Ok, I’m ready, where do I start?

Posted: February 17, 2011 in For the Newbie, General

Good for you!  You’ve made a decision that will most probably change your life.

You have done a bit of research, there are so many choices, so many units, so many flavors, so many sizes, it’s just too much to take in!

Where do you start?

I think it’s best for me to tell you first, where NOT to start.  The PV/e-cig world is pretty new, there are a lot of scammers, gimmicks, and ripoff artists just waiting to take your money for a substandard product.  Here is a short list of things to avoid when starting out:

  • Gas station e-cigs  – Generally over priced, and substandard hardware.  It will not last you more than a few weeks, and you’ll be spending too much.
  • Free Trials – AVOID THESE LIKE THE PLAGUE!  There is not a true e-cig free trial anywhere to be found on the Internet.  By the time you receive your unit, you will have already been charged, and unable to cancel, as well as concurrent charges for shipments of disposable hardware, they are all scams.
  • Brand name online stores (Blu, NJoy, Greensmoke etc) – They are usually just branded generic hardware, at a slightly higher price.  Not all of them are bad, however.  You should do some in depth research if you want a “brand named” unit.  Cruise the various forums out there (http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com is one of the best), and find out what people are saying about the company.
  • Disposable e-cigs – “Disposable” e-cigs aren’t worth the money.  You can find a fully functional e-cig at many trustworthy vendors for just a few dollars more, literally.

So, now that you’ve been warned, what do you want to get?

As mentioned before, there are MANY different models of PV’s out there.  Each one suited to a different style, and each having strengths and weaknesses.

First, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I absolutely need it to look and feel like an analog cigarette?
  • Do I want to have to charge it every few hours, or carry 6+ batteries for a day?
  • How do I want to refill?

I personally recommend that all new people interested in PV’s to get a Genuine Joye 510, or one of the bigger battery units with the 510 connection.  The Joye 510 is about the size of analog, a little longer, and has many options available for color, battery life, manual or automatic switches, etc.  Battery life differs dependent on what mAh rating you purchase.  A 180mAh battery will last the average vaper about 1-3 hours between charging, and takes between 30 minutes to an hour to charge.  The higher the mAh rating, the longer you can go between charges.  I have seen standard 510 batteries up to 360mah (3-5 hours between charges).  If you want a PV that can last all day, then I would recommend the eGo series, which ships with a standard 650mAh battery (8-15 hours between charges), or the optional 1000mAh battery (24+ hours between charges).  My “between charges” ratings are by personal experience, and always depend on how much you use it.

The big difference is in size.  While the 510 is pretty close to cigarette-size, the eGo is best compared to a Sharpie marker, being just a little bit thicker, and about the same length.  The 1000mAh battery will make it about 3/4″ longer than a sharpie.

Ok, so you’ve picked your battery size.  Now, on to the fun part.  The 510 has 3 different possible methods of use, while the eGo has 4.

  • Atomizer and Cartridge – The original way, the atomizer produces the heat to vaporize the juice, and the cartridge holds the juice in a polyfill material that is then wicked onto the heating coil.   Atomizers can last from one week to a year+ if you take care of them.  You can also refill the cartridges.
  • Atomizer and Drip Tip / Blank – Shortly after e-cigs were released, people got tired of refilling the cartridges too often.  They discovered you can just drip 2-4 drops of e-juice directly into the atomizer and vape, this produced a much better flavor, vapor, and throat hit than using the cartridges.
  • Cartomizer – The second iteration of the e-cig.  It is an atomizer and cartridge built into one unit, they are disposable after several uses.  You can refill these as well, using various methods.
  • Tankomizer (eGo Only) – Uses an atomizer and a tank of fluid to deliver a solid, steady vape.  This is my preferred method.  Easy to refill tanks, less mess, less to carry around.  The juice is delivered to the atomizer with each puff, using airflow to suck it out of the tank.


Ok, I’ve picked a model I like, where should I buy it?

If you head to the forum I referenced earlier (http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com), you will see they have a long list of suppliers, each with their own forum.  These vendors have been tried, tested, and proved to be trustworthy sources for your PV needs.  Once again, you should do your research, and read what people are saying about each one you are considering.

You may be asking: “Who do you use, Zombienerd?”  Well, I’ll be glad to tell you!  I have had great luck with a couple different suppliers so far.

  • Cignot.com – EXCELLENT Customer Service, Fast shipping, and good prices.  They offer a good diverse line of 510 and eGo kits, but their juice selection is lacking.
  • azsmokefree.com – They carry some good starter kits, lots of adapters, and miscellaneous accessories, they ship fast.
  • bluemistvaping.com – This is my “go-to” shop for my e-liquids, pretty quick shipping, and an excellent selection.  (He is currently moving his shop, so no orders would ship until March 1st 2011)
  • freedomsmokeusa.com – Another excellent source for starter kits, juice, accessories.  It’s a “One Stop shop”

If you have any questions, feel free to comment, I will definitely help you if I can!


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