Anyone even remotely familiar with vaping has likely heard the term "wicking" applied to the practice. For many who vape regularly, wicking is the well-established means for creating that trademark cloud infused with nicotine that we love so much.
The wicking material is essentially the conduit for the vaporized e-liquid. Without minimizing the importance of things like the battery, the atomizer, or the actual production of heat, wicking is arguably the most important component of the vaping process. It not only enhances your experience but also protects many key design components and can extend the life of your coils.
Wicking refers to the absorbent medium that allows the liquid to turn to vapor. Like how an antique oil lamp uses a wick to produce a flame, wicking is basically the same process on a smaller scale, thus perfectly designed to create quality nicotine-infused vape clouds.
There are several wicking techniques. For single coil, the options for wicking are much more limited. Essentially, you will just want to thread a small roll of cotton through the coil, wrapping it around the other side on both ends and then cut off the excess. Ideally, you'll have a thin roll of cotton surrounding the whole area around the atomizer. This is the standard way to wick a single coil.
For double coil devices, you have a few more wicking options. The most common way to wick a dual coil device is similar to wicking a single coil. By using a small roll of cotton, you repeat the process described above, once for each coil.
However, there are a couple other ways to wick a dual coil. The rollercoaster method (also sometimes called the over-under) is a wicking technique but instead of using two pieces of cotton, it only uses one. The process is the same as the two wicking procedures, except in place of cutting the cotton, you will insert it over the top of the atomizer and into the second coil, keeping the cotton in one piece. The rollercoaster method is best done on a device with a higher cap to promote air flow.
For low ohm builds, wicking the underside of the coils is an effective way to get the most out of the juice. Although, you will still want to wick through the coils as described in the previous examples, you'll be well served to wick around the base and beneath the coils using separate pieces of cotton to absorb as much juice as possible.
Wicking is important for a variety of reasons. An old or dry wick can result in a bad taste akin to a burning-like flavor. By keeping your wick fresh, you not only enhance the experience but also protect your atomizer from damage. Vaping dry can not only harm your experience but can harm your atomizer which comes at a much higher financial value than a simple piece of cotton.
Wicking is also an important step to preserve the life and quality of the coils. While there are a variety of reason why coils might go bad or deteriorate, wicking is a quick and cheap way to add in a layer of protection while also improving the quality of your product.
Cleaning or replacing your wicks regularly also helps prevent the coils from accumulating residue. You can prolong the life of your wick and the performance of your device by keeping the tank topped off.
In addition to the benefit to the quality of the vape and the lifespan of your coils, proper wicking will ensure that you never again, have to taste burnt e-juice.
While wicking is generally not difficult, its importance cannot be understated. There are a small variety of tutorial videos available online that can give you a quick how-to for both single and dual coil devices.
For any level vaper, wicking should be a cornerstone practice. In addition to the overall protection and performance of your device, proper wicking affords the user a substantially better vaping experience. For any vape enthusiasts out there not wicking properly, shame on you. Wicking is a simple, quick, cheap, and hugely effective way to maximize every facet of your vaping experience.