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The Different Types of Vapes You Need to Know About

Let’s be honest, shopping for vapes can be confusing! You know why you want to vape, but which device is best for you? The first thing to understand is that there are two main categories of vapes.

  1. Nicotine vapes: handheld devices powered by lithium-ion batteries designed to mimic the sensation of smoking without combustion
  2. Cannabis/CBD vapes: handheld or desktop devices, powered either by batteries or electrical power supplies; these devices are used with CBD and THC, from dry herb to concentrates, for all the medicinal and recreational benefits minus the smoke

There are other substances that people vape, like various herbs, vitamins, and even caffeine. But those are not different devices from nicotine or cannabis vapes; it’s just different substances going into those two main types. There’s even some overlapping between cannabis and nicotine vapes, like the classic “vape pen” which functions in both realms.

Nicotine vapes

While all nicotine vapes can be called “e-cigarettes”, that term is most commonly used for small devices that look similar to a cigarette in size and shape. But nicotine vapes don’t stop there.

E-cigarettes

These are the smallest and simplest vapes you’ll find. Open the pack and they’re ready for immediate use. Once you’re finished, you dispose of the device and use another. These are ideal devices for travel or for the busiest among us without the time to tinker with little gadgets. E-cigarettes work great with high nicotine in providing a satisfying hit, which makes them work well for smokers looking for a quick entry into vaping.

puff bar disposable vape

Puff Bar

The Puff Bar is a slender and ultra-lightweight disposable vape, it’s one of the few refillable vapes with low to high nicotine, great for light or heavy smokers. The Puff Bar has 15 tantalizing flavors with the option to purchase 10-pack bundles of a favorite. Get nicotine satisfaction and flavor while moving away from burning tobacco.

  • Small and convenient
  • Perfect for stealth vaping
  • Discreet
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Single-use increases waste
  • Flavor output is average
  • No refilling

Pod vapes

Pod vapes are some of the most practical vaping devices available. A pod vape is usually a two-piece device, similar to an e-cigarette, with one piece 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 traditional e-cigarettes. They are also a perfect fit for nicotine salt e-liquid, making them a very efficient vape for nicotine delivery.

RELX Classic pod system

RELX Classic

The RELX Classic is a 350 mAh prefilled pod vape with almost 20 prefilled flavors to choose from. The flavors come in 3% and 5% with finely crafted international tastes. The pods contain FEELM wicking with a micro honeycomb juice feed. The RELX Classic is a popular vape worldwide, second to only JUUL.

  • Very easy to operate
  • Practical form factor
  • Refillable or replaceable pods
  • Button or draw-activated
  • Ideal for stealth vaping
  • Quality and performance can vary greatly between devices
  • Low vapor
  • Frequent recharging of batteries

Box mods

Box mod kits are larger and more powerful 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.

Geekvape Aegis Solo

Geekvape Aegis Solo

The latest installment in the Geekvape Aegis line is exactly what was missing: a compact single-18650 mod that’s just as durable as any other Aegis. Capable of 100 watts and IP67 waterproof as well as shockproof and dustproof, the Solo is powerful, rugged and durable. Available in six color configurations.

  • Many options to choose from
  • Higher performance
  • Long-running internal or external batteries
  • Can be used with other tanks
  • Complicated
  • Too advanced for novices
  • Expensive
  • Not very pocket-friendly

Regulated squonk starter kits

These are the most advanced vapes of this list. Technically a sub-category of box mod starter kits, squonk setups have become so popular during the last couple of years that are worthy of their own category. Squonkers provide a practical method for feeding your atomizer with e-liquid. A typical regulated squonk setup bundles 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 available for those who don’t mind the extra bulk.

Dovpo & TVC Topside Dual

Dovpo & TVC Topside Dual

The Topside Dual is Dovpo’s dual-18650 edition of the Topside squonk mod. Designed by Brian from The Vapor Chronicles, the Topside Dual fires up to 200 watts and features the innovative top-fill design that made the original Topside mod so popular. Its bottle fits up to 10 mL of e-liquid, more than most squonk mod bottles out there.

  • Very high-performing devices
  • RDAs can be built to one’s needs
  • No need to drip
  • Increases liquid capacity
  • Turn non-tanks basically into tanks (extra liquid storage)
  • Freshly soaked wicks offer fresh flavor
  • Complex; not for beginners
  • Small parts to keep up with and maintain
  • Required cleaning to ensure clean flavor performance

Cannabis and CBD vapes

These vaporizers come in various forms. Similar to smoking accessories like bongs, bubblers, bowls, and dab rigs, cannabis and CBD vapes are plentiful. Still, when it comes down to it, there are two main types: desktops and portables. Portables can be small to hardly pocketable but still portable, with desktops needing to be parked at your session station.

Desktop vaporizers are typically the most efficient option for dry herb and wax, but if you’re on the go, there are solid portable and pen-style vapes that provide vaporization with all the benefits of the substance and none of the issues of smoke, either obnoxious odors or negative health effects from inhaling smoke.

CBD vape pens

A refillable CBD vape pen is any type of vape pen that can be filled with CBD e-juice. It usually has a tank that attaches to a rechargeable 510 thread battery. They provide a simple convenient pen-style form factor and are generally smaller and lighter than the average mod and tank combo. Some of them are suitable for direct-lung vaping while others provide a tight mouth to lung draw.

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pen

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pen

CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pens are disposable vapes filled with 50 mg of full spectrum cannabidiol and flavored with real terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants that give each hemp strain its own unique flavor and character. CBDfx Terpenes Vape Pens come in four natural strain-specific varieties.

  • Small and convenient
  • Perfect for stealth medicating
  • Better bioavailability than tinctures
  • Discreet
  • Affordable
  • Low power
  • Single-use
  • Low vapor

Weed and THC oil pens

A weed pen, or THC oil pen, is a relatively simple two-part electronic device used to vaporize THC/CBD oil or distillate. An evolution of early vape pens, weed vape pens are most often shaped like writing pens—hence the name. Every weed pen houses a small battery that heats your oil in an atomizer cartridge containing a wick and a heating coil. This heating process turns concentrates into vapor.

Kandypens Special K weed pen

Kandypens Special-K

The Kandypens Special-K Black is a swanky and stealthy take on the classic weed pen design. It works as good as it looks, and it comes with two 1 mL tanks, temperature control battery with three heat settings, and several handy accessories. With a lifetime warranty on the battery, the Special-K Black is the pen to get!

  • Small and convenient
  • Personal use for small sessions
  • Perfect for stealth medicating or for recreational use
  • Discreet
  • Versatile
  • Low odor
  • Easy to use
  • Small batteries need more frequent charges
  • Lacking power
  • Required cleaning
  • Not very advanced but prices can be a bit high

Portable cannabis vaporizers

Portable dry herb vaporizers are small personal devices designed for vaporizing marijuana or legal high-CBD strains. They have an internal oven that heats up cannabis at precise temperatures to produce vapor.

Mighty Vaporizer

Mighty

The Mighty is a portable device that vapes like a desktop unit. It has a very unique aesthetic, resembling a power tool more than a vaporizer. The Mighty is a bigger and better version of the popular Crafty. It does a great job at evenly baking your fine to medium ground herb to produce up to 15 puffs per session.

  • Small and convenient
  • Personal use for small sessions with others
  • Perfect for stealth medicating or for recreational use
  • Discreet
  • Versatile
  • Low odor
  • Easy to use
  • Need to recharge battery
  • Typically have several parts to keep up with
  • Required cleaning

Desktop vaporizers

Some of the first vaporizers belong in this category. These devices are the powerhouse of all vapes. They work most often with convection heating, meaning hot air, that thoroughly and efficiently extracts all the cannabinoids like THC and CBD from the flower. Desktops can be the most intense vapes, but they can also be dialed down to the most comfortable temperature the user wants. These vapes are ovens that bake dry herb at specific temperatures to produce vapor. The vapor is then inhaled using a tube, called a whip, or using traditional vaporizer bags popularized by the most famous vaporizer: the Storz and Bickel Volcano.

Volcano Hybrid

Volcano Hybrid

The new Volcano Hybrid has a classic balloon and whip system with hybrid convection/conduction heating between 104° F – 446° F; operated by a digital display or through an Android app. The herb chamber holds 0.5 grams and heats in as little as 1 minute, making it the fastest and most user-friendly Volcano to date.

      What type of a vape should you buy?

      This will always be a personal choice. Your budget and experience level will be the ultimate deciding factor in what you should use. But as shallow as it sounds, you should really take into consideration the look and size of the device. If a big bulky device doesn’t fit in your lifestyle, you can effectively rule out half of your options. And vice versa. If size doesn’t matter, and you’re just looking for the most powerful experience, you can look past all of the pocket-friendly devices and go for the gusto.

      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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      Jim McDonaldGinaDave KriegeljonJeremy Mann Recent comment authors
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      Mesa
      Guest
      Mesa

      Would have been nice if this article also included Mechanical mods, but anyways, very good explanation.

      Jeremy Mann
      Staff
      Jeremy Mann

      Hey Mesa,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. 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!

      jon
      Guest
      jon

      I’m using THC oil and was wondering if cotton wicks are to be used for it? Seems like oil is to thick to wick though the cotton. and about the priming of the coil. Do you put oil right in the coil itself or just the wick on the outside?

      Dave Kriegel
      Staff
      Dave Kriegel

      Hey Jon, what kind of tank are you using? Most re-fillable oil carts utilize wicking materials like cotton and/or ceramic that are designed for handling thicker oils. You want the oil in between the tank and the coil head. You can prime the coil itself with a few drops but it’s not necessary because you will still need to give it at least 10-15 minutes to let it fully soak in. Best of luck!

      Gina
      Guest
      Gina

      I switched to the bidi stick was so excited made it a whole day without cigarettes! But then I find that bidi is apparently more dangerous! ☹️

      Jim McDonald
      Staff
      Jim McDonald

      If the bidi stick is a vaping product, it is certainly not more dangerous than smoking. Who told you that it was?

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