With so many different kinds of e-cigs and e-cig mods, a complete beginner to e-cigs might ask themselves “What kind of e-cig should I buy?” While that’s a question we’ll get to, first we have to give you a bit of an idea of what you’re dealing with. There’s an immense amount of different e-cigarette brands out on the market, hence why there’s such a variety of e-cigarettes to choose from.

For the sake of your time, we’re not going to get too technical in this article. What we are going to do is give you some basics as to what the different types of e-cigarettes are, along with a short description of each to help you decide which one might best suit your needs. Sound good? Let’s get started.

What kinds of e-cigarettes are there?

Cig-A-Like, Mini-E-cig, or Slim models: These are all terms used to describe e-cigs that, for the most part, resemble a tobacco cigarette. This type of e-cigarette is affordable, lightweight, and offers a convenient approach for the e-cig novice. An important note: There are three different kinds of these e-cigs. If you’re buying online, then more than likely you’ll be getting a two-piece.

One-Piece (Disposables) These are for when you’re looking for a temporary nicotine fix, you’re looking to “try” a brand’s product before you invest, or you’ve ran out of cartridges. These types of e-cigs are not very reliable, though there are pioneer companies like White Cloud and Green Smoke that have simply perfected their disposables. If you absolutely must buy a disposable, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company. Read our list of recommended disposable vape pens

The most common e-cigarettes are the single-pack, ready-to-use e-cig design that comes in every flavor you could possibly imagine.

Two-Piece The two-piece e-cig is rechargeable and uses cartomizers, which are sometimes re-fillable depending on the type of e-cigarette cartomizers you use. These kinds of e-cigarettes are often found packaged as electronic cigarette starter kits and vary in price range. They consist of two pieces: (1) a battery and (2) a cartridge with a built-in atomizer, together called a “cartomizer,” which can easily be screwed on, and then off when it needs replacing. This particular e-cigarette type is among the most popular and modern because of its simplicity and style. Two-piece e-cigarette batteries can come in manual or automatic. Manual requires you to push a button with each draw, while with an automatic there is no need as your draw activates the battery on its own.

The standard 2-piece e-cigarette such as the Red Dragon comes in components with battery and power supply and flavor cartridge sometimes being replaceable and USB rechargeable options.

Three-Piece  – [OBSOLETE] The three piece e-cigarette is constructed from a battery, atomizer, and poly cotton filled plastic cartridge. These types of e-cigarettes are out of date, and becoming less and less frequently used because they aren’t as convenient, reliable, or remotely satisfying as a two-piece e-cig. Cartridges leak, sometimes melt, and produce little to no vapor.

The only real benefit of this e-cig model was being able to replace the parts that went bad. This is the model that spawned the new and improved generation of e-cigs, known as the two-piece. If you happen to come across a three-piece slim cig-a-like e-cigarette, stay away from it. It may have served an evolutionary purpose, but it’s a real debby downer at this point.

The 3-piece e-cig design comes in battery or power unit, flavor cartridge and replaceable atomizer or cartomizer unit.

What other types of e-cigarettes are there?

Now we’re going to talk about a specific type of e-cigarette that’s becoming more and more popular as people advance beyond their initial e-cigarette experience. Once you’ve purchased an e-cigarette and gotten the hang of how things mesh together and work, you’re going to be tempted to see what else the vaping world and community has to offer. This is where the more advanced e-cigs come into play. Next up…

Mid-Sized (Ego Style) The second most popular

Between the single-use e-cig and the vape mods is the Ego style cartomizer tank vape.

This type of e-cigarette is growing increasingly popular among smokers, particularly because of its ability to reliably function for 6+ hours, but still produce clouds of vapor and great nicotine satisfaction. It’s the next step to customizing your vaping experience. Although this kind of e-cigarette is typically larger in length and width, its performance makes up for it. If you are new to e-cigarettes, don’t let this type of e-cig scare you. The mid-sized ego style e-cigarettes use e-liquid tanks, also known as clearomizer tanks.

You must purchase liquid nicotine (e-liquid) to use the clearomizer tanks. The e-liquid goes into your clearomizer tank which is then attached to your ego battery. Starting with this kind of e-cigarette subjects you to a small learning curve, but comes with a great payoff. We consider mid-sized e-cigs to be the most cost effective way to vape. We recommend the Apollo Superior Ego kit and the Halo Triton e-cig for beginners looking to go this route.

When you start using mid-sized ego type e-cigs, remember….Google is your friend 🙂

Next we have E-Cig Fanatics! Saaay whaat? …Yep!

E-cig Mods, and Variable Voltage APV’s (Advanced Personal Vaporizers)

E-cig or vape mods can be personalizable and come in a variety of colors including the Cortex which is available in Red, Silver, Blue and Black.

You will find these types of e-cigarettes are in the arena of true (hardcore) vapor devotees. The people behind the scene that enjoy vaping to its maximum potential by modifying batteries, microchips, display screens, different atomizers, heating elements and a plethora of other things that make up “core” e-cigarettes components. E-cig mods typically stand out from the rest because they’re carefully crafted by someone who is passionate about their vaping experience. Mods contain a variety of parts that don’t come as a standard e-cig kit. Though there are some mod kits that come in a box, with all the parts required, you still must put them together and we don’t recommend anyone go this route unless they have some background experience in the field of electronics.

E-cigarette mods can boast all sorts of perks over the traditional vaping experience you’d get from the cig-a-like two-piece or mid-size ego style e-cigarettes. The e-cig modding community can work around almost any obstacle that they might face with their homegrown e-cig, because they did build it themselves, after all. Since they built it, they can determine how much power they need and what heating element they want, both of which will lead to differences in e-liquid, vapor, throat kick, battery life, etc. That’s why they have a name that fits: Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APV’s)

That question: “What kind of e-cig should I buy?”

In order to find out which e-cig style is best for you, it's best to start simple and work your way up to more complicated and maintenance required models.

When it comes down to it, it’s really a personal preference. I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s true. However, we can give you some good recommendations. There are so many different brands that, without a doubt, you’ll run yourself in circles trying to find the best one.

If you’re new to e-cigs, give yourself the chance to convert to vaping by first purchasing a two-piece e-cigarette and cartomizers from a reputable e-cigarette company. We’ve done the testing for you, so take a look at our editor and consumer e-cigarette comparison charts. If you need an absolute answer as to which brand e-cig you should buy – read our list of highly recommended e-cigs for 2013

Hold on though! You don’t have to buy a cig-a-like/mini e-cig to get started. We’ve seen a lot of people just go straight to the mid-sized ego type e-cigs and fall completely in love on their first date – thus proving that love at first sight does exist! It looks intimidating, but don’t let it be. The Apollo Superior Ego kit and Halo Triton e-cigs both have incredible consumer reviews; you’ll find a lot of comfort in your purchase by reading through them. 🙂

All in all….I’d love to tell everyone to go for the mid-sized ego style e-cigarettes, but the truth is, some people just aren’t into e-cigarettes as much as the Expert Vaping Team and I are, so assuming that you’re a new user doing your research, I say go for our best rated cig-a-like e-cig Green Smoke and RUN! Then, after a few months, invest in a mid-sized!

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