Surely everyone of you, my dear friends, has repeatedly encountered a problem of wicking material choice for your coils. This issue is most probably topical for the beginner vapers who had missed when the topic was at peak relevance. That’s it. There was once a diversity of brands and lots and lots of vapers used to dispute continually about advantages and drawbacks of every brand.
An inexperienced vaper often doesn’t clearly understand what wicking material would be better, why it would be better and if it will be fit in his particular case. Now I’ll tell you about peculiarities of different wicking materials and advise on the right choice.
That’s important! If you are not willing for any reasons to purchase special wicking material or if you prefer to try things out, please, be aware that you should never buy bleached or sterile cotton wool at a drug store. It’s quite a popular wrong belief that medical cotton wool can be used for our purposes. Sterile material tends to affect flavor rendering greatly. And that’s the least negative one of effects, because cotton wool may be sterilized with some unknown substance. And God knows what would happen if this substance evaporates and is inhaled by a silly vaper. Beware!
Here are some key criteria for the perfect vaping wick defined after having read lots of analytical articles:
Hygroscopicity is a property to absorb and hold a liquid. In other words, this particular property will help wick absorb an e-juice and ensure its even evaporation thus preventing dry hits and burnt taste.
Porosity means how many tiny air pockets are in your wicking material. The amount of pores and so-called airness of wicking material determine an amount of e-juice, which can be absorbed by your wick.
Plasticity prevents the vape wick from losing its shape when being put into coil and from volume changing when soaked. High wick plasticity helps decide on the exact amount of wicking material required for your coils and atomizer.
Heat resistance. That's it. And it's reasonable. The wick must stand high temperature and serve as the last foolproof.
Wicks are made of various materials. Some of them become outdated with the lapse of time and either leave the market or lose their popularity. That was the case with synthetic wicks, silica cords. For the moment there are three main materials on the market.
Cotton is the most popular and widely used material. More than 80% of sold wicks are made of cotton. Cotton is used as wicking material for the most of branded vaping wicks. The key advantages of cotton are total absence of its own off-flavor, high porosity, plasticity, and rather high heat resistance. If you have bought really good cotton, you won’t suffer the cotton wool off-flavor for the first 5−10 pulls. With cotton you’ll get a pure e-liquid flavor right from the start.
Flax is less popular wicking material. Its market share in Russia is about 15%. And very few world brands use flax as the material for vaping wicks. Flax has just an amazing hygroscopicity and a fantastic porosity. The popular cotton is far from being able to absorb the same amount of e-liquid that the flax is able to absorb. Thorough dripping will ensure that the liquid inside will be enough for 15−18 pulls. That’s true. Proved by great many people. But there is one weighty reason that hampers popularity of flax. It has its own rich off-flavor. Of course this off-flavor is not everlasting. It will disappear after the first 15−20 pulls. Nonetheless great many vapers prefer more often dripping to suffering an unpleasant off-flavor for some time.
Cellulose and viscose
Cellulose and viscose is more like fabric than cotton wool. Cellulose is not very popular, still there a few brands on market. It has rather good hygroscopicity and is able to render flavor pretty well. The main drawback of cellulose is its poor plasticity. It is neither pleasant nor convenient to put it in coil. Cellulose can change its volume significantly when soaked. Inconsistently.
As none of the vaping wick producers has paid me for advertising, I won’t go into detail about any brand. The only thing I’ll tell you is that a really high-quality wick costs approximately 300−400 rubles for a pack of 8−10 grams. As for me, I typically use cotton bacon and flax by Kendo.
Now you have all the information, my friends. So make wise decisions proceeding from your needs.