Pod Vs. Mod: Showdown of The Vape Titans


Like many choices in vaping, the selection of a vape device is also somewhat based on subjective preferences. But the subjectivity doesn’t lie in the look and feel of the device, but in what the users want out of their vaping experience. The selection of e-liquid is a comparatively easier task because you only have to know your flavour preferences, and what flavour appeals to you the most, in order to choose the right e-liquid for yourself. But when it comes to vape devices, it’s a bit complicated. Pod or Mod? What’s suitable for you? let’s dig in and decide.

There are many factors that you need to consider in order to make your shopping decision, including your vaping style, your previous nicotine consumption, throat hit, flavour concentration, vapour production etc. All of these factors are again based on subjective judgments and choices, but a lot of times, people go blindfolded into vaping and don’t even consider these factors, which in turn draws them away from vaping.

In this blog, we will discuss the difference between two of the most popular vaping devices i.e. pod systems and mod, and highlight some of the key features that come with them, along with their functionalities. This will help you make an informed decision about your vape gear so that you avoid the most common pitfall a lot of people fail to avoid i.e. selecting the wrong device to kick-start their vaping journey

Selection of E-Liquid – The First Step Towards Choosing Your Device

This may seem counterintuitive, but the selection of e-liquid comes before the selection of your vape device, which is where a lot of people go wrong. E-liquids are categorized based on their PG/VG level and nicotine type. With respect to nicotine type, there are two types of e-liquids, namely, nicotine salts and freebase e-liquids.

Nicotine salts

Nicotine salts contain synthetic nicotine that is treated with benzoic acid to reduce the alkalinity and PH level of pure nicotine. Hence when we add acid (benzoic acid) to the base (nicotine) it becomes salt (nicotine salt.) This removes the harsh throat hit and makes it more smooth. Nicotine salts are also conducive to higher nicotine levels, which is why they come in a variety of nicotine strengths like 20/30/35/40/50 mg. Nicotine salts are preferred by vapers who have higher nicotine tolerance because of their previous smoking habits – a pack a day smokers or more than that. Salts satisfy their nicotine cravings more efficiently and give them a nice head buzz w/o irritating the throat with higher nic content.

Free-Base E-Liquids

Free-base e-liquids contain nicotine in its pure form and are generally available in lower nicotine strengths like 2/4/6/10/12/16 mg. Free-base e-liquids are generally harsh because the PH level of nicotine is high, and generate a stronger throat hit than nicotine salts. They also have greater cloud formation and produce more vapour along with a more pronounced flavour than nicotine salts. Free-base e-liquids are preferred by vapers who usually have low tolerance for nicotine, or those trying to curb their nicotine intake. They are also used by hobbyist vapers who like chugging big clouds of vapour.

Selection of Device

Now that you know your e-liquid choice, it’s time to select your vape device. The selection of your vape device in turn relates to your previous decision because nicotine salts and free base e-liquids are compatible with different devices, and generally, cannot be used in the same device. Nic salts have higher nicotine content and require a lower-power device to run, whereas free base e-liquids have lower nicotine, but require a higher-power device to generate vapour and work efficiently.

Hence, free base e-liquids require a bigger coil, lower resistance, and higher wattage to run, which is something mods handle well because mods are designed for sub-ohm vaping i.e. coil with a resistance of 0.5 or less. Nicotine salts require smaller coils, higher resistance, and lower wattage, which is found in pod systems.

Advantages of Mods

Mods by definition means modification, which is something that mods offer. Switching to mods will give you a lot of options to customize your vaping experience, which is why they are preferred by advanced vapers who are looking to upgrade their vaping experience. The biggest differences that mods bring are the greater battery life, and the ability to choose from a wide array of different atomizers to suit your personal style and preferences. As well as a chipset that allows higher power and a wide array of other options to choose from like pre-heat, temperature control etc. Mods also provide you with a lot of tank-type options like RDA, RDTA, RTA, Sub ohm etc. They are also cheaper to operate in the long run because of the rise of rebuildable coils.

Disadvantages of Mods

Mods, despite their advanced usage, are not preferred by most vapers, especially beginners because of their complexity and high maintenance. Mods are also bigger in size and don’t allow options like stealth vaping because they are very apparent when held and might draw public attention. Some mods may also have leakage issues if not kept in an upright position.

Advantages of Pod Systems

Pod systems are considered as good starter kits for beginners who are new to vaping. Pods are extremely easy to use, user-friendly, and don’t require any prior knowledge about vaping to operate and handle them. They are low maintenance and pocket-friendly, and most designs can easily be in the palm. The only maintenance these devices require is charging, topping off the tank with e-liquid, and coil replacement. Most pod systems come with an LED screen that allows you to see your puff count and change the wattage. These devices are fully portable, serve as a good starting point for newbies, and also allow for stealth vaping.

Disadvantages of Pod Systems

One of the biggest disadvantages of pod systems is the lack of customizability. The pod systems don’t provide advanced options to users like temperature control, tank options etc. The vapour production is generally low because pod systems don’t allow sub-ohm vaping. Further, these systems can be comparatively pricier due to frequent coil changes, if the coil is not properly taken care of.  The use of propriety coils and replacement pods is another issue that pod systems come with.

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