Welcome to 2016 New Vapers Complete E-cig Buying Guide “For Dummies”.

In this article we will go over everything you will need to start down the road to your new vaping lifestyle. I should get this out of the way first. Do I think if you don’t know about vaping you are a Dummy? NO I don’t think you are a dummy, that is not why this says “For Dummies” in the title. That is in the title for a few reasons. The first is this guide is made so anyone even a “Dummy” could understand or even a caveman. Maybe you are a smoker and heard all the stories abo2ut people quitting smoking with an E-cig. Maybe you had a friend who just made the switch and won’t shut up about how you “Have to try this.”

Maybe you are a smoker and heard all the stories about people quitting smoking with an E-cig. Maybe you had a friend who just made the switch and won’t shut up about how you “Have to try this.”

Whatever your reason for wanting to get into vaping, I thnk it goes without saying that the vaping industry can be a little confusing to a new vaper. When vaping was new, it was relatively straightforward to get started. You had 3-6 options for a device and a good amount but nothing compared to the selection we have today.

We will be going over everything that you will need to know to hit the ground running. Hopefully in the process answering all of the questions you may have or didn’t even know you wanted to know or needed to know.

We will go over:

  • What are the different types of tanks/Atty?
  • What are the different types of Mods?
  • The E-juice
  • The Chargers & Batteries
  • Safety
  • Other resources, Groups & communities to join.

First things first

tank_and_mod_diagram

Average E-cig setups consist of 2-3 main parts:

  1. The Tank
  2. The Mod
  3. Batteries

As seen in the image above, the tank holds the juice. The mod is what holds the batteries. Sometimes the mod comes with a built-in battery. That is why we said 2-3 parts. The tank will usually have a drip tip, a tank section for juice containing and a 510 connection to connect to the mod.

You have a few styles of tanks,and mods to choose from but that is what this article is for, to help you figure that crap out without going mad doing so. The coil, that does the actual vaping, the juice that is vaped and the 510 connection that connects the atty to the mod. The name 510 comes from 5mm X 10 threads.

The Tank

The eGo Style Tank

The Clearomizer

The ego style tank, the clearomizer, glasomizer are all going to be in this first category. The tank pictured above is the SMOK T-Dux 3.0, this is a “Clearomizer” style tank. These are for people who do not need a ton of vapor and want something cheap and easy to use.

The downsides to a tank is that the performance isn’t great, the coils always need changing and get clogged up with gunk in under a day if you use e-juice with sugar in it. But then again they are incredibly cheap the one pictured above goes for around $7.00.

The juice you use in these tanks should not be MAX VG. Somewhere around 50/50 VG/PG to 60/40 VG/PG. We will get to VG/PG in a bit.


The RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer)

RDA RDA Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer

The RDA or (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) is much like the RTA only you do not have a tank to hold the juice. You need to “Drip” the juice into your coil and cotton build to vape juice to vape. When you run dry you need to drip some more. Usually, for quicker dripping people would drip through the tip, thus the name “Drip Tip”.

A little background history for you. The RDA was one of the founding vaping tools to be available. It is safe to say people were modding these up around the same time they were taking flashlights and turning them into mod o connect these things to them.

These are usually for experienced users; really you need to be just as experienced with an RDA RDA <em>(Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer)</em> or RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer). They both use coils that you have to make.

The RDA will take any juice you want to put in it. Although unlike some other atty styles the RDA (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer) can take max VG all day. It’s the lower VG% that RDA’s don’t like much. You don’t need to worry about dry hits but because RDA’s are usually more open and not as sealed as well as other tanks they are prone to leaking juice. And the thinner the juice the easier it will flow and thus leak out the small cracks and openings in the RDA. So for best results use juice that has a higher VG% such as 70/30 VG/PG or MAX VG sometimes called Cloud Chasers Blend or mix.


The RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer)

rta-diagram

The RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer) is when you start to get in the big leagues. The RTA gets its name because you build and rebuild the coils. You no longer screw on the pre-made coil/head. You will now be installing the coil. You can buy pre-wrapped coils to make this a little easier, but you will still need to install the coil and know what you are doing. You can vent or blow up a battery fast if you mess up.

The juice that works best in an RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomizer) is around 60/40 to 70/30 VG/PG. Some can handle higher VG% but to be safe start at 60/40 to 70/30 VG/PG. The good news is that most “normal” juice will work just fine. They are usually 50/50 to 60/40 VG/PG.

A little on Coil Building

clapton coilPre-Built Coil

Building coils has been growing hand and hand with the vaping community. Coils are the heart of the vaping system. This is the actual thing that heats up and “vaporizes” the e-juice. Without this little chunk of wire vaping would be much different. Although now they have new ceramic coils that are a totally new idea but the good ol’ metal coil still rains supreme.

simple-vs-technical

Now the coil you use can be as simple or as complex as you want. Typically the more complex the coil the “higher performance” it will be. But really because you are new we won’t get too deep into building coils. I just wanted to show you a little about them.


Sub-Ohm Tanks

Sub-Ohm Tanks

Sub-Ohm Tanks are becoming the new “New Vaper” tank of choice. This can be a good and bad thing for a few reasons. First, the Sub-Ohm Tank gets its name because the coils that it uses are high-performance coils that have an electrical resistance under 1.0Ω. This the name Sub-Ohm Tank. The high-performance coils mean that you will be draining your batteries. If you are new and don’t know what you are doing you can vent or blow up a battery if you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing.

If you are careful and read up on the ohms law, read up on building coils and get familiar with how everything works. Back to the Sub-Ohm Tank, these tanks are great for new vapers because of their easy of use and maintain. But like we said they also run “High Performance” coils so as a new vaper you NEED to use caution and common sense.

The juice that a Sub-Ohm Tank will usually vape on without getting dry hits is a mixture of max 70% VG. So anything from 50/50 to 70/30 VG/PG. Some can take higher VG% but most will be happiest at 50/50 and 60/40 VG/PG. The higher % of VG in the mix the thicker the juice is. Thick juice has a hard time fitting through the small wicking holes.

The Head/Coil for Sub-Ohm Tanks

Sub-Ohm-coils

The thing that makes a Sub-Ohm Tank work is the coil or sometimes call “head”. This is a pre-made coil with cotton all wrapped up in a neat little screw in a pre-packaged deal. When you start looking at Sub-Ohm Tanks you will start to notice the thousands of coils to choose from. How do you know what one to pick?

Well one easy thing is only some work for some tanks. Usually the tank will have a set of coils to choose from. So you can pick different coils to match your vaping style. Maybe you like more flavor or maybe you just love clouds. The tank you buy will most likely come with a few and say what type to get. If you need help just ask whoever you are buying the tank from for help.

One thing to remember is they do sell non-sub-ohm coils for your Sub-Ohm Tank. What makes a sub-ohm coil, a sub-ohm coil is an electrical resistance that the coil is measured at. If the coils resistance is anything below 1.0 Ω then the coil would then be a Sub-Ohm coil.

The tank doesn’t care one way or the other if the coil is sub ohm or not. But typical they will be under 1.0Ω.


OVW Custom D.I.Y Flavoring


SO what type of tank is best?

That depends on how skilled you feel you are with electrical devices. If you just want to have something you don’t need to fuss with, and that will just work.  Go for a Sub-Ohm Tank or Clearomizer, eGo style tank. We feature a few great choices a few lines below this paragraph. Then once you learn a little more maybe move onto the building coils and going with an RTA or RDA.

Some suggested tanks.

Aspire Nautilus X

aspire-nautilus-x_img-1

For ease of use and relatively inexpensive price versus quality the new Aspire Nautilus X tank is one hell of a choice. As a new vaper you probably don’t need a Sub-Ohm Tank or maybe you do, but it is a good idea not to jump into Sub-Ohm Tanks at the beginning until you have a better understanding of how tanks work and are better familiar with them overall.

This new X version comes with new U-Tech coil technology that produces amazing flavor and added airflow. The airflow on the Nautilus X tank is adjustable giving you the ability to fine-tune the airflow for the perfect hit.

The tank on the Nautilus X can hold up to 2ml of juice that you fill by just unscrewing the top cap and pouring the liquid in.

Pick up an Aspire Nautilus X tank for around $30.00

Other Notable Tanks:


The Mod

The mod is the part of the setup that holds the batteries and sends the electricity to the tank, who then belts out vapor. Like I talked about earlier some Box mods come with built-in batteries while others need external ones to be installed. Usually 18650.

The Mechanical Tube Mod

Mechanical Tube Mod

The Mechanical Tube Mod is one of the primary vaping devices to come about. In fact, this device is how we get the term MOD.  You see back in the day people would take a flashlight and “modify” the tube a bit and “PRESTO” you have something that can fire a coil/atty/tank.

The design is about as simple as you can get. A tube, a button and a top cap with a hole in the middle to screw on the tank/atty. But it is this simplicity that can lead to massive safety issues for anyone let alone a new vaper. If you are not careful and set the mod down incorrectly, it could sit there firing the entire time, this will start to get VERY VERY VERY HOT, that’s how batteries vent and fail.

None of these would come with internal batteries so you would use 18650-26650 batteries stacked one on top of the other. Like a flashlight. So it goes without saying these aren’t the best option for a new vaper.

The Mechanical Box Mod

Mechanical Box Mod

The Mechanical Box Mod came about around the same time as the tube mod. Almost designed with the same basic idea. You have a battery, a firing button and a hole to connect the tany/atty.  Everything is connected with wires; this is a little safer than a tube mode that has no wires.After a while, Box mods started to get fuses and chips that can regulate the voltage and made them safer.

The batteries sit side by side in a tray in a Mechanical Box Mod. Usually taking two 18650-26650’s but I have seen insane mods that hold 8 or more.

The Regulated Box Mod

mod-diagram

The regulated Box Mod is the modern vaping device. Coming equipped with safety features, digital OLED displays, even touch screens now. You can adjust how much wattage or voltage you want with a simple few taps of a button.

The batteries that go with these are sometimes 18650’s or sometimes they will come with internal batteries that you charge via a charging port. (seen above).

Regulated mods are best for new vapers because they are so easy to use, safe with all their safety features and relatively inexpensive.


Starter Kits

E-cig Starter kits are one of the best ways to get a jump start on your vaping lifestyle. You will usually get everything you will need to hit the ground running.

  1. The Mod
  2. The Tank
  3. Battery

Starter kits are without a doubt one of the simplest routes to take. If you get a starter kit with an internal battery, you will save some because you won’t need to buy batteries or a charger.

Joyetech eGrip II 80w Starter Kit

joyetech eGrip ii Starter Kit

The JoyeTech eGrip II kit is one of the best starter mods in my opinion. Not THE only one but surely up at the top. The eGrip II has a few things going for it that make it great for newbs. A strong 2100mAh internal battery will keep you vaping all day long. Also having an internal battery just made your shopping list 2 items smaller. No charger or battery needed.

The eGrip II is an  All In One (A.I.O) a mod “type” that is gaining in popularity. It’s an excellent idea to have your mod and tank and even battery altogether in one easy device.

The eGrip II can pump out up to 80 Watts and up to 600°F in temp control mode. 80W is more than enough for most vapers. You also get a few features that are nice like dual-circuit protection, a game mode to play a simple game on and a clock on the face to check the time.

Pick up a JoyeTech eGrip II for $44.00

JoyeTech eGo AIO

joyetech_ego_aio_img_1

The JoyeTech eGo AIO or (All In One) device is a new vapers dream. No need to worry about what tank to buy no need to worry about a charger or batteries. Everything comes all in one simple to use package.

The AIO  has an internal 1500mAh battery that will keep you vaping for hours before needing to recharge. When it comes time for a recharge, you can do this via the micro USB port.

The tank will hold 2ml of juice and has a cool backlight feature that makes the glass of the tank glow in Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, White, and Purple. You also have the option to turn off the light if that isn’t your thing. The AIO has a neat child safety locking feature that to remove the top and access the juice you need to press down and turn. Much like on a pill bottle. (Fig:2)

Pick up a JoyeTech eGo AIO for around $20.00

ELeaf iNano Kit

inano-kit-by-eleaf_img_1

The ELeaf iNano is a little AIO ( All In One) device that has a few interesting features that make it stand out from the rest. Its size is a tiny 59mm X 10mm but being so small means it is also light weight. Also being so small has a few drawbacks.

The first downside would be battery life. For such a small mod it has a 650 mAh internal battery. This the batteryould last you a couple of hours of good vaping.  You can charge the iNano via the micro USB port and a few moments of waiting. But with such a portable device I don’t think I would mind needing to charge it up a few times a day.

The other downside is that because this is an AIO the tank is  in the box. And because the box is tiny the tank is tiny. It can hold up to 0.8ml of juice. So you will probably run out of juice and well electrical juice at the same time.

The iNano has a handy magnetic connector that keeps the tank and the mod stuck together until you say so. Having a magnit to connect them also means no threads to strip and that is always nice. The price of the nano is only around $13 bucks so if you are wanting to get into vaping to see if you like it this would be a great option.

You can pick up an eLeaf iNano for around $13.00

Cool Fire IV TC100 iSub Kit

Cool Fire IV TC100 iSub Kit

The Cool Fire IV TC100 iSub Kit is a great choice but because the tank is a Sub-Ohm Tank you will want to be extra careful because these run “High-Performance Coils”. But if you are looking for a new setup this could be a great choice. The Cool Fire Kit comes with a Sub-Ohm Tank so you will want to use extra caution and learn up on things like the ohms law and how to use an ohm reader.

The mod that comes with the kit is the Cool Fire IV TC 100W box mod. This mod will last you long after your initial learning phase and into the future. Able to push out 100 Watts of power this will have plenty of juice to power your vaping needs. In short you will not willnot need to go out and buy a new mod once you figure out that the “Beginner Mod” you got kinda sucks.

Pick up a Cool Fire IV (4) TC100 iSub Kit for around $50.00

Other Notable Starter Kits:

 


The Juice

To vape you need two things, electricity or heat, and liquid. E-liquid, Vape juice whatever you want to call it is the other part of the vaping device. The juice is the gas that makes the car go.

E-juice consists of a few simple ingredients:

  1. (VG) Vegetable Glycerin
  2. (PG) Propylene Glycol
  3. Flavoring
  4. Nicotine (Not All the Time)

Some people like to get E-juice with different percentages of VG/PG. They do this because depending on the proportion between the two, the juice will be thinner or thicker, produce clouds better or give you better flavor.

The average E-juice that you will find in most stores will be around 50VG 50PG or 50/50 VG/PG. Sometimes the percentage of VG will be a little higher like 60/40 VG/PG but usually, this is the average.

(VG) Vegetable Glycerin is the thicker of the ingredients. VG will produce more clouds than PG will. VG also has a smoother throat hit.

(PG) PropyleneGlycol, on the other hand, is the thinner part of the equation. PG does not produce vapor/clouds as well as VG does but because PG is thinner it can carry flavor better. PG also has a stronger throat hit, closer to that of a cigarette.


The Batteries & Chargers

Like we talked about some Mods that you buy will come with a built-in battery. This will make life easy for a new vaper as you won’t need to buy batteries and a charger but it is not that big of a deal. In fact, it could be better to be able to remove them and swap out for new ones easily.

The Charger

EFEST LUC V2 LCD Smart Charger

efest-luc-v2-lcd-smart-charger

If you do need a charger you may be tempted to want to save a few bucks and buy the cheap one and maybe later buy the better one. Well, don’t do that! Taking good care of your batteries is one if not the most important safety habit you can do. A good charger will make sure your batteries stay healthy and running in tip top shape.

Trust me IF you buy that crappy charger, and you will be going through batteries and waiting for those to charge for much much longer.

The EFEST LUC V2 LCD Smart Charger features a nice and easy to read LCD that shows you all the info you need.This charger will charge your batteries faster and safer than many of the other chargers on the market. Plus you get 4 types of protection with the EFEST LUC V2:

  1. Over-discharge Protection
  2. Over-Voltage Protection
  3. Short-Circuit Protection
  4. Reverse Polarity Protection

That last feature is to protect you from putting in the battery backward. Something that can easily happen with some of these batteries without printing on them to easily tell one side from the other. When the batteries are done charging the charger will stop sending voltage to the battery so it won’t overcharge. This feature alone is worth every penny.

You can pick up an EFEST LUC V2 LCD Smart Charger for around $25.00

Some other notable chargers are:


The Batteries

When it comes to choosing the battery, you will be faced with a mountain of brands, sizes, and strength. What do you need?

About 90% of the time you will need a battery that is 18650. Sometimes it will be the bigger 26650 but 9/10 it will be the 19650

LG HG2 18650 3000mAh 20A

LG_HG2_18650_3000mAh_20A_battery

The LG HG2 18650 3000mAh 20A Battery is one of the best for regulated mods. Well most mods for that matter. These are 3000mAh and if you are new to vaping and I assume you are because you are reading this that number may not mean much to you. In a nutshell, it means this battery will last and last and last and last. 

Grab an LG HG2 18650 3000mAh 20A for around $8.00

Other Great Batteries are:


VAPING SAFETY

The topic of vaping safety is getting more and more popular as THE popularity of vaping  grows and people don’t know what they are doing and next thing you know Boom goes your battery.

Essential Vaping Safety Tips you need to follow

Take good care of your batteries

Taking good care of your batteries should be at the top of your list of things to remember. People think that just because a battery isn’t in the mod that nothing can happen to it. Or that the plastic around a battery is just for branding. Wrong and Wrong.

Don;t Use a Battery with damaged shrink wrap

Some Battery Safety Tips:

  • If the casing is damaged, get a new one or get re-wrapped.
  • If the battery has a dent or bulging case, get a new battery.
  • If your mod takes two batteries, try to buy them in pairs and keep them together.
  • Never put a battery in your pocket just to flop around and bump into your keys.
  • If you have to travel, use a battery case or silicone cover.

barrery-traveling-options

 

Continued Education

The internet is one fantastic place to find and learn about new things. Vaping is no different; you have everything from:

  • Forums
  • Social Sites
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Youtube

You didn’t think I would write an article about vaping education without a little personal plug.

Olympia Vapor Works

ovw-education

At Olympia Vapor Works you will find a plethora of reading and view material on vaping education. You have a ton of options. You can watch video coil build guides, check out new products or brush up on vaping safety.

What can you learn here?

Forums

Web forums can be a gold mine of tips tricks and just a great place to hang out and meet new people who share a similar interest.

Some of the more important Vaping forums

Other Online Communities:

 

Download a PDF Version of this article for later reference.

2016 New Vapers Complete E-Cig Buying Guide “For Dummies”

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