Most folks are familiar with rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDA) and the performance they offer. The one disadvantage of using RDAs is the actual “dripping” part of the equation. Carrying around a bottle of e-liquid and constantly dripping into your atomizer can often be inconvenient and potentially messy. So, what if you could drip without dripping and still enjoy the inherent performance of a conventional RDA? Good news, you can! Welcome to squonking!
What Is a Squonk Mod?
A squonk vape mod or bottomfeeder mod is a personal vaporizer which carries your e-liquid supply onboard and allows you to directly feed e-liquid into the atomizer. No more need to carry around e-liquid bottles and constantly drip into your RDA. A squonk mod is self-contained, easy to operate, and a convenient way to enjoy the pleasures of conventional dripping without any of the hassle.
How a Squonk Mod Works
The operation of a squonk mod is very simple, as shown in the diagram below. Simply press the e-liquid bottle via the bottle opening (squonk hole) in the mod and liquid is fed by pressure via a tube into your atomizer through the 510 connection, saturating the wicking material. Releasing the pressure will reclaim excess liquid back into the bottle.
History of Squonk Mods
The origins of bottomfeed mods date back to 2009. The person most often credited with creating the first commercially available squonker is “Carlos49”, at the time a member of the E-Cigarette Forum (ECF). His creation, the JuiceBox, featured an integrated atomizer. The JuiceBox never achieved commercial success due to the inability to service the integrated atomizer without sending it back to the modder coupled, and because of an inability to fulfill orders. The JuiceBox did, however, serve as the inspiration for what is likely the most popular and successful squonker of all time: The REO, created by Robert O’Neil, another ECF member.
The REO is widely considered the gold standard in bottomfeed mods and has introduced thousands of vapers to the joys of squonking. Rob introduced his first REOs to the world in early 2010 and has continued developing new models up to the recent REO P67, introduced earlier this year. The REO eschewed an integrated atomizer in favor of external atomizers such as 306/801/901 cartomizers and 510 atomizers. I credit the REO Grand as the mod which sent me down the squonking rabbit hole. I’ve owned close to a dozen REOs and they will always have a place in my rotation.
In the years since the introduction of squonk mods, many more have come to market as squonking is rapidly gaining in popularity among the vaping community. With the additional entrants to the market have come numerous improvements and innovations. Most notably are regulated squonk mods, both variable wattage and temperature control, and the ability to use 22mm atomizers whereas older models may have only accepted 14mm-18mm atomizers. Regulated squonk mods will typically be considerably larger than their mechanical counterparts due to the additional space required for the circuit board and associated components. Squonk mods using Yihi SX350J and, especially, the Evolve DNA200 chipsets are going to be downright large. However, whether you prefer mechanical devices or regulated varieties, there is a squonk mod out there for you. While still a niche market, the options available to current and potential users of bottomfeed mods is ever expanding.
With What Kind of Atomizer Can You Squonk?
Let’s take a minute to discuss squonking atomizers. A squonking or bottomfeed atomizer is nothing more than an RDA with some modifications to facilitate the feeding (squonking) and reclamation (draining) of the e-liquid. The 510 positive pin of the atomizer is hollow, allowing e-liquid to pass through. A three post atomizer, like my Derringer shown below, also has a hole drilled through the positive post to allow the e-liquid into the deck and also drain back into the bottle. The two post atomizers which are recently very popular make excellent squonking RDAs since the liquid feeds and drains nearly at the level of the deck. My Element Mods Stumpy, also shown below, is a great example. A note of caution: be aware of the materials used in your squonking atomizers. Modifying copper and brass pins for squonking will allow your e-liquid to be in contact with those metals and potentially lead to elements leaching into your liquid. I’d recommend using only stainless steel 510 pins for squonking applications.
So, Where Do You Get Squonking RDAs?
As squonking gains in popularity the choices of atomizers is increasing commensurately. Many atomizers are available in squonk-ready configurations right off the shelf – some include a bottomfeed pin while others have an accessory pin available. I’ve listed some of these below, some budget friendly and some which are at the higher end of the price spectrum.
- Cthulu Hastur and Hastur V2
- Tobeco Torque
- Hobo Customs Hobo 3.1
- Ohman Pancake
- Narmods NarDA
- NoName NoPity
- Origen V3 Dripper by Norbert
- Mark Bugs Chalice III
Reosmods.com, home of the REO, offers numerous RDAs already modified for bottomfeed.
Additionally, Catfish Atty Mods modifies and sells RDAs which are not available squonk ready from the manufacturer. Some recent examples are the Element Mods Stumpy, Praxis Derringer, Dotmod Petri V2, and the Thump Mfg Thump RDA. Catfish Atty Mods can also modify authentic RDAs on a send-in basis. To reach Catfish Atty Mods, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit up the Catfish Atty Mods Facebook group.
Which Squonker Is Right for You?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of squonking and atomizers, how about some mods? Historically, squonking has been a fairly expensive endeavor. While there are still plenty of high dollar squonk rigs to choose from, a few recent entrants from China have hit the market at very reasonable price points.
Some budget friendly squonkers include the new Kangertech Dripbox (regulated), the Steamcrave Squonk Mod (regulated), and the Vapage VMOD (unregulated), which happens to be one of the earliest commercially available squonkers on the market.
From there your options are only limited by your wallet and, to some degree, availability. Many of the higher end squonk mods are produced in very limited numbers and are highly sought after, making securing some of them a daunting proposition. Acquiring a lot of the higher end mods often requires joining a waiting list or through various other mechanisms typically available only through the modders Facebook page or group. Some, like the REO, are always in stock and they carry a median price tag relative to the squonk market as a whole.
Some of the higher end offerings include mods by Custom Classic Mods, Tmod Customs, Sunbox, SVA, Art&Mod, and Lukkos, to name a few. The Custom Classic Mods, for example, do require joining a waiting list but the turnaround is typically only a few weeks. Some of the mods listed here are available through retail outlets but typically sell out very quickly when re-stocked.
I’m fortunate enough to own a few nice squonk mods, as shown below. From left to right: Mokooo Neon-R DNA40, brass Custom Classic, stabilized wood VR Mod, Reosmods REO Grand LP, copper Custom Classic, and an aluminum Custom Classic.
I’m an unabashed squonk junkie. As a matter of fact, I squonk exclusively these days. I’ve owned dozens of squonk mods and will likely continue to rotate mods through my collection. Is squonking for everyone? Absolutely not. However, with some of the inexpensive options available now, the cost of entry isn’t prohibitive so many more folks may opt to see if squonking is right for them. I’ll warn you in advance though, it’s a slippery slope – if you do fall in love with squonking your wallet may get very light, very fast.
And, remember, don’t drip and drive kids! Squonk instead!
Some useful links/contact info for modders and retailers of squonk gear:
REO – http://reosmods.com
Custom Classic – email@example.com
Tmod Customs – firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.facebook.com/TMOD-Customs-509212185885596
Sunbox – http://sunboxstore.tictail.com/, http://www.del-sole.it/categorie-1594/SUNBOX.aspx
Ohman – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1436179483340029/
Narmods – https://narmods.com/
Vapinart – http://vapinart.com
Tuttaltrofumo – http://www.tuttaltrofumo.it/
Dot-Mod – http://www.dot-mod.com
Steamcrave – http://www.steamcrave.com
A big thank you to VapourEyes.com.au for the main thumbnail picture. Check out their awesome range of products here.
Looking for Your First Squonk Mod?
For those looking to get into squonking we recommend that they try the new Kangertech Dripbox. It is a cheap and solid starting point for those looking to try squonk mods for the first time.
Read our full Kanger Dripbox review for more information.
You can purchase it below for $39.95 and get free shipping on your purchase from Direct Vapor.