Mech Mods were some of the first vapes to enter the industry, offering pure power and a very raw, flavorful vape experience.
Mechs usually come in box for or stick form and take a very experienced user to control properly. The rewards however are beneficial.
Mech mods (Mechanical Mods) are very good at delivering flavor, clouds, and power. They have been around for many years and are largely used by advanced vapers due to the knowledge necessary to operate them. Mech mods come in a range of shapes and sizes, but they all operate on the same principles, with no power control, and use a mechanical switch to operate, offering Raw power from the battery.
What Are Mech Mods?
Mech mods or often recognized as being a tube shape but also boxed shape. They are compact due to the lack of PCB onboard, and come in a large range of shapes and sizes, and can also use many different types of batteries like 18350,18650, 20700, and 21700.
A mech mod is determined as a housing/body that has a direct form of contact with the battery the positive component of an atomizer (Eliquid tank). However not all atomizers should be used with mech mods such as sub-ohm tanks and atomizers that do not have a long enough protruding positive section on the 510 threading of the atomizer.
A mech mod will also have a mechanical switch hence the term mechanical mod. This switch or simply can be said to be a button, will make contact with the battery inside of the device and complete the circuit delivering the full battery power to the attached atomizer. As the battery drains this output will change, hence the importance of understanding the full operation involved with their use.
As the battery depletes so will the power being delivered. You will quickly tell when this happens. From a fresh fully charged battery you will have the full potential from the battery compared to puffs taken after 20 – 30 later. This can all be dependent on the type of battery used also, as well as the tank/Atomizer set up, and subsequent resistance.
Dual Battery Stacked Or Parallel Mech Mods
Mech mods that take 2 or more batteries will double the voltage giving an increased punch and power delivered to the atomizer. This is typically used by much more advanced vapers and people who want the extra power and a much warmer vape. The power delivered is significant and not for a new user.
Squonk mech mods are another form of mech mods made popular by Vandy vape with the pulse and Signature Tips with the sq and Clutch mods. Similar to standard Mech mods, these mods have a simple and minimal design with the fire button pushing a metal bar (often silver plated) to make a complete connection to the positive connection of the 510 that is attached to the device and then deliver power to the positive part of the atomizer.
The main difference here is squonk mods source of e-liquid from a small bottle that fits inside the device and allows liquid to be feed from the bottle to the atomizer through a tube attached to the underside of the 510.
It is important to keep in mind mech mods are not for everyone as there is a fair amount of knowledge needed to use them correctly and safely like ohms law, battery safety and amp, voltage drop and what resistances work best for the battery you are using.
Atomizers to be used with mechanical mod must have a long enough protruding positive 510 pin to maintain good safety and not short out. Most Rebuildable atomizers will have a protruding 510 pin, some spring loaded, some adjustable. However if it is flush with the threads of the 510 it should not be used with a mech mod as this can cause battery shorts and not safe to use.
A Brief History Of Mech Mods
Mech mods originated from enthusiasts who modified flashlights as many of the components that were needed were already in place. These devices were often used with 18650 and 18350 batteries at the time. They are now typically available in 20700 and 21700 battery capacity.
With replacing the bulb from the flashlight with an atomizer housing allowed the user to then build their own coils and use the device as a vape. However, this was primitive compared to today’s levels.
Over the course of time, many brands based predominantly in the USA started to specialize in making mech mods with popular and well known brands like Kennedy, VAMP, Tugboat, Limitless and many more. Due to the recent vape bans in the USA, and the PMTA, many have had to move manufacturing or close down the business. This has led to a slow decline in the popularity of mech mod vaping. It still remains very well known but less so with new users looking to advance in vaping, simply because it is less readily available.
You can still find some retailers and collectors selling some of the brands that have since disappeared but prices for the device are much higher compared to the original selling prices
There has been some upgraded version of different mech mods where older generation would have the button make contact with the battery but in recent years many brands have changed to a constant contact design meaning it is less likely to case damage to batteries and keeps a better connection
How To Use Mech Mods
There are a few things to know before using a mech mod however when done correctly they are very easy to use on a daily or occasional use.
All you need is a good freshly charged good rated battery, a compatible Rebuildable atomizer, a good resistant build in the atomizer this can depend on if you atomizer take a single coil or dual, and the last thing is the correct resistance for the battery used.
For an atomizer that has a 0.12-ohm coil build it is strongly recommended that you use a correctly rated amp battery for example a Molicell p26a 18650 with a rating of 25 amps is a good option for a 18650 mech mod, it is also wise to build and test the resistance of your coils and atomizer on a regulated device to show you the accurate resistance as well as getting the coils to fire evenly.
Using a mech mod is very simple once you know what to do and what not to. You simply attach your atomizer that you built with the correct type of resistance coils, have it wicked to the device, and then install a good true rated fully changed the battery into your chosen mech mod. Gently hand tighten the button housing back to the mod until it makes good contact with the battery. Don’t go too tight, and you are ready to vape your mech mod.
What Are Series and Parallel mech mods?
Series and parallel mods are other types of mech mod or semi-mech mod as some may have some circuitry fuses to maintain safety levels.
Your batteries will be connected from positive to negative, increasing the voltage of your battery supply by joining them together.
When the batteries in an unregulated Series box mod are connected in series, the voltage applied to the coil is stacked, generating current from each battery at the same time, combining the voltage. The voltage is multiplied by the number of batteries, but the amp draw remains the same.
The limitations of this type of device are that you must build at higher resistance than you would with a single battery mech mod or a parallel mod. As an example, the ideal resistance for a dual 18650 series mod being no lower than a resistance of 0.4 ohms. Any lower can put too much strain and stress on the batteries and could cause a vent of the battery.
When your batteries are connected in parallel, they will be connected from positive to positive and negative to negative, doubling your amps.
Unregulated Parallel box mods distribute power from two or more batteries at the same time. The total voltage remains that of a single battery, improving battery life while increasing the amps since there is less draw on each battery in the circuit.
There are some limitations with parallel devices being that your ideal resistance or omes needed must be above a certain safety thresh hold. It is strongly recommended that you do not exceed a 0.1-ohm resistance on the coils built in the atomizer as this can draw too much of an amp current and cause serious issues.
Things to know when using mech mods
Mech mod Terminology
- Volts = Voltage is the force exerted by a power source on charged electrons in an electrical circuit (current).
- Ohms = the electrical resistance of a material or an electrical device.
- Amps = short for ampere is a unit of electrical current which defines in terms of other base units by measuring the electromagnetic force between electrical conductors carrying electric current.
- mAh = ( milliamp hours ) capacity / charge of the battery
- Squonk = A style of vaping ( a squonk device has a bottle of liquid that can feed liquid directly to the atomizer.
- 510 pin = the positive component of the atomizer.
- Arching = This can sometimes happen when the surface that is in contact or that comes in contact with the battery is porous and does not make as good of a connection.
Cleaning your mech mod is not only satisfying but also a great plus with keeping your battery contacts clean this can prevent issues with connections and prevent arching ( black spots on the battery, button contact with the battery and sometimes the 510 connection.
Using the correct type of battery is key when it comes to vaping and it is especially key with using mech mods.
Using an insufficient battery can cause serious issues or injury and is very important to use the correct rated battery for a mech mod.
A battery that has a true 30amp rated battery with 1500 mAh is ideal however it is wise to not go below 0.10 ohms in resistance as boing below could also cause issues.
You can also look at battery mooch’s rated battery list that he has tested different brands and models of batteries to catch out the overrated claimed battery and the good batteries you should use.
Resistance And Coil Builds
Making sure the resistance is correct for your batteries is a must-know and you can easily find or calculate with a site called steam-engine.org. This site will calculate power limits as well as give you a guide to use for a perfect build.
You can also use it to work out the resistance if you are handcrafting coils by entering in the number of wires used, the thickness, the material of the wire and how many wraps you require.
Understanding ohms law is also very important when it comes to mech mods as if you overestimate the output or have an overrated battery this could cause issues and possibly injury.
Ohm law can be complicated to explain however as a simplified version is a direct current’s strength is related to the potential difference and inversely proportional to the circuit’s resistance or I=VR. I = Current ( amps) V = volts and R = Resistance
What Are The Benefits Of Mech Mods?
There are some benefits of using a mech mod over a regulated one reason is the increased amount of power that can be delivered as well as the increased amount of flavor and vapor production.
The increased amount of flavor is dependent on the type of coil build you are using as a multi-cored Clapton ( one or more cores with a wire wrap around it) will offer and produce often more flavor than a standard round wire, this is due to the increased surface area this will be the same wire twisted wire as well as more complex coils like aliens which have a larger surface area due to the wavy pattern of the wrapped wire.
Alien coils have been heavily popularised by such YouTubers as Grimgreen, OhmboyOc, and Ohm Boy Josh for their superior flavor and performance.
Do Mech Mods Hit Harder?
Due to the increased voltage and no regulation they can hit much harder than regulated mods however this can entirely depend on the type of build as a higher resistance coil will increase the ramp-up.
This is the opposite for stacked or parallel mech mods as they need the higher resistance often a 0.4-ohm coil build to have optimal performance, with will also give a much heavier and harder hit as well as a warmer vape due to the increased voltage.
What Is The Difference Between Unregulated Mods To Regulated?
The largest difference is that a mech mod is unregulated meaning there is no chip or board managing the power as the battery charge depletes so will the power, mech mods also do not have any built-in safety features apart from the used themself and the knowledge they know.
With a regulated mod, they will have a chip or board built into the device often with a display to regulate or change power lever best suited for their need, Regulated mods will also have built-in safety features like short circuit protection, battery protection, and warn users if the resistance is too low or too high for the device.
How Long Do Mech Mod Products Last?
Mech mods can last an extraordinary amount of time with some reports from people stating they have and still occasionally use devices purchased 8+ years ago. This is largely due to the simplicity of the design and not having many parts, however, it is good practice to clean them every now and again.
How Safe Are Mech Mods?
With mech mods there are some safety aspects you need to consider and the most important is battery safety. Batteries are not to be tampered with as they do have and contain potential energy with some reports over the years of batteries used for vape devices causing injuries to the users. Mechs are safe but you need to know what you’re doing! They can equally be very unsafe in the wrong hands.
These are extreme cases and were quickly shown as inexperienced users and using unsafe modification / damaged devices as well as caring batteries loose in pockets with loose change and keys.
There are plenty of resources you can use to make sure what you are doing is correct and safe like checking the batteries from Battery Mooch on e-cigarette-forum.com, steam-engine.org to check your resistance and limitation of your batteries as well as local vape shops to ask what is best, some may even install a good build in an atomizer for you.
What Are The Most Popular Mech Mods?
There have been many brands that have produced mech mods some more popular than others but due to regulation from the states some brands and stop production and closed the business.
Was very popular for the high level of detail of the machining process and creating a seamless split between two sections as well as having a hard-hitting product, considered to be on the expensive side with their mech mods being sold from $200 – $300 many people still remain and say they are worth every penny.
Are another brand originally from the USA however has controversy whether they are made in the USA or not but remains a solid well-built product with many different styles, patterns and battery sizes available as well as producing RDA and accessories
Signature tips / Dovpo
Have become a joint effort with Signature time originally being made in the UK and producing the original SQ squonk mod, this mod is a simple and elegant design as well as a brilliant example of a mechanical squonking mod with a small and sturdy box-shaped design made from aluminum and has removable panels to make it more customized.
Signature Tips teamed up with the Chinese brand Dovpo to mass-produce the Clutch mech mod and later make an Evolve DNA version called the Mono. Both used a single battery depending on the model either 16850 or 21700.
The Vandy Vape Pulse And Pulse 2.0
Realized back in 2017 and 2022 and saw a lot of non-mech users pick one up as the Pulse was a small squonk mech mode designed to be very simple and easy to use as well as being very affordable.
The Pulse used a single 18650 removable battery and came with a small squonk bottle inside next to the battery to allow liquid to be fed directly to the squonk compatible atomizer. This type of design of the device became very popular with many other brands adopting the style.
Why Use A Mech Mod?
Using a mech mod for some types of people is preferred however they can often be called purists due to the simple nature and having the best cleanest flavor coming from the atomizer.
The other reason why to use a mech mod is it allows the ushered to have a warmer denser vape and have the increased punch or harder hit from the coil build and battery as you can receive the full potential of the battery instantly in some cases.
Mech mods are also much easier to maintain as there is no updating, no variable power settings or voltage control and deliver the raw unrestricted power from the battery to the atomizer with only one button.
If you are ever interested in getting into cloud competitions which are typically held at vape shops or vape conventions around the world you will want a mech mod.
There are a few reasons why but largely it is due to the rules of the cloud competition you will also find quickly it is also due to the amount of vapor that can be produced from only just a few seconds of pressing the fire button.
These cloud competitions will usually have prizes like free e-liquids, games consoles, and sometimes even money. Cloud competitions were very large and popular and are great fun as you can try new flavors, see other people and feel more part of the vape community as well as make some new friends along the way.
Which Brands Produce Similar Products To Mech Mods?
There have been some devices that resemble mech mods however have some type of variable console or circuitry involved making it not a fully mechanized unit these are called semi-mechanical mods but the style of these types of devices is not as common nowadays.
The Arch Ohm Flush is one example of a semi-mechanical mod that uses a safety circuit in the tube protecting the user from overestimating the draw from the battery. The device itself also draws power to light up LEDs that are built in the body and shine through the polycarbonate surrounding the metal tube.
The Smok stick v12 is not a mech mod but a regulated mod but has a similar shape to mech mods however it does not have a display like most regulated mod this to has built-in safety features like atomizer short, overcharge protection and giving an indication to users that something is wrong by flashing a led that shines through the fire button or changing colors.
Mech mods can offer a lot for many types of users but you must understand the requirements needed to use them correctly and safely, once the knowledge is learned you can experience the full potential of what manufacturers what their e-liquids to truly taste like and have a rich, warm and flavorsome vape.
Are Mech Mods Worth It?
Even though some mech mods can be expensive and can cost anywhere into the thousands from some manufacturers there are some reasonably priced entry-level mech mods and some that you can squonk with making it a more efficient way of vaping.