My Vapolution

Not the revolution, but the evolution of my vaping habit. I’m not really reviewing the products I mention, so I won’t bother with detailed descriptions.

Hardware

In brief:

  • Toppers
    1. eGo-C tank
    2. Cartotank
    3. T3 clearomizer
    4. Protank clearomizer
    5. Evod clearomizer
    6. Dripping clone
    7. Kayfun rebuildable tank
  • Bottoms
    1. eGo-C stick batteries
    2. VAMO variable-wattage mod

Started with the eGo-C tank. It has replaceable heads and refillable mouthpieces that slot into the heads. I learned to reuse the heads, which made it easier to troubleshoot and cut down on waste. Vapor production was okay, and it got me off of cigarettes from the first time I used it.

A month in I decided to try a cartotank. This is a tank section you slide cartomizers into. Cartomizers are little tubes with 510 connections that contain filler material wrapped around a coil. By themselves, they’re basically cigalikes you fill yourself. To use them in a tank, you have to punch holes in them . They weren’t for me: they would clog after a few tanks of juice (worse with dark juices).

I got a Kanger T3 in the same order as the cartotank. The T3 became my go-to. It’s a clearomizer, which is a tank with a coil built-in. It worked well for awhile, but when I finally tried to rebuild it I had trouble. It didn’t have replaceable heads, so I went back to the eGo.

This was just when the first Protank clearomizer came out, so I ordered one, along with a set of replacement heads. My Protank was a dud: the glue didn’t seal the tank. After only a few tankfuls it began to leak. An attempted repair with food-grade silicone adhesive failed. I again retreated to the eGo.

Since I had the extra heads, I got some Evod clearomizers. These were about like the T3 I had, but with replaceable heads. I learned to rebuild the heads, and stuck with the Evods. At this point (around four months), the eGo tanks were retired. I still used the batteries awhile longer.

Several months later I decided to upgrade the power side of things. I got a VAMO. It takes 18650 batteries which are higher capacity than the stick batteries like eGos. It’s bigger and heavier than stick batteries, but features variable wattage (or voltage), making the power output customizable. The extra heft is worth it, at least until batteries get smaller with similar capacities.

I also ordered an RDA. RDAs are Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers. They’re fairly simple, without a reservoir/tank. Unfortunately the one I got was another dud: the 510 connection was too large to connect to either my VAMO or my eGo batteries. I’ve still never tried a dripper.

I stuck with the eVods (eight months total) until my one year quit came around. At that point I got a Kayfun lite plus (a rebuildable tank; basically a clearomizer with the coil area designed explicitly for building your own coil), and have been using it ever since.

The eGo kit I started with was relatively expensive, but it was solid enough to get me off cigarettes. The Evods were another solid vape for me, and were much less expensive. All told, a fifth of my hardware costs were for things I never really used. But the good gear has easily made up for the bad and for the devices that just weren’t for me.

The difference in price between the Kayfun and the Evods is substantial. The Kayfun is a better vape, but the Evods (and, I assume, some of the newer clearomizers) are very good and much less expensive. I am not convinced the Kayfun is worth the extra money (i.e., over 10× an Evod). That said, the Kayfun was a self-reward for vigilance against the forces of evil and all that jazz, so it was money well-spent.

Mixing

I started out mixing at the same time I started vaping. When I ordered my first kit, I ordered 15ml (at 12mg/ml) of mixed juice with it (one of only two I’ve tried). That first bottle was enough to get me started until my first DIY supplies arrived.

I started out with a couple basic flavors (orange and vanilla). Over time I’ve expanded to some other flavors, but haven’t tried to make my own flavor mixtures very much. No cranberry-banana leftwise-right cake mixes for me.

It costs me around ¢13/ml for my liquid, versus commercial juice which is marked up (they do have overhead and so on) to at least ¢50/ml and is usually much cheaper for them to make (the cost of the liquid itself, I mean). My hardware costs for vaping have been more than twice my liquid costs.

Unlike the hardware side, my mixing has stayed mostly the same. I experimented with distilled water and different PG/VG ratios, and more flavors, but that’s about it.

The technopolitical world needs thinkerers.