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It's about time someone compiled a vaping dictionary! There are many new terms to get your head around when you take up vaping, and this is down to the sheer number of different types of vaping device on the market.

The easiest devices for new vapers are the pre-filled vapes, such as the cigalikes and pre-filled pod vapes, but there is a range of more complex devices available for those who choose to explore them... With increased complexity comes an increased need for knowledge and understanding of what is going on in a vape device, it also means spending more time caring for and maintaining your vape - making these complex options a bad choice for beginners.

If you are a more experienced vaper and are exploring some of these bigger devices, this article will help you to understand Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs) - the part of the device responsible for holding the e-liquid and the RTA coils.

Types of E-Cigarette

Beginners and vapers who prefer a 'no-muss, no-fuss' approach to vaping appreciate the pre-filled E-Cigarette types. These devices include the cigalike vapes that comprise of a battery and a refill, and pre-filled pod vapes that may look a bit different but are the same as the cigalikes.

Then there are the vape pens - these are a step-up in terms of complexity; requiring the user to fill the tank manually, and replace the heating element (this could dual and single coil, traditional or mesh coils) for the best vape experience.

The most complex devices are the ones known as vape mods, but are often called 'box mods' or 'sub ohm vapes'. Like vape pens, these require the user to maintain and clean, but offer more customisation such as temperature control, power output, a choice of batteries and removable tank. It is these removable tanks that are the focus for this article.

What is a Rebuildable tank?

A rebuildable tank is one that comes apart!

Most sub ohm tanks come apart into a few pieces: the base, the tube and the top. The top piece, sometimes called the cap, usually holds the drip tip (the mouthpiece) and the chimney (the internal tube). The glass tube then serves as the wall of the tank when fitted between the top and bottom sections, and the base or 'build deck' holds the wicking material and the coil legs.

Rebuildable tank atomizer

Devices that use rebuildable tanks

As mentioned, the rebuildable tanks go hand-in-hand with the more complex vape devices that allow for temperature and wattage variations. This highlights how much easier the pre-filled devices are for getting started: coming from a smoking background, having these different parts to maintain may just add to the frustration of giving up smoking.

For more experienced vapers who are happy spending a lot of extra time cleaning, maintaining and filling your rebuildable tank - then you will need to be aware of the difference between an RTA vape and an RDA vape.

Firstly, you need a vape mod. There are a huge number to choose from, and if you see 'mech mod' in the description then be wary! Mech mods require understanding of Ohm's law to use safely; so while RTA tanks of the right size connection will fit mech mods, if you are a beginner or a vaper who isn't comfortable calculating the circuit resistance, stick with the vape mods with a circuit as these are easy to operate and also have some safety features built in.

Types of Rebuildable tank

This is where we start to see the difference between RTAs and RDAs. RDA stands for 'rebuildable dripping atomizer' and is functionally the same as an RTA with the exception of an RTA tank. RDAs are designed for the user to drip the e-liquid directly on the wicking material, and so do not hold much e-liquid compared with the RTA tank capacity on offer. Apparently, this leads to better flavour as the vapour has a shorter distance to travel to your mouth!

Rebuildable atomizers with a tank (RTAs) means less mucking around with your e-liquid bottles as you can just fill the tank capacity with e-liquid and only need to refill once it has been used up! Rebuildable atomizers without a tank (RDAs) means you will be dripping liquid onto your wick every time you want to vape!

Another factor that plays a role in choosing the right tank is the inhale technique that you desire. Not sure what I mean? Cigarettes use 'mouth to lung' or MTL inhale, this is where you drag on the cigarette and take the smoke into the mouth and then inhale it into the lungs. Mouth to lung vaping is the inhale technique for the less powerful devices like the cigalikes and pre-filled pods. When you enter vape pen and vape mod territory, there is a little crossover but these tend to favour 'direct to lung' or DTL vaping. This is when you inhale from the device straight to the lungs.

With that said, for MTL vapers you can find MTL RTA vape tanks (so that's 'mouth to lung, rebuildable tank atomizer') if you prefer using the inhale technique that smokers are used to.

Advantages to using a Rebuildable tank

Why would you choose a device that uses a rebuildable tank? The customisation options, of course!

A rebuildable atomizer gives you the option of what coil arrangement you would like. Different coils are rated at different resistances, as well as different shapes that allow more surface-area contact with the e-liquid - these all impact how your vape functions and the vaping experience you end up with. Single or dual coils, pre built coils and even mesh coils can be fitted to the build deck - even building your own coils is a possibility if you choose to do so!

The size of the glass section of the RTAs denotes how big your tank volume is. In the UK, the maximum legal tank size is 2ml, so you will be able to purchase tanks of 2ml and below.

Airflow control is another area that RTAs give more possibility. Airflow control impacts how much air is mixed with the e-liquid vapour, changing the vape experience by cooling the hot vapour down as well as aiding the vaporisation process by using less battery power! If being as efficient as possible and saving every penny matters to you, you need to know about airflow control! Some even have dual airflow, with an airflow control ring at the top and the bottom of the rebuildable tank, allowing for added air at different stages of the vapour's journey. The bottom airflow is going to aid the vaporisation efficiency, where the top airflow will contribute more to cooling the vapour.

Disadvantages to using a Rebuildable tank

If everything mentioned up to this point sounds like too much, seems too complex and you are just looking for something simple that works - avoid using RTAs. Avoid using vape mods, mech mods, and even vape pens! If you want something that does all the fiddly stuff for you, then check out the SMOKO Starter kit range! All of our devices use pre-filled refills and rechargeable batteries, so all you need to do is pop a new refill on a fully charged battery and you are good to go!

The advantages to the pre-filled systems are the disadvantages for the more complex vapes: no messing around with e-liquid, minimal maintenance required, no need to do any calculations - just pop your pre-filled cartridge on to the battery and you are good to vape. These devices help to prevent leaking as the e-liquid is in a sealed cartridge, so they are a great option for smokers trying to quit because they are so easy to use, and often use a side airflow hole which does allow some control over the density and strength of the vapour.

Cigalikes and pre-filled pod systems allow the vaper to forget about coils - the cartridge will contain one coil and so every time you start a new refill you are using a new coil! The vape mods that use RTAs let you use whichever coils you choose, but it is important to make sure you keep spare coils on you as coils degrade over time. This can impact the vaping experience, turning the flavour to a burning taste and can potentially irritate the throat.

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RTAs and RDAs - Rebuildable Tank Atomizers Conclusion

Experienced vapers with time on their hands may enjoy the ritual and process of using one of these more complex vape devices. For someone just trying to quit smoking, simplicity is the key. Smokers are used to popping outside, taking a cigarette out of the packet or rolling one up, and sparking it - all in all, a fairly quick affair. Do you really want to be looking around for your spare coils, the half-used e-liquid bottle and spare batteries because you forgot to charge your device the night before? Is this a recipe for disaster for someone trying to quit?

If you are a smoker trying to quit and don't want to worry about what an RTA vape is, don't care about single or dual coil arrangements and coil building, don't want to risk making a mess with e-liquids and just want something simple that works, then check out the SMOKO E-Cigarette Starter Kit range! All of our devices use pre-filled refills with e-liquid made here in the UK for the highest quality vaping experience - make the switch with SMOKO today!



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