The Benefits and Drawbacks of Mechanical Mods
A mechanical mod is an e-cigarette with no internal electronics. While most modern vaping devices include things such as integrated circuits, OLED displays and wattage controls, a mechanical mod is nothing but a battery compartment, atomizer threading and a switch. Why, you might ask, would you want to buy an e-cigarette that’s just a battery tube and a button? As it turns out, mechanical mods have plenty of features that make them worth buying – but they aren’t for everyone. This list of the pros and cons of mechanical mods will help you decide whether a mech mod is the right vaping device for you.
The Benefits of Mechanical Mods
You can find boutique mechanical mods out there. They look and feel like luxury devices, they’re machined in small batches and they cost a bundle. Most mechanical mods, however, are very inexpensive to buy. When you buy a mechanical mod, after all, you’re not buying a color display, a circuit board or a microprocessor. A mechanical mod gives you a lot of power at a very low price.
If you use a regulated mod with electronic components, there isn’t much that you can do if the mod stops working. You can’t just buy a new display or circuit board from your local vape shop and screw it in. If the mod isn’t under warranty, all that you can really do is dispose of it. A mechanical mod, on the other hand, is an extremely durable device. The simplest mechanical mod design has just three parts: a tube, a top cap and a bottom cap. The only moving part is the button. Since there are no electronic components, there are no delicate parts that can fail. If the button happens to lose its springiness – or you accidentally cross-thread one of the caps – replacing that component is easy because every part screws on and off. Cared for properly, a good mechanical mod should outlive you. You can’t say that about any vaping device with electronic components.
When you read about mechanical mods online, you’ll probably see the claim that they “hit harder” than other e-cigarettes. That statement refers to the fact that the path from the battery to the atomizer coil is extremely short in a mechanical mod. When you press the button on a mech mod, there’s no delay before the coil fires – and the coil instantly receives the battery’s full power. With a regulated mod, the distance between the battery and the coil is much longer because the battery also powers the mod’s display, integrated circuit, safety circuits and other features. You will notice a split-second delay when you press the fire button on a regulated mod. Since a mechanical mod has no delay, you may feel as though it has superior vapor production.
The Drawbacks of Mechanical Mods
Lack of Features
Since a mechanical mod has no internal electronics, it has no features apart from the basic ability to vape. A regulated mod, on the other hand, can give you a huge variety of different features. Regulated mods can give you custom temperature settings and wattage curves, real-time clocks, puff counters, upgradeable firmware, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic atomizer recognition and much more. Using a mechanical mod means that you don’t get to play with the latest features available in modern vaping devices.
Although a mechanical mod fires instantly when you press the button, it has a drawback in that it can’t safely reach the maximum power levels that a modern regulated mod can reach. It’s common to find single-battery regulated mods that can operate at up to 80 watts. A regulated mod also includes a boost circuit that allows it to operate at higher than 4.2 volts. A single-battery mechanical mod, on the other hand, operates at no more than 4.2 volts. That’s the voltage of a fully charged battery – and the voltage drops rapidly as you use the mod. Dual-battery mechanical mods also pale in comparison to dual-battery regulated mods – which can reach power levels of 225 watts and higher. Today, it’s common to find sub-ohm tanks designed to operate at above 100 watts. Few mechanical mods can handle that load safely.
Lack of Safety
Lack of safety is the biggest drawback of mechanical mods. The features of a regulated mod don’t just exist for your convenience and enjoyment; those features also exist to keep you safe. A regulated mod can detect a condition – such as a short circuit – that would make vaping unsafe. If you’re using a regulated mod – and your atomizer coil has a short circuit – the mod will display a message such as “check atomizer” and refuse to fire. A mechanical mod, on the other hand, can’t detect any problems. If you press the button, you’ll complete a circuit. If your atomizer coil has a short, extreme battery stress will result. In the event of a short circuit, a lithium-ion battery can overheat, vent hot gases and even potentially catch fire. You should not use a mechanical mod unless you’re prepared to accept that risk and take responsibility for your own safety.
Mechanical mods are some of the most interesting vaping devices that exist. Since a mechanical mod should give you trouble-free operation for years, it’s a great device to have around in case your primary vaping device fails. If FDA regulations ever make high-end vaping devices difficult to acquire, you might be very glad if you have a mechanical mod available to use. On the other hand, mechanical mods have become somewhat dangerous in today’s cloud chasing climate. High-mass, low-resistance coils have become the norm in both rebuildable atomizers and sub-ohm tanks. In the past, mechanical mods made a lot of sense because vapers didn’t ask for much from their batteries. Today, though, it’s not uncommon to see people vaping at well above 100 watts. If you’re going to demand that much from your batteries, it’s probably wise to own a vaping device with protection circuits that help to keep you safe.
- Blazed Vapes Staff