E cigarette, vape pen, e cig, vaping hardware, are just a few synonyms for what has become known as one of the most distributive technologies of the 21st century, the electronic cigarette. Here you can find out about how the clever little things work.

Why are e-cigs’ mouthpieces referred to as drip tips?

Quite frankly, it’s just a name for the mouthpiece that’s caught on; that said, it’s the part of the device that defines how much vapour – and how concentrated it is – passes into your mouth, enabling you to breathe in the e-liquid’s taste and breathe out the vapour. Essentially, the wider the drip tip, the more vapour you’ll breathe in; the narrower, the more concentrated the vapour and its taste.

What are cig-a-likes?

Short for ‘cigarette-like’, cig-a-likes are the type of e-cig devices that emerged in the early days of the industry; aesthetically-speaking, they’re designed to resemble conventional tobacco cigarettes as much as possible, essentially to appeal to current smokers to get into vaping. Cylindrical in shape and featuring the light beige filter pattern with an otherwise white colour scheme like an ordinary ciggie, a cig-a-like also lights up at the end via an orange LED.

What’s the most suitable e-cig tank for rookies?

It’s imperative you consider the level of your vaping experience when choosing a new tank for your e-cig device, as the tanks themselves are sold in a whole host of sizes and power potentials. For vaping rookies then, it may prove best to start out with a pen-style tank that’s capable of containing around 1.2ml of e-liquid and high resistance coils (roughly a 1.5-2.1 ohms range). They’re far from the biggest tanks but enable you build up your vaping skills and good for mouth-to-lung vaping that new ex-smokers will most likely want to practice as they get used to making the switch.

What’s the most suitable e-cig tank for experienced vapers?

For intermediate vapers (those who’ve been vaping for a while and become comfortable with the activity), a tank capable of holding 2-4ml of e-liquid is recommended. Offering a more than decent amount of storage, they’re ideal for straight-to-lung vaping. If you’re a vaper whose experience level’s beyond this, though, the world’s your oyster when it comes to tanks. For example, you might want to sample an unlocked dripping tank, which will offer low resistance (no more than 0.5 ohms), so enables you to control yourself the dripping of the fluid on the tank’s coil to personalise the experience according to your own whims.

What does an RDA stand for?

An RDA is an acronym for what is commonly known as a Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser. For the vaping rookies among us, this still may mean very little, and this is not surprising as these are usually reserved for the vaping pros among us. These devices usually consist of a deck on which you can rebuild and no hefty tank built in. Instead, you can find a wick and coil under a small depression into which you drip your vape juice. The hit quality is elevated with the RDA due to the lack of a tank, meaning you’re inhaling purer vape juice which hasn’t had to travel from one side of the device to the other. The one downside is that you will have to redrip onto the atomiser every 10 to 20 puffs.

What does an RBA stand for?

A RBA, more commonly known in the present day as an RTA, or Rebuildable Tank Atomiser is like an RDA in that it contains a rebuildable deck on which you can chop and change your devices elements. The difference is that the RTA or RBA (whatever you like to call it) do contain a tank. This means that you can fill the tank up and go as opposed to having to carefully siphon vape juice directly onto the atomiser. This may suit people who are running low on time or are just a little clumsy.

What are box mods?

Box Mods are a little bulkier than your average vape device. These unique devices earn it though, as they are built for those who want a more customisable experience. These devices are a brilliant way to personalise your vaping experience. The box mod has a built-in battery and computer chip which allows you to regulate the wattage, voltage and temperature at which you vape, meaning that there are countless options for you. The Box Mod is suitable for the vaper who wants to experiment and find new and better ways to enjoy their e liquids.

What are vape pens?

Vape pens are devices which look like pens and are simple to sue. Usually consisting of a small tank, a mouthpiece and a vape circuit deck, the vape pen is small and lightweight. The device is usually controlled by a power button on the side of the device, this needing to be held down whilst you inhale. These devices are usually suited to those who want to move on from the primitive cig alike and try something a little more powerful without the hassle of rebuildable decks or temperature controls.

Why are 18650 batteries used for vaping?

The 18650 is a hugely popular, pretty bog-standard lithium-ion battery type for vaping devices of all kinds (including relatively straightforward e-cigarettes and more personalised, more bespoke mods). This is because 18650 batteries are capable of generating large amounts of power reliably, repeatedly and successfully for many different vaping devices – while, more often than not, coming complete with great battery life. Quite frankly, so universally accepted as *the* battery for vaping is the 18650 that the vast majority of e-cigs and mods are designed to require (and no other kind of battery) because it’s accepted as the standard battery for vaping, with its 18mm x 65mm dimensions.

18650 batteries – why is capacity and continuous discharge important?

Being the battery of choice for so many e-cigarette devices and vaping mods, an 18650 battery necessitates one or two things to consider when selecting exactly the right one for your specific device and vaping needs and desires. For instance, you should probably take a look at both what capacity (measured in milliamp hours; mAh) and what maximum continuous discharge (measured in amperes or ‘amps’) an 18650 battery offers. Why? This is because should a battery offer high capacity is likely to be more suited to advanced, power-hungry vaping that requires a more personalised, experimental mod device, while batteries offering higher discharge of power will generally offer less overall capacity, so might be better suited to less advanced, less experienced vaping; for which a more regular e-cig is best suited.

18650 batteries – density and discharge

When choosing between 18650 batteries (the best battery type for vaping) for your specific e-cig device or mod, there are two factors that you must bear in mind; not least because there’s something of a symbiotic relationship between them. In 18650 batteries then, their density and their discharge are all-important. The density tends to refer to its usage term (how long it can last) and is measured in mAh; the discharge is all about the rate of current that the battery can discharge to the device; it’s measured in continuous amps (A) and is often considered rather simply as a battery’s ‘power’ itself as the higher the current, the higher the wattage output. Ideally, vapers would be after an 18650 battery that delivers high density and high discharge but, at present, this isn’t possible because the higher the density, the lower the discharge rate – and vice versa. So, choosing between the two is critical… that is, until an entirely new kind of 1850 battery’s invented!

Can you extend the life of an 18650 battery?

You can try! There are a few things you might give a go to try and ensure you lithium-ion 18650 batteries lasts longer. First, make sure you keep them in a cool place; if they’re exposed to a temperature above 30°C/ 86°F, their performance may be impaired. Plus, don’t store them fully charged; this encouraged oxidation of the lithium-ion ingredients and, thus, the chemical make-up of the battery effectively changes at these high temperatures! It’s crucial that, once bought, you do actually *use* your batteries. If you leave them too long before you pop them into your device they’ll inevitably degrade and simply won’t work. Finally, be sure to check the manufacture date of any batteries before you purchase them – those on discount in an outlet could actually be as old as the ones you’re looking to replace!