Smok TFV4 Review
Our Smok TFV4 review takes a look at the 5 ml capacity, top-filling and multi-coil sporting sub ohm tank, widely regarded as one of the best on the market. Is its reputation justified, or is it just empty hype?
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- 5 ml capacity tank.
- Triple, quadruple and RBA coil heads included.
- Airflow control system.
- Easy to use top-filling design.
- Excellent performance for all coils.
- No leaking in ordinary use.
- RBA head is well-designed and easy to build on.
- Good price – $34.95 for the tank.
- Great for both cloud and flavor-chasers.
- Replacement coils are expensive.
- Gets through juice very quickly.
- Mainly suited to higher-power devices.
Smok TFV4 Review
The Smok TFV4 is widely regarded as one of the best sub ohm tanks on the market. Although it’s been superseded by the TFV8, the original remains on sale and still has a lot going for it. With a 5 ml tank capacity, quadruple and triple coils in addition to an RBA head, a hinged top-filling design and more, it’s easy to see why the TFV4 continues to attract support from vapers. But does the device really still offer enough to be worth the purchase? Is it worth picking one up, or should you pay a more for the newer model? Our Smok TFV4 review puts the tank to the test to find out.
What You Get
The Smok TFV4 comes in a pretty nice box. It has an outer sleeve with a picture of the tank, the specifications and what’s inside, but underneath is a classy-looking, textured black box with “Smok” written proudly on the front. Inside you get the tank, a 0.15 ohm quadruple coil head, a 0.2 ohm triple coil head, an RBA head, a spare glass tube, a manual, a mini screwdriver, a bag of spare O-rings and some cotton wick. You also get a couple of rubber rings bearing the “Smok” logo to put around the tank if you like. This is a great selection, and is enough to keep you vaping with the TFV4 for a quite a while, particularly if you’re happy rebuilding your own coils.
Smok TFV4 Review – the Design
The Smok TFV4 looks like a bit of a beast. With a 24.5 mm (just under 1 inch) diameter and standing 70 mm (around 2 and 3/4 inches) tall, it has a formidable appearance on most mods. The wide diameter means you may get a bit of overhang on many mods, but for box mods in particular this isn’t much of an issue. It has a minimalist look, being solid black (but also available in stainless steel), and only bearing the word “Smok” engraved in the upper section in the way of branding.
The glass tube occupies most of the body of the tank, and inside you can see whichever coil you have installed, all of which add to the overall look. The triple coil, for instance, has “Smok” printed on alongside a circular logo with three spirals (representing the coils) inside. Underneath this, it displays the resistance of the coil and the suggested power range. This adds a little flourish to the appearance of the tank without being too imposing.
On the whole, the tank looks very cool. As long as you can cope with the overhang, you won’t be disappointed.
Structure and Layout
The structure and layout of the tank are the same as any other sub ohm tank. The bottom section contains the adjustable airflow system, and unscrews from the body of the tank so you can replace the atomizer head. Inside, a chimney leads from the top of the sizeable atomizer head to the mouthpiece. Finally, the top cap consists of the top-filling system and a unique wide-bore drip tip with its own secondary airflow system.
The top filling system on the TFV4 is hinged, so the top of the tank and the drip tip swing out from the top of the tank. Engraved into the top cap is a curved arrow with the word “open” beside it, showing how to open the tank for filling. The top and bottom sections interlock, holding their position through friction but being easy to open up. When you swing the top cap off, it reveals a silicone ring surrounding the central tube, with a curved oval section cut out for refilling. This is a little too thin for some dripper tops (and this limitation is addressed on the newer model), but you can still fill up with limited spillage.
The airflow control system on the TFV4 works in the expected way. There’s a ring at the bottom that can be rotated to reveal either all, part or none of the four open slots at the bottom of the tank. Between each slot there’s a groove to help you grip the airflow control without affecting the rest of the tank. This makes it very easy to adjust without unscrewing the whole tank. Although there’s no close off one or two of the slots, you can adjust the airflow down to the minimum to tighten up the draw.
The Smok TFV4 has a unique drip tip. The connection is the standard 510 size, but above that the drip tip widens out. It’s actually composed of two pieces, a central glass section which is about the same diameter as standard drip tips, and a stainless steel outer piece. This is designed to improve heat resistance, with a 1 to 2 mm space between the inner and outer sections. So the drip tip is effectively the standard size, but the additional width – coupled with the secondary airflow slots – means it performs like a wider-bore drip tip.
On the whole, the Smok TFV4 is excellently designed, with a straightforward but effective appearance and tons of handy little extras to make using the tank as easy as possible.
Smok TFV4 Atomizer Heads
The TFV4 comes with three atomizer heads in total: a 0.2 ohm triple coil, a 0.15 ohm quadruple coil and an RBA head. These all perform great, on the whole, but the different designs give each slightly different characteristics.
The 0.15 Ohm Quadruple Coil
The quadruple coil is rated for vaping at between 40 and 140 W, giving a huge range of powers you can try out depending on your tastes. However, the quad-coil design means it has quite a long ramp up time, and you don’t get great vapor production on lower powers unless you take a really long puff.
- At 40 W, the vapor production and flavor are fairly weak.
- At 60 W, the flavor comes through a lot more strongly, and the vapor production increases notably. The vapor is still cool too, even without the secondary airflow.
- At 80 W, the vapor production is boosted even more and the flavor really starts to pop out at you. The vapor is still cool enough to be tolerable too.
- The improvements in both continue at 100 W, but the vapor gets notably warmer.
- At 120 W, the flavor and vapor are still great, but the vapor starts to approach an uncomfortable temperature without the secondary airflow, though it’s still tolerable.
- Finally, at 140 W, the vapor and flavor improve further, and the temperature is still tolerable though you may want to open the drip tip airflow a little.
On the whole, the coil performs excellently across most of the recommended range. For me, 100 W is the perfect middle-ground, but depending on your preferences this may not be the case for you.
The 0.2 Ohm Triple Coil
The triple coil atomizer head for the TFV4 is rated for between 40 and 130 W, and sports an interesting design. It has three separate vertical coils – almost like three ordinary atomizer heads combined into one.
- At 40 W, the vapor production is acceptable although quite weak, and the flavor comes through a little. The vapor is very cool.
- At 60 W, the vapor production and flavor both start to really come through, and the vapor warms up a bit, despite still being quite cool.
- 80 W gives a pleasantly warm vape with well-rounded flavors and a substantial amount of vapor.
- At 100 W, the flavor and vapor are even better, but the vapor starts to get very warm, and is more tolerable with the drip tip airflow opened just a touch.
- At 120 W, vapor production is still excellent, but the flavor (at least for my current juice) has past its peak intensity.
- At the maximum recommended wattage of 130 W, the vapor is quite hot, even with the drip tip airflow all the way open, and the flavor is still a little overcooked.
On the whole, the triple coil atomizer head performs well throughout the recommended range, but from my experience, 80 to 90 W is the sweet spot for the coil.
The RBA Head – Ease of Rebuilding
Finally, the included RBA head on the TFV4 is set up for single-coil builds, but a dual-coil version is available if you prefer. Unscrewing the top reveals a two-post deck, with Phillips-head screws going down into the deck and a big airflow hole in the center. The post-holes aren’t huge, but you can just about squeeze the legs of Clapton wire (tested using 26 AWG wrapped with 32 AWG) in there.
Wrapping and Attaching Your Coil
You simply wrap your coil as you ordinarily would, leaving the legs pointing off in opposite directions. You have to line your coil up with the wicking ports, and put a bend in the coil legs so they can be fed into the post-holes without ruining the positioning of your coil. Using the included mini screwdriver, you open up the holes, insert the coil legs in place and tighten them down.
Setting up the Wick
The wicking ports are pretty wide, and it’s not too hard to get set up, on the whole. Some vapers have problems with either leaking or dry hits (I experienced the latter on my first attempt), but it can be rectified if you get the method right. The main concern for leaking is to cover the part of the deck just above the wicking port with wick material. To stop dry hits, the key is to give the wick a cut at a 45 degree angle and have the tip just extending to the threading at the base of the deck. It takes a little trial and error, but after a few attempts you’ll get it.
Once it’s all set up, the performance is excellent. Of course this depends on your build, but on the whole you should be happy with the RBA head. If you’re not big on rebuilding, there is a coil ready-installed when you receive the device, so all you have to do is wick it to get some use out of the head.
Smok TFV4 Review – In Use
The TFV4 is beautifully designed and performs like a champ, but does is there anything that holds it back in use? Do you run into issues with leaking? Is refilling as easy as it’s claimed to be?
Ease of Refilling
The top-filling system on the TFV4 works just like it should. The hinged top cap swings open easily, and once you’ve done that all you have to do is drip juice in the fill-hole. The pliable material on the outer ring means that although the opening can be a little small for the drippers on some juice bottles, you can usually squeeze it in there. Even when I couldn’t there was still only minimal spillage on the outer ring.
Changing coils on the TFV4 is pretty easy. The base of the tank screws away from the body just as you’d expect, and the atomizer head comes out along with it. From there you just unscrew the old one and put the new one in its place. If you have a tank full of juice, you can access the coil without emptying it, but there’s really nothing to stop this from ending in a huge spill. The top section of the tank is just held on with friction, so it’s not really advised to depend on this. However, I tried it out with a full tank and if you invert it before removing the base, and are very careful with it, you can do it.
Does the TFV4 Leak?
The TFV4 isn’t completely immune to leaking, but on the whole it’s not that likely. If you’re not vaping at a high enough power, the coils get flooded easily and leak from the airholes. Similarly, if your wicking on the RBA head isn’t right, you’ll run into issues. However, once everything is set up right you’re unlikely to have leaking issues with the TFV4. Other vapers have had issues related to the silicone gasket and the filling hole, but there’s a simple fix for this that seems to work for most. Just trim the silicone around the fill hole so it sits flush with the rest of the gasket and you shouldn’t have issues.
The TFV4 is a tank designed for vaping at high powers, so heat is an issue that’s worth considering. The drip tip’s heat-resistant design does a fantastic job, and I didn’t have any issues with the steel getting too hot throughout testing. The base of the tank near the coil can get quite hot after a while, though, so if you’ve been chain-vaping you need to be careful after a while.
On the whole, the TFV4 is a fantastic tank in use. It might not be perfect – the slightly small fill-hole can be annoying and it definitely guzzles your juice quickly – but the performance and ease of use are hard to beat. Although it’s not particularly exciting to have very little to say about day-to-day use of the tank, it’s a huge plus-point for the device. Everything works so smoothly that there is nothing to complain about.
The Smok TFV4 is solidly-built. Everything fits together snugly, from the drip tip right through to the top and bottom connections on the tank. There are no complaints whatsoever here, and I didn’t run into any issues during testing.