The different types of vape tank and why they matter
The ability to customise your setup for vaping is one of the better aspects, whether you’re into big clouds or experimental flavours, your choice of vape tank shapes your experience.
On your e-cig, your vape tank is the part that holds the juice. It also includes your coil, which heats up your liquid to produce vapour.Here’s a closer look at the different types of vape tank with tips on choosing the right one.
The vape tank essentials
In terms of shape, coil compatibility, airflow and more, there’s plenty of variety in vape tank design, but alltanks consist of certain key parts. Here’s what we’re talking about:
Mouthpiece (aka drip tip).
This either screws or pushes into the top of your tank. Most mouthpieces are made from plastic. For sub-ohm and high power vaping, you might want to look at polyetherimide (PEI) mouthpieces, as these tend to stay cooler at high temperatures. Vapers looking for purity of flavour sometimes opt for a glass mouthpiece, the downside being that these are more prone to chips. Metal mouthpieces are another popular option; they’re robust and deliver a pure flavour, although they can get rather warm on the lips if you’re power vaping.
The chamber is the reservoir for your juice, where most are made from combination of stainless steel or anodized aluminium and pyrex or glass (so you can check the fill level); this transparent feature is why some tanks are referred to as clearomizers., you unscrew the chamber and fill it from the bottom. But a growing number of modern tanks have a top-fill design, which can be more convenient. A central tube (aka the chimney) runs through the chamber, which draws vapour into your mouth.
The coil screws onto the base. On some tanks (e.g. for sub-ohming), you can twist the base to adjust airflow. The base also incorporates a seal to prevent leakage.
Most devices are compatible with the highly popular ‘510’ thread size and this screws into your battery.. On smaller, pen-shaped e-cigarettes, you’re more likely to see another style of connector, known as eGo. There are other variants too but just check compatibility when you’re buying.
Here’s a closer look at what’s out there:
Mouth to lung (MTL) tanks
MTL vaping involves taking a drag, holding the vapour briefly in your mouth before you inhale. It’s a popular style of vaping for people who are making the switch from smoking.
MTL tanks tend to be simpler in design, more compact and often cheaper than other tanks. Some have an adjustable airflow; others tend to have between one and three exposed air holes on either side of the base. According to EU and UK law, the maximum allowed capacity for a tank is 2ml. There are some tanks that are smaller than this (e.g. 1.8ml) which is still enough for a day’s worth of MTL vaping.
Direct-to-lung (sub-ohm) tanks
DTL vaping is where you inhale your vapour in a single, steady action, without holding it in your mouth. It’s a popular vape style for creating big, satisfying clouds. Many DTL vapers favour ‘sub-ohm’ vaping devices because they have a resistance measurement of less than one ohm.
An effective DTL tank has to be compatible with sub-ohm coils; the coil designs favoured by DTL vapers (mesh and strip coils, for example) tend to be bulkier than regular MTL coils, with a bigger wicking area. The chamber is often wider and shorter than MTL tanks.
DTL tanks also generally feature an airflow controller at the base, for bigger clouds, you adjust this controller to an open position. Big clouds can mean that condensation sometimes forms within the tank’s chimney. When the vapour pushes through these condensed droplets, it can cause ‘spitback’, where bitter liquid spits up into your mouth. A mouthpiece with a wide funnel can help counteract this and you can also get hold of replaceable drip tips that incorporate spiral inserts to prevent it.
Rebuildable tank options
Instead of using pre-built coils, some vaping enthusiasts prefer to build their own. Here are some of the tanks that cater for the self-build community:
Rebuildable tank atomisers (RTA)
These look like regular DTL tanks, but instead of space for a replaceable coil, the base of an RTA features a ‘build deck’. Here, you build your own coil, usually using cotton wicking and wire. Although it takes a deeper knowledge, itallows you to fully customise your vape experience.
Rebuildable dripping atomiser (RDA)
Similarly toRTAs, RDAs feature a build deck but without a chimney, very limited tank capacity and a very wide deck base. You drip in small amounts of juice from the top and since the vapour has less space to travel between coil and mouth, RDAs are renowned for immense flavour and huge clouds. The downside is that they require constant refilling.
Rebuildable dripping tank atomiser (RDTA)
This type of rebuildable tank is designed to solve the capacity issues with RDAs. It looks just like an RDA, except it features a liquid chamber below the build deck. It means you get all the intensity of an RDA vape, with much less frequent refilling.
Find out more
Compatibility with your device is the most important point to check when weighing up tank options. Beyond this, there are plenty of options to discover in order to match your vaping style.
Many beginners go for a simple, inexpensive MTL option. The desire for big clouds might lead you to explore your sub-ohm options. Or if cloud chasing and customisation is your desire, there’s a whole world of rebuildables to check out.
To learn more about all things vape-related, be sure to explore our blog.