Tell me what electronic cigarette to buy.
August 2, 2012 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Tell me what electronic cigarette to buy. Looking for: ease of use. Not looking for: muss, fuss.

I understand e-cigs' gadgety appeal, but I am so not that guy, hence my reluctance to wade into the various, intensely geeky forums around the net. I don't really want to have to put too much thought into this purchase. I want an electronic cigarette that:
  • is easy to use,
  • performs its function well,
  • needs to be recharged as infrequently as can be expected, and
  • needs to be refilled as infrequently as can be expected.
Also, I don't anticipate buying 30 different flavors of juice for this thing. And I don't know if this is realistic, but it'd be swell to keep the purchase price somewhere around the $40-$50 range.

Any other recommendations for associated products, like quality liquids, are welcome as well!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas to Shopping (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My son's best friend successfully quit smoking using the Blu e-cig. He liked them. That's all I got.

We're mulling over getting our son the same kit, to get him on the road to quitting.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:17 PM on August 2, 2012

My boyfriend is using these and has managed to quit! so that's great. He loves the clearomizer - he's tried out a bunch of different kinds and that one seems to work the best. I'll get more details whe I see him later.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:25 PM on August 2, 2012

I use the various rebranded versions of the 510. I like Zee Cigs' Preferred (I'm sorry, there's autoplaying video on every product page and normally I would consider this unforgivable but I let it slide in this case) kit, or the Standard. Two batteries is kind of bare minimum though; four is far easier to keep at least two charged ones on you at once, along with a charger.

Those kits comes with a crapload of juice, but most of it is cigarette flavored. Which is fine, and I've come around to them, but I actually prefer to smoke dessert so I have a number of sweet-type juices from Juicy Vapor.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:25 PM on August 2, 2012

My husband has smoked eCigs for about two years now. He uses vapor4life, and loves them, after trying a bunch of brands.

However, he's that guy who gets various flavors regularly delivered and refills them himself. He didn't initially, but it was just more cost-effective.

Warning: the coffee ones smell like farts.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:44 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Blus have a really bad rap on the E-Cigarette Forum (which I HIGHLY recommend you/he check out. Folks over there are super helpful & knowledgable). I also bought a cigarette-looking kit for my first e-cig, and while it was easy to use, the batteries died all the time and refills were relatively expensive.

I have an Ego-T now, which I love and have had no problems with. You can get them (or that style) from a bunch of online sellers.

As for juice, you might be surprised how nice it is to get some variety. A bunch of suppliers have variety pack deals, which I recommend checking out. Like Lyn Never, I tend to stick with dessert flavored ones. (My favorite maker is Vaperite, but like e-cigs, everyone has their favorite.)
posted by smirkette at 3:48 PM on August 2, 2012

Most versions of 510s and eGos are solid. I like the E-Power, which is a non-branded modular system, though now that I'm looking may be more scarce now. Here's a complete E-Power kit from a reputable seller, but ask him about parts. Es have amazing battery life. Blus are suck like gas station e-cigs are suck, not in a good way.

If you fill your own rather than paying ridiculous prices for pre-filled cartridges AND you're using a 510, cartomizers are the way to go. Resurrectors, to be specific. Do not fuss with cartos or tanks. They will break your heart.

Seconding the E-Cigarette Forum strongly; for parts tips, for technique tips, for technical tips, for juice tips and recipes etc. I also like Vapor4Life, but another juice maker that does not get near enough mention is Ahlusion.

If you're even half-hearted about trying PVs, a bit of learning goes a long way. Please don't be put off by those who geek about it. There's still good information to find.
posted by vers at 5:59 PM on August 2, 2012

There's a useful ECF post on the front page, actually.
posted by vers at 6:20 PM on August 2, 2012

As other people have suggested, refills or cartomizers (and I wish someone would jump in here and explain cartomizers, because I get the impression they are good but I cannot figure out what I need to understand) are probably what most beyond-convenience-store users are using. Prefills are the easiest, but my biggest complaint about them is that they are generally quite high-nicotine, and if you're a devoted but wimpy Ultra Light or Light smoker like me it is very easy to smoke yourself sick on prefills (which tend to be about 26mg. To compare, I buy 3mg and 6mg juice.)

You don't necessarily need to think too hard about this. A set of 510s with one, maybe two chargers, some prefills, and some refillable tips and juice are pretty easy to get started with. On the other hand, my very first foray was a $20 starter kit of X-something from 7-11, and it was enough to get me going.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:28 PM on August 2, 2012

Experienced e-cig user here. Couple general things.

The smaller the device, the shorter the battery life between charges. In other words, those little devices that mimic the look of the real thing need more frequent charging.

Pre-filled cartridges are more convenient, but they are expensive and limited (flavors, strengths, etc.). There's no such thing as a pre-filled cart that equals anything more than 7-8 cigarettes tops, no matter what the manufacturer claims.

Do check out the e-cig forum referenced by others here. You'll not find a better resource anywhere.

Just off the top of my head, I would recommend an Ego type device with a Vivi Nova tank system to just about anyone new to ecigs.
posted by thatguyjeff at 7:28 AM on August 3, 2012

This thread had some good answers as well.
posted by nanojath at 8:09 AM on August 3, 2012

I used Reddit's e-cig forum when researching my mom's e-cig purchase. I got her an eGo kit. She's not gone from the house for long periods of time, so I'm not sure she really drains the battery life.

I ordered her the "DSE Ego (Black)" - from I called them first, to ask them about recommendations on eliquids for the type of cigarettes that my mom smokes, and they were incredibly helpful. I also emailed them after placing the order, and they helped me by upgrading my order to priority mail. The DSE Ego Black kit was $39.95, and I added an extra atomizer, a pack of cartomizers plus some eliquids to it. The kit came with an extra battery.

It is not like a cigarette, though - it's bulkier. Not sure if that matters to you or not. From the research I did, if you want one that is closer to the size and feel of a cigarette, you pay for it in battery life.

My mom has had it since mother's day, and seems pretty happy with it, although has not switched over entirely. She also was happy with the eliquids from ivape - they blend their own, there, so you can get flavors or just regular ones, and you know what is in them.
posted by needlegrrl at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2012

Experienced e-cig user here.

In the last couple years, I've refined and modified my "kit" extensively. I want good quantities of smoke, I want it to be cheap and reliable, and I want the atomizer to not have to be replaced all the damn time.

My current solution is as follows:

Ego-C (The latest, greatest version of Ego-T), with two pass-through 1000ma USB batteries.

I buy all my e-juice (hate that term) from BackwoodsBrew and VaporBomb. It will take time to find the flavors for you. I personally love cinnabomb, fire-and-ice, amber and 555 from VaporBomb, and "Backo" from Backwoods. My wife loves the cinnabomb and "red licorice", which is a new thing, at the start she only liked tobacco flavors.

I buy all my kit from CigNot. I used to shop around more, but the owner of CigNot is personable, ships extremely quickly, and most importantly fixes her mistakes for free.

The Ego-C has a wonderful feature of being able to replace the one part of an e-cig that burns out regularly, the atomizer coil. You can buy a 5-pack of the replacements for $25, which is far far cheaper than buying a whole new atomizer every time it burns out (about once a month, for me, a heavy e-cig puffer)

I started, for what it is worth with 510s, which run out too quickly, both of juice and of battery power.

Then moved to Ego-with-the-wadding. Too messy, gets clogged to easy, not enough smoke.

Then an Ego-T, great, but burns out too quickly and are expensive to get new atomizers for.

Now my Ego-C, which uses the same batteries as Ego-T, but is far less expensive to maintain.

I spend about $5 a week to smoke (er, vape) all I want, and that's a lot of smoking.

Good luck, and I concur with the others who suggest the ECF forum for tips.
posted by Invoke at 10:04 AM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

I've been using the Ego-T for almost a year and it's been great. The atomizers do burn out, and I think I fried a battery too. They work for me. I fill two up when I go somewhere and they last me about a week, battery wise, and I have a spare bottle of juice with me too. Mostly I prefer almond and vanilla flavors - I reckon I'll try the cinnamon next. It turns out that I don't really like the tobacco flavors; who knew. It was a great purchase for me. I don't smoke anymore. And don't miss it at all.
posted by mearls at 7:15 PM on August 4, 2012

Best answer: Thanks to all who commented. I made a purchase and am quite happy with it! Here's what I'm working with based on advice from, and I can say that it would probably be a good starting point for anyone getting into this:

2 Ego-C Twist batteries
1 Kanger T2 clearomizer
1 E1 Revive clearomizer
1 Vision "Stardust" v2.0 clearomizer
1 Ego charger

So far I've been working on whatever juice has been convenient. First an organic tobacco liquid from, and now something unimpressive I picked up from the head shop near my work. I have a sample pack on the way from, though, and they're worth checking out for their 40% discounts on first time purchases.

I'm a little embarrassed by how much I'm enjoying this new vice/habit/addiction, but I really do like this dumb thing!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 6:34 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

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