A mechanical mod embodies the simplest and purest form of vaping,
It is nothing more than a tube that conducts current, with one end of the aforementioned tube having 510 threading that connects to the atomizer, while the other end usually contains a simple switch which you press to complete the circuit; this powers your atomizer with voltages directly from your battery.
It is literally the same as connecting wires from the battery to the atomizer!
So why should you buy a mechanical mod?
After all, a regulated device generally outperforms mech mods; regulated devices also gives consistent voltages from the time you take them off the charger, up until the battery runs empty.
In comparison, a mechanical mod will output lower voltages as the battery runs out.
A freshly charged battery will give 4.2 volts, and gets to around 3.5 before needing to be charged – and that is the voltage you get when using mechanical mods.
Here is a list of some of the best mechanical mods:
Nevertheless, mechanical mods are still extremely popular, and here are a few reasons why many vapers love them:
Mechanical mods are extremely robust. With very little parts to go wrong, basic maintenance and care will ensure an extremely long service life. Compared to regulated devices whose electronic chips will eventually fail, mechanical mods are more-or-less invulnerable to hard and frequent use, and will fail only with the most severe abuse.
Another advantage to full mechanical mods is that it allows intricate super-low ohm resistance builds such as quad/octa coils with larger wires. Regulated devices have minimum resistances that they can fire before failing, which is usually around 0.3 ohms for high-end devices. Mechanical mods are limited only to the battery you are using.
Finally, mechanical mods are beautiful. Crafting brass, copper and steel into such beautiful forms is an art; one cannot deny their aesthetic value. Some mechanical mods are also extremely small, and can fit in the palm of the hand. With the right atomizer pairing, you can have a stealth setup that is so small and light, it will fit into a shirt pocket with room to spare.
Mechanical mods have no inherent protection, so abuse of the battery or a short in your atomizer might end up in a violent “venting” of your batteries (venting is a nicer term of exploding).
Before purchase and use of a mechanical mod, there are a few things to always remember:
- Know your ohm’s law. This is to ensure you are staying within the battery’s limit.
- Get decent batteries. High drain IMR batteries (like the Sony VTC series) will give you plenty power safely.
- Get a good charger. A decent charger (some popular brands are nitecore and xstar) is a good investment since it extends battery life. Cheaper chargers have been known to overcharge batteries and cause house fires.
- Get a good multimeter. This will give you the ability to monitor your battery, as well as measure the resistance of your atomizer builds. Cheaper multimeters may not be accurate, so a buying a decent one is a good idea.
Once you thoroughly understand the risks involved (and take the necessary precautions), mechanical mods are consistent performers and will probably outlast you, if you take care of them properly.
Here is a list of some of the best mechanical mods:
Best Mech Mods For beginners
With the large number of mechanical mods available, choosing your first mechanical mod can be confusing. There are so many variations for such a simple design – some mechanical mod can be even more complex to operate than regulated mods! The mods on this list are not the only “beginner” mods available, but they will give you an idea of what to look for when purchasing a first mechanical mod.
Like the original Magneto, it is heavily inspired by the Nzonic – it is one of the earliest mods to utilize magnets in the firing mechanism to give it a superior performance that lasts a long time compared to traditional springs. The magnetic firing assembly makes pressing the fire button very smooth and easy to operate.
Quality Build + Good Looks
The Magneto v2 is constructed out of solid stainless steel, and is telescopic like the Launcher. The build quality is excellent, and feels very good in the hand. Unlike the Launcher, this beautiful mod has adjustable positive and negative pins, ensuring a good connection without being too rough on batteries when screwing the telescopic portion down. It is also very aesthetically pleasing compared to the Launcher, and performs surprisingly well.
Another advantage this mod has over the Launcher is the fact that it has a locking ring; you can carry it in your pocket without having to worry about misfires. The magnets are strong enough to prevent firing when setting the mod upright unlocked (with a modestly heavy atomizer), but still soft enough to use comfortably when using the device.
Overall, this is an excellent beginner’s mod if you want something authentic – there are several colours to choose from as well. Do keep in mind that the mod is a bit longer than popular “stealth” mods like the SMPL due to the firing switch (though it is about half an inch shorter than the original Magneto).
Also take note that the Magneto 2 might not perform as well as a “competition mod” due to the fact that the contacts are brass, in addition to being constructed out of stainless steel. That said, it performs very well for modest resistance builds in the neighborhood of around 0.7 ohms and above.
Brass m16 clone from Fasttech
Brass m16 clone from Fasttech – If you are looking for something that performs like a $300 mod but costs less than a dinner for two, then look no further. The brass m16 clone not only looks great, but it works spectacularly well.
Fully constructed out of brass, this mod delivers a lot of power – it even outperforms many mods with copper contacts. The threadings are buttery smooth, and it looks very good with most atomizers. It is 25mm at the widest part of the tube, but tapers at the ends so most 22 and 23mm atomizers like the Taifun will look good on this mod. The firing switch is also constructed out of brass and has a very smooth action. The m16 comes with a locking ring, so carrying it around is no problem.
The brass construction has several advantages and disadvantages. Most notably is the performance – this mod will outperform stainless steel mods all day, coming in second only to a fully copper mod. It does tarnish, but not as quickly as copper. This can be considered an advantage because even a dirty copper mod will lose in terms of performance to a clean brass mod – so the m16 is the best of both worlds; less maintenance than copper but better performance than steel. Some people might not like the smell of copper (it has a very distinct odor that can linger on the hands), but brass does not smell as strongly.
A big disadvantage of the brass m16 is the fact that brass is a relatively soft metal compared to steel. You will have to take care when screwing on the atomizer, since the 510 threading is extremely fine and prone to stripping. However, if you apply some lubricant such as graphite powder and be very gentle when screwing the mod together, it will last a long time.
This is probably the only brass mod I would keep in my collection. It is extremely well made, performs like a champ and looks absolutely gorgeous. And IF the soft brass does get damaged beyond repair, I would rather have it happen on a $14 clone than $300+ authentic mod.
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Best Mech Mods For intermediate Vapers
The next few mods are aimed at “intermediate” vapers, those of you who have gathered a bit more experience and are ready to invest a bit more for some quality gear.
This mod is easily the most recognizable mods today, and with good reason. It has top-quality design in addition to precision engineering, giving performance that is hard to beat. It is also quite expensive, with the authentic version retailing a few hundred dollars. Cloned versions are a more affordable alternative (usually around $20), but be sure to read reviews since not all clones are of the same quality. Better clones are almost indistinguishable from the real deal, and perform exactly the same. They even come in brass and copper as well, if you want better performances out of your mod.
The stainless steel clone from Fasttech is the most popular, being extremely sturdy yet excelling in performance. Buying this kit gives you a topcap with an adjustable positive contact (silver plated) that has airholes for bottom-air atomizers, modular tubes that can fit 1860 to 18350 batteries (as well as a kick), a lock ring and finally the bottom switch assembly which also has a silver plated contact. Battery rattle adjustment is an ingenious solution – all you need to do is so screw the bottom switch assembly until the battery is snug inside the tube. The top cap’s adjustable pin is only used to ensure the atomizer sits flush with the mod.
The firing switch is easily disassembled for maintenance; however just be sure to keep an eye on the tiny “rice pin”, as this is notoriously easy to lose. Replacement rice pins may be difficult to acquire; however there has been success using the tip of a toothpick cut to the appropriate length. The throw on the switch can be adjusted by unscrewing the silver plated battery contact slightly.
The nemesis firing switch (clone version) can be a little “crunchy” at first, and may need a few days to break in. Other than that, it is a very nice and reliable switch with an easy to use locking ring.
As it is, the nemesis is a great mod. However, if you want to get the best performance out of this little gem, you will need to upgrade a few parts. The first would be to replace the top switch with a nemesis hybrid adapter. This will not only make your mod look sleeker, it will also substantially improve the performance since the positive terminal is directly in contact with the atomizer instead of having to go through the silver plated contact. Note: You will have to use an atomizer with a protruding 510 pin when using the hybrid adapter. Not enough clearance between the 510 threading and the 510 pin on your atomizer will result in a short that will not only damage your battery, but will most likely result in an explosion.
Another upgrade for your nemesis is to replace the springs with magnets (13mm OD, 9mm ID and 1mm thick on almost all clones). These will make the switch even better, and lasts much longer than springs!
Stingray X – Another excellent mod for intermediate vapers is the SRX. This mod is similar to the nemesis in design – the firing switch assembly is used to adjust for battery rattle. However, that is where the similarities end. This mod is engineered with extreme performance in mind – the tube itself is copper with an outer sleeve of stainless steel; this gives it the performance of copper, with the strength and resilience of steel. Keep in mind that the threads are copper, so you will need to take care in screwing the assembly/disassembly of the mod to prevent stripping of the threads. A disadvantage of the SRX is that the body is one piece (less threading means less voltage drop) so you will not be able to use different batteries without buying specific tube sizes.
The firing switch assembly is magnetic, so it inherently has better play compared to the stock nemesis switch; however, it will need some cleaning as it is also copper, as well as lubrication to keep it that way. The 510 connector is similar to the nemesis, but it comes with its own hybrid adapter for even better performance. As with the nemesis, the switch needs to “break in” when you first get the mod, but it gets better with use. Also like the nemesis, it has a lock ring which you screw onto the bottom part of the body of the mod.
Aesthetically, the Stingray X looks stunning, with the stainless outer sleeve having cutouts near the bottom showing beautiful copper in a symmetric design with the name stingray in between. Like the nemesis it is 22mm in width, so most atties will sit flush on it.
Performance wise, it beats the nemesis; however one of the few drawbacks is that it will require more maintenance since the threads are copper – you will have to clean it every few days or the natural oxidation will affect conductivity. Copper threads also means that this mod is more delicate; a drop will most likely rip out the threads leaving your mod smoother than George Clooney. Using the hybrid cap will require more experienced users, since shorting out will result in venting batteries and possibly some nasty burns.
SMPL mod – The SMPL is another excellent mod that is suited for more experienced vapers. It is a very minimalistic mod that screams class – it is a single tube (hybrid 510 connector is one piece with the tube itself) and a switch that you screw in for battery rattle. It is also one of the most compact 18650 mods today, at less than 80mm tall – if you use this with a small atomizer like the Derringer, it will make one hell of a stealth setup.
The topcap of the SMPL is built-in, and it cannot be removed. It is also a hybrid-type topcap, so you must be careful when selecting atomizers and batteries for this mod. The body itself is stainless steel, very well made and has no designs or fancy decorations. This is one of the most plain mods ever made, but that’s what makes it so unique and quite frankly, it is actually quite an endearing quality.
The brass firing assembly is screwed in using a coin or some other flat instrument via a slot on the firing button, and you screw it in until the battery is snug. The negative contact on the firing assembly is held on by a snap ring, so you will need very fine snap ring pliers or some other similar tool in order to disassemble the firing switch – it is a very innovative design that is a hassle to disassemble, but is very robust. Being made of brass, it will need some regular maintenance (though not as much as copper), and the firing button itself can be a bit crunchy at first and will require some break in. It usually helps to disassemble the entire switch, run some fine sandpaper on the parts where friction occurs and apply a generous amount of lubricant such as graphite powder.
Performance wise, this little mod is a beast. It is undoubtedly one of the most efficient mods out there, despite being made from mostly stainless steel. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and is small but comfortable to hold in the hand. It is simple, works well and is definitely one of the must-haves for any serious mod enthusiasts.
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Best Mech Mods For advanced Vapers
These next three mods are recommended for the advanced vapers – those who have the experience, the know-how and the patience to deal with the more exotic gear that (in the wrong hands) can pose more danger, require more skill to use and ultimately, yield a more rewarding vaping experience.
Congestus mod – The Congestus mod can be described as a monstrosity – it is HUGE. Able to support up to two 26650 batteries and weighing over 300 grams, this is not a mod you would want to carry around unless you plan to build some muscle mass while vaping. However if you are a fan of stacking batteries and absurdly long battery life, then this is the mod for you!
This behemoth is surprisingly a very successful side-firing mod. Not many mods are able to pull of a sub-ohm capable side firing design, due to the inherent difficulty in engineering a switch that small that can provide enough surface area needed for high-power vaping. The Congestus does this very well, and this results in a very comfortable vaping experience that still delivers monstrous power. The body of the mod itself is telescopic, and can accommodate up to two 26650 batteries with no problems adjusting for battery rattle. The topcap is simple, with a large copper contact that provide excellent conductivity. The bottom contact is a solid chunk of copper – so don’t expect a lot of voltage drop there either.
There is a niche for 26650 users – those that enjoy long battery life, and those that enjoy high – power vaping. The congestus excels at both, since you are able to stack a pair of 26650 batteries, giving you up to 8.4 volts to work with. A few hundred watts of power is no problem for this monster (if your batteries can handle it, of course). Naturally, there are inherent dangers when using stacked cells, especially when used in vaping. Remember, there is no protection when using a mechanical mod – use stacked batteries ONLY IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. This is probably one of the most dangerous configurations you can use in vaping.
Aesthetically, it is actually a good-looking mod if it wasn’t for it’s absurd size. It performs very well, and if you don’t mind the size then give this mod a try!
Copper 4nine – This is one for those looking for a mod that will not only blow your socks off, but looks sexy as hell doing so. The copper 4nine is one of those mods that people just stare at. It’s so pretty, so small…then suddenly you blow these monstrous clouds because the voltage drop on this thing is insane.
The copper 4nine is very compact – comparable to the SMPL at under 80mm tall. Like the SMPL it has a hybrid topcap, so you will have to choose your atomizers and batteries well. Unlike the SMPL it is tubular, so you can switch out your tubes to fit different sized batteries – but it is so well machined, you literally can’t see the seams; the three tubes together (for 18650 mode) looks like one piece! Keep in mind these seams are razor sharp, and can easily draw blood when trying to screw the tubes together.
The firing switch is unique, and uses magnets to adjust for battery rattle. Keep in mind that the bottom contact is composed of the two magnets – one magnet in contact with the battery, and the other repelling it will come into contact with the first magnet when you press the fire button. This design results in a very compact firing assemble, but an atomizer short or dirty switches will result in the magnets heating and losing polarity; extra sets of magnets are definitely good to have as backups.
Aesthetically, this mod is simply gorgeous. If you like the look of clean copper then it is highly recommended to clear coat your mod (except for the threads, you need those clean for conductivity). However, many vapers will force a patina using different chemicals that result in many different hues that will result in a one-of-a-kind mod. Do take note that the copper construction is more delicate than steel or brass, and may get irreparably damaged when dropped. It will also tarnish very quickly, and will require thorough cleaning and lubrication every few days for optimal performance.
While this is an outstanding mod, the fact that it has a notoriously finicky switch, no locking ring, hybrid topcap and copper construction means that inexperienced vapers may not have the expertise nor the patience to maintain this mod. That said, if you think you are experienced enough and patient enough, then this mod is definitely worth the price.
Copper Cherry Bomber
Copper Cherry Bomber – This is the biggest and baddest mod on this list. The copper Cherry Bomber by MCV is a box mod that accepts two 18650 batteries in parallel; this effectively doubles your amp limit as well as battery life. And in addition to the fact that it is purely mechanical (no wires or solder points to fail), as well as the fact that it is made purely out of extremely thick copper makes this leviathan possibly the most suited mod today for extreme sub-ohm applications.
Aesthetically, it is one fine-looking mod if you are willing to overlook the excessive logo and designs on the box (I don’t really like it, but I know some people who absolutely love it). On the front is a scantily clad woman (I have seen her before, just can’t remember the name off the top of my head) riding a rocket with F*CK ALL CLONERS underneath along with the serial number. On the fire button side Masterpiece Custom Vapes is written; I like this part of the design, as it gives it a very industrial look. In my opinion they should have kept the design simple, and they definitely should not have put F*CK ALL CLONERS there – it will make the mod look stupid when it does get cloned. After all, good mods are bound to get cloned whether the original makers want it or not.
The mod itself is also very big and heavy; at over half a kilogram in weight, this thing is not something you would normally bring with you to work. This mod also comes with a hefty price at well over $300 – clones are much cheaper (about $60 at Fasttech), but still well over twice the price of regular clone box mods. This is probably due to the thick copper body, but in my opinion the performance this beast puts out is well worth it. Keep in mind that this mod is limited edition, so buying the authentic is extremely difficult unless you are really lucky. Searching for classifieds might get you a second hand one, but they are usually sold for a much higher price than brand new.
Now let’s talk performance. This is a pure copper mod (very thick copper at that), accepts two 18650 batteries and is purely mechanical. This thing will hit HARD. Very low voltage drop from the copper construction along with reduced battery internal resistance (because they are in parallel) means this mod is begging for extreme low ohms. If that isn’t enough, there is even a silver contacts upgrade available! This right here is the pinnacle of high-performance mechanical mod design, and will probably be beaten only by a pure silver mod (the silver Caravela doesn’t count as it only accepts a single 18650 battery, and is a tube).
While it is an excellent mod and definitely a collector’s piece, it is plagued by the affliction all copper mods have – it tarnishes way too quickly. It will need constant polishing at the contacts, 510 and firing button to have optimal performance. This thing is also extremely heavy as previously mentioned, so it isn’t really something to use as an all-day vape. And in addition to the fact that this is capable of utilizing dangerously low ohm builds makes it a mod for only the most advanced and dedicated vapers.
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Mechanical Mod – Buying Guide
So what do you look for when choosing a mechanical mod?
You will have to take into consideration your level of expertise, and what you are going to use it for.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your mod:
- Material – The body of the mod will determine its performance; copper has the least resistance and offers the best performance (beaten only by a pure silver mod – however there are very few silver mods in existence and they are as expensive as they are rare). Brass comes in second and stainless steel performs worst. Do keep in mind that the resistance of materials becomes a serious issue the lower your ohms get – so if you vape at around 0.8 to 1 ohm, stainless steel is a great choice. Another factor to keep in mind is that copper and brass is softer, so it is not recommended to use these types of mods of you are bringing them to work or school where it is prone to drops and bumps. And lastly, copper and brass requires a lot of polishing, since dirty threads will affect performance – so if you like low maintenance gear, go with stainless steel.
- Topcap – You have two choices; hybrid or the traditional topcap. Hybrid topcaps require more experience to use, and are prone to accidents. They are also more delicate. So if you don’t really know which atomizer to use, or if you’re unsure if your battery is compatible with hybrid-styled topcaps then better go with traditional topcaps with adjustable positive contacts. Hybrid topcaps will give better performance along with a sleeker look.
- Size – Some mods are huge and heavy like the Congestus; these types of mods are not pocket friendly, and are not comfortable to use due to their weight. Rule of thumb is that if you are choosing a first mod, make sure it is comfortable to hold – even a beautiful mod like the Copper cherry bomber will end up on the shelf unused if you don’t like lugging around half a kilogram of extra weight every single day.
- Safety and use – These two factors come hand in hand, and they are the most important ones to take into consideration when choosing a mod. The safer mods with traditional topcaps should be used for people on the go, such as those working in rough environments that need the extra reliability. For those who enter vape competitions, then more delicate (and dangerous) setups like full copper mods are ideal, as they perform the best, though they will require more care and maintenance
- Budget – Beginners should definitely buy clones as first mods, since it is a great way to try out vaping without spending too much. Some clones are true 1:1, meaning they are indistinguishable from the real deal, and are a great low-cost alternative. If you do have the budget and have tried out the clone of a mod you really like, then buying an authentic mod will show your support for the maker. An authentic mod of a famous modder (such as the Caravela line) will also increase in value as time goes on, so it is a solid investment as long as you take good care of your gear.