Mod Wicks 101: What Are the Different Types Of Wick That I Can Use For My Vape?
Before it was so simple, everyone just used silica wick and they were all happy. But fast forward a few years and suddenly there are many different materials that are now available to use as a wick in your e-cigarette.
Each type of wick will have its own attributes like how fast it can wick e-liquid, its flavor production, and how easy it is to use. Each wick will also create its own type of vape, more vapor or less vapor. Some wicks may also transfer a little flavor to your e-liquid and others may need more prep time before being used.
What Is Wicking Material For?
The wick is what absorbs the e-liquid that is kept in an RBA tank or directly dripped onto a coil build when using an RDA (dripper). The wick is what keeps the liquid evenly distributed across the coils of the RBA and is an important part of what makes up a rebuildable or pre-built atomizer.
Japanese Organic Cotton
One of the best wicking materials available for your RBA is Japanese Organic Cotton. It is unbleached, not chemically treated in any way and has never been dyed. The best thing about organic cotton is that it will wick up e-liquid very quick and can hold a lot of it. The strips of cotton expand well and hold a lot of e-liquid. When first priming, some say that the material does have a “cotton” taste, but it does go away after a few uses. Unlike silica, cotton can burn, so never dry fire your RDA if you are using cotton as a wick.
Easy to use
Holds a lot of e-liquid
Can burn if dry fired
Cotton taste with first few pulls
Silica wick is the most common wick that is used in atomizers that are pre-built and are not rebuildable. Its flavor reproduction is rated average and depending on its weave size, it is a great wicking material. Due to the fact that silica has a very high melting point, it does not burn while in use. Although, silica wicks a lot slower than other materials especially when being used in RBAs and does not hold as much e-liquid as natural fibers.
Easy to use
Does not burn
Does not hold as much e-liquid as other materials
Cellucotton rayon users swear by their wick of choice due to its characteristics. Rayon is composed of semi-synthetic cellulose fibers that are made from processed wood pulp. It wicks like cotton, but can hold much more than cotton and vapers who use it also claim that it does not have the “cotton” taste.
More absorbent than cotton
Does not have the “cotton” taste
Wicks very well
Can catch fire (do not dry fire)
Comparable to silica in how it looks, but users of ekowool say that it produces better flavor and holds much more e-liquid than silica. It is mostly used in RDAs (drippers) and unlike materials like cotton it can be dry fired without catching on fire. Although like silica, ekowool also frays easily while being used.
Can be dry burned without catching on fire
Holds more e-liquid than silica
More expensive than other wicking materials because it is imported
Vapers who use genesis style atomizers use stainless steel mesh as their wicking material of choice as they feel it has the best flavor and vapor production with the genesis tank. But the mesh must first be properly oxidized before it is used otherwise it will create a short in the tank system. Some vapers claim there is a metallic taste when using stainless steel mesh; others say this goes away if the mesh is properly oxidized first.
Stainless steel cable has the same characteristics as mesh, but since it is already fashioned into a cable, it does not need to be rolled before use. Vapers who use stainless steel rope claim that it wicks better than mesh.
Will not burn
Lasts a long time
Has a clean, crisp flavor production
Needs a lot of prep before use
Can cause a short in system if not prepped correctly
More expensive than natural fiber wicks
Vapers who have taken to hemp wick love the stuff. It takes a little more prep than other materials, as it is a bit stringy and not fluffy like other natural fibers. It also gives a “hemp” flavor that some may or may not like.
Not put through any chemical processes
More expensive than other natural fibers
Adds a hemp flavor to vapor
Doesn’t wick as well as other materials
Needs more prep
Soft and easy to work with, vapers who use bamboo wick find that it is a good alternative to silica wick for their tank setups. It requires more prep time though, as it has to be soaked in boiled water before use and will give your vapor an earthy flavor. But it doesn’t burn easily and lasts longer than other natural fibers.
Doesn’t burn easily
Lasts longer than other natural fibers
Requires a lot more prep time than other materials
Gives vapor an “earthy” flavor
Ceramic wicks are used mainly for genesis styled atomizers because ceramic is non-conductive it poses no threat of short-circuiting while in use. But it is very brittle can easily break. Although it is fireproof up to 1200F making it a great wicking material.
Handles heat very well
Lasts a long time
Much more expensive than other wick types
Needs some prep before use
Laborious cleaning needed unlike other wicks