How does a vape work?
All vapes work on the same premise: a battery source (vape mod) powers a heating element (coil) that vaporizes e-juice in a small chamber (atomizer). The user then inhales the vapor through a small mouthpiece.
A vape works as a complete system. No one component is the vape, it’s what you have when it all comes together. Although many experienced users shop a la carte for mixing and matching vape parts, beginners are advised to stick to pre-packaged kits with everything included to ensure appropriate compatibility.
The power source
The vape mod is a battery device, normally using lithium ion batteries. These devices can come in many forms and sizes. They’re named accordingly, like box mods, vape pens, tube mods, to small designs called pod vapes and e-cigarettes. The term “mod” is a nod to the early days of vaping when users modified devices for more power.
Nowadays, vape mods have a broad range in electronic features and power limits. Some are more advanced and can be adjustable in watts (variable wattage mods) or even controlled in temperature (temperature control mods); others have no adjustability and require no technological understanding from the user.
The levels of power in a vape mod generally dictate the ease of use, as well as the experience required to safely operate them.
Low power: pod vapes, vape pens, e-cigarettes, AIOs (all-in-ones)
- No experience required
- Small rechargeable battery (unless it’s a disposable e-cig)
- Normally without adjustable power
- Concealable; ultra-portable
Medium power: AIOs (all-in-ones), tube mods, box mods
- Some experience required
- Battery safety knowledge recommended
- Medium size rechargeable battery built-in or replaceable
- Often with adjustable power (up to 100 watts)
- Pocketable (though rarely concealable)
High power: box mods, mechanical mods
- Experience is a must
- Multiple replaceable batteries (rarely built-in)
- Requires battery safety knowledge
- Pocketable (but heavy and bulky)
- Normally with adjustable power (up to 200+ watts)
The replaceable batteries in vapes most frequently used in vape mods are 18650, 20700, 21700 sizes. These cells are much more powerful than your average remote controller batteries and require a firm understanding of battery safety. That’s why, it is strongly advised that new users purchase devices with built-in, non-removable batteries that can be charged directly in the device from a USB port.