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Everything You Need to Know About Mods and Atomizers

Posted on 26 January 2021

An overview: 

While mod technically refers to the battery portion of a device, the term is also used in reference to any vape device which can be modified. In order to maximize the modifiability of a device, the majority of mods feature a 510 connection thread which allows the user to connect different tanks to their device without the brand constraints that are common in pod devices. Mods can be purchased as part of a Starter Kit for those who want the power and flexibility of a mod but who haven’t quite fine-tuned their preferences. Along with the mod itself, a starter kit also includes a Tank, two coils, and a charging cable. The inclusion of a Tank and coils make Starter Kits a more budget-friendly option than purchasing a mod and a Tank separately. All mods share the same key features of power and customizability, however, not all mods are created equal. There are four categories of mod devices: Mechanical Mods, Box Mods, AIO devices, and Pod Mods, which we covered in an earlier post. 

AIO Devices

To give you a quick overview, AIO devices are mods in the sense that they attach to a tank with a 510 thread connection, have a bit more power than your average pod device, and feature some custom settings like wattage and airflow, but they’re not as complex as some other mods and don’t require as much effort on the part of the user to enjoy their full functions. The FreeMax Twister 30W Starter Kit is a good example of an AIO device. Being FreeMax’s most recent AIO, this unit is perfect for those searching for an easy to use vape that also offers some quick customization. Overall AIO devices were specifically designed to cater towards new vapers and to those who prefer slim units to carry on a daily basis.

Mechanical Mods

Mechanical mods, or mech mods, often look similar to AIO devices in size and shape,  however mech mods are often homemade versions of mod devices where the atomizer draws power directly from the battery. For very experienced vape users mech mods can offer a wider array of customizability depending on battery type, atomizer build, and mod material.  Mech mods can be quite dangerous as they don’t contain any standard safety features found in regulated mods, therefore battery failures, fires, and explosions are very real risks of using mech mods. We at NYX do not recommend mechanical mods and encourage vape users to opt for regulated box mods which feature much of the same customizability without the risk of endangering oneself. 

Box Mods

Box mods are the most common mod, named for their rectangular shape. Box mods typically contain two 18650 batteries and are therefore the most powerful of the vape devices. The Smok Rigel for example maxes out at 230 watts, providing vastly more coil options than a deceive that only reaches 80 watts. The high wattage and low coil resistance of mod devices make them ideal for sub-ohm vaping. 

Tanks Overview

Now that we’ve gone over the basic types of mods, let's dive a little deeper into tanks and coils, since that’s where we’ll find most of the customizability that mods are favoured for. As you probably know, a tank is the top portion of a vape device that is attached via the 510 thread. A tank is made up of the base, the coil, the glass housing, the top cap, and the drip tip. In a standard tank, the coils are housed inside the glass tube and attach on the bottom and top to the base and top cap respectively. The compatible coils for most tanks are sold pre-assembled, so there are a variety of options for every tank that don’t require the user to have an in depth knowledge of RBA's and ohm's law. While tanks themselves are compatible with different mods across all brands, coils are specific to the base of the tank you’re using. For example, you can use the UWELL Crown 5 Tank on an Aegis Solo Mod, however you can’t use UFORCE coils in a UWELL Crown 4 Tank. Luckily there are a multitude of coils with different resistance levels and different wattage specifications available for every tank. 

But what if you don’t want to be confined to only the retail coil selection? Well then I have good news for you. Mods are also compatible with a style of tank known as an RDA

There are three major categories of Rebuildables:

  1. RDA, which stands for Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer is a style of a Rebuildable that requires the user to manually add e-liquid directly onto the coils and wick to keep them saturated. Most RDAs feature a juice well at their base which the wicks dip into, in order to prevent them from drying out completely, however a juice well does not hold as much e-liquid as a tank making manual resaturation of the cotton a necessary feature of RDAs. One RDA that we can recommend getting started with is the HELLVAPE Helleast RDA, being a fantastic beast for any cloud chaser’s arsenal.
  2. RTA, stands for Rebuildable Tank Atomizer. There are a few different RTA designs, however there are a few common characteristics. In general, the build deck of an RTA is contained within a small chamber. The wicks help seal the chamber from excess e-liquid and create a negative pressure inside the tank. The negative pressure helps saturate the wick more quickly. The HELLVAPE Dead Rab v2 RTA is a perfect atomizer for those who don’t like the idea of constantly dripping whilst maintaining excellent flavour productions of Rebuildables.
  3. RDTA which stands for Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer, combines features of both  Rebuildable style tanks. There have been many changes to RDTAs over the years, but the current accepted definition is any RDA which also features a tank or tank like well to keep the wicks saturated and reduce frequency of manual dripping. Not many RDTAs have come out in the recent years but still is something to look forward to when companies do come out with them.

For Rebuildables the connector base attaches to a build deck for the user to build their own coils. It’s basically a DIY project for vape users. Rebuildables require a more in depth knowledge of vape mechanics and ohm's law due to the delicate nature of working with electricity and conductors. Ohm's law describes the way a current flows through a resistance when an electrical potential is applied at either end of the resistance. Where I = current in Amps V = voltage in Volts and R = resistance in Ohms, ohms law can be written as R= V/I. In terms of rebuildable atomizers, a base understanding of coil resistance and battery power are essential to build safely and effectively. Some other good things to consider if you’re interested in Rebuildables vaping are wire material, coil design, number of coils, cotton density, airflow, heat production, and the style of tank you want to use.

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