Vaping Batteries – The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Sub Ohm Battery

Well fellow vapers, soon to be vapers, and those that are just doing some light reading. Today I wanted to finish a quick post about the batteries that you may want to consider for use in your PV (Personal Vaporizer), APV (Advanced Personal Vaporizer) or battery pack. When choosing the proper battery this is one time that going cheap may not be the best idea.  Like most things in this world all batteries are not created equally and as a matter of fact, some are not what they seem. I have spent about a week reading about how batteries work, how to calculate what they can do, how batteries are made and all other things battery related. I already purchased a few different batteries to try in the toys that I am happily reviewing for Wood Creek Vapory.

Before I go any further I have a few quick things I wanted to say. First I want everyone to know that I am not an employee of Wood Creek Vapory, so my posts are not written to help them sell products, they are written to help you the consumer make a informed decision about what you are purchasing. Second, to the staff at Wood Creek Vapory, thank you for everything you  are some of the most professional, kind, and helpful people that I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Thank you for allowing me to post my thoughts on your website, it is a privilege.

So onto the batteries, I did not want to make this a complex boring post about the physics of the rechargeable battery. I want this to make it easy for you to decide on the battery you should purchase and use.

Protected vs. Unprotected

I would like to thank the staff at lighthound.com for a very simple to read explanation of the differences between the two types of batteries (see this post).

The primary difference between the Protected and Unprotected batteries is that the:

PROTECTED batteries have a small circuit board, typically on the bottom of the battery, that stops the charging or discharge of the battery in certain circumstances.  Some of the circumstances in which the circuit  include:  Over-Charge, Over-Discharge, Short-Circuit, and in some cases, overheating. These batteries require special chargers that are specifically designed to charge lithium rechargeable batteries.

UNPROTECTED lithium batteries.  They produce 4.2 volts of power when fully charged, then quickly fall to 3.6 volts output.  They output 3.6 volts until they are mostly discharged, at which point the voltage falls rapidly.  If they are discharged below 3 volts, they will be ruined and no longer usable.  The user must be very careful not to let this occur.  These batteries should only be charged in a charger specifically designed for them, as those chargers have a circuit that stops charging the battery when they reach 4.2 volts.

With that being said, it is important that you use PROTECTED batteries when possible and if you are using UNPROTECTED make sure your charger is designed to handle the batteries, ALWAYS I repeat ALWAYS verify that your charger is designed to charge the batteries you own before you start charging them. Charging the wrong battery in the wrong charger could cause a fire or melt wiring and damage your property or possibly cause a battery to explode.

What in the heck is mAh?

The mAh capacity rating refers to the storage capacity available for a  particular battery. A battery with a capacity rating of 3000 mAh could deliver a current of 3000mA for one hour. Higher mAh ratings for the same battery type will generally mean longer run times. This does not apply when comparing different types of batteries. This means that you may not be able to predict how long your electronic device will run just by looking at the capacity rating of a battery. When powering high drain electronic  devices like APVs, PVs, MODS, E-Cigs an alkaline battery will only deliver a small fraction of its rated capacity. For example AA alkaline batteries typically have a capacity  rating of over 2,500 mAh and AA NiMH batteries have rated capacities of only 1,200 to 2,000 mAh. But when it comes to actually powering an electronic device like a APVs, PVs, MODS, E-Cigs the NiMH batteries will often run the device for three or four times a long. Even comparing the capacity ratings of similar types of batteries won’t often work since different manufacturers can measure battery capacity in slightly different ways. A NiMH or NiCd battery is likely to deliver much closer to its rated capacity when it’s powering high drain devices. (Information obtained from Allbattery.com)

WHAT TO REMEMBER – NOT ALL mAh BATTERIES ARE RATED THE SAME. Make sure you research more than just the mAh rating of a battery, later in this post I will show a chart of batteries so you can make your own decision.

Breaking Down the Battery Name

So we have been going into information about batteries, so now its time to explain what the name really means. So we IMR, ICR, 18650, 18350, 14500 etc. With all the letters and numbers it can get a little confusing. I want to make this easier to understand and easier to remember.

Breaking it down:
I = The battery is a Lithium Ion Battery Li-Ion

M = Manganese (Mn) is the positive ion for the battery
C = Cobalt (Co) is the positive ion for the battery
N = Nickle “Ni” is the positive Ion in the battery
F = Iron “Fe” is the positive ion in the battery

R = This is under debate Round or Rechargeable, I am leaning at round due to the fact that other batteries use the “R” designator for round and “F” for flat

18 = diameter of battery 18mm, making the first two digits the diameter in mm

650 = height in tenths of millimeters 65mm
850 = height in tenths of millimeters 85mm

In the below chart I am only referring to the batteries commonly used for vaping

Battery  NameFirst DesignatorSecond DesignatorThird DesignatorForth DesignatorFifth Designator
Battery TypePositive IonShapeDiameter in mmheight in tenths
of millimeters
INR18650Lithium IonNickelRound18mm65mm
IMR18350Lithium IonManganeseRound18mm35mm
ICR17500Lithium IonCobaltRound17mm50mm

I hope that helps with getting the hang of that part.

High Drain vs. Regular

So now comes the discussion about high drain and what type is best for high drain INR, ICR, IFR or IMR and how can I tell if it is a high drain battery.  I don’t want to get to crazy so I am combining a few things I learned from a few sources to help and I will let you draw from the information as you chose.

The IMR battery usually can handle up to 8.0C drain, which means the battery can output 8 times the capacity indicated on the label. As an example, an IMR 18650 battery with 2000mAh capacity can handle 8*2000 = 16000mah = 16amp.  The Manganese chemistry is less volatile than the Cobalt chemistry, so most of this kind of batteries have no protection.

The ICR battery usually can handle up to 2.0C drain. so an 2400mAh ICR 18650 battery can output 2*2000 = 4000mah = 4.8amp. And most of this kind of batteries have the protection board built in the bodies since the Cobalt material has high volatility.

If you are using a mechanical mod, building a sub-ohm RBA, such as 0.3?, you want choose a 3.7V 18650 battery which can produce huge vapor, the IMR is the best choice for you! Here is a simple formula to calculate:

I(current)= U(Voltage) / R (resistance)

Now the R = 0.3?,  U = 3.7V, so the I should be 12.3amp. Only IMR battery left for you to choose   If you are using a VV/VW Mod, with a normal resistance atomizer, such as 2.4?

Some VV /VW mods have the currents limit, usually is 5A. the ICR battery is enough, and with the double protection (in battery and the mod), the ICR is more safer for you to use. If there is no currents protection in the mod, or the mod is only adjust the wattage, such as Itaste 134 (I don’t know if it has the currents limit). Here comes another formula:

P (wattage) = U (voltage) * I (currents)

As an example, you adjust the mod to 15W, and the voltage is 3.7V, So the currents should be 15/3.7 = 4.1amp, ICR battery is enough. So when you use the VV/VW mods, the ICR or IMR is all OK for you to choose.
See more at: (ECigator)

So without getting all boring and anymore drawn out I will conclude with this last piece of information

Battery name and mahContinuous Discharge AmpsMaximum Discharge AmpsC RatingSafe Ohm to run
AW IMR
AW 14500 600 mah4.8 amp6 amp8c0.9 ohm
AW 16340 550 mah4.4 amps5.5 amp8c1 ohm
AW 18350  700 mah6.4 amp7 amp8c0.7 ohm
AW 18490  1100 mah8.8 amp11 amp8c0.5 ohm
AW 18650 1600 mah16 amp24 amp15c0.3 ohm
AW 18650 2000 mah7.5 amp10 amp5c0.5 ohm
Efest IMR
Efest 10440 350 mah1.4 amp3 amp8c3 ohm
Efest 14500 700 mah5.6 amp7 amp8c0.8 ohm
Efest 16340 700 mah5.6 amp7 amp8c0.8 ohm
Efest 18350 800 mah6.4 amp8 amp8c0.7 ohm
Efest 18490 1100 mah8.8 amp11 amp8c0.5 ohm
Efest 18650 1600 mah20 amp30 amp18.75c0.3 ohm
Efest 18650 2000 mah15 amp20 amp8c0.4 ohm
Efest 18650 2250 mah18 amp20 amp8c0.5 ohm
Efest 26500 3000 mah20 amp30 amp6.5c0.5 ohm
Efest 26650 3000 mah20 amp30 amp6.5c0.5 ohm
EH IMR
EH 14500 600 mah4.8 amp6 amp8c0.9 ohm
EH 15270 400 mah3.2 amp4 amp8c1.4 ohm
EH 18350 800 mah6.4 amp8 amp8c0.7 ohm
EH 18500 1100 mah8.8 amp11 amp8c0.5 ohm
EH 18650 2000 mah16 amp20 amp8c0.4 ohm
EH 18650 NP 1600 mah20 amp30 amp18.75 c0.3 ohm
MNKE IMR
MNKE 1865020 amp30 amp18.75c0.3 ohm
MNKE 2665020 amp30 amp18.75c0.3 ohm
Samsung ICR INR
Samsung ICR18650-22P 2200 mah5 amp10 amp4.5c0.9 ohm
Samsung ICR18650- 30A 3000 mah2.4 amp5.9 amp1c1.5 ohm
Samsung INR18650-20R 2000 mah7.5 amp15 amp7c0.6 ohm
Sony
Sony US18650v3 2150 mah5 amp10 amp4.5c0.9 ohm
Sony US18650VTC3 1600 mah15 amp30 amp9.5c0.4 ohm
Trustfire IMR
Trustfire 14500 700 mah2 amp4 amp2c2.2 ohm
Trustfire 16340 700 mah2 amp4 amp2c2.2 ohm
Trustfire 18350 800 mah4 amp6.4 amp5c1.1 ohm
Trustfire 18500 1300 maah6.5 amp8.5 amp5c0.7 ohm
Trustfire 18650 1500 mah7.5 amp10 amp5c0.6 ohm
Panasonic
NCR18650B 186503 amp4 amp1.1c1.5 ohm
NCR18650PF 186505 amp10 amp3.4c0.9 ohm
NCR18650PD 186505 amp10 amp3.4 c0.9 ohm
NCR18650 186502.7 amps5.5 amps.5 c1.6 ohm
any other protected 186503 amp4 amp1.5ohm
any unprotected 186505 amp10 amp0.9 ohm
Orbtronic
sx22 1865022 amp29 amp11 c0.2 ohm

Chart of C ratings vs size

These ratings are general guidelines taken from information on the internet  and NOT all from the manufacturers.

1C or less for some Li-FePo4 Assume 1C for generic Li-ion unless otherwise noted 1.5C for ultra/sure/trust/-fire Li-ion 2C for AW ICR (Li-ion) 3C for BDL 10440 IMR (Li-Mn) 5C for BDL 14500 IMR (Li-Mn) 8C for AW 14500 and 16340 IMR (Li-Mn) 10C for AW 18650 IMR  (1600mAh) (Li-Mn) 10C for AW Li-FePo4

Max drain rate in amps is C in mAh / 1000 x C rating

Example: an AW IMR Li-Mn 14500 battery has a capacity of 600mAh. The C rating is 8C (it can supply a load of 8 times the capacity). Therefore the max discharge current in amps is: 600 x 8 over 1000 (600 multiplied by 8 divided by 1000) = 4800 / 1000 = 4.8 amps
Vaping Batteries - The Good

 

 

Thanks to http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/18650-batteries-chargers.html  as well as  http://www.kritikalmass.net/battery-calculator/index.php

That should do it for todays little bit of information. Please post your questions and comments and I will do my best to answer

Laters Vapers
Mike

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54 thoughts on “Vaping Batteries – The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

  1. Thank you for this article. It was very helpful and answered so many questions I had.

  2. Hey man I have these Btbai ncr 16340 batteries not many people know o much about them I haven’t used them yet, got them from a guy for my billet box just figured I’d try to do a little research on them before I decided to just throw them in my box but if you have any info on them if there decent or actually able to be used please let me know thanks in advance

  3. Great job Mike! Very good info for sub ohm vapers just starting out. I now know what to look for when making a purchase. Very well done!

  4. Sorry, not familiar with those at all. Make sure they’ll carry any amp load to keep safe. Recommend using a higher ohm build only…

  5. So this is very helpful but i am curious i just bought some 18650 ultrafire 5000mAh batteries but i dont know if there are safe for vaping.. Ive been told they aren’t,, if anyone could help me out with some info that would be great thanks 🙂

  6. I’ve not seen a mAh rating that high with an amp level safe for vaping. However, if you are close enough to one of the stores to bring them in we could check much easier.

  7. Just was wondering if you knew anything about sony sf us18650gr batteries and are they safe for a mech with a tank that’s using a 1.6ohm coil

  8. We don’t recommend any mech and sub-ohm tank combos as there has recently been too many challenges with using them together, especially dangerous on a mech that uses direct access, like a Penny mod. The Sony you reference was created for use in laptops, not in vaping devices. Personally I would avoid them in most any device save perhaps an older 15 watt max like the Volcano Lavatube. More recent devices can easily exceed the 4.2v max rating these batteries have. They’re cheap and look like what we use so many will sell them but few should choose them for vaping. A tank at 1.6 ohm won’t draw a lot of amps but these batteries have not been designed for the stress of mech mod use.

  9. I have a question.. I saw a YouTube video on how to get 18650 battery’s for free … Turns out that laptop battery packs have 18650 battery’s in them …. Is it safe to use them in protected PV

  10. I have to efest batteries exactly the same but one is 2900 mah and the other is 3000 is it ok to run them in my mod at the same time

  11. Hi Jesse, we recommend only running paired batteries. The different mAh levels and likely a different amp draw between the two batteries would not be something we’d recommend.

  12. Hello Mike, sorry for the delay. I believe the author (Michael Popa) obtained the chart from e-cig forums last year when he wrote the article for us. It is basically applying oHms Law to the battery ratings to obtain the lowest safe range suggested. A lot of the finite details he obtained from Ecigator, there is a link in the article just above the chart. I hope that helps.

  13. I have been looking around and haven’t seen anything dangerous about it but I am going to be using two 5000 mAh batteries when it comes in. So we will see how it works.

  14. I have heard it is not good to use 3000 mah batteries in unregulated devices. Given they are name brand , safe batteries with a high CDR..why would this be a problem?

  15. hello!

    I just recently acquired the Koopor plus. This is my first device that will use 18650 batteries(double). I’ve been looking at chargers and batteries. So far i’ll either get the xtar 2 or nitecore d2. Both are highly recommended. My question is what is the better choice for using batteries when in most instances i’ll be using Freemax Starre/vapetown coils. I have both Kanthal 0.25 / NI 200-0.15 Down the line, I might consider rebuilding coils…. Any advice is appreciated. Regards, BML

  16. Sorry for the delay Bart – we have had very good luck with the Nitecore chargers and also like the eFest Luc chargers due to their extended display and ability to recover batteries from a very low charge point. The coil choices impact the amount of time a battery will last but does not impact the charging system you buy, if that makes sense. Feel free to stop in either store to discuss in more detail before making the decision. Thank you!

  17. We have successfully and safely run the newer, higher mAh batteries in unregulated devices without a problem. You addressed the keys, quality with a safe amp range.

  18. Sorry for the delay Rob. We never recommend two different batteries for a dual or triple battery device. It is always a best practice to ‘marry’ two of the same batteries together for the device. Ensure you have two of the same specifications, safely rated, and always use them together and recharge them together which, in essence, marries them. Feel free to contact either store for further insights on why this is a best practice.

  19. Can you give feedback on using Ultrafire Batteries? on full mechanical mods like colonial/smpl? VV mods like EVIC, SUBOX mini? as much as I don’t want to use them. I’m stuck with them since my sister bought a buttload online.

  20. Just be aware of your maximum amp draw. Depending on which Ultrafire you have it may not be more than 20amps available. No matter, when it comes to Ultrafire I would caution anyone on a mech mod to build higher ohm coils. You can get a nice vape above .5 ohm. I enjoy a 1.2 to .8 ohm build many times and this level will be safer than going too far down the sub-ohm trail with batteries not prepared for the journey.

  21. From Josh Wood: Depends on the actual battery and the device they are going to use it with. There is a red flag for sure with the 4800 mah capacity. I was only able to find cheap Ultrafire that matched those specs. If it was used in a non sub ohm capable device, like a Lavatube or something of that nature, most likely it would be fine. I’m not sure if the 4800 mah is a typo or not though since they listed it as 8.5wh. A 3.7v battery @ 4800mah would be 17.76 wh. At 8.5wh, that would make it a 2300 mah battery, which depending on the amp rating may be safe for some sub ohm devices. Without the actual specs or knowing the brand and how they plan to use it, then I would say we need more information to determine the actual safety. However, if the battery specs are printed on the battery as being “3.7v 8.5wh 4800mah”, then I would have the battery recycled, because the manufacturer is intentionally not labeling the battery correctly and cannot be trusted to be used in any type of device.

  22. It is good information,
    My question, does the weight similar for different capacity such as IMR 18650 3.7 2200mah and IMR 18650 3.7 3000mah and IMR 18650 3.7 3400mah or mor?

  23. The mah number tells you how much capacity the battery has. If you drop to a 2500 mah it simply means you’ll drain the battery faster, all other variables remaining the same. Keep you amps in the 20a should be fine on today’s regulated devices.

  24. Hey I have a high drain imr battery that has what appears to be leaks under the casing and I don’t really feel safe using it anymore but it’s my only battery and I’m broke any advice?

  25. First, I would take the wrap off to make sure it is okay (do not use with wrap off). If leaks are apparent discard, period. If it was just oil or something under the wrap then take it to your local vape shop, most will re-wrap for free and can double check it for you.

  26. So much today depends on the vape setup. Advancements since this article was written help improve safety. Check with your device manufacturer to determine safety with your device.

  27. Hey, I have an old powerbank and after taking it apart it seems to have some 18650’s. The writing as is on the batteries reads “INR18650E2200 3.7V”. Its just a plan light blue wrapping with no other text. Would these be safe to vape on or is it a no go?

    Thanks.

  28. Thanks for the reply. Would it be insufficient even for a meager iStick 40w? Was hoping to just get a longer vaping time instead of more power.

    Thanks

  29. EDIT: My goal is to use 4 of these batteries in parallel , so from what i have read so far that should be 16A if im not mistaken. Question is. Is this enough for the iStick 40w to run safely.

    Thanks

  30. VERY HELPFUL. ANSWERED ALL QUESTIONS I HAD. THANKS VFWDUDE HOPING TO READ MORE VAPING ARTICLES FROM YOU

  31. Good job bro.. I need to ask though.. If we run 2 parallel 18650, is the safe resistence level still the same or it should be half the safe value?

  32. HI, one of my friend present me with Samsung ICR18650-26F and I use it on my evic vtc mini, using taifun GT3 otomiser at 0.8ohm, firing at 19 watt, 4.8amp..

    Is it safe? Any advice

  33. These are not safe to vape with. They are designed for laptop arrays or flashlights. They only have a 5.7amp limit and are ICR rather than the more stable IMR. DO NOT USE TO VAPE. Pick up some Samsung 25R or another with a minimum of 20amp continuous IMR. Don’t use ICRs!

  34. I have a dr. Dabs e-rig I have a 3000 MBA battery and the divide runs on 2500 can I still use the 3000v

  35. The mAh indicates the amount of electrolytes rolled into the battery casing which drives battery life, not volts. 3000 mAh will provide longer use between charges than a 2500 mAh. The main thing you want to do is ensure the battery has at a minimum 20 amps (18650 batteries with 5 – 10 amp are used in flashlights, laptop battery arrays, etc. and are not suitable for devices even though they are the same size). I’m not familiar with your device so double check the specifications. If it is not a high watt device 20-25 amp will do.

  36. Hey man really useful stuff, I recently ordered a gx2/4 and I’m looking to use it with quad batteries but I’m really new to all this batterie stuff so i was wondering if I could use LFP18650E 18650 3.2v 1500mAh batteries, sidenote the vape can vape at a max of 300w so I don’t want to be doing ridiculous wattages and stuff without knowing if I have a safe pair of batteries in the mod, ya so could u let me know if those batteries ring a bell or if their safe thanks

  37. Researching these batteries they are NOT safe to vape with. Here is what the maker recommends they be used for; “K2 Energy LFP18650E LiFePO4 Battery Applications: Portable Packs, Flashlights, Scooters, USB Powered Devices, Solar lighting and many more.” DO NOT USE in vape gear at all. Visit CASAA’s battery information for excellent details on all things batteries (http://casaa.org/news/battery-safety-announce/).

  38. I’ve just bought 2x 18650 4800mah batteries with rohs certification. But I don’t know how true that is. Do you these are safe. Made by SDNMY

  39. Good question, RoHs Certification is a European safety designation but these high mAh batteries are designed for electric tool applications and do not provide the amp protection someone needs to vape safely within the limits of oHms Law. We would highly discourage their use in any devices currently available.

  40. I had purchased 16 ultra fire 18650 6800mah 35amp flat top batteries on eBay a few months ago and I did mah test on them and they are only showing 625mah and 25amp discharge. I thought it was too good to be true but had to see for myself. Did research on web and everywhere I looked, found that mah on Rechargable battery for vape is 3600mah. I ultra fire was a fairly good price. I should have done more research before I bought them. I have a Smok Alien GX350 mod and it uses 4- 18650 flat top batteries. What is recommended batteries for this mod? I love cloud chasing.

  41. Right now there is a new battery in the vape market that I really like due to its true readings and design of these…it is easier to see in their picture and from their website: https://hohmtech.com/product/hohm-life-hohm-work/

    You do have to beware the lure of inexpensive 18650s online. People do not realize how long this size battery has been around or how many are used in battery arrays in laptops, used for flashlights, etc. We had a customer was upset his mod was not working right and he’d just bought batteries. He got 2 18650 5amp used in arrays…they were cheap, we showed him why they were great for arrays but how lucky he did not get a meltdown by putting them in his 200 watt dual battery mod…thank goodness he was not using a mech mod.

  42. Pingback: New Improvements In Vaporizer Technology - TechGeek365

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