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Vape Tanks Explained

Vape Tanks Explained

So you've got your vape mod, next you’ll need to pick up vape tank to pair it up with. Confused about which one you need? We’ll cover all the basics in this handy guide.

Tanks are available in various shapes, styles and configurations. Which one is best suited to you will depend on several factors. You'll need to consider your preferred vaping style, which type of E Liquid you'll be using and what strength nicotine you'll be vaping. Let's get down to it and run over some basics. 

MTL vs DTL Vaping

If you've not heard these abbreviations before, they are the key differences between tank styles. Most tanks on the market are geared to one of these styles of vaping, along with some offering the option of both. The differences between the two styles is purely down to the type of draw they produce. First and foremost, you'll need to decide which style is more appealing to you.

MTL Vape Tanks

Mouth to lung tanks, or MTL for short, have a tight restricted draw. The vapour is pulled in to the mouth, and then inhaled. They are best described as similar to smoking a cigarette. Thanks to the familiar feeling of smoking, they tend to be popular with new vapers when they switch from smoking to vaping.

MTL tanks are supplied with a thin mouthpiece with a narrow bore, they are designed this way to aid in restricting the airflow further. At the base of the tank, most feature an airflow control ring (AFC for short) which can be turned to increase or decrease the airflow to your desired draw.

These tanks require low amounts of power and produce a minimal amount of vapour on the exhale. MTL tanks are best paired with 50/50 E liquid or Nic Salt E liquid with a medium to high nicotine strength.

DTL Vape Tanks

Direct to lung tanks, or DTL for short, are sometimes referred to as sub-ohm tanks. This type of tank has a very loose and airy draw, the vapour is inhaled directly to the lungs, completely skipping the action of “taking back” rather than letting the vapour sit in your mouth before inhaling, the vapour is inhaled deeply in one single action.

DTL tanks are supplied with a much wider mouthpiece than a MTL tank to aid in providing maximum airflow. You’ll find an airflow control ring at the base of the tank, which will allow you to fine tune to your desired draw.

These tanks require a high amount of power and produce large volumes of vapour and excellent flavour. DTL tanks are best suited to 70/30 E liquids or shortfill E liquids with a low nicotine strength.

Vape Tanks

Standard vape tanks are the most popular and most simple type to use. This type of tank makes use of disposable coils heads that can be simply replaced with a new one when they burn out. The coils are very simple to install, and are considered the plug and play option to vaping.

There is no faff or messing around required using disposable coils, for this reason they standard tanks are the popular choice amongst new vapers.

Most standard vape tanks come supplied with a couple of coils in the box to get you going.

Standard vape tanks are available in both MTL and DTL styles.

Rebuildable Vape Tanks

Rebuildable vape tanks allow you to build and install your own coils and wicking material. They are available in both MTL and DTL styles. These advanced tanks require extensive knowledge and are best suited to advanced or experienced users, however they deliver excellent results with a bit of practice. Building coils and wicking techniques are a subject for another guide, we’ll try and keep to the basics in this guide, so we’ll save that for another day.

For the most part, they are available in two options. Let’s take a look at the options and explain the differences.


Rebuildable tank atomisers, or RTA for short, are just like a regular tank except rather than a section to screw or push a replacement coil into, they feature an area in which you install your own coils. This is commonly referred to as the build deck. The build deck is surrounded by a glass tank section. After installing your coils and wicking them with some vape cotton, the tank can be filled and vaped just like a regular tank.


Rebuildable dripping atomisers, or RDA for short, are the most advanced type of vape tank on the market. Similar to an RTA, they feature a rebuildable deck at the base. The difference being, there is no glass tank section surrounding the deck, a metal cap is used to cover the deck instead, with a mouthpiece on top. The user will drip a small amount of E Liquid in to the RDA at a time, rather than filling a tank. RDA’s are well known for producing the best flavour possible, they are often described as vaping at its purest.

Furthermore, most modern RDA’s come supplied with a BF (bottom fed) pin, this is used to covert an RDA in to a squonk compatible atomiser. Bottom fed pins are hollow inside, creating a small tube which allows E liquid to be fed from the base on to the coils, via a squonk mod. BF RDA’s can be more convenient, cutting out the messy dripping action you’d usually need to refill them.


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