Although they might sound complicated, box mods consist of just two main parts: a high-quality vaporizer battery attached to a tank or chamber, which features a built-in atomizer. The vape's battery feeds power to the atomizer, which is typically regulated by a microchip, heats the material contained inside, generates vapor, and allows you to inhale the vapor through an attached mouthpiece.
Box mods first became popular for use with e-juice and e-cigarettes. Their batteries often feature adjustable wattage, voltage, and temperature, giving you the ability to generate massive clouds and dial-in your preferences.
Today, however, box mods come in just about every imaginable size, shape, and design, from the super simple and ultra-tiny to those that feature maximum size and adjustability (often, using LED screens). Some box mods feature removable batteries that you can upgrade, while others come with fixed batteries that cannot be removed.
While each model is different, in general, you will want to start by attaching your box mod’s atomizer to the battery, usually via a 510-threaded connection. Then, you will need to adjust the battery’s settings, if possible, press the button to engage heating, and inhale the resulting vapor.
Although their complexity might seem overwhelming at first, using a box mod like SteamCloud’s Box Mod Vape is not meaningfully more difficult than any other kind of vaporizer. Below, we will quickly outline the general process:
Many box mods come with batteries that are pre-charged to a certain degree, but it is a good idea to fully charge your battery after unwrapping it from the packaging. In the vast majority of instances, you will recharge your box mod’s battery via a micro-USB cable, which you can attach to your computer.
Most box mod batteries feature a female 510-threaded connection at one end where you will attach your atomizer. The type of atomizer you need depends on the material you want to vaporize, such as e-liquids, dry herbs, waxes, oils, and other concentrates. Just make sure that you do not over-tighten your atomizer to the battery, which can cause damage and other functionality issues.
While some box mod batteries operate differently, the majority feature a safety mechanism that requires you to press the front button (known as the ‘fire’ button) multiple times in rapid succession to turn them on. Then, turning the box mod’s battery off is handled similarly.
Several box mod models allow you to simply press the button to begin vaping (more next). However, most will allow you to at least adjust wattage and temperature. To do so, you might click a single button several times, make adjustments via separate up-and-down buttons, or even customize your experience via an OLED screen, as is the case with SteamCloud's Box Mod Vape. In general, oil, such as that which comes in skinny pre-filled cartridges, requires the lowest temps to vape. Concentrates require the highest temps, and dry herb falls somewhere in between.
After making your adjustments, you will press and hold the box mod's main button, which will send continuous power to the atomizer, raise the temperature inside, and generate vapor. Keep in mind that e-liquids typically heat the fastest, whereas dry herb and concentrates may take several seconds to produce your desired vapor levels. If you hold the button down for too long, most box mod batteries feature a safety mechanism that cuts power after several seconds to prevent damaging the coils.
With these core criteria in mind, please take a moment to read through some tips that can help you get more out of your box mod.
Because most box mod batteries can work with any 510-threaded atomizer, they allow you to work with just about any material you choose, including oils, waxes, other concentrates, and even dry herb. All you have to do is select the appropriate atomizer based on the material you want to vaporize, thread it onto the battery, adjust your settings, and enjoy.
Below, we will go into a bit more detail about each of these popular options:
Dry herb atomizers reach high enough temperatures (typically between 330°F and 340°F) to create a fine aerosol (i.e., vapor), but not high enough temps that can actually result in combustion, which occurs at about 445°F. This way, dry herb atomizers don’t destroy any of the cannabinoids, while also generating less particulate matter that can potentially irritate your lungs and cause difficulty breathing.
In most instances, somewhere between seven and 12 watts is ideal for vaporizing dry herb.
Compared to dry herb, wax atomizers must reach much higher temperatures to create vapor, which you can accomplish using a metal or ceramic 'nail,' a torch, and a pipe, cumulatively referred to as a 'dab rig.' However, with the advent of box mods, their batteries will generate more than enough power to vaporize any wax contained inside quickly.
In general, selecting a setting between 18 and 25 watts is optimal when vaporizing wax. Keep in mind that if you go higher than this, you can risk damaging your coils, not to mention ruining your wax's flavor.
One of the biggest draws when it comes to 510 skinny oil cartridges is that they come pre-filled with oil, which means you simply need to remove it from its packaging, carefully thread it onto your box mod’s battery, select the appropriate power level, press the fire button, and enjoy.
There is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to an ideal power level for vaping pre-filled oil cartridges, though. With this said, oil cartridges often require less power than other atomizers to deliver the optimal vapor, so it is a good idea to begin on your box mod's lowest setting, test out the results, and then increase incrementally until you achieve your desired effect.
Before 510 skinny oil cartridges took over the marketplace, e-liquid box mod atomizers were the most popular, since they allow you to add the e-liquid of your choice and then quickly re-fill when you run out. Compared to wax and dry herb, the e-liquid used in these atomizers is suspended in a glycerin solution, which is ideal if you want to create the largest clouds possible.
Each e-liquid atomizer’s power capabilities are different, so you will want to check the packaging or the inside of the atomizer for the recommended wattage before vaping. Otherwise, you could ruin the taste of your e-liquid or even permanently damage your atomizer.
If you encounter issues with your box mod, here are some tips that can help you troubleshoot the situation:
Check that the battery is charged, the door to the battery (if applicable) is securely closed, and that the atomizer is fully attached, but not over-tightened.
If the battery is charged and everything is attached correctly, try pressing your box mod’s fire button five times in rapid succession, which will clear the battery’s built-in safety mechanism.
If your box mod turns on, but its screen (when applicable) does not illuminate, make sure that it is not in "stealth" mode, which allows you to vaporize without the screen lighting up.
Regardless of how well-built your box mod is, it is typical for e-juice, e-liquid, wax, or even dry herb to create a residue once heated, can make its way outside the atomizer and into other delicate areas. If your box mod is otherwise not functioning correctly, make sure all the connections are free of debris and other residues.
If all else fails, your box mod could be damaged. Or, the battery may have exhausted its lifespan, which is typically somewhere between two to three years.
Written By: Derek L.
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