A Beginners Guide To Vaping

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Types Of Electronic Cigarette

The Cig-a-Like Electronic Cigarette

This design is to obviously resemble the traditional cigarette and is how many people start vaping, it looks like a regular cigarette and only a little bit longer, so fits into your pocket and is very discreet. There are many brands that produce the Cig-a-Like electronic cigarette but they differ in quality and thus have different specifications:

1. Automatic or Manual Batteries

The difference here is if you want the battery to switch on automatically as you draw on the e cigarette or you press a button to activate the battery. All mods have manual batteries, but with the Cig-a-Like models the difference is minimal and really is a personal preference.

2. Disposable or Rechargeable E Cigarette

The money orientated consumers out there will probably realize that the rechargeable e cigarette is the best way to go to save a few pounds and to experiment with different flavours at a fraction of the cost. The disposable e cigarette on the other hand is really convenient, all you do is smoke it and throw it away, just like a traditional cigarette.

3. Refills

If you have gone with the rechargeable Cig-a-Like electronic cigarette then you need to realize that different brands use different thread types, to deliberately stop you from purchasing your cartridges elsewhere. Try and buy one with the standard 510 thread, there is a lot more choice for your refills, but it’s not a big deal.

The eGo Electronic Cigarette

The eGo battery is a type of battery, not a brand, so there are many producers out there selling this type of battery, so be warned as the quality differs somewhat. This type of battery is my recommendation for all new vapers on a budget and who simply want to try and experience electronic cigarettes. They are efficient, versatile, and discrete and produce great vapor, hence why they are so popular with vapers. They also have what is known as a "510" connector, which has become standard among many battery brands. Again, there are many different choices available to you, so let’s look at a few:

1. Battery Size and Power

The battery size is variable, so you need to understand the bigger batteries hold more amps and thus last longer, the higher the ampere, the longer the battery life, simple. The only thing to consider is the convenience for you to carry it around with you, will it fit in your pocket etc. The larger you go the more likely the need you will have for a lanyard around your neck.

2. Variable Voltage

Some batteries come with the added feature of having a variable voltage or VV, this means that you can adjust the amount of power you are passing to the atomizer. This is great if your atomizer is on the way out and need it to last a little longer, but as far as vapor is concerned; you’re not really going to effect that. Although some dedicated vapers believe that the variable voltage is a must, for a beginner it’s really not necessary and a bit of a gimmick, you may even get a horrible burning taste in your mouth as the e-liquid is burning, and shorten your atomizer life.

The Mod Electronic Cigarette

The amount of Mods that are on the market is truly staggering. They differ from basic engineering all the way up to running computer software in to calculate complex equations that you never even thought off.

To put it simply there are basically 2 main types of Mods That we will go through now:

Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods are simple. They don’t have any of the technical circuitry that some of the digital Mods have and you get to pick the type of batteries that’ll power it, which is the main component after all! The disadvantage however is that with mechanical mods you do not get to alter the voltage or wattage unless you buy another component known as a kicker (a miniature circuit board you place in your mod).

Digital Mods

Obviously as I mentioned you have the immediate advantage of Variable Voltage (VV) and/or Variable Wattage (VW) without any complications, but they are also very easy to use. They also have safety restrictions built in, so for example, if your atomizer malfunctions, then the digital mod would cut off the battery supply instantly, whilst a mechanical mod would carry on sending a charge to the faulty atomizer that could burn you. This is for some and most an advantage of the digital mod, but for people who want to play around it can be a bit of a disadvantage.

The only other thing you need to know about mods is that some types have built in batteries and some have removable batteries. Although on the cuff of things you probably don’t think there’s much difference, I would always recommend going with the removable battery.

Why? Well this means you could buy another battery, which is relatively cheap, and have one on charge when vaping using the other. One of the most annoying things is waiting for your e cigarette battery to charge because you don’t have a spare!

The Atomizer (Atomiser)

All atomizers are designed to do the same thing and work on the same principles, basically they connect directly to the battery and have some sort of wick to draw the e-liquid to the main coil or heating element, it is this heating element that creates the vapor. Following so far? Good! Now the varieties of atomizer include things like; different resistance which is generally the thickness of the coil wire, the wick type and the screw threads or container attachments. Basically the atomizer only works with the correct container, this is purely for a marketing edge, i.e. if you bought your cartomizer from supplier A, you would have to go back to supplier A to get new atomizers.

So now we understand the atomizer let’s start looking at the actual units that connect to the electronic cigarette battery:

Clearomizers (Clearomisers)

Clearomizers are the most common type and simple consist of a tube or reservoir to hold the e-liquid, known as the tank, a coil that connects to the battery once you screw the clearomizer in place and some sort of wick to draw the e-liquid from the tank to the coil. Now you can get both top coil and bottom coil clearomizers and the simple difference is whether the coil is at the top of the tank or the bottom, and again this is purely a preference chosen the smoker. That said a lot of experts say that you get more flavor from bottom coil clearomizers, but that’s just their opinion!

The majority of clearomizers on the market come with replacement coils, this means that when the coil burns out, after about 2 weeks or so, depending on your vaping, you can simply replace the coil and not the whole clearomizer, obviously this saves you money in the long run, but the downside is, the unit is usually a lot more expensive initially.

The tanks on clearomizers come in both plastic and glass, and each have their own advantages. With the plastic tanks the main advantage is the price, they are generally a lot less expensive than the glass tanks, but the downside is that some acidic e-liquids can destroy the tanks over time.

The glass tanks on the other hand do not react to the e-liquids and the only disadvantage I can think of is the greater chance of them smashing if you accidently drop your electronic cigarette.

So now let’s move onto the Cartomizer.

Cartomizers (Cartomisers)

Cartomizers are often a metallic cylinder packed with a meshing known as poly-fill which basically draws e-liquid to the atomizer.

Cartomizers are by far the cheaper option, but also the less used type, purely because of their inconvience, they do however produce great flavor and vapor!

One of the big disadvantage of the cartomizer and probably the main reason why I don’t use them is that they can only hold about 2ml of e-liquid at a time, this means that when your out and about you have to keep filling the thing up, and as a heavy vaper this is a big problem! Also they can flood, this is when too much e-liquid has been drawn to the atomizer, unfortunately the cartomizer is completely useless, and it’s next to impossible to clean as all the components are manufactured together, fortunately though they are cheap, so you can simply have spares just in case! For a beginner, I would probably still recommend the Clearomizer, this way you can try different e-liquid flavors out by simply cleaning the tank rather than replacing the whole unit, but by all means have a go with the cartomizer once you have your favourite flavor, you might find it easier and more convenient, everybody is different remember.

One last thing to remember and note with cartomizers, is that they do require priming, it is important to prime the cartomizer or you may burn out the atomizer before it’s even been used. This is where you basically saturate the cotton within the cartomizer with the e-liquid.

Cartomizer tanks

Cartomizer tanks are now available on the market, and they work in the same way as the clearomizer tanks, the main difference is that the tank soaks the cotton within the cartomizer as opposed to drawing the e-liquid directly to the coil. It is still important to soak the cotton or prime the cartomizer before use. The same rules apply with the tanks for cartomizers as they did with clearomizers, i.e. they come in both plastic and glass etc. One other thing I would add, is if you choose to use the plastic tank, try not to get one that has been dyed or colored, they are likely to react with the e-liquid.
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