Getting Started: Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers

IGO-LSo you’ve decided that you want to stop spending money on disposable dripping atomizers, or maybe you’ve decided to jump in with both feet and go straight to Rebuildable Dripping Atomizers like I did. Either way, if you’re starting at the same point I was, you are frozen with indecision about which hardware to buy and where to start.

After several days of research I decided to start simple, with the IGO-L. The IGO-L comes in several variants, none of which I’ve seen come with a prebuilt coil (more on RDA hardware momentarily). So you’re going to need to learn to build coils, or pay for prebuilts (I’d rather learn to do it myself and save money and time thank you very much). So what else do we need?

A note about the vendor recommendations in this post:  I recommend Steam Monkey for anything RBA/RDA related because Lance (the owner) is very passionate about doing rebuildables right, and it shows in the way he sells his gear. If the unit came from the factory with a baggie of goodies, he will include it with your order (not all vendors do). Lance keeps his prices on rebuildables low, and that is always a good thing.
If you are just getting into rebuildables, he offers something called a Monkey Can for like $3 that has a sample of different wick and wire that he sells, and it is top shelf stuff. I highly recommend that you pick one or two up to get a feel for what wick and gauge of wire you like.
I am not affiliated with Steam Monkey or Lance in any way other than as a customer and an admirer of the knowledge that Lance brings to the vaping community.

Ancillary Gear

Some people will tell you that if you have an APV that will read ohms, you don’t need a multimeter. I’m not one of them. There are many reasons to have a multimeter, and I firmly believe that if you are rebuilding atomizers (be it RDA/RBAs or Protank heads), you need a multimeter. Be careful when buying cheap meters at places like Harbor Freight, some of them will not read less than 10 ohms. For atomizers the meter needs to read at least from 0-10 ohms, to at least one decimal place.

You’ll need a small screwdriver (usually a philips head, though you may get an RDA that requires a flat head or hex keys, so make sure of what the post screws require before you buy something).

You’ll need something to cut the wick and wire with. I’ve seen people use nail clippers, but I prefer cross cut snips.

See this post for examples of the above.

RDA Hardware

This is the fun part – what RDA to get? There are literally dozens if not hundreds of options here, but since this post is target at beginners, I’m going to stick to entry level suggestions.

As I mentioned earlier the most commonly recommended RDA I see is the IGO-L. It is what I started with, and is not a bad choice (I actually bought a second one of these). They run from $12 – about $20 depending on vendor. You can find it here, among other places.

IGO-L - click to enlarge

IGO-L – click to enlarge

The IGO-L comes different ways from different vendors. From the factory they come in a Youde branded cardboard box with a little baggie of spare parts, some wick and some wire. I could care less about the wick and wire because they are cheap crap, but the spare post head screw and o-rings are something that I would really like to have. If you get it from the vendor I linked it will come with this baggie.

The only thing that I don’t care for with it IGO-L is that it does not have post holes. Post holes make attaching a coil much easier. Not that the IGO-L is difficult to use, it is not. I just would like to see post holes in it.

If I were starting with dripping today, I would get an IGO-W.

IGO-W - click to enlarge

IGO-W – click to enlarge

Not only does the IGO-W have post holes, it has three posts. Which means that if you choose you can easily build a dual coil setup (it makes quad coil building super easy too if you get into it that far). The IGO-W sells for anywhere between $14 and $24 depending on seller and options. You can find it here, among other places.

There are plenty of other options, both cheaper and more expensive, but I feel that you really can’t go wrong with either of these units.

You’ll also need a standard 510 drip tip, in whatever shape, color, and material you desire. You can spend as little as $1.50 on them to as much as $20 or more.

Wick

ekowool-silica

People use all kinds of things for wick, but silica cord is by far the most common. Silica comes in a variety of diameters, measured in millimeters (mm). I personally prefer 2 – 2.5mm Ekowool (a type of silica cord). Ekowool is quite expensive compared to most other silica cord, but in my experience it is totally worth the extra cost. If you pick up a Monkey Can you get a 6″ length of 2mm Ekowool, which is enough for 2-4 wicks depending on how you build them.

This should be enough to get you started, and given that coils on RDAs tend to last for weeks, you should have ample time to decide what you want and order more.

Wire

KANTHAL

Resistance wire is used to make coils. Usually either NiChrome or Kanthal wire is used for coil building. I prefer Kanthal A-1 for a host of reasons. Wire is sold measured in gauge (an AWG measurement for the diameter of a wire’s cross section, expressed as 28g or 28awg for 28 gauge wire). Larger numbers in resistance wire mean the size of the wire is actually smaller, so 28g Kanthal is physically larger wire than 32g.

Cost of resistance wire is going to vary depending on vendor, material and wire gauge. If you buy a Monkey Can you get several gauges of Kanthal to try, and see which you prefer on your RDA. Keeping in mind that this post is targeted at beginners, I really think you should start with a Monkey Can (preferably two or three, as you are going to screw up on the first coil or two). If you want to buy more wire or different wire, just keep in mind that you will need enough to get coil building down.

Different gauge resistance wire is going to give you different resistances. Here is a chart for resistance of different gauges of popular resistance wire:

Resistance in Ohms Per Inch (Ω/in):

 Kanthal Grade----- A-1 ------  A -------- D ----- Nichrome 60 -------- Nichrome 80
 30 awg (Ω/in)----- 0.7 ------ 0.7 ------ 0.7 -------- 0.6 -------- -------- 0.5
 31 awg (Ω/in)----- 0.9 ------ 0.9 ------ 0.8
 32 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.2 ------ 1.1 ------ 1.1 -------- 0.9 -------- -------- 0.9
 33 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.4 ------ 1.4 ------ 1.3
 34 awg (Ω/in)----- 1.8 ------ 1.8 ------ 1.7 -------- 1.4 -------- -------- 1.4
 35 awg (Ω/in)----- 2.3 ------ 2.2 ------ 2.1
 36 awg (Ω/in)----- 2.9 ------ 2.8 ------ 2.7 -------- 2.3 -------- -------- 2.1

Personally I find anything less than 32g to be unusable, and anything more than 28g to be unwieldy.

In the next Getting Started post I’ll show you how to build your first coil, and talk about different kinds of coils that are widely used in vaping. If you’re impatient, or prefer video there are hundreds of coil building videos on YouTube, but I recommend this one (coil build starts at 7:54).

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Getting Started: Dripping

Drip medicineWhen people start getting into vaping (I mean really getting into it, not just trying to quit smoking analogs) they start the quest for flavor. Eventually that leads them to dripping. At least that is how it happened for me. I spent quite a long time trying to figure out what I actually needed to get to start dripping. It’s super simple, but if you have never done it (or are not very familiar with vaping hardware), it can be really freaking confusing.

Be aware up front that you are probably going to pop a couple of coils before you get the hang of dripping, so you should probably order a couple dripping atomizers to avoid frustration.

So what do we need to get started dripping?

  • A battery.
  • A dripping atomizer.
  • A drip tip.
  • A drip shield (optional, but a good idea).
  • a 510 to 510 (sealed) adapter (again optional, but a good idea).
  • Juice.

Ok that is a total of six things, two of which are completely optional. But some of those things are a bit more difficult to obtain than they might seem if you are new to vaping, and do not have a brick and mortar vape shop where you can go to ask questions.

A Battery

A standard eGo type battery will do. Any APV will do. Hell, there are cigalikes that you could use to do this (some of them anyway, just because you can do a thing does not mean you should). You probably have one already. If you are not currently a vaper, and are looking to start dripping with your initial setup, go read this first. The key part of this is the threading on the battery connector. Probably 99% of vapers have a 510 connection, so this is most likely what you need to know. However it is critical that you actually know what kind of battery connection you have. If you’re not sure, post a picture of it on a forum (like /r/ecr over on Reddit), and ask.

A Dripping Atomizer

If your device doesn’t have a 510 connection, you need to get an adapter from whatever you have to 510, or find a dripping atomizer threaded for your device. If you’re going to use an adapter, get a sealed adapter. This vendor and this vendor carry a selection of non 510 dripping atomizers.

Once you have a 510 connection, you can use standard 510 atomizers or 306 atomizers. What’s the difference? A 306 atomizer is like someone ripped the bottom off of a standard 510 atomizer, and only kept the 510 connection and actual coil. 306 atomizers require special drip tips, that actually go over the entire atomizer. Some people feel that the 306 are the “ultimate” dripping atomizer (I find that I like them better than 510 attys, but it’s totally personal preference). Here is a good easy way to get into 306 atomizers (that comes with a 306 drip tip in the package).

If you’re unsure, just get a standard 510 atomizer, But which 510 atomizer to buy?

The first question you need to answer is; what is my budget?

Want the cheapest option? Buy this for under $5.

Want something a little bit better? Get this Cisco Spec atomizer (~$9).

Want something higher quality? Get a Vapage AMG Hybrid here ($18/2pk).

Want the best disposable driping atomizer you can buy? Get an HH.357 here (~$22, get something in the 2.5 ohm range). This is the atomizer that got me into rebuildables.

I wanted the great experience people talked about from this atty, but couldn’t bring myself to spend $23 on a disposable atomizer. Then I started thinking about it, and decided that if I were willing to spend $18 on a two pack of the Vapage AMG hybrids, or was going to get three of even the cheapest dripping attys I could find, I would be better off just getting an IGO-L with some wick and wire (which is what I ended up doing).

You need to keep in mind that these things are disposable. They are not going to last forever (though the higher dollar ones tend to last longer), and for the most part they are designed to be run at or below 3.7 volts. Running them at higher voltages is certainly possible, but it is going to reduce the lifespan of your atomizer.

A Drip Tip

We could spend literally hours discussing the different drip tips available. Let’s not. Just make sure that you get either a 306 drip tip (if you got a 306 atomizer), or a 510 drip tip (if you got a 510 atomizer), in whatever shape, color, and material you desire. You can spend as little as $1.50 on them to as much as $20 or more.

A Drip Shield (optional)

Drip shields do three things:

  • Stop juice leaks from reaching your battery/mod.
  • Serve as a heat sink for the atomizer, cooling it faster.
  • Change the draw of your atomizer (this is a side effect).

So why get one? The first two functions. You don’t want juice sitting on your battery or mod. It is corrosive and sticky. Plus, it is conductive. If you can cool your atomizer better, it will last longer.

You can get a cheap drip shield, or you can get an awesome drip shield (if you own a K100 or K101 mech you probably already have one). Totally your preference.

A 510/510 (sealed) adapter (optional)

In some cases you need to add extra height to the 510 connection so that your drip shield functions correctly, and in other cases you just want a sealed 510 connection to keep juice out of your battery. You can get them here. If your battery connection is not sealed, I highly recommend that you use a sealed adapter and a drip shield.

Juice

Well duh, what are your gonna drip? Check out the Juice Primer if you haven’t already done so.

Getting to the actual dripping part

Assemble it all: Battery/mod > sealed 510 adapter (if used) > dripping atomizer > drip tip > drip shield (gets pushed down over the whole thing from the top, you can put this on before or after the drip tip).

Now… drip the juice into the dripping atomizer (you can drip directly into most drip tips as well, just give it a little tap to make sure the juice gets all the way down to the atomizer). The exact amount of juice that you’ll drip depends on the specific atomizer, but 3-5 drops should get you going. If the atomizer has never been used, it will probably take 5-9 drops of juice without spillage. Fire your battery in short bursts (no more than 1-2 seconds or you risk popping the atomizer if it goes dry), and vape away!

As soon as you feel like the taste or vapor is reduced, drip another 3-5 drops into the atomizer.

For me, this is an awful lot of work to vape, but it is fantastic for sampling juices, or if you really want a super strong blast of flavor.

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Getting Started: Mechanical APVs – Overview

Technically a true “mech” will have no controllers or wires. Just a battery tube, cap with connector (510 is most common), and a switch to complete the circuit.

In practice, many have a wire in the switch, but there there are plenty that are true mechs.

Some people refer to mechs as Personal Vaporizers, I prefer Advanced Personal Vaporizer, because mechs require advanced knowledge on the part of the user to be used safely and to get the most out of the vaping experience.

Mechs essentially connect the topper (be it a carto or an RDA) directly to the battery (the whole idea is to reduce voltage loss as much as possible by having as little as possible between the battery and the atomizer). Because they have a fixed voltage (whatever the battery used can supply), the vaping experience is controlled only by changing the resistance of the atomizer. Since there are no safety circuits in a mech, it is possible to use sub ohm coils in them which create incredibly high current draws on the battery, and can be quite dangerous.

I personally won’t use anything but IMR batteries in any APV, but this is doubly true with mechs. IMR batteries are designed for high current draw, and are less likely to fail in a… spectacular way if they do fail.

Several vendors sell safety fuses that are designed to prevent most catastrophic battery failures.

Now that we know what Mechanical APVs are all about, let’s take a brief look at what is out there.

Customs

Custom mechs are where it all started. The first electronic cigarette was a cigalike produced in China in 2004, but what we think of as vaping didn’t really come about until the first mechanical mods were made.

The next step was enterprising users converting cheap flashlight bodies to accept a connector threaded for the cigalike cartridges, which was often under powered, and could be quite dangerous.

Eventually small shops or individual makers in Greece and the Philipines (and now the US and Russia among others) began making APV devices specifically designed to use a standard rechargeable battery that could be swapped out when the need arose. Due to the current requirements, the 18xxx series of batteries seems to have become the standard for which these PVs are produced.

Initially these devices used the cartridges from cigalikes, but soon enough someone figured out that there were easier ways to vape, and the first rebuildable atomizers began to appear.

Due to the way these devices came about, there are literally hundreds of different mechs in the market. Prices range from about $100 to upwards of $300 depending on maker and options.

Here are some of the more common mechs that you may encounter that are considered “customs”:

Atmomixani

Nemesis - click to enlarge

Nemesis – click to enlarge

Caravela Mods

Caravela - click to enlarge

Caravela – click to enlarge

Empire Mods

Empite Mods PV - click to enlarge

Empire Mods PV – click to enlarge

Golden Greek

GG mods - click to enlarge

GG mods – click to enlarge

Grand Vapors

Colored Sentinel - click to enlarge

Colored Sentinel – click to enlarge

M16 - Click to enlarge

Sentinel M16 – Click to enlarge

Private v2 - click to enlarge

Private v2 – click to enlarge

Metal Madness Vapors

Poldiac - click to enlarge

Poldiac – click to enlarge

Madz Modz

Nzonic v3 - click to enlarge

Nzonic v3 – click to enlarge

Team Rampage

Bagua - click to enlarge

Bagua – click to enlarge

The Clone Wars

With the success of mechs comes the flood of clones from China. Some are good, some are meh. All are cheaper than the original they are cloning. Many of these are not true mechs, in that there may be a wire in the switch or a ground wire more often than not. I’ve seen these colnes range from $150 to as little as $18.

I’m not telling you that you should not buy these, but you should be aware that the more obvious clones are stealing from the people who made the original. They are cashing in on the original design without paying any licensing or royalties to the designer. For instance, while the Kamry K100 is flat out copying the Empire Mods PV, the K101 is different enough (I think) that it is not a blatant rip off of the design, had they not included the drip shield.

Kamry K100/K101

This is one of the better made clones (the K100 is a direct copy of the Empire Mods PV), and is what I see most frequently recommended as a good first mech for people wanting to try mechanical APVs.

Kamry K100 - click to enlarge

Kamry K100 – click to enlarge

Kamry K101 - click to enlarge

Kamry K101 – click to enlarge

Sigelei… well just pick one.

Sigelei Mechs - click to enlarge

Sigelei Mechs – click to enlarge

SMOKTech Telescopic

This is widely considered one of the better clones made, and some consider it one of the best mechs made period.

SMOK Telescope - click to enlarge

SMOK Telescope – click to enlarge

SMOKTech Natural

This one comes in both a telescoping and a non telescoping version:

SMOK Natural Telescope - click to enlarge

SMOK Natural Telescope – click to enlarge

SMOK Natural - click to enlarge

SMOK Natural – click to enlarge

SMOKTech Magneto

This looks like a semi original mech, but it is too close to the Nzonic for me to dismiss it as a clone. Edward at Sun Vapers reviewed this recently and says that it is very well made, and the bottom firing switch is a true magnetic switch (rare in clones).

SMOK Magneto - click to enlarge

SMOK Magneto – click to enlarge

M28

Though selling for $150, this is a blatant clone of the Sentinel M16.

J Creations M28 - click to enlarge

JCreations M28 – click to enlarge

ePipes

Relatively new, and not yet widely used or available are ePipes, (mostly) mechanical APVs that use the form factor of a traditional tobacco pipe. These are not true mechs in the sense that most of these will have some wiring and a few of the better ones incorporate a fuse (such as the vapesafe), and even fewer have VV/VW capabilities.

Almost exclusively these use 18350 size batteries, though a few 18500 and 18650 versions are starting to appear.

One of the first Chinese made mechs I’ve seen that isn’t really a copy of something else is the SMOKTech E-pipe.

SMOKTech E-pipe - click to enlarge

As of this post that is the only mass production ePipe worth discussing, everything else requires proprietary cartridges or is not really mass produced. The SMOKTech E-Pipe retails right around $50, though you can find them for about $35 with a little shopping.

One of the hazards of maintaining this blog is that it can be quite detrimental to my wallet. In the course of doing research for this review, I somehow managed to order one of these SMOKTech ePipes (sorry hunny!). I’ll be doing a thorough review once I receive it, as there are several bits of information about this unit that were not readily available on the vendors’ sites.

Custom ePipes though, are another matter entirely. First you have to find someone selling them, maybe they have stock, or you may have to go on a waiting list. Or you can have one custom made. Did I mention that these things are kinda pricey? I have not found any for less than $100, ranging north of $300 depending again on maker and options.

Here are a couple of examples of custom ePipes:

Custom ePipe - Click to enlarge

Custom ePipe - Click to enlarge

ePipemods.com custom - click to enlarge

Smackley custom - click to enlarge

ePipeMods table at vapebash - click to enlarge

ePipes are available in pretty much every style that you can get a traditional tobacco pipe in (and many are made from traditional pipes), and some come in quite original and unique designs.

I really like the concept of the ePipe, I just wish I could find one (the ones I find that I really like seem to be sold out or are custom jobs). Ah well, one day.

If this really sparks your interest, check out ePipeMods or Smackley Craft. Good luck!

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How-To: Clean up after a catastrophic battery failure

Jimmy was dismayed that his fasttech special batteries torched not only his APV, but his laptop too

Dammit Jimmy, I told you not to buy those 18650 batteries from speedytech!

It’s rare, but every once in a while you hear about somebody who had a battery explode or catch fire.

The most common result of a catastrophic battery failure is that it vents gas, or maybe splatters a little bit of the electrolyte around (that’s acid, not what plants crave).

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

As a side note, there are actual battery spill cleanup kits that you can buy that have everything in them you would need to properly clean up a catastrophic battery failure. The one in the picture above can be found here and retails for about $170. I’m not saying you need one of these, just a heads up.

First, if the battery is just hot and hasn’t actually failed yet, get it out of the house, and on or in something not flammable. I keep a large ceramic pot full of sand (stolen from Pismo Beach in an act of drunken idiocy no less) outside of my house for just this purpose (it used to be my ashtray when I smoked, but it’s always been ready to do double duty as a ‘battery in meltdown’ receptacle), with a small metal pail next to it to act as a cover. A small metal trashcan from Home Despot filled with sand would work just fine.

There are a number of things that the battery can do once it reaches volatile heat levels or begins a thermal reaction. Stay away from it until it is ambient temperature (one of those laser non contact thermometers is really handy for knowing when the reaction is done).

The most common is a gas vent. The battery case ruptures and vents noxious gas. If it happens in the house, open the windows and go outside to call 911. You don’t want to be breathing this stuff.

IMR batteries are most likely to fail in this way, which is why they are generally considered to be the safest for use in APVs.

How you react to a failed battery kinda depends on what kind of battery it is, and what it does.

Lithium will burn in a normal atmosphere and reacts explosively with water to form hydrogen. The presence of minute amounts of water may ignite the material and the hydrogen gas. Lithium fires can also throw off highly reactive molten lithium metal particles. Cells adjacent to any burning material could overheat causing a violent explosion.

If you are using a Lithium based cell, and it starts getting hot, smoking,  or ruptures, do not throw water on it, or throw it in water.

If you took high school chemistry you’ll probably remember acids and bases, and that they can neutralize each other. If a battery ruptures, leaks or pops, you should pour baking soda or soda ash (if you happen to have a swimming pool you may have some soda ash) on it to neutralize the acids in the battery.

Kitty litter absorbs this stuff pretty well too.

If you have a fire, there are two components that must be handled; the battery material (or the primary), and incidentals (plastic from the wrapper or charger, wood from cabinets, etc., or the secondary).

The primary should be handled by a Class D fire extinguisher ideally. Who the hell has a Class D extinguisher? You can buy them at places like Jorgensen’s, but unless you have a stockpile of the things it’s probably not necessary. Tossing a package of baking soda on it should suffice. If it does not, get out of the structure and call 911.

Secondaries can be handled with a standard Class C fire extinguisher. Most people have these in their homes (or at least the ABC variety. If you don’t you should stop reading this and go buy one. Seriously. Fire is no joke, and a small extinguisher could save you worlds of problems). I have a Class C in my bathroom (where I do all my battery charging because everything in there is tile), and an ABC in my kitchen. I also keep a box of baking soda in both places.

Once you have everything contained, call poison control and find out how to properly dispose of the waste. Don’t just toss this stuff in the garbage. It can be dangerous, it’s illegal, and it’s just kind of a dick move.

I’m not a hazardous waste expert. I am not offering risk management advice. I’m just sharing the information I have with you. If your house burns down because you listened to me, don’t try to sue me (at best you’d only get some used Metallica CDs anyway).

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Getting Started: Cleaning And Maintaining Your Gear

Keeping your gear clean and performing some basic maintenance can go a long way to helping prolong the life of your gear, and making your vaping experience better all around. Nothing is more frustrating than gear that doesn’t work (or stops working when you are not somewhere with the parts for fix it).

Basic Juice Clean up

cat litter

This is for user strength juice (0-36mg/ml nicotine content). If you are working with anything higher than that, there are an entirely different set of considerations and other equipment that you will need to handle spills. I will probably cover than in another post since it is a very advanced topic. If you are making your own juice and you spill it (and are unsure how to handle that), clear the area, and call 911. Depending on what you are working with it may be treated as hazardous waste.

There are a few things you should have on hand that will make cleaning up any spill much easier:

  • Paper towels or napkins (I prefer paper towels).
  • Rubber or nitrile gloves.
  • Sponge.
  • Cotton Swabs.
  • Kitty litter (this is just really handy to have in general), or similar absorbant material.
  • Plastic trash bags.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol).

Drips

If you spill a couple of drops, grab a napkin or paper towel and wipe it up. Dispose of the napkin somewhere that pets and kids are not going to find it and put it in their mouth.

If the drip has dried, a little bit of isopropyl alcohol or a cotton swab dipped in vodka will dissolve it.

Tank dump (<5ml)

It happens. You’re fiddling with your APV, and accidentally unscrew the top cap of a bottom coil clearo, instant juice spill. I’ve done it. Try to minimize the juice to skin contact. If it spilled on you, set it down, go wash your hands, and change your clothes if necessary.

Again, we’re talking a couple of ml at most, so paper towels or napkins should be fine. If you spilled it in the carpet, you’re gonna want to get that out of there. Juice is flammable. It will evaporate over time, but you don’t really want to leave it there because it is poisonous to kids and pets, and it will stain (plus it’s sticky and will attract ants). A damp rag or paper towels will suffice at these quantities.

Again, minimize skin to juice contact (keep in mind that it will soak through the napkin or paper towels).

Bottle drop (5ml-30ml)

Oops glass bottle off the counter onto tile. Or maybe you just dropped an open bottle. I knocked a completely full 15ml bottle off of my patio table onto my concrete deck. That was fun.

If it’s outside, no big deal; just grab a dust pan and pick up the glass, then hose the rest down really well. It’ll dilute past poisonous levels (everything in juice is water soluble), and probably kill any insects that it comes in contact with in the bargain (nicotine is a common pesticide).

Just make sure that there is none left in quantities that could harm kids or pets.

You could also pour some kittly litter over it and let it sit for 5 minutes, then just sweep the litter up and throw it in the trash.

If it was inside, well you’ve got a bit more work.

If it was in carpet, you are gonna need a lot of paper towels. If it was a full 30ml bottle you’re gonna want to go rent a carpet cleaner. It’s cheap, and the easiest way to get it out.

If it was on hard flooring or a table or something, mop it up with a towel or paper towels (again mind the juice to skin contact), and make sure you get all the glass bits (if it was a broken bottle).

You’re going to want to rinse off the surface, a mop will do fine. If it was carpet and not quite enough to justify a carpet cleaner, some resolve and a rag will probably suffice after you sop up the bulk of the juice.

Open a window and let the room air out.

OMG!!!

Someone dropped a 500ml bottle again!

My last attempt at juice making gone awry

You just dropped that 236ml bottle from MBV and it broke all over the place.

First, get the kids and pets away from the spill and open a window. Again juice is flammable, make sure there are no open flames in the area.

Pour kitty litter on the spilled juice. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Sweep or vacuum up the kitty litter with a shop vac. Dispose of the litter.

If it was in carpet, you need to go get a carpet cleaner and really make sure you get it all out (it’ll soak into the pad beneath the carpet, so go slow and maybe make a couple passes where the spill was).

If you spilled that much juice on yourself or someone else, go immediately strip and rinse off in the shower, scrub with soap and cold water. Call poison control. Better safe than sorry.

Clearomizers

Battery Connection

I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the clearo. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.

Body

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

I rinse with hot water, soak in vodka for 10 minutes, flush with bottled water (my water is hard, and I get spotting on everything, so I just use bottled water), and pat dry.

Head

If it’s really gunked up, I’ll soak the head in vodka for 20 minutes or so, but usually I give it a quick rinse with hot water, drop it in some vodka, swish it around, then flush it with bottled water and pat it dry.

Tip

If the tip is particularly dirty I’ll make sure I scrub it a little with a cotton swab or my fingers when I’m rinsing it in hot water.

Cartomizers (and Carto Tanks)

Battery Connection

I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the carto. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.

Body

A quick wipe with the paper towel is good for cartos (for tanks I do pretty much the same thing as with clearos). These are disposable, so I don’t really do much else with them. When they get funky or burn out I toss them.

Drip Tips

Drip tips need to be flushed out, regularly. Hot water works fine. One a week or so I let them soak in vodka for 10 minutes, flush with hot water, and then rinse with bottled water.

Dripping Atomizers and Drip Shields

Battery Connection

I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the atomizer or drip shield. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.

Body

I rinse with hot water and then drop the whole thing in some vodka for about 10 minutes, flush with bottled water, and pat dry.

RDAs/RBAs

Body

Juice tends to splatter on the top cap so I drop that in vodka when I start work. By the time I’m done with the rest of it, I just flush with bottled water and pat dry.

Deck

I drop the entire deck in vodka with the top cap off (wick/coil and all). I’ll let it sit for maybe 10 minutes, rinse with hot water, dry burn the coil, flush with bottled water, and pat dry.

Battery Connection

I wipe down the battery connection with a paper towel every time I remove the unit. If you have some dried out juice on there a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol or vodka will take care of it.

APVs

Battery Connection

I take a cotton swab and wipe out the battery connector every time I take the topper off my APV. If there is any juice in there I’ll dip the other end of the cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and swab it out too.

Body

I generally just wipe it down if I spill any juice on it, but once in a while if I notice it is getting dirty I’ll wipe it off with a paper towel dipped in isopropyl alcohol.

Threads

I wipe my threads out with a dry paper towel once a month, and apply noalox to them (just a tiny amount goes a really long way!) before reassembling if the threads are metal on metal.

Screen

I wipe the screen on my APV’s that have them with a microfiber cloth as needed, though a clean paper towel will work fine too.

eGo Type Batteries

eGo battery

Cleaning 510/eGo connections – click to enlarge

Battery connection

Again, I take a cotton swab to the inside of the battery connector every time I remove a topper, and if there is any juice in there I dip the other end in isopropyl alcohol and swab it out.

Body

Wipe it down with a clean paper towel. If you notice any dents, holes, or tears stop using the battery immediately and recycle it.

Rechargable Batteries (Lithium or IMR)

I wipe them down with a clean paper towel (usually there is nothing on them) once a week and inspect for damage.

If you notice juice in the battery connection of your APV, pop the battery out and make sure that there is none on the battery.

If you notice any dents, tears, or holes on your batteries or the plastic wrapper around the battery, stop using them immediately and recycle them.

end

Getting Started: Regulated APVs

Regulated Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs) come in many shapes and sizes, and in price ranges from $25 to hundreds of dollars.

When you are first getting started in vaping the sheer number of options, it can get kind of confusing.

Regulated APVs consist of a battery tube containing a circuit that allows the user to specify the voltage (Variable Voltage or VV APVs) and/or the wattage (Variable Wattage or VW APVs) that is delivered to the device. They may also offer a host of other features.

In this post, I touched on my hardware recommendations, this post will cover some of the APVs that are widely liked and suggested by the vaping community as something that a beginner would like. This will cover both Variable Voltage and Variable Wattage, and are in no particular order.

This is not an exhaustive list, simply the APVs that I see the best reviews on, or have personal experience with.

Vamo

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This is one of the most often recommended units for new vapers. I have not used one, so I couldn’t say what they are like.

These units are VV/VW so you can choose the mode of operation that you prefer.

The Vamo is currently sold in both v2 and v3 models, and in a number of different finishes (actual material selection is brass or stainless at this time).

The v3 has a redesigned (and removable) top collar, allowing larger toppers to be used, and the 510 connection now also has eGo cone threading. The screen on the v3 has been upgraded to an OLED display, and the menu system is slightly different.

The user manual that comes with both units leaves a bit to be desired.

Features:

  • Variable voltage: Adjust the voltage output from 3.0 to 6.0 volts in 0.1 volt increments.
  • Variable wattage: Set the preferred wattage (from 3 to 15 watts).
  • RMS & AVG (Mean) mode: The VAMO V2 allows the user to switch between methods the device uses internally to calculate the voltage output. The default and recommended setting is RMS. RMS provides a more accurate voltage output. The APV may also run in Average (or Mean) mode. Average mode may result in output voltages higher than the user selected voltage on the device.
  • 510 Threaded.
  • Can be used with single 18650, single 18350 or two 18350 (flat top).
  • Atomizer resistance check.
  • Battery power check.
  • Cutoff Timer: When you press the power button to use the device for 10-15 seconds or more, the device will turn off automatically.
  • When a single batteries voltage is less than 3.2v or dual 18350 batteries voltage is less than 6.4v, the screen will display LO v, which indicates that the batteries need to be recharged.
  • Atomizers at 1.2ohm or less, the screen will display LO Ω, which indicates that you need to use a new atomizer at higher resistance.
  • Atomizer short circuit detection; the screen will display LO v.
  • Incorrect battery installation protection. The device will not work.
  • Max current 5A.
  • Minimum resistance 1.2 Ω.
  • Thermal Monitoring.
  • Correct Polarity Signaling.
  • Heavy Duty Micro-switches.
  • Vent Hole in Battery End Cap.
  • Battery End Cap ‘fail safe’ designed to ‘give way’.

Dimensions:

  • 18650 mode: 5-1/2″L x 7/8″D (without atomizer)
  • 18350 mode: 4-1/4″L x 7/8″D (without atomizer)

Price:

Varies from about $28 to about $75 depending on the vendor and kit options. Find it here among other places.

Gotchas:

The number one complaint I hear about the Vamo is that they will occasionally just stop working. I’m not sure what causes that, but it is not all of them. Considering that it is electronic, this is not wholly unexpected.

eVic

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The eVic is probably the most feature packed APV on the market. It is VV/VW capable.

People seem to love them, or they hate them (I’ll cover why in the Gotchas section). I do not own one, and have never handled one, but thought I’d include it here for completeness.

Several vendors make aftermarket battery tubes for the eVic which (in my opinion) really better the look of this APV.

The manufacturer offers a simplified top cap without the OLED for users who do not want all that information.

Features:

  • First APV with upgradeable firmware.
  • Adjustable voltage from 3 volts to 5 volts & adjustable wattage from 5-11watts.
  • 510 threading.
  • eGo threading.
  • Monitors battery charge level and will estimate available remaining usage.
  • Intelligent OLED display with easy to use jog dial for user selectable function selection.
  • Removable drip well cap for easy cleaning of excess liquids.
  • Built in USB charging port, which also doubles as connection to your computer for the upgradeable system software and configuring the unit with the MyVaporRecord Software.
  • Accepts most 18650 batteries.
  • The eVics advanced user software tracks your usage which can be reviewed later using JoyeTech MyVaporRecord software (Windows XP/7 supported, may work with Windows 8).
  • Unique serial number used for warranty and registration with JoyeTech.
  • Device temperature monitoring.
  • Output short circuit protection.
  • Output open circuit protection.
  • Overtime working protection.
  • Low voltage protection.
  • Puff counter (the Chinese seem to be obsessed with this for some reason).
  • Power Saving features for the screen.
  • Standby modes.
  • Change settings through the computer for convenience with the included software.
  • Calendar.

Dimensions:

  • 4.88″ (without atomizer)

Price:

These range from about $76 t0 $120 depending on vendor and kit options. Find it here, among other places.

Gotchas:

The top cap is susceptible to breakage and separation. In people who are unhappy with the device the number one complaint is the top cap separating. It is a press fit, so rough handling will likely lead to this.

iTaste MVP

MVP

Click to enlarge

The Innokin iTaste MVP is a bit different in form, but it makes up for it with function. The current version of the MVP is offered in Black, Silver, or Titanium Blue.

The MVP is VV only, if it had VW as well this would be my number one recommendation for all vapers.

This device would be my suggestion for anyone looking for long battery life. Many users report that the MVP battery lasts 1-2 days between charges.

Features:

  • Variable Voltage (3.3-5.0 Volts in .1 volt increments)
  • Pass through functionality.
  • 510 threading.
  • eGo threading.
  • Puff counter.
  • 2600 mAh Polymer li-ion rechargeable battery.
  • Portable power source for other electronic products.
  • Battery capacity display.
  • ON/OFF safety switch.
  • Passthrough capability.
  • Standard Micro & 2.0 USB Socket.
  • Short circuit /atomizer protection.
  • 3 Amp current limit.
  • Over-discharge protection.

Dimensions:

  • 41 x 22 x 107mm (without atomizer)

Price:

Available from $45 to about $75 depending on vendor. Find it here (coupon code fightback1 brings it down to $55), among other places.

Gotchas:

The 3 amp limit. That is the only negative thing I can find about the MVP. This somewhat limits the functionality of the device, but is by no means a deal breaker.

Innokin SVD

click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A long time ago, in a galaxy far- wait, that’s not right… What is…

Ok, so it looks like something that Darth Vader would have hanging from his belt, but you know what? I like it.

The Innokin SVD is a telescoping VV/VW APV that has a reputation for solid performance.

Features:

  • Variable Voltage: voltage can be adjusted from 3.3 – 6.0 volts in .1 volt increments.
  • Variable Wattage: Wattage can be adjusted from 3.0 – 15.0 W in .5 watts increments.
  • Short Circuit Protection.
  • Reverse Battery Protection Circuit.
  • Battery Voltage Detection.
  • Resistive Load Detection (Ohm meter).
  • ON/OFF battery switch.
  • LED Battery Power Display.
  • Low Voltage Warning.
  • Overtime Vaping Warning.
  • Telescopic Tube supports 18350, 18500 or 18650 batteries.
  • Battery safety protection.
  • 510 threading.
  • eGo threading.
  • Removable top cap allows for easy cleaning and use of large diameter toppers.
  • Change battery and switch VV or VW, settings memory function (it remembers what you had it set at).
  • Built-in 3 digit display (Ohms meter , Volts /Watts , Atomizer voltage output).

Dimensions:

  • (109.7-139.7) x 23.5mm (without atomizer)

Price:

Available from $38 to $110 depending on vendor and kit options. Find it here, among other places.

Gotchas:

The menu system is a bit awkward, and the instruction manual is not great. Once you have used it for a bit it isn’t an issue, but if this is your first APV it might get confusing for a bit.

Sigelei ZMAX v3 (telescope)

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The Sigelei ZMAX (not to be confused with the SMOK ZMAX) comes in a couple of variants, I have chosen to use the telescope here, as that gives the most battery options (and I like it the best).

The ZMAX v3 is a VV/VW device. The device has only one button that is used to both fire the atomizer, and to access the menu system.

This is the first APV that I bought. It edged out the ProVari only because it has VW capability.

Features:

  • Variable Voltage: can be adjusted from 3.0V-6.0V volts at the rate of 0.1 volt increments.
  • Variable Wattage: the power can be adjusted from the range 3.0W to 15.0W at the rate of 0.5 watts increments.
  • 510 and eGo threaded.
  • Short Circuit Protection.
  • Reverse Battery Protection Circuit.
  • Battery Voltage Detection.
  • Resistive Load Detection ( Ohms meter ).
  • ON/OFF battery switch.
  • OLED Battery Power Display.
  • Telescopic Tube supports 18350, 18650, 18490 or 18500 batteries.
  • Remembers last set voltage or wattage when switching batteries.
  • Battery protection.

Dimensions:

  • (131-106) x 23mm (without atomizer)

Price:

Available from $65 to $100 depending on vendor and kit options. Available here, among other places.

Gotchas:

The manual is not very good (seems to be a theme with these Chinese APVs), which wouldn’t be terrible if it had more than one button. It’s not too bad, but again, if this is your first APV, you may be confused for a minute.

ProVari

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Of all the APVs I’ve covered, this is the only American made product.

This is probably the most well made APV you are going to find (outside of Mechanical APVs, and even then it’d be a close call).

The ProVari is a VV only device, but does come in a couple of different models, including a mini version.

People make accessories (including entire toppers) specifically for this APV.

Features:

  • The ProVari can be adjusted from 2.9 – 6.0 volts in 0.1 volt increments.
  • Accepts a single 18490 or 18500 battery (optional end cap allows for use of 18650 batteries).
  • On/Off Mode
  • If the button is held down for 16 seconds or longer, the ProVari will shut itself off until the button is released.
  • Short Circuit/Atomizer Protection.
  • Reverse Battery Protection.
  • Battery Monitoring/Over-Discharge Protection.
  • Amperage Limiting to 3.5 amps.
  • Thermal Monitoring Shuts the device off if it detects a high temperature condition.
  • One year warranty (optional additional length can be purchased).
  • Useful and clearly written user manual available in multiple languages.

Dimensions:

  • 4.1″ L x 0.90″ D (stock 18500 battery version) (without atomizer)
  • 4.6″L x 0.90″ D (with 18650 extension) (without atomizer)

Price:

Available from $160 to $220 depending on options and sales. Only available here.

Gotchas:

Cost. Lack of VW. The inexplicable lack of a 18650 extension for the ProVari Mini. Those are really kind of nitpicking, but for the cost of this device, it should be able to accept any battery from 18350 to 18650.

Final thoughts

There are a wide variety of Regulated APVs available. The choice of which to buy is going to be one of the most difficult that you will make, and many end up buying several (guilty). I just hope that this helps someone figure out if the APV they are considering is the best fit for them.

end

PSA: EVOD Battery Recall

recallToday KangerTech posted the following on their website in relation to the EVOD battery recall:

To all KangerTech customers:

KangerTech is voluntarily recalling all EVOD batteries purchased through Heaven Gifts, that were supplied between the end of March and beginning of April.  While only a few batteries may be affected, we are recalling the entire batch of 6000 EVOD batteries.

We were recently made aware of an issue with an EVOD battery sold through Haven Gifts, an official KangerTech distributor.  After extensive research, we found a potential issue with the internal cell used in the manufacturing of the EVOD, which could fail during the charging of the battery.  These EVOD batteries were manufactured between the end of March to early April, and were only distributed to Heaven Gifts.

KangerTech takes its customers safety very seriously, and is working with Heaven Gifts to recall and replace all of the EVOD batteries that may have this issue.   While we recognize the inconvenience recalls cause our customers, we are taking these actions on their behalf to help ensure their safety.

EVOD batteries sold directly through KangerTech, and other authorized resellers, are not affected in this recall, and are safe to use.  If there are any questions regarding the safety of your EVOD battery, please feel free to contact your place of purchase, or KangerTech directly.

This is from a distributor (Heaven Gifts). Many vendors may have bought from them. If you have any EVOD batteries, contact the vendor who sold them to you, explain the situation, and ask the vendor if they purchased EVOD batteries from Heaven Gifts.

In light of the nature of mass production manufacturing, and the note they posted to their site yesterday, I would not assume that this shipment of EVOD batteries are the only ones in danger of catastrophic failure.

I laud KangerTech’s decision to address the issue (which I find to be unusual for a Chinese manufacturer), but I don’t think they are handling this right. The right answer is that any EVOD batteries sold to distributors prior to the protection circuit implementation should be recalled. I know it’s expensive, but if this turns out that the problem was not just confined to the single batch of 6000 batteries that Kanger is claiming right now, their battery business is toast.

Personally I would just toss any EVOD batteries I had (well recycle them properly anyway), or at minimum demand that the vendor I bought them from get on KangerTech about this. There is enough doubt in my mind that I would not be using any EVOD batteries purchased from a distributor until I was certain that the protected circuit model has saturated the market.

Just my take, you’re free to do as you like.

end

POSSIBLE RECALL: Kanger EVOD *batteries*, maybe.

recall

This morning I’ve seen several reports of SZ Kanger issuing a recall on EVOD batteries that were purchased from them prior to June 24th 2013 (source here), and in some cases all batteries in the market at this time. That’s batteries, not EVOD clearomizers.

KangerTech had this to say on the subject in a news post on their website that appeared today titled “evod battery“:

kanger all evod battery add safeguard PCBA. so all evod battery quality no problem

Now If you poke around the KangerTech website you’ll notice that English is clearly not the first language of whomever is doing the copy writing. Plus you have to keep in mind that Chinese companies operate a bit different than American manufacturers. The likelihood of them coming out and admitting on their website that a massive shipment of batteries may randomly explode is about the same as Joe Biden giving good advice on firearms; less than zero. Couple that with the news release above, and it looks like this is a legit recall to me.

Apparently a mass email was sent out from the distributor Heaven Gifts that discussed the specific batteries:

The potential faulty EVOD batteries are as below:
All EVOD 650mAh batteries in matte black, yellow, blue. Rest colors we sent before June 24.
ALL EVOD 1000mAh batteries in yellow, green. Rest colors we sent before June 24.
All EVOD starter kits in yellow. Rest colors we sent before June 24.

– See more here

I’m guessing whoever wrote that isn’t a native English speaker either. My take on that mess is that all EVOD batteries sent from Kanger prior to June 24th, all 650mAh black, blue or yellow EVOD batteries period, all 1000mAh yellow or green EVOD batteries period, and all yellow EVOD starter kits period are included in this recall.

Supposedly the vendors who bought the batteries involved in the recall have been contacted by their distributors, and will be contacting customers who may have purchased these batteries to get them replaced at no charge.

I do not personally own any EVOD batteries but if I did, I would contact the vendor I purchased them from to find out what they know, and ask them to look into it. And I would immediately cease all use of the batteries that may be included in this recall (I’d probably put them in a non flammable container, something like a ceramic flower pot, and set them outside just to be safe as well).

If there are any further updates to this I will post those too.

end

Getting Started: Variable Voltage, Variable Wattage, what’s the difference?

In the post Getting Started: Electronic Cigarette Basics I touched on the benefits of moving beyond cigalikes (essentially better control of the vaping experience). There are basically two ways to go forward:

  • Regulated Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs)
  • Mechanical Advanced Personal Vaporizers

We’re going to ignore mechanical APVs for right now (I will be addressing it at a later date) and look at regulated APVs.

A regulated APV simply means that the device has an electronic circuit that controls (regulates) either the voltage (these are referred to as Variable Voltage or VV devices), or the wattage (these are referred to as Variable Wattage or VW devices), or both (these are commonly referred to as VV/VW devices) in the device you are using.

This allows us to use Ohm’s Law to determine what the proper setting for the desired voltage (in VV devices) or wattage (in VW devices), across the atomizer (resistance) is. Why? Some juices will taste better at specific wattages/voltages on some devices, and better at other settings on different devices. Some people like a given juice at a higher wattage than others.

Ohm’s Law is a very technical subject, and if you want to delve into it you can do so here. There are plenty of Ohm’s Law calculators available online, I like this one.

Vaping Power Chart - click to enlarge

Vaping Power Chart – click to enlarge

The point is control.

So, what’s the difference?

It’s hard to quantify, the best I can do is to offer some examples.

If I set my VW device to 8w (that’s 8 watts) on a protank with a 2.5 ohm head it will get 8w (at ~4.47v). If I then remove it and put say, an IGO-L with a 1.5 ohm coil on there, the device is still going to deliver 8w (at ~3.46v) to the atomizer (we’ll call this example 1).

If on the other hand I set my VV device to say 4.2v with the same two toppers, the protank will get 4.2v (at ~7.05w), and the IGO-L will get 4.2v (at ~11.76w).

How do I know this? Ohm’s Law.

Why is this important? Battery life and safety.

In example 1, the device is drawing ~1.78A (that’s amps) with the 2.5 ohm protank head, and ~2.31A with the 1.5 ohm IGO-L coil. If this example is using an APV that runs on an IMR 18650 battery that can sustain a 10A draw it’s fine, but if this is on an APV that is powered by an IMR 14500 battery that can only sustain a 2A draw, the only way it can function is what is referred to as voltage sag (a situation where the current draw is more than can be delivered by the battery, so the voltage delivered is actually less than what you have specified). This also means that my battery will not last as long with the IGO-L if I want the same vapor experience as I get from the protank atomizer (it’s kinda apples to oranges comparing a clearomizer and an RDA like that, but you see my point).

The safety part comes in when you are pulling much higher wattage than the atomizer should have (11.76w across a 1.5 ohm atomizer is too hot, and will result in premature coil burn out. It’ll also probably taste terrible).

Now that we know how VV and VW differ, why not just use one for all of vaping?

There are several reasons.

As it relates to vaping, we can equate wattage to heat (the more watts you draw, the hotter your atomizer gets). 8w is 8w regardless of device, but you can see from example 2 that 4.2 volts doesn’t produce the same power (wattage is a measurement of power) at 2.5 ohms as it does at 1.5 ohms.

Basically VW devices do some of the math for you and raise the voltage according to the resistance of the atomizer on them.

Another is cost. VW circuits are more complex than VV circuits, and will either raise the cost of the device, or lower the quality of the regulation circuit.

I like to think of the vaping experience I get with a given juice in terms of wattage. I find that using wattage to determine the sweet spot for a given prefer VW, but some of the best devices on the market only offer VV (the iTaste MVP and ProVari are two).

In the end it comes down to personal preference.

end

How I rate E-Juice

I’m gonna start reviewing some of the E-Juice that I’ve tried, and I want to explain how I am scoring them.

Some of the points below do not relate directly to the specific juice per se, but are definitely part of the juice buying experience.

I’m using a 100 point scale broken down as follows:

Mixing Options: 15 points possible

  • Does the vendor offer PG/VG ratio specification? 6 points
  • Does the vendor offer nicotine content range from 0-36mg/ml? 6 points
  • Does the vendor offer flavor customization (extra flavor, add different flavor, sweetness, etc.)? 3 points

Cost: 5 points possible

This will be based on what a given vendor charges for a 15ml bottle.

  • Is the cost per ml in line with what other vendors are charging for similar packaging? 3 points
  • Is the cost per ml in line with what other vendors are charging for similar quality juice? 2 points

Packaging (shipping): 5 points possible

  • Is the package secure? 1 point
  • Is the package appropriate for the contents? 1 point
  • Is the order correct? 1 point
  • Is anything leaking/broken? 1 point
  • Was a tracking number given without being requested? 1 point

Packaging (bottle): 10 points possible

  • Bottle material? 1 point
  • Is the bottle well made? 1 point
  • Is the bottle childproof? 1 point
  • Does the bottle include a dropper/spout? 1 point
  • Is the label material durable? 1 point
  • Is the label printing durable? 1 point
  • Does the label list the nicotine content? 1 point
  • Does the label list the PG/VG ratio? 1 point
  • Does the label list a mix date? 1 point
  • Does the label have a safety warning? 1 point

Throat Hit: 5 points possible

Throat hit is entirely subjective. This will simply note whether throat hit is present if it is supposed to be, or not as appropriate on a scale of 0 to 5.

Taste (Before Curing): 5 points possible

Taste is entirely subjective. I will be as objective as possible if I don’t like a juice I will get a second opinion to ensure it is not just a flavor I do not like.

Requires Curing: 10 points possible

People refer to the process of aging juice as many things, I think curing is the most accurate. I sample everything directly out of the mail.

  • Can I vape the juice without curing it? 5 points
  • Does it taste good? 5 points

Cure Time: 10 points possible

  • Did it take more than 8 hours of gentle heating to cure? 5 points
  • Did it take more than a week to cure? 5 points

Taste (After Curing): 25 points possible

Again taste is subjective. Since we vape this stuff for flavor in the first place, taste will account for the largest portion of points on this scale.

  • Does it taste good? 15 points
  • Would I buy this again? 5 points
  • Could I vape it all day? 5 points

Vapor Production: 5 points possible

  • Is the vapor production appropriate to the PG/VG mix? 1 point
  • Is the vapor production appropriate to this device? 1 point
  • Is the room note (the smell that it brings to a room when vaped there) good? 2 points
  • Is the room note strong? 1 points

Tank Cracker: 5 points possible

  • Does the vendor list this clearly on the site? 1 point
  • Does the vendor list this in the product description? 2 points
  • Did it crack/melt one of my tanks/clearos? 2 points

That’s the criteria for the 100 point scale.

Bonus Points: 7 points possible

  • Are nicotine levels beyond 24mg/ml offered for this juice? 1 point
  • Does the vendor include a free sample with each order? 1 point
  • Does the buyer get to choose the free sample flavor? 1 point
  • Is the nicotine level of the free sample the same as the order? 1 point
  • Does the user get to choose the nicotine level of the free sample? 1 point
  • If I have a problem with an order how easy is it to get it corrected? 1 point
  • If I have a problem with an order, did the vendor do something to make up for it (freebie, discount code, etc.)? 1 point

These are things that I don’t necessarily want to deduct points for, but that I feel warrant noting when considering buying from a particular vendor. Scoring bonus points is a way for vendors to overcome minor issues with packaging or shipping related issues.

end