Review: Tugboat Mod v1

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The Tugboat Version One is a 22mm diameter mechanical mod from Flawless Vapes with a hybrid style connection. Hybrid style mechanical mods, where the atomizer makes direct contact with the battery, should only be used with atomizers a protruding 510 center pin. This prevents the sides of the 510 which form the negative contact of the connection from touching the battery causing a hard short which can result in your battery failing.

 

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Aesthetics:

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The classic Tugboat logo is laser engraved on the tube

Overall, the Tugboat Mod v1 is an attractive device with an even, matte finish. The classic Tugboat logo is laser engraved on the tube with #Tug life opposite, and the Flawless logo on the button. Three style lines are cut into the top of the tube with two at the base, the machining is even and crisp. The body of the mod is made of copper which is reasonably hard, and resistant to scratching compared to other copper devices I’ve handled. The copper rapidly picks up an attractive natural patina through normal use/handling.

MFG Quality:

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Bottom Button

The threading is excellent, with the 510 threads feeling slightly smoother than those on the top cap.  Overall the finish is very good, however the exterior surface of the button did not receive the same attention as the body of the mod, and is a bit uneven which becomes more noticeable as the copper acquires a patina. The button performs well, and fires reliably even on highly off center presses

Subjective:

Overall, I really liked the Tugboat Version One, it’s a solid, attractive looking device with good performance and excellent build quality. It’s not something I’d use every day, I prefer my 100+ watt regulated devices for that, but it’s excellent when you want to use something different, need something smaller than a dual 18650 box mod, or as a backup device.

DSC00041Of course as a single 18650 mechanical you are stuck with the limitations common to those devices, limited usable battery life, limited power, and build restrictions. However, because of the copper body, copper contacts, and hybrid connection the Tugboat Mod v1 is electrically efficient, making the most of the available power from your battery.

The magnetic switch feels great, the resistance is light enough to be comfortable, but stiff enough not to fire under its own weight if placed on an uneven surface.  One thing in particular that I like is that there is no need for a mechanism to adjust for 18650 batteries of differing lengths. Those systems always end up being fiddly, in the Tugboat the magnetic contact pushes the magnet up away from the switch holding it in position. Because of this the length of throw on the switch will vary slightly depending on the length of the battery.

Beyond these limitations inherent to single 18650 mechs, the one thing that annoyed me about this device was the copper turning my skin green. Overall, while it’s not something I’d use daily I really like it and have no regrets about purchasing it. Price wise, it’s very reasonable. I picked mine up as a combo with a Tugboat Version 2 RDA for about $100 a couple months ago, and with a little searching you can find the mod only for about $40. One thing to keep in mind if you are thinking about picking one up, early versions of the mod came with aluminum bodies and do not perform as well as the copper versions.

Author: Chris

Been vaping since 2010, by day I'm a system administrator for a brewery. Outside of vaping my interests include PC gaming and good beer, both consuming it and brewing it.

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