Most people are familiar with a standard vape pen akin to a cheap electronic cigarette with a disposable e-liquid cartridge. If you’re unfamiliar with a vape mod, think of it as a more powerful, “souped-up” version of a vape pen.
We like to compare the differences between a vape pen and a vape pen mod to the differences between a joint and a bong.
They both serve the same general purpose, i.e., a way to consume cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, one of them is much more potent than the other.
With that in mind, it’s relevant to think of a vape mod simply as a more powerful tool than a vape pen. A vape mod also has many more features that greatly enhance your vaping experience.
This article will examine the differences between a vape mod (or a vape pen mod) and a standard vape pen. It also offers information on how to use a vape mod and looks at some of the best products on the market.
Vape Mod Pens and Advanced Personal Vaporizers – Are They the Same Thing?
Yes, they are mostly the same thing. Both vape mods and AVP’s are just variations of traditional, disposable vape pens or e-cigarettes. Indeed, the vape mod was created due to the limitations of the above devices. Consumers wanted a device capable of providing even more potent hits, and manufacturers began to listen.
These days, vape mods typically contain some advanced feature(s) of e-cigarettes and disposable vape pens, most often in the form of:
- A more powerful heating unit
- A higher-quality wicking system
- A larger e-liquid capacity
- A bigger battery
With that said, there are loads of different styles of vape pen mods available. Therefore, it doesn’t clarify matters by classifying them all under the vague definition of a “beefed up vape pen” (even though that’s essentially what they are).
Vape Mods 101: The Basics
The actual mods are generally variations on the major working parts of a vape pen, which are:
- The battery: This supplies the heating mechanism with the power needed to heat up. The battery is generally too underpowered on cheap vape pens for experienced users. Vape mods are designed to provide a significant boost and ultimately a more powerful hit.
- The heating mechanism (e-coil): This is the very life force of the device – without it, the unit is about as useless as a joint without a lighter.
Vape Mods and Temperature Control
You might think that the e-coil on a vape mod can heat to a much higher temperature than a disposable vape pen can, but, in reality, the opposite is true.
When you’re vaporizing, the goal is to heat the material (whether it’s dry herb, CBD vape oil, etc.) to temperatures just above the boiling point of the active compounds. For most cannabis substances (including THC and CBD vape juices), this is under 500℉.
Most cheap vape pens (and even some vape mods) with single-temp controls will heat way beyond these necessary temperatures. Of course, this utterly defeats the purpose of vaporization. It can also cause some of the thinning agents in the e-liquid to break down into carcinogenic aldehydes.
Vape mods can provide better temperature control, which is key for a better experience.
Moreover, the heating elements on many vape pens are very erratic when it comes to heat distribution.
Even on a coil that’s no more than a centimeter in width, you can get hot spots. These hot spots can be hundreds of degrees warmer in one area than in another.
Most high-quality vape mods have superior e-coils that are much more stable in heat distribution. Also, many of them allow for total temperature control. This will enable you to choose which active compounds you want to inhale, thus giving you the ability to customize your vaping experience.
Vape Mod Components
The unit containing the heating element and the wick is called the atomizer. The wick is simply the part of the vaporizer that delivers the e-liquid (or oil) to the e-coil. In most models, one end of the wick sits submerged in the oil cartridge (which thereby saturates it). The other end is wrapped around the coils in the atomizer, giving the liquid direct contact with the heat.
In cheap vape pens, the wick is usually a simple cotton wrap. Higher-end vape mods are often made of more efficient and durable materials like silica.
The cartridge is the last major functional element of the vape pen. On disposable models, you usually never see it, as once the pen is empty, you discard it.
On higher-end vape mods, however, you usually have the option to refill the cartridges. This is crucial if you like to switch up your e-liquids. It allows you to change flavors or switch from a high THC blend to a CBD blend. Moreover, some cartridges (or ovens) on a vape mod can give you even more freedom. Some give you the option to switch between vape oils, wax/resin concentrates, or dry herb (flower buds).
How to Use a Mod Vape
Using a vape mod could seem like a daunting process at first. This is because of its various functions and capabilities, making it harder to operate than a basic disposable vape pen or e-cigarette. However, we’ve simplified things with this fast step-by-step guide:
- Choose the Right 510 Atomizer: This depends on what you’re vaping since there are attachments for dry herbs, oils, concentrates, and e-liquids. Each one can only be used for a specific purpose, so an atomizer designed for marijuana concentrates won’t work with oils, for example. Most vape mods only accept 510-threaded devices too.
- Charge the Mod: The device should come with a USB charger, allowing you to charge the device. Make sure it is fully powered before you start using it. Certain batteries can take up to three hours to charge.
- Attach the Vape Tank Atomizer: Screw the atomizer in place, being gentle in the process.
- Switch It On: Most mod vapes work by clicking the main button five times. You’ll know the device is powered on when you see its LED screen lighting up. Press the power button five times to turn the mod vape off.
- Know Thy Wattage: The right wattage depends on the atomizer. Wax atomizers and sub-ohm e-liquid tanks can handle plenty of power and should have their limits written on the packaging. Oil vape tank atomizers require significantly less power. Heating the device to an excessive temperature can permanently damage its coil.
- Start Vaping: Read your device’s instructions carefully to learn how to vape from it. However, it is usually a case of holding the power button down for a few seconds while drawing the vapor via the mouthpiece.
Vape Pens vs. Vape Mods: What Are the Differences?
There are quite a few differences between vape mods and vape pens apart from their size. The following chart provides a rapid overview.
These devices are larger and heavier than vape pens. While you can store some types in your pocket, you generally need to put them in a bag.
Their diminutive size means they are easy to conceal.
There is a learning curve involved due to the varying features and components.
Using a vape pen is typically as easy as switching it on, taking a few drags, and switching it off again.
Vape mods use external batteries, but they are easy to install. These powerful batteries offer excellent flavor and large vapor clouds and can last a long time on a single charge.
Vape pens tend to be used in a low-wattage setting to reduce the level of power used. The battery is built-in but is nowhere near as powerful as what a vape mod uses. Therefore, you get less flavorful hits and smaller clouds.
The changeable battery enables you to get a decent lifespan, although you can still damage your mod by dropping it.
They are less durable than vape mods, and if something happens to the internal battery, there’s no way to swap it out.
The customizable nature of vape mods means you can switch tanks as long as they use the same connector thread. Mods tend to have larger tanks than vape pens.
The size of tanks in vape pens is growing. However, you have to open the tank to refill it in some cases and may only be allowed to use a brand-specific tank.
The up-front cost is potentially significant as you may need to buy certain parts separately. However, if you look after your mod, it could last an extremely long time.
Cheaper than vape mods, but regular users might find that replacing vape pens makes their habit more expensive than if they use vape mods.
The Best Vape Mods to Buy
Vape mod brands saturate the industry, and they certainly aren’t all created the same! However, here are some of the top-rated vape mods available at present:
- Vaporesso Target 200
- Geekvape Legend 2
- JAC Vapour S22
- Rincoe Jellybox Mini
- Yocan UNI Pro
Yet, once again, we must reiterate that the above might not be the best option for YOU. While mods with a power output of up to 300W are enticing, it is important to note most people prefer a range of 50W to 90W.
Novices looking to move from vape pens will probably enjoy a mod with a tank of no more than 30W of power. Intermediate users may get by with 65W, whereas only advanced users need a sophisticated and powerful device. Bear all of this in mind before making a purchasing decision.
Final Thoughts on Vape Mods for Weed
Overall, most people view vape mods as a ‘step up’ from portable vape pens. They offer more power, better flavor, bigger clouds, and greater customization. However, it is only worth making the switch if you feel you’ve passed the ‘novice’ stage as a vaper. Using a vape mod involves a learning curve, particularly if you want to get the most out of your experience.
There remain plenty of high-quality vape pens on the market sold by the likes of:
Carefully consider the pros and cons of vape mods before deciding whether you want to invest.