Just as I was prepping to write a comprehensive guide on differences between vape atomizer models, I realized I might be putting the cart in front of the horse. While briefly discussing the topic with some friends of mine, a couple of them admitted that they didn’t really know that much about atomizers for dab pens. This is perfectly understandable; these guys are OG stoners that never really got interested in vaping. Couple that with a hefty dose of technophobia and it’s no wonder they got a bit lost when the subject switched over to my buddy’s RDA mod (he's a much more advanced user). To be honest, I struggle to keep up on the technological aspects of an RDA atomizer so when my friends suggested I start by writing a basic overview of vape atomizers themselves, I figured it wasn’t a bad idea.
An Overview of Atomizers
If you own a wax pen, e-cig, or any portable vaporizer, you no doubt have at least a passing familiarity with a vape atomizer. Your atomizer plays a significant role in bringing the precision heat necessary for the vaporization process to work effectively. While the quality of your vaping experience relies heavily on your atomizer, the cartridge and battery are also integral. A multitude of vaping factors tie into the vape atomizer, from the clarity of flavor to the consistency of your plumes. These traits may not come solely from your atomizer but a decent atomizer can factor into improved flavor, cloud consistency and how quickly and efficiently your material is heated.
Your vape atomizer typically consists of two primary pieces. One piece consists of the cartridge or atomizer tank. This is where your concentrate is contained. The second piece is the atomizer itself, typically being made up of a silicone wick wrapped in a wire (usually made of nichrome) that links up with the battery. These are the inner workings of your atomizer, safely contained within the shell.
The Evolution of the Vape Atomizer
When the first vapor pen hit the market, it consisted of three separate pieces: the battery or power source, the e-cig tank or vape cartridge, and the atomizer. As the popularity of portable vaporizer models swelled, it became clear that the connection between the atomizer and cartridge needed further development. Anyone that can remember the golden dawn of e-cigs likely also remembers wearing a bit of e-juice because the cartridge and atomizer weren’t screwed together tightly enough. This leakage was all too common and finally gave way to the development of the cartomizer. As the name would suggest, the cartomizer fused the cartridge and the atomizer to make the whole process much less messy.
The Weird Wild World of Dripping
For vape aficionados, dripping is the only way to properly pay tribute to the gods of e-juice. This process finds the vaper dripping the flavored e-juice directly onto the heated vape atomizer and inhaling the result. Obviously, both cartridge and tank are superfluous in the dripping process. While dripping e-juice often provides more potent flavor, it also carries some increased risks with it. The concentrated hit of e-juice can result in nicotine poisoning. Likewise, dripping can be a messy process and if the e-juice soaks into your skin, you’re again running the increased risks of nicotine poisoning. Of course, these risks are not involved when dripping THC juice and marijuana concentrates. However, dripping concentrates will gunk up your vape atomizer pretty quickly so be prepared to do some cleaning or have the income to fund frequent replacement atomizers.
The popularity of dripping was just one contributing factor in the rise of mechanical mods, such as the aptly named dripper mod, performed to customize atomizers. The dripper mod, also referred to as the RDA mod (for rebuildable dripping atomizer), is said to vastly improve the taste of vapor plumes while retaining the potency of your concentrates. An RDA mod requires you to be somewhat tech savvy as is the case with any mechanical mods. They can also be quite messy so you’ll often be sacrificing the convenience of portability when you indulge in a dripper mod. If you know your way around an atomizer enough to customize your own rda atomizer, you may be able to save yourself a bit of cash by simply replacing the wick as opposed to buying a whole new replacement atomizer when quality begins to deteriorate.
Of course, this is simply an overview meant to establish the importance of your vape atomizer. In the coming weeks, we’ll provide some more comprehensive guides exploring types of vapor pen atomizers so you can choose the one that best fits your intentions. Likewise, we may even delve a bit into the technological rabbit hole of mechanical mods since the dripper mod is really just the tip of the iceberg. In the meantime, take some time to appreciate the efficiency of your vape atomizer because you’d have a pretty tough time getting lifted without it.