If you’re in the market for a new vape kit, you’ve got a major decision on your hands because there is more variety in the world of vaping devices today than ever before. Do you want something sleek and pocketable – or big and powerful? You can have either of those or any of dozens of devices in between. Today, though, let’s assume that you’re looking for something with a bit of power to spare. We’re talking, of course, about the big box mods and squonk mods that vapers everywhere are using to make some big, tasty and room-filling clouds.

Are you having trouble choosing the next major upgrade to your vaping setup? In this article, we’re going to make your decision significantly easier by breaking down the primary features separating the different mods available today. We’re going to talk about the differences between mods with removable batteries and mods with permanent internal batteries. The differences between the two aren’t as obvious as you might think!

Internal vs. Removable Battery Mods

In a fixed battery mod, the battery is soldered to the mod’s internal circuit board and is not intended for removal by the end user. In a removable battery mod, you’ll supply your own vape batteries and install them yourself. A mod with a fixed internal battery charges only via a USB port. If you have a mod with removable batteries, though, you can charge the batteries either via USB or in a standalone battery charger. Using a standalone charger makes it possible to purchase extra batteries and charge one battery – or pair of batteries – while using fresh batteries in your mod. With a fixed battery mod, on the other hand, you’ll experience occasional downtime while recharging the device.

Internal Battery Mods Are Small and Sleek

One of the biggest benefits of mods with permanent internal batteries is that they tend to be much smaller and lighter than mods with removable batteries. Some fixed battery mods use LiPo packs rather than cylindrical lithium-ion batteries, and LiPo packs tend to fit in much smaller spaces. In addition, in a fixed battery mod, the battery connects to the mod’s circuit board using only solder and wire. A removable battery requires solid metal connectors on the inside to ensure that the batteries will make good electrical connections. A removable battery mod also requires a door or cover to allow access to the battery compartment. All of that extra hardware adds weight and bulk to the mod.

Internal Battery Mods Cost Less Up Front

If you don’t already own a large collection of vaping accessories, you might be looking for a way to upgrade your current vaping rig without spending a lot of money. Compared to the cost of buying a mod with removable batteries, a fixed battery mod usually requires a much smaller initial investment because you don’t need to buy any additional accessories. A fixed battery mod always includes the battery – since it’s a permanent part of the device – and a USB charging cable.

In most cases, mods that use removable batteries do not include the batteries. You’ll need to buy the battery separately. If you’re buying a dual-battery mod, you’ll need two batteries – and if you want to use one pair of batteries while another pair charges, you’ll also need a second pair of batteries and a battery charger. You can expect your investment to last a long time if you care for it, but it’s a significant amount of money to spend all at once.

Removable Battery Mods May Last Longer

Although fixed battery mods have plenty of benefits, they also have one major drawback. Unless you’re handy with a soldering iron and can find a battery pack matching the specifications of the one in your device, a fixed battery mod will become useless when the battery stops holding a charge. You can usually expect a lithium-ion or LiPo battery to last for hundreds of charge-discharge cycles – but if you’re recharging your device two or three times per day, those cycles will go by quickly. If you’re using a removable battery mod, you can simply replace your spent batteries. If you’re using a fixed battery mod, though, you’ll need to replace the entire mod. For that reason, a removable battery mod generally has a longer useful life than a fixed battery mod.

While you’re likely to get more use out of a removable battery mod than a fixed battery mod, that fact may be irrelevant if you’re type who upgrades your vaping device whenever an important technological advancement comes along. Do you buy a new mod every year or so? If so, you can probably buy a fixed battery mod knowing that by the time it stops working, you’ll already be shopping for a new device anyway.

Removable Battery Mods Let You Choose Your Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries vary greatly in their capabilities. The two most important specifications of a battery are its capacity – expressed in milliampere-hours or mAh – and its maximum continuous discharge rating, expressed in amps. A battery that supports a higher continuous load has a lower total capacity, and a battery that lasts longer on a charge is safest in lower-load situations.

In most cases, the maximum discharge rating of a vaping battery isn’t terribly important because your mod’s built-in safety features will automatically limit battery discharge to a safe level. You can therefore select your batteries based on their capacity, reputation or price. If you’re a serious cloud chaser who likes to push your vaping hardware to the limit, though, it’s likely that you won’t settle for anything less than knowing the full capabilities of every battery that you put in your mod. If that’s the case, a removable battery mod is the right choice for you. People expect to buy their vaping hardware inexpensively, so manufacturers will do anything possible to keep costs down. Manufacturers are likely to choose batteries for their fixed battery mods based on the batteries’ prices rather than their capabilities.