How to beginner
Vaping, unlike its dirty, shameful, much maligned and older brother, smoking, can be overwhelmingly confusing at first! In this article we hope to break down vaping into an easy to digest set of basic guides to help you in understanding what you need, how you use it and to assist you in starting your vaping journey.
Lets start with Vaping Styles
Mouth to Lung (MTL)
When MTL vaping, you suck the vapour into your mouth and let it linger, tantalising your taste buds for the briefest of moments before finally pulling it down into your lungs. This should be easy for any former smoker to master, since it’s the most popular technique used when smoking cigarettes.
Because of its similarity to smoking darts, people new to vaping, prefer to use this method as it feels more natural to them. Aside from simulating the action of smoking a cigarette, the overall sensation comes remarkably close. The burning or tingling in your throat (throat hit) is subtle, creating a smoother sensation when compared to the much harsher (and less authentic) direct-to-lung method.
Since the vapour sits in your mouth for a moment, it gives your tongue a chance to really taste the nuanced undertones of your favourite flavors. The low cloud production of MTL vaping is also great when vaping in public places—or any spot that you don’t want others to be annoyed by massive vapour clouds.
Direct to Lung (DTL)
As the name implies, direct-to-lung is all about inhaling the vapour straight into the lungs. It’s essentially the same thing we do when we take a normal breath. For the recent ex-smoker, DTL vaping might be counter-intuitive if you're trying to simulate the sensation of smoking cigarettes.
Have you ever smoked from a shisha pipe? This style is remarkably similar to toking on a pipe.
New vapers who try DTL for the first time, invariably cough their lungs up! Not all new vapers cough however and if you do, it does go away after the first few days of vaping.
Devices for MTL or DTL
Devices that are either MTL to DTL split further into various other parties. For the purpose of beginnering, let's stick to devices that have internal batteries and ones that have external batteries.
As the name suggests, these devices contain an in built battery, much like your phone/tablet or laptop that you're reading this article on. The benefit to this type of device is lower cost of entry to vaping and ease of charging, just find a USB outlet and cable and off you go. Other benefits are:
- No messing around with carrying spare batteries on your person
- Usually can vape and charge at the same time (depends on device)
The downside is, if you run out of charge and can't find a power outlet to charge your device, you won't be able to use it. Another downer on internal batteries is that batteries, inherently lose their ability to stay charged. Once your device starts down this slippery slope of self destruction, there isn't much you can do but either a) Live with it until it finally gives up or b) Buy a new device.
Typically, vaping devices use a high powered, rechargeable 18650 battery. There are other battery types being used but for the sake of keeping it simple, these are the more popular batteries being used. The benefit to using a device with externally charged batteries are numerous:
- Can carry spare batteries with you (in a protected case)
- Can replace the batteries at end of life with new ones, keeping your current device
- Choice of batteries to use - Samsung, Sony, LG etc
The downside to external battery devices are:
- Higher cost of start up (device, batteries, external charger then replacement battery costs)
- Will need to replace batteries every 6-12 months (dependent on use)
- You'll need to understand battery safety
Vaping tank types
Tanks are again split into the two main parties; MTL and DTL.
You'll hear the term Atomiser being thrown around it seems to be used interchangeably between describing a standard tank and the coil being an Atomiser. Atty for short, is commonly used to describe tanks.
Let's discuss the various tank types:
MTL tank with replaceable coils - this is an example of a MTL tank
DTL with replaceable coils - this is an example of a DTL tank
With both types of tanks, there exists what we call rebuildable tanks. These tanks are for the more advanced user and allow the vaper to replace coils and wicking instead of purchasing replacement coils. These are great for lowering ongoing costs but require a good understanding of Ohms law and also require more maintenance when compared to the simpler tanks which use replaceable coils.
Some acronyms that will get thrown your way
- RBA - rebuildable atomiser coil
- RDA - rebuildable drip atomiser
- RTA - rebuildable tank atomiser
- RDTA - a hybrid of an RTA and an RDA
The above can come in both MTL and DTL varieties but you'll find DTL is the more common use of these types of tanks.
Oh'm my Coil
Your device will use a coil to heat the liquid and produce the vapour. The coil will have a resistance rating so lets uncoil the mystery around coils
An ohm is a unit of resistance. Essentially, the lower the resistance of your atomiser, the more electricity will flow through it. Increase the amount of resistance and less electricity will flow through. So when you use a lower resistance atomiser, and more electricity flows through, you will find the following:
- more heat is generated at the coil
- more vapour is generated
- you may experience a more intense flavour (however, flavours perform differently with different resistance atomisers)
- vapour will be warmer
Depending on your personal experiences, the above may all be positives! On the negative side:
- your battery will be drained more quickly
- battery life may be reduced
- Juice will be used more quickly
- Atomiser life will be reduced (very low ohm atomisers may only last 2-3 days - this also depends on the liquid being vaped)
- you are more likely to experience a dry hit
When you're use a high resistance atomiser the opposite will happen:
- less electricity flows through the coil
- A reduced amount of vapour
- Cooler vapour
- And you may experience less intense flavour
But on the plus side:
- Battery life will be longer
- Less Juice will be used
- You will be less likely to get a dry hit
Prepping a new Coil
When replacing a coil in your tank, there are some tricks that you can follow to avoid burning the coil and then having to replace it.
Coils, when new, need the cotton/wick inside to soak up that awesome juice you're about to suck down. The easiest method is to change your coil before going to bed, because, c'mon, who vapes whilst asleep right?! By replacing the coil before bedtime, people without kids and who get 8 hours of sleep a night, will allow their new coil to become fully saturated with liquid and will be ready to go first thing in the morning in time for their coffee vape. People with kids, don't despair, leaving it for the few hours between wake ups will still mean the cotton is fully saturated. A rule of thumb is, if you leave it to soak, then leave it for 30 minutes without vaping. This method is recommended for any device that does not have the ability to change the power or watts.
Those of us that are impatient to try that new tasty juice we've just purchased or made ourselves or for those that are in a rush for a vape fix, don't worry, we've got you covered in this next how to!
Take your new coil and take the juice you're going to put into your tank. Using the juice, drip a few drops into each hole on the coil and then, if you have an open style coil, give the top of the coil a good squirt with juice as well.
Fill your tank up with juice and then turn on your device. If your vape has variable voltage/wattage i.e the ability to go up and down on power output, then if you normally vape at say 40 watts, start the new coil at 20 watts, take a few puffs (don't worry if you get bugger all flavour and clouds) then over the next 15-20 minutes, change your settings incrementally. For example, vape at 20 watts for 5 minutes, then go to 25, then 30 and so on until you reach your desired settings.
By following the above method, you reduce the likelihood of burning your coil out.
Just tell me which device to get!!
Alrighty then!! If you think you'd prefer a MTL experience and you've never vaped before we would suggest an Innokin T18ii. These are a fantastic starter device and perfect for anyone wanting a lower cost entry to vaping. Don't like the look of a stick/pen/tube device? That's OK, we have what are called ' Pod ' devices, which are small, palm friendly devices that are still MTL and easy to use. Either the Nexus or the classy Mi-Pod are popular starting Pod devices.
For the people that are chasing a DTL experience, we recommend The Tarot Baby kit. These are an amazing device, are simple to use and have great flavour and cloud production.
To Nic or not to Nic, that isn't a question!
Adding nicotine to your juices or purchasing Juice with nicotine added is a personal choice. We know plenty of people that have switched to vaping and gone nic free, whilst others have preferred to use nicotine.
Adding nicotine to your juice is a fairly simple process and doesn't need to be complicated, provided you understand what you're dealing with and follow some basic guidelines.