If you’ve spent any time on e-cigarette forums, or looked around the larger vape shops and online retailers, the chances are you’ve seen or heard about devices called mechanical, or mech, mods. These confuse a lot of new – and even some quite experienced – vapers. After all electronic cigarettes are supposed to be, well, electronic. Why would anybody want a mechanical one? And what does it even mean? Are they full of pistons and gears?
There is much debate about how to classify ecigs. 53 leading scientists warned the WHO not to classify them as tobacco products – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/28/health-ecigarettes-idUSL6N0OD3ZE20140528 .
Most electronic cigarettes contain circuitry that regulates the battery voltage. This can be a simple system, like most starter kits, that delivers a constant voltage (usually around 3.7V) until the battery output falls below that, when the device will switch off until it’s recharged. More elaborate models have variable voltage or wattage, letting you adjust the power delivery. Some advanced vaporisers even include resistance checkers, puff counters and other features. The control button is also connected to the electronics package.
It is very interesting to compare ecigs with normal cigarettes. http://shfts.com/comparing-e-cigarettes-with-traditional-smoking-products/ sheds new light on this matter.
Mech mods are different. They don’t contain any electronics at all, or even wiring to connect components together. The central pin of the atomiser connector makes direct contact with the positive terminal of the battery, and the metal body of the device acts as a conductor to take current to the negative terminal of the connector. The switch is a simple spring-loaded or magnetic button that, when pressed, closes the circuit. People often ask how safe this is all is, http://moabc.com/are-e-cigs-safe/ offers some useful information about that.
So why abandon electronics and go for such a simple design? There are several reasons. A mech mod can be much smaller than an electronic device with the same size battery because no space is needed for circuit boards. Unlike electronic devices a mech mod can use very low resistance atomisers without cutting out. Best of all, there’s nothing to go wrong so they last practically forever. They do need a bit of knowledge to select the right batteries and know when to charge them, but for experienced vapers they’re a great addition to your gear.