WWV Part V (page 4)
DaBoomVape’s Buyers Guide to…
7. The Mods
If you would like to puff for a long time between battery charges and/or want maximum vapor and throat hit…
…(and don’t care if it doesn’t look anything like a cigarette…
Clockwise from upper left: Copper, AdapteveR, Bulli, Zimoshi (not to scale)
…and are willing and able to invest more money upfront), then one of the Mods is for you. [I don’t recommend them as a first e-cig, however. They can be wonderful to evolve to, perhaps even quickly. I got my first mod after one month of vaping.]
These all have a manual switch. Mods can cost 2-6 times as much as a standard e-cig, but (the battery housing) can last for years, rather than weeks or months.
[NOTE: The term, ‘mod’, is also used to describe modifications to other parts of personal vaporizers (e.g., carts, attys, mouthpieces, and cosmetic) and to hobbyist creations. Those are covered in Part VI. Here we are concerned with electronic cigarette battery mods available for purchase (e.g., for lazy and/or thumb-fingered vapers like me 😉 ).]
As we have previously mentioned, these electronic cigarette battery mods are housings for generic batteries … and some batteries are safer to use than others. It is strongly recommended that you use only “protected” batteries in your mod. Such protection can be in the form of a PCB (printed circuit board) built into the battery and/or the battery’s chemistry (e.g., LiFePO4 or LiMN is safer than Li-Ion).
Also ensure that safety features such as venting are built into the mod itself … especially if you will be stacking batteries (which increases risk). Some manufacturers/suppliers (e.g., AltSmoke) explicitly warn customers against stacking batteries in their mods. Unfortunately, many vapers ignore this warning and/or use unprotected batteries. Fortunately, most have not had problems, but accidents do happen and there have been a couple serious ones.
Unlike the electronic cigarette models in the preceding categories, most commercial battery mods are not mass produced, but are handmade in the modder’s workshop (e.g., kitchen table or basement) or manufactured in small production runs. So not nearly as many units of any one model, but in the intervening year since I wrote version one of this guide – and more than any other category – there has been an explosion in the number of models to choose from. There are now over a hundred … many with capabilities only dreamed of a year ago.
Fortunately, I don’t have to enumerate all of them here (although I did wind up covering most). ViZi has already done that in his incomparable illustrated database of mods: Ecigarette-Mods.com. His database is to electronic cigarette mods (including fat batts) what I hope my own guide is to the world of vaping. [Also explore youtubecommercial’s A Side-By-Side Comparison of e-cigs and Mods (and her updated post) on ECF for photos and descriptions (with links) of her vast collection of PVs.]
What I will do here (on this and the next two pages) – in narrative form – is offer seven parameters to use when selecting among electronic cigarette mods and provide examples (including up-to-date prices and links to relevant suppliers) with, of course, lots of photos.
Mods can be categorized by:
6. Switch (position and feel)
Also on that last page of this Mods section is a Mods Wrap-up – providing suggestions for putting this all together when making a purchasing decision.
There are three basic shapes: tube, box, and…weird. I’ve provided links to the relevant section of ViZi’s guide for the first two. [ViZi’s third grouping, “Custom,” is what I have called “Fat Batts,” covered on the previous page.]
- Two of the classic tubular mods are Trog’s Screwdriver (still sold: MKI full kit for $80, MKII for $50) and Puresmoker‘s Prodigy V1.
- Virtually all box mods (hobbyist or commercial) are variations on / enhancements of nicowolf’s NicoStick, a hobbyist mod made out of parts from Radio Shack. Shown below are exterior and interior views.
The first commercial example of an electronic cigarette box mod was the Janty Stick (aka Joye Stick) V1, now in its third iteration for $50+. Another popular box mod that has been around for awhile is the $50 Bartleby … and see the models on the right hand side of the Size parameter photos.
- The $55 Vapezilla is probably the leading example of weird shape. 😉 [ViZi, who is kinder than I, includes it in the box mods.]
Whatever the shape, mods range in size from the tiny $50 VP-1 and Bic lighter-sized $65 Little Sister … through mid-sized like the $82 ICON and $50 WetBox … to large like the Chuck and Ali’i . [Photos are approximately to scale.]
…and even to giants like the GG Telescopic Storm with AFS and the Carlos JuiceBox (not to mention the Vapezilla shown further above).
The size of an electronic cigarette mod is due primarily to the size of the battery(s)…
[Remember that the first two digits of battery nomenclature represent the diameter in millimeters, the next two the length, and that the last zero indicates that it is round.]
…and to any additional features (e.g., juice feeder) it contains, as well as to the effectiveness of its design and aesthetic considerations. So the 14500-based Precious-M is, of course, smaller than the 18650-based Precious-L.
…but the aforementioned Ali’i and Precious-L are smaller than they … and the Precise 18650 shown below is the most slender.