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  • The Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping

    Batteries are the engine that drives your vaporizer. In order to enjoy blowing those tasty clouds, you need a battery that is both powerful and long lasting. Most importantly, you want to be able to vape with peace of mind. When choosing the best batteries for vaping, the three most important things you should consider are output, capacity and safety.

    What Is The Best Battery For Vaping?

    Mods are powered by either a built-in pack or a removable battery. Advanced vapers prefer the latter because they are more versatile and are safer to charge. The 18650 has become the battery of choice when it comes to vaping, and modern mod designs are often based on this configuration.

    Why 18650 Batteries Are Ideal For Vaping

    Mods with built-in lithium batteries are compact and produce decent to above-average output. Their main advantage is that you don't have to carry around a kit full of spare batteries and chargers. As a plug-and-play device, these mods are ready to go as soon as you take them out of the box. There are also less safety concerns with built-in batteries.

    The drawback to integrated batteries is that they are essentially disposable. Batteries do not last forever and once they deteriorate, you have to throw away the entire device. An external 18650 battery gives you more control over your mod performance and battery quality. When it reaches the end of its life cycle, you can simply replace it with another 18650 battery.

    What You Should Look For In A Vape Battery

    When choosing a battery for your vaporizer, you need to consider these four important qualities:

    • High capacity (mAh)
    • High current rating (amperage)
    • High voltage when vaping
    • Low operating temperature

    Price should be at the bottom of your list when picking a vape battery. Cheap knockoffs can totally ruin your vaping experience. They may vape well at the beginning but after a few weeks or months the vapor disappears and your mod starts overheating. For a couple more bucks you'll be able to vape on a better, safer device for a year or longer.

    High Capacity

    Battery capacity is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). This indicates how many milliamps you can draw from the battery in a specific amount of time.

    Let's say you have a battery with a rated capacity of 2500mAh. Theoretically, you'll be able to draw 2500mA from it for one hour. This can be converted to 5A for half an hour or 1250mA for two hours.

    However, there are plenty of factors affecting battery performance. Some devices consume power more than others. Batteries also deteriorate over time. They are not 100% efficient so this formula may vary. A 2000mAh battery will not always offer 2000 milliamps for one hour. The capacity rating in milliampere-hours is only used to give you a rough idea which batteries last longer than the others. If you have a 2500mAh battery, you will most likely need to recharge it more often than a 3000mAh battery.

    High Current Rating

    Amperage is the amount of current the battery can offer at one time. A rating of 1 amp-hour should be able to continuously supply a current of 1 amp for an hour, or 2 amps for half an hour, before becoming completely discharged. The higher the current, the higher the wattage output.

    Whether you are using a regulated or unregulated mod, your battery should be able to deliver the current that you need without overheating.

    To explain the difference between capacity and current rating, let's look at the longneck beer bottle. The milliamp-hours indicate how much beer the bottle could hold. The amperage is how much beer can go out at one time through the neck of the bottle.

    Ideally, you would want a battery that is both high mAh and high amperage. But that is not possible due to the limitations of existing technology. Manufacturers still haven't figured out how to fit all that into one small 18650 battery. You can have a high capacity battery or a high current rated battery but not both. While a 40A battery would seem like the perfect choice, the tradeoff is that the capacity will only be around 1500mAh. If you want a high capacity battery, you'll have to sacrifice a little power, and vice versa.

    Vaping batteries usually come in three categories: high amp and low capacity, high capacity and low amp, and some that try to strike a balance between the two.

    When choosing a vape battery, look for one that delivers the current rating that you need without overheating.

    High Voltage

    For mechanical and unregulated devices, high voltage means that the device will deliver more current to the coil. A hotter coil translates to more vapor and flavor, creating "hard hits" that cloud chasers enjoy.

    For regulated devices, high voltage means that the battery won't have to work very hard. The higher the voltage, the less current is drawn from the battery.

    Low Temperature

    Exploding batteries give vaping a bad name. There have been numerous reports of overheating vape batteries sending people to the hospital, which is why battery temperature is crucial.

    Apart from safety, operating temperature is also important to battery life. Extreme temperature is the main cause of premature aging and damage to your vape battery. If the battery gets too hot due to improper use or lack of proper venting, it could burst and result in serious injuries.

    The best vape battery for you is one that not only runs at the highest voltage for extended periods but also operates at the coolest temperatures.

    What You Should Know About Battery Labels

    Battery labels are peppered with numbers and letters that are extremely important for vapers. But if you don't know much about battery chemistries, these tidbits of information may be confusing at first. Here is a brief glossary of battery terms that you need to be familiar with.

    • I: Lithium-ion battery
    • M: Positive ion is manganese
    • C: Positive ion is cobalt
    • N: Positive ion is nickel
    • F: Positive ion is iron
    • R: Shape is round
    • F: Shape is flat

    18650: The battery is 65mm tall and 18mm thick

    Most 18650 batteries produce 3.7V and chargers automatically shut down when the battery reaches 4.2V.

    A vape battery with INR 18650 on its label means it is a lithium-ion battery with a nickel positive ion, round shape, and 65mm by 18mm measurement.

    A vape battery with IMR 18650 2500mAh 3.6V on its label means it is a lithium-ion battery with a manganese positive ion, round shape, 2500mAh capacity, 3.6V nominal voltage, and 65mm by 18mm dimensions.

    Best 18650 Batteries For Vaping By Class

    There are nearly a dozen brands of 18650 batteries out there. Add to that the many different models and specifications and it can be overwhelming to pick the right one for your vaping device and style.

    While there is no standard classification for 18650 batteries, there are five general categories that you can use as buying guide. Classes A, B, C, D and E are based on battery capacity.

    Class A – 3500mAh

    • Ultra-high density up to 3500mAh
    • Very low discharge up to 10A
    • Recommended usage: no more than 30 watts
    • Mechanical mods: 0.4 ohm or higher
    • Average voltage: 3.6V

    Class A batteries have the highest capacity at 3500mAh. Because of the capacity versus current rating tradeoff, expect these models to have the lowest amps. Some are even lower than 10A. These batteries are ideal for vaping at 30 watts or lower, with support for resistances as low as 0.4 ohm.

    The major brands such as Samsung and Sony have yet to come up with 18650 batteries in this range so you most likely will find them from rewrapping vendors. More detailed information on rewrapped batteries later.

    One must be wary of published ratings for rewrapped batteries. If a 3500mAh battery is said to have 20 amps, it is probably NOT true. For marketing purposes, rewrapped batteries tend to be rated far above what they can truly handle. If you do not want to charge batteries often, you could opt for a 3000mAh battery with a true 20A rating or 1500mAh capacity rated at 30A.

    Class B – 3000mAh

    • High density up to 3000mAh
    • Low discharge up to 15A
    • Recommended usage: 30 to 60 watts
    • Mechanical mods: 0.27 to 0.4 ohm
    • Average voltage: 3.6V

    If you are looking for the best battery capacity with a slightly higher discharge, this is the category for you. Class B batteries have a 3000mAh capacity and 15A rating. These are ideal for vaping at 30 to 60 watts, with support for resistances as low as 0.27 ohm.

    Best in Class: the Samsung 30Q and the Sony VTC6

    Samsung INR 18650 30Q 3000mAh 15A

    The Samsung INR18650-30Q has excellent capacity at 3000mAh. The addition of nickel to this hybrid chemistry gives it a higher than average amp limit of 15A.

    Dependable and affordable, the Samsung 30Q has a nominal voltage of 3.6V and can support resistances as low as 0.27 ohm.

    Sony VTC6 3000mAh 15A

    The Sony VTC series has always ranked high on any list of best 18650 vape batteries, and this latest incarnation is no exception. While the Sony VTC6 does not have a high continuous current output as the VTC4 and VTC5, it has a whopping 3000mAh capacity. If you are looking for maximum capacity, then the VTC6 should be your battery of choice.

    Note: there are a lot of fake Sony batteries out there. Be sure to purchase only from reliable sellers.

    Class C – 2500mAh

    • Medium density up to 2500mAh
    • Medium discharge up to 20A
    • Recommended usage: 40 to 80 watts
    • Mechanical mods: 0.19 to 0.26 ohm
    • Average voltage: 3.7V

    Class C batteries are great for mid-wattage vapers. While capacity is lower at 2500mAh, the discharge rate goes up to 20 amps. These batteries support resistances as low as 0.19 ohm and vape well at 60 to 80 watts.

    Best in Class: the Sony VTC5 and the Samsung 25R

    Samsung INR 18650 25R 2500mAh 20A

    The Samsung 25R has a 2500mAh battery capacity with continuous current of 20A. Nominal voltage is 3.6 volts.

    Sony VTC5 18650 2600mAh 20A

    The Sony VTC5 has a lower capacity at 2600mAh with a higher 20A current rating. Another version of this battery, the Sony VTC5A, has 2600mAh capacity and 25A rating.

    The 3.7V operating voltage combined with 2600mAh capacity and 20A amperage works perfectly with mechanical mods. The VTC5 supports resistances as low as 0.14 ohm.

    Class D – 2000mAh

    • Low density up to 2000mAh
    • High discharge up to 25A
    • Recommended usage: 60 to 120 watts
    • Mechanical mods: 0.15 to 0.18 ohm
    • Average voltage: 3.7V

    Class D batteries have a lower capacity of 2000mAh and higher amperage of 25 amps. These batteries are ideal for vaping at wattages as high as 80 to 120 watts with atomizer resistance of 0.15 ohm.

    Best in Class: the Samsung 20R and the Sony VTC4

    Samsung INR 18650 20R 2000mAh 22A

    The Samsung 20R has a lower capacity of 2000mAh with a slightly better rating of 20A. Since the difference is only 2 amps, many vapers prefer the additional 500mAh capacity of the 25R than the 20R.

    Sony VTC4 18650 2000mAh 30A

    The Sony VTC4 is one of the best vape batteries in terms of balancing capacity and current rating. The 3.7V operating voltage combined with 2100mAh capacity and 30A amperage works perfectly with mechanical mods. The VTC4 is designed for vaping between 80 and 120 watts, with support for resistances as low as 0.15 ohm.

    The Sony VTC4 is one of the most popular vape batteries out there – hence the most number of clones. Make sure you purchase only from a reputable vendor.

    Class E – 1500mAh

    • Very low density up to 1500mAh
    • Ultra high discharge up to 30A
    • Recommended usage: higher than 120 watts
    • Mechanical mods: 0.14 to 0.12 ohm
    • Average voltage: 3.6V

    Class E has the lowest capacity at 1500mAh but with the highest discharge rate of up to 30amps. They are ideal for high-wattage vaping above 120 watts with support for extremely low resistances of 0.12 ohm.

    Best 26650 batteries For Vaping

    If your mod is designed to fit a 26650 battery instead of the more popular 18650, your options may be limited as there are very few 26650 batteries available.

    Our Top Two:

    Best Battery Brands

    With millions of R&D dollars at their disposal, the powerful duo of Sony and Samsung have maintained their positions at the top of the 18650 battery category. Toshiba, Hitachi, Panasonic, SAFT and BYD also offer decent vaping batteries.

    The rest of the field is composed of companies that rewrap cells from these manufacturers.

    Exercise Caution When Using Rewrapped Batteries

    Rewrapped batteries are usually cells that did not pass quality assurance from the original manufacturer. That by itself can be a red flag. Worse, resellers tend to post exaggerated ratings and capacities to boost sticker price.

    Battery manufacturers usually classify rejected products into Class A, B or C depending on the defect found. These are then sold to other companies who re-wrap the batteries with a PVC coating for sale under a different brand name. While many of these companies exercise extreme care when rewrapping cells, there are unscrupulous vendors who only care about making a buck.

    Some of the re-wrap brands that are known to perform well include Efest, Orbtronic, GTL, Robiton, NiteCore, Basen, EagleTac, UltraFire, Vamped, EnerPower, and Xtar.

    Not all generic batteries are rewrapped cells. Some are manufactured by independent companies in China and are perfectly safe to use.

    Single and Multiple Battery Mods

    As vapers continue to demand thicker clouds, manufacturers try to keep up with technology upgrades. Coil resistances as getting ridiculously lower while battery output pushes through the roof. Vaporizers now can fire up to 300 watts – with power requirement that simply cannot be met by a single 18650 battery. Modern vaporizers now come in dual, triple or even quadruple battery configurations!

    Keep in mind that extra power means additional weight and cost. Mods with multiple battery bays are bulky and not pocket-friendly. While a quad 18650 setup may sound really cool, not everyone needs that much vaping power. The vape battery configuration that you choose will ultimately depend on your vaping style and preference.

    Top 10 Vaping Batteries

    • Sony VTC4 18650 2100mAh 20A to 30A
    • Sony VTC5 18650 2600mAh 20A
    • Sony VTC5A 18650 2600mAh 25A
    • Samsung INR18650 20R 2000mAh 22A
    • Samsung INR18650 25R 2500mAh 20A
    • Sony VTC6 18650 3000mAh 15A
    • Samsung 30Q 3000mAh 20A
    • Efest Green IMR 26650 4200mAh 23A
    • MNKE IMR 26650 3500mAh 20A
    • Sanyo UR18650NSX 2600mAh 20A

    Best 18650 Battery Conclusion

    Choosing the best 18650 battery for vaping is more than just being able to blow clouds like a steam engine. Battery safety has become a hot issue with recent reports of exploding vaporizers. A reliable vape battery has a high amp limit that allows your battery to perform for extended periods. If you are into high-wattage vaping at super sub-ohm levels, make sure that your battery not only delivers some serious current but does so while managing the heat.

  • Prison Time for Public Vaping in Malaysia

    $2,300 Fine or Prison Time

    At least two Malaysian states have started implementing harsh penalties on smoking and vaping in public.

    In Selangor, those caught smoking or vaping in a tobacco controlled zone could face a fine of RM10,000 (USD2,300) or up to two years in prison. These public spaces include parks, shopping complexes, air-conditioned buildings, government property, hospitals and gas stations. The only exceptions are open car parks.

    $2300 fine with image of money

    The city of Petaling Jaya has 13 parks that have been classified as no-smoking zones: Taman Bandaran Kelana Jaya, Taman Jaya, Taman Aman, Taman Rimba Riang, Taman PJS 10, Taman Tasik Komuniti Kelana Jaya, Centre Spine in Bandar Sri Damansara, Urban Park 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Damansara Damai, Bukit Gasing, and Taman Tasik Ara Damansara.

    According to The Straits Times, the new directive is in line with the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations that were amended in 2017. The Malaysian government also has set a goal of becoming a smoke-free nation by 2045.

    Selangor Health director Datuk Dr Zailan Adnan said that enforcement will be carried out in stages starting June 1, 2017.

    Selangor is the most populous state in Malaysia. This Southeast Asian country has a large number of smokers, beginner vapors as well as daily vapers despite smoking and vaping being declared as "haram" or forbidden by Islam.

    In Perak, those who are caught lighting up in public parks could face a fine of RM5,000 (USD1,170).

    Perak Health Committee chairman Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said spot checks would be conducted from time to time at all 50 public and state parks.

    "The three-month awareness program held prior to the ban received positive feedback from the public, and our health authorities are ready to protect the public from the dangers of second-hand smoke. Through the program, we learned that the public is supportive of the ban and we hope to enforce it effectively with surprise checks. If everything goes smoothly, we may seek to extend [the ban] beyond public and state parks and existing no-smoking areas," Dr Mah said.

    According to health authorities, the main aim of the ban was not to punish smokers but to make them aware of the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke, and finally kick the habit.

    Just like in other developing countries, this move is seen as bending over backwards to please the World Health Organization. The WHO and its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control encourage member countries to ban or restrict access to low-risk nicotine products such as electronic cigarettes and snus.

  • What you need to know about the European TPD

    The Tobacco Products Directive is upon us.

    May 20, 2017 marks the full implementation of the TPD – a set of rules covering tobacco products and electronic cigarettes in the European Union.

    Back in 2014, a new TPD was proposed to replace the old 2001 regulation and include e-cigarettes in the same category as regular tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco. Each member state in the EU was required to transpose the TPD into their own law by May 20, 2016 and the United Kingdom did this through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). Manufacturers and retailers were given a one-year grace period to clear their existing stocks before the new rules are finally enforced.

    Is your product TPD-compliant?

    There are five main rules covering electronic cigarettes under the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

    The maximum size for e-liquid bottles is 10ml- Manufacturers are no longer allowed to sell e-liquids in the usual 30ml or 60ml bottles. This means higher costs for vapers who rely on bulk pricing for additional savings. Smaller vials also mean more harmful waste to the environment.

    The maximum size for tanks is 2ml- Many of the tanks on the market today are in the 3ml to 5ml range. These tanks are designed with such capacity because modern atomizers tend to guzzle e-liquid with every puff. The 2ml limit will be such an inconvenience for sub-ohm vapers who may need to refill more often than usual.

    The maximum amount of nicotine in e-liquid is 20mg/ml

    Manufacturers are no longer allowed to sell e-liquid in strong and extra strong varieties. The 20mg/ml ceiling can be difficult for smokers who are transitioning to vaping since it's the nicotine strength that they are accustomed to with traditional cigarettes. While experienced vapers should have no problem with 18mg, 12mg, 6mg or even zero nic e-liquids, smokers might find these mild variations unsatisfying and end up going back to smoking.

    Bottles must have 1cm nozzles and childproof caps- Apart from bottle size and content, the TPD has also laid out rules for actual container design. Each e-liquid bottle must have a nozzle that is at least 1cm long and does not drip more than 20 drops per minute without squeezing. Childproof caps are obviously common sense and manufacturers have been using them for years now.

    Products must have warning labels- Warning labels should be printed on the packaging of all tanks, replacement coils, and e-liquid bottles. For bottles, the label must read: "This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance." For tanks and coils, the label must include: "The following warning applies when the product is used with e-liquids containing nicotine." Warning labels should use the same black-and-white boldface font seen on cigarette boxes and cover at least 30 percent of the packaging.

    Is your company TPD-compliant?

    There are four main rules covering electronic cigarette manufacturers under the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

    The MHRA must be notified about new products six months ahead

    If you plan to sell a new product, you must notify the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency six months ahead. This could possibly slow down the speed of innovation that the vaping industry is known for.

    E-liquids must go through emission testing

    Manufacturers are now required to process all e-liquids in a certified lab and submit them for chemical analysis and toxicological tests. This could mean an additional £3,000 overhead cost per e-liquid.

    Advertising ban- Vape companies are no longer allowed to promote their products on TV, radio and print. There are also advertising restrictions on social media and other platforms online.

    MHRA fees - Manufacturers must pay a fee of £150 per product that they send to the MHRA for notification. If a product is substantially modified, notifying the agency costs £80. There is also an annual fee of £60.

    EU member states are given leeway to create their own version of the TPD and these country-specific laws could go further than the bare minimum requirement. In Finland, vendors are only allowed to sell tobacco-flavored e-liquid. Austria and Poland have implemented a total ban on online sales.

  • Do E-liquids Have Expiration Dates?

    Food, medicines, bottled water and even condoms have expiration dates (best used by dates). E-liquids are no exception.

    Consumables contain ingredients that could spoil or degrade over time. E-liquids are converted into inhalable vapor when you use electronic cigarettes, and like anything you put into your body, it is best to exercise caution when trying out your old stocks.

    According to the FDA, the agency does not require manufacturers to place expiration dates on food products except on infant formula. These labels are entirely at the discretion of the vendor. The FDA Center for Tobacco Products which regulates vaping products has not yet issued a directive on e-liquid expiration date labels.

    Expiration dates are simply guidelines. More often than not, what consumers need are common sense and good judgment. If milk smells and tastes bad even before the expiration date, then you should throw it out. The same applies to e-liquids.

    Lot Numbers on Eliquid Bottle

    What is the shelf life for e-liquids?

    Stored in optimal conditions, a bottle of e-liquid should last up to two years on the shelf. This is based on the oxidation process of key ingredients such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and nicotine. The best way to extend the life of your e-liquid is to keep the bottle in a cool, dark place where it is not exposed to the elements. Never store e-liquids where they can be exposed to direct sunlight, heat, humidity, or volatile temperatures.

    Of course not all e-liquids are created equal. As with any product, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap juice, it probably contains low-quality ingredients that won't last the two-year period. The facility where the e-liquid is mixed can also play an important factor in product longevity.

    Natural and organic substances are also more likely to go bad quicker because they do not contain preservatives. E-liquids that are made with artificial flavorings and other know eliquid chemicals could last longer regardless of storage conditions.

    Good e-liquids should contain only the best ingredients such as USP-certified pure nicotine, USP-grade propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, and flavorings that are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). They must also be handled at a mixing laboratory where proper sanitation and good manufacturing practices are observed.

    How do you know if your e-liquid is still good?

    Before loading your tank with e-liquid that's been sitting on the shelf for months, do a quick eye and nose check. Does it smell like the flavoring that is described on the label? How does it look? Color tends to change with nicotine oxidation so the liquid could appear darker over time. Common sense dictates that if the e-liquid looks and smells fine, then it must be safe for use.

    When e-liquids are kept in storage for a long period, ingredients tend to separate and leave residue at the bottom of the bottle. Just give it a quick shake to blend the mixture again. If the liquid does not return to its original consistency and taste, discard the bottle.

    Old liquids are not all that bad. In fact some vapers prefer to "age" their juices for several weeks or even months to allow the flavors to steep so they produce a richer, deeper and tastier hit. Before you discard any old e-liquid bottles, give it a quick drip on a fresh atomizer. You could be in for a pleasant surprise by vaping a well-aged juice compared to when it was fresh off the store.

  • US Navy Bans Vaping On All Fleets

    Beginning May 14, 2017, electronic cigarettes and other vapor products will no longer be allowed aboard any United States Navy ship, submarine, aircraft, boat, craft and heavy equipment.

    The ban will apply to anyone working on or visiting a Navy vessel including sailors, Marines, and Military Sealift Command civilians.

    In a press release, the Navy said the new policy "is in response to continued reports of explosions of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) due to the overheating of lithium-ion batteries. Multiple sailors have suffered serious injuries from these devices, to include first- and second-degree burns and facial disfigurement. In these cases, injuries resulted from battery explosions during ENDS use, charging, replacement, or inadvertent contact with a metal object while transporting.

    The move – which was announced in a joint message from Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces and Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet – comes after the Naval Safety Center released a report last August on the significant increase in the number of injuries to sailors from exploding lithium batteries.

    According to the NSC, there have been 31 such incidents that occurred on Navy ships since October 2015, with two accidents requiring firefighters to extinguish flames. Sailors who had their electronic cigarettes explode in their pockets suffered first- and second-degree burns. In cases where e-cigarettes blew up in their mouths, vapers had to be treated for facial and dental injuries.

    When the ban is enforced on May 14, all vaping devices must be completely removed from the fleet. Deployed personnel will be allowed to wait until their next visit to port.

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