Choosing an electronic cigarette or vape for the first time can be quite daunting unless you know someone who uses one, or have tried one for yourself.
This page is designed to help you decide which style and type of vape is best suited to your needs, style and taste.
On this page we will be looking closer at:
If you have never tried an electronic cigarette, you might consider starting with a disposable for the first time to get a feel for what vaping tastes and feels like, just in case it isn’t for you.
I have found that it can mimic smoking quite well, both in taste and “smoke” or vapor production, when you find a good one.
There are hundreds of flavors that both have the basic tobacco taste and flavors that are more sweet or fruity.
With the added bonus of being able to choose your nicotine levels, or no nicotine at all, the possibilities are virtually endless!
I personally was able to use e-cigs as a way to wean myself off the actual cigarettes. It didn’t happen overnight, but I was finally able to put the real cigs down almost four years ago and it feels great.
Assuming you have at least had some limited use with an e-cig, and assuming that you’re pretty sure you are going to continue vaping, you will want to start looking at purchasing a starter kit. There are some awesome kits and brands out there and some that are a little sub-par.
Before we get into the different brands, let’s first look at the three primary styles of electronic cigarettes. Click here for info on selecting the right nicotine level.
The first type we are going to look at is the 2 piece or cigarette style of electronic cigarette.
This style is perhaps the easiest to use and requires the least maintenance overall.
Charge up the battery, screw on a fresh tip (cartomizer) and puff away. That’s it.
It isn’t hard to see why they are called cigalikes, they most closely resemble the traditional cigarette.
Many people also refer to this type of electronic cigarette as “first generation” because they were the first style introduced.
For many years, the cigalike 2 piece models were all that was available and they still remain quite dominant in the market today particularly for those who are trying to quit smoking.
The two pieces of this type are the battery and the cartomizer or cartridge. As shown above, with this variety, the atomizer is built into the disposable cartridge which is why I refer to them as two piece e-cigs (with the ego style, the atomizer is a separate piece).
All that you need to do is keep the battery charged and a packet of fresh cartridges handy and you’re good to go!
They are a breeze to use and really do feel like smoking a traditional cigarette. They are even available with different colored glowing tips depending on brand and preference.
For those looking for the solution with the lowest amount of maintenance involved, I would absolutely recommend the pre-filled 2 piece e-cigs.
No mixing, no adjusting, no worries. All the enjoyment of smoking without the foul odor, the cough and the slow death.
Each cartridge usually represents between 1.5-2 packs of traditional cigarettes. They usually last between about 300-400 puffs.
One of my good friends has been using this style of ecig for about 3 years now and swears by it.
She has tried the ego style and she has even tried a few of my mods, but she just seems to prefer the ease of use and the low maintenance of the charge, screw and go.
Although most cartomizers are prefilled with e-liquid, there are some that do allow for refilling.
Traditionally, the refillable tips were basic blanks that you would drop 15 or 20 drops of e-liquid into which was always a bit of a challenge. Probably why most people just stuck to the pre-filled variety, it was just easier.
The mini clearomizers give you the ability to fill them with your own liquid while still using the traditional, cigarette style batteries.
I love this new innovation because it gives you all the convenience and feel of the two piece cigalike design along with the ability to use your own e-liquid and mixes.
Cigalikes not only mimic the feeling of smoking quite well but they also feel closest to a cigarette in your hand and on your lips as you puff on it. It’s the easiest way to make the transition from smoking to vaping.
Most people find the feel quite soothing particularly in the first few days. As you progress on your journey to become completely smoke free, you may decide to move up to the ego or even the modded type e-cigs then.
Ego Style Electronic Cigarettes
The two piece, prepackaged cigalike models are the first ones I tried and for a long time I couldn’t even imagine anything else.
It really felt like smoking a cigarette without the actual smoke and I was feeling better than I could remember feeling in years.
I was so happy using them that I didn’t know what I was missing until I encountered the ego models for the first time.
What I mean by “missing”, is the larger tank, larger battery capacity, and being able to go a full day or even two on a single tank and charge.
The ego style also offers the ability to buy e-liquids and have them on hand in several flavors and nicotine strengths and mix your own home-made concoctions.
More importantly for myself was the ability to buy larger quantities of e-liquid to keep on hand in a variety of flavors and thus avoid the aggravation of reordering quite as often as I did with the cigalike’s pre-filled cartridges.
Ordering is never the main problem for me, it’s the waiting time because I always seem to wait until the last minute, so it just seems like I’m always in a rush for the product to arrive.
To me, the added vapor production makes it just slightly more satisfying.
Ego style e-cigs are made up of three components. They are the battery, the tank and the atomizer.
The same components as are in the two piece e-cigs, but the tank and the atomizer are separate pieces in the ego style where in the cigalikes they are together inside the cartridge.
The atomizer on the two piece models occasionally burns out before the e-liquid in the cartomizer is completely finished.
With the ego style e-cig, you can change the atomizer as soon as you get that slightly burnt taste without losing any e-liquid since you continue using the same tank.
There are many different battery size options as well. You can choose a sleeker look with a slim battery, or a slightly larger one that will literally last for days or even weeks for some light users.
The ego style e-cig models really give you the ability to tailor your vaping to your own personal preference.
This for me is the style I would recommend to anyone who has some experience with electronic cigarettes and is no longer looking for that traditional cigarette look and wants to have more control over the experience as a whole.
E-Cig Mods and Modded Type Electronic Cigarettes
For some vapers, even the ego style electronic cigarettes don’t offer enough control and many have moved into the next generation of electronic cigarette commonly referred to as a “mod” or modified electronic cigarette.
The term mod now applies to a whole world of devices and is generally applied to anything that steps out of the ego style e-cig to something that could now more aptly be called an advanced personal vaporizer.
Tanks that use factory made coils are generally sub-divided into two main categories: Standard or Above-Ohm and Sub-Ohm tanks.
Any tank that uses atomizers with a resistance of over 1 ohm is considered an above-ohm tank, while tanks that accept coil resistances lower than 1 ohm is considered sub-ohm. More on coils and resistances here.
Some tanks allow for vapers to build their own atomizer coils. Those tanks are called RTAs or rebuildable tank atomizers.
Next, we have the power/battery portion to consider. As you can imagine, battery and box mods are available in hundreds of types and varieties, in fact the list is almost endless.
Most offer variable volts like the ego style batteries, but usually offer variable wattage as well. Some newer sub-ohm box mods go up to 220+ watts of output.
In the last couple of years, many battery mods have started featuring temperature control on top of variable wattage and voltage.
Mods are generally only recommended for more experienced, seasoned vapers, but it does take the vaping experience to the next level and adds a great deal of enjoyment.
So…which is the best type of electronic cigarette for you?