The 5 Levels of Vaping : From Beginner to Pro


Over the past few years, the vaping world has expanded to include a lot of options for customization. Whether you are just entering the new and exciting realm of ecigs or you are an experienced vaper looking to take things to the next level, there is something out there that you will love. Let’s take a look at the five levels of vaping and what each one offers.

Level 1: Cig-A-Likes & Cartomizers


The most basic form of an electronic cigarette is the cig-a-like. This is a small, lightweight ecig that looks a lot like a regular cigarette. Most have an LED light on the tip to mimic the look of a cigarette lighting up each time you take a puff. In the beginning stages of the ecig industry, almost all devices were cig-a-likes, but that has changed over the years. Still these devices have a solid standing in the market and remain a good choice for smokers that are new to vaping or prefer a convenient or discrete option to carry with them.

The cig-a-like models have two basic pieces: a rechargeable battery and a cartomizer attachment. The cartomizer is a disposable attachment that screws onto the battery and contains e-liquid and filler material, which is heated up when the battery is activated. This creates vapor when the smoker inhales. Cartomizers typically store far less e-liquid than what you can fit in a newer generation clearomizer, but they can still be helpful for new vapers that want to ease into the ecig scene. While it varies from brand to brand, most cartomizers will provide around the same amount of vaping time as about 10-15 cigarettes based on the quality.

Level 2: Ego Style & Clearomizers


The next step in vaping is the ego style electronic cigarette. This is by far one of the most popular models out there. People love egos because they are affordable and provide better battery life than cig-a-likes. Plus they give you more options by using various e-liquids in the clearomizer attachment. One of the biggest perks to an ego is that no one is going to think you are smoking a cigarette. These ecigs do not look like analog cigs at all. They are larger and come in a variety of colors.

The vast majority of vapers eventually find their way to the ego models. The clearomizers function a lot like cartomizers, but instead of containing filler material, they hold e-liquid and can be refilled multiple times. Most clearomizers have a clear plastic or glass body that lets you see how much e-liquid is inside so you can refill when the level starts getting low. Instead of a filler material, clearomizers have a wicking system that allows the e-liquid to travel to the atomizer and heat into vapor.

When you first switch from cig-a-likes to an ego style, you will notice some subtle differences. You might notice a “cleaner” taste because there is no filler material to muddy the waters. You will also notice a bit more vapor production with each puff.

Levels 3: Variable Wattage APV & Rebuildable Atomizers


The next level of vaping is the variable wattage APV. This is an Advanced Personal Vaporizer and it is a little more complicated than an ego model, but still fairly easy to use. APV’s have a lot of features to open up a whole new world of customization options. When you press the button on an APV, it activates the electrical signal that heats up the coil. The batteries in an APV are typically more powerful than conventional ecig batteries. You also have a variable wattage option to control the power until you get the exact amount of vaper that you want at the temperature you prefer.

Vapers enjoy APV’s because of the extra features. Many of these ecigs feature puff counters, an ohms reader to show you the resistance level, and a dial to adjust the battery voltage output. Some devices even have a battery indicator to show you when it’s time to recharge.

APV devices also give you the option to use rebuildable atomizers. These atomizers give you the option to replace the wicks and the wires rather than buying a whole new atomizer when it’s time for replacement. RBA’s come in a variety of sizes and styles. Some of them have tanks to hold your e-liquid and others require you to drip the liquid directly onto the coils before vaping. It takes some experimentation to figure out which style you like best, but once you find it, your vaping experience will be forever changed.

Level 4: Mechanical Mods


When you are ready to experience the ultimate vape, it’s time to move on to mechanical mods. These devices do not contain any circuitry so when you press the button, it makes a physical connection between the battery and the atomizer coil. You almost always use rebuildable dripping atomizers with mods instead of clearomizers.

Mods come in a lot of styles and they are much heavier than a cig-a-like or ego device. While they require a little more expertise to use, there are some major benefits. These devices are heavily durable and allow you to vape at lower resistance levels.

Level 5: Sub ohm Vaping


The final and most extreme level of vaping is the sub ohm category. This is basically where you use coils with a resistance lower than 1 ohm. When you are vaping at such a low resistance, you can get massive clouds of vapor and incredibly clear flavors. However, this category is almost the most high risk. Because you are pulling much more power from the battery, you run the risk of overheating which can lead to dangerous fires or even explosions. You have to know your limits if you choose the sub ohm category because it is far too easy to cross the line. If you decide to try sub ohm vaping, make sure you avoid cheap multi-meters for measuring sub-ohm resistances.

Which One is Right for You?

Ultimately, only you can decide which level of vaping is right for you. If you are new to ecigarettes, then it’s probably best to start out with a cig-a-like or ego model. Once you get the hang of the equipment and working with e-liquids, you can move on to APV’s, mechanical mods, and even sub ohm vaping.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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