Review – Koken K1 Max

(1 customer review)


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Bottom Line Statement

Note to Reader: We are not getting paid by manufacturer, this is an independent review

The Basics About This Device


Koken is a unique brand that originates in Japan, but manufactures most of their Heat-Not-Burn devices in China. As we’ve discussed in our two-part Manufacturing Heat-Not-Burn series, some great devices come out of China with technology that rivals that of the big tobacco companies. The device we are reviewing today, Koken K1 Max is definitely one of those devices!

Koken K1 Max is an integrated, multi-use device that offers approximately 37 continuous cycles! That is a super high amount! K1 Max also offers temperature adjustment. The device is beautiful with a unique design that is unlike any other HnB device we’ve seen. If you’re looking to impress with the style of your device without compromising quality, we’d recommend K1 Max to you.

Koken K1 Max comes in 4 colors; black, white, red, and gold.

HeatSticksHEETS, Marlboro for IQOS
Number of Cycles (aka number of HeatSticks
before needing to recharge device)
Officially 25-30, but our test users got 37 HeatSticks
Charging Time?
Life Expectancy1-1.5 years
ColorsBlack, white, red, gold

Product Unboxing & First Use


In your Koken K1 Max kit you’ll find the device, the manual, a USB cable, a cleaning brush, cleaning sticks, and a cleaning cloth, although we never had trouble with fingerprints showing up on the exterior of the device.

As with all devices, we always charge them before usage. To do so, connect the USB cable to the USB port and a power source. When connected properly, the LED indicator light will flash green. Now I know it’s early in the review but we need to get this out of the way. Our team here at Heat180 really liked K1 Max but the one issue we had was with charging. There does not appear to be, on our device at least, any way of showing that charging is done. The manual says that if the LED indicator light flashes red, it’s not charged, whereas if the light is green it is charged, but after extensive testing we have found that this doesn’t hold entirely true. Most HnB devices have the LED light shut off automatically once full charge is reached but K1 Max’s indicator light just kept on flashing. Once you get accustomed to this, it’s no big deal, just plug the device in overnight so that you can be sure that you have enough charge stored for the full day ahead of you. Overall, we say this doesn’t affect the quality of the device nor of the user experience. It is a minor quirk in a device created by a relatively new player within the HnB industry. No big deal.


Once you feel confident that the device has reached full charge, unplug it and get ready to set your desired temperature. This is as easy as pie, all you do is press and hold the control button as if you were turning it on. The only difference is that you do’t let go of the control button even when you feel the vibration to indicate that the heating process has started. Just press and hold until you feel a second vibration and the LED indicator light changes color. There are three temperature settings for K1 Max; Green, which is the ‘Low’ setting, Blue which is ‘Medium,’ and Red, which is ‘High.’ When the light changes to the color you want, then let go of the control button.

Now as we said above, to start the heating process just press and hold the control button until the device vibrates once and the LED indicator light begins to flash green. If you don’t want to change the temperature setting, let go after the first vibration. The device will start heating, which will take approximately 20 seconds. The device will vibrate again after the 20 seconds to let you know that it is ready to use.

One cycle with Koken K1 Max lasts for 4 minutes, 19 seconds. The device will give you a warning vibration nearing the end of the cycle and then two more vibrations at the exact end. The LED indicator light will also go out.


Since it’s a multi-use device, you can always enjoy another cycle right after you finish one, by pressing and holding the control button once again. If you do not need or want another cycle, then carefully remove the HeatStick by pushing the HeatStick Eject Button up and pulling the HeatStick out of the heating chamber.

If at any point you do need to stop the cycle, just press and hold the control button until the device powers down.

Day to Day Use

Unfortunately, K1 Max does not have a self-cleaning feature, but there are lots of cleaning accessories included in the kit to help make cleaning easier. You are given a cleaning brush and cleaning sticks. You don’t have to worry about removing a cap with this device so just insert the brush and the sticks into the HeatSticks heating chamber and gently brush/wipe away any dirt, grime, or build-up that is in there. Then turn the device upside down and gently tap on the side of it to help loose tobacco fall out. It is important not to shake the device, for fear of causing damage. The manufacturer recommends you clean the device once every 20 HeatSticks

How To Turn ON/OffPress and hold control button until device vibrates
and the LED indicator light turns green
Temperature Adjustment?Yes - press and hold the control button (do
not let go when device vibrates), keep
pressing and holding until LED indicator light turns green
Heating Time?20 seconds
Indication that the Heating Process has StartedVibration and LED indicator light turns green
Indication that Device is Ready to UseVibration
Length of Cycle4 minutes, 19 seconds
Indication that Device is Powering OffWarning vibration, then 2 more vibrations
How to Shut Off DevicePress and hold control button until device vibrates
and LED indicator light turns off
Number of Cycles (aka number of HeatSticks before needing to recharge device)Officially 25-30, but our test users got 37 HeatSticks
How to Check Battery StatusClick control button
Locking featureNo
Locking feature indicationN/A
Indicate when Device Needs Cleaning?No
How Often Should You Clean the Device?Every 20 HeatSticks
Self-Cleaning FunctionNo
Length of Self-CleaningN/A
How to Manually Clean DeviceSee section titled 'Day to Day Use'
TroubleshootingSee 'Koken K1 Max Manual' button below

Investing in a Koken Device

Koken, as a company, is quite unique. Koken began in 1995 as a company which researched and developed innovative ways to improve human health. The parent company has worked on a variety of projects, including CT scanners. Koken has partnered with numerous Japanese hospitals to improve the medical equipment being used therein.

Following the death of the current President’s, Yuichi Ida, grandfather from a smoke related disease, the company began working on harm reduction devices, specifically tobacco heated products (THP) electronic cigarettes. Koken has become quite sophisticated since this time and have opened a subsidiary branch in China to oversee the manufacture and retail of THPs.

This is such a unique history for a Heat-Not-Burn manufacturer to have. Our team is very impressed by the fact that Koken has a history working with sophisticated healthcare technology and cites the health of fellow people as being one of the main sources of inspiration for their products.


As for the device, our test users loved Koken K1 Max! It is sturdy, long-lasting, and stylish! 37 cycles before needing to be charged is amazing! We are so impressed!

Koken does have some user commands that we have never before seen in a Heat-Not-Burn device. For example, with the temperature adjustment you must first start a cycle before you can adjust temperature. This is unusual compared to other HnB products, but works just the same. Perhaps this is a result of primarily having healthcare professionals develop the device?

One feature we do hope can be improved upon with the next device Koken releases is the charge feature. With the device we tested, we were unable to discern when the charging period ended. Once the device is plugged in the LED indicator light turns green. The manual does not mention many exact details on how to charge so we assumed that the light would go off once the device was fully charged, but it never happened. We left the device charging for almost 12 hours and we never received an indication that the K1 Max had reached maximum charge. This isn’t a big deal. We recommend just plugging the device in overnight so that you can be confident it is charged in the morning.

HeatSticks Overview


The Koken brand is one of the few brands that produces their own HeatSticks; Fogfaery HeatSticks. Fogfaery HeatSticks are made by Guigang Guojian Bio-Technology Co. Ltd. in Guangxi, China, a subsidiary of Koken. Fogfaery HeatSticks are a natural alternative that do not contain nicotine. For a full list of ingredients, click the button below.

Koken devices are also designed to work with other branded HeatSticks, such as HEETS and Marlboro for IQOS HeatSticks. How convenient!


Koken K1 Max Manual


Koken offers a 1-year warranty with their devices, however that does not cover damage as a result of misuse.

To enact this warranty please contact the company using the information listed in the ‘Manufacturer Overview’ table below. If you need to send your device back, make sure you include all components that were originally sent to you in the kit (e.g. USB cable, cleaning cloth, etc.). Company technicians will look over the device and if found to be a technical error, you will be eligible for free servicing to fix the issue. Details must be arranged with a certified Koken representative.

DeviceKoken K1 Max
Kit Price$81USD
Diameters124 X 36 X 23 mm
Weight with Packaging283g
MaterialABS and PC
Battery Type2600 mAh
Power InputUSB Cable
Charging Time?
Time it Takes for Device to Heat20 seconds
Maximum Blade Temperature162° C/ 324° F
Temperature AdjustmentYes - press and hold the control button (do
not let go when device vibrates), keep
pressing and holding until LED indicator light turns green
How Many Cycles Before Device Needs ChargingOfficially 25-30, but our test users got 37 HeatSticks
How Long Does a Cycle Last4 minutes, 19 seconds
HeatSticksHEETS, Marlboro for IQOS
Built-In Cleaning MechanismNo
Can Kit Accessories be Purchased SeparatelyNo
Colors AvailableBlack, white, red, gold
Comparable ToIQOS 3.0 Multi
In the KitDevice
Koken K1 Max Manual
USB Cable
Cleaning Device
Cleaning Sticks
Cleaning Cloth
Manual LanguagesEN, ZHO (lanugages could vary based on region)
Warranty Terms1 year warranty (does not cover
damage as a result of misuse)
How Does It Look?Unique design
How Does It Feel?Smooth
Easy To Use?Somewhat
Easy To Clean?Somewhat
DeviceKoken K1 Max
Release DateSeptember, 2018
ManufacturerJapan: Koken Industry Co. Ltd.

China: Qianhai Guojian Huayan (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd.
Location of ManufacturerNagoya, Japan

Shenzhen, China
Year in BusinessJapan: 1995

China: 2017
Manufacturer WebsiteJapan: Here

China: Here
Impression of Manufacturer's WebsiteGood but Google Translate is necessary
Manufacturer Contact Information for Customer ServiceEmail:

Phone: +81-400-155-2366
Manufacturer Contact Information for WholesalersWeChat: +86 31504286

Countries the Manufacturer is Wholesaling toJapan, UAE, UK, Greece, Malaysia, Canada, Indonesia, Guatemala, United States.
Countries the Manufacturer Would Like to Wholesale toCanada and the United States
Full Product Line that the Manufacturer OffersKoken K1 Max
Where to BuyOnline
Where to Buy Koken K1 Max and other Koken products?Here
Shipping and delivery timeVaries based on region

If you feel you can add anything to this review, please feel free to comment and rate this device below!

1 review for Review – Koken K1 Max

  1. George from the heat180 community

    Strong product. We got 37 uses out of it. This is great for a hnb device

    Review - Koken K1 Max
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