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Beginner’s Guide to Vape Pens & Vape Devices

Welcome to the world of vaping – if you’re new here, you probably have more than a few questions. Before you buy your first vape device, you’ll want to know a little bit more about how vaping works, what kinds of vapes are out there, and how to start your experience on the right foot.

In this guide, we’re breaking down the basics of vaping, covering all the most important bases:

  • What is vaping?
  • How do vapes work?
  • What are the different types of vapes?
  • How do you use a vape?
  • What do you need to start vaping?

With this guide in hand, you have everything you need to know to make the most of your first vaping experience. Let’s go!

What is Vaping?

In simplest terms, vaping is the practice of inhaling and exhaling the cloud-like vapor produced by a vape device. 

There are so many different vape device types, but they all serve the same basic purpose: heating vape liquid (usually referred to as e-juice or e-liquid) until it turns to vapor. Then, you inhale and exhale that vapor, similarly to how you would smoke a traditional tobacco cigarette.

Vaping vs. Smoking

For many people, vaping has become their preferred alternative to smoking cigarettes. 

And while there’s still a lot to learn about the science of vaping, here’s what we do know: cigarettes release more than 5,000 different chemicals when they burn. Cigarette smokers regularly consume components like tar, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, and we know they have many negative effects on your health.

However, vaping is not associated with the thousands of harmful chemicals contained in cigarettes. It can still provide a similar experience (via nicotine e-juices and the physical sensation of vaping) but offer an alternative option for individuals interested in making the switch. 

How Do Vape Pens Work?

As you’ve learned, a vape works by heating e-liquid until it reaches a precise vaporization temperature, transforming the liquid into a fluffy vapor cloud for easy inhalation.

There are some variances between different vape devices, but virtually all of them share the same key components:

  • A battery that provides electrical power to the device
  • A tank that holds the vape liquid
  • A coil that heats the vape liquid until it vaporizes
  • A mouthpiece where you inhale the vapor

As you gain more vaping experience, you can learn how to switch up different parts to customize your vape sessions. Some vape devices also allow you to adjust the temperature, and airflow settings, which can significantly shift your overall experience.

Vaping Guide

Vape Pens and Devices

There are several categories of vape devices, with options to suit every vape preference, experience level, and style. By learning more about each device type, you can make sure that you invest in the right one.

E-cigs or Cig-a-likes

  • E-cigarettes are essentially the most basic, no-frills vape device out there. 
  • They closely resemble the size and shape of a traditional cigarette.
  • E-cigs offer very minimally to no customization and output power.

Vape Pens

  • Vape pens are a widely popular option.
  • The pen-shaped device is lightweight, discreet, and easy to take anywhere. 
  • Vape pens are relatively affordable and can be an ideal match for beginners and experienced vapers alike.

Pod Mods

  • Pod-style vapes incorporate interchangeable or refillable pods that are used to hold e-liquid.
  • This type of vape combines the convenience of vape pens with the high performance of more advanced box mods.
  • Pod mods tend to have a stylish, futuristic appearance that many vapers appreciate. 

Box Mods

  • Box mods are generally recommended for seasoned vapers.
  • The customization possibilities are virtually limitless when working with a box mod.
  • Box mods are usually slightly larger and heavier but still transportable. 
  • You can often interchange different tanks, coils, and other components with a box mod to adjust the vape experience.

How to Choose the Best Vape Device for You

If you’ve started searching for vapes, you probably realize that it can be a little overwhelming. There are dozens upon dozens of brands and devices to choose from, and vaping can often have a language all its own.

Here are a few key considerations that can help you narrow down your options.

Device Type

First and foremost, think about what kind of vape device is best for you: a vape pen, a box mod, a pod mod, or an e-cig. For new vapers, vape pens can be an excellent choice – they provide a great balance of ease of use and performance. 

Disposable vs. Reusable

Disposable vapes contain a set amount of e-liquid and are designed to be thrown out once that e-liquid runs out. You can find disposable vapes for sale for as little as $5-6 per device to be a good entry point for new vapers. 

Alternatively, you can make a slightly larger investment and purchase a reusable device. You don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of money to score a solid device; high-quality vape pens are available for around $20. With a reusable/refillable vape, you’ll only have to purchase e-liquid for refills.

Airflow Design: Mouth-to-Lung vs. Direct-to-Lung

A vape’s airflow design determines the amount of air that runs through the tank/pod. This, in turn, dictates your vape experience.

  • Mouth-to-lung (MTL) vapes are engineered for a tight airflow and lower power output. They are a good fit for high nicotine e-liquids and are specifically designed to closely mimic a traditional cigarette experience. 
  • Direct-to-lung (DTL) vapes have a more open airflow and are suited for higher power output and lower nicotine e-liquids. They create a large amount of vapor and noticeably more powerful flavor. 

Neither MTL nor DTL is necessary “better;” it just depends on your personal preferences.


If you want to enjoy vaping on the go, make sure you’re looking at vape devices that are easy to fit into a pocket or purse. Depending on how often you vape and how long your vape sessions are, you might also have to consider whether or not you want to carry e-liquid with you. If not, consider this when you’re browsing different devices – disposables or pod vapes might be a better option. 

Price Point

Of course, your budget will also be a major determining factor when shopping for vape devices. The good news is that you can choose from a wide range of prices, so it’s possible to get a high-quality vape device without overspending your limits. 

How to Use a Vape Pen

Learning how to vape is very simple, especially because most manufacturers design their vape pens to be extremely user-friendly. 

  1. Once you’ve selected your vape pen, take some time to review the user manual. That’s where you’ll find all the details of that specific device, so you can get to know your vape very closely. Figure out the function of various buttons (if there are multiple buttons) and how the various features work.
  2. Unless you’ve chosen a disposable vape, you’ll also need to choose your e-juice. There are thousands of vape juice flavors to choose from, and sampling different ones can be one of the most fun parts of vaping. You can stick to traditional flavors like tobacco and menthol or get creative with e-juices inspired by different fruits, desserts, and even adult beverages.
  3. Then, charge your vape so that it’s ready to go.
  4. Once your vape is fully charged, fill up the tank with e-liquid. Usually, vape pen tanks have a small hole on the side that fits the tip of an e-liquid bottle. You’ll need to gently squeeze the e-liquid into this hole until the tank has been filled. If in doubt, consult the instruction manual.
  5. Now, you can power on your vape. Push the power button on your device. It will begin heating the e-liquid and start producing vapor.
  6. Put your mouth on the mouthpiece, inhale the vapor slowly and steadily, and then exhale.
  7. Repeat until you are satisfied with your vape session. Enjoy!

Starting Out with Vaping: Tips for Beginners

So, you have a solid grasp on the basics of vaping. Here are a few of our favorite tips to make your learning curve even smoother.

  1. Figure out your ideal nicotine strength. Depending on your personal experience and preferences, there is a wide range of nicotine levels to consider. Usually, the best approach is to start with relatively low strength, then work your way up. 
  2. Be open to trying as many e-juices as possible. You’ll quickly discover that the “best” vaping products vary from person to person and that you’re going to have to figure out what you like. So, take your time when choosing e-juice flavors and try to get a variety of options to sample. Don’t be afraid to try different brands and e-liquid formulations as well.
  3. Connect with the vape community. Vapers are always happy to share what they’ve learned, so don’t be afraid to ask. Getting some community connection gives you access to an impressive amount of information. 
  4. Stick with a vape retailer you can trust. Unfortunately, many online vape stores sell low-quality or knockoff products without regard for customer safety or satisfaction, making it incredibly important that you only trust a reputable name, like DIRECTVAPOR. We are a no-clone zone that only stocks name-brand products, so you can be confident that you’re buying only the highest quality e-liquids and devices.

Learn All You Need to Know About Vaping from DIRECTVAPOR

Now, you’re ready to leap into vaping! And DIRECTVAPOR isn’t just your place to shop for vapes for sale online; we’re also a leader in vape education and information. Check out our resource library to learn more about vaping, including vape device guides, FAQs, and more. And when the time is right, browse our full selection of premium vape starter kits to get a great start on your vape experience.

Connect with the DIRECTVAPOR team for answers to all your vape questions now!

Photo Credit: MakcouD

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