One of the most important parts of your vaping experience is, without a doubt, the battery. You want to use a reliable device that doesn’t lose its charge quickly and has all the power you need to vape hassle-free. The best way to ensure that your battery is going to meet these needs while suiting your budget is by having a comprehensive understanding of them.
That’s why we’re here: to provide you with an educated decision when purchasing high-quality vape products at affordable prices. Keep reading below so we can teach you about what makes a great vaping battery.
What Does A Vape Pen Battery Do?
The battery is certainly an integral aspect of your vaporizer. How vaping batteries function and what specifications it has are all different from one another. But before we get into that, let’s discuss how vaping batteries work in general.
Vape Batteries Make Connections And Heat Your Cartridges
No matter what kind of vape you’re using, a battery is going to do the same thing—it makes an electrical connection with your vape cartridge and allows for the substance in it to be turned into vapor.
Vape batteries designed specifically for vaping have specific requirements, and not all batteries are capable of discharging so much energy at once through use.
So Many Batteries, So Much To Understand
In general, there is only a handful of vaping batteries that are available for purchase on the market. These are:
- 510 threaded batteries
- 18650 batteries
- 20700 batteries
- 21700 batteries
There are certainly others, but these are the most popular that you’re going to find. We’re going to talk about these batteries a bit later and what they’re best for. But for now, let’s go over some battery basics.
Continuous Discharge Rating (CDR)
When you’re talking about batteries, you must understand the continuous discharge rate or CDR. CDR is a measure of how long a battery can discharge, or use energy, continuously while still operating safely. This means without reaching a dangerous temperature and without damaging the battery itself.
Not all batteries are capable of continuously discharging, and manufacturers know that. Reputable manufacturers are going to make sure that their batteries can be used over the intended amount of time necessary for vaping and that they’ll be able to operate safely.
If you want to picture what a battery’s CDR is, take a look at a plastic water bottle. The opening of the water bottle represents how much energy can be discharged, and the size of the water bottle represents how much energy there is.
If the opening is too large, the bottle (battery) will lose water (power) too quickly. If it is too small, the bottle (battery) will suffer damage when discharging too much water (power) at once.
Going back to our water bottle analogy, this is pretty much the size of your battery. Battery capacity is a measure of how much charge, or energy, is stored in a battery.
It’s often calculated in mAH, or milliamp hours. This rating dictates how much energy can be pulled from the battery before it stops discharging. It also tells you how long the battery will run while in operation.
Now, the higher the battery capacity, the longer it runs, right? Not necessarily. It depends on how high the discharge rate is.
If you have two batteries with the same capacity but one has a higher discharge rating, then the battery with the higher discharge rating will die first. Of course, you have to find a balance between battery size and discharge rating.
The operating temperature of a battery is a safety concern that everyone needs to be aware of. When a battery discharges energy, it also generates heat. Because of this, batteries have optimal temperature ratings. If a battery runs hotter than it should, you run the risk of severe damage to your battery—and yourself.
Let’s think about the water bottle again. If a water bottle is filled with boiling water, it’s going to do two things. First, it’s probably going to burn your hand, and next, it may start to expand. Hotter water creates more volatile gasses and steam.
If the bottle can’t vent this steam, it ends up exploding. A battery can do the same thing. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your battery isn’t overheating.
When you’re vaping, you need to be concerned with battery voltage, as well. In a vape, a battery’s adjustable voltage settings dictate how hot your atomizer becomes and what kind of vaping you’re able to do. For this reason, you must know your battery’s correct voltage rating, as well as what that variable voltage rating means.
In general, most vaping batteries have a voltage discharge cutoff between 2 and 3 volts. They carry a charge voltage of around 4.2 volts and a nominal low voltage pulse of 3.7 volts. Now, the voltage discharge is what determines the temperature of your atomizer. In general, there are normally 3, maybe 4, different temperature ranges that a vape can handle. These are listed below.
- Low Temperature - 2.4 Volts
- Best for low-temperature hits that are flavorful.
- Medium Temperature - 2.8 Volts
- A balanced temperature, providing great flavor and feeling.
- High Temperature - 3.2 Volts
- High temperature vaping that provides stronger desired effects (highs).
Some batteries aren’t going to provide variable voltage settings - rather, they’ll provide a general temperature range. Knowing the way that you want to vape makes it much easier to find a vape battery that’s going to work for you.
Next, we have the type of material your battery is made from. For a 510 threaded battery, this isn’t the most important thing to consider since their materials aren’t always provided. However, when you’re looking at 18650, 20700, or 21700 batteries, the material makes a big difference.
Battery materials come in a wide range of options. Of course, many people know what an alkaline battery is. Many still know what a lithium battery is, too. However, vape batteries can get quite a bit more complicated. They often break down the exact kind of material that the battery uses to hold a charge for the user. Most batteries come with one of the following materials:
- LMR (Lithium Manganese Rechargeable)
- Many high-drain vape batteries are made of LMR thanks to its ability to discharge at a high current while maintaining a low temperature.
- LNR (Lithium Manganese Nickel Rechargeable)
- This is the most popular type of 18650 battery available. It provides a high capacity and a high discharge rate, something the LNR battery lacks.
- LCR (Lithium Cobalt Rechargeable)
- While these are available for purchase, they aren’t recommended. They have very high discharge ratings and are often considered dangerous. To use them, a protective circuitry must be used with them, making them less than ideal.
Size and capacity don’t have anything to do with one another. Rather, capacity is normally determined by the material. Size, however, is described by the number that corresponds with the battery, like 18650. The numbers that make up this number refer to different measurements of the battery. Let’s break down the 18650 battery by these numbers.
- 18: The diameter of the battery, from one side to the other, in millimeters.
- 650: The length of the battery, from top to bottom, in millimeters.
Using this breakdown, you can see that a 18650 battery is 18mm across and 65.0mm long. If a battery is wrapped in a protected circuit, though, the diameter of the battery may increase by 2 to 3 millimeters.
Internal Or External Batteries?
Vape batteries are going to be either internal or external. This refers to where they are when put into the vape itself. Some differences between the two need to be considered when finding the best battery for your vaping needs.
Internal batteries are self-contained. They come in housing, and the housing itself serves as a way of charging the vape battery. Internal batteries, like 510 threaded batteries, are commonly available for your vaping needs.
They take the headache out of charging your batteries properly, as they come with a USB charger port or similar means. Internal batteries are user-friendly.
When you’re using external batteries, you’re using batteries that are removed from the vape and are charged separately. External batteries are more commonly 18650, 20700, or 21700 batteries.
These require a good charger, and several are available, thankfully. Now, why do they need a separate charger that’s high quality? It all comes down to safety.
When charging an external battery, proper charging is a must. If a battery is charged improperly, it runs the risk of damaging the battery itself, or worse, exploding.
A rapid charger is going to cost a bit more, running the total cost of your setup higher. Still, it’s an essential purchase, and you’ll need to have it if you want to go the external route.
Getting Into The Different Batteries Available
Okay, now that we understand everything about these batteries, let’s talk about the batteries themselves. While there are four total, we will break this up into two different categories. This will help you understand the way that each function and what the pros and cons of these batteries are.
510 Threaded Batteries
Arguably, the most common vape pen battery produced at this point is the 510 threaded battery. These are internal vape pen batteries that come with threads to screw a cartridge onto. They’re generally considered universal, as most CBD or nicotine cartridges will work with them.
They are the basis of most vape pen-style products making them highly compact and easy to get. Moreover, the 510 threaded battery applies to the entire device that it’s a part of. When you’re talking about a 510 threaded battery with anyone who vapes, they’re referring to a device used to vaporize nicotine.
Often, you’ll hear it pared down to just the term “510” in these communities. This is because the name originates from one of the first electronic cigarette manufacturers. The numeric portion of the name, 510, comes from the description of the battery itself.
It’s called a 510 threaded battery because of the thread pattern used to connect the battery to other parts. There are 10 threads at 5 mm of travel. This same numeric descriptor is often used when talking about moving parts in mechanics.
Every threaded part, be it a pipe, a bolt, or a screw, is defined by a number that provides this information. And it’s the popularity of 510 batteries among manufacturers that made this unit the standard choice for many vapers.
How It Works
For the most part, the way a 510 threaded battery works is pretty simple. First, you start with a battery in a rechargeable base. There are many of these products available on the market, and they all work the same.
They have the same threads that are made to be compatible with pre-filled oil pen cartridges. The pre-filled oil cartridge screws onto the battery base.
Then, the battery base heats an atomizer made out of a wire coil or ceramic elements. When this reaches a high enough temperature, the oil cartridges are vaporized. This allows it to be inhaled by the user.
These heat settings are very simple, but they can be improved upon constantly. The 510 threaded battery is an excellent base for vaporizing, and it allows for coupling with several different atomizers and cartridges. Because of the versatility, users can achieve plenty of different things with a 510 threaded battery.
Why Should You Use A 510 Threaded Battery For Vaping?
When you ask anyone who vapes, they’re likely to tell you that the 510 threaded battery is an excellent platform for vaping. There are several different products on the market based on the 510 threaded battery design. Below are some of their most significant benefits.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of owning a 510 threaded battery is the cross-compatibility you get with all of the other products. For the most part, 510 threaded vape batteries and cartridges are entirely compatible with one another.
This means that they’ll all connect, giving you plenty of options to find the setup that works best for you. There are indeed some hardware components that may make compatibility an issue.
But these issues are few and far between, meaning that you’ll be able to combine different carts and batteries freely. They’ll still work well with one another, which is a huge benefit.
If you’ve ever seen a 510 threaded battery, you know that they’re the most portable vaping solution available. The battery shape may vary, but nearly all instances of 510 threaded batteries are portable, as are their compatible cartridges.
The most popular style of 510 threaded battery is the vape pen. These are the most common vapes and electronic cigarettes available on the market. Nicotine vaporizers can be purchased just about anywhere, too! If your battery ends up on the fritz, you can probably find a compatible battery somewhere close to home.
Because of the form factor of the vape pen, you can bring it with you just about anywhere. It fits in a pocket easily, and most options are pretty durable. This means you can take it with you on the go and jostle it around without worrying about it breaking.
No one wants to be without their vape when they plan on having it with them. The 510 threaded battery lets you bring your vape with you anywhere. What’s not to love?
Being able to bring your vape with you anywhere is great. But to be able to use it, you’ll need to be discreet. While other portable vapes are available, they aren’t as discreet as the 510 threaded battery.
Again, a lot of this comes from the form factor of the device. Regardless of what’s in your cartridge, most people will assume that you’re smoking an electronic cigarette. This makes even your vape pen unsuspecting and ready for public use.
Keeping your consumption to yourself can be invaluable from time to time. Not everyone agrees with the stance that certain substances should be legal at this point (though we are fast approaching that day).
A 510 threaded battery and cartridge look like any other electronic cigarette. It also doesn’t make huge clouds, so your ability to stay discrete while smoking is still intact.
If discretion is important to you, then dose management probably is, too. When you’re using a 510 threaded battery, you’re going to be able to achieve better dose management than you would when consuming by other means.
The majority of vape batteries achieve this thanks to a program in the battery itself. Many batteries have a programmed timeout in their inhalation cycle. This means that the strength of inhalation, as well as the length of inhalation, is controlled by time. In some cases, it’s controlled by temperature, as well.
When you want to maintain a consistent feeling, you want to manage your doses accordingly. If you’re using a device that enables consistent and measurable doses, this becomes much easier. It’s important to understand a vape pen when you get a vape pen. This allows you to control your dosage and can help you maintain the right feeling when you want it.
Always check how many volts the charger puts out. When you use a basic vape pen, the battery probably only goes to about 3.3 volts. This could be too low to achieve maximum performance for a larger vape pen.
510 thread vape pens will have a higher voltage range of 3.3 volts to 4.8 volts. When you have a higher voltage, you can take in larger amounts of vapor and release bigger exhales of smoke. If you enjoy letting out a big plume of smoke, you will want to have a higher voltage for your vape pen.
Variable voltage batteries are batteries that allow you to choose the voltage that you want to use. It is not a fixed number. You can choose a low setting if you have a variable voltage battery if you prefer a more flavorful draw. Then, if you want something a little more potent, you can crank it up to a higher voltage when needed, as discussed above.
Using Your 510 Threaded Battery
Generally speaking, there are only a couple of different ways that a 510 threaded battery will activate for use. However, this plays a significant part in the way you use your vape and how convenient it is.
The first method of activation is by way of a push-button. Some vapes have a button that must be pushed to send power from the battery to the atomizer, which allows for inhalation. The button has to be pressed whenever inhalation is taking place. Once the button is no longer being pressed, the vape no longer atomizes your concentrate.
The alternative to push-button activation is automatic inhalation activation. As the name implies, automatic activation happens whenever the device is turned on, and inhalation occurs.
This means that you don’t have to worry about missing a hit, as long as you remember to turn your 510 threaded battery on. This is the most convenient method of activation, but it isn’t always preferred. It can lead to dwindling battery charges in no time at all.
In the most extreme cases, it can take up to 2 hours to reach a full charge. Thankfully, though, most charge in much less time, and they can take as little as 45 minutes to charge! It depends on how discharged your battery is, though.
Now that you have a good understanding of 510 threaded batteries, let’s review their pros and cons to gain a complete picture.
- Readily available at most shops and even in some convenience stores.
- Portable, meaning you can vape just about anywhere.
- Inconspicuous, meaning you can take a puff in public without much scrutiny.
- Inexpensive but still high-quality.
- Considered universal, meaning that most batteries will work with the average oil cartridge and vice versa.
- Lower capacity than 18650 / 20700 / 21700 batteries.
- Less ability to customize the output, meaning you can only vape in a few different ways.
Overall, 510 threaded batteries are the best batteries available. For the most part, you can find everything you need when you buy a high-quality 510 threaded battery and corresponding cartridge, meaning that you don’t have to struggle to have your vaping needs satisfied.
18650 / 20700 / 21700 Batteries
For the most part, all of these batteries are considered external. To describe these batteries, we’re going to refer to them as 18650 batteries. While 20700 and 21700 are rising in popularity, 18650 is the most popular when it comes to external batteries.
Moreover, these batteries are considered the best batteries available for vaping for box mods and custom vape pens. They come in a wide variety of materials and energy specs, meaning that you can find just about anything you need if you look hard enough.
However, while that’s their greatest strength, it’s also their biggest downfall. The options for these batteries are overwhelming to many people, and they require extensive research.
- Highly customizable, meaning that you can find just about any specs you want.
- Powerful and high capacity, meaning they’ll last a while before being charged.
- It can be used in other applications if you have appropriate electronics.
- Bulkier than the 510 threaded battery but still portable.
- Complex and require a deeper knowledge when it comes to charging and discharging.
- If used improperly can be very dangerous.
- Pricier than 510 threaded cartridges.
- It can’t be purchased anywhere, making it harder to find one if something happens to yours.
If you’re a hardcore vape enthusiast, you’ll eventually end up using these batteries. However, they require a lot more knowledge and know-how to be used correctly. As such, they’re not for everyone.
So, Which Battery Is Best?
Well, that’s going to depend on the user. The needs of the person in question will determine what battery should be bought and what kind of vaping you’ll want to do. Ask yourself the following questions to come up with an answer.
What Kind Of Vaping Do I Want To Do?
Are you looking to chase huge clouds, or do you want a simple vape that you can use anywhere? If you want to do crazy tricks with a ton of smoke, you’ll want to go the route of a box mod and a 18650 or equivalent battery. If you want to stay discreet or vape casually, go for a 510 threaded battery.
What’s My Experience With Electronics Like?
This one’s easy. If you’re not looking to get too technical, stick with the 510 threaded battery. However, if you’re a rising enthusiast, it’s best to start educating yourself on bigger batteries, of course.
How Much Am I Willing To Put Into My Vape Setup?
Vaping can become a huge rabbit hole for people to go down. There are tons of great retailers offering amazing vape mod options and parts.
If you’re going to get really into vaping, then having some 18650 batteries isn’t going to hurt, and investing in products isn’t going to be a big deal. However, if you just want to use vaping as a way to enjoy the substances you love, a 510 threaded battery is going to do the same job, but for considerably less.
Why You Should Get A 510 Threaded Regardless
While some really interesting vape setups are available that need larger batteries, we think that the 510 threaded cartridge is likely the best available option. Why? For starters, it’s the long-standing champion when it comes to vapes.
Its versatility is what made it so popular, to the point that nearly all vape makers have products that are 510 threaded. This means you can find anything you want, and it’ll be universal.
And in theory, you can probably interchange most 510 thread batteries. Their size is universal, so they will fit each other. But remember, if the charger’s voltage is too high, it can decrease the lifespan of your battery or ruin it altogether.
As such, it’s best to use a similar brand throughout to be sure to get the maximum battery life. If you want to interchange them, just check the above specifics to ensure that they won’t ruin the battery.
Additionally, the 510 threaded option is more discreet. Sure, chasing thick clouds at home is fun, but it can’t happen all the time. This is especially true when you’re out and about or with friends and family that don’t appreciate a thick fog the way you do. It’s essential to keep the preferences of others in mind and make sure that you’re respectful of them. Otherwise, it gives all vaping a bad name.
Why Not Both?
There’s no rule saying you can’t have both styles and batteries in your vaping arsenal. They’re used for different things, and it makes sense that you have both, of course. Plus, the 510 threaded is the best option for when you don’t want to worry about setup and tear down.
The 510 threaded is the best entry point into vaping for beginners, and it’s a reliable option for seasoned veterans when it comes to ease of use. Having both only makes sense.
What Type Of Charger Should You Get?
Most chargers for 510 thread batteries come with a USB charger port. This allows you to plug your charger into a computer or an electrical outlet, depending on what is available. Sometimes we have rapid chargers or chargers for other electronics available that we want to use. Still, these can put too much power into the vape pen battery, ruining it.
(Alt text: “usb charger - Dr. Dabber”)
No one wants to fry their battery and have to wait for a new one to be delivered, or even worse, have to go hunt one down at a store. You only need a standard charger that emits about 5 volts when charging your battery.
Anything higher than that will decrease the lifespan of your battery. Sometimes it is a good idea to buy a spare battery if one bites the dust. Always be prepared.
Check Out The Vape Products Offered By Dr. Dabber!
Here at Dr. Dabber, we care about making sure that you get the perfect hit every time. While we may be known for our e-rigs, we also have vapes available! We’ve put extensive time, research, and care into developing our products.
If you’re looking for something a little more robust than the 510 threaded options that we offer, we also have options like the Stella, the Ghost, or the Light. We’ve also got great CBD cartridges and, of course, our classic 510 threaded battery. So be sure to check out our selection of high-quality vapes and accessories!