Vape Tanks – A Guide For Beginners
Vape Tanks – A Guide For Beginners
Just as there are a host of different options when it comes to battery-driven devices to power your vaping, vapers have a range of choices when it comes to converting eliquid into vapor. Let's look at a few of these vape tanks that, when paired with a battery or mod, complete your vaping setup.
Cartomizers/Carto Tanks – Many of the original e-cigarettes from the late 2000s relied on cartomizers, consisting of an atomizer that heats liquid to convert it to vapor surrounded by a wicking material to store liquid until it's ready to be used. These were sometimes surrounded by glass or metal tanks to increase the total liquid capacity. In recent years their popularity has waned, and these days they're most often seen marketed as "replacement cartridges" for gas station quality cigalikes.
Early-generation Clearomizers – Clearomizers, commonly referred to as "tanks," marked a turning point at which people began to turn to vaping en masse. While the first models used a "top coil" with rope wicks dipping into the tank to draw liquid up to the atomizer, "bottom coil" systems with an easily-replaced coil unit quickly gained popularity.
The Kanger Evod was one of the most popular early bottom coil clearomizers, and many ex-smokers still enjoy more modern variants including the Aerotank and EMOW systems. The Aspire Nautilus is also recognized as one of the best performing devices in this generation.
Standard clearomizers are preferred by many users that practice a "mouth-to-lung" style of vaping similar to the inhale technique used when smoking a cigarette. Hobbyists, however, will often find themselves seeking a device capable of handling a higher power load and producing a bigger cloud.
New-generation Clearomizers, or "Sub-Tanks" – In late 2014, Aspire brought a device to market that once again proved revolutionary – the Atlantis clearomizer. This was quickly followed by the Kanger Subtank, the device whose name became eponymous with the latest generation of plug-and-play vape tanks.
Unlike earlier vape tanks, sub-tanks feature replaceable coil heads with a resistance below 1.0 ohm, a level previously reserved for hardcore hobbyists using hand-made coils. We'll dive more into how these devices tick and some safety concerns in a later post, but for now it's sufficient to state that these higher-powered coils and the larger airflow channels in the tanks they fit provide for huge, flavorful clouds that dwarf those available using the older style clearomizers. Most users prefer these vape tanks for a "direct-to-lung" inhale, rather than the mouth-to-lung style used with devices like the Nautilus.
It should be noted that for safety concerns arising from the center pin of most sub-tanks not protruding a sufficient distance from the edges of the 510 threading, the use of hybrid mechanical mods (ones where the battery makes a direct connection with the tank) is highly inadvisable – a high percentage of news stories involving a vape mod exploding or catching fire begin when these two generally-incompatible devices are paired.
Since their rollout, Aspire has retooled the Atlantis and introduced the Triton tank, and Kanger has also made improvements to its original Subtank design, but these are far from the only choices in what's currently the fastest-growing segment of the tank market. While a host of options exist, all with their share of fans and positive reviews, the hottest vape tanks on the market as of this writing are the Uwell Crown and Smok TFV4, both available with a handful of different coil configurations.
RDAs/RTAs – Aimed at advanced users, Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers and Rebuildable Tank Atomizers feature a "build deck" with positive and negative post holes where users insert coils they've built themselves and install their own wicking material.
While advancement in clearomizer technology has made it much easier for casual users to achieve great flavor and huge clouds, rebuilders will argue that custom-built coils are still the only way to achieve maximum performance from your vaporizer. Since these devices are available in such a wide array of styles and warrant a discussion on the technique of building them, we'll visit them in greater depth in a future post.