E-Cig Review: Designated Vaping and the Smok Telescope


Smok TelescopeI am not sure exactly what it is about mechanical mods. Maybe it is their shear simplicity. You just drip a battery in and they do their thing. No muss, no fuss, no settings, no wires to break or electronics to gunk up. That is why I was so excited to see the gun metal colored Smoke Telescope mod hit my mailbox from Designated Vaping.

This isn’t the first mechanical I have had hands on, I bought a CCTS or “China GG” a little bit ago, so at least I have something to compare things to (I’ll review that one someday soon). This mod, though, really has to take a trophy for it’s good looks. if nothing else. I have always been a fan of the gun metal style finish and other than some personal aesthetic reasons, there are some practical ones too. The gunmetal finish does not show fingerprints as badly as a high chrome finish. Now don’t get me wrong, they are still there on closer examination, but from a foot or so away, the mod still retains it’s good looks!

Smok Telescope PartsThe Telescope mod is a 3 piece unit made from (I think) brass, which is fully a mechanical mod. The 3 pieces included are the switch at the bottom, a middle telescoping tube for the body and the top tube which has the 510 endcap in it. What the “mechanical mod” means is there is no circuitry, no wires, no displays, no “settings” and no frills. You put your favorite sized 18000 series lithium ion battery in it, screw it together and vape to your hearts content. It also means that this device is dead simple to use and maintain. Spill some juice on it? Rinse, wipe, dry and vape. That simple.

The interesting bits of this mod are at either end of the device. At the top you’ll notice a nice 510 connector with brass center post (good conductivity) and a nice deep drip well surrounding it, which fits most 510 threaded heads with a skirt. The only notable exception I have found so far is that Kanger T3’s skirt is a little too big and will require an ego to 510 adapter. The bottom end is the switch and where the magic happens. This is a dual spring switch with a brass center post (again, good conductivity) and it has a nice weighty locking ring on it. To operate the switch, just push it up until the inside of the switch makes contact with your battery, and that completes the circuit and makes the device fire. To prevent the switch from working, simply unscrew the locking ring until it touches the bottom of the switch. This keeps the switch from being able to be pressed and completing the circuit. Pretty ingenious and it works well, making this device completely pocketable and also able to be stood on it’s end without the fear of accidentally firing your atomizer. The threading and heft of the locking ring make it possible to lock and unlock with not much more than a turning flick in the appropriate direction. Again, very nice. A small note here is that the button on the bottom seems to only be press fitted onto the post. I found this out the hard way by unscrewing the locking ring so far that it pushed the button off the bottom. If this happens to you because you are as rammy as I am, a quick fix was a drop of superglue on the end of the post before pressing the button back onto the bottom 🙂

While using this device extensively I found that there are a couple interesting things to point out. Initially, the threading made some noise while putting it together and taking it apart to change batteries. This was solved really quickly by simply running a line of chapstick (yes it works, try it) down the threads and screwing and unscrewing it a couple times. That completely quieted the process and doesn’t affect the conductivity in the least bit. The other issue is that the threading is a little wobbly unless it is tightened down well. This doesn’t seem as prominent with smaller batteries as it does with 18650s though. An easy way to make sure that you are tightened down appropriately is to pop your battery in and screw the halves together **while holding in the firing button** until the mod starts firing your atomizer. As soon as it starts to fire, let off the button and give it maybe another quarter turn tighter and it’ll work perfectly and be rock solid until the next battery change.

I understand that this particular mod has gotten some bad press when it originally came out, but it has since gone through a few revisions. Initially, I believe the mod was released without any venting holes. This is pretty dangerous as any issues with the lithium ion battery would cause gasses to be expelled and, with nowhere to go, you basically had a pipe bomb in your pocket. Let me assure you this is no longer an issue. It appears that there have been several revisions of this device with varying venting and the current version has vent holes smartly placed on the top, bottom and even in the middle (although that vent hole is hidden in the threading). No more worries!

Designated Vaping retails this mod at a very reasonable $46. It’s a very good looking piece, which is also built well and works every time. It has no sharp edges or burrs and it feels substantial and durable and will no doubt be one mod that is always close by and in frequent use. I like this one a lot and I am betting you will to!

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