A Driphacks Guide to Vape Tanks

Where to start with Vape tanks?  With so many options out there and different types, it can be confusing to find out exactly what tank you are after.  Do you buy a cloud tank?  A Little tank or make your own tank?  The options vary from product to product and without knowing exactly what you want, it can be daunting to search.  So many terminologies, shapes, sizes brands etc, whatever happened to vaping being easy?  In fact, vaping is as easy as you want it to be especially when it comes to a tank.  Whether you want flavour, vapour or something a little bit more advanced, rest assured there is something out there for you.  So join us at Drip Hacks as we take a look through exactly what a vape tank is and what options are out there, to make things a little bit easier to understand.


Breakdown of a tank

The Vape tank can be many different styles but all follow the same structure as each other to provide a more universal approach to vaping.  A Vape tank comes with a 510 pin on the bottom which makes it compatible with 90% of the vape mods available today.  A Vape tank comes with a drip tip on top in 2 different styles, a 510 and an 810.  A 510 drip tip is more designed for MTL style vaping through its smaller size and narrower chimney, with the 810 being favoured by Sub Ohm tanks.  The majority of vape tanks utilise a bottom coil design, with only a few exceptions using a top (or middle) coil placement.  Vape tanks come again for the most part with adjustable airflow with only the strictest of RDAs being an exception to that rule.  All tanks (apart from the RDA) use a glass chamber that holds Eliquid to saturate the coil over time, meaning you only need to fill when close to being empty.

Types of Vape Tanks

There are different types of tanks first and foremost that differ in vaping style, use and most importantly maintenance.  Luckily there is a tank out there for you so let’s take a look at some of the different tank options and what they actually are.

MTL Tanks

The MTL tank is designed for low power high nicotine style vaping, the most similar to smoking itself.  The MTL style tank usually has a lower capacity and smaller stock coils but the higher strength nicotine means you won’t be vaping as much compared to a bigger tank.  The MTL tank has a narrower drip tip and smaller airflow to restrict the vapour into a smaller stream making the MTL style much easier and cooler.  This style of tank is ideal for beginners as it allows them to switch their usual smoking style into a vaping tank in a natural progression.  MTL tanks can be smaller in diameter compared to bigger tanks available and therefore depending on brand, can fit on smaller devices. A MTL tank will consume much less MTL Eliquid due to the power and the additional benefit from a MTL style tank is that the lower power can make a battery powered mod last much longer.

Sub Ohm Tanks

Sub Ohm tanks are much higher powered tanks that create much bigger amounts of vapour and can deliver much higher amounts of flavour from your Eliquid.  The name Sub ohm comes from the resistance of the coils being lower than 1 ohm , which generally means they require much more wattage from your mod to be able to power them effectively.  The Sub Ohm tank uses much bigger coils and can come in various forms, including kanthal, SS or mesh, more on that later.  The sub ohm tank has a much larger capacity as it consumes much higher amounts of E Liquid to create the bigger clouds of vapour.  This style of tank is perfect for vapers who want to move onto something bigger or for someone switching who wants a tank that can provide much greater amounts of flavour.  The sub ohm tank however requires a much lower strength of nicotine, with around 6mg being the limit before the vape will turn harsh on your throat.


An RDA, or Rebuildable Dripper Atomiser is a tank that isn’t a tank, which requires a high level knowledge of ohms law and the device you are using.  An RDA removes the tank aspect and instead to some extent places a drip tip on top of your coil so you inhale directly from the cotton rather than using a chimney as per other tanks.  The RDA can vary in design with some utilising wells inside for excess liquid inside and variable airflow depends on the brand you buy.  However the overall design will remain the same as well as the function of the RDA.  The RDA requires hand made coils to be used rather than stock coils and do not have a storage area for Eliquid.  Instead, the dripping part of the name comes from the motion of dripping the Eliquid directly onto the cotton.  The benefit of using an RDA is that with the right coils, they can provide the best possible flavour, but knowledge and the right mod is needed to ensure you are safe.


RTA devices are rebuildable tank atomisers that swap out the widely used stock coil for a rebuildable base instead.  An RTA can mimic the design of a stock coil tank but require hand made coils to enable it to be used.  Much like the RDA, it requires a high level knowledge of Ohms law as well as the capabilities of your device.  An RTA is built like a regular tank so will come with adjustable airflow, glass chamber for Eliquid storage and a standard 25mm base for the most part.  The benefit from using an RTA over a stock coil tank is that it allows you to use your own coils to provide better flavour and performance with much easier maintenance.  Adding the additional space for Eliquid storage, it has that advantage over an RDA at the cost of a slight drop in flavour.  This is an ideal step up from stock coil tanks for people who want to build their own coils and not have to worry about refilling the cotton every 5-10 vapes.


Types of Vape Coils

Vape coils can come in different materials or styles to change the way you vape or to provide a very specific style of vaping.  With stock coils, the choice is often limited however when it comes to rebuildable vape tanks, the choice out there can provide you with many options on how you want to vape.  Below are the most commonly used coil types and what they all mean, with the added benefits / cons from using each type.


The most common material in vaping is Kanthal metal, a mainstay within the vaping industry.  the Kanthal metal is used due to its accessibility, ease of use and withstanding high temperatures.  Most standard coils on the market use this material and it has become almost a universal material in vaping.  The downside top using kanthal is its ability to reduce in flavour and effectiveness over time and it does not allow temperature control to be used.  However for anyone new to vaping or starting to build their own coils, kanthal is an ideal starting material.

Mesh Coils

This type is fairly new to the market but has swept across the sub ohm market becoming standard in such a short space of time.  The Mesh coil is a sheet of mesh, often Kanthal that wraps around the cotton rather than coiled as other types.  The benefits of a mesh style coil is that the flavour is greatly improved due to the wider surface area that the mesh coil covers, meaning more vapour can be created at once.  Mesh coils can also be used in a rebuildable device, with many choices out there on the market today from some of the top names in the industry.  The drawback from using mesh is that the cotton has to match up to the diameter of the mesh to get the best out of it.  Otherwise you can find the cotton burning/dry hitting if not correctly set up as you will be putting more heat through the cotton than is recommended.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel (SS) is a rather unique style of wire that can provide plenty of benefit to a vaper if they choose to use this style.  SS coils provide a much cleaner vape than kanthal does and the metallic component makes it perfect for temperature control vaping.  It can be much easier to maintain the coil over longer periods of time and great for heating up time compared to other choices out there.  The wire is fairly easy to build with making this a very popular choice for vapers out there.  The drawback to using stainless steel, as a temperature control wire is the less accurate readings from the coil compared to other choices.  However the drawbacks to using SS coils is through the higher power required to fire the coils and more difficult to use for building over a kanthal wire.


Nickel is the most niche style of wire used but for its benefits, it can be a great asset inside your rebuildable base.  Nickel (Ni) coils are used mainly for Temperature control vaping but the added benefit of using it is through their accuracy in resistance reading.  The Nickel coil is easier to build with compared to SS and the lower resistance means you can use it for bigger clouds from your vape tank.  It can withstand much higher temperatures and the ramp up time in power compared to SS is much lower also.  The downside to using Ni coils is through their harder to maintain circumstance, they are more likely to gunk up over time compared to other style of coils.  Additionally the Ni coil not being able to be used in Wattage mode makes it, as mentioned, a very niche style of coil material.


Although this list isn’t exhaustive, hopefully we have covered everything you need to know about vape tanks and what the terminology actually means.  The great thing about the range of choice out there is that there is a tank made just for you.  Whether you are a complete beginner, want something a little more powerful or ready to make the next step, there is plenty of options.  The next step is to get looking and see which one would be perfect for you.  Hopefully Drip Hacks have helped you understand it all a little bit more and if you are still unsure about something, we would be more than happy to help.

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