“Always leave ‘em wanting more.” In Hollywood, this is a blueprint for success. For vape tanks, it’s a bit of a black mark. But that’s exactly the thought I took away from my time with the awesome, but needy Squid Industries Detonator sub-ohm tank.
You see, while I enjoyed every second the Detonator sub-ohm tank delivered thick, flavorful plumes of vapor, those seconds were far too fleeting, with questionable coil longevity, and juice consumption that defied all logic. While it lasts, the Detonator is up there with some of the industry’s best. But the constant refilling and coil changing made me question whether or not it would make for a good investment. And I still haven’t entirely decided.
Visually, the Detonator is visually striking (much like the named mod that makes up a nice starter kit), since it was likely designed as a companion to the equally awesome Detonator mod, reviewed here a few months back. With a 25mm base diameter, streamlined but capacious 7mL bubble glass tank (5mL straight glass is also available) and gorgeous knurling and machining throughout, the Detonator doesn’t look like a copycat. It doesn’t look like a competing product. And it’s instantly noticeable on any device.
I should also mention that those who use the standard 5mL straight glass piece will also enjoy a protective cage piece that makes the Detonator look even more badass. It makes it a little tougher to gauge juice levels, but should you want a full military vibe (what Squid Industries is known for) then the tank cage is a must.
Taking the Detonator sub-ohm apart reveals the same level of precision and detail. Butter-smooth airflow control, stellar threading and a nice universal polish add up to a vape tank you won’t confuse with many others in your collection. I never faced any difficulty changing coils, unlike so many other tanks that turn cross-threading into an expected outcome. It’s the little things that make me smile…
But none of this matters if the coils aren’t up to snuff, and thankfully, the included pair of C-4Q mesh heads are definitely capable of delivering the goods. Of course, I should mention that I’m not in love with the “C-4” naming, since I don’t want any powered device, I put in my face associated with explosions. But, let’s assume this was a coincidence, and not a statement of intent.
Beyond the naming, the C-4Qs make an amazing first impression. With a ridiculously quick break-in period, the coils offer near-instant bursts of flavor and voluminous vapor, even at moderate wattages. That’s right, power-fiends, you don’t need triple-digit wattages to produce insane clouds of vapor. At a relatively low 55 watts, the Detonator sub-ohm tank produced room-filling fog on the regular. Pushing it higher just made it warmer, not necessarily better.
The coils were more than up to the challenge, and when I pushed them past their stated limits, it took a lot of chain vaping to get them to show any signs of weakness. To be clear, we NEVER recommend pushing vape products past their limits, and only did this to test accuracy of capabilities. Safe vaping is happy vaping, kids.
For a product designed to military-grade specs, the Detonator sub-ohm proved to have a soft side. Not only did it handle extra power without breaking a sweat, but the coils also proved to be just as flavorful with the power turned down a few notches.
But that flavor comes at a price. In order to deliver the goods to users, Squid Industries created a coil that absolutely sops up e-liquid like it’s been lost in the desert for several weeks. We’ve used some pretty thirsty coil types over the years, and some of today’s biggest names stillhaven’t figured out the balance between efficiency and performance. But the C-4Q heads are a step beyond the norm, with visible drops in e-liquid levels after every damn puff.
If you’re a DIY liquid person, this might not be much of a deterrent. But those who spend top-dollar for premium e-liquid are going to wonder about their investment when doubling their juice costs each week thanks to their new sub-ohm tank.
More concerning than the consumption was the longevity. Obviously, if a coil is vaporizing more juice in each puff, the flavor is going to be great, but it’s going to be harder on the coil, mesh and cotton. This creates a conundrum for users: Is short-term vaping bliss better than longer-lasting satisfaction? That’s ultimately up to the user, but I was dumbfounded here, especially after blowing through both included coils in a matter of fivedays.
Even given the “testing factor” – my excessive pushing and prodding to gauge a device – the coils still suffered from a serious lack of longevity. Maybe I would have gotten an extra day or so under more-realistic circumstances, but there were no significant gains to be had. The C-4Q coils make a wallop of an impression, then – like I said in the opening – leave you wanting more.
Detonator Sub-Ohm Tank Specs:
- 25mm Diameter
- 5mL Standard Juice Capacity
- 7mL Expanded Juice Capacity
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Pyrex Glass Reinforcement
- Protective Steel Cage
- Squid Industries Detonator Mesh Coils
- 15ohm C-4Q Mesh – rated for 40-80W (Best: 60-70W)
- Threaded Top Fill
- Fully Adjustable Knurled Dual Airflow Ring
- 810 Widebore Delrin Drip Tip
- Available in Black or Stainless Steel
Detonator Sub-Ohm Tank Contents:
- 1 Detonator Sub-Ohm Tank
- 2 0.15ohm Detonator C4-Q Mesh Coils
- 1 5mL Standard Glass
- 1 7mL Bubble Glass
- 1 Protective Steel Cage
- 1 Spare Parts Bag
This is a weird review for me. Because I love the Detonator sub-ohm tank. A lot.And it’s even better with its namesake mod sitting beneath it. But I just can’t get over the consumption concerns. If money is no object, and you can easily stock up on spare coil heads, I can heartily recommend doing so… at least until Squid Industries introduces a better follow-up coil series down the line.
Yet, if you’re like most of us, and don’t see replacing coils every few days as a worthwhile investment (especially when so many other tanks perform for longer durations) then I have to question whether or not I should recommend the Detonator.
But I still do. In short, the Detonator’s C-4Q coils hit you just like the name implies – fast, hard and powerfully. But the experience – as amazing as it can be — is just too fleeting (and resource draining) for me to give it a top score.