Introduction: The Mag Grip Kit from Smok
I have in my hands the Smok Mag Grip Kit.
Yes it is “Humble pie” time – in my preview I likened the shape of this mod to an Electric Drill.
As with the other Mag mods there is the trigger style fire button but the display screen and adjustment buttons are on the top of the mod.
You still get the very addictive pop out battery compartment too but this time you can use a single 18650, 20700 or 21700 battery – which I do like a lot. With the 18650 battery the maximum output is 85W or you can in theory get 100W using the 20700 or 21700 battery.
The kit version includes the new TFV8 Baby V2 tank which has a 5ml capacity and uses new Baby V2 coils – the S1 single mesh and the S2 dual standard coil.
There are 4 colours to choose from – Black/Red, Prism Chrome/Black, Red/Black and Prism Blue/Black.
Thank you to Smok for sending this over to me for review and I will report back honestly on my findings with the kit in my possession.
What’s In The Box
- Smok Mag Grip Mod
- Smok TFV8 Baby V2 tank
- Baby V2 S1 coil
- Baby V2 S2 coil
- Spare glass
- USB cable
- 18650 battery adaptor
- Spare parts
- User manual
Smok Mag Grip Mod Specs
- Size: 91.5x67x38mm
- Battery: 1×18650 / 21700 / 20700 (not included)
- 0.66in OLED display
- Output: 85W (18650) or 100W (20700/21700)
- Resistance range: 0.1-2.5ohm (VW) / 0.05-2ohm (TC)
- Temperature range: 200-600°F / 100-315°C
- Firmware upgradeable
Smok TFV8 Baby V2 Tank Specs
- Size: 30x54mm
- Capacity: 5ml
- Coils: Baby V2 coils
- Coils wicked with anti-bacterial medical cotton
- Sliding locking top fill cap
- Bottom adjustable airflow
Build Quality & Design
I received the Smok Mag Grip Kit in the Red and Black version.
Yes I am a Smok Cynic. I have had a few Smok kits – some were horrendous and some were excellent.
Smok at their best knocking out kits like the X-Priv and X-Priv Baby is where they excel. I often criticise them for throwing out new kits all the time without perfecting or testing them properly. As I know they can do it right but they seem to prefer speed of new releases to making quality endurance tested gear.
So I am extremely pleased to report that the Mag Grip kit feels like absolute quality….
Smok Mag Grip Mod
The first thing I noticed unpacking the mod was all the protective covers they had fitted.
Protective films on the screen and the Cobra patterned side panels meant this mod arrived absolutely pristine and super shiny.
The other thing I noticed is that this mod weighs a ton. Even straight out of the packaging without a battery installed I can feel the weight.
For my first initial tests I used a 18650 battery and it’s even heavier – so it will be worse when I chuck a 21700 in it. Or better depending on how you like your mods.
For instance this mod weighs (according to the Smok Website) 252g. To put that into context the Dual Battery Mag weighs 265g so this is pretty close. The X-Priv weighs only 172g. I assume the weights quoted on the site are without batteries?
It has to be the heaviest mod I have ever used. And it is only a single battery job.
The weight aside this just feels absolute quality. In fact if you covered up the brand name I wouldn’t instantly assume it was a Smok mod – well the “gun handle” styling is a bit of a giveaway but you get what I mean!
It is all metal – not sure what metal I assume some sort of Zinc or Aluminium Alloy as magnets won’t stick to it. The only plastic is the fire button and decorative panels.
The shape is lovely in your hand, I am really thankful for the bit where the screen is as the whole mod sort of rests on your hand in the gap between your thumb and fingers. This helps with the weight and also you don’t feel like you have to grip this hard to hold onto it.
An “Ergonomic” 10/10 for Smok right here!
The fire button is super clicky and responsive and you really hold it like a trigger – the fire button on your fingers rather than thumb. It does “squeak” a bit sometimes!The top of the mod also houses the 510 connection which is kind of centred and looks like it could easily take 30mm tanks. Maybe bigger. Just measuring across the top with a cheapo ruler shows at its maximum width across the centre of the 510 connection it is 39mm.
The 510 connector is sturdy and spring loaded no issues here. There are however 4 open visible screw heads on the top of the mod – if those kind of things bother you?
After 3 weeks of use this still looks pristine, the buttons all are still nice and clicky and the Mag clicks in firmly. The fire button squeak has worn off too! Just to prove my point I took the photo below tonight.
With the screen being on the top you don’t get any of the “Right handed” or “Left handed” version crap – this is suitable for both.
The screen isn’t huge and is set onto the top of the mod. It is tilted downwards and has a slight lip before the screen so hopefully any leaks will not seep in. It is clear and functional and so are the adjustment buttons.
Battery “Magazine” Compartment
The Battery is stored in a “magazine” style compartment and you click the silver round button on the side of the mod and catch the battery mag as it flies out. This is very addictive and although this is early days it does click back in firmly and there are no rattles or wobbles anywhere on the mod.
Smok TFV8 Baby V2 Tank
This is a super chubby jobby, almost as wide as it is tall thanks to the huge bubble glass which will hold 5ml of liquid. In the EU because of the TPD regulations you are likely to only get a 2ml tank.
The drip tip whilst being comfy to use and stays cool is only a sleeve. It fits over a metal flange on the top of the tank which has O-rings on. So you can’t simply buy a new drip tip – it has to be the sleeve type. Smok do sell patterned ones so you can replace it.
I would have taken a photo of the drip tip removed – but could I get the sodding thing off the tank? Nope. So you will have to put up with an image of this from the Smok website – sorry etc.
To fill you press the button on the top cap and it swings wide open for excellent access to the large filling port. So far no airlock issues whilst filling like I had with the Ello Duro tank in the Eleaf iStick Nowos Kit.
At the base of the tank is the airflow adjustment ring – turn this to open or close off the airflow intake as required.
I am also pleased to report I have had e-liquid in the tank for 20 days and not a single leak. Which has also surprised me.
The mod and tank are separate in the packaging so fill the tank and screw it onto the mod. The Baby V2 S1 (Single Mesh) coil is pre-installed.
Install a battery into the mod and you can get stuck in!
Mod Basic operation
One of my least favourite things about Smok mods is the User Interface and it isn’t that intuitive for people who have used other brands.
For instance entering a menu and pressing fire to select just moves you to the next option – there are two styles of fire button press believe it or not.
- Short fire press = move onto next option
- Long fire press = select / confirm
So if you find you are struggling to select / confirm any setting you are not holding the fire button down long enough.
The other thing I dislike about the user interface is turning the bloody mod off.
The usual 5 clicks is fine for turning the mod on – but 5 clicks when it is on will only lock the device. You can either rattle through the whole menu and find the “Power” menu and select “off” or when you have locked the device hold the fire button in and it should say “power off” and switch off.
When first powering up the mod will ask which battery is installed – 18650 or 21700 (for 20700 battery select 21700). Move the highlight using the adjustment buttons and long fire press to confirm.
Other functions are described briefly below:
- To fire = press fire button
- Adjust wattage / temperature = use up and down buttons by the screen
- Lock / Unlock = short press fire button 5 times – all functions are locked.
- Enter the menu = 3 short clicks of the fire button
- Navigate through menu options = short fire button click or up/down adjustment buttons – long fire button press to select / confirm a choice.
- Select ramp up options = Press fire and the “up” button and if in VW select “Hard, Soft, Normal” taste modes or if in TC select “10-85W” (18650 battery) or “10-100W” (21700, 20700 battery).
- Switch power modes = either enter the menu and select “power” or press fire and the down adjustment button.
- Variable Wattage: Then select the required Taste Mode
- Temperature control: Select the coil material and add your own TCR value if required
You can adjust or clear the puff counter. You can also set a puff limit. To turn the limit off scroll down all the way and you can select “never”. Hold in fire button to confirm.
- Stealth: this turns the screen off but the mod is still useable – i.e. for use in dark places or if you want a sneaky vape.
- Contrast: set the screen display contrast.
- Adj Ohm: adjust the resistance reading for the atomiser – not sure why you would need this but hey…
- Download Mode: use this when connecting the mod to a PC / Laptop etc for Firmware Upgrades. None available as of December 2018.
- Power: you can turn the mod off here.
As mentioned above there is a small screen on top of the mod and in normal use it displays the Wattage / Temperature setting, Battery charge level, taste mode, coil resistance, output voltage and puff length.
I keep glancing at the screen and thinking the huge bar showing the puff length is the battery remaining. Seems an odd thing to have displayed so prominently when the battery life has a tiny icon in the top right?
How To Install The Battery
It is recommended to not charge removable batteries whilst they are in the device. So you will need spare batteries and an external charger.
Make sure you are familiar with all aspects of battery safety!
Ooh this really is a joy and very addictive…
The battery lives in the “magazine” compartment…
- Make sure to be able to catch the mag when it pops out.
- Press the silver button on the side of the mod and out it pops.
- If a battery is installed remove it.
- For 18650 battery – make sure the adaptor sleeve is installed in the mag and install the battery according to the polarity markings on the outside of the mag.
- For 21700 or 20700 battery no sleeve is required so again install the battery making sure the polarity matches the markings.
- Install the mag into the mod and a nice “clonk” assures you it is in place! You cannot install the magazine the wrong way around as the shape of the magazine has one curved side and one straight side.
How To Fill The Tank
- Look for the button on the top of the tank.
- Press this button and the top cap will fling open exposing the fill port.
- Add e-liquid to the fill port whilst watching the level on the tank glass.
- Swing the top cap closed and a nice click assures you it is closed.
How To Change The Coil Head
The coils for the TFV8 Baby V2 are not the same as the usual V8 Baby coils from Smok. I know because I have tried them and the older version are way too small.
I also noticed how the V2-S coils look very similar to the Horizon Falcon coils – so I tried one of them – and nope they don’t fit either.
So it looks like you can only use the Baby V2 S1 and S2 (included in kit), V2-K1 and the V2-K4.
The tank is also compatible with the V2-A1, V2-A2 and V2-A3 however the wattage required for these coils is above the output of the mod in most cases.
- Remove the tank from the mod.
- Turn the tank upside down and rest it on some tissue.
- Unscrew the tank base.
- If a coil is already installed remove it from the tank.
- Screw a new coil onto the tank base.
- Re-assemble the tank and fill as described above. Make sure to leave the tank for 10-15 minutes for the coil to absorb e-liquid – you might have to top the tank up again too.
How Does the Smok Mag Grip Kit Perform?
Flavour & Cloud Production
There are multiple taste modes for this mod – for the testing I will just use the “Normal” setting – as this takes account of using the tank on a mod without the taste modes.
This is a Sub Ohm tank so generally it performs better with higher VG e-liquid and lower nicotine strength – high PG/nicotine e-liquid will be too harsh and too thin – probably ending up in leaks. We explain VG and PG in e-liquid in our guide.
Also as these are higher power tanks you don’t need a strong nicotine e-liquid so I am using my usual 6mg Stika Bombz Fruit Salad – it is my favourite and it is 80% VG.
As expected the airflow is so open on this tank. Smok seem to not do “restriction”. Wide open it is like sucking on a drainpipe and even when fully closed it has some airflow. I tended to aim towards the 1/4 open setting to give a bit of restriction.
Baby V2 S1 Single KTR Mesh Coil (Pre-Installed)
Smok rate this coil at 0.15ohm and the power range is 40-80W and best at 60-70W.
I started out in a conservative manner at 40W and not much to report, same as at 50W.
At 60W this really surprised me pretty good flavour! Not wishing to “Smok Bash” but I have not rated many of their tanks for flavour and this is a pleasant surprise.
At 65W even better and I rocked it up to 70W and no dry hits or wicking issues and still a pretty good taste.
I found 65W was where I tended to use this the most.
I will also add I have had this same coil on the go in light use for 20 days – and it still tastes amazing. This has not been my main vaping device as I am also reviewing a pod mod system – but this way exceeds the usual poor coil life you often get from Smok.
Wow well done here Smok!
Baby V2 S2 NiCr Coil
This is also a 0.15ohm coil head – rated 30-70W and best at 45-60W.
So as the bottom limit is 30W I decided to start there.
This was a pretty cold vape, but there was more vapour than I was expecting and some flavour – that is a surprise.
At 40W it was pretty much the same, 45W was more vapour again but no improvement on flavour.
At 55W this started to perform a lot better. I did detect a slight bit of spitting though.
60W seems to be a nice setting for this coil – so really at the top end of the “best recommendation”. Bear this in mind if using this coil in a tank on a lower output mod. Although the limits start at 30W – it really isn’t amazing performance until you get over 50W.
The airflow to me felt the same as the S1 coil – I found I set the airflow adjustment to exactly the same position as I did – 1/4 open.
The spitting actually died off at 60W so I assume there might have been a drip of liquid down the coil or at the lower wattages the liquid didn’t fully vaporise – instead “flooding” the coil. About 5 vapes at 60W and it has cleared completely and is a lovely clean tasting vape.
As with the S1 coil – as long as you leave the liquid to soak in for 10-15 minutes the flavour came straight away and no cottony taste or dry hits – again another shock!
8-1-18: Just an update the S2 coil is still going strong! Last time I checked the puff counter it was on 1021 puffs. Sadly I put a dripper on the mod earlier today and used that for a while – then put the TFV8 Baby V2 tank back on – so have lost count of the puffs for this coil now – but even so this coil is EPIC!!
Smok Mag Grip Mod Performance
I popped the TFV8 Baby V2 tank on my Voopoo Alpha One mod to see if 65W on here felt the same as 65W on the Mag Grip. I have to report that yes it does seem to be performing the same. So the Smok power output seems at this level to be pretty accurate.
I have no fancy gear to test the power output I can only go on comparison and yep it compares well to the Voopoo!
The menu system – well more specifically the long and short fire button presses I do find annoying – but they are typical of all the Smok mods – so if you have used their gear in the past the selection actions will be pretty much second nature to you. I use a lot of different mods so it always throws me when I pick up a Smok mod and have to do the long button presses.
The switching off routine is a bit annoying plus when you change the battery type you go back to 1w. The scrolling through the wattage levels is weird as you get 0.1 increments for a while then suddenly it jumps to 1.0 increments and you struggle to catch it in time.
The battery life is pretty decent for a single battery mod. However when the battery life diminishes at the lower end of the voltage cut off it does cut down the wattage output quite significantly. To the point you cant really vape as the coil just floods.
I have used this kit for almost 3 weeks now – it has been dropped many times and it still looks pristine. It is a total fingerprint magnet – I am wiping the screen a lot but it has stayed remarkably shiny!
I tried this with 18650 and 21700 batteries. I haven’t got a 20700 battery sadly!
Obviously the screen settings, power settings and your vaping habits will cause a variation in battery life but to give you a guide I got the following at 65W.
- Samsung 25R 18650 = 7 hours (210 puffs)
- AVB 4000mAh 21700 = 7.5 hours (405 puffs) (The last 10 minutes of use – the power dropped off substantially – showing 35W, then 23.5W when I pressed fire due to low voltage cut off).
- Feels like a more expensive brand made this
- No leaks from tank at all
- Really good flavour and vapour performance
- Lovely shape in the hand
- Screen designed to prevent e-liquid entering if there is a leak
- Magazine battery compartment is very addictive
- 20 days so far out of the S1 coil – staggering for Smok!
- Over 1021 puffs out of the S2 coil – actually more but I lost count!
- Paintwork and general finish still looks pristine even after 3 weeks of hard knocks.
- Excellent quality kit – Smok can do them sometimes when they try!
- Very heavy (subjective)
- Non-standard drip tip
- Faffy “long fire” and “short fire” button presses
- Long winded to just turn the mod off
Final Review Verdict
Oh Smok I wish you would turn out more kits of this quality. See you can do it when you try!
I read horror stories daily about their rubbish quality and releasing kits which are basically not fit for the purpose or fall apart after minimal use. I have indeed been in that position too.
When I use the Smok Mag Grip Kit I get the same feeling as I did with the X-Priv range – amazed at the quality and attention to detail. More kits built to these standards would restore many people’s faith in the brand.
I thought “urgh” when I wrote the preview for this kit and thought it was another gimmicky kit. Yes I was wrong and I admit that now. In the flesh and in use this kit really surprises even the biggest Smok critic.
On top of that my very low expectations of the TFV8 Baby V2 tank were completely smashed – it had wonderful flavour and 20 days so far on the same coil – I swear – its unbelievable innit! With the S2 coil it is still going – over 1021 puffs and a lot more and its lovely flavour.
I would definitely buy the SMOK Mag Grip kit again if lost or damaged.