Last Updated on February 5, 2020 by

Behind the Design: An Inside Look at How Vapes and E-Cigs Are Made – Vapes and e-cigs may look small and relatively simple, but there’s actually a lot of science and working parts that go into each one of these devices. Have you ever wondered how your own vape creates that smooth, smoky vapor? Learn how these unique devices work to get a better understanding of your e-cig. Having a basic knowledge of vape designs can also help you identify what’s wrong if and when problems arise. That way, instead of purchasing a whole new vape, you can replace the parts that need some love and keep on vapin’.

Behind the Design: An Inside Look at How Vapes and E-Cigs Are Made

General Vape AnatomyXJET 1

Although every vape is designed slightly differently, all these smoking devices pretty much contain the same basic parts: the battery, the tank, a coil and a mouthpiece. The battery powers the entire device and heats up the coil, which is the piece that turns your e-liquid into vapor. Before leaving the mouthpiece, the liquid passes through the tank.


Most vapes contain the same basic parts;  battery, coil, tank and mouthpiece. But, different types allow for more or less customization as well as different levels of flavor and vapor production. 


Let’s take a deeper look into the parts that make the whole.

  • Battery

Coil Building Spinfuel VAPE Behind the VapesThe battery is the most essential part of any e-cig because it’s the component that powers and charges the entire device. Without it, you wouldn’t have any way to convert the liquid into vapor. Because the battery is vital to the entire device, you should try to take good care of it, which means keeping it out of extreme temperatures and using the proper charger. Always charge your vape on a hard, flat surface and never leave it charging unattended.


  • Coil

Between the battery and the tank, you’ll find a coil. The battery works to heat this coil up, which, in turn, heats up the e-liquid in the tank above it and allows it to be converted into vapor. One of the biggest signs that your coil might need to be replaced is if the vapor starts to taste burnt when you hit it.


  • Tanks

Sitting right above the coil is the tank, which is where the e-liquid is stored. The coil below begins to heat up the liquid until it has reached a vaporizing point. Depending on the type of vape or e-cig you have, your tank might be disposable or refillable. Most e-cigs are designed to be as similar to cigarettes as possible, so these devices tend to have disposable tanks, while vapes have tanks that you can open and fill with an e-liquid of your choice.


  • Mouthpiece

At the very top of the vape is the mouthpiece, which, of course, is where the vapor exits the devices as the user inhales. This can be a very important piece because different vapers have different preferences on how they like their mouthpiece to work. Some are wider and tapered, while others replicate the shape of an e-cig.

E-Cigs – E-Cigarette or Electronic Cigarette … or just a ‘vape’

Although the terms “e-cig” and “vape” are often used interchangeably, some people define e-cigs, or vape pens, as electronic smoking devices that are disposable. These electronics are often created to look and feel like a cigarette, while vapes come in different shapes and sizes. Although the e-cigs that look like a cigarette are considered older technology, Mig Vapor, a US-based manufacturer, has implemented new technology in the original e-cig design. With e-cigs, you have cartridges or tanks that are pre-filled with liquid, and, once you’ve run out, you just buy another pack of cartridges and replace the empty one.



Most vapes are designed to last longer than e-cigs because they have a larger, more powerful battery. Because of this major design difference, vapes tend to look different, too. While e-cigs are created to look like a cigarette, vapes are a whole different breed. Many vaping companies make products that look nothing like a traditional cigarette, by creating a unique design in different skins, patterns and shapes. Vapes also can typically hold a larger volume of e-liquid, and they have the capability to produce more vapor, giving users a stronger throat hit.


Mods and Tanks

Think of vape mods as an upgraded version of an e-cig (or a vape pen). Basically, any vape that has a larger, longer-lasting battery and a bigger tank is considered a vape mod. With these types of vaporizers, there is usually a refillable tank to add different types of e-liquids or even make your own vape juice mixtures in. The great thing about vape mods is that they are more customizable, and you can replace parts as they break or wear out. On the other hand, e-cigs are made with cheaper parts and it’s more financially efficient to just dispose of them and replace with a new device.


If you’re a beginner vaper, starting out with a disposable vape pen is common. For more advanced vapers, vape mods are the way to go. You’ll notice that these more powerful devices have a higher vapor output and include longer-lasting parts. With mods, you can easily replace small parts like the tank or the coil. Mods are usually better at reaching the correct temperature for vaporizing the liquid. While e-cigs may reach temperatures that are higher than recommended, vape mods are better at regulating the temperature to just above boiling, creating a better flavor and smoother experience. The tank in mods is also larger, allowing users access to more liquid.


If you’re using a mod, there are a few different types of tank types and accessories you can get: atomizers, cartomizers and clearomizers. Atomizers can hold a smaller amount of vape juice, but they can produce a stronger hit. Cartomizers can hold more liquid but are disposable tanks. Clearomizers use a wick to pull the heated liquid up and out of the mouthpiece. As the name suggests, these tanks are clear so that users can see how much vape juice is left and know when it might be time to refill.

Open vs. Closed System Devices

When purchasing a vape, you’ll read a lot about open or closed systems. Most e-cigs are closed systems, meaning that they are not refillable or easily taken apart, while vape mods are usually open systems. An open system device can be easily refilled and gives vapers the option to change parts and modify as desired.


Most vapes contain the same basic parts, battery, coil, tank and mouthpiece, but different types allow for more or less customization as well as different levels of vapor production. Those who are new to vaping are best suited to the closed system e-cigs with disposable tanks, while advanced vapers will enjoy the ability to replace parts and alter open system vape mods.