Keep in mind that new devices are coming out on a daily basis and this guide will be updated regularly. This best of list will cover all sorts of box mods from mods for clouds, mods to help quit smoking, as well as compact and stealth mods.
Best Vaping Mod for Clouds
Cloud Chasing mods for Direct Lung Vapers
If you are wanting to blow huge clouds there are tons of choices out there that will satisfy. Most modern mods will be able to give a nice plume of vapor to one degree or another. There are a few features that we want to find in the mod if we are just looking for huge clouds.
Features we want in a mod for blowing clouds:
- low ohm resistance capability to handle builds designed for clouds
- fast powering, fast firing -- capable of higher wattages
- multiple batteries
- temperature control isn't as important but some people like tc builds
Best Premium (High-End) Box Mods
Asmodus Minikin V2 Rating: 8/10
The Minikin V2 is a good two battery touch screen mod that has a great hand feel and a large fire button.
- touch screen
- great ergonomics w/ big fire button
- can handle larger diameter tanks and still look good
- VW (180w) / TC (Ni/Ti/SS) device with upgradable firmware
- easily becomes go-to two battery mod
Two Battery Mods
Two battery mods are the most common out there and are probably the best pick for most people. Having two batteries allow for decent battery life and moderately high wattages.
Smoant Charon 218w Tc Rating: 9/10
The Smoant Charon 218w TC box mod is a very strong performing dual 18650 device. Shaped in a familiar kind of configuration for a two battery device, it comes in gold black, stainless and bronze and has lots of wraps that you can put on the battery door to make it more customized.
Using the Ant218 chipset, this device is able to fire down to 0.1ohm and can handle Ni200, titanium (Ti), stainless steel 316 (Sus316) and nichrome (NCR), as well as TCRs and custom temperature curves (supported through use of software).
Similar to the Battlestar in many ways, the Charon is very fast firing with no real discernible delay between pressing the fire button and getting action.
The menu system is super easy to use and switching modes is a snap.
Overall this is a very good device selection for any vaper looking for a versatile yet easy to use mod.
- very fast firing like the Battlestar with lots of protections built in
- fires down to 0.05ohm and features automatic resistance lock
- solid feeling device with no battery or button rattle (high build quality)
- clicky fire button
- very easy to use menu system and mode switching
- will handle up to 25mm tanks without overhang
- temperature control capable (Ni, Ti, SS) with TCRs for custom temperature control
- firmware upgradeable
- a good (and more affordable) alternative to DNA based devices
- battery venting is fairly prominent
- well fitting, easy to remove battery door with a enjoyable feeling leather wrap
- spring loaded 510
- Smoant products while very good, aren't available at most retailers.
- custom temperature curves are controlled with software instead of on device, but not many people actually mess with curves
Smoant Battlestar 200w Rating: 9/10
The Smoant Battlestar was first released back in the second half of 2016 and has been one of the vape community's favorite two battery mods ever since. It is powerful, feels good in the hand and is good looking.
Able to handle down to 0.1ohms, this mod is fast firing and is able to handle pretty much any build. The Battlestar with go up to 200w in wattage mode but can also handle nichrome, titanium and three types of stainless steel in temperature control mode. It even has TCR for a more custom TC experience.
It was the first two battery mod to feature the faux triangle shape that has become something of a trend. This shape gives it a comfortable hand feel and is easy to fire with the finger or thumb depending on positioning.
- powerful device, fires down to .1 ohms at wattage up to 200w and supports temperature control for Ni, Ti, three types of stainless steel and has TCR for customization
- ergonomic shape that feels good in the hand and can be fired with index finger or thumb based on your hand position
- recessed area around spring loaded 510 pin for handling seepage
- strong build quality and no more button rattle (Thanks Smoant for listening to customers)
- magnetic secured battery door
- usb charging and firmware upgradeable
- reverse battery, low resistance, low input voltage, short circuit, overheating protection
- only fires up to 1.3 ohm but that is low wattage vaping territory and this mod may be overpowered for that situation
Smok Alien 220w Mod Rating: 9/10
This squeeze-fired two-battery mod from SMOK quickly became on of their most popular mods ever for good reason. The Alien has one of the most informative and well designed display screens.
- Two Battery - 220w device with Ni/Ti/SS TC modes as well as TCR
- Squeeze Fired instead of button triggered, an enjoyable feature and welcomed change from just seeing front fire mods
- Most informative and well-layed out display screens we have seen
- easily upgradeable firmware
- aesthetically pleasing with different color accents to match your style
- looks good with 24s and 25s
- secure bottom loading battery compartment
- bottom battery door can be awkward to open
- have seen reports of button bar rattle but have not experienced with pictured unit
Two (or More) Battery Mods
Mods that can convert or come with more than two batteries
Mods that have more than two batteries a lot of the time have similar control boards are some of the two battery mods but have longer life and actually enables safe usage of full wattage.
Smok Gx 2/4 Apv Box Mod Rating: 9/10
The Smok GX 2/4 APV (advanced personal vaporizer) box mod seems to be the spiritual successor to the Alien 220W. It is stylish, well designed, and powerful.
When the Alien was first released it was received extremely well. It was the everyday workhorse mod for a large number of vapers including myself. This mod has become started to take over that spot.
It has the ability to fire up to 350W when using four batteries and 220W in two battery mode. The mod features a slim profile squeeze or front firing bar that is natural feeling to depress.
Smok bills the GX2/4 as the smallest two battery mods on the market and when in 4 battery mode it isn't much bigger than some three battery mods.
If you are looking for a powerful mod that is also easy to use and also looks attractive, this may be the mod for you.
- squeeze fired with a slim profile front fire bar (feels natural)
- two battery (220W) and four battery configurations (350W) with four battery door included
- very well designed, sleek and stylish looking , high build quality
- upgraded paint (very smooth like a waxed car) in a variety of colors
- can take 25mm tanks without overhang
- comfortable in the hand
- spring loaded 510 pin
- fire bar is slightly offset in two battery mode and perfectly centered when in four battery mode (may be a con to some)
Best Single Battery Mod
26650 and 18650 battery capable
Geekvape Aegis Rating: 9/10
Got fumble fingers or like the great outdoors? The GeekVape Aegis is a very sturdy mod that is shockproof, waterproof and dust proof. This is the perfect device for the vaper who wants a durable, quality mod.
- Shockproof (drop resistant), Waterproof and Dust proof! This is the perfect outside vape mod. The Aegis has a very high build quality.
- Very durable, sturdy feeling mod with a bit of weight to it
- extremely fast firing! (the fastest we have tested). Firing seems near instantaneous and GeekVape claims 0.015 seconds.
- will fire down to 0.05 ohms
- large, ergonomic front firing button
- the Aegis is a single battery mod
- perfect fit for the 26650 battery size as well as the 18650 with the included battery adapter
- can handle all the temperature control wires, plus has TCRs and variable power curves
- Features a well laid out display screen with easily adjustable screen brightness.
- Takes a bit of extra time to replace the batteries that most people are used to as you have to unscrew a water tight cap.
- USB firmware upgrading is a serious pain due to watertight design but default firmware is pretty good.
Vaporesso Nebula Rating: 8/10
The Nebula from Vaporesso is a single battery mod (capable of using either standard 18650 or the wider 26650). It features the new OMNI board which is capable of a bunch of cool features, such as custom firing curves in both wattage and TC mods, in addition to features that vapers have come to expect.
- It is small. Particularly for a mod capable of taking a 26650, easily fitting in the hand.
- Ergonomic design with comfortable hand feel. Has a pleasant feeling textured back plate and trigger front firing button.
- The width of the device is able to take a 25mm tank and still look great
- Has smart VW for estimating optimal firing based on coil resistance. Helps prevent those overfiring situations when you switch your tanks.
- Custom firing curves for wattage and TC in addition to TCR modes. Curves mode really lets you get a custom vape tailored to your tastes.
- The mod is capable of firing up to 100w (80 with 18650) which is more than you would want single battery, just for battery life. This is not a mod for high watt vaping. (comes with a battery adapter for using the 18650 option)
- Has an extra mode button to stay away from those annoying multiple button press menu design seen on many other mods
- Surface picks up fingerprints
- the design aesthetics may not be for everyone
- very slight firing delay
Vaping Mods for Beginners
Mod Basics Guide
When you are quitting smoking with an ecig the mod you want to get is probably different than the mod you want for giant plumes of vapor. New vapers are typically current smokers or recent ex-smokers are looking to fill the role that traditional cigarettes left behind. The feeling of warm vaper being pulled into your mouth before inhaling, tickling the back of the throat. This is known as mouth to lung (MTL) vaping.
New vapers are usually well suited to get a mod that fits with a tank that ends up performing similar to a cig, even if you don't get the tobacco flavor or lingering smoke smell! The type mod that we would recommend to beginners and ex-smokers would have a few features in common.
We would like the mod to be small and portable for a few reasons. It is probably going to be an accessory that is going to go everywhere; car, work, restaurant patio, etc. Being small it would be easy to be more stealthy or fit mostly in your hand. Since size is important it probably will only take a single battery or have a built in battery as we would see in a vape starter kit.
It should also have some built in safety features like battery or firing protections as well as power on/off that isn't easy to trigger accidentally. For example the innokin coolfire pictured above has an actual on / off switch at the base but most modern mods have a button sequence built in for turning it on and off.
Mods for quitting smoking are best with a vape tank with controllable airflow for mouth to lung style hits and a higher PG juice, (70/30 PG/VG) to get that familiar throat hit. The nicotine level is probably going to need to be higher for recent ex-smokers to be comparable to cigs and can be dropped from there.
What is a mod?
(Vape Mods, Ecig Mods, Box Mods, Mech Mods ...)
A mod, at is basic level, is a device that supplies power from batteries to an atomizer in an effort to vaporizer the juice. When e-cigarettes first came on to the market they were simply a battery and a fire button.
Mech mods are still a battery holder (often just a metal tube) and some way to complete the circuit to heat the element. These mods are pretty out dated and just supply raw power to your atomizer; giving you no control.
These mech mods are so simple they are actually safety free. There are no protections provided by the device as seen on newer consumer minded devices. More modern devices are considered to be regulated devices.
Modern vaping now uses similar devices as the old ones but now have integrated circuitry to provide the vaper with a lot more control over the experience with control over not only the power supplied (as voltage) but wattage and now temperature control.
Regulated mods provide a far superior vape experience since the control over the coil is available. These regulated mods are far safer to use as well since there are built in protections for common hazards such as atomizer short circuits.
Read our Vaping 101: Battery Safety guide to get more details on battery safety with unregulated and regulated mods as well as preventing shorts.
Mod Usage Modes
Variable Wattage (vw) / Variable Voltage (VV) and Temp Control Vaping
Most modern devices have most of these options built in and are selectable from the control menu on your mod. As each device is different consult the user manual for directions on how to adjust the settings.
Variable wattage (vw) and variable voltage (vv) modes are primarily used when the coil is comprised of kanthal wire builds. Kanthal wire builds and variable wattage mode is the tried and true setup for most hobbiest vapers.
While there are a few more simple regulated mods that are just one setting, supplying a constant voltage, essentially all devices on the market that have a display screen have modes to control at least wattage and voltage levels. These two modes work in concert.
The vaper can adjust one of the settings, usually the wattage to control how much power is supplied to the atomizer. Most experienced vapers adjust the wattage based on the resistance (ohms) of the wire used in the atomizer.
The higher the resistance the lower the wattage required and higher wattage required for lower ohms.
Temperature control (TC) is a little more complex than simple wattage/voltage adjustments. When using temperature control, the vaper is looking to control how hot the wire actually gets when being fired. This can help prevent situations where the juice gets too hot and starts to taste different, burned or giving dry hits.
This feature however requires certain types of wire to be used. When TC is used, the temp control mode being used has to match the type of wire used in the coil.
Common wire types for TC builds are nickel, titanium, stainless steel and even traditional kanthal wire. Always make sure your device can handle the material you are using for your coil and you are using the correct mode!
What is Sub-Ohm Vaping?
where it is at for cloud chasing
Sub-ohm vaping is really another phrase in my mind for cloud
chasing. Everyone likes huge clouds and getting huge clouds has more to
do with your atomizer than your mod except that your mod has to be capable of firing a lower resistance build.
When people say sub-ohm what they really are referring to is lower ohm resistance on their coil build. Under 1 ohm traditionally but .15-.30 ohm builds are quite common. A number of mods can handle all the way down to .05 ohms when in temperature control mode.
Be aware that 'sub-ohm tanks' are now understood to mean tanks that have low-ohm coil insert packs.
Keep in mind that ohms measures electronic resistance in the wire; meaning the lower the rating the more electrons can move through the wire at the same time. This translates directly into build heating up faster. Some common builds that take advantage of lower ohm resistances can range from:
- lower gauge (thicker) wire to
- exotic builds like fused clapton
- twisted wire builds
- (builds that use more than one wire and sometimes wires of different gauges)