The Smok Rigel kit review and it looks like the well known vaping manufacturer has taken a brief interlude between pod releases.
It’s back to the good old fashioned box mod/sub ohm tank vaping kit.
Does this suggest we have anything particularly new or innovative?
In the past, Smok has made a habit of confusing its audience most noticeably with their coils and backwards compatibility. It sometimes feels like devices have been rushed off the production line only to contribute to the head scratching.
Yet Smok has an uncanny habit of appealing to the masses, opinions have always been divided but the majority of the time they just seem to get it right.
Interesting fact: If Smok had produced a TFV tank numerically every year since it’s first appearance this would indeed be the year of the TFV9!
In the words of Smok itself, “Innovation keeps changing the vaping experience“…it’s time to find out if that’s true.
What Can We Expect From The Smok Rigel Kit?
The mod has been designed to provide maximum comfort when held thanks to its flexible rubber coating. The front has a polished finish designed to be smooth and tough at the same time.
The 0.96in TFT colour screen text has been scaled up making it easier on the eye and easier to read.
The Smok Rigel kit features six types of built in protection measures including low battery warning, atomizer short, low ohms warning and protection against the circuit board over heating.
A V9 mesh coil has been designed exclusively for use with the TFV9 tank.
Expect high VG ratios to be compatible with the copious amount of organic wicking material included.
Employing a child proof locking mechanism the top cap prevents accidental opening and any resulting loss of e-liquid.
The tank uses Pyrex glass and can hold up to 6.5ml juice negating the need for frequent refilling.
The Rigel mod chipset combines best performance with ease of use and safety providing a firing speed of 0.001 second.
Inside The Box
- Rigel Mod
- V9 meshed 0.15ohm coil (pre installed)
- Glass tube replacement (US, EU standard versions only)
- User Manual
- TFV9 tank 2ml (6.5ml US, EU standard versions only)
- Spare V9 meshed 0.15ohm coil
- Type C charging cable
- Size 44 x 28.8 x 88mm
- Weight 103.5g (without batteries)
- Output wattage 1W – 230W
- Resistance range 0.1ohm – 2.5ohm
- Input voltage 6.4V – 8.4V
- Output voltage 1.0V – 8.2V
- Charging current Max 2.0A
The Rigel Mod is available in five colour schemes: Blue, Green, Gun Metal, Rainbow, Sky Blue and Silver, our review model. Each one retains the black glossy front fascia.
- Material Stainless Steel
- Size 28 x 56mm
- Weight 62g
- Capacity 2ml / 6.5ml
- Thread 510
The TFV9 tank is available in nine colour schemes to match the Mod.
Matte Black, Red, Gold, Blue, green, Gun Metal, Rainbow, Sky Blue and the one under review, Stainless Steel.
There are three editions available. The standard EU and US versions which include the 6.5ml glass extension and a spare straight glass.
The TPD version is confined to the usual 2ml tank restriction and doesn’t come with a spare glass. Otherwise the contents are identical across all versions.
Another interesting fact: The 2ml glass tube can also be used on the Smok Stick V9 tank.
Design and build quality
The Smok Rigel Mod
The Rigel Mod is stated as having a flexible rubberised coating. I’m not getting that when clutched in the hand. It feels more like a plastic coating over anodised aluminium.
A toughened glossy plastic adorns the front fascia. Thankfully it isn’t much of a finger print magnet which is bound to please quite a few folk.
The top, bottom and rear of the mod feature micro dimples that look quite effective aesthetically but do more in assisting with grip.
The 16 x 9mm fire button is raised and responsive as are the left and right menu function keys. The Type C charging port has been sensibly placed to the lower section allowing the device to be charged in a vertical position.
A slot has been provided on the lower side to aid in the removal of the magnetized battery door. I would have preferred it to have been at the top for speed of release but that’s just me nit picking (as usual!).
Snug As A Proverbial Bug
The two sets of magnets work a treat and the battery door snaps firmly into place.
When removed, the door feels rigid and strong enough although the plastic feel does tend to cheapen it somewhat.
Battery orientation symbols are large and clear for those of us with failing eyesight and the spring loaded gold plated terminals have a fair degree of tension behind them.
This ensures no battery rattle or movement on the battery door once inserted. Impressive stuff.
Battery venting is visible on the underside of the mod. Is there enough? Probably but I’d like to have seen a series of vents beneath each cell. (Maybe I need to stop nit picking, eh? lol).
With the two 18650 batteries fitted, the Mod feels much more substantial and has just the right amount of weight in my opinion.
The spring loaded 510 pin is offset which is a bit of a shame because it limits the use of your own tank sizes to anything up to 25mm.
I guess Smok is just trying to encourage the use of the TFV9 tank which is totally understandable as this is indeed a kit.
Smok Rigel – Screen Display and Navigation
Smok has kept menu navigation quick and easy.
It’s all pretty much surface value, no drilling down or sub menus used. This allows for adjustment on the fly which is good.
It may come as no surprise to learn that five clicks will power the device on or off.
- Press the fire button rapidly three times to lock/unlock the device. When locked the device cannot be used
- Press the left or right menu buttons to increase/decrease wattage values (The device will round Robin once 230W is hit)
- Hold the left and right menu buttons to lock/unlock the current wattage
- Hold the fire button and left menu button to reset the puff counter
- Holding the fire and right menu button will change the colour scheme
You can cycle through six colour schemes. Red, yellow, purple, white, blue or green.
Smok Rigel – TFV9 tank
Compatible with all previous Baby Beast coils, it’s evident that the TFV9 tank is designed purely for direct lung vaping. Open, semi restrictive and even restrictive direct lung styles.
Measuring around the knurling at the base the tank the TFV9 is actually 24.5mm. The 6.5ml glass tube does extend it to 28mm.
The height of the tank is correct when including the 510 pin and the Delrin drip tip, and it reduces to 51mm when screwed down on the Smok Rigel Mod.
Let’s start at the top with the Delrin 810 drip tip, I found this quite hard to remove initially.
There are no O rings included in the top cap so a choice of replaceable drip tips may be limited to those that do include them.
I found the included drip tip to be comfortable enough to use and had no issues.
Let’s All Do the Smok Swivel!
Lift the lid above the arrow symbol on the top cap to use the child safety feature.
Gently rotating the top cap counter clock wise will reveal a silicone gasket seal and the 10mm fill port.
Snapping the lid back into a closed position can be a little awkward at first but once done a few times does become much easier.
Some excellent knurling features on the top and bottom of the TFV9 really help with airflow adjustments and unscrewing the coil from the deck.
The inner diameter of the chimney is approximately 7mm. This kind of restriction should help to concentrate flavour from the coil.
The O rings located at the top and bottom of the Pyrex glass section aren’t that tight but still provide an adequate seal.
Smok Rigel Airflow
The TFV9 tank has plenty of airflow designed to accommodate a power hungry coil that craves plenty of wattage and warmth.
It’s been described as an all new airflow control designed to produce excellent flavour and cloud production.
It looks to be a dual step airflow arrangement delivering either a semi restrictive or completely open direct lung vaping experience.
The tolerance on the AFC ring is superb, allowing for the very finest of adjustments. I’ll be calling on that for my preferred restrictive lung vape.
Smok Rigel – How to Fill the Tank
It’s a good idea to prime the wicking ports of the coil by placing a few drops of E liquid onto them before filling the tank.
- Lift and rotate the top cap away from the tank exposing the fill port
- Gently insert the bottle nozzle into the fill port and squeeze E liquid into tank
- Slide the top cap back into a locked position. Push the lid down into place
Leave the juice to absorb into the cotton for approximately five minutes before vaping – known as priming your coil.
How Does the Smok Rigel Kit Perform?
The material used for the 0.15ohm mesh coil is stainless steel with 100% organic cotton and Nichrome. It is not designed to work with any of the other tanks in the TFV range.
Neither should thinner e-liquid be used. Due to the abundance of cotton and the resistance value of the coil I would suggest ratios of no less than 70VG/30PG – high VG content will work fine with the TFV9 tank.
The coil has a rating between 40-90W so let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
I used Booom Juice Oliver’s Twist, a caramel peanut RY4 with a sweet tobacco for the purposes of testing. It’s a 70VG/30PG ratio with 3mg freebase nicotine applied.
Smok Rigel – Vaping at 40W (2.56V)
With airflow wide open this is a very cool vape and probably to be expected.
Vaping is effortless and extremely airy. It is quite a noisy although I noticed very little turbulence and overall experienced a smooth vape with masses of vapour production.
What threw me was the quality of the flavour. As much as this profile requires more heat I was still able to pick out plenty of sub notes – peanut being instantly recognizable.
Smok Rigel – Vaping at 60W (3.09V)
I dialed the airflow down to mid position while vaping on this wattage setting.
The flavour was really being lifted and I noticed distinct differences.
There was more warmth and creamy elements were being introduced. The caramel was dancing around having most of the fun, providing some much needed depth.
Airflow restriction wasn’t as much as I expected, altering little from a fully open state while the level of noise during the inhale remained.
Yet this was still a very satisfying vape!
When closing the airflow down further the flavour quality started to suffer.
This was most probably due to the increased level of restriction, I don’t think the coil favours this amount to be honest, Cloud production started to falter too.
Proving to me that this 0.15ohm mesh coil craves the airflow of an open or semi restrictive nature.
Smok Rigel – Vaping at 90W (3.7V)
This is really where the TFV9 tank starts kicking in! Being fed as much airflow as possible.
Set fully open the vape is much warmer, it’s not hot but definitely allows the flavours to spill out in the way the manufacturer intended.
At 3.7V it’s not overly straining the dual 18650 batteries either.
The flavour is much broader. The peanut, caramel and tobacco all blend together as a whole and the clouds spill and roll for what seems an eternity lol!
Sweetness from the tobacco is increased when airflow is reduced half way, but further restriction becomes uncomfortable on the throat, again, reinforcing the nature of this mesh coil.
Smok Rigel – The Stars and Beyond..
I pushed the coil to 120W. At 4.2V I was able to chain vape with the added heat and suffered no dry hits. The flavour was still excellent but the tank was heating up faster than I was comfortable with.
On a mid restriction the flavours retained their balance but my throat was unable to keep up with the pace! Too much heat for someone that tends to vape between 50-80W lol.
I wouldn’t consider going beyond this power output personally.
What it does prove is that the tank is more than capable of vaping at the maximum recommended wattage. No problem – and flavour and cloud production is superb.
- Excellent flavour and cloud production
- Responsive menu and fire buttons
- Ergonomic and comfortable in the hand
- Zero battery rattle
- Prone to leaking when replacing coils (subjective)
- Dimple texture on Mod attracts dirt and grease
- Quite a noisy inhale
- Replacing the child proof locking cap can be fiddly
Final Review Verdict
I have to say I’m impressed with the Smok Rigel kit…why?
After a shaky start with some minor leaking issues (probably self induced) the Smok Rigel Kit has proven to be something of a vape kit work horse. The chip set is very reliable and battery efficiency is excellent.
I used the device with 4% battery life remaining and still it pumped out impressive power! So it doesn’t seem to understand the concept of battery sag lol!
The puff counter registered 338 hits before the batteries gave up the ghost. During this time I’d been vaping between 40 – 120W.
The menu and fire buttons are very responsive although there’s still a slight delay when firing. It’s minuscule but still there so I’m not sure about the 0.001 sec response time.
The screen itself is bright and the text is very clear – not suffering too much in direct sunlight.
Although type C charging is possible, I would always recommend doing this via a dedicated external battery charger.
Smok Rigel – Total Flavour Vape
I’m also impressed with the TFV9 tank because Smok has retained a simplicity with it that just works.
The bottom airflow structure assists in created some fantastic flavour and cloud production with the proprietary 0.15ohm mesh coil.
It’s a coil that craves plenty of power and plenty of airflow. This does mean frequent refilling of the 2ml TPD tank. I managed around three hours using the 6.5ml bubble extension.
Flavour reproduction at lower wattage settings is surprisingly good and will no doubt be of interest to those preferring cooler vapes such as fruits or menthols.
Of course those that like warmer, dessert inspired creations are also catered for when pumping up the wattage with max airflow or semi restriction set.
So when all’s said and done this is one versatile vaping kit. It ticks more boxes than it tickles.
Has a star been born? I’d say so.
Smok has aptly named it the Rigel!
Is this the new vape kit for you?
Or do you already own one?
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.