A Basic Guide for Mechanical Mods and Safety

What you need to know in order to safely dive into mechanical mods.

Mechanical Mods are becoming rather common in the vaping scene, especially among vapers who like to push their equipment to the limit. Hell, even I have a few and I am not a limit pusher. MVPs and eGos contain a battery within the device, as well as the required circuitry that allows for variable voltage and auto-shut offs. Mechanical mods are simply the device without a pre-installed battery or any circuitry. Sounds simple, right?

A basic mechanical mod is a tube of metal, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. Along with the tube, there’s a firing pin that allows for the current in the battery to reach the attached atomizer/cartomizer/clearomizer – causing the coil(s) to heat up and vaporize the juice. Since there isn’t any circuitry involved, they’re extremely durable and modifiable (there are people who have even dropped their mech mods in water and dried out the components – the mods still worked).  They are basic, simple, and potentially harmful.

Woah wait a second, what do you mean by “potentially harmful”?

There is a danger inherent in every mechanical mod – the battery. Batteries can fail, due to over-tightening the end-caps of the mod or atomizer. They can also over-discharge due to accidentally pressing the firing pin/button for too long, causing the battery to overheat and potentially burst.

Never buy a mechanical mod without seeing it first. And by that, I mean you need to be able to get your hands on the mod before purchasing it. Think of it this way, just because your moms Ford Fusion is amazing, it doesn’t mean the one you’re buying won’t be free from defects either. Mods, though considerably less expensive than a car, should be treated the same way. If possible, inspect before you buy – or at the very least, before you use it for the first time.

Mechanical mod pro-tips:

  • Always make sure that there is a lock for the firing pin/button. The most common are those that are reverse threaded and require an unscrew to lock the firing pin/button. You don’t want to fall asleep with your mod firing continuously, after all, do you?
  • Check your mod for air-holes. While there aren’t any batteries in the mod, blow into it from the connection end. Make sure you do this with the firing pin both in the locked and unlocked positions.  Air holes (aka vents) are incredibly important in letting gases escape your mod if the battery is compromised. Air holes are your friend, make sure they act like it.
  • Make sure your batteries aren’t overcharged or undercharged by checking their volts. I check battery voltage when I think they are getting close to needing a recharge. Run them too low repeatedly and they have shortened life, way too low and they are toast. I check coil resistance any time I mess with or build a new wick and coil. If you draw too many amps from your battery, you will have a serious safety issue. I’m also always aware of the mod’s temperature during use. Any part of it heating up is an issue that needs to be resolved, or it can become serious.

Why a mechanical mod?

Even with the battery dangers of mechanical mods (which are also present, though in a different fashion, in regular devices), mechanical mods are incredibly popular as well as a logical step to pursue once you have gotten into rebuilding your atmomoziers or clearomizers. Building coils are a cost-effective way of keeping your device up and running and you vaping. However, electrical devices have safety protocols that require any coils used to be able to handle a certain resistance or above. This is why many heads are listed as 1.5 ohms or higher. If you are rebuilding devices for electrical devices, you are rather limited as to how low your coil’s resistance can be.

With mechanical mods, you are not limited to this. Since there are no electrical circuits, there is nothing keeping your mod to fire no matter how low your coil’s resistance is. The lower the ohms (resistance) of the coil, the more amps it draws from the unregulated battery which causes more power to be delivered to the coil causing juice to be vaporized faster. This gives stronger flavor and more vapor.

Depending on the mod, you can be limited to the battery size that you use. Of course, if you acquire a mod that is telescoping, then you can use multiple battery sizes, making your mod far more versatile.

Who should use a mechanical mod?

If you are looking for stronger flavor and increased vapor production, have a solid understanding of ohm’s law and battery amperes limits, then go for it! If you don’t, but still want a mech mod, make sure that you do your research and stay safe.

Here is my post about batteries, battery safety, amperage limits of said batteries, and how to determine what Ohms your coil needs to be at to be safe. If you are going to be using a mechanical mod or an RBA, you will need to know this information. Follow us to get notified when the next post goes live.

Comments (6)

  • John

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    Great website by the way and thanks for sharing this information about mechanical mods. I stopped smoking and started vaping about 7 months ago, starting with the Tornado T starter kit which uses an ego style battery. I have since progressed onto using a kanga pro tank 2 mini but I haven’t moved onto using a variable voltage battery yet.

    I only recently stumbled upon the benefits of dripping and using a bridge-less atomizer for intense flavour. So now I’m stuck on whether to just buy a variable voltage mod and combine it with a bridge-less atomizer , or go the whole mechanical mod route using a dripper etc.

    I’m still new to this whole vaping game and have yet to delve into rebuilding coils etc but as I’ve mentioned. Maybe I just want keep it simple with the bridge-less atomizer option.

    Any thoughts on this? advice appreciated :)

    Reply

    • Brennen

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      Hi John, I would watch some youtube videos on building coils for a rebuildable atomizer and use that vs a bridgeless atomizer which are a bit old school now and are being replaced with rebuildables.

      Reply

  • Dylan

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    Dale,

    I’ve just begun getting into vaping with mechanical mods and I dig it, a lot. I’m still fairly ignorant on the specifics, so here I am researching online when I come upon your article. I am not 100% sure, but I think you may be mistaken in regards to your explanation here:

    “The lower the ohms (resistance) of the coil, the more amps it draws from the unregulated battery which causes more power to be delivered to the coil causing juice to be vaporized faster. This gives stronger flavor and more vapor.”

    Power = (Current)^2(Resistance) or P = I^2R.

    From my understanding, this equation is representative of the heat (power) dissipated from an elementary electric circuit. Since the dissipated heat is directly proportional to the circuits resistance (the resistivity of the coil, in this case), the greater the resistance to current flow, the greater the heat dissipated from the circuit. And furthermore, since I don’t believe the current will vary significantly (since current is dependent upon the voltage of the battery, i.e., V = IR, where R is a constant determined by the internal resistivity and the (length/cross sectional area) ratio of the wire).

    So, in summary, I think that the greater your coil’s resistance is, the greater the heat dissipated will be and the faster your juice will vaporize. But then again, I could be dead fucking wrong…

    Reply

    • Brennen

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      Hi Dylan, I’ll try to help answer this question for you. The equation you wrote is another way to write the same equation of P(power)=V(voltage)*I(current) and V(voltage)=I(current)*R(resistance). A battery has a max voltage of 4.2 which your equation doesn’t consider. So when you consider that volts are maxed at 4.2 you can then come to the conclusion that power is inversely proportional to resistance.

      Reply

  • colin murray

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    Hi can you use a normal atomiser liker a kanger aerotank on a mod. with a 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 coil.

    Colin

    Reply

    • Brennen

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      On a variable voltage/wattage mod sure, but the resistance (oHms) are too high for a mechanical.

      Reply

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