Hardware 101: Know your e-cigs from your mods
There’s no doubt that vaping can seem confusing to a total beginner. The simple idea of inhaling vapour can even appear bizarre (up until you get a hit of those delicious flavour combos, that is).
The good thing is that it’s pretty easy to learn the basics, and once you have those down, you can move up from there.
Here’s a quick guide to the main pieces of hardware and what each one of them does.
A battery: Vaping only works with a little power, and this comes from your battery. When you start, you’ll have an EGO or an EVOD battery. These are simply two different styles – rather than brand names – so can come from a variety of manufacturers. The EVOD style has a battery that sits flush with the case, and an EGO style has a slightly protruding button. They both come in a range of standard power options that refers to how much power it can hold (measured in mAh), and some have a twist option that allows different levels of voltage, which is ideal for getting the most out of your eliquids.
The mod: This is where the battery goes and is what powers the coil.
The wick: A wick can be made from many different materials (cotton or rayon, for example) and is what absorbs the e-liquid before feeding it to the coil for heating at a steady rate. The various materials make a difference as they can last varying amounts of time, feed the juice through faster or slower, and can come at different financial costs.
The coil: The coil gets power from the battery to heat up and turn your liquid to vapour. You’ll find some options with a single coil, and others with a dual-coil. Dual coils simply create twice the vapour (as there are two of them) and burn through the liquid twice as quickly.
The tank: Put simply, a tank is where your e-liquid goes. There is a huge variety in tanks, and it’s what makes it possible for the power from the battery to create vapour from the e-liquid. When you start out, you will likely use a disposable tank, which is a more affordable option, but will need to be thrown out once it burns out or the wick goes bad. More advanced vapers will use a rebuildable tank, which costs a little more but can be used over and over again by replacing the coil.
A clearomiser: A clearomiser is a fancy name for the part that lets you see through the tank so you can gauge how much eliquid you have left. This means you can top it up when you need to instead of continuing to vape on an empty tank. Clearomisers are made of plastic and use coils and wicks to create vapour.
A glassomiser: The same as a clearomiser, but made of Pyrex glass so it lasts much longer.
The atomiser: This is the part that turns the liquid to vapour using a coil. It draws power from the battery to heat the coil, which in turn creates vapour from the liquid.
The drip tip: This part is attached to the top of the tank, and is where you inhale from. Sometimes these are removable for easy replacement, other times they are part of the tank.
E-liquids: Also known as juice, e-juice, or just liquids, this is one of the most fun parts of getting started with vaping. You’ll get to decide on which flavours of e-liquids to try, and you’ve got thousands of options to choose from. When you decide on a flavour, you’ll also have to pick a nicotine level. Smokers who are used to nicotine may prefer a higher level at around 2mg/ml, while non-smokers who are starting vaping for the taste may prefer no nicotine at all.
Chargers: Sooner or later, your battery will need recharging. If you want to keep vaping, be sure to grab a spare battery so you can just swap it when the time comes.
APVs: Advanced Personal Vaporisers are devices based on electronics. They have wires and circuits and various voltages.
MODs: Often confused for APVs, a MOD is a mechanical device that doesn’t use electronics to get going.
The easiest thing to do when you begin vaping is to get a starter kit so you can get used to the different components- then work your way up from there.