Your Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Vapes

The vast array of different types of vapes available can sometimes be intimidating. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, which are ultimately very similar from brand to brand, the wide variety of vaping devices can be overwhelming. People new to vaping might be unsure of where to begin and even experienced vapers can be unclear on the benefits of all the different devices on the market.

types of vapes

That's why we have made this guide to the different types of vapes out there. You'll be able to determine which vape is the ideal device for your vaping experience and the difference between the most common types of vapes in no time.

What Are the Different Types of Vaping Devices?

There are multitudes of vapes available on the market today. Each of these vape devices provides the user with a different vaping experience. Selecting which vape is right for you will depend on what your vaping needs are. For example, are you looking to vape big clouds and to be able to do vape tricks? Or do you simply need assistance when ditching tobacco cigarettes?

The first thing that new vapers should know is the four most common types of vape: e-cigarettes, vape pens, pod systems, and box mods.


E-cigarettes, also commonly referred to as e-cigs or cigalikes, are small and slender. They are designed to mimic the appearance of a cigarette. These are often the first product tried out by new vapers as they feel familiar and can help ease the transition from smoking to vaping. E-cigs feel like a cigarette in your hand and often give off a glow at their tip.

How Does an E-Cigarette Work?

An e-cigarette works as a tiny vape device — they have a small battery and a pre-filled reservoir of vape juice. Depending on the brand, this pre-filled reservoir will come attached to the battery while other brands will have a detachable one. This e-cig setup is popular with new vapers because it is incredibly simple: all you have to do is open up the package.

The most popular ones are disposable e-cigarettes which can't be recharged, just vaped until the reservoir is empty and then thrown away. The glowing light at the tip will typically indicate that the vape juice has been depleted.

However, there are also refillable e-cigs available on the market now. With these reusable devices, the body 'pen' of the vape is the rechargeable battery and pre-filled vape juice cartridges can be screwed into the tip of the battery.

The light will blink when the battery needs to be recharged. The battery life for these small devices tends to be shorter, but they do not need much power to operate.

What Are the Benefits of E-Cigarettes?

  • Disposable vapes are convenient and can be used upon purchase
  • Small and discreet portable device that is great for travelling
  • Require no technical knowledge to use or set up

What Are the Drawbacks of E-Cigarettes?

  • Expensive in the long-term if you're buying them repeatedly
  • Disposable vapes create lots of waste and are not great for the environment
  • The flavour profile is not as good when compared to high-end vapes

Vape Pen

A standard vape pen is similar in many ways to an e-cigarette. This small, easy-to-use device is often chosen by people looking for the next step up from e-cigs, although it still offers few customization options. It is a great mid-range vape setup for new vapers looking for something simple yet powerful.

How Does a Vape Pen Work?

Although small, vape pens have a powerful battery that can last all day when properly charged. However, due to their sleek design a vape pen's tank is smaller and will need to be refilled with vape juice more often.

It is easy to refill the tank on vape pens. All you have to do is unscrew the lid on your vape pen, fill the tank with juice, and then you're ready to start vaping again. Although vape pens require a little assembly, this can be done in minutes.

There is some differentiation between vape pens. Specifically, some vape pens have a button and some do not. A buttonless vape pen simply requires you to inhale through the mouthpiece to use it, while you will need to hold the button down on a button-fired vape pen in order to produce vapor.

What Are the Benefits of Vape Pens?

  • Most vape pens offer refillable tanks which reduces waste
  • Portable but still produces more vapor than other small devices
  • Reasonably priced and affordable long-term

What Are the Drawbacks of Vape Pens?

  • Larger clouds mean they're not as discreet
  • Smaller tank than other types of vape and will require frequent refills
  • Not as customizable and often do not offer replacement parts if something breaks

Pod Vape System

A pod vape system is different than an e-cig or a vape pen because it stores its vape liquid within a removable plastic pod instead of a cartridge (like e-cigs) or a glass tank (like a vape pen). This makes pod vapes relatively small and convenient to use, as these pod systems can be purchased at most convenience stores and vape shops.

How Does a Pod System Work?

Pod systems offer people a combination of functionality and ease of use, which is why they are popular among new vapers and experienced users alike. As pod systems are designed to be used with high nicotine vape juice (typically nicotine salt e-liquid) they tend to feel more satisfying. This can be helpful when people switch to vaping to replace cigarettes. However, nicotine is still an addictive chemical.

Some pod systems come with disposable pre-filled pods while other devices have pods that can be refilled with e-liquid. A pod system can easily be refilled and snapped back into place. Beginner vapers would do well to look into purchasing a pod system as they have the convenience of a cigalike but offer more satisfaction at a better price point.

These vape devices are also often called a 'pod mod'. Due to the benefits listed above, these pod mods tend to be popular with most vapers. Even advanced vapers will often keep a pod mod to use on the go or to sample new e-liquid flavours.

What Are the Benefits of Pod Vapes?

  • Refillable pods are better for the environment than disposable vapes
  • Pods are convenient to use and easily available
  • Discreet and perfect for stealth vaping due to their size and low vapor production

What Are the Drawbacks of Pod Vapes?

  • Disposable pods create lots of waste and can add up when using them long-term
  • Need to be refilled more frequently which can be annoying when out and about
  • Do not produce much vapor for tricks and clouds

Box Mod

A box mod is an advanced personal vaporizer designed for more experienced vapers. These box mods offer additional features such as variable wattage, variable voltage, and other custom functions. A box mod vape has a larger tank for e-liquid and a powerful battery. They are named after their boxy shape.

People tend to choose this type of vape mod because it is designed for vapor production that billows into huge clouds. It is possible to do vape tricks with a box mod. Additionally, box mods offer vapers a better flavour profile and vaping experience.

How Does a Box Mod Work?

Box mods tend to be a little more complicated than the other types of vape mentioned previously. These types of vape mods are typically used by serious hobbyists who are passionate about vaping and enjoy the custom functionalities only available from a box mod.

Although there is a slight learning curve for people who are just starting to vape, starter kits can make introducing yourself to box mod vapes much easier. Setting up a standard vape mod requires placing your coil, filling the tank with vape liquid, attaching the vape tank to the battery and then starting to vape. A starter kit can be useful if you are interested in trying out box vape mods for the first time.

However, hobby vapers often skip a vape kit and buy the necessary parts separately for full customization of their vaping experience. Typically, you'd need batteries, atomizers or cartomizers, coils, a charger, and a charger cable to set up a box vape mod from scratch.

Box mods usually offer users direct lung vaping. This type of vaping is smoother and done with lower nicotine vape liquid. It will produce huge clouds for tricks but will not offer the same physical sensation as mouth to lung vaping, which is popular among people quitting smoking.

Squonk Mods — What Are They?

Squonk mods are a subcategory of box mods and are one of the most advanced vape device available. They are not suited for beginners. This type of vape mod feeds your atomizer through an external vape tank section that is hooked up to a squeezable battery.

What Are the Benefits of Box Mods?

  • Many custom options to choose from and parts can be replaced when they wear out
  • Improved performance and functionality offers a high-end experience
  • Fresh flavor and large clouds due to powerful battery and large vape tank

What Are the Drawbacks of Box Mods?

  • Not beginner-friendly and can be complicated to set up without prior knowledge
  • Devices can be expensive at first
  • Not as portable because they are bulky

Cannabis CBD Vape

The interesting thing about vaping devices is that there is some overlap between nicotine products and cannabis and/or CBD vapes. Certain vape devices — but not all of them — are compatible with both nicotine and cannabis.

In fact, some people even choose to vape other substances such as dry herbs like lavender and chamomile. This compatibility will depend on the device in question. For example, many people choose to vape cannabis and other herbs using portable dry herb vaporizers that use convection heating, instead of vaping using e-liquid.

Some people choose CBD vape pens over nicotine because the desired effect is different. Although there is some overlap between the vaping devices, due to the difference in substance there are some important differences in your vaping needs and the vape experience.

Ultimately, if you are looking into vaping cannabis instead of nicotine your best bet will be to discuss your options with the professionals at your local Vapours shop.

Choosing the Right Vaping Device for You

Ultimately, this is all about personal preference and is your choice to make. Consider your budget, your needs, and the amount of time and energy that you're willing to invest in custom functionalities.

Although it may not seem as important, you should also consider the look and feel of the vape device. There's no use looking into bulky vapes if you won't want to lug one around!

Some important questions to ask yourself before buying a vape include:

  • What features am I looking for in my vape?
  • What is my budget in the short and long term?
  • Do I plan on vaping while out and about?

These questions can help you narrow down your search. If you're still struggling to choose a vape, talk to the staff at your local vape shop. They have extensive knowledge of the types of vapes available and can help you out.

How to Take Care of Your Vape

Once you've picked out your vape device, it is important to take proper care of it. This will ensure that you get the most out of the experience and don't have to replace your vape in the future.

Make sure to store your vape at room temperature (never leave it in a car where it can overheat), store vapes upright to prevent leaks, and replace your parts regularly. All of these steps will make sure that your vape is functioning properly and is in tip top shape.

Finding the Perfect Vape

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed when looking at all the different types of vape devices available to choose from. Visiting your local vape shop is a great way to get a professional opinion on what vape device will work best for you.

Here at Vapours Canada, we have a wide selection of classic vape devices and new arrivals to choose from. Whether you're looking for the convenience of disposable vape pens or the huge clouds of box mods, we've got you covered.


The Vapours Canada blog is meant to provide education and  information for those looking to transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping e-liquid. These thoughts and opinions are entirely our own, and have been gathered through working in this industry extensively, as well as using these products ourselves for a prolonged period of time. In no way are we claiming vaping to be healthy for the user. If you have any doubts, please consult your doctor to see if vaping is right for you. You must be of legal age in your state/province  to vape.