What is Dripping?
You may have seen the term ‘dripping,’ or alternatively ‘Drirect Dripping’ or ‘Dry Smoking,’ used on countless numbers of sites devoted to vaping and e-cigs, including Vapor Cloud Reviews. Well, it is still vaping regular e-Juice, but instead of filling up a cart, carto, or clearo, you instead ‘drip’ a few drops of precious e-Liquid directly onto the coil or bridge of an atomizer, and then puff away.
Why would you Drip?
Dripping tends to produce denser vapor clouds with cleaner, bolder flavors. I also find it tends to intensify the throat hit. Dripping is also nice if you want to smoke a variety of different flavors in one sitting without having to switch off tanks. Obviously there are times where using a cartomizer are better, like while driving, but at home I now usually drip. For some people the act of re-dripping into the atty every 7 puffs or so, is just a PITA, and stick with tanks, but for the intense flavor and vapor clouds many find it worth the act of dripping.
How do I Start Dripping?
Many people start dripping using a cartridge with a built in atomizer meant for pen type devices. You basically pry off the rubber tip, remove any filler material, put in a few drops, replace the rubber tip and vape on. Later on it is more common to use an atomizer with a raised metal collar where you would normally plug a small tank into. You again drip a little juice directly onto the atomizer coil or bridge, stick a drip tip on it and enjoy the vapor clouds.
What is a Drip Tip?clearomizer, or tank. It is there to make it more comfortable to vape, and sometimes to add bling.
Drip tips are made out of every imaginable material, from plastic, to steel, aluminum, copper, glass, wood, jade, and silica gel. Even combinations of materials. The shape is just as diversified. King Kong, Pagoda, Ming Vase, Shorty, Bullet, Carburetor, are all drip tip shapes. They can even be shaped like skulls, cobras, aliens, or like hello kitty.
Tips can be a single color, various color combinations & patterns, transparent or solid. Some even swivel or are bent. They come narrow or wide bore, or flat. They range from under a dollar each to over thirty dollars for a higher end one using glass or precious stones. Better drip tips also include on O-ring on the bottom to give you a tight seal.
There is no best drip tip, it is all a highly personal preference based one feel and style. I know vapers who simply use the plastic or steel/aluminum drip tips that came with their tank, to vapers who have a large collection of drip tips kept in a display stand.
What is a Dripping Atomizer?Once people started dripping, they started modding their atomizers to make the experience better. Typically this meant removing the bridge from over the coils. The bridge is a small mesh of material, usually steel, that sits directly over the coils to spread out the juice and evenly disperse it onto the coils. Although you can drip right onto this bridge, dripping directly onto the exposed coils produces the best hit. So people started pulling the bridge out.
Now they sell a ‘bridgeless’ atomizer for dripping where the mesh was never installed in the first place. This would be a Bridgeless Dripping Atomizer. If you are the DIY type of person, or are handy and want to save on the cost of replacing them, you can get an RDA, or Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, where the wicks & coils can be made and replaced by you. This is very popular in the vaping community, but I haven’t got there yet.
Is there an Art to Dripping?
Absolutely, but it is one you will learn quickly through trial and error. You should start by putting in 2 or 3 drops at first. Depending on the length of the draw, viscosity of the liquid, and type of atomizer, you should get 7 to 12 draws before you start losing flavor. Put in too much and it will leak out the air holes under the atomizer (known as flooding), onto you and the battery shaft, not good, especially if it’s not a sealed battery. Or too much and it could come out the other way into your mouth. Two or three drops is usually a good place to start, although I have a couple of bridgeless atomizers that can take up to five drops. With experience you’ll learn how much to use. You can use any e-Liquid, but I find thicker ones, usually with a higher VG ratio work best.
You know when it’s time to refill when you lose flavor, or start getting a metallic or burnt taste. Wait too long and the atomizer’s body will get very hot. This is a quick way to burn out your atty.
If I’m switching off different e-Liquids in a session I will put similar flavor types (tobaccos, fruits, etc.) in one right after the other without any cleaning. If I will be doing switching out very different flavor types I’ll either switch out the atomizer, or simply remove it, blow through one end with the other side in a paper towel, put it back in and drip the next concoction. Sometimes you get a juice with a perfumy smell that lingers on the atomizer. These I’ll remove and let soak in a bath of cheap vodka or Everclear overnight (no open flames near it please), rinse in water, and let it dry out over the course of the next day. If it’s not a super strong scent, but don’t want to mix the flavor with the next juice, I’ll blow out the remaining juice, rinse out the atty under the tap with warm water for one minute or so, then blow out the water. After I put it back on my battery I will do two or three 1/2 second dry burns to evaporate the water, then put the new e-Juice in. Just don’t dry burn to much or you’ll burn out the atomizer early. YMMV.
What is a Drip Shield?
A drip shield is an open-ended tube, straight or cone shaped, that you slide over the atty, past it’s air vent holes, and possibly the exposed threads of your battery. There is usually on O-rings that sits before and past the atomizer’s intake air holes. The shield itself will have air holes between the O-rings to allow air to enter. Besides making your device look cooler, it helps in catching any juice that leaks out from either direction, and with the vacuum of your inhale, will actually suck the e-Liquid back into the atomizer.
Recommendations for Dripping?
As I said, drip tips are purely a matter of personal preference. Go for a cheap one to start and you can upgrade later. Look for an LR bridgeless atomizers. LR means low resistance, usually around 1.4 to 1.8 ohms. They produce more heat for the same voltage so produce even larger vapor clouds and better flavor. Plus by vaporizing the liquid faster, there is less chance of flooding & leaking. Shields are totally optional but I recommend them for both the looks and leakage prevention. Here are the ones I’m currently using to drip, but the choices are copious.
- EmpireMods eGo Passthrough 900mah
- Empiremods Bridge Free LR510 1.5ohm
- Empire eGo Drip Shields – Matte Black Cut
- Black drip tip that came with one of my clearos, but you could buy one of these black ceramic drip tips.
Nicotine is a poison in the right amount, and that amount is smaller than you might think. 10 mg is enough to kill a child if ingested. Remember, nicotine in e-Liquid is measured in mg per ml, so it does not take much. If you have small curious hands around, do not leave your juices unattended where someone might try and drink that cherry coke juice you’ve been vaping. Be smart and take preventive measures. ‘Nuf said.