Beginner Vaping FAQ: What Are Vape Mods?

Beginner Vaping FAQ: What Are Vape Mods?

Maybe you're new to vaping and trying to get off cigarettes. Maybe you're just curious about what it is. Either way, vaping can be a complicated and sometimes confusing topic.

Vape mods are at the heart of a lot of discussions when new vapers are looking to get started.

What is a vape mod? Why do you need one? Which one should you get?

Today, we're going to take a look at these questions and answer them for you, so you know exactly where to go next.

Vape Mods: Not a Cigalike

So-called cigalikes have been the "face" of vaping for many years now.

A Chinese pharmacist invented the electronic cigarette in 2003, so it's been around the block. But in the 15 years and change that electronic cigarettes have been on the market, it has grown and evolved.

When you're browsing your local gas station you'll probably see plenty of cigarette-looking devices. They're small, thin tubes meant to copy the look of an actual cigarette. Some people like these, because they still desire the form factor and feel of a cigarette.

Even the popular Juul, while technically a "pod system," is sort of cigarette-like in a way. They're slim and look like a stick of a gum.

A vape mod usually looks a lot different, though. They come in many different shapes and sizes, but they tend to be boxy.

In fact, some people call them "box mods" for that very reason.

While they are functionally similar (if not exactly the same) as other cigalikes and pod systems, they're still technically quite different.

We'll go over that now in more detail.

Vape Mods Aren't Always Complete Setups

Unlike typical electronic cigarettes, vape mods aren't always fully complete setups out of the box.

Two key aspects missing with mods are batteries and atomizers.

This isn't always true, though. Sometimes, vape mods come with internal batteries pre-installed and some so-called kits, such as the SMOK Stick V8 Baby Kit, come with atomizers included.

These are necessary ingredients, and if you're wondering what is vaping, then you should know vape mods aren't the only thing you need.

Batteries: Get Powered Up

A lot of vape mods don't have batteries included.

The number of batteries needed for a mod can range:

  • Single battery vape mods
  • Dual battery vape mods
  • Triple battery vape mods
  • Quadruple battery vape mods

They usually don't go above four batteries, and even that is pretty rare.

The kind of batteries you need can range, too:

  • 18650 batteries
  • 26650 batteries
  • 20700 batteries
  • 21700 batteries

The numbers in the names correlate to the size and measurements of the batteries.

The first two numbers equal the diameter of the battery while the next two numbers equal the length. The last number is often a zero and it's usually a placeholder for decimal points.

For example, an 18650 battery is 18 millimeters in diameter and 65 millimeters in length.

These types of batteries are lithium batteries and are rechargeable. They come with a variety of specs, too, including a max continuous discharge current and a max capacity.

The current is measured in amps and indicates how fast and strong a battery can discharge power. The capacity is measured in milliamp hours and indicates how long a battery can last before it needs to be recharged.

There is a lot more to batteries, but we'll leave that for another day. Check out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's page on battery safety.

Atomizers: Let's Get Vaping

If you've been asking yourself, "What is vape?" then you're probably wondering what atomizers are, not just vape mods.

Atomizers are actually where the magic happens.

When someone is vaping and they inhale and exhale that cloudy, delicious-smelling vapor, it comes from an atomizer.

An atomizer can take many forms:

  • Pre-built tanks
  • Rebuildable tank atomizers (RTA)
  • Rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDA)
  • Rebuildable squonking atomizers (RSA)

Today, we're going to focus more on pre-built tanks. We can dive into rebuildable tanks later, but for now, we're going to assume that you're still new to vaping.

Pre-built tanks are the easiest for beginners. They come with everything you need and the only thing you ever need to worry about replacing are the coil heads.

They come with a tank section, which is where you pour your e-juice, a base (or deck) which is where a coil head is inserted), and a top cap and drip tip which is where your mouth goes.

The SMOK V8 Baby, which we mentioned earlier is an example of a tank and these coil heads are what you need to occasionally replace. The coil heads have metal wire and cotton prebuilt into them, which is what absorbs your e-juice and then heats it up and vaporizers it when you fire your vape mod.

Mods: Circling Back

Like we said, you still need batteries and an atomizer when you buy a vape mod (unless the mod comes with either).

But if you're still asking, "What is a mod?" then we'll get down to the basics.

With lithium batteries installed inside and a vaping atomizer connected and sitting on top, vape mods are what allow you to control your vape.

They can range in shape, size, and functionality, but the basic idea is that you use a vape mod to control the power or temperature.

You can usually use up and down buttons to change either the wattage, voltage, or temperature (in Fahrenheit or Celsius). This determines how hot, cool, hard, or soft your e-juice is vaporized.

So, while a box mod doesn't give you the vapor, it's what helps you control and regulate it.

Understanding Vaping and Vape Mods

We know there's a lot to remember.

There are easy options out there, such as pod systems like the Juul, but if you're interested in the power of vape mods, hopefully, you learned something today.

The big takeaways are that you (usually) still need to buy batteries and/or atomizers when you buy a vape mod. If they don't come in a kit, then you'll need to factor those costs into your budget.

Once you have everything you need, though, a vape mod can really change the way you look at vaping because of the control and power it gives you.

If you're still new to the vaping world and have more questions on your mind, check out some of the common vaping questions we went over before!

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