New to vaping? Confused by the all the terminology, products and array of goods and services you can buy? Yep – I was too. And this vaping guide is designed to help you find your way
This is why I started VapeBeat. I wanted to simplify vaping for beginner’s and help those new to the scene locate and find the best possible products.
Whether E-Juice, Mods or Tanks – we aim to provide information on the best possible choices for all kinds of vapers, seasoned and new.
I’ve been vaping for about five years now and in that time I have learned many, many lessons. Some good, others bad. A few were very costly, but most helped me find my way to where I am today.
Team VapeBeat decided to pull our collective knowledge into one post, broken up into many points, on all the most important things those new to vaping should know about.
Think of this as a quick and dirty guide to vaping on a whole, a collection of answers to all the most commonly asked questions, laid out simply, in one article.
We’ll be adding to this regularly too, so if you know someone that’s new to vaping and has a lot of questions, share this article with them.
Right, let’s do this!
Vaping Guide: 31 Things Every New Vaper NEEDS To Know
Buying The Right E Juice Is Very Important
E-Juice. It’s what you breathe in, so it stands to reason you only want to be vaping stuff that is made from the best possible ingredients. If you buy cheap stuff that isn’t you stand to find yourself in a pickle.[table id=BESTEJUICE /]
Vaping isn’t regulated, so if you buy cheap stuff from dodgy places there’s no telling what kind of crap you’re inhaling. For this reason, stick to established brands and reputable vendors. It’s the only way to be safe.
Coils Are Annoying – But They’re Getting Better
Some people get into making their own, and that’s fine. But I prefer to buy pre-made ones – it’s just easier. Still, not all coils are created equally; some brands are A LOT better than others.
My picks for tanks with the best coils in the business are as follows:[table id=subohmtank /]
Picking a tank with crap coils is annoying, so if you’re new to vaping, stick to the tanks mentioned above as these have brilliant coil systems. Especially Vaporesso’s EUC coils – they’re easily the best I have tested in the past 12 months.
You Probably Don’t Need A $200 Mod Right Now
If you’re just starting out you don’t need to spend big bucks on a mod; not right away. You’re new to vaping, you might not like it – don’t waste excessive cash on fancy mods if you’re a beginner.
Build up your skill level by using cheaper mods until you know what you’re doing.
Check out these awesome mods for beginner’s – they’re all under $50 and bloody brilliant.
Make Sure You Buy From Reputable Vendors
This is one of the most important things you can ever learn about vaping. There are so many cowboys and conmen out there; always shop with reputable vendors. Never cut corners.
I use the following retailers for ALL my gear:
Avoid “Cheap” E-Juice
If something looks too good to be true, nine times outta ten it is. This applies to most things in life and also E-Juice.
You want to vape quality E-Juice because you’re ingesting this into your body, so you want to ensure it is good quality stuff made by people that ACTUALLY care about your well-being and overall health.
Our guide to The Best E-Juice features loads of awesome Juice brands and all of them are 100% legit and great companies. Basically, stick with the established players and known retailers and you’ll be fine.
Don’t Be An Asshole – Treat Vaping As You Would Cigarettes
Don’t vape indoors, unless you have permission. Don’t do it on trains, planes or anywhere else. Basically, treat vaping like smoking a cigarette.
People that don’t vape DO NOT want to sit in your clouds, no matter how nice they smell.
Always be considerate, you’re representing an entire scene, so DO NOT be a dick.
Do Your Bit For Vaping Advocacy
Vaping is under increasing pressure from awful people hell bent on crippling the industry.
There are tons of ways you can help in the fight like signing petitions, writing to your local politician, and raising awareness amongst the people you know.
Check out VapeBeat’s Health section for more information on vaping and health.
Don’t Mess Around With Mech Mods – You’re Not Experienced Enough
If you’re new to vaping it can be all too tempting to start messing around with things like mech mods, as you chase bigger clouds and better flavor.
Please don’t, though – mech mods are serious and they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
You need to know about Ohm’s Law and you need to know about battery safety before starting out with mech mods.
The vape scene does not need more stories of people blowing their teeth out because they do not understand how unregulated mods work.
Take Good Care of Your Gear – It’ll Last You A LOT Longer
Guess what happens when you take good care of your tanks and mods? They last longer – way longer, in fact.
I take all my gear apart once a month and clean it. I use a toothbrush and some cleaning products. This ensures the gear is always gunk-free and it means I spot any defects early on.
Check out Nick’s Guide On Looking After Your Vape Gear.
Understand That Things Can Break / Have Faults
Vaping is not like the consumer electronics industry. Not even close. Things do break and products are often faulty. If you vape long enough you will come across this.
This is the main reason why you should only buy your gear from reputable vendors that have a decent returns policy. If you use VapeBeat and read our reviews, we only ever recommend products that are carried by retailers with good customer service and returns policies.
Be Careful Where You Shop On The High Street
Buying online, generally speaking, is cheaper than buying on the high street. I tend to buy most of my stuff online; always have done, always will do.
This does not mean you should avoid vape shops – far from it, in fact.
Just be wary that some vape shops will charge you A LOT more for something than it retails for online.
Not all vape shops do this, but I have come across plenty in my time that tried to sell me a mod for $20 to $30 more than it was online.
I call this noob-tax, as any veteran vaper has a good idea about the price of most gear.
Always check prices online before buying on the high street.
Stop Asking For Free Stuff
If you’ve just started vaping, stop asking shops, retailers and me for free shit.
Seriously, don’t be an entitled asshole. And, no, I don’t care if you’re going to do a “review” on Instagram to your 324 followers.
That’s not how the scene works. Period.
Bone Up On Ohm’s Law
Learn what Ohm’s Law is and why it’s important.
If you want to use mech mods and chase the really big clouds and flavors you will need to understand it.
Don’t worry, you can read a guide to it right here – Ohm’s Law 101: A Primer On Everything You Need To Know.
RDAs, RDTAs & RTAs Are Great But They’re Not For Everybody
Standard sub-ohm tanks run pre-made and, often expensive, coils. They usually come in packs of five and can, in some cases, cost as much as $15.
Given the overall price of a sub-ohm tank, this is a pretty hefty outlay for some coils – especially since they cost next to nothing to manufacture.
Most vapers start with traditional sub-ohm tanks and then, once they’re more familiar with the technology, move on to RDTA, RDA or RTA tanks, as these cost less to run and produce MASSIVELY better flavor.
I personally favor RDTA tanks, as these offer almost all the benefits of an RDA just with the juice capacity of a traditional sub-ohm tank.
RDA’s are the gold standard for flavor and clouds, while RTAs live somewhere in between, being, in my opinion, neither as good as an RDTA or an RDA for flavor and clouds.
If you’re 100% dedicated to clouds and flavor, however, you NEED an RDA.
You DO need to build and wick your own coils, however, when using ALL of these tanks and that, in itself, represents quite a learning curve, especially if you’ve never done it before.
I buy pre-made Alien coils for my builds from Amazon; they’re super cheap and they work like a charm.
Building Your Own Coils Isn’t For Everybody
It can be tricky and a little fiddly at first. But in the long run, you will save a fortune on coils and the flavor and clouds are just too good to miss out on.
You can read a full, detailed breakdown on how to build vape coils to get yourself started.
Trust me, it’s not as hard as you think.
Read Up On Battery Safety – And Don’t Use Cheap Ones (They Explode)
NEVER BUY CHEAP BATTERIES.
They’re super dangerous and could seriously hurt you. This is a huge deal, so take note and make sure you read our guide to The Best Vape Batteries You Can Buy In 2017.
DIRECT VAPOR has a good selection of high-quality batteries; I’ve bought my last seven or eight from these guys and had zero problems.
Don’t Buy Cigalikes – They Suck And They Cost A Fortune
Yeah – avoid these at all costs.
They’re disgusting, expensive and full of chemicals you don’t need or want in your body.
Did I mention they taste like ass?
Be Considerate – No One Wants To Breath In Your Vape Clouds
This one is important, which is why is why I’ve kind of listed it twice: do not cover your friends and family in your vape clouds.
Vape outside if you don’t have permission to do it indoors. Open a window if you’re vaping in your car and you have company. Just don’t be an asshole, basically.
Treat vaping as you would smoking; don’t breathe it on or near people. Simples.
Stick With It – Even If You Fall Off The Wagon
You will fall off the wagon. Accept this fact and move on.
Do not be put off if you go out and smoke a couple of cigarettes. It happens to the best of us.
Aim to stick to vaping 80% of the time, then 90%, and then, when you’re ready, aim for 100%.
It took me a good year or so to completely stop smoking the odd cigarette.
So don’t be too hard on yourself.
Research, Research, Research
There is an incredible amount of bullshit propagated by the mainstream media regarding vaping.
One minute vaping is the best thing since penicillin, the next it is the second coming of the black death.
If you want the most up to date and impartial information follow blogs like Clive Bates and POTV.
And, of course, VapeBeat – though we tend to be more interested in reviews and features!
Don’t Worry About What Other People Are Using
Find a mod and tank you like and use it until it breaks.
You might be lucky and get a great setup from the get-go. Or, if you’re like me, struggle for months with crap until you find something good.
This is the EXACT reason I setup VapeBeat. There was no good information around about what products were good, so I decided to change that and started VapeBeat.
All the best gear we test is put in our A-List Product lists, which you can check out in full below:
Buying Online is Often Cheaper – But Be Wary of Fakes and Clones, Though!
As mentioned above: buying online is always preferable. However, you should always be wary of where you’re doing your shopping.
If the website looks rubbish, give it a miss. If it looks too good to be true, give it a miss. Frequent well-managed, established businesses and brands.
You do not want to buy duff gear, a clone, for example, and find that it doesn’t work as advertised and then, upon complaining to the retailer, find out they don’t do returns.
A good retailer should have a solid product list and a decent (30-45 day) returns policy.
If they don’t, take your business elsewhere.
Keep Your Nicotine Nice And Low
You’ve just quit smoking, so you want to try and lower your dependence on nicotine. DO NOT go out and buy the strongest nicotine you can find; it tastes like ass and is completely unnecessary.
I only ever vape 3ML, 6ML at a push. It tastes better and gets the job done.
Regardless of how much you smoked, I’d advise you to do the same.
Join Facebook Groups
There are LOADS of vaping Facebook groups and most of them are filled with really nice people. Join a few and get to know some new people.
ALWAYS Keep E-Juice Away From Children and Pets
This might seem obvious, but you can never be too careful: ALWAYS keep your E-Juice in a safe and out of reach place if you have kids.
I have a dog, and no kids, but I never leave my E-Juice laying around, as it could kill Bojack – my dog – if he ever got a hold of it.
I keep all mine in my desk draw. My mate has a special shelf in his office. Another one made a compartment inside his coffee table. Whatever you do make sure kids and pets cannot get to it.
Be Careful When Travelling With Vape Products – They’re Banned In Some Countries
In our increasingly insane world, certain places and regions around the globe have enacted bans on vaping products. If you travel or are traveling soon, be sure to check out the place you’re going to and ensure they’re cool with you bringing your gear with you.
I had a close call in Hong Kong; the customs when I was departing almost confiscated my mod, E-Juice and about five tanks.
DO NOT make the same mistake I did.
When You’re Done With Something Vape It Forward
If you’re anything like me, you will be updating your mods and tanks on a month-by-month basis. When you do this it is tempting to just leave your own mods and tanks in a draw somewhere, collecting dust. Don’t do that, though – it’s wasteful.
Instead: vape it forward!
Vape it Forward basically means giving your old vape gear to a smoker with a view to converting them. Or, one of your buddies might be hard up for cash and could do with a new tank or mod. Either way, look after others and you’ll get it back in buckets.
Subscribe To VapeBeat’s Newsletter
All our best content and new content is pushed via the email, so if you want to stay abreast of current affairs or the next big mod, you should probably sign up!
Understand Difference Between PG and VG – And What Mix Your Prefer
PG and VG are the two main elements (aside from flavorings) that make up your E-Juice.
PG gives a more throaty, harsh hit, while VG is smoother.
For this reason, most people, including yours truly, go for higher VG E-Juice. My personal favorite mix is 80/20 (VG/PG).
Sample some juices in your local vape shop and see what your preferred mix is.
When You Find A Tank You Like, Stock Up On Coils – Lots of Them!
Whatever tank you go for, be it a standard sub-ohm tank or an RDTA or RDA, once you’ve purchased it you will definitely want ensure you have plenty of coils (or the tools to make coils).
If you’re using a sub-ohm tank, bulk buy coils – like three or four packs at a time. This way, you’ll never find yourself in a position where you don’t have any spares.
If you’re building your own coils, meaning you’re using an RTA, RDA or RDTA, just ensure you always have enough wire, pre-built coils, cotton and the like.
I get ALL my coil-building gear from Coil Master – and you should too, as they’re one of the best retailers on the planet.
I also HIGHLY recommend this kit from Coil Masters too:
The ULTIMATE Coil-Builder’s Kit
This one’s for all you serious vapers out there; the guys and gals that rock RDAs and RDTAs, basically.
If you build coils regularly and, like me, you’re a little unorganized, allow me to introduce to you the perfect solution – Coil Master’s DIY Kit.
It’s designed for master and apprentice builders, and it is basically a one stop shop for everything you will need to build EPIC coils for your RDAs and RDTAs.
- 521 Tab Mini
- Coil Kit V4
- Silicon Rubber Case for Jigs
- T-Style Hex Screwdriver – 1.25mm, 1.5mm, 2.0mm
- Flush Wire Cutters
- Needle-Nose Pliers
- Folding Scissors – Stainless Steel
- Phillips Screwdriver – Pen-Style
- Flathead Screwdriver – Pen-Style
- Ceramic Tweezers
- Elbow Tweezers
- Kanthal A1 Wire Spool – 24 GA – 10 Feet
- Japanese Organic Cotton
But the best thing about this kit is the price – you can pick one up for just $48.95.
And that, my fellow vapers, is what you call a MASSIVE bargain.
Since I started building more this year, this kit has become invaluable. It’s portable and easy to store and has literally everything you will ever need.
It includes everything you need to build and test your coils out before vaping on them. And it retails for just $48, which is awesome value for money.
200+ Watts Isn’t Essential – Like, Ever
The specs war that is raging in the vape space at the moment is kinda silly. I mean, sure, it’s good to have plenty of power. But most people – i.e. 99% of users – will never run a mod at 200W.
You simply do not need this much power, regardless of the type of build you’re running. I pretty much exclusively use RDAs and RDTAs and I never go above 120W.
Why? Simple: I don’t need to go this high to enjoy my vaping. Lower wattage vaping conserves E-Juice and isn’t as punishing on your coils, meaning they last longer, saving you money in the process.
If you’re interested in getting yourself the best possible mod, you need to read my guide to the Best Box Mods you can buy right now.