The “Best” Electronic Cigarette
There is no best electronic cigarette … for all vapers.
But we can offer some suggestions regarding:
The Best E-Cig for a First-Time Vaper
Before we tell you about some of the best full-fledged models, we want to make you aware of…
If, at this point, you are only mildly curious about this e-cig stuff and would like to sample it at the lowest possible cost, consider one of the inexpensive disposable 510 clones. They're called “disposable” and their expected life span is less than a standard 510 electronic cigarette, but the battery can be recharged several times and the atomizer probably will last awhile. [Include some e-liquid in your order to take advantage of the battery’s rechargeability.] I view them more as introductory models, e.g., they also are an excellent choice to give to a smoker friend whom you are trying to convert to vaping.
The $4.99 REDI is a good example of a truly disposable electronic cigarette. It cannot be recharged or fitted with a fresh cartomizer. Vape it 'til it's done and toss it. It's very similar to the Blu and Mistic disposables that can be found in many stores. They make a cheap way to try out an electronic cigarette, but provide a very poor sample of what ecig technology can actually deliver.
- A still inexpensive but much better deal can be found in a single battery rechargeable starter kit that allows you to recharge the battery and replace the cartomizer. The $19.95 Volt Pack Kit from Smokeless Image pictured below, for instance, will give you the true experience of the excellent flavor and ecig experience that the company has to offer. Assuming you like it, you'll need additional batteries quite quickly, though. The good news is that both the battery and cartomizers are compatible with other Volt products and various other KR808D-1 models. (Save 10% with the coupon code TRYVOLT08 at checkout.)
- The $17 Hello 010 (e.g., from Happy Vaper [10% discount code: VGHV10]) manual switch 510 clone comes with one 300 mAh battery, charger, and atomizer, and two filled cartridges. This battery is compatible with other 510 models on the market.
Otherwise, jump in with both feet and order one of the following outstanding, full-fledged electronic cigarette models.
The Quick Approaches
Parts IV and V of The Wonderful World of Vaping lead you through a process of selecting among scores (make that hundreds) of models in seven categories. If all that sounds just a bit too analytical and time-consuming (you are more the “executive” type), go buy one of the following models.
The Quick and Dirty Approach
If you want the simplest, most convenient electronic cigarette model, go buy a Kr8 (KR808D-1) for around $40. No messing with e-liquid required (although you can, if you want to). You simply charge your battery, screw on a pre-filled cartomizer (in any of scores of flavors and several nicotine levels) and vape.
It was my first e-cig, so therefore it must be the best one for you. Seriously, it's not perfect for everyone, but it is a sensible electronic cigarette choice for a newbie. It has strong throat hit, flavor, 280 mAh battery life, and 3.7V; and decent vapor. And the batteries (I recommend automatic) and cartomizers each can be used with other models. For example, one of my favorite e-cig setups was a penstyle atomizer with adapter on a Kr8 battery. Many people use Kr8 cartos on mods.
You'll want to make sure to get at least two batteries so that you can charge one while using the other. Add in a PCC (for carrying a few extra cartomizers and for charging your backup battery on the go), some extra prefilled cartos and/or e-liquid, and you’re off and running.
If you spend more time at a computer than away from it, you might choose to purchase a USB Passthrough (shown above) instead of the PCC. [NOTE: Both of these are available from most of the listed electronic cigarette suppliers.]
The Kr8 model is sold by many suppliers and often under different brand names. The following are the U.S. electronic cigarette suppliers (and names they use) that I have dealt with:
- Smokeless Image is home to the Volt electronic cigarette. At $44.95 for a two battery kit (less 10% with the code TRYVOLT08), the Volt comes in at the low end of a price comparison. Quality and service are first rate, however and the flavor of the cartomizers is excellent.
- The G6 kit from Halo is another economical starting point that many people love. It also comes in at $44.95 for a two battery kit.
- BloogPlanet (MaxX Fusion) electronic cigarette has a smaller (still good) selection of cartomizers, but their performance (vapor and flavor) is more impressive than most … and its regular size battery is 320 mAh. Like the Vapor King electronic cigarette, MaxX Fusion kits are pricey (and with a hefty $8 shipping cost), although I think the cartomizers are worth it. [The discount code “VGDTEN” may not be as easy to remember, but it also provides 10% off.]
- NHaler (KR808D-1) also has a large selection of cartomizers (and adapters) and is a bit less expensive (although the shipping cost also is high). [When you order from New Jersey-based NHaler, remember that you can “SAVEinNJ” – also 10%.]
- If packaging and style mean alot to you, then V2 Cigs is worth a look. The site is impressive and so is the packaging of the product. Their Vapor Couture line adds further style with some beautiful ecig colors and tips. Flavor is not left out, however and V2 carts are also wonderful to vape.
- Vapor4Life (Vapor King) has the greatest selection of cartomizers (flavors and nicotine levels) and batteries (three lengths and many colors), but is one of the priciest electronic cigarettes (including $7 shipping). [However, if you are “SMILIN” when you place an order, you’ll receive 10% off.]
- Other U.S. electronic cigarette suppliers (some of which are low cost and/or provide free shipping) include CigEasy (Easy), Cigtechs (KR808D), Digital Ciggz (KR808D-1), Domestic Vapor (KR808D-1), GoodProphets (VapoRite), LeCig (D1), LiteCigUSA (KR808D-1), Mist-Stix (Mist-Stix), MyVaporStore (KR808D1), PureSmoker (Ace), StrictlyEJuice (KR808d-1, parts only) The House of Vapor (KR808D-1), Vapor Junction (KR808D-1), VaporKings (KR808D-1), and VaporNine (Nebula).
- Outside the U.S.: Heaven Gifts and Health Cabin (China); Liberty Flights [10% discount code: VGLF10] (U.K.), and iVapour elixir (Creator, U.K.).
The Quick and Cleaner Approach
If you don't want to do a lot of research, but still would like to have a choice: in addition, consider a Fat Batt based on the Joye 510 atomizer connection. The original 510 batteries were relatively weak and had a short charge life, but the performance of the 510 atomizer made it popular. Now the 510 fitting is used in most APVs and mods as well as the eGo style Fat Batts.
The 510 atty generates excellent vapor and scores well on all the evaluation factors, as do many of the cartomizers, clearomizers and tanks that have been developed over the years for the 510 connection. The fat batts more than cancel out the one weakness of the basic 510 model (puffs per battery charge) with their 650-1300 mAh manual switch batteries. And, because of that extended battery life, you won’t need a PCC or PT, so the total price is no more than the Kr8.
In Part II of the WWV, several fat batt models were discussed. The market has exploded since that writing and the various styles, capacities and voltages can get a little overwhelming. The first and most popular (but most expensive) is the 650 mAh 3.4V Joye eGO, But there many “knock-offs” have followed. Some of these are just cheap immitations, but some are better than the original. Retail price is $74, but look for sales at prices around $60 that sometimes are available from suppliers like Smoktek, LiteCigUSA, Cignot, NHaler, or Heaven Gifts (China).
One recommendation we will make when it comes to Fat Batt or eGo style kits is to stay away from atomizers and stick with cartomizers or clearomizers. The atomizer and cartridge systems are simply not as good as the latest cartomizers and clearomizers and are a lot more trouble to keep functioning properly.
There has been a very significant advancement in the Fat Batt category that we'll cover in more detail on the page dedicated to eGo style devices, and that is the variable voltage eGo Twist. It needs to be mentioned here, because several vendors are now offering kits built around the Twist that are great for beginners, but ensure satisfaction well into the experienced vaper stage.
The $55.25 (with coupon 150ffvape Intermediate Variable Voltage kit from Viper Vapes is a good example and even offers a choice of clearomizers. Smoktek has a single battery Twist kit for only $34.95 as well.
The odds are very good that you’ll be happy with either a Kr8 or a 510-based fat batt. And if you actually are an executive, you’ll easily afford purchasing a different electronic cigarette model later.
[FYI: Any personal bias I might have does not influence either of these recommendations. I have used and enjoyed the Kr8 and fat batt, but my primary preferences lie elsewhere. I do love that Kr8 battery, however.]