Wicking Tips for RDAs and RTAs
You’ve looked for coil building tips on YouTube and on your favorite vaping websites. Your coil building skill has improved, but you’re still not fully satisfied with your vaping experience. Something is missing. Maybe you’re not getting the flavor you want. Maybe you can’t take long puffs without your wick drying out. You try different wire gauges, different spacings and different numbers of wraps. Nothing quite gives you the experience that you want. Has coil building left you frustrated? We’re here to help!
When you build your own atomizer coils, we believe that wicking technique is an essential part of success. A good wick brings e-liquid to the coil quickly and consistently. It doesn’t allow excess e-liquid to pool in the bottom of your drip well. If you learn to do a better job of wicking your coils, you will enjoy vaping more – it’s that important. Without further ado, these are our top wicking tips for RDAs and RTAs.
Use the Right Amount of Cotton
Using the wrong amount of cotton is perhaps the most common mistake that people make when wicking coils. If you use too little cotton, you’ll get hot spots because parts of your coil won’t touch the cotton. Many people experience that problem when they first start building coils, so they do the opposite and use far too much cotton. The problem, though, is that cotton expands when it’s wet. If you use too much, your wick will expand and prevent the e-liquid from flowing freely. You’ll know you’re using the right amount if the coil just slightly grabs the cotton while you thread the wick through. If you feel no resistance, you’re using too little cotton. If you can’t pull the wick through without deforming the coil, you’re using too much.
Trim Your Wicks
When you’re new to coil building, the temptation is to stuff your atomizer’s drip well as full of cotton as possible. Using more cotton, after all, must mean that your RDA can hold more e-liquid. The truth, though, is that using too much cotton impedes the e-liquid’s ability to flow to the coil. If your wick has too many curves and kinks, you’ll have spots in which the e-liquid settles and darkens rather than flowing to the coil. Using too much cotton can also restrict airflow and hamper your atomizer’s vapor production. Try trimming your wicks so that the ends just reach the bottom of your atomizer’s drip well. If the wicks don’t do a good job of picking up the e-liquid, trim them a little longer next time.
Use Better Cotton
Are you wicking your coils with cotton balls? Any old cotton might get the job done, but using better cotton can noticeably improve your vaping experience. At Triple 7 Vaping, we much prefer the Wick n Vape products like Cotton Bacon Prime and Cotton Bacon V2. When you open your first package of Cotton Bacon, the difference will immediately be evident. The fibers are uniform and perfectly parallel to one another. The cotton is fluffy and absorbs a massive amount of e-liquid. Cotton Bacon isn’t just better because of its wicking performance; it also produces a great flavor with absolutely no break-in time because the extensive cleaning during production rids it of all impurities, oils and pesticides.
Try the Scottish Roll Technique
Popularized in a YouTube video by some dude from Scotland, the Scottish Roll is a wicking technique with many proponents. Those who use the Scottish Roll believe that it provides superior wicking performance and juice absorption even though it requires what would ordinarily be far too much cotton. After trimming your cotton, hold it to where you see the fibers facing vertical, gently tug it in a direction perpendicular to the grain of the fibers or horizontally until its all uniform and almost transparent.When you’re done, you’ll have a wide sheet of translucent cotton. Roll it up like a sheet of wrapping paper and stuff one end through your coil. The Scottish Roll technique works without choking off the coil because preparing the roll involves carefully aligning the wick’s fibers to create a clear channel for the e-liquid.
Fluff Your Wicks
Before tucking the ends of your wicks under your coils, poke the ends gently with ceramic tweezers to fluff the fibers and spread them apart. Fluffing the fibers helps to ensure that they’ll pick up every drop of e-liquid from your atomizer’s drip well. As far as consistent performance is concerned, many vapers swear that fluffing the ends of the wicks is the single most important aspect of successful coil wicking.
Try a Different Wick Material
Did you know that cotton isn’t the only material you can use for your RDA and RTA wicks? Although many people love cotton for its incredible flavor characteristics, there are other wick materials that you might find superior in other ways. Rayon is one popular choice. Those who prefer vaping with rayon like the fact that it draws e-liquid to the coil extremely quickly. With rayon, you can enjoy plenty of non-stop chain vaping without fear of a dry hit. Silica is another popular choice. Although it wicks more slowly than cotton and doesn’t work well with high-VG e-liquids, silica has an enormous benefit in that it doesn’t burn at standard vaping temperatures. If you use silica, you can actually dry burn your coil for cleaning without removing the wick. Other less popular – but still viable – wick materials include hemp, ceramic and stainless steel. If cotton isn’t working for you, read about the pros and cons of other wick materials and consider whether one of those materials might be better for your needs.
RTAs: Trim After Closing the Build Deck
Owning an RTA – or a sub-ohm tank with a rebuildable deck – is a great way to experience the benefits of a rebuildable atomizer without carrying a bottle of e-liquid everywhere for dripping. Proper wicking, though, is one of the major challenges of building an RTA coil. If you make a mistake, all of your e-liquid will leak out of your tank. We suggest placing the cover on your RTA’s build deck before trimming the wicks. The ends of your wick should extend from the holes at the bottom of the build deck. Fluff the cotton as much as possible – you want the fibers to prevent e-liquid from flowing freely into the build deck – before trimming it short.