What a difference a few years make
When I first started vaping mods were only available in the US, and variable voltage was only on a handfull. Today there are more mods offering variable voltage than ever before, and at prices under $100 in many cases. So for the first time will be doing an advanced mod guide, no specific models reviewed in depth, just a basic outline of items you want to look for in a mod before making your decision.
Durability- If you're a person prone to abusing your pv this is a must in any choice you make. Mechanical mod by design are the most durable (GG, Silver Bullet, Bolt all come to mind). These are basic tube mods with a mechanical switch. There is one VV item that can be included in this discussion and that's the Provari. If you know you're going to abuse your pv, then saving money by buying a $50 plastic box mod instead of a $200 high end tube vv really won't save you anything. If you have to replace the $50 mod every 3 months in a year's time you'll end up spending more with shipping (not to mention frustration) than you would have with the $200 one.
Variable or fixed- At this point in the game going with a fixed voltage mod is somewhat pointless. Unless you're a 5v passthrough junkie, and that's all you vape at, then going VV is the smartest choice you can make in going with a mod. Being able to dial in your sweet spot on your favorite flavor is pricless.
Accuracy- With VV mods how accurate it is comes into play. The questions you need to ask yourself is does it bother you if when it's set to 4.5v it's actually outputting 4.7v? If it does, then there is only one VV mod on the market that is accurate everytime. If it doesn't bother you, and you can view the voltage rating more like an elevation switch, then your options are wide open. The next question is how important is it performs consitently over the entire charge of the battery? If you don't mind that it runs a little hotter (usually +.2v) at full charge, and under at lower charge (anywhere from -.2-.5v) then you have plenty of options available to you.
Amp limit- With variable voltage amp limit is the true limit of the voltage you can run. Some pv's will give an error code when you're using too high a setting (Provari and Vmax come to mind), others will give the voltage output of whatever the maximum amperage is (in other words if you have your device set to 5.2v, but the limit is 3.0a, and it's pulling 2.98a at 4.51v even having it set to 5.2v all you'll get is 4.51v). Some prefer that to dealing with error codes. With the exception again of one VV mod, the amp limit is more of a range than a true limit. The Vmax for example is rated for 5a, highest I've gotten one up to without frying it or getting an error was 4.2a. The lt from young june is rated at 4a, but highest I've heard of anyone getting it up to is 3.4a, with most topping out at 3.2a. The Lambo 4.0 is in the same boat, with 3a being the actual reported limit by most.
Last but no least is battery and charger choices. With mechanical mods only suggest using protected batts, reason for this there is no layer of protection on these mods. The only layer is that from the battery itself. While IMR batts are safer chemistry, they are unprotected, and when they fail, well.... By using a protected batt, you add a physical layer of protection (though again as with all lithium based batts there is still a chance of failure). With VV mods usually suggest using a high drain (imr) battery. These are designed to give the extra amperage needed to get the higher voltage. Because of them not being protected though, along with their lower internal resistance, these batts are prone to overcharging if you're using a lower quality charger. If you're going the imr route get a Xtar sp2, a Pila, or a i4 intellicharger. These 3 chargers are the best on the market for imr batts. As always, never leave your batts charging overnight or unattended.
Hope this helps, any questions please feel free to pm me.
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