Sense Herakles RTA-2 Intro
The Chinese company Sense — makers of the popular Herakles sub-ohm clearomizer tanks — released the Herakles RTA this spring (2016). Soon after release of the RTA, Sense decided to improve the tank’s performance by altering design of the deck. I don’t know if that decision was based on customer feedback and requests or in-house suggestions from within Sense. Either way, Sense didn’t hesitate to produce and market the second version, designated the Herakles RTA-2, alongside the original tank, renamed the Herakles RTA-4.
Why RTA-2 and RTA-4? The numerical designations refer to the number of eliquid control slots on the bottom circumference of the internal chamber that covers the deck: the original RTA-4 has four small slots that correspond to the four eliquid wicking channels on the deck, while the RTA-2 has two huge slots that correspond to two equally large ganged wicking channels on the deck, designed to hold two wick ends each. The other difference between the two versions is a re-design of the deck’s air flow to remove the air holes under the posts. According to Sense, the upgrade affects the performance of the Herakles RTA in only one way — by intensifying the vape’s flavor.
In every other way, the two versions of the tank are identical.
Sense Herakles RTA-2 Specs and Features
- One Sense Herakles RTA2
- Additional Glass Tank Section
- Spare Parts Tube
- Extra Copper Center Pin
- Threaded 510 Drip Tip Adapter
- 25 mm Diameter
- 6 mL Tank Capacity
- Top Fill System
- Wide Area Filling Ports
- Adjustable Wicking Holes
- Can Be Fully Closed
- Two Post Rebuildable Deck
- Two Post Side Tension Applied
- Hex Keyed
- Positive Post Can be Rotated
- Use Extreme Caution when Reorienting Post
- Dual Terminal Per Post
- 5 mm Diameter Each
- Dual Enlarged Interior Airflow
- 5 mm by 3 mm
- Dual Unified Wicking Channels
- PEEK Insulator
- Quad Adjustable Exterior Airflow
- 7 mm by 2 mm Each Airslot
- 10 mm Threaded Wide Bore Drip Tip
- Straight Channel Airflow for Maximum Speed
- 510 Drip Tip Adaptor
- Copper 510 Connection
- Two Post Side Tension Applied
- Top Fill System
The Sense Herakles RTA-2 is available from many online vendors for prices that range from $25–35.00. Some discount Chinese vendors include free shipping.
(For people who purchased the original Herakles RTA (now renamed the RTA-4), an upgrade kit is available from Sense to convert that tank into the improved RTA-2 version.)
The easiest way to understand the Herakles RTA-2 is to start with a firm grasp of the original Herakles RTA-4.
Below is a link to my review of the original Herakles RTA (now renamed the RTA-4). Since both the RTA-4 and RTA-2 versions are essentially the same tank with relatively minor differences, read that review to get the full skinny on the tanks’ construction and how the original version performs.
Upgrades from the RTA-4
By making the design changes to the deck and chamber, Sense’s engineers meant improve the airflow to the coils by removing the air intake holes under the deck’s posts. More important, flavor production is supposed to be enhanced by redesigning the eliquid flow by increasing the intake area. The large dual eliquid control slots of the new RTA-2, each of which holds two wick ends, one from each coil, are in total twice the size of the small quad flow slots of the RTA-4. Eliquid flow to the coils is definitely increased, with a presumed improvement in flavor production.
Does this redesign have a downside? Only one that I can see. The original Herakles was, like many of its large diameter tank competitors, very thirsty. Used at high power, tanks like this vaporize eliquid like there’s no tomorrow. With the increased eliquid flow to the coils, the RTA-2 is even more thirsty when used at high power (70 watts and up). So, while Sense feels that the redesign is an improvement, there is a trade-off.
So, the Herakles RTA-2 has been “improved” over the original RTA-4. In real-world performance, how much improvement can you expect? Will the increased air intake and eliquid flow produce flavor that knocks your socks off compared to the RTA-4? No, not in my opinion.
I used 26-gauge stainless steel dual coil builds that were as identical as I could make them (one build came in at 0.32Ω, the other at 0.35Ω) on both the Herakles RTA-2 and RTA-4, filled each tank with the same kind of eliquid, and vaped them at the same power in wattage mode and the same temperature in TC SS mode.
Performance of both tanks was terrific, with the RTA-2 providing perhaps a smidgen more flavor intensity. Enough to notice, but not enough to make me want to stop vaping the RTA-4 in favor of the RTA-2.
Would the difference in performance and flavor be more pronounced with fancier builds, for instance, by using Clapton or Notch coils? Perhaps, but I doubt it. The RTA-2 is a great tank, but the original RTA-4 is no slouch, either. Basically, it’s very close to a wash between the two versions.
If you bought the RTA-4, should you also purchase the RTA-2? Not in my opinion. The inexpensive upgrade kit is an option, but I don’t find enough difference in real-world performance between the two versions to justify a recommendation even for that.
On the other hand, if you like doing your own builds and own neither version of the Sense Herakles RTA, consider getting one. The Herakles RTA-2, like its slightly older fraternal twin, the RTA-4, is a wonderful tank.
I give both versions my highest recommendation.