The most common questions we get asked…
FAQS / VAPING 101 – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT E-CIGARETTES
We have put together a list of frequently asked questions that will answer a lot of the questions you might have. If you can’t find what you are looking for though, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a lot more to vaping than simply purchasing a disposable electronic cigarette and using it like you would tobacco. Indeed, vaping has led to an entirely new culture driven by new devices, new liquids, and new ways of using this amazing alternative technology. There is so much information that it is easy to find yourself lost in all of the industry speak. Whether you are new to vaping or a seasoned veteran, we want to help ‘clear the air’ by providing clearly defined answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. We have created this FAQ section for that purpose. Below you will find questions arranged in various categories to make it easier to find the information you are looking for. Please note that we have included a complete vaping glossary at the end of the FAQs.
ATOMISERS, CARTOMISERS, CLEAROMISERS, AND GLASSOMISERS
WHAT ARE SINGLE AND DUAL COIL ATOMISERS?
The atomiser is the part of the electronic cigarette that heats the e-liquid. The most important component in the atomiser is the coil, which consists of a piece of wire with filament material running through it. Electricity sent to the coil causes the filament to heat up, thus heating the liquid and creating vaporisation. A single-coil atomiser has but one coil wire connected to the battery. A dual coil atomiser has two. Those who prefer dual coil atomisers like them because they produce a thicker vapour cloud and more flavour. However, they also tend to use more liquid with every draw.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CARTOMISER, CLEAROMISER, AND GLASSOMISER?
In the early days of electronic cigarettes, liquid cartridges and atomisers were manufactured as individual components. Manufacturers soon discovered that combining the two into a cartomiser was more cost-effective and resulted in a better vaping experience. Cartomiser development has led to the latest generation of cartomisers, clearomisers, and glassomisers. While all three perform the same general function, there are differences between them. A cartomiser is the closest thing to the old technology, utilising a tank with some sort of filler material to absorb and hold the liquid. This filler material essentially controls how quickly liquid flows to the atomiser coil. A clearomiser has no need for a filler material due to wick attached to the end of the coil. This wick controls the flow of liquid. This device originally got its name from the fact that clear plastic was used in order to allow the vaper to see how much liquid remained in the cartridge. Lastly, the glassomiser works the same way as the clearomiser in function. The only difference is that the cartridge is made of glass (Pyrex) instead of plastic. Pyrex is a better material because it does not break down over time.
WHAT IS A REBUILDABLE ATOMISER?
A rebuildable atomiser is a kind of atomiser that allows the user to rebuild and utilise atomiser coils. Going re-buildable is a way to save a little bit of money by reusing certain parts of the atomiser assembly. When an atomiser is rebuilt, the builder either purchases a pre-manufactured coil or makes his/her own. The new coil is attached to the battery ports, given a wick, and inserted into the atomiser assembly. As a general rule, re-buildable atomisers are for experienced vapers who have previous experience working with individual components.
ARE RE-BUILDABLE ATOMISERS SAFE?
In general, re-buildable atomisers are safe when experienced vapers build them. If rebuilding is something you have never done before, we recommend you do not do so until an experienced builder shows you the proper technique. Otherwise, you could make a mistake that could prove dangerous. Proper rebuilding requires knowledge of how the various components of the coil work in relation to the laws of electricity.
WHAT ARE RBAS AND RDAS?
You may have seen the two acronyms ‘RBA’ and ‘RDA’ during your internet travels. An RBA is a rebuildable atomiser while an RDA is a rebuildable dripping atomiser. Both are atomiser bases that can be rebuilt by owners with new coils and wicks. Advanced vapers who enjoy the challenge of maintaining their own equipment will buy RBAs and RDAs for this very purpose. As for the difference between the regular atomiser and the drip atomiser, it boils down to how liquid is applied. The drip atomiser requires the vaper to continually drip e-liquid onto the wick in order to keep it moist. A standard atomiser utilises a cartridge that holds enough liquid to last at least through several uses. It is simply a matter of preference for the individual vaper.
PROPER USE AND MAINTENANCE OF ATOMISERS, CARTOMISERS, ETC.
HOW DO I PROPERLY FILL IN CLEAROMISER?
Clearomisers can be tricky to fill without making a mess. Fortunately, they are all constructed in a similar fashion regardless of retailer or manufacturer. The only thing you need to know before filling is whether your clearomiser has a top or bottom coil. Most modern clearomisers are bottom-coil models. Filling clearomisers starts with removing either the base or top, in relation to the position of the coil. A bottom-coil model will require you to remove the base of the cartridge; a top-coil clearomiser is filled from the top, near the mouthpiece. Once you have opened your clearomiser, fill it slowly by tilting it to one side and allowing the liquid to flow down the surface of the cartridge. DO NOT allow liquid to flow into the centre hole, as this will flood your atomiser.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ATOMISER COIL NEEDS TO BE CHANGED?
If you purchase your clearomiser cartridges and atomisers separately, you will be changing those atomisers about once every month or so. You will know it’s time for change when you notice either a reduction in performance or a notable change in flavour. In terms of performance, the thickness of your vapour cloud will decay as your atomiser wears out. When you are no longer getting a consistently thick and odoriferous cloud, it is time to start thinking about changing the coil. As for the flavour, pay attention to even the slightest burnt taste. A burnt taste suggests that the coil wire has started to burn due to overheating. You should change your coil immediately if you experience this. Burned coils can release metal particles and other things you do not want to inhale.
HOW DO I CHANGE THE ATOMISER COIL?
Again, this depends on whether you are using a top- or bottom-coil model. With a top-coil model, start by unscrewing the top portion of the clearomiser where it meets the mouthpiece. With a bottom-coil model, disassemble the cartridge by unscrewing it from the base. The atomiser coil should easily unscrew from this assembly without any problem. If you do need to use a pair of pliers, be gentle so that you do not strip the threads. Unscrew the old atomiser, replace it with a new one and reassemble the cartridge. Don’t forget that the wick on your new coil is dry. This is true regardless of whether you use a top or bottom-coil atomiser. A dry wick can lead to burning your new atomiser if you draw on your e-cigarette too hard and too long before the wick is saturated. The best way to avoid burning the coil before you even get started is to refill your clearomiser and allow the cartridge to stand straight up on a flat surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Then take a few short puffs to encourage the liquid that has reached the wick to flow to the atomiser. A slight burnt taste is normal with a new atomiser; it is not a problem as long as it goes away once the wick is completely saturated.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO PRIME A NEW ATOMISER?
A good way to avoid burning a brand-new atomiser coil is to prime the atomiser first. Priming is simply the process of saturating the atomiser wick before the first draw. The method of priming is rather simple, although it takes a bit of practice to get it right. You may have to sacrifice a few atomisers before you work out all the nuances. The first step is to put a couple of drops of e-liquid onto the wick before you reassemble the cartridge. There should be a couple of holes on the clearomiser assembly designed to allow air in; you should be able to see the white wicking material through the holes. Just put a few drops into each hole and allow the wicking material to absorb the liquid. Next, reassemble the clearomiser cartridge and fill the tank as normal. Let it sit for a minute or two to allow the liquid to flow completely down and relieve any air from the cartridge. Then, take one or two long draws while holding your fingers over the air holes. If you’re using a manual device, do not press the power button during this process. After one or two long draws, you should then be able to press the power button and get a nice, thick vapour cloud. If not, you may have to repeat the process one or two more times.
CAN CLEAROMISERS BE CLEANED? IF SO, HOW?
Cleaning clearomisers and glassomisers is the subject of much debate among vapers. Should you choose to do it, you will find the process extremely easy. However, please note that cleaning is only recommended for reusable products. Disposable clearomisers and glassomisers can be refilled if you know what you are doing, but don’t bother trying to clean them. They will not hold up. To clean your clearomiser or glassomiser, simply disassemble the cartridge just as you would to replace the atomiser. If the model you use does not allow for complete disassembly, at least remove the atomiser head by unscrewing it from either the top or bottom. Also be sure to empty any extra liquid out of the tank before cleaning – there’s no need to be wasteful! Next, run each of the components under warm water to clean them. DO NOT use hot water or any kind of cleaning agent. Water is all you need. Any additional cleaning agents can damage your components and, even worse, leave a residue behind that you would end up inhaling next time you vaped. After a minute or so under running water, gently shake the components to get off as much excess water as you can. You can then use a lint-free cotton cloth or paper towel to dry your components. We recommend letting them sit overnight just to allow any remaining water to evaporate. Then simply reassemble the entire cartridge, refill it with liquid, and you are ready to go. You may want to prime your atomiser wick as explained above.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN CLEAROMISERS AND GLASSOMISERS BE CLEANED?
In theory, reusable products can be cleaned indefinitely. In reality, however, that is not the case. Regular cleaning will eventually cause your components to break down over time. You will probably still have to replace reusable clearomisers and cartomisers every couple of years. Obviously, atomiser coils still need to be replaced every month or so.
CHOOSING A NEW ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE PRODUCT
This section of our FAQs is probably the most important for new vapers. There are so many products on the market that it can be difficult to know what’s right for you. We recommend looking through a few online forums, talking with other regular vapers, and even visiting the local vaping lounge before you make your decision.
SHOULD I BUY A STARTER KIT OR ASSEMBLE MY OWN FROM SCRATCH?
A starter kit is usually the best option for the brand-new vaper who has no idea what to do with all the available options. A good starter kit should include everything you need to start vaping right away: battery, atomiser/cartomiser, liquid, and battery charger. Do not spend a lot on a starter kit if you have never vaped before. Why? Because you may decide you do not like the brand you’ve chosen. It may require several purchases before you settle on what you like. If you are an experienced vaper, assembling a kit from scratch is a better option. You can buy individual devices and pair them up with different batteries and chargers, as well as choosing different kinds of clearomisers, glassomisers, or cartomiser. WARNING: if you plan to assemble a kit from individual components, be very sure you understand how to correctly match batteries with atomisers and chargers. Mismatched components can lead to fires and explosions.
WHAT COMPONENTS WILL I BE SEARCHING FOR IF I DECIDE TO ASSEMBLE A KIT?
Successful vaping requires an e-cigarette device, a battery charger, and e-liquid. Battery chargers and liquids are self-explanatory. As for the vaping device, it is broken down into multiple components: atomiser, coil, liquid tank, and mouthpiece. You will need to learn the differences in order to match the right components. Retailers sell components by size, so this is the most important thing to learn. For example, 510 components relate to the smallest e-cigarettes that mimic tobacco cigarettes. The number 510 refers to the thread size.
WHAT KIND OF DEVICE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
This is a hard question to answer because individual preferences are so different. A good starting place is to determine the size of the device you want. The smallest e-cigarettes designed to mimic their tobacco counterparts are known as ‘cigalikes’. There are larger devices that can be as big as screwdrivers. Larger vaping devices may be preferred if you want a larger liquid capacity and longer lasting batteries. You may prefer a smaller device if you want something that will easily slip into your pocket without being uncomfortable. Next, you’ll need to decide between disposable and rechargeable. A disposable vaping device is just as the name suggests. It is a single-piece product designed to be thrown away once the liquid and battery run out. They are extremely convenient. A rechargeable device is one with batteries that can be recharged and cartomisers/clearomisers that can be refilled and replaced. They tend to be more expensive for the initial purchase, but they save money over the long run. Finally, you will need to decide whether you want an automatic or manual device. An automatic device is activated simply by drawing air through the vaporiser with your mouth. The manual device has a button that must be pressed in order to activate the battery. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR ANY SPECIFIC FEATURES?
E-cigarette technology has advanced to the extent that we now have features we never dreamed possible in the past. If you are a functional vaper, that is to say, you do not consider vaping a hobby that requires a significant investment of time or money, a basic e-cigarette with very few features is probably your best bet. If you are a hobbyist, there are lots of great things to look for. For example, variable voltage devices make it possible for you to experiment in order to match different batteries with various types of liquid. This will allow you to tailor your vaping experience in terms of flavour, temperature, and the thickness of your vapour cloud. Other features you might be interested in include variable wattage devices, puff counters, ohm readers, and built-in safety devices to prevent overheating. Vaping devices with a long list of electronic features are known as ‘advanced personal vaporisers’ (APVs). They can be intimidating to new vapers, but they offer an incredible vaping experience to those who know how to use them.
Just as there are lots of different vaping devices to choose from, e-liquid choices are virtually unlimited. You can purchase domestically-manufactured liquids or products from overseas. We highly recommend you stay away from Chinese liquids if you can. Chinese manufacturers are not subject to the same kinds of strict controls as their counterparts in the UK and North America are.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PG AND VG?
Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerine (VG) are two substances used as a base for e-cigarette liquids. PG is the more common of the two, being used in the vast majority of e-liquids on the market today. While PG doesn’t pose any problems for most vapers, some people do find they are sensitive to it – it can cause dry mouth and throat. For them, VG is a better option. Should you decide to use VG yourself, be aware that some manufacturers advertising VG-based liquids may still use a small amount of PG for stabilising purposes. You may have to do some searching around to find a manufacturer who uses VG exclusively.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHARMACEUTICAL AND FOOD-GRADE PRODUCTS?
Regardless of where you buy your e-liquid, make sure your manufacturer uses either pharmaceutical or food grade ingredients. Food-grade should be the bare minimum. Products that are food-grade are suitable for human ingestion. Products that are pharmaceutical-grade are pure enough that they could be used for pharmaceutical purposes. In the UK and most of Europe, e-liquid manufacturing is regulated by strict controls. Manufacturers are not allowed to knowingly include any harmful substances in their liquids. In the US, liquid manufacturing is controlled by the US FDA. You should be able to trust liquids made anywhere in Western Europe or the US.
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT FLAVOUR FOR ME?
E-liquid flavours are like beauty; they are in the eyes of the beholder. In other words, the flavours you choose will be based entirely on your preferences. All liquid flavours can be divided into the following five categories: tobacco, menthol, fruit, dessert, and drink. The tobacco and menthol flavours speak for themselves. Fruit flavours are things such as apple and cherry; dessert flavours include things like chocolate and cheesecake; drink flavours are manufactured to mimic things such as a particular brand of whisky or less powerful beverages like coffee or green tea. Please note that you will probably have to experiment with a lot of different flavours to find what you like. But that’s okay, flavour experimentation is one of the most appealing aspects of vaping.
HOW IS NICOTINE STRENGTH DETERMINED?
Nicotine strength is measured using a parts-per-unit comparison. For example, you might see a liquid product advertised as having a nicotine strength of 18 mg/mL. This means that for every millilitre of liquid there will be 18 mg of nicotine included. Some manufacturers market their products simply as having ‘high’, ‘medium’, ‘low’, or ‘zero’ nicotine strength rather than providing an actual number.
I HAVE HEARD OF SUB-OHM VAPING, WHAT IS IT?
Sub-ohm vaping utilises an atomiser coil with a resistance of less than 1.0 ohms. Less resistance means more actual current going into the coil; more current means more heat and a thicker and more flavourful cloud. In order to use sub-ohm atomisers, you need a battery with a significantly higher wattage. Most sub-ohm atomisers require batteries of at least 25 W.
IS SUB-OHM VAPING SAFE?
There is considerable debate over whether the practice of sub-ohm vaping is safe. The reason is simple: sub-ohm vaping takes batteries and atomiser coils to their limits. We would not recommend the practice to anyone who does not understand the fundamental principles of electricity, especially as they pertain to wattage and resistance. Having said that, experienced vapers who have learned the proper way to manage wattage and resistance find sub-ohm vaping both enjoyable and safe. Should you choose to try it yourself, we highly recommend you purchase atomisers manufactured by a reputable company. Trying to build cartomisers and clearomisers yourself increases the risk of danger caused by mismatching. We also strongly recommend against increasing battery wattage through stacking or other means. This is a very dangerous practice that can lead to overheating, fire, and explosion. Stick with single batteries that are properly matched to the atomisers you plan on using.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO SUB-OHM VAPE?
Sub-ohm vaping results in thicker and richer vapour clouds. This is the primary reason people engage in the practice. They simply prefer what they consider a better experience. In addition to more vapour by volume, sub-ohm vaping also tends to produce a much richer and more robust flavour.
ARE THERE DOWNSIDES TO SUB-OHM VAPING?
There are definite downsides to sub-ohm vaping. At the top of the list is the potential danger posed to inexperienced vapers. Again, we recommend you stay away from it if you do not know what you’re doing. Another downside is that it uses considerably more liquid. Why? Because heat alone doesn’t produce the thick, rich cloud sub-ohm vapers are after. They need more liquid as well. Depending on the wattage and resistance chosen, you could use liquid several times faster than normal.
IS SUB-OHM VAPING SOMETHING I SHOULD CONSIDER?
Whether sub-ohm vaping is right for you depends on what you are after. The average vaper uses e-cigarettes as a substitute or replacement for tobacco. Vaping is designed to be a replacement habit so that tobacco use can be left behind. If that is the case for you, there is probably no need for you to go down the sub-ohm road. On the other hand, there are some vapers who enjoy tinkering and modifying as much as they do vaping itself. If this sounds like you, the sub-ohm experience might be just what you’re looking for. You also might enjoy the practice if you get a rush of producing the biggest, thickest, most flavourful vapour cloud possible.
Below is a collection of miscellaneous FAQs that did not easily fit into any of our other categories. If you have any additional questions not covered on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to provide the answers you need.
ARE ADVANCED PERSONAL VAPORISERS (APVS) AND MODS THE SAME?
Despite the fact that vapers use the terms interchangeably, advanced personal vaporisers (APVs) and mods are not the same thing. Both are custom-built devices that vary significantly from what you might buy off the shelf, but that’s where the similarity ends. So, what’s the difference? APVs are distinct in that they contain customised electronics. This makes it possible for these devices to operate with variable wattages and voltages, alongside other unique features made possible by the electronics within. The mod is a device that is mechanical in nature. A true mod does not utilise any advanced electronics that make the APV features possible.
WHAT IS DRIPPING? IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?
Dripping is a kind of vaping that does not rely on pre-filled cartomisers or clearomisers. It takes its name from the fact that the vaper keeps the wick of his/her atomiser moist at all times by constantly dripping liquid directly onto it. The practice of dripping actually came about years ago as a result of first-generation e-cigarettes not working very well. Vapers quickly learned, back in the day, that dripping provided a more pleasurable experience without the messiness of first-generation cartridges. New vapers can learn to drip fairly quickly simply through trial and error. But if you’re new at it, do not attempt to use a re-buildable drip atomiser as this could be dangerous. Instead, purchase a pre-manufactured atomiser and drip tip. Experiment with it by varying the amount you drip and the time between drips. As for whether dripping is right for you, it really depends on your preferences. Those who do so regularly choose to drip because it allows them to control the volume of liquid they get with each hit. A good dripper can produce fairly impressive vapour clouds on a consistent basis while still controlling how much liquid is used. If you do not have the patience to learn proper dripping techniques, or you are not interested in paying close attention to how much liquid you use at any one time, dripping is probably not your cup of tea. One last thing to consider: avoid dripping with variable wattage batteries or sub-ohm set-ups if you have not been trained how to do so by an experienced vaper.
I HAVE HEARD OF BOX MODS; WHAT ARE THEY?
Box mods are a kind of electronic cigarette with box-like shape as opposed to a long, narrow cylinder. They can have either an internal or external battery, depending on design. What you need to be most concerned about is whether a box mod is regulated or unregulated; this makes all the difference in the world. An unregulated box mod is a mechanical device. It contains no electronics whatsoever. That means you press the power button in order to send current directly to the atomiser. A regulated box mod is just the opposite. It utilises electronic components, including processors and circuit boards. The advantage of a regulated box mod is that you can purchase models with advanced features including variable wattage batteries and OLED screens that can tell you everything from liquid volume to the number of puffs you’ve taken.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE PREFER BOX MODS?
One of the best things about the vaping lifestyle is that it affords so many choices. Box mods are very trendy for this very reason. People who prefer box mods generally like the fact that their devices are so distinct as to erase any confusion between vaping and smoking. They also like the fact that most box mods utilise re-buildable atomisers. This means that vapers have more freedom in everything from dripping to using different kinds of batteries.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A BOX MOD?
Given that shape and size are two very important considerations for box modders, this is the place to start. Do you want something extremely large and bulky that makes a very impressive statement? Or perhaps you prefer a smaller device that is easier to carry around in a pocket. The size and shape are crucial in that it will affect how you use the device for years to come. Box mod users typically say that square and rectangular shapes are easier to work with than their circular or cylindrical counterparts. However, that is also a matter of preference. Another thing to consider is battery placement. The external battery compartment makes recharging and replacement more convenient while an internal housing keeps the battery out of sight. Last is the question of size. Larger box mods usually mean batteries with longer life and more power. The most experienced vapers intending to use the largest and most powerful batteries choose the largest box mods. Those who simply like the box mod style but are not interested in more powerful batteries will choose a smaller size. Please note that a box mod of any size may not be your best choice if you are used to smaller e-cigarettes that replicate their tobacco counterparts.
VAPING GLOSSARY – COMMON TERMS ALL VAPERS SHOULD KNOW
Getting along in the vaping community requires speaking the language. To that end, we have compiled a complete vaping glossary including terms that all vapers should know. The more you know the language, the better off you will be.
AIRFLOW CONTROL VALVE
Every clearomiser/glassomiser has a built-in valve to control airflow. This valve is attached to the base of the unit with one or two screws. Simply by adjusting the valve, you can control how much air is drawn into your atomiser on every hit.
ADVANCED PERSONAL VAPORISER (APV)
An APV is a kind of electronic cigarette that offers a number of additional features not found on mechanical devices. Examples of these features include higher wattage and variable wattage batteries. Some APVs include features like ohm readers, puff counters, battery level indicators, and liquid volume indicators. These kinds of devices are considered advanced because they rely on electronics for functionality. Where a standard mechanical device works with a simple electrical circuit and nothing more, APVs require circuit boards, various switches, and different kinds of wiring set-ups.
The atomiser is that component within an electronic cigarette that heats e-liquid to the point of vaporisation. An atomiser consists of a number of components: the atomiser coil, a wick, wiring, and battery posts. To help consumers understand what they are purchasing, atomisers are usually sold according to thread size. For example, the 510 atomiser has the smallest thread size. These are the kinds of atomisers you would find on the smallest e-cigarettes designed to mimic tobacco products. Atomisers also come with high and low resistance options. As a general rule, lower resistance means a thicker and richer vapour cloud. Higher resistance produces just the opposite. Those who prefer a more realistic throat hit will choose a high-resistance atomiser. One last note on atomisers: devices that use separate atomisers also require separate liquid cartridges. Vapers who do not want the hassle of dealing with the separate components should choose cartomisers instead.
Also known as the atomiser head in some circles, the atomiser coil is a long, thin piece of wire with filament material built in. It is called a coil because the wire is coiled up in order to fit in a limited amount of space. The coil receives electricity from the battery, thus generating the heat necessary to vaporise e-liquid. Some atomisers are built with a single coil while others have two coils. Atomisers generally last about one month for heavy vaper; they can last considerably longer for those who do not vape as much. Experienced vapers can rebuild coils if they are so inclined. However, this is not recommended for anyone who does not understand the basic laws of electricity and how coils actually work.
A vaping device that does not have a power switch is said to use an automatic battery. This is really a misnomer, given the fact that the battery itself is no different. The difference is in the switch. An automatic battery device utilises a small switch that completes the electrical connection when air that is forced through the device. A manual device uses a power switch to complete the electrical connection. Those who prefer automatic batteries usually like the fact that using the vaping device more accurately simulates smoking. The one downside to automatic devices is that a stuck switch can easily drain a battery or burn out an atomiser.
A beauty ring is essentially a small metal ring that acts as a gasket between the battery and atomiser assembly. In some circles, it is also known as the thread cover. A beauty ring is usually only necessary when matching different size batteries with atomiser assemblies and custom set-ups. The ring ensures a solid connection between battery and atomiser, thus reducing the chances of malfunction or stripping threads. The beauty ring also makes for a more visually appealing presentation.
BOTTOM COIL ATOMISER
The bottom coil atomiser is an atomiser assembly in which the coil is installed at the bottom of the tank. With this set-up, liquid flows down through the tank and is absorbed by the atomiser wick as needed. The benefit of this set-up is that gravity keeps the wick saturated at all times, under normal conditions. Additionally, liquid tanks don’t have to be kept full for a bottom coil atomiser to work. The main disadvantage is that the bottom coil atomiser can be flooded if liquid flows too freely.
BOTTOM DUAL-COIL ATOMISER
The bottom dual coil atomiser is simply a bottom coil atomiser with two coils built in. Using two coils produces a thicker vapour cloud by applying more heat to the e-liquid.
A box mod is a kind of vaporiser built in a square or rectangular shape. You can purchase them as either mechanical or advanced personal vaporiser devices, depending on your preference. Box mods typically offer a lot of different choices, including internal and external battery housings, larger and more powerful batteries, variable voltage batteries, and even OLED screens displaying certain kinds of information.
In the e-cigarette world, building refers to creating an atomiser assembly using rebuildable components. Building can save money while also offering hours of cheap entertainment.
Builders are vapers who prefer to use built and rebuilt atomiser assemblies.
Combining both the atomiser and a liquid cartridge into a single unit creates what is known as a cartomiser. As a one-piece unit, the cartomiser is more efficient, more cost-effective, and less messy for the user. Like atomisers, cartomisers have a threaded end that connects directly to the battery. Another advantage of the cartomiser is that it tends to have a larger capacity than a standalone liquid cartridge. Cartomisers do include filler material to hold liquid, but their single piece construction means tanks can be larger. Cartomisers can be purchased as disposable or refillable models, depending on preference. Refillable cartomisers can be cleaned between uses.
‘Carto’ is a shortened version of ‘cartomiser’.
The carto-tank is a unit combining a cartomiser and clearomiser into a single component. For all intents and purposes, it is a cartomiser that sits inside a larger tank that can be filled with e-liquid. This provides a constant stream of liquid to the cartomiser without the need for such frequent refills.
A cigalike is a kind of electronic cigarette that has been designed to look and feel like a tobacco cigarette. It is roughly the same size, usually white in colour with a gold mouthpiece, and can be either disposable or rechargeable. Some newer models are designed with soft mouthpieces and different coloured cases. Some use blue or green LED tips to avoid confusion between vaping and smoking.
A clearomiser is a type of atomiser assembly that utilises a tank with no filler material. The clearomiser needs no filler because a wick is attached directly to the atomiser coil to control liquid flow. The clearomiser name comes from the fact that the tank is transparent to allow the user to know what the current liquid level is. Clearomisers can be manufactured with top or bottom coils. A top coil clearomiser has the atomiser coil at the top with the wick extending down into the liquid while the bottom coil atomiser works just the opposite. Both designs have advantages and disadvantages. As with cartomisers, clearomisers are available in several different options. Those that come directly from manufacturers are intended to be multi-use components that are cleaned and refilled until the atomiser coil dies. Rebuilt clearomisers are used when the vaper wants to use the assembly indefinitely by changing out coils when they need replacing.
Cloud chasing is the practice of taking steps to achieve the largest, thickest, richest vapour cloud possible. It can include everything from modifying one’s devices to stacking batteries to using low resistance atomisers.
Also known as a coil jig, a coiler is a small device builders use to make atomiser coils. The coiler makes it easier by providing a surface around which the builder can wind coil wires. It adds a tremendous amount of precision to atomiser building.
CONSTANT VOLTAGE BATTERY
A constant voltage battery is one with a set voltage that cannot be altered. The typical rule for manufacturers is 3.7 volts. Higher voltages are possible, but they are generally not recommended because they can be dangerous.
A mouthpiece that allows the vaper to drip liquid directly onto the atomiser is known as a drip tip. These kinds of tips tend to have larger circular openings to make dripping easier while eliminating waste. Drip tips can be purchased in a variety of materials including plastic, aluminium, and so on. They also come in a variety of sizes to suit the various devices currently in the marketplace.
A dripper is a vaper who prefers the drip method of vaping over using traditional liquid cartridges or cartomisers. A skilled dripper can create the exact vaping experience he or she desires by regulating the amount of liquid he/she uses and the frequency with which he/she drips.
DUAL COIL ATOMISER
A dual coil atomiser is an atomiser that uses two coils instead of one. The advantage of two coils is greater heat production and the subsequent vapour cloud that is thicker and richer. Disadvantages of dual coil atomisers include increased liquid consumption and an inability to use some batteries that will not support the need for higher voltage.
The electronic cigarette is generally defined as any vaping device that takes the place of a tobacco cigarette. First-generation e-cigarettes were all designed and built to mimic their tobacco counterparts in look, feel, and size. Today’s e-cigarettes come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. In some circles, the term ‘electronic cigarette’ refers exclusively to what are known as cigalikes. In such circles, all other vaping devices are known as personal vaporisers. Regardless of the term used, electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers can be purchased as disposable or rechargeable products. Disposables are single piece units designed to be discarded when battery power and liquid run out. Rechargeable electronic cigarettes are refilled and recharged numerous times.
E-liquid is what takes the place of tobacco in a vaping device. Most liquids are made with a base of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine to which is added nicotine, flavouring, and distilled water. Also known as e-juice, e-liquid formulas go a long way in determining the kind of vaping experience you will enjoy. Some liquids produce a thicker cloud, others offer very strong flavour, and still others are made to provide a realistic throat hit. The most important ingredient in the-liquid is the base. It is the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine that creates the cloud that so closely replicates smoke.
A glassomiser is simply a clearomiser made with glass instead of plastic. Pyrex is the glass of choice for these components. Those who use glassomisers prefer them because the Pyrex lasts longer and does not break down as easily as plastic. Glassomisers tend to produce a purer taste as well, given the fact that the acid in e-liquid does not harm the glass surface in any way. Units can be cleaned and refilled numerous times.
HIGH RESISTANCE ATOMISER
In an electrical circuit, resistance determines how much electricity is actually used in relation to the voltage of the source. The high resistance atomiser draws less power, meaning it requires less voltage to activate an atomiser. However, high resistance atomisers are usually used with higher voltage batteries so that they are properly matched. The typical electronic cigarette battery is manufactured at 3.7 volts. Pairing such a battery with a high resistance atomiser would result in a vapour cloud that is rather weak and flavourless. Therefore, high resistance atomisers are usually paired with batteries operating at between 3 and 6 volts.
A hybrid tank is a combination unit consisting of both a rebuildable atomiser and clearomiser. Hybrid tanks offer the advantage of higher liquid capacity and the need to refill less often. However, the use of re-buildable atomisers means that these tanks should only be used by experienced vapers who understand the implications of rebuilt parts.
LOW RESISTANCE ATOMISER
Opposite of the high resistance atomiser, the low resistance atomiser draws more power from the battery. This extra power is needed in order to vaporise e-liquid in order to create the desired vapour cloud. Low resistance is preferred among experienced vapers looking for the thickest and most voluminous vapour cloud possible. The primary disadvantage of low resistance atomisers is that they tend to burn out more quickly. This is a direct result of drawing more power. They also use more liquid as well. Where there is more power there is also more heat; where there is more heat, greater amounts of liquid are consumed.
E-cigarette batteries are often described according to their ability to produce power over time, presented in a unit known as mAh (milliampere-hour). The higher the number, the larger the battery and the longer its life between charges. Typical battery sizes for vaping devices are as follows: 280 mAh, 380 mAh, 650 mAh, 900 mAh, 1,000 mAh, and 1,100 mAh. Builders and modders always need to be cognisant of the ratings of particular batteries. Why? Because batteries have to be properly matched with atomisers in order to prevent accidental fires and explosions. However, they are concerned about wattage and voltage, not mAh.
The term ‘mod’ is short for ‘modified’. Generically speaking, it pertains to any vaping device that has been modified by a user, either for personal use or to sell at the retail level. Over the years, the term has been made more specific to refer to a particular kind of vaping device that has been modified to allow batteries to be removed and recharged separately. This designation is the result of first-generation electronic cigarettes that utilised batteries that could not be removed and charged separately. Mods are known to last longer and get longer life between charges. They are also beneficial in the sense that a user can have multiple batteries in play at any one time. While one battery is charging separately, another battery can be used to power the device.
A mechanical mod is a modded device that utilises no electronic components. Rather, a power button is used to create the electric connection necessary to activate the battery. When the user is ready to draw, he or she simply presses the button and draws away. Releasing the button breaks the circuit and deactivates the battery. The primary benefit of the mechanical mod is that it is much more reliable due to the absence of any electronics. These kinds of vaping devices also tend to be more durable than their electronic counterparts. The one downside is that you cannot simply stick a mechanical mod in your mouth and vape away. You have to use the power button for anything to happen.
An ohm reader is a device installed on an advanced personal vaporiser for the purposes of displaying the resistance of the atomiser being used. This is important to someone who wants to mix and match batteries to achieve the best performance. Some vaping devices with ohm readers are also equipped with electronic components capable of varying the voltage of a battery in order to guarantee there are no mismatches. All of this is done using electronic circuitry within the vaping device.
Filler material used in either liquid cartridges or cartomiser wicks may be made with synthetic products that contain impurities. Vapers who want to avoid such impurities will likely choose an organic filler made from cotton. This ensures that atomiser coils are not exposed to any sort of contaminant that may be the result of processing synthetic materials.
A pass-through battery is a kind of battery that allows external current to power the vaping device even while the battery continues to recharge. If your vaping device has such a battery, you could use your electronic cigarette while plugged into a wall socket or a USB port on your computer without affecting the charge cycle of the battery.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG)
Propylene glycol is a substance used as a base for e-liquids. Despite what you may have heard, propylene glycol is recognised as a safe substance by multiple health bodies, including the World Health Organization in the US FDA. Propylene glycol has been used for decades as an ingredient in asthma inhalers, pharmaceutical products, toiletries, and even children’s products.
A rebuildable atomiser is a kind of atomiser that can be disassembled for the purposes of replacing the coil. When purchasing re-buildable atomisers off-the-shelf, they do not come pre-assembled. Rather, the user assembles the various components in-house. This involves working with coils, wicks, wiring, and so on. These atomisers are only for experienced vapers who want the ability to control what components are used in their atomisers.
REPLACEABLE ATOMISER COIL
Replaceable coils are coils that can be removed and replaced with new ones without sacrificing the entire atomiser assembly. Replacing a coil is a simple matter of unscrewing it and installing a new one in its place.
Resistance is a measurement that determines how much power is drawn from a power source by the object drawing it. Resistance is represented in ohms.
SINGLE COIL ATOMISER
A single coil atomiser is a type of atomiser utilising one coil only. Most off-the-shelf vaping products utilise a single coil atomiser as opposed to a dual-coil model.
STANDARD RESISTANCE ATOMISER
The standard resistance atomiser is an atomiser that utilises the mean level of power made available by the battery in question. It uses less power than a low resistance atomiser and more power than a high resistance atomiser. Standard resistance atomisers provide a fairly thick and rich vapour cloud along with a realistic throat hit.
The practice of vaping using an atomiser with a resistance less than 1.0 ohms.
The thread on the electronic cigarette device refers to the connection between the battery and atomiser. Both components are sold according to the thread size. Standard threads include the 510, 801, 901, and eGo. The advantage of knowing the proper thread size is the fact that components can be matched as long as their sizes are identical. That is to say that a 510 battery can be used with a 510 atomiser. You can use different sizes in some cases with the help of an adapter.
A thread adapter is a device that makes it possible to use batteries and atomisers with different thread sizes. For example, an adapter can be used to marry a 501 cartomiser with a 901 battery. The one caution here is that vapers not assume that a thread adapter is all that is necessary to marry components that are not alike. Vapers must still be cognisant of resistance, voltage, and wattage in order to make sure parts are not mismatched.
Throat hit is a term used to describe the sensation you get when vaporised e-liquid hits the back of the throat. If replicated accurately, throat hit is supposed to simulate what is felt when cigarette smoke is inhaled. Some vapers believe a realistic throat hit is essential for the best vaping experience; others are not so concerned about it. Throat hit can be altered by using different liquids or using higher resistance atomisers.
The act of using an electronic cigarette device is known as vaping. The term was chosen as a means of distinguishing between using tobacco cigarettes and their electronic alternatives.
A vapour cloud is that mass of vaporised e-liquid produced by a heated atomiser. It turns out that the production of the vapour cloud has been very important in drawing tobacco smokers away from their former habit and to the e-cigarette instead. Creating a vapour cloud provides the kind of experience smokers rely on to produce the same kind of satisfaction without having to use combustible tobacco.
The vaping flask is a liquid container that utilises a needle tip for the purposes of refilling cartomisers and clearomisers. The needle tip can be used with just about any tank regardless of its size. The first device of its kind was produced by a small American company in 2013. Since then, similar devices have been released by other e-cigarette companies. Modern versions of the vaping flask include push-button control that allows the user to regulate how quickly liquid flows from the flask into the tank.
A vaper is someone who uses electronic cigarette device regularly.
Vapour is the substance produced when e-liquid is vaporised by a heated atomiser. Vapour is to vaping what smoke is to smoking.
The term ‘vapour production’ is used to describe, in general terms, the ability of a vaping device to produce a vapour cloud. It is influenced by a number of factors including battery type and voltage, atomiser resistance, and the kind of e-liquid used. In e-liquids utilising both PG and VG, the ratio of these two substances has an impact on vapour production.
VARIABLE VOLTAGE BATTERY
Standard batteries used in vaping devices produce a single voltage that cannot be changed. Variable voltage batteries are just the opposite. The user can alter the voltage they produce via a manual switch or, in the case of devices that can regulate themselves, a variable voltage atomiser. Variable voltage batteries usually range between 3.0 volts and 5.0 volts.
VARIABLE WATTAGE BATTERY
Similar to the variable voltage battery, the user can adjust a variable wattage battery. Wattage can typically be adjusted within the range of 0.5 watts to 1.0 watts.
VEGETABLE GLYCERINE (VG)
Vegetable glycerine is a substance that is used as a base for electronic cigarette liquids. It can be used as the sole base substance or combined with PG.
A wick is a small, string-like piece of material used to draw liquid from a cartomiser or tank and send it to the atomiser coil. Wicks can be made of any number of substances, including cotton and poly thread.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions that have not been explained on this page. There is a lot to learn about vaping, and we want to help you educate yourself if we can. Please bear in mind that as the vaping industry changes, some of the information on this page may also change.