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  1. #1
    Noe is offline
    AV Approved Manafacturer/Modder Chief Snus scientist
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    In the deep dark recesses of your mind! .. Prophet of the Vapeoligists & keeper of the sacred Bewdy.

    Smok TFV4 subtank full kit review

    Thanks to who provided me with a Smok TFV4 kit free for this review, today I'll be reviewing the Smok TFV4.
    There are different kits available for the TFV4 this is the one I received: Original SMOK TFV4 RTA-49.99 and Free Shipping|
    There's a coupon code :TFV4 which makes the price:$23.99US at GearbBest.


    The TFV4 comes in a cardboard box with an outer cardboard sleeve & has a sticker to scratch & check for authenticity on one end.

    Opening the box we find the TFV4 nicely housed in a protective foam insert.
    Removing the insert reveals a bottom layer of foam with some cotton, the 4 coil prebuild head, the RBA head, instruction manual, 2x silicone tank sleeves, a spare silicone refill gromet, a very nice (IMO) black handled screwdriver, a replacement glass tank section & a QC/warranty card with a warning on the back about ensuring your wicks are not used dry.
    Interestingly there is no spare o-rings in the kit I received, which I would have liked to have seen even if only for the tank section.
    The tank itself includes the Tri-coil head & a rather interesting drip tip, which features its own AFC, however, I did not like the DT's width but more about that later.

    In use:

    This is a 25mm diameter tank, so it looks best on a wider mod, like a box mod of at least 25mm width, it could also look ok on a 26650 batt tube mod but looks a little out of place on a 22mm tube mod or narrower box mod.
    Smok have also released a "Mini" version, which is 22mm diameter, which uses the same coil heads, which would sit better on 22mm tube mods etc. but I have no idea how that version performs, I would guess that it would be almost exactly the same apart from juice capacity.

    Before filling for the first time, I recommend unscrewing the coil head from the tank & putting it aside, give the tank a quick wash & rinse in warm soapy water. The tank comes very clean looking & smelling but this is a precaution I always take with all my new atties/tanks.
    If you like easy top filling, the TFV4 won't disappoint, top filling is made simple & easy, perhaps too easy, to fill simply swing the hinged top cap open & fill.
    While this is a good system it has a couple of drawbacks, as seen in the pics below using a regular dripper bottle can be a bit tricky, though it is possible & is the way I have been filling. However since there is only one opening for juice to go in & air to escape, it can cause some minor spillage.
    The second problem with this system is that the top cap can easily swing open accidentally while carrying in your pocket/bag or while in use if you are not careful. To solve this Smok has included 2 vape bands, which go around the top of the tank (the one in the pictures is my own after market add on), one of these around the top of the tank serves not only to help prevent shock & breakage to the glass tank, if your PV is knocked over but also prevents the top cap from swinging open. This may be a con if you don't like the look of vape bands on your tanks but it is effective at keeping the "door" shut, while providing some protection for your glass, in practice you don't need to remove the band, you can simply slide it down & swing the door open.
    Overall I like the top fill but I wish Smok would have made the opening for the bottle a little larger & made the top fill door a little more secure & perhaps added a second smaller opening for air to escape.

    I used the prebuilt Tri-coil head which is rated at 0.2 ohms, for 6 days, it performed well & showed no sign of needing to be changed. I quite liked the vape quality using this coil, what I didn't like about it is its need for high wattage to run properly. I prefer to use the lowest possible wattage for the best possible vape quality out of my tanks/atties, this helps battery life & makes for longer run times on my PVs.
    So having to run the Tri-coil head at 80w to get good vape quality, while getting a full day+ less run time out of my device wasn't something I enjoyed, although this may appeal to some vapers.
    I did not test the 0.15 ohm prebuilt Quad-coil, although if you like high wattage vaping, then I have heard that this coil can go even higher than the Tri-coil head. Which BTW that 80W was not the maximum the Tri-coil head could go to, I did test it at 90W but decided I didn't like the added heat being produced & didn't test it higher than that.
    I have no doubt that both these coil heads will perform admirably at higher wattage, however when I tried going below 80W with the Tri-coil head, the vape became more & more wispy, until at 60W (double my usual maximum wattage) the vape was very thin & unsatisfying, to the point of almost non-existance.
    I had no issues with leaks or flooding nor any dry hits when using the Tri-coil, even after nearly a week of use, with 5ml per day refills, when removing the coil head there was no juice in the AFC base although there was a little condensation (which was virtually tasteless & watery), probably 2 drops worth & hardly worth noting.
    Last edited by Noe; 25-11-15 at 12:28 PM.
    Officially #1 Customer and Supporter of Essiemessy's Custom made Glass Drip Tips!
    Essie's Glass DTs

    Sent from my kickass gaming PC using keyboard & fingers.

    The Dahli Lama once said, "People do not laugh enough & take life too seriously, causing stress." A good laugh can cure a build up of stress, stress is a leading cause of grey hair & early death.

    Vape Hard or go home and Vape Hard!

    I'd rather be sneezing than wheezing!

  2. #2
    Noe is offline
    AV Approved Manafacturer/Modder Chief Snus scientist
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    In the deep dark recesses of your mind! .. Prophet of the Vapeoligists & keeper of the sacred Bewdy.

    Last I checked, Smok had at least 8 different types of coil heads for the TFV4, including a 1.5 ohm head, Titanium or Nickel or Stainless Steel TC heads, 3 different RBA heads(which can be purchased separately) - the TF-R1 (included in this kit) ,the TR-R2 for dual coils(purchase separately only), the TF-RCA which ships with the TFV4 Mini kit, the range of optional coil heads is quite impressive.
    The RBA that ships with this kit though is the TF-R1, it's for single coils & this head is the one I like the most in this kit.
    The vape quality from the RBA head in this tank is superb at around 25-30W, with the 0.8 ohm factory coil, I kept the AFC which is 4 large slots, set to about 1/4 - 1/3 open & found this provided me with plenty of air flow, using a 60/40 PG/VG juice, so for thicker VG based juices there is plenty of scope for increasing the AFC.
    This is no doubt how I will continue to use the TFV4, as an RTA, either with the R1 head (this one) or the RCA head which I will probably purchase to try later on.

    Building the RBA deck:

    The RBA head comes with a pre-installed 0.8ohm coil but no pre-installed wick, which is the coil I used, since it looked well made & easy to use, plus I wanted to see how the factory coil performed. I gave the RBA a quick rinse, dried it, gave it a quick firing to see it was working correctly & used the included cotton wick that came with the kit to wick it.
    The coil legs can be fitted through the holes at the side of the deck or under the screw heads, the factory coil comes with the legs slotted in the holes but when I rebuild with my own coil, I will be using the screw heads, if you do it this way be sure you don't have a short to the RBA sleeve before firing.

    I noticed that the threads that the RBA sleeve screw onto sit above a channel, then at the base is where the RBA sleeve sits. I believe this channel is there to provide an internal reservoir of juice to feed the RBA, suppose you are not pulling enough vacuum when you vape, without this reservoir, you would be more likely to get dry hits, Smok has obviously put some thought into this design.
    The Juice channels are nice & wide, when wicking I kept the wicks out of the reservoir channel & trimmed them to sit in the juice channel level with the last threads.
    My first wick worked well for a few days, then I got a dry-ish hit from it, which left the cotton a little burnt, I put this down to user error, rather than the fault of the tank, I did pack that wick in rather snug in the coil, the next wick was not quite so snug & the dry hit wasn't reproduced again. So I recommend a loosely snug fitting wick in this RBA head, rather than a properly snug fitting wick.

    Drip Tips:

    This is my biggest con for this tank & for many vapers this will be a deal breaker.

    What is it with Smok & DTs?
    All of Smok's 2015 released tanks that I have tested have come with DTs that have very short 510 ends, this almost makes finding a DT you like to fit a Smok tank impossible, almost.
    Instead of adding annoying AFC to their DTs, adding some extra length to the top cap & 510 of the DT to make them compatible with other DTs would be better for more vapers.
    I don't know of many vapers that use a DT with AFC but I know that most have their own preferred style & type of DT, most often these are not the DTs that ship with a tank or atomiser.
    Smok if you read this, stop making tanks that won't accommodate the majority of 510 DTs, drilling out 2 - 3mm extra length in the DT slot on the top cap would solve the problem on this & your other 2015 released tanks.

    The included DT works ok, it has an AFC that is segregated from the vapor stream, essentially surrounding the vapor stream in an air stream. In this respect it is unique, even compared to other DTs with an AFC which mix air & vapor in the same stream. Of course the AFC can be completely closed & the DT will work like any other DT without AFC but I find it too wide because of its unique & for me, useless feature.
    You may love DTs with AFC & for you this may be better than other AFC DTs that you own, for me it is just a wasted feature & one that makes my vaping experience less comfortable.

    I did find a work around, that allows me to use my favorite Stainless Steel DT (Stingray X styled) on the TFV4, without it looking out of place.
    The DT heat sink that comes with the UD Zephyrus looks like it has found a new home atop the TFV4, it doesn't quite sit flush but it doesn't look out of place either due to the gaps between the fins & allows my DT to sit flush on the heat sink.
    I have seen similar DT heat sinks available at some vendors, that can be purchased without purchasing an entire UD Zephyrus tank & the heat sink will fit most 510 DTs, so you can use your own favorite DT too.
    Of course this solution won't suit everyone, some vapers will hate the look of it, there are DTs that have shorter 510 ends & you may be able to find one you like that works for you but it will take a fair bit of hunting & trial & error.
    Smok really needs to lift its game when it comes to this aspect of their tanks.


    The TFV4 makes a great RTA, with the included TF-R1 RBA head & for those vapers that like to rebuild, it is worth checking out.
    For vapers that like high wattage vaping/big clouds, using the prebuilt heads or using the RBA head may be an option for you, this tank could also be worth checking out.
    If you are a mouth to lung vaper, I doubt that even the 1.5 ohm coil head is going to make this a tank you'll enjoy more than your dedicated MTL tank(s), the AFC on the TFV4, even when almost completely closed is probably too airy for a MTL vaper. However, in the TFV4 mini kit, Smok have included a airflow restricting cap, which may make the 1.5 ohm coils & the TFV4 Mini appealing for MTL vapers, having not tested it, I can not say for sure.
    The TFV4 kit is not one of the cheapest but being completely honest with myself I finished testing this tank well over a week ago & it has been my go-to tank (in RTA mode) since getting it. Despite it's few cons I really do like it, it has remained completely leak, gurgle & seep free & dry hits are extremely infrequent especially if it's wicked properly, the vapor quality is very good both for flavor & volume of clouds.

    Replacement pre-built coil heads are quite expensive when compared to most other tank coil heads but they are about 3-4 times the size of most coil heads too. The Tri-coil head I used for 6 days, hardly looks like it was used at all, aside from being soaked with juice, comparing the wear & tear to a regular single or dual coil head, it liks like it may have had 1 day's use on it.
    So it is hard to say exactly how long this coil would last me but i would estimate 3 weeks, that's 5ml of juice per day for 21 days or 3.5 x 30ml bottles of juice, all things considered it is probably only slightly more expensive than regular coil heads or about the same cost -wise, if you are replacing a regular coil head every week on another tank.

    I wouldn't recommend this tank/kit for novice vapers, some knowledge of rebuilding &/or at least knowing battery safety/power needs to drive the coils in this kit is very important, beginners need not apply.
    Experienced or perhaps intermediate vapers looking for an upgrade to their existing kit, may find the TFV4 fits the bill nicely.
    Last edited by Noe; 25-11-15 at 12:36 PM.
    Officially #1 Customer and Supporter of Essiemessy's Custom made Glass Drip Tips!
    Essie's Glass DTs

    Sent from my kickass gaming PC using keyboard & fingers.

    The Dahli Lama once said, "People do not laugh enough & take life too seriously, causing stress." A good laugh can cure a build up of stress, stress is a leading cause of grey hair & early death.

    Vape Hard or go home and Vape Hard!

    I'd rather be sneezing than wheezing!



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