April Team Handcheck!

Here's some of the vape gear that the Vaping360 team has been enjoying this month.

April Handcheck Jeremy Mann

Welcome to Vaping360’s monthly “handcheck” feature. Every month, the Vaping360 team will write a bit about the vape gear they’ve been enjoying on their personal time. These are not subjective reviews, but personal accounts of the vaping hardware and e-liquids that are making the Vaping360 team happy. After you’ve checked out each writer’s picks for the month, please feel free to post a handcheck of your favorite setup in the comments section.

Alex Kendell

Alex April Handcheck

Since I first posted my MTL article, a lot of Vaping360 readers asked if I had tried the Joyetech Cubis, which I hadn’t at the time of writing. I went ahead and bought myself the Cubis in black to fit in with most of my mods. I have been vaping the Cubis on the SMOK R-Steam Mini using the 1.0-ohm coil for about two weeks now and it is gorgeous. I actually started using the 1.5-ohm Clapton at start, but it went funky (burnt hits and loss of flavor) on me after two days of use. Since then the 1.0-ohm coil has been in use and what an amazing coil that is.

I was actually hoping for the Clapton to last a little longer than it did. I don’t have a backup Clapton, so I cannot test another one. Judging by the comments I have read, the Clapton is meant to be equally as good. Normally I vape on base e-liquid without any flavorings, but for the Cubis I had to put some Halo Malibu (coconut) mixed with some of my base PG heavy liquid (1.2mg). This was a good decision as the flavor is truly amazing. I have been vaping on the 1.0-ohm coil for two weeks now and I have not noticed a drop in flavor or vapor. I was pleasantly surprised by the SMOK R-Steam Mini. I was not hoping for much, as it is a basic 80 watt TC mod. I have to say, the screen is like nothing I have ever seen before. The resolution and brightness on it are simply amazing. As well as having a great screen resolution, the mod weighs close to nothing — even with an 18650 battery in it. I actually dropped it about 10 minutes after taking it out of the package and you cannot see one scratch or dent on it. All in all I am really enjoying both the Cubis and the R-Steam Mini. It is a great combo and is highly recommended to MTL users looking for some reliable power and great flavor.

Chris Kendell

Chris Handcheck April

I’ve been testing quite a few different vapes this month and have been vaping on a quite a few MTL devices for some upcoming beginner articles. I’ve been vaping on everything from cig-a-likes to tanks like the Cubis on the 1.0-ohm MTL coil. However, several days ago we received our Wismec Theorem (much excitement!!). The Theorem has therefore been my weapon of choice for the past several days. Black Note recently sent us their Quartet e-liquid, the latest addition to their delicious line of e-liquids. I have been vaping Quartet on the Theorem notch coils. The Quartet e-liquid is a smoky peppery Latakia tobacco blend. I prefer their other blends to be honest as this one is slightly too smoky for my liking. A real tobacco lover would no doubt enjoy this blend.

I have been enjoying the Theorem on the Artery Nugget mod, a super super tiny 50W box mod. It’s so small and works nicely with the Theorem with its notch coils at around 45W. The Theorem so far has been pretty good and the notch coils provide plenty of flavor. My only criticism is constantly having to re-fill the tank, as it drains e-liquid pretty quickly. If you don’t keep it re-filled at a good level you risk the odd burnt hit. I also swapped out the drip tip for a longer delrin one, as I was constantly burning my lips on the metal at the bottom of the really short drip provided.

Jeremy Mann

April Handcheck Jeremy Mann

This mod is my favorite right now for the bargain-priced high-wattage box mods. The Pioneer4You iPV5. Mine came with the wattage issue, yet, thankfully, fixing that issue was about as easy as turning on the mod. But that battery door, though! There is incredibly too much give (horizontal play) with the magnetic door. I will just never understand why the technology can be so advanced with the boards, but getting something right like a magnet is too difficult. Crazy! I had to jury-rig a “stop” (just a small piece of folded tape) under the magnet to keep the door in place better. I don’t like that I had to fix issues that should not have been in production batches, but I do love the way this mod performs.

The RDA on the IPV5 is the Hobo Customs Drifter. I am getting such a great vape with this RDA! I am running a 0.35-ohm dual-coil 5/6 wrap of 24-gauge kanthal with a 3.5mm ID. At 70 watts and the airflow wide open, the draw is incredibly smooth and rushes in a huge amount of flavor. And with my new favorite liquid, Kindjuice’s Harmony — a fascinating sweet/floral flavor — the Drifter is getting a lot play in my rotation these days, even if it is being primarily used with one liquid!

Raymond Padilla

April Handcheck Raymond Padilla

For my April handcheck picks, I’ve gone with local vaping products. Thankfully, as a Los Angeles resident, there are no shortage of those. The box pictured is a handcrafted one-of-a-kind stabilized wood 26650 box mod from Cross Mod. The workmanship is exemplary and I love admiring it when I’m not vaping on it. It’s beautiful and deceptively ergonomic for a 26650 box. Cross Mod recently launched a few weeks ago and I hope that the company has a bright future.

The e-liquid is from a new Los Angeles company — Firefly E-Liquid. The company’s first flavor is called Ripple. It’s a complex blend of vanilla, toasted almond, and bourbon, with a touch of tobacco. I love the complexity of this e-liquid and how different it is from typical Southern California fare. It’s much more refined and mature than what’s typically popular in this region.

Like Chris, I’ve been using the Wismec Theorem for about a week. The first thing I did was trim the silly amount of cotton that came in the tank — it’s easily double what’s needed. I’ve found that the Theorem works best (so far) if the cotton is above the base of the deck and not touching it. You get to put a little more e-liquid into the relatively small tank and capillary action takes care of the rest. As a flavor guy, I’m enjoying what the Theorem offers, but it certainly has some minor flaws. I’ll be sure to add my two cents in the comments section of the official Vaping360 review.

Oh yeah, while the Theorem was made in China, it was designed in SoCal. That totally counts as local. :p

Kyle Formeck

April Handcheck Kyle Formeck

My favorite setup this month is an Athea Mods In’Ax MKIII with the clear tank and a Nolli Designs 2.0 Mini Hybrid Wood Grain drip tip sitting on top of a Beck SX350 stabwood mod. The flavor from this setup is incredible! The drip tip looks great with this mod and has a smaller bore than most, so it concentrates the flavor a little more. Not to mention, this mod feels incredible in the hand.

My current build is 4.5 wraps of 28g kanthal around #325 SS mesh. It came out to 0.77 ohms and I fire it at 19.8 watts. I love the airflow options as it allows to me take MTL hits when I’m chillin’ as well as direct lung hits for when I need a quick nicotine fix. Vincent Athea has once again put a little hidden magic into this one with some undocumented airflow settings that allow for fine tuning the draw.

My favorite juice to vape on this setup is Vaponaute’s On the Storm; it’s a crazy blend of pear and cognac with a nice malty backbone that reminds me of sipping a fine scotch. All of those flavors blend together perfectly into one extremely interesting flavor that not only doesn’t get old, it gets more interesting the more you vape it. I continuously taste subtle notes that I haven’t tasted before.

Sam Bass-Cooper

April Handcheck Sam Bass Cooper

This month I’ve gone the complete opposite direction with my vaping. From last months Mech Mod March slogan I’ve been vaping on quite possibly the smoothest vape experience I have had. My handcheck for this month consists of the YiHi SXmini ML Class with the Aeolus Lite from Syntheticloud. I love the YiHi SX350J chip; the TC works fantastically and it only makes me more excited for the SX450J and SXmini Q Class every time I use it!

As for the Aeolus, it’s quite possibly the smoothest draw I’ve experienced. In short, if you don’t already have one, you need one! I’ve been rocking some SS 316L in TC mode this month just to enhance that smooth draw and it has done wonders for me! I still love my mechanical mods, but this offers a whole different vape experience!

Finally I ought to say a word or two on the juice I’ve been vaping on. I’ve been loving this Summer Breeze from Golden Gate E-liquids. A sweet blend of many a different berry with a tang that takes me to a Caribbean Island in mid summer every time I vape it! A wonderfully flavorful juice to top off a great combo!

Bill Herbst

April Handcheck Bill Herbst

Having, as I do, 30 APVs on my desk — all outfitted with different tanks and RTAs and loaded with separate e-liquid flavors — I don’t really have favorites. Now that I write hardware reviews for Vaping360, I get new products in the mail on a regular basis. I tend to vape whatever setups I’ve recently reviewed.

What I’m using right now (along with others) is a Maxi-Mini combo pair. The Maxi is a BeyondVape Centurion mod topped with an Augvape Boreas RTA, and the Mini is an Eleaf iStick Pico topped with a Melo 3 Mini tank.

Dave Kriegel

April Handcheck Dave Kriegel

This has been my home away from home vape. I love my ESquare DNA 200, but when I don’t feel like carrying it outside, I take this bad boy with me. The Council of Vapor Mini Volt performs best with a 0.4-ohm build and up. Right now I have a 0.5-ohm dual-coil build in this random atty that I actually won in a box of e-liquid. It is nothing special — simple three-post deck, great flavor, and tons of airflow. It looks great on this little device, although eventually I would like to get a low-profile RDA such as the Royal Hunter Mini or the Derringer. I am using Cotton Bacon, which I have always been a huge advocate of, so I am glad to see that it is starting to catch on. The only thing I have to say about dripping with the Volt Mini, is make sure you are near a USB plug because it is almost too good to be true. The battery life is much shorter than a single 18650. Oh yeah, and I am using 27-gauge kanthal because it is the only wire I have at the moment.

Raymond Padilla
Raymond Padilla is a level 26 Pokemon Go trainer, a longtime journalist, and an accomplished verbal entertainer. Kindly visit him at his personal website "RPadTV" (linked above) or his various social media accounts (linked below).
  • Chris, latakia is a helluva tobacco, no? I love the spiciness it has, but definitely can’t vape it all day. To me, it’s probably the second-most divisive tobacco (in vaping) after perique.

    • It is too good to be true. I actually do not like tobacco liquids at all, but Black Note just changed everything. I should get 1L of their Prelude… so nice. The thing I like most about Black Note is that it is truly “clean” no gunk build-up on coils whatsoever.

      • I should visit those guys. They’re not far from me. 🙂

    • Jeremy

      Saying perique is divisive implies some argument. Perique is nasty. Everyone knows that sweat socks taste like they smell! 😛

      • Perique is like the durian of tobaccos :p

        • Jim McDonald

          I like that you guys are debating NET flavors here. Seems like old times…

          • NETs are awesome…except for the ones with Michigan cherry flavor :p

    • Too spicy for my liking Ray, I preferred the more mellow/sweeter tobacco flavors from Black Note.

      • Burley is probably my favorite tobacco to vape, but I’m fond of many others. Tobaccos like latakia and perique are nice every few days, but not every day for me.

  • william scoble

    Chris copied my setup ?

    • Did you post your set-up onto Facebook?

      • William scoble

        Yeah 23rd lol. It’s a good lil setup that lasts about 30min

    • It’s a nice set-up! How you liking the Nugget?

  • ehtteop

    Is there a website or source for that Golden Gate E-Liquid? Thanks.

  • I like how Bill just does a table-check. Too many mods to carry, hard life.

  • Deniz

    Hey guys,so i wanted to buy myself a cloud-chasing setup with a budget of 180 €,I think this is about 210 $ or something. I thought about the sub ohm tank SMOK TFV4 and the mod Siegelei 150w, because I don’t want to build my own coils and drip liquid every 5 minutes,but I think I can get way better equipment for that amount of money,do you have any recommendations for me? I am relativley new to this

    • Sam Bass-Cooper

      Hi Deniz,

      The SMOK TFV4 is a fantastic tank for vapour production! With some insane coils too! So if you don’t want to get into dripping or building coils I would probably say that is your best bet for a tank.

      As for a mod, new mods come out thick and fast so be prepared to be outdated within a few weeks! Unfortunately that’s just how the industry goes. If you want a high powered mod that will last you though, you can’t really go wrong with a DNA200! There are plenty around and some you can get relatively cheap too! Or if you want a much cheaper set up the Wismec RX200 is a great device! But remember you will need 3 18650s

      If you want to really get into cloud chasing however, really the only way to go would be an unregulated device and a dripper. Although these require much more care and attention to safety! So maybe something to think about further down the line!

      For you right now, I would suggest the SMOK TFV4, and a DNA200 or something like the Wismec RX200 or Sigelei 213w for your cloud chasing needs!

      Hope this helps and sorry for the essay!


      • Deniz

        Hey Sam,
        Thank you for your kind answer and all the information you gave me,I really appreciate it!
        So first to say, I will look some dna200’s up and check the prices,I’ve heard that these are very expensive,but I’ll see.
        Yeah I’ve read that too,but it is like you said,it is a bit too risky for a newbie like me to use a mechanical mod since I don’t have the proper knowledge, but who knows,maybe someday I will be able to use that haha. Thanks again, now I know what I am going to do next!