Craig Clarke


Many vapers get tired of having to drag for a very long time to get a satisfying amount of vapor. They also get tired of the short lasting battery life that smaller sized e-cigarettes give you. If you would like to be able to puff on your PV for a very long time between battery charges and want more vapor then a mod (modification) is for you. Mods, for the most part, look nothing at all like a cigarette and you have to be willing to give up the want for a small size to be able to get more performance.

In this picture, from top left going clockwise is the Copper, AdapteveR, Bulli, and Zimoshi

These mods definitely cost more money upfront and you have to be willing to invest. Most people do not recommend a mod as a starter e-cig since they can get complicated to use, but some go straight for these and never look back. Every mod has a manual switch, instead of an automatic switch which many smaller devices use. Mods can cost anywhere from 2 to 6 times as much as a standard starter kit but the battery housing can last for years, rather than just a few months.

The term mod is widely used and can be applied to many other modifications done to personal vaporizers for example cartridges, atomizers, and cosmetic designs. In this section we are focusing on big battery mods that are available on the market.

As mentioned, these battery mods are housings for generic batteries, and some batteries are much safer to use than others. It is recommended across the board to use only protected batteries inside of these mods. Such protection comes in the form of a PCB (protection circuit board) that lies on the top of the battery and can stop short circuits which in turn may cause damage. There is also protection inside of the chemistry of batteries, for example LiFePO4 and LiMN batteries are safer to use than Li-Ion batteries.

Safety features that are built into mods are also something to look for. Venting, for example, is built into the mod itself and allows gasses to escape if there is a problem. Without venting, the gas can build up and create explosive consequences. This is more so a problem when stacking batteries happen. Stacking batteries is putting two batteries in series to gain more voltage (e.g. stacking 2 3 volt batteries will net you 6v overall). Many vendors warn explicitly against battery stacking, but fortunately, most have not had any problems.

Unlike models that you saw on the E-Cigarette section, most commercial mods are not mass produced. They are handmade inside of a modders workshop or manufactured in small production runs. There are now over one hundred different mods to choose from, all with different capabilities to choose from.

There are several parameters you must choose from before zoning in on what mod you would like to purchase. Included in these are:

1. Shape
2. Size
3. Voltage (Variable or Non-Variable)
4. MAh
5. Juice-feeding system
6. Switch positioning
7. Price

1. Shape

There are two basic shapes: tube shaped, and box shaped – but on occasion you will run into ones that do not fit either of these categories.

Two of the classic tubular mods are the Screwdriver and the Prodigy, shown below.

More recent examples of these include the Meicci Moochie (which uses an 18650 battery) priced at $120, and the DSE905 V4 (which uses a 14500 battery) priced at $29. These are also shown below.

Virtually all box mods have the same generic shape, a box. The first commercial box mod that was released was the Janty Stick which is now priced at $50. Another popular box mod that has been around for quite some time is the Bartleby which is priced at $50 also. A picture to reference the shape and size of this in your hand is shown below.

2. Size

Whatever shape you settle for, now you have to decide on what size you are looking for. These mods can range from a very small (lighter sized) mod, to a mid-size mod, and all the way to large. Some pictures of mods are shown below for size references:

Then, there are the giant mods like the GGTS (Telescopic Storm) with feeding system and the Carlos Juicebox. These are shown below.

The size of the mod usually depends on what type of batteries you are using. Rule of thumb is that, physically, the bigger the battery the longer it will last. Shown below are the common batteries used in mods today. Keep in mind the first two digits of the battery represent the diameter in millimeters, and the next two the length. The 0 at the end represents that it is a round battery.

3. Voltage

There are many different mods to choose from in the voltage field. They range from 3.7v all the way to 7.4v. Usually batteries are either 3.0v or 3.7v, but they can also be combined in series or parallel and with or without resistors/regulators to create mods with voltages of 3.7v, 5v, 6v, 7.4v, or even variable voltage.

Some 3.7v that are well known are the Janty Stick which uses a 10440 battery, a Screwdriver which uses the 16340, and the Bartleby which uses a 14500 battery. There are other mods which is shown in the picture below that enable an 18650 battery, an 18350 battery, or a 14650 battery.

6v mods include the Prodigy which runs for $83 and the Copper which runs for $53, and many others. In all cases, they use two 3.0v batteries which are known as CR123a’s. Many of the newer generation mods include safety features such as venting and circuitry to ensure a shutdown in case of a short circuit. Most higher voltage mods are used with higher resistance atomizers (in the 3 ohm to 4.5 ohm range) and is covered in the Accessories section.

5v mods are becoming less and less popular in the market, due to low resistance atomizers coming out. They still use 3.7v or stacked 3.0v batteries but in this case they use either a resistor or a regulator to bring the voltage to the specified 5 volt mark. Some models include the cr123a based Joker which runs for $109 and the 16340 using Journeyman which will run you $140. These and others (including the Saber, GLV, and Billet) are shown below.

Some models, for example the GG Telescopic Storm which runs for $180, can combine 2 3.7v batteries to reach 7.4 total volts. These models also require you to use higher resistance atomizers so that the coil inside does not pop.

The newest craze that is gaining more popularity (and quick) is the variable voltage option. The first example of this was the Buzz which used 2 cr123a batteries and ran for $115. Quickly following this the cheaper competitor using 2 14500 batteries was the little sister running at $75. They are pictured below.

Many mods are following and having the option added to them including the Joker ($109) and the Ali’i ($190).

4. mAh

Most mods are known to have longer battery life, but there are also ones that are made small and compact that have shorter battery lives.

Mods of 750 mAh usually use either 1 16340 or 1 cr123a battery. These include the Mini VapeStack ($70), the Saber Touch Mini ($99), the GLV-Mini ($95), and the 3.7v Billet ($95) which are all shown below. If a short mod that can provide vaping for 4-5 hours works for you, you may want one of these.

Next we go to 900mAh mods, which all use a 14500 battery. Some of these (all pictured below) include the BB which runs for $85, the ProVape which costs $100, the VYPR at $69, and the Bulli Elite which runs at a costly $140. If you want a moderate, slender size and a good amount of vaping time then these are for you.

Last we take a big jump up to 2400 mAh with the single 18650 based mods. Included in this category is the Bulli Extreme which is a costly $170, the Kyozen which has not been released yet, and the silver bullet which costs $85. If you want a PV that takes up your whole hand but will last you all day and all night then this is for you.

5. Juice feeding system

A great additional capability that is available today is juice feeding. There is side fed mods, bottom fed mods, and Automatic Feeding System (AFS). All but the AFS are box mods containing a bottle of e-liquid and a battery. A juice fed mod replaces the need for cartomizers/cartridges, as well as direct dripping. Usually these mods are bigger in size since they have to house a bottle inside of them.

The earliest of all of these were hobbyist made and known as side-fed. It is known as side-fed because there is a small tube that comes out from the bottle and goes into the side of the atomizer. An example of this is the UPAC which is shown below.

The most popular of these today are the small and affordable ($45) Mr. Puffer, shown below. This runs on a 3.7v 14500 battery and holds 3 millilitres of juice.

The first bottom-fed mod was Carlos’ JuiceBox, which has gone out of production since but was originally priced at $95. This is shown below.

During 2010, it was followed by many bottom feeders. Some of the most popular at the time was the new aluminum Reo Mini ($131) and the UMP ($119). Both of these mods used a 14500 battery with 3ml capacity inside.

Lastly we get to the expensive. The AFS (Automatic Feeding System) which runs for $80 and holds 6ml of liquid inside of it. This is not a mod in itself, but attaches to the $180 GGTS. The atomizer sits inside, around the liquid and when you inhale it feeds juice though into the atomizers chamber. Most of these e-cigarettes are regarded as luxury items, so you have to be willing to spend quite a lot of money to be able to afford a complete GGTS with all the works.

6. Switch

The location of the switch might seem like an obvious consideration, but it may not be. Don’t ignore this, but this is about how you want the positioning of the button to be and also the feel of the button.

Visualize how you would hold the device and how you would want to press the button. This is very different for many devices, but there is no right or wrong. It’s purely a matter of personal preference. Some buttons are activated on the side toward the top, some toward the bottom, and some are at the bottom of the PV itself.

Some mods don’t even have a button to press at all. For example, the Copper fires by pushing down on the atomizer itself with your mouth. The omega is similar in which the button is located at the top and you use your finger to activate the PV.

The feel of the switch is also important. Some buttons are larger and softer, which others are small and pointed. Some stick out quite far, and some stay recessed (so it doesn’t accidently fire in your pocket).

Some mods even have touch sensors which don’t stick out at all.

7. Price

Last but not least we get to the price section. I’ve gone over some of the prices of well known mods throughout this page. Keep in mind (except where noted otherwise), prices will not include batteries, chargers, or atomizers. Expect to pay anywhere from $30-$40 for those combined.

We’ve seen mods that have a pretty big range in price, and these include:

$50 or under – DSE905, Bartleby, MrPuffer, WetBox
$50-$75 – Copper, Indulgence, Little Sister, XS-Haler, Mini VapeStack, Joye Stick V3, Steampunk Sparkplug SP2, VYPR,
$75-$100 – BB, Big Brother, GLV-Mini, Mako, Chuck, Prodigy V3, ProVape, Silver Bulltet, Xhaler
$100-$125 – Buzz, GG-Slim, Joker, Phidius Woodimus Feedimus, Omega, Precise 10440, Saber Touch, GLV2
$125-$150 – Journeyman, Ali’i, Precious-S and -M, Precise 16240, 5.2V Tekk
$150-$200 – Ali’i Variable Voltage, Precise 18650, Fist Pack, Multi Voltage Tekk, GG Telescopic Storm

Surprisingly, high/variable voltage and feeding systems are not conclusive on pricing but can be quite affordable. This is true, unless you want all of the features in one mod, which then brings the price up consistently. For example the Reo Grand can run both 3.7v and 6v, is a bottom feeder, and is an appropriate size. This will run you $151 though.


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