Types of vapes. And how to choose the correct vaping device for you.

24 January 2020

Different types of vapes

So you’ve decided to give vaping a go. There are different types of vapes and different types of vape tanks. With so much to choose from it can be overwhelming. Once you have a general understanding of the basics, things will start to become a lot clearer. So let’s dive in.

All vaping devices consist of two main components: a battery and a tank. They come in various shapes and sizes but they all perform the same basic function. 

They can be bought separately or as a complete kit which includes a battery and a tank.

The tank is connected to the battery via a 510 threaded connector. The tank is filled with flavoured e liquid. Located inside the tanks is a coil. The coil is submerged in the e liquid when the tank is full.

The coil consists of an outer casing with several wicking holes at the bottom. Inside the casing is a small heating element or coil which is wrapped around the wick, typically made of cotton. 

A coil is made of thin round wire and is shaped similar to a spring. They have an electrical resistance and are measured in ohms. Coils can range from 0.1 ohms to 2.8 ohms. As a guide, a lower ohm coil requires more power (watts) than a higher ohm coil. A lower ohm coil will produce more vapour and use more e liquid.   

When the coil is submerged in e liquid the cotton wick draws the liquid through the wicking holes by capillary action saturating the wick with e liquid.

When you activate the battery, most batteries are manually activated by a push-button. The battery provides power to the coil which heats the e liquid contained within the wick turning the liquid into vapour which you inhale.

The coil is a consumable component that should be replaced around every 2-4 weeks depending on the e liquid you are using and how often you vape.

You should now have a general understanding of a vaping device and how it works.

We now need to determine which vaping method you prefer. This choice is very important as it will have a big impact on your vaping experience. 

There are two types of vaping methods or styles: Mouth to Lung (MTL) and Direct to Lung (DTL) which is also referred to as Sub-ohm vaping. Once you know which type of vaping method/style you prefer this will determine what vaping device you should choose. 

So let’s take a look at the two main different types of vapes and vaping styles.

 

Mouth to lung vaping style

 

When you smoke a cigarette the draw on the cigarette is tight, as a result of this the smoke is naturally held in your mouth, you then inhale the smoke into your lungs.

A mouth to Lung (MTL) vaping device or to be more specific an MTL tank is specifically designed to mimic the same physical experience as smoking a cigarette.   

To understand how this works you first need to understand the basic function of a tank.

At the top of the tank is a mouthpiece and at the bottom of the tank is an air intake hole.

When you suck on the mouthpiece to take a draw the air is pulled through the tank via the air intake holes and is mixed with the vapour when the battery is activated.

For an MTL tank, the internal diameter of the mouthpiece and the air intake hole is small to create a resistance or a tight draw similar to a cigarette.

Some MTL tanks have a variable air intake, this allows you to adjust the size of the air intake hole to increase or decrease the level of draw resistance to meet your vaping preference. 

This works on the same principle as sucking on a straw, the smaller the internal diameter of the straw the greater the resistance the larger the internal diameter the less resistance.

Some MTL devices have a fixed power (watts) setting which matches the specification of the tank and coil. Others have a variable power (watts) setting which allows you to adjust the wattage to your vaping preference.   

As a good rule of thumb nearly all MTL tanks use a coil which has a resistance greater than 1 ohm. Coils range from 1 ohm to around 2.8 ohms. With the most common being 1.5 to 1.8 ohms.

Of the two vaping styles MTL devices are designed to be vaped on the lower end of the power scale. With a power (watts) range of typically around 10 and 15 watts being used.

As a result of this, your MTL device consumes e liquid economically, a typical weekly usage being around 2 to 3 10ml bottles per week. The higher the wattage used the more e liquid will be consumed.

Of the two different types of vapes and vaping styles MTL vaping is the most popular style of vaping in the UK.

A review of the best mouth to lung (MTL) vape tanks of 2020.

 

What vg/pg ratio e liquid do I choose for mouth to lung vaping?

 

Choosing the correct vg/pg ratio e liquid for your MTL device is very important as it will have a big impact on the quality of your vaping experience.

The ratio of an e liquid is the ratio of the two main ingredients (by weight) those being vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol and are expressed as vg/pg. For example if an e liquid has equal parts of vg and pg then the ratio would be expressed as 50vg/50pg. The ingredients in e liquid are usually measured by weight, however, sometimes they are measured by volume.

E liquids are typically available in the following vg/pg ratios for MTL tanks: 70/30, 60/40 and 50/50.

The 50vg/50pg ratio e liquid is the most popular ratio for an MTL device as it delivers the perfect balance of flavour, throat hit and vapour production and provides the best overall MTL vaping experience.

Also, this ratio is suitable for the vast majority of MTL devices. However, this ratio is not suitable for the original pen-type MTL devices or the CE4 or CE5 type of tank which require a higher pg of around 60% to wick efficiently. 

Before you purchase your MTL device, confirm with your retailer what vg/pg ratio e liquid your MTL device/tank is compatible with.

 

What nicotine strength e liquid do I choose for mouth to lung vaping?

 

Choosing the correct nicotine strength e liquid for your MTL device is very important as it will have a big impact on the quality of your vaping experience. 

Nicotine is measured in milligrams (mg) per millilitres (ml) and is usually expressed as mg/ml. However, you may also see this expressed as a percentage (%) e.g. 1.8% rather than the usual 18 mg/ml.

E liquids are typically available in the following nicotine strengths: 0, 3, 6, 12 and 18mg/ml. With the most popular nicotine strength being 18mg/ml followed by 12mg/ml.

All of the above nicotine strength e liquids are suitable to vape on an MTL device.

In broad terms, the strength of nicotine you choose will be dictated by two factors, the amount of nicotine your body craves and the throat hit you prefer. 

A higher strength nicotine e liquid will deliver more nicotine and a more pronounced throat hit. 

If you choose a nicotine level that is too low, you may end up vaping more to overcompensate to replace the nicotine that your body is craving. Too high of a nicotine level may provide more nicotine than you require.

As a general guide, if you smoked between 10 to 20+ cigarettes per day an e liquid with a nicotine strength of 12 or 18 mg/ml should be appropriate. If you smoked between 1 and 10 per day an e liquid with a nicotine strength of 3 or 6 mg/ml should be appropriate.

For an MTL device that has a variable power setting, you can increase or decrease the power allowing you to control the vapour production and throat hit for your vaping preference. When you increase the power (watts) you will produce more vapour and a stronger throat hit.   

As this choice is dependent on personal preferences, it will likely require some trial and error until you find what suits you best.

 

Direct to lung vaping style

 

A direct to lung (DTL) vaping device or to be more specific a DTL tank does not mimic the same experience as smoking a cigarette, it is a completely different vaping experience.

Direct to lung vaping is also referred to as Sub-ohm vaping.

For a DTL tank, the internal diameter of the mouthpiece and the air intake holes are much larger than an MTL tank. 

As a result of this when you suck on the mouthpiece to take a draw there is no resistance, and the vapour is naturally drawn directly into your lungs. It is very similar to opening your mouth to take a breath, the air is drawn directly into your lungs.

All DTL tanks have a variable air intake hole which allows you to adjust the volume of the air intake. And have a variable power (watts) setting which allows you to adjust the wattage, along with other technical features that you can adjust to meet your vaping preferences.

All DTL tanks or Sub-ohm tanks use a coil which has a resistance of less than 1 ohm, hence the name Sub-ohm or below 1 ohm. Coils range from as low as 0.1 ohm to around 0.8 ohms. With the most common being 0.5 ohms.

Coils have to be replaced more often as they burn out faster.

MTL or Sub-ohm devices are designed to be vaped on the high end of the power scale. And typically requires a power output of minimum 40 watts but can exceed 200 watts.

At these high power output levels, the coil is heated to high temperatures and produces large clouds of vapour. And also, increases the intensity of the flavour and provides a warmer or hotter vape. 

As a result of this, your DTL device consumes a considerable amount of e liquid with a typical daily usage being around 15ml. Giving a weekly consumption of e liquid around 100ml per week.

DTL devices are considerably more expensive than MTL devices.

Of the two different types of vapes and vaping styles DTL vaping is a popular style of vaping in the UK.

A review of the best direct to lung vaping tanks 2020.

 

What vg/pg ratio e liquid do I choose for direct to lung vaping?

 

Choosing the correct vg/pg ratio e liquid for your DTL device is very important as it will have a big impact on the quality of your vaping experience.

All DTL or Sub-ohm devices use high vg e liquids. 

E liquids are typically available in the following vg/pg ratios: 60/40, 70/30, 80/20 mg/ml with some being as high as 100% vg. 

The 70vg/30pg is the most popular ratio e liquid for a DTL device as it produces the perfect balance of flavour, smooth throat hit and large dense clouds of vapour and provides the best overall DTL vaping experience.

Whilst 50vg/50pg ratio e liquid is also very popular with Sub-ohm vapers who do not want to produce large clouds.

 

What nicotine strength e liquid do I choose for direct to lung vaping?

 

Choosing the correct nicotine strength e liquid for your DTL device is very important as it will have a big impact on the quality of your vaping experience. 

DTL or Sub-ohm vaping devices are designed to be vaped at the higher end of the power scale and consume considerably more e liquid over a typical day as compared to an MTL device.

As a result of this, you will only be able to use e liquids with a nicotine strength of 3 or 6mg/ml. For the following two reasons: firstly to ensure you do not consume too much nicotine and secondly, 12 and 18mg/ml nicotine would produce a very harsh uncomfortable throat hit.

 

Conclusion

 

I hope you have found the above guide helpful and that you are now in a better position to make a more informed decision in choosing which vaping style and e liquid is best for you from the different types of vapes available.