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Beginner's Guide to Mechanical Mods

Banner showing two types of mechanical mod devices

What are mechanical mods?

Mechanical mods, otherwise known as mech mods, are one of the oldest yet most popular ways to vape among proficient users. There's good reason as to why these sophisticated devices have stayed in style for so long: mechanical mods supply raw battery power to a rebuildable atomiser, enabling users to enjoy an enhanced vaping experience with impressive, unrestricted power output. 

Anatomy of a mechanical mod 

Diagram showing the anatomy of a mechanical mod

Mechanical mods consist of a housing unit, rebuildable atomizer, and a battery. They are operated with the push of a single fire button, which is commonly located on the side or at the bottom of the mechanical device. 

Housing Unit

There are many different varieties of housing available for mech mods, both in tube and box form (more on that later!). The most common materials include brass, copper, stainless steel, aluminium, as well as wood, however some vapers will use custom builds to fit their needs and design aesthetics. 

Battery

Mech mods can consist of one or several batteries, with the most popular being ICR (LiCo02) or IMR(LiMn). The quantity and type of batteries you use is largely dependent on your own individual requirements and/or preferences. 

Atomiser 

Mechanical mods are considered to be simplistic and versatile devices in that they are able to power any coil built to the user’s preferences, including lower resistance. However, this is dependent on the batteries which are being used. RDAs (rebuildable dripping atomizers), RTAs (rebuildable tank atomizers) and RDTAs (rebuildable dripping tank atomizers) can all be a great choice for mech mod hobbyists due to their customizability. 

Who are mechanical mods for?

It’s important to be aware that mech mods are powered by a battery but they do not have a circuit board or chipset as a safety feature. If you’re an experienced vaper with a sound knowledge of vaping safety who loves trying out new cloud chasing tricks, a mechanical mod could be the ideal choice for you. Beginner vapers or those who aren’t familiar with the mechanics of vaping, such as Ohm’s law and battery safety, should stay with regulated devices such as box mods, pod systems, and pen style devices until they are confident and skilled enough to try a mechanical mod.

What is Ohm’s Law?

Diagram explaining Ohm's law

In simple terms, Ohm’s Law is the relationship between voltage, current and resistance. People who vape with mechanical mods will use this formula to understand the level of current they are drawing from their battery, and if it is safe or not.


What are the different types of mechanical mods?

Diagram showing the two main mech mod types

Mech mods come in various shapes and sizes, but they are mostly recognised as tube mods or box mods. So, how do tube mechanical mods and box mechanical mods differ from one another?


Box Mods 

Box mods often contain dual batteries which can double your power output. Depending on how their batteries are placed, Box Mods can be categorised into two different forms known as series or parallel. Series box mods will double your voltage whilst maintaining your battery life of a single cell, while parallel box mods can double your battery life and your amperage due to their ability to split the resistance across both batteries.

Tube Mods

Tube mods were the first ever mech mods to enter the vaping industry. They are simplistic in design, and can hold one or several batteries usually of the 18650s variety. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of vaping with a mechanical mod?

Mech mods have their clear benefits, but there are also disadvantages that should be taken into consideration. Remember, your experience with a mechanical mod will be conditional on your own personal skill level, knowledge, and confidence.

Advantages

  • Operating a mechanical mod simply requires the push of a firing button, however these devices are still recommended for advanced vapers who understand the complex mechanics behind how they function.
  • Mech mods are also very easy to maintain. You won’t have to change the wattage or any other settings you’d usually find in other devices. However, general cleaning of the more porous metals, including the switches, is encouraged to increase conductivity and ramp up time.
  • Mechanical mods are able to keep firing despite the resistance of the coil that is being used, meaning users can also try low sub-ohm vaping with this device. It’s important to remember that the lower the batteries’ overall life, the lower the voltage will be. Vapers should keep an eye on battery power so it does not drop below the safe amount of amperage for the coil build that is being used. If you need help with this, use our simple output table below:

Disadvantages

  • Mechanical mods do not have a built-in circuit board, so they are not beginner-friendly.
  • As you are not able to control wattage settings or see the resistance of your coils, mech mods may be more prone to burning coils.
  • The atomizer in your device may draw hazardous currents from the battery, which could potentially vaporise the metal in the coil.
  • Mechanical mods do not have a 10 second cut-off, which can pose the risk of thermal runaway. However, some mech mods do include lockable firing mechanisms which can prevent accidental misfires.

You should always keep an eye on battery power so it does not drop below the safe amount of amperage for the coil build that is being used. If you need help with this, use our simple output table below: 

Voltage chart for different resistances

Are mechanical mods safe to use?

The key distinction between mechanical mod and regulated mods is that they mech mods are deemed as unregulated. This means that mech mods cannot detect issues before they happen, nor can they shut down the device to prevent further damage. However, if used correctly with the appropriate vaping knowledge and expertise, mechanical mods are safe to use. If you’re considering vaping with a mech mod, we’ve recommended that you follow these tips to ensure that your device stays safe to use and in good working order:

  • Batteries: Make sure that you fully understand which batteries you need to use before vaping with a mechanical mod. Keep in mind that your batteries will need to be regularly charged, but not overcharged to the point of depletion. You’ll also need to ensure that you’re using an external charger.
  • Circuits: Regularly check your circuits and the resistance of your atomizer to ensure that it is compatible with your device. If you choose to use RDAs, a standard resistance of 2.4-3.0 ohms is recommended to avoid any problems.
  • Preventing Misfires: Always store your mech mod in a safe and reliable place. Misfiring can be potentially dangerous - avoid keeping your device in enclosed spaces such as purses or pockets, or remove the battery and place it in a battery box while not in use.