Worldwide, e-cigarette tanks are by far the most popular accessories for vaping devices. If you’re new to vaping, buying a vape tank is the quickest path toward exploring the wide world of different e-liquid flavours. If you already vape, buying a new e-cig tank is the fastest and easiest way to experiment with your vaping experience. In this vape tank buying guide, we’re going to explain everything that you need to know about vaping tanks. When you’re done reading, you’ll understand the features that separate the different tanks on the market. You’ll also know which of those features your next vaping tank should have. Let’s begin!
If you’re looking for a vaping tank that produces impressive clouds without consuming your e-liquid quite so quickly, the upgraded SMOK TFV8 Baby, now called SMOK TFV-Mini V2 is a great choice. We love this tank’s convenient top filling port; just swing the top open when it’s time for a refill. We also love the tiny design that pairs beautifully with almost any vaping device.
The Aspire Nautilus 3 is compatible with all Nautilus series coils and comes with both a 1.8 Ohm MTL coil (10-14W) and a 0.7 Ohm DTL coil (20-25W). The Nautilus 3 features seven airflow adjustments, from 0.8 mm to 3 mm, to give you excellent control over your flavour and cloud experience, as well as an innovative coil replacement system that is simple and clean. If you don't want to compromise on flavour and vapour – you’ve got to try the Aspire Nautilus 3.
The Nautilus Mini Tank Cartomizer is one of the oldest e-cigarette tanks still in production, and there’s a good reason for that: It’s the ultimate upgrade for any small e-cigarette. The Nautilus Mini is svelte enough to fit on virtually any vaping device, and its modest power demands ensure that it won’t overwhelm even smaller vaping batteries. The flavour quality of the Nautilus Mini has made this tank something of a legend in the vaping industry.
An e-cigarette tank is an attachment that connects to a vaping device and allows the device to generate vapour. Unlike an atomizer – which provides a heating coil but almost no e-liquid storage – an e-cigarette tank provides a heating coil and e-liquid storage in a single unit. Just fill the tank to vape.
When you unpack a new e-cigarette tank, it’ll already have an atomizer coil installed and ready to use. To get started, you’ll need to fill the tank with e-liquid. Consult the instruction manual to learn whether you have a top-filling or bottom-filling tank. If you have a bottom-filling tank, you’ll unscrew the bottom metal hardware while holding the tank upside down. If you have a top-filling tank, you’ll unscrew the top hardware or twist it along a hinge to expose the filling port. Add e-liquid until the tank is nearly full and close the tank. If you’re using the tank for the first time – or filling the tank after a coil replacement – you should wait several minutes for the atomizer coil’s cotton wick to become completely wet before using the tank. The last step is crucial as a dry cotton wick burns easily.
After filling your tank and waiting for the cotton to saturate, the tank is ready to use. Puff on the tank’s mouthpiece while holding the activation button on your vaping device. Each puff leaves the tank’s cotton wick slightly dry, so wait several seconds after each puff before using your e-cigarette again. Don’t wait until the tank is fully empty before refilling it. On the side of your tank’s atomizer coil, you’ll see the holes that allow the e-liquid to penetrate the coil’s cotton wick. When the level of e-liquid in the tank is below those holes, it’s time to refill the tank.
When it’s time to replace your tank’s atomizer coil, you’ll do so by inverting the tank and unscrewing the bottom hardware. In most cases, the coil is mounted to the bottom hardware of the tank. Twist the old coil out of the tank’s base and twist in a new coil. Place a drop of e-liquid on each of the coil’s white wick openings and reassemble the tank. Fill the tank and wait several minutes before you resume vaping.
Every product in our E-Cigarette Starter Kit Buying Guide includes a tank. If you’ve never vaped before, buying a kit with a tank is a perfect idea because you’ll know that the vaping device and tank are compatible with one another. If you’re an experienced vaper, it’s still wise because a vaping device that includes a tank often costs only slightly more than the device would cost on its own.
If your vaping device has a removable tank, it’s likely that the device will work with other tanks. To confirm that, you need to check two things.
A tank will only work with your vaping device if its threading is compatible with the threading on the device. In the early years of the vaping industry, manufacturers used several different threading types. Today, though, most manufacturers have settled on the 510 thread as the industry standard. If your device has 510 threading, virtually every tank on the market will fit on it.
The lower the electrical resistance of an atomizer coil is, the greater wattage it will draw from your vaping device. Thus, a 1.0-ohm component restricts the current more than a 0.5-ohm component. If the voltage of the battery remains the same, reducing the coil resistance means that the circuit will operate at a higher wattage.
You can’t use just any atomizer coil with any vaping device, because every battery has a maximum current that it can safely support. Above that maximum, there’s a chance that the battery can vent hot gas and experience a catastrophic failure. It’s important, therefore, to know the capabilities of any battery that you use for vaping. To find out whether a tank will work with your vaping device, you should check the tank’s coil resistance and suggested wattage range. When you check the specifications for your vaping device, you’ll see a minimum coil resistance and wattage range — make sure you only pair coils and batteries whose resistance and wattage range match.
Mouth To Lung, or above-ohm, vape tanks have a coil resistance of 1.0 ohm or higher. MTL tanks have low power demands, so they pair well with smaller vape pens. You can still use a Mouth To Lung vape tank, though, even if you have a larger box mod. MTL vape tanks appeal to vapers for these reasons:
A Direct To Lung, or sub-ohm, vape tank has a coil resistance under 1.0 ohm. DTL tanks vary greatly in their designs, with some having coils just barely under 1.0 ohm and others having coils as low as 0.1 ohm. Since sub ohm coils vary greatly in their power demands, you’ll need to check a coil’s resistance and suggested wattage range before using it with your vaping device. Sub ohm tanks appeal to vapers for these reasons:
A rebuildable tank atomizer is an e-cigarette tank that doesn’t use drop-in replacement coils. Instead, an RTA has a deck that allows you to mount coils you build yourself. We discuss coil building in greater detail in our Ultimate Advanced Vaping Guide. An RTA can usually generate at least as much vapour as a sub-ohm tank with drop-in replacement coils – but while a drop-in atomizer coil usually costs at least £2, a coil that you build yourself costs only a few pence in materials. Using an RTA does have a drawback, though, in that building a coil yourself takes time. If you use an RTA, you can expect each coil replacement to require several minutes of work. Replacing a drop-in coil takes only a few seconds.
You can clean your tank when you disassemble it to replace the coil. After taking the tank apart, remove the old coil and set it aside or discard it. Rinse the remaining parts of the tank under water and dry them with a paper towel. Rinsing your tank removes the lingering flavour of your previous e-liquid. It also removes any lip balm or skin fragments that may have collected on the drip tip.
Handle your e-cigarette tank carefully. Some people put silicone or rubber bands around their tanks to protect the glass. A few tanks even include bands. When you disassemble your tank, reassemble the parts carefully to avoid crossing the threads.
After you’ve used a coil for a while, residue will begin to collect on the heating wire. Vapers call the residue coil gunk, and it tends to alter the flavour of an e-liquid in an unpleasant way. If you taste a flavour resembling burned sugar when you vape, it’s time for a new coil. Decreased vapour production is also a sign that you should replace your coil.
Sweeteners such as sucralose tend to leave a lot of residue behind as they don’t vaporize cleanly. If your favourite e-liquid tastes as sweet as candy, it’s likely that the e-liquid contains sucralose and is shortening the life of your coils. Switching to an e-liquid without sweetener will make your coils last longer.
Aside from avoiding sweetened e-liquids, the best thing that you can do to improve coil life is to ensure that the coil’s cotton wick always stays wet. As we mentioned above, you should always fill your tank promptly when the level of e-liquid is low. You should also wait a few moments after each puff to give the wick time to draw in e-liquid from the tank. A cotton wick can burn quickly if it is dry, and burned cotton makes every e-liquid taste terrible.
You can try cleaning your coils to prolong their life. To clean a coil, swish it in vodka or warm water to dislodge some of the residue. If you’re using vodka to clean your coil, rinse the coil under water after cleaning it. Leave the coil out to dry for about a day before using it again. You may find that the coil has regained some of its original flavour and vapour production. While you won’t mistake a cleaned coil for a new one, you may find that cleaning gives you a bit of additional usage from coils that you would otherwise throw away.
You're in luck; most companies in the vaping industry make replacement glass enclosures for their e-cigarette tanks. Remove the remaining glass fragments from your tank with a pair of tweezers and disassemble the tank. Side the replacement glass carefully over the tank's hardware – being careful not to stretch the silicone rings in the process – and reassemble the tank.
Absolutely. It’s likely, in fact, that changing your tank will affect your vaping experience more profoundly than buying a new vaping device. Some companies optimize their tanks to produce the richest possible flavours, while others build powerful tanks for cloud chasing. No two tanks present the flavour notes of a complex e-liquid in exactly the same way. As long as your vaping device can operate within the suggested wattage range of the tank that you want to buy, you’ll find that a new tank can make your vaping experience markedly more enjoyable.
In vaping, “drip tip” is the term for the mouthpiece of a tank or atomizer. A drip tip has a number indicating its width, and the two most common drip tip sizes are 510 (narrow) and 810 (wide). Some tanks have graduated tops that allow them to support both sizes. If your tank doesn’t have a graduated top, you’ll need a 510-to-810 or 810-to-510 adapter to try a different type of drip tip. An 810 drip tip helps an e-cigarette tank produce larger clouds, while a 510 drip tip restricts the airflow slightly and helps a tank produce richer flavours.