The Difference Between E-cigarettes and Vaporisers

The two terms ‘e-cigarette’ and ‘vaporiser’ are popping up more and more regularly nowadays and are often used interchangeably. As vaping becomes a popular past-time the options for equipment continue to grow.

If you’re wondering what exactly the difference is or if there’s any at all then read on below to find out about the distinction between electronic cigarettes and vape’s.

What are they?

To understand the differences between each it is important to understand what the terms are referring to as they are supposed to be slightly different devices.


Electronic cigarettes were the earliest form of vaporising machines for e-liquids, and they’ve continued to advance as the technology improves and the popularity surrounding e-cigarette grows.

Built to mimic cigarettes in terms of looks and function, e-cigarettes are generally pretty discreet and for all intents and purposes look and act like a normal cigarette.

Electronic cigarettes are designed to be simple and are often purchased in simple starter packs with all of the necessary parts ready to go.

They are usually about the same size and shape as a combustible cigarette and come with a small disposable battery that can be recharged, a USB charger and disposable e-liquid cartridges. Sometimes they will even have LED’s attached to imitate the look of a lit cigarette.

They’re usually operated by a small power button on the device, or through pressure sensors that activated when inhaled on to heat the coil. The coil then heats up and vaporises the e-liquid drawn from the disposable tank.


Vaporisers generally operate in the same way as e-cigarettes by heating e-liquids over a hot coil to create vapour, but they do not generally imitate the look and feel of a cigarette. Instead most vaporiser’s are shaped like small modules that tend to be a bit larger than e-cigarettes and slightly less discreet.

Vaporisers are easily modified and there are a range of options out there for changing them up. Unlike electronic cigarettes, vape’s tend to use refillable tanks for the e-liquids rather than disposable cartridges.

The tanks can be topped up as their getting low, preventing the need for cartridge changes.

What are the key differences?

So what are the key differences between an electronic cigarette and a vaporiser? There are a couple of standout differences; e-cigarettes tend to be the more cost-effective, starter friendly option. They come in simple kits and are easy to assemble and use for first time vapers but they don’t provide the same level of modification options that vaporisers do.

The shape is also a key difference, electronic cigarette look and feel like cigarettes are preferred by many users for that reason as they are less noticeable and easy to store and transport.

In terms of maintenance, cigalike’s are generally easier to clean and assemble and the parts are cheap to replace.

The refillable tanks in vape devices generally create a bit more mess than the disposable cartridges, but are arguably a bit more environmentally friendly.

Whilst there are a few distinctions between the two and pros and cons to both, at the end of the day they both perform the same function in the same way, by heating e-liquids and creating vapour.

Which one is right for me?

So which out of the two is a better fit?

If you like the no fuss approach to using a vapour device then an e-cigarette is the better choice. They are must simpler to use and require less care and maintenance.

If you want a lot of control over your device and the ability to modify it then you should go with a vaporiser.

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