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Guide to atomizer

A Guide to Atomizers

The atomizer is one of the three crucial components of your vaping experience, alongside your e-juice and battery, but with so many varieties available, how do you make the right decision for your needs?

Should you stick with a basic clearomizer or upgrade to an RDA or RTA?

If you’re new to vaping – or even relatively new – the sheer multitude of options can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to get a quick run-down of the pros and cons of the different ways to vaporize premium e-liquid before you make your purchase.

Here’s a basic guide to the main types of e-cig atomizer on the market.


The clearomizer is the basic type of atomizer in the modern day, the spiritual successor to the basic cartomizers that hold the liquid in cigalike (cigarette-size) devices, containing an atomizer head (with a wick and coil inside) and a reservoir for your juice.

The core benefit of any type of clearomizer is simplicity. It’s a fill-up-and-vape system: you simply fill it with juice, screw it onto your device and it’s ready to go. Similarly, coils die after a week or so of use, and the atomizer heads are simply unscrewed and replaced with a fresh one. That’s about as complicated as it gets; when you’re changing coils, you can give the components a rinse in water to clean your clearomizer.

The main downsides are that the performance and flavor don’t match up to more advanced atomizers. There is some variation within clearomizers, though, and this is largely due to the placement of the coil.

Top-Coil Clearomizers

The CE4/CE5 design is the archetypal top-coil clearomizer, with the atomizer head towards the top of the device, sitting atop a metallic stem that runs up the center of the device, and the liquid contained in a plastic mini-tank that usually holds around 1.6 ml of e-liquid. You ordinarily have to unscrew the drip tip at the top of the device to re-fill (ensuring you don’t get any juice down the center tube).

For flavor and performance, top-coil clearomizers are the bottom of the pack. The basic reason for this is that for e-liquid to be vaporized by the coil, it has to travel up the wick (through capillary action) and to the coil. This means that the wicking ability is pretty limited because it’s a constant fight against gravity, and if you run too much power through your coil you can easily kill the taste of your juice. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use one, but realistically there’s no reason to opt for one these days.

Bottom-Coil Clearomizers

Bottom-coil clearomizers are effectively identical to top-coil varieties except that the coil is right at the bottom of the device, with the center tube extending above it. The core difference is that the wicking ability is no longer limited by capillary action: gravity is working for you rather than against you. As a result, the devices can cope with higher power settings and the vapor production and flavor are generally improved in comparison to top-coil options. There are also more devices using dual coils in this class, which generally lead to improved vapor production and flavor, since more tobacco e-liquid is vaporized with each puff. Vertical coil devices also improve the airflow in comparison to standard models, leading to better vapor production.

The difference in design doesn’t affect the simplicity very much at all, with the only difference being that both refilling and changing coils are done from the bottom of the device. The coils still screw in and out easily, and re-filling works in the same way, just with the device inverted. Many clearomizers use this design, including the ProTank and AeroTank series, the EVOD, the Aspire ET, the Nautilus and numerous others; in fact, most clearomizers you’ll encounter in the modern day will be bottom-coil devices. Additionally, many feature glass tanks, which (unlike polycarbonate plastic options) can stand up to acidic juices (and other tank-crackers).

A downside to bottom-coil clearomizers is the possibility of issues with leaking and gurgling. While these problems can occur with top-coils too, it’s a common issue with bottom-coil devices because if something isn’t tightened or sealed correctly, juice will get through the gap. These issues can be fixed fairly easily (and newer devices don’t have problems as often as early incarnations of devices like the ProTank), but it may require some minor tinkering.

Tanks and Sub-Ohm Tanks

The line between tanks and clearomizers has become increasingly blurred in recent years, and it’s fair to say that they’re effectively identical when you get right down to it. The core difference is that tank systems tend to have space for more juice, and are a little bulkier overall as a result. The benefit to this is that you have to fill up less often, and if you get a bottom-coil option (as most are) you’ll still get a solid performance in terms of vapor production and flavor.

Sub-ohm tanks like the Aspire Atlantis, Kanger SubTank and the Joyetech Delta II are worth a mention, though, because they push the boundaries in terms of vapor production and flavor. By reducing the resistance of the setup and using multiple coils, sub-ohm tanks offer fantastic performance while still maintaining the simplicity of basic clearomizer/tank devices. You fill up and change coils in exactly the same way, and – provided you have a battery that can handle the greater current draw – all you have to do is attach the device and vape away.

For a beginner looking for excellent performance, sub-ohm tanks are a pretty promising option. The only downside is that battery safety becomes a concern. The short version: low-resistance coils draw more current at the same voltage, but any given battery can only safely provide so much current. The upshot is that you can’t just throw a sub-ohm tank onto an eGo-style device and fire; you need a device and battery that can support low resistances (like many modern variable wattage box mods and mechanical mods paired with a high-drain battery).

The other limitation, although it isn’t necessarily a problem if you value the simplicity, is that you’re pretty much stuck with buying new coils whenever yours reaches the end of its life. This means that – while vaping this way is still cheaper than smoking – you can keep up your habit for cheaper if you’re willing to do some tinkering and build your own coils.

Rebuildable Atomizers (RBAs)

The basic premise of the RBA is that you can do away with the pre-built coils, pick yourself up some kanthal and wicking material (such as 100 % organic cotton) and make your own coils. This might seem like a lot of needless work, but the benefits come in the form of better flavor, improved vapor production and a greater ability to customize your vaping experience. Plus, getting setup with enough kanthal and wicking material for the foreseeable future is very cheap indeed.

Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs)

These are the simplest form of RBA, and may look very strange at first sight because there is no reservoir for your e-liquid. Instead, they consist of a “deck” covered with a cap (with a drip tip attached), with a number of standing posts. The idea is that you make a coil out of kanthal or nichrome, and attach one end to the central post and another to an outer post, and insert your own wick through it. You then drip your juice directly onto the coil and wick, offering exceptional wicking and often flawless performance. This means you have to drip fairly often, but many devices have a deck that serves as a “well” so you can over-fill it and drip less often.

Tons of devices fall into this class, including the Tugboat, Plume Veil, the Freakshow, various IGO options and loads more. They all have differing features, with some allowing airflow control, some having more posts than others, better post layouts, deeper drip wells and various features designed to make it easier to get your coils connected.

The downside to this style of atomizer is the technical side of things. Building coils isn’t exactly difficult, but it’s not for everybody, and you also have to ensure the resistance of your build is suitable for the battery you’re using (for the same reasons as discussed in the sub-ohm tanks section). And of course, sometimes you don’t want to be dripping all day.

Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs)

As you might expect from the name, RTAs bridge the gap between RDAs and tank systems, allowing you to build your own coil but then removing the need for continuous dripping by including a tank. The basic layout is a deck – much the same as an RDA deck – with a tank attached around it. The deck is separated from the tank by an enclosed chamber, which effectively makes a mini-RDA inside the outer tank, with small channels in the bottom to allow your juice to flow from the outer tank and up to your wick and coil.

The balance that devices like the Kayfun and the Russian 91 % strike is perfect for anyone looking for the performance and excellent flavor of an RDA with the convenience of a tank system. The Subtank also includes a mini-RBA base, meaning it can serve the same function as RTAs, as well as supporting pre-built coils like other sub-ohm tanks.

Conclusion – Choosing an Atomizer

Now you have an understanding of the different options available to you, the only thing left to do is to make your choice. The best advice here is to think of what you need, and that doesn’t necessarily mean getting the very best performance. If you aren’t interested in rebuilding or going through the process of finding a high-end battery and compatible device, the best advice is to stick with a simple bottom-coil clearomizer. If you want to up the performance a little, then sub-ohm tanks are an excellent option for relatively new vapers, as long as you find yourself a dependable mod to go with it. For those looking for the ultimate vaping experience, even if it means “getting your hands dirty,” so to speak, then rebuildables are the best way to go, although they aren’t really recommended for beginners.

Take it at your own pace, experiment with a few devices and, above all, don’t rush into high-end atomizers if you’re happy with something more straightforward.


  1. Ashtray Blog: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Clearomizers
  2. Vaping Cheap: RBA or RDA? A Guide to Rebuildable Atomizers
  3. MistHub: Guide to Sub-Ohm Vaping
  4. Olympia Vapor Works: The Best Sub-Ohm Tanks
  5. Discount Vapers: Why Does My Clearomizer Gurgle and Leak?
  6. Ashtray Blog: 15 Common Clearomizer Mistakes – And How to Fix Them!
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is Naturally Extracted Tobacco E-Liquid?

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.

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.