Now that you've entered the wild and wonderful world of rebuildable atomizers and mastered the art of wrapping micro coils, you will need to select a wicking material.
If you started on the Egos like - well, pretty much everybody, you would be familiar with silica wicks. Silica is a great all-purpose wicking material that is hardy, doesn't burn easily and lasts a long time. You can definitely use silica in your rebuildable, however if you're after better flavour and vapour production (a big reason most vapers start building their own coils), you will eventually want to consider alternatives to silica.
There are actually a lot of options. Apart from silica and cotton, you can use Rayon, a type of synthetic cotton material; you can use stainless steel mesh (most commonly used in Genesis-style atomisers and certain kinds of RDAs); or you can even use ceramic wicks, although again apart from the Gennys they are not so common these days.
If you settle on cotton for your wick material, there are further options again within this group. We've already mentioned Rayon, which some users prefer for its superior wicking properties and the fact it imparts no flavour to the vape. You can use organic cotton balls, or even the el-cheapo supermarket cotton balls you steal from the bathroom cupboard - although, quality will vary widely depending on your choice, and this will impact the flavour of the vape.
Most experienced rebuilders (including myself) will tell you that organic cotton sheets are the way to go, for a few reasons:
Quality - your local friendly - and reputable - vape supplier will generally go through the hassle of sourcing and experimenting with different suppliers, ensuring the sheets you buy are top quality;
Ease of use - once you've had enough of picking bits of fluff out of cotton balls and somehow rolling them into wicks you will appreciate how simple wicking with sheets is;
Consistency - no more lumpy bits or thin bits in your wicks, leading to burns, snags and dry hits;
Flavour - believe it or not, most vapers who use organic cotton (again, including myself) actually like the flavour it imparts to the vape. There ain't nothin' like that freshly-wicked cotton taste! Mmmmmm
In addition to the reasons outlined above, if you are new to rebuilding, using organic cotton sheets is a great way to get the hang of wicking, with the added bonus of never needing to use anything else if you don't want to.
SO, now we've got that out of the way, how do we actually do this? I'm glad you asked!
To keep it simple for this tutorial, I have put a single micro coil on my trusty old Kayfun clone so you can get a good look at what's going on. Also in the name of simplicity, we will not discuss model-specific wicking techniques here. If you would like advice specific to your atomizer, please contact us and it should appear in a future blog post. Now, let's get down to brass tacks!
You will need: Packet of organic cotton sheets, scissors.
- Grab your packet of cotton sheets, and extract a single sheet. Be careful not to pull the individual sheets apart or you will have an unusable mess on your hands. You can tell where one starts and the other ends by looking at the raised lines on the edge.
- Grab your scissors and cut a strip off the edge of the sheet, going with the grain. For most coils you will need no more than 5mm.
- Gently twist one end to a point. You do not need to twist the whole strip.
- Carefully insert the twisted end into your coil, and slowly pull the strip through.
NOTE: check the width here. If it's too thick, don't force it! Trim it down and start again. If it's too thin, throw it out and cut a new one.
Why? If your wick is too thick, juice will not get to the coil and the wick will burn. If it's too thin, you can get flooding and gurgling, and the coil will get too hot. Don't be afraid to ditch a dodgy strip!
- Once inserted into the coil, gently pull back and forth inside the coil. This does two things: 1. ensures you have the thickness right - it should move easily within the coil whilst still touching the whole inside of it; and 2. conditions the cotton inside the coil so it will be better at delivering juice.
- Finally, trim the ends to the needed length. The ends should end up looking like they do in the photo. If they are still a bit twisted or compacted, very carefully pull the cotton apart. For RDAs, make sure you have enough length for the juice well. For RTAs, make sure you don't have so much length you're blocking the air channels.
That's it! Told you it was simple. This is your foundation wicking technique that will see you through your organic cotton sheet days. Any further variations you may come across all start with this.
If you would like a more specific wicking tutorial regarding your atomizer, please contact us and write "Blog post request" in the subject line.
Next week we will build on what we've learned in the last two posts and talk about how to use doublers.