Among long-term vapers, the vape mod is undoubtedly the most popular type of vaping device. Mods are also the most powerful vaping devices on the market, which is a good thing because if there’s one thing that just about every vaper wouldn’t mind having, it’s bigger clouds!
The real definition of a vape mod, however, goes much deeper than just saying “it’s a big, powerful vaping device.” Vape mods are some of the oldest devices on the market, and they have a long and proud history. Reading this article, you’re going to learn what vape mods are and find out whether a mod might be the right type of vaping device for you. You’re also going to learn some of the things that you should consider before buying your first vape mod. Let’s dig in!
What Is a Vape Mod?
The simplest way to define a vape mod is by saying a vape mod is any vaping device that’s not designed to look like a cigarette. The history of vape mods is quite a long and interesting story that’s discussed in detail elsewhere on this site.
The short version of the story, though, is that the passionate hobbyists within the vaping community are the people who created the first vape mods. The earliest e-cigarettes were quite underwhelming in terms of the performance they offered, and some people found that they couldn’t quite get enough nicotine and couldn’t achieve the level of satisfaction they wanted with those devices. They knew, though, that if they could find a solution that offered just a bit more, they’d probably never have to deal with cigarette cravings again.
Since that solution didn’t exist yet, the hobbyists created it. The reason why we call a vape mod a “mod” is because the first mods were made from modified flashlight tubes and wooden boxes. People simply took those items and added 510 threading and battery connectors, and in the process, they created the first vape mods. Since vape mods drew their power from reliable 18650 batteries rather than the tiny battery cells that the first e-cigarettes used, they were able to deliver much larger and more satisfying vapor clouds.
We can thank those early hobbyists for many of the vaping product paradigms we take for granted today. To this day, the two most common types of vape mods are tube mods and box mods. They are the direct descendants of the flashlight tubes and wooden boxes used by the creators of the first vape mods.
What Are the Standard Features of a Vape Mod?
So, what can you expect as the owner of a vape mod? Aside from the fact that they are the largest and heaviest of all vaping devices, there are several common features that virtually all mods share. Understanding these features can give you a better idea of what your experience will be like if you decide to buy a mod for yourself.
- Mods are almost always “open-system” or non-proprietary vaping devices. They are always refillable, meaning that you can use them with whatever vape juice you like. They usually have industry-standard threading that allows them to work with any tank or atomizer, although there are also some pod mods that, while they are still refillable, only work with pods designed specifically for those devices.
- Because mods are much larger than cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes, they’re able to hold much larger batteries. Although mods come in many different sizes and offer a range of battery capacities, they always offer greater battery life than cigarette-shaped devices.
- The fact that mods have more powerful batteries also means that they can operate within much wider power ranges. A standard cigarette-shaped e-cigarette will often operate at just a few watts. Some mods, on the other hand, are capable of operating at up to 200 watts and even higher. If you want to enjoy the vape tanks that produce the biggest clouds, you need a vaping device that offers extreme power. Real cloud chasing requires a vape mod.
What Is a Sub-Ohm Mod?
When you start shopping for a vape mod or vape tank, you’re going to see the term “sub-ohm” quite a lot and will probably wonder what it means. Electrical resistance is one of the most important concepts in vaping because the resistance of the atomizer coil determines the wattage at which the mod will operate given a particular input voltage. The lower the coil’s resistance is, the higher its operational wattage will be. So, if you’re going to dabble in the world of sub-ohm vaping, you need a vaping device with a battery capable of safely delivering the amperage necessary for operating at those higher wattages.
Here’s the good news: Since virtually every vape mod made today is sub-ohm capable, there’s usually no need to worry about whether a particular device is a sub-ohm mod or not. They almost always are. Unless you’re thinking about buying a secondhand mod that was manufactured several years ago – which we really don’t suggest, unless you’re a collector – you’re going to be fine. If a device lets you adjust its wattage, it’s a sub-ohm mod. Even most single-button mods are sub-ohm. The only type of device that you might need to be concerned about is a vape pen that’s extremely small – like around the size of a ballpoint pen. A device that small may not have a battery strong enough to support sub-ohm vaping.
If you’re not sure, simply check the device’s specifications. A vape mod’s specifications will always list the minimum supported atomizer coil resistance. If the minimum resistance is equal to or lower than the resistance of the atomizer coil you want to use, you’re all set.
How to Buy the Best Vape Mod for Your Needs
So, is a vape mod the right type of vaping device for you? As you’ve learned from reading this article, the answer is almost certainly “yes” if you’re craving a device that can deliver enormous clouds and exceptional battery life. The answer to the next question, though, is a bit more complicated. How can you choose the best vape mod for your needs? These three pieces of advice will help you decide.
Kit vs. Device Only
Vape mods are sold in two forms. You can buy a full vape mod kit that includes a tank, or you can buy the device on its own. Which type of package should you buy? In this case, the answer is actually fairly simple. If you already have a sub-ohm tank or rebuildable atomizer that you love – and you know you’re going to continue using that regardless of what’s included with your vape mod – then you should certainly buy a device only instead of a full kit.
For everyone else, though, there are a few very compelling reasons to buy a full vape mod kit instead of buying a device only.
- If you’re buying your first vape mod and don’t own a vape tank yet, buying a full kit simply makes sense.
- If you do own a vape tank already – but it’s an older model that’s past due for replacement – you’ll probably love the tank included with a full vape kit because it’ll be much more modern than what you’re currently using.
- Buying a vape mod kit always costs less than buying the mod and tank separately.
- You never have to worry about whether a tank and mod are compatible if they’re made by the same company and sold together.
Built-in vs. Removable Battery
You’ll notice that the vape mods on the market today are split about evenly between devices with permanent built-in batteries and devices with removable batteries. Here are a few things to consider before you choose one or the other.
- A device with a built-in battery usually costs less than one that uses removable batteries. That’s partially because the device itself is cheaper and partially because a device that uses removable batteries never includes the batteries; you’ll have to buy those separately.
- Vape mods with built-in batteries are usually smaller and lighter than those with removable batteries.
- If a vape mod with a permanent battery stops holding a charge, you’ll need to replace the entire device. If a mod with a removable battery stops holding a charge, you can simply replace the battery.
- Vape mods with removable batteries can often operate at higher wattages than those with permanent batteries.
How Many Watts Are Enough?
If you’ve looked at the specifications of a few vape mods, you’ve probably noticed that single-battery mods and mods with built-in batteries typically operate at up to around 100 watts. Dual-battery mods, on the other hand, can operate at 200 watts and higher because a dual-battery device splits the load across two battery cells.
So, how many watts do you need? If you’re buying your first mod, it’s likely that you’ll be perfectly happy with a single-battery device; just buy a device that includes a tank, and you’ll be certain that the mod has the appropriate wattage delivery to provide a good experience with that tank.
If you’re not sure what tank you’ll be using, on the other hand, it might be wise to buy a dual-battery mod because the wider power range maximizes your options.