Oil Vape Cartridge Comparison
This article will compare some of the top cartridges used for vaping oil concentrates. It will also help you understand what makes certain cartridges work better for different applications. Most of the information is from my own experience, which includes using various branded prefilled cartridges, and my own DIY carts. Our hopes are this will facilitate your journey in finding the best oil cartridges, whatever your goal may be.
Prefilled cartridges that will be compared next:
VVS Premium Clear Oil
Prefilled Cartridge Comparison
Let’s start out with the prefilled cartridges first, I picked those two products because I’ve used both, and they will demonstrate my next point. Cotton vs ceramic, you may have read that ceramic is simply better than cotton. There is some truth to this, on the other hand VVS Premium Clear Oil has no problem using a cotton wick, of course they create their concentrate in an ideal viscosity to be used with a cotton wick.
The cotton wick also fires instantly, whereas the mini ceramic heaters take a few seconds to heat up to full temp. It’s also challenging to use cotton with a thick viscosity, fundamentally the liquid doesn’t flow fast enough to wick and the cotton burns as a result. In most cases for DIY mixing, I would recommend ceramic because it’s much more forgiving to user error, and VVS has an extremely specific process that has been perfected over time to allow the use of a cotton coil with such a high potency liquid. The only real tradeoffs for using ceramic heaters are heat up time, and battery life. Cotton coils can be burnt and ruined for the rest of the tank, in general ceramic coils will last longer. The final advantage is that in terms of raw capacity for vapor production, the ceramic tank is going to win for vaping potent liquid oil.
While the VVS works great, when I hit it repeatedly it can start to burn but there is warning light to prevent this. With a Brass Knuckles cartridge having a ceramic heater, most mods will have a ten second limit, but you can generally just fire again instantly after this is reached. Because ceramic is more forgiving, it also can give the most vapor production without burning the coil. For most users however, they will find the VVS Premium Clear Oil can provide quite a kick as is with the cotton coil and will be happy. Personally, I would prefer VVS over Brass Knuckles because it tastes much better, and doesn’t have anywhere near as much of a chemical taste to it.
DIY cartridge comparison:
CCell TH 210 model
Available on VPM
Available on VPM
Vape Society Ceramic
Generic cotton wick
DIY Cartridge Early Attempts
Now on to the DIY cartridges that can be obtained through VPM easily. Note I only recommend the CCell TH model and Transpring A3-C currently. Let’s start out with the generic cotton wick tank, which gave the worst of results out of all my DIY experience. Even with using Wax Liquidizer 1ml to 1 gram of wax (very high dilution for my preference), the cotton wick started to burn if you hit it for too long (more than a couple of seconds at around 5 watts even). I found the mix worked very well in the Vape Society ceramic tank, but PG burns easily and becomes toxic so I moved onto other liquidizers quickly.
When I tried out the Connoisseur Concentrates terpene only liquidizer solution, I found only .4ml of it was needed to completely liquify my concentrates (after trial and error). This presented a new problem with the Vape Society tank, it became harsh because the viscosity was simply too thick for it to handle (it was harsh also as a result). The next tank I tried was the CCell TH model, to this day no portable tank has topped the vapor production. This article will really focus around these two tanks (Transpring A3-C and CCell), because they demonstrate where the industry is currently at, and what the current limitations still are.
The CCell TH model vaped the exact same liquid but it was much smoother, and generated a massive cloud in comparison to the Vape Society ceramic tank. The CCell ceramic heater goes to a max of 10 watts (according to Apex official CCell reseller), whereas the Transpring A3-C and other ceramic carts such as Brass Knuckles Quartz max out at 8 watts generally. I do attribute extra vapor production for the CCell to this. Additionally, I unwittingly tried some Chinese knock offs from ebay, to find they had nowhere near the performance of the branded CCells cartridges. The recommended CCell advice is that genuine products should have a logo (the knockoffs had no branding because CCell is a patented technology), this is just another reason I personally recommend VPM as the number one supplier. I can personally verify you are receiving authentic CCells from them, and I only purchase them from VPM now!
Where does CCELL come in?
The CCell TH model truly revolutionized the portable vape market for concentrates. I could list the many number of issues I have using a quartz coil (or any other comparable method of vaping pure concentrates), but it’s not in the scope of this article. Not to say you can’t have pleasing results with one, I however find the CCell ceramic technology to be much more efficient. Given you have the right viscosity, the combination of efficiency, portability and ease of use provided is currently unmatched. It’s no wonder why prefilled cartridges now account for 25% of all sales in CA, this number is only going up.
Let’s start out with the positives going for the CCell TH model, by TH I mean CCell TH 205 or 210 i.e. (205 is .5ml, 210 is 1ml). Right there we have a positive over the Transpring A3-C, at the time of writing the A3-C is only offered in .5ml, while the CCell TH 210 is 1ml capacity and available from VPM. Already mentioned was vapor production, I can personally attest I have yet to find a better portable 510 thread cartridge in terms of raw power. In addition to power, the CCell is also very smooth and can vape very viscous liquids. I use with great success 1 gram of CO2 shatter mixed with .4ml of Connoissuer Concentrates (Skywalker OG or Tahoe OG flavors terpene only solution). On Youtube, there is a video of someone mixing literally 6 grams of shatter with only 1ml of PEG. They say the CCell vapes it without issue, I can’t confirm how this really ended up (nor can I advocate using PEG which is known to be toxic when heated), but I can say the CCell is an excellent cartridge. For all CCell Cartridges, we recommend the CCell Palm Battery.
We should all know by now life isn’t perfect, and neither is the CCell cartridge. The first negative part of the CCell design is the cap itself for a couple of reasons:
Durability – The CCell caps are fragile to say the least, I had one slip out of my hand on the counter and it shattered very easily. Another issue is them screwing in, so I would advise caution when screwing and unscrewing the cap. I have had caps threading strip very easily, so also avoid going very tight, they keep the liquid in quite well in general. The seal at the top droops down a bit which slightly reduces capacity, although best practice appears to be filling roughly 75% full (from Transpring manufacturer website picture below). In this example you would be ok, however that would now be a .75ml tank! Note the Transpring has the advantage on the caps for tank filling.
Aside from the caps being fragile, they do have the advantage of not heating up (since they aren’t made of metal). Other than that, assuming you use the right liquid viscosity, the CCell does not have any other design flaws that bother me.
Where does Transpring come in?
Transpring is another vape tank manufacturer who produces the A3-C tank.
The A3-C has some very unique advantages over the CCell, including a patented 5-hole ceramic coil which allows for better efficiency with a rider range of viscosities in theory. The Transpring cap is practically indestructible in comparison to the CCell. The ceramic rod design is truly unique, not only bendable for ease of filling, but the glass is also removable which is another important advantage over the CCell.
All of this with a genuinely leak free design! With the very thick viscosity I use, the most I’ve had leak is a few drops out of the bottom (which also happens to the CCell). Another important tip is to store your tanks upside down, especially when you fill them with warm liquid. Additionally, make sure you leave tanks upside down for 12 hours before use when filling with warm liquid (according to Transpring).
While the Transpring caps look great, and address some of the issues I have with the CCell tanks, they are only available in metal currently and get hot (ceramic and wooden options aren’t available yet from US resellers).
The Transpring A3-C is only 8 watts max (according to MaxVapor website information), this means you must heat the atomizer for a longer overall duration to get the same amount of vapor, while the mouthpiece is going to heat up faster to begin with being made of metal (eventually ceramic will be an option). Personally, I found it to get too hot, but I honestly believe for most it won’t be an issue (I hit it repeatedly for testing, and my tolerance in general is higher than most). Additionally, I have had some minor spitback, so I recommend drawing lightly as it’s not necessary to pull hard anyways. On other mixes however, this issue hasn’t happened but I had to mention it.
In conclusion, I am very happy to say we now have the choice of the Transpring A3-C, and CCell TH model. There are many forum posts from before these tanks were made, of everyone trying to find the best e-liquid tank that simply wasn’t designed for what we want. Well now we have them, they’re called the CCell TH, and the Transpring A3-C, both of which are available right here at VPM! That’s another great reason to shop with VPM, I personally had a very hard time finding CCells before, let alone Transprings, both of which are reliably available.
If you’re wondering whether you should get a CCell or Transpring tank, well you really need to try them both. Eventually the Transpring will be available in the more desirable options such as 1ml and optional ceramic or wood mouthpiece. Until then, I am still using both because I find they each have their advantages. I think that says something about the Transpring (the fact that I’m willing to use a .5ml tank!). Anyways, I hope this article has been informative, and both VPM and myself thank you for reading!