A Vaping Glossary
Modifications! 510 threading! Variable voltage! PG/VG ratios! Coils, cartomizers, and clearomizers!
Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Well, it can be. If you want to start DIY vaping but don’t know where to start, this is the place. We’re going to give you a quick walk-through of all the different equipment you’ll need, and some suggestions about the best way to get it.
Whether you’re look at the panoply of products available at an online or a brick-and-mortar vape shop, the first thing you need to know is that there are three different kinds of equipment. Here’s the run-down of what they are and what they do.
Hardware components can include the following items:
Batteries: This is the part of the e-cigarette that actually powers it. Battery capacity is measured in mAH (milliampere/hour). Larger numbers mean greater capacity. Advanced batteries can also have variable voltage settings, which let you choose how much power the battery puts out with each puff. Variable wattage batteries also exist, and you can increase the wattage to ensure that each puff is of the same strength when your battery’s capacity is low. You can find our battery selection here.
Atomizers: Also known as heating coils or heaters, atomizers are the part of the e-cigarette that vaporize your e-liquid. Liquid is usually drawn into the heating coil by means of a wick. Atomizers can come with various levels of electric resistance, measured in ohms (Ω): lower resistance numbers make for a hotter burn. The effects of this will vary, depending on your flavorings (different flavoring substances become vapors at different temperatures). By and large, resistance ratings will not affect the quality of your vape. You can find our atomizer selection cartridges.
Tanks: Sometimes also called cartridges, these hold your reservoir of e-liquid, and will be attached to the mouthpiece, the battery, and the atomizer. Cartridges can wear out with use, as the heat produced by the atomizer can warm and warp them. If you have a device with a separable tank, you may have outdated equipment, and you should probably upgrade to a clearomizer system. Older tanks (which are *not* attached to atomizers) are prone to leaking and flooding, and it is a deeply unpleasant, and potentially dangerous, experience to inhale a mouthful of nicotine-bearing e-liquid or end up with some all over your hands or face. Poorly-made tank systems were once a major source of reticence over switching to e-cigarettes.
Clearomizers: Cartomizer technology combines a tank and an atomizer; Clearomizers are the way of the future, and the current maturity of e-cigarette hardware can be attributed solely to their development. Clearomizers combine a tank (or cartridge) and an atomizer (hence “cartomizer”), and they are at least partially transparent (hence “clear”), allowing you to quickly see how much e-liquid remains in your tank. They also tend to have a larger capacity than older tanks, they are easier to refill, and they are unlikely to ever leak e-liquid all over you. These are meant to screw directly to the battery, and may come with replaceable mouthpieces. You can find our clearomizer and cartomizer selection here.
Mouthpieces: Also known as drip tips, mouthpieces on most cartomizer systems are replaceable, which means you can bling out your e-cigarette as much as you want. This is the only part of the e-cigarette you want to put in your mouth. You can find our mouthpiece selection here.
Wicks: Wicks draw the e-liquid from the reservoir into the atomizer. Different wicks of different lengths, or made of different materials, are available. This is usually a matter of personal preference, but no matter what you do, make sure that you have left your wick to soak up your e-liquid for some time before you start vaping with a new flavor. Adding heat to a dry wick is a good way to burn it, which a) tastes horrible, and b) means you need to go through the trouble of replacing it. You can find our wich selection here.
Battery Chargers are used to recharge your e-cig batteries. The battery screws in to the charger, which usually draws power via a USB cable. Adapters for wall sockets also exist. Please ensure your charger has the same threading as your battery, or else they won’t connect together. You can find our selection of chargers here.
Bottles are incredibly useful to have around if you are making your own e-liquid. You can mix e-liquids in their own, clean, bottles in order to ensure your product is exactly as you want it. A few of these, of various sizes, will be necessary if you choose to take the DIY e-liquid route all the way. We offer a large selection of them here.
Syringes and eye droppers are another necessary tool in making your own e-liquid because they will help you transport measured quantities of e-liquid components. They are also useful for properly refilling your tanks and clearomizers. We have a good selection of such things here.
Gloves are a desirable, but not necessary accessory for DIY e-liquid mixing. If your nicotine content is under 24mg, then you’ll probably be fine without them. However, if you are mixing anything stronger into your e-liquids, you’ll want to seriously consider at least a pair, as nicotine can be absorbed through the skin. Here is our listing for gloves. They’re cheap, and safety is always important.
Adapters come in two kinds, threading adaptors, which can be used to connect together e-cigarette parts of different circumferences, and sleeve adaptors, which serve a cosmetic purpose in making your e-cigarette not look silly when it is assembled. You can find our selection of adapters here.
Nicotine, usually available suspended in either PG, VG or a mix of the two, nicotine is the active ingredient in cigarettes. However, it is *not* a necessary ingredient in e-liquid. You can find our selection of pre-mixed e-liquid here, and our unflavored e-liquid here.
PG / Propylene Glycol is a safely-consumable liquid commonly found in numerous food products. When vaporized, PG is responsible for the “hit” on your throat when you take a puff from your e-cig. You can check out our selection here.
VG / Vegetable Glycerin is also a safely consumable liquid, found in numerous food products. VG is what produces the smoke-like vapour when you exhale after taking a puff from your e-cig. It also adds a mildly sweet taste to e-liquid mixtures. You can find our selection here. Because sometimes a 50/50 ratio of PG and VG is desirable to avoid having to calculate the effects of new ratios, we offer pre-mixed blends here.
Flavor is the fun part of vaping. We have a *massive* selection of over 1,200 flavors available, so go take a look and pick up what interests you!
Stay tuned, because next time we’ll discuss what you actually *need* to start vaping, and we’ll develop a starter kit.
Do you have any questions or comments? Leave a message!