Posted on October 5th, 2009 by Jack Stone
There are two different ways to refill your electronic cigarette, depending on whether your brand and cartridges are manual refill or simply cartridge replacement types. My personal favorite brand of electronic cigarette, and I’ve tried quite a few, are BluCigs, and they only offer prefilled cartridges for sale. That said, you can refill those cartridges manually, and I do it all the time just to say a little bit of extra cash. But if you’re not the type that really feels like messing with the liquid and dropping small amounts into a cartridge yourself, buying prefilled cartridges is still significantly cheaper than tobacco cigarettes and is quite easy.
However, if you’re the type that wants to squeeze every last penny out of your savings on electronic cigarettes or wants to try some different types of liquids from different manufacturers you can manually refill your cartridges. All you have to do is find some eLiquid as they call it, and squirt a couple drops into your spent cartridge.
The eLiquid is fairly inexpensive; you can buy about 10 mL or right around $5-$10 from a number of different retailers online. The benefit of buying your own eLiquid to refill your cartridges is that you can sample different flavors and you’re not stuck with the few flavors offered by the company you bought your starter kit from.
Usually, eLiquid comes in a little eyedropper looking thing and all you have to do to refill your cartridge is slide the cartridge off the atomizer, just opposite of what you did when you first assembled it, and squirt just the few drops, maybe three or four, into the open end of the cartridge. If you haven’t seen inside the cartridge yet, most of them have a small fabric filler inside that acts like a sponge to hold the nicotine solution. When you refill your cartridge you have to be careful not to overfill it because this little sponge will become oversaturated and leak into your mouth when you take ahead. It’s not the end of the world if that happens, it just tastes a little nasty, so you want to be careful to only squirt three or four drops in there.
Once you’ve done that just slide the cartridge back on top of the atomizer, make sure your battery’s charged, and take a puff.
It’s really that easy, although sometimes it might take a little bit for the nicotine solution to work its way up into the atomizer after you refill it, so be patient the first few times and it may take you a little bit of practice to get down the process. But once you do, you can enjoy all kinds of different flavors by manually refilling your own electronic cigarette cartridges.
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Posted on October 2nd, 2009 by Jack Stone
Cartridge prices vary dramatically based on a number of factors. Obviously the brand and/or model electronic cigarette you purchase will determine the cost of new cartridges, but also, your cartridge replacement costs will depend on whether or not you use prefilled or manually filled cartridges.
Prefilled cartridges are offered by a number of companies at a wide range of prices. As an example, BluCigs offers replacement cartridges ranging from $.80 to $1 each; I’ve seen other brands sell cartridges as high as several dollars each, which in my opinion is far too expensive. As mentioned in another article, if you buy prefilled cartridges you don’t have to worry about wearing out your cartridge casings. However, if you manually refill your cartridges with the eLiquid you’ll eventually wear out the casings and need to purchase more.
Manually refilling cartridges
Generally, you can save a little bit of money by refilling your cartridges manually, you have to be willing to get down and dirty with the eLiquid and not mind running the risk of overfilling and sucking a bit of the fluid into your mouth, which is not a very pleasant experience. Nonetheless, once you get the hang of it, manually refilling your electronic cigarette cartridges isn’t all that tough. The cost of manually refilling your cartridges will totally depend on the eLiquid you decide to purchase as a refill. I’ve seen 10 mL bottles range anywhere from five dollars on up to $25, so that should give you some idea of what you’re looking at.
Whatever you decide to do you should find out a little bit of information about the cartridge life of your electronic cigarette because the amount of fluid your particular brand goes through will also be a factor in how much you spend overall on replacement cartridges or eLiquid. For example, one brand might go through 1 mL fluid every hour or so, whereas with another brand that might last a bit longer. Try to find an electronic cigarette review website that covers the approximate lifespan of those cartridges or talk to someone you know who has experience with a particular brand you’re considering purchasing.
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Posted on August 28th, 2009 by Jack Stone
After you’ve had some experience with electronic cicgarettes, you may be ready to purchase some nicotine solution separately in order to try manually refilling your own cartridges. If you’re not interested in doing this, most brands have prefilled cartridges you can purchase that are still significantly cheaper than traditional cigarettes, so it’s really up to you. If you don’t mind doing it manually, here’s a little how-to that will walk you through the process.
First you have to remove the existing cartridge from your electronic cigarette. You probably assembled the thing when you first got it, so just slide the cartridge off the device just the same as you slid it on.
Inside the cartridge you’ll notice some sort of fabric filler, this stuff acts like a sponge to keep the liquid inside the cartridge as well as a bit of a wick to deliver the liquid to the atomizer. When you remove the cartridge, make sure you don’t lose that little filler material as it sometimes has a tendency to fall out.
Once you’ve removed the cartridge, take your e-liquid dropper and drop four to five drops inside of the open end of the cartridge and onto the fabric filler. I’ve found four to five drops to work best, any more than that and the filler tends to get over saturated and you end up sucking liquid through on your next drag. Not a pleasant taste, but it won’t hurt you.
If you don’t have any e-liquid to refill the cartridges with, you can purchase the stuff from any number of different retailers. Some reputable companies I’ve purchased from that offer excellent liquids are PureSmoker, TrueVapor, and LiteCigUSA. I’m partial to the menthol liquid from LiteCigUSA; in fact, although I never smoked menthol cigarettes, I found menthol to be the best flavor from just about any retailer, so I highly recommend giving it a try.
After you’ve filled the cartridge, just slide the thing back onto the e-cig and take a drag. You should get pretty good vapor production quickly, however it sometimes takes a few drags to get the liquid pulled into the atomizer properly.
If you take a drag and end up with some of the liquid in your mouth, it’s not the end of the world, although it tastes pretty bad. If that happens, just pull the cartridge off and stick a piece of paper towel down in there to sop up some of the excess liquid. Then replace the cartridge and try it again.
A few tips that I’ve learned from experience:
First, only drop four to five drops into the cartridge when refilling; if you still can’t get decent vapor production, then, and only then, should you add another drop or two. Repeat that process until you’re getting good vapor production. Once you’ve done this enough you’ll know how much liquid you can drop into the cartridges on your particular model electronic cigarette without overfilling.
Second, when you take the first hit after refilling, hold the cigarette vertically, facing down, so gravity helps you not to suck in a bunch of liquid. If you overfilled the cartridge, this will help you from getting too much of it on your lips/in your mouth.
Third, take a relatively light first few hits; again this will help avoid a bunch of liquid in your mouth if you overfilled the cartridge.
Fourth, if you overfill the cartridge and get some in your mouth, just pull the cartridge apart and stick a piece of paper towel into the end to soak up the excess liquid and try again.
That should do it. Manually refilling cartridges can save you a bit of money over purchasing prefilled cartridges and will also give you a bit more freedom when it comes to what type of liquid to use.
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