Vapeman Steam Engine DNA 75 Review
The Vapeman Steam Engine DNA 75 is a great mod with a great look. If you are into steampunk looks, you will definitely fall in love with this mod. It has that classy, elegant, old-school look.
FIRST IMPRESSION OUT OF THE BOX:
The box the Steam Engine comes in is actually pretty nice. It kind of looks like a box you would get from someone in the Addams Family. It is a single-tier box and with the mod, you also get a charging cable as well as some sort of burlap sack. I’m assuming this sack is for transporting or carrying the mod. Don’t know why you’d want to put your mod in a sack but none the less it’s in the box.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
- 1 Steam Engine mod
- 1 Charging Cable
- 1 Manual
- 1 Burlap bag
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM:
If you are into that Steampunk look, then this may be the perfect mod for you. We will start off with the 510 and work our way down. The 510 has a platform that fits atomizers up to 25mm. The platform is brass and it has some branding on it that says Steam Engine. It also has a number on it which I’m assuming is a production or serial number. Mine says 974. The 510 connection is threaded very smoothly and it does look to be brass. The 510 pin is gold plated and it is extremely firm but it does have a good spring to it. The throw on it is kind of short.
The whole mod is ensconced in what looks like an old type of weathered leather. It’s the type of leather that purposely has creases and imperfections in it. There is some Vapeman branding stamped into the leather on the skinny side of the mod opposite the screen. As far as branding goes, that’s about it. The leather does have a shiny sheen to it and while I’m not really sure if it is real leather, if it’s fake, they did a wonderful job with it. Along the skinny side of the mod leading up to the 510 pin, there is a leather patch that raises up from the actual mod itself. There is some stitching for that patch and the stitching looks to be done extremely well which does lead me to believe that this probably is real leather.
The screen has a glass enclosure in front of it that almost makes it look like it’s being held captive. The glass in front of the screen itself probably has a slight tint to it and it is the reason why this screen does not look as bright as a typical DNA screen. As with all DNA screens, this one will show you your resistance, voltage, amps, wattage, and mode. Like all DNA screens, this is of course customizable and you can change any of those things via Escribe should you feel the need to. The screen does do well in most lighting conditions but it can be a little tough to see in direct sunlight when you are outdoors.
Right above the screen, you have the fire button. The fire button is circular and very loose and wiggly. If you do shake the mod, you can definitely hear it rattle. I would have loved to have seen a much more secure fire button on a mod that looks like this. Especially since the rest of the mod is made of very quality materials. The buttons are indeed brass, they just need to be fitted better. The fire button is embedded in what looks like a brass buckle on the mod. The buckle bends around the edges of the mod and it gives the illusion that it is secured by 2 brass rivets. Overall, very nicely done with a classy and elegant look to it.
Below the screen, we do have the plus and minus buttons. The plus button is on the right and the minus button is on the left. They are loose and wiggly as well but they don’t make nearly as much noise as the fire button does when the mod is being shaken. It’s not a problem when it comes to everyday vaping but I do have to note it because this is a review. The plus and minus buttons also sit on what looks like a brass buckle that is about half the size of the one that houses the fire button. It also bends around the mod and looks to be secured by a brass rivet on each side that is actually very similar to the size of the plus and minus buttons. Both buckles have that weathered brass look that gives the Steam Engine a certain elegance.
Below the plus and minus buttons, we do have the charge and update port. This mod will charge internally at 1 amp and, of course, because it is a DNA, it is firmware upgradeable. This port is also used so your mod can get hooked up to Evolv’s Escribe software that allows you to customize almost every aspect of your vaping experience.
On the bottom of the mod, we have a full brass enclosure as well as a battery door. Slide the door out and it comes completely off the mod. The whole door is made of brass with some venting as well as battery orientation markings. Inside the battery tubes, there are two spring-loaded positive contacts. The batteries for this mod are run in parallel. The batteries do fit quite snugly and the battery door has not given me any issues so far.
THE LOOK, FEEL, AND GENERAL AESTHETICS OF THE MOD:
I have to say that in general, I’m not always into this steampunk look, but I think Vapeman nailed it on this one. This mod doesn’t have a lot of gears or metal pieces sticking out and rolling around. Instead, it’s made out of brass and leather. It definitely gives it a very classy, old school look. If you would see this mod and not know what it is, you would probably think it was at least 50 or 60 years old. It just has that weathered look to it which I really enjoy.
While I am a little disappointed that Vapeman decided not to go with the new DNA 75C chipset, I do understand their reasoning. With a mod that has this steampunk type of look, you really could not go with a color screen. To complete the look and aesthetics of this mod, you needed a simple screen. A color screen just would have thrown the whole look off and not made the mod look nearly as old as it looks with the regular DNA75 screen. Unfortunately, that chipset does have a lot of limitations but if you like the look, you’ll figure a way around those limitations and hopefully find a happy medium.
The leather definitely feels very nice in the hand and the shape of the mod feels good, too. The mod itself is definitely on the heavy side for its size. One thing I don’t like about the mod is after I vape it for a while, I can definitely smell the brass on my hands. Overall though, I’d say the looks are a huge win and there really is nothing else on the market that quite looks like it. That alone is a huge pro.
There are no surprises here. Unfortunately, Vapeman decided to go with the DNA 75. I say DNA 75 because I am of the opinion that while Evolv makes a fantastic chip, they really blew it on this one because of the limitations that they placed on it. I have no problem with the chip only doing 75 Watts. The worst thing about this chipset is that it only fires down as low as .15 ohms, that is what the specs say. In reality, you can fire it as low as .08 but after .1 ohm you may lose some wattage due to the amp limit. That’s a huge con for TC vapers and, nowadays, almost every type of vaper. While I don’t regularly super sub ohm, I definitely like to have the option of doing so should I choose to do so. This chipset is also not as efficient as the DNA 250. It has an 855 efficiency rating as opposed to a 95% efficiency rating of the DNA 250.
The good news about the chipset that comes with the Steam Engine mod is that it is an Evolv chip set. While the chip does have its limitations, you will not find a better temperature control chip on the market today. In fact, a lot of vapers will tell you that when it comes to TC, the DNA is indeed the last word. It is definitely one of the best TC chipsets on the market for TC vaping. You will be able to adjust your temperature from 200 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and it will fire TC builds as low as .15 ohms. Of course, like most of the mods in the DNA family, the chip automatically senses the resistance of your coil so there is no reason to manually set it. Along with that feature, there is also a ton of safety features and warnings that are built into the board.
When you purchase a DNA mod, you are granted access to Evolv’s proprietary software, Escribe. If you’re the type that likes to control every little aspect of your vape, if you like to tinker and fine tune every little thing about your vaping experience, then the DNA mod is definitely for you. With this chip set that you can accomplish a wide variety of different things like customizing your screen, adjusting your preheat, you can even save specific tanks wattages, and temperatures on your profiles. Should you choose, there are even individual battery profiles available via this software. Most of the things that I have named so far are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the customization of a DNA mod. So if you are proficient with a PC and you love to fine tune your vape, this is definitely a mod for you. If you like to have custom screens for all your tanks, then a DNA mod in general is worth a serious look. The only bad thing about the software is, as of this writing, it is not available for Apple users.
Let’s say you’re not proficient with a computer and you don’t like to tinker around with every little aspect of your vape. You can still own a DNA mod and be a very happy vaper. It does come with most of the popular wires pre installed for TC vaping. So technically, you really don’t need a computer to enjoy a DNA mod. You just need a computer to get the most out of a DNA experience and in my experience get the most enjoyment out of it.
THE MENU SYSTEM:
- 5 clicks of the fire button turns the mod on
- 5 clicks of the fire button locks the mod when its on
- Hold the plus and minus button to power lock and unlock the mod
- When power locked, press the plus or minus button to scroll through the 8 presets
- Lock the mod with 5 clicks of the fire button then hold the plus and minus button together to change the wattage while in TC mode
All of these different button clicks sound a little crazy but in reality, they are very intuitive once you get to know them. Besides, most of the real input where settings are concerned is done via Escribe.
HOW DOES IT VAPE?
This mod vapes like a typical DNA device. There are no surprises here. It just does what it says it does. Right now, I am running my Asmodus Galatek on it and I am ohming out at .19 ohms at 75 watts and 500 degrees in temperature control mode. I get an extremely satisfying, flavorful vape with absolutely no chance of a burnt hit. That’s what a DNA does and the Steam Engine is no different. It does TC and it does it extremely well.
One thing I really like and I experienced while vaping this mod is the fact that it does take two batteries even though it only goes up to 75 Watts. It’s a big pro and I’ll tell you why. Yes, the wattage and resistance limitation are a little annoying on a mod this size but if you are the type of vaper that vapes in TC and under 75 watts, most of the time you are going to get phenomenal battery life on this mod. I’ve been vaping it at 40 Watts with most of my builds and I have to say that the battery life is just impressive. So this mod is definitely perfect for the lower wattage Vapor that doesn’t like swapping out batteries all day. Heck, I have even been maxing this board out and 75 watts and I still get really good battery life.
It’s a great mod with what I think is a great look. If you are into that steampunk look, you will definitely fall in love with the Vapeman Steam Engine. It has that classy, elegant, old school, old-looking look. It just makes you think that it’s definitely not a device that was created in the last 50 years when you first lay eyes on it. I think that alone is really kind of cool and I like having that type of device in my hand when people come up to me and ask me what it is. I think the brass and the leather work very well together and I think Vapeman did an awesome job when it comes to pairing the two. It almost reminds me of one of those old leather couches you would see in some old lawyer’s office.
If you are enamored by the looks, well, then what else is there not to like. It’s a DNA 75. It is accurate in power and TC mode. And you will get a very satisfying high quality vape when you use a device like this. So if you are a lower wattage, steampunk fan, and you vape in TC most of the time, you will definitely want to check out the Vapeman Steam Engine. It’s a looker and a performer all in one. Definitely Deuces Jack approved for the steampunk, TC vaper in you.
PROS & CONS:
A note about Pros and Cons. These are my Pros and Cons. They are very subjective. What may be a pro to me could be a con to you and vice versa.
- Vape quality
- Build quality
- Battery life
- 25 mm with no overhang
- Set up for TC out of the box
- Firmware upgradeable
- Feel in the hand
- Unique look
- 1 amp charging
- Brass can get smelly
- Screen could be a tad brighter
- DNA 75 limitations
- DNA75 ChipSet
- OLED Display
- Pre-heat Mode
- Escribe Screen customization
- Precise temperature control modes
- Extended battery life W/Dual 18650 cells
- Compatible with Ni200, Ti01, Kanthal, And stainless coils
- Screen Size: 0.91″ OLED
- Battery Capacity: Dual 18650 Dells Setup(Not included)
- Output Power: 1W-75W
- Output Voltage: 0.2V-6.2V
- Output Current: 30W-40A
- Temperature Limit: 200℉-600℉
- Input Voltage: 3.0V-4.2V
- Input Current: 0.5A-28.0A
- Size: 63*28*85mm
Deuces Jack is a well-known member of the VapingUnderground forums where he quickly became respected for his honest opinions and willingness to help other members. He is now a regular content contributor for Vaping Insider. When he’s not vaping or unboxing the latest products for review, he can be found riding motorcycles close to his home in New York.
Deuces also post this review here:
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