Introduction to e-cigarette tanks

E Cig Tanks
Introduction to e-cigarette tanks

There are different types of e-cigarette tanks?

Why yes there are. E-cigarettes, after all, are immensely customisable, and vaping involves quite the active modding community. Gone are the days of long ago when nicotine meant you have to take what the cigarette company offered you, and you had to argue which flavor of burning plant matter was better with people who had lost their sense of taste anyway. Now you tweak the e-cigarette to give you what you want. Easy-peasy, right? Maybe. You have to know what you’re looking for and what you’re making. E-cigarettes have certain basics — the atomizer, the tank, the battery. But that’s the basics — the e-cigarettes themselves come in a wide variety based on how their tank is configured. Some are cheap and easy to use; some are much more complicated.

Types of e-cig tanks


Long ago, in the before times, e-cigarettes came as three separate pieces. Then someone invented the cartomizer, which combines the tank with the atomizer. They are quite small, holding only about 1 ML of liquid, and they contain a significant amount of wick material in order to soak up as much juice as possible. As they were developed for use with cigalikes, they are not intended in any way for re-use; you can re-use them by carefully prying off the cap, but honestly they go for one or two dollars, and is it really worth going to the effort of re-filling when they’re impossible to clean? Maybe. The big amount of wicking material means that cartomizers give a lot of flavor. You might find yourself wanting to use your cartomizer over and over. In which case, get a few and dedicate each one to a specific flavor, because that flavor is never coming out of that cartomizer. It’s like a clay teapot, in a way — the flavor soaks into the clay, so you have to dedicate a pot to each tea flavor.


These are glass or plastic tanks that let you see how much juice you have left. They are called “clearomizers’ because they were originally designed as a clear cartomizer. The difference in construction between the two is that there’s more of a separation between the atomizer and the liquid. With a cartomizer you just have the wick surrounding the coil, but a clearomizer’s tank surrounds a central stem through which the wick runs from the atomizer to the tank section. There is thus much less opportunity for the wick to become burned or the heating coil to get flooded, especially if the coil is in the top-down configuration.

Clearomizers are easy to fill and easy to clean, especially in comparison to cartomizers. And you can replace the atomizer if it stops working, unlike cartomizers, which are unsalvageable if the coil is damaged. On the other hand, they’re a fair bit like cartomizers in terms of tank size, because they only hold 1.6 Ml of juice. And they’re not very moddable either. And they have a big disadvantage: plastic clearos can be broken by the strong acid of citrus-flavoured juice.


In some ways, a tank is just a big clearomizer, operating on the same basic principle; on the other hand, the size difference means that tanks can handle mods, which allows you to turn your e-cigarette into something different than a clearomizer. And they allow for the manipulation of airflow to the atomizer, which can alter the experience from a tight draw with flavor to a loose draw with more vapour.

Then there are the sub-ohm tanks, which have coils whose resistance is less than one ohm. This allows the coils to get hotter and produce more vapour. This is where you start going from optional to required mods, because the heating coils for sub-ohm tanks require higher-power mods to run safely.

Carto Tanks

Then there are the carto tanks, which surround the wick with liquid to keep it damp all day. These are not used very much any more. You have to punch holes in the cartomizer part in order to get juice to flow in, and you have to punch bigger holes for thicker liquids, and you have to make sure your cartomizer is unpainted metal so that you don’t get burned paint fumes, and most people have moved onto clearomizers by now.

Rebuildable dripping atomizer

RDAs are simple on the surface: an atomizer without the reservoir. You wrap a coil using Kanthal wire and attach it to two posts and then stick a wick through the centre, and you vape by dripping juice onto the coil so it soaks the wick. Once all the juice is vaporized, you just soak the wick again. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than getting pre-built coils, and changing your flavor is as easy as switching out the wick and the pipette. They also perform well enough to handle sub-ohm coil configurations. On the other hand, it’s complicated to set up, which limits its popularity to experienced vapers.

Rebuildable Tank Atomizer

To put it short, a Rebuildable Tank Amtomizer is an RDA with the tank that the RDA didn’t have. You don’t get to switch out your flavors on the fly like with the RDA but you get the convenience of a tank and the performance of custom-built coils. That being said, like with the RDA, the RTA requires knowledge of battery mod safety and Ohm’s Law in order to avoid problems using the sub-ohm atomizer. The inexperienced vaper will not have the chance to blow the massive clouds of vapor you get out of RTAs and RDAs until they have spent some time becoming familiar with atomizers and modding.

And there you have it

So those are the basic types of e-cigarette tanks. Choose which one suits your experience and your preference — whether you are looking for a quick hit and would prefer a cartomizer, or you are looking for ease and reliability and would prefer a clearomizer, or you want to kick it up a notch and go for the sub-ohm tanks. Or maybe you are feeling ambitious and want to try to make yourself a Rebuildable Drip Atomizer. It’s up to you. The possibilities for e-cigarettes are wide, as wide as the modding community itself, and you’re just getting the basics here.

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