Wednesday, October 7, 2015

REVIEW: The Crown Tank by UWell

Let's get the disclaimer out of the way... I bought this tank with my own greenbacks. It was slightly used, but well cared for and came with no coils. I also bought the RBA deck with my own money so I could use this tank. I did not buy any coils.

Mine came with all the packaging, but no coil heads.

I didn't like this tank. It's possible I didn't want to like this tank. Both of those statements are past tense, however, and after a little experimentation, I've grown to find it acceptable.

Let's take a look at that last paragraph for a moment. Why would I say I didn't want to like this tank? I am tired of the hype! Not just with this tank, but EVERY TIME I see a new tank (RDA, mod, etc) come out and it seems as if everyone and their cousin starts raving about how good it is and how it beats the X tank or blows the Y tank out of the water. Pishtosh and phooey, I say! Or, at the very least, I resist the urge to buy until I find it at half of its retail value.

To test this tank, I wanted to get a similar experience to a tank purchased with coils. I immediately set about researching the stock coils and replicating them to the best of my abilities in the RBA section.

The RBA section is setup a lot like the deck of the Subtank Mini V2 in that there is one screw each on two posts, and no post holes. The wires must be trapped, but the space to trap the wires is ample enough to handle most builds. Since the tank arrived, I've run a lot of different builds including a twisted 24, a 32/26 Clapton, a standard spaced coil, a parallel 26, and a Ni200. The readings on these various builds ranged from .21 Ohms for the Ni200 to .5 Ohms for the spaced coil. All vaped acceptably, and all except the first and last one leaked badly.

The trick is not the build. Building on this deck is quite easy. The trick is the wicking! This deck has to be wicked VERY heavily, and I have not been able to use the Kayfun bunny ears method as the slip off cap has a ridge at the top instead of a screw-off ring. No, you have to get the wick cut and tucked just so. Too much, and you'll block the ample airflow. Too little, and the e-liquid pours out the air holes.

However, now that I have figured the wicking and the coil build to best take advantage of the RBA deck, it's nice. It is not the end-all-be-all as some other reviewers would lead you to believe. It is not a Subtank or Atlantis killer. It is a nice tank.

On the plus side - once you have the build and wick solved or, presumably if you're using the replaceable stock coil heads - it's easy to fill. Close off the air holes, screw off the top, fill it up - the holes are large enough to actually pour the e-liquid in instead of using a dropper or pointy-nosed bottle - screw the top back on, open the airholes, and vape. Additionally, it looks quite nice. The massive amounts of knurling make it easy to adjust and disassemble.

On the not-so-nice side, the knurling is awful hard to clean out IF your tank does leak. Days after a leak, I see tiny drops stuck in the grips. Further, that knurling makes the tank - which actually measures 22 mm at the base and looks alright on most mods - measure 24 mm in diameter. Further, I would have liked to try a coil head for the purposes of this review, but all of the B&Ms in this area are having issues getting and keeping the coils.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. The scarcity of coils, the finicky nature of the wicking, and the oversized, hard to clean knurling more than cancel out the decent vape I get which is available from so many other tanks.

  •     Finish 9/10 - Looks good, but the oversize knurling is problematic both the keep clean and to fit in some devices. My device was used, but the previous owner did a fine job on cleaning it, and the threads are quite nice.
  •     Form 9/10 - Although I keep nit-picking the knurling, it is nice to have when disassembling the tank which DOES break down all the way for cleaning.
  •     Function 8/10 - The coil heads might be better than the RBA deck when you can find them. The RBA deck works well WHEN the build is just right, but can cause the tank to leak or the airflow to be blocked when not perfect.
  •     Final - 8.7/10 B grade.