Vaping can be intimidating for beginners. Vaping has been innovative since its genesis, and with that innovation comes almost unlimited hardware combinations. This three-part beginner’s guide is designed to help vapers get started. In part one, we will examine the anatomy of electronic cigarettes, and how they operate. We will define different atomizers types, and explain their functional styles. Finally, we will wrap up with a comparison between regulated and unregulated mods. Let us help you take the intimidation out of your vaping experience!
ANATOMY OF AN E-CIG
There is an incredible variety of electronic cigarettes. Vape hardware varies in structure, function, and style, but the vast majority follow the same basic structure. Power is drawn from the battery, through the threading, to a heating element, which brings the e-liquid to atomization. The fine mist of vapor is inhaled through the drip tip.
Disposable atomizers are complete units, where the coil, tank, and drip tip are included. The unit can be thrown away when the coils burn out and replaced with a new disposable atomizer. The main advantages of using a disposable atomizer are the ease of use, and the ability to change flavors on the fly without lingering tastes or “flavor ghosting.”
Replaceable atomizers have pre-built coils, which can be inserted once a coil burns out. The rest of the atomizer remains intact, but the coil is replaceable. These atomizers are typically better quality than disposable and eliminate the need to carry additional tanks. Pre-built coils make maintenance a breeze leaving more time to enjoy your vape!
Rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDA) or rebuildable atomizers (RBA) are heating elements assembled by the user using “built” or pre-wrapped coils. RDAs require the user to carry a bottle of e-liquid for re-saturation of the wick after about 5-10 drags from their vape. The advantage of using a RDA/RBA lies in taste optimization, and a more convenient method of switching flavors, without needing to empty out your tank.
REGULATED VAPING HARDWARE
In the early days of vaping and electronic cigarettes, it was rare to find a device that went above 30 watts of output. Innovators started modifying their equipment to yield higher power, which coined the term, “mod”. As demand for high-powered vape hardware rose, manufacturers began to release simple metal tubes for housing batteries.
These straight-from-the-battery modifications (also known as “mech mods”) allowed vapers to vape at drastically higher wattage, but put the safety of the vaping experience entirely in the hands of the user. Vapers unfamiliar with Ohm’s law and battery discharge rates found themselves in dangerous situations. To provide high-powered vape hardware with improved safety, manufacturers began installing regulator chips and high-tech safety features.
Like any new hobby, you will need to experiment with different hardware before you find your ideal vape hardware setup. Do not be afraid to experiment, but always err on the side of caution. Stay safe, research as much as you can, and be sure to have fun. Your vaping journey has only begun!