In some wattage categories there isn’t much competition. Where 50, 100, and 200W box mods are concerned, there’s lots of jostling for position. I’m specifically highlighting box-style devices however, not tube mods, so here are the top 10 mods from lowest to highest output.
The following five box mods have been selected as the “top 5” based on the fact that they are bestsellers with 4 ½- or 5-star ratings. Certain bestsellers aren’t as highly rated, although still good devices. I’ll stick to familiar brands supplying excellent value for money easy to get hold of.
Innokin MVP 2.0
Innokin’s iconic iTaste MVP 20W device shines as one of the most popular box mods. It’s a bestseller beating out giants like the Sigelei Fuchai 200W. Connect eGo or 510 tanks to the MVP and adjust output between 6W and 20W. Accuracy is controlled to within 1% of your chosen setting. VV is also available.
At nearly 107 mm it’s not nearly as compact as other low-watt mods, but there’s a good reason. The battery built into Innokin’s iTaste MVP mod supplies 2600mAh to run the MVP for a weekend or to recharge other USB-chargeable items like your cell phone. When the MVP has to be recharged, plug it into a laptop and keep vaping. Various safety and warning features are built in, one of which is a light-indicator to warn when the battery is running low.
Eleaf iStick 30W
Eleaf’s iStick series qualifies as “cute,” especially the 30W Fuschia-colored one. Voltage ranges from 2V to 8V and the lowest atomizer resistance this mod handles is an impressive 0.4 ohms. The display is part of an all-black control strip. Eleaf installs a battery into this tiny mod which can be used in pass-through mode or left to charge while you wait.
The HCigar VT40 accommodates atomizers using TC coils which can be run in Variable Temperature mode. There is also a Variable Wattage option if this feels more natural. The range is 1 to 40 watts or 200F to 600F with a resistance spectrum from 0.16 to 2 ohms (VW) or 0.1 to 1 ohms (TC). The single high-drain battery you require is not included with this product so, as you can see, it’s possible to swap batteries and operate wirelessly as long as you are equipped with a spare. Evolv’s DNA40 chip supplies protection against voltage and resistance extremes, short circuit, reverse polarity, and overheating. Vapers can also puff and charge simultaneously.
Tesla’s durable, waterproof 50W mod features variable wattage and temperature modes. It’s capable of operating with 0.1-ohm coils and protects against the dangers of reversing a single battery when swapping out a spent cell. If coil resistance changes when you fire up, voltage automatically adjusts. The Invader Mini is a little large and toy-like, so it’s going to appeal to the man-boy in your life or someone who is very rough with his stuff.
eVic VTC 60W
This sporty little unit is another top-seller and an example of how a vape series can change so much. Other eVic mods are tubes; this one is a box. The Cool Fire line by Innokin (tube, hand grenade, box) is another good example. Choose a temperature or wattage. Select a Ni200, Titanium, or Kanthal wire for your tank. The system is powered by a built-in 5000mAh battery. The screen is crisp and bright and colors for the frame are vivid. Joyetech’s extremely compact box mod supports a low of 0.05 ohms in the VT setting.
SMOK XPRO M65
I’ll bet this caught you by surprise; jumping just 5W instead of 10W. I’m just making sure you’re paying attention, and also drawing your notice towards a simple device by SMOK which is thoughtfully made and reliable. SMOK’s 65W XPRO protects screen and buttons by raising the frame a little past the control panel’s level. An anti-slip portion, however, prevents you from dropping the mod. Lowest resistance this box mod can handle is 0.2 ohms in Variable Wattage format, but switch to mechanical if you’re confident. Take the battery out or leave it in for charging. Over-discharge protection is one of several safeguards built into SMOK’s system and alerts are flashed on the OLED screen if you reverse the battery or there’s a short circuit.
IPV Mini 2
Pioneer4You released this box mod and the vaping world bought them all up in a hurry, eager to try out the latest Yihi chip: their SX330V2C. Yihi is Evolv’s nearest rival and they make an excellent chipset for adjustable devices. Hit a high of 70 watts and a low of 0.2 ohms with 3.6V to 8.5V on your side too. The Yihi PCB defends its machine against low voltage/resistance, short circuit, and warns the vaper if input voltage is too high.
YiHi SX Mini ML Class
Here’s another Yihi device from Yihi themselves. Their SX Mini ML Class provides a top wattage of 75W plus temperature control for Ni200, Ti, and stainless steel coils. Their SXi-Q system backs various choices of mode as per the coil in your atomizer and lets vapers set values: 10 to 75 Joules, 200F to 580F, or 5W to 75W which goes up to 85W in the Bypass setting. Lowest supported resistance is 0.05 ohms. The screen flips so lefties who have been frustrated by designs for right-handed people can just turn the screen around.
Sigelei T150 Touch Screen TC Mod
There are some good mods in the mid-range of 80 and 100W and we could take a look, but this would end up being a top 12 list. The Sigelei T150 has excited the vaping world with its graphic, color display and touch-screen capacity. It’s like a Smartphone vape mod but without the phone part. A T150 functions in both TC and VW modes at down to 0.1 ohms with Nickel 200 coils. The battery cover is magnetized for easy release of two cells (not included). The screen can be locked to deter experimentation from under-aged vapers.
Of all the wattage categories, deciding this winner was hardest because competition is strong. Laisimo’s mod is the best-looking one but 200W mods generally run to the same specifications as each other. For instance, wattage ranges from 5W to 200W; temperature is 212F to 662F; and in TC format, you need special coils. What I love is the circular screen resting atop the device which is facing you. It’s a simple but natural aesthetic adjustment. The screen rotates too.
Eleaf iStick 50W Simple
I won’t touch on which is the most popular color. That could all change with the weather. For now, let’s explore what makes this iStick such a big seller and a joy to operate. The iStick 50W is Eleaf’s mid-range mod: still good for sub-ohms but not up to par with their 100W or TC devices. This is a VV/VW machine which is what makes it “Simple” presumably. An internal battery provides 4400mAh and powers a range of 2V to 10V or 5W to 50W supporting a minimum of 0.2 ohms. How Eleaf or any of the mod manufacturers find room for a screen that you can see is a mystery to me but they do it with this lovely, clear display. Protection includes automatic shut-down after you try to vape longer than 10 seconds, low or high-voltage protection, and safeguards against low resistance leading to a short-circuit.
Innokin iTaste MVP 3.0 Pro
As a starter kit with the iSub-G this is a great value product, but the box mod works equally well with several tanks rated for 60W. This is Innokin’s long-awaited upgrade to the top-selling iTaste MVP 2.0, and now the 2.0 is virtually a piece of vaping history with forgettable wattage ratings and far lower power. The battery provides 4500mAh and enough juice to recharge other USB devices when you pack it around as a portable charger. Set watts from 6 to 60 or voltage up to 9V. Select a pretty color like pink or blue, maybe gold. Silver and black remain for the stealthy among you. Minimum resistance is plenty-low at 0.2 ohms.
iPV3-Li 165W TC
Pioneer4You outdid themselves with the iPV3-LI, Version 2, a box mod with gritty good looks. Yes, the newest iPV is even better looking and more powerful, but for the money this is the mod people are buying. Unlike the devices above, an iPV3-Li does not come with batteries, so you have to buy two 18650, high-drain, flat-top cells. The SX330-V3SL Yihi chip allows vapers to control temperature, and firmware for 200W vaping is upgradeable using the USB connection.
Innokin Coolfire IV
Innokin’s 40W update to V.2 of their popular Coolfire is a big-selling device with satisfying features. It’s compact, offers wattage adjustment from 6W by 0.5W, and 3V to 7.5V adjustment 0.1V at a time. Again, consumers prove that TC isn’t the only show they want to see. With safety features like over-discharge alert, resistance monitoring (0.3 ohms minimum), and vents around the battery, they’re content at this low sub-ohm range for day-to-day vaping. The OLED screen flips over for left-handed consumers.
Vapers have proven that 200W output isn’t the be-all and end-all. They aren’t clamoring for more power; just the same things they always want: a balance between economy and performance. The iPV2S 60W mod is attractive in a simple way: very much like a box with softened edges, but not rounded the way most mods of recent months are. A Yihi chip provides peace of mind and allows owners to plug in a USB cable for an upgrade to 75W if they want extra power. An unusual feature of the iPV2S is water resistance. Not that you can use it as a bath toy but your mod can handle an accidental shower. Lowest safe resistance is 0.2 ohms: below that the mod won’t fire. As above (with the 165W TC), this does not come with a battery. Vapers supply the cell, an extra cost to be sure and one more part to lose. Unlike mods with internal batteries, however, this one can be used wirelessly once more as soon as you switch a depleted battery for a charged one.
Some Facts About The Box Mod Craze
When the first box mod was released, it was an industrial, practical thing. There were some problems with its design from the beginning; yet this new idea sparked innovative minds to be more imaginative; to conceive ways of overcoming those problems to build safer, more customizable devices; even fashionable products available in numerous colors.
The History of Box Mods
As I said, it wasn’t a pretty sight in the beginning. Consumers with knowledge of electronics were taking the components of electronic cigarettes and placing them inside of a crude box-type frame. This gave them a variety of new options. There was room for a large battery or two and a large screen; the option to place a tank inside the mod but still reach high power (a few units like these came out before Joyetech perfected the combo with their e-Grip); and later to develop incredible output levels.
Problems with Mods
The first big issue with box mods was that they often weren’t vented. A vaporizer of any kind containing an 18650 battery, or one even more powerful than that, needs to let the air out from around the cell in order to prevent overheating and pressure build-up. Otherwise, the battery could explode and when that happens a vaper could be amazed by how much force a little lithium-ion cell can produce. It’s like a bomb.
Another problem was ergonomic in nature. The basic box shape is uncomfortable to hold owing to sharp angles all around. Inventors and designers had to come up with better shapes and coatings that were more compatible with the human hand.
Homemade mods were soon replaced by inexpensive devices designed and manufactured by top names in the vaping industry; or by names which would eventually become synonymous with reliability and quality. These brands included (and still include) Eleaf, Sigelei, Kanger, and SMOK. SMOK makes a device called the XCube which is Bluetooth-compatible and, though very boxy in its overall shape, is rounded at the edges and compact.
Eleaf’s iStick series is even more compact, colorful, and ergonomic while Kanger’s various “box” mods take ergonomics to the next level with their soft exterior coating. Sigelei’s Mini Book is completely round on one side, like half a tube welded to a box on the other side.
These companies and many others produce mods which provide from 20 watts up to 200 watts. Vapers are advised to buy from known brands and avoid claims of higher power and lower resistance compatibility from virtually unknown names in the business.
Consumers expect a box mod to feature a variable wattage setting. This provides a way to raise or lower output and, thus, raise or lower temperature of vapor. Hotter vapor could create bigger clouds and that is just what serious vapers want: clouds they can virtually chase around a room. They are dense and lasting; thick and flavorful. In Variable Wattage mode where the threshold is 40W or higher, a user can operate this system with a sub ohm tank attached and coils rated 0.5 ohms or lower; even down to 0.1 ohms. Running atomizer coils at sub ohm resistance is dangerous as this can cause a short circuit or overheating, but electronics have caught up with the demands vapers are placing on them.
Schools have “Smart Boards” teachers write on and use to air online educational videos; vapers have a different kind of smart board. This is a “PCB”; a microchip or control board. It provides the limits like wattage thresholds, adjustment intervals (0.1W, 1W, or even 5W at a time in some cases), runs a screen for displaying values as they rise and fall, and also protects the vaper and his device. A PCB stops a box mod from continuing to operate when it becomes too hot or values reach extremes (too much or too little voltage or resistance). In some cases, they allow the vaper to choose a different mode of operation from Variable Wattage.
It’s almost a given that if a new mod is about to hit the market, an upgraded version of an existing model by a familiar brand, it will either feature more watts or Temperature Control (TC). In this mode, a device is particularly customizable and so is the flavor of vapor being produced. A vaper is able to change or maintain how hot or cool his vapor becomes. A box mod with TC function can only operate this way when special coils have been installed in an atomizer tank. They have to be made from Titanium or Nickel 200. Kanthal wire won’t do the trick.
In TC mode, vapers notice several advantages which help them save money even though their coils are more expensive at the outset:
• their batteries don’t have to work as hard to keep e juice hot
• e juice levels run down more slowly
• coils don’t burn out
• juice tastes better
Battery conservation is just one advantage of a TC mod while better flavor and using less e juice per session are two more. A TC mod typically uses at least one but often two or three 18650 batteries or a built-in cell.