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Draw-Activated vs Button Activated Pod Vape Kits

Draw-Activated vs. Button-Activated Pod Systems

Nowadays, pod systems come in a large variety of options to choose from, with technology getting more advanced by the day.  Back in the day, these devices were as simple as possible, by design, making them great options for beginners looking to transition as easily possible from smoking.  They had fixed wattage levels and zero buttons, requiring very little setup or maintenance.

Now, however, advanced vapers have shown that they want to get in on the pod system action.  The result is more advanced types of devices that come with more adjustable features, and higher output levels to accommodate a wider range of vaping preferences.

What are Pod Systems?

Pod systems, also known as “pod mods” or “vape pods”, are a type of vaping device that utilizes pre-filled or refillable pods rather than traditional atomizers or tanks.  These devices are designed to be compact, user-friendly, and often cater to individuals who are looking for a simpler vaping experience.  Many pod systems are designed to mimic the sensation of smoking a traditional cigarette, known as mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping.  This is also made possible with the use of nicotine salt e-liquids, which provide a smoother throat hit and quicker nicotine absorption compared to traditional freebase e-liquids.  Plus, pod systems typically operate at lower wattages compared to larger, more powerful vaping devices.  This in turn, helps to conserve battery life and prolong the lifespan of the coils in the pods.

The Great Pod System Debate: Draw-Activated vs. Button-Activated

One of the more overlooked choices you have when looking for a pod system is selecting between draw-activated and button-activated devices.  What we’re referring to is the method through which you inhale your vapor.  Traditionally, box mod systems have always used button-based activation, but now we’re seeing this move into the pod system realm, and we’re going to explore why, while also demonstrating the pros & cons of each method.


Draw-Activated vs Button-Activated Pod Vapes

Draw-Activated Pod Systems

First, let’s talk about draw-activated pod systems.  These are systems in which you have to pull on the mouthpiece of the device to take in a cloud of vapor.  It’s an alternative to having to hold down a button while you inhale.

Draw-activated pod systems work with low-wattage devices – basically, the pod systems meant primarily for those using salt-based nicotine, which is potent enough that low wattages are all that are needed.  Pulling on the device with your mouth provides enough power to activate the battery, which in turn provides heat to the coil, to convert e-liquid into vapor.

The thing is that more powerful, high-wattage devices cannot really work with draw-activated mechanisms.  How come?  Well, the reason why is that the power needed to reach such a high output level is more than what a human being could create simply by inhaling on the mouthpiece.  This is why more powerful devices don’t use draw-activation at all.

Advantages of Draw-Activated Pod Systems:

  1. Ease of Use: Draw-activated pod systems are incredibly user-friendly and are an excellent choice for beginners or those looking for a straightforward vaping experience.
  2. Low Maintenance: Some of the draw-activated pod systems are fully disposable, so there is no need to manually refill e-juice or adjust settings, since they come pre-filled with that said nic salt e-liquid flavor. Once the device is depleted, it's simply replaced with a new one, reducing the likelihood of leaks and spills.
  3. Consistent Performance: These systems are designed to deliver a consistent amount of vapor with each puff, ensuring a predictable and satisfying experience without the need to adjust power settings or airflow.
  4. Discreetness: Due to their size and the way they operate, draw-activated pod systems produce less vapor compared to larger, button-activated devices. This makes them more discreet, ideal for use in settings where large clouds of vapor might be inappropriate.
  5. No Learning Curve: The simplicity of draw-activated pod systems means there's virtually no learning curve. Users don't need to learn about wattage, voltage, or coil resistance to get started, making it an excellent choice for transitioning smokers.
  6. Battery Life: Although smaller than some advanced vaping devices, draw-activated pod systems are generally efficient in battery usage, providing enough power to last through a day for many users, depending on usage patterns.
  7. A Bit Cheaper to Purchase: Draw-activated pod systems are typically less expensive than button-activated, as this goes back to them being more simplistic with less functionalities and such.

Disadvantages of Draw-Activated Pod Systems:

  1. Battery Life: Many draw-activated pod systems have relatively small batteries compared to button-activated or larger mod systems. This means they may not last as long between charges, requiring more frequent charging, which can be inconvenient for heavy users.
  2. Limited Power Adjustments: Draw-activated devices typically offer little to no ability for the user to adjust power settings. This lack of control can be a downside for users who prefer to fine-tune their vaping experience by adjusting wattage or voltage.
  3. Sensitivity Issues: Some draw-activated systems may have sensitivity issues, where they either fail to activate with a draw or activate too easily, even when not intended. This inconsistency can lead to an unsatisfying vaping experience or, in worst-case scenarios, the device firing accidentally.
  4. E-Liquid and Coil Compatibility: These systems often use proprietary pods, limiting the user's choice to the flavors and coil resistances offered by the manufacturer. This can be frustrating for users who prefer a wider range of e-liquid options or specific coil types.
  5. Limited Vapor Production: Draw-activated pod systems are typically designed for mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping, which tends to produce less vapor than direct-to-lung (DTL) systems. Users seeking large clouds may find these devices underwhelming.
  6. Potential for Leaks and Auto-firing: Like all vaping devices, there is a risk of e-liquid leaking, which can be messy and wasteful. Additionally, if e-liquid gets into the draw sensor, it can cause auto-firing or failure to fire, requiring cleaning or replacement of the pod.


Draw-Activated vs Button Activated Pod Kits

Button-Activated Pod Systems

Then, we have button-activated devices.  These are traditionally associated with more powerful devices, like we said earlier – after all, the earliest vaping products, e-cigarettes, were low-powered and therefore were also draw-activated.

Button-activated devices, again, are required for high-wattage devices.  Like we mentioned, your breath simply can’t produce enough battery power to enable proper vaporization.  So, a button must be held down to produce the desired effect, with a mechanism behind the button that connects it to the battery of the device. 

Holding down the button isn’t really a hassle of any kind.  As long as you hold it down, vapor flows through the mouthpiece.  When you stop holding the button, the coil is no longer vaporizing the e-liquid.  With that being said, keep in mind that most draw-activated and button-activated devices now use automatic shutoff – a safety feature that stops providing power after you’ve been inhaling or holding down the button for about 8 seconds or longer.  This prevents the coil from burning out, or the battery overheating.

Advantages of Button-Activated Pod Systems:

  1. Control Over Vaping Experience: Button-activated pod systems offer the user more control over their vaping experience. By pressing the button, the user can pre-heat the coil before taking a puff, which can lead to a more consistent vapor production and flavor delivery from the first draw.
  2. Avoidance of Misfires: Automatic or draw-activated systems can sometimes misfire in your pocket or bag if they interpret noises or wind as a draw. Button-activated systems typically have a 5-click on/off feature, which helps prevent unintended activation and reduces the risk of accidental misfires.
  3. Better for High-Viscosity E-Liquids: Button-activated systems often work better with high-viscosity e-liquids. The manual activation allows the coil to heat up sufficiently to vaporize thicker liquids, which can be challenging for automatic systems that might not generate enough power from a draw alone.
  4. Increased Safety Features: Many button-activated pod systems come with additional safety features, such as the ability to lock the device and protection against overcharging, short circuits, and overheating. These features can enhance the overall safety of the device.
  5. Customizable Vaping Experience: Some button-activated systems offer variable wattage or voltage settings that can be adjusted by pressing the button in a certain way. This allows users to customize their vaping experience according to their preferences for throat hit, vapor production, and flavor intensity.
  6. Longevity and Durability: The mechanism for button-activated pods is generally more durable than that of draw-activated pods, as the latter can be prone to failure if e-liquid leaks into the air sensor. The physical button mechanism can be less susceptible to such issues, potentially leading to a longer lifespan for the device.
  7. Feedback for Activation: The tactile feedback from pressing a button can be reassuring for users, confirming that the device has been activated and is ready for use. This can be particularly useful in noisy environments where the sound of air being drawn might not be audible.

Disadvantages of Button-Activated Pod Systems:

  1. Complexity for Beginners: For new vapers, button-activated systems can be more complicated to use compared to draw-activated pod systems. Vapers must remember to press the button each time they inhale, which can be less intuitive than simply drawing on the device.
  2. Risk of Misfiring: If the button is accidentally pressed while in a pocket or bag, it can lead to the device misfiring. This not only wastes the e-liquid but can also damage the device and potentially pose a safety risk.
  3. Maintenance and Wear: Buttons can wear out over time or become sticky due to e-liquid leakage, requiring more maintenance or even replacement of the device sooner than might be needed with a draw-activated system.
  4. Battery Life: Button-activated pod systems might consume more battery since they often feature variable wattage or temperature control that requires more power. Users need to ensure the device is turned off when not in use to preserve battery life.
  5. Learning Curve: Besides the basic operation, understanding how to access and use variable settings (if available) can add to the learning curve, making it potentially daunting for users who prefer simplicity.
  6. Manual Operation Required: Unlike draw-activated systems that automatically power on with inhalation, button-activated devices require manual operation. This can be seen as a disadvantage by those looking for a hands-free experience similar to smoking a traditional cigarette.

Which Pod System Activation Will You Choose?

Clearly, there are reasons why both draw-activated and button-activated devices exist.  We’ve already covered the fact that different draw methods work with different types of devices based on their wattage output, but aside from that, many vapers simply prefer one method over the other for their own reasons. 

With that being said, remember, some pod systems offer the option to switch between the two as desired, so if you’re interested in that type of choice, keep an eye out.

Still, the choice between a button-activated and a draw-activated system ultimately depends on personal preference.  Some vapers prefer the simplicity and ease of use of draw-activated systems, while others appreciate the control and features offered by button-activated systems.  No matter which type of draw style you prefer, Vapor Authority has got you covered, since we a large selection of both draw-activated and button-activated pod systems.

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