Introduction to Tanks & Coils

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Tanks - It's all about the Atomiser - AKA Coils

The heart of the matter

We’ll go over the various tank types and suggest that coils are indeed the heart of the system.

There are a multitude of tanks available today, and irrespective of the type or form factor, they’re all based on very similar design principles and operate in the same manner.

The tank holds the e-liquid and houses the coil, it also offers an adjustable ring or slot known as the Air Flow Control or AFC. This controls the amount of resistance when one is taking a draw. Most new vapers set the draw to simulate smoking.

Coils directly affect how well an e-cig performs. How much flavour, vapour production and hence, the level of satisfaction. The tank is merely the housing, although features such as AFC or Air Flow Control certainly play a contributing role. 

The coil or atomiser is essentially a heating element with a wick, generally made from cotton with wire wrapped around it. The battery activates and heats the coil, which in turn produces an aerosol commonly referred to as vapour.

atomiser coil and wick
Typical Coil Showing Cotton Wick
Open Tank showing Coil
Coil housed inside Tank

What is an Atomiser?

This video from Vape Wild explains the basics of how an atomiser works – AKA Coils. There are numerous videos available on the subject but many are specific to a certain product and can get a tad complex. Check them out if you wish.

The term “Atomiser” was universally used prior to replaceable coils being developed, and although the term is perhaps more accurate and still used, “Coil” is now the universally used term.

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Common Types of Tanks

Suitable options for all vapers

The majority of new vapers who wish to use a two-part Mod system-Battery and Tank, generally start with Clearomiser Tanks and often stick with them long-term. Due to their ease of use, versatility and high performance, they’re our number one recommendation.

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Variations of Clearomisers

eGo & CE Clearomisers
Open Tank showing Coil
Clearomiser Tanks
Sub Ohm Clearomisers

Clearomisers utilise affordable, easy replaceable disposable coils, and generally provide a simple means of refilling. They vary in terms of form factor-size, juice capacity and performance. Overall satisfaction, which is derived from a combination of flavour and vapour production, again, is mostly due to the tanks coil.

Let’s look closer at the three clearomiser types –

eGo & CE Clearomisers

Many vaping supply companies have stopped carrying these little tanks, as hardly anyone seems to use them anymore. They were released nearly ten years ago (as I recall) and commonly used with older vape pens or eGo styled e-cigarettes, but more efficient, flexible designs have long taken over. Although they are still viable, but only for occasional or light smokers, Pod systems and AIO-All In One e-cig models are a far better choice today.  

eGo style Battery and Clearomiser
Aspire CE 5 Clearomiser

Coils designed for these types of clearomisers offer very low wattage output, providing little more vapour than the smoke from a cigarette. This is fine for a mild type of vape and again, for light smokers only. The majority of vapers prefer larger clearomiser tanks for performance, e-liquid capacity and satisfaction.


  • Ease of use
  • Compact size
  • Inexpensive
  • Many offer a similar draw to smoking
  • Provides a similar amount of vapour to smoking


  • limited e-liquid capacity
  • Some are susceptible to flooding & gurgling
  • Less power & performance than clearomiser tanks
  • Mods require an adapter due to the recessed connection
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The tanks for the masses

Clearomiser tanks, including Sub Ohm varieties, are the overwhelming choice for most vapers using mods, as opposed to Pod systems or AIO’s. Many clearomisers today also offer sub ohm coils, which allow for more power, more vapour and at times, more flavour.

Due to the fact that the clearomiser tanks have helped millions of smokers transition, (make the switch to vaping), this is where smokers who wish to use Mods should concentrate. To replicate the type of draw that simulates smoking, stick to MTL or Mouth To Lung type tanks and coils.

Aspire Tigon Tank
Aspire Tigon Tank
Innokin Zenith Tank
Innokin Zenith Tank
Baby Beast Sub Ohm Tank


  • Wide Selection
  • Most offer excellent flavour
  • Large e-liquid capacity
  • Some offer a similar draw to smoking
  • Some allow for multiple coil types


  • Some require an empty tank to change coils
  • Some are not as easy to refill as others

The bottom line on Tanks

As an example, coils that produce a similar amount of vapour to smoking, are rated from 1.2 ohm up to around 2 or 2.5 ohms. These are commonly found in MTL tanks. Sub ohm coils, those rated below 1 ohm, produce a lot more vapour than a cigarettes smoke – For me, the perfect coil  is around 0.5-0.8 ohms. However, the design of the tank as well as the air flow control settings have a lot to do with it.

Performance and satisfaction are what’s important, especially when one is trying to quit smoking. When it comes to tanks, the coils are the foundation for performance, quality of flavour and vapour production.

The choice of e-liquid is important too, just as much as the hardware. If it fails to satisfy, it’s unlikely that any tank will offer you satisfaction.

Tank Selection

When it comes to selecting a suitable tank, it’s always best to try before you buy, so come meet with us or visit a vape shop. 

Charles Yates

Ex-smoker and current vaper. Started The Vapers Table in 2011. Interests are - Advocacy and helping smokers quit with vaping. Food-cooking, music, recording technology, travel & country road trips.

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