With such a huge variety of kits available these days, there’s a lot to sort through to find one that’s right for you. There are different kinds of kits to suit different needs as far as ease of use, nicotine strength and vaping preferences (more vapour, or flavour?). So, we’ll break what a vape kit is down into its component parts as well as the features of each kind of kit to make it easier for you.
The different parts:
There are a few things every vape kit will have, no matter the design. They might look a little different across different brands and kit types but you’ll always have:
- A battery. This is obviously the part that actually powers your kit. There are two kinds of batteries - internal and external. Most starter kits come with an internal battery meaning all you need to do is switch the device on. External batteries (ones you need to put into the kit yourself) offer more power and are usually used in high-wattage advanced mods.
- A tank or pod. Again, depending on the type of kit you’ve got this part might vary. Pods are either pre-filled with e-liquid or empty (so you can fill them with your e-liquid of choice). They don’t need coil changes - the coil is already built in. Tanks also serve to hold your e-liquid and house the coil - the difference between tanks and pods is that you’ll need to change the coil in the tank to maintain it.
- Inside the tank or pod, you’ll find the coil. This part is made of metal and cotton and serves to absorb your e-liquid, heat it and then turn it into vapour.
Different kits for different kinds of people (and vapers):
Pod kits are popular with new vapers for a few reasons. They’re usually the smallest kits you’ll find, they’re easy to use and are simple to maintain. Pod kits are commonly made for mouth to lung vaping and work well with high nicotine strength e-liquids. You can get pod kits with pre-filled pods, meaning when they run out you just click a new one into place. Or, you can get “open” system pod kits that allow you to refill the pod many times over.
They’ll usually have an internal battery that is re-charged with a micro-USB cable. Many pod kits will have a single button to press though some also feature “manual draw” design. This means you just inhale on the mouthpiece to produce vapour, no buttons needed.
Vape pens are the next level up from pod kits and are a little more diverse in their design. You can get vape pens made for mouth to lung vaping and direct to lung vaping (sometimes the same kit can even do both). They’re usually more powerful than pod kits and have larger batteries too. They’ll have a tank up top for your e-liquid and may come with a choice of different coils.
If you can fit your vape pen with a coil that’s 1.0ohm or more, it can be used for mouth to lung vaping. You might also have an option to fit a coil with a resistance that’s less than 1.0ohm, meaning you can also use it for direct to lung (“Sub Ohm”) vaping.
Typically, vape pens will have just one button but you may also find some with variable wattage controls and a screen. If you’re just starting out, it’s generally a good idea to stick with a kit that’s just a “press the button to fire your vape” design. Once you’ve got a handle on how you like to vape, that’s when you can graduate to a more advanced vape pen or a box mod.
Box mods are the top tier of vaping as far as control over user settings goes and they’re also the largest kind of vape you can get. You can get box mods with internal batteries but it’s more common that they need external batteries to power them. Box mods have a lot more power behind them so they last longer and can produce bigger clouds and better flavour. For comparison's sake, most pod kits range between 10 and 25 watts maximum output while some box mods can put out over 200 watts. These kinds of kits are usually used by Sub Ohm vapers who want control over the finest details of how they vape as well as being able to produce the biggest clouds.
Often, box mods will come in a kit with a tank already paired with them. Like with vape pens, you might get a few coil options included. Generally speaking, these kinds of kits are exclusively designed for Sub Ohm vaping. If you want something for mouth to lung vaping, you’re better off with a smaller and lighter kit. You’ll also often find unique features in box mod kits like temperature control mode and memory settings - meaning you can save your output setting if you find one that’s “just right.”
Different kits work with different e-liquids:
The kit that’ll work for you depends on your e-liquid. There’s a few things you need to remember here:
- PG (propylene glycol) gives more of a throat hit. Using 50:50 liquids in pod kits is fine, but the more power you use with a 50:50 liquid, the stronger the throat hit will be.
- The power of your vape also affects how hard your nicotine hit will be. Essentially, you’ll want to keep nic salts and high nicotine e-liquids (anything stronger than a 6mg) for mouth to lung pod kits and vape pens only. If you used a nic salt or strong nicotine level in a Sub Ohm kit the throat hit would be harsh and the nicotine rush far too strong.
- The more VG (vegetable glycerin) in your e-liquid, the more power you’ll need to vaporise it. VG is thicker than PG so if you put a high VG liquid in a pod kit (70% VG or more) you’ll get very little vapour and next to no flavour.
In simple terms:
Pod kits: stick with nic salts and 50:50 e-liquids to get good flavour and a “just right” nicotine hit.
Vape pens: depending on your coil you have more options here. If you’re using a coil that’s 1.0ohm or more, pair them with nic salts and 50:50 vape juice. If you’re using a Sub Ohm coil, use an e-liquid that’s at least 65% VG.
Box mods and high powered Sub Ohm kits: Stick with high VG e-liquids. You can use anything between 65% VG and 100% VG. The more VG = the more power you’ll need and cloud you’ll get.