The Manual Transmission of Vaping: The Mech Mod
Now you may be wondering either A) what a 'mech mod' actually is, or B) why in the world would anyone still use one? Let me try and explain why I think someone would choose a mechanical mod as their daily vape.
If you're newer to vaping and aren't sure what a mechanical mod is, basically it's a copper/steel/brass tube that holds a single 18650 battery inside. It has no screen, no chip, no safety measures, and no short circuit protection. It is as simple and rudimentary as vaping can get.
You press a fire button at the bottom of the device and the battery puts out as much voltage/amperage as the coils above determine. This is the epitome of where Ohm's law comes into place, if your coils are shorted out, nothing will save you from your battery venting. It has always been a practice for seasoned vapers to test their knowledge and get a real feel for the inner workings of a vaporizer.
However, it wasn't always this way...
Back a few years ago, before the first high power box mod joined the party, when a device with 50 Watts was something we'd never seen before, all there was were cigalikes, cartomizer tanks, and mechanical mods. My second vape EVER was an aluminum mechanical mod, and it changed the way I vaped forever. Because at the time nothing could put out the power and vapor like a mech mod. Of course now we have box mods capable of putting out a reliable 300w, when really even 150w is enough, so why would someone still use a mechanical mod when there are more reliable, longer lasting, and most importantly safer devices on the market?
Well, I think of a mechanical mod as the manual transmission of vaping, it's more work, less convenient, less efficient, but yet there is still a large group of people who continue to actively search for a car with a stick shift. Why? Maybe because they feel they have more control, they feel more 'one' with the car, or maybe it's just a feeling of familiarity for those who learned to drive with a third pedal. Mechanical mods are the same way in my opinion, people want something that they have 100% control over, where the only thing that can go wrong is something they cause themselves, and if you know what you're doing, it's pretty hard to hurt yourself with a mechanical mod.
That being said, it is not for everyone.
Personally, although there is nothing that vapes quite like a mech mod, the battery life is absolutely atrocious, I once blew through 3 batteries before lunch time. And the whole design behind a mech is to provide pure battery output, which means as the battery dies, so does the level of power it's able to put out.
But more importantly, using a mechanical mod is as dangerous as vaping gets, if you started vaping yesterday and you decide to pick up a mechanical mod with no clue on how Ohm's law works, basic electricity, how to build properly, or if you're the person that asks "these take AA batteries right?" you are going to hurt yourself.
Let me leave you with this, if you're thinking of getting into a mech mod and seeing for yourself what it's all about, make sure you're being safe, smart, and understand what you're doing on an electrical level. Because although the mech life can be rewarding, it can also very easily be punishing.
- Aiden Fedyk