When people first pick up vaping, they're usually not bothered about the details. The novelty is enough to carry the experience, and most people will be happy to put their hands on an affordable kit just to try things out. However, as they get more accustomed to vaping, they naturally seek to tailor the experience. That's where vape mods come into play. Once they've found the right style of vaping for them, be it mouth-to-lung, direct-to-lung, sub-ohm or a style of their own (check here for our guide on vaping techniques), the start to seek the best of everything to optimize the experience. The best mods, the best e-liquids and the best batteries to use. The battery may be the last thing on your mind when you start vaping, but pretty soon you'll start to realize the impact a battery can have on your vaping experience.
Why the 18650 battery is the best battery to use
If you have a social circle who vape or you do a lot of research online, you'll have heard a great deal about the 18650 battery and how ideal it is for vaping. Most vape kits come with built-in batteries that are certainly convenient. They're compact, powerful and you don't have half as many safety concerns as you would with choosing your own battery. Built in batteries are fine, but if you want to push your vaping experience to new limits you're going to have to take the battery into your own hands.
Built-in batteries deteriorate over time, and once they start to burn out you'll have to throw your whole unit away and get another one. It means shaking up your vaping experience dramatically every time your battery wears down. The 18650 battery gives you a lot more control over your vape unit, and once it expires over time (as all batteries do) it can simply be replaced.
If you're new to vaping, the built-in batteries that come with your kit will serve you just fine. But as you get more into the vaping scene, the 18650 battery is a good place to start experimenting.
Amperage and mAh - what's the difference?
You're going to want to get into the swing of these terms when you start shopping for a new 18650 battery. The amperage is effectively the 'power' of the battery, or how much current the vape battery can output at any given time. The higher the current, the higher the wattage. This is the figure that will tailor your vape experience the most. A high current will allow for more vape juice to be vaporized a fast rate - ideal for hobbyists or those wanting nice, big plumes. mAh stands for milliamp hours and simply refers to the life of the vape battery. The higher the mAh, the longer it'll last between charges. High mAh batteries are typically slightly more expensive and you might not need them if you're at charge points regularly or mainly vape at home, but it's worth considering. To put this into perspective, 2000mAh battery should draw 2000 milliamps for one hour, or 1000 milliamps for two hours. However, in practice it’s different as the batteries are not 100% consistent.
When vaping at high wattage, just make sure you know your vape battery well and don’t put too much strain on it (referred to as 'overdrawing'). If you overdraw a battery it might get overheated, and while most batteries have safety mechanisms in place it's not worth taking the risk.
The best batteries to use and their labels
When it comes to finding the best batteries to use, understanding the labels is essential. Once you know what all of the various letters mean you can make an informed choice about the vape battery you choose at glance. Here's a quick rundown of the various letters, numbers and their meanings:
- I : a Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) battery
- M : Positive ion is Manganese
- C : Positive ion is Cobalt
- N : Positive ion is Nickel
- F : Positive ion is Iron (the symbol for iron is Fe)
- R : Round
- F : Flat
- 18650 : the battery is 18mm thick and 65mm in height
Bearing these in mind is especially useful when shopping online. It'll give you an idea of the capacity, power, life and size of the battery you're considering.
In the coming weeks we'll be posting more about vape batteries, including how to calculate the output wattage, whether to use a single battery or dual battery mod, a rundown on the various classes of battery and more - so stay tuned! If you have any questions or advice, feel free to comment below.