These days, RDTAs don’t get released too often. When they do, I start jumping at the chance to review them. The THC Tauren Max is a 25mm dual coil RDTA with a 2ml/4.5ml e-liquid capacity tank. It has a Y-shaped build deck, and both side and bottom airflow controls. This is the upgrade to their Tauren RDTA of 2018.
Since RDTA’s aren’t very popular anymore, here’s a quick explanation. An RDTA is like a combination of an RDA and an RTA. They feature an open build deck that is close to the drip tip, so they can be dripped on just like an RDA. But an RDTA also has a reservoir tank underneath the build deck that can be filled with ejuice, and there are ports for your cotton wicks to sit just inside of this reservoir. Whenever you take a draw, you’ll tilt the RDTA and this will saturate your wicks with ejuice. A good RDTA offers the flavor of an RDA but with the convenience of an RTA.
With that explanation out of the way, lets see how the Tauren Max RDTA works & performs!
This tank was sent to me by Vapesourcing for this review.
- 1 x THC Tauren Max RDTA
- 1 x 4.5ml Pyrex Glass
- 1 x Allen Wrench
- 1 x Slotted Screwdriver
- 1 x Short Squonk Pin
- 1 x Long Squonk Pin (For 4.5ml Glass)
- 1 x Long Regular Pin (For 4.5ml Glass)
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Warranty Card
The packaging for the Tauren Max is fancy. The tank and all accessories come in a small, cloth drawstring bag. Inside of this bag is a metal container with the RDTA, a bag of spare parts, and a plastic container that holds the 4.5ml glass. The metal container unscrews from the bottom and this bottom portion doubles as an atomizer stand.
The packaging for this RDTA is really nice and goes above and beyond what I expected. It feels more like opening a present than just another tank. Huge props to THC on their packaging.
- Stainless Steel
- 41mm Height, 25mm Diameter
- 4.5ml Maximum Tank Capacity
- Side + Bottom Airflow
- Dual Coil Deck
- 810 Drip Tip
Design & Build Quality
The THC Tauren Max RDTA has a lot going on. It’s a 25mm tank with side honeycomb airflow, bottom slot airflow, and a glass tank section. Out of the box it comes with the 2ml glass tank section preinstalled, but this can be swapped out for a 4.5ml glass.
Even with all these features, it still looks classy and elegant. The design features are simple which keeps the Tauren Max from looking too hectic and busy. There’s a single Tauren logo that is cleanly etched into the body. Underneath the logo, on the bottom AFC ring, there’s a simple ‘MAX’. Lines run from the ‘MAX’ around the entire AFC ring. These lines cut under the airflow slots for a bit of extra styling.
Build quality is outstanding. All of the components fit together smoothly and everything is machined perfectly.
The Tauren Max RDTA comes in six colors. I got one of the nicest, the Gunmetal finish. It’s surprisingly resistant to fingerprints and smudges, and stays looking clean with little maintenance.
The 810 resin drip tip has ‘Thunderhead Creations’ printed in a small font at its base. It’s a nice drip tip that I have no problem using. The o-ring is inside of the top cap so it can be swapped out for any other 810 drip tip.
The top cap has a step-like design that ends with two rows of knurling. The top cap rotates to adjust the side honeycomb airflow slots. At first it’s stiff and difficult to adjust, but once it’s lubricated with a drop of ejuice it turns with ease.
The honeycomb side airflow is made up of 16 holes; 5 holes for the top and bottom rows, 6 holes for the middle row. Twisting the top cap will first close off the top row of airflow holes. Continuing to turn the top cap will then close off both bottom rows of airflow holes simultaneously.
The bottom airflow control ring has two adjustable slots which are positioned just underneath where your coils sit on the build deck. These side slots feed airflow into the honeycomb-style build deck, which then funnels air through holes positioned underneath and beside the coils.
This side airflow and bottom airflow configuration results in airflow hitting the coils from all directions, underneath and from both sides, and then exiting through the drip tip.
The Tauren Max RDTA comes preinstalled with a 2ml glass reservoir, but this can be swapped to a 4.5ml glass section. The tank is a decent height at 41mm but the 4.5ml glass makes the tank much taller. I think it looks better with the 2ml glass but your opinion might differ.
The tank reservoir is filled through two fill holes on the build deck. These fill holes get plugged by the top cap/mid cap assembly when the tank is all put together
How to Swap the Tank Sections
Swapping the tank sections is easier than it looks. The Tauren Max RDTA comes with a bunch of spare parts (three extra 510 pins!) so it looks complicated at first. Once you understand what they’re all for, this tank becomes much less daunting.
The three extra 510 pins are for the different sized tank sections. The 2ml glass uses the shorter pins, while the 4.5ml glass needs the longer 510 pins. This makes sense when you think about it; the 4.5ml glass extends the height of the tank so it needs longer pins to work.
To begin swapping out the 2ml glass for the 4.5ml glass, go ahead and unscrew the base of the deck. The glass tank and base of the deck will unscrew together.
Take a flat head screwdriver and unscrew the 510 pin from the tank. Remove the beige insulator from the 510 pin and put it to the side, you’ll need this later.
You’ll notice that the deck is now loose. Hold it in place and unscrew the knurled metal piece at the bottom of the tank (the one that you removed the 510 pin from). Replace this with the longer knurled metal piece from the spare parts bag.
Here you’ll have to decide if you want to use the regular 510 pin or the squonking 510 pin. Take the beige insulator that you removed from the 510 pin earlier and slip it onto the long 510 pin of your choosing. While holding the deck in place, install the long 510 pin. Check that the deck is securely in place after installing the 510. If it’s not then remove the 510 pin and install it again while making sure the deck is on properly.
Now take the base of the deck and remove the old glass. Carefully push the 4.5ml glass onto the base of the deck.
Finally, screw the glass/base back onto the bottom of the tank.
Swapping from the 4.5ml glass back to the 2ml glass is the same process, just using the short 510 pin instead of the long one.
Building on the Tauren Max RDTA
The Tauren Max RDTA has a four post, Y-shaped build deck. The build deck has airflow holes that funnel airflow from the bottom airflow slots and to the bottom and sides of the coils. The posts use hex screws to secure the coils that are easy to work with.
Coils have to be installed from the bottom up. The legs go up and into the terminals so it can be tricky to get them to fit, especially with fancy builds. I suggest using ‘normal’ coils like claptons, fused claptons, or even flat wire builds.
The easiest way to insert your coil legs into the posts and bend them slightly. Then push the coil farther into the posts and bend slightly again. Repeat this process until the coil is positioned just under the posts and then tighten the post screws.
After installing one coil, you’ll want to trim the legs right away. If you don’t, the second coil will get stuck by the legs of your installed coil and won’t go in all the way.
Position your coils so that they’re sitting just under the posts and above the airflow holes on the deck. This way you’ll be sure that the airflow is going to hit the coils as intended. Dry fire your coils and check that they glow evenly. Strum your coils with ceramic tweezers to work out any hot spots that you see.
When cutting your wicks you want them to just be visible inside the reservoir. Cutting your wicks at the bottom-most o-ring on the deck is an easy way to cut them to the right length. When you take a draw you’ll be tilting the tank, and this will saturate your wicks.
Use the fill holes on the sides of the deck to fill up the reservoir and prime your coils with some ejuice. If you install the squonk pin then the reservoir will fill up every time you squonk.
I tested the Tauren Max RDTA with two builds:
- One fancy wire dual coil build
- One stagger fused clapton dual coil build
The fancy wire build was a pain to install. The coil legs were a bit too thick to slide smoothly through the posts so I had to creatively manoeuvre them through. A bit of bending, a bit of pushing, more bending, more pushing. Eventually I got the coils secured but in the end it wasn’t even worth it!
Why wasn’t it worth it? For whatever reason, flavor wasn’t as good as I’ve come to expect from these coils. Usually these coils give amazing flavor if used in a good tank but the flavor was slightly muted in the Tauren Max RDTA. I’ve chalked this up to the fact that these are big coils and that the airflow just couldn’t efficiently hit the whole coil.
My smaller, stagger fused clapton build worked a lot better. These coils are the perfect size for the build deck and sit nicely under the Y-shaped posts, and above the airflow holes in the bottom of the build deck.
Flavor is much better and much less muted. There is still a small bit of muting going on but not enough to be too noticeable. I actually really enjoyed vaping on the Tauren Max with this coil setup. The build comes out to 0.12ohm and at 90W it’s a really nice vape.
But it’s not only the build that makes or breaks this tank. It’s also the airflow. With the side and bottom airflow open it’s much too airy of a vape. There’s so much air that it detracts from the flavor tremendously. But cutting off the top row of airflow holes on the side airflow, and closing the side airflow slots down to 50% improves and concentrates the flavor.
Airflow is a bit turbulent and also a little noisy. I feel like the Y-shape of the build deck disrupts the airflow and this is what causes the turbulence and mutes the flavor. With a simpler and more open build deck, I believe the flavor would have been much, much better.
One slight issue with this tank is using it as a dripper. It’s not easy to remove only the top cap. Most of the time, the mid cap comes off with it. Dripping through the 810 drip tip is fine but this is still annoying. The other issue with dripping is that ejuice will sometimes get through the bottom airflow holes in the deck and leak out the bottom airflow slots. Aside from this drip-induced leaking, the Tauren Max RDTA hasn’t leaked on me during regular use.
The design and build quality on the Tauren Max RDTA are stellar. I love the look of this tank and it’s been made extremely well. The issues with this tank arise when trying to install a fancy wire build or when using it as a dripper — two pretty serious issues for a tank you’re supposed to build big and drip with.
When used more as an RTA, the Tauren Max RDTA delivers acceptable performance. The flavor isn’t incredible but it’s good enough that I don’t mind using it. The 4.5ml glass reservoir is also convenient, especially when refilling it using a squonk mod. We haven’t had many RDTAs released this year so in any case, the Tauren Max is still one of the best RDTA options to come out in 2020.
Save using code “MaxRDT”. Discount price: $23.99