What is a Vaping Mod? (Part 1 of 2)

Vaping has some of its own special terminology, and it can be a bit confusing at first. This article is the first in a series on these various terms. It focuses on the mod.

  • Mod – the Personal Vaporizer or One of its Pieces
  • Example: Cartomizer as a Mod
  • To Mod or Not to Mod: Mod as a Verb
  • Why do People Mod?
  • Different Kinds of Mods
  • Nuts & Bolts of Mechanical Mods
  • Getting into Modding

Before we begin, note that this terminology is by no means necessary to start vaping. Also, this piece is going to focus on personal vaporizers (PVs) and advanced personal vaporizers (APVs).

Mod – the Personal Vaporizer or One of its Pieces

As you can probably guess, mod is an abbreviation of modification. There are actually various ways in which the term is used, but all of them have something to do with the customization that is possible with open system vaporizers (i.e., ones built for modification). A mod is most commonly naming the whole device – an open system PV, which is a fully customizable electronic cigarette (ecig). Mod “originally referred to modifying a flashlight or a battery to be used in vaping,” explains God of Steam, “but is now commonly used to refer to any vaping device that is not a cigalike.” (A cigalike is a vaporizer that looks like a traditional cigarette and is typically considered the lowest quality in terms of its engineering and ability to produce vapor.) Mod is also used when talking about the component parts of these same devices. For instance, you might use it in this context: cartomizer tank mod.

Example: Cartomizer as a Mod

As an aside, let’s discuss the cartomizer so we don’t get further confused – which is especially important because when we talk mods, we are essentially talking about the component pieces of the vaporizer since modification is all about having control over these various pieces. The ecig is made up of three primary internal pieces: the tank, the battery, and the atomizer. The tank holds the e-liquid. The battery supplies the power. The atomizer is used to vaporize the e-liquid. In some cases you will find an additional piece in between the tank (again, where the liquid is stored as liquid) and the atomizer (where it becomes a vapor) – but that is more of an add-on to an atomizer. “[B]oth clearomizer and cartomizers have an atomizer included in them,” explains Quit Smoking Community. “In fact, every type of e-cigarette setup in existence uses an atomizer.”

To Mod or Not to Mod: Mod as a Verb

Now, as for mod in action. You can mod a vaporizer piece when you adjust it to work with a different PV (stay with me); for instance, you can mod a drip tip to work with another atomizer. Modding has become so popular that atomizers themselves are now often rebuilt; in other words, modification of e-cigarettes often breaks down further than the three basic components of the tank, atomizer, and battery. (Also, if your head is spinning a bit, remember that modding is completely optional and only performed because people want to personalize their vaporizer to better meet their needs.)

Why do People Mod?

People started modding their ecigs – originally independently – because they thought cigalikes (ones that look like traditional cigarettes) didn’t have the performance they wanted. The primary concern initially was replacing the battery, since battery life in cigalikes is typically weak. Batteries used in modding have a range of prices and power capacities (voltage). “The current market has taken off from that point of people making their own e-cigarettes in their garages,” notes Steve K’s Vaping World. “There are now a huge number of companies building and selling APVs and mods.”

Different Kinds of Mods

There are two primary categories of mod: the advanced personal vaporizer and the mechanical mod. The ecigs within each of these categories usually have either a tube or a box style (simply describing their shape).

Nuts & Bolts of Mechanical Mods

You may think that the idea of an ecig being mechanical is a little weird. After all, mechanical essentially means “produced by machines,” and that’s happening anyway – but to use the term mechanical sounds more like switches and gears than electronics. That’s along the right track, actually. What’s special about a mechanical mod is that it does not contain any electronic pieces. Instead, the switches utilize metal contact to allow a circuit and deliver the electricity to the heating coil so that the e-juice can be vaporized. Due to its stripped-down nature, this type of e-cigarette typically lacks lights and voltage regulators. “Voltage output from mechanical mods will be directly related to the actual output of the battery(ies),” notes Steve K’s Vaping World. “This means that there is generally a sloping curve of power output from the mod as the battery drains.” See below for continuation & discussion of APV mods.

Getting into Modding

Are you interested in getting started with modding? At eCIG.com, we can help clear away any confusion: you can call, chat or email us ANYTIME day or night for the best customer service in the industry. Check out our mods and rebuildables.

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