Vape kits are the hardware you use to vaporise an E-Liquid. Our guide to vape kits explains everything you need to know to make a purchase and get started with your vaping journey.
Vape kits—also known as e-cigarettes and vaping devices—are used to turn E-Liquid into vapour. There are a number of different types and models designed to cater to every vaper’s needs, vape style, and experience level, and as a result, the amount of choice on the market can be daunting.
If you’re making the switch from tobacco cigarettes to vaping, or if you’re a long-time vaper looking for a step-up from your current model, we’ve got you covered. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of vape kits and what they have to offer.
Parts of a Vape Kit
Every vape kit can be boiled down to the same base parts: a battery, a pod or tank to hold the vape juice, and a coil. These parts may vary in complexity depending on the model, but every vape on the market—from a £5 disposable vape to the most expensive mod device—will have these same parts.
All e-cigarette devices are powered by a lithium-ion battery. This can either be a built-in battery (non-replaceable, like in a laptop) or an external battery (replaceable, like in a TV remote). Battery life is measured in milliamp hours (mAh). The greater the number, the longer the battery life.
Like all lithium-ion batteries (including the ones in your mobile phone), vape batteries degrade over time. As you continue to recharge them, you’ll notice that they become less able to hold a charge. This is part of the natural life cycle of a battery.
Starter vape kits and pod devices will have a built-in battery, which can last anywhere between 6 months to a year before it starts to degrade. Built-in batteries can hold anywhere from 350mAh to over 2500mAh of battery capacity, so be sure to check the battery size before making a purchase.
External batteries, used in many sub-ohm vapes and mods, can hold over 2500mAh. There are even dual battery mods which use two batteries at once, bumping their maximum capacity to over 5000mAh on a single charge.
Pod or Tank
The pod or tank on a vaping device is the reservoir that holds the E-Liquid. Refillable pods and tanks have an E-Liquid filling port (usually a rubber plug), which you remove and replace to fill the pod or tank with vape juice. On top of your pod or tank, you’ll find the mouthpiece (or, “drip tip”), which is where you inhale the E-Liquid vapour.
Tanks came long before pods and are usually made of glass, held together by metal pieces with several bits of rubber designed to help keep the juice inside.
While vape tanks have fallen slightly out of vogue lately due to their complexity, their maintenance, and the number of parts they have, they’re still the most popular choice among sub-ohm vapers using mods.
Vape pods are a single piece of plastic, which removes a lot of the maintenance that tanks require. They’re much simpler to operate, less breakable, and are less prone to leaking compared to tanks.
Vape pods are most commonly used in pod kits, though there are some “pod tanks”—a cross between a pod and a tank—which can be used on more advanced box mod set-ups.
Every vape device has a coil inside. Vape coils have two main parts: the coil wire and the wicking material (or, wick). The wick absorbs E-Liquid like a sponge while the coil wire converts electricity from the battery into heat. The heat from the wire vaporises the E-Liquid from the wick.
Like batteries, coils may be built-in or replaceable. Built-in coils offer less maintenance, while replaceable coils offer greater longevity. To learn more about built-in versus changeable coils, check out our coil guide.
Coils are measured in ohms (Ω), which is a unit of electrical resistance. To boil a lot of science down to a short rule of thumb, the main point to remember is this: high-resistance coils (above 1Ω) require less power, while low-resistance coils (below 1Ω) require more power.
High-resistance coils are above 1.0Ω (ohm) and are used in most MTL e-cigarettes, including vape pens, pod vapes, and starter kits. These coils are designed for use with high-PG (propylene glycol) vape juices like nicotine salt E-Liquids and 50/50 freebase nicotine E-Liquids.
High-resistance coils offer an excellent throat hit, with discreet vapour production akin to traditional cigarette smoke. They’re particularly handy for heavy smokers who want to vape higher nicotine strengths because the coils are compatible with nic salts.
New vapers looking to satisfy a nicotine craving with a high-strength nicotine salt E-Liquid will need to use a high-resistance coil in a Mouth-to-Lung device.
Low-resistance coils, also known as sub-ohm coils, are below 1.0Ω (ohm) and are used in sub-ohm kits and tanks. These coils are designed for use with high-VG (vegetable glycerine) E-Liquids, including shortfills and 100% VG E-Liquids.
Shortfills are great for light smokers who want to vape nicotine-free or for those who like to add their own nicotine. Shortfills come with a 0mg nicotine strength, with space in the bottle for you to add a nic shot and tailor how much nicotine you’re vaping. Nic shots are available with either freebase nicotine and nic salts.
Experienced vapers looking to enjoy sub-ohm vaping with a low nicotine strength E-Liquid that’s high in vegetable glycerin should opt for a low-resistance coil in an advanced vape kit.
What Comes with a Vape Kit?
A vape kit usually comes with a device, a tank or pod, and one or two coils (unless the coils are built into the pods). If the kit uses external vape batteries, you’ll need to purchase these separately. Everything you need to get started with the kit will be included, minus the E-Liquid.
Not all vape kits come with a charging cable. Manufacturers recently started excluding them to help keep prices low and reduce electrical waste, since most vape kits use the same type of charging cable: USB-C. Some cheap vape kits may only come with a device and a pod.
Regardless, everything that comes with a vape kit will be clearly listed in the product description. For more information on what you can expect when you purchase a vape kit, check out our in-depth Beginner’s Guide to Vaping.
Know Your Vaping Style
There are 3 different vaping styles: Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping, Direct-to-Lung (DTL) vaping, and Restricted Direct-to-Lung (RDTL) vaping. Your vaping style will depend on your personal preference as well as your level of vaping experience.
New vapers and recent ex-smokers are more likely to employ Mouth-to-Lung vaping, while experienced vapers will often vape Direct-to-Lung (though not always).
For a more in-depth explanation of each style, check out our guide to vaping styles.
Mouth-to-Lung vaping is like smoking a cigarette, where you draw the vapour into your mouth first before inhaling. This is the most common style among beginner vapers, and your typical starter kit is designed to cater to this.
MTL is conducive to higher nicotine strengths and E-Liquids which have a higher ratio of propylene glycol (PG), which offers a better throat hit than high-VG E-Liquids do. MTL is compatible with nicotine salts and other high nicotine strength E-Liquids.
Direct-to-Lung vaping is like smoking a water pipe (or simply breathing), where the vapour is inhaled directly into the lungs. This style is popular among experienced vapers using sub-ohm kits with low nicotine strength E-Liquids.
DTL vaping is great for shortfill E-Liquids, which are higher in vegetable glycerine (VG) and offer more vapour production. DTL isn’t ideal for vaping high nicotine strengths due to the strain it puts on the throat. If you need a higher strength or greater throat hit, you should opt for MTL.
Restricted Direct-to-Lung vaping is a hybrid between MTL and DTL, where the vapour is partially pooled in the mouth before being inhaled. Think of it like an airier MTL. RDL vaping is popular among intermediate vapers who want bigger clouds.
RDTL e-cigarettes are generally compatible with the same E-Liquids as an MTL kit, though there are some DTL kits with adjustable airflow marketed as RDTL as well. When in doubt, always check the product description to ensure you’re using the correct type of E-Liquid.
Types of Vape Kits
The vaping community has you positively spoiled for choice when it comes to all the different types of vapes. There’s something for everyone’s preference and experience level.
Let’s break down all the different types of e-cigarette kits you can find on the market today.
MTL Vape Kits
New vapers looking to try nicotine salts or freebase 50/50 E-Liquids should opt for an e-cigarette that supports Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping. There are so many different types available, from disposable to pre-filled to refillable, available for all budgets and experience levels.
Disposable vapes are single-use, matchbox or pen-style vape kits that come pre-charged and pre-filled with E-Liquid. Ready to use straight out of the box, they’re designed to be used until they’re empty—at which point, simply discard the entire device. No need to refill or recharge!
Disposable vapes offer the easiest entry point for smokers thanks to their lack of set-up. You don’t need any special knowledge to start using one—all you need is a fiver and a desire to quit smoking.
Disposables aren’t cost-effective or eco-friendly in the long run, so once you’ve successfully switched to vaping, we recommend switching to a refillable kit. You can learn more about these devices in our disposable vape guide.
Closed Pod Kits
Prefilled pod systems, also known as closed pod kits, are a midpoint between disposables and refillable vapes. These kits use disposable prefilled vape pods. When the pod is empty, simply replace it with a new one.
Closed pod kits are easy to use and only require the occasional recharge, making them great for beginners. They’re also cheaper than disposables in the long run.
Each prefilled pod kit model has a specific range of pods it’s compatible with, which limits the number of E-Liquid flavours you have to choose from. And while these vapes are cheaper than disposables, you’ll still save more money by using a refillable vape.
Vape Starter Kits
A vape starter kit has everything you need to start vaping—minus the E-Liquid. Beginners who aren’t afraid of refills or the occasional pod or coil change will save money by choosing a starter vape. Plus, you have thousands upon thousands of E-Liquid flavours to choose from!
Starter kits are the best option for beginners, since they’re designed to be low-maintenance with as few confusing settings as possible. They have no menu screens or wattage adjustments. Refillable kits offer the best savings when making the switch from smoking—in fact, you can save over £3000 a year.
Vape pens are slim, pen-shaped devices designed to be pocket-friendly and portable above all else. This type of e-cigarette usually has a single button for operation, though some have no button at all, offering inhale activation instead (where you simply inhale on the mouthpiece to fire the vape).
A vape pen is a great choice for beginners, since it has no menus or settings. A vape pen can have either a tank or a pod and may have either replaceable or built-in coils—but all pen kits are beginner-friendly and are designed for MTL.
Pod Vape Kits
Pod vapes are the most popular type of vape on the market today. These kits use refillable pods which can be filled (and refilled) with an E-Liquid flavour of your choice. There are pod kits for every experience level, from buttonless beginner-friendly kits to more complex models with OLED screens and menus.
Pods offer a hassle-free, leak-free, shatter-proof alternative to glass vape tanks, making them more reliable and sturdy overall. Plus, they’re much easier to clean and maintain. You can find pod kits for every preference: adjustable or static airflow, built-in or replaceable coils, inhale or button activation (or both)—there’s so much choice!
DTL Vape Kits
Experienced vapers looking to vape lower nicotine strengths with bigger clouds should choose a device that supports Direct-to-Lung (DTL) vaping—also known as sub-ohm vaping. These e-cigarettes use sub-ohm vape coils which require a higher power output. Because they consume more power, DTL kits generally have great battery life.
You can read more about this style of vaping in our sub-ohm vaping guide.
Sub-Ohm Vape Kits
Sub-ohm kits are high-powered devices using low-resistance coils (below 1 ohm). They’re compatible with low-nicotine E-Liquids which have a high VG content, like shortfills, offering greater flavour and vapour production overall.
These vapes are generally reserved for more experienced vapers using a DTL style who aren’t reliant on nicotine, since vaping any strengths above 6mg would bee too harsh on the throat. Sub-ohm kits usually have more complex settings, which makes them les accessible for beginners.
Vape mods or box mods are the most complex devices on the market. They’re the most customisable kits available, offering everything from wattage adjustments to temperature control, and they’re usually powered by an external battery or two. This makes them the most powerful vapes with the best battery life available.
Mods are usually fitted with a tank, and can be customised from settings to drip tip. They’re infinitely more complex than a standard MTL kit, which is why they’re not recommended for beginners.
What Vape Juice Should I Buy?
The E-Liquid you buy will depend on the device you’re using and the resistance of the coil inside.
As a general rule of thumb, MTL vapes require high-PG E-Liquids (50% or more) while DTL kits require high-VG E-Liquids (above 60%). When in doubt, check the product description for your specific kit; it’ll say exactly which E-Liquids are compatible.
Using the wrong type of E-Liquid in your vape can lead to leaking, a bad taste, and a burnt coil, among other unpleasant effects. If you’re still unsure what to get, check out our in-depth E-Liquid guide for a more detailed explanation.
Once you’ve figured out the correct E-Liquid type for your device, the choice is yours! You have tens of thousands of flavour options, from fruits to candy to menthol flavours (and beyond). There are enough flavours out there to keep you occupied for years to come!
There are so many types of vape kits on the market with so many options and features—it’s enough to make any newbie’s head spin for sure.
Hopefully, our guide to vaping devices has helped you find the best kit for you—but if you’re still in need of advice, feel free to contact our support. Our team of expert vapers is on hand to lend advice and make your vaping experience as seamless as possible. You can contact us by phone, live chat, or email if you need further assistance.
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