How to Build Your Own Custom Vape
Vaping is a popular activity that can be highly relaxing and enjoyable, but the process of finding the best vape can be tricky. No one solution is right for everyone, but a custom build is definitely worth considering. This brings a level of personalization to your experience that can be difficult to achieve with pre-made solutions.
To bring clarity to this process, we've compiled a comprehensive guide that details the entire process and all the necessary components. Keep reading to learn what it takes to create your own custom vape or e-cig and how MightySkins can play into this effort.
Can I Create My Own Vape?
The simple answer to this question is yes, you can absolutely create your own vape or e-cigarette and are encouraged to do so if you have specific preferences for your vaping experience. That being said, the DIY approach is definitely not right for everyone, as it's a lot more involved and will require far more research than simply purchasing a beginner-friendly vape pen or even a disposable vaping device.
Step 1: Research and Gather Information
Before you start to build your own vape mod, do your homework so you understand what, exactly, sets different types of vape devices apart. There is no simple answer, and for some people, the research process begins with simply using disposable devices or basic vape pens before exploring more customized setups.
Once you have a basic feel for the vaping experience, it’s time to get better acquainted with how they function. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the basic components:
- Tank. Sometimes referred to as a cartridge (especially for disposable devices), the tank stores the vape’s e-liquid.
- Atomizer. As one of the most important components of the vape, the atomizer is responsible for transforming liquid into vapor. This is sometimes built into the tank, although it can also be a separate component.
- Coils. While the coils are technically part of the atomizer, these often require replacement and must therefore be watched carefully. These heat up and provide much-needed power within the atomizer.
- E-liquid. Also known as vape juice, e-liquid is an important part of the process even if it technically is not a vape mod component. This is poured into the tank and, eventually, vaporized. In most cases, e-liquid consists of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and some type of flavoring, although some also include nicotine or even cannabis or CBD.
- Wicking material. E-liquid is drawn into coils via wicking materials or wicks, which are often constructed from cotton or mesh but are also available in wool or ceramic.
- Battery. Responsible for powering the vape, the battery needs to navigate the fine line between two essentials: it shouldn't be too heavy or take up too much space, but it also needs to provide plenty of power.
Step 2: Choose the Right Components
Now that you know which components play into the vaping experience, it’s time to take a deeper dive into these essentials. We’ve highlighted key considerations below:
As we’ve touched on, battery decisions will ultimately come down to whether a lighter, smaller battery is preferred or whether the priority involves maximum power.
Lithium-ion batteries have long been a common vaping solution, in part because they are so easy to recharge. The 18650 is often preferred. These are available in a wide range of milliampere-hours (mAh), which ensure that differing levels of power can be provided according to the vaper's preferences. They look similar to conventional AA batteries but are larger and far more powerful.
Increasingly, many vaping enthusiasts are exploring alternatives to the typical 18650, including the 20700 and the 21700. The latter two battery styles are larger than the 18650 and, therefore, not ideal for every vape setup. Every vape setup is also not capable of using these larger batteries, so be aware of that before buying a device or these battery sizes. That being said, many people are willing to deal with the increased size simply because the 20700 and the 21700 can handle increased wattage and also boast a superior battery life.
A 510-thread device is a great option that can be purchased as a standalone and may include adjustable power settings. Novices may prefer to use a 510 vape pen kit. The number ‘510’ references the threading style: 10 threads spaces 5 mm apart. Advantages associated with the 510 setup include cross-compatibility and portability.
Vape tanks can be surprisingly versatile, which makes selection tricky at times. These are often built to match specific vaping styles, such as mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung. In recent years, convenience has also become a key factor, with bottom-filling tanks largely replaced by easier-to-handle top-filling designs that can be filled without requiring the tank to be removed from the device.
Airflow must also be considered: this could be free and open for deep inhaling or tighter to mimic the effect of cigarettes. Many advanced vapers prefer sub-ohm tanks, which incorporate low-resistance coils. This style of tank can produce larger clouds and should be sufficient for direct-to-lung vaping.
Ohm specification is a chief concern when selecting vape coils. This measures the electrical resistance and determines not only how much vapor will be produced, but also, how quickly the battery will be drained. Many vapors balance these concerns by using coils within the 0.8 to 1.2 Ohm range. The lower the Ohm resistance, the more power is needed to heat the coils.
Pre-made coils are common and can be constructed from ceramic, stainless steel, mesh, or even titanium. Some experienced vapers opt for DIY coils. This process can be finicky, however, and calls for the use of a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) and a way to test the resistance of the coils, which is often done using the built-in ohmmeter on many advanced vape devices.
Vape juice is a highly personal selection, and even vapors who opt for similar types of coils, tanks, or batteries may vary dramatically in terms of e-liquid preferences. Some prefer to recreate the cigarette experience with menthol or tobacco, while others gravitate towards fruitier or dessert flavors.
The ratio of vegetable glycerin (VG) to propylene glycol (PG) can also have a huge impact on this experience. Higher VG tends to produce larger clouds, while higher PG will deliver a greater throat hit. Nicotine can also be incorporated, with the strength dependent on the user's history with nicotine, especially with cigarettes. Lower nicotine levels are favored for direct-to-lung vaping
Step 3: Assemble Your Custom Vape
Once you've invested in all the right components, it's time to assemble these and create the ultimate vape mod. This may differ slightly based on which components you've selected and whether you've decided to go the DIY route for the coil. Take a close look at manufacturer details for any batteries, tanks, or other components to ensure you handle them safely.
Detailed Assembly Instructions
While the assembly process can differ from one vape setup to the next, this typically involves a few basic steps:
- Attach the coil to the tank. This often involves screwing the coil into the tank's base. The coil may need to be primed with a few drops of e-liquid.
- Fill the tank with e-liquid. If available, use a designated fill port, taking care not to over or under-fill the tank. Wait a few minutes as the e-liquid soaks into the coil.
- Attach the tank and connect it to the battery. The tank should be securely attached to the mod. Confirm that the batteries are charged before powering on the device.
Safety is paramount throughout every step of this process. Properly assembled vapes reduce risks such as burns while also improving the performance of the device and even extending its lifespan.
Step 4: Experiment and Fine-Tune
You've created a vape that caters to your every whim. Now, it's time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and give your DIY vape a try. Be prepared to make subtle changes along the way to ensure that your vaping experience abides by all your personal preferences. This might mean playing with different types of e-liquid or even trying different coils when the time for replacement arrives.
Advantages of Customization
Fine-tuning will ensure that you continue to enjoy vaping far into the future. This also can bring a more personal element to your vaping experience, influencing not only the style of vaping but also, the visual aesthetics of the device itself. Throughout the full lifespan of your vaping device, you will have the ultimate control over how you want to vape and how much time, effort, or money you want to dedicate to the experience.
Building a Vape Isn't For Everyone
Building a custom vape can be exciting, but not everybody is cut out for this often time-consuming task. If you prioritize convenience, a pre-built or disposable vape pen may be a better fit.
This is the ideal approach for vaping novices; simple vape pens reduce the learning curve and allow you to explore vaping at your own pace. You can always move forward with building a vape device once you feel more confident.
You don't need to build a vape mod to experience the joy of customizing your device. With MightySkins, you can create unique vape skins, wraps, or decals that are custom-fit for your preferred vape pen. These are easy to design and apply. We also have several pre-designed e-cig vape skins that should appeal to your unique sense of style.