How long a vape battery lasts is affected by many factors including environment and usage
Larger batteries with a higher mAh rating will last longer in general
Higher resistance coils (sub-ohm) require more power to heat which drains even big batteries faster
1.0ohm or higher rated 50-50 coils need less watts to heat and so will help a battery last longer
Take care to look after your battery so it will last longer overall and keep you vaping happily
Vape kits come in all shapes and sizes. They also have a wide range of power settings, some of which come pre-set, others give you the option to customise the wattage. Which you choose can largely be determined by the e-liquid you choose, but that is another question altogether.
No mater which you choose, the battery in your kit will only last so long, and understanding that lifespan can help you plan your vaping journey accordingly – you don’t want to be caught short, leaving you unable to satisfy a craving when out and about.
In this guide, we will explore how vape batteries are rated, what that means in terms of battery life, and the different factors that can extend or reduce that lifespan.
Understanding Milliampere Hour (mAh) ratings
We don’t want to get too complicated here – electric technicalities can become a of a blur of jargon and we know that most vapers won’t have a degree in electrical engineering.
Most vape batteries you encounter will carry a milliampere hour or mAh rating. For example, our EDGE Pro vape pen is rated at 1500mAh.
A milliampere hour is, by definition, 1000th of an ampere hour or ‘amp’.
The mAh rating of a battery is an indicator of the charge a battery will hold and how long a device it powers can run before needing to be recharged.
For example, a 900mAh battery should last for around 9 hours before needing to be recharged. This is of course only in ideal conditions and being used in a very standardised way – not truly representative o real life, where temperatures, and personal behaviours alone can have a significant impact on that lifespan.
Capacity Vs Voltage & Amps
A batteries capacity is represented by the mAh rating – the bigger the battery, the bigger that number will be and the more charge it can hold which ultimately means you can use it for longer between charges.
Voltage is the output force of the battery. In vaping, this is directly linked to the coil resistance (which you can learn about here) in your chosen kit. Pro coils for example are 1.2ohm.
To make it easier to understand - Voltage and Wattage are two different ways of describing the same thing. If you increase the voltage, it increases the wattage going to the coil, which creates more heat and ultimately vapour.
The ohm rating of the coil determines how much power it needs to work optimally, but also places a cap on how much it can take. Crank up the wattage too much and you can burn out your coil. So take care!
Many devices come with the ability to customise the wattage. This can allow you to tailor your vaping experience to your needs, but also means you must be careful as you can exceed the safe operating capacity of your chosen vape coil and burn it out. The safe range is often written on the coil, so check before you vape.
The more you crank the wattage, the more volts are being drawn from the battery which means it will drain much faster than if it were kept to a lower level. This is why sub-ohm devices using HVG e-liquid often are larger in size – they need bigger batteries to provide more practical usage time between charges.
Even when given big batteries however, they will rarely last as long as a smaller 50-50 style device like the EDGE GO. They need more watts to properly heat up the high resistance coils they use and vaporise that thicker vape liquid.
Most current devices have built-in chips that accurately read the resistance of the coil attached to the battery and adjust the power output accordingly. Simple kits tune themselves without giving you any choice, those with variable wattage can be changed form the recommended settings if you so desire.
Internal vs External batteries
Some devices will have batteries built in, whereas others use external cells. There isn’t always much of a difference in performance so long as they have a similar mAh rating, however externals do allow you to swap them out for higher-capacity examples without needing to buy a new kit – potentially doubling the lifespan between charges.
Take care when using external batteries as they can become damaged when taking them in and out for charging. They are wrapped in a protective plastic film. If this becomes damaged it is best to avoid using the battery as it could become unstable.
Even with internal batteries, ensuring they are not banged around or exposed to the elements will help keep you safe and protect their performance.
Common external batteries are called an 18650, this is because they are 18mm in diameter and 65mm in length (expressed as tenths of a millimetre, hence 650). Other sizes are available, but these are the most common should you need to search for an external cell for a device sold to you without any included. Like other vape batteries they come in different ratings from 2200mAh to around 3000mAh.
If you have a small device the battery is going to have a lower capacity. If that device is then used to power a sub-ohm coil, requiring a high watt/volt output, then the battery life will suffer.
Conversely, a larger device battery powering a coil rated above 1.0ohm needing only 10watts to work properly is going to last you a long time, potentially all day if you are a steady rather than heavy vaper.
Depending on your lifestyle, you should bear this principal in mind to ensure you do not end up with a vape kit that is impractical for your needs – such a misstep could derail a cessation journey and trigger a smoking relapse if you are without your vape for a long time!
If you use a smaller device for travel or just convenience, then it is wise to carry a second battery to cover any emergencies.
Rather than how long it lasts between charges, lets talk about how long a vape battery actually lasts in terms of its true lifespan.
There are many factors at play in determining this, but a vape battery should last you anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Of course some may last you longer, but ultimately the battery’s charge cycle will put a cap on performance.
A charge cycle refers to the number of times a battery can expect to be recharged and still perform as intended. For many vape batteries the expectation is 300 charges. With most people charging devices like vapes and phones once per night, this should give you around 1 years use before it fails.
Signs your battery is failing include not holding charge as long, not charging up to full at all, or taking longer to recharge than normal. The more regularly you recharge the battery, the shorter it’s lifespan will be. This is why it is good practice to allow any item using batteries, not just vapes, to empty before recharging them – this will prolong their lifespan.
How To Maximise Your Vape Battery Life
Follow these basic steps to prolong your battery life and get the most form your vape kit:
Don’t overcharge your battery
Don’t expose your battery to extreme temperatures
Store external batteries in a sleeve or case to avoid damage or discharge
Look after your kit while in use, don’t let it get knocked around too much
Minimise charging – try to recharge once per day or less where practical/possible
Our resident vaping expert with nearly a decade of industry experience. From working on the shop floor, bottling, picking and packing vaping products for customers, to designing and formulating e-liquids in the lab, there isn't much about vaping that Ollie doesn't know. His expertise, knowledge and insight into the industry make Ollie the go-to for reliable and trustworthy industry info.
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