When people start getting into vaping (I mean really getting into it, not just trying to quit smoking analogs) they start the quest for flavor. Eventually that leads them to dripping. At least that is how it happened for me. I spent quite a long time trying to figure out what I actually needed to get to start dripping. It’s super simple, but if you have never done it (or are not very familiar with vaping hardware), it can be really freaking confusing.
Be aware up front that you are probably going to pop a couple of coils before you get the hang of dripping, so you should probably order a couple dripping atomizers to avoid frustration.
So what do we need to get started dripping?
- A battery.
- A dripping atomizer.
- A drip tip.
- A drip shield (optional, but a good idea).
- a 510 to 510 (sealed) adapter (again optional, but a good idea).
Ok that is a total of six things, two of which are completely optional. But some of those things are a bit more difficult to obtain than they might seem if you are new to vaping, and do not have a brick and mortar vape shop where you can go to ask questions.
A standard eGo type battery will do. Any APV will do. Hell, there are cigalikes that you could use to do this (some of them anyway, just because you can do a thing does not mean you should). You probably have one already. If you are not currently a vaper, and are looking to start dripping with your initial setup, go read this first. The key part of this is the threading on the battery connector. Probably 99% of vapers have a 510 connection, so this is most likely what you need to know. However it is critical that you actually know what kind of battery connection you have. If you’re not sure, post a picture of it on a forum (like /r/ecr over on Reddit), and ask.
A Dripping Atomizer
If your device doesn’t have a 510 connection, you need to get an adapter from whatever you have to 510, or find a dripping atomizer threaded for your device. If you’re going to use an adapter, get a sealed adapter. This vendor and this vendor carry a selection of non 510 dripping atomizers.
Once you have a 510 connection, you can use standard 510 atomizers or 306 atomizers. What’s the difference? A 306 atomizer is like someone ripped the bottom off of a standard 510 atomizer, and only kept the 510 connection and actual coil. 306 atomizers require special drip tips, that actually go over the entire atomizer. Some people feel that the 306 are the “ultimate” dripping atomizer (I find that I like them better than 510 attys, but it’s totally personal preference). Here is a good easy way to get into 306 atomizers (that comes with a 306 drip tip in the package).
If you’re unsure, just get a standard 510 atomizer, But which 510 atomizer to buy?
The first question you need to answer is; what is my budget?
Want the cheapest option? Buy this for under $5.
Want something a little bit better? Get this Cisco Spec atomizer (~$9).
Want something higher quality? Get a Vapage AMG Hybrid here ($18/2pk).
Want the best disposable driping atomizer you can buy? Get an HH.357 here (~$22, get something in the 2.5 ohm range). This is the atomizer that got me into rebuildables.
I wanted the great experience people talked about from this atty, but couldn’t bring myself to spend $23 on a disposable atomizer. Then I started thinking about it, and decided that if I were willing to spend $18 on a two pack of the Vapage AMG hybrids, or was going to get three of even the cheapest dripping attys I could find, I would be better off just getting an IGO-L with some wick and wire (which is what I ended up doing).
You need to keep in mind that these things are disposable. They are not going to last forever (though the higher dollar ones tend to last longer), and for the most part they are designed to be run at or below 3.7 volts. Running them at higher voltages is certainly possible, but it is going to reduce the lifespan of your atomizer.
A Drip Tip
We could spend literally hours discussing the different drip tips available. Let’s not. Just make sure that you get either a 306 drip tip (if you got a 306 atomizer), or a 510 drip tip (if you got a 510 atomizer), in whatever shape, color, and material you desire. You can spend as little as $1.50 on them to as much as $20 or more.
A Drip Shield (optional)
Drip shields do three things:
- Stop juice leaks from reaching your battery/mod.
- Serve as a heat sink for the atomizer, cooling it faster.
- Change the draw of your atomizer (this is a side effect).
So why get one? The first two functions. You don’t want juice sitting on your battery or mod. It is corrosive and sticky. Plus, it is conductive. If you can cool your atomizer better, it will last longer.
A 510/510 (sealed) adapter (optional)
In some cases you need to add extra height to the 510 connection so that your drip shield functions correctly, and in other cases you just want a sealed 510 connection to keep juice out of your battery. You can get them here. If your battery connection is not sealed, I highly recommend that you use a sealed adapter and a drip shield.
Well duh, what are your gonna drip? Check out the Juice Primer if you haven’t already done so.
Getting to the actual dripping part
Assemble it all: Battery/mod > sealed 510 adapter (if used) > dripping atomizer > drip tip > drip shield (gets pushed down over the whole thing from the top, you can put this on before or after the drip tip).
Now… drip the juice into the dripping atomizer (you can drip directly into most drip tips as well, just give it a little tap to make sure the juice gets all the way down to the atomizer). The exact amount of juice that you’ll drip depends on the specific atomizer, but 3-5 drops should get you going. If the atomizer has never been used, it will probably take 5-9 drops of juice without spillage. Fire your battery in short bursts (no more than 1-2 seconds or you risk popping the atomizer if it goes dry), and vape away!
As soon as you feel like the taste or vapor is reduced, drip another 3-5 drops into the atomizer.
For me, this is an awful lot of work to vape, but it is fantastic for sampling juices, or if you really want a super strong blast of flavor.