Does Cotton Wicking Matter?

Posted by Johnson on Oct 12th 2016

If you’re a coil builder on an RDA or RDTA, you’ve probably come across this problem pretty often. Does my cotton wick’s shape and density matter? Put simply, yes. Vapes are similar to bikes or cars; if there is one shoddy or not-so-great part, it will still run. However, for optimal performance, its important to keep up with every aspect and component if possible.

There are many ways to wicking that often boil down to cotton being either twisted or folded before being strung through the coil. There’s a very fine line between not having enough cotton and having too much. The quality of cotton is also key; it has direct contact with both your e-juice as well as the coil. Invest in organic cotton that is unbleached, nobody wants to vape artificially manufactured or colored cotton.

The density and tightness or the coil wick is also vital to the tank’s performance. If you use too little cotton or the wick is extremely loose, e-liquid will seep right into the coil and result in either leaks, gurgling, or spitback. If you use too much cotton, you end up with muted flavor and lots of dry hits. Two important methods that you should always keep in mind, no matter the style of wicking. While pulling/threading your wick through the coil, only pull enough until the cotton barely catches on the coil. There should be enough resistance that you can’t move the cotton in either direction effortlessly, but if you chose to, you’d be able to shimmy it without excessive force. This ensures the cotton’s diameter fills out the coil’s void space entirely. Secondly, after the cotton wick is in the coil, after trimming the ends, grab a sharp pokey tool, whether it’s a screwdriver or a coil-wrapper. Fluff the ENDS of the cotton wick as airy and fluffy as possible. If the strands of cotton fiber are more widely distributed, the wick will draw in e-liquid more evenly and efficiently.

While there are many parts to a vape and its performance, many people overlook the importance of cotton wicking. Next time you have an issue with your tank or RDA that you simply can’t figure out, try fiddling with your wicking format and layout.