ELI5 “Vape Mods” (And How To Pick Your First Box Mod)

By Drake Equation •  Updated: 10/21/18 •  5 min read

If you’re new to vaping you might be finding a lot of the terms thrown around by industry-types, store owners, and websites a tad confusing.

Box mod, vape mod, mech mod, RDA, squonking…

You’re probably wondering what all these strange and exotic terms mean, right?

Well, this is why I decided to do this “ELI5: Vape Mods” feature – I’ll explain everything you need to know, as if you were five years old, so you can make the right choice for your needs.

ELI5 = explain like I’m five, in case you were wondering.

And, yes, I do probably use Reddit too much.

By the end of this, you’ll not only know exactly what a vape mod is but you’ll also have a pretty good idea about which one to get too.

Sound good? Let’s do this.

Vape Mods: Definition

best vape mod

A Traditional Vape Mod (The GeekVape Nova)

Vape mods make vaping possible.

They come in all shapes and sizes, from tubes to pens, to box mods and semi-box mods (kind of like half-way between a box mod and pen/tube device).

And how they work is pretty simple:

You have batteries (usually 18650 cells), these provide the power, so you can vape; a chip/microprocessor, which regulates that power and implements settings, and a display and some buttons where you control the output – wattage and/or temperature.

This is basically how ALL box mods work: batteries make power > this is sent through the chip, where it’s regulated > your tank fires at the desired resistance (always displayed in ohms) > and you’re vaping.

Simples, right?

Box Mods of All Shapes And Sizes…

If you’re an absolute beginner, you’re going to be best off with a standard box mod.

These devices are basically idiot-proof and are fully regulated, meaning even if you do something wrong, the chip will pick it up and nothing bad would happen. It just won’t fire.

If you were using a mech mod, however, which doesn’t have a chip to regulate current, you could have a potential disaster on your hands – heard about exploding vape mods?

What Is An Unregulated Box Mod

Yep. Idiots messing around with mech mods.

Do not be one of those guys, please!

With a standard vape mod, you simply don’t have to worry about any of these issues. Just install your 18650 batteries, turn it on, attach your tank, and you’re good to go.

The chipset inside it will make sure you’re always vaping safely.

Box Mod Settings

Most vapers, including myself, stick to wattage mode vaping; this keeps things nice and simple. You just set the wattage, say, 55W and start vaping.

Want a more intense vape? Knock it up 10W.

Are things getting too hot? Whack it down 10W.

You get the idea.

VooPoo VMATE Mod

The Display Where You Control All Your Settings

You also have temperature control vaping as well; I won’t bore you with the details of that here, as we already have a guide on everything you need to know about temperature control vaping.

TC or Wattage mode is basically your go-to settings when vaping.

Mods have loads of other settings, just like your phone and car, but 99.9% of vapers seldom use them.

Simple is best in my book. And when you’re starting out, it’s definitely the best course of action when you’re learning about vaping.

Buying Your First Box Mod (or Vape Kit)

If you’re after buying your first vape kit, but you’re unsure about what to go for, don’t stress it – we got you covered.

During the past 18 months, VapeBeat’s team of reviewers have tested hundreds of vape mods – mods of all shapes and sizes.

Squonk mods. Mech mods. Tube mods. Pod Mods. Again, you get the idea!

If you want to know what the best vape mods on the market are right now, check out our Best Box Mod and Vape Mod Guide – in this post you’ll find 20+ stunning vape mods detailed, reviewed, and ranked in order of awesomeness.

Can’t be bothered to do that? No problem. The table below lists our current picks for the top box mods right now, according to our team of expert vape reviewers.

PICTURESNameBest Place To BuyRatingWhy You'd Buy This ModPrice

best vape mod

GeekVape AEGIS X Kit

($68.95 w/FREE SHIPPING)

  • Simple To Use 
  • Great Systems UX; Tons of Vaping Modes 
  • OLED Display 
  • Comes With A Solid Sub Ohm Tank 
  • Ideal For New Vapers 


best vape mod

VooPoo DRAG 2 Kit

($79.95 w/FREE SHIPPING) 

  • Brilliant Design + Super Robust 
  • GENE Chip is Ridiculously Good
  • Great All-Round Performer 
  • Excellent Value For Money 
  • Tons of Vaping Modes 
  • Hits Like A Freight Train

best vape mod

Vandy Vape Jackaroo 100W

($59.95 w/FREE SHIPPING) 

  • One of The Best Looking Kits Around 
  • Stunning Mod Design 
  • Brilliant Performance Across The Board 
  • TONS of Vaping Options – TC, Power, ByPass, Curves 

best box mod

SX Mini G Class 200W

($239.95 w/ FREE SHIPPING)

  • Unparalleled Accuracy & Performance
  • Amazing For Temp Control
  • Ultra-Premium Design
  • Bluetooth Control (iPhone & Android)
  • 100% Accurate Power Delivery
  • Gorgeous Settings Menu & UX


best vape mod

GeekVape NOVA Kit

($71.95 w/FREE SHIPPING)

  • Stunning Design + Proper Old School Box Mod 
  • Cerberus Mesh Tank is Phenomenal 
  • Great Performance, Plenty of Vaping Modes 
  • One of The Best Looking Mods of 2018 
  • AS Chip Ensures Fast Firing + Lots of Safety Features

$71.95 (FREE SHIPPING) / (UK) £74.99

If you’re after your first ever box mod, these are all great options. We test for reliability, performance, features, and overall value for money.

That’s why there are a few expensive options and a few cheaper, more accessible options.

Choosing your first mod can be tricky, a fact I know all too well, as there are just so many to choose from.

Not all mods are created equally, however, so be sure to check out the devices inside that table as they are the mods that impressed us most – and we’ve tested hundreds during the past 12 months.

Drake Equation

Co-founder and Editor of VapeBeat. I make the words.

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