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Vaporizers, Atomizers, and E-Cigarettes: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are just getting into the vaporizer and e-cig scene, there is probably a lot that you still don’t know. A lot of terms get tossed around, such as “vape juice”, “atomizer mod”, and “e-liquid”. For new vape users, many of these terms may be unfamiliar; this guide aims to clear up a lot of confusion about what vaping really is, and how to make the most of your chosen product.


What is Vaping?


Vaping, at its core, is the process of inhaling a vapor produced by either a vaporizer or an e-cig. This vapor is produced by heating up either a liquid, wax, or raw herb using a coil, and the resulting vapor flows through a series of tubes where it can then be inhaled through a mouthpiece. In the past few years, vaping has gained considerable traction as an acceptable alternative to smoking, especially in states that have legalized vapable substances. Vape culture has increased exponentially, with new tools and devices coming out every month.


Why vape? Though it’s hailed as being a healthier alternative to smoking, it’s most certainly a different experience. Vapor is much heavier and wetter than tobacco smoke, which can be an unusual, or in some cases, an uncomfortable experience for people who aren’t used to the stuff. However, there are a wider array of products that can produce vapor, the most well known being dry herb. Besides the raw product, waxes and the e-liquids are becoming more and more popular, and as a result, vaporizer products such as e-cigarettes and atomizers have evolved to accept these sorts of vape “fuels”.


What are Vaporizers, Atomizers, and E-Cigarettes?


Once you choose whether you want to inhale the vapor from a dry herb, wax, or liquid, you have to find a product that can turn your chosen material into vapor. The most popular choice is a vaporizer, which takes your product and heats it up slowly, taking more time to get to the desired temperature, but creates a more potent vapor on the whole. A vaporizer creates vapor in a way that it produces a vapor to either inhale directly from the source (as with handheld vaporizers), or to store it in a vape bag while at home (as with the increasingly popular desktop vaporizers). However, a vaporizer isn’t the only method for getting the vapor.


E-cigarettes, or e-cigs, are small, lightweight, and portable vape systems that resemble a cigarette, or more accurately, a long pen. The e-cigarette doesn’t burn tobacco like a regular cigarette, but instead uses specially formulated e-liquid to create the desired vapor. Many e-cigarettes are refillable through the use of an atomizer vape, allowing users to choose an e-cig container and use it for many months, but some e-cigarettes are disposable, allowing for a day or so of use before needing to be discarded.


Finally, atomizers (also known as “nebulizers”) are the most important part to an e-cigarette. Atomizers hold the e-liquid, and attach to the e-cigarette battery in order to deliver vapor to the user. Atomizers require e-liquid in order to function properly; without e-liquid, an atomizer vape can reach temperatures of 300 degrees Fahrenheit or more, resulting 



What is a Vape/E-Cig Mod?


Vape mods and e-cigarette mods are modified e-cigarettes that allow you to customize your vaping experience. Mods such as the ever popular vape box mod give you more room to put your product, and allow you to produce more vapor. There are also bigger batteries for longer run times, and temperature control vape mods to give you greater control over the temperature that you heat your product (this mod comes pre-programmed into many vaporizers, but it doesn’t hurt to have it for your e-cigarettes). Essentially, the best vape mods are an add-on to your pre-existing atomizer or e-cigarette to enhance and prolong your experience with the vapor.



What is an E-Cigarette?


An e-cigarette is an alternative to smoking, and looks very similar to a tobacco cigarette. The difference between the two products is that while a traditional tobacco cigarette is made of paper and tobacco fillers, an e-cigarette is powered by a battery, and the fuel that creates the “smoke” (read: vapor) is actually produced via a liquid being heat up to high temperatures. An e-cigarette is made of two, sometimes three parts: the battery, the liquid cartridge, and the mouthpiece.


NOTE: E-cigarettes are popular among people who want to quit traditional smoking. There are many e-cigarette types online with vapor packages that range in nicotine amounts. While this method is hailed as a safe and effective way to help quit smoking, the FDA does not regulate what goes into an e-cigarette e-liquid, and as such is not recommended as a viable “stop smoking” aid.


Types of E-Cigarettes


Disposable: A disposable e-cigarette is one that has one use, and then can be discarded when finished. They last longer than traditional cigarettes, and come in a variety of bold flavors. A disposable e-cigarette will come fully charged, with the liquid already installed inside the cartridge. All you have to do is turn it on and enjoy the vapor. When it’s finished, simply throw out the whole unit, much like you would a typical cigarette.


Disposable e-cigarettes are great for people who aren’t entirely sure about vaping to begin with, and you may want to purchase a disposable e-cigarette in order to get a feel for what vaping is and how it works. However, disposable e-cigarettes are less cost effective and don’t allow for any customization. Typically, a single disposable e-cigarette will run between $7 and $10, while a rechargeable e-cigarette kit will run you a one-time purchase of about $80, and then it’s a matter of picking up the cheaper e-liquids over time.


Rechargeable: This is the most recognizable type of e-cigarette, and one that is most often associated with vaping. A rechargeable e-cigarette features a detachable e-liquid cartridge that you can refill with your chosen e-liquid, or “e-juice”. These refillable and rechargeable e-cigarettes are the most cost effective way to get into vaping, as you only have to expend a little each month for e-liquid refills. The e-cigarette itself is a one time purchase, and as long as you keep it in good shape, it’ll last you for years - about as long as the average cell-phone.




As stated above, e-cigarette mods enhance the e-cigarette vaping experience. There are box mods, temperature-control mods, battery mods and more. Each e-cigarette mod gives your vaping experience something more. Some mods come as an all-in-one package, and as such you get the most out of your vaping experience. However, if you don’t want all the fancy additions, you can select one or two mods to add to your e-cigarette.


Vape Atomizers


What is a Vape Atomizer?


A vape atomizer, or simply an “atomizer” or a “nebulizer”, is a small tool that turns your e-liquid into a vapor through the use of a coil. An atomizer is measured in ohms, which dictates the resistance of the internal coil. The lower the ohms, the more power from the battery the atomizer vape is going to demand. An atomizer is made up of several different parts: the battery, the coil, and the e-liquid container. At its core, this is all an atomizer vape is, but there is a certain nuance to using these atomizers. As a beginner, you’ll want to look for a pre-built atomizer to reduce the stress of putting one together yourself. However, if you’re already familiar with atomizers and know your way around them, a rebuildable atomizer offers a more customizable experience.


How to use an Atomizer


Using an atomizer is simple and easy, requiring only a few steps to get started. Below are the minimum number of steps you need to take in order to begin vaping with your new atomizer.



1. If you bought a rebuildable atomizer, assemble it now.


Build your atomizer according to the instructions. Beginner vapers should steer clear of rebuildable atomizers until they are familiar with how an atomizer works. Experienced vapers will be able to do this step without too much difficulty


2. Blow out the primer


Primer is a liquid that is in all atomizers as a way to protect them from oxidation. You do not want to inhale this stuff. Not only does it taste awful, it’s not good for your throat or lungs. To remove the primer, take the top of the atomizer between your lips and blow towards the bottom (the coil)over a paper napkin.


3. Attach the battery to the atomizer


The battery is how the atomizer is powered, so this is a very important step. Without the battery, you won’t be able to create any vapor. Check for a threaded area on both the battery and the atomizer (there should be a ‘male’ and ‘female’ threaded portion). This is how the battery connects. 


4. Attach the “drip tip”


Drip tips are how e-liquids are put into the atomizer, without needing to totally disconnect the atomizer itself. The drip tip attaches to opposite the battery, and often simply snaps into the non-threaded end of the atomizer.


To smoke the atomizer, add a few drop of e-liquid in through the drip tip. Allow the liquid to sit for a few seconds; this allows the liquid to settle into the wick. Put the drip tip between your lips, angling the e-cigarette down slightly, press the button on the battery, and give a short inhale. This will ensure that the liquid inside the atomizer hits the wick and evaporates into smoke.


Cleaning the Atomizer


There are many ways to clean an atomizer, some more effective than others. As a rule of thumb, you should clean your atomizer about once a week, if not once every few days. Failing to clean the atomizer for long periods of time will result in gross buildup that can create a toxic vapor, leading to very serious health problems later down the road.


Method 1: Cotton Swabs


Using a cotton swab as your method of cleaning is not only the easiest way, but also the safest for your atomizer. It is important not to damage the coil when cleaning your atomizer, and a cotton swab offers just enough protection to adequately clean and preserve your atomizer’s internal structure. Simply dip your cotton swab into some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), and gently brush the inside of the atomizer. This method is best done after every one or two sessions, as it’s so gentle. However, if you neglect to clean your atomizer for a week, you’ll need to resort to another cleaning method.


Method 2: Soak


Soaking your atomizer is not the optimal way to clean, and if not done right you can seriously damage your atomizer. Coil atomizers can be soaked in a solution of rubbing alcohol for about half an hour, but ensure that the atomizer is completely dry before using again. For atomizers with a removable cup, remove that and soak it in rubbing alcohol.


Method 3: Paperclip


This method is recommended only if the airway to the atomizer is clogged with gunk. It’s good to take preventative measures before this happens, but not everyone is so careful. This method involves taking a paperclip (or similarly thin, long device), and gently poking out all of the gross, crusted on gunk that has built up. Don’t scratch the inside of your atomizer and take care not to damage the vape coils while doing this.


Rebuildable Atomizers


Rebuildable Atomizers are similar to regular, pre-built atomizers, except with a rebuildable atomizer you can pick and choose what parts go into the atomizer. Think of it like a custom built PC; you can choose the hardware that goes into your computer to make it handle all sorts of programs, and the parts are easily upgradable and replaceable. The same holds true for an atomizer - simply pick the parts that you want, build, and vape. While this type of atomizer can be more expensive on the outset of your vaping experience, it is well worth it as you can customize your internals (such as a vape coil, drip tips, wick) which in turn affects your vape.

Enhance your Vaping Experience




E-liquids are key to any e-cigarette or atomizer experience. E-liquid, or e-juice, is a liquid that you put inside your e-cigarette or atomizer, and it is this liquid that gets heated up by the vape coils. Once it reaches a sufficient temperature, the e-liquid turns into vapor, which can then be inhaled and expelled in a vape cloud. E-liquids come in many different flavors, such as vanilla bean, strawberry shortcake, or coffee. These e-liquids also have varying levels of nicotine, from trace amounts to about the same as a cigarette. Like many products, cheap e juice will not taste as good as more expensive e juices, so choose your e juice provider as though you were purchasing a more expensive product.


What is in vape juice? E-liquids contain a mixture of water, glycerin, varying levels of nicotine (or, if you prefer, no nicotine at all), and food grade flavoring to give your vapor a pleasant taste.




Sub-Ohm vaping is the practice of vaping with a vape coil that has a resistance of less than 1.0 Ohms. Most atomizers run at a resistance of 1.5-2.0 ohms, but occasionally (and especially with rebuildable atomizers), you may choose to get a sub-ohm coil. What does this really mean though?


For vape enthusiasts, sub-ohm vaping means you get a bigger, more impressive cloud of vapor to expel. Sub-ohm vaping also helps to enhance the flavor of your vapor cloud; less resistance means you get a fuller flavor, especially if you use a cotton wick. If you want a better all-around vape, or you’re looking to get into competitive vaping, then a sub-ohm atomizer is what you need. To get the best cloud, though, you’re going to need some modifications to your atomizer.


Box Mods


Box mods are how you get the most out of your vape. A box mod can hold a much bigger battery, giving you longer use time throughout the day. Box mods vape enthusiasts prefer can also hold bigger and better atomizers and tanks, giving you the best vape you’ve ever had.


Box mods are named because of their box-like shape. Box mods are built this way to hold a bigger battery pack, a much larger tank, and an atomizer. Box mods are ideal for optimal temperature control, and have an adjustable dial for power and wattage. Because of these things, a box mod is highly desirable, especially when coupled with a rebuildable atomizer.

Top Vaporizer Brands




Dedicated to quality vapor and innovative box mods, Smok is a leader in box mod vaporizers, and is a favorite among vape enthusiasts. From their vape kits to their cheap box mods, vape connoisseurs are sure to find something that they like. Smok has a wide variety of vapes for sale, and can be used by both new and experienced vapers alike. Their starter kits are some of the most sought after, 




KangerTech is best known for making their state of the art atomizers, and deal in both regular and sub-ohm vaping. They have numerous atomizers with both single and double coil, and their atomizer packs are reasonably priced for new and experienced vapers.


Suorin Air


Suorin Air specializes in the discrete vapor market, without sacrificing flavor or vapor. They have established themselves inside the box mod vapor market, and are a trusted source of vaporizers and atomizers for vape enthusiasts everywhere. They supply stylish, affordable, and effective vaporizers that are not only sleek, but also completely discreet.




Joyetech is the leading manufacturer of e-cigarettes and atomizers, supplying stylish and easy to use e-cigs to new and returning vape customers. Their e-cigarettes and atomizers come in a variety of colors and styles to fit your unique personality, and Joyetech has the most diverse selection of atomizers to suit you. From battery mods to sub-Ohms, you’re sure to find what you need.




E-leaf is a newer company, but that hasn’t stopped them from almost immediately winning over the hearts and minds of the vape enthusiasts that use their product. They create amazing products that give you the best vapor possible, with a very affordable cost to boot. They’re quickly becoming a leader in personal vape products. Their cheap box mods are among their most popular products, being both affordable and effective for new and frequent vape users.




Wismec has not been on the vaping scene for long, but they’ve made a lasting impression on the vaping community. They are becoming well known for their cheap box mods, vape accessories (such as vape battery mods and vape charger mods), as well as the high quality that makes these products stand out. With Wismec, there’s no such thing as a bad vape. While they are a little more expensive than other companies, the quality shows through in their mod products.




Vaporesso offers a string of high quality vaping goods that have been serving the vaping community faithfully for years. Their vape starter kit sets are second to none, and are a leading provider of cheap vape starter kits to both new and frequent vapers. They are committed to offering vapers inexpensive ecig mods, perfect for anyone looking into vaping.


Aspire Vape


Aspire vape deals with e-cig battery mods, vape mods, as well as various vape mod kits like sub-ohm tank pieces and vape tanks. They have some of the best vape tanks on the market as well, which is a further testament to their quality. These parts, along with their starter kits, are why vape enthusiasts keep coming to the vaping community. Their products are inexpensive, but of quality make, and the vapor they produce is far from sub-par.



Vaping is the process of heating up a liquid through the use of a coil, usually in a vaporizer, atomizer, or e-cigarette.


Vapor: The end result of vaping; evaporated e-liquid that is inhaled and then expelled in a cloud. Vape enthusiasts tend to prefer larger clouds.


Vaporizer: An instrument operated either remotely or orally, taking either dry herb or liquid or wax, and heats up the product in such a way that creates vapor for the user to inhale at their leisure.


E-Cigarette: A vaporizing aid that is powered by a battery and takes e-liquid as its fuel. The user can then press a button to activate the battery, heat up the liquid, and enjoy a vape.


Disposable E-cigarette: Single use e-cigarette that can be discarded once empty.


E-liquid: Flavored liquid that is used in vaporizers, atomizers, and e-cigarettes.


E-Juice: See E-Liquid.


Drip Tip: Apparatus found on e-cigarettes and atomizers that allows for the introduction of e-liquid into the instrument used.


Coil: Copper, stainless steel or other metal alloy that is the basis for heating within an e-cigarette or atomizer


Atomizer Tank: A external case that holds the battery, coil, and liquid compartment together.


Battery: Powers the atomizer/e-cigarette and allows for the heating of the coil.


Atomizer: A small, lightweight vapor-producing instrument consisting of a drip-tip, a coil, and a battery. There are two and three piece atomizers.


Rebuildable Atomizer: An atomizer that can be taken apart, customized, and rebuilt again as frequently as desired.


Wick: Usually made of cotton or synthetic material, the wick holds e-liquid and brings it to the coil. The liquid is then evaporated.


Sub-Ohm: Used to measure atomizer coils that operate at under 1.0 Ohms; a unit to measure resistance.


Box Mods: Self-containing devices that attach to the atomizer to enhance the vapor; includes improvements such as larger batteries, temperature control, and enhanced wattage control.


Mechanical mod: A type of vape mod that doesn’t allow the user to regulate things such as temperature and wattage, running the vaporizer directly from the battery and using the vape coil’s entire Ohmage.