Mechanical Mods VS Variable Wattage Personal Vaporizers - Explained

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There is a recent trend on the e-cigarette market with the sales of models (or cig-a-likes) constantly dropping and the sales of mods increasing at a very fast pace. The reason behind this trend is probably that mods offer a much more comprehensive and complex vaping experience and can be very customizable. Instead of puffing out the same modest clouds with moderate flavor and mild throat hit, vapers can now tweak their settings to the max and get the most out of their personal vaporizer.

Vape mods are the new trend

With mods vapers can now use rebuildable atomizers or big tanks with adjustable airflow and puff out some of the most extreme clouds you've seen in your life. And with the addition of the latest sub-ohm tanks, anyone can benefit from the intensity of these clouds. However, this new generation of RTAs can only be fueled by something as powerful as a mech mod or an advanced personal vaporizer, which can handle the Amp required by the low resistance coils. There’s even an ongoing trend in the community where so called cloud chasers are competing for supremacy and the thickest vapor ever. However, not all mods are the same and they can also be categorized according to their functionality. First of all there are the mechanical mods and hybrids, which are unregulated, and then there are the Advanced Personal Vaporizers that offer variable voltage, variable wattage or fixed wattage.

mech vs electronic mod

Both of these categories come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most common are by far the tubes and the boxes. But just by looking at a mod, regardless of its shape, you can’t know for sure if it’s regulated or unregulated, or what that even means so let’s explain each one of them individually.

Mechanical mods

Mechanical mods have a very simple set up. They usually consist of a top cap containing an adjustable center pin with a 510 connection, a housing for the battery and a bottom cap that usually comes with a spring or a spring loaded pin. The principle is that you insert the battery and start puffing on the device without the help of any electronics or circuitry. However, this means that you are running your mod directly off the battery, and thus at the mercy of the battery alone.You cannot boost or reduce the voltage (without adding circuitry – that works with some mods but not with others), and the vape will get weaker as the battery drains. This means that tubular mech mods are unregulated vaping devices and in order to use them you need at least a basic understanding of Ohm’s Laws of electricity and the amount of current needed to power a certain atomizer resistance, especially when going under the 1 Ohm limit.

Nevertheless, without any circuits to break, unregulated mods are can be extremely durable, long lasting, and take a heavy beating. The Viggo Mechanical mod is an excellent choice in terms of quality and price.

Hybrid mech mods

Hybrid mechanical mods work the same way but they have the atomizer integrated into the body, making them even more efficient at conducting electricity and giving a superior functionality at least in theory. This is due to the fact that the voltage drop is close to minimum and the current ends up heating the coil without having to pass through different parts of the mod (like the top cap with the built in center pin) or through different materials. So this minimizes the overall resistance and gives a more powerful hit but makes it harder to clean.

A good battery is crucial

The one limitation of mechanical mods are they do not come with built in protection (besides vent holes) and therefore are destined for the most experienced vapers out there that understand both the functionality and risks. However, if you are a beginner that wants to experiment with such a device, it’s crucial that you buy a good battery. Hi drain models rated at 30A or more can withstand resistances of up to 0.2 Ohms at certain voltages so you minimize the risks of something going terribly wrong. But besides the battery it’s also important to have an ohm-meter close if you want to build your own coils. If you want to use one of the rebuildable sub-ohm tanks such as the Eleaf Melo then the ohm-meter is no longer necessary as these work at fixed resistances that are engraved on the coil heads and packaging.

advanced personal vaporizer

Electronic mods

Variable wattage vaporizers on the other hand, are an entirely different story. They use a lot of circuitry, boards and chipsets to deliver an ultimate vaping experience that doesn't suffer once your battery starts to drain. This is why they are also referred to as regulated devices. They allow the user to choose between different wattage settings (usually in 0.5 increments) and find their own personal sweet spot with any RBA or tank attached. Some of these devices even go up to anywhere between 50W and 200W, offering a dazzling cloud chasing experience with a sub-ohm coil build.

They also come with a lot of monitoring and safety features and protections that will prevent any battery explosion of overheating. Some recent models even have built in temperature control systems that allow the mod to automatically adjust all its settings to keep the coils from overheating. This works with special atomizers heads or with coils made from Nickel instead of regular Kanthal but the results are more than impressive. They prevent dry hits and hot vapor but at the same time deliver some of the richest and best tasting clouds ever experienced.

Mech vs Electronic - which one to choose

In the end, the vaping experience might be similar given the same volts to resistance ratios, but how you achieve it depends solely to you. There are vapers who love combining a mechanical mod and a new generation dripper (or RDA) and constantly pouring e-liquid for some mind blowing clouds, while others buy very powerful advanced personal vaporizers and use them with sub-ohm tank atomizers like the Aspire Atlantis 2 for an equally impressive setup. There is no right or wrong when it comes to picking a device, it all depends on what type of vaper you decide to be.

Posted by Dave Allan

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Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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