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Getting Started with Electronic Cigarettes

Posted by Daniel Toebe on 11/16/2011 to Tutorials

I will start off by Googling “what is an electronic cigarette”. Wikipedia is the first on my browser. That article will give you a great depth into what I plan to explain in much shorter context.


When you ask what kind of electronic cigarette you do you have, you may something like “510”, “901”, or “801”. This may sound like gibberish to you, but they are actually telling you the model they use. What the model is is the thread of the atomizer and batteries. This help you find how to mix and match different parts together. Some companies have chosen to brand their units, and not disclosing the model. In most cases this is done to keep you buying their products, and not being able to use other products.


Now let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. First the battery, this is the part that charges the entire unit. Batteries come in many styles. The most common style is the “mini”, this is meant to emulate the look of a cigarette, many even have an LED light on the tip to give the look that you are puffing a cigarette. Now with batteries size does matter, the smaller the battery the less puff time you will have, so the larger generally speaking you will have more battery life. Now this isn’t always the case. So it’s best to look up or ask what the ”mAh” of the battery is. “mAh” is the measurement used to explain how long a battery will last; here is a better explanation what mAh really means.

Another option in batteries is whether you want a manual or automatic. What this means is do you want one that you have to push a button or one that you can just suck on to activate. They both have their upsides and downsides:

Manual or push button; the upside is they are found to be a lot more dependable. They are sealed so you don’t have to worry about flooding (where the juice gets inside the battery). You also get complete control over when the battery activates and deactivates. The downside is you have to push and generally hold the button to activate the battery. The most popular manual model is the 510, but you can get most models with a manual battery.

Automatic or draw through: the upside to these batteries is the convenience of just drawing through to activate the battery, no button push needed. The downside is to activate these batteries they are either equipped with a suction valve, or a speaker. The suction valve basically is drawn up as you suck, this activates the battery. If juice gets down into that area it my flood or ruin the battery. If the battery uses a speaker then it may also flood or any loud noise may set the battery off.

Now there is the option of using mods with specialty batteries, but I will explain those in a later blog.

Atomizers and Cartridges

The atomizer screws into the battery and creates the vapor you will inhale. The atomizer consists of a heating coil, this coils is the actual part that creates the vapor. It does this by gaining its charge from the battery and working like a toaster, where the coil heats up and vaporizes the juice. Typically above the coil is what’s called the bridge. What the bridge does is uses the heat from the coil to draw the juice out of the cartridge.

Now you will hear a lot about low resistance, standard resistance, and high resistance atomizers. The cartridge is typically a plastic piece with a “Polly cotton” filament that holds the juice. The cartridge typically slides into the atomizer to feed the coil with the juice.

One of the most recent options for atomizers and cartridges is the Tank system. The tank system generally will hold more juice and create better vapor than its counterpart. The tank system works by the bridge being removed and a pale with a hollow needle put in its place. In the center of the needle is a wick, and this is what regulates the amount of juice dripped on to the atomizer. The cartridge holds the liquid juice (instead of it being absorbed by the filament in a typical cartridge). The tank is a sealed container that once inserted into the atomizer; it will be punctured by the needle.


A customizer is, to put it simply, the combination of the atomizer and cartridge. Meaning that they have taken the atomizer and “spun” the filament around the coil so you don’t have to fiddle with a separate cartridge.

Now there a lot of other options available to you with electronic cigarettes and I hope to touch on those in the next few blogs

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