If you’re new to vaping, it’s a common feeling to feel as if you’re drowning in a sea of information as you research the topic. For this post, I’ll address the hardware aspect of vaping (e-cig usage), by outlining the basic kit that everyone needs.
First, be aware that switching from analog smokes (no matter what brand of cigarette you use) isn’t easy. While some will take to vaping like a duck to water, others will be overwhelmed by cravings, or face confusion over hardware usage and taste (juice issues), leading them to simply give up on the process.
Another common problem is the fact that some switch to vaping and expect the same feeling and sensation that they get from smoking analogs. You won’t get it. Not exactly, anyway, but as the saying goes: YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary).
Your basic kit should have batteries, chargers, and something to hold the e-juice.
This is where the confusion sets in, especially when someone who is new to vaping talks to more experienced folks. Those with experience are evangelists, and suggest kits and hardware, even juices, based on personal preference. Eventually, everyone who vapes becomes an evangelist; I admit, I too am an evangelist, but that’s to be expected. It’s when you ignore other points of view and forget that not everyone is the same that it becomes a problem.
You’ll want manual eGo style batteries, which are the ones you press a button to use. I’ve always recommended them because they are consistent with regards to charge life, and availability. There are two types of eGo battery – fixed voltage or variable voltage.
Fixed Voltage Batteries:
Pro – It’s available everywhere for the most part. It’s easy to use, easy to manage (cleaning and charging), and easy to travel with.
Con – It’s limited to 3.2v (volts) meaning that tanks and cartomizers can only be used if they are 2.0 Ohm or lower. Some people’s taste preferences need higher voltage settings, so the cooler temps that come from 3.2v won’t cut it, thus they get frustrated and return to analogues.
Variable Voltage Batteries:
Pro – There is a wider range of options when it comes to the temperature of the vape itself, meaning a harder throat hit and overall warmer flavor. They’re just as easily used and managed as the fixed versions; and they travel just as easily too. The other consideration here is that everyone who vapes eventually moves to, or tries a variable voltage device at some point.
Con – The same downside as the fixed version, but there is one major difference. If the voltage is too low, and isn’t flavorful or satisfying, you can turn it up. You can also use a wider range of resistance (Ohm) when it comes to tanks and cartomizers.
Honestly, to get more bang for your buck, start with variable voltage kits. Just because you can turn the voltage up, doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, once you find the voltage setting that works for you, the general advice is to leave things as they are.
When it comes to vaping, you really should use atomizers along with tanks and cartomizers. This is because it’s easy to test new flavors with an atomizer. Simply add a few drops and vape. Then, if you like the flavor, add it to a tank or cartomizer. The reason cartomizers and tanks are so popular, is because they hold more juice and keep you from constantly adding drops to the atomizer.
Atomizers are easy to use, and you’ll know when it is time to add more drops because you’ll get a burned taste (burned hit / dry hit) as you inhale. It’s nasty, totally unpleasant, and you’ll learn by trial and error how many drops to use, and how long they’ll last before it’s time to add more.
Cartomizers have filler on the inside of them. It looks like cotton, and it soaks up juice and feeds it to the coil, which vaporizes it for you to inhale. That’s a simple, dirty explanation of them. They hold more juice than an atomizer, but less than a tank. They travel well, they are not prone to leak, they’re easily filled, and they are affordable. Thus, they are rather popular.
You’ll see advertisements that claim a full cartomizer is equal to two packs of cigarettes. This is false. The length of time a full cartomizer (a.k.a. carto or cart) will last depends entirely on you and how often you vape. Also, you can clean them out and use them over. Often a good one will last a month, sometimes more.
Sometimes, cartomizers can be confused with clearomizers by new vapers. A clearomizers isn’t the same as a cartomizer, as it can come in various configurations (some come with wicks, top or bottom coils, filler material, etc.), where a cartomizer is uniform in design. Clearomizers are a step above cartomizers, just before you move completely to tanks.
Here’s a decent video on cartomizers.
This video will explain how to fill a cartomizer.
Earlier in this post I mentioned evangelism. One of the most common evangelistic topics in the vaping world centers on tanks. There are so many versions, most of them clones, and so many preferences (all of them personal), it will make a newbie’s head spin.
So what do you need? In all honestly, you don’t need any of them. A tank is there to hold more juice, that’s all. If you’re happy with a cartomizer, atomizer, or even a clearomizer, then stick with it. When it comes to a kit, a tank is often recommended so that there are options available to the new user, but it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t have one.
Here are a list of some of the more popular tanks. If the vendor you’re purchasing the kit from has one of these, get one, but just the one. Try it and see if it works for you.
- Kanger (T2 or T3)
- Vision Tanks
- Vivi Nova (standard or mini)
- DCT style tanks
I’ll add more detailed information on the tanks and e-cig hardware in the coming days and weeks.