The Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Vapes
Interested in vaping? You’re going to need the right vape device. That leads to the bigger question...what vape device is right for you?
If you’ve Googled the different types of vapes, it’s possible that you got really overwhelmed really fast. The amount of options out there is staggering––and for newbies, it can be confusing and yeah, even a little intimidating.
At Blazed Vapes, we’re here to help! Don’t worry...the good news is that it’s really not as complicated as it seems. While the options for vape devices are practically limitless, they all fall into a few easy to understand categories. So choosing one is really a matter of learning the different types of vapes and figuring out what type of experience you’re looking for.
Want to educate yourself on the different types of vapes? You’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll guide you through the most common types of vape devices, starting with the simplest options and progressing to more advanced devices. By the time you finish this post, you’ll have a much better idea of the advantages of each, and hopefully will have a better idea of what type is most appropriate for you.
Let’s start at the beginning. For many brand-new vapers, disposable devices or kits are the entry point. For one thing, they’re usually the easiest one to find. Disposables are readily available at a variety of different establishments––not just vape shops. That means that they’re typically the most recognizable varieties to newbies.
There’s a lot to love about disposables. They’re easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and don’t require any reloading. They’re pre-loaded with vape juice ready to use as soon as you open the package, and can be discarded once you’ve exhausted the supply of vape juice.
Most disposables will fall into a sub-category of “e-cigarettes” or devices that are made to look and feel like cigarettes. They’re readily available in most stores that sell cigarettes, such as tobacco stores, drugstores, and gas stations.
The advantages of disposable devices are pretty evident. You don’t need to have any skill or practice vaping; you don’t need to buy or reload juice; no parts need to be removed or maintained. They’re easy to find in stores.
However, many vapers will eventually move on from disposables. Why? For one, the cost can add up over time. While disposables aren’t expensive per se, if you want to make vaping a lifestyle choice, choosing a reusable and rechargeable device will save you money over time.
For another, disposables don’t offer a ton of customization in the experience. You can’t choose the type of vape juice other than what is loaded in it, and other than experimenting with different breathing styles and brands, you don't have a ton of choice in terms of the overall experience.
Advancing slightly further, let’s move on to e-cigarettes. An e-cigarette’s name refers to the fact that it physically resembles a cigarette. It has the same shape and tactile feel, but it’s a bit more technologically advanced (hence the “e” for electronic).
Now, just to clear up any confusion, there are many e-cigarettes that fall into the “disposable” category. However, not all e-cigarettes are disposables, which is why we’re giving them their own category in this post.
E-cigarettes are typically a step up from disposables in that have rechargeable batteries and you have the ability to refill them.
Often, these slightly more customizable vape devices will be the natural next step after a new vaper tries a few disposables and finds that they’re interested in pursuing vaping further. These devices offer a little bit more customization with the ability to choose different vape juice to refill with, and can be recharged so you don’t have to discard them.
In terms of transitioning off of nicotine, these devices can be really handy because for former smokers, they feel a lot like smoking. They offer the same tactile feel, and offer a similar throat hit so that if you’re transitioning off of nicotine, this can help you maintain some of the physical parts of the habit that can be hard to kick while still reducing your nicotine intake.
Often, e-cigarettes provide a great entry to vaping. They’re intuitive, easy to use, and inexpensive. However, once again the level of customization is limited. For many vapers, e-cigarettes are just a temporary point before advancing to more advanced devices.
Love the slim, compact profile of an e-cigarette, but want a little bit more customization in your vape experience? A vape pen or vape pen kit could be just what you’re looking for.
A vape pen allows you the ability to personalize your vape experience a little bit more, and has a little bit more advanced functionality.
For plenty of vapers, the vape pen is a natural progression from the simpler e-cigarette experience. While they are compact enough to fit easily in your hand (and to transport easily in your pocket or handbag), they’re a little larger and typically longer than an e-cig.
A vape pen has two primary parts: a battery and a tank. These parts may be detachable, or it might be a fused design.
These two primary parts are fairly petite. The vape pen has an internal battery, and the tank is fairly small due to its compact size. The payoff is simplicity and easy transportation.
Vape pens are extremely versatile and handy. However, they do have their limits. As we mentioned, the tank size is limited. While you’re able to experiment with vape juice flavors to your heart’s content, you don’t necessarily have a ton of control over maximizing cloud production or flavor intensity the way you do with a more advanced device.
However, for many people, this isn’t necessarily a big deal. The compact size, ability to reload with different vape juices, and the simplicity of the vape pen makes it a great long term solution for plenty of vapers.
A pod vape is related to a vape pen, but with a couple of small but key differences.
In essence, a pod vape is a two-piece version of the vape pen, featuring a battery and a separate pod with the juice. So while a vape pen sometimes has detachable parts, a pod vape will always have detachable parts.
Typically, the pod is refillable. It’s often reusable as well. Overall, a pod vape is a fairly simple but effective system. The tank is generally quite small; often, it’s even smaller and simpler than that of a vape pen.
Pod vapes are appealing for their simplicity, compact nature, and ease of use. They’re convenient, allow a little bit more customization than an e-cigarette, but remain simple and uncomplicated.
Advanced Vape Devices
Been vaping for a little while? It’s totally natural that after you’ve gotten comfortable with vaping, you’ll begin to get curious about different techniques...and maybe some of the cool tricks like cloud chasing that are only possible with more advanced devices.
But once you’ve decided to take vaping to the next level...where should you get started? Making the jump from a vape pen to an advanced device can be challenging, because you really need to consider what you’re looking for from the experience and to choose the device that will give you what you need.
Beginner vapes are easier to understand, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick with them forever. There’s plenty of fun to be had with more advanced mods...so let’s talk about them!
What’s a Vape Mod?
First, let’s get very clear on what a vape mod is, and how it’s different from other vape devices.
A vape mod (short for “modification,” in case you were wondering) is a personal vape device that can be personalized in a variety of ways.
The high level of customization means that no two mods are going to be identical. The features will vary slightly from device to device. But don’t be scared off by that fact: think of it as anything else that can be customized. It’s an opportunity to really tailor the experience to your specific desires and needs!
In general, a vape mod is going to be bigger than simpler devices like vape pens or e-cigarettes. Why? Because they have bigger batteries and / or tanks. Yes, it’s a little bulkier in your pocket or your bag, but there are benefits that more than make up for it.
You see, that bigger battery and tank add up to higher vapor production and many more advanced features. The high level of customization that’s possible with vape mods allows you to personalize the device so it suits your unique needs, experience, and vape personality!
There are many different types of vape mods. However, most will fall into two main categories: regulated and unregulated. Let’s talk about it:
Regulated Vs Unregulated Mods
So...what’s the difference between a regulated and unregulated mod? Here’s the short and sweet version:
Regulated Mods: With a regulated mod, you’ve got a device that features a circuit board and safety protections. This helps regulate the power flow and current on the device. Most box mods (we’ll talk about those shortly) are regulated.
Unregulated Mods: With an unregulated mod, there’s no circuit board or safety protection. Usually, these are self-built. Some examples of unregulated mods? Mechanical mods and semi-mechanical mods. Because they feature fewer safety precautions, it’s on you to be extremely diligent about staying safe. It’s very helpful to have a working understanding of battery safety and vital to take extra safety precautions when using an unregulated mod.
OK, now that we’ve given you the spiel on mods, let’s dig in and discuss some of the key types of advanced mods to explore when you’re ready to upgrade your vape device.
A box mod is bigger and stronger than the vape devices we’ve discussed so far like vape pens and disposable vape devices.
The first thing you’ll notice is that with a box mod, you’re exiting the cigarette-like territory in terms of the device’s visual appearance. As the name promises, it’s a bit boxier and bulkier than the compact devices we’ve talked about so far. But it’s bigger for a good reason: it packs a more powerful punch in terms of its capabilities.
The extra size allows for a bigger and better battery, so you will get better performance and typically a longer battery life.
In general, box mods are going to come with quite a few more bells and whistles than compact devices, like variable wattage, temperature controls, and the ability to personalize your configuration. How ‘bout the vape experience? In terms of atomizer/tank, a box mods can be configured with clearomizers or with sub-ohm tanks.
Whoa, what’s a clearomizer or sub-ohm tank? Let’s take a time-out to explore:
It might sound kind of space-age, but the reason behind the name is...well, clear. A clearomizer is a tank that is transparent, allowing you to see the level of vape juice remaining. Handy!
A clearomizer is a fairly narrow cylindrical tube that contains a wick and coil at either top or bottom of a liquid-filled tank. Since it’s transparent, you can monitor how much vape juice is left, meaning you’re less likely to get a burnt aftertaste because you misjudged the fullness level.
Depending on the clearomizer, either the top or the bottom can be unscrewed, allowing easy removal of the cap so that you can quickly refill the tank or replace the coil as needed. This is pretty helpful and a clear advantage over the cartomizer (another type of atomizer/tank), since replacing the coil is cheaper than replacing the whole tank.
Additionally, the wick is threaded through the coil and just out slightly into the tank. This is a good thing, as it allows the wick to draw additional liquid to the coil, making for higher efficiency in the heat dispersion and overall better vapor production.
However, the clearomizer isn’t extremely powerful. It often can’t be upgraded for a different mod, so it doesn’t have too much growth potential. Additionally, if you’re a frequent vaper, it also might not be the best route, as it’s limited in terms of vape juice capacity.
Sub-ohm tanks have a very cool name, and if you’re a frequent vaper, they offer some very cool perks.
The sub-ohm tank gets its name from a measure of electrical resistance, aka the ohm. In the context of vaping, ohms are determined by the resistance of the coils, and the battery’s output. The sub-ohm tank features lower resistance coils...typically under one ohm.
With vaping, low resistance means that these coils are more tolerant of wattage, so you can turn up the volume on your vape experience. If you’re looking for the ultimate in cloud chasing, sub-ohm vaping can give you the power to find that experience. It can also offer a superior flavor.
This is all owing to the higher power of the sub-ohm tank. But keep this in mind: to fuel all that awesome vape power, it’s going to need more vape juice. The sub-ohm tank has a bigger wick to that end, allowing fuller saturation.
Sub-ohm tanks are great for higher VG juices, which are the gateway to cloud chasing. Curious about vape juice and the differences between various types? Check out this post.
Oh, and sub-ohm tanks also work with temperature control coils. This allows you to control the temperature versus the wattage, giving you a smoother vape experience and helping you avoid dry, burnt-tasting hits.
The capacity is also pretty high––up to 6ml on the high end. The cloud production and great flavor and high level control round it out.
Sub-ohm tanks generally require a higher power device. Take care to choose carefully. It’s important that you check the minimum resistance levels if you’re purchasing a tank and your mod separately!
Sub-ohm tanks do require a higher powered mod. They also require more diligence about your battery. Oh, and they’ll cost a bit more. But you’ll be rewarded with more personalization that will make it worth it!
Curious about the different types of atomizers/tanks? Check out this post.
This is where mods start to get a little bit more involved, and where newbies tend to get super intimidated.
Rebuildables, also called Rebuildable Atomizers (or RBAs for short) can be kind of confusing at first, but when you break it down, they’re not incredibly hard to understand. Yes, you’ll probably go through a learning curve when you first enter the incredible world of RBAs, but for vape enthusiasts, this is the upper echelon and the ultimate vape experience!
RBAs are mods that you create. As part of that process, you’ll be responsible for building your own coils. Don’t get too scared––all that means is that you’re wrapping it, adding a wick, and affixing it to your system.
Some people might be tempted to say “too hard” and consider it a wash. But once you’ve worked up to this level and given it a try, you may find that the experience is so great that there’s no turning back!
The exact methodology you employ to build out your system will vary. It will depend on the type of RBA, and what type of vape experience you’re hoping for.
Enthusiasts will be quick to tell you that an RBA has better performance, superior flavor, and yields better clouds. While the initial expense of your setup will be higher, over time the cost of replacing coils is cheaper than continually upgrading your device or buying disposables.
When it comes to RBAs, there are all sorts, but there are two primary types: an RDA (short for rebuildable drip atomizer) and an RTA (short for rebuildable tank atomizer). Let’s talk about ‘em:
Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA)
An RDA takes the traditional configuration of a vape device and turns it on its head. Instead of the traditional tank, it offers an alternative method of vaping where you constantly drip more juice directly onto the atomizer.
Instead of a reservoir that holds the vape juice, you are constantly directing the juice right to the heat and vaporization source. It’s simpler in terms of construction, but it can be a little trickier to actually configure.
For one thing, it’s going to be necessary to manually wrap your own coil. There are two tiny posts that you’ll need to contend with, wrapping the coil and inserting a wick in the center.
For another, you’re going to have to be extremely vigilant about monitoring the saturation level of your wick. Since the wick delivers the juice right to the atomizer, it’s going to dry out a lot faster than with a traditional setup. You don’t want it to dry out––not only will this result in a burnt taste, but it could damage your device over time.
To use the RDA, you’ll do something called dripping. As the name implies, you’re going to be frequently dripping vape juice onto the wick. Then, you can vape until it’s been depleted––it will depend on your style of vaping and the juice, but approximately every 10 puffs or so you’ll need to replenish. It’s important to note that you’ve got to have a somewhat steady hand, because you don’t want that vape juice dripping all over!
Mastering dripping and RDAs does take a little practice, and requires a little bit more work. However, for some vapers, it’s worth it.
RDAs are considered one of the best types of vape devices for extreme cloud chasing. It allows you to attain huge, fluffy clouds...and for some vapers, an RDA also has superior flavor than that of a traditional tank.
Curious to learn more about RDAs? Check out this post.
Rebuildable Tank Atomizers (RTA)
Now that you already understand what an RDA is, it’s not going to be too hard to understand an RTA. Short for Rebuildable Tank Atomizer, the RTA is similar, but with an important difference: it comes with a refillable tank.
For vapers who love hte high level of customization that’s only possible with RBAs but prefer not to constantly drip vape juice onto the coil, the RTA is heaven-sent. It doesn’t require as much ongoing work.
Appearance-wise, an RTA resembles a traditional sub-ohm tank. However, the inner workings have a few key differences.
With an RTA, as with its companion the RDA, you’ll be responsible for manually wrapping coils. It will be wrapped around two tiny posts, with a wick inserted in the center.
In this case, though, you’ve got a tank where you can store an extra reserve of vape juice. So instead of continually dripping juice onto the coil, you’ve got the nice high power that comes with an RBA, but you can rest assured that you’ve got some fuel in the tank for on the go vaping.
If you’re vaping while out and about, this can be a great advantage! Yes, it’s going to require a little more work than a vape pen or box mod, but you have greater control of the flavor intensity and cloud production, which makes it worth it for many vapers.
Squonk mods are one of the new kids on the block when it comes to vaping, so they’re not as well understood as some other vape devices. So first, let’s take a moment to talk about what squonking is...and what it isn’t.
In essence, squonking is the opposite of a traditional RDA system. It’s an alternative to help address some of the potential drawbacks of RDAs.
For one, dripping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. With an RDA, it’s necessary to keep dripping vape juice onto the atomizer. While this allows you to generate some impressive clouds, it can get a little tiresome. Squonking offers a different sort of solution.
A squonk mod features a bottom-fed rebuildable tank atomizer. These tanks have a larger capacity, meaning you don’t need to have all sorts of extra vape juice on hand when you’re out and about.
When you use a squonk mod, you’ve got a built-in squeeze bottle. This lets you drip the vape juice right through a feeding hole onto the atomizer. So it’s similar to how an RDA works but you don’t have to do the dripping as manually. It offers a similar effect but without the need to drip with a steady hand. Sometimes, a squonk mod is even made with an altered RDA.
Usually, there will be a clear or translucent plastic tank on a squonk mod. This allows you to view how much liquid is in the tank. It also allows you to monitor the liquid distribution.
Why call it squonking? Unfortunately, there’s not necessarily a clear cut answer. Then again, as we shared in this post about squonking, the Squonk is said to be a mythical creature...maybe the magic of squonking is inspired by the Squonk?
Squonking is still vaping, but it’s a little bit different than the traditional style you think of with a vape pen or standard mod.
Ready to learn more about squonking? Check out this post.
What’s the Best Vape Device For You?
Now that you’re educated on the different types of vape devices, it’s time to consider what type might be best for you. Need some clarity? Here are some good questions to ask yourself:
- Does size matter? If you’re looking for a compact device, you might want to stick with a pen or pod device. If size isn’t a huge priority for you but the experience is, you might want to consider another type.
- What are your objectives? Are you looking for a device that can hold a lot of vape juice, so that you don't have to worry about refilling? Or, are you looking for a device that will generate the most clouds, even if it means dripping? Consider your objectives to narrow down the choices.
- Are you excited about customizing your mod? If you’re excited about building the mod of your dreams, RBAs could be an exciting step. If you prefer to have someone else do the work, a more traditional tank or compact device might be better suited to your style.
- What’s your price range? The price range of vape devices can vary quite greatly. However, keep in mind that while some devices might require a bigger expense from the outset, they can actually save you money over time.
These are just a few questions you can ask yourself to narrow down the choices!
The Final Word on The Different Types of Vape Devices
It can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed by the many different vape devices on the market. Education is key to helping you make the best choices! We hope that this post has taken some of the mystery out of vape devices so that you can make a better determination about what type is just right for you and the experience you’re looking for.
Need help? We’re happy to assist. Reach out to the Blazed Vapes team with any questions!
What type of vape device do you like best...and why? We want to hear from you!
- Blazed Vapes Staff