Table of Contents
Last Updated on October 24, 2018 by Team Spinfuel
If you’ve been visiting Spinfuel VAPE all year long (and we hope you have) then you know we’ve been talking about the technological advances in the category of Sub-Ohm Tanks, especially tanks with mesh coils. In 2018 it is rarer to find a ‘poor’ sub-ohm tank then it is to find an exceptional sub-ohm tank.
Just think about it for a minute; ever since Chinese manufacturers began to see the enormous success of the SMOKTech Sub-Ohm Tank line, starting with the TFV8 series, other brands have been hard at work trying to emulate that success by taking both flavor and cloud production more seriously. The results have led to a new standard, and innovation, that allows us all to get more from our favorite eJuices.
The Wattage Race is Over
In 2016 and 2017 the major Chinese Brands were building massive tanks and coils with upper wattage ranges in the 250-300 watts. After SMOK released the Cloud Beast King and its V8-T10 Deca/Decuple Coil, a 0.12-ohm coil head capable of vaping at 300W, others followed suit for a short time, including WISMEC with its 260W capable REUX Sub-Ohm.
Indeed, these extreme-wattage tanks and coils could create massive clouds of vapor, but they never really took off. It seemed that only a small number of people were interested in vaping at such risky high wattages. Realizing this, Tank makers began to look for ways to build a tank that would require a lot less power and produce the same quality of the extreme wattage tanks.
Well, sure enough, another breakthrough came along and ended the Wattage Race once and for all. This new breakthrough begat another breakthrough, and we find ourselves in late 2018 with a list of Sub-Ohm Tanks that many could only dream about a couple of years ago.
The SMOK TFV12 Prince was born toward the end of 2017, but it began a revolution in the Sub-Ohm Tank category and should be recognized as the gift it was to vapers worldwide. The Prince overthrew the King, the Cloud Beast King, in many ways, but its most important contribution was the SMOK V12 Coil Heads.
For the first time in vaping history vapers could get awesome performance in both flavor and cloud production from a Coil Head that required a whole lot less wattage and produce a better “vape experience” than the monster tanks that preceded it.
The SMOK Prince was the spark that began this new revolution, requiring as little as 40W for an excellent vape, and maxing out at just 110W for its most powerful Coil Head. Spinfuel VAPE raved about the Prince for months, and rightly so, because it gave cloud chasing vapers a way to vape more safely, consume less eJuice, and extend the battery life of the mod the Prince was using to power it.
The Mesh Coil Revolution
All of the previous improvements to Sub-Ohm Tanks that the SMOK Prince and Prince Cobra brought to vapers pale in comparison with the development of the Mesh Coil.
The first Mesh Coil Head to go into wide distribution came from Freemax in the form of the Freemax Fireluke series. After that, just about every new Sub-Ohm Tank, including all the SMOK tanks, offer at least ONE Mesh Coil Head. As the Mesh Coil caught on, tank makers began building sub-ohm tanks exclusively for Mesh Coils.
Why is the Mesh Coil so popular?
It’s no small thing to say that the Mesh Coil changed the face of sub-ohm vaping forever. To understand why, we need to understand what a Mesh Coil is and how it works.
In the past, Coil Heads and Rebuildables (RDAs, RTAs, etc.) relied on thin strips of wire that were wrapped like a coiled-up snake. There may be dozens of different coil ‘builds’ and wire materials, including Kanthal, Stainless-Steel, Nickel, Titanium and Nichrome, but they were, and are, simple coiled wires. A Mesh Coil is very different.
The Mesh coil has a massive heating area that regular coils just don’t have. As you can see in the photo to the right, instead of a strand of wire, the Mesh Coil is actually made up of a metal mesh sheet. This mesh ‘sheet’ increases the surface area for e-liquid a thousand-fold and more.
When the mesh is surrounded by organic cotton as wick material, every molecule of the mesh is in contact with eJuice, and as power hits the mesh coil the eJuice is instantly vaporized, causing incredible flavor and thick, supple clouds of vapor the likes of which a coiled wire never could.
Along with a slew of brand-new sub-ohm tanks designed and manufactured as pure Mesh Sub-Ohms, some older, still desirable sub-ohm tanks, like the SMOK Prince, now offer a Mesh Replacement Coil option.
Below are Mesh Sub-Ohm Tanks, and Sub-Ohm Tanks with Mesh Coils options, that I’ve used and found to produce incredible flavor fidelity and enormous clouds of thick aromatic vapor.
The 80W Momentum
If you follow the above links to either the Spinfuel VAPE review, or the vendor links for the above tanks, you’ll find that these tanks, for the most part, top out at about 80W. Sure, a couple of them offer a higher wattage range, but nowhere near last year’s 300W monsters. And at just 80W as the upper optimal range, the flavor fidelity and vapor production are so much better than those old high-wattage regular coil heads.
Vapers today are jumping in the Mesh Coil pool with both feet, and Sub-Ohm tanks offering Mesh Coils are flying off the shelves. That alone should encourage even more mesh sub-ohm tanks to come from the vape industry.
I’m a believer in the Mesh revolution and I don’t believe the Mesh Coil is going away. If anything, the true innovators will begin to improve on the Mesh Coils, even designing better tanks that will take further advantage of mesh coils.
To Recommend or to Not Recommend?
Because I review sub-ohm tanks every day, and I’ve built up quite the collection. Today all I have are tanks that accommodate Mesh Coils, any of the older tanks that haven’t developed a Mesh Coil replacement have been tossed in the trash or given away.
Despite the fact that Mesh Coils are changing the face of sub-ohm vaping, the questions remains; is every Mesh Coil or Mesh Tank worth buying? Are some better than others, and are all Mesh tanks alike? Well, no.
I’ll admit that every mesh sub-ohm tank I’ve reviewed are much better performers than tanks than the simple wire coil tanks of years past, but there are indeed some that are better than others…. for my vaping needs anyway.
However, when it comes to actually suggesting one mesh sub-ohm over another, well, it isn’t something I’m prepared to do, and here’s why…
Recently we reviewed the ADVKEN Manta, a Mesh Sub-Ohm Tank with a peculiar design. In my opinion it is a beautiful sub-ohm tank, and its beauty is matched only by its excellent flavor and cloud production.
Now, having said that, there are many vapers that have told me, in no uncertain terms, that the Manta is one ugly tank. They’ve also told me that its nearly opaque black glass section of the Black Model, makes it impossible to keep an eye on the juice level (which is not that far from true), and they would never consider buying it.
To me, the ADVKEN Manta (reviewed here) is one of my favorites. As is the new VSTICKING Mesh Sub-Ohm, (reviewed here) which while being extremely well made, its exterior design is close to ‘basic’, but what it lacks in ‘flair’ it makes up for in astonishing flavor and huge clouds. That being the case, how can I suggest one mesh tank over another? Because all Mesh Coil Sub-Ohm Tanks are good tanks, any choice is purely subjective.
The only real recommendation I can make is to look at the offerings for Mesh Sub-Ohms and buy the one you like best, and trust that its Mesh Coils will produce a superior vape experience over non-mesh coils.
Kanthal Mesh is Best
The majority of Mesh Coils are made with Kanthal mesh sheets. There are stainless-steel mesh coils, such as the Freemax Fireluke SS316 Mesh Replacement Coils, but for my vape style, and my vaping needs, I only vape Kanthal Mesh Coils.
Although SS316 stainless steel mesh coils produce better flavor than simple coiled wire made with SS316 steel, the fact remains that Kanthal is the only metal that produces a truly authentic flavor, and that is especially true with Kanthal Mesh Coils.
The only advantage of using a stainless-steel mesh coil is for those few vapers that are left that still want to use temperature control mode on their mods. Using TC mode with SS316 Mesh Coils does allow the user the “advantages”, as it were, for avoiding dry hits, or setting a particular temperature and wattage, but whenever I’ve tried a SS316 Mesh the flavor of my favorite eLiquids are always ‘off’.
All the Mesh Sub-Ohm Tanks I’ve reviewed come standard with Kanthal Mesh, but brands like Freemax offer replacement coil packs made with stainless-steel mesh. Of course, if you’re a fan of building your own coils, vendors now offer both Kanthal and stainless-steel mesh strips, so the Mesh Revolution carries over to the world of Rebuildables.
The MTL Mesh Tank
As you’ve no doubt figured out, my optimal vape experience requires not only great flavor from my eJuice, but big clouds of vapor as well. The Mesh Coil allows me to experience just that. But the biggest virtue of Mesh Coils is “flavor”, so there exist Mesh Tanks for the growing MTL (Mouth-to-Lung) crowd as well. Two come to mind right away; the Innokin Plexus and the Zenith.
For the MTL Vaper a Mesh coil brings about better flavor than any MTL tank ever could before mesh coils. I imagine that as more people adopt MTL Tanks we’ll see more Mesh Coil Tanks for them.
I started off this article by stating that it is rarer today to find a poor sub-ohm tank then it is to find a good one. A couple years back it was the other way around. We can all thank the invention of Mesh Coils for that.
2018 has been the best year ever for sub-ohm vapers because of the Mesh Coil Revolution. I believe that when Spinfuel VAPE publishes its final Best Sub-Ohm Tanks for 2018 list, Mesh Sub-Ohms will be the majority of the tanks listed.
I’m fairly certain that 2019 and beyond will bring still better sub-ohm vape experiences because of better Mesh coils, and a fuller understanding of the best ways to bring in airflow to maximize the fine mesh materials for even more flavor and bigger clouds, with even less wattage. I’m looking forward to reviewing each one that comes my way.
If you haven’t yet tried out a Mesh Sub-Ohm the time is now. Any of the one’s I’ve listed above will surely please you, but the above list is certainly not complete.