Vaping for Dummies: How to Choose the Right Vape Device

If you are at that stage where you are wondering which vape device is right for you, you are not alone. With the myriad devices on offer, choosing the proper e-cig device could be as confusing as your first day at a sushi shop.

You know the stuff just going past?

‘I’ll take that.

Okay, I’ll have what they are having.

I’ll skip those.

No, the other one looks better.’

Making a choice can be daunting because the options are never-ending. However, all the devices can be narrowed down into four choices – okay, five if we throw in the earlier cig-a-likes.

Let’s look at each category as we reveal which device is ideal for whom, shall we?


Cig-a-likes were the first vaping devices to hit the market.

This is the quintessential electronic cigarette, in every sense of the phrase. It closely resembles the look of a combustible cigarette, complete with a LED light on one end that makes the device look like a burning cigarette.

Cig-a-likes are ideal for people looking to quit smoking and wants to learn how to vape.

Easy to use and highly portable, a good deal of them can handle 24mg of nicotine and overall, are designed to mimic the smoking experience as much as possible – sans the dangers associated with burned tobacco.

Avoid cig-a-likes if you want a better device in terms of all-round performance.

While they closely resemble traditional cigarettes, cig-a-likes fall short in terms of providing the ultimate vaping experience. Their flavour is not the best, they produce less clouds, and their battery life is wanting.

Vape Pens

The next device you need to consider when choosing your ideal vaping device is the vape pen.

Also known as a personal vaporizer, vape pens bear the look of a sleek, stylish writing pen, hence the name. They are equipped with safety features, include a tank and their build hints at the fact that they are powered by a single 18650 battery (or a rechargeable closed-system version).

They are more powerful than cig-a-likes (no comparison) and can support both mouth-to-lung and direct-to-lung vaping.

Purchase a vape pen if you are on the hunt for a portable, stylish device that doesn’t limit your freedom when it comes to e-liquid. There are starter kits ideal for the beginner vaper and the more advanced kind will find use among intermediate and pro vaping circles.

But brace yourself for regular tank cleaning and a shorter battery life compared to the more advanced devices.

Pod Systems

Pod systems are a fairly new entrant into the scene. They are the modern replacements for cig-a-likes, but much more advanced.

The name pod implies the small replacement reservoirs that hold the e-liquid. Instead of refilling, you simply replace the pod with another when it runs out.

Unlike cig-a-likes, pods give you more wriggle room when it comes to e-liquid flavours, although the options are limited and nowhere near what you get with vape pens.

They are pre-built units, so the battery is internal. These ultra-compact devices are activated by an air sensor and perfect for discreet vaping.

Vape pods may sound basic, but they have one trump card: nicotine salts.

Nicotine salts are e-liquids made using the actual nicotine from the tobacco leaf which is mixed with a special compound to give it its distinct properties. It is absorbed into the body faster and delivers a good punch and the overall sensation is similar to a regular cigarette’s.

For this reason, they are perfect for those looking to switch from smoking to vaping. But you should avoid if you are not in it for a high nicotine intake.

Box Mods

Box mods have a large and bulky shape. They have a sub-ohm tank and external batteries that pack a punch. Majority of box mods come with a small screen that display important settings such as ohms and temperature.

These powerful devices allow you to adjust voltage and wattage, ranging from as low as 10 watts to 300 watts. This can be adjusted and tweaked to vary the e-liquid flavour and intensity of vapour. Others go a step further to include temperature control, ensuring you never suffer dry hits.

Box mods have large tanks and therefore ideal for the avid vaper who likes enjoying his/her flavours over an extended period without the hassle of refilling (or recharging, thanks to the powerful battery).

They are fitted with internal circuit boards with built-in safety features to safeguard against scenarios such as spit-back.

Go for box mods if you want to take your vaping to the next level: sub-ohming. However, remember that this is a preserve of experienced vapers only and it would be wise to work your way up if you want to get to this level.

Mechanical Mods

The next device you will encounter on the market is the mech mod. It’s safe to assume these are your first forays into vaping, so this is a device you won’t be needing any time soon – as is the aforementioned.

Often assuming the shape of a tube, mechanical mods comprise different parts. These are a battery, atomiser, and a case.

If box mods are a preserve of the experience vaper, mech mods are a domain for the expert user only. These are the big leagues of vaping and it doesn’t get any bigger than this, whether we are talking tank capacity, battery life, wattage and what-not.

And that’s it!

A quick guide on the various vape devices you will encounter in the market, and whom each is suited for. Hopefully this information clears the haze and will come in handy when you decide to buy your first vape.