Rebuildable atomizers certainly have come a long way in just a few months. Once both expensive and the domain of hard-core tinkerers, rebuildables have become much more affordable, though they are still best left to people inclined to tinker around. In truth, the Smoktech R Tank isn't an atomizer per se. Sure, it has an atomizer that you can rebuild, but I think it might be more accurate to call these things rebuildable cartomizers. Either way, we're going to take a look at the R Tank from Smoktech in this review.
|Product Name||Smoktech R Tank (Chrome)|
|Included Coils||(2) 2.0 ohm, (1) 2.5 ohm (1) 3.0 ohm|
Before we Begin
We'll get started with the R Tank review in just a moment. First, because the user can custom build coil and wick assemblies, there are virtually limitless possibilities for how a rebuildable could perform. To sort of control that, and to compensate for the fact I absolutely suck at building coils, I'll be limiting this review to just the stock coils that are included with this tank. It's also worth mentioning that rebuildables aren't the best choice for inexperienced users. Improper use can damage your e-cigarette.
R Tank Design
This Smoktech rebuildable is not a bad looking tank. It's finished in chrome and has a stylized top cap. The fairly tall cap features a tapered top where the 510 drip tip fits and a recessed groove at the halfway point. About 1/3 the height of the R Tank is accounted for by the cap.
Naturally, the cap must be taller than in a traditional cartomizer tank because it has to accommodate the rebuildable atomizer section contained underneath. When the top is removed, the atomizer features a pair of brass posts with spring-loaded mechanisms for retaining the heating coil.
The spring-loaded retainers make changing out coils fairly straight forward, just push down on the top of the spring wrap the coil's leads around a few times and let go. I found this easier to manage than rebuildables that used screw terminals to hold the wire in place.
Coil installation also includes running the long wicks into the tank via two holes in the bottom of the atomizer section. This is made fairly easy with the included wicks because they have tapered ends. Just push the end through the holes and then cut them off, pretty simple.
There is a third hole to talk about on this tank, which is not as user-friendly as coil changing. This extra hole is for filling the tank. There is a small rubber stopper, or bung, that fits in the hole after liquid is filled.
Unfortunately, that means a couple of things. First, the tank has to be filled with a syringe or a needle top tank (I've had mixed results filling it with the Innokin uCan as well.) The second problem is far more annoying.
That bung is tiny and easy to lose. Without the, ahem, bung hole covered the tank still works. The atomizer has enough reserve space to work just fine with some e-liquid pooled around it. Eventually, if you don't keep the R Tank upright, that overflow space will eventually flood and cause problems with the vaping experience.
Smoktech was good enough to include 3 extra wicks, I just wish they also included an extra bung or two as well.
My second gripe is much more serious and I'll get into that describing the rest of the tank's design. The R Tank is basically designed to come completely apart. There are four parts.
The Smoktech R Tank is built sort of like a Vivi Nova. It has a central tank that the bottom cap and atomizer connect to. The atomizer screws into the bottom cap sort of like a Nova, but the air tube is attached to the atomizer section instead of the bottom cap.
Unlike the Vivi Nova, the tank has no threads. The bottom and top pieces are instead secured using friction with rubber gaskets. This design actually seems to hold well, though connecting the atomizer to the bottom requires pressing while screwing the connector together.
Here's where the trouble sets in. The threads that connect the atomizer's cover are also secured to the atomizer assembly using friction and a rubber gasket. This doesn't work quite so well in this part of the R Tank.
I bought two of these tanks. The first time the threading came off, I figured it was my fault. I sat down with it attached to my APV in my front pocket. The top cap popped off from the strain.
I was able to put it back together, but from that point forward the R Tank kept getting flooded and gurgling so I ended up ordering a replacement.
With the replacement in hand, things were once again right in the world. I used it for a couple of days, then I simply set it down somewhere, and just like that the top cap came off with the threads again.
I tried to put this one back together as well. Unlike the previous one, I can't quite seem to get it to bite enough to keep the threads on the atomizer assembly. If I push and turn enough I can get it on securely enough to keep it from falling off easily. Also unlike the first one, this one seems to be ok with no flooding issues. Still I'd have to say that's a fairly significant flaw.
Using the Smoktech R Tank
Ignoring the poor threading on the top cap and the annoying rubber stopper, the R Tank works well once it's broken in. For some reason, it takes a little use before the prefab coils hit their stride.
At first, things are fairly rough. The tank has a problem with dry hits even at relatively low-wattage. I was using a variable wattage device with these instead of variable voltage. Even at 7 watts I'd have to turn it upside down and shake it a little to get the wicking to pick back up.
That lasted for about a half a tank or so. Once that passed, the Smoktech really opened up. It didn't seem to have any wicking problems, and I was able to take it up to 9 watts without a compliant.
Vapor production is very good with a nice amount of warmth. This device also seems to produce above average throat hit. Flavor production is very good after a slow start as well.
Things start to break down, however, when the tank is about a quarter full. The real performance doesn't drop, but wicking seems to run into some trouble at that point. If you take frequent hits when the tank is low, chances are you'll get a burnt one in there.
Inverting the tank and shaking a little, or just slowing down seems to avoid the issue. Of course my solution is to just refill the tank once it gets there.
If it weren't for the threading issue, I'd really enjoy this tank. In fact, I think I'll end this review now and try gluing the threads in place to see if I can keep this tank chugging along.
Too Long; Didn't Read
Smoktech's R Tank is a rebuildable atomizer tank that holds around 2.5ml of e-liqud. The tank features a modular design and spring-loaded posts for easy coil changes. The tank has a break in period using the stock coils, but once it's broken in performance is great. The downside is it's difficult to fill and the threads that hold the top cap in place have a tendency to fall off. The R Tank is available at MadVapes.
|Easy coil changes|
|Includes 4 coil assemblies|
|Great performance when broken in|
|Filling requires syringe|
|Filler bung is easy to lose|
|Threading for top not secured well|
|Unpleasant during break in period|
|Poor wicking when tank low|
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