Beginners Guides

An introduction to rebuildable atomisers

Don't know your dripper from your Kayfun? Read all about the compelling world of RDAs.

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What do I need to make a wick?

Top of the list is patience and a willingness to practice. Moving on to advanced Gen3 kit may feel a bit intimidating at the outset but is surprisingly easy to get to grips with.

What is the toughest thing?

Mesh and stainless rope wicks will take the longest to master, consequently many people stick with cotton (wool). Perseverance will pay off though as a well-set up genny is a very rewarding vape.

Is there anything I need to look out for?

There are many vendors selling material that claims to be the next greatest wick or wire but none of these products come with a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Some believe wanting such reassurance is being over-cautious; you will have to make that decision.

Many vendors sell wire claiming to be Kanthal but only a few have taken time to source high quality supplies. It is worth hunting out a supplier of genuine Kanthal and high quality wicking material.

Mesh needs to be Marine-grade in order to ensure that it is of a high enough quality to vape with. 400-grade works well for most people with most juice and is a good place to start.

Cotton should be organic and not be made using a bleaching process. 


The simplest atomiser you can use, and perfect for developing your coiling skills.

A simple coil around some cotton pushed through a microcoil sits inside the cap, juice is dropped through an enlarged drip tip opening – vape, drip, vape and then drip again.

Drippers give an excellent level of flavour, produce big clouds and are very quick to clean and rebuild.

Why are there different types of drippers?

Some drippers are designed to take a single coil. You will find others designed to two, three or four coils.

Some have posts designed for round wire, others for flat ribbon wire.

Some drippers are made to feed the air in directly underneath the coil.

Which dripper is best for me?

To begin with, go simple, even when you’ve outgrown it you will find it still comes in handy for testing new flavours of juice.

Once you have honed your skills, then the best dripper for you will be the one that matches your needs depending where on the flavour/cloud spectrum you would like to be.

Why do I want a tank?

They combine the fun of tinkering with great flavour.

The advantage of the cotton over the genny atomisers is ease of building and far less prone to leaks in your pocket.

Cotton tank atomisers

The Svoemesto Kayfun has to rank as one of the easiest advanced tanks to build on and, when compared to the cost of other atomisers offers excellent value for money and vape quality.
Tanks such as these are tend to be gravity-fed or operate thought the application of a partial pressure differential. Many of them now come with an adjustable airflow so that you can dial it in to your requirements.

Atomisers like the Taifun and the Rose also incorporate a method of adjusting juice flow to the wick so you can make in-use adjustment depending on the liquid viscosity.

Genesis/genisis/genny-style atomisers

They come in a range of styles, cost and build quality. They can be set up using cotton although they were originally designed to take mesh or steel rope.
Some come with air control.

Some have small cap chambers while others might use a reducer inside the cap to boost flavour.

Toby Kilroy avatar

Toby Kilroy

Writer at POTV
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Toby has been vaping since early 2012 and has used an array of devices and kit in that time. He sometimes writes up reviews but is often found with his head stuck in pages of code with a confused smile on his face. Toby also helps run his wife's site and has two children. He sometimes fondly remembers having free time and occasionally manages to sneak away to put his head into a good book!

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