Whether you're trying to quit smoking tobacco or looking to pick up a fun hobby, the cost of vaping is a question on the minds of many beginners. It can be difficult to navigate the costs of different devices, as well as determining what your long-term costs will be. How much do vapes cost, and what other expenses can vapers expect to face ongoing as they enjoy the benefits of vaping?
In this article, we'll do more than talk about how much vapes can cost. We'll also talk about the specific factors that can impact your budget, the price of particular vape parts, and the best ways to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to vaping.
How Much Does Vaping Cost?
The cost of vaping is going to depend on the specific device you choose and what you decide to vape. It can even come down to how you vape, so you can understand how it can be difficult to nail down a price.
For now, let's take a look at different vaping devices that could impact your overall costs:
While disposable vapes are very convenient, they will also usually be your most expensive option for vaping. After all, you're buying an entire vaporizer when you need to refuel, so your costs will be consistently high. If being cost-effective is one of your priorities, disposable vapes will be a poor choice.
Disposable vapes are typically geared towards new entrants to vaping or tourists. In general, you can expect disposable nicotine vapes to cost $5-15 apiece and cannabis vapes to cost $30 - 60 apiece. Prices will vary depending on specific strength and brand.
Disposable, prefilled cartridges will be more cost-effective than disposable vapes. You keep and reuse your battery, so you're only buying cartridges as needed. It's less wasteful and more budget-friendly. Disposable, prefilled cartridges usually range from $1-5 apiece, with prefilled cannabis cartridges costing $15 - $40.
Again, prices will vary depending on the specific brand and strength of the cartridge you've chosen.
Refillable Vape Kits
The most cost-effective way to vape is to have a permanent vaping device (like a box mod with a refillable tank) and to buy bottles of vape juice. You'll pay more upfront for the device (which can range from $20 to several hundred dollars, depending on your specific setup), but your long-term costs will be much lower. Buying vape juice by the bottle is extremely cost-effective.
For example, 60mg of vape juice will range between $10-$20, but a disposable vape pen with 5mg of e-liquid could cost close to the same amount. The downside of refillable vape kits (like box mods) requires regular maintenance to perform long-term. If you don't like to tinker or play with your vaporizers, the cost savings may not be with the time investment for you.
Dry Herb and Concentrate Vape Kits
For those that prefer to vape concentrates or dry herbs, there are a wide variety of devices that are ready to use out of the box. Unlike vape juice kits, dry herb and concentrate vapes require far less maintenance to maintain a high-end vaping experience. If you want to enjoy CBD or THC in a cost-effective way, then a reusable dry herb or concentrate vape is a great choice!
Factors that Impact Cost
There are a lot of different facts that will impact your overall vaping cost, even after you have decided what method of vaping best fits your needs:
What Are You Vaping?
The substance you have chosen to vape will impact your budget. Wax concentrate and e-liquid vapes tend to have more budget-friendly designs. Dry herb vapes (since they need a large heating chamber) tend to run more expensive, even when considering off-brand devices or low-end devices.
Plan on vaping more than one substance? Then you'll need to invest in a device that is designed to handle more than one category of vape material. Generally, this requires more specialty components to be built into the vape, which will raise the front-end cost of the device you choose.
Convection vs. Conduction
If using a dry herb vaporizer, how it heats cannabis will affect the cost. Convection vapes (that use hot air to evenly bake dry herbs) usually require larger heating chambers that are lined with a heating element. The larger surface area required in a convection vape increases component costs, which will usually make these devices more expensive.
Conduction vapes (which rely on direct contact with a heating element to produce vapor) require less surface area for heating, which allows them to be less expensive. Of course, they will heat less evenly and may provide a sub-part vaping experience, so keep that in mind if you plan to vape cannabis seriously.
Batteries eventually lose their ability to recharge, which means batteries with higher capacities will have a longer lifespan. High-end devices sometimes allow the batteries to be replaced, which will save you from needing to buy a completely new device. The higher the capacity the battery has (measured in mAh), the more expensive the battery will typically be upfront.
If you plan on using accessories with your vaping device, you'll want to be sure to include their price in your budget. Accessories include spare mesh screens, heating coils, wicks, specialty mouthpieces, and more. What accessories you can use depends on the type of vape you have, though most mid to high-end devices have some accessories to choose from.
If you are brand new to vaping, then you may want to consider a vaping kit. These kits will not only include the device but will include some extra accessories (which are often screens, heating coils, and/or cleaning tools). You'll usually get a bit of a discount when compared to buying these accessories separately.
Additional Costs Associated With Vaping
There are a few other niche items that you may want to consider when creating a vape budget. While not all devices will need these, you should keep them in mind in case you fall in love with a device that does require it:
Spare Battery or Specialty Charger
Most vapes are charged with a micro-USB cable, which is usually included with the device. Depending on what kind of device you choose, you may want to buy an additional battery or a specialty charger to avoid untimely vaping interruptions.
Cleaning Solutions and Tools
You need to keep your vape clean, and this is especially true for concentrate and dry herb vapes. Over time, the resin from the wax and cannabis will build up and can impact the flavor of the vapor being produced. There are some specialty cleaners available, though a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol is usually enough to keep your devices clean.
Specialty Vape Oils
E-liquids tend to be the most cost-effective substance to vape. If you are interested in vaping CBD or THC oils, you'll need to budget for a much higher price. Prefilled oil cartridges range in price (usually around $20-75, depending on strength and brand). Knowing that you're vaping more expensive oils may influence how much you're willing to pay upfront for a device.
If you plan to invest in a high-end device, then you'll need to consider the cost of replacement components. While usually inexpensive, common replacement components can be more expensive (depending on the brand and quality of what you buy).
For example, heating coils for concentrate pens can be made from several kinds of materials, like ceramic, quartz, or titanium. Each of those materials has a different cost, with ceramic and titanium being the most expensive. If you want to use high-end components in a high-end device, be sure to budget for it!
How Much Are Vape Coils?
Vape coils are a common heating element used in box mods or concentrate vaporizers. Coils are usually inexpensive (capping out at around $5 a coil), but how much you vape will impact how often coils need to be replaced. If you plan to heavily vape every day, you may need to replace your coil weekly, though most users can use a single coil for several weeks.
How Much Are Vape Pens?
Vape pens are a great choice for those who want to avoid the waste of disposable vapes but don't want to deal with the maintenance required in a box mod setup. Vape pens can use prefilled cartridges or refillable cartridges, though most can't handle a vape tank that is common on box mods.
Vape pens have a broad range, starting as low as $5 and topping out at around $30-40. If you want a device with a full suite of features (like precision temperature adjustment), you'll begin looking at box mod setups.
Cost of CBD Vaping
Many people look to vaping to take advantage of the numerous health benefits that vaping CBD may provide. Since extracting CBD requires more processing than other additives (like nicotine), CBD vape juice and oils are comparatively more expensive.
CBD oil cartridges and bottles of vape juice range from $20-75, depending on the brand and the concentration. The price is much higher than nicotine-infused vape juice, though the potential health benefits often make it worth the cost.
What about Advanced Vapers?
For the majority of vapers, the upfront device cost, accessories, basic components, and what you want to vape will be the biggest factors that determine how much it costs to vape. However, advanced vapers (particularly those that enjoy vaping e-liquids) may consider more advanced components, which will impact the price of their vape.
Sub-ohm tanks can get expensive quickly. These are specialty vape tanks that have an electrical resistance lower than 1ohm. This means that a lot of electrical currents can flow at once, which allows sub-ohm tanks to produce an enormous amount of vapor in a very short amount of time. These tanks typically range between $30-100 (and this is without a battery).
You can usually buy tanks in a kit that includes a battery, and you can expect some kind of bundled discount. However, some tanks are sold as individual items only, and their price can often dwarf entire vaping devices.
Rebuildable Atomizers and Mechanical Mods
Advanced vapers may consider other specialty tanks, too. Rebuildable Atomizers (or RBAs) offer a premium e-liquid vaping experience, but they require a lot of hands-on setup and maintenance. You'll also be buying internal components (like coils and wicks), which can add up pretty fast if you're not careful!
Mechanical mods are vape batteries that connect directly to the vape tank without a chip-set interface. This means it's easier to blast power into your tank (and mechanical mods are generally less expensive). However, they require precision knowledge of what your tank can and cannot handle.
Beginners can easily burn out a vape tank by using a mechanical mod, so it's best to leave accessories like that to veteran vapers.
High Coil and Vape Juice Cost
Most advanced vapers love making big vape clouds, which require a lot of vape juice. The more e-liquid you vape through, the more you'll have to buy. You'll also need to remember to replace components like heating coils more regularly since you're working your device so much and so hard.
How to Save Money on Vaping
We've talked about the different factors that can increase your vaping costs, but now it's time to talk about how to keep costs low!
If you have the option to avoid disposable vapes or disposable cartridges, doing so will keep your vaping costs down. Buying e-liquids by the bottle and using refillable tanks is vastly easier on your wallet than sticking to disposables. It's easy to find nicotine-infused or CBD vape juices, though CBD and THC oils are usually only sold as prefilled, disposable cartridges.
If you're using an RBA tank, taking the DIY approach to certain components can save you a lot of money. For example, you can buy wire and make your own heating coils instead of buying them prefabricated, and you can buy wick material in bulk. It takes a significant time investment for this kind of hobby, but you see savings immediately!
Make Your Own E-Liquid
For hardcore hobbyists, you can make your own e-liquid to save on buying from a store. If you're interested in trying, we recommend following some established recipes before venturing off on your own. You should always make sure that any component you put in a homemade e-liquid is safe for vaping.
Which Vape Should I Buy?
The vape you should buy is the device that's the best compromise between what you want and what you can afford. If you value convenience above all else (and a tight budget isn't a concern), then you may decide to stick to disposables. If you want to be more budget-conscious, you may decide to invest in a reusable vape battery and tank while buying bottles of e-liquid.
We recommend following these steps when deciding what kind of vape to buy:
- Determine your budget
- Decide what to vape
- Identify needs or wants
- Locate the device that best fits all three
If you're brand new to vaping, you may want to try some budget-friendly products just to experiment. Once you know for sure what you're looking for, you can more comfortably invest in a more expensive product that better fits your vaping needs.
There are a surprising number of factors that can impact your vaping costs. It's why it's important to take the time to research different products and identify what you really want or need out of a vaping device. Remember, the most cost-effective option may not be your best option. Time investments should be considered just as much as financial ones!
For those considering getting a high-end dry herb vape with an emphasis on vapor flavor and quality, we encourage you to take a look at the Firefly 2+. It uses our unique convection heating technology to consistently produce some of the world's best-tasting dry herb vapor.
If you have questions about dry herb vaping or more, reach out to us! We'll help to guide you to an ideal device that will satisfy your vaping needs.