Beginners to vaping often feel overwhelmed and confused by the number of vaping choices available on the market today. Even veterans can get confused when discussing the variety of vape pens, box mods, and devices designed to cater to particular substances or vaping styles. You are not alone in your confusion.
Below, the vaping experts explain the variety of devices you can find when shopping for a vape. These explanations are fantastic for helping you narrow down your choices when shopping for your first vape (or even a second or third device). By the time you're done reading, you'll be a bit of an expert yourself.
How to VapeOf course, before you start looking into different kinds of vapes, it's helpful to understand what you need to vape. There are three primary components you have to vape:
- Vaporizer battery
- Heating chamber/atomizer
- Vaping substance (for example, e-liquid or cannabis)
It's easy for beginners to buy a device that looks complete but is missing a vital component to function. It is especially true with e-liquid vapes (like box mods), which are regularly sold without an included atomizer (this is the component that vaporizes the e-liquid).
It is why we recommend that beginners start with a vape kit. These kits will have everything you need to begin vaping (aside from your preferred substance), so you won't have any undue delays because you forgot a battery or atomizer.
Dry Herb Vapes and Wax Vapes
Dry herb and wax vapes (often designed for use with marijuana flower or extract) are rarely sold without heating chambers, so the likelihood of you buying a device for either one of these substances and that device lacking a necessary component) is very low. However, you should read the product description carefully or reach out to the manufacturer if you are unsure what else might be needed.
Different Kinds of Vapes
Not only are there several kinds of vapes for specific vaping substances, but there are also different styles of vapes that cater to the same substance. Take a look below to see if there's a specific style or design that catches your eye! Some vaporizers can vape your choice of oil, dry herbs, or wax (with a few attachments and accessories).
Oil vapes (often referred to as e-liquid vapes) are the oldest style of vaporizer available. The majority of oils vapes are designed to use e-liquids that have been infused with nicotine, though there are e-liquids available that are nicotine-free. Oils vapes can also use CBD and THC oils, which we will discuss later in this article.
Direct-to-Lung (DTL) and Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) Vapes
Within oil vapes, you'll see choices that are often labeled as DTL or MTL designs. This means the device is designed with one or two options in mind. DTL means the device is designed to breathe vapor directly from the device into their lungs with no interruption (so it goes straight to your mouth).
Second, MTL vapes are designed for the user to draw vapor into their mouth, hold it, and then inhale it. DTL designs are prevalent with large-capacity atomizers designed for e-liquid vaping since it's much easier to create vast plumes of vapor. MTL designs are usually found with devices designed for more viscous oils, like CBD or THC oils.
Dry Herb Vapes
Dry herb vapes will come in two standard designs: convection or conduction. Conduction vapes use a heating element to make direct contact with your dry herb to vaporize it. Unfortunately, this leads to uneven heating, so unless you want to get a mouthful of ash, you'll need to stir your dry herb occasionally as you vape.
Convection vapes use super-hot air for baking your dry herb, which creates the vapor you can inhale. Convection vapes work just like convection ovens, so heat is distributed evenly throughout the heating chamber. This is an excellent choice if you try to target specific cannabinoids or terpenes or simply want a higher-end vaping experience.
Wax vapes will have a variety of different features, but their core function will be the same. They will have a heating chamber where wax is loaded directly onto heating coils. Those heating coils vaporize the resin, which is then inhaled.
Cannabis and CBD Vapes
With cannabis increasingly becoming more popular and legal throughout the world, cannabis and CBD vapes are rising. There are all kinds of different methods to enjoy your preferred cannabis products, ranging from simple and budget-friendly to powerful, high-end devices with complete suites of features.
THC and CBD Oil Vape Pens
The simplest devices you'll find for cannabis are THC and CBD oil vape pens. These vaporizers will either be preloaded and disposable (like the Firefly Mini) or a permanent battery that attaches to disposable, pre-filled cartridges.
This style of vaporizer is small and discrete, which makes them ideal choices for vaping on the go without drawing attention to yourself. Most CBD or THC vape pens will have some kind of variable heat options, so you can tinker with different oils to see which temperature creates your preferred vapor.
Portable Dry Herb Vaporizers
Portable dry herb vaporizers will usually be bulkier than THC or CBD vape pens. This is because dry herb vapes have a large heating chamber to hold the dry herb, which necessitates a larger size. While you can find dry herb vapes that are extra petite, you'll be trading performance and vapor quality for a more discrete size.
While these devices are typically designed for only dry herbs, some models have attachments available to accommodate e-liquids. These attachments are called dry herb vape tanks, which can be filled with your choice of e-liquid and then inserted into the device's heating chamber.
THC and CBD Wax Vapes
Earlier, we discussed wax vapes, which are growing in popularity among cannabis fans. Wax offers a more concentrated hit in a shorter amount of time, making wax an ideal choice for long-term cannabis fans or those with acute pain. While the availability of THC wax will vary depending on your state or country, CBD waxes are widely available.
What Is a Vape Pen?
A vape pen is a small, portable device that combines a battery with some heating element to produce vapor. While vape pens started with nicotine-infused e-liquids, they are widely used to enjoy THC and CBD oils.
Vape pens offer a unique design advantage over larger, more powerful devices. Since vape pens are so slim and petite, they are easy to travel with and easy to use in public. For vapers that either want or need to use their device throughout the day, vape pens have proven to be a popular choice.
Different Types of Vape Pens
As we've mentioned, there are all kinds of different vape pens you can choose from. Each has its unique advantages and disadvantages, and which one you choose will be based on which fits your expectations the best.
E-cigarettes are the earliest form of vape pens since vapes were initially designed to stop smoking traditional tobacco. They are made to look and feel like cigarettes, giving them the smallest vaping design currently available.
Since they are so small, e-cigarettes are usually stripped of features. They will almost always feature a draw-fire design (which we will discuss in the next section) and are almost always disposable.
Draw-Fire Vape Pens
Draw-fire vape pens don't have any physical buttons and usually lack any kind of variable temperature features. Instead, the device powers when the use begins to draw in air, creating vapor in real-time. When the device is no longer in use, it will automatically shut off. You can find draw-fire vape pens in both traditional and disposable designs.
While many vapes use a 510 threaded connection to use oil cartridges, pod vapes offer a different solution. Most pod vapes will use proprietary "pods" pre-filled with e-liquid, which are then placed into a specific kind of vaping device. These devices are very user-friendly, making them popular among beginner vapers.
A pod vape's design offers unique drawbacks and benefits. Since the design is proprietary, only certain pods will work within a specific pod device (usually, both the pods and the vaporizer are made by the same company or brand). This will significantly limit your ability to choose an e-liquid that might be right for you, as you will be limited to what the manufacturer has selected to produce.
However, a unique benefit of pod vapes is that they often come in unique designs not typically seen in the vaping world. If you want to vape and don't want people to recognize your device as a vaporizer, a pod device may be precisely what you're looking for.
Traditional Vape Pen
Most vaping beginners are familiar with the traditional vape pen design. It features a cylindrical battery that uses 510 threading to connect to oil cartridges. These cartridges are typically disposable, though refillable 510-skinny cartridges are available for those that don't mind the refilling process.
Finally, one of the most popular vaping devices is box mods. Box mods have a large-capacity battery and all kinds of different features, including precision heating options. They are compatible with a wide range of attachments and vape tanks, making them a popular choice for experienced vapers.
What Are the Different Kinds of Box Mods?
Even within box mods, you'll find a vast variety of device choices. Some of the differences are subtle, while others create a unique vaping experience entirely.
Squonk mods offer a unique vaping design not found in any other kind of device. The vape tank is located in the body of the boxy mod and is made with soft, squishy silicone. When the device is powered on, the user squeezes the tank, which forces a rush of e-liquid onto the heating coils.
It makes an enormous amount of vapor at once, which can easily overwhelm beginner vapers. However, squonk mods are a popular choice among cloud-chasers since so much vapor is produced so quickly.
Mods with Rebuildable Atomizers (RBA)
Some box mods use vape tanks that are not designed to be opened and customized. Others use RBAs, which are designed to be opened and have internal components replaced or exchanged. They are far more work-intensive than standard vape tanks because you have to make your coils, install them, and insert a wick of your choosing.
What Are the Best Types of Vape?
There isn't an objective "best type of vape" since whether or not someone sees a particular device as good will be dependent on whether the features and functions included match specific vaping needs. In general, dry herb vapes that use convection heating and fully loaded box mods offer the complete vaping experience, but they may not fit the needs of all vapers.
It is especially true for those who need devices that are travel-friendly, budget-friendly, or discrete.
Choosing a Vape That Works Best for You
The best way to choose the vape that's best for you is to take time to consider what kind of vape would best meet your needs. If you're unsure where to start, considering asking yourself the following questions:
- What's my budget?
- What features are must-haves for me?
- What substance do I want to vape?
- Do I plan on vaping while on the go?
Take time to ask yourself these questions. It will narrow down your choices to specific styles (and maybe even specific brands) of vapes, making the process of choosing a device much more effortless.
Taking Care of Your Vape
Once you've chosen a vape and have it in hand, you need to be sure to take care of it. Make sure you:
- Store it at room temperature (NEVER leave it in your car)
- Do not store dry herbs or wax in the heating chamber.
- Leave vapes upright to avoid leaks or spills.
- Replace aging components before they fail.
These simple steps are a great way to get the most out of a vaping device!
There's a lot to consider when choosing a vape, so it's essential to take your time deciding. After all, don't you want to have an ideal device on the first buy? If you're considering a dry herb vaporizer, then take a look at the Firefly 2+. It's easy to use, offers a ton of features (including precision heating), and uses convection heating to create excellent vapor!
Thinking about a disposable THC vape pen? You'll be hard-pressed to find a better choice than the Firefly Mini. It comes preloaded with various strains and offers an incredible aesthetic design, uncommon among disposable vapes.