The Smok RSBT (Rebuildable Stainless Bottom-coil Tank) is one incredible atomizer. It ships in a gift box with:
- RSBT Hybrid atomizer
- Pre-assembled and installed 1.7 ohm coil and silica wick
- Instruction manual
- Small Philips head screw driver
- spare silica wick and coil wire, enough to build about four more coils
- spare silicone O rings
- spare spring for the power posts
The RSBT has an air flow ring (as you can see at the right) exposing anywhere from one single partial hole all the way up to five air holes. The air flow ring has a very smooth sliding action and stays firmly in place once set. It is knurled and easy to turn when needed.
The threading is buttery smooth and all parts that are threaded have a knurled finish making it easy to work.
This is an unusual atomizer. It has an outer stainless steel casing with two long oval slots so that you can see the glass portion and remaining eLiquid in the tank. The drip tip is a combination of stainless steel bottom and glass mouth part. The 510 connector is adjustable with the included small Philips head screwdriver.
To fill the tank with eLiquid, you remove the outer stainless steel shroud. You do not have to remove the drip tip, that stays with the shroud. Once the shroud is removed, it exposes the glass tank with a stainless steel top. There is a Philips head screw at the top that you remove to fill the eLiquid (see picture below, left). I used a bottle with a small plastic tip that fit snugly in the filler hole. Since I was "sealing" the hole with the plastic tip, I somewhat expected a bit of gurgling since I was forcing the vaccum system, but this worked out perfectly. Filled the tank easily and no problems with the vacuum sealing forcing eLiquid into the coil area. The tank has a capacity of 4 ml. PS. I cleaned the entire tank before filling the eLiquid.
On the shroud, the Smok logo is etched into the stainless steel. On the opposing side, "RSBT Hybrid" is laser etched. It is unobtrusive, though and barely visible. Also note from the picture at the right, the air flow ring has a limiter pin that allows full travel that includes fully covering all air holes infinitely to all air holes fully exposed. You can't see them in the picture, but there are two long oval openings in the stainless steel shroud where you can see the glass tank and remaining eLiquid level.
I was really impressed to see silicone seals and silicone O rings used. I've seen rubber O rings balloon in size when I use some types of eLiquids and get a sense that the rubber is not that great. With silicone, I have never had that problem and feel much safer with any type of eLiquid when the atomizer uses silicone seals and O rings.
The picture at the left shows the knurled portions, top and bottom, to aid in removing and installing the atomizer components. The air flow ring is knurled as well, slightly more pronounced and very easy to adjust – and it's incredibly smooth action too.
Make no mistake about this, the RSBT is a vacuum based system just like the Kayfun. It has a larger air chamber than the Kayfun and provides an air flow and flavor that is exceptional.
The only aspect of this atomizer that I am not fond of is the thumbscrews for the power posts. When you are working in such small quarters, using either a Philips head or Flat head screw driver helps.
Refer to the picture at the right. The air flow chamber is recessed into the coil base – at least the thumbscrews are sticking out to help a bit. What you should notice, though, is that the coil and wicks are also below the edge of the air flow chamber. That makes it a tad more difficult to wrap the coil legs around the power posts. Also note the wicks ... they are not like other rebuildables relying on you drawing (vaping) to get eLiquid into a flow channel. The air flow "chimney" covers a portion of the wicks (you can see that where the wicks are in the threaded area) – but a portion of the wicks are directly accessing the eLiquid (the portion below the threaded area). This is more like standard pre-built coils. I have not tried cotton wicks yet, but it should be interesting. The cotton will have to be a bit more compressed than other rebuildables so that eLiquid doesn't just gurgle into the heating area and cause leaking. So far, though, the silica wicks are working great (they are 2.5 mm silica wicks).
Overall, this is one classy looking atomizer. Looks are only a small portion of why we recommend this atomizer. The all stainless steel and glass construction with silicone seals and O rings are a major part of our recommendation. What makes this a winner, clear and simple, is the incredible flavor this provides with excellent throat hit.
For our tests, we used a "Bubble Gum" eLiquid that is hit and miss in the flavor department. It's an excellent eLiquid, the problem is that some atomizers and clearomizers just can't seem to properly render the flavor. The Smok RSBT helps this eLiquid come through and with a throat hit that surprised us completely.
We have been focused on testing and reviewing clearomizers and atomizers with glass or stainless steel tanks lately, prefering those with glass so that we can see the eLiquid remaining. Josh, a fellow vaper from Facebook, highly recommended the Smok RSBT. They are available only in the US as we write this review and should be available in Canada soon (apologies, we published this review a bit earlier than expected because this atomizer exceeded our expectations). Our thanks to Josh ... he was right. This is well worth using.
On a side note, there is no "perfect" tank system, either using pre-built coils or rebuildables. With rebuildables, the yardstick by which all other tanks are compared is the Kayfun. We now have three rebuildables that we consider equal to or better than the Kayfun. The Smok RSBT Hybrid is on that list.
I was planning on building an 0.8 ohm coil for the Smok RSBT before publishing this review – however, this coil is producing such excellent flavor that I want to savor this while I can and provide you the information so you can make an informed decision on getting your own – and I highly recommend it.
Update July 18 2014: My apologies, we had indicated the Smok RSBT would be available in Canada by the time we published this article. We were so impressed with the Smok RSBT that we published the article early. The Smok RSBT is still not available in Canada as of this udpate – they are on eBay though.
Update July 19 2014: My thanks to Josh Scheibenpflug for agreeing to have his video breakdown of the Smok RSBT on KickButtAndVape.
Update July 25 2014: Built the first coil for the Smok RSBT Hybrid today. 28 AWG with 8/9 wraps worked out to 1.5 ohms. Was more concerned about the wicking, this is a bit of a unusual base design for a rebuildable atomizer. It worked out perfectly, using cotton. Quite thrilled with this atomizer. The thumb screws were not as bit an issue as I thought. They are higher than the rim of the coil base and fairly easy to grasp with two fingers.