Smok Tank Showdown: TFV8 Big Baby versus TFV8 Baby V2
Founded in 2010, Shenzen based Smoktech (Smok) has emerged as a dominant player on the vaping scene. Since that time, Smok Mods and tanks have multiplied like bunnies and each of these Smok tanks has several coil options available.
The constant additions to Smok’s lineup make sense when you consider how rapidly vaping technology is advancing and market pressures that are being exerted by constantly evolving consumer preferences. This comparison will look into how these refinements in design translate into real world performance. Is the Smok TFV8 Big Baby the original and still the best? How does the new TFV8 Baby V2 stack up?
TFV8 Big Baby Beast vs TFV8 Baby V2
In the past, the “Big Baby” was an enlarged version of the “Baby”. We are comparing the last generation Big Baby to the new Baby V2 because of their shared 5 ml e-juice capacity. The original TFV8 Baby only had a capacity of 3ml. The image below should clarify matters. There is currently no TFV8 Big Baby V2.
The word “beast” does not appear on the website, box or materials of the TFV8 Baby V2, which for the sake of clarity will be identified as the V2 from this point forward. The word beast appears, seemingly at random, on some of the materials included with the classic TFV8 family of tanks and on their website. The names Big Baby and Big Baby Beast can be used interchangeably.
Before continuing with this deep dive, it is important to note coil compatibility. Despite the shared TFV8 nomenclature, the coils for the original TFV8 Big Baby Beast are not compatible with the new V2. On the other hand, the TFV8 Big Baby Beast’s coils are compatible with the smaller Baby Beast from the same generation.
TFV8 Big Baby Beast
Released in 2016, the Big Baby Beast is one of the most popular subohm tanks ever produced. It is slab sided and cylindrical. Ask a casual observer to draw a vape tank or search for illustrated representations of a vape tank and the results will look something like the classic TFV8 Big Baby.
It measures 56 mm in height and has a juice capacity of 5 ml. The 510 threaded, delrin resin drip tip provides sufficient airflow and provides a great direct to lung vaping experience. Note that the 510 threaded drip tip is not compatible with many aftermarket drip tips.
The Big Baby has a single top fill port. Although a slightly older design, it still provides some basic child proofing measures. You have to push down before twisting the cap with a counter clockwise motion to expose the fill port opening.
With a standard diameter of 24.5 mm, the Big Baby Beast will not overhang the sides of most mods. When compared to the original Baby and its 3ml tank, the extra juice capacity comes in handy. The Big Baby has a big family of coils available and they have all been engineered to produce big clouds. Make sure you brush up on your basic vaping etiquette before wheeling this bad boy out in a public setting.
Preinstalled in the Big Baby is the X4 coil. This quadruple coil design has a resistance of 0.15 ohms (Ω) and works best between 45 -65 watts (w). The kit also includes a T6 coil, which has a slightly higher resistance of 0.2 Ω. The installed X4 is among the most popular coils ever produced and provides a superb blend of juice efficiency, battery life, flavor, cloud production and longevity. The cotton used in these coils is organic.
But these coils represent just two of six options. The 0.4 Ω Q2 is not included in the kit but is another popular option. It accentuates flavor, conserves juice and allows you to get the most out of your 18650 batteries. Smok recommends 55-65w for this dual coil. You can further modify your vaping experience with the 2 large adjustable air slots.
There is a reason why the TFV8 Big Baby remains a popular tank. The airflow through the design is excellent and doesn’t suffer from the lack of an 810 opening.
Also included with the Big Baby is an RBA build deck. This gives do the DIY crowd a chance to save money by wicking their own coil, which is installed, or winding your own coil, which is probably more common among individuals going to the effort of building their own coil.
With a reputation for performance, reliability and versatility, the TFV8 Big Baby is an outstanding tank by any measure. The long term popularity of the original Baby and Big ensures that vape shops will continue to carry replacement coils for the foreseeable future. There are no drawbacks to the design and the huge selection of reliable coils is a huge plus.
TFV8 Baby V2
The V2’s appearance is a big departure from the classic lines of its tubular predecessor. Increasingly, tank manufacturers are relying on the bubble or bulb shaped glass to increase juice capacity while working around wide chimneys and coils. A squatter glass design also keeps height to a minimum. This reduces the distance between the coils and the drip tip, and also lowers the center of gravity. This is not a meaningless measure if you are prone to tipping over your mod. The TFV8 Baby and TFV8 Baby V2 are both 54mm in height but the V2 has 70 percent more juice capacity.
Another bit of stylistic flair on the V2 is a carved V symbol on the top cap and base. This design element looks pretty cool but I did not identify it as being a “V” until it was pointed out to me.
Top Cap and Airflow Upgrades
A noticeable difference between the Big Baby and Baby V2 is the design of the chimney. The width of the V2’s chimney gives it superior airflow. The top of the coil is now much closer to the drip trip and the reduction of chimney length reduces air restriction.
The airflow of this tank is ridiculous. There are now three of airflow ports and they are wider than the TFV8’s. This tank has tons of punching power and I actually reduced the air flow two thirds while using it.
Another interesting upgrade is that the white gasket that rested around the fill port in the Big Baby (and the even larger Smok Cloud Beast for that matter) is now affixed to the top cap. This is great because you get a straight shot into the tank through the juice a port. This improvement reduces spillage, makes cleaning the gasket easier and allows for a significantly larger filling port.
A button activated locking mechanism has been added to the V2. As a long time user of both the Big Baby and Cloud Beast, I never encountered any issue with those tanks popping open but this additional safety feature is still a great idea. The top still swivels open in a similar motion to the previous TFV8 series.
Smok continued their tradition of proprietary drip tips on the V2. It snaps snuggly into place with rubber gaskets holding it in place. If you want to make a statement with the appearance of your V2, there are cobra edition drip tips available separately. This stylistic flair can also be found on the TFV12 Prince Tank.
Coils and Firing Pins
The 510 thread connector has also been upgraded with fire-new gold plating. This should extend the life of the firing pin considerably.
The coil, or the hyper engine as Smok calls it in the V2, is crucial to the performance of the tank. Aesthetics matter as well in a competitive tank market and Smok will manufacture coils in three colors: stainless steel, gold and in a 7 color rainbow. But none of this matters if the coils do not deliver.
The V2 comes with the excellent A1 hyper engine installed. This is a single coil, 0.17 Ω design. It works best between 110 and 130w. Slightly less power is recommended for the A2 coil, which is also included. At this time, the only other coil design offered for the T2 is the A3. This fire breather works is at the height of its cloud generating, hyper engine powers at 100-120w.
Take care when filling and wicking these new V2 coils the first time. You may want to let the coil soak for a while because there is a substantial amount of cotton, which can be accessed through the top and through large juice ports on the side.
If you are afraid of contagious diseases, MRSA, antibiotic resistance bacteria, viruses and the like, Smok has heard your pleas. I have no reason to believe my vaporizer is a disease vector and refrain from sharing it with the contagious individuals. But in the spirit of upgrades, Smok has swapped out the organic cotton found in their previous coils with antibacterial medical cotton. The image below really illustrates just how big the ports on the side of the coil are and how much cotton there is.
The design updates to the V2 have fundamentally changed the appearance of the TFV8 tanks. They have a much more modern look and the improvements to the airflow are real. Unfortunately, the lack of compatibility means you do not have access to the Big Baby’s much wider range of coil designs. This lack of coil options when compared to the classic TFV8 is an important consideration if you operate higher resistance coils that emphasize flavor.
It is worth noting that the coils for the new V2 are mesh. This provides a longer life and faster ramp up speeds than their wire wound brethren. The V2 is well worth the investment if you are looking for maximum cloud production and access the latest generation of Smok coils. The upgrades found in the V2 design are significant and make a real world difference in air flow and performance.
But the TFV8 Big Baby provides plenty of performance as well, plus its time tested design currently provides greater flexibility. Both the TFV8 Big Baby and TFV8 Baby V2 are worthy additions to any vaper’s collection.