How to Choose an E-Cigarette
The electronic cigarette industry is BOOMING, and as it expands so do the options available to consumers. There are dozens of manufacturers and thousands of different suppliers to choose from – each with their own unique products and accessories. Which one is right for you? What factors should you consider when shopping for an electronic cigarette?
Factor #1 – Product Design
The first (and most important) factor to consider when shopping for an electronic cigarette is DESIGN. Not only does this include the overall look and feel of the product, but also it’s size, shape and functionality. You have three main options to consider when it comes to choosing an e-cigarette:
- Mini / Cig-A-Like – The most popular and widely used option by beginners, virtually every supplier offers mini, cigarette-style devices. Some closely mimic the actual appearance of a real cigarette, while others are edgier and sleek. In either case, minis are small, lightweight and easy-to-use – a simple transition for first-time users, but limited in battery life and performance.
- Mid-Size Models – For more serious users, mid-size models (offered by Apollo, Halo, Henley, Vapor Fi, Volcano and many others) are a better option. These products are slightly larger than a mini – about the size of a cigar – and tend to last longer and produce more vapor.
- APVs or Mods – Advanced personal vaporizers or “mods” are the ultimate vaping devices, designed for only the most experienced and dedicated vaping enthusiasts. These products are larger and much more complicated than minis or mid-size models, resembling a flashlight (tube mod) or full pack of traditional cigarettes (box mod). They last the longest, allow for full control and provide the strongest, most customizable vapor production. Mods ARE NOT for novices! A basic understanding of vaping equipment and electronic principles (ie: voltage, ohms, watts, etc.) is required.
Before you choose an e-cigarette, you’ll ned to weigh the importance of convenience vs. performance. A mini, cigarette-style product is the smallest and easiest to use, but it’s performance will be limited. For occasional or light smokers these products may work well, but moderate to heavy smokers might need to consider a larger, mid-size device to satisfy their cravings.
For the most advanced users, ‘mods’ will take your vaping to the next level, but they’re far too complicated for beginners. Without any experience with the most basic products, there’s no point in wasting your time or money. Minis and mid-size models are by far the most popular option for newbies.
* Learn more about the different e-cigarette designs →
Factor #2 – Level of Performance
Another important factor to consider when choosing an e-cigarette is PERFORMANCE. When it comes to the performance of an e-cigarette, there are three main areas you should be concerned with:
- Vapor Production – The amount of vapor produced whenever you take a drag. Better vapor production generally leads to a more realistic smoking experience. For light or casual smokers this may not be a huge issue, but for regular / heavy smokers vapor volume definitely matters.
- Throat Hit – ‘Throat hit’ describes the burning sensation you feel on the back of your throat whenever you take a hit. The harder the throat hit, the more closely it replicates smoking a real cigarette.
- Battery Life – Battery life is an important factor, especially for heavy smokers, since having a long-lasting power supply is vital for daily use.
There’s no standard measurement for vapor production or throat hit, and they’re both heavily impacted by the type of e-liquid you choose, so it’s important to read reviews and view customer feedback. Battery life, on the other hand, is measured in mAh (milliamps per hour). The higher the mAh rating, the longer the battery will last. The best companies will offer a variety of different battery options, but keep in mind that longer lasting batteries will also be larger in size.
Factor #3 – Product Quality
There are a lot of factors that affect product quality. The first thing you should consider is the brand or supplier’s reputation. By doing some research on websites like ours, you should get a good idea about what to expect from a particular company. In addition, take a close look at product warranties and be sure to read all the fine print. Many companies offer warranties of 1-year or longer, but a 30-day warranty should be minimum. Know how the warranty works and what to do if something goes wrong. Keep your receipts, just in case.
It’s important to keep in mind that nearly all of the components in an electronic cigarette are manufactured in China. This raises additional concerns about quality, so look for companies that produce vital parts such as cartridges and e-liquid in the United States. U.S. based testing is also a positive.
Factor #4 – Options & Flexibility
Before you choose an electronic cigarette, evaluate the various upgrade options, parts and accessories. If you’re not 100% satisfied with how the device performs, having options will help to ensure that you can modify your setup to produce the best results. Consider a product that uses e-liquid, or at the very least choose a brand that has interchangeable cartridges. This way, you can venture out if you’re not completely satisfied with the company’s offerings.
Factor #5 – Long-Term Costs
Cost is an important factor to consider, but it’s the last thing you should take into account when trying to choose the best e-cigarette. Although saving money is certainly important, as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Prices will vary when it comes to vaping products, but it will be to your advantage to buy a high-quality e-cigarette vs. a cheap one that may not last.
More important than the upfront costs, you should be considering the long-term costs associated with an electronic cigarette. Compared to traditional cigarettes, the savings can be substantial, but you can reduce your costs even further by buying cartridges in bulk or refilling tanks / cartridges with e-liquid.
The Choice Is Yours…
At Cig Buyer.com, we provide detailed product reviews, ratings and customer feedback about all the best e-cig products, but choosing the right electronic cigarette is in your hands. Your personality and vaping habits will have a big impact on your choice; so be sure to research each product thoroughly. Not only do you want a high-quality product that satisfies your personal needs right now, but you should have plenty of options to experiment and grow as you move forward.