Starter Kit Buying Guide
In our Ultimate Guide for Vaping Beginners, we discussed the basics of vaping such as what it is and what its benefits are. If you’ve read that guide and decided that you’re ready to get started with vaping, you’re in the right place. Your first purchase will be an e-cigarette starter kit, and there are a great many starter kits from which to choose. No single starter kit is perfect for every person. In this guide, we’re going to help you find the one that’s right for you. Read this guide to learn what you should expect to receive in your first e-cigarette starter kit and which type of e-cigarette is best for your needs.
Table of Contents
- At a Glance: The Best E-Cigarette Starter Kits
- What Is an E-Cigarette Starter Kit?
- What Should an E-Cigarette Starter Kit Include?
- What Might I Need to Buy Separately?
- Should I Buy an E-Cigarette with a Built-in Battery?
- What Types of E-Cigarette Starter Kits Are Available?
At a Glance: The Best E-Cigarette Starter Kits
Innokin Endura T20-S
The Innokin Endura T20-S reaches a maximum output of 18 watts using its 1,500 mAh internal battery. With a coil resistance of 0.8 ohm, the Endura T20-S can meet your expectations whether you’re looking for a device for mouth-to-lung or direct-to-lung inhaling. To top it all off, the device is available with a smooth or rubberized finish depending on the colour you select.
SMOK Stick V8 Baby
If you’re looking for a tiny device with huge vapour production, the SMOK Stick V8 Baby is your one-way ticket to cloud chasing bliss. Supporting low-resistance coils down to 0.15 ohm, this device works best with lower-nicotine e-liquids owing to its extreme cloud production. If you’d like to try a vaping device that works best when you inhale the vapour directly to your lungs, the SMOK Stick V8 Baby will pay dividends with its rich flavour and full, creamy vapour clouds.
The Aspire PockeX is currently one of the most popular devices for vaping beginners. It has the perfect air resistance for mouth-to-lung inhaling, so it’s a great fit for a current smoker who’d like to switch to vaping. With a coil resistance of 0.6 ohm, the PockeX has the vapour production necessary to keep any smoker satisfied. If you’d rather try the PockeX with a different tank, you’re free to do so; the device works with coil resistances ranging from 0.5 to 2.0 ohms.
Read more: Aspire PockeX Review: Should You Buy One?
What Is an E-Cigarette Starter Kit?
An e-cigarette starter kit is a bundle that includes most or all of what you need to get started with vaping. By purchasing your vaping equipment as a bundle rather than separately, you’ll save money. More importantly, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues; you’ll know that the kit’s components will all work together. When you’re ready to make the switch from smoking to vaping, an e-cigarette starter kit is the first product that you should buy.
What Should an E-Cigarette Starter Kit Include?
The vaping device – sometimes called a mod – is the core component of any e-cigarette starter kit. The mod includes the battery and electronic circuity of your vaping setup. It also provides the physical controls that allow you to vape. The electronic components of your vaping device may allow you to do things such as adjusting the output wattage or voltage of your device or setting a temperature limit for the heating coil in your tank or atomizer. The electronic components also include safety features such as protection from overheating and short circuits.
Tank or Rebuildable Atomizer
Most vaping starter kits include tanks. The tank is a glass or plastic enclosure that holds your e-liquid. In the centre of the tank is a heating wire assembly called an atomizer coil. The atomizer coil draws e-liquid from the tank and heats it, turning it to vapour. You’ll use the tank by keeping it filled with e-liquid and by occasionally replacing the atomizer coil. Atomizer coil replacements are simple when you use a tank for vaping; simply unscrew the old coil from the base of the tank and screw in a new coil. Tanks are the best vapour generating attachments for those new to vaping because they’re easy to use while allowing you the freedom to buy the e-liquid of your choice. There are other vaping attachments that come pre-filled with e-liquid, but those attachments limit your e-liquid choices. We’ll discuss those shortly.
Some vaping starter kits include rebuildable atomizers. With a rebuildable atomizer, you make your own heating coils rather than buying and installing pre-made coil assemblies. Building your own coils can make vaping much less expensive, but building coils is a complex process that beginning vapers often find overly cumbersome compared to the ease and convenience of smoking. Because convenience is an important part of ensuring that your transition from smoking to vaping will be successful, we do not recommend rebuildable atomizers to beginners.
Charging Cable and Other Accessories
Most vaping devices have USB ports for charging. A few also allow you to download firmware updates and install them from your computer. To facilitate charging and updating, most vaping devices include USB cables. If your e-cigarette starter kit includes a tank, it may also include a bag of spare silicone gaskets. The gaskets prevent e-liquid from leaking, and they can stretch and break over time. Having a set of spare gaskets makes it possible for you to repair your tank rather than buying a new one. Some glass tanks may also include spare glass enclosures. A set of spare parts adds greatly to the value of any e-cigarette starter kit.
What Might I Need to Buy Separately?
The two things that you may need to buy with your e-cigarette starter kit are batteries and e-liquid. Many people who buy vaping devices with removable batteries want to choose the battery cells they use. A device that uses removable batteries, therefore, rarely includes the batteries. E-liquid preferences, likewise, vary greatly depending on personal taste. Unless a vaping device uses pre-filled disposable e-liquid cartridges, it generally won’t include e-liquid.
To summarize, if you want your first e-cigarette to include everything that you need to begin vaping immediately, you’ll need to add the following to your order:
- Batteries (if the device doesn’t have a built-in battery)
- E-liquid (if the device doesn’t use disposable cartridges)
Should I Buy an E-Cigarette with a Built-in Battery?
If you buy a vape pen or an advanced mod, you’ll need to choose whether you want a device with a permanent battery or removable batteries. The choice will affect your vaping experience in subtle ways. Since the decision may not be an easy one for someone who hasn’t purchased a vaping device before, we’ll provide a few pointers that can help you decide.
Vaping Device with Built-in Battery
A device with a built-in battery is often smaller than a device with removable batteries. While a device with removable batteries needs a door or cover to give you access to the battery compartment, the battery in a fixed-battery mod is soldered directly to the main circuit board. Having a less complicated internal structure also means that a fixed-battery device generally costs less than a device with removable batteries. Choosing an e-cigarette starter kit with a fixed battery device also means that the total cost of your first e-cigarette purchase will be lower because you won’t need to buy batteries separately.
Vaping Device with Removable Batteries
If a device with a fixed battery is the sleeker and less expensive vaping option, why would anyone choose a device with removable batteries? As it turns out, removable-battery devices have several benefits of their own. The first is that with a spare set of batteries and an external charger, you can continue vaping while one set of batteries charges. The second benefit is that when you buy your own batteries, you can choose the cells with the exact characteristics you want. We like the Samsung 25R battery.
Although buying a vaping device with removable batteries requires a higher initial investment, the total long-term cost of the device may be lower than that of owning a device with a fixed battery. Unless you’re handy with a screwdriver and a soldering iron, a device with a fixed battery needs to be recycled when the battery stops holding a charge. Charged daily – sometimes more than once per day – you generally can’t expect a vaping battery to last more than a year. If your device uses removable batteries, though, that isn’t a problem; you can just buy new batteries.
What Types of E-Cigarette Starter Kits are Available?
People who vape use the term "cigalike" to describe any e-cigarette with the same general shape and size as a tobacco cigarette – and a disposable cigalike is the most basic type of e-cigarette that you can buy. They’re fairly inexpensive and come one to a package. After using a disposable e-cigarette for about 100-200 puffs, it's time to recycle it and buy another one. Buying a disposable e-cigarette is the easiest and cheapest way to get an idea of what vaping is like. However, we don’t recommend disposable e-cigarettes for long-term vaping for two reasons.
- A disposable e-cigarette often costs more than a pack of cigarettes, thus negating the potential savings of switching from smoking to vaping.
- Disposable e-cigarettes come in only a few of the many hundreds of different e-liquid flavours available.
During the first several years of the vaping industry, rechargeable cigalikes with pre-filled disposable cartridges were what many people used when switching from smoking to vaping. Since a rechargeable cigalike includes a rechargeable battery – you only need to buy the disposable cartridges – it has a long-term cost much lower than that of disposable cigalikes. A rechargeable cigalike is also an excellent vehicle for replacing the hand-to-mouth ritual of smoking. Despite their benefits, though, rechargeable cigalikes are not as popular within the vaping community as they once were. Rechargeable cigalikes have decreased in popularity for three reasons.
- Their low vapour production makes it difficult for smokers to use them as quitting aids; many people simply don’t find them satisfying enough.
- While pre-filled e-cigarette cartridges cost less than disposable e-cigarettes, they cost significantly more than bottled e-liquids.
- The flavour selection is poor. Most of the world’s best e-liquids are only available in bottled form, and it generally isn’t possible to fill a cartridge for a rechargeable cigalike.
Pod Vaping System
Pod vaping systems have largely replaced rechargeable cigalikes among beginning vapers. A pod system is a bit larger than a cigalike – some pod systems even have teardrop, badge and other shapes that don’t resemble tobacco cigarettes at all – and uses a plastic pod that holds around 1-2 ml of e-liquid. Pod systems produce more vapour than rechargeable cigalikes. People also tend to find pod systems more satisfying than cigalikes because the most popular type of e-liquid for pod systems is a new type of e-liquid called nicotine salt e-liquid. Nicotine salt e-liquid contains a form of nicotine more like the nicotine in tobacco leaves, and many people report that nicotine salt makes the switch from smoking to vaping easier. Pod vaping systems do, however, have a few drawbacks.
- They’re more expensive to operate than vape pens because they require new pods periodically. A new pod for a pod vaping system costs more than an atomizer coil for a vape pen.
- A pod system always has a fixed internal battery. When the battery stops holding a charge, you’ll need to replace the entire device.
- Some pod systems use expensive pre-filled pods that come in only a few flavours and aren’t refillable.
A vape pen represents perhaps the best compromise for a current smoker who wants to switch to vaping in a way that’s cost effective and doesn’t limit flavour selection. Vape pens have excellent vapour production and battery life. All vape pens are refillable and can work with the e-liquid of your choice. Many even work well with nicotine salt e-liquids. The cost of owning a vape pen is low; you’ll just need to replace the tank’s atomizer coil every several days. For beginning vapers, vape pens have very few drawbacks. There are, however, two potential drawbacks that you should know about before buying a vape pen.
- Most vape pens have fixed internal batteries. When the battery stops holding a charge, you’ll need to replace the entire device.
- Some vape pens do not work well with third-party tanks.
TIP: If you’d like to know whether a vape pen will work well with nicotine salt e-liquids, check the resistance of the device’s atomizer coils. If a vape pen has an atomizer coil resistance of 1.0 ohm or higher, it’ll probably work well with nicotine salts. If the coil resistance is under 1.0 ohm, it’ll probably work best with lower-nicotine e-liquids. A lower coil resistance generally means that a vaping device will generate a higher volume of vapour.
Advanced mods – usually called box mods due to their box-like shape – are the most powerful and feature-filled vaping devices on the market. An advanced mod often uses two or more batteries to provide the ability to vape all day. An advanced mod provides adjustable power and temperature settings and may reach a top power of 200 watts or more. An advanced mod will work with virtually any tank or atomizer that you’d like to use. While box mods are the best vaping devices on the market in many ways, a box mod may not be the best choice for you if you’re new to vaping. Box mods have two key drawbacks.
- The more features a vaping device has, the more complicated its interface becomes. If you want a simple device to ease the transition from smoking to vaping, a box mod may not be what you want.
- Although a box mod will generally work with any tank, box mods usually include tanks optimized for direct-to-lung inhaling. If you want to inhale from your mouth to your lungs – as if you were smoking – you may need to use a tank other than the one included with your box mod.