Published on May 17th, 2013 | by Trick8
Review: The Grand Vapor Sentinel
Grand Vapor Sentinel
Summary: A compact telescoping mod from the Philippines, the Grand Vapor Sentinel has some of the best performance we've found in any mechanical.
It’s been a good week here at Vape Squad. Several shipments for which we’ve been waiting for quite some time have started showing up at the doorstop of Headquarters, from the Janty MiD we reviewed yesterday to the subject of today’s review: the Grand Vapor Sentinel.
The Grand Vapor Sentinel is a Philippine-made mechanical mod. Available in a brass or copper body, the Sentinel can be further customized with the use of anodized aluminum tubes and end caps. The Sentinel ships with silver-colored caps and tubes; red, gold, blue and black are also available. Our copper Sentinel, serial number US092, is currently sporting a three-toned look with black tubes and silver end caps, but obviously a wide variety of combinations is possible.
Even without the customization, the Grand Vapor Sentinel has a unique and easily recognizable look. It is very eclectic, with knurling on the body, smooth grooves on the upper and lower tubes, and a bolt-head-like bottom cap, with the bolt-head motif echoed to a lesser degree on top. This combination of shapes and textures sounds like it could be a real mess, but it works for the Sentinel, giving it a rugged, industrial appearance
The Sentinel is a bottom-fired mod, with a large button of the same metal as the main body tube that’s deeply engraved with the Grand Vapor logo and a serial number. The button protrudes a bit from the bottom of the mod when the reverse-threaded locking ring is in the unlocked position, and has a good feel to it, with just a slight amount of side-to-side play and a short throw.
There is no battery spring in the Sentinel; the bottom button manipulates the negative post, which activates the mod when it hits the battery. The top cap is similarly slim, with a short floating center post that allows atomizers to sit flush with the top of the mod. Because of the minimal overhead at the ends of the mod, the overall size of the Grand Vapor Sentinel is quite small, and it’s one of the shortest mods in 18650 mode that we’ve reviewed — to our recollection, of the mods which can use an 18650, only the Gus Telescopic V2 and the Sigelei Telescope #20 come in at a shorter height. Of course, since the Sentinel is a telescoping mod, it can also be used with an 18500 or 18350, and we had no trouble getting it to work with a Kick or Crown.
Conductivity of the Grand Vapor Sentinel is excellent — one of the best we’ve tested. Presumably due at least in part to the copper body of our Sentinel, there was very little voltage drop in our load tests, with the Sentinel delivering over 97% of the batteries voltage to the atomizer, or a drop of just over .1 volts with a battery charged to 4.25 volts.
We paid $121 for our Sentinel in a Facebook-based group buy, and $39 for the additional set of black tubes and end caps. As with a lot of buys of Pinoy mods, the price savings we got weren’t in the mod itself, but in splitting shipping with the other buyers. Going it alone, shipping costs from the Philippines can be quite high, and our price included getting the mod to our door. While we’re very pleased with the mod’s price — especially considering its performance — we’re not quite as thrilled with forking out nearly $40 for the accent pieces. It is, however, four separate pieces, so perhaps the price isn’t really as steep as it sounds.
All told, we’re very pleased with the purchase. $160 seems quite a fair price to pay for a mod this compact, with the high level of performance we’ve been getting from the Sentinel. Grand Vapor should be very proud of this one.