Last Updated on September 5, 2017 by Team Spinfuel
I don’t normally like to draw attention to myself when vaping. So, when Freemax decided to shape its FireLuke sub-ohm tank like a bulbous goldfish bowl, I was hesitant to give it a shot. But my mother told me to never judge a book by its Gumball machine looks (I’m paraphrasing) so I investigated further.
And you know what? This goofy-looking cloud chucker is pretty darn good. It’s not a perfect experience, but the bowed-out glass and massive coils certainly make the FireLuke stand out on shelves, while one key addition makes the FireLuke a STANDOUT performer.
But, before we get down to business, this is not the first top-notch Sub-Ohm by FreeMax, they have plenty of history in the Sub-Ohm market. Last year it was the FreeMax Starre PURE that had us all a twitter. The FireLuke is a nice progression.
First, the FireLuke packaging…
The Freemax FireLuke certainly makes a bold first statement. Coming in a fairly large “gift” box, covered in flame graphics, the packaging wouldn’t look out of place at a Harley Davidson store. The bold hero image is supported by the quirky tagline underneath – “FIRELUKE NEVER LIMITS YOUR VAPING.” Personification fail? Maybe, but it certainly catches attention.
Inside the box, you will find the device itself, staring defiantly back at you in all its bulging glory. But there’s so much more underneath. Freemax heeded my wishes for a complete tank setup with the FireLuke, including a pre-installed Kanthal dual coil head, AND – be still my beating heart – a large RBA deck, as well.
The rest of the box contains the usual collection of O-rings, cards, replacement glass, documentation and warranty info. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I’m so happy an RBA deck was included I’m willing to forgive the redundancy.
An eye candy dispenser?
No one can fault Freemax for being shy. The FireLuke is certainly one of the most unique-looking vape tanks on the market. Sure, we’ve seen rounded glass extensions before, but none I’ve seen have protruded quite this much. Freemax was kind enough to include a narrower profile spare glass, but it limits the juice capacity more than I was comfortable with for such a thirsty tank.
Available in knurled black or silver stainless, or resin finishes in a wide range of colors, the aggressively styled FireLuke will certainly polarize the potential audience for the FireLuke even further. In other words, if you’re a vaper who likes to keep things subtle and grounded, this might not be the tank you take out on the town.
That said, if aesthetics isn’t important, the massive capacity of the extended tank might make it the PERFECT match for a night out. The design might not hit all the right spots for my personal preferences, but as long as it performs, I’m satisfied.
The bottom AFC ring locks into place nicely, and stays pretty secure, while remaining easy to operate. However, the machining and threading here is pretty rough, with scratchy, uneasy twists to adjust airflow.
One item of note: At 54mm x 25mm (32mm wide glass) the Freemax FireLuke is bulky. If using it with narrow mods, it becomes an immediate top-heavy tipping hazard, which can quickly result in shattered glass. Though I don’t know if Freemax plans on releasing special vape rings for the FireLuke, I’d strongly recommend finding a solution soon.
Finally, the drip tip itself is pretty average, and there isn’t an adapter for 810 tips, making the FireLuke a “love it or hate it” device for so many reasons. But the tip DOES reveal a massive top-fill port which can accommodate any e-liquid bottle smaller than a fire hose. I had no problem refilling the FireLuke with any of my myriad tips and droppers.
Firing up the FireLuke tank
The Freemax FireLuke is a really solid performer with only a few quirks to knock down the score. After taking the tank apart and giving it a good hot water bath – there was some serious machining oil smell when opening the sealed package. Washing new gear is always recommended, but this tank definitely requires a little TLC before filling and firing.
Once I primed the installed 0.15-ohm sextuple coil head with some high-VG juice, I closed it snug and filled without a problem. I also let it sit and saturate for a few minutes, per the instructions. There is a LOT of real estate in this coil head, and I wanted to make sure every micrometer of cotton and Kanthal was adequately soaked before use.
Using my SMOK ProColor at 80 watts, the FireLuke’s immediate output was a decent flavored vape, with better-than-average vapor production. The first tank’s worth was a touch limp, with muted flavor, but as the coil began to break in, some of the subtler juice notes started to come to surface. One fill later and this coil was singing high notes with every puff.
I pushed the coil a little further, toward the top of my personal heat threshold, 110 watts. Here, the vape quality was initially quite strong, but the coil seemed to struggle to keep up with frequent use. Before long, dry hits ruled the day, so I backed it down to 80-90 watts, and the coil resumed its expected performance.
While this is plenty high for most vapers, it should be noted the installed coil was rated for up to 140 watts – a far cry from the 110 that ultimately scorched mine. These aren’t nearly as durable as competing coils, and Freemax should strongly reconsider the recommended rating for these, as they simply don’t hit anywhere near those levels.
Using the FireLuke for a week, the coil is still hanging around in the flavor department, but the vapor production has ebbed noticeably. I wasn’t using the coil too frequently each day, so I’d have to grade the coil performance as sub-par. Thankfully that’s not a tremendous concern, because the included RBA deck is an absolute winner.
Build early. Build often.
At first glance, the Freemax FireLuke RBA is nothing noteworthy. Using a standard velocity-style, two-post setup, the deck appears functional, if not a little boring. But there’s a reason this style is so popular with builders – it flat-out works.
The tiny grub screws are a pain in the neck, though, so be sure to keep all the FireLuke spare parts handy – that screwdriver isn’t a throwaway item this time around.
First, I installed the included Kanthal Clapton coils, and was non-plussed by their performance. Through several rewickings, and countless juices, I couldn’t shake the odd metallic flavor these coils exuded in every puff. Thankfully, that was indicative of the coils, not the tank or deck.
Using a standard 26-gauge Kanthal build, I set up the FireLuke for a 0.25-ohm vape. I wicked as instructed, and – for the first time in my youngish life – I didn’t experience one ounce of leaking, dry hits, juice flow, hot spots or other problems. It’s the no-fuss experience I’ve craved for a while now – simple, effective, user-friendly.
After a few puffs, it’s more than evident that the RBA section is worth the price of admission. The FireLuke may be a sub-ohm tank on the surface, but this is very much an RTA at heart. Each of my three separate builds on this deck worked really well, with absolutely no leaking or irregular wicking. Just voluminous, flavorful clouds, first drop to last.
I mostly enjoyed my time with the Freemax FireLuke. While the odd shape and top-heavy design might prevent me from showing it off at the bar, I love the extra capacity and flavorful vape quality for the car, or long evenings by the fire pit.
The included prebuilt coil was a decent performer while it lasted, but its relatively short lifespan has to be considered a negative, especially for non-builders who want to try the FireLuke. Still, the RBA head more than makes up for this flaw, with a spacious deck, uber-simple design, and OUTSTANDING performance that allows the FireLuke to perform well beyond what the prebuilt coil offers.
Is the Freemax FireLuke for everyone? No. But those who want something truly unique AND high-performing should consider the FireLuke the next time they fill those online shopping carts. Just be sure to add a few wide vape bands to the order, especially if your mod is prone to tipping.
The FreeMax FireLuke is Available at Element Vape for $27.95.
Features/Specs and Package Contents
Freemax FireLuke Features:
- 25mm Diameter Base
- Threaded Top Fill System
- Two Large Fill Ports
- Pour to Fill
- 5ml Max Capacity
- 4ml Capacity Glass Tank Section
- Thinner Profile
- 4ml Capacity Glass Tank Section
- FireLock Coil Family
- 0.15 ohm
- Sextuple Coil
- 60 to 140W
- Organic Cotton
- RTA Section
- Stacked Two Post Build Deck
- Two Terminals Per Post
- 2.5mm Each Terminal
- Dual Airflow Channels
- 5mm by 4.5mm Each Channel
- Corner Wicking Cutouts
- 0.15 ohm
- Dual Adjustable Bottom Airflow Control
- 14mm by 3.5mm Each Airslot
- Fully Closeable
- Proprietary 13mm Bore Drip Tip
- Stainless Steel (or Resin) and Glass Construction
- Gold Plated 510 Connection
FireLuke Package Contents:
- One FireLuke Sub-Ohm Tank
- One FireLock 0.15 ohm Sextuple Coil Head
- One RTA Section
- One 4ml Glass Tank Section
- One Proprietary 13mm Bore Drip Tip
- One Pair Prebuilt Clapton Coils
- One Flathead Screwdriver
- Spare Parts Pack
- User Manual