There has never been more help for those trying to quit smoking. From the range of nicotine replacement therapies that include the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, to the new kid on the block: E-Cigarettes. If you are looking to start vaping, then read on to learn about the bigger style vape device - the vape mod kit.
What are E-Cigarettes?
E-Cigarettes, or vape device, are a method of consuming nicotine that is very similar to smoking, but without the harms that come along with burning tobacco. Whichever vape device you choose, there is something out there for everyone, and where new vapers should start on a cigalike device (looks and feels very close to a cigarette) there is a plethora of choice for the more experienced vapers - and for those who enjoy creating big clouds of vapour and don't mind the device isn't super compact, vape mods (also known as box mods) could be the right choice for you.
What are vape mods?
The original vape mods were chunky looking things, not super portable by any means. A more recent style of mod kit has come onto the market: pod devices. While there are small and convenient pod devices that are pre-filled, like the SMOKO VAPE POD, we are also seeing these vape mod versions of the pod devices. These are smaller and more convenient than the box mod vape counterpart, some of which charge their internal battery using a USB cable to a USB port, rather than using removable batteries.
Box mods typically have a higher power output than their small cousins - the cigalikes and vape pens - this allows for what they call 'sub-ohm vaping' which is where there is low resistance on the circuit, below 1 Ohm. This apparently delivers more flavour, as well as bigger vapour clouds. The variable wattage mode available on some devices helps you tailor your vape experience to suit you!
Most box mods are fairly consistent across the board in terms of what you can modify, and this customisation is what appeals to many vapers. A typical box mod will allow a choice of vape tanks, replaceable batteries, a choice of traditional and mesh coils, and multiple modes and various settings operated from the main controls, or for modern mods, a great screen for the navigate menu. A box mod also typically has higher wattage than the smaller vape pens or cigalikes.
Now, to be clear, not all mods have the controls mentioned above; these are known as 'mechanical mods' which are for the most advanced vapers. These use DTL vaping (direct-to-lung inhale technique) but do not have multiple modes and do not let you change wattage - these are set up by the vaper to the vaper's specific needs. These mods do have replaceable batteries, and the user needs to know the wattage, the coil resistance and how to employ Ohm's Law to ensure the circuit isn't overloaded. Not for the faint of heart!
What you get when you buy box mod kits
Buying box mods is a bit of an expensive business, compared with getting started on a pre-filled vape device. Deals online and in-store should mean you shave some money off the whole box mod kit, but be careful to make sure you have purchased all you need to start vaping. It is certainly possible to order the box mod housing, which often comes with a choice of battery, without buying a sub ohm tank to go with it!
Box mod kits don't necessarily include your vape coil either, so make sure to double-check your basket to make sure you have the box mod housing, batteries, vape tanks and coils to keep you going. Oh, and some e-liquid!
How to use a box mod
Operating box mods is more complex than the inhale activated style vape device where you just attach your refill and start vaping. With a box mod, you need to have your batteries charged, a coil that is in good shape, your e-liquid in your vape tanks, and then you are good to start vaping. Hit that fire button, and inhale!
As mentioned, box mods give you temp control and variable wattage mode, but if you want to eliminate some of the complexity you could choose a vape mod that has a bypass mode which takes the variable wattage mode out of the equation. The fixed power output means that, after a little experience, you will have a clear idea of how long the battery life is when you start vaping on a full charge.
Another aspect of vape mods that help the user tailor their experience is adjustable airflow. You may see a hole on the side of your tank at the bottom, with a slider that allows you to close the hole or open it as much or as little as you'd like. Adjustable airflow alters the amount of air coming into the tank, changing the concentration of the vapour and also has an impact on how much power and e-liquid is used. A fully open airflow hole will dilute the vapour, cooling it down and increasing the size of the vapour cloud and while this may reduce the intensity of the vapour flavour, it also reduces the power required to heat the e-liquid, taking a bit of pressure off the internal battery.
Vape mods inhale technique
If DTL vaping is what appeals to you, then there are other considerations to keep in mind - like what e-liquid you use (higher wattages are suited to thicker liquids which means a higher balance of vegetable glycerine). This means a good mod with a variable wattage mode will give you more freedom when it comes to what e-liquids work with your particular box mod, and this may impact the temperature control. You may even find that using a low power output gives you longer battery life - useful if you know you can't charge your vape mod for a while.
Regulated vape mods vs unregulated
Regulated box mods are the safest option when it comes to box mods - these use electronic circuitry which allows for protections and safety features. As battery safety should be a priority, having internal circuit protection in the event the resistance drops too low, or is left on charge (don't do it!) means you don't have to worry as much compared with an unregulated box mod.
Unregulated box mod kits do not feature this protection. These mods use replaceable batteries, and the voltage output depends on how much battery life is left. The battery supplies power straight to the atomiser (the part that turns the e-liquid into an aerosol; the coil is the atomiser head) which does mean there is no temperature control, no wattage mode, as well as no safety features.
The problems with box mods
The biggest problem with vape mods is that we have seen instances of box mod kits short circuiting, with one instance in the UK of a short circuit in a man's pocket leading to serious burns. This highlights the importance of safety features to prevent the fire button from being pressed in your pocket, as well as good practices like not putting your vape mod in the same pocket as your keys and coins - or anything else metal because metal objects touching your box mod in just the wrong way can cause a short circuit.
Sub ohm tanks are another part that can pose a few issues. In the UK most tanks are 2ml (the maximum tank size allowed is 2ml), which is not the case elsewhere. The US, for example, has 8ml sub ohm tanks available. The bigger your sub ohm tank, the bigger and bulkier your vape mod kit becomes, increasing the weight and making the shape more awkward. This could spell disaster if you dropped your vape mod - broken vape tanks means spilling the e-liquid out, leading to wasted e-liquid and a need to spend some time giving the rest of your vape mod a clean.
Dropping your box mod may not be the end of the world, especially if it has a shock resistant housing - tanks can be replaced, and most mods use replaceable batteries, so these can be changed too. If your box mod takes a hit, then make sure to practice good battery safety: if the vape mod has removable batteries, open up that battery cover and inspect them. A damaged or warped battery can lead to thermal runaway, which means the battery dies a potentially explosive death. We do not want this to happen at all, let alone with your vape mod in your pocket!
Some of the best vape mods
There are a huge number of box mod kits to choose from on the vape market, but these are our top picks of the best devices.
JAC Vapour S22 - This is on the smaller end of the box mods available, and is suitable for new vapers due to its ease of use. It has an internal battery, good build quality, and uses mesh coils to deliver a rich flavour while boasting a battery life that will keep you vaping all day. If you want to start vaping on a box mod, this is our choice for the best beginner vape mod!
Geek Aegis Legend 2 - This new mod is an updated version of its predecessor: the Geek Aegis Legend. This box mod has a great build quality; the housing is water, dust and shock resistant and has a leakproof top airflow system. It boasts a screen and variable wattage control. Just remember that the vape tanks and coils are sold separately! Batteries are not included in the device either, so make sure to pick up some spare batteries when you are buying for this device to prevent the battery life becoming an issue.
Vaporesso Luxe X/Luxe XR - Top of the pod devices, this pod mod kit is a futuristic looking bit of gear and features a smart power control function which means no settings to mess around with. The Luxe XR uses replaceable coils where the Luxe X features a fixed coil - this means buying new pod vape tanks for the Luxe X when the coil is on it's way out. If battery life is a priority for you, the Luxe X and XR indicate up to 24 hours of battery life, so should keep you vaping throughout the day.
Rockvape Mods Swordfish - Using 21700 batteries, the Swordfish is one of the more sleek-looking mechanical mods. No temperature control, no smart mode, no multiple modes, will handle most tanks (with a 28mm connector available for purchase and a 25mm connection on the housing) but is sure to deliver enough power for the experienced vaper. NOT for new vapers.
Modifiable E-Cigarettes Conclusion
So there you have it: box mod kits explained, and a few of the best box mods on the market recommended! A final consideration - modern mods utilise newer technology which is often safer, more efficient and therefore more cost effective - so avoid buying second hand.
You can save yourself a lot of pain by choosing one with a shock resistant housing, too - if your device finally arrived and you managed to break it the first time you drop it, on top of a nicotine craving, you're going to have a bad time!
For those who prefer not messing around with e-liquids, normal or mesh coils, and worrying if yours is an external or internal battery, then check out the SMOKO E-Cigarette range for a simple, easy to use device that is small and discreet, inhale activated, and uses UK-made e-liquids that you can trust. Start vaping with SMOKO today!