Picture showing the SMOK Rigel

SMOK Rigel Review

SMOK Rigel Review

Today we get to grips with the SMOK Rigel sub ohm kit for a hands on, in depth product review.

SMOK’s recent unveilings have seen them enter the pod vaping scene with tremendous confidence, with units like the Nord 2 and RPM80 changing the way that we think about pocket sized, portable vaping convenience.

However, it’s now time for SMOK to return to their old ways, back when they were the kings of the box mod scene. Grab yourself some high VG e-liquid and a couple charged up 18650 batteries because it’s time to get to grips with the SMOK Rigel Kit!

SMOK Rigel review breakdown:

  • Video Review
  • Box Contents
  • Specifications
  • Design & Build Quality
  • Features and Functions
  • How to Use
  • Battery Life & Charging
  • Performance
  • Verdict

In-depth video review

SMOK Rigel Box Contents

  • 1x SMOK Rigel Mod.
  • 1x SMOK TFV9 EU Tank (2ml)
  • 1x V9 Meshed 0.15Ω Coil (Pre-Installed)
  • 1x V9 Meshed 0.15Ω Coil (Spare)
  • 1x USB Type-C Charging Cable.
  • 1x User Manual.

SMOK Rigel Specifications

  • Metal alloy body with flexible rubber coating
  • Adjustable wattage range: 1W – 230W
  • 0.96” TFT colour display screen
  • 2ml TFV9 tank capacity
  • Changeable colour menu settings
  • Requires 2x 18550 batteries to operate

Design & build quality

Classic design meets new ergonomic innovation.

The SMOK Rigel is an old-school treat, a return to the days of chunky box mods which took up a whole fist and commanded attention from those around you.

SMOK have however clearly learned some lessons about ergonomics and comfort from their time spent designing pod vape devices.

The Rigel mod is surprisingly comfortable in the hand, with the flat back section fitting comfortably against the palm, fingers gripped around the carbon fibre panels bordering the unit’s display screen.

For some added protection not only to your surfaces but also against the cold sting of metal in the winter months, the unit is also covered in a thin, flexible rubber coating.

Not enough to be noticeable but you’ll find the Rigel generally more pleasant in the hand than a number of other metal box mods.

The mod stands alone at 44×28.8x88mm, making it impressive but by no means a pocket-killer. The TFV9 tank adds another 28x56mm, keeping things firmly moderate in scale if not vape production, of which there is plenty!

The three buttons on the face of the unit are responsive and satisfyingly clicky, all positioned so as to be in comfortable reach of the fingers and thumbs curled around the body.

The 0.96” thin-film transistor (TFT) display screen is highly legible, and displays readouts from the Rigel in 6 optional colours, easily changed by simply tapping ‘fire’ and ‘up’ at the same time.

The panel for the battery section blends perfectly in with the rest of the Rigel’s body, a small divot left to afford access to the user.

The TFV9 tank which comes included with the SMOK Rigel Kit features a number of child proofing designs, such as a rising/sliding topfill and a thick rubber hatch to keep e-liquid from spilling.

A sizable airflow control gauge rests at the bottom of the tank, atop the 510 thread connector which will attach it to the Rigel mod and the majority of other vape units.

Features & functions

The SMOK Rigel eschews superfluous modes for streamlined cloud production.

SMOK haven’t just streamlined the physical design of the Rigel but also it’s onboard systems. In previous generations it was common for large mods such as this to feature a plethora of mode functions, such as temperature control (TC) or bypass modes.

For the Rigel, SMOK have made what we consider the wise decision to strip these modes out and keep things simple with a variable wattage mode capable of any output between 1W – 230W.

We feel this was the right move, because while there are certainly a number of vapers who utilise those functions, most people accidentally fell into confusing menus after a few accidental buttons taps and were then unable to navigate their way back.

SMOK have taken the risk of this off the table, and those still seeking bypass and TC modes are better suited to an RDA-specific mod setup anyway.

The SMOK TFV9 tank comes with two of the V9 0.15ohm mesh coils, one of which is already installed in the tank. The V9 is capable of fantastic vape production thanks to its mesh interior, which also ensures longevity and a lessened likelihood of dry spots and burnouts.

The Rigel’s unique chipset ensures that firing time is quicker than ever; only 0.001 second delay between the fire button being depressed and vape production beginning means you’ll never have to wait long!

As previously mentioned, you can change the colour of the display, which features readouts for battery level, voltage, ohmage, puff count and puff timer.

Just tap the fire button and up button at the same time to switch between 6 fun colour settings to suit your day’s mood and e-liquid choice. Shall we go with red for Koncept XIX Pinkman, or green for ZAP! Melonade today?

How to use the SMOK Rigel (button functionality)

The Rigel powers on with five rapid taps of the fire button, at which point you’ll see the brief boot-up screen followed by your readout display.

Using the Rigel is as simple as pressing down the large fire button and inhaling directly to lung; use it like an inhaler, don’t draw on it like a straw or cigarette i.e. in the MTL style.

Let go of the button when you’re done and exhale at your own leisure, simplicity itself!

You can adjust the Rigel’s wattage levels with the two buttons at the base of the display, more wattage of course equating to more vapour.

Do have a care; while the Rigel is capable of up to 230W in power output, the V9 coils included with the TFV9 tank won’t be able to withstand such an onslaught, so look into a different tank or RDA/RTA if you want to experience the full potential of the SMOK Rigel.

You can also lock the power settings by pressing both the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons at the same time, ensuring you don’t accidentally ramp up in transit and dry burn your way to an instantly-ruined coil.

Battery life & charging

External batteries means you last as long as your spares do!

You will need to acquire two 18650 batteries in order to operate the SMOK Rigel, though many will opt to purchase 3 or 4 as one of the main benefits of an external-battery vape is the ability to swap your batteries out for instant use in the event you run your initial batteries down.

Those without extra batteries however will rejoice, as the SMOK Rigel marks a shift away from micro USB towards the far swifter USB Type C, the preferred rapid charger for many laptops these days!

You can expect enough power to see you through the day after a couple hours of charging, and the device can be used while plugged in thanks to ‘pass through’ technology


Classic clouds from the grandmasters at SMOK.

The SMOK Rigel is a cloud machine and has no illusions otherwise. The 0.001s fire-up delivers intense and deeply flavoursome plumes every time, with the mesh interior of the V9 coil ensuring both rapid absorption and equal flavour distribution.

Many devices display versatility in their ability to handle both MTL and DTL vaping, but the Rigel is very much sub-ohm all the way. Make sure you use an e-liquid with a high VG content, as thinner 50/50 or PG-centric juices are likely to leak from the base of the TFV9 tank.

The verdict

The SMOK Rigel delivers old school big plumes with no complexity.

The SMOK Rigel makes you realise how much you’ve missed box mods. The comfort and ease of use combined with the fantastic flavour conveyance and cloud production makes this both a great reintroduction to sub-ohming and a superb starter cloud kit for those interested in the foggier side of the vaping equation.

SMOK shows with great confidence that this isn’t their first rodeo; despite their recent focus on pod vape systems they’re still the very best at producing an old-school box mod built for fun and function, and we think the SMOK Rigel Kit marks the moment where the pendulum swings back and we start to see some seriously heavy hardware out on the streets again.

Enjoyed our SMOK Rigel review? Get more product reviews and advice

We’ve been helping smokers make the switch to vaping since 2011, so feel pretty confident we can recommend great products to all of customers. If you’re looking for more advice, make sure to read some of the top 10 lists and product reviews below:

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