Cigalikes VS Vape Pens: Choosing The Right E-Cig

The first e-cigarettes to hit the market were available in only one style known as the cigalike style. It got its name from sometimes being stylized as a cig-a-like.

Today, e-cigs are available in a variety of different styles, providing today’s vapers with more options to choose from. While more options can be a good thing, beginner vapers might find it hard to decide which style is best for them.

This guide was created with the intent of helping new vapers choose. Decide between two of the most popular styles of the day, cigalikes and vape pens.

The Cigalike

For vapers who are just getting started, cigalikes are a convenient option. Then again, so are vape pens. Where the cigalike seems to excel is in providing former smokers with a vaping device that mimics the cigarettes they are migrating away from.

Cigalikes look like cigarettes in the sense that they are about the same size and about the same shape. Often times, they don’t have any buttons on them, making usage as easy as can be.

Using a cigalike is simple. Attach a cartridge, (which is typically prefilled with e-liquid), to the battery stem. Once attached, the user simply places the cartridge end to their mouth and draws in vapor.

When the e-cig detects the user inhaling, it automatically gets to work, activating its internal heating element and producing vapor. This is called “Draw Activated”.

Because of how closely it resembles a traditional cigarette  many smokers who switch to vaping choose to use a cigalike as their first e-cigarette.

But there are drawbacks to using cigalikes over other types of e-cigarettes. Limitations on what e-liquids can be used and limited battery life, are why some vapers choose a vape pen instead.

The Vape Pen

As many of today’s cigalikes are limited in regards to what e-liquids can be used with them.  Some Vapers choose to use a vape pen instead. With most vape pens, it is possible for the user to use just about any e-liquid. The reason for this is that vape pens are often designed to work with refillable cartridges, however there are some disposable varients like the gunnpod 2000. Cigalikes are often designed to work exclusively with prefilled cartridges made by the same company.

Refillable Carts

This means that vape pen users can fill their pens with virtually any e-liquid, providing access to a wide array of e-liquid flavors made by various manufacturers. By itself, this is reason for many vapers to choose a vape pen over a cigalike.

Better Battery Life

Another reason why some vapers take the route of the vape pen is the extended battery life that they offer in comparison to their cigalike rivals. But increased battery life, which results in more vape time between charges, comes with the drawback of reduced portability.

The reason for this is that more powerful vape batteries are typically larger in size, which results in a larger overall product. Even still, vape pens are often considered highly portable as they’re typically designed to fit conveniently into a pocket, although not as conveniently as the typical cigalike.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, cigalikes typically reign supreme with their auto-activation. However, pen-style e-cigs are generally easy to use as well. In this regard, the main difference between the two is that cigalikes are draw-activated and vape pens are activated by the push of a button.

To use a typical vape pen, the user simply presses and holds the button down while inhaling, releasing it when they’re done.

In addition to a wider range of e-liquid flavors to choose from and enhanced battery life, vape pens also offer more features than cigalikes.  Such as variable voltage and airflow. These additional features allow users to customize their vaping experience.  Providing yet another reason for some Vapers to choose a vape pen over a cigalike.

The Right E-Cigarette: Vape Pen Or Cigalike?

New vapers who are quitting cigarettes may find a cigalike style e-cigarette better suited to their needs than a vape pen. The reason for this being that cigalikes provide a smooth transition from smoking to vaping thanks to their cigarette-esque design. This allows former smokers to quickly adapt with little effort. There’s no need to replace coils, refill e-juice, or figure out how to turn it on and use it, just attach a cartridge and start puffing.

Wider Range of E-Juice

Experienced vapers and those who are looking for a wider variety of e-liquids to choose from may very well find vape pens to be better suited to their needs. With a vape pen, users can choose the e-liquid of their choice, regardless of the brand or manufacturer. This opens up a world of flavors to choose from, not limited by the manufacturer of their vape pen.

Variable Voltage

Depending on which vape pen is used, there is also the possibility of further customizing the vaping experience by adjusting the voltage as well as the airflow. By calibrating these two variables, users can take control of their pen’s vapor production and ensure that the vapor produced is on par with expectation.

For those who want a long-lasting e-cigarette, vape pens are often a better choice than cigalikes due to their increased battery power, but they tend to take up more space in a pocket.


If you don’t mind having something a bit larger in your pocket, then there’s a good chance the vape pen is the right choice for you.

Vape pens offer more variety in e-liquid choices, better battery life, and more features.

But if you just want something that’s easy to use or if you’re just getting started with vaping after quitting smoking, then a cigalike may very well be the e-cigarette for you.