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Why are mechanical mods so expensive?

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by muttmonster, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. muttmonster

    muttmonster Full Member Verified Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Isn't their purpose to provide a connection from a battery to an atomizer by means of a button? Since the atomizer and battery are sold separately, aren't you basically paying for a button and some wiring? All those components are really cheap on their own. What am I missing? I want to buy a good mechanical mod because I like the idea that they avoid electronics which can be easily damaged, but I can't logically convince myself to pay $100+ for such a simple device.

    Take the PrecisePlus for example. They sell blemished body's of it for $20, but the whole device costs over $100. How difficult could it be to find a button and complete the circuit to the atomizer?
  2. Trick

    Trick Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Chances are you're not paying for wiring. Good mechanicals don't have them.

    What you're paying for is the craftsmanship and the quality on something like a PrecisePlus and other high-end mechanicals, not just the raw materials.
  3. chewy

    chewy Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 25, 2009
    United States, MD
    A lot of mechanical mods need to be precision engineered to strict standards to ensure proper function. At least thats what they say, maybe to drive up price and the feeling of being sort of exclusive. In my opinion anything DIY is cheaper if you are willing to put in the time.
  4. MorpheusPA

    MorpheusPA Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Precise machining does cost money, and good steel and a good finish aren't cheap, either.

    Not to mention a good, reliable button can easily be $7-$10 all by itself, if you want one that's built like a tank and can go through the Zombie Apocalypse and keep on vaping.

    I could put one together really cheaply in my own workshop, but it would be tolerable-looking at best and the button's durability wouldn't be great. To make a good one would cost me quite a bit in simple materials.
  5. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    yea, agreed. your paying for the craftsmanship, care and attention to detail as much as just a tube with a button.

    then what your after is one of the more mass produced cheaper ones from china. there are a few coming out in the coming months that are made pretty nicely. im interested in the new smoktech "the natural"
  6. StereoDreamer

    StereoDreamer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 13, 2012
    Columbia MD
    The same reason that "audiophile" tube amplifiers based on 100 year old technology cost 10 times what a good Sony or Onkyo receiver do. You are paying for hand-craftmanship, precise, individually-made engineering, and overall luxury-level fit and finish.

    Is the average vaper gonna see the difference between the performance of a GG and an Ody, versus a VAMO and a Phoenix? Probably not several hundred dollars difference. Then again, the average listener isn't going to hear several thousand dollars improvement over a Sony rig and a Krell rig in his stereo either.

    High-end ANYTHING--mods, cars, CD players, fying pans, firearms, whatever--come at a premium price because they are individually-crafted precision instruments. And the level of performance they can give isn't something that everyone can appreciate, take advantage of, or even recognize.

    If you have the dosh to drop on a $300 mod, and you want it, then GET IT.

    If you don't, there are some under-$100 mods out there that will give you 95% of the performance of a GG, Provari, or Titanide. So don't sweat it!

    Finding the inexpensive, well-made mods that satify your vaping needs is where the real skill is. Any schmuck with a fat wallet can drop 3 or 4 Benjies and get a GREAT mod. But it takes real resourcefullness and skill to put together a system for under $100 that vapes like a champ... ;-)
  7. Herennow

    Herennow Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
  8. michliu

    michliu Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I bought one of these. Not as beautiful, threads aren't as smooth, finish not as nice compared to the original, which I've only heard about or seen pics of. But it does what I need it to do, lets me vape my low ohm rebuildable atomizers without worrying about the electronics preventing the unit from firing.

  9. bronco

    bronco New Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    the easiest way to put is like this. if the common man tried to build say a high end laptop(macbook for example, i hate macs but they are built well), itd probably cost him about 3x-4x as much as what he would pay at a shop. the reason its the price is it cause its made in mass, in a factory with machinary designed to do that one job. the output reduces cost pricing. there are still no massive factories churning out good quality mech mods, so its left to a handful of custom fabricators to make really high end mods. because of the the amount of R&D and resourcing, etc, a small group of people, sometimes only 1 maker has to go through the cost of making each high end mod goes up. thus we in turn as the consumer have to pay for. to be fair, the rarity of the item does keep it from losing value, heck in some cases it increases like the ihybrid. you buy it for 225 and can sell it tomorrow for 300+. like the ferrari enzo. RRP was 1 million. now worth close to 3 million.

    and on the topic of quality, i was also very pessimistic about the cost price of these items until i had a play with some high end gear from a member, it is an ENTIRE different ball game. as soon as you have one in your hands you realise why it costs so much.
  10. Justin66

    Justin66 Full Member

    May 12, 2012
    In my opinion, you're paying for what a person feels their craftsmanship is worth. I have a very nice 5v-regulated (which was done at a special request... the others don't have that) mechanical mod that a friend made. It was lathed out of 6061 aluminum, has the 510 connector, a <$2 regulator and a <$4 switch. Been a faithful mod for almost 10 months now. He charged me $25 for it.

    Everyone's entitled to their own opinion as far as what their skill is worth. Electricians, auto mechanics and many other skill trades do it. That's why people shop around when looking to do stuff like re-side their house or have an engine rebuilt; we want to find the deal that works for us and our wallet. Quality at a fair price can be had, if you're willing to do the research. Take your time and pull the trigger on something that you feel is a fair price.
  11. xanderxman

    xanderxman Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Ptown, VA
    Difficult enough that not too many people on ECF do it. It is not just about the mod itself. It is about the cost of materials, time, machining, and making a profit. I would not sit in my garage for hours on end making mods only to sell them for less than what it cost me to make. And yes, a person's time is worth money. They could be spending it with their wife/husband, kids, family, etc. rather than making an inexpensive mod for someone they don't even know.

    They may seem simple at first glance but go to any of your local machine shops and ask them what it would cost you to have them turn a few custom mod tubes and see what they tell you. I know because I have asked.
  12. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    yea me too i was shocked what they want to recreate some of this stuff.
  13. Cool_Breeze

    Cool_Breeze Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 10, 2011
    I like to think that resolution and precision are matters that show up in the digits to the right of a decimal point.

    Add a digit or two to the right and that is reflected in the price digits to the left of the decimal point.

    (I need to come up with a better way to explain this...sort of an engineering matter)
  14. xanderxman

    xanderxman Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Ptown, VA
    I just had a local machinist turn out 5 custom nuts for the top of a spindle for an engraving machine we have at the office. They were 1 1/2'' diameter x 1/4'' thick. They had two flats machined on opposing sides and a slight chamfer on the inside diameter on one side. They cost us $49.00 each turned from stainless steel. That is a pretty simple part to turn for someone with 3 CNC lathes and a sturdy Bridgeport. And he is a one man show, so overhead is pretty minimal.

    And back on mech mods, the R&D expense has to be taken into account as well. How many non-functioning prototypes and reworks were involved in getting to the final product? All of the non-working units are lost time and material. It all sounds simple, until you try to do it yourself. ;)
  15. Thrasher

    Thrasher ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 28, 2012
    Madeira beach, Fla
    nope i think that is perfect.
  16. sgenn99

    sgenn99 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    I think that's kind of the point-those really expensive, custom mods are not for the average vaper. Most of us can get by with a vamo or even an ego twist. There are different levels of vapers, just like there are different levels of any hobbyist. An average motorcycle enthusiast can get by with a regular, mainstream motorcycle. Then you have the next level, who will only ride a Harley or an Indian. After that, there are the real hardcore bikers who have the custom choppers...and then there is that group of super dedicated and wonderfully obsessed types who restore or make their own, travelling miles and miles to get alhold of a special part or have it painted by this one guy...good mechanical mods are works of art and attract that small group of vapers who are into this for reasons that have nothing to do with smoking cessation anymore. There are some amazing and beautiful mechanicals out there that do way more for these people than house a battery. They live for collecting them.
  17. Cool_Breeze

    Cool_Breeze Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 10, 2011
    Vaping and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  18. sgenn99

    sgenn99 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Zen and the Art of RBA's
  19. kimbo55

    kimbo55 Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    san diego
    Some high end mods use materials that carry current better. Those materials cost more so there is a part of the higher price. It sure seems that there is not a problem selling the high dollar units that's for sure.
  20. sgenn99

    sgenn99 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Nobody's going to want that apv that was $100 two months after the version 2 comes out in most cases.
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