So you’ve had your fun with a starter kit and now you want more! Well there are tons of options, mech mods, variable voltage/wattage (vv/vw) devices, box mods, more powerful ego battery style, the list goes on and what the hell should you get first. The options can be overwhelming and part of this leap will be in most cases also a foray into more powerful batteries too. Some vv/vw devices have internal batteries and ego battery devices do too, but for the rest, welcome to the world of 18350s and 18650s batteries. Make sure to buy the best batteries you can and a good charger that is as safe as possible. Don’t get scared about batteries, just respect them and maintain them right and you will be fine.
The main difference between devices is whether they’re regulated or not. Regulated devices are much safer and will have longer battery life and consistent power over a non regulated device. Non-regulated devices will need more knowledge of Ohm’s law, this is the math around the resistance of your coil to the voltage and power of the battery and what wattage it will yield. This is where things get more complicated and less safe. So of course our reco is to go with regulated devices for its ease of use, longer and more consistent vaping time, and all the safety features you will get from the circuitry you will have on board.
Let’s dive in and look at the top level definitions of the different types of devices.
Mech Mods are basically a direct connection to a battery with no circuitry in between your atomizer and the device. Many take the form of a tube not much bigger than the battery itself. The only real benefit of these that good ones have very little voltage drop (the power from your battery to the atomizer) and will hit your atomizer hard for better results. There are a lot of negatives. They are only good for the first 25% of the battery charge or so, after that the power starts to fade and so will your vapor. There no safety features and can short if not properly used which will lead to battery venting (most cases they have holes designed to take the heat and gas that the battery will release, batteries can explode but the chance of you holding it that long are really low as the heat will become unbearable very quickly), and let’s face it, why risk a battery meltdown and your safety! And finally you will need to carry around a lot of batteries cause you will be going through them pretty quickly.
Variable Voltage/Wattage Devices
This is where it’s at, get power, safety, battery life and all kinds of form factors. The big difference here is circuitry, these have motherboards that control everything. What this allows is a less complicated more enjoyable vaping experience. They can have safety features like, overheating, short circuiting, reverse battery polarity (putting the battery in backwards), ohm’s law rules (won’t allow you to put too much power to your coil), temperature protection (some when using nickel coils will stop the cotton from burning, stopping dry hits), and low battery protection(this is important for prolonging your battery life). They come in a wide variety of sizes and power capabilities. Because they regulate the power you will have consistent voltage much longer than a mech mod and they can also well exceed the voltage too. A lot have screens and user controls to allow you to alter the settings of the power that hits your coil which is a major benefit. There really aren’t any negatives, its more some vv/vw devices are better than others (smaller, more powerful, hard hitting, better build quality, more features, better design, more reliable, etc…). Don’t spend a ton, as these device are improving everyday, you are going to want another one before you know it.
These are what they sound like, they take the form of a box (they come in lots of shapes and sizes) that can either be mechanical or regulated, take one or two batteries, be made of many different materials, and usually offer lots of power. There are large companies and much smaller ones producing them, these are the type of devices that are much more custom and more tailored to different styles and needs. These can get expensive! This is the high end of vaping device culture. Again stay away from the mechanicals (if you do, make sure it has some form of protection on the switch at the very least).
Ego Battery Mods
These are really the granddaddies of vaping, they are out of date. The only reason to upgrade from your starter kit to one of these is, you got it free, or you’re cheap, or broke. They can offer more battery life, the ability to sub-ohm, variable voltage, and a small form factor, but really there is so much better out there with more features and more power (not to say its all about power, but its nice to have the option for more when and if you grow into it).