Vaporizers & Vaping

Best Vape Battery: Everything You Need To Know

Gabi Antunes

Aug 19, 2019

A personal vaporizer relies on its battery for the electricity it needs to operate, so choosing the right battery is an important decision for any vaper. While most portable vaporizers and vape pens rely on rechargeable batteries, some devices use replaceable 18650 batteries that can be replaced when drained. The type of battery you select will greatly influence your overall experience, as well as key capabilities of your vaporizer, such as temperature settings. Understanding the different types of batteries available to you and how they work will help you make a decision that supports your ideal session type and provides the vape experience you prefer.

What is a Vape Battery?

Vape pens typically come in two parts: the cartridge itself into which material is loaded, and the body of the vape. This vape body is often referred to as the “vape battery,” because this is where the rechargeable battery that powers the vape is located. While a vape battery can also refer to the battery itself inside the vape, the term is often used to describe the whole unit.

What is an 18650 Battery?

Lithium ion batteries come in many sizes, shapes, continuous discharge ratings (CDRs), and capacities. The number “18650” refers to the shape of the battery. These units are long, thin, and cylindrical, similar in shape and size to an AA battery. These types of batteries are primarily used with non-rechargeable devices that require the batteries to be replaced once they are drained. Rechargeable devices, like portable vaporizers and vape pens, are generally self-contained batteries that rely on a micro-USB or proprietary charging device, rather than an 18650 battery.

How Does a Vape Battery Work?

The battery is arguably one of the most important components of a vape pen. The battery generates the power necessary to activate the heating element inside the cartridge, transforming the cannabis oil or cannabis flower inside into vapor.

The vape pen battery can be activated in two ways, depending on the style of vape pen you have. One method activates the battery by pushing on a power button, which needs to be held down while inhaling. The second method involves sensing when a draw is being taken from the pen. Once sensors detect inhalation, the battery automatically turns on and instantly heats the content inside the vape pen.
The power of a vape pen battery is assigned a “continuous discharge rating” (CDR). This indicates that the charge can be released at a continuous rate without reducing its capacity or causing damage. Its capacity is measured in milliamp hours, abbreviated as mAh. This figure represents the battery’s running time. The larger the mAh, the longer the battery can last between charges.

All vape pens are rechargeable except for disposable vape pens. When a vape battery is reaching critically low levels, an LED indicator on the device will blink before powering down the device. Use the included charger, typically a USB adapter that screws into the pen’s connector, to charge your battery. Charging time varies depending on the size of the battery, but expect to wait at least 45 minutes to a few hours to reach full battery.

How often the battery is charged can impact vape battery performance. Lithium-ion batteries are designed to wear out over time, lasting for approximately 300 to 500 charge cycles. A charge cycle is calculated by fully charging the battery, depleting it completely, and bringing it to full charge once again. Charging the battery when it’s not necessary to do so can cut short its expected life.

Vape Battery Pros and Cons

Many vape batteries are similar in functionality, but there are key distinctions that separate one device from the next. To make an informed decision about which battery is best for your desired session, it’s important to create a list of pros and cons based on your personal preferences and priorities. These key features can help you differentiate between some of the leading batteries on the market today.

  • Charge time: Vape batteries take varying times to fully charge from dead. Whenever you plan on using your vape, you should ensure it has a full charge that can last the duration of your session. Knowing how long a battery takes to fully charge could be a key differentiator when choosing the device that’s right for you.
  • Battery life: In addition to charge time, you should also check to see how long a battery will last while in use. The lifespan of a battery is usually expressed by a measurement of milliamp hours (mAh). Generally, the higher the milliamp hours, the longer the life of the battery.
  • Temperature settings: Batteries are also the component of a vaporizer that determines the temperature settings of the device. Temperature is determined by the voltage generated by the battery, which is why variable voltage batteries support multiple temperature settings. Generally, the higher the voltage, the more the battery can heat the heating element.
  • Warranty: Finally, you should examine both the length of any warranty associated with the device you are considering, as well as what are the terms and conditions. You should clearly understand the situations in which the repair or replacement of your device is covered and when it is your responsibility. Vape devices come with a varying degree of warranty coverage depending on the manufacturer, so examining warranty terms could be the difference when selecting a vape battery that supports your sessions for a long time to come.

Keeping each of these factors in mind when researching vape batteries can help you identify the pros and cons of each device and weigh them against one another. Always measure each factor against the priorities that matter most to your ideal vape session to determine which device will be the best fit for you.

When Should I Replace My Vape Battery?

Portable vaporizers and vape pens, which rely on rechargeable battery units, do not require replacements. In fact, it is not practical or safe to try and open one of these batteries, unlike the devices which use replaceable 18650 batteries. When portable vaporizer batteries lose charge, simply place them on their charger as instructed in the device owner’s manual. Depending on your device, it could take up to a few hours for the battery to fully charge.

Most portable vaporizer and vape pen batteries will last for many cycles, only failing to hold a charge when something is technically wrong. In the event your vape device breaks or ceases to hold a charge, replace the device completely or bring it to a qualified technician for repairs. In some cases, this type of device failure might be covered under a warranty. Check your device owner’s manual and consult any warranty information to determine whether its failure to charge is an anomaly and whether it is covered under warranty. Never open a device that is only intended for rechargeable use.

Popular vape batteries

There are so many vape batteries on the market today it can be difficult to find a place to start. If you’re looking for a jumping off point, these popular vape batteries are among some of the most well-known available. They include pod vapes, portable vaporizers, and 510 thread cartridge vapes, each of which is compatible with different types of materials.

  • PAX Era: The PAX Era is a pod vape that works with proprietary SimpleClick™ pod that comes with pre-filled concentrated extracts. The PAX Era battery is housed internally in a small, rectangular unit that offers a fast charge time of 45 minutes. It offers four temperature settings, as well as precise temperature down to the exact degree when connected to the PAX Mobile application. It offers an instantaneous heat-up time when you inhale on the mouthpiece. The PAX Era currently retails at $29.99.
  • PAX 3: The PAX 3 is a portable vaporizer that supports the use of both dry flower and concentrated extracts. The 3,500 mAh battery fully charges from dead in about 90 minutes and supports up to 10 sessions per full charge. It offers a temperature range between 360 and 420 that can be set to the precise degree through the PAX Mobile application. It also boasts a rapid heat-up time of 22 seconds. The PAX 3 starter kit, which includes a concentrate insert, half-pack oven lid, multi-tool, flat and raised mouthpieces, and three screens, currently retails at $249.99.
  • G Pen Nova: The G Pen Nova is a 510 thread compatible vape pen that also includes a chamber that is compatible with dry flower. It includes a pen-shaped 650 mAh battery and three-setting variable voltage system for multiple temperature settings. It currently retails at $34.95.

The type of battery you choose depends on your preferred material and how it is packaged (such as in a pre-filled pod, for example.) It also depends on your desired charge time, battery life, and temperature settings. There are many vape batteries to choose from, but these popular models offer a good starting point for your research.

Vape Batteries Are More Than Just Power Elements

While the term “battery” suggests that the component merely powers the vaporizer, it does much more than that. Batteries are indeed responsible for supplying the electricity needed to power the vape, they are also an important component when it comes to selecting temperature and supporting long-lasting vape sessions. Not all batteries are created equal, so it’s important to do your research when trying to find the device that is best for you. When considering a battery, keep in mind its charge time, milliamp hours, voltage and variable settings, and warranty coverage. With the right battery, you can support your ideal vape sessions well into the future.