This is part 2 in a 2-part series on what to consider when purchasing electronic cigarettes. In part 1 we covered the price and ease of use considerations, delving into the cost of most electronic cigarette starter kits as well as battery issues and cartridge replacement. In this article, I’m going to cover warranty, durability, cartridge prices, size & color, and accessories.
Warranties vary dramatically by brand. Many of the older brands generally offer pretty limited warranties, on the order of a few days to a few weeks. Some of the modern brands, like NJOY and BluCigs offer 1 year warranties and 30-day money-back guarantees, which is really what any person buying electronics should expect.
Another question to ask is, how long are these things going to last? Well, I’ve never had any troubles with the products I’ve tried, so I can’t speak personally on broken products and whatnot. However, I’ve heard the m402 is a pretty reliable model, and I’ve also heard people have had some issues with NJOY’s products, although those issues seem to have all been taken care of as I haven’t heard any complaints about NJOY recently. Nonetheless, the m402 and NJOY’s stuff are all very high quality electronic cigarettes, so when compared to other models out there, they both offer excellent durability.
Generally, you can’t go wrong with some of the top brands. A good website to check for high quality electronic cigarette brands is ElectronicCigaretteWeb.com. They only review the top brands. I’ve sampled all of those and they are all very durable and reliable.
Occasionally, no matter what brand you go with, you’ll have an atomizer crap out on you or a battery go south. That’s to be expected and you can buy replacement atomizers and batteries for around $5 and $10 respectively, depending on the brand.
Just be wary of buying anything that doesn’t have a good reputation. I won’t buy anything they don’t review on ElectronicCigaretteWeb.com, but I’ve also found good information over at E-Cigartte-Forum.com.
Cartridge prices vary depending on the type of cartridge (manual refill vs prefilled) as well as the brand. BluCigs sells their cartridges prefilled at about $1 each if you buy 25, and about $0.80 each if you buy 100. On the other hand, the m402, a pretty solid manual refill e-cig doesn’t offer cartridges, only manual refill, which is usually a bit cheaper, but you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.
Wherever you go, just browse around the site and see what they have to offer, and keep in mind, they all exaggerate their cartridge life, so check out electronic cigarette reviews to make sure you know what you’re getting.
Size & Color
Size is really a personal preference when it comes to electronic cigarettes, although, I suspect, most people would think smaller is better. I’ve personally stayed away from the large models, simply because there’s no way I’m going to smoke some 6 inch tube in public. Plus, the larger brands tend to be geared more toward people looking to be serious e-cig “vapers” and not just people looking to find a cigarette alternative.
That said, even the small brands vary a bit in size. The m402 is about as thick as a Camel Wide and about as long as a 100. The BluCig is a bit smaller, only slightly thicker and barely longer than a standard cigarette. The NJOY NPRO is about the same size as the m402.
Most companies will have information on the size of their products on their website, and if not, you can always call or shoot them an email and ask; I’ve found most companies to be pretty quick to respond to questions and very helpful.
The color of the different brands varies a bit. More and more companies are realizing smokers want something that looks as close to a tobacco cigarette as possible, so brands like BluCigs and NJOY are offering models with white batteries and tan cartridges to mimic the appearance of a real smoke. Other brands are still offering all black, or stainless steel, or some other combination.
Accessories are things like battery chargers, carrying cases, and cartridges included with the starter packs. An absolute must-have accessory for me is a charge-on-the-go carrying case so I can charge my batteries when I’m out without having to plug into an outlet.
I’ve never seen a starter kit without a standard wall charger, but some also include USB chargers, car chargers, and even USB pass-throughs (something that allows you to smoke while plugged into a USB port so you don’t drain the battery). These are all things to consider when purchasing an electronic cigarette starter kit.
Also, some brands come with many more cartridges than others in the starter kit. This isn’t a big thing…you can always buy more cartridges, but it’s a nice addition to get a few extra cartridges with your order.