How to choose an e-cigarette Brand
How to choose an e-cigarette brand
With the bewildering array of choice available in today’s e-cigarette market it can be a daunting and seemingly impossible task to choose an e-cigarette. There are dozens of manufacturers and many similar devices not only in price but in styling and performance as well. This can be a problem for seasoned vapers , for novices it can be a nightmare.
How to choose a brand?
The vast majority of e-cigarettes are manufactured in China and most of the top brands are Chinese. The manufacturers websites can leave a lot to be desired in terms of layout and information so research is the key to success. Use other people’s experience and knowledge to help with your decision.
Identify what your vaping needs are
The first step to choosing a brand and ultimately a particular device is to work out what your vaping needs are. Have you just quit smoking ? Is this your first e-cigarette? Do you want something small and discreet or are you looking for something bolder and brasher? Are you looking for something quick and simple to use or do you want to get involved in wrapping your own coils? These are some of the questions you will need to consider before looking at specific brands, it can be a good idea to put a list of requirements together so you are ready for the next stage. There are several types of e-cigarettes on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and choosing between them also involves a great deal of personal preference. Your first step to choosing a brand is to identify what kind of e-Cigarette you may want to use.
Disposable one-piece devices which are similar in size and sometimes appearance to a cigarette are a cheap and basic option. They offer a discreet way to quit smoking and many people are happy to use them as a permanent replacement for cigarettes. They give roughly the smoking equivalent of two packets of cigarettes and are intended to be disposed of after use. These devices can be found in most supermarket chains or small high street convenience stores.
Pros: Small, cheap, readily available and discreet with a low output of vapour.
Cons: Very limited range of flavours or strengths, quality can vary, ultimately they are not re-usable or upgradable in any way.
Similar in size and appearance to the disposable cig-a-likes, rechargeable cig-a-likes can be re-powered with a USB charger as well as having replaceable e-liquid cartridges (which are disposable).
Pros: More economic in the long term compared with the disposable cig-a-likes while retaining the small discreet appearance with low vapour output.
Cons: Once again a limited range of flavours and strengths as well as the e-liquid cartridges still being disposable. Short battery life and often poor performance.
The next step up from the cig-a-likes are Vape Pens. These are usually slender and compact resembling a pen (hence the name ) but on the whole bigger than cig-a-likes. Styling can vary from very basic and functional up to elegant and sleek. These devices usually comprise of a USB re-chargeable battery section and Clearomiser section. The Clearomiser section contains a coil and wick (for vaporising the e-liquid), mouthpiece and e-liquid reservoir. Vape Pens have a wide range of quality and features from simple ones such as the Kangertech Evod Battery and BCC Clearomiser to the more sophisticated devices such as the Aspire PockeX.
Pros: Cheap and readily available in most supermarket chains, easy to use, compact and relatively discreet. Low volumes of vapour. Rechargeable and refillable from a much larger range of e-liquids. Much better battery life than a cig-a-like.
Cons: There are many poor quality vape pens on the market which can result in a poor first vaping experience. Limited power can compromise enjoyment of flavour.
Mods and Tanks
The ultimate destination for vapers are Mods and Tanks.
What is a Mod? Essentially it is a container for a set of larger and more powerful batteries (Which may need an external battery charger )and some electronic circuitry to regulate power. There are thousands of models of Mod from dozens of brands with a rich set of features such as Temperature and Power variable controls, automatic recognition of Coil resistance, safety cut offs, sophisticated touch sensitive LED screens and styling for every possible taste.
Mods are much larger and boxier than the cig-a-likes and vape pens, but many are still very discreet and fit snugly into the palm of your hand. The idea is to be able to control your vaping experience to the smallest detail and for those who like it sub-ohm vaping and generating big clouds of vapour.
The natural companion to any Mod is the Tank which consists of a sturdy glass and metal reservoir for the e-liquid and a replaceable coil. It is fair to say the market is flooded with choice. Most of the manufacturers who make the Mods also do accompanying Tanks and their respective coils. The TPD laws in the EU limit tank size to 2ml but you can still buy expansion sets to enhance capacity.
If you are new to vaping it is likely you would try a Vape Pen first and then graduate to a Mod and Tank combination, but if you know what you want there is no harm in plunging straight and purchasing a Mod.
Pros: Complete control over your vaping experience, massive choice in styles and functionality. The ability to swap tanks easily. More vapour production and enhanced experience of flavour.
Cons: Some Mod and Tank combinations come with a hefty price tag and this doesn’t always include the cost of batteries or a charger. You will really need to understand some advanced Vaping terms and techniques to get the best from a good Mod. Most powerful mods are quite bulky and produce far more vapour than a Vape pen.
How do I make my mind up?
So now you are aware of the main types of e-cigarette available on the market and may have a good idea about your own preferences, how do you start to identify a good brand or even a specific device? Follow the suggestions below and you will be selecting a brand and device in no time.
#1 Sign up to Vaping forums and groups
Vaping groups on Facebook and the numerous forums and bulletin boards are a great place to start. Once you have signed up and acknowledge the rules for the group or forum you have joined you will find that any questions you might have about a particular brand or model will be answered, sometimes in great depth by the other members. This can be a double-edged sword as sometimes you can get too many opinions and you may end back where you started and no closer to choosing a brand.
#2 Visit a high street Vaping Shop
Most high streets have a vaping shop nowadays. It makes sense to pop to a local shop and get some one-to-one advice from someone who hopefully knows a fair bit about vaping. In an ideal world your local store would have a good selection covering the various device categories and popular e-liquids, combined with words of wisdom from a seasoned vaper with in depth knowledge of the products they sell. In a lot of cases this is exactly what you will get and you should leave the store knowing more to help in your decision or perhaps even clutching your shiny new e-Cigarette.
A caveat to beware of is that not all Vaping stores are like this and some have staff who are not necessarily as knowledgeable as they should be. Some stores only stock certain brands and will push them to make a sale rather than offering impartial advice.
It is also worth noting that as physical shops have larger overheads than online stores, the e-cigarettes and e-liquids will be more expensive than if you purchased them online.
On the plus side you can at least see and handle various devices directly in a shop to get a feel for their quality and size. Attributes which can be hard to judge when purchasing online.
#3 Check out You Tube reviews
Another great place to see a particular e-Cig in action is to watch one of thousands of You Tube reviews. These are usually carried out by vaping enthusiasts and can give a balanced opinion on a device or brand. It is also a good way to judge how a device looks and how complicated or simple it is to use and re-fill.
#4 Actively seek out negative reviews
One of the problems you face with any reviews is that many of them are sponsored, in that the reviewer gets a nice stream of freebies from a particular brand and therefore will generally say positive things about it. This introduces a bias into the review process so it is worth actively looking for negative reviews for a particular brand. There will always be people who are not happy with an e-cig or unfortunately buy a faulty item but if there is an overwhelmingly large number of negative reviews or poor press surrounding a brand then it is probably a good idea to give it a wide berth.
#5 Accept that you may choose a turkey
Just like purchasing a car or any household goods, you may, despite your best efforts choose a turkey or unsuitable device! Perhaps you were swayed by a salesperson or put style before substance or maybe the device you purchased just happened to be faulty. The upshot is that you own a device which either doesn’t work or is giving you a poor vaping experience.
This is not as uncommon as it should be. Even experienced vapers can be found regularly complaining in forums that their latest acquisition Sucks!
If the device is unsuitable you will find that you can quickly re-sell it on one of the many online Facebook groups or forums, so you will at least get some of the purchase costs back.
If you have purchased a faulty device you are protected by consumer rights laws and will be able to ask for a refund or replacement.
Don’t let this put you off especially if you are quitting smoking…persevere and you will find that the world of vaping is so much richer.
Chat to us at Motivape
Rather than single out a few good brands in this article we think its best you make up your own mind, but if you want any friendly advice or to chat through some of the choices or terminology please feel free to contact us.
- Motivape Blogger