When people talk about vaping devices, “e-cigarettes” and “mods” are two terms that you’ll hear quite often – and understanding the distinctions between those devices is quite important if you’re never vaped before and are shopping for your first starter kit. The terms “e-cigarettes” and “vape mods” refer to two very different types of devices, and you’re about to learn what those differences are. If you haven’t started vaping yet – or you’re a new vaper and want to understand some of the terminologies that you’re seeing on discussion forums – this article is for you.
What Is an E-Cigarette?
When people mention e-cigarettes, they’re most often referring to the small vaping devices that some refer to as “cigalikes”. An e-cigarette or cigalike is a vaping device designed to resemble a tobacco cigarette. In an e-cigarette, the component that looks like a cigarette filter is the removable cartridge in which the e-liquid is stored. The atomizer coil that heats the e-liquid is also a component of the cartridge. A typical e-cigarette also has an indicator light on the end that looks like the ember of a lit cigarette.
Some e-cigarettes are slightly larger than tobacco cigarettes and store their e-liquid in clear plastic pods rather than cigarette filter-shaped cartridges. Such e-cigarettes are called pod systems. You can find both pod systems and cigalikes at most stores that sell e-cigarettes.
What Is a Vape Mod?
A vape mod is a vaping device that doesn’t resemble a tobacco cigarette at all. The two most common types of mods are box mods – which are often similar to cigarette packs in size and shape – and vape pens, which are tubular in shape and around the same size as pocket flashlights.
The most obvious difference between e-cigarettes and vape mods is the fact that vape mods are significantly larger. Having a larger body means that a vape mod can hold a much larger battery cell. It also means that a vape mod can house a larger integrated circuit with greater capabilities. We’ll explain some of those capabilities as we continue.
E-Cigarettes Are Ideal for New Vapers
E-cigarettes are designed from the ground up to be the perfect devices for those who have never vaped before. It’s not just the familiar cigarette shape; it’s also the fact that e-cigarettes don’t require any real setup, tweaking or troubleshooting. The basic design of the cigalike has been used, with a few modifications here and there, since the beginning of the vaping industry. The design has no real performance or reliability issues because any problems that the cigalike might have had were worked out by product designers years ago. You can expect to get a satisfying vape, in other words, every time you puff on a cigalike. To maintain that level of satisfaction, you only need to do two things: charge the battery when the vapor production decreases and replace the cartridge when you aren’t getting any flavor. Otherwise, having a great experience with an e-cigarette isn’t something that you really need to think about – and that’s important because the transition from smoking to vaping isn’t always easy.
Vape Mods Satisfy the Demands of Experienced Vapers
As we mentioned above, a vape mod typically has a wider range of capabilities than an e-cigarette, and that’s due to the fact that mods are much larger. In a device that’s intended to mimic the physical dimensions of a tobacco cigarette, there’s only enough room for a tiny battery cell and a basic integrated circuit to control the device. If you increase the size of a vaping device, you can also increase the size of the device’s battery and the complexity of its internal electronics. While a typical cigalike has a battery capacity of less than 200 mAh, vape mods usually have battery capacities of 2,000 mAh and higher. A mod with space for two battery cells may have a capacity of 5,000 mAh or more.
Even more important than the increased battery life of a vape mod, however, is its increased range of capabilities. The average e-cigarette operates at only one power level. There’s nothing that you can do to change your vaping experience in a significant way apart from using a cartridge with a different flavor. When you use a vape mod, on the other hand, you usually have the ability to adjust the device’s operational wattage. Some vape mods can operate at over 200 watts, and that’s important because vape mods are designed to drive vape tanks with atomizer coils significantly larger than the tiny atomizer coil in a cigalike. Having a larger atomizer coil, as you might imagine, means that vape mods can produce much larger vapor clouds than cigalikes. When you switch from an e-cigarette to a mod, in fact, you will almost certainly need to lower the nicotine strength of your e-liquid to compensate for the much larger vapor clouds you’ll be inhaling.
Is It Time for Me to Buy a Vape Mod?
Are you a current vaper interested in upgrading to a more capable device? Buying a vape mod can bring you great rewards, but it’ll also make your vaping experience a bit more complicated than it is now. If your device has a removable battery, you’ll need to learn a bit of basic lithium-ion battery safety. You’ll also need to learn how to fill a tank, replace an atomizer coil and work with your device’s menu system. None of those aspects of owning a mod are particularly complex on their own, but collectively, they definitely make for a vaping experience that’s vastly different from the “screw on a cartridge and puff” experience you’ll have with an e-cigarette.
Even more important than the increased complexity of a mod is the fact that most vape mods are designed for a style of inhaling that’s likely different from the inhaling style you currently use. With an e-cigarette, you inhale by drawing the vapor into your mouth before inhaling it to the lungs. Vape mods, on the other hand, are usually designed for a direct-to-lung inhaling style because that’s what facilities the production of the biggest possible vapor clouds. If you’re willing to try a different inhaling style, you might be very happy with a vape mod. If you’re satisfied with the mouth-to-lung inhaling technique, though, it’s possible that you’ll be happier if you stick with an e-cigarette.