Ehpro have been making some nice things over the last few years, I use one of their Mod 101’s as a daily driver and their True MTL RTA was one of the most impressive mainstream mouth to lung RTA’s I’ve used.
Now they’re back with the Ehpro Cold Steel 100 co-designed by AmbitionZ Vaper a US YouTube reviewer.
What Can We Expect From the Cold Steel 100 by Ehpro
The Cold Steel 100 is a regulated single battery mod that takes 21700, 20700 and 18650.
Somewhat confusingly this is actually a 120W device, despite being called the Cold Steel 100.
I suspect that the name was already decided on when they asked for AmbitionZ input, as he has said that one of the things he wanted to change, was for it to go to 120W rather than the 100W they had planned.
So a hefty little single battery mod, capable of 120W (with the right battery). So let’s take a look at what we get!
This item was sent over free of charge for the purposes of this review. As always, this in no way changes my opinion, and I shall report back honestly with what I find.
In the box
- Cold Steel 100 mod
- 18650 Adapter (inside the mod)
- Belt loop holster
- USB Cable
- Battery Safety Sheet
- Warranty Card
- QC Card
- 27.5mm x 39 x 91.5mm
- 177g (mod only)
- Resistance Range 0.05Ω – 3.0Ω
- Wattage 5-120W
- Micro USB Charging/Firmware Upgrade
- Power / Temp / Curves / Volt / Bypass
- 21700, 20700, 18650
- Short Circuit
- Reverse Battery
- Over Heat
- 10s Cut-Off
- Over Current
- Low Voltage
- Weak Battery
- Battery Overcharge
Design and Build Quality
The moment you pick the Cold Steel 100 up you immediately notice the weight of it, this is not a plastic fantastic! The whole thing is made of metal (brass, zinc alloy and stainless steel) and it has a reassuring heft to it, especially once you fit a 21700 and a tank.
It comes in three colour ways, Grey Champagne (which I have), Black Obsidian, or Old Gold. The Grey Champagne has a lovely vertically brushed finish that feels really silky and doesn’t pick up fingerprints.
However since it’s a slightly warm colour, it’s not going to be a perfect match with most attys, though it’s close enough with a brushed steel.
Branding is minimal with AmbitionZ Vaper printed just above the fire button. With Cold Steel embossed around the base of the mod. The only other printing is on the 510 plate where it says Manufactured by Ehpro and your serial number.
The design is going to put some people in mind of the SL Class from SXmini. But I don’t feel they lose any points for this.
When you’re designing a single battery mod you have to find somewhere to put the board and the switches. It either becomes a small box mod, or if you want to keep the tube style, you make it taller (my Ehpro Mod 101 Pro is another 26mm in height) or stick it on the side in it’s own section.
There’s also some thoughtful touches, the tube section has a slight hourglass shape to it, so it fits really comfortably in the hand. Also all the corners on the control section are nicely rounded, so it’s really comfortable to hold despite it’s weight.
The width (not including the bulge) reaches 27.5mm, but the way the top is slanted in towards the spring mounted 510, means that this will handle up to 25mm without any overhang.
The OLED screen is a little on the small side at 4mm x 18mm, but because of that and the fact it’s recessed into the metal, you would have to be really unlucky to ever break it. It’s also a really nice and bright, I never had any trouble reading it in bright sunlight. This is certainly an area they’ve improved since some of their earlier mods!
When you switch it on, the word Cold Steel scrolls across the display, fine with that. However when you switch it off, rather than just turning off, or even saying “Goodbye”, it actually reads “Bye-Bye”, which I couldn’t stop hearing in a childish sing-song voice! A little thing but here’s hoping Ehpro will allow us to change that with a firmware upgrade in the future!
You have a nicely textured fire button, and your +/- on what looks like a rocker switch.
- 5 Clicks = On/Off
- 3 Clicks = Menu, +/- to scroll and Fire to select
- Fire and + = Lock your value (wattage, voltage or temp)
- Fire and – = Flip screen orientation
- Fire, + and – = “Stealth Mode” Screen off, and values locked
Below this you have a little hole with an LED (it flashes green when you screw in a battery) and your micro USB port for charging and firmware upgrades. As usual though, I would never recommend charging a battery in a device, much safer to just use an external charger.
The battery cap has absolutely silky smooth threading, with the + and – showing your battery orientation clearly printed inside. When you first get the mod, your 18650 adapter will also be in here, and I’m pleased to say there’s no battery rattled even with the smaller battery.
Belt Loop Holster
When you first open the box, the mod is inside this nice durable little belt pouch, with simple Ehpro branding in white.
However although I quite like its inclusion, I can’t see myself ever using it as it doesn’t offer any way of you closing it when you have an atty attached. The top folds down and is held closed by Velcro, but there’s not enough height in it to have anything attached and closed.
I did managed to get it to close *just* with one of my tiniest little RDA’s, but I wish there were a way to make it useful when you’ve got a tank attached.
There’s a good range of modes here, with pretty much everything you would normally want.
It isn’t obvious when you first use it, but there’s actually a lower level menu hidden behind some of the options. The menu system is really well designed, sensibly stacking menu options to make the most of the small screen.
Once you select Power you then get the option to choose either Normal, Soft or Strong, with slightly different ramp up times for each to suit your style.
The wattage will adjust in 0.1W increments up to 30W (0.5W for 30-120W) for a single click and full 1W adjustments if you press and hold. It will also scroll REALLY fast if you keep it held down. Stopping at the top or bottom, and then round robin.
I think this is one of the best adjustments I’ve come across, and allows you to easily switch your power, whilst giving you plenty of fine control.
One thing to note is that there’s no way you’re going to get 120W out of an 18650, though it will still let you scroll up that high. Ehpro actually say on their website that 80-120W is only going to be reachable with a battery capable of 40A.
In Temperature Control Mode, you first have to select your wire type:
- TCR for entering your own value
Then immediately set what wattage you want it to up to, if you’re setting you’re own TCR you do this after this step.
I really like the fact that this is incorporated into setting temp control, as sometimes you need to dig into other menus. Also it allows you to use the full 120W of the mod in TC, so many mods limit you when you switch to temp control and don’t allow you to go to the maximum.
Once done you can go scroll from 200-600°F, then it stops, and it will round robin into Celsius from 100-315°C.
It also locks the resistance when you select Temp Control, which is a useful touch. I’ve vaped on TC on mods that don’t (or require another menu step), and if you switch it back on again after having been vaping for a while, your resistance reading is way off due to the way the resistance changes with heat.
Just remember to always set up Temp Control whilst your coil is at room temperature.
Curve allows you to change how it will fire over the first two seconds of vaping in 0.1s increments and allowing the power to be multiplied by between 0.5x and 2x.
This is probably a bit granular for most people, and other than having a quick play with it, it’s not a mode I came back to. It’s nice that it’s there, but I suspect most people will be happy with the Soft/Normal/Strong options in power mode.
One word of warning though, to exit out of Curve you have to long press the fire button, so if it’s set to be using 2x the power (and you were already on a high wattage for your coil) you do risk blasting it a bit!
You can read more about power curves with our guide here.
Voltage and Bypass
These both do what you would expect, and to be honest I don’t know many people that still use Voltage compared to Wattage, but it’s there if you like it. Bypass gives you the feel of a mechanical mod with all of the protections of a regulated.
How Does the Ehpro Cold Steel 100 perform?
Aside from a couple of quick tests, I’ve been using a 21700 in this. It’s been my main device for a little while and I have been really happy with it, everything I throw at it it handles with aplomb.
For the first few days I was testing it at lower wattage’s (15-25W) for Mouth to Lung (MTL) vaping and the battery seems to last forever, happily giving me 2-3 days of heavy vaping.
One thing I did notice though is that it does seem to drain them VERY dry, so I’d recommend taking your batteries out before the mod won’t fire anymore.
Stepping up to a dual coil Direct to Lung (DTL) tank, vaping at 70-100W the battery life obviously took a big hit, but it would still last me half a day quite easily. Their power management has definitely been improved here.
One nice thing about replacing your atomiser with a new one, is that (provided it’s turned on when you do it) it will ask you if it’s a new coil or the same, which you select with +/-. If you select New, it will take a guess (based on resistance) of what wattage you’re likely to be wanting.
If you select Same, it will keep your wattage unchanged. A small thing, but appreciated!
I set up one of my drippers with some TC wire, I don’t vape in TC often, but it seemed to do a pretty good job of throttling down the power and giving a consistent vape.
It also never got to the point where it gave me a dry hit.
One thing to remember when you’re using Temp Control, is that you’ll want to set a slightly higher wattage than what you would normally vape at, as you’re only setting the maximum it will use, and it will quickly drop down as the coil heats up.
Combined with the thoughtful menu functionality for TC, I was really impressed with how this performed and would recommend it for someone that’s curious about trying TC but has been put off by confusing implementation.
One thing that’s worth pointing out is that it is extremely quick to fire in Bypass. It does feel like using a mechanical mod, giving you that instant hit the moment you press the button, and the power dropping off as your battery drains.
If you’re interested in getting into mechs, then something like this in bypass mode will give you some practice and a feel for it, without risking life and limb.
- Solid build quality and great finish
- 120W in a single battery mod
- Really thoughtfully designed menu
- Temp Control that doesn’t feel like an afterthought
- Fast firing in bypass mode
- Maybe a bit *too* fast when scrolling wattage
- Says “Bye-Bye” like it’s presenting kids TV
- Could do with a “Set” function when setting your curve, rather than long pressing fire
- Slightly pointless (although nice) belt pouch
- Champagne Grey doesn’t match much
Final Review Verdict
As you can probably tell I have been really impressed with the Ehpro Cold Steel 100 mod. The quality of the build, and the nicely designed menu system, make this easily one of my favourite single battery mods.
It’s got a reassuring weight to it, and feels like if you were unlucky enough to drop it, the floor would come off worse.
Although it’s definitely reminiscent of another mod out there, it’s more than done enough to stand on it’s own.
Although my Cons list is as large as my Pros, they are all just tiny niggles, and they don’t take much away from what is a great piece of kit.