Head To Head - The Smok TFV8 And Crown 2 Clearomizers
In this post we bring two of 2016’s most talked about tanks head to head in a big tank battle. With its gigantic octuple and quadruple coils, SMOK’s TFV8 ‘Cloud Beast’ clearomizer looks like the heavyweight favourite. In contrast, the Crown 2 tank is a crowd-pleaser that combines good looks with great all-round performance.
The rise of the super-tanks
Anyone with an interest in vaping hardware will be aware that 2016 was a big year for high wattage box mods. SMOK were clearly ahead of the pack mid-year, with the release of their H-Priv 220 Watt Starter Kit. The new H-Priv 220 model exceeded the old X Cube 2’s power-production capacity by a full 60 Watts. SMOK weren’t the only mod-makers pushing the envelope: Kanger and Pioneer4You were charming the cloud-chasers with their respective KBOX 200 and IPD V5 200 models.
To take full advantage of the hotter mods, SMOK’s tank designers created the TFV8 Cloud Beast – a big, 6ml capacity clearomizer with a range of monster, multiple coil heads. While SMOK were obviously convinced that ‘bigger is better’, the clearomizer design team over at Uwell had different ideas.
For Uwell, the focus was on improving all-round capability rather than running in the race to higher wattages. Uwell’s approach was to take the incredibly popular Uwell Crown tank and give it a top to bottom re-fit. The end result was the Uwell Crown 2 – a handsome, high performance clearomizer with a slick, one-turn top-fill mechanism.
Key features of the SMOK TFV8 Cloud Beast tank
Sub-Ohm vaping really hit the mainstream in 2016. SMOK’s TFV8 tank system was designed to fire the imaginations of cloud chasers and e-liquid flavour junkies. Many buyers failed to notice that the ‘TF’ in TFV8 actually stood for ‘Taste Furious’. The clever ‘Cloud Beast’ branding was a bit more obvious, with its instant appeal to extravert sub-ohmers.
The functionality and capacity of the TFV8 Cloud Beast tank were both spot-on. The horizontal hinge is a signature feature on SMOK’s sub-Ohm tanks. This is a neat, well designed mechanism that makes top-filling quick and easy.
The TFV8 tank has a maximum capacity of 6ml. That may sound like a whole lot of e-juice – but this is a thirsty clearomizer that’s designed to pump e-liquid through its ‘Turbo Engine’ coil heads at a phenomenal rate.
Those big, Turbo Engine coils are the defining feature of the TFV8 tank. The most basic replaceable coil in the TFV8 workshop is the V8-Q4 0.15 Ohm Quadruple Coil Head. This fat coil head is packed with 4 individually wound coils, cosily wrapped in organic cotton. This coil head has innovative, angled wicking slots. The V8-Q4 coil head offers a smooth, flavourful experience in the 90 to 150 Watt band. The V8-Q4 can be pushed to fire at 180 Watts for a vindaloo vape.
Leading the TFV8 coil head pack is the V8-T8 0.15 Ohm Octuple Coil Head. Even with a fat barrel, it’s quite an engineering achievement to squeeze 8 cotton-wrapped coils into this incredible coil head. This coil will extract rich, jammy flavour from your e-juice. Fully open airflow is recommended for maximum cloud volume and flavour in your mod’s 120 to 180 Watt setting range. If you really want to push the pedal to the metal, the V8-T8 octuple coil head is rated to fire up to 260 Watts!
The SMOK TFV8 tank also comes with a big RBA head – something that the Uwell Crown 2 tank currently lacks. The RBA comes pre-fitted with 2 big, juicy Clapton coils.
Cool vaping with the Uwell Crown 2 tank
If the TFV8 tank leaves you hot and sweaty, you may find that the Uwell Crown 2 is a breath of fresh air. Despite being a bit of an ugly duckling, the original Uwell Crown was still a pin-up model for sub-Ohm vapers in 2015. The original Crown delivered great flavour and superb clouds from a tank pitched at the ‘affordable’ end of the market.
One of the minor criticisms of the original Uwell Crown was its clunky, industrial look. Taking their stylish, Rafale tank as inspiration, Uwell have given the Crown 2 tank a sleek new appearance. With elegant styling and engraving, the Uwell Crown 2 is an attention grabbing clearomizer that looks great on any 24mm wide mod.
Along with the new look comes a delectable, one-turn twist mechanism to access the wide top-fill ports. This is a smooth, well designed feature that’s almost as quick and easy to operate as SMOK’s horizontal hinge. The Uwell Crown 2 has a tank capacity of 4ml. OK, it’s less than the TFV8’s 6ml fill, but the Crown 2 isn’t as thirsty as the e-juice guzzling ‘Cloud Beast’.
Top of the list of improvements and innovations in the Uwell Crown 2 clearomizer is improved airflow. As well as improvements in the chimney mechanics, the free airflow is also down to a redesigned positive terminal in the Crown 2 coil heads. Uwell’s radical new design gives the positive terminal a conical shape. Four airflow channels in the terminal cone provide an unobstructed path directly to the coils.
Three coil heads are currently available for the Uwell Crown 2 tank. A 0.25 Ohm Stainless Steel Crown 2 coil head extracts deep, clean flavour from your e-liquid. The Crown 2’s long cyclops ports can be opened wide for massive cloud volume. The recommended wattage for the 0.25 Ohm coil head is 75 Watts, though it can be pushed up to 100W.
The mid range coil head for the Uwell Crown 2 tank is a 0.8 Ohm Stainless Steel type. This provides great all round performance at a recommended 55 Watts. This coil will fire up to 80 Watts if you’re feeling more adventurous.
For economical, all-day vaping with the Uwell Crown 2 tank, there’s a practical, 0.8 Ohm parallel Kanthal coil head. This allows you to pull superb flavours from your e-juice, while adjusting the vape airflow for your personal cloud/heat balance. This coil head fires in the 35 to 55 Watt setting range.
SMOK TFV8 vs Uwell Crown 2 – the big battle
Both of these tanks are top performers when it comes to flavour and cloud generation. At 25.5mm, the glass section on the SMOK TFV8 tank is wider than the 24mm Uwell Crown 2. Side by side, the TFV8 looks like a muscle-bound hulk compared to the lighter, slimmer Uwell Crown 2. With their wide-bore drip-tips fitted, both tanks are a similar height.
Clearly, the TFV8 clearomizer is designed for high wattage, sub-Ohm vaping. The SMOK tank’s airflow is much wider than the Uwell Crown 2. Let’s face it – when you’re firing multiple coils at 180 Watts you need phenomenal airflow to cool the vapour reaching the drip-tip. The TFV8’s 260 Watt coil head capability easily crushes the Uwell Crown 2’s 100 Watt maximum.
OK, the SMOK TFV8 easily wins round 1 due to its high wattage capability. What about ‘real-world’ vaping for average folks like you and me? We all love great flavours and we enjoy the fun of chucking a few clouds now and then – is the TFV8 any good as an all-day tank?
Again, the TFV8 lands a hefty punch with its wide range of coil formats. The SMOK V8 coil head range has 6 different options, including an RBA that can handle builds from 40 to 100 Watts. The Uwell Crown 2 coil heads come in 3 different varieties, covering power settings from 35 to 100 Watts. Luckily, the Uwell Crown 2 does gain a few points in round 2 for its tighter draw and superb performance at lower wattage settings.
Round 3 is all about economy. With the Uwell Crown 2 tank still in the ‘affordable’ price bracket, it skips nimbly around the more expensive SMOK TFV8. Crown 2 coil head replacement is also much cheaper than buying a new set of ‘Turbo Engines’ for the Cloud Beast. E-juice consumption is another factor that puts the Uwell Crown 2 ahead of the TFV8. Round 3 goes to the Uwell Crown 2 for its e-juice economy.
The best of the super-tanks 2016
Picking an outright winner in this big tank battle isn’t an easy task. The SMOK TFV8 ‘Cloud Beast’ is a big, muscular tank that crushes the Crown 2 when it comes down to high wattage capability. The Uwell Crown 2 is a nimble all-rounder that dances rings around the Cloud Beast when it comes to economy. Both tanks perform well on cloud creation and flavour, so the final decision is a close-call.
Let’s take a moment to summarise each round:
Round 1 – high wattage capability
With a V8-T8 coil head firing between 50 and 260 Watts, the SMOK TFV8 tank is way ahead of the Uwell Crown 2.
Round 2 – all-day vaping potential
The SMOK TFV8 tank steals this round due to its wide range of coil formats – including a great RBA.
Round 3 – vaping economy
The Uwell Crown 2 tank bounces back with a significantly lower price tag and cheaper replaceable coils. Overall, the Crown 2 also uses less e-juice than the TFV8 clearomizer.
It looks like the SMOK TFV8 tank is the winner of our Big Tank Battle 2016. It certainly wasn’t a knockout match! The Uwell Crown 2 bounced back in round 3, with impressive form on economy and overall performance at low wattage settings.
If you’re looking for a high performance sub-Ohm tank, either of these super-tanks would be a strong contender. If economy isn’t your top priority, the SMOK TFV8 could be the best choice. For all-day vaping on a tighter budget, the Uwell Crown 2 is a star performer.