Hot Rod Desktop Vaporizer Review

Hey guys, Sneaky Pete here and today I want to show you the new Hot Rod from Oldhead Trading Company. The Hot Rod is sort of a continuation of the concept of the TerpTorch, which was a real favourite of mine, but this is a vastly upgraded overall experience which delivers exceptional performance.

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A nice marriage of tasteful form and high-quality function

The Hot Rod is a desktop device which is designed to be used with a 14mm water tool, it consists of a few main components which are all mounted on an easy-to-move piece of wood. On the left we have the controller, on the back this has a power button and a standard computer style power plug socket, which is a really cool feature. This means you can easily replace the included 6” power cable with one that has a 90° plug or a longer cable if it better suits your setup.

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When you turn the power on you will see the red LED illuminate, and then you can control the temperature with the rotary dial. Oldhead Trading Company intentionally left numbers off the dial, as the system is designed to hide in plain sight and avoid drawing attention, having 400°F on the dial would mean people could figure out its true purpose a little easier.

The part that you pick up is called the handle, it has a pinstripe detail going down the middle of it which plays to the name of Hot Rod, as it’s a detail you’d see on a classic car. The handle mounts at an angle on the stand, and the magnets in the handle ensure it stays securely connected to the stand. The cord and the way that it rests on the stand is reminiscent of an old-school telephone, and the whole thing has a real retro vibe to it, which I really like. The handle is connected to the controller with about 3 feet of cable which is made of silicone rather than rubber, so it’s nice and flexible.

At the end of the handle is the titanium heat injector, inside this is a ceramic heating rod that is sheathed in a matrix of 3 mm rubies. This is going to give you a ton of built-up heat in the rubies and a massively complex airpath which helps to achieve great results. When you look at the very end of the heat injector tip you’ll see that it has a pattern of holes on the outside as well as one in the middle to give you a super even extraction from your bowl. The end of the tip is an 18mm male size, so this will work in an Elev8r bowl or in a Terp Torch bowl, and you can also use it with any Sticky Brick, which we will get into later.

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The last piece of the system is the extraction chamber or bowl, this is also made out of the same wood as the rest of the system for a consistent look. There’s an interesting reason they went with wood rather than glass, it comes down to the insulating characteristics of wood. If you use the Hot Rod on a glass bowl, that glass will get very hot and dangerous to handle while the included wood one won’t get hot even with heavy duty use. The added insulation of the thicker wood also means that the hot air coming from the injector tip doesn’t have to contend with the cold air on the outside of the glass, meaning you’re going to get a more consistently extracted bowl. The bowl has a 14 mm joint, and the screen is really easy to change, it’s good to do this from time to time for the best performance.

The overall dimensions of the Hot Rod are about 6.5” wide x 4.5” deep x 6” tall, and it’s designed to achieve a nice marriage of form and function, making it a super effective device that also looks tasteful and understated while it’s sitting out on a desk.

Inside the controller there is no microprocessor or anything like that, it’s all done with old-school electronics rather than computer processing, so not only is there a retro look to it, but also a retro approach to the function, with tried and tested electronic components instead of Bluetooth and wireless charging. They’re just two different approaches, but it’s great to see people making things like this.

The heat shield is an optional accessory, it simply screws into the stand to give you a little protection against accidentally touching the heat injector tip. I don’t think it’s totally necessary, but it’s not super expensive, so I would personally recommend it if you are going to grab a Hot Rod.


Ten minute to heat up, but it can be left on all day

Whatever temperature you dial it into, once you turn the Hot Rod on it’s going to take about ten minutes to get to temperature, but from then onward you can hit it back to back to back and it will be ready every time. This is another device that I have hooked up to a smart plug, it turns on in the morning and turns off at night, so it’s available on-demand whenever I want to walk over and take a hit, which makes it an ultra convenient system.

Another great thing about this system is that it has a very low power draw. It operates on less than 20 W of power, meaning that even if you do leave it on all day long it’s not going to be expensive. You can even run it off a large battery bank, which means even though it is a desktop device you can still use it anywhere that has no mains power. If you don’t have a North American power system where you live, Oldhead Trading Company also sells an international version to suit your needs.

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It's super easy to use

One of the things I love most about the Hot Rod is that it’s super easy to use - to get started just press the power button on the back of the controller and then dial in your temperature with the rotary dial. I find myself using the 3 o’clock temperature for the majority of the time, though I do like to turn it up a little bit sometimes to experiment with higher temperatures.

Next, load your extraction chamber, use a load of anywhere between 0.1g and 0.25 g, you can put a really solid load in this thing. Oldhead sells an optional scoop and tamp tool which I absolutely love. The curve of the scoop works so well, but my favourite part is the tamp function, it’s weighted so you can simply drop it from the top of the bowl and the weight of it will tamp your bowl perfectly. Again, not something that you necessarily need, but I really do enjoy the tool. Once you’re loaded and tamped you can place it on any 14 mm female water tool.

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When you’re ready to take a hit, place the heat injector tip so it is flush with the top of the extraction chamber and a seal is created. Now you can go ahead and inhale, when you’re hitting it through a water tool you’ll usually need to inhale a little bit harder as you’re pulling through more volume, but you can pull pretty hard on this thing and it will keep up with you. I like to give my bowl a stir and a fresh tamp between every hit so all of the terps are exposed for max efficiency, but even without stirring it gives you a super even extraction of your bowl with no hotspots at all.

An awesome thing about the Hot Rod is that you can use it in place of a torch with any Sticky Brick. Think about it like this, the Hot Rod is to a Sticky Brick as an induction heater is to a DynaVap, it’s a way to eliminate the torch and the guesswork, leading to a more consistent experience. Simply load up your Sticky Brick bowl like normal, but then instead of attaching the glass flame intake, put the Hot Rod over the bowl. This is by far my favourite way to use a Sticky Brick and if you already own one you definitely need to give it a go.


Huge hits with pure and plentiful flavour

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The vapour quality of the Hot Rod is absolutely fantastic, it gives you 100% pure convection extraction, so the flavour is out of this world. Keep in mind that if you run it through a huge water tool it will have a small impact on the taste, but in general the terps are true, pure, and plentiful. Because the Hot Rod is used through water, pretty much every hit I have had was smooth, even when I turned it up to higher temperatures. If you’re running it through a J-Hook or anything else dry then I would say over 3 o’clock would start to get a little too warm, but at 3 o’clock and under it will be nice and smooth.

You can get some huge hits from this thing, even with the dial at the 3 o’clock position. I exclusively used it at 3 o’clock for quite some time before I tried turning it up, as the hits were completely satisfying and the AVB was a nice light brown. When you go up to the 5 o’clock position you can really start to brown the flower. Any time you are combining monster hits with 100% pure convection you’ll get big effects as well, and the Hot Rod is no exception, it will knock you straight on your ass with no issue at all.


I get three or four hits from a tiny amount of flower

The efficiency of the Hot Rod is insane. You don’t need to put a ton of flower in the bowl if you grind it up really finely, you just have to make sure that the entire screen is covered. When I give it a stir and tamp between hits I get three or four hits from a tiny amount of flower. When you turn the temperature up, you can even skirt the line of combustion if you really want to, although it’s not something I would recommend.

The convenience is huge for me, I love a device that I can leave turned on all day so I have on demand high-quality extraction access at any time of the day. That way there’s no waiting for the heat-up time. The convenience is boosted even further by the ease of loading and unloading the chamber.

Cleaning is easy as you only need to maintain the extraction chamber. I clean my glass as well as the screen with 99% isopropyl alcohol, and I use the tool to remove any remnants from the wooden bowl. After letting it dry and reassembling, it’s good to go.

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The Hot Rod is a really enjoyable device to use. Even taking the handle off and on the mount has a satisfying feel to it. The on-demand nature makes it an ultra convenient system. If you want something that is ultra straightforward and gives you amazing performance, the Hot Rod fulfils those criteria.

The vapour quality that you get is top level, that 100% convection extraction means that you get all of the true terpene flavour possible from really good strains, and you’ll get nice and satisfying large hits even at the 3 o’clock setting.

Finally, I love the aesthetic of the device. Compared to many other devices the Hot Rod looks quite tasteful, especially when compared to something like a gold plated Volcano or a Vapbong. The wooden build gives it a cool motif and a unique look.


When you buy the Hot Rod, it’s an incomplete kit because you need a 14 mm water tool or at least a J-Hook to use it. 14mm is the most popular water tool joint size, so for a lot of people this is a non-issue, but if you don’t have one already it is an additional cost necessary to use the system.

While I really like the overall aesthetic, but I think they could enhance the look of the controller box. The look is quite perfunctory and the black plastic doesn’t match the beautiful handmade wooden look of the other parts. I think they could dress up by maybe adding wooden accent panels or a wooden dial to match the rest of the device better.

While they are not 100% necessary, I highly recommend that anyone who buys a Hot Rod considers getting the heat guard and the scoop/tamp tool. Both of them have enhanced my enjoyment of the system. If Oldhead Trading Company can’t add these accessories at the standard price, I would like to see a deluxe kit which includes both of them along with the Hot Rod at a price lower than buying all components separately.


A worthwhile investment

The Oldhead Trading Company Hot Rod has been a really enjoyable device to use and it checks a lot of boxes that are on my wishlist for a device like this. You can leave it on all day long, turning it on and off with a smart plug, which gives you on-demand ready to go action at any time, and the full convection extraction giving you amazing flavour, large satisfying hits, as well as powerful effects.

It’s designed to be used one hit at a time through water, which is how I like to consume. I prefer to do frequent small hits throughout the day, rather than large sessions, but however you prefer to use it, the Hot Rod will accommodate your style.

The wooden build gives it a really cool look, which makes it an awesome centrepiece for your battle station.The handmade wooden build means it’s not exactly an inexpensive device, so it is an investment, but it’s a worthwhile one thanks to the high-quality extraction you get from this simple to use system that delivers amazing hits through water every time.


Thanks so much for reading and watching guys I really appreciate it,

Keep it green, keep it sneaky!

Hot Rod Desktop Vaporizer

Hot Rod Desktop Vaporizer
$410.97 CAD
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