Electronic Cigarette or Personal Vaporizer?

Electronic cigarettes are personal vaporizers but a personal vaporizer is not necessarily a electronic cigarette. So what’s the difference between the two? Personal vaporizers are essentially used to heat a substance without reaching combustion temperatures, in order to evaporate or vaporize it. This substance is most often an oil, a dried herb or in the case of e-cigarettes, a mixture of: propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and the optional nicotine.

Long 380 mAh V2 Cigs KR808D-1

380 mAh V2 Cigs (KR808D-1) E-Cigarette

Electronic Cigarettes are thus personal vaporizers that evaporate e-liquid (or e-juice) to satisfy the vaper’s nicotine cravings. There are mini e-cigarettes, there are big pen size electronic cigarettes and then there are e-cigarettes that don’t look like “cigarettes” at all. The most common e-cigarette models, that look like actual cigarettes, are the KR808D-1, KR808D-2 and L88B. The current capacity of these rechargeable lithium ion batteries ranges from 150 mAh to 380 mAh. The longest battery (pictured above) stores enough power to vape at most 2 cartomizers or the equivalent of a pack of regular cigarettes. A big advantage of these e-cigarettes is the optional portable charging cases, that are small enough to carry in a shirt pocket so that you can recharge a battery anywhere, several times before the pack itself needs to be recharged. The most user-friendly and easiest e-cigarette vaporizer to use is the KR808D-1 type e-cig.

ProVari 1100 mAh


eGo-T 650 mAh e-cigarette


The next step up in performance (and price) are medium-sized personal vaporizers, such as the eGo-T (pictured on the right), which is powered by a 650 mAh battery and equipped with a single coil cartomizer (SCC) and a 1.6ml refillable tank. These types of cartomizers will produce more vapor but you’ll probably go through 2 such batteries to finish vaping the full tank, which is also equivalent to about a pack of cigarettes. Don’t get caught with a dead battery, always carry a spare. This kind of personal vaporizer is for the intermediate vaper who wants to refill his tank cartridges by dripping different e-liquids.

For advanced vapers, there are larger, high-end personal vaporizers like the 1100 mAh USA-made ProVari (pictured on the left), a variable voltage device that can be used with dual coil cartomizers (DCC) to produce even more vapor, for the most demanding smoker. You must be familiar with some electricity concepts to use such a device properly. Cartomizers come in different resistances: a low resistance coil of 1.5 ohm will produce lots of heat, whereas a high resistance coil of 5 ohm will produce less heat, under the same voltage. The amount of vapor and thickness depends on the total power output of the e-cigarette in watts P=V2/R. You’ll get best results at around 6 watts. The higher the power, the more e-liquid will be evaporated in one puff, but be careful not to let it burn!

Refer to the table below for the recommended voltage to use with different resistances:

E-Cigarette Volts, Ohms and Watts

Right-click and choose “View Image” to see full size chart or “Save Image as” to save it to your computer for future reference (you could make a new folder on your desktop and call it “ecigs” for example).

Keep in mind that as you use a battery, its voltage decreases as you discharge it. Thus, you’ll get the biggest hits out of a freshly recharged battery.

While beginner e-cigarettes produce a decent amount of vapor and are hassle-free, some vapers eventually prefer to upgrade to more advanced devices that produce even thicker vapor, but that also require more tinkering such as refilling e-juices, cleaning the cartomizer tanks or changing the wicks and coils. As you can see vaping is quite a science in itself and can quickly become a new hobby. You might find it fun too!

About the Author

Senior Editor

After many previous failed attempts at quitting smoking I stumbled upon electronic cigarettes and decided to give them a try. It has been five years now that I smoked my last tobacco cigarette and I am 100% nicotine-free!

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