A Basic Guide for Mechanical Mods and Safety

mechanical-mod-take-apart

What you need to know in order to safely dive into mechanical mods.

Mechanical Mods are becoming rather common in the vaping scene, especially among vapers who like to push their equipment to the limit. Hell, even I have a few and I am not a limit pusher. MVPs and eGos contain a battery within the device, as well as the required circuitry that allows for variable voltage and auto-shut offs. Mechanical mods are simply the device without a pre-installed battery or any circuitry. Sounds simple, right?

A basic mechanical mod is a tube of metal, such as stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. Along with the tube, there’s a firing pin that allows for the current in the battery to reach the attached atomizer/cartomizer/clearomizer – causing the coil(s) to heat up and vaporize the juice. Since there isn’t any circuitry involved, they’re extremely durable and modifiable (there are people who have even dropped their mech mods in water and dried out the components – the mods still worked).  They are basic, simple, and potentially harmful.

Woah wait a second, what do you mean by “potentially harmful”?

There is a danger inherent in every mechanical mod – the battery. Batteries can fail, due to over-tightening the end-caps of the mod or atomizer. They can also over-discharge due to accidentally pressing the firing pin/button for too long, causing the battery to overheat and potentially burst.

Never buy a mechanical mod without seeing it first. And by that, I mean you need to be able to get your hands on the mod before purchasing it. Think of it this way, just because your moms Ford Fusion is amazing, it doesn’t mean the one you’re buying won’t be free from defects either. Mods, though considerably less expensive than a car, should be treated the same way. If possible, inspect before you buy – or at the very least, before you use it for the first time.

Mechanical mod pro-tips:

  • Always make sure that there is a lock for the firing pin/button. The most common are those that are reverse threaded and require an unscrew to lock the firing pin/button. You don’t want to fall asleep with your mod firing continuously, after all, do you?
  • Check your mod for air-holes. While there aren’t any batteries in the mod, blow into it from the connection end. Make sure you do this with the firing pin both in the locked and unlocked positions.  Air holes (aka vents) are incredibly important in letting gases escape your mod if the battery is compromised. Air holes are your friend, make sure they act like it.
  • Make sure your batteries aren’t overcharged or undercharged by checking their volts. I check battery voltage when I think they are getting close to needing a recharge. Run them too low repeatedly and they have shortened life, way too low and they are toast. I check coil resistance any time I mess with or build a new wick and coil. If you draw too many amps from your battery, you will have a serious safety issue. I’m also always aware of the mod’s temperature during use. Any part of it heating up is an issue that needs to be resolved, or it can become serious.

Why a mechanical mod?

Even with the battery dangers of mechanical mods (which are also present, though in a different fashion, in regular devices), mechanical mods are incredibly popular as well as a logical step to pursue once you have gotten into rebuilding your atmomoziers or clearomizers. Building coils are a cost-effective way of keeping your device up and running and you vaping. However, electrical devices have safety protocols that require any coils used to be able to handle a certain resistance or above. This is why many heads are listed as 1.5 ohms or higher. If you are rebuilding devices for electrical devices, you are rather limited as to how low your coil’s resistance can be.

With mechanical mods, you are not limited to this. Since there are no electrical circuits, there is nothing keeping your mod to fire no matter how low your coil’s resistance is. The lower the ohms (resistance) of the coil, the more amps it draws from the unregulated battery which causes more power to be delivered to the coil causing juice to be vaporized faster. This gives stronger flavor and more vapor.

Depending on the mod, you can be limited to the battery size that you use. Of course, if you acquire a mod that is telescoping, then you can use multiple battery sizes, making your mod far more versatile.

Who should use a mechanical mod?

If you are looking for stronger flavor and increased vapor production, have a solid understanding of ohm’s law and battery amperes limits, then go for it! If you don’t, but still want a mech mod, make sure that you do your research and stay safe.

Here is my post about batteries, battery safety, amperage limits of said batteries, and how to determine what Ohms your coil needs to be at to be safe. If you are going to be using a mechanical mod or an RBA, you will need to know this information. Follow us to get notified when the next post goes live.

57 thoughts on “A Basic Guide for Mechanical Mods and Safety

  1. Great website by the way and thanks for sharing this information about mechanical mods. I stopped smoking and started vaping about 7 months ago, starting with the Tornado T starter kit which uses an ego style battery. I have since progressed onto using a kanga pro tank 2 mini but I haven’t moved onto using a variable voltage battery yet.

    I only recently stumbled upon the benefits of dripping and using a bridge-less atomizer for intense flavour. So now I’m stuck on whether to just buy a variable voltage mod and combine it with a bridge-less atomizer , or go the whole mechanical mod route using a dripper etc.

    I’m still new to this whole vaping game and have yet to delve into rebuilding coils etc but as I’ve mentioned. Maybe I just want keep it simple with the bridge-less atomizer option.

    Any thoughts on this? advice appreciated 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi John, I would watch some youtube videos on building coils for a rebuildable atomizer and use that vs a bridgeless atomizer which are a bit old school now and are being replaced with rebuildables.

      Reply
      • I was wondering if it would be safe to run 24 gauge wire coils with organic cotton on a AR MOD using a AW IMR 18650 2000 maH. (dual coil set up)?

        Reply
  2. Dale,

    I’ve just begun getting into vaping with mechanical mods and I dig it, a lot. I’m still fairly ignorant on the specifics, so here I am researching online when I come upon your article. I am not 100% sure, but I think you may be mistaken in regards to your explanation here:

    “The lower the ohms (resistance) of the coil, the more amps it draws from the unregulated battery which causes more power to be delivered to the coil causing juice to be vaporized faster. This gives stronger flavor and more vapor.”

    Power = (Current)^2(Resistance) or P = I^2R.

    From my understanding, this equation is representative of the heat (power) dissipated from an elementary electric circuit. Since the dissipated heat is directly proportional to the circuits resistance (the resistivity of the coil, in this case), the greater the resistance to current flow, the greater the heat dissipated from the circuit. And furthermore, since I don’t believe the current will vary significantly (since current is dependent upon the voltage of the battery, i.e., V = IR, where R is a constant determined by the internal resistivity and the (length/cross sectional area) ratio of the wire).

    So, in summary, I think that the greater your coil’s resistance is, the greater the heat dissipated will be and the faster your juice will vaporize. But then again, I could be dead fucking wrong…

    Reply
    • Hi Dylan, I’ll try to help answer this question for you. The equation you wrote is another way to write the same equation of P(power)=V(voltage)*I(current) and V(voltage)=I(current)*R(resistance). A battery has a max voltage of 4.2 which your equation doesn’t consider. So when you consider that volts are maxed at 4.2 you can then come to the conclusion that power is inversely proportional to resistance.

      Reply
    • Nice post Dylan, but the simple of it is power (watts) determines how hot your coils get and how fast. When you decrease restance, more power is used by the battery because the systems current(amps) increases; so… less resistance = more current, more current = higher wattage, higher wattage = more heat/vapor. With that said a higher restance system does have the potential to be hotter(more heat dissipation), but that requires much higher voltage, such as a dual series mod or a corded mod (regulated 110v).

      Reply
    • I know this was two years ago, but for anyone else coming along and wanting to understand this, here’s what is missing from the suggestion above:

      Voltage is set by the battery – it will decrease a bit as the battery discharges, but for simplicity let’s assume a nice steady Voltage.

      Resistance is set by the coil – We’re talking about replacing coils here so this is the thing which we can directly tweak in a mechanical mod.

      Current equals voltage divided by resistance. This is a rearrangement of Ohm’s law:
      V = IR
      I = V/R

      Note, current is voltage divided by resistance. If we increase the resistance of the coil, the current is going to drop.

      Increasing the resistance does increase the proportion of energy which is dropped as heat across the coil: the copper wire of the firing pin has a very low resistance but it’s above zero, so the ratio of resistances in coil and connectors will determine where the heat is dropped. But because the total current decreases, this massively overpowers any proportional shift of heat into the coil, and you get a cooler coil.

      I’m really glad vaping is becoming popular, it means a whole new group of people learning about electronics.

      Reply
  3. Hi can you use a normal atomiser liker a kanger aerotank on a mod. with a 1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 coil.

    Colin

    Reply
    • On a variable voltage/wattage mod sure, but the resistance (oHms) are too high for a mechanical.

      Reply
      • I don’t believe you are correct unless there’s something I don’t understand.

        On a mechanical Mod, the voltage relatively stays the same at the batteries rated 3.7v (or 4.2v whatever the charge status)
        Power = Current x Volts
        As the resistance increases, the current decreases (I = V/R) and therefore the power (Watts) decreases.

        Reply
  4. Hi I just picked up a innokin mvp 2.0 with the I clear 30. And everyone’s tellin me I need to get rid of that tank cause it’s junk and I agree because it doesn’t produce much vapor at all and I think the taste aspect could be improved. So my question is what tank would you recommend putting on it, I’ve asked around and someone recommended the nautlis and I asked them about the kangertech mini and they said it wouldn’t work on my mvp? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Josh, I would get the Nautilus to use with the MVP2. Those iclears are garbage for sure.

      Reply
    • The best by far hands down is the Atlantis. The most vaper

      Reply
      • You cannot use an atlantis on an mvp 2.0, I have the mvp 2.0 and the Iclear x.1, it is ok but mine leaked into the mod therefore I highly recommend the nautilus. Or just go up in wattage, I currently use the tesla2 100 watt, you can put anything on this were you are limited on the mvp 2.0 at only 11 watts.

        Reply
    • So josh, what did you end up picking up?, because I have a mvp 2.0 and I actually want to pick up a aerotank… I want to see if that’s compatible.

      Reply
      • @kenjo316 – It appears the ohm rating of the coil should not be lower than 1.3 on the MVP 2 so any tank using a coil above the 1.3 ohm rating should be fine. The aerotank 2 uses either a 1.5 ohm or 2.0 ohm coil so it should work without issue. The aerotank turbo uses dual 1.8 ohm coils which means it is really 0.9 ohms (sub ohm) and likely won’t even fire on the MVP.

        Reply
        • Actually just because its a dual coil doesnt mean that you half the resistance!! That would only be the case if the coils were in series (which they wont be!) It is 2 x 1.8 ohm coils in parallel ao total of 1.8 ohms. Maybe look up some basic electrical facts before giving advise out mate.

          Reply
          • sorry, but 2x 1.8ohm coils in parallel is 0.9ohms source (ohms law) http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/resistor/res_4.html

          • I know for a fact the mvp will take a protank mini, protank 3 and nautilus (preferred) I also know for a fact and definitely don’t recommend it but it will fire at .6 ohms as it read on mvp with my omega rda. I’m pretty sure that I was definitely pushing the limit with that but I wanted to see if it would fire also I didn’t look into specs of the battery and amperage draw… my face is intact although again probably far from safe as my b+m recommended over an ohm minimum and said it wouldn’t fire below

          • Actually adam you have it reversed. The equation for resistance in parallel(which in this situation is the case) is 1/total r= 1/r1+ 1/r2 (r standing for resistance) for resistors connected in series to find the total resistance you simply add them together. But again the coils are connected in parallel making them .9 total resistance. @adam

    • Nautilis is a great tank for a starter hell know a few people who still use them. Atlantis is a great tank delta2 or above even better but if your just starting and trying to get of cigs nautilus is a great start. At your local vapes shop or home drill out your largest hole a lil more to get better hits be careful because your so close to your rings

      Reply
      • Get a free ohms calculater app and type in the ohm resistance of the tank you will be using and 4.2 volts, that will tell you what mod to get. Be carefull people and remember you could be putting a nice vaporizer next to your face or a BOMB.

        Reply
    • I have same mvp 2 and I love it. kayfun +lite v2 is hands down BEST rba tank! Have 3 and various rda’s. 1.5 ohm build is my sweet spot. My ADV is USA Blend from Mountain Vapes. Deliciously smooth nutty tobacco vape.

      Reply
  5. Hello
    Would it be ok to use the 1300mAh x6 variable voltage mod with an Tobh rebuildable atty? And if so do you have any tips or things I need to know?

    Reply
    • A great way to learn and pick up tips is follow well known vapers on youtube like rip trippers. Also using either in your browser some form of an ohm calculator or downloading an app like VaporCalc it’ll help you get the hang of coil building, ohms law, and wire types, to really get a perfect vape experience is the best teacher

      Reply
  6. Hi, I’m new to vaping and tight for money. I have Ultrafire 4000 mAh batteries, (I know, Chinese crap) and I’m running it in a Nemesis Mech Mod clone, with a Nimbus clone RDA. I can’t spend more money for a Ohms tester so do you have any idea what coil build would be definitely safe for the above mentioned build.

    Reply
  7. Can anyone possibly recommend a first time mechanical mod that would be compatible with the new Kanger Subtank that is still reasonable in price?

    Reply
    • I’ve got the subtank mini (same coils and rebuildable as well) and I’m using a stingray X clone just now with a sony 18650 battery. Vapes nice. Mod was £35, Battery £10.

      Reply
    • I have the SUBTANK Mini, and I run it with a eleaf 50w battery mod. It has auto protect and is capable of subohm to 0.3 but if you are looking at mechanical mod unrestricted it is a matter of quality vs $$ any Clone should do the trick, you dont need to spend the big bucks.

      Reply
  8. So I’ve had my mod for a day now with the new kangertech top part and it just suddenly stopped hitting and no smoke comes out whenever I push my button in ? Any ideas on what’s up with it?

    Reply
    • I would try a different atomizer and see if that works, then you know its not the mod but the Kanger atomizer.

      Reply
    • the positive contact in your tank is not making contact with the positive pin in your mod

      Reply
      • Kanger tanks should Never be put on mech mod unless it is a hybrid 510 spring loaded in other words. If your mech mod top shows the top of the battery you are asking to vent a battery in other words stuff goes boom! Do not ever put a tank on a mech mod tube without making sure it is a spring loaded 510 connector.

        Reply
  9. I have a question about the youde udt v14. It won’t fire. Plain and simple,how can I fix that I love it and its my girls mod and she loves it I. Stick in to my MVP, but hers just refuses to work for us. I’ve made sure the thread is properly adjusted, my I go is sitting at 1.2 and the battery is still fresh, I’ve tried messing with the shrapnel piece at the bottom and everything please email me or something in response I want to get this sucker working for her

    Reply
  10. I am new to the mech mods but I just purchased a beyond vape sage mod with a AW IMR 18650 battery and a Aria Orion RDA. Can you recommend some good videos for building coils?

    Reply
  11. I just got the tesla steampunk mod with the mutation x v3 rda ..but i want a tank to go on it…which would you recomend

    Reply
    • I highly recommend the Herakles or Nautilus tanks both are about equal in vapor/flavor production and run very similar coils IMO the Herakles has better airflow. My own Herakles with a .2 ohm coil is an absolute delight at 60w.

      Reply
  12. Hey guys so I just was wondering how to unlock my mod because I have no idea somebody locked it at a party. And I have no idea how to unlock it please help

    Reply
  13. Hey guys, i am about to get the fuck you mod 18650. What tank should I get? Can I use a vivi nova?

    Reply
    • I’m not familiar with the vivi nova, but I use Delta 2, Aspire Atlantis and Atlantis V2 with my FU mods. They work great and aren’t too expensive on ebay.

      Reply
  14. Hey great this place is,
    I’m getting into mods and love wood mods. I’ve got a warlock but question is. I’m kind of getting my head around things and won’t even try firing up until I know how to do it safely . What sort oh ohm coil would I need on the dual mech mod and what size battery ?

    Thanks Andy

    Reply
  15. I’m new to this, and having some buyer’s remorse with a Kanger sub-ohm mini and a box mod.

    I have the same setup as the other Mike above, May 28 2015, other than that my eleaf is 40w. I’ve had this for 3 weeks, as an upgrade from an EVOD. No doubt it can produce, but getting that production seems to involve a lot of harshness (heat, gurgling, noise). Therefore, I vape at a lower output (16-18), and you can guess what I do instead a few times a day (ok, sometimes more) when I really get a craving.

    I have air holes open, running 0.5 store bought coils (not built), nic at 3, tried juice from 50/50 to 80/20, without much difference other than the added vapor with higher VG.

    Did I make a mistake, and should I have gone for a mechanical instead? Or, is there a way to get the production without all the drama? Would a different tank or mod somehow help, without changing out the whole thing?

    As for mechanical, I’m no electrician, and not that handy. That’s why I went for the regulated box mod instead. However, I’d be curious to know if a mechanical would address my concerns above, or if despite my best efforts, my body just can’t adjust to serious daily vaping?

    Suggestions always appreciated,
    Mike

    Reply
    • Your main problem is running too high of a resistance coil Kanger tanks have been well regarded as a great way to take the next step from cigalikes due to the coils having a higher resistance than many tanks that being said I normally don’t use any Kanger tank above 25w. I would recommend either an Atlantis tank or a Herakles they both are amazing sub-ohm tanks and using the .6 ohm coil in my Herakles at 40-60w gives me a wonderful warm dense flavorful vape. Running the higher resistance coils above 15w in general causes the coil to burn the juice rather than vaporize it leading to the gurgles and poor taste also ruining your wicks in the coil

      Reply
      • Thanks for the advice. In the recent past, I found same rhrough trial and errtor. While maybe not the most efficient, using the lowest resistance coils with any tank bur at miderate power produces a cool understressed vape. Sort of like driving a big V8 at low rpm. Maybe the advice for newbies to use higher resistance is all about the mouth to lung, which can be unlearned with time and practice.

        Reply
  16. Hey i am wondering if the istick 50w w/protank2 can handle rebuilt coils below an ohm rating of 1 as i put in a 1.5 ohm coil and it let me go up to 50 watts so i tried it and after that 1 .5 second hit it immediately burned out my coil and as i know how to rebuild coils and i can get them below 1 am i able to use this safely without having to worry as my evod twist doesnt have to power to use them coils i rebuild?

    Reply
  17. Hey man, I recently got an urge to build my own mod out of a gameboy color. I feel that if I have someone to guide me step by step, but I do it myself, I could learn a lot more. I’m more of one of those “hands on” type of learners haha. So when you get the chance, be sure to shoot me an email. Thanks man.

    Reply
    • The forums on vapingunderground have whole sections to doing customs build like this including photos and techniques, great resource to use

      Reply
  18. Is 1.5 wire safe for mech mod?? Tq..

    Reply
  19. I built a .10 quad Clapton coil on my Tsunami RDA and I am using a eVic mini mod… So far so good.. My question is what mAh should I use if I go on a mech mod for a .10 ohms coil???

    Reply
  20. If my mech mod/tube mod is heating up in a few puffs.what is the issue about it?all the metal parts are heating up on continuos using.how will i prevent it?thanks

    Reply

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