Herakles Plus by Sense – A Review
High Performance Leisure Tank
The Herakles Plus (DirectVapor – $34.95) has been around for quite awhile. In ‘Tank Years’ it’s a downright old and cranky tank, brittle with age and despair, but it still competes, it has a spirit, and that spirit refuses to give up the ghost and make way for newer, bolder, young Turks like the Rafale and Crown from Uwell. And, though its powers may seem to be diminished when standing side to side with a proper 2016 Workout tank, it fits the needs of many vapers, especially now. Okay, I don’t know what that was just now, but I think I’ll let stay in this here review.
Herakles Plus – Where Does It Fit Now?
We’ve been talking some about the concept of Leisure and Workout tanks, whereas a Leisure tank being a tank that is can be used by most post-cig-alike vapers all day, every day, and a Workout tank being ‘that’ tank whose job is to create massive clouds of vapor, first and foremost, and produce good flavor as its secondary purpose. A Workout tank, which many advanced vapers do use as an all day, every day tank, is likely to cause headaches, nausea, and dehydration when used all day long.
However, while the vast majority of tanks can be categorized in one of the aforementioned categories there is a class of sub-ohm tanks that can straddle the fence, go either way, or be one thing for someone and other thing for someone else. After extended time with Herakles Plus by Sense, I’ve come down on the side that rides the middle. The Herakles Plus and play the role of a Leisure tank, and a Workout tank, and because of its sharp looks, good flavor, and ample vapor, it could become one of the most popular tanks on the market if given the chance.
The Herakles Plus is most definitely a “Sense” tank, with its quality materials, construction, and functions. See my review from April 2015 and compare the original Herakles with the Herakles Plus.
This time out Sense brings its flagship tank to the fore by adding features, changing coils, and yet keeping that Herakles look and feel.
New to this Sense sub-ohm tank, the Herakles Plus has a very nice, easy to use, top fill feature, a unique top airflow system and an eliquid flow control feature. Each of these components work together to bring you a vape experience that just wasn’t possible with the original Herakles.
With a capacity of 3.5ml the Herakles Plus overall size is neither too small nor too wide, like the original it sports a 22mm diameter. Color choices have improved as well. In addition to the Black and Stainless Steel finishes of last year’s Herakles, Sense brings Rose Gold in as another choice of finish, and it is an awesome looking Rose Gold.
The coil heads for the Herakles Plus are not compatible with the original Herakles sub-ohm tank, and that’s a ‘plus’ in my book. When you buy the tank you will receive a preinstalled 0.4-ohm coil head (Kanthal) with a wattage range of 35-100W, and an extra coil head, the 0.2-ohm SS316 (Stainless Steel) with a wattage range of 35-80W, or TC mode. Lastly, Sense offers a Ni200 (Nickel) coil head rated at 0.2-ohms (212-574 Fahrenheit) These new coils are Tri-Parallel designed, and Sense has applied for a patent on them, an indicator that they are proud of these new coils.
The Herakles Plus also comes with an extra glass tank.
Usage Tip: To avoid massive leaking make sure to close the airflow slots. More than anything else, this tank will leak profusely with airflow slots even slightly open.
Putting the Herakles Plus to Work
To test the real performance of the Herakles Plus I used the following hardware and eliquid:
Vaporshark DNA200 with Unicorn Cake by AR Eliquid (White Lightning line)
HCigar DNA200 with Boston George by Dr. Juice
Volcano Blood Red Lavabox (Limited Edition) with Lucky Ruckus Acrynomix SUSU high VG eliquid.
Herakles Plus Top-Fill System
The top fill method is one of the easiest to use once you are able to unscrew the top cap off the first time. Coming from the factory these caps are screwed on tight. It took wrapping the cap with a dry cloth and twisting as hard as I could for several seconds to get to come loose. After that, removing the top cap was relatively easy, and all it takes for a secure enclosure is a decent hand tightening. The Herakles Plus two top fill slots are large enough to use with a glass dropper, and the pointy plastic tips on the AR eLiquid bottles made it a cinch to fill.
The original Herakles was a disaster at refilling when compared to the relative ease of the Herakles Plus.
Top Airflow Control
Herakles Plus Top Airflow and Delrin Mouthpiece (drip tip)
While reading the manual for the tank I noticed that when talking about the airflow system at the top of the tank Sense says that this new system is designed to have zero effect on the flavor production from the vapor. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. It does have a negative impact on the amount of flavor in the vapor and I advise any flavor chaser to keep the top airflow system closed. The flavor certainly isn’t bad with the top airflow open, but with it closed the Herakles becomes an excellent flavor tank.
This new system on the Herakles Plus has the air taken in from the top of the tank and it goes down through a separate chamber in the chimney, then hitting the top of the coil. It might be a unique feature to implement, and if you’re running super warm vapor and want to cool it down some it makes sense to use it, but don’t let Sense kid you, it will mute the flavor about 10-15%.
Juice Flow Control
The Herakles Plus features a very decent e-juice flow control method. When refilling the tank this feature must be closed off completely to prevent leaking.
It also comes in handy when vaping with thinner, higher PG eliquid because you can ease off on the e-juice flow a bit. For deep lung hits I advise keeping the flow control wind open to avoid dry hitting the coil head.
Size v Capacity
The Herakles Plus holds 3.5mL of eliquid, less than many, and more than many. Cleary then, anyone looking for a large capacity tank would, and should, avoid the Herakles Plus. For me, it’s overall size of the tank that matters more than strict capacity of the eliquid. Unlike some tanks that are a lot larger than the Herakles Plus, this tank looks proportionate on hundreds of mods.
In addition, the difference in capacity is not as large as you might think. In most cases, the larger tanks hold between 4.5-5mL of ejuice, and when vaping a High VG e-juice the difference 1mL or so is mostly insignificant. You’ll refill your tank often enough throughout the day in either case. Someday I’m going to have to do a video of the Uwell Rafale, a magnificent tank for flavor and vapor, to show you how fast a full tank can be vaporized to empty. Unless you have one, or used one, you can’t imagine how much your eliquid budget will skyrocket with a Rafale. The Herakles Plus uses about as much eliquid as a Kanger Subtank Mini with it’s 0.3-ohm OCC.
The Dreaded Spit-Back
The biggest negative I experienced while using the Herakles Plus was significant spit-back using the 0.4-ohm Kanthal coil heads. Whenever the tank fell to less than a 1/3 full the spit-back was far too often and far too hot, but after I topping it off, and blowing through the mouthpiece to clear any drops that may have seeped into the chimney, the spit-back was less annoying.
The 0.2-ohm SS316 coil head had slightly less spit-back for some reason, but it was not spit-back free. Again, only when the tank was nearing empty did I have to concern myself with hot juice spit-back, which is unpleasant as it sounds.
Sense also offers a Ni200 0.2-ohm coil, but I did not have any to test with.
What I find hard to figure out is why this tank would have issues with spit-back at all. These new coils are “patent pending” and I am careful not to allow drops of liquid to fall into the chimney, so its puzzling. Even after clearing out any unwanted eliquid, or burning away eliquid, it can come back at any time. Besides, most tanks will have spit-back breakouts now and then anyway, I just didn’t expect this many with this particular tank. I don’t consider this issue as a deterrent to wanting one though. For all I know it’s human error that’s causing it, but you deserve to know that I did experience some spit-back, as I have with every other tank I’ve used for extended periods.
Comparing Tank Experiences
Compared to today’s newer Workout/Leisure tanks the Herakles Plus is definitely more of a Leisure tank. It does not compare in vapor or flavor production to the Workout tanks like the Uwell Crown and Rafale, or the SMOK TFv4 and a handful of other more powerful, high performance tanks. This is not bad news if you’re looking for a good looking tank that you can use every day, no matter what eliquid you use or what mood you happen to be in. The Herakles Plus is a tank you can trust; a tank you might even call ‘friend’ some day.
With proper priming, the right wattage, the correct airflow and juice flow setting the Herakles Plus will perform for 99% of vapers, with great satisfaction, every time. If you go into a vape life with a Herakles Plus, don’t expect monstrous sized clouds or super intense flavor. In fact, I would go so far as to say that had I not recently spent a lot of time with these other tanks my performance score for the Herakles Plus would be higher.
The Herakles Plus has three significant improvements over the original Herakles; the top airflow system, top-fill and e-juice flow control system. It is most definitely an improvement on the original.
My bottom line, as it pertains it sub-ohm tanks is, as I’ve said before, there is a need for all day, everyday tanks, and the need for good workout tanks. I’m not all that interested in adding more tanks to my Workout series, at least not until something innovative and spectacular comes along. For my personal vaping, the Herakles Plus has become one of my go-to tanks, far outperforming the Subtank Mini.
I want a sub-ohm tank that I can grab and go with. A tank that I can fill and refill with reckless abandon, and always get a nice vape back. A sub-ohm tank that I can vape at my leisure… The Herakles Plus fits that bill.
Buy This Tank Here
Specs and Features
- New Top Airflow Design that travels directly to the coil through the outer chamber
- Quad Top and Bottom Airflow
- Top Fill System
- New Coil Structure
- Copper Contact
- 510 Threading
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Utilizes Pyrex Glass
4mL E-Liquid Capacity
- 1 x Herakles Plus Tank by Sense
- 1 x Herakles Plus 0.4-ohm Coil (Pre-Installed)
- 1 x Herakles Plus Replacement 0.2 ohm 316L Coil
- 1 x Herakles Plus Replacement Glass Tube