The Different Types of Vapes You Need to Know

The Different Types of Vapes You Need to Know

Let’s be honest, shopping for vapes can be confusing! You know why you want to vape, but which device is best for you? The first thing to understand is that there are two main categories of vapes.

  1. Nicotine vapes: handheld devices powered by lithium-ion batteries designed to mimic the sensation of smoking without combustion
  2. Cannabis/CBD vapes: handheld or desktop devices, powered either by batteries or electrical power supplies; these devices are used with CBD and THC, from dry herb to concentrates, for all the medicinal and recreational benefits minus the smoke

There are other substances that people vape, like various herbs, vitamins, and even caffeine. But those are not different devices from nicotine or cannabis vapes; it’s just different substances going into those two main types. There’s even some overlapping between cannabis and nicotine vapes, like the classic “vape pen” which functions in both realms.

Nicotine vapes

While all nicotine vapes can be called “e-cigarettes”, that term is most commonly used for small devices that look similar to a cigarette in size and shape. But nicotine vapes don’t stop there.


These are the smallest and simplest vapes you’ll find. Open the pack and they’re ready for immediate use. Once you’re finished, you dispose of the device and use another. These are ideal devices for travel or for the busiest among us without the time to tinker with little gadgets. E-cigarettes work great with high nicotine in providing a satisfying hit, which makes them work well for smokers looking for a quick entry into vaping.

  • (+) Small and convenient
  • (+) Perfect for stealth vaping
  • (+) Discreet
  • (+) Affordable
  • (+) Easy to use
  • (-) Single-use increases waste
  • (-) Flavor output is average
  • (-) No refilling

Pod vapes

Pod vapes are some of the most practical vaping devices available. A pod vape is usually a two-piece device, similar to an e-cigarette, with one piece being the battery and the other a replaceable and often refillable pod. Pod vapes are usually affordable and very easy to use while performing at a higher level than most traditional e-cigarettes. They are also a perfect fit for nicotine salt e-liquid, making them a very efficient vape for nicotine delivery.

  • (+) Very easy to operate
  • (+) Practical form factor
  • (+) Refillable or replaceable pods
  • (+) Button or draw-activated
  • (+) Ideal for stealth vaping
  • (-) Quality and performance can vary greatly between devices
  • (-) Low vapor
  • (-) Frequent recharging of batteries

Box mods

Box mod kits are larger and more powerful vapes. The extra size usually means better performance and longer battery life, usually in the form of external vape batteries. Most box mods come with settings and features such as variable wattage or even temperature control. The included tanks can be mouth to lung clearomizers or direct lung sub ohm tanks.

The most common configuration for a box mod starter kit would be a single-battery mod with variable wattage and temperature control capabilities, paired with a mid-range sub ohm tank.

  • (+) Many options to choose from
  • (+) Higher performance
  • (+) Long-running internal or external batteries
  • (+) Can be used with other tanks
  • (-) Complicated
  • (-) Too advanced for novices
  • (-) Expensive
  • (-) Not very pocket-friendly

Regulated squonk starter kits

These are the most advanced vapes of this list. Technically a sub-category of box mod starter kits, squonk setups have become so popular during the last couple of years that are worthy of their own category. Squonkers provide a practical method for feeding your atomizer with e-liquid. A typical regulated squonk setup bundles a squonk capable box mod and a bottom-fed RDA. The mod houses a squeezable bottle that is connected with the atomizer deck through a shallow 510, practically functioning as an external tank section.

Due to the bottle occupying the space where a battery would have been placed, a single battery squonk mod will have roughly the same size with a dual-battery box mod. As a result, most squonk kits come in single battery configuration, but dual-battery squonkers are available for those who don’t mind the extra bulk.


  • (+) Very high-performing devices
  • (+) RDAs can be built to one’s needs
  • (+) No need to drip
  • (+) Increases liquid capacity
  • (+) Turn non-tanks basically into tanks (extra liquid storage)
  • (+) Freshly soaked wicks offer fresh flavor
  • (-) Complex; not for beginners
  • (-) Small parts to keep up with and maintain
  • (-) Required cleaning to ensure clean flavor performance

Alternative vapes

These vaporizers come in various forms. Similar to smoking accessories like bongs, bubblers, bowls, and dab rigs, alternative vapes are plentiful. Still, when it comes down to it, there are two main types: desktops and portables. Portables can be small to hardly pocketable but still portable, with desktops needing to be parked at your session station.

Desktop vaporizers are typically the most efficient option for dry herb and wax, but if you’re on the go, there are solid portable and pen-style vapes that provide vaporization with all the benefits of the substance and none of the issues of smoke, either obnoxious odors or negative health effects from inhaling smoke.

Oil / Concentrate pens

Oil / Concentrate pens are a relatively simple two-part electronic device used to vaporize your oil or distillate. An evolution of early vape pens, Oil / Concentrate pens are most often shaped like writing pens—hence the name. Every oil / concentrate pen houses a small battery that heats your oil in an atomizer cartridge containing a wick and a heating coil. This heating process turns concentrates into vapor.

  • (+) Small and convenient
  • (+) Personal use for small sessions
  • (+) Perfect for stealth medicating or for recreational use
  • (+) Discreet
  • (+) Versatile
  • (+) Low odor
  • (+) Easy to use
  • (-) Small batteries need more frequent charges
  • (-) Lacking power
  • (-) Required cleaning
  • (-) Not very advanced but prices can be a bit high

Portable Dry Herb vaporizers

Portable dry herb vaporizers are small personal devices designed for vaporizing your dry herb. They have an internal oven that heats up your product at precise temperatures to produce vapor.

  • (+) Small and convenient
  • (+) Personal use for small sessions with others
  • (+) Perfect for stealth medicating or for recreational use
  • (+) Discreet
  • (+) Versatile
  • (+) Low odor
  • (+) Easy to use
  • (-) Need to recharge battery
  • (-) Typically have several parts to keep up with
  • (-) Required cleaning

What type of a vape should you buy?

This will always be a personal choice. Your budget and experience level will be the ultimate deciding factor in what you should use. But as shallow as it sounds, you should really take into consideration the look and size of the device. If a big bulky device doesn’t fit in your lifestyle, you can effectively rule out half of your options. And vice versa. If size doesn’t matter, and you’re just looking for the most powerful experience, you can look past all of the pocket-friendly devices and go for the gusto.


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Article Author: Spyros Papamichail

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fly - May 29, 2020

That’s totally unlucky for you dude. I got my second Relx Replacement Pre-filled Pod 15 Flavors 2ml 3PCs Chinese Edition for almost 6 months now.
My first one got knocked off from a second floor veranda hitting a solid concrete floor.
Broke the side plates and the atomizer but the mod worked like brand new.
If only it wasn’t stolen i would still be using the thing.

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