Too Big, Too Small? Tips on Picking Out the Right Vape Pen Battery

vape pen battery tips

So you’re ready to find your dream vape pen battery that matches your lifestyle, consistently produces the perfect puff from your favorite concentrates, has the high tech features you want, and is safe, reliable and excellent quality – all at a great price, of course.  But where to start?  With thousands of vape pen designs on the market from hundreds of manufactures around the world, how do you narrow down the choices and separate the best from the rest?  What key tech specs and functionality should you be aware of without becoming overwhelmed by the small print?  How do you know which vape pen battery is really right for you?  Have no fear, we completely understand what it’s like to be in your shoes and we’re here to help with our top buying tips and everything you need to know about finding the right vape pen battery.

While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest vape pen option you can find, you should be aware of the differences that exist in the market and what they can mean for your safety and satisfaction.  Quality varies greatly and many companies are happy to make a quick buck from you and then leave you stranded with a poorly performing product made from cheap, untested parts that may not be compatible with your cartridges or concentrates.  Doing a little research before you make your purchase can help you avoid a bad vaping experience, save you money and ensure that you are not jeopardizing your health.  We asked a long time leading oil vape hardware brand, O2VAPE, to share some insights from designing products for consumers and helping brands to source wholesale oil vape hardware. Read on to learn how to find a product that is going to work for your needs. If you are already familiar with the basics of vape pens, you can skip ahead to our 7 Tips for Finding The Perfect Vape Pen Battery section.
 

THE BASICS

What is a Vape Pen & How Do Vape Pens Work?

A vape pen is a portable device for turning dry herb, oil, wax or other concentrates into a vapor that can be inhaled. While dry herb vapes are commonly used for the benefits of smoking without combustion properties, vape pen batteries are most commonly used for oils. When referring to a “vape pen”, most often people specifically mean the battery of a vaporizer, although a battery will need to be used in combination with a cartridge or other type of vessel containing the substance to be vaporized. There are countless vape battery designs and styles, but the most common is a cylinder-shaped battery that resembles a classic ink pen for writing, thus resulting in widespread use of the term, “vape pen”.

Oil vape pens all utilize the same basic function to create vapor out of what is commonly referred to as oil, distillate, live resin or cannabis extract: when activated, the battery transmits electrical power to a heating element that quickly raises the temperature to a point where the flower or concentrate (e.g. oil or wax) can instantaneously be transformed from a liquid or solid into a vapor for a user to inhale.  

This is where the similarities largely stop, however, as there are many different features, functions and technical specifications available for vape pens and batteries, and it is important to match these options to your personal uses and needs.

What are the Main Types of Vape Pen Batteries?

510 Thread

A “510 thread” type battery is an industry standardized size of screw-on style vaporizer battery that is compatible with the widest range of cartridges.

Pods

A “pod” vape battery system uses removable cartridges (either pre-filled or refillable) that typically slide into the end of a specialized battery and are held in place magnetically, rather than screwed on.  

Flower / Dry Herb

A “dry herb” vaporizer battery is designed for use with raw plant matter and uses a convection-style heating element to efficiently generate vapor and preserve flavor.

Wax / Dab

A “wax pen” or “dab pen” battery is designed to vaporize non-oil concentrates, such as wax or shatter. They typically will include specialized atomizers or dab tips to create vapor and usually operate with higher voltages than oil vape pens.

Mod Kits

Used almost exclusively with e-juices and other nicotine products, “mod kit” vape batteries are generally larger and more powerful than standard vape pens to allow users to draw big clouds of vapor with a single inhale. 

What is a 510 Thread Battery & What are the Advantages of 510 Vape Pens?

We talked with O2VAPE to get more in depth info about what makes a 510 thread battery ideal for use with oil vape pens.  Here’s what we learned.  The main body of a vape pen that comes with a standardized style of screw-on connection and is compatible with the widest range of oil cartridges, wax atomizers, dab tips and accessories. “510” refers to the design of the female screw threads built into one end of the battery –  10 x 5mm threads – which is the most compatible type of connection for vape pens around the world. This thread design allows for a tight and long-lasting connection. Although often referred to as the “battery”, in reality most 510 batteries are actually fully functioning vape pens that simply require users to screw on a cartridge, atomizer or other accessory in order to begin vaping their preferred form of concentrate.  

510 thread vape batteries come in a variety of designs, power specs and features, from basic pen-shaped buttonless batteries to high-tech models with variable power levels and digital displays, to offer a range of vaping solutions that are tailored to the different needs of a variety of users and experience levels. For the best vaping experience, it is important that you choose a 510 battery that is a good pairing for your style of usage and the type(s) of concentrates and cartridges that you’ll be using with the vape pen.

There are several advantages that make this battery type an ideal choice for oil and wax vapers:

Compatibility – 510 batteries use an industry standard type of connection that makes them the most compatible option for the widest range of cartridges, atomizers, dab tips and other accessories.  

Ease of Use – simply screw your oil cartridge, wax atomizer or dip tip onto your charged battery and it is ready to go.  This straightforward process is perfect for beginners and appreciated by connoisseurs alike. 510 vape pens are also easy to clean and require little to no maintenance.

Portable & Discreet – the compact nature of 510 battery designs make them the perfect vapes for traveling and on-the-go lifestyles since they are small and light enough to easily slip into a pocket without attracting unwanted attention.  Some 510 batteries are designed to fly even more under the radar by mimicking a standard car key fob design, look like a normal stylus pen or have as small of a footprint as possible. Certain batteries are also designed with ‘flip’ functionality or a concealable cartridge to give your cartridges extra protection when not in use to prevent damage and leaks, so you can just toss your vape pen in your bag and go with no worries.

Affordability – 510 thread batteries often offer the best bang for your buck of any vape pen battery type, whether you’re looking for an entry-level buttonless pen or a high-tech vaporizer with variable voltage, extra large battery capacity or a digital display with puff counters.

SPECS & FEATURES YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT

Auto-Draw vs. Button Activation

If you are looking for the world’s easiest to use vape pen, a Buttonless 510 Thread Battery is the answer.  No button clicking, no adjusting settings and no chance of overheating your battery – just screw on a cartridge and inhale. This type of vape pen uses “auto-draw” functionality that activates the battery whenever you inhale through the mouthpiece. When you stop inhaling, or have activated the battery for the maximum safe amount of time, it immediately turns off.     

Button-activated batteries give users a more precise level of control over their vaping experience.  One major advantage is that you can continue to draw on the vape pen while heating up the cartridge or allowing it to cool, which some vapers appreciate since it allows you to take longer draws and better control the temperature with this manual technique. For some people, the choice is as simple as preferring the feel of using a button to activate the battery.  It is important to note that most “variable voltage” vape pens are button activated, if the ability to vape with a variety of concentrates and cartridge types is a feature you value.  The downside of button activated pens is that there exists a chance of accidentally turning the battery on while in your pocket or bag, but most button vape batteries now incorporate a sequence of button presses as an easy to use master On/Off toggle.

Voltage & Battery Capacity

Don’t be put off by the electrical terminology and numbers used in vaporizer specs. They are actually pretty simple to understand and navigate when choosing a vape pen battery.  Essentially, the bigger the numbers, the more power that a vape pen battery can use and store.

Voltage refers to the amount of electrical power that can flow from the battery through the heating element to increase the temperature. The voltage range for 510 batteries is usually between 2.2V and 4.8V. The reason for this range is that different cartridge designs and materials require different temperatures to offer the optimal vaping experience. A vape pen battery with a high voltage rating does not necessarily mean it is a higher quality battery, it is simply a measure of power and it is far more important to match the right voltage to your cartridge and concentrate type. For example, some cartridges use ceramic materials, which are a less efficient heat conductor and therefore need higher power (voltage) to produce vapor effectively. Similarly, vape pens designed for use with wax and dabs will typically offer a higher voltage than those designed specifically for use with oil.  Some vape batteries have adjustable voltage settings to let you fine tune the power and temperature based on the specific type of cartridge and concentrates you are vaping. If you are unsure what is the proper amount of voltage to use, it is better to start with a lower voltage and increase it gradually.

Different batteries may actually be calibrated a little differently as well, so a lower quality battery, might not send the same amount of power as a higher quality product that states the same voltage rating. 

Matching your voltage with the type of cartridge and concentrate you are using is very important.  It will help to improve vapor quality, taste and the lifespan of your vape pen. The best taste and benefits comes from using the lowest effective voltage for your cartridge to fire.  This creates a vapor that avoids burning and creates the most pure flavor profile.  Traditional glass oil cartridges typically work best with 3.3 – 3.7 volts. For cartridges with ceramic heating elements, you can still fire them at about 3.3 – 3.5 volts for a smoother draw and arguably the best flavor, but most recommend 3.5 volts or higher for more vapor production. “Variable voltage” vape batteries allow you to control the voltage level and will provide the widest range of options.

Battery capacity is usually measured in milliamp hours (mAh) and is a way to measure how much power a battery can store and how long your vape is going to stay charged for. Larger battery capacity sizes translate into more puffs and longer times between recharges. The higher the mAh, the more storage capacity the battery has. The smallest 510 thread battery capacities start at around 280 mAh, while the longest lasting vape pens may clock in at 900mAh or higher.  The trade off for longer lasting battery capacities is that they cost more relatively and require a bigger battery with a larger overall vape pen size. Keep in mind that operating your battery at a higher voltage will drain its charge faster, so if you like to vape at a high temperature, you might consider a battery with higher mAh specs.

Colors, Kits, Digital Displays & Other Features

Vape pen batteries are available in a wide range of designs, shapes and colors for you to match to your personal style preferences. From rose gold and wood grain pen-shaped batteries to vaporizers that mimic the appearance of a car key fob or other household objects for the ultimate in discreet vaping, choosing a vape pen battery that matches your vibe is part of the fun! 

Another choice you have when selecting a vape pen battery is whether to purchase one individually or as part of a Vape Pen Kit that usually comes with all of the accessories you need to use, charge and store your vape pen. Common accessories may include a paired USB charger, protective carry case,  car charging adapter and refillable cartridges.  

Looking to elevate your vape game with high tech features? Some vape pen batteries now offer digital displays and interfaces that let you dial in precise settings, such as setting your voltage depending on what substances and cartridges you are vaping with, or to get access to more detailed information such as a Puff Counter and battery life monitor.

Do you live an on-the-go and adventurous lifestyle and need something rugged that you can toss in your pack and go? Consider more concealable, rugged and protective vape pen battery options such as ‘flip’ style pens that protect your cartridge while not in use or batteries which have tiny footprints that can be safely stored in a pocket, bag or sunglass case.

vape pen battery sizes

7 TIPS FOR FINDING THE PERFECT VAPE PEN BATTERY

Below are our best seven tips to find the right vape pen battery for you:

Choose a quality product or expect to replace it frequently

All vape pen batteries are not created equally and you often get what you pay for in terms of reliability, longevity, functionality, durability, compatibility and safety. You might be tempted to purchase the cheapest option, only for it to fail soon thereafter and then cost you more in the long run when you have to replace it over and over with a new one.  Look for reputable brands, mentions of safety testing or certifications, and remember the old adage that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

  

Don’t overpay for design – check features and specifications

When searching for the perfect vape pen battery, it is more important to compare the features and specs than to pick one based solely on how fancy it looks.  As much as a cheap vape battery may leave you frustrated and sober, there are plenty of manufacturers selling overpriced models that offer you little to no functional advantage over more affordable options.  By directly comparing the features and specs that matter to you, you can get a better idea of what a vape pen battery is actually capable of aside from looking pretty.

Take a moment to consider how you will actually use your vape pen and choose one that matches your needs

Unless you are buying a vape pen purely as a stylish accessory, you should choose a battery that is the best fit for your vaping preferences and lifestyle.  Do you have infrequent access to USB charging?  Better to get a large battery capacity (mAh).  Need something that flies under the radar and is good for travel?  Consider a key fob or micro-sized vape pen.  Want to use ceramic cartridges or vape wax?  Make sure the voltage is variable or rated at 3.7+ volts. Looking for the ultimate in do-it-all versatility? Search for variable voltage batteries and pens that work with multiple types of concentrates.  Do you just need the most basic vape pen that is going to work without any setup and fuss?  A 510 thread buttonless battery might be best for you.

Read & watch user reviews online

In the age of online reviews, Reddit and YouTube, it’s easier than ever to see what other members of the vaping community have to say about their experiences with a particular vape pen battery that you are considering. While manufacturers will most likely tell you that all of their vape pens are the best thing since sliced bread, crowdsourcing real world feedback from people like yourself can give you insights into what you can actually expect from your purchase and in terms of a manufacturer’s customer service afterwards. On the flipside, the usual review caveats also apply and you should expect that there will almost always be one or two bad reviews, no matter how great a product or brand is.

Cover your assets with a warranty

Before you plunk down your hard earned cash, check for or ask if the vape pen battery you are looking to buy comes with some form of a warranty.  Aside from giving you peace of mind and protecting your wallet, companies that offer warranties on their vape pen batteries tend to use higher quality components and are more likely to have their customers’ interests at heart.  Some vape pen battery brands even offer lifetime warranties on their products, so if chosen carefully, your next purchase could be the last vaporizer battery you ever need to buy.

Pay attention to battery safety guidelines & charging instructions

It’s an easy thing to overlook, but battery safety guidelines and charging instructions not only help you avoid damage and injuries, but also help maximize the lifespan and performance of your vape pen battery. Most vape pen batteries today will come with a charging cable and/or adapter that is specifically matched to the battery’s electrical specifications. It is very important to not plug your battery into a random old phone charger you have lying around, as your battery could potentially overheat, warp, crack, leak or explode…or at a minimum, fail to charge or decrease your battery life moving forward. Like any other batteries, don’t leave your vape pen battery in the freezing cold or very hot temps. Being aware of any special charging requirements and knowing if you need to also buy specialized chargers/cables to use with your vape pen battery will save you headaches down the road.

If you are new to vape pens, start simple, be safe and learn from experience

Still have no idea where to start with choosing the right vape pen battery?  There’s no need to dive in headfirst and buy a battery with all the bells, whistles and most powerful specifications.  Just look for reputable brands that offer batteries with solid specs, good reviews and a warranty. The best way to figure out what you really need from a vape pen battery is to start by using a basic one and to see what other features and functions you find yourself wishing for over time. Don’t beat yourself into a total analysis paralysis, vaping is supposed to be enjoyable after all!
 

FINAL THOUGHTS

We hope that this guide has been helpful to you in your quest to find the perfect vape pen battery.  While choosing the right vape pen from the sea of options can seem overwhelming at first, by concentrating on the basics and tips above, we hope that you will be able to select a great vape pen battery that will leave you with a glassy-eyed smile on your face.  Happy vaping!

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