Beginners Guide To Vape Devices

Published February 4th 2021
Everything you need to know to ensure that you pick the best vape starter kit when switching to vaping.
Beginners Guide To Vape Kits


So, we’ve covered an introduction to vaping and also covered e-liquids. Now it’s time to dive into the next big step on your vaping journey: Vape Devices.

What is a Vape Device?

The simplest way to understand a vape device – also known as a vaporiser – is to think of it as a mini kettle powered by a battery. However, instead of slowly heating water, it instantly heats e-liquids into vapour. You simply fill it with e-liquid, press the heating-trigger button, and it produces vapour. 

However, there are different types of vape devices. In order to understand the differences, we must first look into the different parts a vape device is made of.

What are the different parts of a Vape Device?

All vape devices have 3 main components:

  1. E-Liquid Tank/Cartridge
  2. Heating Coil
  3. Battery

1. E-Liquid Tank/Cartridge

This is the part of a vape device that holds your e-liquid. All vape tanks in the UK are legally limited in capacity to a maximum of 2ml. This may sound small, but remember e-liquid is a thick liquid and can produce a lot of vapour.

We’ll be going into this in more detail later in this beginner guide series.

2. Heating Coil

The coil in a vape device is the component that heats and vaporises e-liquids, converting it into vapour. Vape coils are always located inside the vape tank/cartridge where it heats the liquid.

IMPORTANT: The vape coil is the only part of a vape device that must be replaced every few weeks. Overused vape coils result in a ‘burning’ taste and should be replaced immediately.

In the previous E-Liquids beginners guide, we mentioned that certain types of e-liquids work best in specific vape devices. This is all because of the heating power of the coil. To put it simply, thicker e-liquids (high VG) require more powerful coils and therefore also larger batteries. Greater heating power also means the coil life doesn’t last as long and must be replaced sooner.

The power of a coil is defined by its ’resistance’ value, but let’s leave that for the Beginners Guide to Vape Coils later in this series.

3. Battery

All vape devices either include an in-built battery or require an external battery. In-built batteries are common in most vape devices for beginners and are normally charged using a micro-USB or USB-C cable, just like a smartphone.

The power of the batteries (mAh) should be taken into consideration when purchasing a vape device. If you are a heavy smoker and believe that you will vape for the majority of the day, then you may need a device with a larger battery.

We’ll cover this more later in our Beginners Guide to Batteries. For now, let’s dive into the different types of vape devices…

Types of Vape Devices

The different types of vape devices can be organised into 4 main categories:

  1. Cig-A-Like Device
  2. Vape Pod Device
  3. Vape Pen Device
  4. Vape Box-Mod Device

1. CIG-A-LIKES

Cig-a-likes are the earliest form of vape devices that are designed to look and feel like traditional cigarettes. Discrete and lightweight, cig-a-likes come prefilled with liquid but unfortunately cannot be refilled with e-liquid. This means they must be disposed after use and can end up costing more in the long run. Hence, they are not as popular today compared to more modern devices.

2. VAPE POD DEVICE

Pod devices, also known as vape pod kits, are relatively new and very popular in the market. These vape devices are small and lightweight with great in-built batteries, convenient to carry around and use throughout the day. There are highly recommended for beginners.

They are very popular due to the design of their removable e-liquid tanks, known as cartridges or replaceable pods. They can either come pre-filled with vape liquid or are refillable, and the type of tank defines what type of pod device it is:

  1. Closed-Pod Device: The tanks on these devices, known as a cartridge, have a fixed in-built coil and comes with pre-filled liquid. These e-liquid cartridges can’t be refilled and are thrown away once the liquid runs out. Unfortunately, your choice of liquid is limited to only those sold in these liquid cartridges for the specific device.
  2. Open-Pod Device: (Recommended for beginners) These more popular vape devices allow you to refill your cartridge with your desired liquid and strength, meaning you have thousands of e-liquids on the market to choose from. They tend to last longer than closed pod kits as you only replace the cartridge when the coil wears out. 
  3. Advanced-Open-Pod Device: While a normal open-pod device uses e-liquid cartridges with in-built coils, advanced-open-pod devices instead use cartridges designed with removable coils. This means instead of replacing the entire cartridge when the coil needs replace, you only have to replace the coil inside the replaceable pod. It also gives you more choice over the type of coil you wish to use.

So which e-liquids work best with these devices? Pod devices are on the lower end of the power scale, meaning it is best used with e-liquids between 40VG and 60VG (40VG/60PG, 50VG/50PG and 60VG/40PG). They are also extremely popular for use with higher nicotine strengths as they don’t vaporise too much liquid on each inhale. However, you can comfortably use e-liquids of any nicotine strength in this type of device.

3. VAPE PENS

Vape pen devices are the next most popular type of vape device. Similar to pod devices, vape pens are generally simple to use, but are slightly bigger in size and always designed in a cylindrical shape.

The majority of vape pen devices also have an in-built battery that can be charged with a USB cable, but there are some pen devices that are designed with a removable battery. 

The biggest difference of vape pen devices compared to vape pod devices is the design of the e-liquid tank. Pen devices introduce in-built tanks, meaning the tank on the device cannot be removed from the device; only the vape coil can be removed. Not all vape pens are designed with in-built tanks, however many of them do and it is a big differentiator compared to pod devices.

To understand these more complex type of vape tanks better, we’ll be covering it in more detail later in the series in the Beginner Guide to Vape Tanks.

4. BOX MOD DEVICES

Box mod devices, more commonly known as box mod kits, are the most powerful type of vape device and therefore mostly used by intermediate to advanced vapers.

‘Box’ simply refers to the shape of the main body of the device. ‘Mod’ stands for ‘modular’, representing the idea behind mod devices; all parts or ‘modules’ of a mod device can be removed and replaced, enabling a great level control over looks, functionality and power.

One of the advanced features of box mod kits is that you can control the temperature and wattage of the device. Furthermore, they all have removeable tanks as one of the modules, meaning you have a limitless range of tanks to choose from with even more advanced features.

These devices are most definitely bulkier and heavier than the other vape kits, but that is only because of the large in-built or multiple removable batteries they support. It is thanks to this extreme power that they can be used with High VG liquids, allowing vapers to produce huge clouds and experience more enhanced flavours.

The Best Device For Beginners

As a beginner, vape pod devices are where you want to start. If you wish to eventually use a powerful box-mod kit, it’s recommended to slowly move up the ranks to more powerful devices. To help, we’ve curated a list of the ultimate 10 devices over on our Vape Devices page, including the best device for beginners: The Caliburn Pod Device by UWELL

Wait, what about Vape Coils?

Glad you asked! It’s important to understand vape coils and its arguably the most important part of a vape device. It’s also the only part of the device that needs to be replaced every few weeks.

Without further ado, let’s head over to: Beginners Guide to Vape Coils

Written by IndeJuice Editorial
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