July 01, 2020


Congratulations on deciding to try out vaping! You might feel overwhelmed by the plethora of choices you have available to you but we're going to try to make your selection easier by breaking down each type of vape for you. So let’s get started!

In this article, you’ll find…


Pod Mods


Box Mods

Squonk Mods

Mechanical Mods

What are vape pods?

Pod systems became a worldwide phenomenon in 2019, overtaking every other device type in terms of popularity and sales. Let’s list some characteristics of pod devices.

  • Compact in size so they fit in most pockets.
  • Usually no adjustable airflow or power, but are designed to output a similar amount of vapour to a puff on a cigarette.
  • Often (but not always) puff activated. An airflow sensor detects when the user begins inhaling and provides power to the coil to create vapour. No button pressing required.
  • Coils are often (but not always) integrated into the pod, so when it’s time to replace the coil the user will replace the whole pod instead of only the coil.
  • Pods are usually more affordable than other devices due to their simplicity.
  • Pods usually offer a mouth to lung experience, and sometimes direct to lung.
  • E-liquid consumption is usually low.
  • Almost always use a sealed internal battery (lithium-ion rechargeable).

Vape pods are designed around the idea of using high strength salt nicotine e-liquids, which means the user typically only needs a few puffs before feeling satisfied. This doesn’t mean the user is restricted to only using salt nicotine juice, many pod users use regular freebase nicotine e-liquid or no nicotine at all.



Should I choose a pre-filled or refillable pod vape?

Pods like Juul and Myle come prefilled with e-liquid which seems convenient but it does limit the user. The range of flavours for these devices is relatively small so the user doesn't have much freedom of choice. Pod systems in Australia are refillable, which means the user can select from countless flavours to use with their pod. The e-liquid in pre-filled pods is also far more expensive per millimetre. A four-pack of pre-filled 1ml pods can be $40 or more, meaning that 60ml of that juice would cost $600! A 60ml bottle of premium e-liquid on our website is less than $25, it's a massive difference.


Why does everyone want a vape pod?

The success of the pod system can be attributed to their similarity to smoking a cigarette, the ease of use, and to the increasingly easy access to high strength salt nicotine (high strength but with very little harshness). They're the kind of devices that you can typically have a few puffs on and be left satisfied, and they can go anywhere with you due to their small size. Pods are usually quite affordable, you can find our range of pods here.


Are pods for you?

Are you interested in trying out a pod system? If you’re looking for something portable and discreet, then the answer is probably yes. You can view the available pod options on our website.



What are pod mods?

A pod mod is usually compact (a little larger than a traditional pod) but the user replaces the coil, rather than the whole pod. They also often feature variable wattage and airflow control, so the user gets the features of a large vape mod in a compact size. The tank doesn't look like a regular tank, instead, it's designed to follow the form factor of the whole body of the device. Let’s list some characteristics of pod mods.

  • Slightly larger than pods but still “pocket friendly”.
  • Often have adjustable power and/or adjustable airflow control.
  • Rarely puff activated, the user usually needs to hold the fire button to create vapour.
  • Coils are replaced, rather than the pod being replaced. Think of the pod like a regular vape tank, only in a different shape.
  • Pod mods are usually slightly more expensive than pod systems.
  • Pod mods can often be a mouth to lung or direct to lung device, and sometimes both.
  • E-liquid consumption is low to moderate.
  • Pod mods usually have a sealed internal battery, and sometimes require a removable battery (these devices will be larger in size).



Why are pod mods becoming popular?

Pod mods are a great middle-ground between compact pod systems and full-sized box mods. The pocket-friendly nature combined with decent power output and adjustability tick boxes for many vapers around the world. If you’re finding your pod system to be not powerful enough or finding your box mod to be too large, a pod mod is probably the perfect fit for you. You can view the available pod mod options on our website.


What are pen vapes?

To put it simply, pen vapes are named this way because they usually look like a pen. These devices were among the very first designs to become commercially available. Pen vapes have evolved over the years from being small non-adjustable mouth to lung devices to now coming in a range of different products with different features. For this reason, we’re going to separate pen vapes into two categories: mouth to lung pens, and direct to lung pens.

 Mouth to lung pens

This type of pen vape does truly resemble a pen. Because an MTL device requires less power, the battery capacity can be smaller, which means the vape can remain a relatively small size. Let’s list some characteristics of MTL pen vapes.

  • Usually tall and skinny, so they resemble a pen.
  • Usually non-adjustable power, but sometimes with adjustable airflow control
  • Button pressing is required to create vapour.
  • Pens use a tank-and-coil design, which means the user will replace only the coil when it reaches the end of its life.
  • Generally very affordable due to the simplicity of the design.
  • E-liquid consumption is low.
  • Mouth to lung pens use a sealed internal battery (lithium-ion rechargeable).

 Direct to lung pens

While these devices are still often referred to as pens, they’re usually much thicker due to the larger battery capacity required for higher wattage DTL vaping. Let’s list some characteristics of DTL pen vapes.

  • Usually tall and thick, so they resemble a tube (not to be confused with a mechanical tube mod, we’ll cover these devices later).
  • Often (but not always) have adjustable power and airflow control.
  • Button pressing is required to create vapour.
  • Pens use a tank-and-coil design, which means the user will replace only the coil when it reaches the end of its life.
  • More affordable than box mods.
  • E-liquid consumption is moderate to high.
  • DTL pens can use either a sealed internal battery or a single removable battery (lithium-ion rechargeable).



Does a vape pen sound like it would suit you?

If you’re looking for a compact device but don’t like the idea of a pod system, then a vape pen is probably perfect for you. You can view the available pod mod options on our website.


What is a box mod starter kit?

A box mod is named as such because when they first came about they very much had a basic box shape. They’ve evolved over the years to include other form factors as well as the simple box. Box mods are usually able to be purchased on their own or bundled with a tank, which is known as a starter kit. Let’s look at a rundown of box mods.

  • Usually, take one or two removable batteries, but in some rare cases can take three or four batteries.
  • The tanks in the starter kits usually have adjustable airflow and can come in both MTL or DTL styles.
  • Box mods usually have a screen and control buttons to allow adjustable wattage control.
  • Button pressing is required to create vapour.
  • Box mod starter kits use a tank-and-coil design, which means the user will replace only the coil when it reaches the end of its life.
  • E-liquid consumption is low to high, depending on whether the included tank is MTL or DTL.
  • Because many box mods take two batteries it isn’t uncommon to see maximum power outputs of 200 Watts or more.



Are you looking for an advanced setup?

If the answer is yes then a box mod starter kit is probably the right option for you. Giving the user adjustable airflow, adjustable wattage, and the ability to vape at high wattage levels, these kits are perfect for the advanced user. You can view the available box mod options on our website.


What is a squonk mod?

To talk about a squonk mod we first need to talk about rebuildable atomisers.A rebuildable atomizer is not like a regular tank that you insert pre-made coils into, instead, the user builds/wraps coils and installs them into positive and negative terminals (the build deck). Once the coils are installed the user must also install the wick, which consists of threading cotton through the centre of the coil. Because the user is not restricted to a certain type of coil provided by a manufacturer he/she has a lot more freedom in terms of coil resistance, wicking, wattage, etc. The number of coils an atomizer houses ranges from one and all the way up to eight or so in some specialty atomizers, they are usually single or dual coil though. Using a rebuildable will provide the best flavour you can get from a vaping device. To learn more about rebuildable atomisers, take a look at our blog post here.

 The most commonly used rebuildable atomiser is the Rebuildable Dripping Atomiser, or RDA. This kind of atomizer does not have a glass tank section to hold the e-liquid, instead, the user must regularly drip liquid directly onto the coils to keep the wick wet. The process of manually dripping juice onto the coils every few puffs is tiresome for some, and so the squonk mod (or bottom-feeding mod) was born. A squonk mod houses a soft bottle that can be filled with juice, when the user applies pressure to the bottle the juice is forced up through a tube, through a hollow 510 pin, and into the juice well of the RDA where the wick can soak it up. So instead of dripping every few puffs, the user can simply give the bottle a squeeze to saturate the wicks. Here’s some more information on squonk mods:

  • Usually, adjustable wattage unless they’re a mechanical mod (read more about mechs below).
  • Usually in a single or dual removable battery configuration.
  • Require an RDA (or rarely a bottom-fed RDTA).
  • Button pressing is required to create vapour.
  • E-liquid consumption is low to high, depending on whether the RDA being used is MTL or DTL.
  • Because many squonk mods take two batteries it isn’t uncommon to see maximum power outputs of 200 Watts or more.



What do you think about squonk mods?

Are you already using an RDA but find dripping inconvenient, or are you looking to get into rebuildable atomisers without the need to drip regularly? A squonk mod is a perfect solution. You can view the available squonk mod options on our website.


What is a mechanical mod?

Mechanical mods are for advanced users only.

 Let’s first state that every other mod we’ve mentioned so far contains a microchip, we refer to these devices as “regulated”. Whether the device has adjustable wattage or not it will contain a chip that regulates how much power is drawn from the battery and delivered to the coil. The chips in these regulated mods also have many built-in features that make the devices safe to use.

 A mechanical mod does not have a chip, and so, therefore, it is unregulated, with no safety features. There is no screen or wattage adjustment available. A mech mod has only the fire button, when the fire button is pressed it completes a basic electrical circuit between the battery and the atomiser, and the battery will deliver as much power as it can. How much power the battery delivers depends on the resistance of the coil(s) in the atomiser; the lower the resistance, the more power the coil will try to draw from the battery. This is where a sound knowledge of Ohm’s law is very important. Each battery has a CDR (continuous discharge rating), which is measured in Amps. If the resistance of a coil is too low it will try to draw more Amps than the battery can safely deliver, which can cause the battery to fail (this is a spectacular and very dangerous thing to happen). The user essentially becomes the safety feature of a mech mod, they must know the CDR of the battery they’re using and select a coil resistance that will not exceed the safety limits of the battery.

 Let’s summarise mechanical devices.

  • For advanced users only; a great deal of knowledge is required to operate these devices safely.
  • No variable wattage.
  • No safety features.
  • The amount of power that’s delivered decreases gradually as the voltage of the battery decreases.
  • Can produce an aggressive, high wattage vape.
  • Not all batteries are suitable, battery selection must be taken with care.
  • The types of mechanical mod can be tubes, squonk mods, and box mods.
  • For dual battery mechanical devices there are two types:
    • Series has ~double the voltage but only the capacity and CDR of one battery.
    • Parallel has ~double the capacity and CDR but only the voltage of one battery.



Who even wants a mechanical mod?

Some advanced users who are looking for something different than a regular box mod opt for a mechanical device. Do you have a good knowledge of Ohm’s law and battery safety? Are you an accomplished user of rebuildable atomisers? If so, and if you’re looking for something a bit different, a mech mod might be worth looking into.You can view the available mechanical mod options on our website.


The More You Know!

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of the different types of vapes that are available from Wick & Wire Co. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us, or visit one of our five stores around Melbourne (Bundoora, Cheltenham, DandenongFrankstonNunawading, and Pakenham) and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will walk you through the options. For more information about vaping in general, check out our Ultimate Guide to Vaping.

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