One of the things you will have first noticed after kicking tobacco products to the kerb and purchased your first vape pen, is just how diverse and huge the world of vaping really is. To the uninitiated it can be quite daunting to see just how many products there are on the market and just how seriously some vapers take vaping. To the newbie vaper, it can perhaps all seem a bit over the top.
Of course fast forward a couple of years and it all makes a lot more sense, as you will have undoubtedly modified your vape experience to some degree since first starting out, whether that’s modifying the nicotine or PG/VG ratio of your preferred e-liquid or switching to a more sophisticated vape pen build. For most, modding is simply a natural progression.
In this article we’re going to talk you through the basics of vape mods and customisation, but before we begin, a warning that mechanical vape mods are not for the inexperienced and require a basic knowledge of batteries, wattage and voltage, Ohm’s law and electrical wiring.
What are Vape Mods?
Mods are effectively what allow you to totally customise your vape device, allowing you to attach rebuildable tank atomizers (RTAs) or rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs), multiple size batteries, mod chargers, kanthal wire, silica or cotton wicks. Similarly, enabling you to add functionality through variable voltage or wattage and indulge in sub ohm vaping for a purer stronger vape hit.
Vape mods first came about after dedicated vapers, tired of a lack of battery power and functionality with pre-existing vape pens, began modifying them using everyday household items. These Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APVs), as they became knowns, steadily grew in popularity and it wasn’t long before vape pen manufacturers began producing more professionally designed and constructed Vape Mods, adopting modding into the mainstream culture.
Now, with the huge selection of vape pen mods, batteries, coils and all the other paraphernalia required to customise your vaping experience, modding has become immensely more accessible.
Of course that’s not to say that it’s not kept its ethos of being a DIY hobbyist craze, as many modders still choose to build their own APVs from scratch.
As you’ve undoubtedly seen on the internet, one of the most interesting aspects of APV culture are the objects these DIY’ers used to house the tech. Allow us, as we guide you through the essentials of vape modification, to give you a little inspiration for your own mods.
Although, if you think you can do better, tag us in your photos on facebook.
Regulated vs Mechanical Mods
Regulated mods refer to any battery that has special circuitry built in that prevents the battery from short circuiting. Some regulated batteries have fail safes to stop overcharging, as well as over-current protection in case of a power surge or whilst sub-ohm vaping with low resistance atomisers.
The majority of vaping retailers now carry a range of regulated box mods both in attractive designs, or plain, and as such eminently and easily customisable both in functionality, and design.
If like this vape, straight from the slums of shaolin, you’d like an easy way to state your affiliations, all you need are some stickers and a little colour co-ordination.
One of the most prevalent design trends in vape modification is old school gaming nostalgia. From mini arcade games to converted gaming controllers, the shape of these retro consoles lend themselves easily to simple modding. Proving no matter what your parents said, you’re never too old for video games.
Mechanical mods are unregulated in that there are no safeguards built in because the circuitry is simply a battery connected to a button which, when pressed, delivers unregulated current to an atomiser. Because there is no wiring, soldering or electronics in a mechanical mod. This makes them far more durable than their electronic regulated cousins, which by contrast will fail if a single electronic component fails. However, as mechanical mods contain no fail safes, they are riskier and are therefore only suitable to experienced vapers with an understanding of resistance and voltage.
Because mechanical mods don’t allow for variable wattage or voltage, they are the most common choice for cloud chasers and sub-Ohm vaping, as the atomisers with low resistance coils (under 1 Ohm) allow for a higher power output, leading to bigger clouds and bigger flavour.
In vape modification, no childhood is sacred, as a couple of aspiring DIY vape artists proved with these Pokemon themed mods.
Although a regulated mod, this home built, yet sophisticated pokeball vape is worth sacrificing clouds to vape the very best, like no one ever was.
Variable Voltage vs Variable Wattage
The strength and flavour of your vape corresponds to how hot your coils get; the hotter the vape, the stronger and more flavoursome. A great way to control this is by using a vape with a variable voltage or wattage.
Preferable to a fixed voltage battery in which the voltage and therefore the heat of your coils is set, with VV and VW you can manually adjust the output to give you better control over your vaping experience. Despite achieving the same ends though, there are some important differences to bear in mind when choosing between a VW and VV mod.
Variable voltage mods, like the R2D2 wrapped one below, give you control over current which, dependent on the resistance encountered, gives you a static, final wattage (which in this case we can think of as a measure of coil heat).
Whilst, for the majority of vapers, this is perfectly acceptable, if you’re looking to sub-Ohm vape, you’ll need to be able to alter the coil resistance in order to produce a stronger hit.
A voltage that produces a vapers ideal 10 watt output with a coil resistance of 2.4 Ohm might produce a much higher watt output if you replace this coil for one with a 1.8 Ohm resistance. Suddenly wattage is increased and the voltage must be adjusted to find that perfect coil heat again.
In variable watt mods, the battery adjusts voltage to produce the desired wattage. This effectively means that whatever the coil resistance, the number on the dial will always be a reflection of coil heat and the strength of your vape.
Hopefully our guide has given you an insight into the vast range of custom mods you can buy, or build at home, and with the continual growth of the industry, there really is no limit to how far you can take your vape.