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The Bolt from Smoktech Review


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Bolt Electronic Cigarette

The Origins of the Mod

When electronic cigarettes first started their rise to popularity a few years ago, it didn’t take long for users to get tired of the short battery life that minis and super minis had to offer.  In a time before the eGo, Provari and Silver Bullet, a few industrious users led the way by making modified electronic cigarettes that used higher capacity 3.7v batteries.  The Mod was born.  A flashlight, atomizer and switch were all that was really needed to make a functioning ecig.

Fast forward a couple of years and there are a wealth of variations on the electronic cigarette to choose from.  The devices have become better looking, more powerful and full of electronic wizardry that makes the vaping experience more enjoyable.  Like anything else, though, the fancier and more complicated a device gets, the higher the cost.  Simple plastic box mods are a good example of an electronic cigarette that has bucked this trend by keeping things just the way they were when the first battery box was glued together.  The recently introduced Bolt is another, only with a better finish than most of our flashlights ever saw.

 

Bolt Electronic Cigarette Components

 

The Bolt

The Bolt really is quite similar to a flashlight mod, with its simple tube design and black horn style switch.  The tube is 98mm long and 24mm in diameter, just large enough to accommodate the switch and an 18500 battery.  Unscrewing the top of the tube reveals the battery compartment with a heavy spring and vent hole at the bottom.  The pieces unscrew smoothly and it takes about 5 turns to separate the two parts.  The well machined threads and firm spring combine to make this a solid mod with no rattles or noises when everything is put together.  The finish on the Bolt is a glossy hammered texture that gives the mod a good feel and seems to be of good quality. They are also now available in shiny chrome and gunmetal finishes – see the update at the end of this article for more on that.  The relatively light 3.2oz weight of the mod with the battery installed also contributes to the feel of the Bolt.  A nearly flush mounted 510 atomizer connection completes the design and this flush mounting will make it a perfect mod to use with tanks.

Bolt Electronic Cigarette

Another nifty option that Smoke Tech has made available is an extender that allows the use of a significantly larger 18650 battery.  The use of the 18650 nearly doubles the capacity to 3000mAh.  The extender also makes the Bolt possibly the least expensive mod that can be used with an 18500 and the Kick for variable voltage use.  The extender is my only source of complaint about the Bolt, however, as it is painted with a different finish than the Bolt itself.  Having the different finish in the middle is not really unattractive, but the same gloss finish on everything would have looked better.  The paint on the extender also caused a more significant issue, as the interior threads were painted as well, eliminating the negative contact with the tube it screwed onto.  It was nothing a little sandpaper wouldn’t fix, but Smok Tech should take note of this issue.

Bolt Electronic Cigarette With ExtenderPerformance

The performance of the Bolt is pretty much what one would expect from a 3.7 volt unregulated mod, meaning that voltage fluctuates with battery charge and load.  When a 3.7 volt cells is fully charged, it produces nearly 4.2v, but that voltage may drop significantly under low resistance loads.  A fully charged battery doesn’t drop much with a 3.0 ohm cartomizer installed, but dips to around 3.6 volts with a 1.7ohm.  In practice, this is not very significant, as a 1.7ohm cartomizer produces an excellent vape in the 3.4 to 3.7 volt range.  The Bolt does just that – delivers a simple, enjoyable vaping experience.  The device is comfortable to hold and the nicely proportioned button is easy to press.  The 18500 battery is suitable for almost a days worth of moderate vaping.  Weight and size make this an easy mod to carry in a pocket or purse, but while the button is not prone to inadvertent firing, there is no on/off switch or cutoff either.  I experienced no problems carrying it in my pocket, but unscrewing the atomizer would is the only way to be completely sure.

Bolt Electronic CigaretteConclusion

The Bolt has secured a position as a daily vape for me.  It’s nice to pick up a simple mod like this and realize that a great vape doesn’t have to involve variable voltage and electronics, particularly when used with the excellent new crop of low resistance cartomizers that are available.  The simple good looks make it an electronic cigarette that I don’t mind showing off, even if it is on the inexpensive side.  At less than $70 for the Bolt, two batteries and a charger from Smoktek, the device is only slightly more expensive than a typical fat battery electronic cigarette kit.  For a vaper looking to upgrade to a mod, this is a great one to start with.

Chrome and Black Chrome Bolt

Update: I’ve been using the Bolt for a few weeks now and it has become the electronic cigarette most likely to be thrown in my pocket. Even using the 18500 battery, the battery life is great and the performance with my favorite 1.7ohm cartomizers is exactly to my liking. I’ve had no issues with unintended firing and the fact that it’s inexpensive means that I don’t mind tossing it around during the day.

The Bolt is now available in Chrome and Black Chrome (pictured above) and I picked up one of each from Smoktek. The new finishes make this a really great looking mod for the price. As with the former version, everything fits together well and works perfectly. These go on the highly recommended list for anyone ready to try out a mod and at less than $40, they make a great addition to any vapers collection.

The Bolt is the latest offering from Smok Tech, a company that is now producing a wide range of electronic cigarette devices and accessories.   The test unit was purchased from Smok Tek, an online retailer with a similar name, but not affiliated, at least to my knowledge.

 

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    Let's talk hardware - Page 125

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