Regulated vs. Unregulated Mods

Hey there Vape Fans! Welcome to another installment of Throwback Thursday. Today, we’re going to be clarifying the differences in regulated and unregulated mods, and what those differences mean to you.

                          SVD2 Shotgun

Getting started, most vapers are familiar with a regulated mod. A regulated mod is a device that contains a circuit board to regulate the current. Cigalikes, most vape pens, and the majority of box mods are regulated. Any device that has a variable voltage or wattage setting is a regulated device as well.

The benefits that you receive from a regulated mod are:

  • Potentially increased battery life
  • Increased safety
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to charge (many, but not all, come with a simple charging port on the device)
  • Passthrough functionality (those that do have the charging port, may be used while charging)
  • Smaller initial investment
  • Digital display (ease of use when determining the voltage, wattage, oHms, and battery life)

While these are generally expected benefits, due to the diverse market of e-cigs, the individual performance of each device may vary.

Unregulated mods are any device that does not contain a circuit board for regulating power flow through the device. Mechanical mods, Series or Parallel box mods (without displays or variable voltage and wattage), and semi-mechanical mods.

The benefits that you receive from an unregulated mod are:

  • Potentially increased voltage and wattage output
  • Unregulated power output allows for lower oHm coil use
  • Increased range of customization (unregulated mods are simple to wire, so there is a large variety of custom devices available)
  • No integrated battery means you can upgrade battery performance by purchasing advanced batteries

Again, these are generally expected benefits, but individual performance may vary.

Overall, what does this mean for you? Well, if you are a cloud-chaser, an unregulated mechanical mod with a rebuildable atomizer might be the right way to go for massive clouds. While extremely high voltage and wattage output regulated mods exist, they are usually a much larger investment. Mech mods are more cost effective and can produce similar results. That being said, if you have the money available, the higher-end regulated mods might be what you’re looking for.

The bottom line is that a regulated mod is something that is easily used without much experience, and they are suited well for casual and seasoned vapors alike. A mechanical mod is predominantly for the more advanced vaping enthusiast, as it requires a more comprehensive knowledge of electrical systems in order to be utilized with the utmost safety.

Thanks for reading! Do you prefer regulated, or unregulated mods? Let us know in the comments field below! Have a tip or recommendation for a device? Share it with us here or on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!

As always,


By Kyle Chapman

Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Ron says:

    It all makes sense now.

  • Justin says:

    I love how these articles always try to play the unregulated mods off for the “more advanced users”. While in some since it is true, it doesn’t require much brain matter to use a unregulated mod safely. The knowledge needed almost every user can have and understand in a matter of 15 mins. Truth is. Unregulated mods are the cheapskate or poor man’s way of making larger clouds; plan and simple. Being 2015 it’s not even all that more expensive to get regulated mods pushing 150 watts. So let’s stop playing the unregulated mod users off as they are some supreme being. Lol
    I will say this about unregulated/mechanical mods. They have less crap that can break or go wrong, same goes for rda. There is less problems with them over rba, clearmizers, etc… so if you want rigid,less complications,less leaking,better tastes, ability to switch flavors on the quick, make life super simple. Get a unregulated mechanical mod with a rda, watch a 5 min video on coil building and wicking, build them at .2 ohms or higher to stay safe and enjoy having to carry a bottle of juice, your mod, and a extra set of batteries around all day.

    • Kenny Spotz says:

      While unregulated mods are easy for many vapers, we still want to make sure no one has an unfortunate accident by using something that is outside of their comfort zone. Better to be safe than sorry 🙂

    • Zac Bennett says:

      Lol there are some expensive mods on both ends but to each his own hahaha

  • antony says:

    for unregulated box mods like the beast box mod with an advertised “300 watt potential”, what would happen if one were to install something like a 0.09 ohm build with 2 3.7 volt batteries giving them 608 watts?

  • Leigh says:

    Thank you for this article. It simplifies the explanation of the two types of batteries. Much appreciated.

  • Carlos says:

    Thanks for this, I have an ipv 4s running a royal hunter rda at .12 ohms, but can’t get it to run any lower then a .09 ohm. Today I will be buying a mech mod at my local vapor store, Purely Vapor. I have a coil build that reads .03 on my ohm reader and I’d like to see what kind of clouds I can pull from it. Yes I am a cloud chaser, I actually just placed second in a local cloud comp last Saturday. Not first, but better then last lol. I have been vaping for over a year now and its turned into more of a hobby, it helped me quit smoking cancer sticks and that I am thankful for. I’ll end this with a quote from my vale hero lol “Smoking is dead, vaping is the future. And the future is now!”

  • Sully says:

    Are you still alive? Because there isn’t an 18650 that will handle .03 ohms. Even some high end batteries in a box mod will be stressed. 133 amps is what it will be pulling if batteries are charged to 4 volts. That’s 533 watts.

  • Harry says:

    I guess he died. Remember battery safety everyone. Check and see how many amps your build is going to pull and don’t stress your batteries. Don’t bring a bad name to vaping.

  • Christopher Carr says:

    I started on an RX200 upgraded so it will hit 250 down to .1 ohm.

    Took me quite awhile to realize that I started with almost nowhere to upgrade box wise.

    On that note though, the Rx200 is a great deal, or the newer rx200s.

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  • hash says:

    hello i was just thinking about buying a mechanical mod but i don’t really want to build coils and mess around with rda. can i just use a normal tank on it with a low resistant coil.

    • Corey Gefroh says:

      You can do this. Just make sure whatever coil you are using is appropriate for the power output of the mechanical mod.

  • Trey says:

    I have an eleaf pico and i had a mate redo the coil which didn’t work so once I got home a put in one I had bought from a vape shop and for some reason it’s reading at.25 ohms rather than.03 just wondering why? I’ve taken everything apart and put it back together making sure it’s all correct as well as turning it on and off and charging all to no avail

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