Do Vapers Still Buy Mechanical Mods in 2020?

By  //  May 24, 2020

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To say that the vaping industry has changed a great deal over the past several years would be a gross understatement. Although the changes of the past half-decade or so have happened gradually, it’s safe to say that if you showed one of today’s vapers a vaping device and bottle of e-liquid from 2013, that person would hardly know what to do with them unless he or she actually vaped in those days.

To say that the vaping industry has changed a great deal over the past several years would be a gross understatement. Although the changes of the past half-decade or so have happened gradually, it’s safe to say that if you showed one of today’s vapers a vaping device and bottle of e-liquid from 2013, that person would hardly know what to do with them unless he or she actually vaped in those days.

One of the types of vaping devices from the early years that is far less common today than it once was is the mechanical mod. When mechanical mods first appeared, they provided the solution to the many problems of the vaping devices available at that time – but today, many of the major vape shops like V2 Cigs UK don’t carry them at all. 

So, is there still a reason to buy mechanical mods in 2020? For most vapers, the short answer is “probably not” – and this article will explain why. First, though, let’s learn more about what mechanical mods are and find out why they were once so popular.

What Are Mechanical Mods?

A mechanical mod is a vaping device in which the battery provides direct power to the atomizer coil that vaporizes the e-liquid. 

The operation of a typical modern vaping device is controlled by a microprocessor and firmware. The device’s electronic components allow you to customize your settings by doing things like changing the operational wattage or switching to a different vaping mode. A vaping device with electronic components is a regulated mod. 

A mechanical mod, in contrast, has no electronic components. The device’s tank or atomizer touches the battery’s positive terminal via a pin in the center of the device’s top threading.

When you push the button on the bottom of the device, the button touches the battery’s negative terminal. That completes the circuit, causing the device to produce vapor.

What Are the Benefits of Mechanical Mods?

Greater Vapor Production Than First-Generation E-Cigarettes

To fully understand why mechanical mods exist and what their benefits are, it’s vital to understand the shortcomings of the vaping products that were available a decade ago.

All of the e-cigarettes on the market were small cigarette-shaped devices and vape pens with very little power. Most of those devices were regulated to operate at 3.7 volts at the most, and they produced very little vapor.

Using one of those devices to switch from smoking to vaping would mean having to adjust to significantly lower blood-nicotine levels.

Since vaping product manufacturers were slow to address their products’ shortcomings, hobbyist vapers with the appropriate know-how decided to build their own devices.

Outfitting those devices with more powerful lithium-ion cells – most commonly the 18650 cell – allowed for smoother and more reliable power delivery. In addition, since mechanical mods operated at 4.2 volts when their batteries were fully charged, they produced significantly more vapor than the vaping devices that were commercially available at the time.

Instant Activation With No Waiting

Eventually, the vaping product manufacturers in China began to release variable-power devices that were capable of generating as much vapor as mechanical mods.

However, mechanical mods didn’t fall out of favor with the vaping community right away. People continued to buy them, and it was a while before mechanical mods began to drop in popularity.

One reason why mechanical mods remained popular for as long as they did was because many people liked the fact that the devices lacked electronic components. When you press the fire button to activate a regulated mod, there’s always a slight delay before the device begins producing vapor.

That’s partially because the battery doesn’t just power the atomizer coil; it also powers the electronics inside the device. It’s also because a regulated mod needs to run through certain safety checks before it activates the atomizer. With a mechanical mod, there’s no wait. When you press the button, the atomizer coil activates instantly.

Durability and Low Cost

The final benefit of mechanical mods is that, due to the simplicity of their design, they are durable and very affordable. When a vaping device has no electronic components, there’s almost nothing that can fail. A typical mechanical mod is nothing but a metal tube with threading at the top and a button at the bottom.

If something happens to the device – if the threading breaks or the button’s magnet cracks, for instance – you can replace that component yourself without buying an entirely new mod. There is no reason why a mechanical mod can’t last forever if you take care of it. With a regulated mod, on the other hand, you can bet that an electronic component will fail within a year or two.

Why Are Mechanical Mods Unpopular in 2020?

Lack of Safety

The biggest reason why few people buy mechanical mods in 2020 is because they simply don’t meet today’s requirements for safety. When people first began using mechanical mods, they typically ran their devices at a bit under 12 watts, drawing around 2.8 amps from their batteries. Mechanical mods worked fine for low-wattage vaping, and reports of batteries overheating during operation were extremely rare.

These days, though, people aren’t using their vaping devices with 1.5-ohm coils. The typical resistance of an atomizer coil today is more like 0.15 ohm.

With a 4.2-volt battery, a 0.15-ohm coil will draw a current of 28 amps – and some batteries simply can’t handle that load. Most vapers who use high-end tanks these days would rather use devices that track battery performance and monitor safety parameters automatically.

Insufficient Performance for Modern Vape Tanks

The final problem with mechanical mods for today’s vapers is that they simply don’t offer the level of performance necessary to drive modern vape tanks.

A high-end tank typically requires a device that can operate at around 80-100 watts, and a single-battery mechanical mod usually can’t deliver that kind of power. A dual-battery mechanical mod can, but using a dual-battery device with no built-in safety features is a line that many vapers aren’t willing to cross.

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