Having purchased several electronic cigarette starter kits and flavor packs, I’ve learned a few things about buying an electronic cigarette starter kit.
This electronic cigarette buying guide sets out some of the things to consider and be aware of.
1. Low prices often result in an inferior product
There’s a reason some e-cigarettes cost more. At first I didn’t think price would matter, but it often does.
The quality elements of an electronic cigarette are as follows:
Quality of the inhale
Some electronic cigarettes provide a strong, robust inhale of vapor while others are weak. Flavor and strength of your flavor matter, but so does the quality of the e-cigarette itself.
Smoothness of the inhale
Some e-cigarettes don’t have a smooth inhale. In fact, some are noisy, crackle and have a slight delay before the vapor hits your throat.
Quality of the vapor
Some vapor on the exhale is thin and wispy while others provide a nice billowy vapor exhale. I much prefer the billowy and robust vapor exhale. It tends to be smoother on the inhale and exhale.
2. Charging Options
Get a kit that offers wall and car chargers. If possible, get one that charges off of a computer USB port as well. The more charging options you have, the less time you’ll be without a charged e-cigarette.
Also, having 2 e-cigs with your starter kit is hugely important. This way you can charge one while using the other.
I also prefer chargers that have a plug-in cord extending off of the large casing part of the wall charger. This way you don’t take up more than one outlet on a power cord or wall outlet.
3. One vs. Two electronic cigarettes
I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s important. Opt for a kit that provides 2 e-cigarettes. It’s a hassle waiting for it to charge if you only have one e-cig.
4. Wall charging mechanism
Most wall chargers are a bulky component that takes up a lot of space on a power cord. I prefer the wall chargers with a cord that extends off the bulky portion so that I don’t take up 2 plug-in spots on a wall charger or both outlets on a wall outlet plate.
5. Duration of charge
Carefully investigate the duration of a charge by the number of inhales. It’s a hassle running out of a battery charge, so the less frequently this happens, the better.
6. Flavor quality
You’ll only be able to find the best flavor for your taste by trying a few. If you order a kit and hate the flavor (some have a metalic taste), invest in another kit. Kit’s aren’t that expensive so it’s important you get the right tasting e-cig for you. Again, lower priced e-cigs tend to have worse flavor such as a metalic after-taste.
7. Shipping considerations
If you live in the contintental USA, you should usually be able to get free shipping with a starter kit and larger flavor re-orders.
If you live outside of the USA, be sure to inquire whether they’ll ship to you. I live in Canada and not all brands ship to me (which is a hassle).
8. Caromizer vs. Atomizer
I MUCH prefer cartomizers over atomizers. Cartomizers are flavor cartridgridges (takes the form of the traditional cigarette filter) that screw onto the e-cig. Atomizer e-cigs are where you drip the vapor juice into the e-cig.
I do not like the production of having to carry and drip juice into my e-cig. Cartomizers are much more convenient.
Do you like e-cigs that look like real cigarettes? Or, would you prefer one that appears more like a pen?
I don’t really care at this point. The cigarette replica style makes it look like you’re smoking a real cigarette in public, which may be something you like or don’t like. The pen style is more easily explained if somebody gives you the stink-eye for smoking in public.
10. Flavor variety
Before buying a starter kit, be sure a particular brand has a flavor you’ll like. Again, most offer traditional cigarette flavors. In fact, when you order, you can tell them which type of traditional cigarette you smoked and they can usually match a flavor for you.
That said, it’s fun to try different flavors such as mocha, vanilla and other flavors. This is yet another benefit of electronic cigarettes.
11. Automatic vs. Manual
Automatic e-cigs are e-cigs that trigger automatically on the inhale. Manual e-cigs require that you push a button to start the vaporizer. You must keep the button pressed down for the duration of the inhale.
I much prefer automatic e-cigs. I have both and find myself reaching more often for the automatic e-cigs.
However, this is a personal preference. Some people like the faster inhale of vapor provided by many manual electronic cigarettes.
Look for e-cigarettes that provide a lifetime warranty. This means they stand by their product.
Money-back guarantees are nice as well if you’re in the beginning stages of finding the right product for you. If you don’t like a particular brand, you can send it back and try something else.
13. Get a variety flavor pack
You won’t know which flavor you like best. I found it helpful to order variety flavor packs initially for each brand so I could discover the right flavor for me. Besides, it’s fun trying different flavors.
14. Online purchasing
I MUCH prefer being able to buy electronic cigarettes online. I’m not big in going to stores. However, in a store you can try different brands and flavors. That said, I still prefer chancing it online … it’s so much more convenient and there are incredible electronic cigarette deals to be had.
Moreover, once you find the right brand for you, it’s an absolute piece of cake to order refills. In fact, some brands offer automatic ordering so you’re never without the ability to use your e-cig.
15. Automatic re-ordering
Ask any e-cig brand you’re thinking of trying whether they offer automatic refill orders. It’s super convenient to have your refills shipped automatically. This way you don’t have to waste time ordering refills.
There’s no perfect electronic cigarette for everyone
There are many e-cig brands available because we have our personal preferences. The above electronic cigarette buying guide is designed to point out some of the buying nuances when deciding on a particular brand.
In my view it’s worth trying several brands until you settle on the one that’s perfect for you. I have a lot of fun trying different electronic cigarettes. It’s exciting getting a new kit in the mail and giving it a try. Some brands are excellent while others aren’t worth using. There really is a difference in quality across e-cigs … much to my surprise (and a big reason for this site).
What’s my favorite e-cig?
My favorite, and the brand I recommend most, is South Beach Smoke. Read my South Beach Smoke review to find out why … it is a truly excellent vaping experience.