Batteries are an essential part of any vaping device, whether it’s a compact vape pen or hefty box mod for sub-ohm vaping. Much like vapes themselves, vape batteries come in all different shapes, sizes and powers. But what are the differences between internal vs external battery vapes? And how much of an impact do batteries have on the type of vaping experience you can enjoy.
Whether you’re starting your vaping journey or you’re a more experienced vaper who’s looking to learn a little bit more about the device that you use daily, understanding the differences between internal and external batteries is key.
Here’s everything you need to know about vape batteries, from the differences between internal vs external battery vapes to their uses and benefits.
Internal batteries are encased within a vape device and cannot be removed or replaced. These batteries have a mAh rating which relates to the storage capacity of the particular battery. The higher the mAh rating, the larger capacity the vape battery has.
Internal batteries need to be charged using an appropriate charging cable (most devices will be compatible with micro-USB leads or USB-C chargers). With internal batteries, we always advise that you let the batteries fully run out of charge before recharging them.
Pros of internal batteries
The types of vapes that use internal batteries are lower powered devices. As a result, these vape devices are much smaller and more compact as the battery doesn’t have to be as big. These typically come in the form of vape pens and pod kits, which are excellent for on-the-go vaping.
This means that internal battery vapes are more portable as you don’t have to carry around a larger device and a battery charger, which can often be quite clunky and inconvenient. For an internal battery, all you need is a cable and a plug and you’re good to go.
Internal batteries require little-to-no maintenance at all. Unlike external batteries that require quite a bit of looking after, all you have to worry about when it comes to these vape batteries is remembering to charge them.
For more tips on the maintenance of your vape, check out our guide on e-cig maintenance.
Easy to charge
For the beginner vapers or those who just want a simple vape to use, devices with an internal battery are the way to go. To charge an internal battery device, just connect to your required charging cable until it is fully charged.
Vapes that have a built-in battery charge very quickly. These days most vape pods and pod kits are designed with a USB-C port which allows for extremely fast and efficient charging. For example, the hugely popular Caliburn G2 Pod Kit takes just 45 minutes to reach full charge!
Cons of built-in batteries
More limitations on power output
Though it’s true that many devices now benefit from variable wattage settings, there are some limitations on the power output on an internal battery device. Many internal battery devices feature safety caps on the amount of power output you can expect from the device, usually around 200 watts.
Whether you’re using a box mod, vape or any other vape device that utilises a battery that’s internal, you are stuck within these limitations.
Only one use
Every battery has a certain capacity of charging cycles it is capable of. Once these batteries completely die, the vape itself will need to be replaced. Internal battery vapes can be charged over and over again, but there’s nothing that can be done if they fully die. They cannot be replaced nor taken out and fixed, and this is quite a large downside for many of these devices.
When it comes to disposable vapes, there is an expectation for the battery life to eventually die as they are intended to be disposed of. However, this can be quite frustrating for those who have pod mods as they have to replace their entire device, which can be expensive.
External batteries are typically used with much larger vape devices that provide a more powerful sub-ohm vaping experience. The larger, more powerful batteries are what help to provide the huge clouds of vapour that are associated with sub-ohm vaping. These batteries provide a higher wattage to the coil which vaporises more e-liquid when you take a drag, helping to create lots of vapour.
There are different types of vape batteries that are designed to be external such as 18650, 20700 and 21700 batteries and are all lithium ion. These names refer to the size of the battery. For example, the measurements of a 18650 battery are 18mm x 65mm. The larger the battery, the more power output your device will have.
Mods are designed with a battery compartment that these cells easily fit into in order to power the device. Batteries are sold separately from mods. There are single battery mods and dual battery mods, with the latter being the more powerful.
Unlike built-in batteries, external batteries require a battery charger instead of a lead which connects directly to the device. Be sure to ‘marry’ your external batteries in pairs as this will ensure an even charge every time for your vape mod.
Pros of external batteries
A big pro of these batteries is the power that they provide. Due to being a lot bigger than built-in batteries, they are able to reach a much higher maximum output. These larger, more powerful batteries are able vapourise more e-liquid as you take a drag which is what creates the huge clouds of vapour that we associate with sub-ohm vaping.
Unlike a built-in battery that when it dies you need to replace the entire device, when an external battery dies it doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire mod. Just recycle your old batteries, purchase a new battery and continue vaping.
Long-lasting battery life
An external battery usually has a longer battery life than built-in batteries, so you don’t need to charge the vape as frequently.
With external batteries, you are not limited to the battery that comes with the device and may choose the battery of your choice. While many mods use 18650 batteries, vapes are now also designed to be compatible with 20700 and 21700 battery types as well. It also means that you can experiment with different battery brands to find one that you enjoy.
Easy to recharge
Another huge pro is that there are many rechargeable batteries that are external. This is very similar to the built-in batteries in that they can be recharged, and these can last anywhere between 6-12 months. All they require is a battery charger, though it is recommended to use a high-quality and reliable charger so as to not damage your vape batteries.
Vapers also have the choice of using chargers with different numbers of bays, allowing for multiple batteries to be charged at the same time. For example, the VC2SL charger has two bays, whereas the VC4SL charger is a more advanced model that has four bays.
Cons of external batteries
Can be heavy
Box mods that require external batteries can end up being very hefty. The battery itself can add a lot of weight to the device, with the average 18650 battery weighing 42g, making it potentially difficult to carry around with you and uncomfortable to use.
The downside to a more powerful battery is that it takes longer to charge than a smaller, internal battery. However, you can get more powerful chargers which will charge your batteries faster.
Both types of battery offer different vaping experiences and have their own range of benefits and drawbacks. There isn’t a ‘better’ battery as such, but rather it comes down to your preferred vaping style. If you’re a new vaper who has just quit smoking, then vapes with an internal battery may be best for you as it will create the smooth, mouth-to-lung feel you are after.
On the other hand, internal batteries cannot provide the power and longevity that an external battery can. If you want a device that has a crystal clear OLED screen, packed with vaping information that can record your puff count, has a temperature control settings and more, then you’re going to want to learn towards more advanced mods which require external batteries.
Ready to choose your new batteries and charging equipment? Browse our full range here.