Mods are high-powered versions of e-juice pens. Mods have become very popular among vaporizer enthusiasts due to their customizable nature, and their ability produce massive vapor clouds. A mod, either mechanical or electronic, consists of one main parts: a battery and a tank. The specifications and capabilities of batteries and tanks can vary greatly depending on the type of mod. With so many options and builds to choose from, mods offer a “DIY” type of satisfaction for users who want more power than typical e-juice vaporizers can provide.
Mods come in one distinct varieties: mechanical or electronic. While both produce vapor through a battery and tank system, each functions very differently.
Mechanical Mods: Mechanical mods (sometimes referred to as mech mods) lack any sort of electronics and draw a constant amount of power through a lithium-ion battery within the body of device. While once extremely popular, mechanical mods have recently fallen out of favor with most users due to the fact that they are unregulated, meaning there are no restrictions on its power output. Mech mods lack any type of safeguards, and are recommended to only be used by experts. So, just what is a mechanical mod, or mech-mod, or mod, really?
A mechanical mod is best initially described as a device—a very intriguing device—composed of a well-crafted battery case or tube, with a button on the bottom, a replaceable and rechargeable battery that goes in the case (most often an 18650 battery), an atomizer that threads onto the battery case , and a drip tip (or mouthpiece) that screws on to the atomizer. The button is pressed, the coils heat up, e-juice is either dripped right on to the coils or through the drip tip. one then savors massive, sweet, spectacular clouds of vapor.
This simple description of a mod is pretty much how they were made back in the day, which wasn’t very long ago. Serious vapers would construct their own mods, purchasing from electrical supply outlets, hardware stores and wherever the right materials could be acquired. A ready-made mod component simply wasn’t on the market to be bought so, as pursuers of dreams often do, true lovers of vaping made their own components.
Electronic Mods: Electronic mods are the most popular type of mod device, and feature advanced internal electronics which allow for variable power adjustment and control of Ohms, Wattage and Voltage. In addition to giving the user more control over their vaporizing experiencing, these units typically feature OLED display screens, as well as a multitude of advanced safety features.
This brings up a little detail all aficionados need be aware of: safety. There is this thing known as Ohm’s Law, a law of physics having to do with electricity. A link to it is provided here, but suffice to say that if Ohm’s law is disrespected, bad things happen. These home-made mods, and mods constructed by purists once components did become available, had no regulation of voltage or wattage or any other type of engineering safeguard that people take for granted. A mod was a button, a battery, a couple coils and not much else. It could overheat if the individual that built it combined the wrong materials. It is a wise person that does at least some simple, basic research prior to throwing these electrical parts together.
In the construction of a mod as outlined, the juice is obviously applied directly to the coils—it is dripped on. Also, when the coils burn out they have to be rebuilt. The metal piece with coils inside, as we know, is the atomizer. Therefore, this example of a mod (the purist’s mod, the original real-deal) uses a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, or RDA. It can be altered the next time the coils are rewound inside it, thus altering the ohms (the resistance of electrical flow). The mod-maker becomes a maestro of vaping by mastering the manipulation of these elements of electrical magic. Some anonymous geniuses out there, the founding mothers and fathers of vaping nirvana, have done superb things. Many, many people indeed are indebted.
Mods operate very similarly to standard e-juice pen vaporizers, utilizing a battery and tank system. Like a standard e-juice pen vaporizer, the battery of a mod activates the tanks atomizer, which then heats and vaporizes the e-juice in the tank.
The big difference between mods and standard e-juice pens is the amount of power their batteries supply, and the level of electrical resistance that their atomizers are capable of handling. Battery power is measured in volts and wattage, while atomizer resistance is measured in ohms (typically signified with the Ω symbol).
All electronic mods include specifications of their recommended and maximum power output (volts and wattage), as well as the atomizer resistance range (ohms) that they are capable of handling.
The next mod step was to introduce an atomizer with a small tank on it to hold e-juice. Fill the tank and vape. No need to drip directly onto the coils anymore. Still, the coils had to periodically be rewound over new organic cotton wicks. So came to be the Rebuildable Atomizer, or RBA. The revolution was marching forward. So much so that manufacturers of mechanical mods, atomizers and components entered the market with a fervor and started to capitalize on the new craze.
What has been mused over so far are the simple essentials of the basic mechanical mod. Nowadays, however, mechanical mods are not necessarily so mechanical. Enter the regulated mod, often referred to as the box mod. Astute engineering minds grasped the wave of the mech-mod revolution along with other vapor enthusiasts and introduced mostly boxed-shaped power units containing processors. No longer was it necessary to master the art of manipulating electrical flow to reach vaping paradise. one could now thread an atomizer of, mostly, their choice onto their box mod and digitally adjust their device, increasing or decreasing voltage. This worked as long as the atomizer had enough resistance (the ohms were not too low). The processor would earnestly prohibit any vape connoisseur-gone-mad from dialing up their mod to the point of danger. Plus, no one could install an atomizer with insufficient resistance and make their mod work. Safety was built in.
Mod atomizers (also referred to as coils or coil heads) contain a wicking material (to absorb e-juice), as well as a wire or coil (which heats the e-juice soaked wick to create vapor). Atomizers feature varying resistance levels depending on the type of wire they utilize. Certain wire is rated to handle lower resistance levels than others. The resistance of a wire is measured in ohms (Ω).
Standard Resistance Atomizers: Atomizers that utilize coils rated for resistance levels of 1.0 Ω or above are referred to as standard resistance atomizers. These atomizers are the same type utilized by standard e-juice pen vaporizers, and are capable of producing what would be considered “average” sized vapor clouds.
Sub-Ohm Resistance Atomizers: Atomizers that utilize coils rated for resistance levels below 1.0 Ω are referred to as sub-ohm resistance atomizers. Most mods accommodate sub-ohm resistance vaping, are typically designed specifically with this function in mind. Atomizers, tanks and batteries that are rated for sub-ohm resistance vaping are capable of producing what would be considered “huge” sized vapor clouds. The lower the resistance, the bigger the clouds
The quickly following advancement was adjustable wattage, managing the power at the coil of the all-important atomizer. It became unnecessary, in most cases anyway, to ensure that the atomizer and its coils matched the box mod. The mod itself could be adjusted to deal with electrical resistance at the coils. In fact, the processor would ensure that the balance of electrical majesty did not get out-of-whack at all. Further, those astute engineers made it such that super low-resistant sub-ohm atomizers could routinely be installed on the mods they so proudly designed and safely installed, gifting a worry-free vaping world with the sweetest of clouds. Never mind that the founding mothers and fathers had been sub-ohming mech-mods for quite a while already, though perhaps in instances with compromise to the safety factor. As the revolution turned another corner, box mods went from 20 watt units, give or take, to units with as much as 150 monster watts, bestowing serious bragging rights upon those sick mega-vape’s proud owners. Whether all this wattage truly makes a difference as future tech descends upon the vaping population only time will tell, but, certainly, aficionados, we are now beyond mere clouds.
As power units went from mechanical to not so mechanical, so the atomizers being offered up are not necessarily so rebuildable. Nor do they necessarily contain organic-cotton, nor are they necessarily coils. A plethora of different type tanks, coils, sub ohm atomizers, wickless atomizers and various attachments are available to vapor adventurers within the world of mods. Interchangeability is the order of the day.
There are experiences of many flavors in this dimension of vaping, for sure. That said, the cool battery case with the cool button that one can twist a nice RDA onto is very definitely out there waiting to provide its new owner with the best vaping possible.
As all mod batteries, tanks and atomizers are rated for different power outputs and resistance levels, it’s important to ensure that each part of the mod (if purchased separately) are compatible with each other.
For example, an Innokin iTaste MVP 3.0 has a maximum power output of 30W and is compatible with atomizer resistance levels between 0.4 Ω – 2.5 Ω. A Kanger Subtank Mini Tank would be compatible with this battery, as the Subtank Mini is equipped with a 0.5 Ω atomizer that is rated for a 15-30W power output.
Alternatively, a tank like the Horizon Arctic Sub-Ohm Tank is compatble with atomizers of varying resistance levels (0.2 Ω, 0.5 Ω, and 1.2 Ω). This tank would be able to be used with the Innokin iTaste MVP 3.0 when used with 0.5 Ω and 1.2 Ω atomizers, but would not be compatible when used with the 0.2 Ω atomizers (as the iTaste MVP 3.0 battery is only compatible with atomizer resistances between 0.4 Ω – 2.5 Ω).
If all components of a mod are not compatible with each other, the unit will function in an unsafe manner, or not function at all.