A Comprehensive Guide to Buying a Vaporizer



If you’re going to vape, you need to pick the right vaporizer to do it. There are a variety of brands out there, and while different styles will appeal to different people, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what to look for.

While we’d all love to trust the smoke and vape retailers, at the end of the day, they’re in business to make a buck. Sometimes they’re so into their business or even vaping that they forget not everyone wants to dive in at the same level. Some people prefer to dip a toe.

There are all types of vapers and all types of vaporizers.

This guide is meant to highlight the different types of vaporizers on the market, their capabilities and components, and what to look for when buying one, whether it’s your first or that rare one for your collection.

Since this is a lengthy post, here’s a quick table of contents. 

1. General Buying Tips
2. Types of Vaporizers
3. Disposable Vape Pens
4. Rebuildable Tank Atomizers
5. Rebuildable Drip Atomizers
6. Desktop Vaporizers
7. Miscellaneous Vaporizers
8. Prefilled Cannabis Tanks and Pens
9. Parts and Accessories
10. E-Cig Chargers
11. Vape Juice

 

1. General Buying Tips 

Regardless of what type of vaping device you get, there are a few basic common sense rules to smart shopping. These are electronic devices, and buying the wrong vape pen could lead to an explosion in your face, hand, or pocket. Not cool.

Reliability and Credibility – It’s important to purchase your vaping device and all related accessories from a credible, reliable manufacturer or seller. Make sure your chosen device has a warranty - the standard vape pen warranty is one year, though some companies limit it to six months.

If the company doesn’t offer a warranty, run screaming from the room. At the very least let the dealer know and question their integrity if they don’t also find that disturbing.

Durability – A vaping device is an investment, so if you’re dazzled by a super-low price, don’t be shocked if the device only lasts a few months. Cheapie vaporizers not only lack durability, they also take forever to heat up and burn your stash, whether it be juice, wax, or something else.

Compatibility – Note that the right vaporizer for you is compatible with your vape of choice, such as the aforementioned juice and concentrate, as well as dry herbs. Some vape pens can handle all three options, while others can only handle one.

Style - Browse vape pen styles to find one that matches your aesthetic. All vaporizers of a specific type may look the same, but they come in a variety of colors. Different vape pens also have different features, such as temperature display or one-touch activation. 

 

2. Types of Vaporizers

Vaporizers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so we’ve divided them up to explain that to look for in each type and who it would appeal to.


Strawberry Pound Cake | Vape Chemist

3. Disposable Vape Pens

Disposable vape pens look like cigarettes and have the most natural feel for cigarette smokers. They’re mostly sold in convenience stores and major retailers. Cigalikes aren’t interchangeable, though they often have removable tanks to you can at least charge the battery. These chargers, as you can imagine, are also not interchangeable, which we’ll discuss more below.

Disposable vape pen tanks may look refillable, but the companies that make them often place chips in the tanks that render refilled tanks unusable. This means you’re stuck buying a lot of tanks and adding to garbage. There are, however, refillable tanks/batteries sized like a 100 cigarette that work great and are a personal favorite of mine.

Disposable vape pens typically cost around $15-20 for the starter set (which includes the charger and battery) and $10 for a 3-pack of cartridges, which may or may not work out the package.


4. Rebuildable Tank Atomizers

RTA vaporizers are the size of a cigar and have two parts – a battery and tank. The rechargeable battery can usually be removed and replaced without too much hassle. Make sure it uses a micro-USB charger – otherwise you’ll be stuck with a proprietary cable.

Sometimes there are adjustable switches and mechanical or computerized bonuses, but these are often cheap, yet add to the price. If you want more control, get an RDA mod. Stick to something basic and test all moving parts to make sure they work right. If you’re not comfortable with it, don’t buy it.

Tanks and mouthpieces are often interchangeable and you can get any color or style you like. Expect to pay around $40-$50 for a decent starter set, and you should be able to buy spare parts for around $10-20 for tanks and batteries, and no more than $10 for a charger.

5. Rebuildable Drip Atomizers

Serious vapers go with RDA mods, which can be mechanical or electronic and have a variety of features depending on brand. These are the high-end vaporizers pushed by vape shops, clubs, and cloud chasers. If you want serious power, this is how you get it. 

You can spend anywhere from $50-$200 on an RDA vaporizer, so you want to make sure you’re buying quality. You’re usually best off buying just the battery alone, as they often come with overpriced accessories in the full kit that add to the price. Of course sometimes shops only display the battery, so you never know for sure.

Check the adjustable wattage and see how long it takes the coil to heat up. Make sure any buttons work and if there’s a display, check for dead areas or weakness in its mounting. Any signs of manufacturing defect or sloppiness is a sign of future trouble. Also read online reviews to find out if it has a temperature failsafe to autokill it before damage or death to you or the device.

RDA batteries should come with a stock atomizer and mouthpiece, though you can find one to fit your personal style. You’ll also need to stock up on coil and cotton as these need to be replaced often with daily use.
 

6. Desktop Vaporizers 

No matter how well designed, batteries can only supply so much power. For serious vaping, you’ll need a desktop vaporizer that plugs into a wall socket and is used kind of like a hookah. Instead of coals, it uses a convection oven to heat the material inside to its evaporation point.

Decent desktop vaporizers start around $150 and go above $500. Like with mechanical mods, it’s all about power, while chamber size, accessories, and style are a factor.

Often these desktop setups include things like bags, hoses, even gas masks that enhance the experience if you’re going to be vaping dry herbs. Which reminds me, most desktop vaporizers are designed to vape concentrates and flower, but not juice. Keep this in mind if you go this route, although you can vape juice in many of them.
 
Mango Pound Cake | Vape Chemist

7. Miscellaneous Vaporizers

Believe it or not, the process of evaporation actually predates the invention of the vaporizer. This means there are a ton of products on the market that vaporize things like essential oils in different ways. Some use vibration or sound instead of heat.

While you technically can put vape oil into these types of vaporizers, you’ll only get a feint smell, certainly not enough to satisfy the urge to inhale from a real vaping device. Potheads love improvising, but this is not one of those times.

8. Prefilled Cannabis Tanks and Pens

Drugs other than nicotine can be used in all the vaporizers used above, but dispensaries and caregivers typically sell prefilled tanks and disposable pens. These tanks and pens in some states have the male/female threading switched on each type so they’re not interchangeable. Be aware of this if it’s a problem where you live.

Prefilled tanks and pens vary widely in cost, and some are cut with VG/PG, while others use coconut and other essential oils and still others use pure concentrate with an optimized viscosity. The difference in price for prefills is the product inside, so make sure it really is what they say it is.

9. Parts and Accessories

Regardless of what type of vaporizer you buy, you’ll end up with a few parts and accessories to make them comfortable for daily, often habitual use. With the smaller pens and RTAs, an extra battery is a must. You should always have one charging to avoid that dreaded moment where you want a puff and can’t.

As discussed above, RDAs require coil and cotton. Also every individual part can typically be found in customized and personalized styles.

The tanks used in RTAs are often interchangeable with RDA batteries, and some RTA batteries have two sizes of threading to accommodate two sizes of tanks.

10. E-Cig Chargers

Not all chargers are created alike, especially with the smaller pens. If you are going to stick to disposables over refillables, you’ll want to buy a few different branded starter kits so you always have a charger and battery to accommodate each tank. This is in case you ever need to re-up and you can’t find your brand. It gets to be a pain – trust me. 

The rest will typically use a standard micro USB cable to charge either off your computer or game console’s USB port or a USB AC adapter. None of these chargers should cost more than $10 and should have an auto-shutoff to avoid overcharging.
 

11. Vape Juice

And of course, we can’t talk about vaping without discussing what we do best at Vape Chemist, which is vape juice. Getting the wrong juice can clog your atomizers, rust them, and otherwise create chaos.

That’s one of many reasons our juice is crafted in a sterile laboratory setting. It’s also why we only use the purest of ingredients. I know it sounds like I’m bragging because it’s my juice, but it’s that pride that goes into every step of the process.

You don’t have to buy our juice (although I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be happy if you did), but make sure your favorite flavor is running safe business practices. It’s the people cutting corners making us all look bad.

If there are any other tips you’re looking for about vaping and vaporizers, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below. 

Vape Chemist | Lemon Pound Cake Ejuice



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