I have half a dozen amazing pieces of gear on, in, and around the desk where I spend my workday. APVs, mechanicals, cartomizers (ohhhh, so many cartomizers…) clearomizers, RBAs, even a couple DDAs. But when I’m not reviewing or experimenting to find that new personal favorite, what do I fall back on the most often?
What is it about this combination of products that makes it my all-day mainstay? Well, in short, these three components add up to the strongest combination of compact and powerful I’ve found to date. With 800mAh of stamina plus 10.5 watts of power plus a dry, crisp and robust authentic tobacco flavor, this combo could get me through my work day even if I had nothing else to reach for. Add to that the fact of the Cool Fire 2’s compact size contrasted with the DCTank’s generous 6ml capacity, and this setup is equally sure-footed out on the town.
Let me go over the components of my personal favorite combination one by one, and then recap for the conclusion. I think you’ll be able to get some idea of just why this is my personal favorite setup.
Cool Fire 2
Let me have another quick word about the Cool Fire II. I don’t intend this to be a full review — that’s already been done, and done well. Instead, let me simply add some thoughts about the device as to why it makes my personal current favorite setup.
Let me start with the primary reason: ergonomics. The Cool Fire II is unbelievably comfortable to hold. In big hands like I’ve got, the compact little thing practically disappears — yet, its shape is perfect for making it a joy to hold in that way. The button is placed in exactly the right spot, too.
Next, the combination of good, solid weight and wide base mean that it’s the mod I find myself worrying least about when it’s sitting on my desk. Let me contrast that with my VAMO V3, which I have inadvertently knocked over I can’t even tell you how many times. The Cool Fire II has been brushed, jostled, bumped, thumped… it has never toppled, not once.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t flaws in the Cool Fire 2 — but my experience has only shown me one: Namely, it is that the LED indicator lights reside behind a button that bears a “smoked” finish. Indoors, or outdoors at night, that isn’t a problem. But outdoors during the bright of day, seeing the power level via the LED lights becomes problematic, to say the least.
Still, with all the benefits this device brings to the table, that one drawback is so far from being a deal-killer it doesn’t even give me pause. Summing up, the Cool Fire II made the cut for my personal “team” because it is the most APV in the least space.
Now we come to the AD I use on the Cool Fire 2: None other than the exceptional SMOKTech DCTank. This carto-tank brings serious eLiquid capacity to the table, along with truly beautiful performance at my preferred wattage range of 8.5-10.5 watts.
Particularly with my favored tobacco flavors, this wattage range, applied to this specific AD, produces warm, thick, unbelievably flavorful vapor — and with 6ml of eLiquid capacity, it does so all day long, and more.
Here’s a for-example: The current fill in the DCTank you saw pictured above has lasted me three days already, and I’ve been puffing on it steadily that whole three days. I haven’t even needed to top up yet. Frankly, I’m a little boggled by this, because I go through 1-2ml a day; I should have needed to refill the tank by now. SMOK somehow managed to create a carto tank that seems to be defying math.
Or maybe it’s just providing such a satisfying vape, with every puff, that I’m not burning through eLiquid as quickly as I normally do.
Now, I do also need to provide some notes regarding one of my least favorite aspects of using the SMOK DCTank. My early experiences with the device were less than spectacular. Granted, they were almost entirely my own fault. You see the DCTank was my first carto tank. As such, the lack of instructions it arrived with left me at a complete loss as to how to set up what was, for me, a completely unfamiliar device.
So while I’m here talking about it, just in case you’re in the same boat I was and want to give this thing a try, I’m going to take just a moment to tell you how to set it up.
First, when it’s just out of the package and dry, take a look at the bottom. You’ll see the connection threads attached to what appears to be a metal plate that’s snug against the bottom of the tank itself. That “metal plate” is the flange of the cartomizer. To fill the tank, I use a pair of pliers to rotate the cartomizer so that the cartomizer can be slid part of the way out of the tank.
Now if you look inside the top of the tank, you can slide the cartomizer down and out of the tank just enough to create a gap between the top of the inside of the tank and the top of the cartomizer. Now you’re ready to fill the tank.
Don’t worry — filling the tank with the cartomizer partially slid down won’t result in your eLiquid leaking. The cartomizer that comes with the DCTank fits so tight and snug inside the tank that your eLiquid won’t escape. Simply use the eyedropper cap of your eLiquid, placed into the gap between the tank and cartomizer, to fill the tank. Use the “windows” of the tank to keep track of your progress in filling.
Once you’ve got the tank filled, slide the cartomizer all the way back up into the tank, then rotate the cartomizer to fit the flange (the plate you saw a bit ago) flush back into the tank’s base. Let the DCTank sit for a bit. Try a test puff before you attach the DCTank to your device — if it’s gurgly, do this:
Take a bit of paper towel (some call it ‘vaper towel’, and that’s cute), place your lips to the mouthpiece of the DCTank, then — this is important — tilt your head back and blow upward into the paper towel. The reason for blowing upward is that if you blow downward, gravity will feed juice from the tank into the cartomizer. Blowing upward will ensure that you’re only blowing out excess eLiquid, not the whole tank’s worth.
Now, with that setup explained as your workaround for the only negative trait of the DCTank that I have experienced, I think you can see why the DCTank, once I figured out how to set it up properly, made first-string on my vaping team.
Johnson Creek Kiln House Silverthorn
The final component of this wonderful trifecta is one of my new favorite eLiquids: Johnson Creek Kiln House Silverthorn. I had the pleasure of providing the official review for this eLiquid a few weeks ago, and I’m still deeply, madly in love with it.
While it’s not my “all day” vape — I do like to change things up depending on what time of day it is, for example blueberry tobacco or coffee flavor around breakfast time, something a little more dessert-like after dinner, then an adult-beverage flavor a little later at night, just before bed — Silverthorn has taken the throne for my “all work day” vape.
And it has done that in no small part through the magic of this combination. The DCTank provides the cleanest, purest experience of the flavor of Silverthorn outside an RBA, with far more storage capacity and convenient portability than an RBA would offer sans the build difficulty of a Genesis or tank style RBA (which I admit I haven’t quite got the knack of building yet.)
Add to that the compact, comfortable power of the Cool Fire 2 and what you have is the ultimate tobacco experience, wherever you want it, whenever you want it, with no muss, no fuss. At home, at work (if you work in a place where vaping is allowed), on the street, in your car (please drive safely above all else), at the bar… Okay, I’d better stop there before I start sounding like Dr. Seuss.
I think you get the idea.
Personal favorite setups change. If I’m asked again, a year from now, my personal setup will undoubtedly be different. Hey, you never know — that could be the case if you ask me a month or even a week from now. But for right now, this is my go-to, the setup that is always beside my keyboard when I’m writing, that is always in my coat or hip pocket if I’m out on the town.
I don’t know what it might change to, and I don’t know when it might change. I’m not worried about those questions, either. I’m content. Not just with the setup that is my go-to today, but I’m also content with knowing that it might be something different tomorrow. That’s one of the glorious things about vaping — change for the better. That pursuit of change for the better, after all, is why we all started walking this road.