It’s not easy to imagine how hard it must be for someone brand new to e cigs to choose which company to start with or even which sort of device to use. Competing suggestions, skepticism, money, and controversy complicate the matter.
Comparisons are not always objective either. A consumer might have an isolated bad experience and tear an otherwise decent company to shreds. E cig reviews are not always based on practical features but fashion and who has the most attractive and most visitor-friendly website. Here are some ways to make your own product comparisons and some features of existing ones to help you make wise decisions.
Firstly, all small e cigs (cigalikes or mini cigs) operate using weak batteries. Even if they go up to 300 mAh, cells only hold a charge for a little over 4 hours. When these batteries are brand new, the charge can last longer, but typical cells hold their charge for no more 3 to 4 hours and even less if the batteries are really small ones. Batteries start at around 150 mAh in really cheap, tiny examples, but 180 mAh is a more realistic low with 240 mAh for long batteries in this class.
Companies usually overstate how long a charge will last. They say you can puff x-number of times or for x-number of hours. Always shave a little off of these estimates.
The longer these batteries are, the less they resemble real analog cigarettes. Customers might not like to recharge and swap batteries five times daily, but maintaining a small, cigarette-like experience is important to them. It is for this reason that companies still make 65-mm batteries.
Several brands fill e cig cartomizers with US-made e liquid. A number of them fill their cartomizers with unidentified liquid which is probably made in China. Halo Purity, South Beach Smoke, Eversmoke, and VaporFi liquids are all American. V2 Cigs juice is Chinese.
Some customers like Chinese juice, but many vapers wonder about quality. Chinese regulations are not the same as those in the US, so if you want to be sure your juice is USP-grade and/or kosher, the US juice names above all fit the bill. When information about ingredients and where liquids are blended is not provided, feel free to ask and expect high standards.
When one firm advertises “coffee” or “chocolate” liquid it doesn’t necessarily taste the same as the competitors’ versions. Try a few and a favorite will come to light. Tobacco and menthol e liquids are unlikely to taste authentic. The smell and flavor of burning chemicals just can’t be replicated by e liquid manufacturers.
Starter Kit Comparisons
This is a tricky place to make comparisons. Kits are configured in many ways with 1 or 2 batteries, 5 or 10 cartridges, multiple types of chargers, and other extras. Sitting two identical types of kits side by side, this is the only way to fairly compare and contrast contents and pricing. Usually, a set with 2 batteries and 5 or more cartridges plus a charging kit will cost from $40 and up with a few cheaper exceptions and a number of over-priced ($55 plus) exceptions as well.
A few brands of e cigs are turn-and-click types and you won’t see any threading at all with these ones. Most cartridges and batteries screw together, but threading differs between brands. The three most common are 808, DSE, and 510. Brands of e cigs that are shaped like cigarettes don’t automatically fit together, and this is why it’s a good idea to try disposables before settling on a starter kit.