Introduction to the SMOK Guardian II Epipe
The Guardian II Epipe is Smok’s attempt to recreate the feeling of a traditional pipe for vapers. This is a variable wattage device that can be adjusted from 6W-15.0W and features a magnetic switch with a spring loaded conductive structure for stable performance.
The device is designed to automatically match the atomizer resistance to create the best possible vaping experience.
SMOK Guardian II features
- Stainless steel and wood construction.
- Operating Wattage: 6.0W-15.0W
- 510/eGo threaded.
- Requires one 18350 battery (sold separately).
- Wattage can be adjusted from 6.0 – 15.0 Watts in 1.0 Watts increments.
- Constant Wattage Output: White LED - Wattage adjustable from 6W to 10W. Blue LED - Wattage adjustable from 11W to 15W.
- Unlock/Lock Feature: Quickly clicking five times will power the device on or off. Once the device is on, holding down the button will activate the battery. This safety feature prevents the atomizer from turning on while it's in your pocket or bag, as well as inadvertent settings changes.
- Unlock/Lock Feature: Quickly clicking five times will power the device on or off.
- There is a LED light on top of the mod and when it shows White it indicates 6w to 10w output wattage and when it shows Blue it indicates 11w to 15w output wattage.
- On/Off by pressing the power button 5 times in a row within 2 seconds. Status changed confirmed when the white LED flashes 3 times
- LED Battery Indicator: When the battery voltage is lower than 3.3V, the white LED Flashes 15 times to remind of you charging the battery.
- 8-Seconds Cut-off: If the button is held down for 8 seconds or longer, the LED will flash and shut off until the button is released.
What’s in the box?
- 1x Guardian II E-Pipe.
- 1x Beauty 510 connection ring.
- 1x User Manual.
Sadly that is all you get in the package since all you are essentially buying is the pipe itself. It does not come with an elongated drip tip or stem, nor does it come with a tank. It is important you keep this in mind because it can all add up to be quite an expensive purchase.
SMOK Guardian II styling and build quality
SMOK Guardian II Epipe Mod screams luxury being constructed of real wood and stainless steel. The wood itself has a lacquered finish and has a traditional pipe size and shape. It feels extremely good in the hand and it is quite weighty but not uncomfortably so. I suppose if you have small hands then it might feel a little awkward.
The stainless steel parts are nicely machined but the top firing switch is a little clunky. I didn’t find that it rattled at all but instead just felt a bit clunky. I personally don’t have a problem with it but I do think it should feel a bit better than it does since everything else about the device seems so well made.
The Guardian II features eGo threading but if you use the included beauty ring you can fit any of your 510 atomizers to this device. The finish of the beauty ring is really nicely done and it is 22mm in diameter so most of your atomizers should fit flush.
The battery compartment is found under the switch in the main pipe bowl. The switch mounting unscrews to allow access. The threading is nicely done but I did find you do have to press the top cap/switch down when screwing it back on due to the presence of the magnet.
The base of the pipe bowl features a single venting hole that is about 3mm in diameter.
Ease of use
Simply screw your device onto the eGo connector or attach the beauty ring first to use 510 atomizers. After inserting a battery and screwing down the top cap you simple click five times to switch the device on.
On the top of the pipe surrounding the switch is an adjustable dial and this is how you adjust the wattage. The wattages are set values so you can’t really tweak to your exact preference like you might be able to with typical plus and minus buttons.
Each setting has two wattages clearly marked, a lower one and a higher one. You adjust the dial to the setting you want and then hold down the fire button to vape. To swap between the lower/higher wattage values you click the fire button three times. The LED light displays low wattage in white and high wattages in blue.
It is important to note that the device does cut off after the fire button is held for more than eight seconds. I would have personally preferred it to be ten seconds but I have grown used to it.
Bear in mind that the Guardian II doesn’t play nice with atomizer coil resistances that are lower than 1.5ohm. I have actually got it to fire a 1.2ohm coil in my Kayfun but in most cases with the tanks I have tried it doesn’t always work.
Something else you need to be aware of is the fact that once the battery starts to drain too much the device will flash a white/blue (depending on mode) light fifteen times indicating that you should replace the battery.
So how does the Guardian II vape?
This will depend a lot on what tank you use and what resistance coil you have in it. I have tried it with a basic SMOK Trophy tank which is essentially just a Kanger Protank. It wasn’t a great vape but it might be acceptable to someone who uses eGo style batteries - just don’t expect a lot of vapour.
I have also tried it with my Kayfun Lite Plus which had a 1.6ohm coil in it. The tank was filled with Manabush Powwow Sauce. The result was good and adjusting the wattage to suit gave me nice flavour and a nice amount of vapour. Not huge fog banks or anything but a comparable amount to a typical pipe. For the proper pipe experience I used a 510 pipe mouthpiece that I had purchased and it resulted in a very pleasant and relaxed vape very enjoyable!
I also experimented fitting the Lemo 2 to the device and it also worked without issue. Due to the increased airflow that this tank features it did result in greater vapour production and it looked good paired with the Guardian II.
The final tank I tried was Aspire’s Nautilus Mini which I had filled up with Element Tobacco. This was my first time trying this juice and it really surprised me how much it tasted like Samson or Drum rolling tobacco which I must admit used to be my daily fix when I was a smoker.
The Nautilus Mini worked very well with the Guardian II. I had set the pipe to 8W in white/lower wattage mode. I think the experience was good because I had the right kind of juice and also the pipe stem to create a placebo effect in my mind. Vapour production was good and due to way you use a pipe you are regularly releasing vaper from your mouth which swirls around you creating that illusion of sitting in your armchair whilst wearing your Victorian smoking jacket. For the record I don’t own one of those or a fez either for that matter, maybe I should.
If you would prefer to avoid the coil buying cycle then a good single coil rebuildable tank will work fine as long as you keep the 1.5 minimum resistance in mind.
So does it really feel like a traditional pipe?
In many ways it does, once you have the right juice and a suitable stem paired with your favourite tank then it comes extremely close to recreating a traditional pipe experience and like I said earlier I find it extremely relaxing to vape this way. It makes a pleasant change from my Sub-Ohm tanks and drippers.
There is of course one real downside and that is of course battery life. I found that if I stayed in white/lower wattage mode I could get at least two hours of chain vaping at 8W. I have tried it in blue/higher wattage mode too at the 15W limit of the device and believe me that does not last long if you are constantly using it.
Thankfully 18350 batteries are cheap and easily carried around. So if you are someone who wants to heavily indulge in your Epipe experience then remember to have spares.
If you use this device in moderation perhaps for only a short time in the evening then the battery will last you much longer.
I love this device because it has a great feel to it and overall build quality is excellent. For short vape sessions I really do enjoy it and providing you have enough batteries to keep you going it can easily be used as an all day vape. Paired with the Nautilus Mini with the hollowed out sleeve it really does look gorgeous.
The major negative to this device is the lack of needed extras which can add substantially to the price if you don’t already own them. Compared to the Kamry K1000 which comes as a complete package the Guardian II is quite barebones and considerably more expensive but in my mind the finish of the device makes it a great luxury purchase if Epipes appeal to you.
The Guardian II Epipe is priced at £59.99 and is available to purchase from Smoke Purer who kindly provided this device to Planet of the Vapes for us to review.
Smoke Purer also sell the Guardian II as a complete package which allows you to choose a tank and batteries to go with it but of course that does increase the price as you would expect. Remember to use code “POTV” at Smoke Purer for 10% off your purchase!