Kanger Subtank Review
The Kanger Subtank is the next generation in clearomizer style atomizers made by Kangertech. In addition to a new look, and a pumped up e-liquid capacity, the Subtank brings with it the innovative idea to mix the “plug n play” convenience of pre-built atomizer heads with the ability to also build your own coils with an included RBA deck. The Kanger Subtank currently retails for $32.99 to $49.90 at select online retailers.
The Kanger Subtank featured in this review was provided by Kanger Mall for the purpose of this product review. The Kanger Subtank is well packaged in a branded sliding draw style gift box which includes the Subtank, OCC pre-built coils head, RBA deck and top cap, and accessories.
Kanger Subtank Specifications:
- Brand: Kanger Technology
- Type: Clearomizer/Rebuildable atomizer
- Material: 304 grade stainless steel and pyrex glass
- Connection threading: 510 (spring loaded contact pin)
- E-liquid capacity: 6ml (standard) 4.5 ml (RBA configuration)
- Diameter: 25mm
- Height: 81mm
- Weight: 90grams
- Spring-loaded 510 connector
- Sub-ohm 0.5ohm and LR 1.2ohm Coil Included
- Glass Tank
- New adjustable airflow control
- New Organic Cotton Coil Head
- Organic Cotton made in Japan
- OCC holds 6 mL of liquid
- RBA holds 4.2 mL of liquid
- 510 Drip tip compatible
In keeping with the Kanger Aerotank Mega and Giant clearomizers before it, the new Subtank is constructed from 304 grade stainless steel and pyrex. It appears that Kanger decided to beef up more than just the e-liquid and air flow capacity because this is one beastly sized atomizer at 25mm in diameter. I have a heard a fair share of criticism and complaints regarding the larger than average diameter of the Kanger Subtank however, this has already been answered by Kangertech with the release of the new Kanger Subtank Mini and Nano.
The quality of Kangertech products are usually very good, and the Subtank is no different. Whether you love or hate the size of it, this is a very well made, solidly built tank atomizer. Out of the box the Subtank breaks down into three basic pieces which includes the stainless steel and glass tank, base, and drip tip. However, the thickly cut pyrex glass tank is removable, as is the 510 drip tip that comes with Subtank. The Subtank arrives pre-installed with one .5ohm OCC (organic cotton coil).
The new Subtank has massive air flow via three large air holes which appear to be approximately 3mm in diameter each, and is controlled by an AFC ring. In the photos below you can see the air flow adjustment for 3, 2, and 1 air holes. The air flow control ring itself is easy to move and adjust, and it doesn’t move easily off its airflow setting. However, when you are installing and removing the Subtank from your mod you do want to be mindful of where you grip the Subtank, as it is possible to move the AFC instead of unscrewing the atomizer.
For me, I feel a greater difference between the single and triple hole air flow setting, than I do between two and three air holes open. In either case I find that the Subtank has way more air flow than I will ever need or want, and I have used it exclusively on its single air hole setting.
The new OCC (organic cotton coils) are a genuine improvement over Kanger’s prior pre-built coil variations. With the current popularity of organic Japenese cotton as a wicking material, this was definitely a smart move on Kangers part. The OCC coils thread into the base of the Subtank as shown below. The new OCC pre-built coil heads are also much larger in size than prior variations.
The opening at the top of the coil is head is rather large, and you can clearly see the single coil with cotton wick inside. There are two juice holes placed on either side of the coil head, and this is how e-liquid is fed to the wick hole when installed in the tank. The Subtank kits comes with two pre-built OCC coils, one .5ohm, and one 1.2 ohm coil. There are two important things that need to be remembered while using the OCC coils.
Number one, because these new coil heads now use organic cotton wick you can no longer dry burn them. Cotton wick of any kind can only be fired while fully saturated with e-liquid so make sure to drip some e-liquid directly on to new coil before installing them in the tank. Second, in the case of the .5 sub ohm coil it is important to make sure that you run this coil with a device and battery that is capable of handling the current draw of a.5 ohm build. Ohm’s Law is your friend. For more information read our Sub-Ohm Vaping Saftey article.
Word on the street is that the new OCC coils are easy to rebuild yourself, which is always a welcomed option as a 5 pk of replacement coils is a bit on the pricey side. However, there is also the RBA (rebuildable atomizer) deck which is included in this kit.
The RBA deck as shown below was a brilliant option for Kangertech to include with this new clearomizer. The RBA deck itself is basically just like a Kayfun build deck, from the center positive block, to the catch screws and juice channels on either side.
The RBA deck comes pre-installed with a .5 dual parallel coil build, that you can either use, or remove and install your own build. In order to use the RBA deck you will have to change out the top cap, in exchange for the RBA top cap with shorter chimney center post, which is also included in this kit. Changing the top cap is easy, simply remove the two phillips head screws on top, remove the clearomizer top cap, and install the RBA top cap with the same screws.
In the RBA set up there is the loss of some e-liquid capacity as the RBA configuration holds only 4.5ml of e-liquid, as opposed to the 6+ ml of the full clearomizer set up. 4.5ml of e-liquid is enough to get most vapers through the day, so this is certainly not a bad thing. Another aspect that changes a bit with the RBA deck is wicking, and I will discuss that more later in the review.
Kangertech has also included a pad of authentic Japanese cotton that you can use to get started with the pre-installed RBA deck build. What I really appreciate about this kit is that it is so complete. This kit has everything that you will need to use the Kanger Subtank, and for more than just a couple of days out of the box.
Filling the Kanger Subtank is easy, just turn the tank upside down and fill with e-liquid between the center post and glass until the juice reaches the top of the center post. The Subtank does have a true 6ml e-liquid capacity, in fact it holds a little more than the 6ml. Unlike some of Kangers past clearomizers, there isn’t much wasted space inside of the tank. If you look at the photos below you can see that the tank is pretty much full to the top.
Being that the pre-built coils are wicked with organic cotton it is important that you prime the wicks with e-liquid prior to use. The center hole at the top of the coil head makes priming by dripping e-liquid into the opening very easy. You will know that the wick is adequately saturated once you can see the color and texture of the cotton wick change at the two juice holes on either side of the coil.
As I previously mentioned, the Subtank was met with a fair share of criticism regarding its 25mm diameter however, I just so happened to have a couple of devices that are perfect for its size. The SX Zero 50W clone by Eachely is one, and the Dimitri box mod is another. Both of these devices accept the Kanger Subtank without any over hang on the sides. There is also the option to use the included beauty ring for flush mounting to 22mm devices however, the Subtank alone is quite tall and the beauty ring adds too much additional height to the set up in my opinion.
The actual performance and vape quality of the new OCC coils is definitely Kangertech’s best effort to date. With the OCC coils you are able to get the same quality of flavor and vapor production that many are accustomed to with other rebuildable tank atomizer systems. I exclusively use max VG e-liquids and I did not have any problems with efficient wicking while using the .5 ohm coils up to 30W. The flavor production was almost too good because I found one of my old DIY recipes to suddenly seem too strong for me while vaping it in the Subtank.
As I write this review I am currently using the RBA set up with the Subtank. I did find that the RBA deck was not able to perform as well as the OCC coils at wattages over 20W in combination with Max VG e-liquid. I did opt to use the pre-installed sub ohm build with the RBA deck, and I believe that at least part of my inability to use the RBA deck over 20W had to do with this pre-installed build. I was speaking to a friend of mine who was having the same trouble with wicking at high wattages with the RBA deck however, he reported that once he rebuilt his RBA deck to his usual standard that he was able to vape up to 25W with the RBA deck without dry hits.
I liked that Kangertech thought to pre-build the RBA deck, most especially for those vapers who not may not have any experience in rebuilding their own coils. However, I think that a pre-built single coil would have been a better choice here. While the juice channels on the RBA deck itself are nice and deep, the juice inlet holes on the threaded chimney sleeve are relatively small and don’t allow for the kind of wicking needed to keep up with sub ohms at high wattages. Again, the easy fix here is to just rebuild it yourself.
Between its size, and its ability to perform exceptionally well, the Kanger Subtank is a very beastly atomizer indeed. The OCC pre-built coils are without a doubt the best that we have seen from Kangertech to date. The flavor and vapor production of these coil heads really do not leave anything to be desired. I can only hope that the replacement coils are as good as the stock coils, as in the past I have found this to be an issue with plug n play style atomizers. I loved the Kangertech Aerotank Giant, and gave it a glowing review however, I absolutely did not love the replacement coils that I would later receive. I do have more faith in the replacement OCC coils due to the size, construction, and the use of authentic Japanese cotton wick.
What I love the most about the Kanger Subtank is the overall value of the kit, you receive a lot for your money. The build quality of the tank itself is fantastic, the new OCC coils are a game changer for plug n play style atomizers, and there is the ability to build your own RBA style coils with the interchangeable RBA deck. For those who have a problem with the large 25mm diameter of the Subtank, an answer has already been provided with the new Subtank Mini and Nano editions of this clearomizer.