Advanced Personal

By Kirk Freeman

APVs or advanced personal vaporizers range in price and performance while uniformly doing more for the vaper than a mini cig ever could. They produce more than numbers on an LED screen: Advanced personal vaporizers hand control over to the consumer in a big way. You will enjoy more enjoyable and intense flavors, better throat hit, and loads of vapor by switching over when you are ready.

Famous APV Models

Perhaps the company selling the widest selection of advanced personal vaporizers right now is Innokin. At least, theirs is the name that comes up most often at retail shops and online stores with half a dozen selections at least, not including beginner e-cigs.

Their prices range from highly affordable kits to units that are expensive before you even add clearomizers and batteries. There is something in the selection for all levels of mini cig-users ready for a bigger experience, but not for just any vaper. You do not start here as a novice e cig consumer.

What is Special about an APV?

Manual batteries introduce you to the idea that you can control vapor production, but on their own they give the user only a limited notion of how much control he really has. An advanced personal vaporizer is usually a variable voltage device, at least an electronic one is.

Some allow you to control wattage as well. They are usually compatible with rebuildable tanks or atomizers, often made for use specifically with proprietary devices. These specially-built devices make it possible to change resistance as well.

Why does this matter?

Well, if you can change voltage, you also control how much heat the atomizer should produce. If you maintain a low resistance, it is hotter at the same voltage than a higher resistance will be at the same voltage. Being able to change both of these is a plus because certain flavors respond better to a hot temperature and others to just a warm temperature.

Think of the difference between cinnamon and menthol, for instance. You have to be careful when you wield this power and not over-heat the battery. An eVic by JoyeTech, for instance, shows the battery’s temperature on the screen.

Some Brands and Models of Advanced Personal Vaporizers

The Innokin models alluded to above include an MVP VV with 3.5 to 5.0 voltage variation (short of the 6-volt maximum). The battery has a 2600mAh capacity. It threads with CE4, CE5, eGo, Vivi Nova, and 510 devices plus others. Though inexpensive, this device comes with a puff counter (not essential, but kind of fun), short-circuit protection, battery display, an on/off switch, pass-through capability, short-circuit protection, and more. The kit (costing around $60 at Clouds of Vapor but not far off that price tag at other stores) also comes with a portable charging device, carry case, clearomizer, and USB charger.

Another brand and model to look out for is the Sigelei Telemax VV/VW. Sigelei ranks with the popular models for its affordable pricing and reliability. At LJ’s E-Smokes, the Telemax costs $69.95 and comes with self-adjusting wattage to stabilize power.

It is a telescoping device, another feature seen on many APV mods. That means it can be made bigger or smaller to fit with an 18650 battery, 18350 battery, or 18490/18500 batteries in between. They should be rechargeable IMR batteries in this case (and always rechargeable regardless of the model).

The Sigelei Telemax works with CE4, eGo, and Stardust tanks at least, if not others. When you are not sure about how compatible parts might be, head to an online store where the information section might give you pointers. Otherwise, join a forum and ask the question or browse previous threads where the question might have been answered already.

At Vivid Smoke, the Vision 3.3 to 4.8-volt APV battery is priced $28.99. That is the essential part of the device: its battery, which controls and measures things like battery power, puffs, resistance, and voltage. The Vision can be threaded to 510 tanks, has an 8 second shut off, and uses a knurled knob to set voltage.

Many variable voltage batteries are produced with dials on the bottoms to adjust voltage. There is no screen, though, so you have to hope the device is calibrated properly. They usually cost around $30 without any accessories.

Mechanical Mods

The primary difference between advanced personal vaporizers and mechanical modifiable e cigs (or mods, for short) is that electronic APVs use circuitry to make things work, provided through the base with a built-in battery. A mechanical mod is just a tube without a battery or any wires and no option to vary voltage or wattage.

You are able to control features such as resistance by using special atomizers that can be taken apart; atomizer tanks quite often. Mods are still advanced personal vaporizers because they are highly advanced, but most of them are pretty big.

You do not use a mod to sink into the crowd or blend in with the woodwork. When you haul out a big stainless steel tube, you look like you are sucking back on pure metal.

Many devices are beautiful, engraved with the logos or symbols associated with their brands. Examples are EHPro, HCigar, and Madz Modz. A few are finished in various colors or created from wood. Most of them have been machined from stainless steel or even titanium. Though no battery is supplied, this can be seen as an advantage. When your battery dies, the mod still works and can be rebuilt to continue working until you tire of it.

The HCigar Chi You 4 Seasons Mod for $50 has a top cap with an air control ring. The button at the bottom is spring-loaded (replacement parts are widely available online). There is a bottom locking ring, 510 threading, and an extension tube so it telescopes to accommodate bigger or smaller batteries. Choose an 18350 for a compact device or up to 18650 for a beast.

It’s not unusual to pay over $100 for a mod, or even more than $200. Then the RBAs can cost as much as $50 plus. A lot of consumers enjoy the hobby of rebuilding and adjusting their devices.