Time to Update Vaping Hardware? Vaping Security Threat Levels

When you love your setup, it’s hard to let it go. We’re reluctant to update vaping hardware for many reasons: financial, sentimental, and for reasons of comfort. Some of us are strapped for cash. Some of us have loving memories of our equipment, and we get an “old faithful” mentality for our hardware. Others don’t want to spend the time researching and investing in new hardware. We’ve made an alert system to help you update vaping hardware, informing you of how critical a new hardware purchase may be.



Threat Level: Green is the least critical. You can probably get by with your hardware setup, and it won’t hurt you to keep your equipment as it is. Getting too comfortable with old equipment will leave you in the dust as new advancements are made, and your friends may or may not laugh at you.


As hardware advances, it gets sleeker and sexier. Older devices may seem clunky by comparison. We’ve all dropped our hardware before, and over the course of months and years, your device might look like it’s been mauled by a bear.


As with most technology, products are becoming more compact, but more powerful. If your mod is too big and clunky, without the power to justify its size, do consider a more advanced product.

Feeling Left Out:

If your friends are consistently laughing at your old equipment, you might want a newer setup. We don’t advocate blindly following the crowd, but sometimes your peers are a great resource for hardware education.



Threat Level: Blue means a vaping hardware update is advised. This setup falls under the “cold comfort” category, where you aren’t happy with your current vaping experience, but you are hesitant to make a change. Code Blues tend to need some motivation to update their hardware.

Ghost-Flavor Haunts Your Tank:

We’ve all been there. A strong flavor has left an even stronger impression on your tank. Ghost flavor can haunt your setup indefinitely, no matter how many times (or how thoroughly) you clean your tank.

You Use Silica Wicks:

There has been a lot of debate in regards to silica and cotton wicks. It seems that cotton is the clear winner. Not only is cotton cheaper, but it provides superior flavor. Cotton performs better with high-VG blends, so clouds are more robust. If you’ve never wicked with cotton, you’re really missing out.

Top-Filling Wicks:

Though many vapers swear by them, top-filling wicks are on the way out. Since coils have advanced, top-filling wicks are out-dated. They give you more dry hits, more messes, and more user-frustration. Again, this is a personal preference issue.



Threat Level: Yellow is when you should start getting concerned. Vaping with Code Yellow equipment means you’re missing out tremendously on new vaping equipment, but you are not in immediate danger.

EGO-Only Threading:

Once upon a time, there was a battle between EGO and 510 threading. Like the classic silica versus cotton wick rumble, there rose a clear victor. EGO-only threading has fallen by the wayside. If you have EGO-only threading, you are missing out on the latest and greatest tanks and RDA’s.

Plastic Tanks:

Are you consistently checking our tank-cracking flavor list? Imagine never worrying about a cracked plastic tank ever again. If you upgrade to a glass tank, flavors won’t crack your tank: only your clumsiness will. If and when you upgrade to a glass tank, treat it like the precious material it is.

Cracked Glass Tank:

If your tank is cracked, the end is nigh. You’re going to need to buy a new tank before you have a mess on your hands, or worse, you may get impurities in your tank from the outside. You don’t want to inhale anything but oxygen, vapor, and flavor. Don’t chance it. Just get a new tank, or replace the glass, if at all possible.



Threat Level Orange means you need a hardware update as soon as possible. Your setup may fail to function, with a potential for danger. Extreme caution should be exercised if you experience the following:

Display Issues:

The display on your mod is the window into its soul. A lot of crucial information can be conveyed, including: ohms, wattage, error warnings, and battery life. If your display stops working properly, each vape is potentially dangerous. You need to know what’s happening with your mod.

Too Much Work:

If vaping is too much work for you, vaping isn’t working out for you. Newer products have become generally easier to use. Frustration with your equipment means you should probably get something more reliable, or user-friendly. It is a pressing issue because vaping should be as enjoyable as possible.

Missing Parts:

Depending on what’s missing, an incomplete setup can be a huge problem. Vapers have been sighted vaping without their battery covers, exposing their batteries to a world of corruption. Sometimes vapers try to “frankenstein” their equipment back together. We all like to think we have MacGyver skills, but don’t risk it.




Threat Level: Red means you should stop using the equipment immediately. Properly dispose of the faulty setup before it hurts somebody. If you notice any of the following, it’s time to make a change:

Unsafe Batteries:

We’ve covered this subject quite a bit, but we cannot express this enough: KNOW YOUR BATTERY SAFETY. If something is awry with you battery, you need a new battery. This includes frayed/ripped battery covers, failure to hold a charge, or unreasonable battery temperature swings. Especially concerning if you use a mechanical mod. Exploding equipment is not only extremely dangerous, but it hurts the entire vaping community. The news loves alarmist stories, and every explosion gets obscene amounts of coverage. If we want the vaping community to survive, it’s in everyone’s best interest to operate with extreme caution.

No Ohm-Reader:

This is an underestimated necessity. Generally, regulated mods have some sort of indicator on the display. If you don’t have a display on your mod, buy an Ohm-reader. Make sure your ohms are where you want them, or you may have a dangerous situation. When in doubt, measure. When your measurements are out of whack, make an adjustment. Just like any tool, it is your responsible to exercise caution while using a vaporizer.


We advocate using vape products for their intended purposes. E-Juice goes in, heat is applied, vapor is inhaled, vapor is exhaled. Enough said, right? Don’t put any foreign or contaminating ingredients in your vape. If you even suspect your juice/tank/wick is contaminated, play it safe. You don’t want surprises in your lungs. When in doubt, throw it out.

You’re Still Smoking:

If you’re still smoking, you’re doing it wrong. With all the varieties of products, nicotine strengths, and options of vaping, there is really no excuse for getting your nicotine via cigarette. Of course, making the switch can be hard for some people. You must adjust to a different means of nicotine absorption, and habits are hard to break. I would advocate experimenting with as many combinations of equipment and juice as possible, until you find that ecstatic combination that makes the idea of smoking a cigarette repulsive. If you’re still combusting, it’s time for an upgrade.

Something to think about:

What do you think is the most pressing sign that it’s time to update vaping hardware?

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.

  • Ernie says:

    Nice article, its always time for an upgrade!

  • Kenny Barrett says:

    awesome liquid

  • Kristi says:

    Wow, very complete article. I think you covered everything.

  • Elisabeth says:

    So, I’ve been stuck on my ego style batteries, and ego threading, plastic tanks with replaceable coils. It’s not a bad set up. For the most part it’s reliable. I often measure the ohms of my coils before putting them in my tanks, but that doesn’t mean I can completely avoid a poor taste, coil flooding, or immediate coil failure. I’ve also had a lot of tanks crack or break on me due to my own negligence. Putting my battery in my pocket, falling asleep with my set up in hand and rolling around on top of it in my sleep, etc. I’ve resorted to having bought a surplus of my cheap plastic tanks.

    I’m not someone who has a complete grasp of resistance, coil building, voltage, wattage, etc. Let’s just say, I have never been good at grasping the basics of most science, and I struggle to keep the info I do grasp in my mind. I’m not into having a mechanical mod and building coils. I have an electric VW/VV mod/battery, but I don’t use it enough because I can’t keep the scale in my head as to where my wattage/voltage should be in comparison to my coil resistance.

    I’d like to upgrade. Problems include my lack of understanding and mediocre memory, being cheap, and having a comfort zone. I like how easy it is to have multiple tanks and a variety of flavors available to vape at any given moment, and the ease of use. If you’re just quitting smoking, I would recommend a basic set up similar to what I use to get started. But I’ve been at it for a year now, and I don’t know where to go from here.

    Please, any suggestions? I’ve experimented with a number of slightly more expensive tanks than I use, like Kanger or T3S, and been less than satisfied with leaking or seeping issues. I don’t like how bulky my electric mod is, but I don’t know how I feel about a box mod either. I’m a total mess without any idea as to where to move from here. So I’ve stayed in my comfort zone.

    I’m a code yellow. And I have no clue as to what to do with myself next.

  • Michael says:

    Elisabeth. I here you on your concerns. What works for me is a simple set up. I have an Eleaf istick 50 watt battery it works with almost any tank. Atlantis tank is good. Right now I have a triton tank. No rebuilding needed. I just by the premade. Coils.

    • John Swanke says:

      If you find something that works for you then stick with it! I myself prefer a simple set up as well. I’ve been using the Atlantis for months also and I absolutely love it! There’s no fuss and it’s extremely reliable.

  • Diana says:

    Joyetech Ego One and Kanger Subox Nano are perfect for me! Easy to use ~ Love them! 🙂

  • Raymond says:

    Personally, I recommend the eleaf iStick 100 with a kanger subtank. I personally use the 1.2ohm premade coils around 18w. the iStick 100 takes 2 replaceable batteries, and lasts me 4 to 5 days before they need charging. Setup is cheap, good flavor from the subtank (personally I prefer the horizontal coils), maintainence is minimal and easy.

  • Elisabeth says:

    Thank you so much to everyone for all of the feedback! I truly appreciate it. 😀

  • I had this copper mechanical modification vape that the threads were stripped so you had to hold the RDA on with your thumb while you fired it with your pinky finger on the bottom. The RDA’s deck was so poorly designed it made changing the coils very difficult. Wicking was horrible too. The battery would get very hot and it would not last long, the RDA would always separate from the mechanical modification and fall on the ground or under the seat in my car. I would constantly have burns all over my hand from holding the RDA to the rest of the unit. Not to mention the leaking! My Lord! It would leak and leak and leak. Sometimes when the RDA would fall off it would split into many pieces and the cotton would fall on the ground. I am so glad I got rid of it! Just kidding, I still use it! If it blows up in my face I will let you all know (if I am still alive). There should be a contest see who still uses the grosses most outdated vape. Winner gets a new, safer model!

    • John Swanke says:

      We definitely don’t recommend this. If your hardware is really in this condition it is not a safe choice to continue using it. Please vape safe! We don’t need to hear another exploding e-cig story. If you need some recommendations on new hardware don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Rich S says:

    I’m not adventurous, or mechanically inclined. I just want something easy to use — idiot-proof if possible. I like a box shape with a tank,powered by an 18650 battery so I can switch out for a fresh battery when needed, and never wait for the thing to recharge. And I like a display that tells me how much power is left in the battery. What’s new and easy on the market now that meets these specs?

  • >