The battery might not be the most exciting vape component, but it’s easily the most essential. After all, without a functioning vape battery, you can’t even turn on your device – and you definitely can’t enjoy a good vape session. Whether you’re a new or seasoned vaper, having a solid understanding of vape batteries is a must. And that’s precisely why we created this all-in-one guide to vape batteries.
In this guide, we’re going to be talking about:
What a vape battery is
How a vape battery works
Different types of vape batteries
How to pick the best vape battery for your device and vape style
Important vape battery safety information
When to replace vape batteries
Ready to power up with a boost of battery-centric information? Our electrifying guide makes it easy to figure out the basics of vape batteries, and now that we’ve gotten the battery-themed puns out of our system, we can get down to business.
A vape battery is the external power source for a vape device, specifically manufactured to serve the needs of vape hardware. The battery supplies the power that allows your vape to heat up your favorite e-liquid so that it can transform from a liquid into a smooth vapor.
Most vape batteries look and function a lot like any other regular battery; you use the various electric-powered devices around your home. Vape batteries tend to be somewhat larger than your standard double-A battery, but the basic science is still the same.
Batteries contain special chemicals that produce energy when they are activated. An electrochemical reaction that involves an anode, cathode, and electrolyte is the scientific process that creates an electrical current in a battery. That current can then be used by a device, like your vape pen.
Rechargeable batteries are unique because that same reaction is reversible – which is why you can recharge these batteries again and again. When looking through options for rechargeable batteries, the majority will be lithium-ion (LiOn).
Several kinds of vape batteries are available, with each type suited explicitly for specific devices and performance parameters.
In many cases, vape starter kits feature a device that relies on a built-in (internal) battery.
When the battery runs out of charge, it must be recharged within the vape device by plugging in using a charging cable.
Some device’s designs allow you to vape during charging while tethered to wherever it’s plugged in. With other models, you’ll have to wait until charging is complete.
This isn’t an issue for many vapers – plenty of people don’t mind having to plug in their vape.
However, when the battery approaches the end of its life, its capacity and life will slowly decline. Eventually, it will be time to replace the device.
For some vapers, removable vape batteries (also called external batteries) are a solution to what they see as a pain point of internal vape batteries.
With a removable vape battery, you can simply swap out/recharge the batteries when needed.
Once a set of batteries is out of power, you can take them out and put them in the charger. Then, you put in a fully-charged set, and you’re ready to vape once again.
Many vapers will set up a charging rotation to always have charged batteries ready to go.
Removable batteries can be ideal for frequent vapers since they can cut down on the downtime involved in charging.
Generally, batteries are categorized based on their size.
For example, 18650 batteries are all of a comparable size. The first two digits in the battery category label represent the battery's width, while the last three are the length (in millimeters). So, a 18650 battery is 18mm across and 65mm long.
The most common sizes for vape batteries are:
In addition to being different sizes, the battery types also have varying capabilities in terms of capacity, current, and power output. Usually, larger batteries have a higher capacity and output.
Before we take a closer look at different battery specs, we will address a common question: how many batteries does a vape need? The battery system (and how many batteries it requires) usually varies between the main types of vape devices.
Single-battery systems are contained in stick-style starter kits and vape pod systems. Key characteristics of a single-battery vape include:
Super lightweight and portable
Usually fires on the lower end of the wattage range
It can typically last most of a day in between charges, assuming the vaping output is relatively conservative
Generally tops at around 90-100W
Requires a dedicated charger
Dual-battery systems are common in box mod systems, which utilize more power and higher output levels than a pod or stick vape. Box mods can also offer the option of sub-ohm vaping. Some of the basic features of a dual-battery set-up include:
Slightly heavier than single-battery devices
Optimal charging via a dedicated charger, rather than a MicroUSB cord
Batteries that should be “married” or paired and used in the same capacity throughout their lifetime
Preferably powered by batteries of the same brand, specs, and capacities
It can easily surpass 150W
Triple-battery systems are also found in box mods, specifically devices designed to achieve high wattage levels. Their characteristics are similar to those of double-battery systems and include:
Capable of reaching upwards of 300W
Usually higher in price, but deliver larger power capacities
Need a dedicated vape battery charger for optimal charging
You might wonder if it matters what kind of vape batteries you choose, aside from external vs. internal batteries. The differences between batteries can play a big part in how well a device fits your needs.
These decisions are where certain characteristics such as capacity (mAh rating) and amps (current handling) come into play.
Capacity (mAh rating) is an established manufacturing standard used to identify how long a battery will last from a 100% charge level to fully discharged. For example, a 3000 mAh battery will run 3 Amps for 1 hour before being completely discharged.
Amp rating (Continuous Discharge Rate, or CDR) is the maximum electrical current at which the battery is continuously discharged before it reaches failure. In order words, the CDR/amp rating is the battery’s limit for safe operation. You should never exceed this limit.
Batteries that have higher capacity/mAh ratings have lower amp ratings. These batteries are best-suited for lower-wattage vape devices.
On the other end of the spectrum, batteries with lower mAh ratings tend to have higher discharge rates/amperage. So, these are ideal for use with higher-wattage vapes.
With this in mind, you can see why it’s important to understand which battery matches your desired vape style. If you want to vape at high wattages, you’ll need to invest in a battery with a higher amp rating. But if you usually vape at lower wattages (under 40W), you don’t necessarily need a battery at that level.
Some battery manufacturers also label their batteries with the “pulse discharge rate,” which differs from the continuous discharge rate. Instead of focusing on pulse discharge rate, it’s far better to look at a battery’s maximum CDR and mAh capacity.
Rechargeable batteries have a limit to the number of recharges they can undergo before they can’t hold a charge effectively any longer. This limit is called the “battery duty cycle,” It varies based on the battery type.
On average, battery duty cycles range from 300 to 500, meaning that you can recharge those batteries about 300-500 times before seeing a decline in performance.
Battery charging and replacement are inevitable, but there are a few ways you can make the most of your batteries’ life expectancy and overall performance:
Avoid draining batteries down every time you use them. Instead, make it a habit to charge batteries when they are low but not completely drained.
Store your vape and any extra batteries in a cool, dry space (in other words, don’t leave them in your car!).
Follow each battery’s specific limits and guidelines, without exception.
Anytime you’re using a battery-powered object, there are certain safety guidelines to be aware of when using batteries. Unfortunately, vapes have an unfair reputation as posing a danger due to the potential risks associated with their batteries. But realistically, the possible problems aren’t limited to vapes alone – instead, they can occur with just about any type of battery.
Safe handling and use are important for vape batteries (and all other batteries as well), but you also don’t need to be excessively stressed about it, either. As long as you learn how to handle and use a vape battery safely, your risk of experiencing any issues is incredibly low.
Here’s what to know about vape batteries and safety:
Invest in a reliable, high-quality vape device made by a reputable manufacturer. It might be tempting to get a cheap or unregulated vape, but saving a few bucks isn’t worth it. Poorly-made vapes can increase the risk of battery venting or even explosion.
Take the time to research the proper battery for your device. When you buy a standalone vape mod, you’ll usually need to select your batteries. Make sure you review any compatibility requirements for the best (and safest) results.
Stick with high-quality rechargeable batteries, both for safety’s sake and performance in general. This is definitely a situation where you get what you pay for, and cheap, off-brand batteries can have a terrible lifespan, subpar performance, and other problems.
Use a high-quality battery charger, preferably a smart charger, for the easiest use . Overcharging or discharging batteries can be dangerous, but a smart charger is equipped with plenty of safety features to avoid any accidents.
Get rid of damaged batteries, including those that have any cracks, dents, or wear. If your battery isn’t holding a charge, it’s safer to assume there is internal damage – just toss it.
Educate yourself on Ohm's Law and what it means for battery safety. Essentially, divide the discharge rate (amps) and divide it by the voltage level by coil resistance (ohms), and never go above this rating.
Don’t mix and match batteries. If you replace one battery in a vape, replace them all. Also, use the same brand and capacity.
With batteries from trusted brands like Imren, SMOK, Pownergy BIA, and others, DIRECTVAPOR is your one-stop-shop for all your vape needs. We also have a wide selection of chargers and top-of-the-line vape devices if and when you’re ready for an upgrade.
And if you’re still not sure how to find the correct battery for your vape, the DIRECTVAPOR support team is happy to help. Contact us with questions or start shopping now!
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