As most vapers will already know, e-cigarettes, like any other electrical device, are perfectly safe when used as they should be and come from a reputable supplier who has taken all the appropriate precautions to make sure that their batteries are safe and secure. However, there have been several stories in the media of the batteries in vapes crackling, sparking and even exploding! Fortunately, this is incredibly rare, particularly when you take care of your vape batteries and source them from a reputable supplier.
Many vape devices - beginner devices in particular - have their batteries built into the casing, meaning you don’t have to switch them out yourself - you simply recharge again and again! However, more advanced devices, like vape mods and some more advanced pod kits , don’t always come with batteries included, which means you’ll have to pick up your own. The most popular kind of battery for vapers is an 18650 battery , which is a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This kind of battery is so popular as it is safe, affordable and as it’s rechargeable, you don’t need to fork out for new power sources on a regular basis like you would with traditional batteries.
18650 batteries are available in a range of different mAh levels, depending on the amount of power you need from your vape. At V2, we stock a variety of brands and options for those choosing a vape battery, ranging from 2600-3000mAh, including MoliCel batteries, which are officially authorised for use in vapes and e-cigarettes .
What are 18650 batteries used for?
18650 batteries come under the wider umbrella of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in all kinds of portable devices - from your phone, laptops and cameras to portable power tools and electric car batteries! They are used in all kinds of different applications as they are long-lasting, easy to recharge, and above all, are very safe the vast majority of the time.
Your 18650 battery looks pretty similar to a AA battery, as it is the same cylindrical shape and about the same size (though the 18650 is slightly larger, so you won’t be able to use them in any device made for AA batteries) . Not to mention, 18650 batteries are much about three times as powerful as an AA battery, so you’d probably overload your TV remote if you use the wrong
As they are so powerful, 18650 batteries are used most commonly in high-drain devices that use a lot of power, like torches, laptops, electronics, and of course, vapes and e-cigarettes. More advanced vapes , in particular, need a fair bit of power to properly heat the e-liquid and create vapour, as well as powering any controls or user interfaces on the device, while still being small enough to be comfortably portable. This makes 18650 batteries the perfect fit for your vape or e-cigarette.
Are 18650 batteries safe?
E-cigs, like any of the other devices that use 18650 batteries, have electrical currents running through them, powered by their battery. With all of these devices, and in fact any device that is battery operated, there is a very small risk of issues like overheating, sparks, leaks, damage to your vape or even explosions, like any piece of electronic equipment that is wrongly installed, mishandled or charged with the wrong voltage. This will occur, however, only in an instance where the due care and attention that should be provided to an e-cig has been pretty significantly overlooked. 18650 batteries that come from a reputable source and supplier are no more or less safe than any other type of lithium-ion battery, which is to say that yes, with proper care, 18650 batteries are completely safe. In fact, when charged and cared for properly, there is only a one in 10 million chance of your lithium-ion battery exploding which comes out to a chance of about 0.0000001%!
There are lots of sensational stories in the media of vapers and e-cigarette users who have been injured by their vape devices exploding, sparking, burning and combusting. While this is possible and can happen, your battery becoming damaged to this extent is very rare, and is most likely to come down to improper battery care, which can trigger a chemical reaction in the lithium of your lithium-ion battery. Batteries that have been incorrectly treated or charged are more likely to cause the unfortunate case of an explosion in the e-cig battery, which is why you should always use the right charger to charge your vape pen and stop carrying loose e-cigarette batteries in a pocket or bag where they can be bashed or scratched .
Like all small, portable electronic devices, vape devices must meet strict electrical safety specifications to be legally sold, whether they’re for your tablet, a torch, or your headphones, although it is important to remember that there are always going to be different standards and requirements for different countries and regions. In order to minimise the risk of any electrical defects that might lead to leakage, sparks, electrical shocks or fires, you should always make sure that you purchase your equipment and parts from a reputable supplier and renowned brand that you know you can trust.
How to recharge 18650 batteries
While rechargeable batteries can be used time and time again, they don’t last forever! All rechargeable batteries, 18650’s included, will stop recharging properly at some point. As the battery is used, oxidation and electrochemical degradation occur, which impacts on its ability to charge properly.
Fortunately, one of the great things about 18650 batteries is their longevity, not just between charges, but in the long-run too. The number of times you can recharge your battery will vary depending on the specific model you pick up, but most will last you from at least 300 charges and usually up to around 500 charges, but they can be made to last all the way up to 2000 charges in certain models!
Recharging internal vape batteries is pretty easy, you simply plug in and go like you would a phone or laptop, but external batteries like the 18650 require a charger to make sure they are charging safely and effectively. A charger like the XTAR MC2 USB Battery Charger is suitable for many different battery types, including the 18650 . This device is very easy to use and has a variety of features to improve the safety and longevity of your batteries, including:
- A 5V DC/2.1A input
- Cut-off Voltage of 4.2V
- LED indicators
- Micro USB power supply
- Dual charging bays
- Three-stage charging
- Low heat design
- Reverse polarity protection
- Short circuit protection
- Under voltage disconnecting
- 0V battery activation
- IC temperature monitoring
Vape battery care guide
Whether you’re using an internal vape battery or an external 18650 battery, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your batteries last as long as possible , and that they remain safe for you to use. On the whole, vape batteries and lithium-ion batteries are pretty durable, but you should still take care of them where you can, to help prevent any issues.
To maximise protection and increase the lifespan of your batteries, one of the simplest and most useful things you can do is to make sure they don't get too hot or too cold. Storing them in the car on a hot day or in your office on a bright windowsill is very likely to reduce battery life and risk the safety of your batteries to some extent. You should also make sure that they don’t get wet, either by water or condensation in damp areas - the car is a culprit for this too, so even if you like to vape on the move, please try to keep your batteries elsewhere. Room temperature is the best temperature to keep your batteries at, so a regular cupboard, box, drawer or wardrobe that doesn’t fluctuate in temperature too much is going to be the best place to store your e-cig batteries at home. However, you should try not to buy batteries if you don’t need them or know you won’t need them anytime soon, as after a few weeks in storage, the performance and stability of your batteries may start to decline.
Lithium-ion batteries like 18650 batteries can also become damaged in pressurised environments. The most common occurrence of this is on aeroplanes, which is why there are so many restrictions on taking vape devices on a plane. So, if you can, leave the vape at home when travelling, or make sure to follow any rules and guidelines from your airline and your destination.
Some Do’s and Don’ts of 18650 Battery Care
- Never completely discharge batteries - always try and set your battery to charge as soon as your vape device indicates it’s time to do so
- Charge your batteries fully before the first use
- Never charge batteries to above their pre-defined voltage, or exceed the manufacturer’s specifications in any way
- Do not charge your vape batteries unattended
- Do not store your 18650 batteries fully charged for an extended period of time (weeks or more)
- Use only high-quality battery chargers designed for use with 18650 batteries
- Always charge your batteries on fireproof material, such as on a heatproof mat.
- Don’t use or charge any battery or charger if any visible damage is present, or if you know that they have been damaged, kept in the wrong place or be otherwise compromised.
- When storing and transporting your batteries, always use a purpose-built case to keep them safe
- No matter how convenient is it, never keep a spare battery loose in your pocket, bag or purse, as it can become scratched, bashed or damaged both internally and externally.
- If any kind of battery overheats, hisses, or bulges, DO NOT USE IT. You should take the battery away from any flammable materials straight away and take it outside if you can.
- Don’t leave a damaged battery unattended until you can dispose of it properly
- Always make sure you’re disposing of dead or damaged batteries properly in line with local rules and regulations.
How to Dispose of your Batteries
The great thing about rechargeable batteries like 18650s is that since you use them for longer, they’re much less wasteful and don’t need to be replaced anywhere near as often as traditional AA batteries. This means fewer emissions from production and less waste overall, which is good news for your wallet and for the planet!
However, lithium-ion batteries are still electrical equipment, and so should be treated very carefully when you’re throwing them away at the end of their lifecycle. 18650 batteries come under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations in the UK, which means they’ll have a crossed-out bin symbol on them to indicate they shouldn’t be thrown out with the general waste. Instead, recycle your batteries! This not only means they won’t be causing potential damage in landfill, but also that the parts will carefully be separated and used again in other products. You can find electrical recycling points at a lot of shops and larger supermarkets, as well as your local waste collection and disposal services.
To find out more about how to use and take care of your 18650 batteries, take a look around our site or feel free to get in touch with the knowledgeable customer service team at V2.