The Smok N18 Kit was part of a double release featuring the N18 and R22 Vape pens.
This review is only for the N18 Kit.
What Can We Expect From The Smok N18 Kit?
The Nord range are generally tailored to new vapers – with ease of use as the main selling point.
Here the N18 is no different with a really basic style vape pen packed with some good but simple to use features.
The output is adjustable from 9-30W in 5 increments by simply turning the base switch and you can adjust the airflow too!
Inside the mod is a 1300mAh battery which is charged via a Type C USB port at up to a 0.75A charge rate.
There is a fire button for turning the device on and off and also to press to fire when vaping. The fire button has an LED indicator in the surround to display fault conditions and the battery charge status.
The tank section is removable and is compatible with 510 drip tips.
The N18 uses the “Nord” range of coils – and the 0.6ohm Mesh and 1.4ohm Regular coils are included in the kit.
Other Nord coils are also compatible.
There are 7 colour options to choose from: Matte Black, Matte Red, Matte Blue, Matte Gold, Stainless Steel, Matte Green and 7-colour.
Inside the Box
- Smok Stick N18 device
- Nord Mesh 0.6ohm coil
- Nord Regular 1.4ohm coil
- USB Type C cable
- Spare seals
- User manual
Smok N18 Kit Specs
- Size: 18x145mm
- Output: 9-30W VW
- Battery: 1300mAh (internal)
- Display: LED indicator
- Resistance range:0.5-3ohm
- E-liquid capacity: 3ml (standard) / 2ml TPD
- Type C USB – 0.75A charge rate
- Pods: Refillable, replaceable coil
- Coils: Nord coil range
- Adjustable output levels – 9/15/20/25/30W
- Adjustable Airflow
- 510 drip tip compatible
- Screw top fill cap
Smok N18 Kit Design and Build Quality
I received the Smok N18 Kit in the 7-Colour version.
It is also worth noting as this is a review sample this has the 3ml tank capacity.
In TPD Regulated areas this is reduced to 2ml in order to comply.
Smok N18 Mod
The body is a satin finish Stainless Steel and manages to combine feeling hard wearing with being incredibly light.
The output switch on the base turns easily with little indents on each setting.
A window in the side of the dial shows the power level you have selected – it is tiny writing though and can be slightly difficult to see.
On the bottom of the mod are the required legal logos and what appear to be 2 venting holes.
From the base moving up the device you have a lovely rainbow effect with a patterned finish.
I can feel the pattern texture when scraping my nail against it but it doesn’t seem to scratch or lift off so must be a kind of etching into the metal?
On the front of the base is the “Stick N18” logo and the “Smok” logo on the rear.
Towards the top of the mod is the fire button which is a plastic feel material in black and the centre contains the indicator LED which is nice and bright.
Sometimes I did find the fire button wasn’t responsive to multiple presses – was fine with a double press for the battery status but the 5 clicks on / off didn’t always register so I found I would generally do more than the 5 presses to make sure.
On the rear of the mod is the USB Type C port which is a bit high for when charging – you can stand it up but it is a bit top heavy and will topple at the slightest knock.
The airflow control is actually part of the mod and it turns freely without being too lose, however it doesn’t have any stops at minimum or maximum. Not a huge deal as you can just keep turning until the 4 airflow holes appear again.
This does mean that you cannot use any other tanks on the mod as there is no 510 connection. A spring mounted connector pin stands up in the centre to make connection with the coil base.
Smok N18 Tank Section
This is only suitable for use with the supplied mod as it does not have a 510 connection.
You can use other 510 drip tips on here but there is a raised lip which looks a bit odd with a different tip but I found my 510 tips fitted snugly.
The supplied drip tip is a black plastic type which for MTL vaping feels just perfect.
For filling you unscrew the tank top – the threads feel secure but a bit squeaky. It does take quite a few turns to unscrew fully.
With the cap removed you are faced with 2 fill ports with rubber gaskets across. These gaskets have slots in them but they are a bit hard to see.
Although the ports are long they are only around 2mm wide – so I did find the nozzle of my bottles took a bit of shoving through them as they don’t feel wide enough. In fact I couldn’t get the gasket to open properly with my 10ml bottles which resulted in the top of the tank being covered in e-liquid.
I ended up having to rip the gasket off – it is so hard to fill with these in place! I ended up covered in e-liquid every time!
There is a nice clear circular window to check your e-liquid level and this is surrounded by the metal of the tank section.
This kind of construction has its pros and cons – it is less likely to get broken as the metal will protect the window – however if you do break the window you cannot replace it and the tank will be scrap.
The base of the tank is where you install the push in / pull out Nord coil and unlike the Nord pod kits it doesn’t matter how you align the coil – there are no locating cut outs like on the pods so just make sure to push it in firmly.
I did find I had to push down on the tank slightly when screwing it onto the mod as the spring connection pin on the mod had to also be pushed down for the tank threads to engage.
Smok N18 Quick Start Guide
The kit arrives without any coils installed – so you will need to install a coil, fill and charge to get up and running.
Do not fear I tell you how in the section below!
- Turn On / Off = press the fire button 5 times quickly.
- Vaping = hold the fire button down whilst inhaling on the mouthpiece.
- Airflow adjustment = Turn the airflow control ring to suit your preference.
- Output adjustment = There are 5 output levels to choose from – 9, 15, 20, 25 or 30W. Turn the dial on the base until the required output level is shown in the display window on the dial.
- Battery Charge Remaining = the LED indicator in the centre of the fire button will change colour according to the charge remaining in the battery. 70% or above = Green light, 30-70% = Orange light and less than 30% = Red light. The LED will display white when vaping so for a quick check press the fire button twice quickly.
Smok N18 Protections
- Low battery – the White LED will flash 15 times and the device will not operate until it has been charged.
- Short circuit – the LED will flash 5 times and be White. Check connections and if fault still occurs replace coil.
- No Atomiser – the LED will flash White 4 times – install the correct tank or check for poor connection.
- Resistance limits – If the coil resistance is below 0.5ohms or above 3ohms the LED will flash 4 times in White. Install a coil within the correct resistance limits.
- Over time – there is an 8 second cut off for the fire operation – this is to prevent overheating or accidental coil damage. The LED will be White and flash 5 times and the fire will cut out.
How To Charge The Smok N18 Battery
- Using the included USB C cable connect the small end into the USB port on the mod.
- Connect the large end of the cable into a suitable USB outlet.
- The LED will light up and flash regularly when the USB cable is connected and cycle through the red, orange and green indicators. The LED will turn off when charging is complete.
For my first full charge I used a 2.4A charging plug – after 1 hour 30 mins this was still not showing as charged and had got quite warm.
As the max charge rate is 0.75A for my second try I used a 1A charging plug and it took 2 hours to fully charge – which is quite a long charging time considering it has USB type C charging.
How To Fill the Smok N18
- Unscrew the tank top cap.
- Insert the e-liquid bottle nozzle into the fill port.
- Add e-liquid whilst watching the level through the clear section of the tank.
- Replace the tank top cap.
- If this is the first use or a new coil leave the device to stand for 10-15 minutes for the coil wicking to absorb the e-liquid. Also before pressing the fire button do a couple of inhales on the mouthpiece. This is called Priming and will help prevent coil damage.
How To Replace the Coil
- Remove the tank section by unscrewing it from the mod.
- Turn the tank upside down and unscrew the tank base section.
- Pull the coil from the tank – note if you do not turn the tank upside down it will leak when you remove the coil!
- Push a new coil into the tank making sure it aligns correctly.
- Install the tank onto the mod by slightly pushing the tank down to overcome the spring pressure of the connection whilst turning to catch the screw threads in the mod.
- Fill the tank as described above and before using the fire button take a couple of inhales on the mouthpiece to just pull the liquid through into the coil.
How Does the Smok N18 Kit Perform?
As this device caters to Mouth To Lung (MTL) with the 1.4ohm coil and Direct To Lung (DTL) with the 0.6ohm coil I will use different e-liquids with them both.
Smok recommend 70%VG / 30%PG e-liquid for this kit – I will also be trying 50/50 Nic salt and 80%VG e-liquid to see how it gets on.
- MTL V DTL – A Guide To Vape Styles
- VG and PG in E-liquid – all you need to know
- Beginners guide to E-liquid
Nord Meshed 0.6ohm Coil (25W Recommended)
Firstly I tried this coil with the delicious 64%VG Choppa Collection Blue Slush e-liquid.
As this is a mesh coil I did start a lot lower than the 25W recommended – just in case I got the hellish mesh Dry Hit – so I could work up gradually to 25W.
Even at 15W the vapour and flavour is really surprising.
At 20W things heat up a bit and a nice little crackle can be heard. Unfortunately the e-liquid I chose does have a cooling sensation so it is hard to judge how warm the vape is – but it is still warmer than in the 15W setting. The cloud size has also increased.
At 25W this is more like it, not as powerful as a big cloud chucking sub ohm tank by any means but this is a lot lower power and higher resistance. There is a lovely lung full of vapour which is not harsh in any way.
I do find there is little throat hit with this coil but higher VG e-liquids are not designed for that anyway. If you want throat hit choose the 1.4ohm coil with some 50/50 and high Nic e-liquid.
A really enjoyable vape at 25W, a lovely tongue-full of flavour, plenty of vapour and it just feels super smooth.
I did try a couple of vapes at 30W and the flavour wasn’t a massive improvement and you could just feel things were starting to get a bit dry and the hellish dry hit could be on the horizon – so I quit whilst I was ahead and went back to 25W!
As I had some 80%VG Stika Bombz Fruit Salad e-liquid kicking around I thought I would give that a bash too to check the coil could still wick thicker VG e-liquid.
I have used this coil with 80%VG in the past on the original Nord kit – and it performed fine. However in the N18 kit it was quite a dry vape at 25W.
The flavour was OK but it was so close to being a dry hit at times it felt quite uncomfortable.
So my recommendation is 70%VG is the maximum VG I would go for in this kit – it performed well with that ratio but felt like it was struggling with 80%.
Nord Regular 1.4ohm Coil (12W Recommended)
50/50 Nic Salt Liquid
For this coil I used my usual 50/50 VG/PG CrazySaltzzz Bubblegum Nicotine Salt.
I am used to this coil as I used it for a long time in the Original Nord and the Trinity Alpha kits when I was just quitting smoking on 20mg Nic salts and found it to be a great performer. Those kits were only slightly let down by the airflow being a tad too loose for a true MTL vape.
I started at the lowest setting – 9W – and even at this level there is a lot more flavour than I was expecting.
As there isn’t a 12W setting (this seems weird when that is the recommended power for the coil) I had to move up to 15W.
At this setting the flavour is how I remember from the earlier kits with the bonus of having a more restricted airflow setting.
I have moved on from the Nord range and the flavour is slightly lower than I am used to with the same e-liquid in a Uwell Caliburn or Innokin Sceptre kit – but as a starter pen this really does the trick.
It appears I do take longer vapes as the throat hit isn’t quite as strong as I am used to – so to get a good throat hit you would probably need to increase the nic strength.
I didn’t want to go up to the 20W setting with the coil recommendation being 12W but I gave it a bash and it did start to feel like a dry vape with no increase in heat or flavour so I went back down to 15W.
My conclusion is this coil performs better in this kit having the adjustable airflow – but is slightly lower on flavour and throat hit than some more modern pod coils.
I decided to chuck some of the Choppa Collection Blue Slush e-liquid into here to see if it could cope with higher VG. As I haven’t added any nic shots to this the VG is 64% and the PG is 36%.
I am happy to report no wicking issues at all – so this coil is happy with slightly thicker e-liquid. It would be pushing my luck to expect it to handle 80%VG so I will save that for the 0.6ohm coil!
Smok N18 Airflow
With the regular 1.4ohm coil – the airflow can be completely closed to pretty much nothing.
With all 4 air inlets uncovered this is still a restricted draw – much tighter than using this coil on the original Nord Pod Kit.
For me my ideal setting was with 2 holes uncovered – leaving plenty of movement for going tighter or looser airflow.
With the 0.6ohm coil again you can fully close off the airflow which is great and with the 4 holes open this is a lot more open than the 1.4ohm coil but still a slight restriction. On a 1-10 scale of 1=fully closed – 10=breathing fresh air – this coil in fully open setting is around 8 so only a slight restriction which also may be down to the 510 slim drip tip too.
Smok N18 Mod Performance
I have no complaints about the mod performance at all.
It did everything I asked of it, the firing speed is quick, the LED is easy to see and the output adjustment works well.
The only slight issue is the fire button not responding every press when doing the multiple presses for on and off, so you might start subconsciously adjusting to this and doing 7 or 8 clicks in a row to just make sure.
The build quality and finish are still pristine despite several drops – and the tank viewing window has so far survived these too!
It charged fine – although slowly, no USB port issues, the battery life was as expected and it has been an all round great performer.
Smok N18 Kit Battery Life
Using the 1.4ohm coil at 15W I got around 9.5 hours of vaping. For the last hour of vaping the output seemed to be less powerful – I might have been imagining it as there was no spitting or flooding but it seemed to lack Ooomph.
Using the 0.6ohm coil at 25W I got around 5 hours of vaping. Again when the red battery indicator light was showing it did feel like the output had dropped.
Of course it should be noted that everyone’s vaping habits vary – even the nicotine levels will dictate how often you vape so these figures are just a rough guide.
- Does look classy and the Stainless Steel body is light but feels like it is hardwearing.
- Having the airflow adjustment really improves the coil performance
- LED indicator shows battery charge remaining, some of the earlier Smok Stick kits did not have this.
- Adjustable power output makes this kit more versatile to allow you to experiment with different compatible coils
- Really easy to use for a new vaper (Apart from filling!)
- E-liquid viewing window is clear and well placed and should be less likely to get broken.
- No leaks or malfunctions – this just works
- Uses original Nord coils which always work well and are readily available
- Fill port gaskets are a nightmare – even with 10ml bottles – I ended up ripping mine out!
- Fire button wasn’t always responsive to the 5 clicks for on / off
- The Nord coil performance does feel a bit underwhelming and outdated as coil technology has moved on significantly – but they are decent.
- Only 9 and 15W lower power settings when the 1.4ohm coil is supposed to be at 12W?
- The tank and battery are not compatible with other devices as there is no 510 connector
- If you do break the viewing window the tank is sadly scrap.
- When installing the tank section onto the mod you do have to also push down to overcome the spring on the connector before the tank threads will engage.
- Although it has USB Type C charging it has a low 0.75A charge rate which took 2 hours.
Final Review Verdict
The main problem I found with this kit was the fill port gaskets. I got that peed off with them I ripped them off!
So my advice is to use some kind of prong and pull them out as once you have done this the kit is mega simple to use.
I had a slight issue with the fire button when it came to the 5x presses for turning on and off, but otherwise it was responsive.
Apart from these slight niggles which did sadly lower some of the review scores this has been a solid kit, feels really well made and apart from the filling is super easy to use.
The Nord coils are always decent performers, they do feel slightly dated after I have experienced the Innokin Sceptre, Lost Vape UB Lite and Vapefly Galaxies 30W coils which are super flavour monsters in comparison. The vape experience is slightly underwhelming compared to more modern kits.
One of my first pod kits was the original Nord and I used 2 of these on and off for several years and they just kept working! I do feel this little SMOK N18 is created with a similar pedigree and should give a great service life.
It is not the most modern or original vape kit on the market – but it does the job it has been designed for and it does it satisfactorily. Also the fact the Nord coils are so widely available means you should be able to pop into most vape shops and get supplies for this.
I experienced no leaks at all and no malfunctions so again this kit I have right here has been reliable and I wouldn’t hesitate taking it out and about as my only device.
It has dropped marks in the “Replace if lost or damaged” category as I have much better pod kits which bang out the flavour – I would only really pick up the N18 if they were broken or charging.
It would be a great starter kit for someone – but there are better out there.