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El_Cadejo's avatar

What type of electronic cigarette should I get?

Asked by El_Cadejo (34365 points ) September 21st, 2012

There are just soooooo many brands of them out there that I really dont know which one I should get.

Some requirements:
Low cost preferably less than $30
Charge via usb
Wide variety of flavors

I dont care if it is the kind with the cartridges or the liquid refills though the liquids seem to be cheaper and come in more flavors so I’m leaning that way.

Anyone on here try an electronic cigarette that they’re really happy with?

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37 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

My wife has had the best luck with the “Blu” brand. I wouldn’t know personally though.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yea I looked at them but theyre a bit pricey. Ive met a few different people at school that have let me try theirs (both blu and other brands) and I dont see much difference in the blu one for it to cost twice as much.

Most of the people I know that have non blu e cigarettes recently got theirs so I’m not going to just run out and get one they have just because I dont know how reliable they are long term.

Thanks for the input though.

augustlan's avatar

I recently bought The Metro Platinum starter kit by Nicotek, and I’m pretty happy with it so far. The kit costs about $55, but it comes with two batteries (the white part of the ‘cigarette’), 10 cartridges (the filter looking part of the ‘cig’) which are roughly equal to 300 cigarettes, a house charger, a car charger, an adapter that works with both (usb), and a case.

If you haven’t tried one at all, I recommend buying a disposable one (mine was like 6 bucks for around 400 puffs) to see if you like it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan I’ve tried a few of my friends and have liked them. I’m addicted to the act of smoking, not the nicotine. Thats why I want to switch to something a bit healthier. I figure if I can be “smoking” vaporized water and flavoring without the nicotine and whatnot it’ll be better off for me. I’ll look into the Metro, thanks.

jerv's avatar

I have a Safecig Micro. Fairly inexpensive, and it comes in a normal-sized pack that holds two batteries, seven filters, and a USB charger. I got mine during a half-price sale, but it’s been far better than any of the others I’ve seen/tried, and it comes in 14 flavors. I went with the Moroccan; “A light Turkish blend of Oriental and Cypriot leaf flavorings anchors this ancient favorite. A high note of Vanilla is followed by a trace of black tea. it may not meet your price requirements right now, but they may have another sale soon. Either way, it’s far better than the one that I spent far more on. The battery lasts longer, the taste is better, and I can actually draw on it as opposed to feeling like I am sucking through a coffee stirrer.

augustlan's avatar

@uberbatman If you don’t need the nicotine, the Metro is perfect. The cartridges come in varying nicotine strengths, intended to help people eventually quit smoking. The lowest available? 0% nicotine. Pure water vapor with flavoring!

El_Cadejo's avatar

exactly what I’m looking for. I should probably quit smoking altogether but like I said above, it is an enjoyable act so that I find stress relieving so I’m pretty sure if I just gave it up all together I’d go crazy or something :P

Response moderated (Spam)
downtide's avatar

Oooh. E-cigs are my latest favourite hobby! I quit smoking 11 weeks ago with these.

Don’t bother with the ones that look like real cigarettes. In the long run they’re more expensive because they all have unique cartridges so you’re forced into buying just one brand (usually with nasty, poor quality flavours). Go for an interchangeable, refillable one.

A good one to start with is anything labelled “510”. This refers to the size of the thread that attaches the atomiser to the battery and means that you can buy spares from just about any e-cig supplier. (Atomisers don’t last long – you get a month or two’s use out of them before they start to taste burnt).

A kit like this would be an excellent start. A bit more expensive to begin with, but cheaper to run long-term.

Another good option is kits labelled Ego. These have bigger batteries which last longer, but they are heavier to hold and look less like a cigarette. This is the sort I use. Ego batteries will take both Ego and 510 attachments. 510 batteries will take an Ego-sized attachment only with an adapter.

There are also lots of options for the way of vaporising your liquid. Most kits come with an atomiser and refillable plastic cartridges which slowly drip liquid onto the heating element. You can also get cartomisers, which are atomisers wrapped up in wadding; the liquid soaks into the wadding. Or you can get clearomisers and tanks, where the atomiser is inside a tank of liquid; these are what I prefer.

When you buy your liquids you can get them in a range of nicotine strengths from 24mg (for heavy smokers) down to 0.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide great answer. thanks, I’m going to do a bit of reading on both and probably end up getting one of them.

El_Cadejo's avatar

crap, now I have a new problem…. what flavors to get… there are so many more possibilites then I even imagined on there like waffle? lol . I want them all.

Ok so now if I buy the Ego starter kit all I would need to purchase is the liquid flavoring right?

El_Cadejo's avatar

Alright I did some more reading and went with the Ego starter kit and got everything I need to start mixing my own flavors. I went for clove, lychee, zen garden, gingerbread, and mentholyptus. Cant wait to start trying them out. And when I was checking out in PayPal I realized I had 50 bucks in there so it only cost me 13 :)

downtide's avatar

@uberbatman Nice flavour selection you picked there. I got clove last week and it was extremely strong-tasting (flavour, not nicotine). Just one drop mixed with a cartridge-full of something else is more than enough. I don’t think I like it. My faves so far are menthol, cinnamon, apple and peach.

With an Ego I highly reccommend giving the Stardust Clearomisers a try.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide All I’ve been smoking for the past 2 years has been clove cigarettes so I think I’ll like it especially if its as strong as you say (since I consider djarums to be weak ever since they changed to “cigars”).

Its outstanding just how many flavors there are, I feel like I’m going to need to start collecting them and experimenting with different combinations and recipes. I just like the idea that I can now make flavors to pair with all kinds of foods or times of the day. (gingerbread will go great in the morning with my coffee). That and I was just realizing actually just how cheap the mix your own flavors are. These things are going to end up lasting me forever lol.

Do you have any tips you could give me as far as mixing goes? Such as ratios of things to use (I realize each flavor will be different but im just looking for a base formula). Or any other tips as far as enhancing the e-cigarette experience?

Next time I put in an order for more flavors or VG I’ll give the Stardust Clearomiser a try. Thanks again for all your help.

downtide's avatar

The best ratio of PG (propylene glycol) to VG (veg glycerine) is supposed to be about 2:1 but some people prefer a 50:50 mix and some go the other way. Pure VG won’t work though, it’s too gloopy and will clog an atty, but if you mix it with 10% water or vodka its ok. More PG gives you a better throat hit but less vapour, more VG gives less hit but more vapour.

There’s a nifty little calculator here to work out how much of each ingredient you need to get a given result: The only thing I will say is the flavour ratio defaults to 12%: most people go for between 5 and 10%. The rest is personal taste.

Also: get a bunch of little pipettes and keep one for each flavour. Even if you wash them out, some flavours will linger in them. Some flavours will linger in a cartridge/atomiser too, so you may want to get some spares so that the last liquid you had in there doesn’t taint the next one.

Crumpet's avatar

I bought one called ‘Zebra’
It was pretty good, but it didn’t stop me from wanting a proper ciggerette.
Don’t get me wrong, if your serious about quitting they are quite good, but I mainly just use mine on the train or in places where you can’t smoke.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Crumpet it never was about the tobacco for me. Ive smoked herbal cigs and well and while they’re better for you they usually taste like ass. So really I just need something tasty to “smoke” that wont kill me quite so fast :P

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide when you fill your cartridges up how many drops give or take does that usually need? I just got mine and I put 5–10 drops and it looks pretty saturated but I keep getting a really nasty burnt taste. Any advice?

downtide's avatar

@uberbatman Assuming you have a cartomiser (with wadding around the heating coil), a burnt taste is a sign that there’s not enough liquid in there. A gurgly sound when you draw means it’s over-filled. Without knowing exactly what cartridge/cartomiser you have I can’t say how much you’ll need, but if you experiment you should find the ideal amount between those two extremes.

If the cartridge/cartomiser tastes burnt with every draw, try washing it out with warm water and leaving it to dry for 24 hours. If it still tastes burnt after that, it’s not recoverable and you’ll need to discard it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide I think im going to go with the clearomisers. I found the right amount of liquid for the cartomizer but its really not a consistent experience. The first couple hits taste nice but then it seems as if the liquid in the cloth closet to the atomizer gets vaporized and there isnt much left for a bit until it soaks through. I feel like with just the straight liquid in the clearomiser it will be more consistent.

Im also definitely going to have to get some PG. I though I’d be ok with just the VG but it really isnt the same without that throat hit. Kinda takes some of the fulfillment out of the experience lol.

Last I think I need to probably get a smaller battery down the line. I dont mind that the Ego doesnt look like a real cigarette but the thing is too damn heavy and unbalanced which is just annoying. Not crazy with having to hit the button manually but I hear the manual ones vap better than the autos so I guess I’ll get used to it.

downtide's avatar

Clearomisers are definitely my favourites. If you’re after a smaller battery, try the Innokin 510. They’ll fit your cartomisers, and they’ll fit a clearo too, if you get an adapter (but they look a little silly on a 510 battery). You can, however, get mini clearos specially for the 510.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide Perfect. Thanks again for all your help.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide clearomisers just came in. Holy crap, cant believe how much better they work. Should have just went with them from the start.

downtide's avatar

@uberbatman did you get the V3 rebuildable ones? If you did, when the atomiser burns out you can replace just the atomiser head instead of the whole thing. (But be careful when unscrewing the clearo to take it off the battery. If you’re not careful you’ll unscrew the tank instead, and leak liquid everywhere!)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide I’m not really sure. Its not that big of a deal though since they were only a couple bucks each. I have been noticing my battery dying really fast with these clearomisers. Any idea what could be going on there?

downtide's avatar

How fast is really fast? Mine last pretty much all day, and if I’m vaping constantly (sat at my desk at home) one battery will last about 4 hours. If yours are lasting significantly less than that, I’d contact the people you bought them from.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide they lasted throughout the day fine with the carts but since switching to the clearomisers its been pretty wonky. Like sometimes they’ll last during the day, but other times it seems like 10 drags in the battery is dead. Ive already sent an email to liberty flights though so waiting it hear back from them.

downtide's avatar

@uberbatman it might be a problem with your charger – failing to make a proper connection sometimes and therefore not fully charging the battery. There’s a little pin in the end of the battery which you can perhaps lift it out a little with a pair of tweezers to make sure it gives a good connection. I find this helps.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide its the charger thats messed up. They’re sending me out a new one.

On the topic of flavors, would any type of food flavoring work or is it something special for the e cigs? I ask cause I have a bunch of different flavored extracts

downtide's avatar

You can’t use regular food flavourings. For one thing, they’re not concentrated enough. For another, they often contain oils which will damage your equipment. Best stick to flavourings made for the purpose.

However there are some things you can use; a few menthol crystals dissolved in proplyene glycol will work for menthol flavour. I’ve also heard of people steeping tobacco leaves in PG for tobacco flavours.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide ok thanks. Turns out im kinda allergic to PG. At least it seems that way. After I smoke my throat gets pretty red and itchy. Kinda sucks. Guess I’ll have to switch to just VG which is a shame cause I want that TH….

downtide's avatar

If you’re using VG, dilute it with about 5% neat vodka or distilled water.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@downtide yea thats what I was doing before the PG came in. Its just a shame I cant use it. Like I enjoy the straight VG but its too light IMO to completely replace smoking cigs. Its helped me cut back a lot but I still crave that feeling, ya know?

downtide's avatar

I know what you mean. VG on its own is too light.

Response moderated (Spam)
buert's avatar

I bought one from
It was ok, but I still craved a real cigarette cigarette.
The aftertaste from e-cigs is something hard to get used to
If your serious about quitting they are quite good, but I mainly just use mine in the office or in places where you can’t smoke.

downtide's avatar

@buert those cig-look-alike ones are generally not very good; poor quality liquid, an awful foam filler that tastes horrible, and very over-priced for what you get. The tanks are much better.

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