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Vaping is helping people quit cigarette smoking. The FDA may or may not agree with that statement, but the facts speak for themselves. Making the transformation can be difficult, as anyone who has tried to quit knows. Heck, difficult is a sugar-coated, rainbow-sprinkled understatement compared to what physical withdrawal and mental anxiety will do to you when you are just craving that smoke.
How is vaping helping? Well, for starters, it works on both levels of addiction: physically and psychologically. It brings with it a way to personalize your vaping experience at a tee, and to also gradually wean your system off nicotine’s addictive properties. This is achieved by providing your body with lessening amounts, until you are purchasing 0% nicotine e-liquid in your favorite flavor. Vape modifications are taking the option of customization to a whole new level.
What Is A Vape Mod?
There are two main groups: regulated mods – vapes which allow control of wattage and voltage, provide readouts such as battery, current, voltage, and ohms. They may also offer tighter circuit protection, and other ways to tweak the device to your vaping experience satisfaction.
Alternatively, there are mechanical vaping devices, which are much simpler, and therefore easier to handle and maintain. There is a lot less that can go wrong, for one thing. They are considered a lot more durable, compared to their regulated device counterparts.
Smok XCube II Review
Kicking off our list is The XCube II, from Smok Tech. Included are an X Cube II mod, a micro USB cable for transferring data, manual, warranty card, and carrying pouch. It is powered by dual 18650 li-ion batteries, which are not included. It’s a 160W box mod, which offers wattage control, a temperature range of 200-600F, resistance ranging from 0.06-3.0 ohm, OLED display, and bluetooth technology. The XCube II can be controlled from the box itself or via Smok’s smartphone app.
My main complaints are size and weight. it is a bit heavy and a tad too large. It produces wonderful results, and is a great mod overall, but I can see how those two things would be detrimental in the long run. The battery cover is also something which I can see being a potential liability. It is magnetized, but in my opinion the magnet isn’t strong enough. It should be tighter, I think, and less prone to move. MSRP: ~$100.
Eleaf iStick 50W Review
It is small (roughly the size of a pack of cigarettes), but has an impressive 400mAh rechargeable battery. Voltage output ranges from 2-10V, wattage output ranges from 5-50W, and the range of resistance is 0.2-5 ohm. There is a built-in temp-control mechanism which turns off the device if the temperature climbs too high, and also short-circuit protection, low voltage protection, locking option, low power indicator, and a 10-second shut-off if you should happen to press the button for 10 consecutive seconds. There is an OLED display, and buttons to adjust electricity settings.
So, why are some people hating on it? A few reasons. First, some say the construction is not reliable. Problems with the ‘fire’ button and somewhat scattered reports of short-circuiting have made it so some people experience zero issues, while others are a little less happy. Overall, this product is worth it, in my opinion. It is not perfect, but it does a good job. Also, Eleaf offers a 90-day warranty, so be sure to take advantage of it if you are not satisfied. MSRP: $69.99.
Yihi SX Mini M Class Review
A variable wattage and temperature-controlled device, the SX Mini M is powered by the SXS350J chip, provides 5-60W, 0.05-3 ohm (depending on your vape mode), 10-50J (rather than voltage), and is equipped with a 510 connection, plus a gravity-sensitive sensor which allows you to change settings by tilting the device. The USB cable is for both charging and firmware upgrading, and the display on the device rotates automatically. The SX Mini M provides protection against polarity changes, low resistance, low voltage, and overheating.
My experiences with this mod box were all good, actually. I don’t particularly like the screw-on battery cap, and from what I have seen online, there is a whole group of people who are avoid this device altogether because of it. I suppose it all depends on how often you vape. I also think the price is high, but still worth it. This is a tool built to last, and even with a couple of drawbacks, it is still highly recommended. But make sure to try it before you buy it. In that sense, it is better to get to a physical shop. MSRP: $199.
Athena eNVy 17 Box Mod Review
A small, all-in-one mod box, which includes 2-35W, 1-8.5V, 04.30 ohms, OLED display, and a built-in 1900mAh battery. There is a 510 connector, and there are protections against overheating, short-circuiting, and low voltage, as well as a 10-second button-push protection. Attractive and stylish, it certainly manages to catch the eye. USB cable, warranty, and manual are included with the kit, as well as a 510/eGo adapter.
As for performance, it does not disappoint. Discreet enough for any situation, and highly reliable. You get what you pay for, and I mean that in the best way. You don’t necessarily need to spend $200 in order to have a very satisfying vape experience. To each his own. MSRP: $79.00.
Cloupor T8 150w Mod Review
The kit includes a T8, USB cable for data transfer, screwdriver, replacement screws and magnets, warranty, and a manual. Thoughtful of them to provide those replacements, don’t you think? Equipped with an aluminum alloy body and gold-plated 510 connector, it is a variable wattage, temp-controlled mod box, powered by dual-18650 batteries (meant to be purchased separately). It offers 7-150W, 1.5-7.6V, 0.15-4ohms, OLED display, and protection against polarity reversal and overheating.
A noticeable drawback of this device, and one which may be deal-breaker for some, is that past 100W it does not perform as well, and sometimes not at all. Many never use a higher wattage, so it will not be an issue for 90-something percent of users. Another minor issue: the 510 connector isn’t spring-loaded, and since that has become something of an industry standard, I hold it against them for not putting it in. MSRP: $119.99.
Gold Rush V2 Kit Review
A mechanical mod. Mechanical mods (as opposed to regulated ones) are considered to be better suited for more advanced users, who have experience with ohms, capacities, and different kinds of tanks and atomizers. There is a lot more risk at carrying around a device which creates a direct connection between the atomizer and battery. Misuse of this kind of mod could be detrimental, hence all of the warnings and prerequisites. On the other hand – there are no boards, no microchips, no internal batteries, and a much simpler approach altogether to vaping.
Equipped with vent holes to reduce battery heat, stainless-steel atomizer, one-piece drip tip. Built on copper with a cerakote finish, it is a great device to own if you are looking to get into mech mod vaping. I don’t like the fact that it comes with no replacement screws or rings, but it most definitely lives up to its price and hype. I thoroughly enjoyed using this vape, and it produced a nice flavor, lots of vapor, and an altogether highly-satisfying experience. MSRP: $175.00.
Vape Accessories Explained
Mods are not considered accessories, but rather devices. Vape accessories are many and varied, and they change according to the device which is being used. These include:
- E-liquid: Also known as vape juice, e-juice, or just juice, it is a solution which typically contains glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring. Liquids are vaporized and inhaled, which feels a lot like smoking but does not include actually burning tobacco. Big difference.
- Batteries: The heart and soul of any vape – the power-generator. It is important to have a battery which is optimized to your vape method. It needs to perform, to be flexible and reliable, and to be equally safe. Many devices use removable 18650, 26650, or 18350 batteries, while others – like pen vapes – utilize built-in batteries. The capacity ranges from several hundred mAh to several thousand, and the corresponding chargers vary accordingly.
- Chargers: There is nothing like picking up your device and getting ready to vape, only to find that its batteries are drained. Looking to avoid that issue? Charge your batteries, man! There are USB chargers, wall chargers, and smart bluetooth chargers. Rechargeable batteries are only meant to be charged in specific ways and using specific devices. Make sure to take caution, because otherwise you could find yourself facing a much bigger problem than a mere drained, useless battery. Some chargers are portable, others are stationary. There is tons of variety, so do your research, and find what you need.
- Tanks: Tanks are also a pretty big market which varies according to style of vaping. Depending on how you draw from your device, and on the kind of experience you are interested in having, you will be provided with one of several options. Generally speaking, there are two types of tanks: mouth-to-lung tanks, and direct-lung tanks aka sub-ohm tanks. Tanks made for a direct draw have more airflow, which in turn creates a looser draw, able to get to your lungs quicker. Tanks made for mouth-to-lung vaping are the more original tanks, meant to emulate the cigarette-smoking activity of pulling and inhaling. Some tanks have adjustable airflow, but they still generally fall under one of the two categories of DL or MTL. The creation of hybrid tanks has been sought and pursued, but never attained. At least not to an acceptable degree.
- Rebuildable atomizers (RBA), rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDA), rebuildable tank atomizers (RTA), and rebuildable dripping tank atomizer (RDTA).
- Coils, Wicks, and Burners: The tank holds the e-liquid, but what causes it to vaporize? That would be the atomizer. And, like with any piece of hardware, some maintenance is generally required. In this case, it is replacing worn out coils, wicks, and burners on your tank. These are used when rebuilding atomizers, and there are specific method of coiling and wrapping. Many tutorials and other kinds of instructional content can be found online. I don’t have enough experience in all of the various building techniques and what not, but those who do sure appreciate the capabilities and freedom it provides. Vape the way YOU want to vape, using the accessories you buy.
- Drip Tips: These go on top of atomizers, and they are used to drip e-liquid on the atomizer itself. Whether you use RBA, RDA, RTA, or any combination thereof, drip tips are available in many shapes, styles, and materials. You can get them made of stone, plastic, metal, glass, and even wood. A big part of the vaping experience is the ability to personalize and customize everything to perfection, and the drip tips are no different. They may be a small item, but they can greatly increase the effectiveness of your device, and consequently your entire vaping experience.
- Kits: Kits – not just starter kits – are essentially bundles which offer the new or veteran vaper an all-in-one package, meant either to begin one’s vaping experience, or enrich it. These kits change according to the intended user, and the company which manufactures it, so you can try to imagine the amount of kits currently circulating. Vaping is becoming a social phenomenon, and these kits provide users with everything they need to get moving. Used for transitioning from cigarettes to vaping, from regular to sub-ohm vaping, and from regulated to mech mods – kits are everywhere. Just make a pick and roll with it.
— Silentwulf (@Silentwulf) March 14, 2017
Vaping is a rapidly-growing market, and there is no doubt that sooner or later, Federal authorities are going to have to step in with some kind of regulation. More people are choosing to toss their cigarettes and vape instead, and that is no small feat. None at all. Vaping with mods and proper accessories can not only wean you off nicotine and psychological dependencies, but also open up a whole new world of options which cigarettes could never even dream of possessing.
Whether you are brand new to vaping, or have been there since the beginning, mods and accessories reflect the ever-changing, dynamic market that we live in. Whatever you decide to buy – make sure it is authentic. There are sooo many clones out there, sometimes they can be difficult to spot. They’re made that way. So, yeah, avoid clones, and vape on.
Whether you are using it for herb, or for quitting cigarettes, I believe you are making the right move. Vaping is still being studied, by many bodies and establishments, so we must be patient. Time will tell just what kinds of benefits and advantages it can offer us, in the short-term and long-term.