What is a Vape Mod? Types, History and How to Use

What is a Vape Mod? Types, History and How to Use

Hello, friend! This is a complete guide to vape mods. In this blog we’re diving into the following topics:

With that being laid out, let’s dive in!

What is a Vape Mod?

A vape mod is the part of the vape that houses the battery and provides power to the tank or atomizer. They often have power controls so you can choose the settings you prefer.

Video on How a Vape Mod Works

History of the Vape Mod

Let us call them e-cigarettes for the sake of this section. E-cigarettes are personal devices that give people an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. A man named Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, is credited with the first e-cigarette in 2003. By 2006, they made their way to the United States’ markets. They have since evolved to larger and more sophisticated devices.

China is the site where most of the e-cigarettes are manufactured; other countries produce them as well, but not at the level that China does. China is still the leader in manufacturing e-cigarettes as I write this blog.

Today there are higher wattage devices called box mods. Now that you have a brief history on the e-cigarette (vape mod), you can get the full History of Vaping here.

Types of Vape Mods

There are many different kinds of mods available, each providing a different vaping experience. Here is a quick guide to what each one does, read further for a more detailed explanation.

  • Box mods, which can be either regulated by a chip, but they can also be unregulated — though the latter is not as common.
  • Squonk mods: These are mods that provide a method of adding e-liquid to an atomizer through an internal bottle.
  • Pen mods are the most recognizable by the Average Joe walking down the street. Pens typically do not have variable wattage nor voltage — we will get to that later — but it’s not uncommon.
  • Pod mods: Smaller devices that have either a one-use disposable or refillable cartridge. They are more commonly used to vape for nicotine salt vape juice.
  • Mechanical Mods: These are typically shaped like a pen with only one battery for power, and they are advanced devices that are not regulated by a computer chip. Mech mods, as they’re known to most, have a steep learning curve, and are not to be taken lightly.

Box Mods

Box Mods are mods that are shaped like a box! Pretty obvious isn’t it? These mods are typically regulated with a chipset and have a screen.

The perks of box mods include:

  • High Powered: The max wattage of a box mod could range anywhere from 80-350W
  • Create Large Clouds: Their high power gives them the ability to create large billowing clouds!
  • Many different setting options: With box mods you often have the capability to change wattage and temperature along with many other modes. 
  • Large battery life: Due to their size, they carry a larger battery life.
  • Capable of low resistances: You’ll often see box mods have a minimum resistance as low as 0.1 ohms!
  • Versatility: Due to the many settings and options, you don’t have to worry about which atomizers will work, because they all will!
  • Regulated for Safety

As you can see, box mods are a pretty appealing option. When it comes to mods, there is not much a box mod can’t do! These perks do come with a few cons.

The cons include:

  • Bulky: Due to their boxy and large form factor, they are a bit bulky and can be hard to fit in a pocket.
  • Batteries typically are sold separately
  • Complex user interface: Since they have many options, it can be difficult to operate them with their different settings.

These cons shouldn’t set you off box mods though. They are large and take a bit of getting used to, but you can really hone in on your vaping experience with them! So if you’re always looking for that perfect hit of flavor and clouds, a box mod is perfect for you. If you enjoy something simple, you may need to look into a vape pen or pod vape option. 

Squonk Mods

Squonkers are fun vape mods! These are advanced mods, so do make sure you understand some things. You would benefit from knowing what ohms law is. Squonk mods have a refillable bottle of e-juice that you can squeeze up to the atomizer. This is reserved for RDAs with a squonk pin. One option for an RDA is the Digiflavor Drop (Read a full review on the DigiFlavor Drop here)

Squonk mods are regulated by a chip. Some have variable wattage, and others have variable voltage. Some are mechanical, which we will touch on a little later in this blog. For the most part, though, squonk mods are great for dripping on the go! Most squonk vape mods need a battery, or batteries, to get the magic rolling.

They sound pretty awesome, right? If you would like to read a little bit more of a detailed explanation of squonking and squonk vape mods, read this blog on What is a Squonk Mod.

Vape Pen Mods

Vape Pen mods are the most simple mods on the market at this time. What you can expect to receive from a pen style vape mod is simplicity. These vape mods provide little in the way of adjustments or tinkering because.they are simply “plug-and-play” devices. This means that you only have to charge the pen mod, clean it from time to time, and change out the atomizer when it is used up.

Using a pen style vape mod is super easy and probably the way to go if you are a new vaper. There are so many out there that it can be overwhelming to choose between them. For new vapers, it is suggested that you go for a smaller device to make it even easier. Smaller vape mods will be more portable and easier to use.

Another note about pen mods: there are two primary experiences with them. One is referred to as a mouth-to-lung vape, which is similar to a cigarette. This experience means you take in a puff before inhaling to your lungs. Then there is the direct-to-lung vape experience. This is what it sounds like, you simply inhale directly to your lung and then exhale.

Back to the plug-and-play idea, these typically have an internal battery so you don’t have to purchase them elsewhere. These are simple enough to get the job done with their battery included!

If you are just transitioning to vaping from smoking, check out this GeekVape Flint MTL Starter Kit! If you are looking for the DTL vape experience, checkout the SMOK Stick V9!

Pod Mods

These are some of the more popular mods on the rise! Pod vape mods will give you all sorts of simplicity, ease, functionality, and options. Boy, do we love options as vapers! With pod mods, you have a smaller device, which is a very good fit for your pocket and hand. You get the power of choice between two types of e-liquid, either traditional vape juice or nicotine salts. Most pod mods are designed for the latter but are able to take on the former.

If you choose to use nicotine salts, also on the rise in popularity, then you would benefit from choosing a pod vape mod that will give you the MTL experience while you vape. These will have little — if any — adjustments needed to get the most desirable experience. I say this because some pod mods have airflow adjustments on their cartridge, but they are not too common. Most of them will be puff activated, which means that you take a puff and it automatically turns on to deliver vapor.

Others deliver a DTL vaping experience, which is less common and best for traditional vape juice. These are similar to vape pens because they are powered by a push-to-operate button, which is commonly known as the fire button. Get it? To fire it up!

These will have an internal battery so all you have to do is plug and play! Charge it up with the included charging cable and you are all set!

To get yourself a pod mod with MTL vaping, check out the Aspire AVP Pod System! For the DTL vaping experience, the Lost Vape Orion Q Pod Mod is a great option!

Video on Cleaning Your Mod

Different Mod Modes

Variable Wattage

Variable wattage is the ability to change the wattage of your vape mod. This means that you have control of the amount of power that goes through your mod. The range for smaller mods is typically between 5-80w, though sometimes they can go as high as 100w.

For the larger vape mods — those with two or more batteries — there is a wider gap between the lower and higher wattages. On average, variable wattage box mods have a wattage range of 5-250w. Most of the atomizers available do not have an effective range up to 250w, so do not worry yourself with the higher levels unless you feel it is necessary. It shouldn’t be, but it’s totally up to you.

If you need some information on wattage, read this blog on what wattage to vape at.

Variable Voltage

This is a setting that allows you to change the voltage. Most mods that allow this will have an effective range between 1-8.2v. The variable voltage will be dependent on whether or not you have two batteries in your mod. If it is a single battery, the maximum voltage available is typically 4.2v.

The same idea applies to voltage as wattage. You wouldn’t want to jack up the power to the higher numbers (5-8v), because you would run the risk of burning out your atomizer too quickly. A good rule of thumb is to hover around 4.2 volts because that is the highest level of voltage batteries are capable of. The power left in a battery will determine the voltage. When you have it at static 4.2v, the battery will drain a bit faster. Now let’s talk about Bypass Mode.

Bypass Mode

Bypass mode is where you bypass the variable wattage and voltage settings to use straight up voltage. There isn’t a range, however, bypass allows you to see the charge of your batteries more accurately. You will see that the number (which usually starts at 4.2v) will slowly drop while you are using your vape mod.

The benefit goes further than seeing the charge more accurately; it allows the regulation through the chip in your mod to automatically lower the power as well. This allows your battery to discharge easier and softer. You don’t want to over-discharge your batteries — refer to the above link to battery safety.

Temperature Control (TC)

This setting will allow you to set the maximum temperature your atomizer will reach. Once it hits that temperature, it automatically stops atomizing. The temperature range will vary between mods, but you can expect a Fahrenheit range of 100-400℉.

Temperature control is more of an advanced setting. Do use this mode with caution, and inform yourself thoroughly before taking the step to use this mode. For example, there are only certain types of atomizers that will work in temperature control mode. Kanthal wire is not useable in TC. Stainless Steel, Titanium — which is not common — Nichrome, and Nickel are the metals that are useable in TC.

Variable Power Curve (VPC)

This is a really cool mode! This allows you to set the power of your mod — wattage — over increments of time. Typically, you will be able to set the power curve over single second increments, some allow for 0.5-second increments. This means that you can control the wattage over, say, a five-second puff on your mod, for each of those five seconds.

Confused? Think about it this way; you want the wattage to curve down, or decrease, over the five second period, then you would set the first second to be a higher wattage then lower the wattage number over the final four seconds. It could start as high as 80w for the first second. For the 2nd second, you could set the wattage for 75w. The third would be 70w and so on. Of course, you would be able to set them differently according to your preferences.

Those are some of the different modes that you have at your disposal. Now, let us look at more different mods and what they are for, or, better yet, what you could benefit from using them!

In the end

Now you have the knowledge of the different types of vape mods! Now you know about some of the most popular modes available to you. Today is the day that you have the power to know a bit more about what you would be able to use. I hope your comfort level is hopefully raised up! Especially if you’re thinking about transitioning from traditional tobacco to vaping.

Thank you for spending some of your time with us! Stay Wild!

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Author: Gabriel Pimentel

Gabriel is a student of the vaping industry that loves to help inform the community! He started his vaping career in 2015 as a customer service agent and now works to write blogs for VapeWild. He loves to hear from his readers and answer their questions on Twitter! 

Posted by Gabriel on Jun 19th 2019

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