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Mechanical Mods - Information & Safety Advice

Posted 2nd Feb 2014 to Vaping Style and Culture

 

Mechanical Mods: Safety Information

Warning: Mechanical mods are not recommended to anyone new to vaping. Anyone wishing to enter the mechanical mod scene should at least read this article or do some research before making a purchase.

Vapemate can not be held responsible for irresponsible use of these devices.

What is a mechanical mod?

A typical mechanical mod is a metal tube to hold a battery, a top cap with a 510 connection, a bottom cap and a button to activate often referred to as a fire button, there are no wires, no circuit boards and no safety cut out!

Example of a mechanical mod

Mechanical mods come in all different shapes and sizes. The following link shows a selection of mechanical mods stocked by Vapemate.

Why choose a mechanical mod?

There are many reasons to have a mechanical mod.

  • They are heavy duty pieces of equipment
  • Very durable with no easily breakable parts.
  • The whole device can be stripped down for cleaning.
  • A well looked after mechanical mod could last a lifetime
  • The aesthetics; A mechanical mod with a rebuildable atomiser on top really looks the part!

Is a mechanical mod safe?

Nothing is 100% safe where lithium ion batteries are concerned, however following the simple safety measures below will make it safe as possible.

Mechanical mod safety tips

Batteries and charger

These are the two main things that you must NOT overlook, don't be a cheapskate when it comes to batteries and chargers.

Choose the right type of battery. Be cautious using unprotected standard lithium-ion (ICR - lithium cobalt oxide) batteries without a kick (see below about kicks), as these have a greater risk of overheating which can cause venting.

Use IMR batteries (lithium manganese) as thechemistry is safer due to it being less volatile.

Never let lithium ion batteries get too low on power this can permanently damage the battery and in extreme circumstances can overheat possibly leading to venting.

 

AW IMR batteries used with mechanical mods

 

As for chargers always buy a decent make with overcharge protection. Vapemate stock some of the safest chargers around and many vapers swear by them.

Even if you have the best charger in the world, never leave a battery charging unattended or overnight! remove batteries when fully charged.

Battery polarity

Ensure you insert the batteries the right way, positive + always points to the top towards the 510 connection.

Battery stacking

Do NOT stack batteries in a mechanical mod, this is a potential point of disaster and we advise against battery stacking. Use a single battery only.

Kick

A kick is a device which turns a mechanical mod into a variable wattage mod. you set the watts to what you want to vape at rather than the voltage. The "smarts" behind the kick reads the resistance of the device you are using (carto/atomiser/clearomiser) and then sets the voltage to give you the wattage you set it to

A Kick MUST be installed correctly. The bottom of the Kick must sit directly on the positive terminal of the battery (button end for button-top batteries). The top of the Kick (the end with the blue adjustment box) must be oriented towards the head of the device (never towards a device spring). The Kick is designed to be used in 18650 metal tube mods with an IMR 18490 or 18500 battery.

Remove the batteries

When not in use it's a good idea to remove the battery although not essential this helps protect against accidental firing and prolong the life of the mechanical mods spring.

Always store batteries in a suitable container.

Resistance testing

Always check your atomisers and clearomisers Ohms before use especially when new and regularly during use to ensure a short situation has not occurred or that resistance isn't too low. For safety reasons, we recommend using atomisers and clearomisers that have a resistance no less than 1.3 Ohms.

Really do your homework in this section, learn how to build coils for the type of atomiser you are using, making a bad coil without testing the Ohms can be disastrous there’s plenty of sources online to perfect your coiling skills.

To test the resistance of a clearomiser or atomiser, you’ll need a Ohms reader, some VV/VW devices have this ability but you're better off buying a dedicated reader.

The mechanical mod itself should also be tested for shorting. This is achieved by removing the end cap and battery, then using a multimeter touch the positive probe to the positive pin of the mod and the negative probe to the body. Any reading other than the default on the multimeter indicates a problem and the mod should not be used.

Vent holes

Any mechanical mod worth it’s salt should have vent holes to allow the escape of gases in an overheating/venting event. Without venting holes, a mechanical mod is basically a pipe-bomb in a battery venting situation.

Firing button lock

Most good quality mechanical mods will have a switch locking devices, which is usually engaged by spinning a small knurled wheel in an anti-clockwise direction or by rotating the switch if it’s side firing. 

Stay safe

An experienced vaper isn't one who can ignore these guidelines - if anything they pay special attention to them, knowing the potential consequences of faulty equipment.

It may all seem a bit daunting but once you know what you're doing, owning a mechanical mod can be a really satisfying experience and it all becomes second nature over time….have fun and stay safe!

 

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