What Vape Mod Is Right for You?
When picking the best vape mod, it all boils down to three categories: Experience, Budget, and Goals.
Most vape mods on this page are well-suited for vapers at any level of experience. Some of the best vape mods have very advanced features, are very powerful, and are best suited to experienced vapers. If you are a complete beginner, we recommend something with as fewer settings as possible, like, for example, Mig Vapor Neo.
The price of owning a vape mod is not only how much you pay for it, but also for how long it will last. You also have to consider the extra expense of batteries and a charger.
Are you looking for customizability and performance? Consider thinking twice what you will be using your mod for. Most people enjoy sub ohm vaping in the 50 to 100 watt range. A single 18650 might be enough. Or, you might want a dual 18650 box mod to take advantage of the extra battery capacity. If you are a cloud chaser looking for power, you will probably be interested in a triple 18650 box mod or even a quad mod.
Old school regulated box mods came in two forms: variable voltage and variable wattage. Both types are usually confused as the same, but there are differences. Before explaining the differences between the two, it’s important to understand how watts (or power), volts, current (or amps), and resistances (or ohms) interact.
There are formulas to determine each variable – known as Ohm’s Law – and they are:
Voltage (V) = Current (I) x Resistance (R)
Power (P) = Voltage (V) x Current (I)
While you can calculate manually for each, there are Ohm’s law calculators you can use online to make things easier for you. That being said, determining your sweet spot means knowing how many watts your preferred vape is. If your perfect vape is achieved by using a 2.2-ohm atomizer at 4.2 volts, the power you’re getting is equal to 8 watts.
When using a variable voltage device with a 2.2-ohm atomizer, simply adjust the voltage to 4.2 volts to achieve your sweet spot. To achieve the same 8 watts with a 1.4-ohm atomizer, the voltage needs to be adjusted down to 3.3 volts.
Things are simpler for variable wattage. Using the above example, if your sweet spot is at 8 watts, you simply adjust the wattage of the device to 8 watts and the mod will adjust voltage accordingly. It doesn’t matter if you use a 2.5 ohm or a 0.5-ohm atomizer. Once wattage has been set, you’ll get your perfect vape every time. Based on these facts, variable wattage devices are true “set it and forget it” vapes.
Regulated Box Mods Vs. Mech Mods
Box vape mods are now more often preferred over mechanical mods. Many variable wattage mods can match the power outputs of other, more capable, mechanical mods that are on the market today. This preference over mechanical mods is because box mods are easier to use and maintain and are built with various safety features, such as short circuit protection, reverse battery protection, thermal protection, and automatic cutoffs, which prevent accidental fires inside the pocket or purse.
Even though box mods are safer than mechanical mods, they still need to be handled with care. All the reports of exploding mods are either because they were mechanical mods with no circuitry or there was damage to the cell due to mishandling.
Now, if you looked at our vape mod reviews above, you may have noticed that we mentioned several of them offer a “bypass” mode. Bypass mode will make a box mod work like a mech mod. Drippers will have an option to use the best box mods as a mech if they so wish. For most vapers, we recommend taking advantage of the precision control of today’s top-rated vape mods.
Box Mod Batteries
There are several types of batteries used in box mods. The various sizes are 18650, the most common by far, 20600, 20700, or 21700. The most common vape batteries you will see sold in stores are:
Lithium IMR or Li-Mn
Protected ICR Li-Ion
There is also another – LiPo batteries – but these are used as internal batteries. These are not safe chemistry, and protection depends on the circuitry of the mod. One might hear this name thrown about in vaping circles, but since these are not used as removable batteries, this type will not be discussed in-depth.
Lithium IMR and IMR/Hybrid batteries are safe chemistry, and these are recommended for use with mods. While Protected ICR Li-Ion batteries can still be found, these are not recommended and are considered obsolete.
Both types of IMR batteries are “high drain”, and while also called “unprotected,” they are also “safe chemistry” meaning they will not explode or light up under stress. Instead, they vent gas. These make them the most popular types of batteries vapers use for their mods. However, Lithium IMR types have a lesser capacity compared to ICR batteries. However, IMRs work best when the maximum load current is required.
For the curious, a short article on how lithium-ion batteries work can be read here.
The IMR/Hybrid batteries, on the other hand, have the same safe chemistry make up as Lithium IMRs but with more capacity. It is the newest type and the one most recommended by users. It renders obsolete both the ICR Protected and Lithium IMR batteries in one fell swoop. Some e-cig manufacturers sell special e-cig batteries that are ready to be connected to the vape tank of your choice.
Box Mod Vape Advantages
What are the advantages of a box mod vape? The simple answer is power and control. The best box mods and vape mods are designed to put power and control in your hands so you can dial in your ideal vaping experience. Of course, mods are larger than typical e-cigarettes and can be more complex to use, but you are trading up for performance. The vaping satisfaction and vapor production are the end goal.
Customize your personal vaping experience
Another box mod vape advantage is the enormous range of choices available to you. The competition for the best box mod is intense. You know who wins that competition? You and me, that’s who. We do. The consumers. The vaping industry is a place where the free markets work because no one has a monopoly.
Mods With Built-In Battery Vs. Separate Battery
Box mods can come with either a built-in battery or operate using separate batteries.
Built-In Battery Pros and Cons:
No need to buy separate battery or charger
Solid construction, no removable battery door
Device is lost when battery wears out (1 yr average)
When battery dies, you have to stop vaping and recharged
Separate Vape Batteries
Extend life of device
Can swap batteries when low
Large choice of batteries
Requires purchase of separate battery charger
Charging Vape Mod Batteries
To charge a built-in, internal box mod cell, simply connect the mod to a USB port. Depending on the battery capacity, it will take two to three hours to charge fully. Charging your separate 18650 vape batteries is a different matter. The vast majority of the best box mods all have a port that you can connect the device to a USB for charging. We do not recommend charging your vape batteries inside your mod. It is better to use an external battery charger.
A separate vape battery charger will charge your batteries faster, balanced, and more efficiently.
Vape Mods With Firmware Upgrades
We consider vape mods with firmware upgrades a pro. A firmware upgrade is when you connect to the manufacturer’s website, connect your mod to your computer via the USB port, and download the latest operating software into your vapor mod device. Two examples of a firmware upgrade may be expanding the power output of a device or adding another function such as TCR temperature control.
Firmware upgrades allow you to implement the latest vaping technology into your existing box mod. That way you get the new technology but do not have to buy a whole new device.
While mods with upgradeable firmware are a nice bonus, it is not necessarily a reason to buy. Look at it as a plus. If you are someone who likes to experiment with different styles of vaping and love the gadgetry of vape mods, then this would probably be a bigger deal to you. At the end of the day, upgradeable firmware is an example of another technology available to you as a vaper.
Mods With Custom Firing Profile (Power Curve)
Some of the best box mods will offer a custom firing profile. In some mods, this feature is also called a power curve. This means that you will have the ability to program up to ten seconds of atomizer firing. Here’s how that works and why you might like it.
There are usually two different ways to create a custom firing profile. One way is to connect your mod to a computer or your cell phone, sometimes by wi-fi. The other way is to program the profile on the device itself. Both methods work.
A custom fire profile allows you to program the wattage output for each second that you are pressing the fire button. As an example, you might program the first second to fire at 85 watts, the second to fire at 60 watts, the third second to fire at 50 watts, and then 40 watts for the remaining six seconds. That way you get an initial hard hit that mellows after the first couple of seconds.
Conversely, you can program a custom fire profile with a very mellow initial hit and gradually ratchet up the vapor intensity. If you like a consistent power output with no variation, then you probably would not have much use for the custom fire profile and would be better suited to normal variable wattage mode.
Most vapers fire the atomizer for about four seconds when vaping. You might not actually use all of the ten seconds of a custom atomizer fire but the option is there.