When it’s time to upgrade from your first e-cigarette or pod vaping system, a vape pen is the perfect choice. Today’s vape pens aren’t like the underpowered vape pens of the past. Just a few years ago, you really needed to buy something large – such as a dual-battery box mod – if you wanted to own a vaping device that could produce some serious clouds. Today, though, modern innovations such as the mesh coil have made it possible for smaller single-battery devices to generate room-filling clouds without requiring a great deal of power.
There has never been a better time to own a small single-battery vaping device – but how can you pick the best vape pen when there are so many different models available? In this vape pen buying guide, we’ll walk you through the most important features that a vape pen should have. When you’re done reading, it’ll be easy for you to narrow down your choices and select the best vape pen for your needs.
Built-in vs. Removable Battery
Most of the vape pens on the market today have built-in batteries. Vape pens with built-in batteries are small, light and inexpensive. If you buy a vape pen with a built-in battery, you don’t have to worry a great deal about safety issues because the battery is a permanent part of the device. Many battery accidents happen due to improper handling of removable batteries; using a battery with a damaged wrapper or carrying spare batteries in your pocket are both recipes for disaster.
The drawback of using a vape pen with a built-in battery is that when the battery stops holding a charge, the device is dead permanently unless you’re handy with a soldering iron. If you buy a vape pen with a removable battery, on the other hand, you can swap out dead batteries and continue using the device until the electronic components eventually fail.
- The iJOY Saber 100 is a vape pen with a removable battery.
- The UWell Whirl 22 is a vape pen with a built-in battery.
Single Button vs. Variable Wattage
Are you interested in a vape pen that can work with a variety of different tanks, or would you rather have a device that’s designed to provide the perfect vaping experience with the included tank? If you want a flexible device that’ll give you a good experience with many different tanks, you’ll want one with adjustable wattage settings. A single-button device generally provides the best possible experience only with the included tank. The benefit of having a vape pen with just one button, though, is that it’s extremely simple to use; just push the button and vape.
- The Aspire PockeX is a vape pen with a single button.
- The UWell Nunchaku is a vape pen with adjustable wattage settings.
What Is Bypass Mode?
If you buy a vape pen with adjustable wattage settings, it’ll most likely have a feature called “bypass mode” available. When you put the device in bypass mode, it’ll work as a single-button device that automatically sends the battery’s full available voltage to the tank at all times. Because bypass mode bypasses the device’s power regulation circuitry, it can make a tank fire almost instantly – like a mechanical mod. Bypass mode is better than a mechanical mod, though, because it doesn’t bypass the device’s safety features. You’ll still get short-circuit protection, overheating protection, battery over-current protection and more. With a fully charged battery, though, your device will operate at up to 4.2 volts. Some tanks may not perform well at that voltage.
Should I Buy a Mechanical Mod?
A mechanical mod is a type of vape pen that has no electronic components. You can usually identify a mechanical mod by the fact that it has a bottom-mounted fire button and no lights or indicators of any kind. Some people like mechanical mods because they’re inexpensive and easy to fix. Without any internal electronics to draw power away from the battery, a mechanical mod can also generate instant vapor when you press the button.
Mechanical mods do have a major drawback, though, in that they have no safety features. A mechanical mod can’t protect you from a short circuit, unsafe battery discharge or any other potentially dangerous situation. For that reason, mechanical mods are best left to vaping experts who understand battery safety and are prepared to accept the risks of using high-power lithium ion batteries.
Vape Pens vs. Box Mods
We compare vape pens vs. box mods in greater detail elsewhere on this site. In short, though, a box mod gives you significantly more power and flexibility in exchange for a higher cost and a less pocketable package. Many modern box mods use two batteries and operate at up to 200 watts or higher. If you want to use the most extreme coils and chase the biggest clouds, you’ll probably want to buy a box mod.
On the other hand, modern developments such as mesh coils – which have high surface area and low mass, allowing them to generate large clouds at low wattages – have made small, single-battery devices more viable for cloud chasing than ever. With the right tank and coil, you can enjoy some enormous clouds with a vape pen – and you’ll get those clouds from a device that fits in your pocket.
Vape Pens vs. Pod Vaping Systems
The major difference between pod vaping systems and advanced vape pens such as the ones mentioned in this article is that vape pens are much more powerful and produce far more vapor. Most modern vape pens include large tanks with wide mouthpieces. To use such a tank, you’ll inhale the vapor directly into your lungs. With a pod vaping system, on the other hand, you’ll inhale from the mouth to the lungs as if you were smoking a cigarette.
- A pod vaping system works best with nicotine salt e-liquids at high nicotine strengths. A pod vaping system gives you a strong throat hit like a cigarette.
- A vape pen works best with standard e-liquids at lower nicotine strengths. With lower-nicotine e-liquid, you’ll get less throat hit and richer flavors.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue
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