What is the difference between a mech mod and a regulated mod? We get this question a lot. Although mech mods, or sometimes called unregulated mods, are not as popular as they used to be there are still quite a few vapers who like to do things old school!
When talking about vape mods, the term unregulated refers to how the mod works. It refers to the “regulation” of electric current that is drawn from the battery or batteries. In a nutshell, a mech mod is a vapor device that heats your atomizer coil with current drawn directly from your batteries without any “regulation” imposed by any type of circuitry. No set wattage. No limits. No safety protections.
What is a Mechanical Mod?
A mech (short for mechanical) mod is basically a housing for batteries that connects to an atomizer for vaping. There is no circuitry involved in the transaction between the atomizer and the batteries. The fire button will complete the contact between the atomizer and the batteries and that’s it. Whatever happens from the point is between your battery, atomizer and the forces of nature!
A mech mod will allow the atomizer to draw all the power it can get from your batteries. If you hold the button down, the current will keep coming. If your coils overheat, the power keeps coming. If your cotton wick is dry and starts to burn, the power keeps coming. It is very important that you have a strong understanding of how a mech mod works and how electric current works to safely use an unregulated mod.
Dangers of vaping Mechanical Mods
There are some dangers of vaping with a mech mod that are relatively minor. For example, it is easier to burn your cotton (wick) and coils through use of a mech. It’s also very easy to burn off your e-liquid on a mech and end up with a dry hit. There are, however, more serious concerns when using mechanical mods.
For example, with an unregulated mod there is no ability to read your atomizer resistance. If your atomizer resistance is such that it will draw enormous, unsafe current from your battery that it can possibly vaporize the metal coil. That’s not good. You don’t want to be inhaling vaporized metallic particles. Not to mention how unpleasant the vaping will be. Using a mech mod requires great care and attention to detail in order to vape safely.
Most regulated mods have a 10-second cut-off. The cut-off feature will end the current after 10 seconds even if you are still pressing the fire button. This is a safety feature to prevent a thermal runaway. A thermal runaway is the greatest danger when using an unregulated vape device.
A thermal runaway is when a battery gets too hot. When it gets too hot, the battery releases even more energy that generates more and more heat. This reaction of ever increasing heat can get out of control and become violent and unpredictable. Like a boulder rolling down a hill once it starts you can’t stop it. The results can be disastrous. A battery can explode or catch fire.
Many of the exploding ecig stories that the media loves so much are really battery thermal runaways. Sometimes it involves batteries in a mech mod being used by a vaper. More often it is the case of a battery in a pocket or purse coming in contact with other metals like coins and keys. If both ends of a battery come in contact with metal it will discharge power as long as those contacts remain in place. Never store loose batteries in a pocket or purse. Keep them in a battery case.
So why Vape a Mech mod?
If you are not a devout hobbyist why would you ever use an unregulated mod? That is a good question. Mech mods were popular some years ago when the available technology was unable to meet the demands in the endless pursuit of more vapor. A mech allowed a vaper to draw more power from the batteries and make more vapor.
There were no 200-watt mods a few years ago. Now there are. Cloud chasers do not need mech mods anymore. You don’t need a mech to get more power. In essence, mechs are virtually obsolete. Yet there remains a subset of hearty vapers not ready to turn their vaping over to technology.
There are some advantages of using a mech mod that we should mention as well:
- No delicate firmware or software
- No circuitry to break down
- The simplicity means there is not a lot that can break down
- No menu system to navigate
- No restriction of power output to your atomizer
What is a Regulated Mod?
A regulated mod is a vaping device where the electric current from the battery is controlled by a processor or chip. The chip, also sometimes called a board, typically offers an array of user options. To sum it up in one sentence, a regulated mod is a vape device that uses technology to customize your vaping experience.
More than the advantages of a vaping experience that you can precisely control, a regulated vape device will have built in safety features. These safety features include a cut off to prevent a battery from discharging current for too long. There are also battery protections like reverse battery protection which protects the sensitive circuitry. Atomizer sensor technology will read your atomizer resistance. In temperature control vaping, a regulated mod will measure and control the actual temperature of your coils.
A regulated mod will most often have an OLED screen that provides you with several readings. At any time, you will be able to see how much charge is left in your batteries. You will be able to see what wattage or temperature that you have set. Plus, you will be able to do things like track your puffs, control the screen brightness, and a lot more.
Main Difference Between Mech & Regulated Mods
A great analogy is that mechs vs regulated mods is more like comparing cooking over a campfire vs cooking on a stove.
With a campfire, there is not a lot that you control. With a stove, you control everything. Likewise, the discussion of mech mods vs regulated mods comes down to a discussion of nature vs technology. With a mech mod, the laws of the physical universe dictate the action between your batteries and atomizer. With a regulated mod, technology steps in and manages the action.
Which should I choose?
Here’s the thing, unless you have a strong understanding of how a mech mod works and how current and resistance work, I would not recommend using an unregulated device. You need to know about battery safety, current, resistance, Ohm’s law. If you do have that background and understanding, then a mech is a viable option.
If you are new to vaping go with a regulated mod. Take advantage of the technology! Let the technology do the work while you enjoy the vapor.