How Many Watts Should a Box Mod Have?

Does shopping for box mods ever feel to you like watching a scene from "This Is Spinal Tap?" "Your 200 watt box mod is nice, but this one goes to 213. Well, it's 13 better, innit?" When you buy a box mod, you may find it useful to buy a mod with a very high wattage range. On its own, though, wattage doesn't make one box mod better than the rest. In this article, we'd like to clear up some of the confusion surrounding box mod wattage and help you decide how many watts your box mod should have.

How Many Watts Do You Really Need?

Wicking Speed

If everything else is equal, a higher wattage setting on a box mod produces more coil heat -- and more coil heat means more vapor up to a point. If you're using a sub-ohm tank with small replaceable coil heads, the wick in your coil can only hold so much e-liquid before it runs dry. More e-liquid has to feed through from the tank to the wick, and that takes time because the openings on the sides of the coil head are small. If you vape at too high a wattage with a small tank, you'll get harsh dry hits. A Kanger Subtank, for example, only wicks efficiently up to a maximum of about 30 watts. A tank with larger wick holes -- such as the SMOK TFV12 -- can support higher wattages because it wicks e-liquid more efficiently.

Coil Resistance

Regardless of the wattage setting, most e-cigarette users find that the ideal vaping experience occurs at around 4-5 volts. The lower your coil resistance is, the more wattage you'll need to reach that target voltage. Suppose your tank has a coil resistance of 0.5 ohms. To vape at 4 volts, your mod only needs to reach 32 watts. Virtually every box mod that exists can reach 32 watts. Suppose, on the other hand, that you're using the SMOK TFV12. That tank has coil heads with resistances as low as 0.12 ohms. To vape at 4 volts with a 0.12-ohm coil, you'll need a box mod that can reach 133 watts. If you want to enjoy extreme sub-ohm vaping, you need a box mod capable of driving low-resistance coils.

You May Want Room to Grow

What type of vaper are you? Do you like to find a favorite vaping setup and stick with it, or do you relish the fact that every combination of device, attachment and e-liquid produces a slightly different vaping experience? In recent years, the vaping industry has trended toward larger, lower-resistance coils. If you want a box mod that'll give you the freedom to try the next big thing in tanks or atomizers -- whatever that might be -- you need a mod that gives you plenty of wattage flexibility.

An Adjustable Wattage Curve Is Useful

The wattage that a box mod can produce isn't the only factor that affects how much vapor you get per puff. A box mod may give you the ability to adjust your wattage curve and determine how quickly the mod reaches your target wattage when you press the fire button. If maximum vapor production is your priority, look for a mod with an adjustable wattage curve. A 200-watt box mod isn't that useful if the mod can't reach 200 watts during your puffs.

A Word About Chipset Accuracy

Why are some box mods more expensive than others? The quality of the chipset -- the integrated circuits that control the device -- plays a major factor in the price of a box mod. In less expensive box mods, you can't assume that the numbers on the screen are 100 percent correct. The fact that the screen says 130 watts, in other words, doesn't necessarily mean that the box mod can actually reach that wattage. As with many other things in life, you often get what you pay for with box mods. You can be relatively certain, though, that you're getting your selected wattage if it's well below the maximum wattage the mod can produce. If you vape at 40 watts on a mod with a maximum setting of 200 watts, for example, you're probably getting 40 watts. If you vape at 40 watts on a mod with a maximum setting of 40 watts, though, the device will probably sag below 40 watts -- especially as the battery's charge is depleted.

Final Thoughts

So, how many watts should a box mod have? As with many other aspects of vaping, the answer depends on your preferences. If you're using a smaller tank with a coil resistance around 0.5 ohms, you don't need a high wattage range because your tank doesn't support high-wattage vaping. While you may not actually need a mod with a high wattage range, though, it never hurts to have one because you wouldn't want to buy a box mod that limits your vaping options later. If you're already using a next-generation tank with large, low-resistance coils, you should buy a box mod with plenty of wattage headroom for the best possible experience.