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Buying Your First Time Vape? 16 Vaporizer Experts Give Their Advice Buyers

Posted on May 15, 2017

First time vaporizer buyers are faced with more choices than ever before. When buying a vape there is no shortage of questions to answer. What materials does this unit work with? Should I buy a portable or desktop vape? Does a good vape pen even exist? To help new buyers get started we asked 16 vaporizer experts a simple question:

“What 3 tips would you give first time vaporizer buyers?”

Warning! This is a big post. If you already know any of the experts use the list below to skip to their answer.

(Note* The last several experts are dealing more with e-cigarettes & mods for those interested)

Bud - Vape Critic
Old Hippie - Beyond Chronic
Buzz - Vaporizer Wizard
Bud - Smoking With Style
James - Dope Magazine
Donald Richey - WeedMaps
Sneaky Pete Vaporizers
Vape Gossip
Kevin - KnowTechie
Jeff - The Chill Bud
Adrian - Fresh Media Inc.
Paint The Moon
Adrienne - Cloud Vapes
Tony Brittan - Vapor Trail Channel
Justin Wiesehan - Mistic e-cigs
Tina Qing - Aspire eCig

Bud - Vape CriticBud -Vape Critic

The first thing you wanna do is look for vapes that match your usage style. Some models work best with very small amounts and are ideal for just a few draws at a time, and others perform best with a fully packed chamber that can last upwards of 20 pulls.

Then, decide whether or not you really need your vape to be portable. This should help narrow down your choices and give you a great starting point, where you can then begin considering other things that are important to you like price and vapor quality.

Old Hippie - Beyond ChronicOld Hippie - Beyond Chronic

1. Oil or Wax: If you can buy wax or oil easily, a vape pen is the most economical to buy and use.

2. Dry Herbs: If you prefer the legendary dry herbs, get anything except a pen. A conductive vape like the MFLB is very frugal on herb and heats up almost instantly, but it's tricky to use. Convection vapes, which include most types with glass or ceramic heating chambers, are generally easier to use.

3. Water Pipes: If you have a water pipe, make sure you buy an adapter that fits your new vaporizer. This will pay off in reducing the harshness of hits.

Buzz - Vaporizer WizardBuzz - Vaporizer Wizard

The first thing a new user should think about when purchasing a vaporizer is where they will use it. Will it be exclusively used at home? Does it need to be portable? I have found that desktop units tend to be more powerful, more reliable, and they don't rely on a battery that will slowly degrade over time.

The second thing they should consider is how many people will be using the vaporizer, some vapes work great for 1 or 2 people but don’t do as well in group situations, and some units thrive in both individual and group situations.

If you do get a battery powered unit, consider whether the batteries are user replaceable or not. Replaceable batteries help a lot for heavier users, and they also come in really handy when you are away from power for a while, such as camping. Lastly if you plan to use your vaporizer frequently, the battery will degrade over time, and if the unit has an internal battery, you will have to send it into the manufacturer for battery replacement which can be a hassle and potentially pricey.

Popular Desktop Vaporizers 

Bud S. Moker - Smoking With StyleBud - Smoking With Style

1. Preferred material: What medium do you normally smoke? For instance, if you are a flower/bud smoker, you may want to start with a vaporizer meant for herb (as opposed to a vape made for wax or liquid concentrates).

2. Ease of use: If the vaporizer is difficult to use, a beginner is likely to become frustrated. Plus, vaporizers with too many bells and whistles are often not worth their hefty price tag.

3. Battery life: A long battery life is always preferable, even when this means paying a few extra dollars. However, if you purchase a large "at home" vaporizer, it may well plug straight into the wall. I find that beginners generally prefer a portable vaporizer with a long battery life.

James - Dope MagazineJames - Dope Magazine

I think the first question to ask yourself is; what do you plan on vaping? If you are truly a flower lover, you will need to find a good dry herb vape. There are a ton out there that range from $50 to $500. There are also a few "all in one" models that vape both dry flower and concentrates. Be wary about how easily they clean as concentrates can quickly "gunk up" your vape.

Typically the better models will come with some type of silicone insert that can be used during concentrate vaping to keep the experience clean. Lastly if you do go for an "all in one" model make sure it has some kind of temperature adjustment. You will not want to vape the flower at the same temperature as the concentrate. You don't want to burn any terpenes...yuck.

Donald Richey - WeedMapsDonald Richey - WeedMaps

A buyer should be familiar with the science of vaporizing before deciding to make a purchase. Knowing what temperature you like to vape at can mean a lot when it comes to the taste of the product and the effectiveness of the THC or CBD.

If you're smoking a concentrate, being aware of the science behind the extraction process is also important as certain processes have been proven to be healthier and safer than others.

Knowing exactly how your pen works will tell you whether or not your pen is truly vaporizing or simply burning your product.

Sneaky Pete VaporizersSneaky Pete Vaporizers

In the video above Sneaky Pete goes over in more detail what a first timer should think about when buying a vaporizer.

He covers Portable Vaporizers and Desktop Vaporizers, in addition to outlining the differences between conduction and convection. If you weren’t already sold on a vaporizer Sneaky Pete outlines the health benefits (compared to smoking) toward the end of this video.

Be sure to check out his YouTube channel.

Vape GossipVape Gossip

1. Portability and Size: Desktop or Portable Vaporizer? Are you Vaping at home or on the go? Do you need something discreet and portable or do you prefer larger units for at home vaping? If you want a discreet, portable vaporizer then you can choose from many handheld vapes or even pen vapes!

2. Heating Style: Do you prefer convection or conduction? If you want your herbs to be heated by warmed air for good temperature control and more even heating then go for a convection style vape. If you want a smaller vaporizer that directly heats your herbs due to full contact with the heating element then a conduction vaporizer is what you are looking for.

3. Price: There is a large range of prices on vapes - from $50 up to $450! What you buy depends on the kind of vaper you are! If you are new at vaping maybe start with a lower priced vape and move up from there! Do your research! Look out for non-brand vapes being sold online and be sure to purchase from a trusted company. Don't forget to check out the warranty too!

Be sure to check out their YouTube channel.

Kevin - KnowTechieKevin - KnowTechie

One of the most important things a newbie should consider before purchasing a vaporizer is knowing the difference between conduction and convection style vapes. Some people have different preferences when it comes to a heating method. Personally, I'm more of a fan of convection.

Someone in the market for a vaporizer should also consider where they plan on using it. Do you prefer something portable or would you rather have it a stationary vape.

Last but not least, check the warranties! There's a TON of fly-by-night companies out there looking to sell you a vape. A lot of them are shady and just ripoffs of other successful vapes. If a company doesn't offer a warranty, then it's not worth your business.

Jeff - The Chill BudJeff - The Chill Bud

“There are a few things to consider before buying your first vaporizer. First things first, are you planning on vaporizer loose herb or concentrates? Some vaporizers accommodate both, but rarely excel at either.

Let’s assume you are in the market for a loose leaf vaporizer. Now you will have to decide between conduction and convection heating. Conduction heating isn’t ideal for vaporizing loose herb because it doesn’t evenly heat the plant material. The herb touching the sides of the oven will get overheated, while the herb in the center is under heated. Convection vaporizers use super heated air to heat up the herb. This allows for a much more even distribution of heat, no stirring required.

Choosing the perfect vaporizer depends on your own personal needs and vaporizing habits. Some people want a more discreet vaporizer and are willing to sacrifice efficiency or battery life. Others want a clean vaporizing experience and aren’t concerned with the size or subtlety of the vape itself.

There are plenty of great vaporizers to choose from regardless of your budget. Before you purchase any vaporizer, be sure to check out some reviews online or on vaporizer forums to see what others think of it. They may have a better suggestion that fits your needs and budget.”

Adrian - Fresh Media Inc.Adrian - Fresh Media Inc.

1. What purpose will it be used for: A beginner should first understand what the difference in a herbal vaporizer is versus a extract vaporizer. I had several newbie friends buy a vaporizer and come to find out when they got home, it wasn't for the purpose they intended. So they should research brands that will fit their needs and if they visit a shop, they should definitely state their needs and wants to the shop attendant.

2. Size / Convenience: Nowadays, the average user wants a nice discreet vaporizer which tend to fall along the slim shaped pens. This allows for discreet use in public without someone asking you questions.

3. Temperature: New comers tend to seek the exact experience they would get from consuming flowers but vaporizers will deliver less of a burn so they should study and test their pen on different settings to get the consumption they desire.

Paint The MoonPaint The Moon

Do you mostly plan on vaping at home and want something that packs a big punch? Then go with a desktop. Are you going to be carrying it out in public, to friend's houses, concerts, etc.? Then obviously go with a portable.

If you do decide on a portable, then the material needs to be considered. Do they mostly vape dry herb and rarely/never use concentrates? Then a standard, more traditional portable will do the trick (an Arizer Air, Pax 2, Crafty, etc.)

If you enjoy both dry herb AND concentrates, you will want to choose a unit that can do both and do them both efficiently (for example, the Haze v3 comes to mind).

If you are strictly a concentrates guy/girl, then a vape pen will be what they want. The SOURCE Orb line is our favorite (either the Orb v3, Orb XL, or Orb XL Flosstradamus edition). The new Kandypens Galaxy is another solid choice. All of these use a quartz coil, which provides exceptional flavor.

Another big thing to keep in mind with portables/pens is battery life. The last thing you want is to be out away from your charger, trying to enjoy a session, and the thing dies on you. So definitely look for a vape with good battery life, or one where you can swap out one battery for another if one dies.

Lastly, budget is usually the deciding factor with a lot of buyers. Pens and portables tend to be cheaper than most desktop units, but prices are all over the board in general.

Decide on your unit style, material, budget, and then find a well-written buyer's guide that breaks the vapes down by price range so you can find the best one for you.

Adrienne - Cloud VapesAdrienne - Cloud Vapes

When buying your first vape you should think about the material you’ll use inside of it: dry, fully-melting or liquid.

We’ve got a vape for every kind, as the heating element is different for each one. You don’t want to combust dry material, you want to convect it, but fully melting products should go directly on a heating element.

Our Phantom Premium is our dry herb vaporizer, the Platinum is for waxes, oils shatters, budders and any fully melting products while our Cloud Nova is a tank style for ejuices.

Cloud Vapes Products

Tony Brittan - Vapor TrailTony Brittan - Vapor Trail

There are so many choices these days, and many more that are good choices than when I started. Or even that were available a short year ago! The first thing you should remember is that you don’t have to have the latest, greatest mod and tank, nor should you feel like you have to match what all the “expert vapers” are using. The bottom line is that, whatever works best for YOU and keeps you off of cigs…that’s all that matters.

If you’re a beginner, buy something that isn’t too expensive, and don’t worry about buying the highest wattage you can find. Get a mod with sufficient battery life. The higher the mah (or Milliamp Hours), the longer the battery will last. If you get one that requires external batteries, you’ll need to buy them separately most of the time, and even if the specs say you can charge them inside the mod, I suggest you buy a separate charger and charge them outside the mod. Buy two sets of batteries, and always keep a set of them charged so you can swap them out when the other set runs down. You can also buy an internal battery mod, but when it dies, you’ll have to charge it before you can vape on it. Even if it says it’s a “passthrough” device…I don’t suggest to vape while charging. Why risk something going wrong with the batteries while it’s in your face? 90% of battery mishaps happen when they’re charging.

Buy either a kit with a tank as well, or find a tank that has good coils. The coil is what will determine if you get good flavor and vapor, and you want it to be good, so you want to quit the smokes. Do some research, and don’t just take my, or other reviewers, opinions as the final word. What I love, you might not like.

But the bottom line? Find something that makes YOU happy and don’t worry about what everyone else says about it. Good luck!

Justin Wiesehan - Mistic E-CigsJustin Wiesehan - Mistic E-Cigs

It basically comes down to price, performance and e-liquids. Find a quality vaporizer that fits into your price range. Many devices either as pens or modified units come in different form factors and battery sizes. For those just starting, it may be best to start off with a pen-style vaporizer with at least a 650 milliamp lithium-ion battery.

Those wanting something more powerful should think about using a variable modified device with at least 30 watts for sub-ohm vaping. Choosing an e-liquid also may be daunting. Those migrating from combustible cigarettes usually start with a tobacco or menthol blend, eventually moving into other flavors. It’s also important to make sure the e-liquid is developed in a certified clean room and made in the USA.

Tina Qing - Aspire eCigTina Qing - Aspire eCig

Many beginning vapers prefer to start with the Mouth to Lung (MTL) devices as they stimulate the the smoking sensation. MTL vaporizers mimic the pull you get from traditional cigarettes.

Cigarettes only put out so much smoke as do the K2 and K3 vaporizers. This is because they have a 1.6 and 1.8ohm rating respectively. MTL coils in general have higher ohm ratings. This is in contrast to K4’s sub-Ohm coils which have lower ratings and get hotter.

Thanks to all of the experts who contributed! If you know someone who is struggling to find their first vape, please share this with them!