Our latest acquisition from the Philippines is the Grand Vapor Private V2, makers of the Sentinel, which we reviewed pretty favorably back in May.
Like the Sentinel, the Private V2 is a mechanical mod with a bottom-mounted button, and it shares a lot in common with the Sentinel, from a telescoping body capable of fitting batteries from an 18350 up to an 18650, to the angular styling of the top and bottom caps. In many ways, it resembles a Sentinel turned inside-out, with a large, easy to grip midsection flanked by thinner upper and lower tubes.
Styling is also somewhat simpler on the Grand Vapor Private V2 then the Sentinel. Whereas the Sentinel is something of a mishmash of knurling, ribs and other textures, the Private V2 has a more smooth, refined look, with subdued ribbing in the center tubes and a lightly brushed finish on the outer tubes. However, while the look is clean, it manages to not look plain. There are plenty of angles to reflect light, and the use of multiple materials — stainless steel on the center and end caps, brass for the top and bottom tubes, and a bit of copper at the bottom, add accents that make the Private V2 eye-catching, without looking busy. Many who aren’t fans of the Sentinel’s eclectic styling may want to take another look at Grand Vapor with the Private II.
Functionally, the Grand Vapor Private 2 has a lot of the features we appreciated from our Sentinel, including a bottom button with adjustable throw, a floating center pin at the top, and copper contacts — which, in the Private V2, are silver-plated.
Our mod is extremely well-constructed. Threading is exceptionally smooth and squeak-free, and the use of stainless steel at the caps provides a degree of durability. While many are leery of aluminum caps like those used on the Sentinel, where the use of soft metal can sometimes lead to threading issues, the stainless used in the Private 2 may make the mod somewhat heavier, but it is much less prone to such problems.
We did have one issue which may be worth noting: Our 18xxx batteries fit pretty tightly in the Private V2, with no rattle whatsoever. However, this tight fit has also led to one issue we haven’t really run into before: if a battery’s insulation layer doesn’t completely cover the sides of the battery, it can cause the mod to fire without pressing the button. This hasn’t been a problem with new batteries, but we have seen it with some older ones — particularly batteries like our older gray Panasonics where some of the insulation has worn away at the negative end. With some of our batteries, the edges on the bottom of the battery would rub against the side of the mod, and the atomizer would fire. Just something to watch out for.
As we’ve almost started taking for granted with Grand Vapor’s mods, it performed excellently in our load testing. On average, the Private V2 retained over 96% of battery voltage under load, or a voltage drop of about .15 volts from a battery charged to 4.2 volts. It should also probably be noted that few mods we’ve tested have performed as consistently as the Grand Vapor Private V2: while some mods show a large amount of voltage fluctuation between firings, the Private V2 displayed almost none, with each use showing the same voltage as the last, only changing as battery voltage decreased. Looking back at previous test results, few mods have been as consistent as our Private V2, and very few have performed better.
We got our Private V2 for $148.50 via a Facebook-based group buy. While that’s a good-sized chunk of change, it’s a lot less than we’ve seen it going from some American retailers, where we’ve seen people pay prices as high as $380. The Private V2 was a limited run (we’ve heard only 600 would be made), so it may be difficult to find at the price we paid, but if you can get it, we’d say go for it.