The Freemax GEMM kit includes an internal battery tube mod with three wattage settings and two disposable sub ohm tanks with tea fiber wicks. Freemax has delved into the realm of this style of mods in the past with the Freemax Twister kit, which was a great product with some shortcomings, mainly in the battery department; 2300 mAh won’t get you far on a sub ohm tank these days. As for the GEMM tanks, that’s Freemax’s first attempt at a disposable sub ohm tank.
This kit ups the ante with a 2900 mAh battery, but takes away some of the features that made the Twister special, such as true variable wattage and a great sub ohm tank that won’t go to the bin once its coil is dead. Is a simple tube mod paired with a disposable sub ohm tank worth your money? Keep reading to find out.
This kit was sent to me free of charge from Freemax for the purpose of this review.
Price: $24.95 (at MyVpro)
Colors: Rainbow, blue, black, purple, white
I received the black, blue and white GEMM kits each with two matching tanks, and an extra box containing two disposable tanks.
At 25 mm x 85 mm, the GEMM mod is shorter and slightly thicker than the Twister mod and I was happy to see that Freemax is using simpler designs this time—although they did release single-color editions for the Twister eventually. Most of the mod is single-colored, with stainless steel accents on the top, bottom, button and branding. The body is made out of metal and feels really well made and sturdy. Unfortunately, the paint on my black one chipped pretty easily after a short fall from the desk. All the devices are painted (no stainless steel version available) so there’s no way around it; you have to be careful not to drop it, or else it may chip. Other than that, there’s no button rattle or loose parts, and no other complaints in the build quality department.
The disposable tanks are surprisingly well-made in my opinion. They come with a smooth airflow adjustment ring, and a silicon gasket for filling. Everything other than the coil seems to be made out of plastic. The large coils give them some weight too. In fact, if I could replace the coil, I am pretty sure I could squeeze a couple of extra months out of them—they just don’t seem like they’d fall apart very easily. As far as disposables go, these are some really high-quality ones.
The GEMM mod is pretty straightforward to operate.
The LED light will let you know of the power setting every time you switch and will also function as battery indication while you vape (check the battery section for more details). The battery provides direct output, which means that performance will drop along with the battery levels, and I noticed that the top of the mod may get a bit warm when chain vaping on it. But it is a very rapid-firing mod, especially when used with the GEMM tanks. All of these were more or less what I expected, but there is a standing out issue with the GEMM mod and I feel I need to elaborate a bit on it.
This is not a variable voltage mod, which is what it seems like at first glance. Checking the manual, you will notice a table that lists the way the power levels change depending on the tank used.
According to the specs listed by Freemax, the low, mid and high settings are supposed to fire at different wattages for coils that have the same resistance, and at the same wattages for coils that have different resistances—which is a bit puzzling. What makes it even more puzzling, is that the G3 tank is supposed to fire at 90 watts at the high setting, which is higher than the wattage rating of the mod!
In any case, the chip seems to be fine-tuned for the GEMM tanks and tanks that use the Fireluke coils with the same specs. I had no issues using the mod with the GEMM tanks or the Fireluke 2, but I got variable results when I paired it with other tanks. Using it with the 0.8-ohm coil of the Innokin Zlide was fine at the low and mid settings, but I got a very underwhelming vape when using it with the iSub-B tank 0.35-ohm coil. I am sure there is a method to this madness (possibly three different settings that get activated depending on the resistance) but Freemax doesn’t explain it at all. And for this reason, I am hard-pressed to recommend this mod for using it for anything else other than a tank that uses the coils of the Fireluke line.
I tested three tanks from the GEMM collection, all using Freemax’s 90% tea fiber and 10% organic cotton wicks. The coil specs are exactly the same to the X and tea fiber TX coils that are compatible with the Fireluke line of tanks.
All tanks are 25 mm in diameter and around 51 mm tall. And while they all look exactly the same on the outside, the different size of the coils means that there is some variation on the capacity of the tanks. The G1 tank holds 5 mL of e-liquid, while the G2 and G3 tanks fit up to 4 mL.
According to Freemax, the power levels for these three tanks are the same; 40 watts at the low setting, 60 watts at mid and 80 watts at high. The low setting was underpowered in my opinion, and the high setting is producing warm vapor, good enough to switch off once in a while. I found that I preferred the mid setting and I usually fire them between 60 and 70 watts when using them with other mods. The coils seemed to keep up with chain vaping and having refilled each of them at least five times, I haven’t noticed any drop in performance. The only drawback I noticed was a bit of gurgling/spitback at the first couple of vapes in the morning, which is to be expected.
The tanks have ample airflow and outside of a bit of turbulence from the single-mesh coil, they are pretty smooth across the board. I ended up vaping them with ¾ of the airflow open most of the time, which was more than enough for me. With most disposable tanks not even having airflow adjustability, the fact that you can adjust the airflow on the GEMM tanks is a pro on its own.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the GEMM tanks. They perform at a very high level and they are not much different in performance to the Fireluke 2 tank that came with the Twister kit. The tea fiber wicks produce clean and crisp flavor and while I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary (Freemax claims that tea fiber boosts the flavor and adds some “spice” to it), they seem to perform better than standard cotton wicks.
There seems to be some kind of a debate in the vape world about disposable tanks. And understandably so, because disposables do create more waste than coils and the only real benefit they provide is the lower price tag—which makes them great for experimenting on different styles of vaping, or throwing them in your bag when travelling. But there are two points I’d like to address, one for disposables in general and one specifically for the Freemax GEMM tanks.
Disposables generally create avoidable waste, but the same can be said for your average pod system. I am pretty sure I’ve used pods that weigh very close to the ~20 grams of the GEMM tanks. In fact, disposable sub ohm tanks create much less waste than pre-filled vapes, where you have to dispose an average of one pod per day. That’s not to say that it’s alright, but I think it helps to put the waste subject into perspective.
Now for the GEMM tanks. The tanks are made out of PCTG material which is recyclable, and it’s the same material that many other disposable tanks are made out of. And while throwing it in the recycling bin with the coil attached does not sound like a good idea, and Freemax claims that the coils are non-detachable, there is a way to work around that. Just grab a set of pliers and pull the top and the bottom of the tank. With a little bit of force, you’ll be able to take it apart and remove the coil. Job’s done, you can now recycle the plastic parts and dispose of the coil.
The GEMM mod charges through its micro USB port and houses a 2900 mAh battery which is not bad considering its size. The LED light will light up when you vape, and the color of the light will indicate charge levels.
Using the G2 coil, I got a yellow light after a full tank (4 mL) and power deteriorated slightly. Around 2/3 of a tank later the light went red and power was too low to get a satisfying vape. I’d generally plug it in at the point, but for what it’s worth, I managed to go through a tad under three full tanks before the mod stopped powering the tank altogether.
While battery life is alright, charging time leaves a lot to be desired. It took approximately 3.5 hours to fully charge the GEMM mod, which is more or less the same time I clocked the Twister’s charge time at. Freemax may have sped things up a bit, considering that the battery of the GEMM mod is 600 mAh larger, but the results are still disappointing. Plus, they advise against vaping while it is charging, so I can’t recommend it myself.
I was not impressed by that mod, and I find it to be a step back to what Freemax was doing with the Twister kit. The way the mod is setting the power levels is a mystery to me, and my hopes that this one would come with quick charging were quickly dashed. If Freemax gave this mod full wattage adjustability (or even a straightforward variable voltage output) I would be willing to look past the charging times and recommend it as a standalone purchase. But as it stands, I’d only suggest it in this kit, or paired with the 24 mm edition of the Fireluke 2. Everything else would be guessing at this point.
But as far as disposables go, the Freemax GEMM tanks are some of the best you can buy right now. If you are vaping MTL and want to see what all the fuss with sub ohm vaping is about, you can easily grab one of those and give it a go. In fact, given the price that the tanks are coming at, you can even use them as your main setup. But if you go down that road, just make sure that you take the tank apart before recycling it. It’s one extra step but it makes a difference.