So within a few days of beginning my vaping exploration, I'd stumbled upon VaporBeast and made an order through them for an eGo vv battery. They'd had a special running at the time that I hopped on. As a side note, the quality service and unbeatable shipping have made VaporBeast one of my favorite hardware vendors out there. They also happen to be one of the very few vendors in the U.S. that carry the King E-pipe.
For those seeking a pipe style mod, the options are pretty limited. There are a couple of companies that hand produce them one at a time and charge in the $150-$200 range for a finished pipe without batteries and chargers. That's just a little too steep for my tastes. When you look to Chinese-made product, there are really only a couple of manufacturers that I've found making wooden pipe mods. The most notable of them is the "Beautiful" company. They call their product the "King Electronic Pipe" and it comes in two sizes. The large size uses a standard 18350 battery in it. The smaller version uses an 18340.
This is where things get a little weird. VaporBeast calls their pipe the "Artisan KING e-Pipe." What I actually received from them doesn't say it's made by "Artisan" or "Beautiful." The pipe that I received came from a company calling themselves Beauticig. You can see the product on their website here. Before it arrived, I'd done a bit of research and watched the only review of the "Beautiful King e-pipe" I could find on Youtube. It apparently was produced by the only person the factory could find that spoke English: a 12-year old girl who doesn't know not to dry fire an empty carto tank.
Since this video was produced by the manufacturer, I didn't give it a lot of credence. So I read a few written reviews. And I was a little concerned. Reviews had pointed to some design weak points. The Beautiful King e-pipe allowed the use of a standard cartomizer that went down into the wooden pipe. If you didn't use it in this fashion, then you'd install a metal tube spacer that pushed the 510 connector up to the top of the pipe neck where you'd attach a tank. Reviews said that this design made for a structurally weak pipe and there was great difficulty installing the metal spacer tube down into the pipe. BUT THAT IS ALL REFERRING TO A PRODUCT THAT WAS NOT WHAT I RECEIVED.
The pipe that I received from VaporBeast doesn't have this whole spacer tube. The 510 connection is right at the top of the pipe neck and it is solidly mounted into the wood. It provides a perfect base to screw on the supplied carto tank and the whole finished product looks fantastic.
What's even better is that it really feels great in the hand. The actual wood bowl feels just exactly like a conventional tobacco pipe when held. And the pipe that I received has a chrome button on top of it instead of the pictured gold button that is shown on the VaporBeast website. I was THRILLED that it is silver. I hate gold and bright brass.
The kit itself comes with the pipe bowl, one carto tank with a cartomizer, two 18350 batteries, a charger, and the pipe mouthpiece-shaped drip tip that fits any standard tank or 510 cartomizer. The fact that the kit comes with two batteries is fabulous. They aren't high end batteries, but they work just fine. I used one of them tonight in my iTaste SVD because I wanted to see it in 18350 mode. And the battery performed great. The charger that comes with this e-pipe is an el cheapo, but gets the job done.
So far, great. Where the whole kit fails is that the included carto tank and cartomizer are horrible. I'm getting next to no flavor out of them and I think the resistance on this cartomizer is simply too high to operate well on an unregulated mod. This pipe has no way to adjust power output so it puts out the straight 3.7 volts from the battery. The only way to adjust vape quality on it is to change the resistance of the attached device.
When I put one of my Aspire tanks on it that has a 1.8 Ohm head in it, it worked great. I used a tank that has a flavor that I typically vape at a pretty low voltage and I got just as good a vape off the pipe as I do off my variable voltage devices. But the tapered top of the Aspire tanks make them look kind of silly with the big pipe drip tip on them. I really really like the way that the carto-tank looks on it. I have a Smoktech UDCT tank that also looks fantastic on it, but I need a new cartomizer for it before I'll be able to use it on there.
So here's the bottom line for me since I think you'd read enough. I really like this pipe. The build quality seems reasonably good for a $75 wood pipe. The value is good considering it includes not just one, but two batteries and charger with it. (Do bear in mind that the little stand in the photo didn't come with it. I purchased it separately for less than $20.) The tank and carto that are included stink. But my recommendation is that this is a product NOT to be used as your primary vaping device. I think it's well made enough to be more than a novelty. I'm quite certain that I'll get a good bit of use out of mine. But it's not a device that I'd recommend for a beginner. The mere act of filling a carto tank without getting e-juice everywhere is pain in the ass that most newbies won't want. And the need to add on other products to yield a really solid finished device makes the whole thing more of a vape tinkerer's device than something the average eGo user is going to be interested in.
Would I buy it again? In a damn heartbeat. It may just be my favorite device that I own. The cool factor is undeniable. And for you vapers who already have a nice collection of devices, I really think this is one that you should own.