Vaping has gone a long way since the introduction of the first electronic cigarette almost ten years ago. Many of the veteran vapers can tell you stories about their struggles with faulty devices, leaking cartomizers, and horrible flavors but that’s all in the past now. Today the wide majority of vaporizers are good enough to offer a solid experience that can make you forget about the pesky analogs in no time. And I’m not only talking about the expensive advanced personal vaporizers that can go over 50W and authentic mechanical mods, no, I’m talking about the reasonably priced 2014-2015 eGos and compact box mods that are almost everywhere. Not to mention the thousands of e-juices with complex and delicious flavors that can make even the non-smokers jealous of our sweet treats.
When I decided to write this guide to vaping in 2015 I wanted to let every smoker reading the article now that e-cigarettes have evolved so rapidly and many of the myths concerning their use have been debunked. As a matter of fact, people have stopped from referring to them as ‘e-cigarettes’ because they no longer look like combustibles and the experience they offer is far superior. In 2015 we have three main categories of vaping gear: the batteries (formerly known as vape pens), the advanced personal vaporizers (variable wattage & even temperature control), and the heavy duty mechanical mods packed with vape muscle.
Also, there is no right or wrong choice to make once you join vaping. Everything depends on personal preference and no one can pick the best options right from the start. You have to be ready to spend some money on products you are going to only use for a short period of time, before switching to something more powerful and also you need to keep an open mind. But regardless with what you start with, there is a very big chance you’ll stick to vaping and begin experimenting with different e-liquids, different setups and never look back on analog cigarettes.
So, in order to start vaping you will need to understand the principle and buy a couple of things. The principle is that a battery operated device heats up one of the elements of the tank connected to it and vaporizers the liquid stored inside into inhalable mist. So basically you need a battery operated device, a tank, and a bottle of e-liquid and you’re done –besides the extra accessories required to recharge, refill and replace.
Battery operated devices come in the form of eGos (like the EMOW), advanced personal vaporizers and mechanical mods. Egos are some of the simplest tools for vaping and they are essentially an elongated battery mounted inside a tube fitted with a standard connector (they are usually referred to as ‘batteries’ even though they don’t have the same shape). The name eGos traditionally comes from the eGo connector which is found on many of these batteries, however the majority of devices nowadays come also with the more popular 510 connector. The eGo has the threads on the outside and is bigger in diameter, while the 510 has the threads on the inside and it’s smaller in diameter. Some eGo batteries, like the Vision Spinner 2 come with variable voltage, an option that allows the user to adjust the vaping voltage via a button or dial. The bigger the voltage the more vapor it’s going to produce.
Advanced personal vaporizers come in many shapes and sizes from tubes to boxes, but their principle is quite similar. With the help of some boards and chips they regulate the current coming from the battery and allow for different options such as variable wattage / variable voltage and even temperature control, like the Smok XPro M80. They come with numerous safety features and they can reach go from 1W to 150W or even higher than this. As in the case of the voltage, the higher the wattage the bigger (but hotter) the clouds. Many of these devices are fitted with the 510 connector, but some of them can have both. Some come with an internal battery while others are powered by an external cell – usually a 18650 model. They are a very popular choice as they are generally considered safe and the clouds they produce are quite impressive.
Mechanical mods on the other hand don’t have any boards or circuits and they rely on the battery power alone to create clouds. They are generally used by people with an understanding of Ohm’s electricity laws because they can prove dangerous in the wrong hands. They don’t come with any safety features except for a venting hole to prevent the battery from overheating. However, these devices like the Flagship V2, are very popular as well and many vapers prefer brute muscle over variable wattage. You will need a separate battery (good quality, high drain one) and charger for any mechanical mod.
So now that we have the first section covered, it’s time to address the tanks or atomizers. Here we also have a few categories but we are going to focus mainly on the clearomizers and the RDAs or drippers. And since it’s 2015 when I say clearomizers I’m generally referring to the tanks fitted with removable atomizer heads. You see, the current from the battery heats up a coil (or multiple coils) inside the tank and that coil is surrounded by e-liquid soaked wicking (generally cotton). Like in the case of a candle wick slowly feeding the wax to the flame, the cotton provides a continuous flow of liquid from the reservoir to be vaporized by the atomizer. However, due to the high temperatures, this cannot go forever and after a period of time the coils need to be replaced because they burn out.
In the case of today’s clearomizers changing the coils is done very easily buy taking out the burned head and replacing it with a new one. These atomizer heads can be usually purchased in packs of 5 and alongside the e-liquid are the consumable parts of your vaping gear. So if you decide to buy a clearomizer for your battery / mod then make sure you also include some spare heads to the list. One such head can last from one to three weeks depending on usage. You should also know that these clearomizers come in different sizes and shapes from the thin ones that are usually fitted with the eGo connector (designed to match the eGo batteries) to the bigger ones designed to match mechanical mods and advanced personal vaporizers. As long as the tank has the same connector as the mod they can work together, but you need to do some research because you don’t want to end up with something that looks like a lollipop in your hands nor with something that looks like a lightning rod.
For the second part of the article click here: A beginners guide to vaping in 2015 (part II)