Sigelei 213 Box Mod Review

Bill Herbst
May 27, 2016

Sigelei 213 Intro

Early on in the vaping industry’s urgent ramping up to higher-power box mods, Chinese vaping manufacturer Sigelei was quick on the draw, first with a 50-watt box, then a 100-watt, and soon after with a 150-watt box mod. The 150W mod was reliable, built like a brick, and much-praised in the vaping community, among reviewers and users alike. All those Sigelei mods were simple, almost Puritanical boxes, just rectangular metal with pretty sharp edges. But they worked well.

That bloom however, was quickly off the rose as temp control chips took over and manufacturers (Chinese, mostly) scrambled to design and produce vape mods with higher power, better ergonomics, and more pleasing aesthetics. Sigelei’s hulking dinosaurs may not have gone extinct, but they quickly faded from view.

Now, however, Sigelei has seen the light. They’ve assessed their stiff competition, and they’re back in the game with a new contender — the Sigelei 213 TC box mod — with a new design, higher power (why 213 watts? Who knows?), and the requisite temp control that is now standard industry-wide. Few, if any, companies would be caught dead releasing a regulated, high-power box mod today that didn’t offer Temperature Control.

Let’s see how Sigelei has done to meet the challenge.

The recommendation of this mod has been rescinded. Scroll down to the conclusion to see Bill's update.

Sigelei 213 Specs and Features

Kit Content

  • 1 x Sigelei 213W
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 1 x Micro USB Cable
  • 1 x Security Code Card

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 88*44*29mm
  • Material: Carbon Fiber Reinforced & Aluminum Space Frame
  • Wattage Range: 10W - 213W
  • Temperature Range: 200°F - 570°F / 100°C - 300°C
  • Voltage Output: 1.0V - 7.5V
  • Voltage Input: 6.4V - 8.4V
  • Requires (2) 18650 Batteries
  • Firing Modes: VW
  • TC (Ni200
  • Ti
  • SS)
  • TCR (Temperature Coefficient Of Resistivity)
  • TFR (Temperature Factor Of Resistivity)
  • Resistance Range: 0.1Ω - 3.0Ω
  • Fast Balance Charging Support (Micro USB): DC5V/2A
  • Brass 510 Pin
  • Spring Loaded 510 Pin
  • New OLED Screen Layout
  • Battery Door Panel

Notable Remarks

Price

Well, friends, the Sigelei 213 mod ain’t cheap. Prices online are in the range of  $90–120. What? I’m not sure that’s viable pricing in the current discounted vaping marketplace, but Sigelei will find out. Maybe Sigelei is counting on their past reputation for producing heavy-duty, bullet-proof mods to justify the high price. Be aware that some vendors are bundling the 213 mod with two 18650 high-drain 20A batteries, so factor that into any considerations of price.

Thoughts

Sigelei 213 Box Mod Front

My, my. Sigelei has certainly come a long way since the bulky, boxy designs of their 100W and 150W mods. The 100W Sigelei was 7.9 cubic inches in volume, while the new Sigelei 213 is a mere 5.5 cu in —  1/3 less than older brother. That difference is even more apparent in the hand. The Sigelei 213 is a rounded rectangular box with slightly convex, bulging sides. That shape allows atomizers and tanks of varying diameters up to 25mm to fit without overhang. The shape also makes the device comfortable to hold with very good ergonomics.

The design is what I’d call faux military, with an aluminum frame covered by a skin of gun-metal gray zinc alloy complemented by smooth, black carbon-fiber material. The 213 comes in gray/black or a more striking version with gold zinc alloy. I was sent the gray/black version, which has a definite, almost weapon-like overall aesthetic.

Sigelei 213W Box Mod
Sigelei 213W Box Mod

Despite it’s relatively compact size, the 213 has some heft, weighing in at 7.8 oz. with batteries. That’s typical for dual-18650 mods (which are used here in series), but nowhere close to the 11 oz. of a loaded triple-18650 Wismec RX-200. While attractive, the overall look and feel are less about beauty than durability, and I’d bet that was an intentional strategy by Sigelei’s design team.

The display and adjustment buttons are located along the edge of the front, with the asymmetrical firing button and USB port (for recharging batteries and firmware upgrades) wrapped around on the short side. The fire button is not only clicky, but slightly metallic-sounding. That wasn’t disconcerting to me, but I did find it unusual. There’s no button rattle at all, and only a tiny, almost inaudible amount of battery rattle.

The display screen is clear and very bright, with white characters on a black background for info alongside black-on-white category designations. Information includes real-time numeric battery charge (for each battery) and amperage. I appreciate such comprehensive information. A bar on the display graphically indicates remaining battery strength in total and real-time sag when firing in addition to the precise numerical values shown.

Interface and Functions

Sigelei 213 Box Mod Side

Menu operation is characteristic of most high-power TC box mods on the market today. Three clicks of the firing button puts the menu on the display, and from there, it’s a combination of up, down, and firing buttons to move to and select or specify all the various options. Sigelei has packed a LOT of options into this chip.

The Sigelei 213’s chip offers the full set of bells and whistles — Temperature Control for all the major wire types (nickel, titanium, and three different stainless steels for TC, plus Kanthal for straight wattage mode), with five user-adjustable TCR values (temperature coefficient of resistance) and TFR values (temperature factor of resistance).

Some vapers like to preheat their coils before inhaling, so the Sigelei 213 even implements a Preheat menu setting to allow the user to program different power settings at chosen increments of time (in seconds), removing the uncertainty factor of holding down the firing button and waiting to inhale. That allows a very specific curve of preheating, ramp-down, or ramp-up.

Sigelei 213W Box Mod
Sigelei 213W Box Mod

The chip also allows the user to Read/Display the atomizer resistance (presumably when the coils are cold) and to Lock the resistance to insure accuracy in TC mode. Locking the temperature of cold coils shouldn’t be considered optional, by the way, since it’s necessary for Temperature Control to work correctly. If you use Temp Control, always Read the cold resistance of your atomizer coils, then Lock it in.

If you happen to mess with the settings so much that you become confused, the chip even allows restoration of default factory settings for the entire set of menu options all at once. Presto! You’re back to Square One with no harm done.

Performance

Sigelei 213 Box Mod

The mod feels slightly underpowered to me. That’s a purely subjective opinion, since I don’t have an oscilloscope or other sophisticated electrical test equipment. Using the Infinite Whizzer Sub-Ohm Clearo tank that I reviewed recently, the vape quality I got from other similar box mods at 60 watts required 70 watts on the Sigelei to match. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t think that’s a big deal, since any high-power mod has more than sufficient headroom, but the small disparity I experienced felt sufficient to note.

Overall, the Sigelei 213 performed like a champ. No misfires, delays, or other funny business.

One Glaring Con

Sigelei 213 Mod and Moonshot RTA Interview
Sigelei 213 Mod and Moonshot RTA Interview

My one serious Con for this device is the fact that in TC mode, the lower resistance limit for firing is 0.1 ohm. Most similar mods these days fire down to 0.05 ohms. That won’t matter for most vapers, but the kind of person most likely to purchase the Sigelei 213 happens to be someone who might build below 0.1 ohm. I really don’t know what Sigelei was thinking when they let that slip through. With the exceptions of that and the high price, everything else is great, so I hope Sigelei will correct the low limit TC resistance to 0.05 ohms in atheir first firmware upgrade.

Verdict

Sigelei is making a bid to return to the box mod limelight with their 213 mod. My main criticism is that the 213 seems expensive compared to its competition. But who knows? Perhaps the Sigelei 213 will still be standing strong and vaping proud when its cheaper rivals have failed or been relegated to the trash heap. Time will tell.

Recommended, especially if you come across a good sale price.

Important Update:

When I wrote my review of the Sigelei 213 on March 19th, numerous reports from users had begun to appear in various forums (mainly ECF) about problems with the box mod. I didn’t know about them at the time and encountered none of them in using the unit I was sent to review. At that point, people reporting problems assumed that Sigelei would address them in a firmware update.

Since then, much has transpired, none of it good. Many units from the first production run clearly have numerous bugs in the controller chip, some of them major, involving temp control glitches, superimposed screens, and misfiring. So far, Sigelei’s response has been less than we would hope. No firmware upgrades will be made available, a “fix” for TCR problems (involving changing Fahrenheit TCR calculation to Celsius) has not worked for some users, and now Sigelei has come out with a “Fuchai 213” version built with cheaper materials at half the price of the original.

Sigelei holds that the problems of the original 213 have been addressed and fixed in the new version, but that remains to be seen. Even if true, a new, cheaper version provides no consolation for customers who purchased the original, for which Sigelei supports neither returns nor repairs.

Even thorough reviews can’t test all the functions of a sophisticated temp control mod with so many different options, so purchasers of products become de facto beta testers. If my review contributed to anyone’s decision to purchase a Sigelei 213, I apologize.

My name is Bill. I’ve been a dedicated vaper for five and a half years, having ended a 35-year addiction to tobacco cold-turkey on my first day of vaping. I live on the Oregon coast, in the tiny town of Florence, one huge sand dune away from the Pacific Ocean.

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TrogdorTheMagnificent
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TrogdorTheMagnificent

Lots of grammatical and factual errors in this review. The 213 may not actually be firmware upgradeable https://m.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/comments/4kb41h/looks_like_the_sigelei_213_isnt_firmware/ and has a very bugged custom TCR system. They’re releasing a cheaper version made of zinc alloy that will hopefully be less buggy https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/10011165/4893503-authentic-sigelei-fuchai-213w-tc-vw-apv-box-mod I was close to preordering the 213 but am very thankful I didn’t, Sigelei really biffed it in the home stretch. EDIT: Bill, you should update your review to remove references to firmware updates, the 213 is confirmed DEFINITELY NOT FIRMWARE UPGRADEABLE, so all those bugs are here to stay for good http://vapingunderground.com/threads/help-with-sigelei-213w.235117/page-2 I can confirm that MVS,… Read more »

PSiKoTiC
Guest
PSiKoTiC

The issue was the pre-release versions of this worked like a charm. The Release versions are screwed tho. maybe they did some last minute changes with shitty QC. Either way.. this device is crap. The company support for their error. Is non exsistant. If I hear one more ‘I don’t speak english well.. don’t understand you’ from sigelei I’m going to throw a 213 at someone

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

Trogdor, When I wrote the review on May 19th, none of the problems you mention in your posts had yet come to light (or, if they had, I was not aware of them). Early last week, when I first read reports of problems, the review had not yet been posted. Although I, too, was upset knowing that I had recommended a mod that turned out to be seriously flawed, I was waiting to see how things would shake out before deciding how to proceed. I wasn’t even sure the review would be posted, since I had some discussion with other… Read more »

Audrey Saccogna
Guest
Audrey Saccogna

My understanding is that Sigelei veered from the norm and programmed the tcr curves in Fahrenheit for better accuracy. One should use the tcr values on the Sigelei website for best results. I don’t yet have this mod (though I would like to), but other users have confirmed it works very well if you do that.

PSiKoTiC
Guest
PSiKoTiC

I plugged in the TCR values for SS316 it still isn’t working properly. at 400C (converted) I barely get vapor production at all fail

Cory Jackson
Guest
Cory Jackson

As someone who owns this device and has been using it very successfully in tc mode with ss 316L, it has a learning curve and a few things that need to be done to get good results, but once you figure it out the mod is actually an excellent device. If you read through the sigelei 213 owners thread on e-cigarette-forum.com you will find a satisfied group of us that have collaborated and achieved excellent results from tc on this device. First, tc presets work fine. If yours don’t then you have a complete dud, which is not the norm.… Read more »

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

Glad to read that you’ve got it working and are happy. Except for Sigelei’s weirdness, there’s no real reason that the 213 shouldn’t be a brilliant mod.

TrogdorTheMagnificent
Guest
TrogdorTheMagnificent

That’s the lie Sigelei came up with to explain their mistake, but the logic behind this reasoning is absurd. If Sigelei really wanted to allow for more precision with TCR entry, they would have allowed entry for a decimal or more significant digits, not making up their own numerical scale that defies the widely accepted convention. And given that 99% of users probably aren’t going to measure the temperatures of their coils using a calibrated thermocouple to calculate their own TCR, they get their values from the wire/coil manufacturer or a trusted resource like Steam Engine, all of which base… Read more »

Cody Cantley
Guest
Cody Cantley

Also, Dont forget about the messed up mess of a screen bug when you access the preheat coil screen when you enter it when your screen is off. It tries to overlap the main screen overtop of the preheat screen when u release the power button and rite (up/down) button.(or left/rite button). And NO THERE IS NO SOFTWARE UPGRADES!! The new “cheaper” version of this box mod is that has all the buggs fixed is called the fuchi 213 LMFAO how sad eh?

PSiKoTiC
Guest
PSiKoTiC

Ironically on the preorder price else where is identical to the 213w mod. The suggestion from Sigelei was to buy the ‘new’ box mod where it will ‘work this time really’. .Umm pass.
Last Sigelei device I will own

TrogdorTheMagnificent
Guest
TrogdorTheMagnificent

You can bet the Fuchai 213 will also have its own set of device-ruining bugs, and *surprise-surprise* Suprimo confirmed it won’t be firmware upgradeable either. Temp control devices run software that is too complicated to be thoroughly debugged before release, Joyetech learned this with the eVic VT and immediately corrected their development process with the legendary VTC Mini, a year later Sigelei still can’t learn from the mistakes of themselves or other manufacturers. Temp Control mods are only as good as their firmware updates.

PSiKoTiC
Guest
PSiKoTiC

213 TC is not working. Sigelei gives the run around, Not firmware upgradeable/fixable. I cannot get this device to TC on anything reliably. Misfires on the buttons (occasionally press the fire button.. tactile click.. Nothing.. no amps zero.) Sigelei even last week CHANGED THEIR WARRANTY/RETURN policy to exclude ‘bug’ or ‘unforseen errors’. -10 Do not, get this mod. even was a VW device, the best part about this mod is the build quality on the physical box, the chip and the firmware are complete junk. I’ve tried the ‘work around’ on the website to the best of my ability, it… Read more »

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

It’s disappointing that Sigelei has apparently chosen to “circle the corporate wagons” to protect themselves rather than their customers in what is quickly becoming a debacle.

Cody Cantley
Guest
Cody Cantley

I also wanted to add that i too, get the odd misfire! i thought i was imagining cause i figured there’s NO WAY a $150.00 mod would have a problem like a misfire,,, but sure enough ive confirmed it…SADLY 🙁 Also i noticed that it’s about 10 watts too cold on every RTA i put on it. I normally run 26×2/32 fused claptons on 3mm bit 7 wraps at 100 watts. On the sigelei i needed to put it to 110watts to match my DNA 200’s. Or any mod for that mater! Now i hate temp control, (im a straight… Read more »

Jayson DuVal
Guest
Jayson DuVal

I paid $60 for mine from my local B&M and I still feel slighted. I have not seen a single reviewer able to show this mod going over 160w at the coil (reads 213 on screen). It was pitched as firmware up-gradable and the chip capable of 220w scaled down to 213 (this from the mouth of the designer(youtube)).. . I cant find help anywhere on the internet from Sigelei, I feel like a chump.

JohnnyKay183
Guest
JohnnyKay183

I’m right there with you. I had to replace my previous mod for safety reasons, and I ended up getting talked into this by a guy at one of my favorite local vape shops. I was weary about it, but I figured the guy wasn’t trying to steer me wrong(in his defense, he wasn’t, he’s a straight wattage vaper). He gave me a discount on it, but I still paid almost $120 for it… I’ve found using the temp compensation feature helps some, but I’m still not pleased. No firmware upgrades, Sigelei abandons the product when things go wrong, TCR… Read more »

Jayson DuVal
Guest
Jayson DuVal

I only use mine in power mode, I like the ramp up feature, but when you take into account the problems with the other features and the total contempt from Sigelei for costumer satisfaction, this is a disposable $40 device, not $129.99 at B&M’s and not $90 online. It’s sad really, the device has a great feel in the hand, hell, with batteries inserted it’s lighter than my cuboid empty. It looks amazing with the Temple RDA on it, aesthetically I think it’s a home run. But thats about where the story ends for this mod.. . This was my… Read more »

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

Johnny and Jason,

I agree.

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

I think the entire community got fooled on this one, at least in the beginning. The firestorm of protest may have peaked, but the damage done could be permanent.

Whatever respect Sigelei previously enjoyed has been squandered. Given their attitude about this fiasco, Sigelei will have a hard time regaining the trust of its (shrinking) customer base.

Jayson DuVal
Guest
Jayson DuVal

anyone talking class action?

Bill Herbst
Guest
Bill Herbst

I haven’t read anything about legal action.

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