What are drip tips?
Drip tips are vaping accessories that go on top of atomizers. Whether they’re RDAs, RTAs, or sub-ohm tanks, the last thing between you and your vaping setup is a drip tip. You simply drip e-liquid through the hole of a drip tip and you’re good to vape. They’re available in a number of different sizes, shapes, materials, and styles. While they seem like small and inconsequential things, drip tips can greatly affect the quality of your vape.
Seven great vaping drip tips
Aimed at cloud chasers, this wide-bore hybrid features a large center hole accompanied by two side holes. It has a Delrin core for heat resistance and a metal outer shell for sharp looks.
Trinity Glass Tanks Pyrex Shorty
A great low-profile hybrid, the Pyrex Shorty from Trinity Glass Tanks has a metal base and a glass center. The metal serves as a heat sink, while glass helps ensure flavor purity.
Modish Metal Works Stainless Steel
Modish Metal Works is known for its topnotch craftsmanship and it shows in its stainless steel drip tips. These models have a classy and understated look that looks great on most any vaping setup.
Major League Vapors Salt Shaker
A unique metal accessory, the Salt Shaker features a solid sheet of metal with perforations towards the top. This helps prevent spitback in problematic atomizers. It also helps create a denser vape, making it a compelling choice for flavor chasers.
Nolli Designs Hybrid Wood
Featuring a metal core covered by a stabilized wood shell, these models are absolutely gorgeous. They’re perfect for sprucing up vanilla vaping setups and also provide nice contrast on stabilized wood box mods.
Vaponaute Teflon Drip Tips
Available in a number of different shapes, Vaponaute’s Teflon models are prized for their silky-smooth mouthfeel. In addition to feeling and looking great, they’re highly heat resistant and fantastic at preventing lip gunk.
Another hybrid from 2Puffs, the Obrero has a Delrin core with a wide-bore hole. The outer shell is rubberized plastic with perforations. The texture combined with the material for an interesting mouthfeel that many vapers find satisfying.
Different drip materials and what they're best for
Different drip tip materials have different characteristics. There isn’t a “best” material. It’s really a matter of preference. Here’s a look at some of the most common drip tip materials and the characteristics they provide.
For people that tend to lose small accessories, inexpensive plastic drip tips are the way to go. They’re affordable and easy to replace. There are, however, more expensive plastics aimed at vapers that enjoy sub-ohm builds. Drip tips made out of these materials are more expensive, but also much better at warding off heat. Using these plastics allow vapers to enjoy warm or hot vapes without making their lips uncomfortable. Here are some of the more expensive plastics used in vaping.
- Delrin: This is the most common brand name for the thermoplastic polyoxymethylene (POM). It’s highly heat resistant and comes in a variety of colors.
- Teflon: This is the most common brand name for the thermoplastic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Many people are familiar with Teflon from its use on non-stick cookware. Another heat-resistant material, vapers also enjoy Teflon’s silky mouthfeel and resistance to lip gunk (a scientific term).
- Ultem: This is the most common brand name for the thermoplastic polyetherimide (PEI). Ultem drip tips have been gaining popularity in the last year. They’re highly heat resistant, solvent, and flame resistant. Most Ultem products are an opaque dark yellow, but some manufacturers are offering black Ultem products.
Following plastic, metal is the most common drip tip material. Drip tips made out of aluminum or stainless steel are affordable and durable. Vapers looking for a bit of luxury can opt for titanium or gold drip tips. While many metal drip tips look great, they also conduct heat. This can be an issue for sub-ohm vapers, as drip tips can get very hot during chain vaping sessions. Depending on the quality and finish of the drip tip, some vapers claim that metal sometimes imparts a taste on vaping e-liquids. Lastly, metal drip tips have a tendency to get crusty from dried lip skin.
The choice of many flavor aficionados, glass drip tips can be shaped into beautiful objects. They’re also heat resistant and do not affect the flavor of e-liquid. Some flavor purists compare vaping with glass drip tips to drinking wine out of a glass. They argue that fine wine should not be enjoyed in metal or plastic cups, so premium e-liquid shouldn’t be enjoyed on drip tips made from metal or plastic. The downsides to glass drip tips are that they’re fragile and can be expensive.
There are many artisan drip tips made from stone composites and stone resins. They have a unique look that helps any vaping setup stand out. They’re also great at resisting heat. Stone drip tips tend to be more expensive than metal and plastic models, but some believe that their unique looks are well worth the price.
Drip tips made out of wood can look beautiful and are very good at resisting heat, but special attention must be paid to the finish. A low-quality finish will lead to the wood being exposed to heat and moisture. As you know, you can’t vape without heat or moisture. Exposed wood can warp and lose shape. If not cared for properly, would can also splinter. A splinter of wood stuck on your lips is…not the best.
In addition to the materials mentioned above, some companies mix and match materials in order to provide characteristics of both. For example, it’s common to see a plastic drip tip with a metal outer sleeve. This offers the heat resistance of plastic, combined with the looks and durability of metal. Just like there isn’t a “best” drip material, there isn’t a beast combination either. It comes down to personal preference.