you don’t have a lot of room for tweaking your voltage or wattage without using a Kick. It is what it is.

What I really like about mech-mods is the ease of operation. The fact that I can change out cartomizers, tanks, and whatever quickly, without having to adjust anything with the mech-mod, it’s pretty great. It is a good device for me because I like to fill up 510 cartomizers (Kanger horizontal coil) to not only test out different flavors for review purposes but to find the right “vape” on any given day when I have no idea what I feel like vaping. All I want to do it grab a cartomizer; fill it with juice and vape. If I like it enough I’ll finish off the cartomizer and then fill a tank. Otherwise I keep going until I find something I want to vape. It’s really that simple and a mech-mod is the perfect device for that.

New Vapers and Veteran Vapers use mech-mods for various reasons, so the market is wide open for these inexpensive, but high quality devices. For new Vapers looking to leave the cig-a-like batteries behind this is a great way to do it. They can stay with their cartomizers until they are ready to move on.

Veteran Vapers like mech-mods pretty much for the same reason, except that a pure mechanical mod will fire any at “ohm”, meaning that if you wanted to build a 1-ohm coil and use it you can. Electronic mods restrict such things. (With good reason). There is no circuit board to worry about, and, with the Magneto, no switch problems (magnets!), and they just never quit. Lastly, Veteran Vapers like them because the Magneto can handle a Kick. I don’t want to get too technical here (perhaps a piece on Kicks is warranted down the road), but a kick is a module that can be used in a mod that can handle an 18650 battery. You replace the 18650 with an 18500 or an 18490, put in the Kick and you now have a variable “power” mod. By adjusting the dial on the Kick you can set the power/voltage in a variety of ways. But remember, because it is a mechanical mode it’s not a good idea to use to test newly built coils. (No circuit protection)

So, again, should you buy one? For $50, the SMOKTech Magneto is one helluva buy. I’m not dumping my VAMO 3 full time, I like the VV/VW features of APV’s too much, but every serious Vaper should have a couple of mech-mods on hand. And worst case scenario, if for some strange reason e-cigarettes are banned they can’t ban batteries so a fully mechanical mod is a great standby mod.

The SMOKTech Magneto is a great little mech-mod that will last years and costs under $50. It is way better looking than it needs to be at that price, and built extremely well. Should you buy one? Yes.

Tom McBride

Vapor Authority
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The Art of Vaping