December 19, 2013

The Innokin Cool Fire 1 A Mechanical Mod With A Difference

The Innokin Cool Fire 1 A Mechanical Mod With A Difference

Once I read Tom McBride’s piece on wattage vs. voltage I instantly understood not only the differences between the two, especially the part about being able to use voltage OR wattage in your settings, not both, I also understood how using one or the other changes the vaping experience. You if haven’t read that easy-to-understand pieceyou should, if you have problems with the differences.

Despite playing around with voltage and wattage settings with various advanced devices it wasn’t until I purchased theiTaste 134 that I truly appreciated the subtle differences between voltage and wattage devices. The iTaste 134 from Innokin is a ‘wattage only’ device, with a wicked nice rotational wheel that you use to increase or decease the wattage setting.

Setting the wattage is a matter of setting the power of the device, how much power you’re going to allow the device to send to the atomizer sitting atop the 134 or other wattage devices. It takes a bit of adjustment to get used to it, but once you do nothing could be easier.

The rotational wheel of the iTaste 134 is the main attraction for me, and the reason I am one of its biggest fans. The Gatling gun (read about it here) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun is a mean looking death maker, and the iTaste 134 is designed to invoke its memory. Mine is the black version with stainless steel spokes, and when I’m vaping with it I feel, I dunno, slightly more powerful maybe? It’s hard to describe, and since this is a review of the Cool Fire 1, I shouldn’t even be addressing it here.

 

 

 

 

Cool Fire 1

At first glance the Cool Fire 1looks a lot like a normal, if not meaner looking, mechanical mod. But it isn’t, not really. Instead of being based on outputting a set voltage, usually 3.7v, the Cool Fire 1 is a wattage-based device, outputting a steady 8.5W, considered to be the 3.7v setting in the world of wattage.

It was a little more than a year ago that I heard Steve Vape (stevevape.com) talk about wattage in an Internet interview, and he mentioned, quickly and in passing, that the device ‘they’ were talking about is a device he set to 8.5w, a sort of ‘set it and forget it’ remark. But I remember that because at the time I was experimenting with wattage settings and I had always come back to 8.5w as a good starting point and usually a good ending point as well, and when Steve mentioned it I felt better about it, sort of vindicated. Steve knows more about the mechanics of these devices than I ever will, probably giving Tom McBride and John Castle a run for their money when it comes to the finer points of vaping. I’m more of ‘The Art of Vaping’ rather than the ‘mechanics of vaping’, which is a nice way of saying I’m kind of an dummy.

Anyway, 8.5w was the setting Innokin decided upon when building the Cool Fire 1. But don’t think for a minute that 8.5w is the same as 3.7v, and that you can slap any tank, cartomizer, clearomizer on top of it and vape away. You can’t. 8.5w may be the ideal setting in the world of wattage Vapers, but it’s not like a 3.7v mech-mod or cig-a-like where most cartomizers and clearomizers will produce a decent vape. 8.5w is a lot to throw at a standard cartomizer.

The Cool Fire 1 was built to work with the new iClear 30B, a new iClear that does away with the long-wicks as in the iClear 30S, and replacing it with a 2.1ohm Bottom Dual Coil setup. Using anything else on the Cool Fire 1 is a big hit-and-miss challenge. So I’ll say it right now and get it out of the way, if you decide that the Cool Fire 1 is something you want to add to your collection of hardware just accept the fact that you’re going to use the iClear 30B all the time, or you’re a veteran Vaper who enjoys the challenge.

The Cool Fire 1 has a ton of features for the price. ($49.99). It includes aniClear 30Bso if you subtract the price of the iClear you’re actually paying just $35 for it. (The iClear 30B is $14.99)

Here are the Specs on the Cool Fire 1

  • Uses single 18350 battery (Flat Top) – maximum current output is more than 5000mA.
  • Regulated output power of 8.5W, which is perfectly suitable for 2.1 ohm iClear dual coil clearomizers.
  • Reverse Battery Protection Circuit.
  • Built in 7A fuse for protection and stability.
  • Short Circuit Protection.
  • ON/OFF battery switch.
  • LED Battery Power Display.
  • Low Voltage Warning.
  • Overtime Vaping Warning (10 second switch cutoff).
  • Battery safety protection (Vent holes).
  • High compatibility 510 connector: Will fit iClear10, iClear16, and iClear30 clearomizers, as well as standard 510 Accessories
  • Dimensions: 3-1/4″L x 15/16″D

Without the iClear 30B sitting on top you’ll notice that the Cool Fire 1 is a very short device and there is no extension to buy to facilitate a 18650 battery. Your choice of battery is limited to the 18350 Flat-Top, period. That’s not all bad, I like the 18350, and I like the smallness of the Cool Fire 1.

With the iClear 30B sitting on top it is a good looking electronic cigarette. It may be similar in size to the Magneto and the Nemesis, but it is meaner looking, more masculine that either one of the above. If that matters to you.

Real World Usage

I’ve added the Cool Fire 1 to my arsenal of devices, something I surely didn’t need to do. I did so because the combination of the Cool Fire and the iClear 30B make a great pair, and with certain flavors of eLiquid it provides a great vape. I made the conscious decision to add it, and use it, as a part of my ‘most used’ e cigarettes because I enjoy it tremendously.

I get about 2 hours of steady vaping with the 18350 battery in the Cool Fire, but I admit that all of my 18350 batteries are about a year old now, having been charged and recharged more than a hundred times. With a new 18350 (not included) you might get more time between charges. I keep 2 extra batteries with me when I use it, so I can quickly swap them out when they drain down.

Regulated – Worth Mentioning Again

The Cool Fire 1 delivers 8.5w the entire time, even as your battery drains. Think about that for a moment, a regulated mod for $35 (subtracting the cost of the iClear 30B). Combined with the other safety features, the 5000mA, short circuit protection, plenty of venting, and more, I don’t understand why these guys aren’t flying off the shelf. Maybe they are though, but it appears to me there is a lot more discussion in the vape community about the Cool Fire 2, the mod that resembles a hand grenade. Our own Steve Kaderabek is currently working on his review of the Cool Fire 2, and I think he likes it, at least Dave thinks he does. In any case, the Cool Fire 1 should be a hot item. I hope it is.

All the current Innokin devices use their ‘tried and true’ red/yellow/green battery indicator system, and a quick 3 clicks on, 3 clicks off method works really well with the solid, semi-transparent fire button. Pushing down on the button allows one of the three colors of light to shine through so you’ll know when you’re in the green area, yellow area, or in the red zone, meaning you have plenty of time left or you’re getting close to a swap, or showing you why you’re not getting any vapor (red). The button is one of the best I’ve seen on an Innokin device.

Certain Flavors?

Now, about this “certain flavors” remark I made above. I’ve said it time and time again, but it probably deserves to be repeated again for the benefit of our new readers, I do not like any tank, clearomizer, or anything else that delivers any sort of metallic taste. Most coils in Kanger ProTanks, short coils in certain clearomizers, and others, leave me with a metallic aftertaste and I just hate it. That’s the main reason I’m loving these new Vision X.Jet clearomizers and tanks, their “hidden coils” technology has completely eliminated the metallic taste from short wick coils, and I hope other companies follow suit.

The iClear 30B is better than many others in that department, but when I vape any kind of citrus/fruity flavors that metallic taste is there, grossing out the whole experience for me. But when I fill an iClear 30B with tobacco flavors, bakery flavors, and some others I don’t taste the metal. That’s pretty great news for me, and for anyone else that detests the metallic aftertaste in so many of these short-wick coils.

As you can see in the accompanying photos the Cool Fire 1 is a good looking device, and the iClear 30B is a big leap in the iClear lineup, both in looks and the switch to short coils. As long as you use both you’ll enjoy the vape, and at $50 with an iClear 30B it’s an inexpensive wattage-centric mod that’s hard to pass up.

Any Negatives?

It’s not easy to come up with a bunch of negative about a wattage-centric mod that puts out a regulated 8.5w and costs $50 with an included iClear 30B. But there are a couple of things I wouldn’t mind seeing changed in future versions.

In order to stay at the same price point the Cool Fire 1 has now, I think they could add a single switch that would change the wattage to, say, from 8.5w to 11w. Naturally, a rotational wheel to dial in your desired wattage would be great, but that would probably send the price way up. It shouldn’t, not really, but I have no doubt it would. I attempted on a couple of occasions to use different 510-threaded atomizers and none of them worked as well as the iClear 30B.

Adding an extension cap so it could take an 18650 would be nice, but again, the price would probably go up $10 at least.

Honestly, other than that Innokin did a helluva job with the Cool Fire 1. The end cap screws on smoothly, the top cap works extremely well, it is suited to the iClear 30B perfectly, and because its regulated so that you get 8.5w the entire time, well, what more could you ask for of a device that sells for fifty bucks?

Buying Advice

If you like the way it looks, if you’re ready to use the iClear 30B exclusively with it, then by all means pick one up now. Additional iClear 30B’s are $14.99, a nice price considering, and the coils replacements are $2.50 a piece (bottom dual coils), it’s an inexpensive mod to purchase and to maintain.

Even the best 18350 flat-top batteries don’t last forever, so I would advise picking up a couple. Buy a pair of Efest IMR 800mAh flat-tops for $11.85 (for two batteries), and if you really feel like splurging then pick up the Efest LUC V4, the best four-bay charger I’ve ever owned (still waiting to get a four-bay Nitecore though), for $35.71. For a wee bit more than $100 you can get the Cool Fire 1, 2x 18350 batteries, a great four-bay charger, and an extra iClear 30B, and maybe a couple of extra coil replacements too.

I like the Cool Fire 1, it’s a no-nonsense easy to use wattage-centric regulated output well built device perfectly tuned to the iClear 30B. Whew!
I highly recommend it.

John Manzione


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