Types of E-Cigarettes
Welcome to this brand new post which is going to guide you through the different types of vape kits such as starter kits, sub-ohm kits and other forms of ecigs currently on the market as well as a brief description of the pros and cons for each.
Here at UK ECIG STORE, we try to cater to all different vapers across the UK and the world in fact, so whether you are just deciding on making the switch from smoking traditional cigarettes to starting to use e-cigarettes. We all know how hazardous to your health tobacco cigarettes are, especially after knowing all the harmful chemicals mixed into them and so on…
With that being said, let us get something important covered, we all should know that these products are intended for the use of people kicking a habit and are not intended for the use of anyone under the age of 18, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if you are unsure please speak to your medical practitioner for advice.
If you're just starting to vape or you're a seasoned veteran who has been vaping since the beginning, this guide should help you get a better understanding of the different types of e-cigarettes available.
Firstly, what are the different types of products available?
We have lots of choice of products available and to make it easier, I have broken down the main types below;
Let’s have a look at these product categories in a little more depth.
Starter kits are perfect for anyone who is beginning their vaping journey and wished to use vaping as a way to reduce or stop smoking. Starter kits tend to be readily available with lots of different brands to choose from. Starter kits tend to be low in power and are more designed towards a mouth to lung style (MTL) of vaping.
MTL vaping products replicate a similar inhale style to smoking a cigarette where the user will take a puff on the e-cigarette and hold the vapour in their mouth before inhaling and then finally exhaling.
Starter kits work best with all types of e-liquids with various ratios of Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) although the most commonly used is 70% PG and 30% VG. The nicotine content that the user would need can differ from person to person and there are four main strengths available which are as follows; 0mg (Nicotine Free), 8mg, 12mg or 18mg of nicotine. The nicotine is measured in milligrams per millilitre (which is show as mg/ml).
MTL starter kits normally will have a coil resistance above 1.0 ohms (Ω) and this is what will determine how much power the battery can push out. For example; the best wattage range for a 1.8Ω coil is between 8 - 13 watts of power. As the resistance of coils go down the power can be increased slightly such as the 1.6Ω coils which have a wattage range of 10 - 15 watts.
Starter kits tend to be smaller, more compact and lighter than sub ohm kits and come in all different shapes, sizes and power outputs. Some of the newer starter kits even come with variable wattage and OLED screens making these really aesthetically pleasing as well as performing to give users the option of vaping instead of smoking cigarettes. This will allow the user to replace all of the 4000+ chemicals associated with cigarette smoke including Butane, Arsenic, Tar and Carbon Monoxide with just one, nicotine.
Pen Style Kits
Pen style kits are more of a description of how a kit looks and is not restricted only to starter kits. The kits can vary in both size and power output but one key fact remains the same; they are all cylindrical in shape resembling a pen. These devices vary in battery type with some of them having an internal battery while other variations may support the use of an external 18350, 18500 or 18650 battery. More information can be found in our Battery Safety Guide.
The older pen style kits tend not to have a screen of any sort and would normally have a variable wattage or voltage plate on the base of the (built in) battery which can be spun to increase or decrease the power that the battery sends to the coil. The newer devices are starting to have inbuilt screens with OLED displays, displaying of important information such as Wattage, Resistance, Battery life etc. and tend to be used with external batteries but it is not always the case.
As mentioned before, there are two main types of pen style kits, one being the mouth to lung (MTL) style and the other being the sub-ohm, direct to lung (DTL) style.
Pod kits are the newest craze in both MTL and Sub Ohm vaping providing an efficient way of vaping with compact kits that have enough power to provide the nicotine that you need. Pod kits are very user friendly and this is due to the “Pod” part of the kit.
The pods themselves come in different forms depending on the kit they are to be used with. Some kits, such as the MyBlu Starter Kit come with pre-filled pods which contain e-liquid in various nicotine strengths. On the other hand, a device such as the Aspire Breeze 2 Kit uses a pod system which also houses a replacement coil. Therefore when the coil within the Breeze 2 pod has burnt out, you can simply replace the coil within the same pod, making them reusable. The MyBlu Kit pods are a one time use and once the liquid inside has been finished, the pod will need to be disposed of and replaced with a new one.
The Juul Kit is a very well known vaping pod kit which has gained a huge following, especially in the USA due to the availability. Similarly to the MyBlu Kit, the Juul Kit uses pre-filled pods and they have even started to move into the UK market.
Sub Ohm Kits
Now here is where it gets interesting! Sub Ohm Kits have not been around for as long as the mouth to lung style of vape kits but these newer generation models are truly are a league above.
Just as everything else in the vaping world, sub ohm kits were derived from experimentation. Vaper’s wanted a way to produce more vapor and so the sub-ohms series of coils were first conceived.
Sub Ohm kits are vape kits which house a coil of below 1.00 ohm (Ω) in resistance and are commonly used by people who are looking for one of the following; more vapour, more flavour, harsher throat hit from the nicotine within their e-liquid or longer battery life.
Let me break those 4 things down, in order to get a little more detail.
Due to the lower resistance, the power used can be increased, with some coils able to handle up to 150 - 200 watts comfortably. The lower resistance and higher power allow you to achieve huge amounts of vapour. Coupled very closely with this, is flavour. Flavour production is increased in sub ohm devices compared to MTL devices too due to the amount of e-liquid that is heated into vapour.
Battery life within sub ohm vape kits, however, is a key element of the kit working well and for a long enough period of time. Therefore, most sub ohm kits will tend to use external 18650, 20700 or 21700 batteries which can easily be removed and charged externally in a separate charger. A lot of kits now come with the ability to use more than one battery which will increase the possible power output of the mod while also increasing battery life. A good example would be the Smok Species Kit which can house two 18650 batteries and has a maximum power output of up to 220W or the Vandy Vape Pulse BF Kit , which primarily uses 20700 batteries although included in the kit is a 18650 battery adapter.
Sub Ohm devices can also be an ideal choice for anyone who is looking to start rebuilding their own coils with a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA), rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA) or rebuildable dripping tank atomizer (RDTA). Due to almost all variable wattage / variable voltage sub ohm devices on the market having multiple safety features and automatic cut off times, these can be a safer alternative to using your rebuildable atomizer on a mechanical mod.
The manufacturers of sub ohm kits are always pushing the boundaries of the electronic cigarette market and I am always keen to see what the “next big thing” is going to be.
Either way, more detailed Sub Ohm information can be found by reading our Beginners Guide To Sub-Ohm Vaping guide, as well as the sections below.
Rebuildables / Mechanical Mods
Both rebuildable atomizers and mechanical mods go hand in hand in my opinion, as the preferred way for any advanced vaper to get the most out of their atomizer and the coils inside. Rebuildables are a lot more technical so I will try to go into as much detail as possible without boring you.
So, rebuildable atomizers. These are some of the most advanced products within a vaper’s arsenal and if used correctly can provide huge amounts of flavour and vapour production. Please understand that due to the variations of coils which can be used and how well they are built will depend on how well the will perform.
The first thing to understand is Ohm’s Law - (Current = Voltage/Resistance) which is very important to understand and accurately remember. I have inserted the simplest form of this below for your consideration:
Once Ohm’s Law is understood, it should make rebuilding a lot easier and simpler.
Rebuilding coils would be the next step to master and as mentioned before there are so many different variations of coils and wire available, that explaining every different version would make this post far too long to read so I will only use a single example for now, with more to follow in the future.
Let’s look at 24 gauge wire (AWG) which is my preferred thickness of wire to rebuild. Using this wire allows me to get a great dual coil setup, which measures at around 0.19Ω / 0.2Ω. To achieve this, I would use the 24 gauge wire and wrap it around a 3mm screwdriver bit / coil builder kit 5 times therefore making a 5 wrap coil. I have used this method many times and I find it the easiest way to rebuild coils.
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers would be the easiest to build on due to the build deck being exposed when compared to a non exposed deck within an RDTA or RTA and they come in all different variations. All RDAs will have some form of airflow option on them, some even being adjustable, allowing you to increase the airflow through the central chamber of the RDA where the coils are located. This airflow will allow oxygen into the atomizer and i find the larger the airflow on an RDA, the longer I can take a vape and the better performance I personally get from the RDA (This can vary person to person and from build to build).
A rebuildable tank atomizer is simply a tank that you have to rebuild the coils for. This type of vaping tank will follow the same procedure of rebuilding coils as an RDA, with the main difference between the two being that the coils and cotton are exposed and within an RDA. An RTA houses the coils within the tank itself. There are different variations of rebuildable tank atomizers, with some made specifically for single coil builds while others allow for dual or quadruple coil builds.
Once the coils are installed, you would need to use a wicking material (usually organic cotton) which would need to go through the centre of each coil/s and there should be wicking slots that the cotton would need rest on for better wicking. Once assembled, only the wick is exposed to the e-liquid in the surrounding tank. The cotton will be saturated with the e-liquid and act like a sponge, soaking the e-liquid up and transferring it to the coils by a phenomenon called a Capillary Action. Please be aware that this can take a little bit of time to perfect and if the coils are wicked with too much cotton you may experience dry hits and if the is too little then the tank may leak. All this takes is experimentation and trial and error.
Lastly, and RDTA is a cross of both an RDA and an RTA. The usual design of and RDTA is to have a building deck similar to an RDA, which is located at the top of the RDTA, the coils would be build in the same way and an RDA but there will be be either one or two holes depending on the configuration of the RDTA (single or dual coil). These would be the wicking holes and these are a lot easier to rebuild on as the only thing you have to ensure is that the wick goes through the coil/s and then extends into the holes to reach the bottom of the glass e-liquid tank below. There were also another variation of the RDTA, which used mesh but we won’t be getting into that today. If you would like to read up on the use of mesh in the vaping world, check out our history of mesh blog, here.
Mechanical mods are unregulated devices, which come in different shapes and sizes with the most common being a tube mod, housing a single external 18650, 20700 or 20700 battery. These mods do not have any form of safety features or computer chips inside and due to this i would urge you to do some research into how these work before deciding on purchasing one as they may or may not be right for you. Something you should also do before purchasing or using an unregulated mod such as this, is making sure to understand Ohm’s law as this is a key feature in Mechanical mod use. Due to not have having a chip inside however, as well as not always having a safety lock, mechanical mods can be dangerous if used incorrectly.
That being said, mechanical mods are amazing products which can give huge performance, when used correctly. For the sake of this post we will discuss the Roundhouse mod by Kennedy Enterprises which is my personal preference of tube mod and I found it worked amazingly well, based on my vaping parameters and needs.
The Roundhouse Mod is a tube mod which holds a single 18650 battery, inserted by removing the firing button, located on the bottom of the mod itself. The firing button can be easily removed by using a coin on the cross shaped grooves of the firing button which would allow it to unscrew in an anti-clockwise motion. Once the battery is inserted into the device (positive end of the battery facing upwards and the negative end of the battery towards the firing button) and the button has been screwed back into place this will be ready to use.
Before using a mechanical mod or even screwing in your RDA into the 510 thread at the top of the mod, you would need to check that the build you have inserted into the RDA is safe to use with the battery you plan on using. The easiest way to do this is by test firing it on variable wattage device or ohm reader, in order to ensure the resistance is safe to use and the power output will be within the Amp limitations of your battery.
If the build has the desired resistance (which is safe to use and normally should be no lower than 0.2Ω - 0.3Ω depending on your battery Amperage) then you can screw the RDA into the thread of the mod. When you are ready to use the mod, simply push the firing button which will complete the circuit and the coils will start to heat up very quickly and create vapour.
With a RDA, you will only be able to take roughly 4 - 5 puffs before you will need to re-saturate the cotton with e-liquid.
The battery life within an RDA will decrease in time and the peak performance of the mods would be with fully charged (4.2V) batteries. You may notice the device does not perform as well if the batteries are slightly drained, this is due to the power from the battery (how charged up it is) which will determine the voltage going directly to the coils. If you notice a drop in power then it may be due to the batteries not having sufficient charge within them. This is something to notice manually, since there are no power indicator circuits on the mod.
Finally, welcome to the new world of squonking! Squonk mods are one of the newer types of vaping device on the market and they have been increasing in popularity ever since the TPD (TRPR) came into effect on 20th May 2016. The TPD (TRPR) forces the sizes of tanks to be reduced to 2ml in capacity however, the devices use a clever way “to get around” the TPD legislation.
The squonk mods themselves would house a silicon bottle which normally would contain up to 10ml of e-liquid. These mods are best used with a bottom fed (BF) RDA which would have a hollowed out 510 pin the base, which would allow e-liquid to pass through and then filter into the Bottom of the RDA.
The RDA used would have cotton passing through the coil, sitting firmly in the juice well at the bottom. The juice well would collect the e-liquid squeezed into the RDA and would saturate the cotton. When the bottle is no longer squeezed and is released, the excess e-liquid would be sucked back down the tube and into the bottle once again.
Squonk mods are not really designed to be used with any other atomizer other than a bottom fed RDA and if you do use it in any other way you may cause damage to the device.