The Top E-Cigarettes for 2016
#1 rated: VaporFi
VaporFi’s great selection of e-cigarettes for all types of vapers has brought them to the number one spot on our Top E-Cig Brands for 2016. This popular e-cig company offers starter kits built with quality and durability, regardless if it were meant for beginners or more advanced vapers.
VaporFi’s loyal customers particularly love how they offer the most cost-effective yet top-quality e-cigarettes that speak of power, portability, and battery life. VaporFi is continuously rising to fame, especially with their customizable e-liquid blends, which also rank first in our top e-juices for the year.
#2 rated: Mig Cigs
Mig Cigs, with their exceptional standards and philosophies in manufacturing their unique e-cigarette kits, has come to #2 spot on our best e-cigs list. This brand guarantees a consistent 4.2 voltage for every kit that they release and has been successful in pleasing their customers through endless improvements in their existing models. Mig Cigs cig-a-likes and vaporizers are exceptionally loved for their durability, power, and ease of use.
#3 rated: V2 Cigs
Gaining points from their wide range of e-cigarette options, V2 Cigs took the third place on our list. Offering their devices with pride in their performance, battery life, and power, V2 Cigs is also known for their line’s reasonable prices. Whether you are looking for beginner starter kits or more advanced vaping devices, V2 Cigs has something to offer that will suit your predilection.
They also have great tasting e-liquids that are created for the satisfaction of ex-smokers who want to switch to vaping.
#4 rated: Halo Cigs
Halo Cigs e-cigarettes must be very superior as this brand has managed to reach the fourth spot on our list despite having only two models to offer. More popular for their flavorful USA-made e-juices, Halo Cigs offers the G6 Starter Kit for beginners, and the Triton Tank System Kit for more advanced users.
Value, power, battery life, portability, durability, style, and usability are among the many positive features of their two outstanding kits.
#5 rated: Apollo
Entering our list due to the variation of e-cigarette models that they offer, Apollo E-Cigs is one of the most admired brands when it comes to vaping gears today. From eGo kits to variable voltage devices, Apollo is an excellent brand for those who want to choose from different features, as they cater to diverse vaping preferences, budgets, and user levels.
A go-to e-cig company for newbies who have yet found their favorite vape, Apollo E-Cigs is justifiably one of the top brands in the industry.
#6 rated: SBS
Not only is South Beach Smoke famous among celebrity vapers, but is also a top choice for people who prefer their e-cigarettes light and simple. South Beach Smoke is a known beginner’s brand due to their products’ affordability, power, durability, and resilience. As more smokers switch to vaping, an increase in the number of beginners is likely never going to end. This is why brands like South Beach Smoke are indispensable.
To put it simply, they are experts in manufacturing reliable devices for beginners who eventually level up to advanced units and mods, and all-day vapers who would prefer using modest devices. South Beach Smoke is practicality and quality combined.
Why are Electronic Cigarettes Gaining Popularity?
It’s no secret that smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes is bad for your health. Potential health risks include cancer of the mouth, throat and lungs, higher risk of stroke and heart attack, among other life-threatening conditions.
What many people don’t know is that e-cigarette vapor contains none of the toxins found in cigarette smoke, and while e-cigs still contain nicotine, studies show that its effects are similar to that of caffeine. Tar, ammonia, formaldehyde and other chemicals you inhale from tobacco cigarettes are what makes cigarettes harmful, and the vapor from e-cigarettes do not contain these harmful chemicals.
Electronic cigarettes also provide significant cost savings when compared to traditional tobacco. As the cost of cigarettes> has continued to rise, taxes on tobacco products have also increased. The average cost of a pack of traditional cigarettes is anywhere between $6 and $8, with states like New York having prices as high as $14 per pack. At the average cost of $7 per pack, someone smoking a pack a day will spend over $200 per month.
When switching to e-cigs, you’ll need to purchase a vaporizer and an atomizer (a small tank that hold the e-liquid or e-juice). Most starter kits can be purchased for $30-$50. After the initial investment in an e-cigarette, most e-liquid will cost about $10-$15 for a bottle, and will provide enough vapor to equal 10 packs of cigarettes. For someone who smokes a pack a day, e-cigarettes will provide more than $150 in savings each month.
Over time, cigarette smoking has become less desirable and even outlawed in many public places like restaurants and bars. Currently, e-cigarettes are not subject to these regulations in many states, allowing users to vape (short for vaporize) in places that traditional cigarettes are not allowed. In addition, e-cigarettes don’t have any of the unpleasant odor that cigarettes emit that can cling to clothes, hair and furniture.
How E-Cigarettes Work
E-cigarette use is commonly called vaping, due to its vapor output. Electronic cigarette use has grown globally since its introduction to the market more than a decade ago. Though the first-ever electronic cigarette was patented in 1965, their use was not prominent until 2003.
At the most basic level, e-cigarettes have a heating element that atomizes liquid and turns it into an aerosol, or “vapor”. This vapor is inhaled into the mouth and throat, then exhaled.
The Basic Parts of an E-Cigarette
Types of E-Cig Tanks
To learn more about best vape tanks and clearomizers, read our article here .
The atomizer is a system in which e-liquid is held and then atomized to create vapor. Atomizers can either be used via dripping e-juice into them or via a tank or cartridge system.
Clearomizers, have the same function as atomizers but also features a small tank that can house larger amounts of e-juice. Today, clearomizers are more popular than atomizers because clearomizers can last 20 times longer between refills compared to atomizers.
Cartridges provide the same function as a clearomizer, but are typically sealed at manufacturing and are often intended as disposable, single-use-only items. Cartridges, which come pre-filled with e-liquid, are very common with cig-a-like e-cigarettes – which are similar in size to tobacco cigarettes. Many brands offer pre-filled cartridges for specific e-cigarette models. Some cartridges are refillable, others are not.
Also known as e-juice, this is what you put in atomizers or clearomizers to produce vapor.
E-juice comes in a variety of flavors and strengths to cater to nearly every taste. Some common flavors available include: fruits (including apple, pineapple, grape), sweets (such as chocolate, cake, and candy), and tobacco blends (blends which emulate various cigarette brands, including menthol).
Users have the ability to choose the level of nicotine in their e-juice. Nicotine strength is written as either a percentage of the e-liquid that is nicotine (0.6%, for example), or as the number of milligrams per 1000mg of liquid which is nicotine. Your e-liquid may be labeled as 0.6% nicotine, or 6mg nicotine – these two have the same nicotine level.
Nicotine strength will typically be labeled as one of the following:
- Low: 6mg and below – For light smokers who go through half a pack or less per day.
- Medium: 9mg to 16mg – For average smokers who consume half a pack to a pack a day.
- High: 18mg to 36mg – For heavy smokers or chain smokers, including those who smoke over a pack a day.
Aside from the flavor and nicotine content, e-liquids are fairly basic. Starter kits may include a 10ml bottle of e-liquid, usually with low-strength nicotine content.
The main body of the e-cigarette houses a built-in or removable battery.
Batteries come in various shapes and sizes, but the most important consideration to make regarding e-cigarette batteries is the mAh rating. The mAh rating (or milliampere-hours) measures how much energy can be stored in a given battery. The higher the mAh, the longer it will last after a charge. Batteries with higher mAh tend to be bulkier, so the user will need to determine if they prefer a portable e-cigarette with shorter battery life, or a larger e-cigarette with greater battery life.
Common Types of E-Cigarettes
For new users, mini e-cigarettes offer the experience most comparable to traditional cigarettes. Shaped like a tobacco cigarette, these small and lightweight e-cigs provide a quick fix for those trying to quit smoking and are sometimes called “cig-a-likes”. They are produced in both disposable and rechargeable formats. Due to their small size, rechargeable mini e-cigs have a shorter battery life and must be charged at least once per day. They are the least expensive type of electronic cigarette and are a popular way to transition from traditional tobacco to e-cigarettes.
Mid-size e-cigarette models are the most popular e-cigarettes today. Still relatively small (about the size of a cigar), they offer stronger vapor production that many former smokers prefer. While it differs slightly from the traditional smoking experience that a mini e-cig may provide, it offers users more options such as adjusting the output power when they vape.
The e-cigs in starter kits are typically not customizable – many have built-in batteries, fixed voltages and disposable atomizers and clearomizers with preset resistances (low, normal and high). Over time, some users want to upgrade to a more customized vaping experience.
As vapers get used to using e-cigarettes, many realize that every aspect of the e-cigarette is customizable – from creating your own e-juice, to rebuilding coils in atomizers and tanks, to purchasing various “mods” or modifications for their e-cigs. These customizable options can enhance the vaping experience, but we recommend beginners to invest in a starter kit first in order to not complicate the switch to e-cigarettes.
E-Cig Beginners Guide
The first step to starting e-cigarette use involves charging the battery. Different manufacturers and models employ several ways to charge them. Most vape pens are charged via a mini- or micro-USB port. There are some vape pens that have a removable battery and require a separate charger.
When the battery is fully charged and ready to use, attach the clearomizer (or atomizer). You may then proceed to fill the clearomizer with e-liquid. Fill the clearomizer with enough e-liquid that it saturates the wicks inside the clearomizer. If you don’t have enough e-liquid for the wick to absorb, you may get a burnt taste from the e-cigarette when you try to vape. Most clearomizers have a line designating how much e-liquid you can fill it with; don’t fill a clearomizer over this line, as it can cause the e-liquid to leak out of the clearomizer.
After the initial filling, leave your atomizer or clearomizer sitting for a few minutes to allow the wick to get fully saturated with e-juice. Then, press the button on the side of the vape pen and slowly inhale through the attached mouthpiece.
First-time users may experience some coughing at first, and this is normal. It may take a few tries to get used to an e-cigarette, as vaping is different from smoking cigarettes and everyone vapes a little differently. Some first-time vapers experience coughing when they vape straight into their lungs, even though they may be used to this from smoking tobacco cigarettes. If this happens to you, try extracting the vape first using your mouth – not your lungs – like you’re drinking from a straw. Then, inhale into your lungs in a second motion. Many people have found that this makes the cough go away.
- Blank cartridges need to be filled with the e-juice of your choice
- Filled cartridges come with flavored e-liquid already inside. Some are designed to be refilled, others are single-use cartridges. Make sure to know if refilling a cartridge with your particular e-cigarette will void any warranties.
In order to refill a refillable or blank cartridge, drip e-liquid from the e-liquid bottle onto the material inside the cartridge. Allow some time for saturation, then repeat. The goal of refilling a cartridge is to saturate the material inside (the wick) without over-filling. If the wick is not fully saturated, the atomizer may “burn” the dry spots on the wick instead of vaporizing the e-juice. This may create an unpleasant burnt flavor when you vape. By overfilling the cartridge, it may overflow when in use, known as “flooding.”
Some cartridges are filled with a syringe, or some e-juice bottles come with a long, narrow needle attached for this purpose. Simply insert the needle into the cartridge as far as it will allow, then squeeze the bottle to release the liquid while drawing the needle out at a steady pace. This technique fills the cartridge from the bottom and helps prevent dry spots.
A cartomizer has a chamber that is made to be filled with e-liquid. They are often opaque and it is not easy to see when the e-liquid needs to be refilled, therefore forcing the user to recognize when the liquid is almost gone. A clearomizer is the same type of tank as a cartomiser, but with clear sides, making it simple and easy to see when it needs to be refilled. Tanks hold a large amount of liquid, requiring fewer refills.
A much simpler way of refilling, these types of e-cigarettes have a chamber that is filled with e-liquid when it is empty. Avoid vaping the tank dry as this can burn the wick and ruin the flavor, even for subsequent refills. If this happens, your e-cigarette will either need to be re-wicked, or replaced with new one.
A less popular technique now that tanks are more widely available, but this technique involves dripping e-liquid directly on a specially designed atomizer or “drip tip.” Users will continue to apply several drops of liquid after every few puffs of the e-cigarette. While this technique is tedious to some, fans claim to enjoy an enhanced flavor. Since dripping doesn’t involve a tank, it’s much easier to sample new flavors without purchasing an entire bottle of e-juice that you may or may not like.
For clearomizer users, it’s important to monitor the level of juice remaining inside the tank. If the e-juice level starts to get low, refilling the tank right away is necessary for consistent flavor. For atomizer users, take note of the flavor you taste with each inhale. Once you start noticing the flavor waning a little, be prepared to drip some more. Like clearomizers, you will want to always keep the wick wet and avoid dry-vaping to reduce the risk of a burnt wick and therefore burnt flavor.
It is also advisable to clean your e-cigarette weekly, since e-juice can drip into the area where the battery meets the clearomizer, also known as the 510 connector. When this happens, the e-juice can dry up and becomes gunk. This gunk can interfere with the power coursing from the battery to the atomizer, giving you a weak vape.
A weak flavor can also happen when an atomizer’s coil has worn down. After ensuring all connections are clean and you still find that the flavor is muted, it’s time to replace the atomizer or clearomizer.
Batteries can also weaken over time. If you are a heavy user, expect your batteries to lose capacity after six months or so. For users with built-in batteries in their units, this means replacing it with a new one. For those with units that use replaceable batteries, fresh batteries are needed.
To prolong the life of your batteries, it’s recommended to have at least two in rotation. Whether built-in or replaceable, having two will give you something to vape with while the other is charging. It also shortens the charging cycles, which is the main reason why batteries weaken.
There are two types of advanced e-cigarettes (or mods) to consider: mechanical and variable.
Mechanical mods, or mech mods, are e-cigs whose power depends on the output of the battery due to the lack of a regulating chip. Mech mods usually use removable Li-On batteries. Without a regulating chip, users get the battery’s full power when vaping. This is preferred by advanced users who build their own atomizer coils. Where regulated e-cigs prevent the firing of sub-ohm coils (less than 1 ohm), mech mods have no problem doing so. This results in hotter and thicker clouds of vapor. One downside of using a mech mod is that as the battery drains, so does the power and intensity of the vape.
Variable mods, on the other hand, are advanced versions of the regulated vape pens found in starter kits.
Variable voltage mods let users adjust the power of their e-cigs to taste, usually by adjusting the voltage from 3v to 8v. By contrast, variable wattage mods allow users to set the e-cig’s wattage, with built-in computers adjusting voltage as needed. These mods offer advanced safety features such as reverse battery protection, thermal monitors, short circuit protection, built-in ohm readers, and more.
Though considered advanced e-cigarettes, variable mods are safe for new users as well, due to the numerous built-in safety features.
Best Cig-a-Like Rating
The most basic e-cigarette model, cig-a-likes may not offer much in terms of battery life and power, but most vapers often start out with one. There are a rare few who start out with more advanced devices, but cig-a-likes remain as the go-to device for ex-smokers looking to curb their cravings. It’s not surprising that this makes cig-a-likes the top selling e-cig model. Every day new users who are looking to try out vaping nd get one; if only to satisfy their curiosity. They’re affordable, handle like a real cigarette, and most importantly, they get the job done.
VaporFi Express Starter Kit Review
The Express Starter Kit from VaporFi is a great beginner’s package. Bundled with two batteries, a discreet 180mAh and a longer 280mAh, both are extremely lightweight and pocketable, making them easy to take anywhere. Jeweled tips light up to simulate the glow of cigarettes and both are extremely well-built. Vapor production is decent, as is the throat hit. This device is perfect for new users who are looking for a smooth vape.
Halo G6 Starter Kit
Halo G6 Starter Kit offers has a huge number of options to choose from when ordering. Users who make a purchase are given a choice between automatic or manual batteries, as well as the size and mAh. The kit comes with a pack of five pre-filled cartomizers and users get to choose the flavor and nicotine strength. While this kit is capable of producing of producing a good vapor, the real strength of the kit lies in its range of flavors. Halo is one of the best e-liquid manufacturers around, so with every puff, users are assured of high-quality, good tasting vapor every time.
Mig 21 Vapor Kit
A bit pricey, the Mig 21 Vapor Kit justifies its cost by being the cig-a-like with the highest capacity battery; compared to other similarly sized e-cigs, with 380mAh. It is also the most powerful, with a power output regulated at 4.2 volts. Other cig-a-likes output a maximum of 3.7 volts, giving the Mig 21 a substantial power boost over the others. Because of the higher voltage, the Mig 21 produces some of the most massive clouds of vapor, creating a more authentic mouth feel than other cig-a-likes offer. Beginners, looking to simulate the feel of a real cigarette, won’t be disappointed with the Mig 21. It performs so well that experienced users often get one to use as a portable, capable backup for their bulkier mods.
Apollo Extreme Starter Kit
The Apollo Extreme Starter Kit is a cig-a-like starter kit from one of the top brands on the market. It has everything one would need to start vaping. Its Extreme Batteries offer enough power to last through a whole day of vaping and it is very easy to use. Included cartomizers are also larger than normal, holding more e-liquid than other cartomizers. Flavor and vapor performance is good and throat hit is just right. Built to last, the Extreme Starter Kit comes with a lifetime warranty to back up its quality build.
V2 Cigs Standard E-Liquid Kit
A starter kit from the “King of Starter Kits,” the V2 Cigs Standard E-Liquid Kit offers surprisingly good vapor production and incredible throat hit for a cig-a-like. While the Mig 21 Vapor Kit gives users more power, the Standard E-Liquid Kit trumps it in flavor.
For the same price, users can get the Standard EX Kit that comes with EX cartomizers, which don’t employ the use of polyfill (foam filling that holds e-liquid), which ensure pure flavor and maximum vapor. The Standard E-Liquid Kit comes with a tank that takes EX Blanks. EX Blanks are reusable cartridges that users can fill with any e-liquid they choose. It is convenient and has more long-term value than disposable cartridges, giving it an edge over other cig-a-likes. It also produces a purer flavor and great throat hit; a must for any ex-smoker looking to quit.
What are Cig-a-Likes?
In a nutshell, cig-a-likes are e-cigarettes that are designed to look like traditional cigarettes. The term is used to describe any e-cigarette that’s shaped like a traditional cigarette, not just those with cheap white finishes and orange cartridges made to look like filters.
When e-cigarettes first appeared, most were cig-a-likes. This was intentional because ex-smokers who were looking to quit would have an easier time to kick the habit with something that at least resembles the tactile feel of a real cigarette. As time, technology, and tastes evolved, so did e-cigarettes, transforming to larger, more powerful devices; most of which don’t resemble cigarettes at all.
Cig-a-likes are often described as a beginner’s device. While this may be true to some extent, many advanced vapers still use one, especially the more powerful models. These are often used as a backup to their bulky mods, or as a stealthier, more portable, alternative for times when discreetness is preferred.
Because of the nature of its design, cig-a-likes suffer from sub-par battery life and a lack of features that are standard in bigger devices. E-liquid capacity is also on the low side, compared to the big tanks that are in the market today. That being said, they still have fans and it is still as one of the top selling types among e-cigs.
Cig-a-like batteries come in two types: automatic and manual. Automatic batteries are activated by inhaling through the mouthpiece. A sensor inside the device detects the rush of air and this triggers the heating element to produce vapor.
On the other hand, manual batteries require users to press a button while vaping. Its advantage is that it charges faster. The downside is that manual batteries tend to provide users fewer puffs on average.
Cig-a-likes are the perfect e-cigs for beginners. Its shape, size, ease-of-use, portability, and affordability make it a great introductory device to vaping. Some models may have more powerful batteries, but one sacrifices size for those models. Others may be small but provide more flavor. The list above aims to guide new users to the different features the top cig-a-like brands on the market today provide.