Replaceable Coil Pod Systems

Replaceable coil pod systems straddle the line between traditional simple pod systems and more complex vape pens. Find out what makes them great.

If you’ve been vaping for a while, it’s likely that you’re well aware of pod vaping systems. Maybe you’re even using one now. Pod systems now occupy the market segment of the vaping industry that cigalikes once dominated. They’re only slightly larger than cigalikes, and with the addition of nicotine salt e-liquid, they can provide the same level of satisfaction as tobacco cigarettes.

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Replaceable Coil Pod Systems

Pod Systems Have Many Benefits – and One Major Drawback

Pod systems have become so popular among the vaping community that many people have traded in their advanced sub-ohm mods – and the extremely high e-liquid consumption that goes along with those devices – for pod systems that are much smaller, just as satisfying and far less expensive to use.

As economical as they may be compared to sub-ohm mods, though, pod systems do have a major drawback in that replacement pods can be quite expensive. Switching to a pod system may save you some money by reducing your e-liquid consumption, but buying an entire replacement pod – when all that you actually need is a new coil – really cuts into your savings.

Replaceable Coils Solve the One Problem With Pod Systems

People love pod vaping systems, but buying a replacement pod every few days makes the systems far more expensive to use than they ought to be. What’s the solution? A pod system with replaceable coils deftly straddles the line between inexpensive pod systems and full-blown vape pens with tanks.

When you use a pod system with replaceable coils, you get all the benefits of traditional pod systems. You get the small device size and the simple operation of pod systems. You also get the ability to change flavors in seconds anytime you like simply by replacing your pod.

In addition to those benefits, using a pod system with replaceable coils means that you can buy replacement coils – usually in packs of five – for about the same price that you would ordinarily pay for two empty pods.

How much money can you save with a replaceable coil pod system? Let’s suppose that you use a coil-friendly unsweetened e-liquid, and you’re currently replacing your pod about once per week.

What’s the Best Replaceable Coil Pod System?

Best Replaceable Coil Pod System

There are plenty of great pod systems out there, but I really like the SMOK Nord. Every vaping system has its shortcomings, but I feel that the few shortcomings with the Nord are completely manageable. With this device, you get something that can offer virtually anything you could ever want from a pod system.

Benefits of the SMOK Nord

  • The Nord has a manual fire button rather than an automatic puff sensor. The button allows the Nord to produce much more vapor than you’d ever get with an automatic device.
  • The Nord is smaller than most vape pens, but it has a battery with a capacity of 1,100 mAh. That’s among the highest battery capacities – if not the highest – of any pod system.
  • The Nord has a pod capacity of 3 ml. That’s enormous; it’s like having almost four full JUUL pods in your device at the same time.

The greatest benefit of the SMOK Nord, though, is the replaceable coil system. You can access the coil via the underside of the pod – just pull out the new pod, push in a new one and wait several minutes for the cotton to become saturated with e-liquid.

SMOK Nord Review

SMOK has really put some thought into the coil design of the Nord. Whether you’re a direct-to-lung or mouth-to-lung vaper – a cloud chaser or a flavor chaser – SMOK has a Nord coil for you. These are the four SMOK Nord coils available at the time of writing:

  • 4-ohm standard coil (included in kit): Operates at up to 12 watts. For mouth-to-lung inhaling with higher-nicotine e-liquids.
  • 6-ohm mesh coil (included in kit): Operates at up to 25 watts. For direct-to-lung inhaling with lower-nicotine e-liquids. At present, you probably won’t find a coil in the entire world of pod vaping systems with better vapor production than this coil.
  • 8-ohm mesh coil (sold separately): Operates at up to 16 watts. Achieves even better vapor production for mouth-to-lung vaping.
  • 6-ohm standard coil (sold separately): Operates at up to 20 watts. Traditional wound coil for direct-to-lung inhaling.

Drawbacks of the SMOK Nord

  • The filling hole on the side of the pod is quite small. You might have trouble filling the pod if you don’t have a bottle with a narrow tip.
  • Since the pod has a filling hole on the side and a hole for the coil at the bottom, leaking may be more common with the SMOK Nord than with some other pod devices. Wiping excess e-liquid away with a paper towel when you fill the pod or change the coil will help to prevent leaking.

Replaceable Coil Pod Systems vs. Tank-Based Vape Pens

Now that you’ve read a bit about how replaceable coil pod systems work, you might find yourself wondering why you should buy a device such as the SMOK Nord when you could just buy a more full-featured vape pen. With a vape pen, you can expect even greater battery life. You might get the ability to fine-tune your vaping experience by adjusting your device’s wattage. You’ll most likely also get a glass tank, which can potentially give you even purer flavors. Compared to pod systems, though, vape pens typically cost more – both for the devices themselves and for the replacement coils. In addition, pod systems are designed to serve those who prefer the mouth-to-lung inhaling style. Most vape pens, on the other hand, work best in a direct-to-lung setting only.

Pod Vapes vs. Cigalikes

Cigalikes deliver a familiar vaping experience, but pod vapes are more modern in every way. Which is the best e-cigarette? Learn more.

A funny thing happens when you run a vaping website for nine years. One day, you look at your site and realize that you’ve spent page after page discussing cigalikes – a type of e-cigarette that almost no one seems to use anymore – and a lot of that information just isn’t as useful as it once was. Today, many of the people who aren’t using mods are using pod vaping systems – but not all. Sellers of traditional cigalikes continue to soldier on, and you can still find the classic cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes in brick-and-mortar stores and online.

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So, you’re a smoker, and you’re interested in buying your first e-cigarette. You’re faced with the difficult task of comparing pod vapes vs. cigalikes. Which one do you choose? In this article, I’m going to break it down in simple terms.

Pod Vapes vs Cigalikes

Cigalikes and Pod Vaping Systems Both Give You Simplicity

Cigalikes and closed-system pod vapes are both designed from the ground up to provide the kind of simple, trouble-free vaping experience that you need when you’re first making the switch from smoking. Whichever type of device you choose, the experience of making the device work will be much the same. You’ll charge the battery via a USB charger. You’ll twist on or push in a cartridge or pod. You’ll puff on the device, and it’ll create vapor. No vapor? Charge the battery. No flavor? Replace the cartridge or pod. The devil is in the details, of course – but you can be confident that whichever type of e-cigarette you choose, you’ll get a device designed to deliver the level of simplicity that you want as a recent convert from tobacco cigarettes.

One important thing to note is that there are actually two types of pod vapes: closed-system and open-system devices. Closed-system devices use pre-filled pods that aren’t designed to be refilled. That’s the simpler type of device. Open-system devices use empty pods that you fill yourself with bottled nicotine salt e-liquid. Open-system devices give you the freedom to choose your own e-liquid flavors, but they’re a bit more complicated to use than closed-system devices.

Cigalikes Deliver a Familiar Experience for Smokers

Cigalike Starter Kit

Cigalikes give you one thing that pod systems don’t, and that’s the physical shape and size of a tobacco cigarette. You can’t hold a pod vape between two fingers or let it hang from your lips, but you can do those things with many cigalikes. Some cigalikes even include portable battery charging cases that charge your batteries and hold a few spare cartridges. A portable battery charging case looks and feels a bit like a pack of cigarettes; some even have flip-open lids. If you really need vaping to look and feel as much like smoking as possible, you’re probably going to love using a cigalike.

The drawback of cigalikes is that, while they do an excellent job of mimicking the physical act of smoking, they fall short in terms of vapor production and battery life due to their size constraints. A device that needs to be as small as a cigarette will have a tiny battery and a tiny heating coil; there’s no way of getting around those problems except by making the device bigger. That’s where pod vaping systems come in.

Pod Systems Deliver a Modern Vaping Experience

Cigalikes vs Pod Vaping Systems

While larger than a tobacco cigarette, the typical pod vaping system is still extremely small. The standard shape of a pod system resembles that of a USB thumb drive. You can hold many of them between two fingers, but you probably won’t want to let one hang from your lips. With the small increase in size, though, comes massive increases in battery life, e-liquid capacity and vapor production. The typical cigalike has a battery capacity around 90 mAh. Pod systems, on the other hand, have battery capacities ranging from 200-1,000 mAh. The typical cigalike holds less than 1 ml of e-liquid in a cartridge. Pod systems hold up to 2 ml of e-liquid and sometimes even more. With a pod system, you can expect to vape much longer before you’ll need to change the pod or recharge the battery. In many cases, a full pod and a charged battery are sufficient to keep you vaping all day without interruptions.

What’s even more important, though, are the things going on under the hood. The basic design of the cigalike cartridge hasn’t changed since the beginning of the vaping industry. Wet cotton gauze delivers e-liquid to a tiny heating coil in the center of the cartridge. It’s impossible to use all of the e-liquid in the gauze without burning the cotton, so some of the e-liquid is always wasted. A modern pod delivers e-liquid to the heating coil much more efficiently, allowing you to use the pod until it is completely dry. You’ll get more puffs out of a pod than you will from any cigalike cartridge – and those puffs will be far more flavorful and satisfying.

The final key difference in the comparison of pod vapes vs. cigalikes is that pod vaping systems almost always use nicotine salt e-liquid, while cigalikes do not. Nicotine salt has a more neutral pH than the freebase nicotine used in most e-liquid. That makes the vapor much smoother to inhale when the e-liquid has a high nicotine strength – and you need a high nicotine strength when you’re using a small vaping device. The highest available nicotine strength for a cigalike tends to be around 18 mg. Pod vaping systems have nicotine strengths up to 50 mg. That’s around the same nicotine per puff that you would get from a tobacco cigarette.

Final Thoughts on Pod Vapes vs. Cigalikes

Between cigalikes and pod vaping systems, pod vapes are far more modern and deliver a better vaping experience in almost every way. These days, most new vapers who would have purchased cigalikes several years ago are buying pod systems instead. You shouldn’t let that fact deter you from buying a cigalike, though, if you really need a vaping device that reminds you as much of a tobacco cigarette as possible. If people weren’t able to use cigalikes to switch from smoking to vaping, the vaping industry wouldn’t still exist today. I started with a cigalike, and I’ve been smoke-free for close to 10 years. It’s important to remember, though, that using a cigalike will most likely mean you’ll have to adjust to lower overall nicotine levels while making the transition to vaping. If you use a pod system, on the other hand, your nicotine levels will most likely remain more stable.

All-in-One Vaping Devices

Observing the vaping industry, I’ve come to the conclusion that the hardware landscape has become increasingly polarized. On one end, you have devices such as squonk mods. They’re optimized to produce clouds for days, but you’re not going to get your perfect vaping experience out of devices like those without a fair bit of tinkering. On the other end of the spectrum are pod vaping devices that deliver small clouds with big nicotine hits. Those two types of devices are pretty far apart in terms of their complexity and the vaping experiences that they offer. If you find that that neither of those device categories quite fits your vaping profile, all-in-one vaping devices represent a happy medium that might suit you perfectly.

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All-in-One Vaping Devices

What Are All-in-One Vaping Devices?

The defining characteristic of an all-in-one vaping device such as the Aspire PockeX is that it has a permanently attached tank. While most vaping devices have threading that allows you to attach the tank or atomizer of your choice, an all-in-one device only works with one tank. An all-in-one device may work with a few types of atomizer coils, or it may have just one coil available.

All-in-one devices are usually vape pens, although a few all-in-one box mods also exist. The benefit of using an all-in-one box mod is that many AIO box mods include adapters that allow you to use any tank you like. Using the adapter, though, does mean that you lose the benefits of owning an all-in-one device.

The Benefits of AIO Vaping Devices

No Question of Compatibility

At this point, you might be asking yourself why anyone would want to buy a vaping device that only works with one tank. Such a design might run contrary to the increasingly open and flexible nature of advanced vaping mods, but it also takes a lot of the guesswork out of vaping. If your device only works with one tank, there’s no need to shop around for tanks and worry about whether your device supports a given coil resistance or can deliver its required wattage. Also, if the tank that you have already provides your ideal vaping experience, you don’t need to experiment with other tanks.

Quiet Operation Without Leaks

With an all-in-one device, you’ll fill the tank by pouring e-liquid directly into the body of the device. You’ll then close the device by screwing in an assembly that combines the coil, the chimney and the mouthpiece into a single unit. While most vaping tanks draw air in from the bottom, the air intake vents for an all-in-one device are at the top of the tank. In short, an AIO vaping device has less holes than a traditional vaping tank — and that means your e-liquid is much less likely to leak out. All-in-one devices also tend to be very quiet during use.

Simplicity and Convenience

All-in-one vaping devices are very easy to use. Most operate with a single button. Since an AIO device only works with one coil — or a few coils at most — there’s no need for wattage or temperature adjustments because the device already operates at the ideal wattage for the coil you’re using. AIO devices are also some of the easiest vaping devices to fill. Just twist off the top hardware to expose the e-liquid reservoir. There’s no need to use a narrow-tip bottle to get your e-liquid into a tiny filling hole; just pour it right in.

No Compromise on Performance

The final major benefit of all-in-one vaping devices is that they don’t force a compromise on performance. If you’ve already switched from smoking to vaping, you don’t want to use a device like the JUUL that forces you to increase your e-liquid nicotine strength to 50 mg. Even some smokers don’t want to consume that much nicotine. All-in-one devices are just a bit larger than small pod vaping devices like the JUUL, but they produce substantially more vapor. With an AIO device, you can choose a reasonable nicotine strength and be fully satisfied.

The Drawbacks of AIO Vaping Devices

Lack of Flexibility

Although I alluded to this above, it bears repeating that you’ll only ever really have one vaping experience with an all-in-one device. Some devices have more than one coil resistance available. If you install a higher-resistance coil and close the airflow vents slightly, you can have a great mouth-to-lung vaping experience. If you install a lower-resistance coil and open the airflow vents, you’ll have a direct-to-lung experience. You’ll never get more vapor out of your device than you will with the lowest-resistance coil available, though, and you’ll never be able to give yourself a substantially different flavor experience by installing a different tank.

Early AIO Devices Had Spitting Issues

All-in-one vaping devices have been around for a few years now, and they’ve largely got their technical kinks worked out. One thing that you should look out for, though, is a device with a very long chimney. If the coil is at the bottom of a very deep tank, it might have airflow issues. That problem plagued the VaporFi VAIO, a device that I reviewed a a few years back. The poor airflow caused that device to spit and burn my tongue.

All-in-One Devices vs. Pod Vaping Systems

Pod vaping systems with pre-filled pods such as the JUUL — and pod systems with refillable pods like the Suorin Drop and the Joyetech Atopack Penguin — are the products that primarily compete with all-in-one vaping devices. Here’s how all-in-one devices vs. pod vaping devices differ:

  • In an all-in-one device, the tank is permanently connected. The atomizer coil is the part you’ll replace when the flavor quality starts to decline.
  • In a pod vaping system, the pod is your tank. You’ll replace the entire pod when the flavor quality starts to decline.

All-in-One Devices Let You Choose Your Own E-Liquid

An AIO vaping device usually works well with virtually every e-liquid on the market. If you use a high-VG e-liquid, for example, there’s usually no need to worry about whether the e-liquid will be too thick to flow through the atomizer coil’s wick holes if you use an all-in-one device.

Many pod vaping devices, on the other hand, are set up to work with thinner nicotine salt e-liquids. If you use thicker e-liquids with some pod systems, you’ll get dry hits. Although there are more nicotine salt e-liquids available today than ever before, you’ll have many more choices available if you use a vaping device that doesn’t require thin e-liquids. Since all-in-one devices have glass enclosures — and pod systems have plastic enclosures — you may prefer the flavor of an all-in-one device.

All-in-One Devices Are Less Expensive to Own

With most pod vaping systems, you need to replace the entire pod when the quality of the vaping experience decreases. A pod is a fairly complex piece of vaping hardware that includes an atomizer coil, a clear plastic enclosure and a mouthpiece. When you use an all-in-one device, on the other hand, the enclosure and mouthpiece are permanent parts of the device. The only component that you need to replace periodically is the atomizer coil. Since atomizer coils generally cost less than new pods, you may find that an all-in-one device is cheaper to own over the long term.

Box Mods Explained: The Ultimate Guide

What are box mods, and what are the pros and cons of box mods vs. vape pens and other e-cigs? Cheapest box mods? Best box mods? Get the answers here!

Based on what I see when I look around, I can’t help but wonder if box mods are actually the most popular e-cigarettes on the market today. I don’t know if it’s just that box mod users happen to be the ones most likely to vape in public, but I rarely see anything else — and why not? Box mods are relatively compact, they often last for hours with near-constant use, and they can produce an absolutely crazy amount of vapor. Vape pens have absolutely no chance of keeping up — the batteries simply aren’t powerful enough.

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So, join me as we learn all about box mods. We’re going to discuss what box mods are, find out whether any box mods for beginners exist and learn about the best box mods on the market in every price range. By the time we’re done, you’re going to know just about everything there is to know about these little dynamos.

Getting Started: The Best Box Mods of 2017


Best Box Mod Under $200

Wismec Reuleaux DNA 200


Price: $154.95

Coupon: None

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  • USA-made chipset
  • 200 watt power range
  • Customize everything with eScribe software
  • Supports three 18650 batteries



Best Box Mod Under $100

Halo Reactor Mega


Price: $70.00

Coupon: VAPE4LESS (5% Discount)

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  • Lots of accessories; great value for the price
  • 80 watt power range
  • 5,000 mAh internal battery
  • Includes bottle of e-liquid



Best Box Mod Under $50

Wismec Reuleaux RX200S


Price: $42.99

Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

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  • Similar feature set to the Reuleaux DNA 200 at a much lower cost
  • 200 watt power range
  • Supports three 18650 batteries
  • Large, very legible display



Best Box Mod Under $30

ELeaf iStick Power Nano


Price: $28.34

Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

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  • Extremely small design
  • 40 watt power range
  • 1,100 mAh internal battery
  • among the cheapest box mods with temperature control


What Are Box Mods?

History of Box Mods

Early box mod

A box mod, in short, is an e-cigarette that has the shape of a box rather than that of a cylinder. The term “mod” comes from the fact that all of the earliest e-cigarette mods were either built by hand or made from modified household objects. There were box mods made from Altoids tins, snus cans, craft boxes — you name it. People found items big enough to hold batteries and simply attached buttons and atomizer threading.

Today, box mods are highly polished consumer products. They include safety features, variable wattage settings and custom temperature controls. The earliest box mods had virtually no internal electronics — just a few wires. People made them because they were tired of the poor battery life and vapor production of the cigalikes available at the time.

The truth is, though, that the earliest box mods actually had quite a lot in common with the box mods of today. The earliest mod makers tended to use 18650 batteries and 510 atomizer threading. Most box mods still use those components today. In fact, the 510 thread is now so ubiquitous that you don’t even need to understand the term — virtually every tank or atomizer today uses the 510 connection. Back then, the 510 thread was just one of a great many choices. Sadly, I don’t think there’s a patent for the first box mod!

Box Mod Features


Today, box mods may be the devices on which the large e-cigarette manufacturers focus the most. Most of the big companies carry box mods in a wide array of sizes and power levels. There’s a sort of technological arms race between the e-cigarette manufacturers, with each company constantly trying to add new features that the other companies’ mods don’t have yet. These are just a few of the features that might find when you buy box mods online:

  • Variable settings for wattage, voltage, temperature or all three
  • Much higher power range than a cigalike — sometimes more than 200 watts
  • Very high battery capacity — often more than 4,000 mAh
  • Charging and/or firmware upgrades via USB
  • Digital display showing current settings, atomizer resistance, battery charge level and error messages

These features, though, barely scratch the surface of what box mods can do. These are some of the more unique features that you can find in just a few box mods:

  • Bluetooth support for tracking usage or changing settings on a mobile device
  • Touch screen for changing settings quickly or displaying pictures
  • Ability to adjust the thermal coefficient or any atomizer coil
  • PC software for creating your own entirely customized vaping settings
Many of the world’s best box mods use the USA-made DNA chipset

Who Are Box Mods Good For?

With all of the advanced features that box mods have, you probably have the impression that they’re only good for advanced e-cigarette users. That’s not really true. Aside from the wattage setting — which changes the amount of power supplied to the atomizer coil — you can safely ignore most of the other settings on a box mod until you’re ready to tinker with them. Many box mods include tanks, too. If you use the tank included with your device, you never have to worry about using your box mod in a way that isn’t supported.

One thing you do need to know, though, is that box mods usually include very low-resistance tanks with unrestricted airflow settings. If you prefer to inhale from your mouth to your lungs, a box mod probably won’t include a tank appropriate for that. Most tanks work best if you inhale directly to the lungs. In fact, few companies still make large e-cigarette tanks appropriate for mouth-to-lung inhaling, which means that you’re probably better off starting with a cigalike or vape pen if mouth-to-lung inhaling is what you prefer. Look at my recommendation for the best e-cigarette for beginners.

So, you don’t have to be an experienced e-cigarette user to buy a box mod — but it may be better if a box mod is your second e-cigarette rather than your first.

Are Box Mods Better Than Vape Pens?

Only you can decide which vaping setup is right for you. If having more features and higher power settings makes box mods better than other e-cigarettes, though, the answer is “yes.” In terms of their capabilities, box mods are the best e-cigarettes on the market. The reason is that box mods simply have a lot more internal space than vape pens and tube mods. They hold larger batteries — or more batteries — enabling them to last longer, deliver higher wattage and offer more features.


Box Mods vs. Vape Pens: Comparison

Box mods are better than vape pens for cloud chasing. Not only can they reach higher power levels than vape pens or most mechanical mods, but they can do it safely. Any good box mod should display an error message and stop working immediately if you try to use it in an unsafe way.

Should I Buy a Box Mod With an Internal Battery?

Box mods with internal batteries are often very sleek in appearance. Since a box mod with an internal battery doesn’t need durable battery terminals or a removable cover, it’ll usually be smaller than a box mod with a removable battery. A box mod with an internal battery has a lower initial cost of ownership, since you don’t need to buy batteries and a charger.

On the other hand, if you buy a box mod with a removable battery, you can read the reviews for yourself and pick your own battery and charger. You’ll know exactly what battery is in your mod, and you’ll know the battery’s capabilities. When the battery’s capacity finally decreases after 300-500 charge cycles, you can simply replace it instead of replacing the entire mod.

There is one thing that you should consider, though. While box mods with removable batteries technically have the potential to last longer, you can generally expect a rechargeable vaping battery to last at least a year or so. Manufacturers are adding new features to their box mods constantly. In a year, you might want a new device either way.


Regulated vs. Unregulated Box Mods

Apart from the basic information provided right here, I do not discuss unregulated box mods in this article. The very first box mods — like the ones I describe at the top of this article — were unregulated. The people who built them were hobbyists and electricians who understood the risks. Before long, though, unregulated box mods became commercial products. People bought them — and continue to buy them — without understanding the massive power that lithium-ion batteries are capable of storing. There have been close to 200 e-cigarette explosions reported in the media. Nearly all of the explosions with horrific results occurred with unregulated mods.

There are hundreds — possibly thousands — of unregulated box mods in use around the world. Most of those devices’ owners will never experience a problem. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend unregulated box mods because they have no safety features of any kind. I only recommend mods that error out gracefully if there’s a problem.

Parallel vs. Series Box Mods

parallel-vs-series-box-modsIf you do buy an unregulated box mod, you should know that there are two kinds: series and parallel. The illustration on the right can help you understand the difference.

Let’s begin with the assumption that you’re using matched, married batteries. When you use multiple batteries in the same device, you should always marry your batteries — especially if the device has no safety features.

Parallel Box Mods

If you use a parallel box mod, you’re splitting the load across all of the batteries in the mod. So, you’re increasing the mod’s total charge capacity and amperage limit.

  • If you have two 4.2-volt, 20-amp, 2,500 mAh batteries in a parallel box mod:
  • Your device will still be 4.2 volts, but it will support a load of up to 40 amps and have a capacity of 5,000 mAh.

Series Box Mods

If you use a series box mod, each battery in the series handles exactly the same load. You’re increasing the voltage that your device delivers to the coil, but you are not increasing the mod’s capacity or amperage limit.

  • If you have two 4.2-volt, 20-amp, 2,500 mAh batteries in a series box mod:
  • Your device will be 8.4 volts, but it will still only support a load of up to 20 amps and have a capacity of 2,500 mAh.

Applying Ohm’s Law

As you can probably imagine, the parallel configuration should be the safer of the two since it supports a higher continuous current. Let’s look at what happens when you use certain coil resistances with the theoretical mods I’ve described above.

Unregulated Box Mods: Resistance Table


Parallel Box Mod: 4.2 volts, 40 amps

  • 0.5 ohms: 8.4 amps
  • 0.4 ohms: 10.5 amps
  • 0.3 ohms: 14 amps
  • 0.2 ohms: 21 amps
  • 0.1 ohms: 42 amps



Series Box Mod: 8.4 volts, 20 amps

  • 0.5 ohms: 16.8 amps
  • 0.4 ohms: 21 amps
  • 0.3 ohms: 28 amps
  • 0.2 ohms: 42 amps
  • 0.1 ohms: 84 amps


If you are going to use an unregulated box mod, you should understand the capabilities of your device, know your batteries and build accordingly. For everyone else, I strongly recommend buying a regulated box mod with safety features.

Unregulated Box Mods vs Mechanical Mods

People use the term “mechanical mod” to refer to two different things. Some people call unregulated box mods “mechanical mods,” but I don’t agree with that because unregulated box mods have electronic switches. I consider a mechanical mod a tube-shaped device with a button on the top or bottom that completes the circuit when you apply mechanical force.

A true mechanical mod requires force to complete the circuit

So, how do unregulated box mods vs. mechanical mods compare? Usually, a mechanical mod is designed to hold one battery. Many unregulated box mods hold at least two batteries, though. That means an unregulated box mod will generally give you greater amperage headroom and battery capacity — or higher voltage — than a mechanical mod.

On the other hand, an unregulated box mod has an electronic fire button. The fire button in a mechanical mod is essentially just a piece of metal with a magnet pushing it away from the battery. It shouldn’t ever fail — and if it does, replacing it will be cheap. Replacing an electronic button in an unregulated box mod isn’t expensive either, but doing so might require the use of a soldering iron and other tools.

What Are Temperature Control Box Mods?


Nearly all of the best box mods on the market — and almost every mod I mention in this article — supports temperature control functionality. So, what are temperature control box mods?

Kanthal Coils: Stable Resistance for Wattage Vaping

To understand how temperature control vaping works, you must first understand Kanthal. Kanthal is an alloy of iron, chromium and aluminum. It’s one of the world’s most popular materials for heating wire, and its resistance changes very little when it gets hot. That makes it perfect for vaping. If you’re using a device with a fixed wattage — or a mechanical mod — you don’t want the resistance of your coil changing greatly while you use it. The resistance chart a couple of sections above clearly explains why.

Temperature Control Coils: Variable Resistance for TC Vaping

Temperature control vaping replaces the Kanthal coil with a coil made from a material that does change in resistance with heat — usually nickel, titanium or stainless steel. In fact, it changes in a predictable way every time. So, if you know the starting resistance of the coil, you can predict its current temperature during vaping if you know how much the resistance has changed.

When you tell your box mod the material of the coil you’re using, it applies the temperature coefficient of resistance for that material to estimate the temperature of the coil while you vape. The more the resistance of a coil changes during vaping, the more accurate the temperature prediction will be.



You should never use temperature control coils in a box mod that only supports wattage mode.


Benefits of Temperature Control Vaping

Why are temperature control box mods good? Most atomizer coils use cotton wicks — and cotton burns when it’s dry. If you’re using the temperature control function on your mod, it’ll cut the power to the atomizer if its temperature rises rapidly — which can happen if you chain vape or your tank is empty. You’ll avoid dry hits and burned cotton. Your coils will also last longer.

Drawbacks of Temperature Control Vaping

Titanium is one of the most popular coil materials for temperature control box mods

Temperature control vaping has three drawbacks. First, some people aren’t certain about the safety of vaping with nickel and titanium coils. The fact is, though, that we don’t fully understand the safety of vaping with Kanthal, either. Second, some people feel that nickel and titanium coils change the taste of e-liquids. You’ll have to be the judge of that.

The final drawback of temperature control vaping is that some temperature control coils — particularly nickel ones — have almost no starting resistance. When cold, a typical nickel coil has a resistance of less than 0.1 ohms. In other words, the resistance is dangerously low for a box mod in wattage mode — and much more so for a mechanical mod. If you use a temperature control coil, you need to use it with a mod that supports the coil material.

Best Box Mods for Beginners

If you’re a beginner, I recommend buying a box mod with a tank included. I also don’t suggest buying anything with a huge power range. There’s no real reason not to buy a 200-watt box mod if that’s what you really want. I just think it may be best to avoid the temptation to dial things up too much. Most of the sub-ohm tanks on the market won’t tolerate being used above 40 watts or so anyway — you’ll torch the cotton wick if you go higher than that. The best box mods for beginners are simple, durable and leave as little room as possible for configuration errors.

halo-reactor-miniHalo Reactor Mini

Shop Now | Price: $60.00 | Coupon: VAPE4LESS (5% Discount)

Of all the box mods in this section, the Halo Reactor Mini is the most complete product because it includes everything that you need to get started with vaping — even if you have never used an e-cigarette before. The Reactor Mini has a maximum power of 40 watts and includes a built-in 2,600 mAh battery. It includes a tank, two atomizer coils, two mouthpieces, a USB charger, a wall charger and a free bottle of e-liquid.

kanger-subox-mini-cKanger Subox Mini-C

Shop Now | Price: $33.95

With a maximum power of 50 watts, the Kanger Subox Mini-C is the most powerful device in this section. It’s also the cheapest, but it doesn’t include a battery. You’ll need to buy a 18650 battery as well to use this device. I like this device because it uses Kanger SSOCC atomizer coils, which are really well balanced between flavor quality and vapor volume.

vapor2-trinityVapor2 Trinity

Shop Now | Price: $89.95 | Coupon: VAPEGRL (10% Discount)

Just released in November 2016, the Vapor2 Trinity is the first box mod from the industry cigalike leader V2 Cigs. It’s an incredibly tiny device that features a 1,500 mAh battery and a maximum power of 40 watts. It includes a tank, two atomizer coils and a USB charging cable.

Best Box Mod for Cloud Chasing

ijoy-maxo-quadiJoy MAXO Quad

Shop Now | Price: $78.90 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

The iJoy MAXO Quad is the only box mod to my knowledge that supports four batteries. It also works with two batteries. With support for so many batteries, it stands to reason that you should have great battery life and some serious headroom for amperage. The iJoy MAXO Quad maxes out at 315 watts.

wrdna200Wismec Reuleaux DNA 200

Shop Now | Price: $154.95

There are two versions of the 200 watt Wismec Reuleaux — this one and a much less expensive version that costs around $40-50. Don’t confuse them, because the Reuleaux DNA 200 is the box mod that you want if you’re a serious cloud chaser. This mod includes the USA-made DNA 200 chipset, which is tops in the world for flexibility and safety. There are lots of DNA 200 devices out there, but the Wismec Reuleaux DNA 200 might be the best because it utilizes removable 18650 batteries. Many DNA 200 devices use 900 mAh LiPo batteries — which have less than the capacity of just one 18650 battery. People who buy the LiPo versions are inevitably disappointed about the battery life. That won’t happen with this device.

Best Box Mods Under $200

Wismec Reuleaux DNA 200

Shop Now | Price: $154.95

The Wismec Reuleaux is a winner in this category as well. With one of the best prices — and some of the best battery life — of any DNA 200 device, how could you go wrong?

sigelei-snow-wolfSigelei Snow Wolf 218 W

Shop Now | Price: $113.95

One of the most affordable 200 watt box mods on the market, the Sigelei Snow Wolf has a lovely design featuring a beautiful stabilized wood center panel. The Snow Wolf uses three 18650 batteries, supports temperature control and fires pretty much any type of coil known to man. For the features, it’s a really great bargain.

Best Box Mods Under $100

halo-reactor-megaHalo Reactor Mega

Shop Now | Price: $70.00 | Coupon: VAPE4LESS (5% Discount)

The Halo Reactor Mega is huge on value. This 80-watt mod has a built-in 5,000 mAh battery and includes a tank, two temperature control coils, a USB charger, a wall charger and a free bottle of e-liquid. The Reactor Mega has a ton of pack-ins, and unlike most box mods under $100, it actually includes a tank. In fact, the box includes everything that you need to begin vaping right away.

sigelei-fuchaiSigelei Fuchai

Shop Now | Price: $57.37 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

On the surface, the Sigelei Fuchai might seem like a bit of a utilitarian mod. That’s what you usually get when you want a box mod for under $60 and you want it to have a maximum power over 200 watts. The Sigelei Fuchai actually bowled me over, though, with its beautiful looks and extremely premium fit and finish. The buttons have the perfect amount of tactile feedback and are extremely responsive. The Fuchai uses two 18650 cells and monitors their charges independently. The battery door is extremely secure, yet easy to open and close. The Fuchai even comes with a silicone jacket that protects the device in the event of a fall.

vaporfi-vox-40VaporFi VOX 40

Shop Now | Price: $79.99 | Coupon: Automatic 12% Discount When Clicking

The VaporFi VOX 40 is simply one of the sharpest looking box mods on the market. Though it may have a maximum power of just 40 watts, that’s more than most people need. The zinc alloy unibody design of the VOX 40 is absolutely beautiful to behold. You’re really going to like the way this device looks and feels in the hand.

smok-x-cube-ultraSMOK X-Cube Ultra

Shop Now | Price: $67.95

The SMOK X-Cube Ultra requires two 18650 batteries and fires at a maximum of 220 watts. It has an entirely unique feature — vibration — which, as of yet, doesn’t exist in any other e-cigarette. The X-Cuba Ultra has a large fire bar on the front rather than a traditional fire button — and you can use the companion mobile app to change the color of the light behind the bar to anything you like. You can even use your smartphone to upgrade the device’s firmware via Bluetooth. The X-Cube Ultra also has an innovative charge balancing feature that helps to prolong the longevity of your batteries by preventing one from charging or discharging more rapidly than the other.

vaporesso-target-proVaporesso Target Pro

Shop Now | Price: $69.95

Would you like a box mod that looks like a joystick? Thanks to its unique design, the Vaporesso Target Pro can’t help but turn heads. This is the updated version of the original Target that caused quite a splash when it was released around a year ago. It has a maximum power of 75 watts, and it includes a tank. The tank uses an interesting type of atomizer called the cCell. It’s one of the few pre-made coils that uses ceramic fiber as a wick rather than cotton. Ceramic doesn’t burn at vaping temperatures, so you don’t need to worry about singing the wick if you drive the coil too hard. Since you can’t singe the wick, the coil will almost certainly last longer.

vaporesso-tarot-proVaporesso Tarot Pro

Shop Now | Price: $50.70 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

The Tarot Pro doesn’t include a tank like the more expensive Target Pro, but it does have some slightly more advanced technology under the hood. With the Tarot Pro, you can actually create a custom wattage or temperature curve — something that previously was the sole domain of mods with the expensive DNA chip. Creating a personal curve can be great for cloud chasing — or to avoid burning your wick during long puffs.

Best Box Mods Under $50

wrrx200sWismec Reuleaux RX200S

Shop Now | Price $42.99 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

The Wismec Reuleaux RX200S is simply one of the most popular 200 watt box mods on the market. It is a workhorse that’ll fire any coil you’d like to use — and look great while doing it. The Reuleaux RX200S is the more affordable version of the Reuleaux DNA 200. It has the same power range and similar features, but it costs a great deal less because it doesn’t have the USA-made DNA chipset. This is the mod against which all other affordable box mods are judged.

smy-touch-box-100SMY Touch Box 100

Shop Now | Price: 39.73 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

Have you ever wanted an e-cigarette that behaves more like a smartphone? Don’t dismiss the touch screen interface of the SMY Touch Box as a gimmick. Does your current e-cigarette have the ability to store your favorite settings for certain tanks? Do you actually use that function? Probably not — it’s much easier to just hold one of the adjustment buttons until you get the setting you want. The SMY Touch Box 100 makes settings much easier to access than on virtually any other mod. Simply tap the screen, and it’s done.

smok-r200SMOK R200

Shop Now | Price: $39.11 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

The SMOK R200 is a great alternative to the more expensive X-CUBE Ultra that I mentioned above. It has many of the same features, and it has nearly the same maximum wattage. It doesn’t have a fire bar with a color-changing LED, though, nor does it have Bluetooth. By omitting those features, though, you can save about $30. You’re still getting all of the main features that make SMOK’s box mods truly great.

Best Box Mods Under $30

tesla-80w-tcTesla 80 TC

Shop Now | Price: $29.95

The Tesla 80 TC uses slightly older temperature control technology in that it only supports temperature limiting with nickel and titanium coils. Hey, though — it’s an 80-watt box mod under $30! If you don’t need a temperature control mod that supports stainless steel coils, this device is a steel — er, I mean, a steal!

eleaf-power-nanoELeaf iStick Power Nano

Shop Now | Price: $28.34 | Coupon: ecig15off (15% Discount)

The ELeaf iStick Power Nano is the little brother of the Halo Reactor Mega that I mentioned earlier in this article. It has all of the same features — slick modern design, built-in battery, temperature limiting support — but it comes in a much smaller package and has a lower maximum power of 40 watts. For most e-cigarette users, though, 40 watts is kind of the sweet spot. You wouldn’t really want anything that can’t get to 40 watts, but most people don’t go higher than that, either. The Power Nano is also an incredibly tiny box mod!

When you click the link, you’ll also see a version of the Power Nano that includes a tank. It only costs a few dollars more. The cool thing about the ELeaf MELO 3 Nano tank is that it works with a great many third-party coils. The bad thing is that almost everyone says it leaks through the airflow vents. You might want to choose a tank on your own instead.


Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cigalikes or micro e-cigarettes right here. Learn about the best cigalikes — and save some money, too!

A cigalike is a small e-cigarette with a shape and size similar to that of a tobacco cigarette. Because smokers often find cigalikes familiar and comfortable, many smokers buy them when they want to try e-cigarettes for the first time. Although there are many different types of e-cigarettes on the market, some people never end up using anything other than their original cigalikes. Why mess with what works?

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Some years ago, there were more e-cigarette vendors selling cigalikes than anyone could possibly keep up with. Things began to change when Big Tobacco entered the c-cigarette industry, though. Lorillard purchased the Blu e-cigarette brand. Altria bought the Green Smoke brand and developed its own MarkTen brand internally. Reynolds American developed the Vuse brand.

Since the Big Tobacco companies had the distribution networks necessary to spread their products around the world, people became familiar with the brands. More and more people decided to buy one of the “big brands” from their local convenience store when they decided to try e-cigarettes for the first time. Eventually, the smaller players in the e-cigarette industry began to fade away, and only the strongest e-cigarette vendors remained.

[yellow_box]Today, I recommend only two cigalikes: V2 Cigs and South Beach Smoke. I do not recommend the tobacco companies’ e-cigarette brands.[/yellow_box]

History of Cigalikes


Hon Lik, the inventor of modern cigalikes

The Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik receives the credit — and registered the patents — for the basic technology that we all recognize as e-cigarette technology today. However, smokeless cigarette development actually extends at least as far back as 1963. That was the year in which American inventor Herbert A. Gilbert filed a patent for a “smokeless non-tobacco cigarette” that would deliver moist, flavored air to the lungs. Nevertheless, it was the Chinese version that eventually became commercialized and found success with consumers.

Hon Lik didn’t become rich from his invention, but he did end up with a 0.79 percent share in Ruyan — the company formed to manufacture and distribute e-cigarettes around the world. Ruyan’s e-cigarettes looked pretty different from the ones on the market today.

The Ruyan V8 — one of the first cigalikes

Ruyan eventually changed its name to Dragonite, but the company no longer exists today. The British company Imperial Brands purchased Dragonite — and its intellectual property — in 2013. Imperial’s subsidiary Fontem Ventures continues to earn steady income from suing the companies it alleges violates those patents.


The earliest cigalikes used piezoelectric transducers to create ultrasonic vibrations that changed e-liquid to mist for inhaling. They also used disposable plastic cartridges containing saturated sponges. The sponge would touch a stainless steel mesh bridge that acted as a wick, drawing the e-liquid toward the piezoelectric transducer.

Early cigalikes didn’t produce a lot of vapor compared to the e-cigarettes that we know today. The technique of using sponge-filled plastic cartridges has fallen out of favor, too. The cartridges simply weren’t reliable enough. Today, e-cigarettes use heat — not ultrasonic vibrations — to vaporize e-liquid. The technique is more reliable and produces a much higher volume of vapor.


One aspect of Ruyan remains with us today, though — the e-liquid flavor RY4. Apparently, the flavor was developed for Ruyan by Chinese scientists from Janty and Dekang Biotechnology. They developed several samples with the goal of creating a sweet tobacco flavor, and the fourth sample was their favorite. E-liquid companies around the world continue to make variations on the original RY4 flavor to this day.

Diversification and Consolidation

Chinese manufacturing companies took notice of the growing e-cigarette industry almost immediately. Before long, different types of cigalikes began to appear. Each had their own specifications and compatible accessories. The smallest cigalikes were closest in size to real tobacco cigarettes, while slightly larger cigalikes boasted larger cartridges and longer battery life.

The diversification of the e-cigarette industry resulted in a wide array of e-cigarette models that are mostly obsolete today: 801, 901, RN4081, L88, 510, KR-808 and so on. Thankfully, it isn’t really necessary for most people to know anything about e-cigarette model numbers today. The vast majority of cigalikes that use one of the old standardized threads use the KR-808 thread. The rest generally use proprietary attachments that don’t work with other devices. There are some exceptions, but they are rare.


Today, the e-cigarette industry has largely consolidated to the point where most people either buy cigalikes from major tobacco companies through local stores, or they buy from the few independent e-cigarette companies large enough to weather through the industry’s consolidation phase.

The Best Cigalikes

As I mentioned above, I recommend just two cigalikes today: V2 Cigs and South Beach Smoke. They are the best performing and most advanced cigalikes on the market. Both companies have limited lifetime warranties available for repeat customers, and both offer much lower prices for refill cartridges than any tobacco company’s e-cigarette that you can buy in your local convenience store. It is my opinion that you’ll do yourself a disservice if you introduce yourself to e-cigarettes with any brand other than those two.

V2 Cigs: The Most Advanced Cigalike



V2 Cigs (Official Website) has the most advanced cigalike currently on the market in the form of the V2 Cigs EX Series. The EX series looks absolutely spectacular. The cartridges are hollow in the middle, allowing them to store more e-liquid than most e-cigarette cartridges because there’s no filler material taking up most of the space. Each battery comes with a matching cap that you can use to cover the cartridge for a sleeker appearance. The batteries last a super long time, and each one has an LED indicator showing you the remaining charge at a glance.


E-Liquid Safety

V2 introduced a very unique feature a number of years ago. To this day, no other e-cigarette company has managed to copy it. V2 conducts batch tests of each e-liquid shipment it receives. You’ll find a batch number on every box of cartridges or bottle of e-liquid. You can go to the V2 Cigs website and read the batch test for the exact product you have in your hand.

Go to the V2 Cigs website and click “Customer Care” at the top of the screen. Select “Batch Testing” from the drop-down menu. Enter the batch number for the product that you have and click the “Get Batch Results” button to view the lab test. It’s such a cool feature — and you can test it with the sample batch numbers on the page. V2 has a library of batch tests going back several years.

Guarantee and Warranty

V2 Cigs offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on all starter kits. In addition, you’re eligible for a limited lifetime warranty if you’ve purchased e-liquid or cartridges within 90 days of requesting the replacement — up to a maximum of five replacements per order. V2 limits replacements of the more expensive V2 Pro line to three per order.

Coupon Code

You can use the coupon code VAPEGRL15 to save 15 percent on any V2 Cigs standard or EX starter kit. Use the coupon VAPEGRL to save 10 percent on most other items. V2 Cigs starter kits are priced from $39.95.

South Beach Smoke: The Affordable Alternative



South Beach Smoke (Official Website) lacks some of the technological advancements present in V2’s products. However, the product still performs far better in my opinion than any of the tobacco companies’ e-cigarettes. South Beach Smoke makes up for the slightly more utilitarian product by offering it at a far lower price. South Beach Smoke’s cigalikes start at just $19.99 — and you’ll pay even less than that with the coupon code embedded in my link.


South Beach Smoke is one of the few major e-cigarette companies that sells cigalikes and sources its e-liquid from within the United States. They’re able to do that because they’re the sister company of VaporFi, one of the largest sellers of e-liquid and larger e-cigarettes such as box mods. In general, USA-made e-liquids offer flavor profiles superior to those of Chinese-made e-liquids, although there are exceptions on both sides. With 16 flavors in all, you’re certain to find something from South Beach Smoke that you enjoy.

My link to South Beach Smoke contains an integrated coupon code that’ll reduce the price by 15 percent when you buy any South Beach Smoke product. You can also save money on your cartridge purchases by joining the Home Delivery program. Simply schedule an automatic monthly shipment of cartridges, and you’ll save 20 percent off of the standard retail price. You can cancel any time you like.

Guarantee and Warranty

Like V2 Cigs, South Beach Smoke offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t think it’s the best cigalike for your money, just send it back for a refund. If you’re enrolled in the Home Delivery program, you’ll also enjoy a lifetime warranty on the non-consumable items in your starter kit. If something fails before it should, South Beach Smoke will replace it.

Coupon Code

As I mentioned above, all of my links to South Beach Smoke contain an embedded coupon code. When you check out, you’ll see an automatic discount of 15 percent in your shopping cart. Use the discount to stock up on extra cartridges before you check out!

Pros and Cons of Cigalikes

Now, you know pretty much everything there is to know about cigalikes. You know about the history of cigalikes, and you know the best cigalikes currently on the market. Do you actually want to buy a cigalike, though?

Pros of Cigalikes

I always recommend cigalikes to people who are new to e-cigarettes. The only e-cigarettes on the market that are easier to use than cigalikes are disposable e-cigarettes, which I don’t particularly recommend — disposable e-cigarettes simply cost too much for long-term use.

With a cigalike, there’s nothing that you need to do except charge the batteries and twist on the cartridges. Cigalikes are simple, and they always give you the experience that you expect unless a battery dies or a cartridge is dry. If the flavor quality or amount of vapor begins to decline, determining the cause of the problem is an easy task. There’s nothing to troubleshoot, nothing to tweak, nothing to refill and no bare battery cells to handle. If you’re trying to switch from smoking to vaping, the simplicity is exactly what you want.

Cons of Cigalikes

With simplicity comes less options. If you opt for a larger e-cigarette such as a vape pen, you’re going to get an e-cigarette with much longer battery life, much higher vapor production and a refillable tank that allows you to use the e-liquid of your choice. With a few exceptions, you pretty much need to use the cartridges intended for your device if you use a cigalike.

There are some vaping options that are more affordable than cigalikes, too. A cigalike cartridge doesn’t just include e-liquid — it also has a metal enclosure, threading and a heating coil. You’re buying all of that hardware each time you buy a new cartridge. If you buy e-liquid by the bottle, you’ll pay a lot less.

Beware, though. If you buy a “sub-ohm” e-cigarette, you’ll be buying something engineered for extreme vapor production. Generally, only experienced e-cigarette users buy sub-ohm devices. Sub-ohm e-cigarettes consume e-liquid rapidly and often do not cost less to own than cigalikes. They’re also not for beginners. If you do decide to buy a vape pen rather than a cigalike, make sure you’re getting one that’s appropriate for beginners.


About the L88B E-Cigarette

[red_box]2016 Update: This article describes a model of “cigalike,” or an e-cigarette designed to look like real cigarette. When I wrote this article more than four years ago, there were many interesting cigalikes on the market from which to choose. Today, though, there are far less cigalikes available than there once were. I have removed the product links from this article, as I no longer recommend those products. Today, I recommend just two cigalikes: V2 Cigs and South Beach Smoke. Take a look at my reviews and see which product appeals more to you.[/red_box]

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The tiny L88B e-cigarette is the model that many new e-smokers start with, perhaps because the L88B and its variants look just like real cigarettes. The typical L88B battery activates automatically when you puff on the e-cigarette and has a charge of about 90 mAh, which is good for around 40 puffs. Because 40 puffs won’t get most e-smokers through the day, many L88B e-cigarette kits come with multiple batteries as well as a solution for charging dead batteries when a power outlet isn’t available. While this e-cigarette has an attractive size and shape, it is probably best for social smokers. I started with e-smoking by buying an L88B e-cigarette. Although I enjoyed the e-smoking experience, I quickly found that I needed something with better vapor production to satisfy my nicotine cravings. I switched to an eGo e-cigarette and later to a VaporFi VOX II.

L88B E-Cigarette
L88B e-cigarette battery, atomizer and cartridge

Continue reading “About the L88B E-Cigarette”

About the 510 E-Cigarette

[red_box]2016 Update: This article describes a model of “cigalike,” or an e-cigarette designed to look like real cigarette. When I wrote this article more than four years ago, there were many interesting cigalikes on the market from which to choose. Today, though, there are far less cigalikes available than there once were. I have removed the product links from this article, as I no longer recommend those products. Today, I recommend just two cigalikes: V2 Cigs and South Beach Smoke. Take a look at my reviews and see which product appeals more to you.[/red_box]

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Crescent Canna is America's leading source for federally legal, potent THC products shipped straight to your door nationwide. Crescent's unique line of THC edibles includes gummies, cereal bars, seltzer and more. Shop the selection now. Use the coupon code "25MOON" when checking out for a 25% discount on all products excluding powders, bundles and seltzers.

Many first-time electronic cigarette buyers end up choosing either the 510 e-cigarette or the eGo e-cigarette. I think that the popularity of the 510 e-cigarette has a great deal to do with the cost as well as its reputation as a reliable performer. Flexibility has also contributed to the staying power of the 510; its thread style has become the most popular in the e-cigarette industry, which means that if you have a 510 battery, you can experiment with many different types of atomizers and cartomizers until you find that one that meets your requirements in areas like vapor production, flavor and convenience.

510 E-Cigarette
The 510 e-cigarette with tank system

Continue reading “About the 510 E-Cigarette”

Disposable E-Cigarettes

I think it’s likely that a lot of new and potential e-smokers start off by buying disposable e-cigarettes, or at least think about doing so. It makes sense; most companies charge less for their disposable e-cigarettes than they do for their full starter kits and you can’t know for sure whether you like e-cigarettes until you’ve tried one. I’m not certain whether a disposable is the best e-cigarette for everyone, though, so I’d like to present some of the pros and cons of disposable e-cigarettes here and let you decide for yourself.

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Vapor4Life Disposable Vape: The best disposable e-cigarette on the market.

Disposable E-Cigarettes: How They Work

V2 Cigs Disposable E-Cigarettes
V2 Cigs Disposable E-Cigarettes

A disposable e-cigarette is usually a fair bit longer than a real cigarette — around 125 mm or so. Although you can buy disposable e-cigarettes online — I’ll share a few of the best deals below — a lot of people think about buying them at their local convenience stores for a few dollars more because of the instant gratification factor. A disposable e-cigarette contains a filled nicotine cartridge — usually in tobacco or menthol — and a pre-charged battery.

As soon as you remove it from the package, you can begin using it by puffing if it’s an automatic e-cigarette or holding down the button and puffing if it’s a manual e-cigarette. If a disposable e-cigarette has a button, you’ll be able to see it on the side of the battery.

Disposable e-cigarettes usually contain roughly the nicotine equivalent of two packs of real cigarettes, so you can usually expect to puff on one for at least a couple of days before the nicotine runs out or the battery dies. When that happens, don’t attempt to recharge the battery; just throw the whole thing away or recycle it.

Benefits of Disposable E-Cigarettes

Depending on the tobacco taxes in your area, disposable e-cigarettes can be pretty good deals compared to the two packs of real cigarettes they replace. They’re great impulse buys at around $10-12 and they come charged and ready to use. They’re fairly long-lasting and tend to work very well. Most importantly, they give potential new e-smokers the ability to try e-cigarettes before they commit to a more expensive starter kit.

Drawbacks of Disposable E-Cigarettes

Blu Disposable E-Cigarettes
Blu Disposable E-Cigarettes

The biggest drawback of disposable e-cigarettes is the cost. They aren’t much cheaper than real cigarettes — in some areas, they aren’t cheaper at all — and you have to throw the whole thing away when you’re done. It can be a great idea to buy a disposable e-cigarette once to see if you enjoy e-smoking, but you wouldn’t want to make a long-term habit of it unless you’re a social smoker or willing to buy in bulk because you won’t be able to enjoy the long-term cost savings e-cigarettes can provide.

Compare disposable e-cigarettes to an alternative such as the Halo G6. This kit costs only $33.25 with the coupon VAPE4LESS and includes two rechargeable batteries and five cartridges filled with some of the most popular e-liquids on the market. With a full e-cigarette kit, you can replenish your nicotine supply by spending around $10-12 for a pack of five cartridges instead of buying single disposable e-cigarettes over and over. The low cost of entry-level starter kits makes it a little difficult to recommend buying disposable e-cigarettes to people who are certain they’re ready to switch to e-smoking.

Who Should Buy a Disposable E-Cigarette?

NEWhere Disposable E-Cigarette

As I mentioned above, disposable e-cigarettes aren’t always great buys because you can find real e-cigarette starter kits with components you can actually keep for less than what you’d spend on a handful of disposable e-cigarettes. Suppose, though, that you’ve decided you aren’t interested in one of these lower-cost starter kits and only want something with all the bells and whistles like the kit I describe in my article about the best e-cigarette for beginners. In this case, it definitely makes sense to buy a disposable e-cigarette first to make sure that you’re going to be happy with the full e-cigarette kit.

Or, suppose you aren’t actually interested in switching to e-cigarettes or aren’t a full-time smoker at all. Maybe you’re getting ready to travel and don’t want to worry about the rules against smoking in rental cars and hotel rooms. Maybe your office allows e-cigarettes and you’d like to “smoke” at your desk instead of going outside for smoke breaks. Maybe you only smoke socially and want something that you can take to the bar or club and won’t leave you smelling like smoke. These are all great reasons for buying disposable e-cigarettes.

Best Disposable E-Cigarettes

If you want to buy a disposable e-cigarette, you certainly shouldn’t get a bad one. Having tried a great many of them myself, these are my recommendations for the best disposable e-cigarettes currently on the market.

[green_box]TipIf different nicotine strengths are available, I suggest buying a disposable e-cigarette with 16 or 18 mg of nicotine — or more — unless you only smoke socially. Because disposable e-cigarettes can be somewhat limited in their vapor production, a higher nicotine strength will make the e-cigarette taste and feel more like a real cigarette. If you’re looking for a nicotine-free disposable e-cigarette, check out my article about hookah pens as well.[/green_box]

The Best Disposable E-Cigarette

Vapor4Life Disposable Vape ($7.99): Vapor4Life designed their disposable e-cigarette to be a natural fit for anyone who still smokes. With this disposable e-cigarette, Vapor4Life did a good job of recreating the smokiness — or dare I say, the harshness? — of tobacco combustion. In other words, switching to the Vapor4Life disposable vape should be a natural for anyone who still smokes. It’s very small, it’s high in nicotine and it has a soft tip very reminiscent of a real cigarette. Each one is roughly equivalent to 20-30 cigarettes. If you’ve tried other disposable e-cigarettes and found that none of them were able to deliver the spicy, smoky kick of a real cigarette, this is the one that you want to try.

Other Great Disposable E-Cigarettes

NEWhere Disposable E-Cigarette ($9.99 each or $24.99 for three): The NEWhere disposable e-cigarette is a product of the company behind the delicious Mad Hatter line of e-liquids. The Grape Gusher flavor is a natural for anyone who enjoys fruity flavors. The tobacco and menthol flavors are equally impressive as well. Not long ago, I had a wonderful experience with NEWhere’s line of tasty nicotine-free disposable hookah pens, and NEWhere’s disposable e-cigarettes use exactly the same technology — plus nicotine. If you want a disposable e-cigarette with a sweeter flavor profile, buy this one.

V2 Disposable E-Cigarette ($26.95 for pack of five with coupon code vapegrl): The V2 disposable e-cigarette is available in tobacco and menthol flavors and has a nicotine strength of 18 mg. While it costs a bit more per unit than some of the other disposable e-cigarettes mentioned in this article, it also has a larger e-liquid capacity — each pack of five e-cigarettes is equivalent to roughly a carton of tobacco cigarettes. Better prices are available if you’re willing to buy in bulk, and if you’re looking for some interesting new flavors you can also try V2’s new Zig-Zag brand, released in partnership with the well-known tobacco company. You can also buy the V2 Cigs disposable e-cigarette in Europe.

Cigavette Cuvana Disposable E-Cigar ($29.95): Who says that a disposable e-cigarette needs to mimic a real cigarette? The Cuvana disposable e-cigar might cost a bit more, but thanks to its massive capacity it can last for well over 1,000 puffs before it begins to lose its flavor. When I’m in the mood for something a little different, I quite like the flavor of the Cuvana.

Blu Disposable E-Cigarette ($39.95 for pack of four): I’m admittedly not a huge Blu fan, but I have to mention their disposable e-cigarette because it’s one of the few on the market with e-liquid made in the United States — nearly everything else uses e-liquid made in China. Also, if you have any sensitivity to propylene glycol, Blu is the only company that makes a disposable e-cigarette using only vegetable glycerin as its e-liquid base. The Blu disposable e-cigarette is automatic and works without a button.

Page updated September 2016.

[green_box]Did You KnowIn 2014, the FDA released its long awaited proposal to regulate e-cigarettes like tobacco products. The new rules would prohibit sales of e-cigarettes to minors and require e-cigarette companies to submit new products for FDA approval.[/green_box]

About the eGo E-Cigarette

The eGo e-cigarette, originally developed by Joye/Janty and now manufactured by a variety of Chinese companies, is among the most popular of all e-cigarette models. No matter who your favorite e-cigarette vendor is, it’s likely that they carry some variation of the eGo. Some of the other names for the eGo e-cigarette include the Riva, the KGO, the Tornado and the Inferno.

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eGo E-Cigarette
eGo e-cigarette with tankomizer and blue tanks

Continue reading “About the eGo E-Cigarette”

Mechanical Mods

The e-cigarette industry is changing so rapidly that it seems nearly a full-time job just to keep up with all of the developments. Small “cig-a-like” e-cigarettes seem to have hit an all time low in popularity, while many in the vaping community abandon their starter devices in search of bigger and bigger clouds. Lately, many e-smokers who upgrade their devices are choosing mechanical mods.

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[green_box]Want to skip the content and just get my recommendation for the best mechanical mod on the market? Take a look at the Volcano Pele mod, pictured below. This mod is a true work of art and I am proud to own one. More recommendations at the bottom of this article![/green_box]

Mechanical Mods Volcano Pele

The History of Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods are nothing new. They’ve been around at least since I switched to e-cigarettes in 2010, if not longer. The e-cigarettes typically sold at that time offered fairly poor battery life and vapor production compared to today’s e-cigarettes. While it was still possible for many smokers — myself included — to become full-time vapers using these early e-cigarettes, very heavy smokers sometimes found it difficult to get the nicotine needed to fully calm their cravings.

The solution devised by early mod makers was to take the atomizer from a standard e-cigarette, attach it to a much larger battery for more consistent voltage and equip it with a switch for firing. Instead of disposable plastic cartridges that held very little e-liquid, mechanical mods typically used hollow “drip tips” that allowed the user to supply e-liquid to the atomizer directly from a bottle.

What is a Mechanical Mod?

A mechanical mod usually has a tube shape, much like that of a small flashlight. The tube holds a battery, which connects to a fire button — usually at the bottom — and atomizer threading. Positioning the fire button at the bottom of a mechanical mod makes it possible to design a device with no electronic switches, and therefore less chance of failure from repeated use. When you push the button, a metal contact touches the bottom of the battery, completing the circuit and causing the battery to fire. When you release the button, a magnet or spring pushes it away.

Apart from the fire button, a mechanical mod lacks controls of any kind. It operates at just one voltage — the voltage of the battery — and the amount of vapor produced depends completely upon the attached tank or atomizer. With a low-resistance atomizer or tank, more wattage is generated and therefore more vapor is produced.

Benefits of Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods have become more popular recently because the popularity of sub-ohm vaping has grown. While e-smokers once primarily used off-the-shelf atomizers based on the earliest e-cigarette designs, products now exist that allow people to easily build atomizers to their own specifications.

Why would you do this? For one, rebuildable atomizers can be configured to generate more vapor than any pre-built commercial product. Secondly, building your own atomizer coils allows you to attain exactly the resistance you want, making an expensive variable-voltage or variable-wattage mod unnecessary.

Most attractively for some, using a mechanical mod and building your own atomizer coils can save you an incredible amount of money over time. You can buy a great mechanical mod for under $50, while a power-regulated mod with all of the bells and whistles — the VaporFi VOX II, for example — can set you back upwards of $200. Mass-produced atomizers cost at least $5.00 each and can often cost significantly more. Meanwhile, a spool of heat wire and package of cotton costing $20 or so will give you the supplies needed to build hundreds of coils. Over time, that’s a hardware cost of practically nothing — you’ll only need to worry about replenishing your supply of e-liquid.

Drawbacks of Mechanical Mods

So, we’ve established that mechanical mods cost less than power-regulated mods — and most other e-cigarettes in general. We’ve also established that they can easily generate more vapor when paired with sub-ohm tanks and rebuildable atomizers. Why, then, would anyone not want a mechanical mod?

For starters, there is the real concern of safety. A power-regulated mod comes programmed with a seemingly endless array of safety features. This means that the mod will refuse to work or display an error message if the resistance of the atomizer is dangerously low, the voltage of the battery is too low, the battery is reversed, the voltage or wattage settings are too high, the temperature of the device is too high — you get the idea.

The very definition of the term “mechanical mod” precludes any of these safety features. If you wire an atomizer with power demands that exceed the battery’s amperage capabilities, the battery will fire anyway when you press the button. A mechanical mod will let you drain a battery completely, making charging potentially unsafe. If the size of the tube is right, a mechanical mod will let you stack batteries to achieve a higher voltage. All of these conditions are unsafe and have been known to cause explosions and fires.

You can alleviate potential battery problems by installing a fuse in your mechanical mod. If a short circuit exists or too high an amperage load is generated, the fuse will trip, rendering the mod inoperable until the situation is rectified. However, it has to be said that the fuses of which I’m currently aware will trip at a maximum of 7 amps. This would mean that you’d be unable to use an atomizer with a resistance below 0.6 ohms, although that’s still quite low. The 7-amp fuse is a single-use fuse that costs $6.00. If it trips, you’ll need to replace it. Reusable fuses also exist, but they’ll trip more easily. Although a fuse helps to mitigate the safety issues associated with mechanical mods, they also limit the vapor production you can achieve.

Should I Buy a Mechanical Mod?

If you’re going to be a first-time owner of an e-cigarette, I wouldn’t suggest getting a mechanical mod unless you’re willing to use it with an off-the-shelf tank. Regardless of what any salesperson might tell you about how easy they are to use, rebuildable atomizers are absolutely not for beginners. I recommend the best e-cigarette for beginners elsewhere on this website.

At the same time, not every experienced e-cigarette user is going to be happy with a mechanical mod and rebuildable atomizer, either. I have achieved greater vapor production with a rebuildable atomizer than I have with my favorite tank, the VaporFi Volt Hybrid Tank. However, I use the tank anyway. The difference between the two is only slight, and changing out the coil in a tank requires seconds while fully rebuilding an atomizer coil takes upwards of a half hour.

A rebuildable atomizer also brings additional inconveniences. For one, they tend to be messy. Because of the intense heat the coils generate, you need to keep an RBA very wet to avoid harsh “dry hits.” A dry atomizer coil can also burn a cotton wick in fractions of a second, ruining the taste of the vapor until you replace the wick. Keeping the coil sufficiently wet to avoid these problems can frequently lead to leaks.

Mechanical mods remain very popular in spite of these problems. They’re perfect for people who like to tinker with their gadgets, because the possibilities are nearly limitless when you build your own coils. Varying different factors such as the gauge of the wire, the diameter of the coil wraps or the amount and type of wicking material greatly changes the overall vaping experience, so it’ll never be exactly the same twice.

One also can’t speak strongly enough about the cost savings that are possible with mechanical mods. Between the low cost of entry and the low recurring cost of just pennies for each new atomizer coil, a mechanical mod both produces more vapor — and costs less — than any other type of e-cigarette or personal vaporizer.

So, should you buy a mechanical mod? If you have the time and willingness to learn about atomizer and battery safety, you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and want to get more vapor out of your e-cigarette while spending less money, a mechanical mod might be for you.

The Best Mechanical Mods

Volcano Pele Mechanical Mod

Price: $139.99 and up | Buy Now

Mechanical Mods Volcano Pele

The Pele is quite a bit more expensive than most of the other mechanical mods on the market. However, it boasts something that few other mechanical mods can claim: it’s made in the United States. In fact, it’s the first all-stainless steel mod to be produced in Hawaii. When designing the Pele, Volcano really pulled out all the stops; the bottom recessed fire button locks to prevent accidental firing, and the brass top cap is fully adjustable. The accompanying Caldera rebuildable atomizer is also designed and built in Hawaii. It features a spiral top that allows excess vapor to condense and fall back to the coil, reducing leaks and wasted e-liquid.

Volcano Tephra Mechanical Mods

Price: $49.99 and up | Buy Now

Mechanical Mods Volcano Tephra

While the Pele is positioned as a luxury item and priced as such, the Tephra series of mechanical mods represent a superior combination of value for money. The Tephra 1 is essentially the same device as the Pele, only without the locking fire button and a more utilitarian design. It also isn’t built in the United States. However, it is a beautiful device and flawlessly machined. It is also supported by the same great Volcano warranty. In addition, all Tephra mods and Cauldron RBAs feature aluminum outer sleeves in various colors that you can mix and match however you like. The larger Tephra 2 uses a super powerful 4.2 volt battery with a capacity of 4200 mAh and 40 amp continuous discharge rating.

All Other Mechanical Mods

Price: Varies | Recommended Suppliers: Central Vapors and DirectVapor

Mechanical Mods Chinese Clones

Right now, Volcano is simply the best supplier of mechanical mods anywhere. They’ve spent considerable time and funds developing their line of mechanical mods and rebuildable atomizers, and at the moment no one else can compete. However, manufacturers in China have created an enormous variety of generic mechanical mods and you might be able to save a bit of money by buying one. A basic Chinese mechanical mod typically costs the vendor under $20, so you can expect your price to start around $30 or so. Many of these mods are clones of other designs, though, which means that you may have to deal with inferior materials or imperfect machining. Generic unbranded Chinese mechanical mods are, however, the least expensive you can find.

Hookah Pens: a New Trend in Disposable E-Cigarettes

As the e-cigarette industry has matured and reached a consolidation phase over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult for a new company to get any kind of attention in the marketplace. Companies routinely contact me — and owners of other websites like mine — to ask for review placement. More and more often, the review packages I’ve received have included a new type of disposable e-cigarette called a “hookah pen.” At first, I assumed that hookah pens were merely an attempt to create a new keyword niche in the search engines because competition for the short-tail keywords has become too difficult to overcome. Whether or not that was initially the case, hookah pens have evolved into an entirely new type of product with features that tend to differ from those of traditional disposable e-cigarettes.

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What are the Best Hookah Pens?

Vapes Hookah Pens

Vapes Hookah Pen$4.95 and up — Shop Now

Vapes has actually structured quite a lot of its business around hookah pens, with three different designs available. The smallest is available in five flavors and is actually the only hookah pen on this list that includes nicotine (6 mg). Vapes also has two larger designs. The Fantasia hookah pen is available in ten flavors and costs $8.00, while a larger $9.99 hookah pen with a whopping 23 different flavors is also available.

NEwhere Hookah Pen

NEWhere Hookah Pen$9.99 Each — Shop Now

NEwhere products are available in many convenience stores around the United States, or you can buy online and have your order shipped via USPS for free. NEwhere hookah pens are available in 12 flavors and feature a silver metallic design with a color-coded strip to signify the flavor.

Hookah Pens Appeal to Social Hookah Smokers

As you may already know, a hookah is a form of pipe in which a sweetened, flavored tobacco mixture called shisha is smoked. The hookah bowl contains water, which filters and cools the smoke before it is inhaled. In the United States, a culture has evolved around hookah smoking, creating a new type of “social smoker” who doesn’t smoke cigarettes, but does go to the hookah bar with his or friends on weekends to share a bowl of shisha. So, while a traditional disposable e-cigarette presents a smoking alternative for a person who smokes cigarettes, a hookah pen is a disposable e-cigarette that presents an alternative to the experience of smoking a hookah. The technology is the same, but the implementation is often very different.

Hookah Pens Typically Have No Nicotine

Although I have been around hookahs and am familiar with their operation, I haven’t used one myself. I have known individuals, however, who didn’t smoke at all except for occasional hookah usage on the weekends. With this type of usage, a person would consume very little nicotine. It stands to reason, therefore, that such a person might not be addicted to nicotine at all and could easily omit it from the hookah smoking experience. As a result, hookah pens generally use nicotine-free e-liquid. Thus, they should appeal to someone who enjoys the flavors and rituals associated with hookah smoking but doesn’t want to consume nicotine on a daily basis. Instead, hookah pens often feature exotic sounding flavors such as pumpkin chai spice.

Hookah Pens Often Feature Extravagant Designs

Many people consider the beautiful design of a hookah to be an important feature of the hookah smoking experience. Hookahs are often adorned in beautiful colors, crystals, mirrors and such as a result. Makers of hookah pens have used real hookahs as inspiration when creating their often extravagant designs. You can typically expect a hookah pen to be colorful and attention-grabbing. Many hookah pens feature crystal tips, and some also have mouthpieces similar to those found on real hookahs.

Hookah Pens are Ready to Use

Like other disposable e-cigarettes and unlike full-blown e-hookahs, almost all hookah pens are single-use devices. Each one arrives fully charged and ready to use, which means that you don’t need to worry about traditional e-cigarette accessories such as charging cables, car adapters and so on. You can generally expect a hookah pen to last through at least one evening of heavy usage. Some hookah pen designs are even larger, similar in size to eGo e-cigarettes. You can expect these hookah pens to last upwards of 800 puffs before the battery dies or the flavor quality suffers.

E-Cigarette Cartridge Compatibility for Every Threading Type

Many e-cigarette companies would like their customers to believe that their e-cigarettes work with their cartridges alone, and no one else’s. This is a customer retention strategy; e-cigarette companies get most of their business from selling refill cartridges, not starter kits. No two e-cigarette companies carry exactly the same lineup of e-liquid flavors, though, and after some time you may get the urge to experiment. Your e-cigarette is probably compatible with refill flavors made by many different companies. In this article, I’m going to list some compatible e-cigarette cartridges for every threading type to give you a starting point for experimentation. This information is correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication, although it is far from comprehensive. Feel free to contact me if you know of a compatible e-cigarette cartridge I haven’t listed here.

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L88 Threading: Compatible Cartridges for Blu Cigs, Starfire Cigs

Compatible E-Cigarette Cartridges for Blu Starfire Volcano L88

Note: L88 batteries are thread-compatible with 510 cartridges and vice-versa. However, L88 e-cigarettes are slightly smaller and more narrow than 510 e-cigarettes. Using one cartridge with the other type of battery will result in a mismatched appearance.

510 Threading: Compatible Cartridges for Blu Cigs Premium 100, Volcano Magma

Compatible E-Cigarette Cartridges for Blu Premium Volcano Magma Cigs 510

Note: Standard eGo batteries such as those used for the Volcano Inferno have 510 threading and are compatible with 510-threaded cartridges.

KR-808-D1 Threading: Compatible Cartridges for V2 Cigs, White Cloud, Halo G6

Compatible E-Cigarette Cartridges for V2 Cigs Halo G6 White Cloud KR-808-D1

Note: This is the more popular of the two KR-808 threading types. If you have a KR-808 e-cigarette, you can be reasonably certain that most other companies’ KR-808 cartomizers will work with it. VGo batteries — such as those used for the Halo Triton — are compatible with KR-808-D1 cartridges.

KR-808-D2 Threading: Compatible Cartridges for Green Smoke, South Beach Smoke, Eversmoke

Compatible E-Cigarette Cartridges for Green Smoke South Beach Smoke Eversmoke KR-808-D2

Note: KR-808-D2 threading is also known by some as “E9.” This threading type is less common than KR-808-D1 and some have speculated that it serves to “lock customers in” to certain brands. In my experience, the two designs offer roughly the same performance. V2 Cigs sells an adapter set for $2.95 that allows KR-808-D2 and other cartridges to work on KR-808-D1 batteries.