Getting Started: Vaping Terminology

Like pretty much anything, there is a lot of jargon thrown around in the vaping world. Here are some of the common terms that you will come across:

401, 510, 801, 901, : Common threading types for attaching toppers to batteries/PVs/APVs, 510 being the most common.

Analog: Traditional cigarette/cigar (mostly cigarettes).

APV: Advanced Personal Vaporizer. Generally used to refer to electronic circuit regulated variable voltage or variable wattage model electronic cigarettes.

Atomizer, Atty: The part of an electronic cigarette containing the wire coil (and wick in most) that actually physically vaporizes the e-juice.

BCC: Bottom Coil Clearomizer (such as Kanger Protank, Mini protank, EVOD, MT3, T3S, etc.). The atomizer coil sits at the bottom of the clearomizer tank.

Brick and Mortar, B&M: A physical store that sells electronic cigarette or vaping related equipment, including APVs and e-juice.

Burner: Traditional cigarette/cigar.

Cartridge, Cart: The mouthpiece which contains the liquid used to create vapor on some electronic cigarettes.

Cartomizer, Carto: A disposable, combined, atomizer and cartridge.

Cartomizer punch, Carto Punch: A device used for punching holes in cartomizers for use in a cartomizer tank.

Cartomizer Tank, Carto Tank: A tank (usually plastic or glass) that slides over a cartomizer (usually a friction fit, some are screw on) to allow the user to fill a large e-juice reservoir rather than having to refill the carto frequently. This requires the use of cartos that have at least one hole punched in them so that the e-juice can flow from the tank into the carto.

Cigalike: An electronic cigarette having a similar form factor as a traditional cigarette (Blu or NJoy, there are dozens of these). Generally considered to be the bottom of the ladder as far as build quality and vape quality in electronic cigarettes.

Cisco, Cisco Spec Atty, Cisco Spec Atomizer: Cisco is the owner of Avid Vaper, and something of an atomizer guru. Cisco designed an original specification for atomizer coils and was the first producer of what are popularly considered to be the best dripping atomizers made. This is now commonly used to refer to atomizers built to his original atomizer specification, which really most are not, as he will not reveal what kind of wire he uses in his atomizers (he has stated publicly that it is neither NiChrome or Kanthal, but something that he gets from Germany and removes the labels from before sending it to the factories so that his atomizers cannot be cloned).

Clearomizer, Clearo: A cartomizer that is made of a clear material (usually plastic or glass) so that the user can see the quantity of e-juice remaining in the unit.

Cloud, Clouds, Blowing Clouds: The vapor that is exhaled when smoking electronic cigarettes. Generally referred to clouds when very dense due to the high water content in the exhaled vapor.

Deck: The flat base area where the positive and negative posts sit on an RBA/RDA, which is designed to keep e-juice off of the battery connection. Some have a small raised lip on the outside edge to prevent e-juice from running down off of the deck.

DIY: Do it yourself. Commonly used to refer to making your own e-juice.

Dripping, Drip: Putting e-juice directly on the atomizer.

e-juice, e-liquid, e-nicotine: The liquid which produces the vapor in an electronic cigarette.

Ekowool: A specific brand of braided silica used to make wicks for rebuildables.

Fuse: A specially designed fuse for use in mechanical mods to prevent some types of battery failure.

Genesis Style Atomizer, Genesis Atty, Gen Atty: A type of rebuildable atomizer that sits on top of a tank (usually glass), with one or more holes in the deck leading into the tank.

Glassomizer: A clearomizer that uses glass rather than plastic for the tank. Examples would be the Kanger Protank, Protank Mini, or the AnyVape Davide (a Protank 2 clone).

Hybrid, Hybrid PV, Hybrid Mod: A combined topper and battery holder (many of these are Mechanical) designed to fit together as one seamless unit.

Juice: The liquid which produces the vapor in an electronic cigarette.

Juice Well: A largish cup like part of an RBA that is somewhere between a lip machined on the deck and a full tank.

Kanthal, Kanthal A1: Kanthal is a specific brand of resistance wire that is used in building coils for electronic cigarettes, usually sold for Rebuildables. Kanthal A1 is a specific grade of Kanthal wire which is considered by many to be the best wire for use in coils.

Kick: A special circuit used in mechanical PV’s or some APV’s that provides the ability to vary wattage output on the device. The kick is inserted on top of the battery.

LR or LR Atty: A low resistance atomizer, typically below 2.0 ohms.

Mechanical Mod, Mech Mod, Mech PV, Mech: An electronic cigarette that (traditionally) does not have any electronics or wiring (some “mechs” do have wires), it is just a metal tube with a mechanical switch that holds a battery and a connector for a topper of some sort.

Micro coil: A type of wire coil where the coil is wrapped so that the loops of the coil are all touching, requiring more wraps than a traditional coil.

Mod: Short for modification. This originally referred to modifying a flashlight or a battery to be used in vaping, but is now commonly used to refer to any vaping device that is not a cigalike.

Pass-though, PT:  An alternate way of powering an electronic cigarette where the unit is connected directly to a power source other than a battery, and can be used while charging. Some pass-throughs do not have batteries at all.

PCC: Personal Charging Case. Generally only used with cigalikes.

Personal Vaporizer, PV: The entire electronic cigarette.

Propylene Glycol, PG: An ingredient in e-juice that produces Throat Hit and carries flavor better than Vegetable Glycerine. Physically much thinner than VG. Can also be used as a nicotine suspension agent.

RBA: Rebuildable Atomizer (user serviceable parts). Generally referred to as an RBA when it has a tank or large juice well that does not require dripping of liquid directly onto the coil.

RDA: Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer.

Rebuildables: RBA/RDA units.

Ribbon Kanthal, Ribbon Wire, Ribbon: A specific type of resistance “wire” used for building coils. Ribbon wire has a flat cross section rather than round, as with traditional wire.

Silica: Material used for building wicks. This is generally used to refer to braided silica cord. Silica has a very high melting point, so can be cleaned with an open flame such as a butane torch.

Tank: The part of a topper that holds the e-juice.

Throat Hit (sometimes seen as TH): The sensation on the back of the throat akin to what is felt when smoking a traditional cigarette.

Topper: A device that goes on top of an electronic cigarette battery/battery holder (Atomizers, Cartomizers, Clearomizers, RBAs RDAs, etc.).

Topping or Topping Off: Refilling a cartridge or tank with e-juice.

Vegetable Glycerine, VG: Used in e-juice to produce vapor. Much smoother than propylene glycol. Physically much thicker than PG. Can be used as a nicotine suspension agent.

Vape, Vaping: The act of using an electronic cigarette. The digital equivalent of smoking.

Vaper: Someone who uses an electronic cigarette or APV.

Wick: Wicks are used to deliver e-juice to the coil in electronic cigarettes. Most atomizers use a wick of some sort. Most commonly made from silica cord, wick can also be made from rolled up steel mesh, ceramic, fiberglass, cotton, or a host of other materials.

Wire: Generally refers to resistance wire used in building coils for atomizers.

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4 thoughts on “Getting Started: Vaping Terminology

  1. Dude – Thank you, so much! 20 days in, and it’s only now starting to make a bit of sense to me.. I wish I found this page 21 days ago!

  2. Pingback: Overwhelmed - Page 4

  3. Your question would be better suited to one of the battery safety please repost it there. If you’re looking for a quicker answer than I can give you post it in Reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette

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