Types of vape mods: Should I Buy a Box Mod, a Mechanical Mod or a Vape Pen?

You’ve dabbled with vaping in the past. You’ve tried a disposable e-cigarette — maybe even a small rechargeable kit — from your local convenience store, and you’re intrigued. You’ve learned firsthand that vaping can easily replace smoking as a means of satisfying your nicotine cravings, but you’re looking for more. It’s time to upgrade to a real vaping setup.

When you upgrade from a convenience store e-cigarette, you’ll get:

  • A wider flavor selection
  • Larger, more satisfying vapor clouds
  • More vaping time between battery charges
  • Much more e-liquid for the money

You’ll also have a lot more decisions to make. Your local convenience store probably carries about three e-cigarette brands at the most. When you upgrade to a box mod, mechanical mod or vape pen, you’ll have dozens of different models from which to choose. How can you tell which vaping device is best for your needs? In this article, we’ll provide some pointers that can help.

Vape Pens

A vape pen typically has a long, slightly narrow tube shape. Some vape pens allow you to use the tank or atomizer of your choice. A vape pen that you can customize will also often allow you to adjust the temperature and quantity of the vapor by changing the device’s voltage or wattage. Other vape pens have built-in tanks. A vape pen with a built-in tank often lacks voltage or wattage adjustments but is very simple to use.

Out of the different types of advanced vaping devices, vape pens often give you the least room for customization, but they’re very convenient. To refill a vape pen with a built-in tank, for example, you generally only need to twist off the mouthpiece. Vape pens usually have permanent internal batteries, so you can charge one by connecting it with a cable to any USB port.

The bottom line:If you’re looking for more vapor and more battery life than you’d get with a convenience store e-cigarette, but you still want to keep the vaping experience as simple as possible, buy a vape pen.

Box Mods

Out of all vaping devices, power-regulated box mods offer the most features and the highest degree of safety relative to their power capabilities. Some box mods have fixed internal batteries, and others use removable batteries that you can charge in an external battery charger. Some box mods even support multiple batteries for hours of continuous vaping time.

Although some box mods have built-in tanks, most allow you to use the tank or atomizer of your choice. Those that do generally also allow for wattage and voltage adjustments. A very powerful box mod may have a maximum output power of 200 watts or more.

A box mod may also allow you to set a temperature limit when vaping. Setting a temperature limit can prevent you from accidentally singing the cotton wick in your tank or atomizer. However, temperature control vaping requires a tank or atomizer with a coil made from a material that supports temperature detection. The most common temperature control coil materials are titanium, nickel and stainless steel.

Although a box mod may have a somewhat dizzying array of features, box mods are also among the safest e-cigarettes on the market. A box mod has an internal microprocessor that can disable the e-cigarette in the event of overheating, low battery life, too high of an output current or a short circuit.

The bottom line:A box mod offers the best possible combination of performance and safety. A box mod delivers plenty of power and works with virtually any tank or atomizer that you might like to use. The safety features of a box mod work to prevent you from using the device in a way that could potentially be unsafe.

Mechanical Mods

A mechanical mod is the simplest of all e-cigarettes — and often among the least expensive. The most common type of mechanical mod is a tube with threading for a tank or atomizer at the top and a button at the bottom. When you insert a battery and push the button, you complete a circuit. The tank or atomizer activates immediately.

Some people subjectively believe that mechanical mods begin generating vapor more quickly and generate more vapor overall than box mods. That’s because a mechanical mod uses all of the battery’s power to operate the atomizer coil. A mechanical mod doesn’t need to use battery power to operate a display, a microprocessor or protective circuitry because mechanical mods don’t have any of those features.

With a mechanical mod, you don’t have the ability to vary the voltage or wattage of your device. You’ll therefore need to use a tank — or build your own atomizer coil — that provides exactly the vaping experience you want without voltage or wattage adjustments. You’ll also need to manage your own safety when vaping by checking the health of your batteries, testing your coils for short circuits and ensuring that you build coils in safe resistance ranges. A mechanical mod will always activate the coil when you press the button. It can’t tell you if you’re using an unsafe coil or battery.

The bottom line: A mechanical mod provides inexpensive access to plenty of power. However, mechanical mods are for experts only.

Final Thoughts

A vape pen is an excellent option if you’re a less experienced e-cigarette user who doesn’t want to spend time fiddling with controls or learning about safety precautions. As you gain more experience, though, you may appreciate a vaping setup that allows for greater flexibility and vapor production. Many people love mechanical mods for their modular design and low price. With top-notch performance and extensive safety features, though, a regulated box mod is the best choice for most expert e-cigarette users.