About Drip Tips
Drips tips have a wide variety of material choices: wood, stainless steel, acrylic, various plastics, aluminum, and even glass.
To compound the issue of choices even more, there are a variety of heights, widths, inner diameters, outer diameters, and labels like "wide bore" to contend with.
Add to all of this different designs, mixed materials and you have a huge selection available that boggles the mind.
Other than personal preference, is there a benefit to different drip tips?
The short answer is yes. Let's explore some of the reasons why you would want to try different ones.
1. Height. I personally prefer the "shorty" style of drip tips. These are quite short and close to the top of the clearomizer. To me, the "shorty" look appeals. However, it does make the vape warmer, in some cases even hot. That would be the advantage in getting a taller drip tip: a cooler vape. Since the vapor has to travel a greater distance and it is exposed to more drip tip surface, it will tend to cool down the vapor before it hits your mouth.
2. Inner diameter. Inner diameter is not a discussion about "wide bore" vs normal drip tips. Inner diameter refers to the bottom of the drip tip where it is inserted into the clearomizer. Glance at the picture at the right. The inner diameter is the visible hole that you see. That inner diameter has to be at least as large as the air flow chimney of your cleareomizer or larger. This should actually be your first consideration when you are selecting a new drip tip. Anything smaller than your air flow chimney will actually restrict your air flow. And, by the way, if you get gurgling out of your tank look at your drip tip inner diameter as the likeliest culprit.
3. Drip tip insertion point and O rings. Again looking at the picture just above and to the right, you'll see that this drip tip has dual O rings and a fairly thick stainless steel "wall". The wall is the thickness of the material between the hole and the outer diameter of the 510 connection point. Each manufacturer will adjust the diameter of their 510 drip tip connector to the thickness of the O ring(s). The length of the 510 connector point is also not standardized. You'll have to try it out on the clearomzier you intend to use it with to make sure that it fits, stays in place, and does not wobble. The number of drip tips that are well made and are stable on a clearomizer are very few ... don't choose a drip tip just because it is inexpensive or looks nice. Try it out and make sure that it stays in place. Two O rings helps with stabilization ... and only with stabilization. The O ring(s) have no sealing advantage. You should also be aware that the 510 connector on your atomizer is also not "standardized". The depth and diameter of the hole in the tank varies by manufacturer.
4. Material. Most of the drip tips included with the tank you purchase are made of stainless steel or a chrome plated metal. The less expensive drip tips are made from plastics and acrylics – these also are the most colorful and even have swirl patterns where differen color acrylics/plastics are merged together into patterns of beauty. The metallic drip tips are the ones that transmit heat the quickest – especially in the shorty style of drip tip. Patterns can be machined, cast, painted, or laser etched. There are even drip tips that have a combination of materials. For example, the base can be made of a delrin type of material for low heat conductivity with metal at the top for a more consistent look. The only real consideration for material type is the environment you are in. You have to be aware that in extreme cold temperatures, you drip tip could pick up that cold and transfer that to your lips. Same with extreme heat – a drip tip exposed to the sun could burn your lips and mouth. Some types of plastics can melt in the sun and also transfer heat and cold. There are wooden drip tips available, you just have to be mindful that wood can absorb moisure (from the vapor, form your mouth, and from the ambient environment) and transit those back to you as well.
5. Bore. Ok, now let's talk about wide bore vs regular drip tips. What is a wide bore drip tip and why is everyone telling me I need one? A wide bore drip tip usually means a considerably larger diameter opening at the top of the drip tip. A normal drip tip will have the hole at the top be the same diameter as the hole at the bottom of the drip tip, and occasionally slightly larger. A wide bore can be considerably larger hole at the top than the bottom. An example is show at the right.
The advantage to these is that the volume of air that can pass through is dramatically increased. That results in less condensation from the vapor. With less air flow restrictions, you also get less gurgling.
Gurgling happens when varpor liquid is drawn up through the air flow chimney and pools at the top of the air flow chimney or at the base of the drip tip. That usually happens because the draw, the air flow, is too tight and you end up pulling air and liquid up. That is not the only reason gurgling happens, but it is the main reason. So, if you have gurgling with your clearomizer, try swapping out drip tips and see if it makes any difference.
Let's get into a few dimensions. The drip tip above right has a 510 connector that is 8.3 mm measured at its narrowest point (the metal only). Measured at the uncompressed O ring, the diameter is 8.4 mm. Obviously, the 0.1 mm difference is that possible "wobble" space – but as noted above, the dual O rings limit that wobbling. The overall height (top to bottom) of the drip tip is 18.5 mm. The height of the exposed drip tip (without the 510 connection point) is 13.0 mm. That means the 510 connection point height is 5.5 mm.
Unfortunately, not all atomizer 510 connector holes are that deep. For example, I am using a KangerTech Subtank. The 510 connector hole is 8.4 mm in diameter and the depth of the opening is 4.6 mm. The Melo tank, in comparison, is 6.4 mm – a difference of 1.8 mm. This drip tip looks perfect mounted on the Melo tank, and has a gap when mounted on the KangerTech Subtank.
I'll let you examine these two pictures. The one on the left shows two different drip tips. The one in the tank is stock, and the one above it showing the two O rings is modified (shortened). You can see the stock one has a 1.8 mm gap where it is inserted as far as it can go into the KangerTech Subtank.
At the right, you can see the stock one at the top right, and the modified one inserted into the KangerTech Subtank. The modified one has 1.8 mm removed from the bottom of the drip tip. There is just enough metal left to retain the bottom O ring in place and it sits perfectly atop the Subtank.
Was it worth doing this modification? I think so, the air flow is improved, although that is subjective. The look of the drip tip is amazing on the Subtank, there is no wobbling as there is with other drip tips I have tried. And, no gurgling ... and I have had that problem with some other drip tips. To modify the serialized Tugboat style drip tip, I used a 5 1/2 inch grinder to remove about 1.5 mm of metal. I then used a 4" belt sander to more slowly remove 0.3 mm of metal – and trust me, it's not that precise, it might be 0.29 or even 0.28 mm of metal. It's flush on the top of the KangerTech Subtank, though, with no wobbling or any loose feeling. And, before grinding/sanding, remove the O rings (otherwise they will likely melt away from the heat of grinding/sanding). Once I had the modification done, I did a thorough cleaning to remove the metal shavings and dust.
This works great on clearomizers. I have also used this drip tip on RDAs too and RTAs. Quite frankly, you might even want larger bore drip tips on RDAs. The advantage of even larger bore drip tips on dripping atomizers is that you have even more air flow and can add your liquid without removing the drip tip.
Whether you choose to personalize your drip tip with different colors, materials, heights, bore or any combination of these, drip tips can enhance your vaping experience. Drip tips are not expensive – but don't waste your money. Test them out, there are drip tips that are horribly made and just don't site properly in the atomizer 510 connector hole or are too loose to stay in place and you'll lose them quickly.
Before you sit at a keyboard and type out an email or PM in facebook, I do know that the diameter of the bottom hole on a drip tip and the bore of the top hole on the same drip tip do have a relationship to each other. The bottom hole does impact the overall air flow reaching the vaper. It is a "venturi" effect. Venturi usually describes liquid flow, where a restriction increases velocity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venturi_effect). That's velocity – not volume. When you are selecting a drip tip, you have to make sure that you are not adding to the restriction (or constriction) by having a drip tip with a smaller hole at the bottom than the top of the air flow chimney. As long as the bottom hole is the same or larger, you are improving air flow and a larger bore will create a vortex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex). The vortex effect can actually draw out more air through the restriction (constriction) – more air flow.