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The Ideal Personal Vaporizer

What does the ideal personal vaporizer look like?

Ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.

Part of the issue is how long you have been using personal vaporizers ... are you new at it? Been a few weeks yet? a few months?

Your answer today is likely different than it would would have been when you were a new user. It has a lot to do with your sense of taste and smell. In my case, I started with an eLiquid called "Smooth". It was 12 mg strength and when I first tasted it, it was almost identical to the tobacco cigarettes I was used to. Well, sort of. I really do not think there is any tobacco eLiquid that is the same as tobacco for anyone. To achieve that, the eLiquid mixologists would have to duplicate the taste of carbon. That's the result of burning tobacco and paper tubes, you get carbon along with a bunch of nasty chemicals and other harmful substances.

I got used to the "Smooth" tobacco eLiquid fairly fast. Within a few hours it was as if it had been my companion for a long time. A few days out, the "Smooth" started giving me a different taste. I didn't quite know what it was ... but some Google searches suggested that it might be a bad coil in my cartomizer, or a dirty coil. Cartomizers are fairly inexpensive, so I pulled out a new one and started using that. "Smooth" tasted a bit better, but not quite as good as I remember from the first day. Still, us smokers are a committed group, so I persisted. The next day was my fourth using eCigs ... and the "Smooth" just didn't taste right at all. Another new cartomizer helped a bit, but I then recalled the conversation I had at the retail store. The guy behind the counter told me this would likely happen ... it was my sense of taste coming back. Sure enough, food tasted better. Drinks were more flavorful. There were odors I had not "smelled" before. 

Back to the retail store where I picked out some fruit flavors. Since then, I've come to really like mint and menthols in particular and some berry flavors. 

Skip ahead a few weeks, and the Cig-Alike kits that I had started to show their weaknesses. Sure they looked like tobacco smokes, and sure they were comfortable to use. A familiarity type of comfort. Now, though, I needed more time between recharges. Unthreading the cartomizer to recharge the battery four to six times a day started to be weary. After thinking about it for a few hours, I decided to get a small stealthy eGo battery and clearomizer. The clearomizer was the most satisfying upgrade ... instead of having to refill cartomizers 5 to 8 times each day, I could now fill a clearomizer two or three times through the day – ah, and top loading too, quite convenient. The eGo battery was a small 400 mAh type, and I only bought one. That lasted a lot longer than the 150 mAh 510s, but still required three or four recharges through the day. I continued to use the 510s when the eGo was recharging, and swapped back and forth until I found several more 350 mAh eGos. There was something distinctly different in the eGos. I discovered that when you recharge these, they actually output 4.2 volts and the eLiquid in the clearomizer tasted better at a full recharge (and more smoke too).

Then it was a 650 eGo battery ... the guy behind the counter convinced me to try a twist type that provided an adjustment in output voltage from 3.3 volts to 4.8 volts. I've been in the 4.2 to 4.3 range ever since. From the 650 twist (recharged two to three times a day), I went up to a 1300 twist that darn near lasted all day. While swapping battery, I also upgraded clearomizers from top loading to bottom loading, single coils to dual coils, visible wicks to what appeared to be wickless. 

As the battery grew taller, I wanted to get back to a more stealth type of eCig and started looking into 18350 battery mods. That's about the time I went to my first "vape meet" and ran into a bunch of people that I can only describe as cloud chasers. Gheez, the first guy to explain all of this to me was using a rebuildable atomizer and a brick like battery – when he puffed on that and blew out a cloud, I couldn't see his face for five minutes. Not interested, not interested, not interested. The only interesting part was attending one of these vape meets, but I decided then and there that convenience was my main goal. After all, what I wanted to do was to stop smoking. I certainly didn't want to end up dragging in a cloud of vapor so filled with nicotine to get me more hooked than ever.

I am using Advanced Personal Vaporizers, but they are purely for convenience. I have managed to find "stealth" type mods that use small 18350 type batteries. Some of these are even shorter than the 510 eCigs I initially used. They are all "fatter" though, but that doesn't matter much to me. What I am most interested in is having a personal vaporizer that others can't see. I even have one mod that works with an 18650 battery and the whole thing is just slightly taller than a 510 Cig-Alike.

This is all in a matter of months, by the way. So, ask me back then and I would have said the perfect system is one that lets you vape all day as conveniently as possible. Ask me today and the answer is the same. Ask me back then what equipment would do that, and I would have told you five or six 510 batteries with five or six cartomizers or one/two clearomizers. Ask me today what equipment would do that and I would answer one 18650 battery, my larger size APV, and one 3.5 ml clearomizer. Which one is ideal? It really doesn't matter ... the cost is roughly the same for which ever system gets you through the day. All that really matters is that I have cut down on the nicotine by one third and in the process I am well on my way to saving more than $3100 a year over tobacco sticks – and getting healthier at the same time.


  • Posted by Mark Timblin on June 20, 2015, 8:59 am

    I started vaping to end my 45 year love affair with smokeless tobacco aka; Copenhagen Long Cut. It took me 7 months and 3 upgrades; from the cigalike to a 1300 mAh auto/manual battery and a carto tank, to a SMOK SID. It got me off snuff 18 months now, I am pleased my wife is definitely pleased, and my what started out as small set up is now a mix of tube mech mods, regulated box mods, drippers, sub ohm tanks, RTA's juices of all tobacco flavors, at all now. Started out at 36 mg am now around 1 mg a lot of my juices have just a trace of nicotine. Hang in there in can be done, ya just gotta wanna!

  • Posted by Murray on April 13, 2014, 11:06 am

    Sounds like a very familiar many of us can appreciate.