Glossary of Terms
Analog – What electronic cigarette users (vapers) call a traditional (or real) tobacco cigarette.
APV – Advanced Personal Vaporizer. This loosely describes anything other than a mini or eGo battery. It includes both Variable Volt/Watt and Mechanical devices.
Atomizer (Atty) – The atomizer is a the heating unit of the electronic cigarette. Usually metal wire wrapped around a core. It get hot when electricity from the power source is applied and “vaporized” the e-liquid. The generates the vapor.
Automatic Devices or Batteries – Automatic batteries or devices will activate the heating element automatically when a puff is taken. You do not have to use a button to activate the heating element.
Battery (Batt) – The battery is the power source for an electronic cigarette. It provides power to the heating element which vaporized the e-liquid. Some batteries are integrated into the device like an EGO. These devices will come with a charger that is made for the device. Most mods have removable batteries and require an external charger.
Bridge – A U or V shaped covering over the heating coil of some atomizers. It is usually metal covered by an absorbent material designed to wick e-liquid from a cartridge filler to the heating element.
Cartomizer (Carto) – The cartomizer combines a heating element and juice delivery system into a single unit.
Cartridge (Cart) – A cartridge holds the e-liquid, sits on top of the atomizer, and directs the liquid into it. The cartridge should be considered “old technology” at this point.
Coil – The thing that gets hot! Generally a piece of nichrome or kanthal that has been wrapped around some kind of wick. Current flows through the coil, the coil gets hot, and vaporizes your e-liquid. You then vape happily.
Connection Type – Many different connection types are used to connect the atty/carto to the device or battery. The most common are 510, 901, 808, 801. In my humble opinion, the 510 connection is the most popular type.
Drip Sheild – With dripping comes over dripping. With over dripping comes leaking! The drip shield was originally designed for the 901 atomizer to “catch” over dripping inside the shield and prevent e-liquid from leaking all over your device. It also works with a 510 atty, but you’ll need to use a 510 to 510 extension to raise the air path for proper airflow.
Drip Tip – A drip tip is a mouth piece originally created to be used on an atomizer for “dripping”. It has an enlarged opening allowing you to drip e-liquid directly into it. Drip tips are also commonly used on cartomizers, replacing the small rubber mouthpiece that comes with them to provide a much more comfortable experience. Drip tips come in many different styles, colors, and materials.
Dripping – Dripping is the act of manually getting e-liquid to the heating element by “dripping” it directly onto the heating element. This removes the e-liquid delivery system from a typical electronic cigarette system. People generally consider dripping to provide the best possible vapor, throat and flavor.
Dry, Scratchy, or Burnt Hits – This can occur when not enough juice is supplied to an atty or carto. This will result in poor flavor and vapor.
Electronic Cigarette (E-Cigarette, E-Cig, Personal Vaporizer, PV) – A device used to vaporize e-liquid and creates the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette. A typical electric cigarette is a system made up of three important parts. A power source, a heating element, and an e-liquid delivery system. The power source provides power to the heating element which heats up and vaporizes the e-liquid. The e-liquid deliver system holds and directs the e-liquid to the heating element. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_cigarette
E-Liquid (Juice) – E-Liquid is vaporized by the heating element and this vapor is inhaled to create the sensation of smoking. E-Liquid generally contains 3 components. A base of either Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerine (or some combination or “blend” of the two), nicotine, and flavorings. Nicotine is optional.
Filler Material – The material found in cartridges and some cartomizers. This material is designed to soak in the e-liquid and direct it to the heating element.
Flooding – This can occur when too much juice is supplied to an atty or carto. This will result in poor vapor and “gurgling”.
Gurgling – Usually occurs when too much e-liquid is supplied to a given device resulting in flooding. This can also be caused by condensation built up in the air passage.
Heating Coil – The thing that gets hot! Generally a piece of nichrome or kanthal that has been wrapped around some kind of wick. Current flows through the coil, the coil gets hot, and vaporizes your e-liquid. You then vape happily.
Juice (E-Liquid) – E-Liquid is vaporized by the heating element and this vapor is inhaled to create the sensation of smoking. E-Liquid generally contains 3 components. A base of either Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycerine (or some combination or “blend” of the two), nicotine, and flavorings. Nicotine is optional.
Kanthal – One of the two main types of resistance wire used for the heating coil in an atomizer or cartomizer. The other is Nichrome.
Manual Devices or Batteries – Manual batteries or devices will activate the heating element only when a button is pushed. Most electronic cigarettes and mods use some type of button.
Mechanical Device/Mod – A mechanical device or mod is just that, purely mechanical. There is no circuitry, protection, or other electronics in use. The button will close the circuit sending power from the battery directly to the atty/carto connection.
Mod – Originally , a mod was a device created by an e-cig enthusiasts looking for a better device than those mass produced. They wanted superior performance in battery life and vapor production as well as build quality. The term “mod” is used loosely these days and sometimes not correctly. Mod can also be used to describe a modification made to an electronic cigarette or device to improve it’s performance.
Multi-Voltage (MV) Device - A device that has pre-determined voltage settings. Most of these have at least three settings. For example, a low setting could be 3.7V, a medium setting could be 4.5V, a high setting could be 6V. You cannot adjust outside of these settings. This is not a commonly used term in the vaping community, but it needs to be. Examples: The SVR, The EVO, The Ovale F-50.
Nichrome - One of the two main types of resistance wire used for the heating coil in an atomizer or cartomizer. The other is Kanthal.
No-Resistance Wire- The heating coils in some RBA installs require no-resistance wire leads to be attached. They allow for current to get to the heating coil through them, but the portion that is no-resistance will not get hot. The two types that are generally used are silver and nickel.
Passthrough – A Passthrough can either be a device itself or part of an electronic cigarette or mod. If is it the device itself, you can connect your atty/carto to it and then plug it into the USB port of a computer or USB wall adapter. It receives power through either. Passthroughs are also built into some electronic cigarettes and mods allowing you to use them while they are charging.
Personal Charging Case (PCC) – A device that you first charge and then use to charge your electronic cigarette batteries while out on the go and away from an outlet. These are generally used and helpful for smaller electronic cigarette models with less vape time between charges on the batteries.
Personal Vaporizer (PV) – Another name for an electronic cigarette and generally preferred by the vaping community.
Propylene Glycol (PG) – Propylene Glycol is used as a base in many e-liquids. People have reported sensitivity and/or having an allergic reaction to PG. These people may be required to add a higher % of Vegetable Glycerin (VG) or all VG to their e-liquid in order to continue vaping. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_Glycol
RBA – A rebuildable atomizer. These atomizers allow you to replace or repair the wick and coil system inside of them. These types of devices are generally thought of as more advanced. They require you to manually wrap a wick of some type with resistance wire to create a coil. This assembly is then installed into the RBA.
RDA – A rebuildable dripping atomizer. These atomizers allow you to replace or repair the wick and coil system inside of them. These types of devices are generally thought of as more advanced. They require you to manually wrap a wick of some type with resistance wire to create a coil. This assembly is then installed into the RDA. You can then drip your liquid onto the coil you just built and enjoy a vape.
RTA – A rebuildable tank atomizer. These atomizers allow you to replace or repair the wick and coil system inside of them. These types of devices are generally thought of as more advanced. They require you to manually wrap a wick of some type with resistance wire to create a coil. This assembly is then installed into the RTA. RTAs have tanks incorporated into their design which hold e-liquid and automatically feed the wick and coil.
Resistance – Atomizers and cartomizers all have a resistance rating in Ohms. The easiest way to think of this is that the lower the resistance rating, the “hotter” the heating element will get with less power. This is why people will use Low Resistance (LR) atomizers of cartomizers on lower powered devices such as the EGO. It is important to understand that voltage can be supplied to what resistance attys/cartos so that you do not burn them out. Example, you should not use a LR atty/carto on a 5 volt device. See the recommended voltage/resistance chart off the home page.
Resistance Wire – What the heating coil is made of. Two types are generally used, Kanthal and Nichrome.
Stacking - Stacking is the act of using two batteries in series instead of just one. Think of it like putting two batteries, one on top of each other in a flashlight. In order to be as safe as possible and prevent damage to yourself and your device, you should ALWAYS use matched battery pairs, devices that have vent holes, and batteries that have protection built in.
Steeping - The act of doing nothing with your juice Some people will allow their e-liquid to steep before using it. It allows a freshly made juice’s flavors to intermingle, mature, and become all happy together. How long should you let your juice steep? A couple days? A week? Opinions will vary on this. Some vendors will even put steeping instructions in with your order. If you don’t like a juice when you first get it, give it some time to steep and try it again before you toss it!
Tank – a device that holds e-liquid and a cartomizer. This cartomizer can either be a filler material type design or a CE-2 type design. Examples: J-Tank (filler type), Smoktech Tanks (filler type), Vision Stone Tank (ce-2 type), Map Tanks (ce-2 or filler types)
Tank system – An electronic cigarette that combines uses an atty and a tank. The tank site on the atty. The atty is designed with a spike with a wick in the center of it. The spike goes into the tank and directs e-liquid to the heating element. It has been my experience that tank systems generally trade off some vapor, flavor, and throat hit for a more convenient method of filling. Examples: EGO-T, EGO-C, Leo Pro.
Throat Hit (TH) – Throat Hit is the sensation or “thump” felt in the back of the throat when inhaling vapor from the mouth into the lungs. TH is generated by many different factors including, but not limited to the e-liquid’s nicotine level, the flavorings used, the VG/PG ratio used, quality of the ingredients used, the voltage applied to the heating element, the resistance of the heating element, etc. Generally, however, the higher the nicotine level, the greater the TH.
Unprotected vs. Protected Batteries & Devices – Protected batteries and devices will contain protection circuits. This circuit is designed to stop the battery from charging or discharging or the device from working in certain circumstances. These circumstances can include over-charging, over-discharging, short-circuit, and overheating.
Vaping – The act of using an electronic cigarette. WE VAPE!! WE DO NOT SMOKE!! Power is supplied to a heating element which vaporizes e-liquid and that vapor is taken into the lungs providing the sensation of smoking along with nicotine if present in the e-liquid.
Variable Voltage (VV) Device – A device that will allow you to adjust the voltage to the atty/carto in small increments. This can be done via push button settings, dials, knobs, thumb wheels, or some require a tiny screw driver to make the setting. The settings vary between devices, but usually somewhere between 3V up to 6V. Examples: The Provari, The Buzz Pro, The LavaTube.
Variable Wattage or Power (VW or VP) Device – A device that will allow you to adjust the wattage at which you vape rather than voltage. To understand this, you need to understand a little about Ohms law, a variation of which states that Watts (power) = voltage² / resistance. Let’s say you like to vape a 2.0 Ohm carto at 4.2 volts. You plug the numbers in and you get 8.8 watts. So if you had your VW device set for 8.8 watts, it will automatically adjust the voltage to always deliver that same wattage. Which means if you now put a 3.0 Ohm carto on it, it will self adjust to 5.1V.
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) – Vegetable Glycerin is used as an alternative or addition to Propylene Glycol in e-liquids. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycerol.
Vent Holes – Vent holes appear on the bottom of electronic cigarettes and mods. These holes allow battery gases to vent in the event of a battery failure.
Voltage – Volts are supplied to the atty/carto from the battery. Most devices, such as the EGO supply approximately 3.7V. High voltage devices can supply between 5-6 volts. Variable Voltage devices allow you to adjust the output voltage. This varies between devices, but usually somewhere between 3V up to 6V. Multi-voltage devices provide pre-determined voltage setting. For example, a low setting could be 3.7V, a medium setting could be 4.5V, a high setting could be 6V.
Watt – A measurement of power which is a function of the voltage of your device and the resistance of your atty/carto. In some devices such as the VAMO and SID your can also control your watts. Watts = Voltage (squared) of your device divided by the resistance of your carto/atty.
Wick – In the world of electronic cigarettes, wick can be a verb or a noun. Noun – a piece of absorbent material designed to direct juice from a container to the heating element. Verb – the act of directing the e-liquid from the container to the heating element.