October 2016

Smok TFV8: The Cloud Beast

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By John Castle

Introduction

As atomizers have continued to improve over the last year, designers have begun to specialize in key concept areas, often having to choose between better flavor or bigger clouds in their products offerings.

In our previous issue, I explored the Wismec Theorem, which aims to satisfy the flavor aficionado. This time, I’ll be taking a look at the TFV8 “Cloud Beast” by Smok.

Testing Notes

I tested the TFV8 on the Hohm Slice 101 watt temperature control mod. Due to the mod’s 101 watt upper limit, I was restricted to testing the TFV8 with the V8-Q4 atomizer head installed; Smok brands the atomizer heads for the TFV8 as “Hyper Engines”, and for the sake of simplicity, they’ll be referred to hereafter as “head(s).”

The V8-Q4 head was tested in variable wattage mode at a constant 101 watts; Smok advises that this head is rated for a wattage range of between 50-180 watts, but recommends between 90-150 watts, so I expected 101 watts to be slightly on the low end of that recommended spectrum.

Presentation

The TFV8 arrived in an extremely user-friendly package. After removing a layer of shrink wrap, one need only slide a stylishly illustrated and informative wraparound sleeve from the box, then lift the lid to expose the contents.

Those contents include:

• 1x Assembled TFV8, with pre-installed V8-T8 head
• 1x V8-Q4 head
• x V8 RDA rebuildable atomizer deck (with pre-installed dual Clapton coils, not wicked)
• 1x Replacement tank glass
• 1x User Manual
• 1x baggie of assorted items, including two rubber “bumpers” for the tank (One black, and one orange) a 510 drip tip adapter, etc.

Packages of replacement coil heads are similarly frustration-free; simply open the top of the box and slide out a foil blister pack containing the three enclosed replacement heads.

Specs And Features

We’ll take the TFV8 from the  top.  A  very wide-bore delrin mouthpiece caps off this device. The mouthpiece can be removed, and an included 510 drip tip adapter will allow the user to use a drip tip of his or her choice.

Beneath that, the top cap conceals a soft rubber    gasket with a slot-shaped refill port. In order  to refill the device, the user need only apply enough pressure to swivel the hinged top cap horizontally in order to expose this gasket.

Closing the top cap after refiling is just as simple, and similarly requires a good deal of applied  finger/ hand strength.

As tested, the TFV8 with the V8-Q4 head has an e-liquid capacity of approximately 5.5-6ml. The wall  of the expansive tank is glass. However, it is not disclosed whether the tank is pyrex or some  other glass type.

Beneath the tank wall, the base features raised squares for the purpose of unscrewing the tank from  your mod. It is under these squares that the user finds the airflow control. Finally, we arrive at  a standard 510-threaded connection.

Ergonomics And Build Quality

The first thing the user ought to notice about this tank is that it is cosmetically flawless out of  the box. The second thing the user may notice, whether opening the device to fill it up for the  first time, adjusting the airflow, or unscrewing the tank from its base to change the pre-installed  coil head, is that this device is built to extremely tight tolerances.

It will take a fair degree of strength to perform any of the aforementioned tasks successfully.  I  honestly don’t  know

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whether to classify this observation as a pro, a con or both.

The threading on the TFV8 itself is pleasantly smooth. While the threading on the V8 rebuildable deck does feel slightly less so.

Performance

The performance of the TFV8 will depend largely on the user’s ability to pump the proper wattage into it. In my case, my most powerful mod is able to deliver only the lower end of the least powerful coil head’s recommended wattage range.

With that said, the TFV8 delivers outstanding performance. The flavor I get isn’t quite as vivid as I would expect from a rebuildable dripping atomizer; however, it’s extremely satisfactory. Throat hit is quick and solid, but it is its visual vapor output that Smok brags about here, and they are well within that right.

My work desk is approximately eight feet away from my living room door, and I can exhale a cloud while sitting at the desk, then watch it hit the living room door and spread outward. Taking into account, once again, that I’m running the quad-coil head rather than the octuplet coil.

Running that coil at the lower end of its recommended range makes for extraordinary vapor production for a sub-ohm tank.

On the other hand, this device goes through e-liquid quite rapidly. Were I able to push it at higher wattages, I imagine that the e-liquid consumption would be even more pronounced.

Recommendation And Conclusion
Here are the pros and cons I’ve found for the TFV8:

Pros:
Price Point: The TFV8 can be purchased for $29.50 (plus shipping) from MyVaporeStore.com

E-liquid Capacity: 5-6ml is generous and, provided you don’t chain vape, it should get you through most short outings

Performance: This device delivers excellent flavor and throat hit, as well as absolutely living up to Smok’s nickname for it. It is a cloud beast!

Build Quality: Tightly machined and cosmetically beautiful

Cons:
Ergonomics: Because it is so tightly machined, it takes burly finger power to open and close for refills

E-liquid consumption: At its recommended wattage, this device promises to guzzle e-liquid

Wattage requirements: Many users may not yet have mods that can properly power this device

So, would I recommend the TFV8? I give it a qualified “yes.” If you have, or are willing to upgrade to a mod that can kick out the high wattages that these coils demand, and if you don’t mind the device’s tendency to guzzle e-liquid, there’s little chance that you’ll find another product equal to the TFV8 with respect to price and performance.