Surefire Vapor has been cranking out top-quality American mods since 2013. As a fan of made-in-the-USA mechanical mods, I’ve always been a supporter of the company, but its initial mod wasn’t my cup of tea (hated the “hex nut” look). Since its start, Surefire Vapor has refined and revised its designs. One of its latest devices is the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod. It’s a handsome mechanical mod that features fine craftsmanship and strong performance, but comes at a premium price.
Build Quality and Construction: The Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is made from a fairly thick cut of brass. It uses copper negative and positive contacts. The brass has a finish that’s being labeled as “dusted,” but most vapers will see it as brushed brass. Whatever the label, the finish is well done. As far as materials go, Surefire Vapor did a nice job with this mod.
The workmanship is high quality too. The threads on all of the tubes are very, very smooth. The knurling on the top and bottom caps is well done. The design of the positive pin is especially impressive. Unlike many telescoping pins on the market, the pin in the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod has tight action and a firmly secure feel. This is great for two reasons — the tight machining helps with conductivity and you don’t have to worry about the pin coming loose and falling out when the mod doesn’t have a battery in it.
Design and Ergonomics: Since then end of 2013, several mod makers have chosen to go with minimalistic designs, releasing comparatively short devices. The Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is not one of those devices. It’s big, bold, and beautiful. Compared to some of the minimalist mods in my collection, the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is up to an inch taller in 18650 mode. While I didn’t mind the size at all, vapers that prefer shorter mods will want to skip this one.
Taking a step back, this is a modular device that comes with three main tubes. It can be configured to accept 18350 up to 18650 batteries.
Aesthetically, the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is best described as handsome. Branding is blessedly restrained, with the lion logo on the main tube, the Surefire Vapor logo on the firing button, and the text “Made in the USA” also on the firing button. There are a number of special editions of this mod with additional engraving, such as the #IMPROOF and #LONGLIVETHEKING models. No matter the edition, the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is a classy device that, in my opinion, is much better looking than the original King Mod.
As far as the caps go, I mentioned in the previous section that I was very impressed by the mod’s positive pin. It’s easy to adjust and very secure. The bottom cap is nicely designed too. The button is recessed (which I prefer) and it has a lock ring (which can be a lifesaver). The firing button has a short throw and medium-light feel.
Performance: I was surprised by how hard the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod hit. I was expecting good performance and relatively low voltage drop due to its brass body and copper pins, but my expectations were exceeded. Generally speaking, modular-tube mods have the potential for more voltage drop than single-tube mods (my personal preference); every time you add a junction, you have more potential for voltage loss. This potential voltage loss can be limited through deft engineering and workmanship, and that’s what Surefire Vapor delivered with this mod.
The mod’s copper contacts are highly conductive, though silver is a more conductive metal. Copper also tarnishes faster than silver and is a bit harder to maintain. To ensure optimum performance with this mod, regular contact maintenance is necessary.
Despite its modular design, the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is a very strong performer. Again, a brass body and copper contacts are a great combo, but this mod’s performance surprised me a bit and exceeded my expectations. While there are copper mods with silver-plated contacts that hit harder, most vapers will be content with the solid power this mods offers. It hits as hard as some, but certainly not all, of the copper mods in my collection.
Verdict: The Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod is one of the best devices Surefire Vapor has made. It looks great, the craftsmanship is very good, and it hits hard. The only issue I had with it was its price. It’s available for $230 through authorized Surefire Vapor resellers and if you want silver-plated contacts then you’ll have to pay extra. There are many competing mods that cost around $200 and come with silver-plated contacts as a standard feature.
While I was very happy using the Dusted Brass Knurled King Mod and certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality made-in-the-USA mechanical mod, the recommendation comes with a caveat. It’s a great mod that’s slightly overpriced.
[Special thanks to The Vape Source for letting Johann and me film there!]