It’s hard to find an up-to-date list of the best mechanical mods. If you’re an enthusiast vaper that loves using mechs, you know this to be true. Mech mods are not as popular as they once were, due in large part to the modern technology of box mods having more universal appeal. Also, because strong user-knowledge is recommended to operate a mechanical mod safely, they’ve fallen out of favor in the marketplace. Most online vape shops no longer even have a section for mechanical mods! That’s okay. Here’s a list compiled by our team of vape enthusiasts that are more-than-familiar with this category of vape mods.
Rockvape Mods Swordfish
The Rockvape Swordfish is a meticulously designed mech mod that takes 21700 batteries. It is a side-firing Cerakote-coated brass mod with barely any voltage drop. The Swordfish comes in five stunning color options and can accommodate atomizers with up to 25 mm diameter out of the box, with a 28 mm connector available separately.
Russian Custom Mods Infinity Bonneville
The Infinity Bonneville design by Russian Custom Mods is a unique mech mod. Coming with an industrial design and a stunning heatsink-style top, it looks gorgeous while performing at a high level. The Infinity Bonneville’s internals are made out of brass, and it features a constant contact button. The mod is available in a whopping 11 color options.
Timesvape Heavy Hitter
The Heavy Hitter is the most affordable mod in this list, but it’s not a slouch in the performance department. Designed by Heavy Metal Vaper and TenaciousTXVapes, the Heavy Hitter features a practical lock function and comes with two top hats—26 and 28 mm. Compatible with 21700 batteries and available in three color options.
What is a mechanical mod?
Mechanical mods demand user knowledge of ohms law, lithium-ion battery safety, and electrical conductivity.
A mechanical mod is a simple yet advanced vaping device that delivers raw battery power to an atomizer without electronic regulations, safeguards or protections for the user. For knowledgeable hobbyists, this allows for a wide degree of customization depending on the batteries used, the build of the atomizer and the materials used on the mech mod itself.
There are just a few parts to a mech mod:
- Battery housing: Most often in metal tube form, though mechanical box mods are also common in wood or plastic. Tube mechs typically only take one battery where boxes can house one or more cells.
- Positive and negative contacts: The positive connection is in the top cap and the negative contact is in the button which is typically spring loaded.
- A button or switch: The button completes the electric circuit when pressed. Many buttons on tube mods are recessed to avoid accidental “firing,” or have built-in locks for when not in use.
- 510 connection: Built into the top cap of a tube mod or on the top of a mechanical box, the 510 connection is a type of threading that electrically connects the atomizer and mod. An atomizer has the male end of the 510, and the mod has the female end. There are positive pins inside of the atomizer and the mod’s 510 threading, typically made of copper or brass, that contact each other to deliver power.
Unlike the industry-dominant regulated box mods, mechanical mods will send battery current to an atomizer regardless of its resistance. That means that even if your atomizer has a short or a dangerously low resistance for your chosen battery, a mechanical mod will still power it and continue to power it if the button is pressed, which could lead to catastrophic battery failure.
What is a hybrid mech mod?
Warning: it’s strongly recommended for the average user to avoid hybrid mechanical mods.
A hybrid mech mod is a mechanical metal tube mod with serious and inherent risks beyond the typical mechanical mod. A hybrid mech mod differs from a traditional mechanical mod in one way: there is no insulated 510 contact in the top cap of the mod. The atomizer’s 510 pin makes direct contact with the positive terminal of the battery, delivering power more quickly than a typical mechanical mod due to less metal the current travels through.
In the early days of e-cigs, atomizer threading was considered proprietary and meant to only work on a given brand’s devices. Now, 510s are standardized, enabling almost any brand’s atomizers to work with almost any brand’s mod. The danger with hybrid mechs is that almost all atomizers will fit, but very few were designed to work safely on them. Here’s the problem:
The metal threading of an atomizer’s 510 is a negative ground insulated from the positive pin that sits inside of it, but the pin doesn’t stick out very far from the threading (maybe a millimeter or less). In normal mods — all mods separate from hybrid mechs — the pin doesn’t need to stick out far, if at all, because it only touches the mod’s insulated positive pin. But In a hybrid mech mod, there’s typically not enough clearance between an atomizer’s negative threading and the battery’s positive terminal. Because of that, there is a chance the atomizer’s negative threading will make contact with the battery’s positive terminal which would result in a dead short, possibly leading to thermal runaway (a battery violently venting like a roman candle.) For this reason, it is strongly recommended to steer clear of these devices.
Are mechanical mods right for you?
Mechanical mod vape devices represent a niche and hobbyist segment of the market and are not the type of devices to “learn on.” Vaping is meant to be a safer alternative to smoking, and one should always keep that in mind no matter what you see others doing in vape shops or on YouTube. There are no advantages to using a mechanical mod over a regulated mod that warrant the risk for the average user. If you’re new to vaping, do yourself a favor and begin with recommended vape starter kits. If you’re experienced at vaping but want to try something with more power, check out a list of high wattage regulated mods.