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Rebuildable Tank Atomizer

7 Tips for Getting Your RTA Wicking Right and Avoiding Dry Hits

Rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) can be annoying. The concept is so good – the performance of an RDA with the convenience of a tank – but in practice many vapers end up getting dry hits with RTAs. There could be many reasons for this, but most issues ultimately come down to wicking. Unlike with pre-made coils, which can be carefully designed and built to ensure consistent performance, RTAs depend on you to produce a reliable setup. This gives many RTAs a steep learning curve, and while we can’t write an RTA wicking guide for every single device, there are several general tips that can help you get your RTA wicking correctly regardless of the specific model.

 

The Background: Understanding Dry Hits

 

Before discussing tips for preventing dry hits with RTAs, it’s important to understand what causes a dry hit. The name really gives it away: it’s when you try to take a hit but there isn’t enough liquid in the wick (i.e. the wick is dry). This might happen if you try to vape before your wick has had time to absorb enough e-juice, and it might happen if you “chain vape” and vaporize too much e-liquid without giving the wick chance to replenish itself.

 

When it comes to dry hits for RTAs, though, the most common problem is that the wick itself isn’t set up to allow the easy flow of e-juice. It could be that the chamber is trapping and compressing the wick or that the wick itself is too dense to allow e-juice to efficiently soak into it. This is especially likely if you’re using high-VG e-juice, which many vapers who use rebuildables do. Black Note’s e-juice is 50/50 PG/VG, so it’s much more forgiving for wicking than many higher-VG e-juices, but the same general principles apply whatever you’re vaping.

 

1 – Keep Your Cotton Fluffy

 

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that densely-packed cotton won’t soak e-juice up as effectively as a more loosely-packed wick. There are a couple of different strategies used to accomplish this, but the key point is that you want to avoid compressing your wick too much at any stage in the process (with the exception of making a point at one end when you’re inserting it through the coil).

 

If you’re using Japanese organic cotton, the best advice for keeping it fluffy is to remove the outer, flattened layers to expose the fluffier material inside. The sheet will still keep its structure, but it will make it easier to avoid compressing the wick too much while inserting or positioning it.

 

An alternative technique that works for any type of wick is called the “Scottish roll.” You spread your section of cotton out on a flat surface – pulling it perpendicularly to the grain of the cotton – so that you can see the surface between the strands. Then you simply roll the wick back up into a tube shape, just enough to keep its shape but not so tightly that the wick becomes dense.

 

These two approaches will go a long way to preventing wicking problems because it’s packed too tightly, but you should stay mindful of this risk throughout your build.

 

2 – Think About Your PG/VG Ratio and Don’t Use Too Much Cotton

 

If you use too much cotton for your wick, it’s much harder to ensure it doesn’t end up too dense to wick effectively. This is often a matter of trial and error more than anything (and if you’ve used an RDA before you should have a good idea of how much to go with), but in general you want the wick to fit in the coil snugly without being so tight that it’s hard to insert without misshaping the coil.

 

However, the amount of cotton you need to use is closely-related to the PG/VG ratio of the juice you’ll be vaping. For higher-VG mixes, less cotton is better. This is because VG is thicker than PG, and so needs more “space” in your wick to soak up into – a little bit like how you might be able to drink coke through a straw easily but would struggle to enjoy a thick milkshake through it.

 

If you have a higher-PG blend (like Black Note’s 50/50 mixes), then you can afford to have a little bit more cotton packed a little more densely. You still should be able to insert the finished wick into the coil without misshaping it, but you don’t have to be as strict about the amounts.

 

As a general rule, try to make your chunk of cotton just a little bit thicker than the diameter of your coil when it’s as fluffed up as it will be in use.

 

3 – Give Your Wick a “Bowl Haircut” Around the RTA Deck

 

The biggest challenge for RTA wicking is cutting the wicks down so they reach the juice channels without blocking them up. While there are a few different schools of thought on this, the easiest advice is to give your wick a “bowl cut” (like you may have gotten from a lazy hairdresser as a kid) around the base of your RTA deck.

 

With your wick inserted in your coil, stretch the ends out so the wick is horizontal. Get a pair of scissors and get ready to cut. Looking down from above, you should be able to see the outline of the circular RTA deck and your wicks stretching out beyond it. The trick is to follow the curve of the RTA’s deck as you cut your wicks. This leaves different parts of your wick different lengths (which may feel inherently wrong if you’re like me and want everything neat and even) so that none of the wick protrudes over the edge of the deck. You don’t have to be absolutely precise about this, but it’s worth taking time to get it close.

 

Some vapers leave the wick a little longer, so that the longest part of the wick would reach down into the juice channel for the RTA, but the advice above still captures the basics. The only difference is that you let the cotton overshoot the edge of the deck when using this method, but you still snip them in a curve that follows the shape of the deck.

 

4 – Don’t Block the Juice Channels With Your Cotton

 

After cutting your cotton down to size, you’re ready to start putting the wicks in position. If you’ve gone with the method suggested in the previous section (cutting the wick around the edges of the deck), the goal is to place the wick so it sits on the opening to the juice channel without being stuffed into it. The wick should be like a cap on the juice channel, not like something stuffed down into it, and the shape you’ve cut it into should help a lot with this. Remember to be gentle when positioning the wicks, though, so you don’t make them too dense to soak up juice effectively.

 

If you’ve used the alternate method (where the wicks overhang the deck a little), you can have the longer part of each wick end actually in the channel. The key point is that it is just a small portion of the wick extending into the channel, rather than the whole thing blocking it up entirely. You need to leave plenty of room for your e-juice to get up to the chamber. Most of the wick (or at least half) should be sitting at the top of the channel on the main deck.

 

Generally it’s easier to get your wicks in place if you manually soak them with e-juice first, but this isn’t strictly necessary.

 

5 – Keep Your Cotton Away from the Airhole

 

Although this is more to avoid leaking than dry hits, most RTAs have under-coil airflow which can be prone to issues with leaking. Most of the time, this is caused by your wick either dropping down into or being too close to the under-coil airflow, which gives e-juice the opportunity to leak down and seep out of your device’s airholes. The solution to this is simple: using a small tool (a precision screwdriver, pair of tweezers or anything else small and thin) you can nudge and position your wick to ensure it stays clear of the under-coil airflow hole.

 

6 – Prime Your Wicks Before Refilling and Vaping

 

If you haven’t applied e-juice to the wicks already, it’s important to do this before you attach the chamber casing and fill your tank. While you could fill your tank without priming your wicks and avoid problems if you give the liquid plenty of time to soak up, if you’re anything like me you won’t be that patient. Take a second and give your wicks a liberal soaking in e-juice prior to filling your tanks and you won’t get a dry hit as soon as you start vaping and ruin your hard work.

 

7 – Attach the Chamber Carefully and Make Finishing Touches (Without Compressing the Wick)

 

When you’ve wicked your coil and primed it, all you have to do is screw on the chamber. This can go wrong sometimes if your wick overhangs your deck, because it can get trapped in the threading or compressed during the process. If you’ve followed the other tips, this should be easy to avoid, but this is something to pay attention to when you’re screwing the chamber cap back onto the deck.

 

Traverse the Learning Curve and Enjoy Your RTA

 

It’s clear that sub ohm tanks are much simpler from the end-user’s perspective in comparison to RTAs. If you want a solid vaping experience without the effort, there are many options. But for many of us, pushing through the learning curve with RTAs is well worth the effort. You can get exceptional performance at a fraction of the running cost. All you have to do is follow the tips in this post and give yourself some hands-on practice and you’ll be wicking your RTA like a pro in no time.  

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Writer at Black Note
Lee is a writer and vaper from the UK. He quit smoking (without intending to) when he started vaping in 2012, and now writes for EcigaretteReviewed and E-Cigarette Direct's Ashtray Blog. He's always searching for a new all-day vape, loves rebuilding and is passionate about providing smokers with accurate information about the harm reduction potential of vaping. He drinks too much tea.
Lee Johnson

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What is E-Juice?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets. For immediate advice, contact poison control center: (800) 222-1222