Buying Guide: Features to consider when evaluating electronic cigarette brands
What are the best brands (for your money)? The fact is that most models basically work the same way. In a nutshell, a battery powers an atomizer which vaporizes a nicotine solution that is inhaled by the user. The quality of the battery, the atomizer, and the smoke juice is important and that is were differences between the various e cigarette brands can be found. Furthermore different brands offer different colors, flavors, accessories, customer service & experience and of course a different brand personality.
Personality / Look
Different ecig brands have different personalities. Most make their product look like a real cigarette. The cartridge is brown to look like a filter, the battery is white and made to look like the main body of a tobacco cigarette and the end will even glow red when you inhale to add to a realistic smoking experience.
Smokers who want to express their individuality can choose from a variety of battery colors, LED/tip colors, and various accessories offered by many brands. Find the product that fits you the best.
The Price Tag: Starter Kit and Refills
The cost of "vaping" can be broken out into the initial cost of a starter kit and the cost of refills.
Prices range from about $30 to over $200 - from discount brands to boutique brands. But the starter kit only determines your initial cost.
You will need to buy refill cartridges on a regular basis. Here you need to look at the cost per cartridge but also understand for how long a brand's cartridge lasts.
The different companies compare their cartridges to either a number of traditional cigarettes/packs or they state how many puffs a cartridge should provide.
You could also buy smoke juice and refill cartridges. This is cheaper than buying cartridges however it is not recommended to new users.
No matter what brand's starter kit you buy please make sure that it comes with two batteries. You need at least two batteries to be able to charge one while you use the other battery. Most offer starter kits with 2 batteries.
The battery is a key component of an e-cig. You want a battery with a long lasting charge that is powerful enough to produce a lot of vapor. Our reviews will help you identify brands with quality batteries.
Those who vape ecigs while working at the computer should consider the USB powered option. With the USB powered option you won't have any battery issues and in general it produces more vapor.
Battery Color, Size, and Type
Batteries come in various colors such as white (for realistic look), pink, stainless steel, black, blue, red and many more. All companies offer a white model. If you want any other color then you should browse around to see which brand offers which colors.
Different batteries can vary in length and diameter. The larger the battery the heavier it is but the more charge it will hold. Smaller batteries feel more like a real cigarette in your fingers and are often preferred by women.
There are two types of batteries: automatic and manual.
The automatic battery operates like a traditional cigarette: it activates and produces vapor when you puff on it. It creates an experience closer to a tobacco cigarette.
The Manual battery has a small button that you press while inhaling to produce vapor. It produces thicker vapor more quickly but requires more battery power.
Tip/LED Color and Style
An LED at the tip of an ecig glows when you inhale. The LED comes in various colors - the most common colors are red, orange, blue, and green.
Most caps that cover the LEDs at the tip of a battery look like the glowing tip of a burning tobacco cigarette. But recently various brands introduced a stylish crystal like tip which is very popular among women.
Realistic Look vs. Fake Look
An smokeless cigarette with a white battery, a beige cartridge and a red LED makes the device look more like a traditional cigarette. The same applies to any model with a red LED at night. Let's discuss the pros and cons.
Fact is that electronic cigarettes do attract questions from other smokers and non-smokers. When you e-smoke in public outside a bar, a restaurant, or the office then you will get less smokers asking you questions if you smoke a tobacco cig looking ecig with a red LED. But if you are very social and enjoy meeting people and/or you don't mind talking to strangers then an e-cigarette with a blue or green LED is a great conversation starter and could be right for you.
If you decide to e-smoke inside a public place (your choice, we do not encourage you) then the e-cigarette with the blue or green LED will get you in less trouble because it alleviates concerns onlookers may have. The e-cig with the red LED looks more like a tobacco cigarette while you inhale and may get you in trouble :) It is your choice.
2 or 3 Piece e-Cigarette
A 2 piece model consists of the battery piece and a cartridge. In this case the atomizer is contained within the cartridge (also known as cartomizer). A 3 piece model consists of the battery, an atomizer and a cartridge.
Each cartridge/cartomizer comes with a fresh and clean atomizer built in.
No worries about cleanliness or atomizer performance decrease over time.
No need to ever buy a new atomizer.
Atomizer is of better quality and comes with warranty.
Refill cartridges are cheaper (some by more than 50%).
New atomizer costs about $10. So you could get a new atomizer with every 10 cartridges and still save money.
Recommended to those who want to refill cartridges.
Amount of Vapor
How much vapor you're able to produce with one puff is important to many smokers. Generally speaking, more volume equals a more realistic and possible satisfying smoking experience. Expert vapors start with a short puff to heat up (prime) the atomizer followed by a longer drag.
A quality battery is key to great vapor production.
Smoke Juice Flavors
What is the best flavor? Cartridges come in a wide variety of flavors. All electronic cigarette brands offer tobacco and menthol flavored cartridges. If you are into a very specific flavor then pick your brand accordingly or consider refilling cartridges with your favorite smoke juice flavor.
E-Cigs for Women
Many women want their ecig to be stylish or cute like a fashion accessory. Women prefer models with colors such as pink, red, stainless steel or green. They also love the ecigs with a diamond crystal LED. Various vendors offer for example pink devices and some companies sell batteries with crystal LEDs. Visit our e cigarettes for women page to see which vendors offer stylish, cute, and colorful models and accessories.
Women also prefer the smokeless device to be lighter and smaller. The please click link above to find more info.
Refill e-Cigarette Cartridges
You can buy smoke juice and refill cartridges to save money. If you plan to refill cartridges then we recommend a 3 piece e-cig. Atomizers from 2 piece model are not built to last.
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
If you are unsure about your switch to electronic cigarettes and you don't want to commit too much, then choose one that offers a money back guarantee.
Please always confirm all information listed here on the company's website.
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Warning: Electronic cigarettes are for current tobacco smokers of legal smoking age only and must be kept out of the reach of children. The products are not a proven smoking cessation device. Do not use products if pregnant, nursing, sensitive to nicotine and discontinue if irritation occurs. Nicotine is an addictive substance. Read all warnings and information on any sellers website before purchasing or using the product.
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