How to Choose a Vape: A Beginner’s Guide to Vaping Devices

If you’ve recently made the decision to start vaping, or you’re still busy deciding, you may have noticed that there are just so many vaping devices to choose from. 

There’s a lot to learn when you’re starting out, and it may take some time to truly understand how vape mods differ from pod systems, or how an atomizer or coils can make vaping enjoyable for you or not.

You have to decide what kind of experience you’re looking for when picking your first vape. There are four main categories of vaping devices and, if you’re a beginner, the differences between them can be a murky puddle of confusion.

In this article, we’ll go through the four types of vaping devices you can choose from, what kind of experience they can offer, and the pros and cons of each of them.  

Before going there though, you need to know the three main components of any vaping device:

  • Battery – The battery is, of course, the part of the vape that will be providing your power.  Each vaping device may use a different type of battery or incorporate it in a different way.
  • Mod – The mod is essentially the casing for your battery. It also contains the electrical circuits to make the device work and, with most vapes, holds the chip that regulates power (or wattage) from your battery.
  • Atomizer – The atomizer is the piece of hardware at the top of your vape. Containing the heating element (known as a coil) and normally your e-juice, this will be where you inhale each time you take a hit.

Remember that these three components are the basics for every vaping device. Let’s now look at the different vaping devices on the market to help you choose your vape.

The 4 Main Types of Vaping Devices

1. All-in-One (AIO) Vape Pens

Recommended for: Beginners to Pros

All-in-one vape pens are some of the first devices that became available in the vaping industry.  These easy-to-use, portable devices combine the three elements of any vaping device into a single unit. 

They generally make use of a built-in battery, a built-in atomizer, and a mod that fires at a single wattage.  

AIO vapes are perfect for people who have only started out in vaping since they don’t need you to determine how much power is necessary, but still provide delicious flavor and dense clouds. These devices are also great for people who move around a lot and don’t want to lug a bigger setup with them.


  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Cost-efficient
  • Low maintenance


  • Little to no customizability
  • Single battery might not last long enough

2. Box Mods

Recommended for: Intermediate to Pros

Box mods are the standard device for vapers looking for intense flavor and huge clouds. 

These devices are usually sold with the mod (box mod) separate from the atomizer and batteries. The advantage of this is that you can decide exactly what kind of atomizer you’re looking for—plus you have the option of spare batteries.  

Box mods give you full control of your vaping experience, allowing you to adjust the wattage (battery power) and use any atomizer, or even switch between atomizers.  

Like AIO devices, box mods have built-in safety features that prevent any issues with your battery.  However, the flavor and cloud production from these mods are much better than AIO vape pens. 

If you’re looking to use an RBA (Re-Buildable Atomizer), you’ll definitely want to go for a box mod since the ability to adjust wattage will be crucial.


  • High level of customizability
  • Great flavor and cloud production
  • Long battery life (especially with spare batteries)
  • Lots of power


  • Less portable (bigger and heavier than vape pens)
  • Components are usually sold separately, although kits are available
  • Requires some maintenance, especially with an RBA

3. Mechanical Mods

Recommended for: Experienced Vapers Only!

Mechanical mods (commonly referred to as ‘mech mods’) are some of the most advanced vape devices available and, unfortunately, some of the more dangerous devices if not used correctly. 

These devices don’t contain a chip inside; meaning that every time you take a hit, you’ll be pulling full power from the battery. This allows mech mods to have the highest wattage capacity, giving you the best flavor and the biggest clouds.

Mechanical mods can only be used with RBAs since you need to build within a specific range of resistance to avoid any problems. Without proper use, the batteries inside mechanical mods can vent, causing battery acid to leak or the device to even explode.  

To use a mech mod, you will definitely need a firm grasp of Ohm’s Law and battery safety.


  • Best flavor and cloud production.
  • High level of customizability.


  • Dangerous to use (even pros can get it wrong).
  • Use a lot of power (will definitely need spare batteries).

4. Pod Mods

Recommended for: Anyone

Vape pod mods are some of the newest devices on the market, and they’re quickly gaining popularity. 

These low wattage devices allow you to use higher nicotine concentrations than any other device, as well as a unique type of nicotine called ‘nicotine salts’ or ‘nic salts’ for short. 

Pod mods generally come with a built-in battery and use a cartridge, called a ‘pod,’ instead of your standard atomizers. They also use very little battery at a time, helping them to last longer than devices like AIO vape pens.

Pod mods are by far the easiest to use and are the most portable, with most of them being smaller than the palm of your hand. 

If you’re in the process of quitting cigarettes, pod mods are the device for you. The high nicotine and Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) inhaling technique allow them to mimic cigarettes better than any other vaping device, making it a lot easier to quit.  

Pod mods produce little vapor (without sacrificing flavor) and that makes them less likely to annoy bystanders and perfect if you want to stealth vape.


  • Extremely portable
  • Super easy to use
  • Mimics cigarette smoking
  • Small batteries lead to faster charging times


  • Higher nicotine concentrations can be more addictive than cigarettes
  • Small size means they’re slightly easier to lose or misplace

Wrap Up

That concludes the four most common vaping devices available for you to choose from.  As you’ve seen, each has its pros and cons, so the most important thing to do is find the one that suits you.  

Consider your lifestyle and where your vape will be going with you regularly:

  • Would you be looking for something portable or something with lots of power?
  • Would you like full control of your vaping experience or something you can pick up and go?

Some vape shops will allow you to try out devices before you buy them; if not, you can still speak to the staff and find out what they’d recommend for you.