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Sub-Ohm Tanks – Is There A Limit?

Sub-Ohm Tanks – Vaping with Julia Column

Over the past couple of weeks, you may have noticed more reviews for sub-ohm tanks than usual. So far, all the sub-ohm tanks have received excellent grades for flavor and vapor production, but are they worthy of your hard earned cash?

The question above is something I’ve been struggling with lately. During these past 4+ years of writing for Spinfuel I’ve spent, maybe, $100 for tanks and replacement coils. Mostly replacement coils actually, because whenever a new sub-ohm tank reaches our review desk everyone here gets one, at least one, and a pack of replacement coils. I spend money only when I decide to continue using it after the review, on replacement coils. If I had to pay for the tanks I dare say I wouldn’t own many of the ones I review, no matter how good they are.

Element Vape

Just because a large number of tanks cross my desk it doesn’t mean I actually use them on a regular basis. In fact, I use just 3 different tanks, and if a better tank comes my way I will give one of the 3 to someone else and replace it with the new one. Who can keep track of a dozen or more tanks anyway?

Recently John (Manzione, the publisher) has begun to break sub-ohm tanks up into two very befitting categories; Leisure tanks and Workout tanks. As soon as he said  I knew exactly what he meant. The 3 tanks in my rotation break out as 2 Leisure tanks and 1 Workout tank.

Sub-Ohm Tanks – The Leisure Tank

A Leisure tank is not an under-performing tank; it is a tank we feel comfortable using all day long. A Leisure tank provides plenty of real flavor and ample vapor, but it doesn’t consume eliquid in alarming amounts, nor does make your living room resemble a speak-easy from the 1920’s. Leisure tanks are relaxing and unassuming. The Leisure tank doesn’t get you kicked out of bed, or banned from the kitchen.

A typical Leisure tank also uses a smaller coil head. Joyetech has done great things with their small coil heads, things I would have never believed 4 years ago. The first time I used a Cubis with its 0.5-ohm coil I didn’t believe it could produce as much vapor, and flavor, as it did. Yet, because of the size, the balance, and the wattage range of the Stainless Steel coils the experience was one I look for as an all-day tank.

Sub-Ohm Tanks – The Workout Tank

Uwell Crown Sub-Ohm Tanks - Industrial Design - Superb Flavor - Wicked Vapor

A Workout tank is a sub-ohm tank that prides itself on chucking huge clouds with a minimum inhale. If you have not yet purchased a tank that fits the Workout tank definition you need to understand one thing before you do: Whatever you think about your current tank’s ability to churn out vapor, you haven’t seen vapor production at its maximum yet. There is “ample” vapor production, and “monstrous” vapor production. It must be seen, in person, to appreciate just how much a Workout tank can produce.

While the flavor can be amazing, its primary objective is to fog up the room. A Workout tank will get you kicked off the bed, off the couch, and certainly out of the kitchen. Workout tanks can also cause other types of problems, for some users.

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Forget about the fact that a Workout tank can annoy the hell out of your partner, it can also lead to over-consumption, nausea, and headaches.

Also, let’s not forget that as safe as vaping is, and it is quite safe, for every molecule of vapor a molecule of air is displaced. If half of your next inhale of air is made up of vapor instead, you will suffer the consequences, however minor.

In this respect there is such a thing as “too much vapor production”. And since the whole idea behind a Workout tank is vapor production, using it on a full time basis, as your all day every day tank, you risk the maladies of partial suffocation.

Vaping Styles and Sub-Ohm Tanks 

I do not vape in the same manner in which I used to smoke. I sometimes wonder how many people mirror their smoking habits with vaping. I vape far more often than I ever smoked cigarettes. Not because I needed a nicotine fix, but because vaping is very, very pleasurable.

As a smoker I never “lung hit” a drag from a Winston Light. I would take a 2, maybe 3 second drag into my mouth, and once I pulled the cigarette away I would draw the smoke into my lungs and let the smoke escape back through my lips a second or two later. Vaping is completely different for me. I still inhale for 2 or 3 seconds when “leisurely” vaping, but instead of a stop over in my mouth it goes straight into my lungs.

I never cared about the amount of smoke I produced from a drag off a cigarette. All I cared about WAS the nicotine fix. It was this need for nicotine that caused me to smoke for far too many years before wising up to its deadliness. With vaping, its the wonderful flavors and harmless aromatic vapor that keeps me vaping. However, there is a personal limit on the amount of vapor that I find pleasurable, hence the “leisure” tank and the “workout” tank idea.

Naturally there are exceptions to everything, including what someone considers an all day, every tank. I know people that use these these outrageously wicked tanks that produce vapor that you can almost cut with a knife, and they never suffer the ‘ills’ while doing so.

Below I’ve written about my experience with two Workout tanks. Can you see yourself in my experience, or are you someone that can use a Workout tank all day, every day? After relating my experience with them I’ll let you know when I find this kind of tank useful.

Uwell Rafale Sub-Ohm Tanks - Review by Spinfuel eMagazineThe Uwell Rafale 

While I agree with most of what John had to say about the Uwell Rafale, there are some things about the tank that cause me to give the “leisure/workout comparison speech” when someone asks for my advice about it, and other tanks.

The first, and most obvious caution is the amount of eliquid you’ll go through. For a tank that has a capacity of 5mL of ejuice, some users of the Rafale will vaporize that 5mL in less than 90 minutes with the airflow set to full and the wattage high enough to produce warm vapor.

A 30mL bottle of High VG eliquid will vaporize before your eyes in 12 hours or less with the Rafale, if used all day. I’m not kidding. I have asked John to produce a video to show how quickly it vaporizes juice and I hope he decides to do it. I recommended a video running at 4x speed, in one take, to illustrate this ‘problem’.

Personally, I find it impossible to use the Rafale as a full time sub-ohm tank. The tank delivers the flavor, though not as good as some others, but the vapor production is much too overwhelming.

The Horizon Arctic V8

I could say basically the same thing I said above about the Uwell Crown, except that the flavor from the Crown is better than the flavor from the Rafale. So instead I’ll use the Arctic V8 with the V4 coil head as my second example. I worked with Tom on the review, and there were only a couple of minor points on contention between us.

Arctic V8 and Arctic V8 Mini Sub-Ohm Tanks - Review from SpinfuelThe first thing you should know about the Arctic V8 is that it is a versatile tank that can be used as a Leisure or a Workout tank, provided you choose the right coil heads.

Set up as a Workout tank, with the quad-dual-coils called V8, this Kanthal wire coil head can use as much as 100w without hitting too hot or too hard. Just imagine how quickly you’ll go through ejuice with an octuplet Kanthal wire coil head.

However, the Arctic V8 offers a rather simple dual-coil called V2. This is a Bottom Vertical Dual Coil made with Kanthal wire and the performance, in flavor and vapor, is borderline Leisure/Workout. A fantastic tank, but an all day tank? It depends.


When Is a Good Time to Use a Workout Tank?

The answer if different for everyone, so I can tell you what Kiera and I consider as a good time to use a Workout tank. I would love to hear your opinions on this as well.

Obviously using a Workout tank during a test of an eliquid you’ve never tried before is a good time. A tank that fits the definition of a Workout tank will absolutely tell you how much vapor production a particular eliquid can produce.

Depending on how well the tank can relate the real flavor of an eliquid, you can also find out the limits to the eliquids flavor profile with a Workout tank.

I’ll admit that there are times when all I care about is chucking the biggest clouds I can. This can happen when I’m anxious about something, or if I’m upset, or wound up. It doesn’t happen often, but its nice to be able to pull out one of these monsters and let it go. What’s not nice is having to refill a 5mL tank every 45 minutes.

Because these Workout tanks push so much vapor there are times when you should never use one. Driving is dangerous with a Workout tank. Trying to read, or type with one can be impossible, and you’ll wind up cleaning your display (or windshield) more often.

Vaping with a Workout tank in the office, in the elevator, in the restroom, or anywhere people congregate is a terrible time to use one, unless everyone else is doing it, but even then the headaches will come quicker.

Buying Leisure and Workout Sub-Ohm Tanks

Leisure tanks, like the Joyetech Cubis, Mega One, Subtank Mini and Nano, the Tron, the Riptide and Mermaid tanks… and a hundred others, provide marvelous flavor and excellent vapor, but not so much vapor that you’ll fill the room with the clouds in minutes. There is no problem with headaches or nausea with a Leisure tank and moderate vaping.

Workout tanks, like the Rafale, the Crown, the Arctic V8 or Turbo, the Goliath tanks, the Zephyrus tanks, and even the Triton tanks, all produce massive amounts of vapor that can cause minor problems. I’m not saying that Workout tanks are tanks you should avoid. They have their place, and they can be a lot of fun to use. But if your budget is limited, if you’re looking for a new tank that you can use all day long, and if you haven’t yet experienced the real power of one of these tanks, then be aware that although you may be blown away by its performance, after a couple of hours you may wish you never bought it.

A Word about Ceramics

I was going to leave ceramic coils out of this column, but, because the vape community is buying into these new ceramic tanks and coil heads faster than anyone ever thought, I think it’s worth a mention.

Freemax Scylla Sub-Ohm Tanks Review A review by John ManzioneIf you’ve been vaping for 3 years or more you might remember ceramic coils. Today’s ceramic coils are a whole new game. A prime example of what these ceramic coil tanks are capable of you need to read the review we did on the Scylla tank. The ceramic coil heads in this tank puts the Scylla right smack in the middle of the Workout tank arena. The amount of vapor these ceramic coils in the Scylla produces is shocking.

The ceramic coil heads in the Council of Vapor’s Defiant is a fantastic thing, but the heat it creates makes the drip tip practically impossible to put between your lips. The best flavor and vapor may sit in the 60-watt range, as John says, but to actually use it for a time it has to be in 40-watt range.

Another thing about ceramic coil heads that we’ve yet to speak to is the break-in period. Unlike cotton and wire coil heads a ceramic coil will change its characteristics once its fully broken in. The perfect example of this is the aforementioned CoV Defiant. Kiera has been vaping with the Defiant exclusively for a week now and last night she told me that the ceramic coil head finally aged properly.

I learned that Kiera DEFIANT SUB-OHM TANKshad been vaping the Defiant at 54-watts from Day One. This wattage caused the mouthpiece to get hot after 3 or 4 quick hits. So much so that Kiera had to put it down after the 4th drag and wait till cooled off. Last night, at the same wattage, the Defiant was still producing amazing flavor (it is a flavor tank!) and vapor, but it did so much cooler than before. Now she can vape with it for 10-12 quick hits before it becomes too hot to hit. Tom says the Scylla is the same way, and that a ceramic coil will produce great results at a cooler temperature only after it is broken in.


This new class of sub-ohm tanks, the Workout class, are marvelous devices that can surpass RDA performance, but in so doing the large amount of eliquid in the tank, comparatively speaking, can create a lot of heat, more clouds than you might want, and increase your eliquid consumption far and away more than you might be willing to spend. But they are here to stay, and it won’t be long before a manufacturer builds a tank that produces vapor that is so compact that you’ll need to pull it out of your lungs with your fingers.

After spending a few months with these incredible tanks I’ve began to ask the question; is there a limit to how much vapor is too much vapor.

Julia Hartley-Barnes

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About The Author

All original content is written and produced for our readers by the Spinfuel Staff. The writing staff includes Julia Hartley-Barnes, Keira Hartley-Barnes, Tom McBride, Jason Little, Melanie Hendrix, and Dave Foster. Spinfuel also publishes guest contributors on occasion. All original content is protected by US copyright laws.

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10 thoughts on “Sub-Ohm Tanks – Is There A Limit?”

  1. Julia,
    Thank you for the great commentary. In the last year I got caught up in the “Sub-ohm hype”. I started to believe, from what I was reading, that in order to have flavor you had to have massive clouds which could only be delivered by the sub ohm monsters. I’ve spent a huge amount of money on every new monster tank available. My favorite tank was the Uwell crown. Since the flavor was so wonderful I didn’t mind eating up all the juice. HOwever, I did become frustrated with it because of coil consistency problems.The coil consistency problems with the crown led me back to the old standards such as the triton and the kanger mini. I’m getting the flavor but not going through massive amounts of juice. Since I vape Blacknote that is a huge savings. Vaping products seem to have sky rocketed in this past year. Once things settle down it would be nice to see categories, like you have mentioned, so people can make informed decisions based on their vaping style.


    1. Thank you Tony! I couldn’t agree more. Sub-Ohm tanks, especially the Workout variety, are priced high, and I think its a part of their (manufacturers) strategy of making them look ‘elite’. Most of the leisure tanks I use are modest in price and high in performance, but I still couldn’t see myself spending money on a new tank every week or two. Expensive e-liquid just adds to the problem in my opinion. Thanks for commenting! – Julia

      1. You mentioned the Arctic V8 being a workout/leisure. I find it to be horribly inefficient. Any recommendations on how I can make it more “leisure” per your review?

        1. Unfortunately there isn’t anything you can do to the tank itself, it looks like a workhorse tank. The way I consider it a leisure tank would be by using a higher-ohm coil head and closing down the airflow for a tighter draw. These workhorse tanks offer ultra-low coils, dual, quad, and other coil types, making for the need of much higher wattage. I hope this helps

          1. It does. I started closing the airflow last night. See if it gives me any more efficiency. If not back to my Kangertech sub mini.

        2. Hey Chris… The good thing w/ that Arctic V8 is that.. now that they’ve brought out the ‘mini’ version (I know, I know.. talk about another slow-roll release. Like too many others do w/ colors or versions too quickly.. Arrrrgh.. wish they’d release them all at once!) they’ve also introduced several different coil options, too. Believe it’s described pretty well on MVS, they now have V1, V2… & so on… in addition to ‘tiger’, ‘snake’ & ‘hive’. The last 3 being more for flavor, BUT.. pretty low resistance. A couple of the first V2, etc.. ones appear to have slightly higher ohms… are less intricate (less juice hoggin’) builds… & are SS material. Those, might be better suited for great flavor… good vapor production.. & a little less juice consumption. Esp if vaped at the lower end of their suggested wattage range & with AFC closed off a bit. Worth a shot (or at least a look-see) Enjoy! ps: funny thing, after ALL the darn sub ohm style tanks I’ve bought now looking/hoping for better (when it just turned out most are super similar to each other) …. who’d-a-thunk one of my favs would still be prob the most inexpensive one I’ve bought. 4ml. Nothing sticking out or pics to look at & need to twist, turn, set.. in order to use/fill, etc… Nothin’ to fiddle fu#% around with, just easy peasy. Clicky wide afc.. & equally easy large top fill, w/ integrated (non metal, woot woot) easy twist off drip tip.. Best part imho, it can use any in the Atlantis grouping of compatible coil replacements! Some favs have been Aspire Triton 0.3/0.4 SS… the 0.5 triton-2 claptons… playboy vixen… even Vaporesso c-cell 0.9 ceramics! Oh, & as someone who has used readyxwick ceramic wicking here & there for a couple yrs, totally agree about all these ‘ceramic’ ones coming out lately. Some, w/ cotton in there, kinda defeats their purpose imho. Others (like the upcoming smowell replacements for kanger subtanks) are using a piece of ceramic so darn thick.. Like bakeware, it’s gonna hold heat so… I see a V2 revision in their NEAR future.. As is, predict they’ll get SO hot (esp if vaped as we all do currently) it’ll heat not only the tank/drip tip.. but the device itself (yeesh!?) AND.. prob thin the e-liquid, heating IT.. to a point it’ll start ruining the flavor/juice completely too. We’ll see. For the ones already out there, it does help to eliminate ramp up.. to get in a habit of pressing the fire button early & while on its way up TO your mouth, rather than once at it.. Also letting go of that button a second or two early, since.. it’ll still be hot & producing vapor for a few seconds anyway. I mean, why waste it, sitting on a table, ya know? lol 🙂 Live long(ER) & vape on!

          1. Awesome reply reply Amanda. Thanks! I did turn in my V4 for some NI200 coils which are V2. See if they help out at all. I also just discovered dripping so I’m going back and forth. V8 flavor is superior to my kanger subtank mini.

  2. Wow, I had a good laugh just at the mear thought of all that vapor clouding up a room quick time. I have the Rafale tank, which I find gets horribly hot after just 4 or 5 hits. The Cubis..still not a fan of it, those coils are just not doing it for me, nor is the Triton v2. Maybe if I tried the Ni200 coils, but I can say from personal experience that the 1.8 ohm coils work way better in my old Nautilus and Nautilus mini tanks, they work much better and last longer than the standard coils for these tanks. I also have the Artic Turbo, another tank I am not real fond of, but I have finally managed to get it to work half way decently. The Herakles is a great tank as is my Zephryus v2 I guess these could be considered workout tanks just by definition, they have some great flavor and throw some serious vapor into the air…much like my Crown. Thee 3 aforementioned tanks the way I use them make them both a workout/Leisure tank. I am not one to crank the wattage up to 45-65 watts with a .2 ohm coil and sit around clouding up the living room. Instead, I close the air flow to just under half, still have good air flow, and I’ll set my wattage somewhere around 30-40 watts. The ONLY exception to most of my “workout tanks vs my Leisure tanks would be my SMOK TFV4 this is a definite workout tank, I like the S-6 coils at .4 ohms I have to set my wattage around 55 watts to get anything decent out of it. It gets hot quick, but not so hot that I can’t wrap my lips around the drip tip and take a good 3-4 second snort and with the Banana bread ejuice I’m using…heaven.
    I have a couple of Aspire Atlantis clones, plus an Atlantis and the Atlantis v2, the Arctic v1 with its .6 ohm coil that tank like my SMOK VCT Pr and its .6 ohm coil are definite leisure tanks for me. I can open the air up to just over half or even full open set my wattage to 30-35 watts and get a great mellow vape and some pretty decent fog banks building up in the living room, on into the kitchen and finally out into our back room our Florida room if you will. This only occurs whenever my pain levels go up a couple dozen octaves in short order,(I’m a disabled vet/ law enforcement 100% I have 2 neurological diseases that cause excruciating pain. Have been dealing with it for 25 years now).
    I have so many different tanks AND juices, I have like 20 drippers only half of which I use on a semi regular basis, and only about 6 that I use regularly and only with 2 different juices. I have like 20+ different mods mostly regulated but do have a couple of unregulated mods that get a little use. To me I guess I’m a bit of a different type of vaper, I’ll use a workout tank for leisure and vice versa, I don’t work, more correctly I’m ot allowed to work per the details of my medical retirement from Fl. Dept of Corrections. I like warm not a hot vape, but on occasion will crank up the heat and will try and blow clouds with the best of them. I am so looking forward to the Orlando Vapor Show the 25th and 26th of this month. Will only be able to go one day not sure yet which day, but I am stoked it will be my first ever vape show…of any kind. Kinda sad been vaping almost 3 years and haven’t een to any kind of show, cloud comp,etc. I know this has nothing to do with workout and leisure tanks then again maybe it does. Maybe the Orlando show will have some new tank or some new juice that I will absolutely fall in love with and I’ll have to throw all my hard saved cash at it…then again we’ll have to hide in the bushes and see what happens.
    Thanks Julie for a supe article, I have mostof the tanks you mentioned no Deviant…yet, hope to one day. You are a great writer, must have carried over from your years as a litagator, you do it so well…thank you.

    1. 🙂 Funny seeing you comment on this article, when I just read another… you had written! 🙂 Oddly, seems that could closely be my story. I use mainly sub-ohm style tanks these days for pure ease. Personally, wasn’t crazy about the vape from the TFV4.. Only way I finally figured out how to describe it is that if other tanks… can be compared to drinking through a straw, The TFV4 mini with either of the coils it came with… were like drinking through a straw that had a tiny crack juuuuuust above the liquid line. Lots of ‘clouds brahhhh’ but wispy sounding, feeling, looking…. More importantly (to me) it was the same with overall flavor production. Just… wispy & ‘meh. It’s been collecting dust until… I picked up one of those “backup kits” for like $6.. that I had been looking for, for what seems like months now! Comes with a different glass, chimney adaptor & 2 smaller coils & =o wow, talk about a totally different vape! Really good now (imho) Doesn’t hurt that, altho’ shorter overall.. even holds more, too! Bonus!! lol) That said, based on what you said you liked.. enjoyed.. disliked, etc. If you get the chance to OR see a sale, can highly recommend picking up a “Tobeco Super Tank mini” 4ml & has an integrated non metal drip tip for easy twist off to reveal huge juice ports .. clicky airflow to have wide open OR closed off, works well either way.. The ultimate <$20 leisure OR workhorse tank, imho. I feel bad for all those out there complaining about this one or that one leaking… burning coils, etc. Esp when so much of it is just not knowing & instructions not saying (or reviewers on Y/T not showing either usually) if ya PRIME them properly… BREAK in any new coil by ramping up wattage slowly, & at each stop taking a looooong inhale while pressing/releasing button a couple times (just like you'd never see anyone using a dripper.. do so without first PULSING their coils! Getting the stock ones glowing evenly & broken in.. provides even wicking/feeding & no pools of liquid sitting on the dry spots OR on overly glowing ones… that will pop up into your mouth… less sputtering OR immediate failure from jumping right in at 50+watts & burning the cotton, either… where it pops the coil at its leads, ruining the coil.) After pulsing a few times I'll move up 10w, repeat.. landing wherever it tastes best. Then when RE-filling, to maintain vacuum pressure.. close AFC completely before opening top fill tanks (some get lucky by doing it quickly but…. they haven't always been top fill for a reason, ya know?) & without overfilling, once closed… I usually take a primer pull (quick/sharp & without firing) just to re-establish vacuum pressure, pull a little liquid into coil again to ready for vaping. It also verifies tank IS sealed, all o-rings ARE in place/in tact & that coil IS still firmly threaded. If it comes loose, liquid can get under & will go out, taking path of least resistance… until whole tank is empty ALL over device/table. I'd much rather get to enjoy all that liquid, making it well worth that extra half a second to check & make sure tank IS air-tight. If all is a go… I re-open AFC & get back to vaping… Many say it's not necessary, but.. .idk… I've never gotten leaking from any/all tanks in years, so.. ? I'll be sure to prime… break in… new coils & make sure the coil is tightly threaded, closing AFC when re-filling.. since it gets the best results without leaking, sputtering, spit-back, dry hits, or burned anything. 'Dud coils'.. doesn't happen either… prob once in 4 yrs. (and that's with, literal… drawer(S) full of now outdated, replaced, quickly revised… replacements. lol) Imho, leaking… dry hits…. 9.9x out of 10, & even if due to what's them being uninformed…. is usually just user error, unfortunately. Anyhoooo… there are many 'color options' out there for that supertank mini & if you enjoy those sub ohm tanks you mentioned…. 🙂 Tho it's the run-on of the century (lol) just hope that PRIME/BREAK IN/CLOSE AFC info might help someone reading.. who might be getting leaking way too often, or at all. 🙂 Hope today has been one of those rare 'good ones' for ya! I'm in a very VERY similar boat, my friend. Here's a big ((hug)) .. I 'get it'. ~ Enjoy the Orlando show. next week.. hope it's ALL you anticipate & then some!!!! Live long(ER) & vape on!

  3. Wouldn’t it be safe to state that vaping style, could be looked at in terms of what the goal of the vaper is? I have seen my fair share of vapers, who use the sub-ohm systems, just to vape, because it’s cool or neat, as if it’s a hobby to them. Then on the flipside, vapers who use a sub-ohm system to get a strong enough kick, to feel that hit in their lungs, as if they were chain smoking Lucky Strikes. lol

    I have been using a sub-ohm system, with a high nicotine level to keep me on the straight and narrow path away from cigarettes. That strategy has worked for over a year now, and I am doing well. Some of the sub-ohm tank systems out there just seem way too overpowered and I cannot believe someone would use them for the sake of quitting smoking.

    It seems that right now, the market is flooded with a veritable cornucopia of devices an coils. I have to wonder when the technology will peak, and with that, when will it be enough? Maybe I just don’t understand enough about the vaping world, but from what I’ve seen, it’s split right down the middle: those who do it for fun and those who do it to quit smoking. I favor the latter and that’s fine by me.

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