Learning How To Vape. A Step By Step Introduction.
Learning how to vape can seem like an intimidating process. Imagine walking into your local vape shop and hearing “I recommend the new Exel 821B box mod. With triple 18650s you can chuck serious clouds at 250 watts with this 0.2 ohm Clapton Kanthal atty and some max VG juice.” Wait, what?
This might make perfect sense if you are an experienced vaper. But if you walk into a vape shop for the first time and you hear this, you will probably say, “What?” What indeed. What does all of that mean? Fear not. We are going to make sense of all of this for you. Vaping does not have to be complicated.
The first two things you should do are obvious. First, read the user manual that comes with your device. Second, make sure vaping is permitted where ever you intend to vape.
There are many styles of vaping. Electronic cigarettes and vaporizers are a technology and with that comes versatility. Some e-cigs are very sophisticated, some are incredibly easy to use and enjoy. Let’s do this step by step. To figure out which style of vaping is right for you, the first thing we need to do is give you the tools to translate vaping language.
Vaping Glossary: 15 Basic Terms You Should Know
- Vaping – using an electronic cigarette but of course with vapor and not smoke.
- Electronic cigarette – a device that vaporizes e-liquid into a vapor that is then inhaled. There are three main parts to an e-cigarette.
1. Battery – most often a rechargeable battery, sometimes a disposable
2. Atomizer – the metal coil element to vaporize e-liquid
3. E-Liquid – a solution that may or may not contain nicotine that is vaporized and inhaled
- E-liquid – also called e-juice or vape juice. Made up of VG and or PG, flavor, and usually nicotine.
- VG – vegetable glycerin. A food grade additive. Usually made from palm, coconut or soy oils. Also used in cosmetics, soaps, and some foods.
- PG – propylene glycol. A food grade additive found in everything from food to medications to toothpaste.
- Atty – short for atomizer
- 18650s – the most common e-cig batteries used in most box mods and tube mods.
- Cloud chasing/chucking – trying to vape as much vapor as possible.
- Coils – also called coil heads. Most often an interchangeable, replaceable part that contains the atomizer coil and wicking. The term ‘coil’ comes from the fact that the metallic atomizer element is usually wrapped in the shape of a coil.
- Vape Tank – a device that contains vape juice and a coil.
- Regulated Mod – a vaping device that controls or regulates the power output.
- Mech mod – mechanical mod or unregulated mod. A vape device that allows raw power to go from the battery to the atomizer without constraints or safety measures.
- Box Mod – a mod shaped like a box. Designed to contain anywhere from one to four e-cig batteries.
- Tube Mod – a mod shaped like a tube. Usually comes with a built in battery or will contain one or two external batteries.
- Vaporizer – a device that vaporizes dry herb material. This class of products includes portable vaporizers, vape pens, and desktop vaporizers.
E-liquid is the liquid that is vaporized and converted into vapor. E-liquid is also called vape juice or e-juice. E-liquid is a mixture of VG and or PG, flavor, and nicotine. The amount of nicotine varies and is measured either in milligrams, mg, or as a percentage by volume. For example, a 12 mg nicotine level may also be labeled as 1.2%.
The best vape juice is made with the best quality ingredients and lets you choose your VG/PG blend and nicotine level. You also want to look for a wide selection of flavors. Vaping is very enjoyable when you can try some different flavors. Eventually, you will probably zero on on a couple of favorites.
Quite often, people who are just starting vaping like to start out with a tobacco e-liquid flavor. The tobacco flavor is familiar and a good way to get started with electronic cigarettes. We find that 50% of vapers eventually end up preferring fruit, gourmet and dessert flavors.
Standard vaping is using an electronic cigarette that has an atomizer of 1.0 ohms or higher. The way that you inhale the vapor is similar to smoking a cigarette. You draw the vapor into your mouth and then inhale. In vaping terms, this is called MTL or mouth to lung vaping.
In general, standard vaping is the easiest way to get started with electronic cigarettes. And the easiest type of device you can use for standard vaping is the cigalike.
A cigalike is the type of electronic cigarette that looks like a tobacco cigarette. The cigalike is the easiest type of electronic cigarette to use. A cigalike may also be referred to as a cigarette style electronic cigarette. The design is very basic. A battery in the range of 280 mAh and a cartomizer or refill cartridge. You will want to get a kit that comes with at least two or more batteries because it is likely you will need two fully charged batteries to get through an average day.
- Cigalike – the type of electronic cigarette that looks like a tobacco cigarette.
- Cartomizer – an e-cig refill cartridge.
- Automatic battery – a cigalike battery that senses when you inhale and fires the atomizer automatically.
- Manual battery – a type of cigalike battery that has a button that you press to fire the atomizer.
How To Use A Cigalike
- Fully charge your battery
- Attach a fresh cartomizer cartridge
- Start vaping
How to vape using a cigalike is as easy as that. The nicotine level that you choose for a cigalike will be in the 6 mg to 24 mg range. The problem with most cigalikes today is that the technology has not been updated. The type that is sold in stores today are usually the same ones that were sold five or six years ago. The industry has been focussing on the vaping enthusiast and the needs of the new vaper have been too often neglected. But not at Mig Vapor.
The Best Cigalikes
While everyone else has ignored cigalike technology, here at Mig Vapor we figured out a long time ago that it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time. Mig Vapor has upgraded cigalike technology designing the best cigalikes for a better vaping experience. MV has never lost focus on improving the vaping experience for the first time vaper.
Mig Vapor’s R&D team worked with one of the world’s leading manufacturers to improve the design of the cigalike cartridge. Mig Vapor refill cartridges incorporate a cutting edge atomizer that delivers better vaping.
Mig Vapor cigalike battery micro-processors are infused with technology that will simulate a very consistent 4.2-volt power output.
The best cigalike starter kits should come with everything that you need to get started. The Mig Cig standard plus kit is an example of a kit that comes with multiple batteries, two complete packs of refill cartridges, battery charger, carry case and more. When you get started vaping with a complete kit you don’t have to worry about buying any extra bits and pieces. You get it all in one shot.
Standard Vaping With A Mod And Refillable Vape Tank
Standard vaping with a mod and refillable tank involves a larger capacity battery and a refillable tank that can contain more e-liquid than an e-cig refill cartridge. The atomizer resistance is over 1.0 ohms and the vaping style is mouth to lung. You will be using an e-liquid that is at least 50% PG. The typical e-liquid for standard vaping is either 50/50 PG/VG or 70/30 PG/VG. The nicotine level range is from 6 mg to 24 mg on average. High VG vape juice blends are not appropriate for standard vaping.
There are four separate things you will need for standard vaping with a mod and tank:
1. A mod – can be a tube style or box. Can have a built in or external battery. Often will be a variable voltage or variable wattage mod. The power range for standard vaping is generally 3.2 volts to 4.8 volts with 4.2 being the sweet spot. In wattage, the power range can be from 8 watts to 14 watts with 10 W to 12 W being the typical sweet spot.
2. Vape tank – a vape tank may or may not have adjustable airflow. You manually fill the tank with e-liquid.
3. Atomizer coil – the atomizer coil will have a resistance over 1.0 ohms. A common standard vaping coil resistance is 1.8 ohms. The coil is the part that you will replace every 10 days to three weeks depending on how much you vape.
4. E-liquid – you will have a separate bottle of e-liquid that you will use to refill the tank. E-liquid bottles typically have a needle or dropper tip so it is easy to fill a tank. You will be using an e-liquid that is at least 50% to 70% PG with a nicotine level usually from 6 mg to 24 mg.
How To Vape With A Standard Mod And Tank
- Fully charge your mod battery
- Unscrew the base of your tank and insert a fresh atomizer coil
- Use only the coils designed to work with your tank
- Fill the tank with e-liquid and assemble your tank
- Connect the vape tank to the mod
- Wait at least five minutes to allow the wick in the coil to become saturated with your e-liquid
- If you are using a variable voltage/wattage mod, set the power to 3.2 volts or 8 watts
- Take a small puff
- If you have adjustable airflow on your tank, adjust the airflow to suit your preference
- Continue vaping and gradually increase the power setting to suit your preference
- Try not to exceed 4.8 volts
Sub Ohm Vaping
Sub ohm vaping is using an electronic cigarette device and an atomizer with a resistance of less than 1.0 ohms. The lower resistance draws more power from the battery increasing the amount of vapor produced. That is the intent of sub ohm vaping. To produce more vapor. Instead of vaping MTL, with sub ohm vaping you inhale the vapor directly into the lungs. This is called DL or direct lung.
With sub ohm style, you will be using an e-liquid that has more VG than PG. The nicotine levels used from sub ohm vaping range from 1.5 mg to 6 mg. There will be a lot more vapor so you will not need as much nicotine. You need to have an appropriate tank with a glass or Pyrex glass construction.
Sub ohm vaping can be more complicated than standard vaping. You have to know your atomizer resistance and know which variable wattage setting will be safe to use. It can be tricky. Usually, the appropriate power range for any given atomizer coil will be inscribed into the coil itself. That way you can look and see the wattage range you should be using.
How To Vape With A Sub Ohm Vape Mod And Tank
- Fully charge your mod batteries, they can be internal or external batteries
- Unthread the base of your vape tank
- Look at your atomizer coil and note the appropriate wattage range to vape at
- Insert the coil into the base of the tank
- You will be able to see the cotton through the e-juice ports on the coil
- “Prime” your coil by placing a few drops of e-liquid into the e-juice ports on the coil
- Fill the vape tank with e-liquid being careful not to overfill
- Connect the base to the tank making sure not to overtighten
- If you have a top-fill tank, assemble the tank first and then fill
- Wait at least five minutes for the coils to saturate
- Start vaping at the lowest recommended power setting
- Gradually increase wattage and adjust airflow to suit your taste
Sub Ohm Vaping Made easy
There are sub ohm mods that do most of the work for you. For example, the Mig Vapor Morpheus and the Neo mods manage all of the necessary calculations to deliver optimum vapor output. You don’t have to do anything. Sub ohm vaping can be easy with the right device.
The Morpheus is a tube style sub ohm mod and the Neo is a box mod. Both of these sub ohm mods have high capacity, powerful built in batteries so you don’t have to buy batteries or a charger separately. When you buy a sub ohm mod kit you get both the mod and the tank in one kit giving you more value for your dollar.
How To Vape With Neo and Morpheus Sub Ohm Mods
- Fully charge the internal battery through the USB port
- Insert a coil into the base of the tank
- Prime the coil
- Assemble the tank and attach to the mod
- Wait five minutes for the coil to saturate
- Start vaping
Temperature Control Vaping
Temperature control vaping is also a DL style of vaping using sub ohm atomizer resistances. The difference between sub ohm and temp control is that with temperature control, or TC, you set the vaporization temperature. Instead of setting your mod at 80 watts, you might set the coil temperature to 400 F. That way the mod will draw whatever power is necessary to reach 400 F. TC vaping requires that your atomizer coils be compatible. Examples of TC capable coil wire include nickel, titanium, and stainless steel.
The steps for how to vape with a temperature control mod are the same steps that apply to sub ohm vaping. Start out at a lower vape temperature like 325 F or 100 C. Gradually increase until you find your sweet spot.
What Is The Best First E-Cig?
Perhaps this is the real question that you are seeking an answer for. The best first e-cig is one that you will enjoy, that satisfies and is reliable. When you are learning how to vape you should choose a device that is easy to use.
The Mig Vapor Mig 21 electronic cigarette kit has been recognized by numerous critics and experts as the best e-cigarette to get started vaping with. The Mig 21 is essentially a hybrid between a cigalike and a mod and tank kit. You get a battery with a larger capacity than a standard cigalike. Instead of a disposable cartridge, you get a mini tank that can be used and refilled up to eight times.
The Mig 21 is portable and leak proof. In fact, it does not even leak at 35,000 feet. Airline pilots who vape love the Mig 21 for that reason.
You want to focus on ease of use and quality when you are getting started. Forget the e-cigs you see behind the counter in the gas station or convenience store. Buy direct from an independent American vape company like Mig Vapor. That is not shameless self-promotion, this is actually practical advice. You get a better value by buying direct. You deal directly with the people who make your product.
Vaping Pro Tips
- Always check and see if vaping is allowed wherever you are.
- Make sure your vape tank stays filled.
- If the tank drains too much, you can end up with a burnt hit. The dreaded “burnt hit” will leave a gross taste that can stick with you all day!
- Keep an eye on your e-juice level in your tank.
- Turn off your electronic cigarette when transporting. Especially if it is in a pocket or a purse.
- If you carry an extra battery or set of batteries, carry them in a case. You do not want your batteries coming into contact with metals like keys or coins.
Vaporizers and Vape Pens
Vaporizers and vape pens represent a different style of vaping known as dry herb vaping. Instead of e-liquid, a vaporizer vaporizes dry herb material. Dry herb can be medical marijuana, tobacco, or other botanicals. The materials are loaded into a heating chamber which is the part of the vaporizer where you pack your herbal material.
The heating chamber is heated to the point where the active ingredients of your materials are vaporized. The heating chamber does not reach the point where combustion occurs. There is no smoke or burning. You want to look for a quality vaporizer that does not put your materials in contact with a metal heating element. For example, Mig Vapor vaporizers use ceramic heating technology so your materials will never touch a hot metal element.
Portable vaporizers come in two different classes. A portable handheld vaporizer will have a relatively large capacity battery and a heating chamber capacity of about 0.5 grams. Mig Vapor has portable vaporizers with larger ovens that can hold 0.8 grams. You may or may not be able to adjust the vaporizer temperature depending on the model that you choose.
The other class of portable vaporizer is the vape pen. A vape pen is a very small device that is portable and stealthy. In fact, they really are not much bigger than a pen. A vape pen will not have as much battery capacity as a full sized portable.
How To Use A Vaporizer
- Fully charge your vaporizer
- Grind your materials, typically, a fine grind or medium grind works best
- Open your vaporizer heating chamber
- Pack the heating chamber with your materials
- Use the packing tool to make sure the heating chamber is well packed but not too tight
- Close the heating chamber and assemble your vaporizer
- Turn on the vaporizer
- Allow the vaporizer to heat up, this usually takes 30 seconds to two minutes
- Take a light pull on the vaporizer starting out slow and easy
- As you are vaping, you can increase the temperature and take longer hits to suit your preference
A dab pen is designed to vaporize concentrates and waxes. A dab, wax or concentrate is a very concentrated and potent resin form of the active ingredients drawn from herbal materials. The potency and intensity are why many vapers enjoy using dab pens.
Do not use dabs in a heating chamber designed strictly for dry herb. Some portable vaporizers like the Mig Vapor Matrix come with an insert. The insert is specially designed for dabs.
Dab pens like the Mig Vapor Yabba Dabber or the Keymaker come with specially designed ceramic heating chambers to accommodate waxes, concentrates, and resins.
How To Use A Dab Pen
- Fully charge your dab pen
- Open the heating chamber
- Use a dab tool to load material into the heating chamber
- A couple of scoops from your dab tool should do it
- You don’t want to handle dabs with your fingers
- Close the heating chamber and assemble the dab pen
- Turn on the device, usually by clicking the fire button five times
- Once the device is on, click the fire button a couple of times quickly
- This will prime the dab for vaping
- Take slow and steady hits
That wraps up our step by step guide for how to vape. We covered the gamut of vaping styles that you can enjoy. That’s the beauty of vaping. The technology offers a huge range of options. No more do we need the savagery of setting tobacco and herbs on fire! You have a lot of options and methods of enjoying vaping.