So VO Tech sent me the Dagger mod for this review and after using it for a couple of weeks, I decided to jot down my thoughts on it. First off, this is a beautiful mod. It looks gorgeous and has a certain weightiness to it without feeling too heavy. It’s sturdy, so much that you could use it as a weapon during a bar fight. Five stars to VO Tech for the construction of this mod. It feels expensive, like a DNA device.
I got the one in black and along with it, I got a bunch of plates that I can stick to the sides to make it even prettier. And that!… is exactly what I did right away.
The battery door is very unique, as it is hinged to the top and opens upwards. I really like this as it makes slotting in the battery an easy job. A little ribbon that is supposed to be slid under the battery helps pull out the battery real quick. As easy as … hot knife butter etc.
The unit feels nice in the hand and while the edges are not rounded, you won’t be discomforted unless you try to choke the device. In any case, by using the decorative plates that are supplied with it, you can ‘round off’ the edges. By default, you get two extra magnetic plates with the device that you can attach to the sides and there is also an option to buy more plates and some of the designs are rather attractive.
Overall, the construction is top notch. The buttons have a nice tactile feel to it, the spring loaded 510 is super quality and the screen is easy to read even in sunlight. No qualms so far.
Using the mod
The chip used in the Dagger is a proprietary product of VO Tech and one they say can rival the almighty DNA. I am not so sure about the latter, however, barring a few peculiarities, it is does function very well making this device, a rather simple one when it comes to daily use.
To start with, let’s talk about increasing and decreasing the wattage. In most mods, the left button is for lowering the wattage/voltage/temperature and the right button is for upping it. In Dagger however it is the other way round. Took me a while to get used to the fact that on this mod, I have to press the left button to increase wattage.
Five clicks switch on the mod, however, clicking five times when the mod is on, leads you to the menu. From here you can change the mode or choose to switch off the mod (when a nice bye bye message greets you). To select any of those options, you simply press and hold the fire button for two seconds. Pretty easy.
Three clicks of the power button lock the mod which is useful if you want to carry in the pocket but do not want it to fire off on its own. Lastly, pressing the up and down button together locks the resistance.
Going deeper (That’s what she…etc.)
As for the chip, it has all the protections that you would expect from a mod in 2017. Reverse battery protection, short circuit protection, low resistance protection, protection from overheating and a 12-second firing cutoff. It does, however, lack a few things.
Firstly, there is no option to flip the screen, which can be a turnoff for some people. To me however, it doesn’t matter a bit. I have never bothered with this option in any of my mods as once I set the settings, I rarely ever look at the screen.
There is no provision for round robin’ing either. So when you reach the maximum of 80w, the mod doesn’t automatically shift to the lowest value which is 5w. Similarly, in temp mod, if you reach 600 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn’t automatically shift to Celsius. To go into Celsius, you have to click it five times and then choose the TC option with Celsius.
On the plus side, the device is powerful indeed and even when vaping at the max (80 watts) it manages to throw maximum power at the coil, which is impressive given that this is a single 18650 mod. Most single 18650 mods aren’t able to give such a good performance.
So far, there aren’t many things wrong with the mod, but when I ran a TC build on it, I encountered issues that I thought deserved a discussion. As mentioned above, you go into TC mode by clicking the firing button five times and selecting through a bunch of options.
First of all, you need to select whether you want to TC in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
Then you need to select whether you want to vape in normal temp control mod (NC) or automatic temp control (AC). Normal temp control is … normal TC as we know it while in the AC TC mode, all the settings are controlled by the Mod. You don’t have to do a thing. Sounds impressive right, but does it work? We shall see later.
The third step in going into TC mode involves selecting the wire type and you can choose between stainless steel, nickel and titanium. While it does require three clicks to get into your preferred TC mode, it honestly isn’t too bad and after using it for a bit, you get the hang of it.
The main USP here is the Automatic Temp Control. According to VO Tech, the chip inside the mod detects the boiling point of the juice that is inside your RTA/RDA and automatically sets the temperature that will deliver an optimum vaping experience.
This is honestly a great option for newbies who are not sure of the settings they should use for a temp control build. But it must be noted that in the AC mode, you cannot change any settings. For that, you have to five click again and go into the NC mode. A bit of a hassle. There is also no way to edit or figure out the pre-heat wattage that hits your coil in the TC mode.
There are a few cons when it comes to the TC mode. when I ran an SS build on my Ziggs RDA to try out the TC mode on this mod, it kept giving me an error. “Dry coil no liquid.” I painted juice all over the coil & the wick, filled the juice well of the RDA to the max and I still kept getting this error.
Finally, I figured that when using a new build in TC mode, you have to lock the resistance first (by holding up and down together) before the TC mode will work as expected. Not cool!
Secondly, if you use a non-TC wire in TC mode, then it does not snap automatically out of TC mode and shift to wattage- you have to do it manually. This one is an issue coz plenty of us have at one time or another, forgotten to change modes when replacing an SS build atty with a kanthal build atty.
All in all, the TC works as advertised. In the Automatic Control mode, I was able to get a very satisfying vaping experience without having to do a thing. The same goes for the normal control mode. Works as advertised.
Lastly, I must talk of one more con that might apply to some of you. If you are charging the battery while it is in the mod (via the USB cable that is provided with it), then you get two options upon plugging in. Charge and Upgrade. There is a 10-second timer that defaults to the ‘charge’ option if you do not select either of them.
The problem, however, occurs when you select the update option. VO Tech has put a warning on their site that if you select the update option, then not only will this brick your mod, it will also void the warranty. Which makes me wonder why they even put the option in such a gullible position in the first place.
So if you accidentally chose upgrade then the mod is as good as dead. A big con. However, as I always tell vapers, it is never a good idea to charge your 18650 batteries while they are in the mod. Just buy a dedicated charger. Not only is that a safer option, it will also lengthen the lives of your 18650 batteries.
What’s the verdict then?
The Dagger looks good, functions well and is easy enough to use. However, as I said it does have its cons. If you want a good looking mod and vape mostly in wattage mode then definitely go for this. The biggest cons, however, relate to the update glitch when charging via the cable and it’s inability to switch automatically from TC to wattage when a non-TC build is used.
If VO Tech fixes these issues, then the Dagger will without a doubt be one of the top mods in the market for not just beginners but for intermediate vapers as well.