What’s The Difference Between Regulated and Unregulated Mods? What’s The Difference Between Regulated and Unregulated Mods?

A surprising number of vapers don’t fully understand the differences or pros and cons of these distinct mod types

Lots of vapers start with cig-a-likes or other basic vaporizers but soon decide that they’re looking for more power or functionality than they’re currently receiving. When this happens, and you’ve decided to upgrade to a mod, the most relevant question to ask yourself is what is going to be best for you? One of the most significant and impactful differences are between regulated and unregulated mods. Before you head out to a store or go shopping online, it’s best if you have a basic understanding, if for no other reason than avoiding buying something you’re not prepared to operate correctly. Even advanced vapers often do not fully understand the difference between these two types of mods, so we thought a refresher could help.

Regulated Mods

The most basic thing to remember about regulated mods is that they use internal circuitry to control the output. This means that there is something between the battery and atomizer that keeps everything in check. The electrical current is controlled by technology that keeps the battery from overheating and critically failing. Typically these tools have thresholds that prevent the voltage, wattage, or resistance from being misused. In modern devices, there is usually a screen that lets you control your temperature and output while staying within the safe parameters. As you can imagine, all of these safety features make regulated mods much safer than unregulated mods.

That’s why if you’re a newcomer, you should almost certainly opt for a regulated device, as your knowledge of proper battery and atomizer safety is likely lacking. If a battery fails, it can result in the release of heat and pressure, causing explosions and fire. Given that mods are meant to spend a large chunk of time directly next to your face, it’s even more critical that you practice safety. The drawback to regulated mods is that they cannot be used with extremely high output settings, which limits their ability to produce massive clouds for cloud chasing. But since the power output is regulated and restricted, the battery life on regulated mods tends to be quite a bit better than unregulated mods; Not only that, but they also charge a lot faster. On top of that, many regulated mods allow you to still use the vaporizer when it’s being charged.

Unregulated Mods

If regulated mods are called that because their output is regulated, then it should be obvious that unregulated mods lack these safety nets. That being the case, they require an intimate knowledge of several electrical principles to be consistently operated safely. Instead of having circuitry between the battery and atomizer, unregulated mods have a direct connection. Generally, they also lack screens, since the output isn’t able to be controlled, but rather depends on the charge of the battery.

Unregulated mods don’t have as many features, but they are unbeaten when it comes to power. So if you’re looking to get into professional cloud chasing, they’re a must. Professionals prefer unregulated mods because they’re much more straightforward and open for customization. But as mentioned above, they require an in-depth knowledge of battery safety to be used correctly. Unregulated devices can use different kinds of batteries to allow for more or less power depending on what the vaper is looking for at that moment. But we can not stress enough that you need to fully understand how to properly charge and maintain batteries unless you want to tempt fate. That being said, there is simply no other choice for advanced vapers looking to take things to the next level.


Ultimately choosing between regulated and unregulated mods comes down to two things, your knowledge base and what you’re looking to do. If you’re new to vaping, regulated mods are much better as they don’t require any extra knowledge about electrical and battery safety. If you’re more experienced and looking to produce gigantic clouds, then unregulated mods are probably the way to go. But even if you’re very skilled, there’s no real reason to make the switch to unregulated mods unless you specifically desire impressively sized clouds. For instance, anyone looking to make it in the world of cloud chasing has to make a move to an unregulated mod.

Both types come in many different styles, brands, and price ranges, and as you may expect the quality and features vary accordingly. Very high end regulated devices are even beginning to be able to compete with average unregulated mods in terms of cloud size, but these devices are a lot more expensive.

Have you or anyone you know accidentally bought the wrong kind of vaporizer? Do you think unregulated mods are best for anything other than cloud chasing? Do you prefer the features of regulated mods or the customizability of unregulated mods? Let us know what you think in the comments.


Katie Bercham - CocktailNerd Editor

Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 5 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community.