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What happened to classic box mod vapes? - 180 Smoke

What happened to classic box mod vapes?

Oct 26, 2022 | 101 Guides, Vaping

Vaping kits come in many varieties. Why? Because users want the freedom to find what they like by exploring the different choices they have available to them. With different styles and shapes on the market, you have the flexibility to customize your equipment to fulfill almost every idea you might have. 

Vape pens and e-cigs are among the most popular kits out there, but there was a time, not so long ago, when box mods were the shiny new thing. Box mods have been a long-time favourite for vapers because of their unique features and benefits. Yet, they seem to be getting overlooked these days. Did something happen to them? Let’s explore the decline in popularity of this classic model and see what all the fuss is about. 

What are box mods?

Box mods are an advanced system for powering vaping tanks/atomizers. They come in a bulky square or rectangular box shape with a wide variety of advanced features that can be modified. The ability to modify them is what gives them the name ‘mod.’ Inside its rectangular structure, a classic box mod vape carries one or more rechargeable batteries and a chipset that allows for customizations. Technically speaking, box mods are just a power source. Once they are combined with a tank or RDA/RTA they create a vape kit, but without one they are just a fancy, high-powered battery. 

This is one of the main differences between box mods and e-cigarettes, which had cornered the vaping market up until that point. The first mass production e-cigs were smaller, low power, pen-style devices that delivered small amounts of vapor. Based on that technology, hobbyists began to create mechanical tube and box mods to deliver far higher levels of power for “cloud chasing” with “sub-ohm” vaping using larger, custom rebuildable atomizers. Problem was, these mechanical devices or “mech mods” lacked key safety features, making them incredibly dangerous. Eventually, the vaping industry caught up and began mass-producing devices with chips to regulate power and prevent them from exploding, a much-appreciated improvement for the vaping community.

This is around the time when box mods started to gain some traction, powering an explosion in the popularity of the vaping industry overall. They could be considered some of the first kinds of vapes as it was possible for users to modify them and mix/match tanks to create personalized vaping devices. Considering their size though they are not easy to carry on the go, causing them to become less popular among vapers in recent times. 

Since the glory days of these box mods, smaller, easy-to-use vape pens, pods, and disposables have started to take over. The original pen vapes were also small, making them portable, but, more importantly, they were also simpler to use. These newer, more modern options make vaping a lot more comfortable with small portable devices that are easy to use, and the best part is they incorporate the technology that was first introduced by box mods. They have basically taken the benefits and improvements of box mod technology and incorporated them into the devices we use today. For example, the newer types of vaporizers have included a temperature control feature but have made it easier than the one that box mods used to have; users can now do it with the click of a button, it can’t get any simpler than that, right? Additionally, smarter vaporizers in the market do not need the press of an activation button while you draw your puff, as box mods do.

How do box mods work?

At the top of a box mod is a screw thread for attaching the atomizer, the “510” threading was standardized early on by the industry. To this day, threaded prefilled cannabis cartridges and batteries still use an identical connection, making it yet another technological advancement that was originally introduced by box mods. What’s more, classic box mods used removable high-capacity, high-drain batteries. The 18650 was a popular standardized size because it was used in flashlights, although both larger and smaller cells were also used. Before long, some manufacturers started to incorporate built-in batteries as well, just like the modern vapes have now. 

The box mod comes with an activation button located in front of the mod. Pressing the activation button can easily be done with your thumb or index finger, and doing so triggers the atomizer’s resistance coil to heat up. These vapes require users to press the activation button only when they have the drip tip in their mouth and are ready to take a puff. If not, pressing the button heats the coil without air passing over it, thereby burning the wick. Some vape pens and most disposables on the other hand allow vapers to draw puffs without having to press a single button. This feature alone certainly grants some extra points for these newer kinds of vaporizers, but there are still more differences between them. Let’s take a closer look.

What are disposable vapes?

If we are going to compare box mods to their more modern counterparts, let’s analyze them as well: disposable vapes are compact and produce a limited number of puffs. They come with simple features such as a single button or draw-activation. Prefilled and usually pre-charged, disposable vapes are great options for beginners vapers with limited experience, or for seasoned vapers on the go. 

Differences between box mods and disposable vapes

Box mods and disposable vapes are not only shaped differently, but they also have some internal differences between them that have really tilted the scales for vapers when it comes to choosing which one is right for them. Here are some of these key factors we have all been considering: 


Disposable vapes individually cost a lot less than box mods which means that, if you’re vaping on a budget, the classic box mod may not cut it for you. And with so many affordable vape options out there, this has become an important factor for every brand and model to consider, but especially for these classic models.


We should just grant another point for disposables vapes because they don’t need any maintenance, at all. You don’t have to change coils and tanks or do anything to them other than enjoy the experience. This is not the case with box mods. What started as a world of possibilities in which you could modify the box and create the vaping experience you wanted, has started to become an extra step you need to take before tasting your delicious vape juices. You have to change tanks, choose flavours, and alter the airflow when necessary. Meanwhile, disposable vapes are out here keeping things simple, asking you only one important decision: do you know what flavour you’re going to get today? 


Considering how they are shaped, a box mod is a lot bigger than a disposable vape. This is because of the size of the battery they carry, which means they do last longer than disposable vapes, but they are also heavier and harder to carry around. The average size of a box mod can vary, ranging anywhere from 48mm x 24mm x 83mm/53mm to 140.05 x 54.12 x 29.00mm. Vape pens or pods, on the other hand, are designed to be portable and easy to take on the go. Their size can vary depending on the brand, level of nicotine, and coil length; going only by brand, we could think of the size ranging anywhere between 9.24 x 1.45 x1.45 mm to 8.0 × 3.0 × 14.0 cm and beyond. It’s clearly easier to slip a disposable vape into your pocket or purse while you move around. Talk about portability, eh? 


Given how disposable vapes are made for on-the-go vaping because of their comfortable size, and the fact that you don’t have to think twice before using them – simply inhale and draw the puffs –  they are starting to have some ubiquity. This means they are everywhere and you can use them practically anywhere you want. Depending on the size of your portable vape pen (which does influence the amount of vapour you release) you are not likely to draw attention while using it, as you would if you were using the box mod. Just imagine yourself on a ride with strangers having to mix your vape before using it, and then drawing a considerable cloud of vapour. Let’s just say you would not be their favourite travel buddy.  

Vaping experience

Disposable vapes are most suitable for beginner vapers. Box mods don’t come fully ready for someone with little vaping experience, given that they have some particular features that are designed for a more customizable experience. This could be great for experienced vapers who are very clear on what they like and how they like it, but users that are only just now getting ready to taste new possibilities would find box mods harder and more confusing. If you want to skip over some steps and go straight to the mouthwatering vapour clouds then a disposable vape such as the vape pen would be a much better option for you.

So, what happened to classic box mod vapes?

It’s no secret disposable vapes are becoming increasingly popular, and in comparison, some older, classic models are starting to be left on the back of the shelves. When you combine the higher cost of box mods with the fact that they are much heavier and you need more experience to use them, it’s understandable that they are losing their popularity to disposable vapes. We can’t really blame vapers for preferring the convenience that disposable vapes offer. After all, modern life means being constantly moving, on the go, exploring and discovering new opportunities, and your vape has to keep up with that. It needs to be easy to carry around in your pocket, and ready to be used whenever you want without even thinking about it. 

Of course, it’s easy to see why the scales are tipping in favour of the newer models of vape pens, pods and disposable vapes. The evolution of vaping technology, the years of experience and the interest of modern-day vapers are clear with each new design and recent product launch. However, if you are still a fan of box mods and have been wondering where did they all go, don’t worry, we still have some models available on our website. If on the other hand you have come along on this journey with us and are now onboard the latest vapes train, welcome aboard, friend! You are in for a ride.

What do you think about the box mods? Have you tried them? If you need some help deciding which device is the best choice for you, you have come to the right place. We’ll be happy to help you! Browse through our website or send us a message with all your burning questions. 

Reviewed By Sean Brady

Sean is the E-Commerce Manager for 180 Smoke Vape Store, and has worked with the company since 2016. He has a BSc in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration (UPEI 2009), a background in culinary arts with a focus on pastry, and agricultural roots. Sean also manages Customer Services and works closely with the Supply Chain and Warehouse divisions to ensure 180 Smoke is on the leading edge with product offerings, and delivers the upmost satisfaction to their customers.