Beginner Recommendations

This is what I recommend:

Stay away from high power so called "starter kits". Any kit sold today over 100W is NOT a starter kit and you will be sorely disappointed. Even though they call them "starter". They are lying. These will not give a smoker a satisfying experience that replicates what they are used to. If you question this then you need to read this and this in their entirety. One of the best buys on the market today is this:

The Aspire Zelos with Nautilus 2 atomizer kit WORKS for beginners. If your local vape shop doesn't carry them, then go online, here are vendors that I personally have had good experiences with in the past. Now the Nautilus 2 uses the same coil/wick cartridges that the original Nautilus used. This is great news because there are TONS of aspire BDC and BVC cartridges out there and you can usually find them for a buck or two a piece. The BDC stands for Bottom Dual Coil and the BVC stands for Bottom Vertical Coil. The BVC performs better but there is nothing wrong with BDC for a beginner either. And yes I have rebuilt them although they are not designed to be rebuilt you will find youtube videos showing you how to. Now that may not sound like a big deal, just buy new coils and replace them once a week or so because they are so inexpensive. However come 8.8.2018 (now 2022) all e-cigarette stuff will be taken off the market unless a miracle occurs and these replacement coils will not be available. The only drawback or con of this kit is that the mod has a built in 2500mAH battery. Which will be perfect for a beginner. In a few months or years you may, although not guaranteed, you may want more and become an advanced vaper. And the Zelos mod will get you there. It is 60W capable and after 4 years I typically vape around 20-40W. Though at that vapor production amount and greater power level a single charge on the Zelos built in 2500mAH battery will not last me all day. However, that should be no problem for the Nautilus 2 at around 8-15W which is a fantastic starter level for MTL. So later on, as you become more advanced you may want to move into TC mods that sport two or more user replaceable batteries and higher power Rebuildable Atomizers.

If the Zelos "box" mod appearance is not something you are used to, then for an e-pipe look at the Gaurdian III or Joyetech Elitar kits. The kits come with everything you need less an 18650 Battery. I highly recommend the Sony VTC6 for these mods. Buy your batteries from a reputable source, I suggest

If you are used to a cigar, then try these folks.

If a box, cigar and a pipe are not your thing then do not despair, the NJOY disposable is a great cig-a-like. If those aren't what you are used to either, then they also sell vape pens.

Unless you buy a prefilled e-cigarette, it is important to PAIR the correct e-Liquid for beginner open system atomizers. Higher than 70% VG based e-Liquids do not work well in the Nautilus. It is best to stay with 50PG or greater e-Liquids. I highly recommend the "B" line which is designed specifically for smokers transitioning to vaping and is 60PG. The traditional tobacco tastes great and at 60/40 PG/VG (which means low viscosity) it will flow very well in the Nautilus 2. Use this table:

Pipe 18mg/ml
Cigar 18mg/ml
Filtered 100 18mg/ml
Filtered King 12mg/ml
Light 6mg/ml
UltraLight 3mg/ml
Chewer Keep Reading Below

If you cannot afford the above or don't want to make that big of a plunge just yet, I understand.

You might want to consider the Joyetech eGo One VT 2300 mAh Variable Temperature Control Kit. This vapes Mouth To Lung in the 10-20W range nicely. These are called "tube" mods. Bigger than a pen mod, I call them a wand or if large enough, a lightsaber.

I hesitate to recommend this as I don't have one but the Joyetech EGRIP 2 and EVIC VTWO WITH CUBIS PRO have a lot of features to really like. They both use the same coils. Just make sure you get the starter kit or also get the 1.0 or 1.5ohm coils for it. What makes these attractive is 2400 or 5000maH built in batteries, both protected, with premade coils that span the gamut from beginner at 8-12W to advanced around 70W. The mod itself is a TC 80W. So just by changing the coils you can try different power levels and or migrate to higher power levels over time on the very same kit.

Moving up the line a bit and complexity increases a little and that can be unattractive for beginners. They really are not that much more difficult. But some complain about it. I really have a problem with that.

You can bypass all the middle roads taken and go straight for the gold right off the bat with just a little personal effort to learn and do. When I first tried the easiest disposable just pick up and inhale my first desire was to find something with more user adjustable features I.E. complicated. But then I am very used to the idea that you get out what you put into.

So without further ado, here is what I recommend for beginners who want to go straight for the gold:

TC Mod:

Lost Vape Therion (non-squonk version). Highest quality, perfect TC performance (EVOLV VAPOR), SW upgradeability, good ergonomics and highest single cell voltage parallel 18650 battery life at an affordable price make these an obvious choice for beginners. Use two 15A capable batteries like the Sony VTC6 or Samsung 30Q batteries for 6000maH of vape time. This is a no-brainer really. Honorable mention goes out to some of the others like the Hohm Tech Slice (won't TC Kanthal on an RTA but will a clearo), Triade, RX2/3/200s (triple cell) and of course other EVOLV DNA200's, the HCIGAR Vt75, Vaporshark DNA200 or Protovapor Silo DNA200D - EVOLV  is king for consistency, accuracy, reliability, future proof and flexibility at the present time.

But they are expensive. I can recommend the Eleaf iStick TC100W if you cannot afford one of the above. These can be had for $35.

Add to this a Clearomizer or RTA that works well with 50/50 PG/VG e-liquid below at less than 24W and you have a dream of a beginners starter kit with growth to 30-40W that most vapers appreciate later on.

I outfitted three of my grand daughters and two of my nephews, son-in-law and two friends with vaping rigs and yes even our granddaughters are over 20. The rigs consisted of older DNA40s that I found on ebay, uWell Crown with RBA from ebay or Taifun GT2s from fasttech, box of Rayon from sallys, spool of Ni200 from kidneypuncher, coil jig tool with built in Philips screwdriver from fasttech and a pair of CHP170 flushcutters from amazon and 250ml of my DIY unflavored 20mg/ml e-liquid in blue PET bottle, a soft 30ml ptfe dropper bottle, and their choice of a bottle or two of flavoring choosing from my collection of over 20 different flavors. Interestingly, only two picked the same flavor. That was a wow moment for me. Now it is getting increasingly difficult to find DNA40s, Crowns, Taifuns or Kayfuns so I have to substitute others for my recommendations below.

Also, if you like a tube mod or cigar shape then I can recommend the EHPro 101 Mod. They can be found for $25-$35 USD. Add a Sony VTC6 for $8 and an atomizer of your choice and you'll be all set. EHPro has just announced the 101 D Kit which comes with a sleek looking RDA to match the mod.

Clearomizer/Glassomizer/Sub-Ohm Tank:

Kanger Subtank or SMOKtech TFV4 - These easily vape in the 20-30W range and can be dialed down by their AFCs for tight MTL vape experience. The TFV4 has at least four different pre-made cartridges available for it and two RBA sections. The TFV4 with full open AFC can give a DTL vape experience. The Kanger is a little more restrictive. There are others that are more wide open but they take more power and produce a lot of vapor. Notable mention to uWell Crown. All have an available pre-made TC cartridge and an RBA section that replaces the pre-made cartridge. Though the Kanger is the only one I know that is typically packaged with the RBA section. I really don't recommend these given the deeming regulation and come 8.8.2018 pre-manufactured coil cartridges become illegal and prohibited. Even as a beginner, you really should move to Rebuildable ASAP.

Or Better Yet, the Rebuildable Tank Atomizer (RTA):

Geek Vape Eagle. Called a Sub-Ohm tank which typically is a euphemism for a clearo/glasso but make no mistake, the Eagle is an RTA. It comes with single and dual coil RTA decks prebuilt what they call Hand Built Coils or HBC. You can easily rebuild them and are designed as a rebuildable. Or the Wotofo Serpent or EHPRO Bachelor. I also like the Siren and Fuji GTA Single Coil for a beginner. With the Eagle you can start single coil at first then later you can move to a dual coil tank with some rebuild experience and learning how to balance coils side to side. The Siren is outstanding for a beginner but will always be just that. A fantastic Mouth To Lung (MTL) experience that best mimics a cigarette. The Fuji single coil GTA has a removable center piece in the air inlet so it can transform from a MTL into a mid draw later on. The Bachelor can be a little tricky for a beginner to properly wick and adjust and definitely a mid draw vape experience. So if you are used to cigarettes then a Siren is always a MTL. Next is an Eagle that has a lot of growth potential. Then the Fuji single coil GTA with decent growth potential but nearly as MTL at first as the Eagle. Then next is the Serpent which is not as MTL perfect as the Siren but not as mid draw as the last, the Bachelor. So a pipe enthusiast or cigar, you may want to try the Fuji. The Eagle is convertible for either and the Bachelor can be the next step up for a chewer that wants a lot more nicotine (Vapor) in a hit.

Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers (RDA):

I do not recommend these for a beginner normally. But there are some people that will find these attractive. Particularly chewers. Couple a dripper with a mod of 50-100W with dual or more batteries for all day vaping capacity and you can get volumes of great tasting vapor and sufficient nicotine hit that the chewer is used to. Note the amount of vapor these produce are far greater than the amount of smoke from a cigarette so the experience will be very different for a transitioning smoker. I highly recommend the Tsunami Plus. This has bottom airflow, deep wells and comes with a squonk, hollow 510 center pin positive post and rocks on a MOVKIN disguiser with squonk kit. A Pharaoh on a Therion is great kit but you will have to drip all day long.


You have to match the e-Liquid you use to the power of your vape. Power = Vapor Volume.

The more volume, the more nicotine delivery.

So you have to decrease nicotine strength with more vapor volume/power.

It is a straight ratio.

For example at 12W and 18mg/ml then at 24W you will want 9mg/ml. At 72W you will want 3mg/ml. Do not make the mistake of thinking just because your mod is capable of 100W that it produces 100W of power in Temperature Control. In TC mode the power is throttled so the coil temperature is controlled preventing bad byproduct development. On a VW mod or a TC mod purposely set to VW/VV, then yes if you set it to 100W then you will get 100W if the atomizer resistance is within limits. However with that said, 100W is an insane amount of power and an unreal amount of vapor is produced and would instantly melt a Nautilus coil for example. This is definitely not beginner. I have great lung capacity and 40W is my limit. At 60W it is literally producing more vapor than I can handle literally coating the inside of my throat and lungs with condensate causing me to gag. At 100W, yes I have gone there, it's just stupid. And none of that is remotely like a cigarette. Stick with 10-20W as a beginner.

Rebuilding Tools (all available on Amazon). Although you can get by with nail clippers and scissors, I have found these to make rebuilding a whole lot easier:

CHP-170 Flush Cutters

Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Scissors

Screwdriver Micro Coil Jig

Stainless Steel Kitchen Strainer

Small Needle Nose Pliers ~ 4"

Notes: Many rebuildable atomizers come with the little blue plastic handle screwdriver or allen wrench they need for their particular coil leg securing screws. Though I have found having my own acetate handle #0 Phillips and 3/16" flat blade screwdrivers very handy. I also find a sharpening stone handy for flattening coil screw points and 510 center screws, grade/grit somewhere between 200 and 1000.


Everclear and water. Clean all wire, bottles, and atomizer parts with ethyl grain alcohol. Do not use other alcohols like isopropyl etc. Then wash with water and dry. DRY - never vape alcohol.


28 gauge Temco USA Made Pure Nickel wire. Available at most vape shops local and online also available on Amazon. Or better is 26 gauge NiFethal70.

Graham CelluCotton from your local Sallys Beauty Supply also available on-line at various stores including Amazon.

eLiquid from your local vape shop and get to DIY eLiquid ASAP.

Pipes and other stuff

If you think you might like an ePipe, I highly recommend the Smok Guardian III kit which can be had for as little as $60 if you can find them. It easily vapes in the 20-30W range and comes with a micro TFV4 plus atomizer. The micro TFV4 RBA section is available separately if you wish to get into rebuilding later. That with some eLiquid and a $9.00 LG HG2 18650 battery and you are good to go at less than $75. Also the joyetech Elitar.

Whatever you do, stay away from so called "starter" kits that have mods that go over 150W. These invariably include an atomizer that is capable of 30W or greater. You will NOT be satisfied as a smoker just converting over to vaping. Later on you may like that style of vaping but I guarantee you, not at first. Look for starter kits that are capable of vaping in the 10-30W range. It may include a mod that can go to 150W, that is fine, but the atomizer must be 30W or less. This will give you great growth potential. Keep in mind after four years I vape under 40W. Sure I have mods that can go as high as 400W, but I only use 1/10th that and less.

And one last note. Local brick and mortar stores can be a great help. But there are those that are just the opposite. You need to learn all you can before going into one especially if you have never been there before and don't know them and respect them personally.

One current mantra of vapers is whatever it takes to get you off of smoking is good. Another is that if you aren't currently smoking, there is no reason to start vaping.

I agree and disagree with both mantras.

In my humble opinion (IMHO) there is a better way to vape. The better way decreases risk. If you are new to vaping you might not know what right looks and tastes like. Even those that have been vaping for a long time can be getting toxins and not even know it, i.e. have been doing it wrong for years. And I am not going to say under those conditions that it is safe. It doesn't matter what kills you, 4000 carcinogens in cigarette smoke or one tasteless and odorless toxin from too hot a vape. Dead is dead. It does not matter if you like chasing clouds or chasing flavor, both can be done minimizing risks and both can be done producing toxins. This is illuminated in "Are eCigarettes Safe". Now with that said, the great reduction of toxins even in the worst e-Cigarette is definitely safer than any cigarette.

As to the second mantra, I may be well over the hill in life but I can still remember when I was a teenager. Like most at that age I was naturally inquisitive and explorative. So I started smoking. Bad move. I wish I would have started vaping instead had it been available back then. Of course I agree and recommend doing neither is best. Nicotine is addictive and harms development when you are young. It is foolhardy to do either. So there is no reason to get addicted to nicotine nor hamper the development of your brain. Now back to reality. Each of us must determine our own risk acceptance and what is right for ourselves as discussed in "Are eCigarettes Safe". The only true freedom we have in life is the ability to make our own decisions for ourselves. I am not about to look down my nose at someone that has never smoked and starts vaping. I am not going to look down my nose at someone that vapes 0 nicotine. I would rather spend my time in these pages sharing all that I have learned in my vaping journey so everyone can benefit from it or not.

The decision to vape or not, whether you were or were not a previous tobacco product user, is a serious and personal decision. What is at risk is nothing less than your health: literally a life or death decision. I encourage you to read all you can on the topic both good and bad and make an informed decision. No one can or should make this decision for you. You need to make it for yourself. I remember when I started smoking and chewing. Yes I knew it was bad for me but I did it anyways. So I am sure there are those that are just like I was back then. Nowadays I tend to look at the risks first. That doesn't mean I don't take any. It just means I consider them. Vaping even badly is less risk than smoking though both can kill you. But you can lesson your vape risks even more through using and knowing how to use risk reducing vaping gear and eLiquid. With Temperature Control available today, risk reducing gear is readily available. The big unknown is still pre-made eLiquids with unknown ingredients that break down into potentially dangerous unknown toxins at unknown temperatures. This risk can be further reduced by DIY eLiquid where you control ingredients whose break down temperatures and byproducts at those temperatures are known.

If you are considering eCigarettes, then my recommendation is to try one of the disposable, cig-a-like, or pen eCigarettes first or borrow a more advanced one from a family member or friend. And if you think that might have a hint of working for you, just a hint, then go for the gold. Learn from my journey, save money, time and effort and bypass all the middle roads taken. The vape experience off a BLU versus a full up Temperature Control mod with Rebuildable Atomizer is vastly different with the latter providing order of magnitudes more and customizable (better)  vape experience. And then move into DIY eLiquid as soon as possible to start saving really big and reducing your risks even further.




All the information contained in these pages are only the opinions of the author and the author is not an expert at anything.