The Skinny on Starter Kits
So, you're looking to get in to e-cigs and vaping, but where do you start? Well, the simplest answer is to buy a starter kit! Right now there are about as many options with buying a starter kit as there are options with buying a can of soda. What size do I want, what flavor, what color, what style - the choices are seemingly endless! We'll help you narrow down the hundreds of choices regarding starter kits, and get you on your way to the world of vaping.
Types of Starter Kits
Generally speaking, you'll find a few different types of starter kits out there. We'll cover the non-disposable types, the only ones worth spending money on:
- 510 Style Kits
- Ego style kits
- Mod Kits
Whatever kit you decide to buy needs to have the same essential items included:
- At least one battery (many kits come with two)
- Clearomizers or Cartomizers for each battery (they hold the liquid)
- A case or container to hold everything
- A charging cable
The 510 Kit
Odds are, you've been seeing these starter kits around for awhile. They're usually the ones you'll see at gas stations (although many of the one for sale are of the disposable variety), and they're featured in commercials and tv shows.
The 510 e-cigs look like a robotic cigarette - about the same dimensions as a regular cigarette, and the tip usually glows red (to simulate a real cigarette burning) or blue (for the cyberpunk look). These starter kits are generally the ones to avoid. They're on their way out. 510 starter kits are usually overpriced, the batteries don't last very long, they don't produce much vapor, and most people agree that the flavor reproduction is terrible. I was actually given a 510 starter kit a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
It sat in my dresser drawer for a year.
It was a pain to keep reloading (the cartridge barely held any liquid), it constantly tasted funny, and it was constantly running out of power. Sure, it's small and fits in most any pocket of any piece of clothing, but it's just a terrible unit. By all means, try whatever you think will work for you, but my vote is no.
Ego Starter Kits
The "Ego" in Ego starter kit doesn't refer to a part of your identity. It's just the type of battery connection to the tank. The Ego starter kits are by and large the most popular types of starter kits out there today. These kits offer batteries that hold up to more wear and tear, last longer, and offer a smoother vaping experience. Ego starter kits
also usually include tanks that hold more liquid and perform much better than their 510 counterparts. Also, most kits worth buying will feature affordable replacement parts. One thing to look out for is kits that include extra cores for the clearomizers (tanks). A quality kit will stock you up with the items and accessories you need to keep you going for awhile. If you want to get really fancy, there are options like passthrough charging and variable voltage. Passthrough means you can charge the battery while you're vaping (usually with an included USB cable). Variable voltage batteries have a control unit built in (buttons or a dial) that let you control how much or little power the battery puts out.
Mod Starter Kits
Mod starter kits are the rarest of the three we've talked about. A mod is just a modified battery or battery holder. Most mod users are vapers who've been in the vaping game awhile. There's a lot of variety with these as well. Some offer voltage control, while others are mostly for collectors into finding something really neat looking. Usually you won't find a mod included in a starter kit, but every now and then you'll come across something special like the Blackhat Swag Bag Giveaways!
So, we've covered types of starter kits. What else do you want to look for in a starter kit? Well I'm glad you asked!
One of the great things about getting into the e-cig community right now is the OPTIONS! You don't wear the same shoes to work as you would a night on the town, right? Your e-cig can be the same way! There's a color to match every personality. Adhesive wraps also make a splash. You can pick your favorite football team colors to match your battery and tank combo, or go with something that brings our your eyes. It's all choices that make you love your kit and love using your e-cig!
If it feels flimsy, it is flimsy. You want to pick a unit that has a good solid feel to it. Let's face it - you're going to drop this thing. It's going to take a few falls here and there during its service to you. It'll ride in pockets and purses, backpacks and bags. You want something that's going to last! Also, don't forget to check on warranty and servicing. If tragedy were to befall your new investment, you want to have confidence that you can get the help you need from a friendly and knowledgeable vendor.
Last but not least, show me the money! Everyone likes to get a great deal, and nobody likes to get hustled. Do your homework! Check out prices online. Read reviews. Do you have friends who vape? Ask them how they like their gear and where they got it and how the service is at the shop. Everyone has an opinion on e-cigs and a lot of them count. Lots of places unnecessarily jack up the prices on their merchandise, so shop around to find the place with the best price and the best staff to show you the ropes.
Rebuildable coils: Micro, nano, sub... single, dual, twisted... what does it all mean?!?
Coil building is a labor of love for some. Knowing what you want out of the build and having the right tools is a good place to start. Want bigger plumes of vapor? Want more flavor? Want a hotter or cooler vape? There is a build for just about every want these days.
Every electronic cigarette creates vapor using the same basic method: A coil of resistance wire is wrapped around a wicking material. The wicking material (usually cotton or silica) sucks up the e-liquid (much in the same way a candle wick sucks up melted wax) and electricity is passed through the resistance wire coil. The coil heats up, heats the e-liquid, and you have delicious vapor!
Coils are as diverse and differentiating as there are types of car engines. Your average commuter might drive a conservative 4 cylinder, while muscle car fans might like the punch of a big block V8! The same idea applies to coils. Most vapers buy pre-made coils from their favorite vape shop or website. Then there are the advanced users - the modders, the hobbyists. These guys use rebuildable coils. RBA's (Rebuildable Atomizers), RTA's (Rebuildable Tank Atomizers), and RDA's (Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers) require the user to physically wrap the resistance wire into coils.
Now why would anyone want to go through that amount of trouble? The answer is simple: CUSTOMIZATION! When you build your own coil, you're in direct control of how hot or cold your atomizer burns. The results can range from super hot rebuildable coils that can produce enough vapor to haze out a living room, to cooler rebuildable coils that let you embrace every facet of flavor from your favorite e-liquid.
Most rebuildable coils and atomizers they're housed in require using a mod style battery setup. Essentially a mod is a modified battery housing to be used with a high capacity, high output battery. Heating up these monster rebuildable coils needs a beefed up battery setup! We all have to remember the wise words of Peter Parker's Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility." Rebuildable Coils require that you take care while you tinker. Remember you're dealing with electricity and really hot metal!! Ok, moving on:
Customization! (Remember that from earlier?) So you've moved up to wanting to make your own rebuildable coils. Which coil do you create? That's a good question, and there's more answers than you can imagine. Most advanced vapers start out with a simple single coil.
One coil of resistance wire, one strand of wicking material. It's simple, effective, and does the trick. Then there's the vapers I call "The Gamblers" - they like to double down and build dual coils! Two coils - twice the firepower - half the resistance. That means a hotter burn and more vapor. It just goes on from there. I've seen quad coils (four rebuildable coils and monster clouds), dragon coils, Danny wicks, twisted/braided wire; the list is endless! There are many options for wire and wick. Both have a huge impact on the vapor production and flavor as well. Everyone has a preference to what they like and what works the best. Odds are, once you jump into the world of modding and rebuildable coils, you'll come up with your own unique way to design your own rebuildable coil.
Stick around for our post on exactly HOW to create your own rebuildable coil and reach a whole new level of vaping!
The Anyvape Peakomizer has landed at Blackhat!
The name says it all. The Peakomizer truly is the peak of bottom coil technology. With the ability to use not only most BDC’s (bottom dual coils), but also a wide range of single coils including the Smok tech and Kanger tech coils. This clearomizer is truly revolutionary!
In my personal use of the Peakomizer, I have found every feature it has to be both effective and user friendly. The turn based adjustable air flow function spans 4 different levels, and there is a 5th level used primarily for filling to prevent leaks. For those of you who are fans of the old top filling clearomizers, it is designed for top filing. I have used both kanger and smok tech bottom single coils, and the aspire and kanger tech dual coils. This ability is due to the fact that the center tubing is held in place with a spring that allows it to adjust to almost any coil height with no leaking.
The pyrex glass in the Peakomizer is still the same size as the pyrex glass as used in the Anyvape Davide. So for those of you that have any Davide glass lying around never fear! Your glass is still good for use. Those who like to customize your vapes will be happy to hear that the Peakomizers drip tip is replaceable. We have a variety colored pyrex glass pieces for it also. The 510 connection will fit into most batteries/mods, and for my fellow Itaste VTR owners it fits rather nicely in the side 510 connection. I have longed for some time now for a proper pyrex adjustable air flow clearomizer, and I must say the Peakomizer has certainly exceeded my expectations.
As someone who owns a Aspire Nautilus, I find the Peakomizer to be the superior all day vape. The air flow ranges from a little less than standard pull rate, to a full lung hitter if that’s what you look for in your clearomizer. It has much to offer any vaper, and you won’t be restricted to using just one type of coil. So go ahead and get yours today! I assure you it will leave you speechless.
You can get more info from our breakdown video:
If you've been using an electronic cigarette for any amount of time, you've realized that there's a dizzying variety of e-liquid flavorings out there. I've seen everything from blueberry to bacon. (I may get the nerve to try the bacon flavor one day, but that day is not today) The search for the best e-liquid flavoring can be an exciting yet overwhelming process. I'm sure you've asked yourself, "What makes one e-liquid flavoring better than another?" At Blackhat Electronic Cigarettes, we've done extensive research for the highest quality ingredients available and saved you the trouble.
Our e-liquid flavoring is proudly made in the USA at in a pharmaceutical grade, FDA approved lab. (No basement brews here!) The base ingredients are also USP grade. Some other e-liquid flavorings are also used in the food industry. The result is that those e-liquid flavorings may not vaporize well, break down in higher temperatures, and oxidize easily in the presence of nicotine. At Blackhat, our e-liquid flavorings are created specifically for use in e-liquid. Extensive research is conducted on each individual flavor to ensure that none of the ingredients are unfit for inhalation. So as new information becomes available, the selection of e-liquid flavoring may shift accordingly.
The lab stands behind its product 100%, and accepts all legal responsibility in the event of any legal action going down.
Did I mention our e-liquid flavoring is Kosher? L'chaim!
Blackhat E- Cigarettes has scoured the spectrum of e-liquid flavorings. Our Mobster line of e-liquid flavoring is by far the most expensive we've found. Price doesn't always equal quality, but in this case, we're betting our black hats (I couldn't resist) that it does! Our e-liquid flavoring vendor ensures the safety of our customers which is our top priority. So take comfort, fellow vapers, and puff with confidence knowing that Blackhat Electronic Cigarettes has your back!
Well, the short and sweet answer is that e-liquid is the fluid used in the reservoir of an e-cig that is heated up to produce vapor which is then inhaled by the user.
It's the stuff that we puff.
The reality is that e-liquids come in a dazzling array of flavors, strengths, consistencies, and brands. Let's look at what similarities they have and what sets them all apart.
The majority of e-liquid manufacturers combine five ingredients in their e-liquids:
1. Propylene Glycol
2. Vegetable Glycerin
3. Nicotine Concentrate
4. Food Grade Flavoring
5. Distilled Water (for diluting if necessary)
Let's look at each one of these individually:
1. Propylene Glycol (PG) is something that most of you are already familiar with in a more theatrical setting - fog machines. It's the same stuff that pumps into the air at the House of Blues or during a Pink Floyd show. PG is also used in food colorings and as a flavor carrier in other food products.
2. Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is a thicker liquid component that PG derived from plants. It's commonly used in household items such as toothpaste and shampoo. Most e-liquids are made with a varying ratio of PG and VG resulting in different flavor and vapor producing mixtures. Higher VG ratios in the liquid will produce thicker clouds of vapor, but will require a hotter burn to pull that off. Using a variable voltage battery unit is recommended if you're going to go that route.
3. Nicotine Concentrate We're all pretty familiar with nicotine. The interesting thing about nicotine used by most e-liquid manufacturers is well over 95% pure. The levels of nicotine are precisely measured and Blackhat Electronic Cigarettes offers range from 0% to 3.6% per mL.
4. Food Grade Flavoring is almost self-explanatory. These flavors are commonly used in baked goods, candies, and beverages.
So that about sums it up. Like with anything else, individual tastes will vary widely! Some liquids play well in the average starter kit, while the homemade sub-ohm coil on a mechanical mod may require a bit more of a custom ordered liquid. There's thousands of combinations available, and we encourage you to try as many as you can. Who knows what you'll find! Apparently there's a bacon flavored liquid out there for those of you who are feeling particularly bold...
Davide BDC Pyrex Clearomizer
The T3S and Evod BCC's came into my life and swiftly turned it upside down. Alas, they were plastic clearomizers. I embraced the bottom filling and coil replacement of the T3S and Evod, but it was the dastardly plastic tank that left me in distress. The T3S couldn't handle some of my favorite citrus based E-liquids. The other small downside was not being able to change the drip tip. While it might not be the most important factor for some vape enthusiasts, I really do enjoy the option to customize my set up from top to bottom.
There had to be a clearomizer that could ease my vape tank woes. Then right before I reached out to flip on the the Vapeman signal, the Davide BDC Pyrex Clearomizer emerged, ready to save the day!
Was the Davide BDC ready to withstand my lemony lemonades, villainous citruses, or the most sinful cinnamon e-liquids? BAM! ZAP! POW! With it's 4ml Pyrex tank it courageously withstood them all. Not a single crack, leak, or clouding of the tank. My fears of damaging another tank are now faded in plumes of tasty vapor.
Plumes and plumes, indeed. The air flow and vapor production on both the Davide BDC 4ml (510threaded) and Davide Mini 2ml (eGo threaded) are, in my opinion, a step above any clearomizer I've tried. They both fit seamlessly on my eGo magnetic battery and APV without interrupting the airflow. Looking in the base of the tank I can see what looks to be an aerator? My Davide BDC hasn't flooded, gurgled, or leaked. Looks like that aerator is doing its job controlling the amount of E-liquid reaching the Bottom Dual Coil in the 4ml tank. Yes, you read that correctly, BOTTOM DUAL COIL! Enhanced flavor and vapor production? YES, PLEASE!
Final test of the Davide BDC; Can I use my oh so fancy Air-Flow Control drip tip (or any of my other fun 510 drip tips)? Color me excited, this tank does have the option to interchange 510 style drip tips! The replacement Pyrex comes in a few colors too. Changing the glass took only a few moments longer than it takes to change the core. My drip tips are finally getting some use instead of gathering layers of dust in the vape cave.
One last thing to share before I vape off into the sunset with my tank hero. The BDC's have the same replacement process as the T3S and EVOD BCC. Twist out the old core and twist in a new one. Did I mention the Davide BDC has the option to use the standard single coils from the T3S and EVOD BCC? Removing the adapter and bottom dual coil leaves the option to use the single coil cores used in the previous version of the Davide Clearomizer. This is a relief since I'm well stocked up on cores for my GCB, T3S, and Evod tanks, they won't be going unused.
I certainly got a lot more bang for my buck with this pyrex tank. Needless to say, the Davide BDC has quickly become a staple in my daily vape set up.
Until next time my fellow vapers, Keep Calm and Vape On.
I know, I know... .there are several Bottom Coil Clearomizer's out there on the market, how did the Smok GBC and EBC stop me in my tracks? It was their bold colors choices and seamless pinup like curves. These BCC's have seriously left me in awe. So much so that I'm quite willing to over look the one downside I found with this tank; no option to change the drip tip. Even without that option these tanks are a fantastic find.
Smok has thoughtfully combined the functionality of BCC's (Bottom Coil Clearomizers) and modern aesthetics that other tanks have been slightly lacking. One continuous flowing tank without measuring lines, just rich bold jewel tone color. I didn't think I would see tank colors quite like this. So I gladly gave up those measuring marks and protective metal sleeves for a much needed pop of color. The thought of plastic on metal made me a bit nervous but the threads on the Smok GBC have held up pretty well thru numerous fills and coil changes. They've gracefully survived several clumsy drops to the pavement while I've fumbled for my keys as well.
The Smok GBC is a roomy 4 ml (510 connection) for those of you looking to fill less frequently and The Smok EBC is a slim 1.5 ml (eGo threaded connection). The GBC fits well with a flared beauty ring on my eGo style battery. Although the Smok GBC is a little slimmer than the base of my APV it still sits quite flush giving me a good constant vape. The Smok EBC worked on both devices giving air flow that is on par with the Evod and T3S. Being able to use the same cores as the EVOD and T3S is certainly a plus.
I didn’t need to call out the goons to collect any debts for me, these sleek beauties have a smaller price tag than the Evod and T3S! I couldn't help but get one of each color.
Until next time my fellow vapers, Keep Calm and Vape on!
- The Kanger T3S clearomizer is quite possibly one of the best clearomizers I've had the pleasure of using. The 3mL capacity means that I rarely have to refill it during the day, even during my heaviest vaping times (at the bar, don't judge me!). Just like the Rolling Stones' song, "She comes in colors everywhere...she's a rainbow".<a href=""> Read More...
- With less than a year of vaping under my belt, I'm still not entirely used to the looks I get while puffing on my e-cig when I'm out and about. And to be honest, when I had the standard eGo batteries it wasn't as much of a "thing", but now that I have my Sigelei Mod, I get many more peculiar looks. The list of things people have asked me it was is ridiculous. Read More...
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