Box mods represent the pinnacle of design among modern vaping devices. If you want a vaping device with all the latest features, you’ll need to buy a box mod. If you want a device with the most power available, you’ll need a box mod. If you want a device with the best battery life – you guessed it – you’ll need a box mod. So called because the typical design resembles that of a small box, the box mod is the most popular vaping device among those who have used e-cigarettes for a while and demand the best from their vaping hardware. Box mods come in an enormous variety of sizes, styles and capabilities – not to mention price points. Choosing the right one can be difficult if you’ve never owned a box mod and have no basis for comparison. In this article, we’ll provide the facts that can help you choose the best box mod for your needs.

Getting Started: Mechanical vs. Regulated Box Mods

The first thing that you need to know about box mods is that they come in two types: mechanical and regulated. Of the two, mechanical box mods generally cost less because they contain fewer components. A mechanical box mod has the connections for one or two batteries, threading for a tank or atomizer and a single mechanical switch to deliver power from the batteries to the atomizer – that’s it. You can’t adjust the output of a mechanical box mod; the batteries always transfer their full available voltage to the atomizer. In addition to being inexpensive, mechanical box mods are also durable. Since a mechanical box mod has no electronic components, there’s almost nothing that can stop working. The fact that a mechanical box mod doesn’t have electronic components drawing power from the batteries also means that it generates vapour instantly when you press the button.

You may get a lot for your money when you buy a mechanical box mod, but you don’t get protection or flexibility. The electronics in a regulated box mod control the delivery of power to the atomizer, checking various parameters in the process to ensure that you can vape safely. A mechanical box mod can’t inform you if your device is overheating or has a short circuit, for example; a regulated mod can. A regulated mod also lets you adjust the voltage or wattage of your device to get the temperature and volume of vapour that you want. With a mechanical box mod, changing the resistance of your atomizer coil is the only way to change the power delivery of your device.

For most vapers, buying a regulated box mod is the only logical solution. A mechanical box mod is a good alternative, though, for those willing to learn about e-cigarette battery safety and take responsibility for monitoring their own equipment.

Learn More: Guide to Buying Mechanical Mods in New Zealand

Fixed vs. Removable Batteries

If you decide to buy a regulated box mod, your next decision will be whether to buy one with a permanent internal battery or removable batteries. If you buy a mod that uses removable batteries, you’ll likely need to buy the batteries separately – which means that you might pay a little more. In addition, box mods with fixed batteries are often smaller and lighter than those with removable batteries because accommodating removable batteries requires extra hardware such as battery doors with hinges. On the other hand, box mods with removable batteries have several benefits of their own. After a year or two of use, a lithium-ion battery stops holding a charge. When that happens with a fixed-battery mod, you’ll have to dispose of the mod unless you’re handy with a soldering iron. A removable-battery mod will keep right on working with a new set of batteries.

If you aren’t sure which type of box mod is best for your needs, ask yourself how long you intend to use your next box mod. If you’d like to use it for more than a year, you should buy a box mod with removable batteries. If you tend to upgrade your vaping devices frequently, you might appreciate the smaller size of a fixed-battery mod.

How Much Power Is Enough?

Box mods range in power from under 100 watts to over 200 watts. Are 200-watt mods overkill for those who don’t spend their spare time at cloud chasing competitions? Not necessarily; if you like to experiment with your vaping hardware, you might appreciate the extra headroom. The coils for the SMOK TFV12 Prince tank, for example, have suggested wattage ranges extending up to 120 watts. If you want to use the TFV12 Prince or another tank like it, would you rather have a device that strains to reach 120 watts or a device that can reach 120 watts without breaking a sweat? If the latter sounds like a better option, you need a box mod that can deliver plenty of power.

Blowing vapour clouds large enough to generate their own weather systems is plenty of fun, but using a high-power tank does have a drawback in that a box mod generally needs two batteries to reach power levels higher than 100 watts. Chasing clouds, in other words, requires a heavier and bulkier box mod. If you plan to place more modest demands on your box mod and expect to vape at power settings under 100 watts, a smaller single-battery box mod might be more to your liking.

To Squonk or Not to Squonk

Among box mod owners, “squonk” is the word of the year for 2018. A squonk mod has an internal e-liquid bottle that keeps an atomizer fed with e-liquid through a hollow tube running through the centre of the mod and atomizer. Squonk mods are generally only for those who use rebuildable dripping atomizers. You can modify an RDA for squonking simply by installing a hollow centre pin. Tanks, on the other hand, generally don’t work with squonk mods. If you use an RDA and would like to vape all day without carrying a bottle of e-liquid for dripping, you should strongly consider buying a squonk mod.