I wasn’t going to get the Subtank, just too damn big for my mod
s. But I was at a Xmas party last night and was gifted one, and I admit I was very curious about this tank. So I got it home and this was my experience.
Opened the box for my new shiny (I love new shiny’s), and was assaulted by a strong machine oil smell. Really strong. So I put all the pieces except the premade coils in the ultrasonic with some TSP and set it for 30 minutes. I hate machine oil and was really surprised Kanger boxed it up like this. Really nasty. Unfortunately the premade coils smelled the same, but I figured I could vape through it and it would go away shortly.
Got it all back together with the 0.5ohm coil and filled it with my favorite strawberry juice and gave it a vape at 15watts, after priming the coil with juice. Nice vapor plume, but nasty taste. Took a few more puffs and the taste was still there, no problem it will vape away soon. Coil was working OK so I bumped it up to 20watts. The vapor had a mild warmth, but the drip tip was uncomfortable warm. I had to take about 1 minute between vapes for the tip to cool a bit. Took a few puffs and it was still that nasty taste from the machine oil and the vape was a nice temp, but the tip was still too warm. Bumped it up to 25watts thinking maybe it needed a little more heat and juice flow, but no it was almost burning my lips with the tip… and of course the machine oil taste was still there. So I changed to a FDV pyrex drip tip and it was a little better, but still a much too hot drip tip. The odd thing was the warmth of the vapor was very nice, not hot at all just a nice mildly warm vapor. Very pleasant really.
Fast forward a bit and 4mm of juice later. The machine oil taste has dropped a bit but is still present and the hot drip tip has not changed at all. So down to 15watts and the drip tip is still warmer than the vape but not uncomfortable so. Fortunately, the Subtank still puts out a good amount of vapor at 15watts, so except for the machine oil taste it was very nice vape. But the taste had to go. It was ruining the vape experience.
I wicked the build deck with the prebuilt coils with Koga cotton (I opened the included baggy with the organic cotton and could smell machine oil even in the cotton. No way am I using that), and filled the tank with the same strawberry juice, but fresh juice I threw away the old stuff. The vape flavor was very, very good. But the airflow, not nearly as wide open as with the premade head and a very restricted airflow. This is not really a bad thing, just reminiscent of a Kayfun with a bit better airflow. No where near the airflow I was expecting. I vaped it at 17 watts and the drip tip was bit warmer that I liked and much warmer than the vapor, but still a very nice flavorful vape. I have a lot of different builds to try on the build deck, so I’m not willing to give a definitive answer on how much I like it just yet, but the prebuilt coils, properly wicked, did a very nice vape for a flavor vaper and would probably be at least a little disappointing for a big cloud type. It just doesn’t have the airflow for that. But I think that was probably never the point for the build deck anyway, so I’m good with that. It had great flavor, never failed to wick and give a dry hit, didn’t gurgle or flood and gave a very satisfying vape. Build deck gets good points from me. YMMV.
So next up, fix the nasty premade head. I removed the top of the coil (don’t let the youtuber’s fool you, the top removes easily and it’s the only way to preserve the original coil), and carefully removed the original coil. The idea was to reuse it since it is a res/nores coil and I really didn’t want to just use a straight resistance coil like all the rebuild vids I’ve seen. Once I removed the top cap, this was easy to do and the coil came out without deforming it at all. I removed the existing cotton wick and ultrasonic cleaned all the nastiness out of the pieces and reassembled the coil without the wick. I used the Koga cotton to wick through the juice holes after the coil was installed and the head was completely assembled by passing the cotton through the juice holes in the sides of the head. A quick clip of the cotton and I was ready to go. I primed the wick with some juice, filled the tank, and screwed it all together.
I guess this is where it got interesting. The first puff at 15watts was very, very nice. The 2nd puff was a bit less flavorful. The 3rd puff was a bit nasty with the beginnings of a burned taste. Crap… not wicking good enough. I carefully examined the spare 1.2ohm coil and it dawned on me, the prebuilt coils have no cotton coming out of the sides of the head. Made sense after I thought about it. The coil inner diameter is actually bigger that the holes in the side of the head. So the housing holes were restricting the juice flow and the coil was screaming for juice. The solution was simple. Push the small amount of cotton I had sticking outside the head to the inside of the head so the juice could flow easier. And by God it worked. No more burned taste and the flavor was pure and flavorful. And most surprising, I’m vaping at 25watts and the drip tip is still comfortable to vape at that wattage. It’s still a bit warmer than the vapor, and this is a design flaw that needs to be looked at by Kanger, but this has turned into a very nice tank overall.
The only other glaring problem with this tank, IMO, is the topcap. None of my driptips will sit properly in the driptip recess. They all stick up a bit leaving a gap between the top cap and where the driptip should be seated. This is just bad engineering on Kanger’s part. There is no reason a standard driptip shouldn’t fit properly. Just no reason at all. But it doesn’t affect flavor or vapor, so it’s just poor aesthetics. But I’d like to se that fixed in future versions.
The heat at the drip tip I think is attributable to the narrow diameter chimney and the thinness of the chimney material. I would like to see the heat issue fixed so it is closer to the temp of the actual vapor produced, but they may have a viable reason for doing it this way. Maybe a wider bore chimney or a thicker wall would affect overall flavor somehow. So perhaps the hot driptip is just a tradeoff for this. Overall, after some fiddling, this has turned out to be a very good tank and I’m pleased with the performance, but I wish they would clean this properly before packaging it. It might have saved me a lot of effort. It will be interesting to see if machine oil is present in a pack of coils I’m sure to buy at some point. Maybe they were in such a rush to get these tanks out the door they just slacked a bit on final cleaning.