Finding the best e-cig to suit you personally can be a little daunting, considering the amount of sheer choice the buyer has these days. Way back in January 2014 according to a study on BMJ Journals there were 466 brands, now in 2019, there's thought to be thousands to choose from.
It was also reported recently, in the transitions in electronic cigarette use among adults study, that half of all e-cigarette users (who were tested), discontinued their use within the first set time period. This may be due to the quality of the product, or the wrong type of e-liquid being used.
So how do you go about finding the right e-cig to suit you, that you will be able to stick with? Good question, as most advice is just based on general models, suiting either the complete beginner or an experienced vaper.
We here at SmokeTastic decided to write this guide, to help all sorts of users find the best e-cig to suit them, and form categories to suit the different type of user. Simply identify which category of vaper you fall into, and take a look at our suggestions.
It couldn't be simpler!
Choose Your User Type
The complete beginner, has no idea about vaping or the different products that are available. Wants an easy to use device which requires no real knowledge yet provides a satisfying vape.
This type of user has either smoked in the past, or is a current smoker wishing to cut down or quit. They want to experience an e-cig that feels and tastes like the real thing, satisfying them in both nicotine withdrawal and taste.
If you are completely new to vaping and want a simple to use e-cigarette you have 2 choices:
Cig-a-likes – The most basic e-cigarette which looks like a real cigarette, with low power and a small amount of vapor.
The Cig-a-like is a 2 piece design, featuring a battery and a cartomizer (named so because it’s a combination of an e-liquid cartridge, and an atomizer built into one).
The battery is more often than not automatic, which means instead of pressing a button when you vape, it automatically detects airflow and activates automatically. You do have to pick carefully, as the cartomizers only come in a limited amount of flavors and strengths.
One other thing to be cautious of, is the low power battery and thus low amount of vapor this type of e-cigarette produces. Although at first, it may seem to resemble smoking in many ways. Many people often give-up with the Cig-a-like pretty quickly, and move onto other types of e-cigs.
Vape Pods – Similar in functionality to a Cig-a-like, but with a fresh modern design.
Vape pods are relatively new to the market, in comparison to Cig-a-likes, and are by far the most popular option for beginners. Thanks largely to their simplicity and modern look.
Again they are a two-piece design, comprising a battery and a cartridge, known as a pod. This pod is where the e-liquid and atomizer are held, so using the same principles as the Cig-a-like.
Make sure you look at the flavors, and strengths of the pods, as they can be limited. Ideally, you should choose one which is refillable, so you can use the same pod multiple times, which cuts down on cost and allows you to choose any e-liquid you like.
Our E-Cig Recommendation For The Complete Beginner
The Clear Fusion kit from Mig Vapor is the perfect beginner e-cigarette. A Couple of huge advantages of this e-cig is the battery life, in comparison to other cig-a-like, and vape pods, but also the ability to use any e-liquid you like. Saving you money, and opening your choice to the whole e-liquid market.
You are looking for an e-cigarette that has all the same properties of smoking, which includes the pull resistance, taste, and nicotine content. With the idea of slowly reducing your nicotine intake over time.
In this case, you need to look for e-cigarettes that have a coil, (often referred to as an atomizer) of greater than 1-ohm. This type of coil is specifically designed for a mouth to lung vape, and has a similar resistance to smoking a real cigarette.
All Cig-a-like and Pod Vapes are of this nature, so the same principles apply here.
The most important thing to consider, is to choose an e-cig that allows you to refill with any e-liquid. This gives you the option to try multiple different tobacco, and regular flavors than the sealed units. It also allows you to choose the strength of nicotine.
If you are coming off cigarettes, then it’s best to start at a reasonably high level. That level depends on how often you plan to vape. For example, if you enjoy smoking, and just want an alternative then it’s a good choice to pick between 6-12mg strength. If however, you just want a strong hit to get you through the day, then choosing a higher nicotine content will help, but not be as enjoyable.
The Clear Fusion kit, from Mig Vapor is also a pretty good pick for ex-smokers. Try a combination of tobacco e-liquids to start, but try to pick up some fruity flavors as well, you might just surprise yourself, and enjoy vaping that bit more!
You may have tried vaping before and it just didn’t sit right for you. This may have been for a number of reasons. We’ll explore a few to give you a better chance of sticking with it and more importantly, enjoying it!
There are many reasons why users don’t stick with vaping, here are a few, and the things you should try next:
Too harsh on the throat – This is a too often heard about complaint you hear from ex-vapers, and one that happens from a misunderstanding in advice.
The harsh feel on the throat comes from using too high of a nicotine level in the e-liquid. It’s often thought that if you’re a heavy smoker, you need a stronger nicotine level, but this is completely wrong.
Think about it a little differently, if you enjoyed smoking and want to enjoy vaping, then to vape a 3mg e-liquid twice as much as a 6mg e-liquid, will give you the same amount of nicotine and satisfy your cravings. The lower the nicotine level the smoother the vape.
Problems with the feel of the draw – There are 2 types of vaping, one where you pull to your mouth, then into your lungs known as ‘mouth to lung’ and the other where you pull directly to the lungs known as ‘direct lung inhales’.
The difference between the 2 is controlled by the resistance of the coil, where mouth to lung users use a resistance above 1-ohm, and the direct lung inhale users use a resistance below 1-ohm, known as sub-ohm vaping.
Chances are, you were using the wrong type of coil to suit your preferred type of vaping. Most smokers moving onto vaping, start with mouth to lung and move onto direct lung inhales over time.
Taste wasn’t right – There are so many e-liquids to try and all have a different blend, even if you just look at the tobacco flavor.
Try using an e-cig that allows you to refill, this way you have access to thousands more of flavors, and can even blend your own.
When you switch over to e-cigarettes, there is going to be a time where you need to get used to it. Many new vapers consider the experience like changing a brand of cigarette, to help them mentally get over that change.
A top tip from us is to try the different fruit or menthol flavors, instead of trying to find an exact match of your current brand of cigarette. Often a complete change is better than a subtle one.
The Smok Stick V8 vape pen, is a great choice for the return vaper, simple to use with no wattage or temperature settings. Simple to experiment with different e-liquids, and play around with airflow to suit your needs.
If your the type of user who finds they keep jumping back and forth from vaping, then there’s a good chance you haven’t found the exact product that suits your type of vaping.
This could be due to a number of factors which include:
The hit on your throat isn’t as good as smoking. This could be due to the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid. Try switching to a 3mg juice temporarily, to see if that helps. Also, try switching to direct lung inhales, using a coil less than 0.5-ohms, this improves flavor and gives you the hit faster.
The taste of the vape doesn’t really hit the mark. Make sure you buy a device that is refillable, and buy some test e-liquid sets, just smelling the juice in a shop, doesn’t really give you an idea if it’s going to be an ‘all day vape’ or not.
The vape airflow isn’t right. This really depends on the type of coil and vaping you are doing. If your doing ‘mouth to lung’, then buy a device that allows you to experiment with direct lung inhales. Also, get a device that has a good airflow control within it, allowing you to adjust the airflow to suit your needs.
Too much of a pain to set it up. There are many devices on the market, some are incredibly tedious to set up, whilst there are some that are incredibly easy yet still produce a good vape.
The SMOK Species kit, is an ideal vape mod for those who want to really give vaping a good try. It has excellent airflow, and a huge choice of different coils to experience different pull strengths, and flavor enhancements. Top tip, try using the mesh coils to get the most out of your e-liquid. The SMOK Species also has great airflow control, and allows you to adjust the power to get an incredible custom vape, yet is relatively easy to use.
This type of user may be experienced with vaping, and enjoys it to a certain effect, but want to get more from their vaping experience.
Luckily there are many additional choices, where you can experiment and try different setups, these include:
Wattage and Temperature Control. – This is where you buy a vape mod that has both wattage and temperature control. With wattage control, you control the power going to the control, best around 50-100W. With temperature control, you control the temperature of the coil so you never experience a dry hit, you can also set the wattage in temperature control mode with some mods, so the wattage will drop as soon as the temperature of the coil gets too hot.
RDA and RTA setups. – This is where you can build your own coils and screw them into your ‘deck’. With RDA tanks you drip the e-liquid manually on the coils and vape. With RTA’s you fill a tank above the coils like a regular tank. Check out the difference between RDAs and RTAs for more information.
Squonk Mods. – If you love the taste coming from an RDA, but don’t like the idea of carrying a bottle around with you to ‘drip’ onto the coils, then a Squonk mod should be considered. It has a squeezable bottle built into the mod which you squeeze to drip e-liquid on your deck.
Our E-Cig Recommendation For The Experienced Vaper
Voopoo Drag 2
The Voopoo Drag 2, is the perfect mod for the more experienced vaper with both wattage and temperature control. The original, was one of the best selling mods of all time, and the Drag 2 is an improvement on that. It comes with a mesh coil tank, but you can use RDA and RTA tanks on it if you wish.