While we can trace the origins of vaping back to ancient Egypt, no time has exploded with as much technological development as recent years in vape culture. It has become one of the more popular trends for many people. Rather than picking up a cigarette, people are adopting e-cigs or vapes in record numbers. Members of the vaping subculture see e-cigs and vapes as a safer alternative to cigarettes. Some just view it as a hobby. Nowadays, one can find Reddit pages and Facebook groups dedicated to vape culture. The diversity of the products speaks to the diversity of the vaping base. From throwaway 510 carts to the more substantial box mods vape pen technology is rapidly developing. Now you can add on attachments, change the color, have a dial for proper temperature control and even find pens specifically for CBD. As the culture and technology continue to develop, expect nothing less than vapor clouds.
Oil or e-liquid cartridges aka atomizers, heating chambers or whatever else you would like to call it, attach to a vape battery so that it can be vaporized by heat. By heating to the right temperature, the device will create a vapor by heating the oils. The lack of smelly smoke is one of the main reasons people vape. Inside the atomizer is a coil that the battery sends electricity to in order to produce heat. Another benefit of these cartridges is the ability to taste terpenes and flavor profiles. The “dripping process” is the result of the e-liquid from the tank dripping directly to the atomizer. They are simple in design, but constantly require a refill.
More advanced design options are cartomizers and clearomizers. Much like the atomizer, both cartomizers and clearomizers vaporize the oil. For cartomizers, it does this until the perfect temperature is reached. The additional polyfill around the coil allows for longer pulls-- an advantage over the atomizer. Clearomizers are best for newbies. The user can control the amount of oil they add to the vape and constantly monitor it as the tanks are transparent. Clearomizers tend to have a longer life cycle and their wick structure creates a better flavor experience. Given these benefits they are -- unsurprisingly -- more expensive.
Your cartridge is the piece that holds the e-liquid. Apart from nicotine, there is propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). They each have their own pros and cons. However, it has been the case that vegetable glycerin avoids some common negative side effects like dry mouth.
Both are odorless liquids that can be altered by flavor additives. However, they both differ in consistency and in their side effects. PG is more commonly used. It tends to be more viscous and runny, which can make for a messy situation. It will also drip faster in e-cigs or atomizers. Propylene is a humectant. This means things stay moist. This is a good trait to have as it can deliver a strong, smooth hit to the back of your throat. It is flavorless on its own. One thing to note about PG is that some people can have an allergic reaction to it.
Vegetable Glycerin has shown limited instances of allergic reactions. More often than not, the concern with VG is the phlegm buildup. Thick clouds have been a part of vaping culture since their inception. Yet, this does not make for the most pleasing of sensations. The thickness may actually detract from the results vapers intended to get.
510 refers to a cartridge threading. A 510 threaded cartridge can fit into most if not all, 510 threaded vape batteries. Nowadays, many vapes are available with the 510 thread and 510 atomizers are available in a wide range of sizes from the larger tanks for e juice to the skinny 510 cartridges for oil. The exception to the 510 are custom threads in some vape models such as those available in the AGO vape, the Snoop Dogg G Pen and more. The biggest risk of burnout when dealing with a vape cartridge is if the user is unaware about the proper power output needed to heat the coil. A vaper has to consider a few different aspects about the interaction of the cartridge and the battery. This could range from understanding the particular vape cartridge power requirements to understanding common causes for burnout.
Here is a cheat sheet for you newbies and older heads who may have missed out on the best practices for vaping.
Priming: Got a bad taste in your mouth? You may be surprised to find out that bad taste does not always correlate to a burned out coil. A new coil could be the culprit along with not priming your coil. Priming essentially eases the coil into heat versus shocking it immediately off the bat with high heat. To do so, start off at lower temperatures and increase incrementally until desired temperature is reached.
Temperature Control: You may love to puff thick clouds bro but your pen may not. If the cartridge or oil inside it was not designed to withstand very high temperatures, you may want to dial it back. Consult the vape or atomizer guide for optimal power output. And ALWAYS start at the lowest setting and work your way up.
Chugga, Chugga, Cough, Cough: A key trait to note is whether the oil is a humectant. Even still, chain ripping can induce an incredibly dry hit. Take a breather.
The Juice is Loose: E-juice/oil that is high in VG will be very thick and not every pen will be set-up to handle that. A good ratio to switch to would be 50/50 PG/VG juice (or at least 30/70 PG/VG)
Weather: Surprising? Well, it should not be. Given the effects high and low temps can have on the oil itself, it makes sense that vaping in Alaska would be different than say Arizona. Do your best to keep the juice at room temperature for best results.
An important term you should know is variable voltage. Not all e-cigs or vape pens come with this feature. Some have pre-figured settings for continual power output. Now a cheap, poorly made pen can ruin your vaping experience. At the heart of any pen is the battery and it sends an electrical current through the cartridge at the point of contact with the vape pen. The voltage travels to the heating element, where it heats the coil and begins to vaporize the e-juice/oil. For newbies, it is understandable to not want to invest so much into a pen if it is not something you see yourself using for a long time. For those who love the technology or for the culture, buying a quality pen can save you from many issues along the way.
Vape pens will vary in quality quite a bit and although cartridges may look the same, they can vary widely in design, heating elements and materials. Vaping is not just a matter of the oil heating up and being vaporized. The whole vessel heats up so you want to avoid using a cheap vape cartridge or atomizer. Another common problem with badly-made pens is their inability to provide a consistent heat source. Get things too hot, you burn the atomizer adding a burnt taste to every hit. Tempt too low? Well, if you cannot heat the oil/e-juice at the right temperature, it may not be heating it up enough to burn off the additives.
Moreover, vapes and the cartridge are best at room temperature. Although not likely, batteries can short-circuit, overheat, catch fire or even explode – many of the explosions you heard about though are individuals that build their own atomizers and put too much power thought them. Nothing follows up that clean hit of watermelon like a trip to the emergency room. When looking for a pen, make sure to notice the shelf life of the battery. Many inexperienced users will make it a habit of using a cheaper pen well beyond the expiration date. When a battery is charged beyond their expiration dendrites appear. Dendrites are conductive and almost as flammable as gasoline. When this happens, you are essentially creating a short between two electrodes which could cause malfunction. Think long term. Invest in a quality vape pen.
The short answer is you cannot. Some atomizer attachments will have a replaceable coil system, but for the Skinny 510 cartridges, if you burn it out, it is done and you will need to salvage the oil – so always start at the lowest power or temperature setting, you can always increase as needed!
Cartridges can be pre-filled, which is common for the skinny 510 cartridges. The convenience of not having to refill a cartridge with a syringe is great. But, if you happen to burn out a brand-new cartridge because you skipped over the tips we mentioned, then that cartridge is busted and can no longer be used. You may be able to salvage the liquid with a syringe, but that can be tedious.
Refillable tanks are the next best thing to pre-filled. Some brands even tout a reuse of up to 8x! They offer the broadest experience to vapers allowing you to try all kinds of flavors.
Wax pens utilize various wax coils with differing heating elements such as quartz and ceramic. The main difference is the atomizer system. With wax you simply place the wax directly on the coil and vape away. Over time the use will lead to the coil burning out or gunk build up so bad you want to replace it.
Disposable oil cartridges are becoming increasingly popular and they come pre-filled so now worry about loading. And with the way an oil cartridge is designed, it is completely filled and will last you days, weeks or months depending on your use – but no loading each time you want a puff. And they make for an easy clean-up. There are larger atomizers for oil vapes. In a larger model, the atomizers will last much longer, but will eventually need replacing much like wax coils.
As previously mentioned, the ease-of-use has helped oil cartridges gain popularity. You can find them online or at your local smoke shop. Our local sandwich shop carries some flavored cartridges too. Places like NY Vape Shop make it easy for newbies and experts alike to stay well informed on the hottest trends and topics about culture. Always looking out for their users, NY Vape Shop offers 100% satisfaction with their quality pieces. Enjoy their free and discreet shipping to keep those nosy neighbors out of your business.