Since I joined Spinfuel VAPE nearly three (!) years ago, I’ve been a VERY vocal opponent to irresponsible design. From childish logos to nonsensical functionality, I just don’t like when companies do things for shock value or cheap sales. And I outright hate when vape devices are made to look like other things – especially when those “other things” are weapons. So, I struggled with the idea of reviewing the Squid Industries Detonator mod.
Because, for all intents and purposes, the Detonator looks like just that – a trigger-based device to make something blow up real good. What’s interesting is that the biggest thing it blew up was my perception of these vape mod designs.
You see, the 2X700-powered, 120-watt Detonator does resemble a weapon, but it also resembles a highly functional vape mod design. So, for the first (and honestly, probably the last) time on Spinfuel, I’m going to put aside my reservations and review this mod without bias. Because I like the thing – more than I ever expected to.
I also need to be fair, and tip my cap to the company. Squid Industries was formed by a United States Navy Veteran who served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After overcoming personal struggles with homelessness and substance abuse, he found the best way to live healthy was to give back by helping other struggling veterans.
Their entire line of products has this theme, and for that, they get a pass on the name and theme … not to mention a tremendous debt of gratitude from all of us at Spinfuel VAPE.
Back to the review – my test model Detonator came in the only color I’d expect – gun metal. But it’s a nicely done, brushed metal finish that adds a layer of subtlety to the proceedings. Because a brighter color would have likely drawn more attention to the key differential of the Detonator mod – the jutting trigger that activates the firing mechanism.
Built off a raised lip that hovers over the rest of the tall, lanky, single-battery mod, the Detonator trigger is both a highlight and my biggest concern about the mod. On one hand, the button has a phenomenal, clicky, easily activated fire response. It’s firm enough to safely put in a pocket, but with enough give that firing doesn’t need extra pressure.
On the other hand, the extended nature of the trigger means it might get caught on that very same pocket. Because that’s what happened to me at least 15 times over the course of testing. To be fair, the mechanism is extremely well-made, and I don’t think it’s going to come loose. But I’ve been wrong about these things before, and if there was ever a candidate for accidental bending, it’s this piece. Only time and use will tell, but keep this in mind if the Detonator is going to be your only mod on a road trip.
Because of the narrow width and depth, the Detonator seems tall. And the raise top portion only adds to this impression. If you’re planning to use this with a larger tank, be careful to not topple it over, since the design can get top-heavy pretty quick. I found the best success with using shorter, squatter tanks and RTAs – not only does this limit the top-heaviness, but they simply look better on this deck.
Speaking of which, the platform comfortably accommodates up to 25mm tanks without any overhang, but truth be told, 26mm bases look fine, too. The curvy design of the raised platform allows for some leeway here, so don’t shy away if you use larger diameter tanks.
Finally, the vertically oriented display is a standard monochrome OLED that makes good use of limited real estate. I wish the trigger flap didn’t hang so close to the screen, but I didn’t have much difficulty finding a grip that allowed me to fire and adjust without blocking off the display. The menu system continues this focus on
It’s rare for me to highlight a menu system these days. Mostly because they’re all pretty straightforward. Graphically heavy, large-screen displays usually have the room to make things self-explanatory. Older, “tree-like” menu systems are also pretty direct and linear, and only require a handful of tries before getting the hang of it.
The Detonator’s menu trees are definitely user-friendly. Within seconds, I was scrolling and adjusting on the fly, setting my preheat, memory, switching to temp control and TCR, and backing out until I was happy. There’s a lot to be said for accessibility and usability on a vape device, and the Detonator delivers here.
And since this has been a “bizarro” opposite kind of review, here’s another statement I never thought I’d write – the LED light that triggers when fired is really cool. Yep, I said it. This subtle glow that comes underneath the raised platform section is just bright enough to add some flair, without annoying or getting in the way. I may never utter these words again, but the LED light (even if I only used the white light, instead of the louder color options) made the Detonator more attractive.
Any cons? So far, just one – the battery door and compartment. Not only does the hinged cover stick more than it should, but there are no obvious markings on how to install the battery, leaving newcomers a little out in the cold. It’s not hard to make (+) and (-) designs – just do it, already.
Also, while the Detonator sings loudest with a 21700 battery installed, and can also handle 20700 cells, my test model didn’t come with an 18650 adapter, nor was any compatibility mentioned in the documentation. I get that we seem to be shifting to larger battery types, but to alienate an entire population of 18650 users, just because you didn’t want to include a rubber adapter? Seems a little silly to me.
Squid Industries Detonator Specs:
- Dimensions – 91mm by 38mm by 27mm
- Single High-Amp 21700/20700 Battery – Not Included
- Wattage Output Range: 7-120W
- Minimum Atomizer Resistance: 0.1ohm
- Temperature Control Range: 200-600F
- Supports Ni200, Titanium, Stainless Steel Compatibility
- TCR Mode
- Power Mode – Normal, Soft, Hard
- Stealth Mode – Turns Off Indicator Lights
- Intuitive 0.96″ OLED Color Display Screen
- Color-changing LED Indicator Light
- All Metal Chassis Construction
- On/Off Switch
- Intuitive Trigger Firing Button
- Two Adjustment Buttons
- Check Atomizer Protection
- Short Circuit Protection
- Over Temperature Protection
- Low Voltage Protection
- 10 Second Cutoff
- MicroUSB Port
- Spring-Loaded 510 Connection
Squid Industries Detonator Contents:
- 1 Detonator 120W Box Mod
- 1 Micro-USB Cable
- 1 Atomizer Spacer
- 1 Instructional Manual
Observations While Vaping
Slim, pocket-friendly, and tremendously powerful, the Detonator made a near-immediate impression on me, thanks to fast-ramping, smoothly performing power. The single-battery design doesn’t get in the way of performance, since the Detonator goes to 120 watts effortlessly, and without any skipping or hiccupping.
One feature I enjoyed was how the up/down adjustments went in larger, half-watt chunks, rather than making me scroll through longer than needed. No one finds the best flavor at 81.2 watts or kicks the biggest clouds at 104.9 watts. I’m all for precision, but for once, vape nerds need to choose a different lane and just enjoy the ride.
The temp control and TCR modes all worked without a hitch, with the Detonator easily and accurately adjusting for different coil types. For once, I didn’t notice any appreciable difference in how well they performed on the mod, nor did TC vaping dramatically differ from power mode. In short, it vapes really well no matter how you choose to use it.
One noteworthy observation? The Detonator WON’T blow up your battery budget! I’d venture to say, of all my single or dual-2X700 mods, the Detonator showed the best relative battery performance, even at max wattages. No, a single cell probably won’t get you through the entire day, but you’ll definitely be charging less often – always a good thing.
Again, we can’t review a Squid Industries device without acknowledging the company and its story. But even that wouldn’t affect our review, if they made bad products. And they don’t – the Detonator is a damn fine vape mod, which shattered more than a few of my expectations. Yeah, that trigger might not survive a hard fall, or several hundred snags on clothing. But it works beautifully, and should continue to, if I’m careful.
In the end, I may not always agree with certain design elements, but this mod transcended all of those things. A high-performing, comfortable device that’s well-worth your money, from a company that warrants our respect.