By: Nicholas King.
Last Updated: August 7th, 2017.
E-cigarettes and vape mods are amazing devices, and come in a variety of different forms. Most vapers are accustomed to the typical cig-a-like e-cigarettes, vape pens, or box mods. There’s another type of mod, however, that is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. It’s the mechanical mod – or mech mod, for short. Many vapers have no real idea about what these mods really do, however. So, what are mechanical mods? We’re glad you asked!
Most e-cigarettes are easy enough to understand. They come with a battery of some sort – either internal or external (most use the external 18650 battery) and a vaporizer, usually a tank. That tank has an atomizer that creates the vapor from whatever e-liquid you choose to use. It’s composed of a heating coil and wick, with the electronic resistance largely determined by the type of coil in use, the device’s power, and the temperature it generates. With most of the best e-cigarettes found here, those components and effects are all self-regulated.
Most mods on the market today are known as regulated mods and offer variable wattage and voltage. This is governed and managed by a computer chip, with users often having access to temperature controls that offer them control over everything from wattage used to temperature generated. These mods are also generally outfitted with safety features that protect the devices and users from harm.
There are typically 2 types of mechanical mod; the standard mechanical mod that resembles a vape pen and the mechanical box mod, an example of each is shown below:
With mechanical mods or mechs, you have an entirely different type of device. They are unregulated mods because they lack the chips that typically coordinate the relationship between atomizer and battery. As a result, these devices operate at a constant full output of voltage from the battery. There are no real electronics in these units, and they thus rely entirely upon the user to control their operations. That freedom offers many benefits but can pose unique risks as well.
If your thinking of using a mechanical mod, then we would advise you to get to know the safety requirements of the batteries you are using. All the horror stories in the paper you hear about vaping explosions are often using modified mechanical mods with batteries that cannot handle the load. Lucky for you, we have a whole guide just looking at the safety tips on 18650 Lithium-Ion battery that you must read!
Of course you can get hung up on all the health issues concerning vaping, like popcorn lung and the effects of becoming addicted to vaping, but these concerns are related to all vaping devices and not just mechanical mods.
These devices are also ideal and to be honest, mainly used for sub-ohm vaping. We’re not talking about the standard sub-ohm vaping that you can get from many of the self-regulated mods these days, but that high-level sub-ohm vaping preferred by many of the most serious cloud-chasers. Mech mods can be used with virtually any type of coil that you can put in them, and you never need to worry about the device not operating properly. No matter how low the resistance is, a mech mod won’t balk at the prospect of firing itself up.
Regulated mods won’t allow that flexibility since their safety features prevent you from using non-traditional components. When the resistance is too low with one of those mods, their chips simply refuse to operate as normal. As you might guess, that flexibility enables mech mod users to truly customize their vaping experience and enjoy the results they crave.
On the plus side, these devices can offer incomparable flexibility and power. Since there are no regulating features, vapers who use mechanical mods can set theirs up to meet their own unique specifications. They can customize their devices as they see fit, and don’t have to worry about electronic circuitry interfering with their plans. That makes them an attractive option for hobbyists and tech-oriented vapers who want maximum control over their vaping experience.
Finally, mech mods offer other benefits. They are extremely durable since they lack the electronic circuitry that typically wears down over time. They offer a simple design as well, which is something that a lot of builders prefer. Control, however, remains the most important benefit and continues to be the main reason that mech mod users prefer these devices.
Of course, there are drawbacks. While they appear simpler than regulated mods, mech mods do come with a learning curve. And one of the most important aspects of that learning curve involves learning to use your mech mod in a safe way. Remember, these devices don’t have the standard protective features that most other vaping devices use to protect users and equipment. That makes them more dangerous for novices to use, which is why most experts recommend that new vapers and those unfamiliar with the technology avoid these basic setups. To be safe, you truly do need to know how to handle these devices.
At the end of the day, though, mechanical mods fill an important niche need within the vaping community. And that’s a niche that is growing with each passing year, as many vapers get more experience with e-cig technology and continue to look for a better vaping experience. The trend right now is moving toward greater acceptance of mech mod vaping, so it’s something that most intermediate-level vapers will want to check out at some time or another.