With vaping, battery safety is paramount. It's important to point new vapers in the right direction in terms of which external (removable) battery to use in their device. The type of batteries we use in mods are Lithium Ion batteries, the same "chemistry" often used in laptops, cell phones, cordless power tools, some flashlights, and remote control merchandise. It's important to understand that there are a few different classes of Lithium batteries and only one class is really best for vaping:--Lithium IMR or Li-Mn (Lithium Manganese).
--IMR/Hybrid batteries (new sub-class of IMR, and for now most common/recommended.
--Battery)protected ICR Li-Ion (Lithium Ion).
High quality IMRs are highly recommended instead of protected ICR Li-Ion for all vaping needs. Protected ICR batteries are considered to be obsolete for vaping.
IMR (Li-Mn) are the safest batteries on the market for vaping. The addition of nickel or manganese to carbon-based lithium batteries makes a safer chemistry and doesn't require the built-in protective circuit like ICRs require. This class of batteries have a higher threshold to heat and stress, and may vent hot gas during failure, but are less likely to be as catastrophic as an ICR or LiPo battery venting. If protective circuits fail in ICRs they can vent uncontrollably in fire/flames and could potentially explode.
Batteries usually can be broken down into two major categories: capacity (mah rating) and amps (current handling). When picking a battery to purchase you must decide which characteristic is most important for the application that you will use it. It's impossible to have the best of both in the same battery. This is because the limits of current battery chemistry and today's technology boundaries. Always keep safety in mind when choosing a battery.
MAH rating - an approximation for how long a battery charge should last from 100% charge to when the battery will cut off. Approximately, 100 MAH equates to 1 hour usage with low drain applications.
The ideal battery for our purposes is not always the one with the highest mAh rating. With vaping, a higher amp rating (CDR or continuous discharge rate) is the better battery.
Amp Rating (continuous discharge rate) or (CDR), is the maximum electrical current at which the battery can be discharged continuously before the battery will go into failure. The CDR is set by the manufacturer, and is a standard measurement in the battery industry. The "pulse or burst discharge rate" is not a standard measurement and varies from one manufacturer/vendor to another making any comparison from one battery maker to another impossible, and it's important to never rely upon pulse (burst discharge rate).
BUYER BEWARE!!!!!! Don't be fooled by dubious claims of over-rated battery MAH ratings and amp ratings by a few vendors and battery manufacturers. These companies attempt to confuse consumers with "max amp" specifications. Efest, IMREN, and "fire" brands are the worst offenders of this practice. Please research the vendor and manufacturer before making any purchases on batteries.
When searching for a battery, look at the continuous discharge rate (CDR). Pulse or burst ratings are not important for our applications. Burst or pulse rate can do a high amperage for 2-5 seconds, but more than that you begin to damage the cells. Pick batteries by their continuous rate, never for their burst/pusle. With subohm vaping this can be highly dangerous if a vaper doesn't understand the difference. This is the danger in sub-ohming if one does not know which specifications are most critical for their vaping needs.
(Remember CDR is what matters)
18650 2000mah 10Amp CDR
18650 1600mah 24Amp CDR
18490 1100mah 16.5Amp CDR
18350 700mah 6Amp CDR
18650 2200mah 20Amp CDR (new IMR/hybrid)
18490 1200mah 18A (new IMR/hybrid)
18350 800 mah 12A (new IMR/hybrid)
18650HE2 2500 mah 20Amp CDR
18650HE4 2500mah 20Amp CDR
18650HG2 3000mah 20Amp CDR
18650HB6 1500mah 30A CDR
18650 1500mah 20Amp CDR
26650 3800mah 20A CDR
Panasonic or Orbtronic (IMR/Hybrid)
CGR18650CH 2250mAh 10A CDR
NCR18650BD 3200mAh 10A CDR
NCR18650PF (LiNiCOMnO2) 2900mAh 10A CDR
NCR18650PD (LiNiCoAl) 2900mAh 10A CDR
Orbtronic 18650 3500mAh 10A CDR
Orbtronic 18650 SX22 2000mAh 22A CDR
Orbtronic 18650 2500mAh 21A CDR
Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100mAh 30A (*tested as only a 20 amp CDR)
Panasonic 26650 CGR2650A 2650mAh 50A CDR
Orbtronic 26650 5200mah 20A CDR
Samsung (IMR/hybrid) (LiNiCoMnP)
INR18650-30Q 3000mah 15A CDR
INR18650-20R 2000mah 22A CDR
INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A CDR
18650VTC4 2100mAh 30A CDR
18650VTC5 2600mAh 30A (* tested as only a 20 amp CDR)
26650 2600mAh 26A CDR
18650 2250mAh 10A CDR
18650 2000mAh 10A CDR
18650 1600mAh 30A CDR
18490 1100mah 8.8A CDR
18350 800mah 6.4A CDR
purple 18650 2100mAh 30A (* tested as only a 20 amp CDR)
purple 18500 1000mAh 15A CDR
purple 18350 700mAh 10.5A CDR
Efest 26650 4200mAh 20A CDR
Do not buy battery brands with no name or off brand unknown names printed on the wrapper. These are sometimes found on Fasttech, ebay and Amazon with cheap prices or given "free" in a kit when you buy sometimes from China. Batteries of unknown quality by an unknown manufacturers are not worth the risk. Never use these in your mod! Never be so naive to think just because a battery was in with a particular mod that it is safe for that mod. Also never assume that vape shops always carry the "safest" batteries.
Trustfire, Ultrafire, and Surefire are a lower quality name brand battery in applications of safety. Do not buy any batteries with "fire" in name or brand! The same goes for AWT, Basen, Cloud Chaser, Imren, MXJO, and Vappower brands. Independent tests have revealed that they have over-rated specifications from what is advertised. Buy at your own risk!!
Be very careful when shopping for batteries. Unprotected ICR batteries should never be used in any mod for vaping! Also be aware of fake Sony and AW batteries. If you are unsure if you should use a particular battery then don't use it. It's better to be safe than sorry.
NEVER USE OVER THE COUNTER ALKALINE BATTERIES (WRONG CHEMISTRY FOR VAPING)! To be certain you are getting authentic batteries only use trusted sources as listed below:
Remember to use the type of battery your mod specifies! Using a different battery than recommended can result in voiding warranty. Also in some cases it can lead to a dangerous outcome.
Most accidents with batteries happen while the battery is charging. So it's important to buy a charger with built in safety features.
Efest, Xtar, Pila, and Nitecore are rated the best brands for chargers. Batteries should be charged on a flame-resistant surface such as a marble counter-top, Stove-top, baking pan, or a pyrex glass dish. Only charge batteries while you are physically present.
Many of the better rated chargers have "intelligent" technology specifically designed for the charger to shut down charging when the battery reaches full charge (4.2 volts), however electronics can possibly fail. Don't trust the safety of your home & family to a faulty electronic circuit or charging cord. Always keep a close eye on batteries when charging.
Allow your batteries a resting period after charging. Never use a battery right off of charging. Many battery accidents were associated with using a battery directly from charging. Rotate your batteries where you allow the most recent charged batteries a resting period (a few hours) before using.
Common User-Error Battery Failure
Fire button pushed too long
Battery shorted from keys or other metal object
Using the wrong batteries
Always carry your batteries safely. Plastic battery cases are ideal for carrying extra batteries and keep metal objects from making contact with batteries. Remember to always use safe practices when using any batteries. Also remember when it's time to dispose of batteries to recycle them at home depot or somewhere. Never throw batteries in the trash.
Attention Subohmers: It's is very important to use the highest quality IMR batteries/Hybrid batteries with the appropriate amp rating. Coils build with less than .8 ohms require an IMR battery that has a maximum discharge rate of at least 20 amps. To be safer 30 amps (continuous discharge rate) is more ideal.
IMR or ICR?
IMR Li-Mn. Lithium manganese batteries. Also known as "high drain", "safe chemistry", and "unprotected".
IMR are used in regulated mods that utilize buck boost circuitry for variable voltage-wattage, but are now also recommended for single voltage mechanical mods as a much safer alternative to protected Li-Ion batteries. IMR batteries will have less mAh rating compared to protected ICR batteries, but are superior when maximum load current is required, such as in regulated mods, mechanical mods using a Kick, or using an RBA.
IMR batteries have a lower internal resistance, which equates to a much more dynamic voltage curve in comparison to ICR. These batteries will stay above 3.8v under load for a higher majority of their charge cycle, and then drop rather sudden afterward. This gives them a higher usable mah than their ICR counterparts.
New mixed chemistry batteries that are both safe chemistry/high drain and extended capacity in one. A good choice for purposes that demand both maximum load current and longer battery time. Can be used for both mechanical and regulated mods. The majority in this sub-class have 20 or more amps continuous discharge rate. These batteries are great for sub-ohm mechanicals or high wattage regulated mods.
Protected ICR Li Ion. Lithium ion class batteries, also called "protected batteries"
ICR batteries now are considered obsolete for vaping because of their potential for explosions and fires/flames, and also their unacceptably low CDR. It is now recommended not to use ICR batteries in mods.
Which battery is right for you?
If you vape at 1.0 to 3.0 ohms in a mechanical or regulated mod, then you should pick an IMR battery with more mAh capacity as your first priority. With this range of resistance you won't need more than 10 amps CDR, but you should still have at minimum 10 amps. Usually when comparing two batteries with the same CDR but different mah ratings, the battery with more mAh (capacity) will last longer per charge than one which has less mAh.
If you vape at 0.2 to 0.8 ohms on a mechanical mod or high wattage regulated mod, your choice must be for a high amp IMR battery of 20 - 30 amps CDR (maximum continuous discharge rate). Coils under the resistance of 1.0 ohm or lower require more amp power due to their higher amp draw. Use the appropriate battery with an adequate amp rating depending upon the current draw of your coil build. Check below to figure out your coil amp draw vs. amp rating.
If you vape a high wattage regulated mod, use a 20 - 30 amp CDR IMR battery, which ever your mod's manufacturer recommends. The processor's amp limit determines the amp requirement in this application, not the atomizer resistance:
40W-75W = LG 18650HG2 3000mah 20Amp CDR
LG 18650HE2 2500 mah 20 Amp CDR
Sony 18650VTC5 2600mAh 30Amp CDR (tested as only a 20 amp CDR)
AW 18650 3000 mah 20 amp CDR
AW 18650 3000mah 20 Amp CDR?
Keep in mind that as a battery ages the mah of the battery degrades. As the battery degrades so does its amp limit. Therefore, a 20 amp battery may turn into a 10 amp battery over time. For this reason it's best to recommend to never go over 50% of the continuous discharge rating of a fully charged battery.
The batteries (from a reputable source) on the market today are safe if you use the correct batteries for the right application and do not abuse them beyond their recommended and "real" amp limit. The majority of bad incidents involving batteries result from incorrect calculations, user error, ignoring safe battery practices, abused batteries, or using a mod that doesn't have adequate vent holes for the battery which goes into thermal runaway.
A battery that vents in thermal runaway will release extremely hot gas, toxic chemicals, and possibly flames. Once this chemical reaction begins, there is no turning back. This gas can build up inside the mod, and if no adequate outlet for the venting is present it will explode like a bomb.
Vaping is about Ohs's law. Once you've advanced your vaping journey from cigalikes and ego style vaporizers to APVs and lower ohm coils it's time to learn about Ohm's law. It's actually not as complicated as most think. It's just like any other mathematical relationship.
Voltage or V is commonly used, it is actually the voltage difference. It's a unit for difference in electrical potential energy between two points. One example of this would be like the positive and negative on a battery. Therefore a higher voltage between two points equates to the same amount of charge would be able to gain more energy, compared to if it was moved across a lower voltage.
Current or I can be thought of as the amount of charge flowing through a surface like a wire per second. This is what is known as electricity which is the flow of electrons down wires which lights up your home
Voltage is controlled by resistance. So the higher the resistance, the more electrical current is opposed.
The resistance of a material is basically how much of something there is for the electrons to bump into on their path through the current. All materials have resistance, except for extremely cold superconductors.
Therefore current is measured in amps (A) and resistance is ohms. Ohms law can be stated as current equals voltage divided by resistance, and more technically as:
Electric Current = Voltage/Resistance
Where "I" is the current, "V" is the voltage and "R" is resistance.
Voltage provides the raw potential, which is lowered or reduced(divided by) the resistance which produces the final current. By replacing the letters above with actual numbers you can figure unknowns. For example you vape at 3.4 volts and use a 1.8 ohm coil (which is your resistance). You simply take 3.4(V) and divide it by 1.8(R) and you get the electrical current at which you vape, which is 1.9A.
You could also rearrange the equation if you need to figure out something else. For example V=IR or R=V/I. You would simply plug in the numbers you know to figure out the variable you don't know.
With vaping we generally talk in terms of the wattage, which is a measure of power. This is a measure of energy over time, and the unit of power is the watt (W).
To figure out the power using ohm's law, use the following equations:
P = V^2 / R P = I^2R P = VI
Power is "P" in the above equations. To figure out how many watts you are vaping at, you work out the voltage squared and then divide that answer by the resistance. Also, you can use the value of the current you've calculated out previously with either of the remaining two equations. Keep in mind that P=VI means power equals voltage divided by current.
The atomizer which generates the vapor on your vaping device is a heating coil. It works because electrical resistance creates heat.
Some may think that the higher the resistance of the atomizer the more heat produced and therefore more vapor, but in reality the power is more important. Think of resistance in the atomizer as converting a portion of the energy flowing through the system into heat. Therefore while the higher portion is good, what is more important is the amount of energy flowing through the system in the first place.
When dealing with electrons flowing through a wire, the greater the rate the more they bang into stuff and encounter resistance, which produces heat. This is the reason power/wattage is responsible for the amount of vapor you'll produce.
The equations listed above, where the initial voltage is squared before being divided by resistance to produce power. The best vapor production comes from low resistance with high voltage. It's important to take note that the more energy being used will wear out your atomizer much faster.
If learning ohm's law scares you then simply use this easy calculator.
However, I think it's important to at least have the basic knowledge of ohm's law if you plan on subohming.