In recent years, vaping has become increasingly fashionable and popular among health-conscious people of all ages, especially young adults, for whom it continues to gain momentum as part of their lifestyle. Given that a vape tank is an essential, indispensable component of an e-cig or box mod, it’s paramount to choose the right vape tank that not only is compatible with your vaping device but also matches your needs and expectations, allowing for the ultimate in customization.
Without further ado, here is your in-depth guide to vape tanks, packed with tried-and-true tips and hacks that can help you take your customized vaping experiences to the next level, for your utmost satisfaction. On this page, we come up with the best vaporizer tanks, sub-ohm tanks and dry herb tanks on the market now.
The Basics: What Are the Components of a Vape Tank?
Let’s start off with the basics, shall we? So, first things first, what are vape tanks? In simple terms, a vape tank is defined as a key vaping device containing both the e-liquid or vape juice (the good stuff) and the atomizer (the heating element that makes the good stuff happen). The vape tank is connected to a mod or an e-cigarette (such as a vape pen and an USB-shaped electronic cigarette or JUIJL) to produce vapors of varying intensity and is typically screwed into the vaping device.
Here is a breakdown of its components, starting from the top of the vape tank.
1. The Drip Tip
The drip tip is a reusable hollow vape accessory that serves as the mouthpiece for puffing on. Drips tips are available in an array of shapes, sizes/widths, materials, designs, and colors. The diameter ( known as the bore), required depends on your specific style of vaping.
For instance, a drip tip with a narrow bore (about 4-5 mm at the center) is commonly used for mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping because it condenses the vapor for an MTL draw. MTL drip tips work great with standard vapes and clearomizers exceeding 1.0 ohms. The industry standard is the so-called 510 drip tip (around 8.5 mm at the base). Any 510 drip tip is compatible with a vape tank that has such a drip tip.
A wide bore drip tip (typically 9-12 mm) is especially designed for sub-ohm vaping, as it helps accommodate both substantial vapor and airflow. Popularized by Rebuildable Drip Atomizers (RDAs), the 810 drip tip (about 12.5 mm at the base) is the ideal choice for cloud-making vaping devices, including drippers and sub-ohm vape tanks.
Plastic drip tips branded as Delrin are made of thermoplastic polyoxymethylene or POM which makes them highly heat resistant while remaining cool during vaping. Other materials used to manufacture drip tips include a resin (increasingly popular), metal, glass, stone, wood, and hybrid ones (a combination of 2 or more materials).
2. The Top Cap
This refers to the top component of the vape tank that may either be permanently attached to another component called chimney or thread into it, depending on the model. Top-fill tanks commonly feature a detachable top cap that rotates or slides to provide easy access to the vape tank for fast refills.
3. The Tube
The tube is merely the reservoir that holds the e-juice and is typically made of glass or a harder, more heat-resistant type of glass known as Pyrex, metal-like anodized aluminum or stainless steel.
4. The Chimney
The chimney is the connective component of the vape tank, as it connects the top cap to the tank base and serves to deliver the vapor created via heating the e-liquid through the tank’s drip tip.
5. The Atomizer/ Vape Coil
Also known as the vape coil, the atomizer is the part where the magic happens by drawing power from the battery to generate heat and vaporize e-juice or other substances for inhalation. The atomizer typically consists of just one heating coil wrapped in a wicking material with high absorption properties, such as certified organic cotton (preferably Japanese cotton which is distinctively pure, chemical-free and comes in pads for ease of use).
The measurement unit of vape coils is the Ohm, based on their electrical resistance level. The lower their resistance level, the more power the vape coils will require to heat up and vaporize e-liquids. Most vape brands carry a selection of vape coils with various resistance level options, helping vapers to personalize their vaping experiences further. Vape coils with higher resistance levels typically offer cooler vapes, while those with lower resistance levels (such as sub-ohm coils) create more vapor.
The two main types of atomizers are – pre-made coils, also known as coil heads and rebuildable atomizers ( such as Rebuildable Drip Atomizers or RDAs and Rebuildable Tank Atomizers or RTAs), which allows users to build their vape coils and thus benefit from re-wicking them. A vape coil typically lasts 1-3 weeks, depending on how often you vape. Signs such as a burnt, unpleasant taste and reduced performance indicate the need for a new vape coil.
6. The Tank Base
This is the part of the vape tank that contains the atomizer and typically also the adjustable airflow valve. At once, the tank base holds the Pyrex or metal tube in place and can be equipped with O-rings to prevent potential leakage.
7. The 510 Connection
A standard in the vaping industry, the 510 connection represents the vape tank to device connection and basically consists of a 5 mm connector with 10 threads. E-juice leaking down the threads can cause oxidization of the metal elements of the connector over time, leading to a poor 510 connection. Regularly wiping the pins and threads alike with a bit of rubbing alcohol can help combat the oxidization process.
How to Select the Best Vape Tank
As the safe, elegant and budget-friendly alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes, vaping is much more than a mere recreational activity, as it has quickly turned into a subculture with a cult-like, ever-growing following. Because the vape tank is an essential part of a vaping device (containing the atomizer or vape coil and holding the e-liquid), choosing the right vape tank can really make a difference, as it facilitates customized, truly delectable vaping experiences.
Although they share some similarities, not all vape tanks currently available out there are created equal. To select the best vape tank for you, depending on your specific vaping needs, style, preferences (more flavor/ more vapor), expectations/goals, etc., you need to take into consideration several factors. These include the type of vape tank that best works for you, customization potential and the flexibility in building your vape coils, as well as the amount of airflow and the resistance level of the vape coil.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Vape Tank
1. Different Types of Vape Tanks
Currently, there are 3 main categories of vape tanks based on their atomizer or vape coil – cartomizers, clearomizers, and glassomizers. Learning more about their main features and differences when you compare them can help you make an informed decision.
These vape tanks incorporate a poly-fill material or cotton that’s wrapped around the heating coil. This material works by absorbing the e-liquid or vape juice, thus facilitating the process of heating by the vape coil when the vaping device is activated. Cartomizers allow for longer vape time than standard atomizers.
As one of the latest and most innovative devices available on the market, clearomizers incorporate silica wicks which are specifically designed to absorb the e-juice. Some tanks incorporate a heating coil (placed at the bottom) with short wicks, allowing for faster wick saturation, while others have top coils with longer wicks. Clearomizers typically feature clear plastic reservoirs that hold the vape juice and enable vapers to see the exact level of e-liquid inside. As a result, users only need to refill their vape juice after several hits.
These are similar to clearomizers in terms of design, but their reservoirs are manufactured with glass or Pyrex instead of plastic. The main advantage of this type of vape tank is increased durability thanks to the fact that Pyrex glass is a lot more resistant to erosion than plastic. Therefore, the acidity in the vape juice won’t have a detrimental impact on the tank over time.
2. Customization Potential and Flexibility
Based on the flexibility to build your own vape coil and thus further customize your vape tank, there are 2 categories of atomizer coils – pre-built and rebuildable ones.
Pre-Built Vape Coils
Most major brands provide vapers with pre-made vape coils for their tanks, which are easily and quickly replaced. All you have to do is to unscrew the burnt-out vape coil and then screw in a new one. Pre-built coils offer extra convenience and ease of use, making them ideal for newbies or extremely busy vapers.
Rebuildable Vape Coils
Custom coil builds can prove to be a bit tricky, which is why they are recommended for more advanced vapers. In addition to offering endless customization possibilities, rebuildable coils also allow users to re-wick them by replacing the cotton or other material with a new piece. Rebuildable Drip Atomizers (RDAs) are quite easy to build after some practice and offer both intense flavor and even substantial amounts of vapor. Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs) also enable you to build your own coils, but these use a pressurized system to deliver the e-juice.
3. The Amount of Airflow
Airflow is another crucial factor you need to take into account when selecting the best vape tank. The amount of airflow allowed by a vape tank can have a huge impact on your vaping experience. Some vapers enjoy a reduced amount of airflow that mimics the experience of smoking traditional cigarettes. Others prefer the smooth hits associated with maximum amounts of airflow. Keep in mind that airflow also influences the amount of heat generated. More specifically, higher airflow gives off cooler vapes.
4. The Resistance Level
When looking for the best vape tanks, it’s also important to correlate your vaping needs and preferences with their resistance level, measured in ohms. If you enjoy massive amounts of vapor, then you should consider a tank with a lower resistance level such as a sub-ohm vape tank ( under 1.0 ohm). On the flip side, these tanks require more power. If you have an affinity for vaping at lower wattages so as to benefit from more contained experiences, then it’s best to go for a tank with a higher resistance level ( more ohms).
13 Tips on How to Prevent Vape Tanks From Leaking and Fix Leaky Tanks
Tip #1 - Correctly Filling Your Vape Tank up
Ensuring that your vape tank is properly filled up goes a long way in terms of preventing or minimizing the chances of leaky vape tanks. Accidentally getting any e-juice into the central tube that extends from the atomizer coil to the drip tip can spell trouble – more specifically a leaky tank. As a matter of fact, improperly filling your tank up is one of the main causes of leakage.
The best way to avoid spilling vape juice into the central tube is to slightly tilt your vape tank when you fill it up, akin to pouring a glass of wine. Then, gradually straighten it as the tank fills up. Tilting it ensures the e-juice doesn’t even come close to the central tube. If you do get e-liquid into the tube, then the fix for such accident consists of immediately cleaning the spill. This is achieved either by flicking the vape tank into a tissue paper or blowing the excess juice out of the bottom while placing a soft tissue paper at the end.
Extra Tip – Be sure to avoid overfilling your tank because some amount of air actually helps create a vacuum inside that works wonders for firmly holding the vape juice in the reservoir.
Tip #2 - Securely Screw All the Components of the Tank in
Failing to properly assemble the vape tank, especially where the heating coil meets the atomizer base or where the atomizer base meets the vape tank, can also lead to leaks. To ensure a snug fit of the components, pay extra attention particularly when re-attaching the coil head to the base or the top of the tube for top- coil vape tanks, as well as when re-attaching the base of the atomizer to the vape tank.
Extra Tip – Cross threading is a common issue that occurs when the threads on two of the elements you’re screwing in place fail to line up correctly, resulting in a less than perfect seal. The right fix for cross threading is to line everything up, turn it counter-clockwise till you can hear the sound of a click and, then screw it in clockwise.
Tip #3 - Avoid Over-Tightening the Components
There’s a fine line between securely screwing all the elements in and over-tighten them. The key to ensuring everything is screwed in place without crossing this fine line is to ensure that all the components fit just snugly instead of as tight as you possibly can.
In other words, you need to avoid applying substantial force or pressure when assembling the vape tank. The reason for this is potentially serious damage to the small rubber rings known as the O-rings. These play a crucial role in creating the ideal seal and thus preventing any possible leaks in your pocket, which by all means are quite embarrassing.
Tip #4 - Be Sure to Leave the Vape Tank in a Vertical Position
When your vape tank is less than half-filled, you should advisedly leave it in a vertical position. This is recommended both in-between vapes and when you are not using your vaping device. The so-called e-liquid holes in the vape coil can have a negative impact on a tank that’s less than half-filled and not left vertically.
That’s because these holes can escape from the e-juice, causing it to seep through the vape coil and find its way into the tube or even out of the airflow holes. On the other hand, when your vape tank is nearly full, these holes are optimally covered with e-juice, making it harder to escape.
Tip #5 - Use Coils Compatible with the E-Juice of Your Choice
Using the right coils for your vape juice is another way to minimize the risk of leaking. Most brands offer vape tanks with replaceable coil heads that have various resistance levels. Higher resistance vape coils feature quite small e-liquid holes, which means that they work best with higher Propylene Glycol (PG) juices, as these are thinner, making them flow more easily.
Vape coils with lower resistance levels ( e.g., sub-ohm) have bigger e-liquid and airflow holes, so they are compatible with higher Vegetable Glycerin (VG) juices, which are thicker. Using a PG juice with a sub-Ohm vape coil can lead to flooding and eventually leakage. On the other hand, putting a VG, thicker juice in a higher resistance coil can not only gunk the coil up but also interfere with proper vaporization ( VG liquids vaporize at higher temperatures).
Tip #6 - Check the Condition of the O-Rings
As aforementioned, O-rings represent the first line of defense against leaks, which is why it’s crucial to ensure they are in optimal condition. Take your cartomizer, clearomizer, or glassomizer apart by simply unscrewing the different components and then check the tiny rings located at the base of the vape tank and on the coil head.
The purpose is to see if they show any signs of degradation or an improper position. If they do, then you need to replace them with new O-rings ( purchase the correct size if you have no spares). Correct installation is also important, so be sure to check for any gaps the juice may seep through while you’re at it.
Tip #7 - Switch to a Higher Power Setting
Flooding is another main cause of leakage, and it occurs when the amount of vape juice pulled into the coil exceeds the vaporization capacity of the tank. The best fix for this common issue is switching to a higher power setting. As a result, more e-liquid per puff will be vaporized. On the flip side, higher power also leads to increased vapor production. Some vapers may find this additional effect as undesirable though. If you do enjoy more vapor, then this fix will definitely work for you.
Tip #8 - Consider Additional Wicking Material
If you’re using a Rebuildable Atomizer, then you need to ensure it has been properly wicked. Be sure to use just enough cotton or other wicking material so as to fill up the area around the coil. At once, avoid over-doing it because otherwise, it will interfere with the air flow. ” Enough” means the amount of cotton that fits through the vape coil itself. Don’t excessively tighten it – you need to allow the e-juice to get to the heating coil. Note that this tip applies strictly to vapers who build their own vape coils.
Tip #9 - Add Extra Sealing for Some Tanks
Vapers who use the Nautilus or the Aspire Triton commonly encounter sealing-related problems. In case of the Triton, the source of the problem is the fact that there is no seal below or above the upper threading. A quick, DIY fix for this involves:
– removing the heating coil from the base
– cutting a ring-like portion of a silicone drip tip cover
– then placing it between the upper threading and the ridged, raised section
For the Nautilus, you can use the lower O-ring from another vape coil instead of cutting a ring yourself. With this extra sealing in place, you can enjoy vaping without leaks in both cases.
Tip #10 - Combat Condensation Using Long Draws
Condensation is most likely the culprit when you’re noticing leaks in the absence of gurgling sounds which indicate flooding or any telltale signs of leakage from the connections on your vape coil. To effectively reduce the effects of condensation over time, you can try to inhale immediately after firing your vape up. Also, once you’ve stopped inhaling, be sure to take the finger off the fire button.
Tip #11- Remember to Inhale Gently and Slowly
Leaking tanks can also be caused by inadequate inhalation. If you’re familiar with smoking traditional cigarettes but quite new to vaping, then you need to pay extra attention to how you actually inhale. If you puff sharply and firmly on your e-cig, you’re doing it wrong, because you’re in fact pulling e-juice into the coil a lot faster than it can vaporize it. This, in turn, can cause flooding and eventually leaks. The ideal way to inhale it is in a gentle and slow manner, which also ensures that you are vaping leak-free.
Tip #12 - Try Glycerin (VG)-Based E-Liquids
Generally speaking, Propylene Glycol-based vape juices have a higher chance of leaking than Vegetable Glycerin-based ones. Simply switching to VG-based e-juices can help minimize the risk of leaks and that’s because the VG juice is thicker than PG juice and thus cannot be drawn into the coil as rapidly as PG-based liquids.
Tip #13 - Be Sure to Empty Your Tank Before Takeoff
Airplane pressure changes are known to have a negative impact on e-juice, causing your vape tank to leak. To avoid really embarrassing moments, simply go to the bathroom before boarding your flight and completely empty your vape tank into the sink or toilet.
The Best Ways to Clean the Vape Coils
There are 2 different methods of cleaning the vape coils based on their specific type – replaceable or rebuildable coils.
1. Cleaning Replaceable Coils
Also known as coil heads, replaceable coils come with both clearomizers and sub-ohm vape tanks. Due to the presence of wicks, these vape coils cannot be thoroughly cleaned, although you can still get acceptable results.
The “soak and rinse” method of cleaning will usually do the job. Start off by letting them soak in vinegar, vodka, or ethanol for a few hours, depending on how dirty they are. Then place the coil heads under running water and rinse twice, the second time using distilled water. Continue by blowing air onto the open part of the coil head so that water can find its way to the wick holes. Let it air dry till all water has completely evaporated. This cleaning process helps remove part of the residue, but you will eventually still need to replace the coil head.
2. Cleaning Rebuildable Coils
If you’re using a rebuildable atomizer, it’s especially recommended to clean your vape coils. Start off by removing the wicks from the coils and then dry burn them but only lightly. You can do so by pulsing the fire button a couple of times until the remaining juice is removed. After re-wicking, you need to remove the atomizer from the mod and place the parts under tap water while brushing them with a coil cleaning tool (a toothbrush will also do the trick). Rinse again, then dry burn one more time.
How to Properly Clean Your Vape Atomizer
Properly and regularly cleaning your vape tank is the most effective way to significantly extend the life of your tank while ensuring that it performs at optimal parameters. Residue from the vape juices tends to accumulate over time, and it can adversely affect the overall performance of the vape. Darker-colored juice flavorings, most sweeteners, and vegetable glycerin are known for gunking coils up. The result is reduced vapor and flavor as well as a burnt, unpleasant taste.
Strong flavors such as coffee, cinnamon, licorice, menthol, and tobacco may still linger in your vape even if you replace the coil head. New vape tanks may have a characteristic odor that resembles that of machine oil. It is thus recommended to clean both new and used devices for the best vaping experiences.
To clean your vape tank, start by taking the heating coil out and the rest of the vape tank apart. If you’re a newbie, pay attention to how components fit together in order to save valuable time when you need to re-assemble the tank once you’re done cleaning it. Here are the most effective ways to clean your vape tanks.
1. The Warm Water Rinse
Warm water will generally do the trick if your vape tank is quite clean. Simply place each component of your tank under warm water after taking it apart and then gently dry them using a tissue or paper towel. Once you’re done, be sure to let them air dry till no signs of condensation or water are noticeable.
If your vape tank shows visible signs of gunk, then in addition to rinsing the components under water, you also need to fill a bowl with water and after leaving it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, place the parts inside of it. Wait till the water cools down, then rinse the tank one more time and gently dry it using a paper towel.
2. The Propylene Glycol (PG) Rinse
If you’re particularly unhappy with leftover flavors, then soaking your vape tank in Propylene Glycol (PG) is a great way to clean your tank and quickly eliminate any leftover flavor. Proceed by filling a bowl with PG, let the components sit in it for 1-2 hours and then allow it to drip dry on a tissue. Vegetable glycerin is not recommended, because it’s a thicker liquid.
3. The Household Item Rinse
A great, budget-friendly way to thoroughly clean your tanks consists of using several products that you can conveniently find in your pantry. These include baking soda, vinegar or a mixture of lemon juice and water and also ethanol or grain alcohol (avoid using isopropyl alcohol on the inside of the vape tank). Be sure to rinse them properly after application and then let the tank air dry. Vodka is also a good cleaning agent for your tank.
4. Using an Ultrasonic Cleaner
An ultrasonic cleaner is the ideal cleaning device if you are looking for impeccable cleaning. Originally used for cleaning precious metals and jewelry items, ultrasonic cleaners are now commonly used by vapers from across the world to deeply clean their tanks. It’s extremely easy to use such a specialized cleaner – simply fill it with warm water and optionally a few drops of dish-washing liquid and then run it till the tank components are perfectly clean. Rinse the tank afterward and let it air dry.
The Bottom Line
Proper cleaning is paramount to the maintenance of your vape coils over the long term, but it cannot reverse years of extensive use. If you notice a substantial drop in flavor production or the coil still appears gunked up, then you need to re-build your atomizer coil.