What are the different types of vape battery?

If you’re looking at vape kits you will likely have seen different types of batteries mentioned, and be wondering what is the difference? We’re taking a look at the different types of vape battery to help you identify which one would best suit you and answer any questions you might have.

What are built-in vape batteries?
Built-in battery devices are the most common type of devices, and as the name suggests they include a built-in battery.

These batteries are integrated into the device and cannot be removed or replaced, but can be repeatedly recharged via a USB cable. These batteries can vary in size and power, with smaller vape kits like starter kits and pod systems usually containing smaller, less powerful batteries, while larger, more advanced vape kits contain bigger and more powerful batteries.

Built-in batteries are a convenient option, especially for starter vape kits, as they are easy to charge with minimal maintenance, which is ideal for newer vapers who want a simple to use device.

They are also an excellent option for pod vape kits, which tend to be small and compact, and having a small battery helps maintain this.

While these types of device can be recharged whenever needed, as with all batteries, they will eventually need to be replaced as the battery degrades and holds less charge. In this case the user would need to replace the entire device, with the exception of the tank or pod.

What are external batteries?
External batteries, also known as removeable batteries, are usually used in intermediate and advanced vape kits which require more power and have a larger overall design.

The most common size of battery used in vape kits are 18650s, and they are a really convenient option in high powered devices as they allow the user the option to carry spare batteries with them. This way, should your batteries die while you are still out and about, you can swap them out for a fully charged set without having to wait for them to charge.

While external batteries can be charged through the device using a USB cable, it is actually recommended to charge them externally using a battery bay charger.

These chargers can often charge the batteries faster and have additional built-in safety features that help prolong the life of the batteries. Depending on which charger you choose you may also be able to charge four or more batteries at a time.

If you're carrying spare batteries it is important to do so safely. You should never carry batteries loose as there is a risk of them coming into contact with metallic objects like keys or loose change which can cause the batteries to vent. It is best to store spare batteries in either a silicone battery sleeve or a plastic battery case.

Another benefit to external batteries is that once the batteries start to degrade and are no longer holding their charge for as long as they used to, you can simply replace the batteries without needing to replace your whole vape kit, which is a much less expensive option.

What batteries do disposable vapes use?
Disposable vapes usually use a type of ‘single use’ battery which is completely closed within the device and cannot be recharged. These batteries do usually offer enough power to last as long as the e-liquid inside the device, once the device is coming to the end of its life the battery indicator light on the device will start to flash letting you know that the device will soon stop working. At this point the device can be responsibly disposed of and I've been replaced with a new one or with your usual vape kit.

While disposable vapes are a great option if you need a small and compact device to take with you on a short trip, to a festival, or an event, they are designed for occasional use and not to be used as a long term vaping option. Not only does it become unexpensive way to vape if you are using disposable vapes exclusively, but it also contributes a lot of extra waste to landfill.

What type of batteries are used in vape kits?
The batteries used in vape kits are called lithium-ion batteries, and are commonly used in many other small electronics like phones, tablets, and laptops. You will often see lithium-ion abbreviated to li-ion.

They are a type of rechargeable battery which are popular for their light weight and small size. Even though they are small they maintain a high energy density and degrade slowly, so can offer a longer lifetime than other rechargeable batteries.

Li-ion batteries utilise intercalated lithium for the electrodes and work by moving the lithium ions from negative to positive when in use, and back again when charging.

The main reason they are such a popular option for electronics is that these batteries can be recharged hundreds of times before needing to be replaced, making them ideal for everyday items like vape kits and phones which are so frequently used throughout the day.

What does mAh mean?
When looking at vape kits you may often see the term ‘mAh’ in the product specs. This stands for milliamp hour and is used to describe how much energy charge the battery can hold and how long it can run a device before needing to be recharged.

In essence, the higher the mAh the more powerful the battery is. While this does also give an indication of how long the battery will last, this does also depend on how much power is being drawn. For example, a 1500 mAh battery being used in a device running at a low wattage and being used infrequently throughout the day, will obviously last longer than if that same battery was powering a device running at a high wattage and being used at high frequency.

Can I recycle vape batteries?
How and where you can recycle your batteries depends on the type of battery being used, but it is important to note that they cannot be recycled with your usual household recycling.

Built-in battery devices and disposable vapes on the other hand will need to be recycled differently because they contain other electrical elements and circuitry. They can be recycled through Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) designated sites, Recycle Your Electricals have more information about recycling your old vape kits and can help you find your local recycling point.