How to Vape Properly: Complete Guide to Vaping, Battery Safety, Coils, Tanks & E-Juice
How to Vape Properly: Complete Guide to Vaping, Battery Safety, Coils, Tanks & E-Juice
By Red Vapez
For nicotine smokers looking for alternatives to cigarettes, e-juice vaping has been found to be a suitable solution. People chose to vape for a range of reasons: some for health considersations, some for a desire of an odorless smoking experience, some for the recreational smoking experiences like blowing vape clouds, and many more.
Because consumer interest is so high, we put together a blog post that highlights in detail, the most important elements of e-juice vaping, that include, but are not limited too, understanding different tanks, battery safety, ohm’s law, and much more.
Whether you’re a professional, or a novice, you’ll find value in all the information we’ve complied around e-juice vaping.
We broke down each section into the following parts.
Picking the Right Vape
Battery Safety & Ohm Law
Understanding Tanks & Atomizers
Coil Types & Wires
But before we jump to understanding vapes, let’s learn a bit about e-juice.
Some of the differences in e-juice can be characterized by different flavor types (fruit flavors, desert flavors, tobacco flavors and mint flavors) and regular versus salt based flavors (i.e. primarily regulated mods like Juul’s and Bo vapes).
Juices we sell at the Kush Groove shop contain both natural and artificial sweeteners.
One thing to keep in mind is that although flavor e-juices taste good, they are sometimes known to cause health problems.
Some flavors are known to gunk your coils more than others, some use pharacuetical grade VG & PG versus food grade VG & PG.
Have any questions about e-juice? Feel free to call the shop directly at 617-708-1724.
Now that we’ve talked a bit about e-juice, let’s jump into the vaping portion of the post.
1. Picking the Right Vape
A lot of people looking to get into vaping have a hard time jumping right in because there are several mods and mod types on the market and they truly don’t know where to start.
I’m here to make that process more simple.
I’m gonna go through all the vapes mods and tanks to help you go in the right direction and stay with vaping especially if you’re like me.
I used to smoke almost 2 packs of cigarettes a day, but now I only vape and honestly I’m still vaping because I found the right setup.
It’s important to know that everybody has different smoking habits which are still true in the vaping world and I’m gonna go through all of them so you can pick out your style of vaping and the find the correct device for your needs.
Regulated mods are the mods that have computer chips inside that control the vaping experience and no matter who you are or who you know, if you never vaped before, this type of vape is most recommend for all new vapers and some experienced vapers.
It’s the only type with built in safety features that protect the user and the hardware so there is no stain on the vape or its system.
Some of the pros and cons of Regulated Mods include:
- There are a wide range of tanks and atomizers available on the market
- They have adjustable wattages temps and other nice features that allow user to control the whole vape experience
- They have nice bright screens to see changes and warnings of the device
- They show battery level and resistance of coils
- They offer a harder hitting vape
- They offer built in safety features to protect the user
- There’s temperature control on the devices
- Some have limiting power
- Users that don’t know how to use their devices will have a bad vape experience
- These devices offer more settings and vape modes to understand
- Some vapes can be cumbersome/heavy or odd shaped
What are All-In-One (AIO) Mods?
The AIO Mods that you’re likely most familiar with are the Juul devices by Pax Labs, the Bo’s, the Phix, and the Suorin.
These are the most popular All-In-One vaporizers.
Some of the characteristics of AIO vapes are that:
- The tank and battery are all in one device, there’s nothing to change;
- AIO’s come in different sizes (see Smok AIO kits);
- There’s nothing to change (i.e. no batteries, no tanks, etc.)
AIO are for the people that just quit smoking cigarettes and still need a strong dose of nicotine.
The pod systems are as simple as it can get. You just need to buy the prefilled pods and drop them in. Then you’re good to go.
The taste is always good, since they come in many flavors. They’re also regulated with all the safety features necessary.
Some of the pros and cons of AIO:
- Simplicity; you don’t have to worry about filling the tank or coils
- There are no settings to adjust
- AIO’s are small, compact nice stealth vapes
- They require little to NO maintenance
- Internal battery cant be changed and if battery gets damaged the device is no longer working
- 85% of AIO’s are MTL (mouth to lung) meaning its more of a cigarette hit
- There’s no interchangeable drip tip (mouth piece)
- Most use proprietary battery chargers
- They offer a small capacity battery usually around 650-850mah which means it requires a lot more charging
- Proprietary pods/tanks (i.e. Juul)
- Used best with high nicotine levels
- No displays for warnings or low battery/or very little visibility of the warning lights
Unregulated mods are for people that want more control over their vaping experience.
They’re for the people that like to tinker and build their vapes. The ones like me that must know how everything works.
Although these mods look simple, if you don’t know what your doing, these mods can become extremely dangerous. They can catch fire, electrocute you or even explode if not used or taken care of properly.
Unregulated mods don’t have the safety features like the regulated mods or the AIO systems.
Unregulated mods are variable voltage and deliver raw power from the battery to the atomizer.
This is where the danger comes in because there is nothing on these devices to show battery level. The atomizer-build can short circuit and cause fire. That’s why unregulated mods are not for beginners. They are suited more for the intermediate or advanced users.
These guys take their vapes serious. These are the competition kings and queens, cloud chasers and coil artists.
I strongly urge beginners to stay away from these devices.
These devices also are not safe for all atomizers!
A new contender in the vape world, also my favorite, Squonk Mods are for the intermediate vapers. They come regulated and unregulated and they’re basically mod/s that can refill its tank with a squeeze of its internal bottle.
Squonk Mods took over the market last year and will continue to do so but Squonk Mods don’t have regular coils like your Smok coils or your Uwell coils.
These have special coils that have a lot of things you must be mindful of, like ohms law (which we’ll talk about more below)and what your batteries can take.
Importance of Drip Tips
Drip tips are an important piece of a vapes and vaping.
Drip tips are the mouth pieces that sit on top of your vape. In this category size matters because the size of your drip tip will control the flavor and the vapor production.
There are tall ones, short ones, skinny ones, and fat ones but there are only 2 types of connectors for them.
- a 510 (Skinny one) or
- a 810 (Fat one)
Both have tall and short ones.
Both can be adapted to most tanks.
2. Battery Safety & Ohms Law
Battery safety is one of the most important if not THE most important part of vaping.
New and old vapers have to focus on this concern because if your battery is bad, so is the vape experience.
A messed up batter can cause a whole lot of problems but its there’s a simple solution.
All that has to be done is a battery skin check and never run your battery to the extreme low. Never use a battery with a broken wrap and never push your battery past the batteries recommended amperage so if your battery has a CDR(constant discharge rate) of 20amps, its imperative that you keep it around 20amps.
If you been vaping all day and you notice that your vape isn’t working like it should be, then your battery is dead and its time for a charge.
What is Ohms Law
Ohms law is the resistance of your coils divided by how much power your coil can let through. Not all resistances are the same but can and will vary with the coil builds you use.
The easiest equation for ohms law is running voltage times resistance (ohms) which will give you the working amps of your vape. Too much amps and your battery will fail.
A failed battery will either vent or explode.
You don’t see vape batteries anywhere except head shops or vape stores.
Because batteries come with a CDR (constant discharge rate) which is a safe operating amperage of the battery or how much power it can constantly pull through out its charge.
A lot of companies will display that their battery has a high CDR just so people will buy them for vaping. This isn’t safe so a lot of vapers use the highest quality they can get which are the Sony VTC series batteries.
Although regulated mods don’t need to worry about this, every other type of vape does and that’s where the exploding vapes come in.
It happens when people are not paying attention to the battery amps and putting a build on that’s too low in ohms and pulling way too many amps which is another reason ohms law is important to understand.
The most common battery types include:
- 18650: the most common the most used these can be used in almost all devices and these are mostly 20-30amps
- 26650: a somewhat new thing in the vaping industry same as a 18650 just fatter
- 20700: these are powerhouses and can pull up to 45amps per battery but are also bigger than a 18650
For built-in batteries, these mustn’t be charged through a cellphone charge block.
A USB port on a laptop is perfect but these are best charged under 2amps so if you charge through a cell phone charge block, which most are 5amps, don’t expect your AIO to last too long.
What NOT to do with Batteries
This is common sense.
Don’t unwrap your batteries!
The wrap is a safety barrier that keeps the metal from shorting out the battery and causing a catastrophic failure as the whole tube of the battery is its negative connection.
Don’t drain batteries too low if your hitting your vape and the vape production is low charge.
Its better to stay safe than sorry.
Don’t just toss batteries in the trash without properly discharging them. Just like a car battery it still has a current which is a fire starter.
3. Understanding Tanks and Atomizers
There are many types of atomizers that go on top of your vape.
There are tanks that are premade where you just screw in and fill up coils. Those are your Smok and Joytech tanks. Each with their own coil setup.
Its rare to have 2 different tanks that share coils.
There are also rebuildables with which most don’t have tanks. Most have wells that the juice sits in to be absorbed by the cotton.
Different Tanks (DTL vs MTL)
Picking the right vape matters and there are 2 types we’ll discuss here:
- MTL (mouth to lung) is your cig type hitters these don’t produce a lot of vaper
- DTL (direct to lung) gives the most flavor
Now my favorite tank is the DTL.
These are for your cloud chasers and people that need that cloud production to keep them away from cigarettes.
These give you a more thick dense vape.
Rebuildable Tanks: RDA’s, RSA’s, Tanks, Clearomizers
An RDA is a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer and these are the build-your-own coils and add your own cotton devices that have no tank.
These have juice wells where you drip the juice in through the drip tip to wet your wicks. Almost all are full metal of some kind and all have coil post and no threads to screw in a premade coil.
An RSA is an RDA with a pin at the bottom that allows juice to flow up through to the coils and eliminates the need to keep dripping but these are only compatible with a squonk mod.
Tanks or RTA’s are similar to the Smok Cloud Beast but with coils that are made by the user and gives the user the experience of a tank while also giving the dripper experience by using the same coils as a dripper, but in a tank.
Clearomizers are the tanks on a vape pen.
These are worst in my opinion because they don’t last like the others. You get days out of these as opposed to a couple weeks like the rest.
What to Look for When Buying a New Atomizer/Tank
One thing to keep in mind is that tank size equates to how much juice the tank itself can hold.
If you’re like me, I go through at least 150-200ml of juice a week so I need big tanks and rebuildables.
Will big tanks fit on small and regular sized MODs?
There are 20mm atomizers but it goes for 20mm-30mm and its not a problem to have a huge atomizer on a small MOD, it just looks ugly.
4. Coil Types and Coil Wire
There are primarily 2 types of coils:
- Premade Coils are coils that are designed for your OEM coils for tank systems like Smok or Kangertech
- Prewrapped Coils are the lazy RDA owners dream; like a premade coil, they’re built with just wire and are used for RDA’s, RSA’s, and RTA’s
For coil wire, kanthal is the most used in vaping and only used for wattage or power mode. Ni80 or nichrome is the fastest coil wire to heat up but the flavor of your juice doesn’t last as long as kanthal.
In my honest opinion, stainless steel or ss316’s provide the best flavor and heat up time. They last a real long time and can be used in wattage or power mode and in temp control mode which is a good way to vape.
If you want to learn more on how to set yours up, feel free to give us a call at 617-708-1724 and ask for Darryl.
Nickel or ni200 coils are only for temp control and are not to be used in wattage or power mode as these types of coils, if used in wattage mode, can seriously harm the user
Titanium coils are the same as nickel and designed for the needs of an advanced user; not for the beginner in any way.
5. Mechanical MODs (Mec MODs)
For advance users
Mec MODs (also referred to as Mechanical MODs) are one of the best devices in the vape world.
They are artistic in design and most are high maintenance, but these are the hardest hitting devices on the market. In the same light, these are also the most dangerous devices on the market as well.
If these are not properly cared for, Mec MODs these can explode or catch fire on a user.
These devices also cant use tanks unless the atomizer has a protruding center pin on the 510 connector.
So no Smok or eLeaf tanks on Mec MODs!
Mec MOD Saftey
Although mec MODs are the prettiest devices on the market because of the artwork, they are also the deadliest.
If not used properly or without regular maintenance, these devices can catch fire or explode.
You never want to hold a fire button too long. It’s best to pulse with a mec MOD and the length of the pulse will solely depend on the build you have in your atomizer.
Always make sure you have no metal floating around in you atomizer as that can cause a hard short and short out your batteries. Also never use a battery with a broken skin as that can cause the mod to fire, possibly over-discharging the battery which can cause the battery to vent (catch fire) or explode.
Also stay within the build limits of your batteries. The battery’s amp rating is one of the most important factors with a mec MOD followed by the ohms of the coils. Built with just those 2 numbers, you can control your whole vaping experience too.
Low ohms of a coil build with a low amp rated battery can lead to catastrophy!
Any 0.1 ohm build will not be safe on a mec mod without a battery set that can push 42amps. A single 18650 battery tube MOD is not safe to build below 0.15ohms unless you know what your doing and even then I highly recommend against builds that low.
Mec MODs Types, Series, Parallel, Squonk, Tube MODs
Single battery tube MODs are mostly used in cloud competitions or for people that like simple MODs.
Dual battery series mec MODs are best for high ohm coil builds close to .7ohms – .9ohms. This setup combines the volts of both batteries so to 4.2 volt batteries are 8.4 volts in a series MOD.
Parallel battery box MODs are the best all around. They can handle high or low ohm coils while still remaining safe. This setup shares the amperage not the volts so (2x) 20amp batteries is 40amps total.
Squonk MOD’s are fairly new on the scene. These are single, dual, or parallel box MODs with the added bonus of an internal bottle of juice eliminating the need to always carry around a bottle of juice or dripping in tough spots like driving or riding.
FAQs about Vaping
Not everyone vapes the same: it’s great that your friend vapes and you like their setup but that doesn’t mean that you should copy their setup. Its best to find what’s best for you. So what if your vape isn’t as elaborate as someone else’s. They more than likely have a completely different vape style than you or anyone else.
Finding your own vape experience: a good way to find out what you like is to start off small with an AIO style of vape just until you know if you want to stick with vaping. Then if you like it, you can go bigger but there’s a lot of great stuff AIO kits. AIO kits are everywhere and even though I’m a mec mod only vaper, I still have an AIO as a back up just incase my MODs are problematic. Vaping MODs with built in batteries are a good way to start off, they also eliminate the need to buy a charger and batteries.
What kind of vaper are you? A cloud chaser, or flavor chaser: the best thing to do when vape production gets low is to change the coils and clean the atomizer. If you’re using a RDA or a rebuildable, it’s best to check the wick job of your coils and make sure proper wicking is happening. Or you might get the dreaded dry hit and a real nasty burned cotton taste. Also vaping the same flavor is good but after a while your taste buds get used to it causing it to have no flavor. An easy fix o this is to try a different flavor. There’s 1000’s of e-juice flavors out there. Some not the best but I can guarantee your local vape shop has over 100 different flavors.
What causes gunky coils? sweetener in e-juice is what gunks up your coils. It sticks to the coil and burns to it causing a nasty or burned taste from your vape. Again RDA coils can be cleaned and used again with a new wick (cotton).
Dry herb and wax vapes and their differences: I love dry herb tanks and MODs. Most come with replacement screens and grinders and most are simple and let the device heat then vape. It’s best to let the dry herb dry up a little to get the best vapor production. Wax and dabs aping are fairly new to the vape world. These are also simple push button and these vapes have extra sensitive coils that can hold wax or dab in the cartridge and will get you nice and twisted with just a few hits.
Additional Vape Terms
Here are a few more terms you may run across on your vape journey.
26650 – The largest-sized battery used in e-cigs and personal vapes, favored by sub-ohm vapers, typically used with atomizers packing less than 1 ohm of resistance
306 – An atomizer you can dispose of, typically very low resistance, known for the ability to increase vapor
401, 402, and 403 – Also called m401, m402, and m403, identical except for size–shortest being m401, longest being m403
510 – Industry standard
808 – Also known as KR808
901 – Atomizers with a female thread
16340 – Smallest battery used
18350 – Extremely small battery, often used by advanced vapers
18500 – 18500s offer longer battery life and are slightly larger than 18350s
18650 – Most popular size
AFC – This stands for air flow control. Found in atomizers and clearomizers/tanks to alter the drag (dial or screw shaped)
Airflow – Amount of air sucked in by vaper
Allen Key or Wrench – Wrench used for Allen screws in a rebuildable atomizer or tank
Atomizer – The area that holds the coil and wick, which is heated to produce vapor
Automatic – Activated by a sensor which detects when the user draws from an e-cig
Box Mod – APV in the shape of a box, available in either mechanical or variable order
Bridge – Are where e-liquid is located in atomizer
Cloud Chasing: The act of exhaling large, voluminous clouds. This sometimes occurs at competitions hosted at vaping events and shops. You can find some of the best e-liquids for cloud production on eLiquid.com
Custom Mod – A handmade APV or PV
Deck – The area where positive and negative posts are found on an atomizer
Drip (Dripping) – Refilling an atomizer by dripping e-liquid right onto the coil
Drip Shield – External cover on the outside of an atomizer to catch dripping e-liquid
Drip Tip – Replaces the mouthpiece of a regular atomizer to create a space that makes dripping possible without having to remove the atomizer
Drip Well – Space near the connector that catches dripping e-juice
Filler Material – Used inside of cartomizers and cartridges, it absorbs and holds the e-juice, which then makes it’s way to the atomizer for heating
Genesis Atomizer – Uses steel mesh to transport juice via osmosis
Heatsink – Layers designed to cool the vape quickly
High Resistance – High ohm rating, strains the battery less than LR
LR (Low Resistance) – Low ohm rating, products a large amount of vapor, but the battery burns out much more quickly
mAh – The ability of the battery to store energy. If the mAh is high, the long the life expectancy of the battery before it need to be recharged
Manual – Pressing a button to produce vapor rather than simply inhaling
Mechanical Mod – Foregoing wires or regulating chips, this mech PV has a metal tube with a manual switch to complete the circuit
mg – This stands for milligram strength per milliliter. Determines how much nicotine is in the juice
Ohm – The unit of measurement used for electrical resistance. A lower ohm reading for coils means hotter and thicker vapor, while a higher ohm reading means cooler vapes
Parallel – Wiring with a double battery as parallel increases the battery life of a mod and increases the mAh as well
Propylene Glycol (PG) – One of the two ingredients used in juices, used in everyday food products
RBAs: Also known as rebuildable atomizers. RBAs can taken apart and reassembled–another endeavor taken on by more advanced vapers
RDAs: Also known as rebuildable dripping atomizer. This is a modified atomizer that is not connected to a tank. Instead the vaper refills by adding a few drops of eLiquid directly onto the heating technology. It is more difficult to refill these atomizers, but some believe it delivers a more concentrated taste.
Rebuildables – Users are able to build coils and wicks for themselves using these atomizers or tanks. You can change out wicks, alter resistance and customize your vape easier with rebuildables
Resistance – The build of the coil determine how much resistance in a vape, which is measured in ohms
Silica – Often used as a material for wicks
Starter Kit – This is the beginner’s guide to vaping, bundled together to make the beginning of your vaping journey smoother: usually includes an e-cig, an atomizer, and a charger, with supplementary cartridges.
Steeping – Similar to tea steeping, sometimes allows the juices to become sweeter upon settling.
Sub-ohming – Using coils below 1.0 ohm to produce a warmer vape and therefore more vapor outfits, commonly used by more experienced vapers
Tailpipe – Unfiltered dripping and inhaling
Triple Coil – Produces a vast amount of vapor, but battery life suffers
Vaper – Someone who uses vapes/e-cigarettes
Vegetable Glycerol or Glycerine (VG) – The other ingredient used to make e-juice aside from PG
Voltage Drop – A reduction in power
VW or Variable Wattage – Allows users to adjust wattage to their liking
Wick – Can be created from silica, stainless steel mesh, organic cotton and ceramic. This carries the e-juice and ensures the e-liquid is heated without leaks