Monday, July 13, 2015

Hardware Choices For New Vapers

In today's article, I'll discuss the hardware options for new vapers or for those looking to upgrade out of a starter kit/cigalike.

When many of us decide to start vaping, there is a natural progression that we go through.  With thousands of products on the market, it can sometimes be confusing.  Add in the overabundance of information on YouTube and online, and it only makes it more difficult to figure out what is the right device when getting started in this fast growing vaping world.

When you're starting out, the best advice I can give is to go visit a reputable vape shop.  A shop like Zootie's Vapors will take time to explain everything thoroughly and make sure that you know how to use your new device before you leave the shop.  This process can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to select the right product, pick out some e-liquid and get everything set up to start vaping on the spot, so be sure to leave plenty of time. Be cautious of vape shops that try to oversell you or do not take the time to explain everything to you before leaving.  As I have said in several of my blogs, not all vape shops are created equal, so if they aren't knowledgeable or make you feel comfortable, please do not support their business by spending money in their shop.  There are plenty of shops that will work hard to earn your business and earn your trust.

The first thing we do is gauge a person's commitment level.  Ask yourself if you are just exploring it as an option and you don't want to make a big financial investment, or if you are serious about making the switch from smoking to vaping.  Having an idea as far as your vape budget is also helpful, keeping in mind that the lower priced entry-level starter kits may not be as good (less battery life, vapor production, less flavor), but it will help you see if vaping is right for you.  Sometimes a little more investment upfront will prevent going through several devices that either don't work for you, or find yourself needing to constantly upgrade.

Also keep in mind that vaping is not cheap.  You will buy juice and coils on a regular basis.  Most beginner vapers can expect to invest $100-$200 for your initial device(s) and anywhere from $20-$50/week in consumables.

When someone walks into my shop for the first time, we lay out 3-5 options, from entry-level to higher-end starter kits.  The EVOD vape pen kit for less than $40 comes with 2 batteries, 2 tanks and a charger.  These batteries do not last very long and often this is the choice of someone on a restricted vape budget, or for someone who is not entirely committed to vaping.  Many times, this choice will either lead to an immediate upgrade (within a month or two) or a backslide to cigarettes, but it is the modestly priced entry point into vaping.

The next step up would be either the Aspire Starter kit or a Joytech Ego One.  The Aspire has 2 price points, one at an entry level or the premium kit that uses a Nautilus tank and variable voltage.  The benefit of variable voltage is you can dial in your vapor experience to your preference for more vapor/flavor, etc.  The Ego One has 3 different sizes, the Mini (850mah battery and 1.5ml tank), the XL (2200mah and 2.5ml tank) or the Mega (2600mah and 4ml tank).  These are some of our best sellers because they are affordable (retail between $58-$78), have good flavor and adjustable airflow control.

Stepping out of the starter pen and getting into the variable voltage/variable wattage (VV/VW) devices, you have the always popular Eleaf iStick.  These range from 10 watts (mini) to 50 watts.  The battery life ranges from 1050mah to 4400mah.  There is also a 75, 100 and 150 watt soon to be released, but when we're talking about starter kits, hardly anyone will need more than 50-60 watts.  With these devices you can adjust your wattage (or voltage) to fine tune your vaping experience and they are very affordable (retail $30-$82).  The only downside is you will need to purchase either an RDA or a tank, so these aren't really "kits".  There are also brands like Cloupor that makes a 30 watt box, or SMOK that offers several devices in the same price point.

Entering the market now are higher-end starter kits.  Both Kangertech and Joytech released their own starter kit over the last few months.  Kangertech Subox mini is a 50 watt VV/VW device that comes paired with their very popular sub-tank.  We have these kits in black and white, but they are also available in purple and pink too.  The only downside to this device is you will need to purchase a battery because it doesn't have a sealed battery like many of the other starter kits.  It takes a standard flat-top 18650 2600mah battery that will run you $12 each.  Many people opt to also get an external charger and a spare battery to swap out even though you can charge through this device.

Following the trend of temperature controlled devices, Joytech has taken a big jump ahead with their EVIC-VT.  This VV/VW device also has a sealed 5000mah battery and comes in hot colors.  It has the ego mega tank which comes with both a titanium and a nickel coil.  Nickel and titanium are the popular metal wire used in temperature sensing coils.  The benefits of having a temperature control device is so you can set an actual temperature of your coil, so you can prevent burnt or dry hits.  By setting your device at say 400 degrees, no matter how long you hold the button down for, the coil will only get to 400 degrees and pulse to stay there.  I really wish this was around when I first started vaping because I don't know what I did before temp control came around.  Ah yes I do, I got a lot of burnt hits :)

So in a nutshell, those are the options for someone getting into vaping.  The next article I write will talk about taking the next step from tanks/starter kits into more advanced devices and RDAs.  As always, if you would like to experience what a vape shop can do for you, please be sure to stop by Zootie's Vapors at 40602 Charles Town Pike Paeonian Springs VA 20129.

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