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If you’ve spent a bit of time with a great e-cigarette, you’ve learned how incredibly pleasurable and satisfying vaping can be – and once you’ve done that for a few months, the natural next step is to upgrade to a vape mod. If you’ve spent any time reading vaping websites and discussion forums, you know that upgrading to a vape mod means that you’ll enjoy better battery life, bigger vapor clouds, richer flavors and a more feature-rich vaping experience overall. Until you’ve actually bought and used your first mod, though, you can’t possibly know what your preferences are. There are a little trial and error involved in vaping, but we can help you through the initial stages a bit. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between the five most common types of vape mods. When you’re done reading, you should have a good idea of the type of mod you’d like to try first.

Vape Pens

Vape pens get their name from the fact that they’re shaped like pens or permanent markers. They’re some of the smallest and simplest vape mods on the market. In addition to the high level of portability, a vape pen is incredibly easy to use because it generally has a single-button control scheme.

If you’re currently using a beginner’s e-cigarette and are upgrading to your first vape mod, a vape pen is a perfect choice due to the simplicity of the design. Using a vape pen is a slightly more complex process than using a traditional e-cigarette – you’ll need to get used to filling your tank and replacing your atomizer coil periodically – but isn’t so much more complex that you’re likely to become frustrated and lose interest.

Don’t assume that a vape pen provides an inferior vaping experience just because it’s smaller than some other types of vape mods. Today’s vaping coils are so efficient that they can generate incredible vapor clouds without requiring much battery power. You will be amazed when you experience the performance of your first vape pen.

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Box Mods

Box mods are generally the largest and most powerful vaping devices. A box mod is typically around the same size as a cigarette pack and may hold one or two batteries. While vape pens are usually direct voltage output devices that lack adjustable settings, a box mod may allow you to change everything about your vaping experience.

At a minimum, a typical box mod will allow for wattage adjustments and may deliver 200 or more watts of power. Many box mods also allow you to set temperature limits and dial in your own custom wattage curves. If you want to experience the latest technology in vaping and use a device with the highest level of power delivery possible, you’ll want a box mod.

Compared to a vape pen, a box mod has the advantages of added power and flexibility. However, box mods are also more complex, heavier, and less portable than vape pens. You can get impressive performance in a much smaller package with a vape pen, but a box mod is the better choice if you want to have the best of everything.

Squonk Mods

A squonk mod is a special type of box mod with its own internal e-liquid bottle. A squonk mod doesn’t use a standard vape tank. Instead, it uses a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) – a type of atomizer with a heating coil that you build yourself from resistance wire and cotton. Normally, you’d add e-liquid to an RDA by dripping e-liquid from a bottle through the atomizer’s mouthpiece. When you use a squonk mod, you’ll keep your atomizer wet by squeezing the bottle periodically.

A squonk mod makes an RDA much more pleasurable to use, so you should definitely consider buying a squonk mod if you’re already building your own coils. If you haven’t explored coil building yet, though, a squonk mod isn’t for you because you’ll lose the functionality of the internal e-liquid bottle if you use a squonk mod with a standard vaping tank.

Mechanical Mods

The first vape mods were mechanical mods that industrious vapers built themselves, and many companies manufacture them commercially today. A mechanical mod is a vaping device with no internal electronics. It has a direct connection from the battery to the atomizer along with a button that completes the connection and causes the atomizer to fire.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to learn about safe battery usage, a mechanical mod isn’t for you because this type of device has no safety features. The internal electronics in a standard vape mod aren’t just there to control the device; they’re also there to help ensure that you’re vaping safely. A standard vape mod can automatically detect problems such as overheating or a short circuit and shut down to prevent potential injury. If you use a mechanical mod, though, you won’t have those features; you’re responsible for your own safety.

Although they have no safety features, mechanical mods are still popular among certain members of the vaping community because they’re almost indestructible. Without internal electronics, a mechanical mod has almost no parts that can stop working. The only part of a mechanical mod that can fail is the button, and you can easily replace that yourself.

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Pod Mods

Most vaping devices store their e-liquid in refillable glass tanks. You keep the tank and replace its atomizer coil periodically. A pod mod doesn’t use a traditional tank. Instead, it stores its e-liquid in a disposable plastic pod. Some pod mods use pre-filled single-use pods, and others have refillable pods that you can use several times. When a refillable pod no longer produces the flavor quality it once did, it’s time to discard the pod and begin using a new one.

Pod mods are great for newer vapers because many people find pods easier to work with than standard vape tanks with replaceable atomizer coils. Pod mods are typically also very small and easy to carry in a pocket. If pod mods have any downside, it’s that they won’t exactly blow you away with their power. A pod mod, for example, usually has lower vapor production than an entry-level vape pen. Nevertheless, you’ll still find a pod mod a great upgrade if you’re currently using a traditional e-cigarette.