What gets you excited about vaping? Do you tweak your setup for the purest possible flavor, or are you on the hunt for the biggest possible vapor clouds? Either way, the tank or atomizer is arguably the most important part of the vaping experience. Whether you’re looking for the tastiest clouds or the biggest ones, you’re going to end up using a sub-ohm tank or a rebuildable atomizer. In this article, we’ll compare the two most popular types of e-cigarette attachments.
Sub-ohm tanks are the most popular e-cigarette attachments available today, and their convenience is one of the biggest reasons for their popularity. If your coil is burned, gunky or simply doesn’t perform as well as it used to, replacing it is as simple as twisting the coil out and twisting in a new one. You can vape again as soon as the new coil is primed. Building a coil from scratch is a time-consuming job. No matter how skilled you eventually become at coil building, there’s no way to build, test, dry burn and wick a dual-coil rebuildable atomizer in less than a few minutes. That means you’ll need to devote several minutes to coil building every day or two. For some people, the vaping experience with a rebuildable atomizer is worth the time spent building coils. Others find the process too inconvenient and tedious.
If you want to blow the biggest vapor clouds possible, there’s no beating a rebuildable atomizer. An RBA lets you build coils to your specifications, so there’s no limit to what’s possible. In addition, an RBA has open airflow characteristics because the coil isn’t enclosed in a tank. Open airflow means bigger vapor clouds. That being said, sub-ohm tanks get a little closer to rebuildable atomizers in performance with each new hardware generation. Some modern sub-ohm tanks use coil heads with 10 or more distinct atomizer coils inside. More coils means more surface area for heating, and more surface area means more vapor. Although sub-ohm tanks can’t beat RBAs in vapor production yet, they’re very close. If you’re a flavor chaser, you’ll probably prefer the flavor that you get from a sub-ohm tank. The wide-open airflow that you get with a rebuildable atomizer results in bigger clouds, but it also means that you’re inhaling a lot of air. The more air you introduce into the vapor, the more diluted the flavor becomes.
Most rebuildable atomizers and sub-ohm tanks cost about $20-30 -- but that’s where the similarities end. Every time you buy a box of pre-made coils, you’re paying for packaging, materials and workers’ salaries. Few coils for sub-ohm tanks cost less than $2 each -- and some coils cost $3 or more. The cost of a new sub-ohm tank coil isn’t too much of a burden if you change your coil once a week. If you like very sweet e-liquids, though, coil gunk is probably a constant problem for you. If you change your coil daily due to coil gunk, owning a sub-ohm tank will become expensive very quickly. With a rebuildable atomizer, you can buy your building supplies in bulk. A spool of kanthal wire and a package of organic cotton might cost less than $10 total -- and give you enough supplies to build a new coil every day for months.
If you use a mechanical mod, your device isn’t testing the resistance of your coils and checking for shorts. Although a pre-built coil for a sub-ohm tank can arrive from the factory with a short, it’s not likely. Perfection is difficult when you build your own coils -- and if you make a mistake when building a coil, your rebuildable atomizer could end up with a short. Since shorts are much less likely with mass-produced coils, a sub-ohm tank is somewhat safer to use than a rebuildable atomizer. Even if you use a sub-ohm tank, though, you should still check the resistance of your coils before using them. It is also important to remember that any sub-ohm tank or rebuildable atomizer is only safe to use when coupled with a battery capable of handling the load.
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