There are several types of electronic cigarettes. To continue our guide to vaping, we will focus here on a model that has become extremely popular in recent years: the box mod.
A compact, square design that fits into your palm
As the name suggests, a box mod is a mod, i.e. an e-cigarette you can customise and configure. Although we all talk about “electronic cigarettes”, most current models look nothing like a traditional cigarette. This is especially true of the box mod.
A box mod is a square or rectangular vaporizer that can hold one or more rechargeable batteries (accumulators). A smart card (chipset) lets you personalise some of the settings. The intensity (voltage), power (wattage) and temperature (for temperature control modes – TC) are usually pre-set.
Using a mod box
Their versatility and autonomy make mod boxes a popular option. The shape means it can be used with a wide range of atomizers and clearomizers with no specific size or shape requirements. Although not every box mod is compatible with every atomizer, box mod users have more choice than tube mod users, who need atomizers and clearomizers with the same diameter as the tube for a perfect fit (“flush” fit). Box mods can also use separate batteries.
Some boxes do use an integrated, non-removable battery, but more on this later. Whether it uses one or more batteries, a box lets you choose a battery brand and model that suits your needs. For more information and sound advice about batteries, take a look at our article on exploding electronic cigarettes. Finally, being able to replace the batteries will extend the life of your device because performance is closely linked to battery quality, and batteries degrade after a certain number of recharging cycles.
The box mod in detail
Box mods usually have the same controls and functions as tube mods. The top of the mod has a screw thread (standard 510 type) for attaching the atomizer or clearomizer. We will talk about pin connectors later. A good-quality screw thread is key to good conductivity in the device. The activation button is on the front of the mod, making it easy to find and operate with the thumb or index finger. This activation button triggers the resistance coil inside the atomizer to heat up. Once the user has taken a puff, they release the activation button. It is important to only press this button when the drip-tip is in your mouth, otherwise the coil is heated without any air passing over it.
Box mods usually have a screen to display information on the different settings for the mod. To change these settings, you can press the buttons under the screen. The display normally shows the resistance values (in ohm), remaining battery life (usually as a percentage bar) and other information on voltage (in volts), power (in watts), or temperature (in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit). Some boxes also display puff duration and other more advanced functions (e.g. time of day).
Finally, depending on the model, the box mod may have a battery compartment for one on more batteries. This battery compartment cover may be held on by magnets for easy, quick access, or by screws or clips. Do be aware that some boxes have a non-removable battery. This type comes with a micro USB cable to recharge the battery. Some boxes with removable batteries have a micro USB port too, so the batteries can be charged inside the device. You can install updates to the microprocessor through this micro USB port. To charge a box with removable batteries, you’ll also need a suitable battery charger.
DNA Box mods
Many box mod manufacturers are now using Evolv brand chipsets (electronic chips). There are a lot of different versions and understanding the differences between them is crucial when making your decision. Don’t worry though, because we’ll guide you through the world of DNA box mods with detailed explanations and graphics. Just follow our guide.
The history of the mods in 3 dates
2010: Provape’s first Provari revolutionised the world of the mod. The Rolls Royce of its class, it was an excellent example of high-quality manufacturing and safety. Versions 2 and 2.5 were indestructible and ultra-reliable. Unfortunately, American manufacturer Provape closed its doors in February 2017.
2013:The first Pipeline Pro by Dicodes was the European answer to Provape. Its V2 democratised temperature control in 2015.
2014: The Vaporshark DNA40 created a buzz. This was the first high-end box with temperature control, even if it didn’t work very well. In the same year, the iStick 20W by Eleaf – compact, powerful for the time and cheap – tipped the scales for the electronic cigarette from tubular modules to boxes.
Since 2014, temperature control has made huge progress. It is available on almost every box on the market, yet many vapers don’t use it. One reason is that it seems complicated to adjust, but this is not the case. We’ve got all the facts on temperature control to help you to use it easily and efficiently.
The best box mods
This is probably the fastest-growing type of e-cig, and the race for innovation is pushing manufacturers to bring out new boxes every month. That can make it hard for vapers to choose. So take a look at our selection of the best box mods right now, as tested by our editors.
Box mod FAQ
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about box mods. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please send us your question via the comments box below.
How to choose your box?
It can be difficult to navigate the huge range of choices when buying your box, with so many on the market. The main difference between boxes is their power. Some deliver a maximum power of 40 watts, while others can reach nearly 300 watts. If you are a “classic” vaper, and you want to vape normally at resistances around 1 ohm, then any box will suit you since any model will reach that vaping power. Really, it boils down to design, so choose a box you like the look of or the one that best suits your atomizer / clearomizer / dripper !