E-Cigarette Glossary of Terminology
E-cig/ Pen Glossary
510 Thread Connection - The 510 connection is the name of the connection that connects the atomizer to the personal vaporizer or mod. This is often found in all of the E-Cigs. Some earlier versions took a different connection, but as time went on more and more manufactures used the 510. It is now a standard in the E-Cig industry to have a 510 connection between the atomizer and your mod or battery. 510 connections are normally threaded and screwed on where the atomizer is the male and the battery/mod/personal vaporizer is the female.
Amps - Short for Amperage. Amps are the measure of amount of electricity being used. Also known as the current of electricity.
Amp Limit - The number of amps your battery can safely output without failing. Staying under the amp limit is safe, going over the amp limit will over work the battery and could cause the battery to break and self-destruct. Furthermore many users use the 80% rule with this. Say you have a 10 amp limit battery, they’d suggest you not to go above 8 amps (or 80%) as a safety precaution.
Atomizer - The device that that vaporizes e-juice. By definition an atomizer is a device that vaporizes our e-liquid into vapor. There are dozens of different atomizers to choose from but when it comes down to it they all work the same way. A wick soaks up the e-liquid and an internal coil either wrapped around the wick or within the wick vaporizes the liquid into thick clouds of vapor. With atomizers there are 2 distinct classifications: the kind you can rebuild and reuse and the kind that are disposable. Cartomizers and clearomizers are the disposable or non-rebuildable type, whereas RDA (rebuildable dripping atomizer) and RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer), belong to the rebuildable atomizer classification or RBA.
Battery - Device used in powering your personal vaporizer. For the record alkaline batteries should not be used. Only high discharge batteries should be used such as ICR or better yet IMR batteries. If the E-Cig has an internal battery, at times the E-Cig can often be called the battery as well. Like all batteries, great care should be taken such as avoid charging around items with flammable objects and always monitor your charging as well. Never leave your batteries in the car on a hot summer day as the battery could over heat and explode.
Box Mod - Box like device houses the battery and firing button for your PV (personal vaporizer). Box mods have been known to adapt neat things such as a led screen displaying Ohms, wattage, voltage, and battery life. It could also have battery charging built in and some can even double as an external battery charger for your portable devices. A lot of custom made personal vaporizers made by hobbyist are box mods as it can easily house the high drain rechargeable batteries. More recently many mass manufactures have picked up the ideology of the box mod as well to incorporate higher wattages and longer battery life.
Cartomizers - Cartomizers are the types of atomizers that you find in the grocery store, gas stations, drug stores, malls, etc. They are easy to use and just plain work. It is a metallic cylinder tube with wick and coil inside. On one end there is the 510 connection (what you screw into your battery (or mod)) and the other end is the drip tip (or mouth piece). Often times these come pre-filled with an assortment of juices in a range of flavors and nicotine levels. However they do sell these without the juice prefilled which allows the user to fill the juices into the mouth piece end.
Clearomizers - The clearomizer is a tank like device that has the atomizer inside. The atomizer for a clearomizer is a small device that screws within the clearomizer. There are 2 types of clearomizers bottom coil and top coil. Bottom coil lets gravity dall the work. As you vape the liquid and as the liquid dissipates, it goes down towards the atomizer, saturates the wick, and vaporizes the liquid. This kind of works like how you boil water. You have your oven (your atomizer) and your pot (your tank that holds the liquid) . As the liquid heats up from the atomizer liquid vaporizes and you inhale said liquid. The top coil clearomizers work much differently where it relies heavily on the wicks absorbing the liquid which travels unto the coil which wits above the liquid instead of below. The wicks act like a straw and as your inhale these wicks saturate with e-juice and the atomizer does the rest.
Cig-A-Like - An electronic cigarette that looks like an analog cigarette. Cig-a-Likes activate when the user takes a pull on the mouthpiece unlike other E-Cigs which requires a button to be pressed to complete the electrical circuitry. These comes in rechargeable kits and disposable devices for one time use. Cig-a-Like are often not very durable and has a weak battery life, but the upside is they are extremely portable and lightweight.
Clones - Copies of authentic mods, atomizers, and other E-Cig related items. Generally by a Chinese company. Sometimes clones are just as good if not better than the authentic mods. Many manufactures create clones one must be careful when purchasing clones.
Coil - Made with Kanthal or Nichrome wrapped around the wick or caressing the wick. The current of electricity goes through the coil and heats up the saturated wick and vaporizes the E-Juice into thick delicious vapor.
Coil Heads - Replaceable atomizer coils that go inside the clearomizers either on the top or the bottom of the clearomizer depending on which one we are talking about. These last anywhere from a week to 8 weeks depending on how often you are vaping and/or what E-Juices you are using. Some thicker and sweeter E-Juices have been known to make the coil heads “gunk up” and fail faster than thinner E-Juices that are not as sweet. High VG juices will have this effect on the coil heads.
Cotton - Often used as wicking material for atomizers. Normally found in rebuildable atomizers as it is readily available in drugstores and supermarkets. Some say it’s best to get sterile, some say organic, and some even say it needs to be boiled.
Disposable E-Cigs - These are often found at gas stations and pharmacies where they sell cigarettes. They range from $5 to $10 and have a various amounts of nicotine and flavors. They activate whenever you take a hit/pull from the device and normally have about 500 puffs worth in each device. The battery is built in and the E-Juice is not designed to be refilled. You throw these away when you’re down with it.
Drip Tip - Apparatus that carries the vaporized E-Juice into your mouth; similar to mouth pieces in musical instruments. It is normally replaceable and comes in an assortment of shapes, colors, and different materials. When vaping with high wattage, it is important to use a non-metallic or an insulated drip tip to avoid burning your mouth off. The drip tip is where many users get to customize the look of their mod and how it feels when they put it in their mouth. Some newer materials being used for drip tips include pyrex glass, copper, brass, and precious stones such as jade or quartz.
E-Juice or E-Liquid - The liquid that is vaporized in the atomizer. This liquid is normally flavored with a mixture of PG (Propylene Glycol), VG (Vegetable Glycerin), and nicotine. The flavoring is the major variable amongst all e-juices. Some of the dangers of come from cheap and artificial flavoring used. Like all things you ingest, know what is in your E-Juice before you vape it. Make sure harmful chemicals aren’t being used such as diacetyl that can cause popcorn lung. E-Juice normally comes in either a plastic or a glass bottle. The plastic bottles are a bit easier to use as you can easily squeeze into your atomizer, whereas the glass ones comes with a glass dripper that you use to transfer from the bottle to your atomizer.
Hybird - Hybrid describes certain mods that have the atomizer built in to the mod. So the 510 connection is not necessary. Users want this as it has a sleeker look, shorter and more portable in nature, and conducts electricity much better. The down side to this is you are stuck with only using that atomizer for that particular mod for life.
Kanthal - Metallic wiring that is used to make coils used in atomizers. Kanthal is "the trademark for a family of iron-chromium-aluminium (FeCrAl) alloys ... known for their ability to withstand high temperatures and having intermediate electric resistance" (- Wikipedia)
Mech Mod - This describes a mod that is unregulated and completes the current via a firing button and a metallic housing. The lack of any regulation allows the user to use a very low resistance atomizer which can give extremely high wattage. The wattage is only capped by the amp limits of the battery. Generally speaking it is wise to only be 80% of your amp limit. With a 30 amp battery it isn’t wise to vape more than 24 amps. These devices can be made out of Copper, Brass, Stainless Steel, and aluminum. Often times it can be a mixture of different metals to give a better appeal. But most importantly conductivity must be considered for these items. Silver and copper plating increasing the conductivity and thus would decrease the voltage drop. Since these devices are not regulated, as the battery life decreases, so does the voltage being outputted. Better conductivity, the more you’ll get out of your battery when fully charged.
Nicotine - A highly addictive additive found in cigarettes, other tobacco products, and E-Juice. In E-Juice, the quantity is expressed normally in factors of 3, e.g. 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, etc. For a light smoker, the best conversion has been 6mg or 12mg and for a heavy smoker 18mg to 24mg of nicotine. For many with the goal of tapering down their nicotine dependency, they start with their number and start weaning themselves down to a lower nicotine level as they feel it’s appropriate. When stepping down, they compensate for the lower nicotine by vaping more often they did before until their body adjusts to the lower level of nicotine.
Nichrome - Similar to kanthal but less conductive, does not have that high of a heat tolerance, and gives a weird metallic taste in atomizers. Yeah you probably don’t want to use this stuff.
O-Rings - Rubber rings used to keep the E-Cig accessories sealed and/or together. You will find these often in RBA, RDA, and clearomizers.
Ohm Meter - Box like device used in measuring the resistance (ohms) of an atomizer. The ohm meter is extremely important when dealing with rebuilding atomizers. It can test if the atomizer is shorted out or not. It is highly suggested to get an ohm meter even though personal vaporizers may have one built in. The built in personal vaporizers cannot read the resistance of an atomizer correctly below 0.5 ohms.
Ohm’s Law - Voltage equals current times resistance. Ohms law is extremely important to assure that stay safe when vaping. All batteries have an amp limit. Going over the said limit may cause the battery to fail and possibly explode. A quick example. Generally speaking your average battery has 4.2 volts. If you use a 1.5 ohm atomizer, ( 4.2v x (4.2v/1.5ohm)) this gives us 11.76 watts and 2.8 amps. In terms of battery safety as long as your battery has at least 2.8 amp limit you are in the clear.
Ohms - The resistance of power being pushed. Less resistance the more power will be pushed in regards to vaping.
Pass-through - This describes when the E-Cig has the ability to charge while you are using it often plugged in via a Micro/Mini USB cable to an outlet or your computer. These are often found on personal vaporizers only.
PG (Propylene Glycol) - Used in E-Juices and carries most of the flavoring of the E-Juices. This gives E-Juice the throat hit and is much thinner in nature than VG. There are some of us that have PG allergies. When vaping PG heavy juices, those of us with PG allergies get a discomfort in our throats. Like most allergies it affects everyone differently.
Ratio - Generally speaking it is the ratio between PG and VG. Normally expressed as PG/VG on the label. Often they may just have 70/30 which expresses 70% PG and 30%VG.
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA) - Dripping works very differently but like the name says you drip into the atomizer until the wick is saturated and fire up the vaporizer. The atomizer can hold a few drops of liquid. Enough for a few inhales. Now you’re probably thinking why would anyone do this? Why take a bottle of juice with you and drip when you can just fill up a tank and don’t worry about it until it is empty which could take days if not weeks to empty? Two reasons! Flavor and vapor production. The flavor from a RDA is unparalleled with anything I’ve ever tried. The flavor is warm and the taste is superb. The vapor production is absolutely incredible. Huge thick clouds to the point where it may be too much actually. I work in an office and I personally do not use a RDA there. It is a mini fog machine lol. The down side to this is the rebuilding and re-wicking that you yourself have to do. It’s not for everyone. A bad rebuild would lead to a bad vaping experience and more time out of your day to rebuild again.
Tank - Part of the atomizer that holds the E-Juice. It can be made out of plastic, stainless steel, pyrex glass, quartz, or aluminum. If you are using a plastic tank, the user must be careful as certain E-Juices can “crack” the plastic tank. Obviously the metallic tanks the user cannot see through, so the user would have to open the atomizer every now and then to see how much E-Juice is left. Tanks are great for on the go, often times they hold at least 1.5ml up to 10ml of E-Juice.
VG (Vegtable Glycerin) - Used in E-Juices and a lot of different low carb snacks (seriously look it up). This is a thicker the PG and has sweet in nature. When vaporized this produces large, thick, dense vapor. VG often has a sweet aftertaste and is also found in low carb foods found in the grocery store.
Volts - Short for voltage. This is the pressure of electricity. Amps are what push volts. For a normal high drain IMR battery like the 18650, these batteries have 4.2 volts and will output up to 4.2 volts, but as the battery drains, the voltage being outputted will drain as well. With a regulated device, the voltage will be constant from 3.2 volts up to 6 volts constantly until the battery is drained.
VV/VW - Variable Voltage/Variable Wattage. This is a capability regulated mods have that allow the mod to adjust the power and/or voltage being outputted into the atomizer. VV/VW devices have a rechargeable battery that is often removable. You will not find a VV/VW device that is a Cig-a-Like, these are reserved for personal vaporizers and a special few EGO style E-Cigs. VV/VW devices have a wide range of output. Some can ouput 11 watts and others up to 120 watts of power!!! Users like having the ability to adjust the wattage (or voltage) to their liking. Whether they are using a tank based atomizer using lower watts or a RDA pushing much higher wattage to get huge clouds of vapor.
Watts - Amps (or current) times volts gives us watts or wattage. Also known as power. The more power being pushed, the larger the clouds, warmer the vape, and more intense the flavor.
Wick - Made out of cotton, ekowool, silica, or stainless steel mesh. The wick holds the E-Juice by absorbing it before the coil vaporizes the E-Juice.