If you have reached this page then chances are your head is a little messed up with all the e cig choices and the 5 hours you have just spent trying to decide which one to buy has not left you any the wiser!
I was in pretty much the same position a couple of years ago and there wasn’t half the choice of smokeless cigarettes that there is now! Anyway, don’t worry too much it is all a lot simpler than you may think.
Ok, take a step back and a deep breath! What is the most important feature you want with your e cigarette? The reason I ask this question is because as it stands there is no single brand that can offer you everything (some are close), so based on your answer to that question you can start to narrow things down!
Is the cost the main issue? Maybe the look and feel of the e cig? Or possibly the flavors? Hands up who said yes to all of them! Ok… this is going to be harder than I thought!
Let’s break it down a little.
When I first started vaping I was using my e cig in bars and out and about in public. For this reason I wanted something that didn’t look like a 4×4 relay baton! I was happy vaping away without drawing attention to myself.
Luckily this is one area that has been addressed by the majority of brands. One thing to keep in mind though, the smaller the battery, the shorter the life of the battery and the more you will find yourself having to charge. Performance can also be an issue with micro batteries or mini’s as they are also known as.
Brands that produce smaller batteries:
The Safe Cig
South Beach Smoke
Look & Feel – A Realistic Looking Electronic Cigarette?
Again when it comes to the look and feel of an e cigarette there are a few different options. All the e cigs we have reviewed (apart from Vapor King) use a two piece design consisting of a battery and a cartomizer.
Some brands have gone down the route of keeping the look and feel as close to the real thing as they can. As an example Safe Cig and Green Smoke have made their batteries with the rings you find on the body of a cigarette, they have also kept the same filter color for their cartomizers. Some brands will also offer a choice of color for the tip; they usually light up red, orange, green or blue.
Other brands, notably V2 Cigs and Vapor King, give the customer the option to choose from a number of coloured batteries.
E cigs that have the appearance of a real cigarette:
The Safe Cig
South Beach Smoke
E Cigs That Allow Customization:
Manual or automatic? The difference between the two is that the manual battery has a button on the side that you press to activate the battery which in turn heats the liquid in the cartomizer. The automatic has a sensor that detects when you take a drag on the e cig, this in turn activates the battery to heat the liquid, all you have to do on these is puff.
I have used both and still do today, for me I get a slightly better performance out of the manual battery. You do not have to take any primer puffs and thereby get a better vapour volume straight off. So if vapor volume is something you want to maximize then consider the manual battery.
Brands that produce automatic batteries:
South Beach Smoke
Brands that produce manual batteries:
2 Piece or 3?
A lot of brands have moved away from the original 3 piece design onto the 2 piece but that’s not to say the 3 piece is not a good option. The difference between the two is as follows:
The 2 piece
This design comes with 2 components, the cartomizer and the battery. The atomizer is built into the cartomizer so you get a new one every time you screw a new cartomizer in. The benefits of this are that you don’t have to buy replacement atomizers separately or worry about the atomizer performance. The 2 piece simplifies the use of the electronic cigarette, especially for beginners and those not interested in filling their own cartridges.
Brands that use 2 piece designs:
South Beach Smoke
The 3 Piece
This design has (obviously) 3 components. The cartridge, the atomizer and battery. The cartridge slots into the atomizer which in turn screws into the battery.
The benefits of the 3 piece are that the quality of the atomizers are better and are relatively cheap considering they can be used many times, cartridges with 3 piece kits tend to use refillable ones (not always the case) which are cheaper than buying the disposable ones that are used with the 2 piece.
Brands using 3 piece design:
Flavors & Strength – Tobacco Your Thing? Or Do you Fancy Vaping Waffle!
Think of a flavour…. The likelihood is it will be available to vape! Ok, within reason but what I am trying to get at is that the flavors produced by different electronic cigarette brands really does vary and yes, I vaped waffle and I liked it.
You can choose from cherry, chocolate, mint, coffee; the list goes on and on. This could be one of the most important areas for many, if you don’t like the taste you will not like the e cig!
The quality of the flavors can vary, some companies do good tobacco flavors but their other flavour selection can be limited whereas it is the other way round for others. Another thing you have to keep in mind is that flavors really are a personal preference.
Ultimately your choice of flavour is going to determine the brand you go for.
The next thing is something al brands offer and that is the nicotine content. You will be able to choose (in most cases) from zero nicotine, ultra light, light, strong, very strong. They will be called different things by different brands but the options will be there.
From what I have used I will say that the good tobacco flavour brands are:
For the flavors then the following brands do a great job:
V2 Cigs (can use refillable cartridges and your own e-liquid flavour choice if you choose)
Vapor King (can use refillable cartridges and your own e-liquid flavor choice if you choose)
Vapor – We All Want A Good Vapor Volume Right?
This is an important step in choosing the best e cigarette, most want an experience that is similar to smoking and this is one of the best ways to get that feeling. The thickness of the vapour can be affected by battery quality as well as the quality of the e-liquids so all these things need to be very good.
Electronic cigarette brands that have produced good vapour:
Do the different components fit together well? Do the materials used feel quality as if they will stand the rigors of everyday use? Does it feel good when you are holding it? Would you be embarrassed to get it out in public?!
I have only come across one brand that was truly awful in this department, I won’t name names, you need to keep focused remember! What I will say though is that it is none of the brands reviewed on this website, they are all of a decent build quality.
Warranty & Returns – Can You Send The E Cigarette Back If You Don’t Like It?
This differs for all companies so I can only advise that you check each brand individually. There are brands that allow you to try the e cig and return it if you are not happy with it, whereas other brands only allow a return if you send back the product unused.
Warranties should also be considered, if you have a problem in a few months’ time will they replace the faulty part? Be sure to check!
As the old saying goes ‘You get what you pay for’, in e cig terms this is not always true. The price of different brands can differ a great deal, this is due to many different factors such as whether the brands develop their own products and if they are always improving the products they have? Is the customer service team good and always on hand to answer any question you may have (before and after purchase)?
Is the actual product a good quality, all products can have defects no matter who they are, these things happen, but it also how brands deal with the problems that can make a difference. Not saying you will have a problem, just better to cover all bases.
If at all possible try not to buy on price, I know it is easier said than done sometimes. Try and choose a brand based on your requirements and then decide if the price is good for you. This way you are not swayed by the numbers, in the long run you will better off doing it like this or you may find yourself having to buy another e cig brand when you realize the $20 kit you bought is crap.
Hopefully by now you are clear on what you want from a smokeless cigarette, or at least what you should be looking for, maybe you have even shortlisted a couple of brands? If you have managed to narrow it down to a couple, well done! You are getting there!
If not then don’t worry too much, maybe you need a little nudge! Take a look at the top brands as voted for by actual users, read their comments take it all in! If you have any questions please ask, I will do my best to answer them. You can either leave a comment here or send me an email.
If you are still struggling then my recommendation would be to take a closer look at V2 Cigs. The reason for this is that they are one of the few brands that appear in most of the above features to look out for. Without me going into detail about V2 and repeating myself its best you check out our V2 Cigs review that can be found here.
One thing is for sure you won’t regret swapping the smokes for electronic cigarettes!