What’s a Mod, Anyway?
Way back when… at the beginning of the vape phenomenon, you had these industrious, or perhaps just curious people who took apart their cig-a-like and used parts from anything they could get their hands on. They literally cobbled their own creations. The term eventually grew to encompass any portable vaporizer that had capabilities beyond cig-a-likes and fixed/variable wattage batteries.
The term itself has become somewhat hazy, to the point where fixed/variable wattage batteries advertise themselves as mods. There are digital devices and devices with no circuitry at all, commonly known as mechanical mods. Mechanical mods are for the experienced vapers.
Now that we know what a mod is, we need to go about getting you the knowledge needed to choose a mod.
Decide how much you are willing or able to spend. There are devices priced from $30 and up. There’s no need in looking at $200 mods if all you are willing to drop is $40. Sure, that advanced model is something to drool over, but if you’re a true noob, you might want to stick with entry level devices. At least, until you decide that you like it enough to possibly invest more money.
Know Your Needs
Is that Ego-style device dying on you? Do you want one of the cool new sub-ohm atomizers on the market? Or do you want to stick with the clearomizers you know and love? Perhaps a drip tip is what you want. Knowing the kind of tank you want or need is another step in narrowing down the type of mod that will be best for you.
If you’re an infrequent or social vaper, you might not need a mod that requires replaceable and rechargeable batteries. If you vape frequently, having a mod that takes rechargeable batteries that are easily switched out might be the best device for you.
If you’re fine with a device that only goes up to 20 watts, there’s no need in investing in a device that can go up to 200 watts. You’ll also want to decide if you want your mod to display voltage, wattage, temperature, or all three.
Most mods these days, aside from mechanical mods, offer backlit, digital displays, and easy wattage control. Even if a device does lack these features, they may make up for it in solving other issues or provide other benefits. Deciding what features are essential while also having a budget will help you to narrow your search to a few devices.
Mechanical vs Digital Mods
Mechanical mods are not recommended for vaping newbies. Mechanical mods lack the electronic circuitry present in most digital models that regulates battery temperature and prevents overheating/exploding. While some argue that mechanical mods are more aesthetically pleasing, one sound argument for mechanical mods is that they are more durable.
They are more durable due to the lack of electronic circuitry. This means that there are fewer parts to break down or short circuit. The trade-off is just what is mentioned above, there is no temperature regulation safety mechanism that is built in to digital models.
Both mechanical and digital mods require batteries, so knowledge of lithium ion batteries is a must. Buying replacement batteries at a vape store or online that are specifically for vaporizer mods is recommended versus going to the local hardware store and buying one meant for a flashlight.
Do you want a discrete, easily pocketed device? Do you want a larger device? Even color is a consideration for most vapers. These are considerations to keep in mind. Mods come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Deciding what style works for you is another important step in choosing the right mod.
Choosing an Atomizer
With luck, you’ve decided on a mod that’s just right for you. Now, let’s quickly go over choosing an atomizer that fits your needs.
First, decide if you want a disposable, replaceable, or rebuildable atomizer coil. Many first-time vapers go with the disposable atomizer to start. When it becomes hard to draw air through or starts making a gurgling sound, it’s time to replace the entire atomizer. Over time, this can become more expensive than the initially more expensive models that feature replaceable or rebuildable coils.
Replaceable coil atomizers are the most commonly used atomizers today. The coils are easily screwed in and out, offering ease of replacement. Though initially more expensive than disposable atomizers, having to only replace coils as you go turns out to be less expensive in the long run.
If you’re experienced and want a highly-customizable experience (or you just like to tinker), consider the rebuildable coil atomizers. These atomizers produce the most vapor and the most flavor. Though there is a learning curve involved in rebuilding your own coils, many find this to be as cost-friendly as replaceable coil atomizers.
Tanks vs Drip Tips
Here is another decision in your atomizer choice. Are you satisfied with one flavor for a full day (or as long as it lasts)? Or are you constantly craving change? If you constantly like exploring new flavors, a drip tip might be the right atomizer for you. A few drops of e-juice gets you a few puffs. Afterwards, you can change up the flavor of your e-juice. If you like consistency, or you’re attached to one particular flavor, a tank-style atomizer might be right for you. If you spend long periods of time where you’re unable to constantly refill your drip tip, a tank is also the better choice.
With luck, you have now been imparted with the knowledge to choose the right mod for your vaping needs. Many vapers actually have several mods and with newer and shinier mods being released all the time, there’s always a wide assortment to choose from to meet your style and personal requirements.