Do you want to try something that’ll completely change your vaping experience? Few things can alter the performance or flavor of your vaping setup more dramatically than a new tank or atomizer, and this guide is going to make you an expert on the subject. When you’re finished reading, you’ll understand what makes some tanks and atomizers different from others. You’ll also know how to pick the accessory that best suits your device and vaping style. We’ll also provide some tips that can improve your experience with the tank or atomizer that you already have. Let’s begin!

What Are Vaping Tanks?

A vaping tank is an enclosed system that connects to your vape pen or mod. A tank provides the storage for your e-liquid and the atomizer coil to vaporize it. As you use the tank, e-liquid flows from the reservoir to the atomizer coil through holes in the atomizer coil assembly. Modern vaping tanks are reliable and leak free. They are the most popular accessories for vaping devices.

How Do I Use a Vaping Tank?

When you remove a new vaping tank from the box, it’ll generally have its first atomizer coil already installed. You’ll open the tank – usually either by unscrewing the bottom hardware or by sliding the top hardware to reveal the filling port – and fill the tank with e-liquid. The atomizer coil has a cotton wick wrapped tightly around the heating wire. The wick can burn if it is dry, so you’ll need to wait several minutes for the wick to saturate before using the tank.

As you use an atomizer coil, it begins to collect residue. After several days, you may notice a slightly burned flavor when vaping. You may also notice that your tank no longer produces as much vapor as it originally did. That’s when you’ll know that it’s time to replace the coil. When the tank is empty, twist off the bottom hardware to access the coil. Twist out the old coil and twist in a new one. Each time you replace the coil, you’ll need to wait several minutes after filling the tank to resume using it.

What Are Clearomizers?

A clearomizer is a small tank that’s usually designed for operation with the smallest and least powerful vaping devices. While vaping tanks are usually glass and have replaceable atomizer coils, clearomizers are usually plastic and fully disposable. Clearomizers are cheap and easy to fill. Using a clearomizer is also simple since you don’t need to worry about replacing the atomizer coil. When the flavor begins to change, you can simply throw the clearomizer away and begin using a new one. A clearomizer, however, can’t compare to a larger vaping tank in terms of flavor or vapor production.

What Are Sub-Ohm Tanks?

A sub-ohm tank is any tank with a coil resistance under 1.0 ohm. Today, sub-ohm tanks make up the majority of all new vaping tanks released. To use a given sub-ohm tank, you need a vaping device that supports a minimum resistance lower than that of the tank’s coils and can operate within the coils’ suggested wattage range. If you own a box mod or vape pen made within the last couple of years, it’s likely that you can use most of the sub-ohm tanks on the market. Very small e-cigarettes – such as most devices bearing the “eGo” name – do not support sub-ohm tanks. If a tank would look comically large on your device, it’s unlikely that your device’s battery can handle the increased strain of sub-ohm vaping.

Are All Vaping Tanks Sub-Ohm Tanks?

Follow these three steps to confirm that a sub-ohm tank will work with your device.

  • Check the physical fit. If a tank would look silly on your device, it’s unlikely that your device’s battery can handle a sub-ohm load. Even if it can handle the load, a tank that hangs over the edge of a device is easy to break.
  • Check your device’s minimum supported coil resistance. You can find that information in the instruction manual or on the manufacturer’s website. The minimum supported resistance must be lower than the resistance of the atomizer coils for the tank that you want to use.
  • Check the suggested wattage range for the tank’s coils. You can find the suggested wattage range for a coil on the product packaging, etched on the side of the coil or on the manufacturer’s website. For the best experience with a coil, your device should have the ability to operate within that range.

How Do I Fill a Vaping Tank?

A vaping tank can have a top-filling or bottom-filling design. If you have a bottom-filling tank, you’ll fill it by holding the tank upside down and unscrewing the bottom metal hardware. Add your e-liquid directly to the glass enclosure and put the tank back together. If you have a top-filling tank, the tank’s top hardware will slide or swivel to reveal a filling port. Open the hardware, add e-liquid through the filling hole and slide the top hardware back into place.

What Is Atomizer Coil Resistance?

Resistance – expressed in ohms – is the electrical term measuring the ease with which electricity travels through a component in a circuit – and in vaping, the atomizer coil is the component that concerns us. In general, a lower coil resistance correlates with higher vapor production and greater power demands.

Today, most new vaping tanks use sub-ohm coils. A sub-ohm coil has a resistance under 1.0 ohm. At extremely low resistances, an atomizer coil requires a battery capable of supplying a higher current. If you bought your vaping device within the last year or two, you won’t need to think much about that; virtually every device on the market supports sub-ohm coils. Before buying a new vaping tank, though, it’s a good idea to confirm that your device can operate within the suggested wattage range for that tank’s coils.

How and When Do I Replace an Atomizer Coil?

After you’ve used an atomizer coil for a while, you’ll notice that the flavor begins to change. You might notice flavor notes such as caramelized sugar and burned cotton. You’ll continue to taste those undesirable flavors even when using a different e-liquid. Over time, residue from sweeteners, flavors and other e-liquid ingredients build up and cause a film to appear on your atomizer coil. When your coil reaches that stage, it’s time to replace it.

In most cases, the atomizer coil connects to the tank’s bottom hardware. When the tank is nearly empty, hold the tank upside down and unscrew the bottom hardware. Unscrew the coil from the hardware and screw in a new coil. On the side of the coil, you’ll see several holes that expose the coil’s cotton wick. Place a bit of e-liquid on each of those holes to prime the wick. Reassemble and fill the tank. Wait several minutes for the e-liquid to soak fully into the wick before you resume vaping.

How Can I Make My Atomizer Coils Last Longer?

The most important thing that you can do to preserve the life of your atomizer coils is ensure that you always keep them wet. If the level of e-liquid in your tank is a bit low, refill your tank. Wait for the wick to re-saturate after each puff. You can also improve coil life by avoiding sweetened e-liquids. Sweeteners such as sucralose leave residue that can shorten coil life.

How Can I Clean My Vaping Tank?

To keep your tank clean, disassemble it and rinse it under running water each time you install a new atomizer coil. If you make rinsing a regular part of your maintenance routine, you’ll rarely need to worry about cleaning the tank more thoroughly. If your tank needs a deeper cleaning, you can use cotton swabs to clean the tank’s chimney and air vents. If you like, you can disinfect your tank’s metal components by pouring boiling water over them.

Can I Clean My Atomizer Coils?

You can dislodge some of the residue from your atomizer coils by soaking them in hot water. Rinse your cleaned coils in the sink and allow them to dry for a day before using them again. Coil residue is extremely sticky, and you’ll probably find complete removal of the residue impossible. Many people find that cleaning a coil can prolong its life for a few days. You will find, though, that the performance of a cleaned coil isn’t quite the same as that of a new coil.

What Are Rebuildable Atomizers?

While most vaping tanks use pre-made coils that you simply screw in, a rebuildable atomizer is a platform on which you build your own coils from parts. Building a coil requires resistance wire such as kanthal and wick material such as cotton. Building your own atomizer coil takes significantly more time than unscrewing a pre-made coil and screwing in another coil. However, heating wire and cotton cost much less than boxes of pre-made coils. In addition, rebuildable atomizers have the potential to produce far more vapor than tanks.

What Are the Types of Rebuildable Atomizers?

There are three common types of rebuildable atomizers.

  • Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer (RDA): An RDA provides no e-liquid storage aside from a shallow well at the bottom. You’ll add e-liquid to an RDA by sending a bit of e-liquid down the mouthpiece after every few puffs. Using an RDA is a bit inconvenient because you’ll always need to have a bottle of e-liquid nearby when vaping. RDAs, however, tend to have the best vapor production of all e-cigarette attachments.
  • Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA): An RTA looks much like a traditional sub-ohm tank in that the atomizer coil is submerged inside the e-liquid reservoir. When it’s time to replace the coil, though, you’ll build a new one from scratch rather than twisting in a new pre-made coil. Compared to an RDA, an RTA typically has a smaller atomizer coil and slightly poorer airflow – so while an RTA offers more e-liquid storage than an RDA, it also has poorer vapor production.
  • Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer (RDTA): An RDTA is an attempt to combine the strengths of RDAs and RTAs. In an RDTA, the atomizer coil is above the e-liquid reservoir rather than inside it. That design gives you the e-liquid storage of an RTA and the airflow of an RDA. The only real shortcoming of RDTAs is that the design – with the atomizer coil far from the e-liquid reservoir – necessitates a long wick. Since e-liquid has to fight gravity to reach the coil, RDTAs tend not to perform well for those who prefer long, deep puffs.

What Is Dripping?

Most rebuildable atomizers are Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers or RDAs. They don’t provide e-liquid storage like tanks. Instead, they have shallow wells that hold just enough e-liquid for a few puffs at a time. To add e-liquid to an RDA, you’ll drip e-liquid directly over the coils through the mouthpiece. Since the cotton will dry out after just a few puffs, you’ll need to add more e-liquid almost constantly while using an RDA. Dripping may be inconvenient, but no e-cigarette accessory can generate as much vapor as an RDA. If you find dripping so inconvenient that it ruins your enjoyment of vaping, you might consider using a squonk mod instead. A squonk mod eliminates the need for dripping by providing e-liquid storage inside the body of your vaping device. The trade-off is that squonk mods are bigger and heavier than other vaping devices with similar battery life.

Are Rebuildable Atomizers Good for Beginners?

If you’re new to vaping, we don’t suggest starting with a rebuildable atomizer unless you already have a bit of experience with electronics or simply love to tinker with gadgets. If wrapping heating wire and testing coil resistance don’t sound appealing to you, you should start with something that uses pre-made coils.