Maybe you’ve tried a friend’s vape or you’ve been working with a single-use e-cig for a while and now you’re ready to step into the world of real vaping. It can be tricky to know what to look for in a vape if you’ve never owned an open system vape mod before, but there are tons of benefits to upgrading from single-use devices to these more complex and customizable options. We’ve created a buyer’s guide to help you find the best vape device for you and walk you through different types of vape tanks.
Understanding Vape Anatomy
Before you can dive right into purchasing your very first vape mod, you need to have a pretty good understanding of how these devices are put together. The greatest advantage to a vape mod is the ability to take apart the pieces, allowing you to add different coils, tanks and batteries. You can completely customize your vape mod, and you’ll be able to regularly clean and replace parts to help your device last longer than closed system devices that don’t allow access to the individual parts.
- Battery: Without a battery, your vape mod will be useless. Like any battery, this is the part that powers the entire device. With closed system vapes, you don’t usually have access to the battery. So when it fails, it can’t be replaced, meaning you’ll need to drop some cash on an entirely new device. With a vape mod, you can easily replace the battery and save yourself some money. Vape mod batteries also tend to be much larger and more powerful, which allows them to last longer than the average e-cig.
- Vape Tank: The sole purpose of the vape tank is to hold and dispense your e-liquid to the coils, which heat up the liquid and convert it into vapor. When you’re using a vape mod, you can switch out your vape tank, choosing between an atomizer, cartomizer or clearomizer. Each of these types of tanks has the same purpose, but the way that the liquid is transferred to the coils differs. Atomizers are one of the original vape tanks and tend to be smaller, holding less e-liquid. With an atomizer, the coil is located at the bottom of the tank and covered with a metal mesh while cartomizers have a coil wrapped in polyfill to help extend the user’s vape time. By far the most popular type of vape tank today is the clearomizer, which is–you guessed it–a clear tank. The biggest advantage of the clearomizer is the ability to see the level of e-liquid. Plus, this type of tank uses a silica wick as the coil, helping it to last longer and, some claim, improving the flavor of your vape juice.
- Mouthpiece: The tank and battery are the two most essential parts to make your vape work, but without the mouthpiece, hitting the device becomes impossible. When using a vape mod, you’ve got plenty of options for mouthpieces. Just find which size and shape are most comfortable for you. Some people prefer the tapered, flat tip mouthpieces while others gravitate towards round pieces. You can also opt to get either a metal or plastic mouthpiece, depending on your preference.
- Coil and the Coil Wick: Located inside the vape tank, your coil is the part that actually converts your vape juice into vapor. However, because it is used so often, it wears out fairly quickly. When your coil starts to go on your vape mod, it’s really easy to just replace the coil with a new one. For people using smaller e-cigs or single-use devices, they don’t have the same ability to access each part of the vape–meaning that when the coil goes, so does the vape. The coil wick is essential as well because this is the part that soaks up the e-liquid and can greatly affect the flavor of the juice. For beginners, a cotton wick is recommended, but as you learn more about your device, you can experiment with different wicks like silica.
Different Types of Vape Devices
- Single-Use e-Cigs: E-cigs are on the very beginner end of the vaping spectrum. These devices are typically cheap because they don’t last very long and don’t allow for many of the custom options vapers look for in a device. If you’re unsure about investing in a larger, more advanced vape, testing out a single-use e-cig is a good idea. But if you’re going to continue vaping, you should consider either a pod vape or a box mod option to get more for your money and help your device last longer.
- Pod Vapes: Vapes that feature refillable pods have become very popular in the last few years because of the ability to easily add more e-liquid to your vape on the go. Some devices are available with pre-filled pods that you can simply dispose of when empty and insert a new one. Other pod vapes have the capability to refill pods, like the Mi-Pod, which is compatible with tons of different e-liquids in a variety of flavors and nicotine strengths. The biggest advantage of pod vapes is the sleek design and the ability to quickly and easily add more vape juice.
- Sub-Ohm Tanks: If you know anything about vaping already, you’ve probably come across the term “sub-ohm” or “sub-ohming.” This is basically vaper slang for a method of vaping where the user creates huge clouds of vapor on their exhale. If you’re looking for this kind of vaping experience, there are specific vape mod parts that you’ll need to purchase for optimal cloud chasing. The best vape for sub-ohming is one that utilizes a sub-ohming tank, which features a built-in coil that can function at below one ohm. When using a sub-ohm vape tank, you also need to have a powerful battery or your vape won’t perform well. Look for a large vape mod battery that can handle at least 40 watts.
- Box Mods: When it comes to the world of vaping, there are dozens of phrases and terms that can become confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the practice. If you’re wondering “what is a vape mod,” you’ve come to the right place. Vape mods, also known as box mods, are the highest level of vaporizers on the market. These are the devices with the large battery and that customizability we’ve been talking about with the option to change out your vape tank, coils and mouthpiece. Sub-ohm vapes are usually a type of box mod that has a specific kind of low-wattage coil.
Smoking Vapor’s Fave Tanks
- SmokTech TFV8 Cloud Beast Vape Tank: If you consider yourself a serious cloud chaser, the cloud beast by SMOK is the vape tank for you. The clearomizer on this tank allows vapers to easily keep track of how much e-liquid is left and the high-quality sub-ohm coils allow for maximum cloud capability. Beware—This vape tank is not for the beginner. You should have ample knowledge and experience with vaping if you’re going to test out the beast.
- Uwell Crown 3 Vape Tank: This version of a sub-ohm vape tank still has the power and correct wattage to blow huge clouds, but it can also work as a good introductory tank for those first experimenting with sub-ohming. This device features an anti-leak top to prevent liquid from seeping out and a Crown 3 key tool to help with cleaning your tank and coil.
- TFV8 Big Baby Light-Up Vape Tank: Okay, this vape tank makes our list of favorites because an LED light-up tank is just too cool. Another product from the SMOK line, the big baby light-up vape can only light up and change colors when your device is operating at least at 1.5V. Select from three different colors and start enjoying all the advantages of this clearomizer.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your e-Liquid
- What is e-Liquid Made From?: The ingredients that go into vape juice are fairly simple, but different levels of each can greatly alter the e-liquid’s effects. Virtually all e-liquids are made from a combination of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) in addition to nicotine and flavor additives. Depending on the level of each substance in the mixture, you’ll notice a difference in the vapor’s strength and taste. Those who enjoy getting a more intense throat hit will want to seek out vape juice that has a higher level of PG while those who want a smoother hit should invest in e-liquids with more VG.
- Refillable vs. Pre-Filled Pods: If you’re going to opt for a pod vape device, you should know the difference between refillable and pre-filled pods. In some cases, you can purchase a device that works with both types of pods, giving you the option to either purchase those pre-filled pods or fill them up with vape juice yourself. Refillable pods offer a lot of advantages to vapers because they provide greater customization with the option to use any type of vape juice of different flavors and nicotine levels. However, pre-filled pods can be super convenient when on the go because all you need to do is slip the old, empty pod out and insert the new one.
- Selecting an e-Liquid Flavor: Many vapers fall into the habit of using the same vape juice flavor over and over, but after a while, always vaping the same flavor can lead to a condition known as vaper’s tongue. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious, but it does greatly diminish your ability to enjoy the vape juice flavor. After being exposed to the same flavor repeatedly, your taste buds may become fatigued and produce less saliva, making it more difficult to taste your vape. This pesky side effect typically goes away within a few days, but switching up your flavors regularly can help avoid the dreaded vaper’s tongue. If you’re not sure which types of vape juice flavors you like yet, try out several different types. Some people gravitate towards smoother flavors like mint or vanilla while other people prefer bold fruity flavors like grape or berry. When experimenting with new e-liquids, you should also pay close attention to the nicotine levels to ensure you’re purchasing a juice that you’re going to enjoy.
- Making Your Own Flavors: Vapers who have been experimenting with vape juices and box mods for a while might be interested in mixing their own e-liquids for some variety. It’s not difficult to create your own vape juice if you follow other recipes. Of course, you can write your own vape juice recipes, too, but it’s best to follow the advice of others first to ensure that you understand the fundamentals of mixing your own juice. You’ll need to purchase PG, VG, flavor concentrates and nicotine, but you’ll be able to completely customize the level of nicotine and other base liquids to give you the perfect vaping experience. Creating your own vape juice can really save money in the long run as you can produce your own liquid in bulk and save money by buying the individual ingredients rather than the pre-mixed options. Plus, you can slowly add or reduce the amount of nicotine in each batch until you’ve reached a level that you’re happy with.
A Crowd Favorite Vape Device: The Smoking Vapor Mi-One
Whether you’re new to vaping or you’re shopping for your perfect vape device, the Mi-one is a classic, solid choice. We’ve designed our Mi-One vape mod to give you everything you’re looking for in a high-powered device with the sleek and funky design of a smaller device. You can choose from a number of unique vape skins like the dragon skin collection or the shell collection. With a powerful battery and sub-ohm coils, the Mi-One is perfect for long-time vapers or newbies. The most convenient part about the Mi-One? You can attach this small device to a chain and wear your unique piece as a fashion statement. Plus, it’ll help you never misplace your vape again.