We have prepared the best e-liquid guide and reviewed top vaping juices brands of 2017 for you! Examine the differences between PG and VG formulas, discover how to decide on nicotine strength and flavors and find out which e-liquid have proven themselves to be the best on the market.
The Top E-liquid Brands
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#3:Black Note E-Liquid
#4: Mig Vapor’s E-Juices
#5: Mt. Baker E-Juices
#6: Vista Vapors E-Juices
How to Choose The Right E-Juice for You?
- Smooth and Subtly Sweet
- Full-Bodied Flavor
- Only 30 ml bottles
You have the perfect e-cig for your needs, but the bottle of e-liquid that originally came with it is now empty. Now what?
If the battery of an e-cig is the heart, and the atomizer is the brain, then e-liquid is its soul. Once you’ve run out of it, you’re left with a useless piece of tech.
With all the options and choices when it comes to e-liquids, how do you know which one to choose?
The first thing to consider when buying e-liquid is the flavor. Even if all the other variables – nicotine strength, PG or VG (explained later) and vapor production – are perfect, if you don’t like the flavor, the e-liquid won’t be used. Fortunately, e-liquids come in almost any flavor you could think of: fruity, food, cocktails, and of course, tobacco blends. Some of the companies will even allow you to mix your own vape juice using their easy-to-use web applications (like MigVapor’s Vimanna Bar Vape Juice Mixing Tool)
New users often choose tobacco blends that closely match the flavor of their favorite cigarette brands. Many e-liquid manufacturers know this, so they create various blends that mimic the taste of popular cigarettes.
Eventually, users get more adventurous and start to try out various fruit or food blends. Some prefer food flavors such as wafer, cake, or pizza, while others like fruity ones like grape, watermelon, or mango. There are also mixed blends, where various fruit, food, and tobacco flavors are mixed to create new and exotic flavors.
With all the mixing and virtually infinite blends that are possible, it’s only natural that cocktail flavors appear. Beer, brandy, and wine are just a sampling of alcohol-inspired flavors.
When choosing e-liquid flavors, start with the ones that you’re pretty sure you’ll like. Once you have a good stock of those, you can start experimenting with other flavors. Some people don’t buy e-liquids at all — they are making them on their own.
If you want to learn how to make your own vape juice at home, go ahead and check out our DIY E-Liquid Guide for everything you might need to start making them yourself (with the best recipes included).
It’s a Nicotine Thing
Once you’ve chosen your flavor, the next step is to determine your preferred nicotine strength.
Nicotine is the substance found in tobacco that makes cigarettes addictive. E-cigarettes are a safer way of ingesting nicotine that lets you closely control the nicotine content of what you’re ingesting. E-liquids come in varying nicotine strengths. The average ranges vary between 0%, 0.6%, 1.2%, 1.8%, 2.4% and 3.6% nicotine by volume. To calculate the strength, the nicotine percentage demonstrates how much nicotine is in each puff. The remaining percentage is water, PG or VG, and food-grade flavoring.
In other words, if you choose 1.2% nicotine strength, 1.2% is actual nicotine – the remaining 98.8% is water, PG or VG, and food-grade flavoring. Some companies prefer to list nicotine strength in milligrams. Instead of listing the nicotine value at 1.2%, they would say 12mg. These are the same levels, just listed differently. The higher the nicotine value, the more nicotine you will receive in each puff.
The amount of packs of analog cigarettes you are used to smoking in a day should guide your choice of e-liquid nicotine strength. The more cigarettes you are used to smoking, the higher the nicotine strength you should choose for a seamless transition. Over time, you can gradually decrease your nicotine intake by switching e-liquids until eventually you will be able to beat your addiction with few or no withdrawal symptoms.
0% – This liquid is appropriate for ex-smokers who have beaten their addiction to nicotine but still crave the oral fixation associated with smoking cigarettes, or for people who simply enjoy the act of vaping but don’t want to ingest any nicotine.
0.6% – This liquid is the lightest level on the market. It is slightly weaker than what’s found in a light cigarette. It’s recommended for people who used to smoke very little. It is commonly used as the last nicotine-containing e-liquid before quitting.
1.2% (12mg) – This liquid is commonly used by people who used to smoke light cigarettes and people who enjoy vaping but don’t have a strong need for nicotine.
1.8% (18mg) – This is a medium-strength e-liquid that is used by most former smokers and by vapers who prefer some nicotine in their liquids.
2.4% (24mg) – This is one of the strongest e-liquids available. It is recommended for heavy smokers who used to smoke about a pack a day.
3.6% (36mg) – This liquid has the heaviest concentration of nicotine that most vendors provide. It is mostly intended for very heavy smokers who used to smoke more than two packs a day.
It may take some time until you find a strength that best suits your personal needs. This can depend on your previous smoking habits as well as how you prefer to use your e-cigarette. If you like to continuously vape during the day, its best to choose a weaker nicotine level so as not to ingest too much and make yourself sick or make your addiction to nicotine worse. If, however, you prefer to only take a couple of puffs a day, you can consider a stronger e-liquid that will quickly satisfy your nicotine craving.
Getting the right nicotine strength is important because too little will make you vape more to compensate, while too much may give you headaches. A good rule is to start with medium strength, then decrease accordingly.
PG and VG — What Is It?
The main base solution in e-liquid is either Propylene Glycol (PG), Vegetable Glycerol (VG), or a combination of both. PG provides more flavor but produces weak vapor. VG is more viscous and has a slightly sweet taste – thus muting the flavor somewhat – but produces massive clouds of vapor.
Because of the differences in vape quality of both, manufacturers produce e-liquid that comes in an all-PG base, an all-VG base, or a mixture of the two in varying ratios.
We have prepared a guide to PG vs. VG for those who want to dig deeper into the topic. Check out this page to learn more.
However, there are people who are allergic to PG. If you find yourself itching, getting hives, or having a hard time breathing after vaping on a pure PG or PG/VG mix, you might need to acquire pure VG blends or at least, e-liquid with a mix ratio of 80% VG and 20% PG. Here’s the brief comparison of benefits of each type of e-liquids:
Test is Best
The sheer number of e-liquid mixing options can be overwhelming for any vaper, new or experienced. If at all possible, try to test flavors first before you make a purchase.
One brand’s mango flavor may taste different when compared to another brand’s mango flavor. Nicotine strength can also vary between two brands that advertise the same nicotine levels. You may find one brand’s 12mg strength to be perfect for you, while another with the same nicotine level might be too strong or too weak for your taste.
When purchasing from a brick and mortar store, most offer testers for customers to try. Online stores, however, are a different story. While you can’t test flavors from online stores, you can purchase special “tester packs.” These tester packs are usually a set of different flavors in smaller bottles, sold in 5, 10, or sometimes even 20 flavors per pack. You can choose varying levels of nicotine strengths as well when ordering to ensure you find the right combo for you.
It may take some time before you find the flavors, nicotine strength, and PG/VG ratio that works best for you. Don’t just settle for what’s immediately available. Part of the fun is trying new things, so don’t be afraid checking out other brands. Just be sure to buy high-quality liquid from established manufacturers. The money you save on the cheap stuff will end up costing you more in the long run.
All it takes is a little experimentation. Once you find a rhythm, you’ll be an experienced e-liquid consumer.
A Steep at a Time
If you’ve been to an experienced vaper’s home, take a look at where they are storing their e-liquid. You might notice that some, or all of the bottles, have their caps and nozzles removed. This practice is called steeping. It is when e-liquid is stored in an open container, exposed to the air, to allow the ingredients to settle.
Steeping enhances the flavor in e-liquid, especially tobacco flavors that do well after some maturing. Some flavors taste dramatically different after two to four weeks of steeping while others reach prime maturity after a couple of hours. It takes some trial and error, so many users often taste-test their steeped flavors every couple of hours or days to check if the taste has matured enough.
Steeping lets the ingredients in e-juice settle and fully blend. This fact especially applies to VG dominant or max VG flavors since VG is much more viscous than PG.
Users can try this for themselves. After getting a batch of flavors, taste one of the flavors, let it steep for a couple of days, and then try it again. The change in character will be apparent. Whether one is satisfied after several days – or a couple of weeks – of steeping depends on the user.
Some e-liquid manufacturers steep their e-liquid before putting it out on the market while some deliver theirs fresh from the mixing table. This variance explains why some e-liquids are ready to vape right away while others would do well with a little steeping time.
Storage and steeping go hand in hand, but whether you steep for flavor or just store for future use, be sure to practice basic safety precautions. Remember that nicotine is a controlled substance and contact with skin absorbs it quickly. Be sure always to store e-liquids in a safe place that is out of reach of children and pets.
Since caps and nozzles are removed when steeping, e-liquid can spill when knocked down. Users should take care not to store e-liquids near clothing, electrical devices, sockets, or anything else that might get damaged.
Some e-juice companies, like MigVapor, sell pre-steeped vape juices, which means that you don’t have to steep them to make the most of your vaping session.
Storing and steeping are a relatively simple practice. It takes time before one thoroughly enjoys their flavors, but users do not have to do anything else rather than wait. However, always practice basic safety precautions to avoid any accidents.
E-liquids and Safety
The health effects of long-term use of e-cigarettes remain untested and unknown. Several studies are currently trying to determine exactly how safe the use of e-cigarettes is. Nicotine is, of course, known to have some adverse effects on health as well as addictive properties, however, e-cigarettes can likely be considered to be a healthier method of delivering nicotine to the body than smoking.
It is important to consider that the contents of e-liquids can vary between different manufacturers and suppliers, so it’s best to choose well-known, reliable vendors when buying your e-liquids. Most of the best vendors sell their e-liquids in childproof packaging, which can be an important factor to take into consideration if you have or spend time around children.
As with vaping itself, be responsible.