Many people turn to vaping to help them quit smoking and some do it as a hobby. There are a vast amount of options available to you when choosing what the best set-up for your vaping needs.
However — this can cause problems for those new to vaping. There’s is simply too much to choose from; too much jargon; too much to learn; and, lastly, too many products.
Well, that’s why I wrote this piece — it’s a primer on all the basics. But mostly how and why certain setups are different and why some are better than others.
Vaping 101: Types of Vaping Devices
You can start off with a vape pen which consists of a simple battery and tank — these are pretty common and you see people using them everywhere.
With these, you click and hold, then draw — congrats, you’re vaping! These are refillable too, so you’ll need juice and also replacement coils for when the originals burn out.
Simple right? These are the most common for people who are trying to quit smoking as they most closely resemble using a cigarette. Closer still are “cigalike” devices, but the less said about them the better. The cost of these basic devices averages around $20 or less, so it’s not a loss if you decide vaping isn’t right for you.
Vaping 101: Variable Voltage Vaping
Next is a slightly more advanced setup. Consisting of a Variable Voltage battery, like the Vision Spinner II, you have the option of adjusting your Voltage for a more personal experience. The adjustment range is typically from 3.4-4.2v, which at the lower end gives you a cooler vape. Crank it up higher and the vape gets warmer.
These batteries are also slightly bigger with larger capacities, around the 1100mAh-1800mAh-mark. Giving you a longer vape time between charges. These setups require tanks, but over the counter ones should suffice if you’re just starting out. Just remember: you will have to change the coils every week or so, as they burn out and lose flavour — this is why they dry hit.
Vaping 101: Vaping and Mods
For the next few sections I will be discussing mods. These are devices that anyone can use — even novices. They come in all shapes and sizes at different price points and with varying feature sets. I will explain the different mods for each level.
Vaping 101: Best Beginner Mods
Beginner or introductory mods are the most popular option for someone just getting into vaping as these offer versatility at an affordable cost. A couple types of these mods are the iStick Pico and the Joyetech eVic VTC mini. Both of these have more of an advance adjustment settings than even the VV batteries. Coming with safety features and allowing you to adjust your wattage up to 75W (these mods max wattage) and allowing you more options in choosing what tank you like best. You can also use some sub ohm tanks with these — more on those later, though.
Once you’ve been vaping awhile something happens: all of a sudden you want more! This is where bigger and more powerful box mods come into play! The options at this level are vast and range from the Innokin Coolfire IV 40W on up to the Wismec Reuleaux RX200. That is quite a bit of a spread to say the least.
You’ll want to invest in a decent sub-ohm tank when using these bigger, more powerful box-mods. These devices, or mods, can either have a built in or removable battery/batteries. With removable battery/batteries being favoured as you can simply remove your battery/batteries for charging and insert a full charge battery/batteries and keep going.
Vaping 101: Advanced Box-Mods
Then you have your advanced options and these are generally only for advanced users, as there are nearly no safety features and this of course require a basic understanding of what you’re doing as well as Ohm’s Law.
These are typically mech mods and as stated before, they DO NOT feature much in the way of safety features. Mech-Mods, as they’re called, come in both a tube style and a box style. Most people at this level use a RDA (Rebuildable Deck Atomizer). Where you build your own coil, put your coil on your RDA, wick your coil and drip juice directly on the coil — this is sometimes called “dripping”.
Again, though, building your own coils, RDA tanks and mech-mods are a serious business. So get some experience under your belt before you try anything like this.
Most will be fine with a decent box-mod and a nice sub-ohm tank. If you’re new I’d advise you to get one of these.
But first, let’s dig down into some of the features you’ll come across with your box mods.
Vaping 101: Temperature Control vs Power Mode In Box-Mods
You are going to hear a lot about Power and Temperature Control. Power Mode just means wattage mode, whereby the vaping experience is effected by changes in the wattage setting — the higher the wattage the higher the temperature. This means big flavour and HUGE clouds. But you NEED a tank and a coil that can handle higher wattage.
Don’t let this scare you, though. I’ll explain it all below.
Power (or wattage) is a feature that comes with every device. This is what you adjust from say 1W-75W on your device. Your coil has a rating on it, say, 30W-80W — this is the wattage at which the coil is good at, giving you a total range of 50W to find what works for you. The wire used for power mode is Kanthal.
Temperature Control is included on most new devices and what it does is also fairly simple: you adjust the temperature at which you want to vape, typically in the range of 200F-600F, and that’s it — no need to worry about wattage or dry hits. This is why TC, as it is often shortened to, is so popular with vapers all over the world.
Only a few types of wire can be used in Temperature Control (TC), however: Nickel (Ni), Titanium (Ti), and Stainless Steel (SS). In order to use one of these wires you will need a TC device that is capable of doing so — the iStick Pico or the Joyetech Cuboid are two examples of devices that are capable of TC.
Vaping 101: Sub-Ohm Vaping
Sub Ohm is another term that you will hear very often. This is in reference to vaping anything below 1.0ohms. Most common ohms is .2-.6ohm range for the prebuilt/stock coils (the one’s you buy in packets from vape shops and online).
These coils are what create the vapor inside tanks. Big tanks like the Aspire TRITON 2 use coils in the same way Kanger’s SubTank Nano does — they just use different coils. Although this is more of a business practice than anything else; coils need replacing, so it’s a nice little earner for these vape brands.
All the vape tanks included in our Best Vape Tanks 2016: The Best Tanks Money Can Buy are sub-ohm setups. We have tested all the tanks in this list and can attest to they’re quality. If you want the best, pick one from that list.
Vaping 101: Dry Hits
These happen if your coil has reached the end of its life — usually after a week or so, but it can vary — or you’re tank has ran out of juice.
You do not want a dry hit; they’re bloody awful. But you will almost certainly encounter one at some point — just be brave.
Vaping 101: How Much Does Vaping Cost?
How long’s a piece of string? It’s basically the same question — there’s no concrete answers. Like smoking, vaping is a habit and it is one that costs money. Vaping, however, does not destroy your health and providing you’re using good quality liquid and decent gear you have very little to worry about.
Hardware costs can be high or low; again, it depends on what you’re after. If you buy a 200W DNA200-powered device like the VaporShark DNA200 you’re probably looking at over $100 just for the box-mod. That’s pricy. But similar setups with the RX200 chipset are often A LOT cheaper and just as good — just look at the Wismec Reuleaux RX200 vs the DNA200 version.
Tanks can vary in price as well. But when you buy quality it will last. I love the UWELL Crown and Aspire TRITON 2 — these two are amazing and offer very good value for money. The next step in your journey is buying — but where do you buy from?
Vape Beat has tested a bunch of retailers over the years, but we have included our favourites into one list. These offer the best product range, customer service and deals. Basically, if you’re in the US and you vape you NEED to know about these online vape shops.
Below are links to everything you need to get yourself setup and vaping. We hope this article was helpful to you. We tried to keep it as simple as possible — we can appreciate how daunting the whole thing might seem at the outset; we’ve all be there, trust!