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The Different Types of Vapes You Need to Know

Spyros Papamichail
November 8, 2018

There’s is a dizzying amount of different types of vapes on the market. It can be very hard to navigate! A vape, or vaping device, is one of the two things you need in order to start vaping; the other is e-juice. This guide will help you distinguish between the basic kinds of vapes and hopefully help you find out which one is best for you.

For beginners

A beginner has the best chance of success if the vape is simple to use. There’re various reasons to take up vaping, but most stem from the desire to quit smoking. Due to the difficulty in breaking the addiction to cigarettes, a vape that’s perfectly suited for beginners will make the transition more manageable.


What is an e-cigarette?-Infographic

While all nicotine vapes can be called “e-cigarettes”, the term is most commonly used for cigalikes, devices that are similar to a cigarette in size and shape. These usually come in one or two-piece designs and are probably the easiest vapes to operate. One-piece designs are usually disposable, while two-piece e-cigarettes come with replaceable cartridges.

  • Small and convenient
  • Perfect for stealth vaping
  • Discreet
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Pod vapes

What is a pod vape?-Infographic

The latest type of vape to hit the market, pod vapes are some of the most practical vaping devices available. A pod vape is a two-piece device, with one being the battery and the other a replaceable and often refillable pod. Pod vapes are usually affordable and very easy to use, while performing at a higher level than most e-cigarettes. They are also a perfect fit for nicotine salt e-liquid, making them a very efficient vape for nicotine delivery.

  • Very easy to operate
  • Practical form factor
  • Refillable or replaceable pods
  • Button or draw-activated
  • Ideal for stealth vaping

Vape pens

What is a vape pen?-Infographic

The first evolution of an e-cigarette, vape pens are larger and perform better than cigalikes. While they vary in size, most vape pens are compact enough to fit in the hand. They usually comprise of two parts: the battery and the tank. These can be detachable, or come in an all-in-one design. Vape pens come with internal batteries and their capacity is often limited due to the relatively small size of the devices.

  • Better performance than e-cigarettes
  • Longer battery life
  • Refillable
  • Replaceable coils or cartridges
  • Easy to use

For intermediate vapers

It’s normal that once you’ve been vaping awhile, you develop a desire to try a device on the next level. But sometimes figuring out what’s a good vape for intermediates is difficult. Beginner vapes are easy to spot, but intermediate vapes are not as clear cut.

Box mod starter kits

Anatomy of a Box Mod infographic

Box mod kits are larger and more capable vapes and cover mostly intermediate to advanced vapes. The extra size usually means better performance and longer battery life, usually in the form of external vape batteries. Most box mods come with settings and features such as variable wattage or even temperature control. The included tanks can be mouth to lung clearomizers or direct lung sub ohm tanks.

The most common configuration for a box mod starter kit would be a single-battery mod with variable wattage and temperature control capabilities, paired with a mid-range sub ohm tank.

  • Many options to choose from
  • Higher performance
  • Long-running internal or external batteries
  • Can be used with other tanks

For intermediate to advanced vapers

There’s no mistaking when you’re an advanced vaper. You’re clear on ohms law, battery safety, as well as the best batteries to use for your device. This is the stage where you can fine tune your experience to precisely what you want it to be, and you’ll have all the power needed to push it as far as you want.

High wattage box mod starter kits

Anatomy of a High Wattage Box Mod - Infographic

High wattage box mod starter kits are some of the most popular vapes on the market. They are box mod starter kits with the extra power that additional batteries are offering. In most cases, high wattage box mods are paired with tanks that take replaceable coils, but you may also find them paired with rebuildables such as RDAs, RTAs or RDTAs. The number of batteries dictates the size and power limits of the device; most high wattage box mods take two to three batteries, but four batteries or more is not unheard of.

  • Great variety in size, performance, specs and capabilities
  • Tanks are interchangeable
  • Some of the best performing vapes available
  • More batteries=longer battery life

Regulated squonk starter kits

Anatomy of a Squonk kit - infographic

These are the most advanced vapes of this list. Technically a sub-category of box mod starter kits, squonk setups have become so popular lately that are worthy of their own category. Squonkers provide a practical method for feeding your atomizer with e-liquid. A typical regulated squonk setup comprises of a squonk capable box mod and a bottom-fed RDA. The mod houses a squeezable bottle that is connected with the atomizer deck through a shallow 510, practically functioning as an external tank section.

Due to the bottle occupying the space where a battery would have been placed, a single battery squonk mod will have roughly the same size with a dual-battery box mod. As a result, most squonk kits come in single battery configuration, but dual-battery squonkers are becoming more and more popular lately.

  • Very high-performing devices
  • RDAs can be built to one’s needs
  • No need to drip

What type of a vape should you buy?

Picking the right device is always a trade-off: form factor and convenience vs performance and battery life. Everybody’s needs and preferences vary. But there is certainly a device for everyone.

If you are just now entering the world of vaping, any device from the beginner tier will give you an uncomplicated, trouble-free experience. Simple devices such as e-cigarettes, pod vapes and vape pens are ideal for transitioning from smoking to vaping. But if you have been vaping for a while, and are after a more capable setup, the intermediate to advanced tiers might be a better fit.

My first attempt at vaping came back in 2009 on some of the first cigalikes to ever reach Europe. A couple of attempts -- and vaping tech generations later -- I managed to quit smoking in 2016, and have since then developed somewhat of an obsession with all things vaping. When I am not consuming vape reviews I am either tinkering my NBA fantasy teams or playing board games with friends.


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Jeremy MannMesa Recent comment authors
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Would have been nice if this article also included Mechanical mods, but anyways, very good explanation.

Jeremy Mann
Jeremy Mann

Hey Mesa,

Thanks for reading and for making a comment. Some of us here still use mechs, so we understand what you’re saying. But we made the determination that there were too many ins and outs for mech mods to be included in this article. We do have a separate page for mechs along with a short explanation, and a separate page for best-unregulated mods if you’re interested in checking them out.

Either way, thanks again for reading. Happy new year!

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