Best Vape Mods and Box Mods
By Lindsay Fox Posted April 21, 2016
Vape mods are the devices of choice for long-term vapers, offering huge improvements in battery life and performance in comparison to eGo-style and (especially) cigalike devices, and opening up levels of customization in your vaping experience you can’t get any other way. But the world of mods is a big one, and with such a fantastic range of mods – from the beginner-friendly VV/VW devices to the mechanical mods some veteran vapers still prefer – how do you go about choosing the best vape mods?
We conducted surveys of vapers, looking at the best VV/VW mods and the best mechanical mods, and we’ve used the results to produce definitive top 10 lists of the top vape mods and box mods on the market in 2016 for these classes of device.
So which are the best vape mods and box mods for 2016? Here are the top 10s.
Best Vape Mods and Box Mods (VV/VW)
10 – Smok XCube II
The Smok XCube II is a VV/VW box mod with temperature control functionality a sleek – although boxy – design, offering up to 160 W in wattage mode and temperature control between 200 and 600 °F.
The XCube II needs a pair of 18650 batteries (sold separately) to support its substantial power output, which are accessed through a magnetic cover. The mod will fire any coils down to 0.08 ohms in resistance, making it ideal for pretty much any vaper, whether you’re looking to use sub-ohm tanks or build extremely low resistance coils. The firing button is actually a long strip, stretching all the way up the edge of the device, which makes the mod very comfortable to operate.
One of the most unique features on the XCube is the Bluetooth integration, which allows control over settings through an app, as well as opening up options for customizing the color of the light under the firing bar. However, with an OLED screen located on the top edge of the device – displaying your current setting, your batteries’ remaining charge and your atomizer’s resistance – coupled with a pair of buttons to control it, it’s not clear whether many vapers will need the feature.
The XCube II is currently priced at $69.95.
9 – Vapor Shark rDNA 40
The Vapor Shark rDNA 40 might have been superseded by the newer DNA 200 version, but it still earned enough votes to rank as the ninth best vape mod on the market. The device offers up to 40 W of power (with a minimum resistance of 0.16 ohms) and includes temperature control when you use a nickel coil (down to 0.1 ohms).
The rDNA 40 comes with a 2500 mAh capacity battery capable of putting out up to 40 A of current, and it also features Zip charging, which cuts the time it takes to recharge your battery in half, as well as wireless charging capability. The mod has a fairly straightforward design, but unusually, the large display screen is found on the bottom edge, leaving the rest of the mod looking sleek and minimalist.
The rDNA 40 box mod also includes all of the safety features you expect from all regulated vaping mods, including short circuit, high and low voltage, over-discharge and reverse polarity protection, and has other nice additional features such as a gold-plated and spring-loaded 510 connection.
The device is currently available for $126.99.
8 – Eleaf iStick 50 W
The iStick series is hugely popular, and the 50 W version took the highest spot of the bunch, with the 100 W version coming in 11th place and just missing out on a spot on this list but the 50 W ranking as the eighth best ecig mod in the VV/VW class.
The 50 W iStick offers a substantial maximum power output (and can work in variable voltage or variable wattage mode), supports coils with resistances as low as 0.5 ohms – making it suitable for many of the popular sub-ohm tanks on the market – and includes an in-built battery with a huge 4400 mAh capacity, easily enough to support two days of vaping or more. You recharge with the included micro-USB cable and the mod’s port, which is located on the side of the device so you can keep it stood up while charging.
It has a spring-loaded 510 connection with stainless steel threading, an OLED display screen and all of the safety features you expect from any regulated box mod. The fire button is mounted on the side of the device, and it has “up” and “down” buttons for adjusting settings.
The iStick 50 W is available for the fantastic price of just $39.95, making it ideal for vapers looking for high-power vaping without spending too much.
7 – Kanger Kbox Mini
The Subox kit from Kanger is a combination of the Kbox Mini and the Subtank, and the Kbox Mini earns a spot as one of the best e-cig mods for its inclusion in this great beginner kit.
The device takes a single 18650 battery (sold separately) – which is placed behind a dual magnetized door – and offers a maximum power output of 50 W, working with resistances as low as 0.3 ohms. The device includes all of the expected battery protections, and there’s a micro-USB port on the side for recharging. The 510 connection is brass, and the device features a two-line OLED display screen so you can see your current resistance, power setting and remaining battery life at a glance.
The Kbox Mini is a slim, portable device, with smooth, rounded corners to make holding it as comfortable as possible, and has a fire button as well as two for adjustment of settings.
You can pick up the Kbox Mini in a kit with the Subtank for just $68.95, making it one of the best box mods for vapers on a budget.
6 – Pioneer4You iPV3-Li V2
Pioneer4You’s iPV series of box mods is one of the most popular collections of devices on the market, and two members of the family make this list, with the iPV3-Li V2 ranking as the sixth best box mod on the market in the VV/VW class.
The updated iPV3-Li V2 offers up to a massive 200 W of power (or 165 W if you don’t upgrade the firmware) and temperature control from 212 to 572 °F, and works with atomizers down to 0.1 ohm in resistance in standard mode or 0.05 ohms in temperature control mode. This – in combination with the spring-loaded, brass 510 connection – makes it well-equipped to handle modern sub-ohm tanks and pretty much any atomizer you want to use with it.
The iPV3-Li runs on two 18650 batteries – with high-drain options being a must – and comes with all of the safety features you get with any regulated VV/VW mod. It has a pretty boxy, angular design, but with so much to offer vapers, the aesthetics are only a minor concern.
The iPV3-Li V2 is available for $79.95.
5 – Snow Wolf 200 W TC
The Snow Wolf 200 W TC vape mod has a pretty similar set of offerings to the iPV3-Li, with variable wattage up to 200 W and running on two high-drain 18650 batteries, but pushes the temperature control range slightly higher (up to 662 °F and working with nickel coils). It’s not too surprising, then, that these devices had a very similar number of votes in our best ecig mod poll, separated by just two votes. However, the Snow Wolf only offers pulse firing above 150 W.
The Snow Wolf 200 W TC has an OLED screen, so you can see your current settings, atomizer resistance and remaining battery life at a glance, and has two adjustment buttons in addition to the fire button. It comes with all of the expected battery protections, and also features a gold-plated, spring-loaded 510 connection for fantastic conductivity.
The Snow Wolf may be a little clunky in shape, but the glass paneling with the display screen on the large front side of the device means it does fairly well in terms of appearance, regardless. The device is a little more expensive than the iPV3-Li V2, though, coming in at $129.99.
4 – Pioneer4You iPV D2
The second entry from Pioneer4You is the iPV D2, a more compact and less powerful device than the preceding couple of entries, but one which took a respectable 5.6% of the total vote on our best vaping mods poll for VV/VW devices. It still has a lot to offer, though, with the 75 W maximum power output and the fact it offers temperature control from 200 to 580 °F meaning it has more than enough capability for most vapers’ needs.
The iPV D2 runs on a single (separately sold) 18650 battery, and it has a micro-USB port for recharging. The device supports resistances down to 0.2 ohms in power mode and 0.05 ohms in temperature-control mode, with a spring-loaded 510 connection to ensure consistent connectivity.
The iPV D2’s big selling-point is offering all of these great features with a trimmer, more compact and comfortable form factor. The price is pretty good too, though, with the device costing just $49.95.
3 – Joyetech eVic VT
The eVic VT from Joyetech ranks as the third best vape mod on the market out of VV/VW devices, taking over 6 percent of the total vote. The mod offers up to 60 W of power and includes temperature control (with nickel or titanium coils) ranging from 200 to 600 °F. It has a minimum resistance of 0.15 ohms in power mode and 0.05 ohms in temperature control mode, making it well-suited to sub-ohm tanks and rebuildable devices.
The device comes with an in-built battery with a massive 5000 mAh capacity, meaning it will last most vapers over two days between charges, and beating out any of the other options on this list in terms of battery life. This substantial battery life, in combination with the wide range of wattages and temperatures supported, secures its spot as one of the best box mods on the market. It also has a nice, clear OLED display screen, showing your output settings, atomizer resistance and remaining battery life. The settings are adjusted using a dial on the upper edge of the device, located beside the 510 connection.
2 – Sigelei 150 W
Sigelei puts out some of the best box mods on the market, but the 150 W version took the most votes in our poll of the best vaping mods, with over 9 percent of the total vote putting it comfortably into second place.
The 150 W Sigelei offers a huge power output and works with coils down to 0.1 ohms in resistance, and has a spring-loaded copper 510 connection to ensure consistent connectivity. The device takes two high-drain 18650 batteries, which are sold separately and are installed behind a magnetized cover. It comes with all of the safety features you expect from one of the best box mods on the market – including low voltage, high temperature and low resistance protection – and has a nice clear display screen so you can see all your settings and your remaining battery level.
There is no temperature control on the original Sigelei 150 W, but a temperature-control version is also available if you’re looking for a TC mod, with the remaining features being comparable. The original Sigelei 150 W is available for $67 at the time of writing (October 2015) from WakeandVape.
1 – Yihi SX Mini M Class
Taking over 14 percent of the vote in our poll to earn it the title of best ecig mod within the VV/VW class, the Yihi SX Mini M Class is a 60 W mod with temperature control functionality from 200 to 580 °F (firing at between 10 and 60 W), and a compact, ergonomic design.
The appeal of the device is much the same as that of the iPV D2, offering a full-featured mod in a slim design put together with comfortable operation in mind. The SX Mini M Class features a curved firing button, making it easy to press regardless of how you hold the device, and the two adjustment buttons – located below the display screen – are recessed to help prevent accidental presses. The result is an aesthetically-pleasing mod that is intuitive to operate.
The SX Mini M Class takes a single 18650 battery (sold separately), accessed through a coin-slot screw point on the bottom of the device. It comes with the standard array of safety features for regulated ecig mods, and you can also charge you battery through the included micro-USB connection, with the option of passthrough vaping (so you can use it while charging).
The mod will fire any coils down to 0.15 ohms in wattage mode and down to 0.05 ohms in temperature-control mode, working with pretty much any atomizer on the market when combined with the brass, spring-loaded 510 connection. Finally, there are four output modes to give you more options for customizing your vaping experience.
The Yihi SX Mini M Class is fairly expensive, though, coming in at $209.99, but for the best vape mod on the market as voted by vapers, it’s worth spending a little more to pick it up.
Best Mechanical Mods
Now we move onto the best mechanical mods. Although they’ve been falling out of favor thanks to the proliferation of regulated, high-power VV/VW mods, our mechanical mod poll actually received more responses than the VV/VW mod poll, and mechanicals are well worth consideration for anybody shopping for the best ecig mod for their needs.
10 – Sub Zero by Sub-Ohm Innovations
The Sub Zero by Sub-Ohm Innovations is a C145 copper 18650 mod, featuring an eight-point clutch contact, a 360 degree locking ring, including an adjustable 510 connection (with a 12 mm reverse-threaded contact) and plenty of vent holes in the bottom. The locking ring has both audible and tactile clicking to let you know when it’s locked, and the eight-point contact ensures consistent performance. It boasts an efficiency of over 99 percent for any builds of 0.1 ohms or higher, keeping voltage drop to an absolute minimum.
The device has an elegant design, with the copper and black cerakote versions both looking sleek and understated, with SΩI SubZero engraved on the bottom. The device is for sale from Sub Ohm Innovations for $135 and from Element Vape for $179.95, but both are currently sold out.
9 – SMPL Mod by Epic Design Studios
The SMPL Mod from Epic Design Studios is a stainless steel, 22 mm diameter 18650 mechanical mod with a direct battery-to-atomizer hybrid connection and a coin slot adjustment point for the button to make changing the battery as easy as possible.
The aim is to keep things simple (hence the name), and that ethos carries through into the design, with the body of the mod made from a single tube. This mean it’s a “no top cap” (or bottom cap) design, with no adjustable pins either. There are also no gaps on the body and no logos cluttering the design up, aside from one on the button, which also bears a set of six vent holes. Despite this focus on simplicity, it was voted as one of the best mods for vaping by our readers.
The original version costs $119.99, but is currently unavailable. However, there’s a Project Sub-Ohm edition version for $134.99, which also includes a hot-button-eliminating Radel Thermos switch, palladium-plated contacts and a juice well to protect the tube from leaking.
8 – Rig Mod V2 by Vaping AMP
The Rig Mod by Vaping American Made Products (AMP) took the spot of 8th best ecig mod in the mechanicals class based on our poll, taking over 4 percent of the total vote. The second version of the Rig Mod has a smaller size than the original – measuring just over 87 mm tall, rather than 110 mm – but maintains the same 25 mm diameter.
The Rid Mod V2 features a copper contact, button and hybrid disc, with improved button housing to protect your device in case you drop it, and delrin insulators. The battery contact can be adjusted using the included tool, and the flush button keeps voltage drop to a minimum. It takes a single 18650 battery and has venting at the top of the device (by the positive connection).
It comes in a choice of finishes – black cerakoted copper, tungsten grey cerakoted copper, 360 naval brass, oxygen-free copper or stainless steel – and all feature the characteristic oil rig engraving on the body and the liberty bell on the button. The V2 is available for $130 direct from Vaping AMP or from VaporDNA (although it’s out of stock at time of writing at VaporDNA).
7 – Glas Ti by Glas Vapor
The Glas Ti by Glas Vapor just beat the Rig Mod V2 to seventh place (by a single vote) in our poll of the best mech mods, but it’s a completely different class of device. The mod is basically a work of art – it’s a collector’s mod and it’s priced accordingly.
The Ti version uses grade 5 titanium for the body, with a fine-grain media finish and a button made from aerospace stainless steel with a sapphire crystal placed into it. The button also makes use of 24k gold plated magnets to ensure a short, smooth throw. All of the internals, including the contact screw, spring and button housing, are silver-rhodium plated. The Glas Ti clearly one of the most elegant e-cigarette mods on the market, but all of this also goes to ensure maximum conductivity and keeps voltage drop to an absolute minimum.
The mod has a 22 mm diameter and uses an 18650 battery, has a 180 degree locking ring and features a self-adjusting plunger system in the stainless steel top cap so you can get set up without having to deal with telescopic pins.
The result is nothing short of beautiful, but it comes at a premium: the device costs $375 direct from Glas Vapor.
6 – Caravela by Caravela Mods
The Caravela is the original “unicorn” mod: the mythical mod that everyone wants but very few can get their hands on. Not much has changed, except now some vapers are willing to pay much more to get their hands on one. Simply put, it’s one of the most legendary vape mods in the industry.
The Caravela is a 22 mm diameter, mod with a stainless steel or brass tube (in 18350, 18500 or 18650) – all featuring the iconic ship logo – silver-plated contact pins, a reverse-threaded locking ring, an adjustable, recessed 510 contact point and a stainless steel button. The device looks elegant and sleek, with every one bearing a unique serial number, and the build quality is nothing short of exceptional.
5 – Nemesis by Atmomixani
The Nemesis is a mechanical mod from Atmomixani, taking over 4.6 % of the vote in our mechanical mod poll and comfortably ranking as one of the top vape mods on the market.
The Nemesis features silver-plated brass contacts, an adjustable center pin, delrin insulators, an in-built airflow control, and comes in the standard three tube sizes, each accommodating a kick. The bottom pin is also adjustable, so you can tweak your throw to your liking. And it goes without saying that the performance and build quality of the device is pretty exceptional, with a very low voltage drop and a solid hit.
It comes in matte or polished stainless steel or copper, as well as brass, all of which look sleek and elegant, and bear the iconic angel of death logo. It’s currently available from Atmomixani for between $153 and $165, depending on your chosen finish, but there are also plenty of clones on the market.
4 – The Copper by Scottua
The Copper by Scottua just placed ahead of the Nemesis to earn its spot as the fourth best vape mod – and is a long way from the third-ranked mod – but it’s a well-received device that deserves it’s spot up here with the best mods for vaping.
The device has a 22 mm diameter, a magnetic switch (using neodymium, but beryllium copper springs can also be bought) and a PEEK insulator for around the 510 connection. As the name suggests, the Copper is made of copper, and each one actually is built from a single solid bar of 99.95 % pure copper. This leaves the Copper with a seam-free design, offering a smooth, sleek copper tube mod with a uniform profile. The only real decoration is on the button, which has “The Copper” and “Scottua” written on it.
The mod is unfortunately unavailable at the time of writing, but you may be able to pick one up second-hand if you want to spend as little as possible. The device costs around $150 new.
3 – REO Grand by REO’s Mods
The REO Grand is a mechanical box mod that’s built like a brick and runs on a single 18650 battery. The device took almost 9 percent of the vote in our best vaping mods poll for mechanicals, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Not only does the REO Grand have a sturdy build – milled out of a single block of aluminum, it seems virtually indestructible – it can hold a 6 ml bottle of e-juice right inside its body.
The REO Grand features an adjustable stainless steel 510 connection, copper, beryllium and gold-plated contacts and a high-heat plastic push-button to fire it, with a magnetically-closed door covering the slot for the battery and your bottle of juice. It looks pretty awesome too, and is available in tons of different colors. To get the most out of the on-board bottle of e-juice, you need an atomizer that can be filled from the bottom, but even without one you get a hard-hitting mechanical box mod.
The device costs $151 direct from the manufacturer.
2 – VCM Competition Mod by Vaperz Cloud
The VCM Competition Mod from Vaperz Cloud took almost 12 percent of the vote in our best mods for vaping poll for mechanical devices, and offers a fairly straightforward, 23 mm diameter 18650 tube mod. The device is built from copper, has a hybrid connection and a silver-plated copper contact, with a silver-plated copper and beryllium conductor around the contact to minimize voltage drop. It also has a PEEK battery rattle adjustment with reverse threading.
The mod looks fairly basic, but has “VCM” in huge letters running down its body and a series of vent holes around the sides (as well as some around the hybrid connection). The device comes in full copper, black copper or brass, and has a Vaperz Cloud logo with a serial number on the button.
It’s currently available in copper or brass from Vaperz Cloud for $105.
1 – Templario Mod by Pedro Miguel
The Templario Mod took over 14.4 percent of the total vote in our top vape mods poll for mechanicals, making it the top-voted mechanical mod for 2016 by a convincing margin.
The Templario Mod is a 22 mm diameter brass-bodied device, and can be bought in 18350, 18500 and 18650 tube sizes. It features a hybrid-style top, a magnetic button (which uses neodymium) and two large vent holes towards the bottom. The button sits flush to the bottom of the device, and has a nice smooth throw.
It must be said that the Templario is a beautiful mod, with an elegant design that screams quality and a top-class build, featuring an enamel shield with a red ruby cross and the name of the mod below it, along with a sword engraving and the signature of the mod-maker engraved on the opposite side. Pretty much every piece of the device is also engraved with the unique serial number for the device: from 0 to 249. The whole thing comes in a wooden case, bearing a plaque and adding to the air of quality.
That should tell you just how rare the device is, and will give you a clue that it isn’t going to come cheap. The Templario is for sale at between 220 and 255 Euros, or between $250 and $290, but you have to add yourself to a list to pick one up, and they’re only released periodically. Pedro Miguel has a Facebook page that keeps you up-to-date with the latest on their availability.
Best Vape Mods and Box Mods (Recommended by ECR Staff)
With plenty of excellent VV/VW devices and a fantastic selection of mechanicals, anyone looking for top-quality vaping mods definitely has a lot of options, but the 20 devices above only really scratch the surface of what’s available. So if you’re looking for more options to choose from, here are 10 of our picks for the best vape mods and box mods, with five options for VV/VW devices and five for mechanical mods.
5 – Innokin iTaste MVP 3 Pro
We’ve long been fans of the iTaste MVP series here at ECR, and we’d rank the new MVP 3 Pro box mod as one of the best vaporizer mods on the market, offering up to 60 W of power on atomizers down to 0.2 ohms in resistance and having an in-built 4500 mAh capacity battery. It builds on what the older MVPs offered, maintaining cool extras like the output port (to charge other electronics) while still improving the display, the 510 connection (which is now spring-loaded), the chipset and the power output. The MVP 3 Pro is available for $54.95.
4 – Kanger Kbox Mini (Subox Kit)
The Kbox Mini earned a spot on the main list, but we’d definitely rank it among our choices for the best box mods too. The VV/VW mod offers everything most vapers will need in a simple, beginner-friendly package, providing up to 50 W of power and supporting resistances from 0.3 ohms and upwards, the Kbox Mini has a lot going for it. When you throw in the very popular Subtank along with the mod for $68.95, it’s a fantastic deal, especially for new vapers.
3 – Joyetech eVic VTC Mini
The eVic VTC Mini from Joyetech is basically a smaller version of the eVic VT, packing a lot of the same features into a smaller and more affordable package. The VTC Mini still offers up to 60 W of power (with resistances down to 0.1 ohms), temperature control between 200 and 600 °F (resistances down to 0.05 ohms – supporting nickel and titanium coils) and the same clear display screen, but requires an 18650 battery to run and uses two buttons for adjusting your settings instead of a dial. The eVic Mini is available in a kit with the eGo One Mega for $59.95.
2 – Pioneer4You iPV 4S
The most recent incarnation of the iPV series – the 4S – ranks among our favorite vapor mods, providing up to 120 W of power and offering temperature control between 212 and 572 °F, all in a well-designed device with an improved grip and a slimmer, more rounded shape than the iPV 3-Li. The iPV 4S takes two 18650 batteries, which you have to buy separately but the mod is available for just $72.95, which is a great deal for a very capable mod.
1 – Sigelei 150 W TC
The 150 W version of the Sigelei made the main list, but we’d rank the Sigelei 150 W TC as our favorite vape mod in the VV/VW class, offering all of the core benefits of the older device with an improved design and the addition of temperature control from 212 and 572 °F. The mod has plenty of features – such as a spring-loaded 510 connection, a real-time battery life readout on the OLED display and all of the safety features you expect on regulated mods – and is available for $88.95.
Best Mechanical Mods (As Recommended by ECR Staff)
5 – Aspire CF Sub Ohm
Although this isn’t technically a mechanical mod, it works in much the same way: the Aspire CF Sub Ohm delivers the battery voltage and fires low-ohm coils (down to 0.3 ohms, but only up to 1 ohm), with the performance dropping off as the battery’s charge drains. It’s effectively like a mech, but it offers the protections you get on a regulated mod while still having the attach-an-atomizer-and-vape simplicity of mechs. It also includes a 2000 mAh battery capable of putting out up to 40 A. It’s currently available for $39.99.
4 – Phantom by WOTOFO
The Phantom by WOTOFO is an 18650-size mechanical mod from the manufacturers of the Freakshow and Troll RDAs, offering a pretty affordable mechanical mod with a minimalist appearance. You get both a hybrid and standard top cap, so you have options for any type of atomizer, and there are two 24k gold-plated springs included so you can adjust your throw to suit your preferences. Everything has rhodium-plated copper contacts, and there’s an adjustable delrin ring on the negative side of the battery. The Phantom mod costs $44.99.
3 – The Ragnarok Full Copper by VLS
This is a 24 mm diameter mod made from 99.99 percent pure copper but keeping the price relatively low. The mod has a copper telescopic top pin and a copper bottom firing pin (spring-loaded) – both to maintain good conductivity and to stay in line with the overall aesthetic – offering a smooth throw with an absolutely minimal voltage drop. The full copper body does a great job of improving the overall appeal of the mod, even thought the design is really unstated, with the mod still retaining a sleek, understated appeal. The device costs $99.99, although it may be difficult to find in stock.
2 – The Sleeve Mod by Limitless
The Sleeve mod by Limitless is another affordable device we’d rank as one of our favorite vaping mods when you consider price as well as the overall quality of the device. The mod features a hybrid connection to minimize voltage drop, and uses a four-point rail system to ensure good conductivity to the battery and also provide some grounding. It also has an adjustable delrin section at the negative end of the battery so you can remove battery rattle. The “Sleeve” in the name comes from the fact that you can buy many mod sleeves to fit it. The aluminum version costs $67.95.
1 – Tugboat V2 Mod by Flawless
The Tugboat mech mod is our pick for the best e-cigarette mod in the class, from the same company who brought us the RDA of the same name, coming in a cool splatter design put together with the combined appearance of the two devices in mind. It’s an 18650 tube mod, featuring copper construction, a hybrid atomizer connection, copper contacts, a silver-plated spring, delrin insulators and the famous Tugboat logo. The mod is the most expensive of our suggestions, though, priced at $147.95.
The huge range of vape mods on the market today – both VV/VW and mechanical – may make the decision a little harder for vapers looking for high-quality vape mods and box mods, but the fact that we have so many options really serves as a reminder that we’re in the golden age of vaping. With tons of high-power regulated vaporizer mods and plenty of options for mechanicals, there has never been a better time to take a step up in terms of performance, reliability and capability and pick up one of the best vape mods on the market.