Electronic Cigarette Buying Guide
What features to evaluate when buying an electronic cigarette
This guide will help you to find the best e-cigarette for your needs and preferences. All e-cigs are in principle very similar and consist of 5 components: an LED, a battery, an atomizer, a cartridge, and a mouth piece. The atomizer is powered by the battery and vaporizes a nicotine solution that is stored in the cartridge. The mouth piece allows the user to inhale the vapor while the LED simulates a glow.
The key differentiator among the brands is quality. Quality means great battery life, good vapor, and smoke juice you can trust.
Cost: Price of Starter Kit + Refill Cartridges
The cost of vaping e-cigarettes is driven by:
- The purchase price of a starter kit.
- The price of each refill cartridge.
- The price of replacement batteries or atomizers.
The price of a starter kit, which is your initial cost, ranges from about $30 to up-to $200.
You have an ongoing cost since you need to replace empty cartridges. Be sure to understand how much a refill cartridge from a given brand costs and for how long it will last. Companies usually provide an approximate number of "puffs" or compare their cartridge to the number of traditional cigarettes it can "replace".
Advanced e-cig users may choose to refill their empty cartridges with smoke juice since it is cheaper and more eco-friendly.
Personality and Appearance
Many e-cigs are designed to look like a real cigarette with a beige cartridge (filter), a white battery, and a red LED. But recent trends have introduced different cartridge and LED colors and even fashionable crystal tips for smokers to express their personality.
Batteries come in two types
: manual or automatic.
With a manual battery you need to press down a small button while inhaling which activates the atomizer producing vapor. Such manual model usually produces thicker vapor while using up more battery power.
The automatic model creates an experience closer to a tobacco cigarette. When you inhale, it automatically activates the atomizer to produces vapor. There is no need to press any button.
Batteries come in different sizes (length and diameter). A larger battery is heavier but holds more power. A smaller battery feels more natural to hold (like a tobacco cigarette) and is often the preference of women.
Different brands offer different colors such silver, red, pink, black, blue or white (to look like a traditional cig).
LED Color and Style of Tip
LEDs, which glow while inhaling, come in different colors such as red, orange, green, purple or blue.
Most models have a little cap covering the LED at the tip of a battery enhancing the simulation of a burning tobacco cigarette. However, many brands now offer fashionable tips made of a "crystal". The stylish option is specifically made for women.
What Others See
An e-cigarette with a red/orange LED, a white battery, and a beige cartridge pretty much looks like a tobacco cigarette. You may like this more realistic look but onlookers won't know that it's not a tobacco cigarette and you may get in trouble. Models with different battery or LED colors are less likely to be mistaken for tobacco cigarettes by others around you.
Difference between 2 and 3 Piece Models
A 2 piece e-cigarette consists of a cartomizer and a battery. A cartomizer (=cartridge+atomizer) is a component containig a simple atomizer and a cartridge which hold the nicotine solution. A 3 piece model consists of an atomizer, a cartridge and a battery.
|3 Piece Model
||2 Piece Model
- Pro: Higher quality atomizer.
- Pro: Cartridges are cheaper and can be refilled.
- Con: You may need to clean the atomizer.
- Con: Replacement atomizer costs about $10.
- Recommended only if you want to refill your cartridges.
- Pro: Each cartomizer comes with a new/clean atomizer.
- Pro: No need to clean or replace atomizer.
- Con: Cartomizers and more expensive than cartridges.
- Con: Cartomizers are single use throw away products.
- Recommended for ease of use.
Most e-cigarette smokers prefer lots of vapor and equate more vapor to a more satisfying and realistic smoking experience. This is why a quality battery is important. To produce more vapor quickly heat up the atomizer with a short puff first (called priming) followed by a regular and longer drag.
Unless you have a very specific taste preference the smoke juice flavor should not be a deciding factor when choosing which e-cigarette to buy. Different brands offer different flavors but pretty much all brands offer tobacco and menthol.
Money Back Guarantee
We would recommend you to buy a brand with a 30 day money back guarantee. If the product does not meet your expectations or e-smoking is just not for you then you can get your investment back. Although some companies won't reimburse you for the cartridges you have already used. You should carefully read the details of their money back guarantee.