Subtank Mini review by dw1986

Review Date: 
26.03.2015

The KangerTech Subtank series really needs no introduction. Currently the most popular sub ohm tank on the market, and arguably the most popular tank on the market at present. For the few that aren’t aware, KangerTech are already an established household name thanks to the huge popularity of the Protank series of clearomisers.  KangerTech entered the sub ohm tank market at the end of 2014 with the original Subtank which took the vaping community by storm. With a huge up to 6ml capacity, hybrid clearomiser/rebuildable system and almost dripper standard vape, the vaping community bought this up in droves.

There were a few grumbles though. The Subtank has a 25mm width which overhangs on a lot of mods and a fair few vapers weren’t best pleased with this.  In response to this feedback, KangerTech obviously listened and in early 2015 they released the Subtank Nano (18.5mm width) and, the most popular itineration at present, the Subtank Mini (22mm width).

Offering the option for standard clearomiser use with swappable prebuilt OCC coil heads at 1.2ohm or 0.5ohm resistance (0.15ohm Ni200 OCC coils are available should you wish to use your Subtank with a temperature controlled mod), or if you want to dive into the world of rebuilding (or already do rebuild) an RBA (ReBuildable Atomiser) base is included with the Mini and original Subtank allowing you to swap the Subtank from a clearomiser to a full blown Rebuildable Tank Atomiser (RTA) with ease. It’s a hybrid clearomiser/rebuildable, and it’s popular for a reason - it does its job very, very well.

This is the first part of three reviews on the Subtank series, comprising of the Subtank Nano, Subtank Mini and the original ‘full-size’ Subtank.  Today I will be looking in depth at the Subtank Mini!

SPECS

Hybrid Clearomiser (OCC Coil Heads)/Rebuildable Tank use

510 Connection

Pyrex Glass Tank Section

22mm Diameter

48mm Height (without Drip Tip)

63mm Height (with Drip Tip)

4.5ml Capacity

Improved Airflow Control System

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

1x Subtank Mini

1x Drip Tip

1x Replacement Pyrex Tank

1x OCC Sub Ohm 0.5 Ohm Coil (Japanese Organic Cotton Wick)

1x OCC 1.2ohm coil (Japanese Organic Cotton Wick)

1x Mini RBA Base

2x 0.5ohm premade RBA coils

1x Japanese Organic Cotton (Muji) pad

1x Screwdriver

2x Replacement Screws

2x Replacement O-Rings

1x User Manual

A special mention has to be made about how much Kangertech have included with the Subtank Mini. They have really gone above and beyond to include everything you need (bar a suitable mod- that is down to you!) to get going and maintain your tank. You really do get your money’s worth here!

LOOKS

Sleek and simple, with stand-out red o-rings (swappable for different colours if you wish!), the Subtank Mini compliments and looks pretty sat on top of your mod. Size-wise it is on a par with most tanks out there, the width being 22mm instead of the original 25mm means no beauty ring is needed in most instances unlike on the original Subtank as this sits perfectly on most mods! Everything comes apart without too much trouble for ease of cleaning and screws back together easily, ready for use again.

CAPACITY

The Subtank Mini can hold up to 4.5ml of juice, which is on par with most tanks available these days (both clearomiser and rebuildable). Be warned though, vaping at higher power (especially with a Sub Ohm coil installed) will very quickly drain the tank, you may find yourself refilling this at least once a day! Your juice consumption may also increase, so if you are intent on chain vaping using the Subtank Mini then you may need to be prepared to spend out more on juice, or get into making your own juice to save money. I have had no leaking issues at all with the Subtank Mini, the same cannot be said for a lot of the established rebuildable tanks I own. When refilling, unlike with the original Subtank, you simply unscrew the tank from the base, fill, screw back in and you are good to go. This is a major plus point for rebuilders, used to having a bottom fill screw to top their tanks up, there is no need to drain a whole tank when something goes wrong with the coils and you need to get at the deck, you simply unscrew the tank from the base, seat it upside down and you are able to get at the base of the tank and the coils without needing to lose a whole ton of juice! The juice will stay in the tank rather than escaping out through the top of the tank.

AIRFLOW

I need to make (another!!) special mention purely for the airflow itself. A major upgrade over the original Subtank is the improvement made on the airflow control system. When moving the airflow control ring around each airflow option now comes into place with a ‘click’ and holds firm, so you need not worry about the airflow ring sliding around to a different setting, which was an issue raised on the original Subtank. All three of the Subtank iterations were designed with direct to lung inhaling in mind, setting the Subtank Mini airflow to wide open provides you with a very airy draw and huge cloud production. The excellent flavour is still there with the airflow wide open, which gets lost with many of the Subtank Mini’s competitors. This is right up there with a lot of the more established Rebuildable Tank Atomisers available, on both flavour and cloud production, and a fraction of the cost in most instances.

OCC COILS

Coming box shaped with a single coil contained and a Japanese Cotton Wick, the OCC coils wick exceptionally well. There were no issues with wicking juice up to 80vg, dry hits were an absolute rarity (and mainly came when I forgot to change the power setting on my mod after using my drippers!), the flavour and cloud production were absolutely spot on. For me, this is the best Sub Ohm tank on the market when it comes to flavour and clouds. You get a very warm vape at high power, excellent throat hit and outstanding cloud production. Some people may find the warmer vape takes a while to get used to, personally I love it.

You may want to consider dropping the nicotine content (and the PG content if you are used to high PG) of your juices when using the Subtank Mini OCC coils and Mini RBA Deck, these coils provide a lot more power than most new users are used to, people not used to sub ohm/ high power vaping may find that their vaping experience is uncomfortable using the same nicotine levels they previously used. This is usually remedied by dropping the nicotine content of your juices right down, and/or swapping to a higher VG mix if necessary.

Coil lifetime for me was great. I regularly swapped between the 1.2ohm OCC coil and the 0.5ohm OCC coil I got almost 2 weeks out of the 1.2ohm coil vaping at wattages between 14 - 20watts, and the same from my 0.5ohm coil vaping at wattages between 24 - 30watts. This will vary however as different juice types and the power used will affect the lifespan of your coils. There are plenty of guides out there on rewicking and rebuilding the OCC coils to get even more life out of them!

MINI RBA DECK

Now this is where the fun really starts with the Subtank Mini! The Mini RBA is completely different from the original RBA deck on the original Subtank.  KangerTech completely revised it for the Subtank Mini and arguably improved it. It is also less fiddly to swap between the OCC coils and RBA deck than it was with the original Subtank - no longer do you need to take out the top screws (there are none anyway on the Subtank Mini) and install a different chimney shaft to swap to the RBA base, you simply unscrew the base of the tank and swap out the OCC coil for the RBA deck. As easy as that! Focusing on a single coil set up, modelled on popular build decks from existing rebuildable tank atomizers, the deck is now far easier for beginners and experienced vapers alike to build on. It already comes with a pre-installed 0.5ohm coil, larger than the ones provided with the original Subtank, and the airflow through the deck incredibly is better than the original Subtank in my opinion. The chimney has also been widened which has improved the flavour.

I would advise you to make the jump to using the RBA base as soon as you can. The possibilities are endless with the Mini RBA section, you can customise the vape to suit yourself and get a real insight into rebuilding with the larger build deck. I have built coils using different wire gauges up to 0.4mm kanthal, and coil internal diameters of 3mm, and the coil fits in with room to spare and works like a dream. The satisfaction you get from building your own is immense!

The only negative I have found with the RBA deck is that you need to be careful screwing the unit back together, if you are too forceful with it you risk seizing up the Mini RBA deck and it can be a pain to unscrew it again to get at your build. As long as you are careful, you should have no issues.

SAFETY

As with any Sub Ohm/High Power tank exercise great caution when using the Subtank Mini, especially with the 0.5ohm OCC coils or Sub Ohming with the RBA base. Ensure that your batteries can handle the amp draw from the coil. Your safest bet is to invest in 18650 batteries with an amp draw of 30A (20A at least) and ensure you purchase these from a reputable seller. Make sure you have an ohms checker to hand when rebuilding and you read up on Ohm’s Law and Battery Safety. If you have any problems, refer back to the Subtank guide (linked to at the end of this review) to hopefully resolve your issues. If not, don’t be afraid to ask on the forum!

CONCLUSION

This really is an exceptional tank. It has become my go to atomizer in the few weeks that I have had it - I usually use Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers but even they have not had a look in recently!! I have really struggled to find any negatives with it in the time I have spent with the Subtank Mini, despite being a bit of a critic previously. There is a perfect mix of clouds and flavour here, enough of a mix to satisfy the discerning vaper and keep the newbie looking to chase clouds happy for a long time to come. The differences compared to the original Subtank are not huge but the fine adjustments KangerTech have made make for a much more improved experience with the Subtank Mini.

The 22mm width is absolutely perfect and sits on the vast majority of mods perfectly. The 4.5ml capacity is ideal for a lot of vapers these days, enough to keep them going throughout the day, however, as stated previously - when using the Sub Ohm option be wary that the tank will drain a lot faster than you are used to! Kangertech made an excellent move by offering the hybrid/rebuildable option - this will be the first venture into rebuilding for a lot of vapers and also will capture the attention of vapers already rebuilding (myself included). The tank is extremely versatile, and both the OCC Coils and Mini RBA deck provide an extremely satisfying vape.

Available in the region of £25 from most vendors (even less if you order from the Far East and are happy to wait), I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing one if you are considering it, this offers outstanding value for money being a hybrid tank- come and see what all the fuss is about!

If you have any difficulty getting good results from your Subtank then read our handy guide New User Advice for the Kanger Subtank.

We have bought one of these to give away to a good home.  To win a Subtank mini just enter the competition!

Images courtesy of Kangertech.