What is a Rebuildable Atomizer?
A rebuildable atomizer is a system that allows the ability to rebuild its resistance coil.
After the first grip of your electronic cigarette and various testing of “clearomizers” and “sub-ohm” tanks, you may have noticed that the atomizer contains a consumable coil that is discarded once it has been used up. These are cartridges that are not designed for reuse or custom coil building.
You may want to experience other sensations and why not have a system that allows you to build your own resistance coil? The rebuildable clearomizer or rebuildable atomizer are all alternative rebuildable atomizers.
We know the removable and replaceable resistors where you can easily unscrew the old cartridge and replace it with a new one, for example, a Sub Tank like the Atlantis, Nautilus. It is also possible to build, by its own means, this “same resistance” and put back into service. But the resistance wire on clearomizers are often very small and difficult to handle, that’s why there are technically more accessible systems called “rebuildable atomizers”.
With a diameter of about 24mm (and with a screw pitch 510), it is the size standards most often used the reconstructible atomizer that allow it to be compatible on a Mod, electronic or mechanical.
A rebuildable atomizer is just that, it allows you to build your own coils. By building your own coils you can customize things like the ohms and number of coils. These two main factors will determine the type of vape experience as far as flavor and vapor production.
There are two main types of rebuildables. These are RTAs and RDAs. We will talk about them and their distinguishing factors as we progress.
Rebuildable Atomizer Parts
Here are some essential parts that are on every rebuildable atomizer. These allow the proper functioning of a rebuildable atomizer.
A quick rundown of all the rebuildable atomizer parts from the bottom up:
- Build Deck
- Top Cap
- Drip Tip
- Tank (Only on Tank Atomizers)
The Atomizer Build Deck
Some vapers like to call this the atomizer base or atomizer tray.
The build deck is the most important part, it is the part.
The connector type 510 threading is the part for screwing in to your vape mod or box. This allows the battery power to travel from your mod to the atomizer base.
On the atomizer base of the reconstructible are two poles can be distinguished, one positive and the other negative, they serve to fix your resistance coil on the reconstructible base by using 2 or more screws.
Info: There are atomizer decks with 3 or 4 posts that allow more coils to be screwed down to the base.
Adjustable Airflow atomizer
The airflow valves are placed on the base of the rebuildable atomizer. The Airflow are small channels through which air enters the rebuildable atomizer, most of which can be adjusted by means of a rotating ring. These airflow channels serve to:
- Restrict or open the draw
- Cool the resistance coil
- Help feed e-liquid to the coil
- Promote an air/vapor mixture
The airflow is adjustable for more or less air based on your preferred draw. Wide-open airflow means that air enters the rebuildable clearomizer very easily and massively. Conversely, a tight draw means that the air intake is reduced.
Info: General the more air you can get to hit the resistance coil, the greater the volume of vapor.
The atomizer chamber is the atomizer part that fits over the base or build deck. This is the place in which the vaporization of the e-liquid takes place. E-liquid is drawn by the wicks and comes in contact with the resistance coil before turning into vapor.
Once in the form of vapor, if you have a tank atomizer, the vapor is drawn to the top of the reconstructible atomizer through the chimney (high and longitudinal part of the bell). If you have an RDA (Rebuildable Drip Atomizers) the drip tip usually fits right on top of the chamber.
The chamber isolates the resistance coils of the tank and is usually built from stainless steel.
Info: a reduced atomization chamber promotes stronger flavor concentration of e-liquid.
Found on RTAs (Rebuildable Tank Atomizers).
The tank is the central part of a rebuildable atomizer, it contains the e-liquid.
With a capacity of between 2 and 7ml, it gradually allows the e-liquid to feed to the wicks.
Can be built out of plastic, glass, or metal, and has a removable top part for refilling. It is also possible to change it in case of breakage or during a fall of the rebuildable clearomizer.
Info: a Pyrex tank (glass) has the advantage of not keeping any flavor after cleaning.
Atomizer Tank Top Cap
The top cap is the top of the tank. Simple to screw and unscrew for refilling of the tank’s e-liquid, it has a connector type 510 or 810 to insert a drip tip.
We then talk about atomizer dripper.
A drip tip is a mouthpiece intended to be put in the mouth, it is a tube through which the vapor passes. There are several materials such as Delrin (plastic), stainless steel, or Teflon.
All atomizers use a drip tip.
Info: the 510 connector is universal, it is usually possible to customize the drip tip according to your wishes.
Rebuildable Atomizer Types
As mentioned earlier there are two main types of atomizer units that can be purchased. These atomizers are the RDA which stands for “Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer”, and RTA which is a “Rebuildable Tank Atomizer”.
Rebuildable Tank Atomizer
This rebuildable atomizer has an e-liquid tank for the storage of e-liquid.
Just like a clearomizer, it has a wick (cotton or fiber: see wick part) that absorbs the e-liquid from the tank before bringing it to the resistance wire or coil. In addition to the vacuum system, each wick has a certain capillarity that sucks the e-liquid. Once the wick is saturated, the e-liquid is vaporized into vapor when in contact with the coil, and power is applied.
The rebuildable clearomizer tank can be transparent to see the quantity of e-liquid remaining or stainless steel for a more homogeneous appearance.
Check out the best Rebuildable Tank Atomizers currently available.
Types of Atomizer Tank Materials
- Pyrex: it resists corrosion and keeps no taste after cleaning.
- PMMA (plastic): stronger than Pyrex, it is transparent but can keep a residual taste after cleaning.
- Metal: the most resistance of all, its disadvantage is to be opaque, we do not see the amount of e-liquid.
Types of Wicking Materials
We recognize 3 large families of fixtures that can be explained in part by the type of wick used:
- Micro coil Cotton: A cotton wick is trapped by tight curls.
- Montage Mesh: the wick takes the form of a steel fabric called Mesh, we are talking about montage Genesis.
- Silica fiber: resembling a white cord, this assembly uses a tightened weaving patterns.
Currently, the most widely used reconstructible clearomizer assembly is that based on cotton or cellulose fiber in the form of a micro-coil. Even if the Genesis has been relatively abandoned, it keeps some fans and “experts” who like his rendering. Silica is a very rarely used assembly, it does not really benefit from its strength.
Placements of Resistance Coil in Reconstuctables
- Top coil: This means that the assembly is carried out on the high part of the atomizer, above the tank.
- Bottom Coil: The mount is located on the bottom of the rebuildable atomizer, under the tank.
A rebuildable atomizer “Top Coil” offers a vapor warmer than a “bottom coil”. The rendering of flavors is also different because the vapor in the mouth does not arrive at the same temperature.
Currently, most of the reconstructible atomizers are Bottom Coil type to preserve the maximum flavor. Moreover, with a resistance placed on the bottom, the e-liquid is constantly in contact with the wicks, for better feeding.
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer
An atomizer tank dripper can be dripped on and thus explains the most important utility of the operation of the atomizer dripper!
Even if the principle of evaporation of your liquid is the same between a Dripper atomizer and a rebuildable version Tank, the Dripper atomizer is a system that does not contain a tank. It is therefore often smaller (shorter).
For simplicity, a Dripper atomizer is a “tube” in which there are between 2 and 4 connectors (pads) to mount its resistance (wick + resistive wire).
If you want to experience a dripper, check out our top RDA picks.
Drip Atomizer Reservoir
The only “reservoir” found on a dripper atomizer is the few drops of e-liquid that is deposited on the wicks, so as to soak them before they evaporate in contact with the heating resistor ( resistive wire).
Now, the drippers have a reservoir (a tray with edges) useful to deposit the cotton and retain more e-liquid (between 1 and 2ml, sometimes more).
Benefits of the dripper
The Dripper atomizer is often used to taste a liquid, the advantage is to be able to get an idea in just a few drops, unlike a Tank. Some find it a better way to get cleaner flavors between flavor changes… It’s a matter of taste!
The Dripper atomizer is also widely used to produce big clouds and experience Power Vaping!
Important: Whether on a rebuildable Tank atomizer or a Dripper atomizer, airflow is crucial. The resistance coil should be as close as possible to the adjustable airflow inlet.
A distant resistance coil gives a hit (feeling in throat) too important and unpleasant, as well as little vapor. Conversely, a resistance coil close to the airflow generates abundant vapor with a slightly lower hit.
Rebuildable Atomizer Tank vs Rebuildable Atomizer Dripper
The rebuildable atomizer Tank type is the most widespread. Thanks to its reserve capacity in e-liquid, it does not require regular recharging as its cousin, the atomizer Dripper.
But each has its advantage, there is no better or worse system, the choice depends on the use, editing, and rendering that you want.
Types of Resistive Wire
To rebuild the resistance coil of a rebuildable atomizer, a heating part is called a resistive wire. This thread allows the e-liquid on the wick to evaporate. Resistive wire
There are several types of resistive wire types for rebuilding atomizer coils
- Stainless Steel
which are measured according to their diameters.
Sold in the form of coils (about 10m), we generally find a wire diameter between 0.15mm and 0.50mm, the most used remains the 0.3mm!
The bigger your resistive wire, the lower its resistivity (close to 0Ω), it heats faster and more strongly than a thin wire. We measure the resistivity of a resistive wire in Ω / m (Ohms/meter), take the example of a Kanthal A1.
Kanthal A1 – 0.3mm = approx. 20 Ω / m
Kanthal A1 – 0.2mm = approx. 45 Ω / m
The alloy used also plays an important role in the resistivity, a 0.20 Kanthal type wire does not give the same resistivity as a wire in stainless steel or Nichrome.
Stainless steel 316L – 0.20mm = approx. 22.5 Ω / m
Stainless steel 316L – 0.15mm = approx. 43.5 Ω / m
In summary, the larger the diameter of the wire, the more it is intended to make low resistance.
The Kanthal A1 is the most used alloy, it has the advantage of being both strong and easy to work.
Using Temperature Control
Some Boxes offer temperature control, that is to say, that one can limit the heating in ° C of its resistance (between 100 ° C and 300 ° C).
The advantage of temperature control is that one does not risk overheating, one masters entirely the evaporation of the e-liquid.
It is necessary to use a resistive wire adapted for the Mod to be able to control it: Ni200 and NiFe are two alloys that allow this practice.
Nickel ni200The non-resistive wire (nickel or Ni200) can be considered as a simple junction, it is not intended to heat, it is rarely used! The non-resistive wire conducts the current to the limit of the resistive wire (on some rebuildable atomizers) to avoid hot spots.
The hotspot is the enemy of the rebuildable clearomizer, it appears when heats part of the resistance up abnormally. It can be detected when part of the resistive wire does not touch the wick, or when your resistive wire is in a vacuum (between the end of the wick and the connector).
In “production”, ie with a rebuildable atomizer or spray dripper armed with e-liquid and ready to vape, it should never be the resistive wire blush, especially on one particular point. On the other hand, it is perfectly normal for the thread to be uniformly red when the wick is dry!
The non-resistive yarn is very much used today because Genesis and other ceramic atomizers are rare.
As seen previously, the Ni200 is since early 2015 used as a resistive wire since this alloy allows temperature control on the Box.
A resistance made in Ni200 is very low (between 0.1 and 0.2Ω), so it is necessary to know his Box and the limits of his battery before making them!
The wick is the part of the rebuildable atomizer that provides power to the resistor. It absorbs the e-liquid and allows it to evaporate when it is placed between the turns of the resistive wire. Choosing a wick at your convenience and agreeing to your rebuildable clearomizer is difficult, you usually have to test several to find it. The heat resistance and the right capillarity are crucial points to help you choose.
Related: Best Cotton Types
Very popular nowadays, cotton is a very effective wick.
Adapted to the use of the majority of the atomizers, including the dripper atomizer, the cotton is distinguished by its good capillarity and its absence of parasitic taste.
Generally used to make a type of “micro-coil” (small turns tight to each other), the cotton can be changed quickly to start on a “new” system.
Cellulose fiber (initiated by Fiber Freaks) is an alternative to cotton which, since its release, has managed to win the hearts of vapers. With an appearance close to cotton, its capillarity, strength, and maneuverability is improved compared to cotton.
To make a micro coil, it is useful to equip a stainless steel rod of about 2mm with tight turns. Once the resistance is built, the cotton must slip inside to form a kind of mustache.
Widely used at the beginning of rebuildable atomizers, today it marks a certain withdrawal in favor of cotton.
Resembling a white cord, its main interest is not to burn when heated. It is, therefore, possible to opt for a “dry-burn” for cleaning. We can precisely distinguish a good fiber from a bad one by heating it with the blowtorch, it must not blacken!
The measurement of the silica fiber (or silica fiber) is ensured in mm according to its diameter, the most frequent size is 2mm but one can also find 1mm or 3.5mm. It is common to put 2 strands to build a wick, then just make the turns around the two strands superimposed.
The turns of your Kanthal can be adjusted with a screwdriver without any risk of damaging the fiber.
Mesh for resistance The mesh is stainless steel type 316L stainless steel fabric, usually offered in sheets (A4 – A5 or A6 …), it is renowned for its high capillarity and robustness.
Mesh is measured by the number of fibers per inch; for example, the # 200 mark is given for 200 fibers per inch. There is also Mesh # 325 – Mesh # 400 or Mesh # 500.
Since the Mesh is in stainless steel, dry-burn can be done without constraint!
We will talk about a Genesis type of editing when we decide to build a “wick” in Mesh. Briefly, a Genesis assembly consists in winding the Mesh on itself to form a tight tube of stainless steel. To give you an idea, it takes about 9cm in length (about 4-5cm wide) Mesh # 200 to make your wick which will be between 2 and 3mm in diameter. The oxidation of the Mesh torch is also an important step following the editing that is desired.
A montage Genesis is nowadays very little used, only some fans continue to realize it because of its complexity.
Atomizer Tools for Rebuilding
For reasons of practicality and ease in the construction of resistors on a rebuildable atomizer, we recommend the following equipment:
- Precision cutter: to cut the resistive wire and its wicks.
- Precision scissors: to cut fiber, cotton.
- Ohmmeter support: to test the value of your resistors before putting it on your Mod and locate a short circuit.
- A blowtorch: to oxidize the Mesh.
- A lighter: to heat and stabilize the resistive wire.
- A ceramic head clamp: to tighten the turns of a micro-coil.
- Stainless steel rod for micro coil: to make a micro coil according to the desired diameter.
- Coiler: tool to make a micro coil with tight turns.
- Support: useful in order to position the base (tray) of its reconstructible clearomiser in a fixed way to work.
We recall that the atomizers rebuildable (either a dripper atomizer or tank) are intended for passionate and meticulous people wishing to embark on completion resistors.