Mechanical Mods - A Lost Art Or Just Old Technology?
As builds have become more power-hungry and mods have become more user-friendly over the last couple of years, one piece of core technology that bridged the gap between modern day vaping and the cigalikes and eGo pens of the past seems to have been lost in the equation. Let's revisit an old favorite: the mechanical mod/rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA) combo.
When vaping first hit the mainstream, most adjustable-power devices were incapable of delivering much more than 15 watts. That is to say they were woefully under powered as compared to today's tech. The only option for cloud chasers or others wanting to maximize their experience was through a mechanical device, or a mech for short.
These mechs were and to this day are simple metal tubes or boxes, without much or anything in the way of circuitry. When you push the fire button, you complete the circuit between your battery and coil, and the battery delivers as much power as the coil demands, even if that's more power than the cell can safely deliver.
Sound dangerous? In the wrong hands, it is – that's why many non-hobbyists turned to local pros to set up their devices for them, returning to the store whenever they needed someone else to re-wick or re-coil their atomizer.
One of the facets of the FDA deeming regulations we touched on earlier this week is the new "hands off" rule taking effect at brick-and-mortar vape shops. With this change, shop employees are no longer allowed to handle a customer's equipment, effectively taking mechs out of the hands of anyone unwilling to learn how to use them properly.
Truth be told, that's probably a good thing. But in the right hands and with the proper safety education (check our this post as a good starting point), a mechanical vape can deliver a beautiful, smooth-hitting experience like none other. That, and the simple understated elegance of tube mods in an era of bulky boxes certainly has its appeal.
With all of this said, we still haven't necessarily answered the question: are mechs just dusty old tech, or is there still value in this oft-forgotten piece of what's quickly becoming vape history?
Well, as with pretty much every other vape topic, we'll hedge our bets with a definitive "it depends." If you're a no-fuss, set-it-and-forget-it type of vaper, modern computer-chipped mods with variable wattage and temperature control coupled with the latest clearomizers like Smok's TFV8 will deliver an experience that comes quite close to that of a custom coil fired by raw power. But if you're inclined to put in the effort, you'll enjoy your vape that much more knowing it was designed and built just for you.