As a new vaper, you’ll have plenty of questions that will need answering. One of these questions might be if vape batteries and AA batteries are the same and if you can treat vape batteries the way you’ve always treated AA batteries. This blog discusses how vape batteries and AA batteries differ and why it’s essential to know their differences.
Table of Contents
- Is 18650 Battery the Same as AA?
- Why You Should Know The Differences
- Differences in Handling
- Differences in Storing
- Differences in Charging
- Differences in Purchasing
Is 18650 Battery the Same as AA?
The first thing you need to understand is that vape batteries (also known as 18650s) and AA batteries are entirely different. First AA batteries have a nominal charge of 1.5 while 18650s have double the charge (about 3.6). In other words, they are twice as powerful as double AA batteries.
Not only that, but the 18650s are rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. In contrast, AA batteries are made from zinc-carbon, alkaline, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, and lithium-ion, and not all are rechargeable.
But, putting their differences in chemistry aside, the main difference new vapers should know about vape batteries, and AA batteries is that you need to be more careful with vape batteries. While you can take certain liberties with AA batteries, you have a whole set of different rules when it comes to vape batteries.
Why You Should Know The Differences
Understanding the differences between AA batteries and 18650s is vital because your wellbeing is on the line. There are some things you can do with AA batteries that you can’t do with vape batteries. And you need to know the differences in handling before buying them and taking care of them since, although the chances are slim, vape batteries can short circuit and vent if not cared for correctly.
Differences in Handling
Let’s start with handling. While AA batteries don’t need any carrying case and can carry them in your pocket, vape batteries do need them. Plastic cases are used with vape batteries because since they are so powerful, they are capable of short-circuiting if they come in contact with metal objects. So if you plan on carrying them in your pocket or purse, make sure they have a plastic case so no metal objects come in contact with the vape batteries.
Another critical difference between AA batteries and vape batteries is that you can interchange them with AA batteries and use them with another pair of AA batteries. For example, if you lose one of your remote control batteries, you can use another spare AA battery and insert it, even if they are different brands. Vape batteries are not so simple; you have to “marry” your vape batteries. This means that you have to pair them together, use them together, and get rid of them together; you can’t use one of the batteries if you lose the other one. This is because one of the batteries will be working harder than the other one, and this can cause it to vent. So always “marry” your vape batteries and never use two batteries from two different sets or brands.
Even when throwing them out, you need a different procedure. While it is entirely safe to throw away AA batteries in your garbage can, it is hazardous to do so with vape or 18650 batteries. This is because they can short circuit if another metal touches the batteries' ends; that’s why we recommend that you look for battery disposal centers, like the Home Depot.
Differences in Storing
Have you ever put AA batteries in the fridge to extend their life? While this battery myth might work for some types of AA batteries (depending on their chemistry), it’s an absolute no-no for vape batteries. The batteries will quickly rust due to the condensation in the fridge, and this will not extend their lifespan but rather make them fail faster. When storing vape batteries, use a drawer and always put them in their plastic cases in a drawer with no metal objects.
This also goes for hot temperatures, so ideally, you want your vape batteries to be anywhere from 50 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposing them to hot temperatures can also affect their lifespan, so be more conscious of where you store them, especially in the summer.
Differences in Charging
While there are many things you can get away with when using AA batteries, for example, leaving them charging overnight, you shouldn’t do with vape batteries. When charging vape batteries, you should do it during the day where they will be constantly visible and where you can supervise them. Again, this is because you want to make sure they won’t overcharge due to their power, or this could cause them to vent.
Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike AA batteries, you can’t buy any charger for your batteries and expect it to work. For vape batteries, you need an intelligent charger that will let you know if each cell has been fully charged, and that comes with plenty of safety features like overcharge protection, over-voltage protection, and reverse polarity protection.
Differences in Purchasing
Something significant and a big difference between AA batteries and vape batteries is that you can buy AA batteries at any gas station, convenience store, or grocery near you. While with vape batteries and specifically the 18650s, you need to make sure that you’re buying from a reputable source.
This is extremely important since counterfeit and fake lithium-ion 18650s are rampant. You can’t just buy any brand or from any source since many times, you’ll be buying rewrapped batteries that are lower-grade than advertised. We recommend that you purchase vape batteries from large reputable websites that only carry the best brands, like the Big Four, Samsung, Sony, LG, and Panasonic/Sanyo.
The main takeaway of this blog is that you can’t treat vape batteries like AA batteries. You have to be extra careful in treating them, charging them, storing them, and buying them. While certain liberties can be taken with AA batteries, with vape batteries, you have to err on the side of caution.