What is Dripping?
Dripping is basically the same as any other type of vaping, except that there is no tank to supply liquid to the wick. Instead, e-liquid is dripped directly onto an exposed coil from a bottle or a dropper. This soaks the wick, so that when the coil is fired, the liquid vapourises in the normal way. You can then take a few puffs before you need to drip more liquid onto the wick again. If you begin to feel a dry hit, you know it’s time to drip!
Because there is no need for a tank, specially designed dripping atomisers are used. Rebuildable Dripping Atomisers (or RDAs for short) have a wide mouthpiece leading directly to the atomiser coil. E-liquid is dripped onto the coil through the mouthpiece. RDAs usually have terminal posts for connecting your coil to and a small deck for the tips of the wicks to sit in. The deck forms a small “well” to collect any extra e-liquid pooling there. Most dripping enthusiasts routinely create their own coils and wicks and there are plenty of people who prefer and love the experience of dripping.
What are the advantages of Dripping?
- Vaping with a tank means that the vapour has to travel all the way through the device before it’s inhaled – and some of the vapour’s strength and taste gets lost along the way. Dripping gives bold and intense flavour thanks to the direct heat applied to the e-liquid.
- Although they only hold a small amount of e-liquid, using an RDA means that you can easily switch flavours. If you get tired of one flavour, you can then drip an entirely different flavour if you wish. Dripping can let you easily and quickly test the taste of the e-liquid.
- If you enjoy experimenting with vaping equipment and e-liquid flavours, dripping takes the hobby to a whole new level. Some people would even say that dripping is an art.
What are the disadvantages of Dripping?
- If you vape simply to get a regular nicotine fix after smoking cigarettes for years, you’ll find that all the faff of dripping e-liquid is time-consuming, so dripping isn’t for hardened nicotine addicts.
- It takes some time to learn and perfect the technique, and then each drip will only give you fewer than ten inhales before it’s time to do it all over again.
- Dripping can be inconvenient. The need to drip after every few puffs means that you can never go far without a bottle of e-liquid. Spills and leaks are more likely and it is impossible to drive safely while using an RDA.
How do you Drip?
- Take your dropper or e-liquid bottle and place three or four small drops of liquid directly onto the coil. Do not drip too much juice, or it will flood the coil, which will result in the hot liquid spitting into your mouth. Keep a steady hand as you drip each drop, to avoid spilling or missing the coil.
- Push your drip tip or RDA cap back into place, fire up your device and inhale. You will be rewarded with a huge vapour cloud that is full of flavour.
- Take another few puffs and then start the process all over again.
How Not To Drip!
- At the first sign of a dry hit, stop vaping and drip more e-liquid. It is very easy for an RDA to run dry and overheat, so don’t try to prolong your e-liquid or you will get an unpleasant dry hit.
- Do not drip too much e-liquid into your RDA. Flooding can cause the coil to produce hot droplets that can fly up into your mouth and burn you.
- Don’t find out the hard way what “kissing the red dragon” means. This is what happens if you forget to put your drip tip mouthpiece back into place and put the red hot coils straight onto your lips. You can easily do this absent-mindedly and it isn’t a good experience! The smell of burnt flesh might put you off dripping for life.
If you like the idea of the intense flavour that dripping provides, but all of the hassle and inconvenience puts you off, don’t worry. There’s still hope for flavour chasers in the form of squonking. Squonking provides a kind of halfway house between the convenience of a tank and the flavour of a dripper. See our squonking guide here.