Unregulated box mods have come a long way in the last few years. Enthusiasts still appreciate them for their simplicity, but now many of these mods come with additional features beyond just raw battery power.
If you’re new to vaping, we would strongly advise you to go for a starter kit or a regulated box mod. There are countless options available that provide a similar experience while being much safer for beginners.
This list is for the experienced hobbyist who is aware of all the safety parameters and technical details that go with direct output devices.
The versatile Wismec Luxotic MF Box can be modified by the user to run as a squonker, a regulated or an unregulated mod. The “no screen” option comes with a direct output board and multiple circuit protections. It can be run by a single 18650/20700 or dual 18650s in parallel configuration and is rated up to 100 watts.
The GeekVape MECH Pro is a hard-hitting box mod. It runs on either a single or dual parallel 18650 cells. It features an internal locking switch and reverse battery protection. It also utilizes replaceable side panels for a customizable look. For the price, it is a solid option for a dual-battery unregulated box mod.
Also known as the “Piglet”, the VCP box mod from Vaperz Cloud is designed for maximum efficiency. It accepts dual 18650 batteries and runs in full mech series mode. The device features a bottom-sliding battery door and adjustable copper contacts. The ergonomic recessed Delrin firing switch has a short but firm throw.
Jaybo and Wismec broke new ground with the original Noisy Cricket. Their follow-up is a device that can be run in parallel or series, with series mode also giving the option of voltage adjustment. The Noisy Cricket II D25 also has a comfortable firing button and will fit devices up to 25 mm in diameter.
The Silver Stream Titan V3 Splatter is powered by dual 18650s and comes in parallel and series editions. Constructed out of a strong cast aluminum material. It has a magnetic battery lid that is easy to remove due to a clever design. Fits flush with all of your atomizers with a spring-loaded 510 pin.
The Suicide X collection features some of the best-looking 3D printed mods out there. Combining a wide variety of pop culture designs with a lightweight body made out of quality materials, the Suicide X is a series mechanical box mod that packs a punch in style. It has a smooth switch and supports up to 30 mm attys.
Craving Vapor has made a name for themselves with the HexOhm box mods. While this version is in fact a protected variable voltage device, consider it an honorary mention — and a reminder of the popular unregulated 2.1 version which is not that easy to source anymore.
Unregulated mods demand user knowledge of ohms law, lithium-ion battery safety, and electrical conductivity.
An unregulated mod is a vape mod that provides direct battery output depending on the resistance of the atomizer’s build. While the term used to refer to mechanical mods – or mods without electronic features — products that have come out over the past couple years have expanded the meaning of the term. “Unregulated” is now an umbrella term referring to several types of mods that range in simplicity and features, with many of them even coming with built-in protections.
Unregulated box mods can come in various forms, from single or multi-battery mods with or without electronic safety protections, series or parallel battery configurations, squonk mods, mechanical mods, or some variation in between.
While a lot can be written for every subcategory of unregulated mods, the level of protection and battery orientation/configuration are probably the most important differentiating factors.
From a safety perspective, unregulated box mods will typically belong to one of two main categories:
Unprotected (mech) unregulated mods do not have any protective features – pressing the fire button will complete the circuit, supplying the atomizer with the raw power of the batteries. Proceed with caution and make sure you are aware of the safety precautions before using an unprotected device.
Protected unregulated mods incorporate some safety mechanisms that may vary from MOSFETs, to soldered wiring up to simple chipsets. Their protection levels will range from not firing when batteries are placed in the wrong direction (reverse battery/polarity protection) to recognizing unsafe atomizer resistance or even limiting the power output of the device. These devices are considered relatively safer than unprotected mods but will still require some caution.
This is a critical factor that can make a dramatic difference in the performance of the mod.
In parallel battery configuration, the batteries are working side-by-side with the positive terminals wired together and the negative terminals wired together. Remember, “wired” in this context merely means electrically connected. You generally will not find any actual wires inside the mod.
In parallel battery configuration, the resulting voltage is the equivalent to one of the batteries — for example 3.7 V. In a parallel circuit, current is split evenly between the two cells, effectively doubling the maximum CDR (max continuous discharge rating) available to the coil and also doubling your battery capacity (run time) compared to a single battery. So, with two 20-amp cells with 2000 mAh capacity run in parallel, the max current available would be 40 amps, and the capacity 4000 mAh.
A series battery configuration is just as described: the batteries are placed (or connected) end-to-end, one after another. The most common example of series battery usage outside of vaping would be a dual battery flashlight.
In a series configuration, the resulting voltage is additive — for example 3.7 V + 3.7 V = 7.4 V. The current in the circuit, however, is limited to the maximum CDR of a single battery since the same current is pulled through both batteries. For these reasons, series battery configurations require much higher resistance builds – ideally over 0.5 ohms. Lastly, the life of our series configuration would also be the equivalent of a single battery.
Safety first! Regardless of which configuration you decide on, always use a new pair of batteries, and keep them married. Mixing batteries of different brand, age, and capacity can be disastrous, especially in a series configuration. Both batteries in either configuration MUST be capable of delivering the required current simultaneously, if one battery cannot keep up, a thermal runaway may result in a battery venting or explosion.
Even with newly married batteries, the CDR of your cells is another critical factor. Always build according to your battery limits, leaving some leeway for extra safety.
An unregulated mod has more risks associated with it than a regulated mod. That said, some unregulated mods have many of the same basic protection features found in regulated mods – though they typically won’t have as many.
Regulated mods have a plethora of safety features like reverse polarity, over-heat protection, battery-heat monitoring, coil-type recognition, atomizer resistance limits, and more. They’re considered the safer choice over unregulated mods.
If you want to go with an unregulated mod, especially one that falls in the unprotected category, first ask yourself: do I really understand Ohm’s law, lithium-ion battery chemistry and safety, and the appropriate or inappropriate atomizers to use? If you answered no to any no to any part of that…
It is strongly recommended that you stick to regulated mods. There are countless options for regulated mods with a wide range of capabilities. Most have a variety of battery safety features and they can keep most user-errors to nothing more than a warning message on a digital display. Some of them also have a “bypass mode” which simulates the performance of an unregulated mod.