Welcome to IEC, The Best E-cig and E-liquid Guide for 2016
We have reviewed the best and most popular e-cigs so you don’t have to. With literally thousands of vaporizers out there and hundreds of thousands of e-liquid flavors, it can be difficult (and expensive) to find the best device or juice for your needs. In fact finding the perfect e-cig can be overwhelming when you are trying to sort through all the high-pressure e-cig review sites, and that is exactly why we started IEC, to help make sense of all the different e-cig styles and options available. Thanks for visiting and don’t forget to bookmark us!
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Open Accordion To Learn About Each Type Of Popular Vaporizer
Buying a carefully crafted bottle of quality vape juice (aka e-juice or e-liquid) can make your vaping experience much more enjoyable. The opposite can be also be said for a bottle of cheap, imported e-juice.
Think of vape juice like you would a pack of smokes. You probably didn’t buy the cheapest pack of smokes, simply because it doesn’t taste the same as your regular brand. Picking the best vape juice to suit your taste is probably the most crucial decision you will make when it comes to switching to e-cigs, or sticking to using them and not going back to tobacco.
The e-juice world is growing at a massive rate, and it helps to have a helping hand to guide you through it. Whether it’s sifting through the 1000’s of popular flavor options, deciding on which nicotine strength to choose, or fine tuning your PG/VG ratio – we have you covered.
You will probably spend more time searching for the perfect flavored e-liquid than you will spend looking for your next (or first) vaping device because there are many more choices of e-juice than there are e-cig devices. Some people need more vapor, and some require more flavorings. This is up to you on what you want.
I have my personal preferences on how I like my vape juice to taste and you will also. The wide range of e-juice flavors is another one of the many benefits of e-cigs. You can choose any type of flavor imaginable from a rich tobacco to sweet candy flavors. The best flavor for you is the one that satisfies you the most.
To help you find the best e-juice flavors on the market, we have done all the legwork and narrowed down the 100’s of vendors out there to an easier to navigate list of options.
One of the first things you need to decide is if you like a sweeter taste, like a fruit flavor, or a real tobacco taste. At first, many smokers prefer an e-juice with a tobacco taste, but many will gradually shift into sweeter flavors like apple or strawberry. If you need more vapor, get some e-juice with a higher ratio of vegetable glycerin (VG) in it.
The liquids that produce a ton of vapor usually contain a higher VG blend to bring out the vapor and reduce the sweetness. As a rule of thumb, the more VG, the more vapor and less taste. On the other side, the more PG in the e-juice, the more you taste the flavors, but the less vapor production you will have. I like my e-liquid mixed with 70% PG and 30% VG, but this is a personal preference. It is beneficial to make sure the nicotine liquid you buy is made of quality ingredients and under strictly controlled conditions.
If you buy the cheapest e-juice… you will get the cheapest e-juice. Even the highest quality e-juice is usually much cheaper than smoking, so don’t buy e-juice based on cost! Most reputable nicotine liquid suppliers will explain what is in their nicotine liquid and what conditions their e-juice is mixed under. As a rule of thumb, I always look for a mid-grade juice from a well-know vendor.
With so many factors to keep in mind when generating a “top vendors” section, it can be overwhelming on what exactly to look for. One simple rule we follow – USA MADE ONLY. Quality control is vital and American e-juice facilities have the highest standards. Taste, of course, has to be top-notch and a justifiable price tag.
Choosing your nicotine liquid can be the make-or-break moment for many vapers. If you can find a flavor you like, you will find yourself smoking less and vaping more. So take your time and try some of the thousands of different flavors till you find a few you like. I recommend buying 3-9 flavors to try at first and then just keep experimenting till you narrow it down to what works best for you. It may take some time and a few bottles of e-juice, but in the end it will be worth it!
This list of America’s best e-juice on this page shows some of the highest quality e-liquids at more than reasonable prices, they also take exceptional pride crafting these awesome concoctions. They also represent the highest standards that I personally think necessary when it comes to producing the highest quality e-liquids.
If you are looking for a good deal on quality e-juice, check out our e-cig deals page to see if you favorite vendor is having a sale. Try a few of the flavors that you might like and don’t be afraid to mix some different flavors up.
These are our favorite ejuice flavors/vendors that have kept us from going back to cigarettes, and we are confident you will find that winning e-juice!
You’ve used disposables from the gas station – and you quickly realized that they weren’t a good solution for you. Whether if it’s because the didn’t taste that good or they didn’t provide you a satisfying of a throat hit, they just didn’t work. You’ve tried using your buddy’s vape pen and seemed like it required more time and effort than you care to devote to it.
You want to find an e-cig that works, but taking on another daily commitment is not the answer. Cig-a-likes look remarkably similar to disposables so what’s the big difference? Realistically, everything from the taste – throat hit (not to mention the savings over the long haul) is all far greater with a cig-a-like starter kit.
Disposables have a place, and I am not knocking them, but most of us need more out of our vaping experience. Most people in this scenario have found that a rechargeable “cig-a-like” is the perfect solution. This style of electronic cigarette fits right between the two styles mentioned above and can cost you much less than either of them.
This method always starts off with a “kit” to get you everything you need to get started. The best starter kits that we have found will provide you with:
- At least 1 rechargeable battery – usually at least two so you can have an extra battery for travel
- Pre-filled flavor cartridges – you simply pick the flavor and nicotine strength
- Multiple chargers – usually one for home and a USB one
- A carrying case of some sort
The great thing about these rechargeable e-cigs is that the only thing you have to purchase is the flavor cartridges after the original kit. Most vendors offer heavy discounts on their cartridges and offer multiple flavors to choose from something that you are going to be more open to after a few weeks with your new device. Most cartridges come in a pack of five (5) and run between $10 – $20.
With the typical cartridge lasting a few days, you can see how the savings could add up quickly. So they are not only a better alternative to smoking, they are far less expensive. Even though these may look like that e-cig you bought at the gas station a few weeks ago – they will offer you much more than that and on a much higher quality level.
Unlike that throwaway, the cig-a-likes are a battery with a flavor cartridge screwed on one end. The battery on a full charge will typically last even the heaviest smoker most of the day, (light smokers can usually go a day and a half). Thanks to the multiple chargers that come with most kits – you can charge it back up quickly in your car, at the office, and even from your laptop.
The pre-filled flavor cartridges typically last two or three days with a heavy smoker and longer of course with a light smoker. Once it’s empty, you simply toss it and screw on a new one. The best cig-a-like kits keep the whole day-to-day process extremely simple – which only helps to encourage you to stick with it!
Unlike a disposable, the rechargeable battery in a cig-a-like helps provide more power, this, in turn, results in a much more fuller throat hit/vapor output and replicates the traditional cigarette much more closely. When it comes to taste, well that’s obviously in the eye of the beholder. I may say one vendors tobacco flavor is excellent but you may think otherwise, with that said it’s always wise to grab a few flavors in the beginning until you find that one that keeps you going.
Unlike a vape pen, there is no messy e-juice to fiddle around with, possible leaky tanks, or bulky devices to haul around. Keep this in mind, the ultimate goal is to keep you from grabbing that cigarette. If these work for you, that’s great if you need more vapor than moving up a to vape pen might be the answer.
Almost all veteran vapers started with a cig-a-like kit, some stayed with it, some moved on to bigger devices, and, unfortunately, some went back to tobacco. Besides the latter, if the flavor is what is keeping you from vaping, rest assured there is a solution because every vendor’s traditional flavors will all taste different compared to one another. One part of making our favorite starter kit list is the flavor that these vendors offer because when you first start vaping it HAS to taste good.
If you do not get the satisfaction you were looking for with a cig-a-like, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t give up! These work for many smokers, but many other smokers have found that they need more throat hit or vapor. If you are new to vaping, start here and move up to a bigger. more powerful device, if you need to.
When e-cigs first hit the market, there were few options to choose from and flavors were limited. What we call “cig-a-likes”, or disposables, were pretty much your only choices, and they were/are the most basic e-cig you can buy. This was great for some, but most felt they needed more power/vapor and simply a better overall experience to keep them from going back to their traditional smokes. Thankfully the vape pen ( or “e-go”) was born a few years later and what it did was only change the vaping world forever.
The vape pen opened us up to a whole new vaping experience. Thanks to the addition of a “tank” to hold your choice of e-juice and a much bigger battery, the daily vaper now had a vaping device that they could use all day. The vape pen tank is what holds the e-juice. Most vape pen tanks are very easy to take apart for re-filling and typically are built from plastic, resulting in more durability. These little changes would help bring vaping to a whole new level!
Most vapers prefer vape pens over the bigger mod style ecigs due to their simplicity, ease of use, and overall size. The majority of vape pens are rather thin and are easy to conceal, and easy to use due to the lack of buttons and power setups. These devices are pretty straight-forward when getting setup. Unscrew the tank lid, fill the tank with juice, twist it back together and screw it to the battery – and that’s it!
For those who want a little more control of their vaping experience, we have put a few of our favorite pens that give you the option to increase/decrease the voltage with a few simple clicks of a button, on our “best vape pen” list.
The best vape pen kits will supply you with everything you need to get started ( in most cases they offer at least one bottle of ejuice). At least one battery, sometimes two, an ejuice tank, and typically two chargers – one for home and one for the computer USB. After you settle on a device – and even if they give you one bottle of eliquid – we highly recommend
After you settle on a device – and even if they give you one bottle of eliquid – we highly recommend picking up a few different flavors. Two reasons for this are 1.) It may take a few different flavors to find one you like – if you only have one flavor, and it’s not what you expected or simply didn’t like it you’re going to be stuck with it until you buy more. And that takes us to reason number 2.) You never want to run out of ejuice! – this is the worst possible scenario when vaping, cause you know what the alternative is…. Plus you won’t know exactly how long a bottle will last you in the beginning – as this varies from person to person. For me, a 15ml bottle typically lasts for a couple days.
Another feature that some of the most modern vape pens are capable of being used with is “dry herbs”. These are becoming more and more popular recently due the increase of marijuana use thanks to it becoming more and more legal throughout the US. Vaporizers that burn dry herbs only produce vapor from the actual user, as the device only produces vapor from the tip (inhale point). Since the herbs are being, well..vaporized.. this method can be much more efficient to that of a traditional smoking session and potentially making marijuana far more potent so approach with caution.
Aromatherapists have recently been encouraging patients who burn certain herbs and flowers for therapeutic reasons to look into purchasing a vape pen of some sort to simplify the process. Regardless of what you are vaping – a vape pen will make the whole process simpler and with less mess. Waxes and oils round out the third option that a select few vape pens can vaporize. The same concept as with e-juice and dry herbs, these “ingredients” may require a designated tank for them so pay close attention to what comes in the kit that you’re possibly looking at purchasing. V2, for example, has a kit that you can add additional tanks to at the checkout.
Alright so you’ve graduated from the smaller vape pens or other starter kits, and you’re positive that vaping is the right choice for you. What you have works well, but you’re looking for an upgrade from what you have right now, maybe something a bit more powerful and more durable than your current setup. Enter Vape MODS.
When you see pictures or videos online of people boasting about incredible taste and huge over the top clouds of thick, dense vapors, they are using vape MODs or MODs for short. Now these devices are a little older in most cases than say the newer more popular box mod styles. Vape mods, “tube mods”( and in the early days “personal vaporizers”) were at one time at the top of the ecig food chain and with the overwhelming popularity of box mods, they have taken the peripheral back seat to them as of late.
Vape MODs are more geared towards intermediate and advanced vapers who want to get more out of their vaping experience. In fact, if you were still unsure whether e-cigs could be a viable replacement for your regular cigarettes, MODs will without a doubt push you over the fence towards completely switching to ecigs entirely.
The tube mod come in a typical cylinder shape and usually range from 6″ as large as 12″ depending on the size of tank you are using. It’s recommended, when purchasing your first vape mod that it is in a “kit” format to ensure you get everything you need to get started.
Vape MODs are more powerful, with longer battery life, and more durable than EGOs or Cig-a-Likes. MODs also have regulated power that is the power can be adjusted as well with safety measures to prevent over discharge and shorts from happening. They are often accompanied an LCD/LED screen to display battery life, puff count, atomizer resistance, voltage/wattage being outputted, and some even have customizable wallpapers!
Most of your tube vaporizers will use an external rechargeable battery normally an IMR 18650 battery. Since the lower power MODs have a lower amp limit, searching for a battery with a high amp limit is not necessary. Instead, something with the larger battery (higher mah rating) is suggested instead. For the most part, a single charge could last two to three days without needing another charge. Your MOD will let you know when the battery needs charging; in fact, the device will not fire if your battery gets too low as a safety precaution. In addition to higher power and longer battery life, you’ll also find the MOD style to be more durable in nature.
Often MODs will have a metallic housing normally stainless steel or aluminum. The metallic casing makes the unit heavier and larger than what you are used to, but it also means it can withstand drops and wear and tear without any issues.
What makes MODs truly stand out is the built in screen. At times I’ve often forgotten to charge my vape pen battery or if I have 2 pens, and forgot which one is charged and which one isn’t. With the built-in screen, my MOD lets me know exactly how much of a charge I have left so I’ll never be with a dead e-cig in the middle of the day! The ability to set a wattage or voltage is a great feature as well. Depending on what atomizer I have, some perform better at different levels of power.
With the built-in screen, I can adjust accordingly and depending on which atomizer I am using that day, I can quickly and accurately adjust to the power setting I enjoy with a touch of a button.
If you just can’t get used to the feel of using a box type device, well technology has finally caught up as newer devices now have the DNA chip or the SX350 chips built in the form of a tube-like device! With the capability of reaching such enormous levels of power, many users have abandoned clearomizers and have instead opted for rebuildable atomizers. As nice as clearomizers and cartomizers are, the stock coils are not capable of reaching these high powered devices fullest potential. Often when using a clearomizer with a high powered device, when the user adjusts to a higher setting, the power will burn out the internal coils of the atomizer.
MODs will completely change your outlook on e-cigs entirely. If you are used to a warmer more intense feel similar to a regular cigarette that the EGOs and Cig-a-Likes could not provide, vape MODs can not only match it, it will surpass it. If you are looking for a better vapor production, MODs will not only meet your expectations, it will exceed them. Personally, there have been times that the vapor production has been too much! Don’t worry about buyer’s remorse, I assure you MODs are a great investment and worth the upgrade.
When searching for your next best e-cigarette, you will eventually come across box mods. Box mods seem to have what many vapers are looking for. They are extremely popular as a second or third device thanks to their many features, their size, and their increasingly simplistic use. A majority of faithful vapers have moved into this category, and rarely do they fall out of it.
The box mod gives vapers everything you want, from power to size to allowing full control of your settings – or the ease of a simple “turn it on and go”, the right box mod will fit the bill when looking for a great vaporizer.
When referencing the box mod, I will be generalizing features and what they offer. Grant it, there are exotic boxes out there that will be “on an island” so to speak, whether it’s from their need for a specific battery or a proprietary tank, etc., etc. But the majority of these devices all fall under the same style categories, and certain aspects can be mixed and matched. One of the most important factors among box mods is that almost all of the latest devices come equipped with a 510 connection, this allows the user to choose from a plethora of tank styles.
Since 510 threading is pretty much industry standard, manufacturers now give us tons of options to choose from for our tank, from the color and size, your personal preference in tips, and even the amount of airflow that comes through. The right tank can make all the difference for a good vaping experience, and the box gives you the freedom to use practically any tank you want.
For most vapers, getting a new tank is a highlight and something that is highly looked forward to. The best thing about box mods is the ability to have access to all the power and customizability you want. The majority of box mods now give you greater access to dialing in that perfect vape. Here are a few of the relevant options that most mods offer, find what features and flexibility are important to you and go from there.
- Adjusting the wattage & voltage ( individual models even allow for temperature control)
- Wide variety of compatible tanks to choose from (sub ohm/ non-sub ohm – depending on amps)
- Size – from massive to miniature – you can find what appeals to you
- Screen sizes and clarity – regardless of what environment you’re in – there is a screen perfect for you.
- Overall look & design – with all the different shapes and sizes finding that awesome box won’t be hard
- Getting the most out of each charge – batteries are lasting longer than ever
- Upgradeable via USB (certain models)
These attributes are just a few reasons why the box mod has quickly taken over the top spot when dealing with the best vaporizers. The once reigning “mech mod” is rapidly becoming obsolete thanks to the box mod. The ability to now find an e-cig that hits upon all the features and personalization that you want is easier than ever.
With new box mods coming out regularly it’s almost impossible not to find something that is right up your alley. With the advancement of box mod technology the ease of adjusting your settings and targeting in that perfect vape have never been easier. With all the options in this category to choose from, how do you know what’s right for you? Here are few rules of thumb when looking for that first box mod:
- More watts isn’t always the way to go – 50w is typically plenty – especially for new users – 30w should be your minimum allowing you to grow without having to buy a new device.
- Battery Options – More and more of the newer models come with a built-in non-removeable battery. Reviews are important to check out to see if others have had issues with the model you are looking at. Keep in mind if the model you are looking at buying has a removable battery you may have to purchase one separately. This option allows for more freedom by not having to be connected to a cord but the demand on the battery door will be high and can eventually cause problems with constantly taking it on and off.
- Price -Don’t let price dictate anything when searching for a box mod. Some of the best boxes we’ve used have been under $50. Of course, our list will show you a few that fall into this category that we fell in love with but if your search takes you elsewhere keep an eye out for more expensive mods gettings better reviews than cheaper ones as there may be a hidden agenda for your dollar.
- Kit vs. Device Only -This is an issue I personally came across with my first purchase of a box. Make sure when buying your first mod that you get a “kit” instead of the “device only”. A kit should give you a battery, a tank, and, at least, one charger to get you going. With your 2nd box down the road, you can save a couple of bucks on because you will probably only need the device itself.
The herbal vaporizer – thanks to recent marijuana laws being passed – are quickly becoming a lot more popular and come in many different styles. These easy to use vaping devices have revolutionized on how dry herbs are “smoked”, and I personally think that using an herbal vaporizer just makes the whole experience an easier and cleaner one.
One of the primary benefits with these vaporizers is the efficiency that is obtained by “vaping” instead of burning. Your dry herb will go much farther compared to typical stand-by ways of the past, which ultimately should save you money in the long run. The herbal vape pen (or portable herb vape) is the smaller, more compact version in the herbal vaporizer lineup. They range in size of 3″ to 8″ long and come in many different shapes and are usually easy to conceal. Unlike its bigger predecessor, the desktop vaporizer, the pen style is built more for travel and being more discreet. Most herbal pens run between $20 to $120 and are the easiest to use out of all the herbal devices.
So how do they work exactly? The pen is very similar to that of an e-juice vaporizer as the components have closely resembled each other. Most herbal pens will have a built-in battery (charged via USB), a tank or holding area, and a trigger or fire button. The big difference from your typical vape pen is that the atomizer is made up of the coil(s) that surrounds the dry herb (instead of cotton wicks) and heats up with the push of a button – some devices only heat up when you take a drag. “On demand”, or “manual heating” options will typically only come with devices that hold small, personal size amounts of herb.
More advanced portable vaporizers will be turned on and will heat up after a few minutes; this allows for a consistent pull when you actually click the button for each hit. When dealing with maintenance for your herbal vape, the “screen” or flat metal plate in most devices, has to be cleaned regularly to get the most out of each “session”. Thankfully most herbal vape kits will provide you with a cleaning tool of some type. A “grinder” is highly recommended to have on hand as space within most vapes comes at a premium. The finer the better when trying to obtain the best experience out of each use.
The atomizer will go out over time (the coils simply burn out) but depending on what device you are using, of course, the replacement will vary in price. In most cases the atomizer replacements for herbal pens run between $20-$35 and typically last for a few months between replacements. With a screen inserted the actual vaping of the dry herbs will be intensified, and this can make the throat-hit less noticeable. Most prefer to actually “feel” the pull, and if the pen lets you to not have to have a screen, this may be something worth experimenting with. This will obviously vary with different devices.
Desktop Vaporizers Just as the name describes, these types of vaporizers are much larger and are used in a more tabletop, or “desktop” setting. The majority of desktop vapes are built to reach temperatures of 200 to 500 degrees (F) in a small time frame and is primarily built for more of group session than a solo or personal session.
These devices are for the highest level of enthusiasts who enjoy dry herb and aromatherapy styles of vaping. Basically, what these devices are designed for is pretty straightforward, a device that’s primarily used for vaping dry herbs and oils. The variety of botanicals to vape is always growing but the more popular items consists of:
- Cannabis (no details needed)
- Passiflora or Passion Flower extract (sedation)
- St John’s Wort (antidepressant – mood enhancer)
- Damiana Leaf (aphrodisiac)
- Aromatics (mint extract – eucalyptus – chamomile)
Desktop vaporizers typically come in at around $200 to $800 and obviously the features and options will increase with price. These are not cheap but thankfully most vendors offer a long warranty and most desktops are solidly built and stand us well vs the test of time. To describe in detail how exactly these things work would end up in a very long read – so to make it easier on our viewers we’re going to let Vapor MC give you a nice, short, 101 breakdown!
Take a battery, a metal tube with some holes in the bottom for venting, an atomizer connection piece, and a firing switch to complete the electrical circuit and you have yourself a Mech mod. No circuit boards – no fancy LCD screen- and no regulations help put mech mods in a category all their own. The handoff from this basic setup – massive vapor output – to put it lightly.
These mods are the simplest electrical current in any device used for vaping. With just a battery in a tube and a firing switch, the mech mod is the Amish version of vaping due to its simplicity. With no built-in protection inside – it is highly recommended only the most experienced vapers use or work with this style of ecig. Common sense and some background/history in working with electricity are also encouraged. One significant aspect that mech mods do bring to the table is the massive amount of personal touch and creativity that comes with the stylings and designs of the mod itself.
Some of these “metal tubes” have been produced with amazing images and engravings that can get up into the $200-$300 dollar range due to the craftsmanship. When it comes to making a device truly yours – no other device allows for personal modification like the mech does. Most e-cig enthusiasts have probably owned at least two or three of these at one point and for a very short period in ecig history, they were the cream of the crop and besides the occasional battery mishap – life was good. Then two words came into our lives, and we’ve never looked back “box mod”.
The box mod quickly replaced the mech as the top dog and still continues to be the vessel of choice for most manufacturers. With the circuitry in box mods allowing for, in some cases 200watts of power and the atomizer to fire at 0.05 ohms, along with the security of overheating and reverse battery protection, box mods are a godsend to the vaping community.
Before the box mod came into the picture, the mech mod reigned supreme. With only the voltage from the battery truly dictating the power along with a sub ohm tank and some VG heavy ejuice, these monsters were responsible for the creation of “cloud chasers” that you see today. However, like most things that involve technology – progressive growth and demand have made the industry turn its focus on giving vapers the best of both worlds – power and safety. These evolutionary changes have rapidly turned the mech mod into a soon-to-be dinosaur.
With the rapid innovations and development of box mods, the mech mod category has gone from the top of the totem pole to now a piece primarily for hobbyists and collectors. These style e-cigs are like cowboys in the wild wild west. With no regulations, the circumstances of not being thorough when working with them can be downright dangerous, and many exploding ecig stories can account for this.
A good majority of these shocking stories can be tied to a mech mod not being used correctly or its power output being manipulated over its limit. One major factor to consider with the future of vaping is if some heavy-handed government regulations come down on ecigs or the FDA comes out with a negative statement about the use of electronic cigarettes, changes will be drastic.
The box mods and vape pens (or anything that would require a circuit board or more complex circuitry) might be hard to get your hands on. Thus the mech mod maybe a resurrected ecig dinosaur, so to speak. Thanks to its simplicity of a metal tube a battery (and some help with a how-to video) they might just be what we all in end up using someday.
We found this video from the BBC about e-cigs and thought it was well done and unbiased. It brings up some great points and talks about the pros and cons of e-cigs. Some of the best information available about the social impact as well as the health impact of using electronic cigarettes.
About E-Cig Twigg
My name is E-Cig Twigg and I smoked for over 20 years before I found electronic cigarettes. I want to share my experiences with you. This electronic cigarette guide is designed to help you find the perfect e-cigarette for your needs.
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