Vaping for noobs
I am writing this because there is a huge confusion out there for people new to vaping or think about going to vaping from cigarettes. The first section of this post is about what mod (device) I use and why I like it, the second section is to show you options which I think are in your best interest if you plan to vape in the long term or just don’t want to have to repeatedly replace your device.
If you wish to skip what I use just scroll down to ‘Your Options’
Personally I primarily use a SMOK MAG kit (in gold) which cost me £80 and it included a SMOK TFV12 Prince EU tank (2ml) and 2 pre-made coils. The 2ml tank on this setup is pretty much a waste of time as it goes through liquid very fast (expensive if you buy your e-liquid).
I also use a smok R200 tc which I have had for about a year, I replaced it with the MAG when it stopped working and then it magically decided to work again, go figure. Over the last few years all of my mods have bit the dust and usually with the same problems, either no atomizer found or ‘ohms to low’. It would be easy to say ‘ don’t buy X make but it seems to be an issue that is industry wide regardless of make.
Shortly after this purchase I bought an 8ml glass off eBay and the RBA (re-buildable atomizer) unit, and some 30ga coils from ‘the vape coil wire company‘ (this part is still a work in progress as getting the power/flavour/etc set I find complicated and everyone is different) in addition I bought some Japanese cotton from eBay to wick the coils. And lastly I bought eight Samsung 25R 18650 2500 mAh batteries after a lot of research on what is the best battery to buy on the market for me, the previous batch of these I had lasted me over 2 years.
It is illegal to buy a tank above 2ml anywhere in the EU because of the TPD (Tobacco Products Directive) I for one can not see for any reason why such a law was created other than to make it a pain in the **** to use an e-cig and therefore keep you on analogue cigarettes.
I know what your thinking…. that this sounds way to complicated and finicky to do and extra cost on top, but the reality is I pay about £2.50 for 10 coils (use two each time) and each pair last about a week versus pre-made TFV12 coils which cost about £5 each and lasted about 4 days, so just in coils alone I save about £7 per week. In addition to this I sometimes also wash my coils. The video below explains far better than I can 🙂
Long and short of this is that you could feasibly have one pair of coils cost you 50 pence a fortnight, even rizla’s cost more than that! For additional info on this check out.
It should be noted to be fair that wicking your own coils even with the help of the experts on youtube can be messy, even now I still get some leakage from the tank (because its not wicked properly), over time I am sure my wicking will improve and this will become a non-problem but for now I have to either contend with sticky hands or use a tissue around my mod to soak it up.
I also make my own e-liquid, I buy 5 litre’s of VG which lasts ages, 100ml of 72mg nicotine and of course the flavouring, I don’t buy PG as this tank has no problem wicking the thicker liquid. Personally I prefer my liquids to only have 6% or less nicotine but again this is personal preference, however I do think anything over 11% is too high for anyone in the long term. I estimate it cost me around £3 to £4 per 100ml.
Despite the mod being capable of 225w of power I only run it between 40-50 watts with the coils I use, so I get up to 6 hours from a pair of batteries (I vape 30ml plus a day)
Ok now I know there is a huge bunch of you out there that hate clouds of vapour but equally there are many that don’t mind it, personally I am more in the middle and in addition I have found tanks that produce very little vapour also produce very little flavour and in some cases lack of throat hit as well.
Smaller variety pen type ecig
For example many people that I have known that use the smaller pen mods either smoke as well as vape or ultimately give up giving up smoking because the ecig just does not work for them.batteries are usually between 650 MaH and 900 MaH which is very low, however they last quite a long time on one charge as they usually produce less that 10 watts of power (that’s a guess because none of them seem to state their actual power). When you buy them they come with a clearomiser (tank) and a usb cable to charge them.
At £15 to £20 they sound cheap, however they do not last very long and the lack of power effectively kills the flavour on many liquids.
Not much vapour or clouds – visually for some this is a positive but lack of vapour also equals lack of flaovour.
They are very small and fit in your pocket easily.
In my experience few people quite using this type of device.
They appear cheap but in the long term …not so much.
At this point you may think I am affiliated with SMOK as I own two of there mods and one of their tanks but this is not the case, I have just found that over all in my case they have been more reliable and affordable for me.
The above device the vape pen 22 I bought over a year ago when one of my older mods died (prior to the R200) it has a battery capacity – 1650mAh, a 2ml liquid capacity and produces a lot of vapour for a mod of this size. Its current price is around £22 and comes with a spare glass, USB cable etc. I liked it and it worked very well as a short term mod until I could replace it with something a lot bigger with replaceable batteries.
Unlike the smaller pen devices where you replace the whole top part (clearomiser/tank/mouthpiece) with this mod you just replace the atomizer, currently a pack of 5 retails around £7 – £9 depending where you buy.
Its weakness ironically is battery life despite having a battery size almost double or more than the smaller pen mods it does not last any longer. In addition when the battery finally dies you will have to buy a completely new mod.
In my opinion if you really want to give up smoking but your not a fan of huge clouds of vapour this mod isn’t to bad, it does produce a ton more than the mini pens but its not a steam train either. Equally the flavour from it is outstanding, as good as many of the high end mods that cost 4 times + its price.
I am heavily biased towards mods that have replaceable batteries but this bias is purely based on not wasting money as if you vape a lot you will need to buy 2 devices i.e one on charge while you use the other, where as I just replace my batteries with spares that I carry and put the others into a charger when I get the chance.
There are a few mods on the market that carry up to 4 batteries, after owning one of these I would avoid like the plague, as with anything when you look for reviews on something the really nasty problems never crop up, in the case of the 4 battery mods the door that holds them in bends and the hinge becomes weak very quickly, not issues that come up in reviews 🙁
Tanks / Coils
With the 510 mods (often box mods) that are bought you can buy any 510 tank you want to go with it, the same tank with the same e-liquid on 5 different mods will taste slightly different and different tanks on the same mods can taste completely different and in turn different compatible coils in the same tank can taste different / produce more or less vapour.
Information and picture near top of page, main thing I would recommend here is if you do decide to go this route make sure its a decent size, my previous RBA was at least 30% smaller than the TFV12 which made it so fiddly to set up I gave up with it.
Hopefully I have covered most questions here, but I am bound to I have missed something so will update accordingly.
When using eBay or amazon I highly recommend you use stores with very high feedback when you buy any e-cig mod or coils, this is due to the vast amount of fakes on both these sites, that said if you find a store that has been recommended to you by a friend that you trust then by all means, personally I have been burned enough times with coils not to bother any more, I have also been burned on local market stalls. At this point in time I have never had a fake mod (to the best of my knowledge).
I can not speak for other brands but smok have an app which allows you to scan the bar code on all their products which tell you if its it genuine or not.
Other than the above (which I own) I will not advise a particular make or model.
For an admittedly extensive but very worthwhile read on this topic electronic-cigarettesco have written a very good article which explains everything in great detail.
This may sound stupid to say but read up on how to vape, because you do not inhale the same way as you do cigarettes and if you try to, chances are it will make you cough in some peoples cases quite badly, personally I cant explain the difference as I just ‘do it’ but I know there is documentation on the web which will explain it to you.
For the best advice on what you want versus what you think you want go to a ‘well established‘ vape shop where they can help answer all your questions.