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A Guide to Vape Tanks and Atomizers: Which is Right for You?

Your tank is one of the most important parts of your vaping setup. It’s what turns the e-liquid into vapor, and the part your battery is there to provide power to. But not all tanks are equal. There are so many types of vape tanks on the market – from basic clearomizers through to sub ohm tanks and RTAs – that choosing the right type for you isn’t as easy as you might hope. To find the right vape tank or atomizer, you need to know the key differences between each type, their pros and cons, and think about what you’re looking for in a tank.


Tanks vs. Atomizers – What’s the Difference?


Before we look at the different types of vape tanks and atomizers, it’s worth clearing up a source of some minor confusion about the terms. The terms “tank” and “atomizer” are often used interchangeably, but in reality there is a difference between them.


An atomizer is the part of your setup that actually turns the e-liquid into vapor. Most of the time the term is used, it means the complete unit that fills this role. This would include the entire coil head that you screw into a tank, often called an atomizer head. The term essentially always refers to a coil and a wick enclosed in some sort of chamber.


A tank is a combination of an atomizer and a reservoir for your e-liquid. The “tank” portion is really the part that holds the spare juice to feed it to the atomizer, but most people say tank to refer to the whole unit. Sometimes – as if to make things even more confusing – people say “tank atomizer.” The only devices that are atomizers but don’t work alongside a tank are “dripping atomizers,” which have a coil and wick that you directly drip e-liquid onto before vaping.


With that in mind, we can get on with looking at the different types of tanks and atomizers.


Types of Vape Tanks and Atomizers




Clearomizers are the most basic type of vape tank, and are usually found atop the sort of basic vape pens you’d pick up at a gas station or convenience store. They tend to have fairly small tanks (from about 1.5 to 2 ml) and higher-resistance atomizer heads, and are generally quite simple in their construction. The atomizer head usually attaches at the bottom, and a stem leads directly up from it to the mouthpiece. To refill them, you simply unscrew the mouthpiece and fill directly into the tank. The name comes from the fact that their bodies are almost entirely clear, and they were the direct successor to the “cartomizer” cartridges you find on cigalike devices.




  • Really easy to use.
  • Cheap.
  • Compatible with simple vape pens.
  • Mouth-to-lung style suits just-switching smokers.




  • Vapor production could be better.
  • Flavor is usually muted.
  • Usually need an adapter to work with 510 threaded mods.
  • Can’t hold much e-liquid.
  • Not great for higher VG e-liquids.
  • Usually have plastic bodies.
  • Don’t support high-power vaping.
  • Not as widely available anymore.


Standard Tanks


Most vape tanks are really just like bigger versions of clearomizers. They feature a glass container for your e-juice, and the atomizer heads attach to the base of the tank in the same way as it does on clearomizers. The big difference is that while clearomizers are thin and fairly basic in design, tanks often hold a lot more e-juice and have higher-quality coils that can cope with thicker e-juices. They also use 510 threading, rather than eGo threading like many clearomizers.


Standard tanks are very similar to sub ohm tanks, but are a distinct option because they have higher-resistance coils, and are more likely to be well-suited to mouth-to-lung vaping. They do often feature airflow control, too, so you can adjust the draw to suit your preferences more than on a clearomizer.




  • Easy to use.
  • Industry-standard 510 threading – will work with most mods.
  • Great for mouth-to-lung vaping.
  • Good performance at medium wattages.
  • Can have large tanks.
  • Often have adjustable airflow.
  • Excellent flavor.
  • Work with most e-juices.
  • Usually affordable.




  • Most won’t support high-wattage vaping.
  • Vapor production is less than sub ohm tanks.
  • Less options on the market than for sub ohm tanks.


Sub Ohm Tanks


Sub ohm tanks are essentially the same as standard tanks, except they support coils with resistances under 1 ohm. The tanks are put together just like standard tanks, but most of them feature airflow control, and tend to have atomizer heads with bigger “ports” for your e-liquid to soak the wick. This means the e-liquid replenishes more quickly, which improves performance at higher wattages. Sub ohm tanks tend to be better for direct-to-lung vaping (rather than smoking-like mouth-to-lung puffs), and most vapers who switch to sub ohming reduce the amount of nicotine in their e-juice because they’re more efficient.




  • Excellent vapor production.
  • Fantastic flavor.
  • Work with most mods on the market.
  • Suitable for high-wattage vaping.
  • Generally easy to use.
  • Best for direct-to-lung vaping.
  • Almost all offer adjustable airflow.
  • Works with any type of e-juice.
  • Hard-hitting and satisfying.
  • Usually feature big tanks.
  • Many support temperature control vaping.




  • Won’t work with most vape pens – you need a mod.
  • Not ideal for mouth-to-lung vaping.
  • Clouds might be too big for some.
  • Uses more e-juice.
  • Higher-wattage vaping drains your battery more quickly.


Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTAs)


Rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) are a lot like sub ohm tanks but with one crucial difference. Instead of using pre-made atomizer heads, you build your own coils to use on the device. Where on most vape tanks there would be a spot for the atomizer head, RTAs have an accessible chamber instead. This has two or more posts for you to connect your own coil, which you can make out of kanthal or another material like nickel or titanium (for temperature control vaping), and features small ports so you can set up a wick to draw e-liquid in from the tank.


The performance is generally in line with sub ohm tanks, but the benefit is that you can tailor the performance to your preferences. If you’re happy with a more hands-on vaping experience, RTAs are just like sub ohm tanks but much cheaper to use in the long-run, because wire and wick is cheaper than replacement atomizer heads.




  • Perform as well as or better than sub ohm tanks.
  • Cheaper to use in the long-term.
  • Airflow control is always included.
  • Industry-standard 510 threading.
  • Work with any type of e-juice.
  • Big tanks are common.
  • Convenient to use after initial setup.
  • Satisfying.
  • Better for direct-to-lung vaping, but can often be set up for mouth-to-lung too.




  • More challenging to set up. Not suitable for beginners. We have a useful guide to setting up the wicking here.
  • Use a lot of e-juice.
  • Replacing coils when you have issues isn’t as quick a process.
  • Won’t work on vape pens.
  • You’ll usually be vaping at higher wattages, so they’ll reduce your battery life.


Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDAs)


Rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs) have many of the money-saving benefits of RTAs but don’t include a tank. The “deck” with the posts for connecting your coils is essentially the whole device, and it’s covered with a cap and mouthpiece section. This gives great performance, but you can only drip so much e-juice onto the deck at once. This makes them a little less convenient to use than RTAs, but the setup is slightly easier because you have more space to work with and setting up the wicks is easier.




  • Excellent performance.
  • More space to build coils than RTAs.
  • Really cheap upkeep and often affordable to buy too.
  • Airflow control is standard.
  • 510 threaded.
  • Any type of juice is suitable.
  • Great for direct-to-lung vaping but can be set up to work mouth-to-lung.
  • You can change flavors regularly.
  • Perfect for high-wattage vaping and big clouds.
  • Flavor is hard to beat.




  • Challenging setup – not for beginners. We have a guide to building here.
  • Dripping regularly can be inconvenient.
  • They use a lot of e-juice.
  • You’ll need a mod to use them.
  • Not the best for conserving battery life.
  • Leaking can be an issue when you carry RDAs in your pocket.


Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizers (RDTAs)


Rebuildable dripping tank atomizers (RDTAs) are like a combination of an RDA and an RTA, with an RDA-like deck on the top of the device but a tank underneath. This allows you to keep your coils constantly supplied with juice without the need to drip regularly. You can either have your wicks hanging in the tank, or just resting on the deck so you soak them by simply tilting the tank to one side. They have many of the same pros and cons as RDAs and RTAs.




  • Perform as well as RDAs.
  • More convenient to use than RDAs.
  • Spacious build decks.
  • 510 threading.
  • Airflow control.
  • Work with any type of juice.




  • Not quite as easy to use as RTAs.
  • They use a lot of juice.
  • Tilting to soak the wicks doesn’t always work too well.
  • Leak a lot like RDAs.


Making Your Choice: Which is Right for Me?


The most basic thing to think about when choosing a type of vape tank is how “hands-on” you want your experience to be. If you want something as simple as possible, we’d recommend a standard or sub ohm tank. These are very user-friendly and perform really well with most e-juices. If getting the biggest clouds and the best flavor is important to you and you don’t mind making your own coils, there are many benefits to rebuildable options. For the best performance, we’d recommend an RTA, RDA or a sub ohm tank, with the former two being cheaper over the long-term.


It’s also worth considering the type of e-cig you have. If you don’t want to buy something new, if you have a basic vape pen, a standard tank or (if it supports low resistance vaping) a sub ohm tank is the best option. For smokers just switching, a “mouth to lung” draw style is often preferred, and this is best supported by standard tanks. They’re also more subtle in terms of vapor production, if you don’t want to draw attention to yourself too much.


Price may be a factor for you too, but this has to be balanced against convenience. Vaping will always be cheaper than smoking, and so paying for pre-made coils for a sub ohm tank might be better for you than getting to grips with rebuilding, even if it’s more expensive.  


Overall, the pros and cons above should give you a good idea of what will work best for you, but for most vapers a sub ohm tank strikes the right balance between convenience and performance. If you’re brand new to vaping, a standard tank may be a better option, but you can find sub ohm tanks with mouth-to-lung coils too, so that could be the best choice.


Remember, taking time over your choice now will save you disappointment and give you the best chance of enjoying your vaping experience. So don’t rush into anything, think about what’s most important to you and go for it.  

Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson

Writer at Black Note
Lee Johnson is a writer and vaper from the UK. He started vaping in 2012, and since then has contributed to E-Cigarette Reviewed, E-Cigarette Direct’s Ashtray Blog and Vaping360. He strongly believes smokers need accurate information about vaping and other reduced-harm alternatives to smoking. He has a degree in physics from the Open University and a passion for all forms of science.
Lee Johnson

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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.