SMOK TFV4 – The Best & Worst Sub Ohm Tank
A huge thanks goes out to Vapor Authority for being the first to send us one for review, and for Ave40 for selling us the first batch they came in. You guys are great! To buy one in the US, opt for Vapor Authority and their very fast shipping!
I’d like to start this review off with saying, in all honesty, I was hot to get this tank. It looked and sounded like a beast, something so powerful it would put the Aspire Triton and Vision MK to shame. I was right…and wrong. So hang in there with me while I tell you all about this horrible/amazing sub-ohm tank from SMOK.
I began using the SMOK TFV4 tank more than 2-weeks ago, and have only now decided how to approach a review for this monster. For some vapers this thing will be the tank all others are judged by, for other vapers it will be the tank to avoid at all costs.
Because this Sub-Ohm tank by SMOK vaporizers e-liquid almost as fast as you can fill it and zaps the power out of batteries like syphoning water out of a pool. This is not a tank for budget vapers. It will break the bank.
It is safe to say that the SMOK TFV4, given enough e-liquid and enough wattage, produces more flavor and more vapor from your eliquid than any other tank, or RDA, or RBA, you can buy, anywhere. If you are looking for the ultimate vapor producer this is it. Just make sure you have enough money to use it.
SMOK TFV4 At A Glance
The SMOK TFV4 sub ohm tank comes with a variety of huge coil heads including a triple and a quadruple coil arrangement, with Kanthal and, soon, Nickel wire, and an RBA section like no other (When you buy the TFV4 Kit). The SMOK TFV4 capacity is a full 5ml of e-liquid. It features a unique, but cumbersome, cooling drip tip system, and it is, as the trend continues, a top fill tank.
When you purchase the tank you’ll notice a rubber tank band and your immediate thought will be, “What a nice gesture”, and then you’ll soon find out just how unique the top fill system is and why that band is necessary.
The SMOK TFV4 tank is priced right around $49.99, but you can find it cheaper in some places. Just make sure that when all is said and done the “total” isn’t much more than $50. Shipping from some vendors is stupid-expensive, while others offer very affordable shipping. Vapor Authority has the non-RBA TFV4 priced at a very nice $31.99!
SMOK offers a full line of SMOK TFV4 Coils, which I’ll cover later. As far as ‘how long’ these coils last I can’t say yet. While I have had these tanks for a couple of weeks I’ve not put in more than, maybe, 10 hours of use into one of them. It’s just too damn expensive for me to operate right now. The retail price for the coil heads are way more than you’ll pay for other sub-ohm tanks. Think $6+ per coil head.
The SMOK TFV4 has a very high quality feel to it. It’s heavy enough to be a weapon if you need it to, but it is built like a tank that was meant to last years. The coils heads themselves are large, heavy, but well-made and dead serious. Looking inside a Triple Coil or Quad Coil runs chills up my spine. Holding this monster to my mouth is nerve racking.
Filling The Tank
The top-fill method on the SMOK TFV4 is different but will take little time to get used to it. To fill the tank, you just slide the lid away from you and the top of the tank swings away, revealing the openings for filling the tank with eliquid. The rubber O-Rings at the top are tight and secure, so the tank does not leak, at least yet. I have on many occasions changed tanks (for more affordable vaping) and left the SMOK TFV4 on the table, on its side, without a drop of juice leaking out. If you own this tank and experience leaking, it’s either an O-ring issue or you’re not using the rubber tank band that comes with the tank and keeps the lid closed tight.
The tank band sports the SMOK logo, and the one’s we have are all black with white lettering. My first thought was that it was some kind of “extra”, a bonus for actually buying the tank, but as I later learned you will need it to make sure that swing lid doesn’t move. As long as you use the band you won’t experience leaking unless the tank is damaged.
The airflow on the SMOK TFV4 features 4 different airflow slots and an extra airflow slot in the drip tip. The bottom airflow slots provide a really wide berth of various draws, from very airy and loose to closed, tight draws. I opened up the drip tip airflow a couple of times but like other drip tip airflow systems, it just cooled the vapor too much and made it too airy for my liking.
Now, lets talk about these monster coils…
When we placed our “staff” order with Ave40 for these tanks we only ordered 10 tank (the kits) and 50 extra coil heads. When they arrived I thought the package was surely something else, it was way too big to be just the SMOK TFV4 tanks and coils. The box measured about 24”x20”x12” and it needed very little padding on the inside. Each coil head was individually wrapped and each weighs enough to be used as a fishing ‘sink’. You won’t mistake these coils for any other tank. They do sell 5-packs as well, and these packs are larger than any other 5-pack of coils I’ve seen.
Our budget only allowed for the purchase of 50 coils, half Triple coils and half Quad coils, all Kanthal. Because we spent the few extra dollars for the “Kit” tank each one came with the RBA single coil section. (SMOK does offer the RBA section in a dual coil). Ave40 gave us a great price. The retail price of the coils is more than $6; a 5-pack of coils are $33.00. That’s expensive. Below are the two coil heads we purchased.
TF-T3 (triple coil)
- Patented Triple Coil Head
- High Quality Kanthal
- Fine Flavor Reproduction
- Cloud Chasing Vapor
- 0.2Ω (40w-130w)
Product Package: – 5 x TF-T3 Coil Head – $33
TF-Q4 (quadruple coil) Features:
- Patented Quadruple Coil Head
- High Quality Kanthal
- E-liquid Delivery Efficiency
- Work with 100% VG
- 0.15Ω (40w-140w)
Product Package: – 5 x TF-Q4 Coil Head – $28
Impressions On The Two Coil Heads
The flavor production was ‘fine’ with the Triple coils, but better with the Quad coils. On the whole, neither coil produced anything less than great flavor. Most vapers will find their favorite eliquids taste great with either coils, unless the e-liquid is very complex and there are many layers of flavors. The Quad coils will deconstruct the complex flavors better than the triple coils, but I have no idea why. I vape only High VG e-liquid now, and the Quad coils seemed to be just a little better at deconstructing the flavor components in a more nuanced fashion with these High VG liquids.
Vapor production with the Triple and Quad coils are incredible given enough power and enough VG in the blend. And that’s key. It takes a tremendous amount of power to maximize the performance of these tanks. While the coils are supposed to work at 40w, they barely do. If you own a 40w box mod you’ll max it out and still only get maybe 40% of the capability that these coils can produce.
Impressions With Various Mods
When I reveal my impressions with specific wattage settings I will be basing them on the results with my Sigelei 150W TC mod. However, I did vape with the SMOK TFV4 on a Vapor Flask, The Vaporshark DNA200, an iStick TC60W, an eVic-VTC Mini, and the IPV D2 (The tank looked ridiculous sitting atop the IPV D2) and the Vaporshark DNA 200. Although the width of the TFV4 tank is 24.5mm the DNA 200 is 39.5mm, leaving a barely noticeable overhang. The others all had various amounts of overhang due to their 22mm diameters.
Using the Vapor Flask I couldn’t move the dial on the tank at 30w. At 40 watts I got some vapor, very little flavor. No warmth at all. With the 60W devices I was able to get some decent performance at the maximum 60 watts. Vapor was still cool, but some flavor and big clouds of vapor were happening at the 60W mark. The IPV D2 produced a more than decent flavor production and massive clouds at 67 watts. If the tank didn’t swallow up the IPV D2 it would be a good choice for the smallest footprint, but I have a feeling that if you use a SMOK TFV4 you don’t much care about footprint. While using the Vaporshark DNA 200 I found the tank was still a little too large for it, but the power of the DNA 200 was plenty of the TFV4, when at about 80w the tank sprang to life.
Ultimately, it was the Sigelei TC 150W that made the SMOK TFV4 perform at its full potential and look good doing it. This dual 18650 mod, set at 81.5 watts, using an 80:20 VG/PG e-liquid gives the vape community a new standard in both flavor accuracy and richness, as well as monstrous clouds of vapor that could fill an average room inside of 5 minutes. However, the TFV4 can handle a lot more than 81.5w that I enjoyed.
Finding my sweet spot at 81.5 watts it was still the most wattage I’ve ever used for any length of time. After vaping through a full 30mL of e-liquid in less than half a day I decided that this was not the tank I would use a lot. I simply cannot afford it.
As ridiculous as this sounds, each time I took a big lung hit from the SMOK TVF4 with the Sigelei at 81.5 watts I would see the eliquid was sitting lower in the tank. After 10 large lung hits I felt the need to top off this 5mL tank. In addition, the battery level moved substantially after 10 lung hits. Now imagine spending $22-$28 per 30mL bottle of e-liquid and you can begin to see where the cost to vape with a SMOK TFV4 puts it out of reach for many people, myself included. The only people that could afford to vape everyday with this tank are the wealthy, or DIY e-liquid makers, or people who can easily afford 4 or 5 bottles of e-lqiuid at the $16-$17 price.
SMOK have some new coils for the TFV4 that we didn’t buy, but are worth noting. They include the Ni200 temperature control coils and coils designed to produce good flavor and vapor at lower wattage settings. This will definitely make using the tank more realistic.
I’ll update this review, or write a new one, once we are able to obtain a few of the Ni200 coils and the lower wattage Kanthal coils.
The SMOK TFV4 RBA
The TFV4 RBA is one of the best RBA sections I have ever worked with. It’s nice and big, I had plenty of space for single coil builds. But I will admit though that my coils were basic. About the same coil that comes already attached to the RBA.
The e-liquid flow-holes are large, about the size of the holes in the OBS T-VCT coil heads. I didn’t have any issues with wicking the cotton and there was plenty of eliquid hitting the coil/cotton so I didn’t have a dry hit once.
The pre-installed RBA coil was 0.7-ohms, the two that I built was 0.6-ohm. The sweet spot wattage was 32w for both mine and the preinstalled one. Flavor and vapor was truly fantastic, though in all honesty, not as good as the Quad coils but certainly less expensive to use. The RBA section is much better than I thought it was going to be and for that reason I recommend that if you are going to buy this tank go the extra few bucks and buy the one that comes with the RBA.
The Sigelei TC 150W Vapor Test
Here are my accurate notes while climbing up the wattage ladder with the Triple Coil and my Sigelei mod.
20W – Nothing – not even a buzz of electricity.
30W – Same
40W – Tiny bits of vapor, no flavor yet
50W – Some, not much, vapor, very cool, and a little flavor
60W – Vapor begins to crank, but the flavor is still far from ‘fine’.
81.5W – Sweet Spot for me – Huge clouds, some warmth, and excellent flavor from my 80:20 VG/PG blend
90W – Massive clouds warm vapor plus lots of flavor.
100W – Getting a little too warm for me, but sustainable for a while. Flavor is still quite good.
120W – Hot vapor at this point, and the lung hits are cut to 1-2 seconds.
130W – Just too much for this old guy. Too hot to inhale at all.
Some younger vapers that are used to massive lung hits at high wattage could handle more than I can.
Product Features & Spec:
Dimensions: 24.5mm x 70mm (D x H)
Replaceable glass tube
100% pure organic cotton
Large rectangle shaped liquid intake holes provide huge vapor
Double layered drip tip structure, heat shield (1-2mm spacing)
New patent sub ohm quadruple coil 0.15Ω (TF-Q4)
New patent sub ohm triple coil 0.2Ω (TF-T3)
Rebuildable dual coil 0.25Ω (TF-R2)
Rebuildable single coil 0.85Ω (TF-R1)
Leak proof top refill design
What’s in the Box?
- 1x TFV4 Tank Triple Coil 0.15ohm pre installed
- 1x TF-Q4 Coil 0.2ohm
- 1x TF-R1 RBA Single Coil
- 1x TFV4 Tank Glass Tube
- 1x RBA Tool
- 1x Black Silicone Ring
- 1x White Silicone Ring
- 1* O-ring
- 1x User Manual
This is one mean tank. It is the epitome of where the technology stands today. It is also the heaviest tank, even heavier than the Subtank Plus. The coil heads are the largest I’ve seen, and are also the most expensive. The SMOK TFV4 was made to look and work perfectly with the SMOK X Cube II, so it’s 24.5mm width will provide hangover on most devices.
All in all, the SMOK TFV4 is both the best and the worst sub-ohm tank I know of. It will chew through battery power and eliquid like you’ve never seen, but it will also provide the best flavor and the most vapor from your e-liquid.
The strange drip tip kept my lips cool even at 100W and above, but it is one wide tip, with an inner ring that does an excellent job as dissipating the heat. The leaking issue that I’ve been hearing about has to, in my view, be caused by not using the rubber tank band properly, or the inside O-Ring isn’t working correctly. Or, as unlikely as it may seem, the swing out top cap is bent in such a way as to prevent a proper seal.
If you can afford to go through tons of e-liquid, if you have plenty of extra batteries at the ready, and if you’re looking for extreme performance and money is no object than I recommend the SMOK TFV4. If, on the other hand, you care about the money you spend on e-liquid, and you’re not chasing the vapor dragon, then a less expensive sub-ohm might be a better buy.
Whatever your decision, the SMOK TFV4 is a high quality sub ohm tank that will last for a long time, but the privilege of using it will cost you.