Vape Charger Types

There’s one thing that’s a guaranteed fact for all of the vapers in the world, no matter what types of vapes they’re using: Charging your device is always going to be one of the most important parts of your routine. A fully charged vape usually lasts around a day before the battery dies, so if you forget to top up your battery once a day, your device could end up dying at an inopportune time.

On the surface, using a vape charger probably seems like a pretty straightforward activity: you connect a cable to your device and wait for the battery to charge. As you’re about to learn, though, different types of vaping devices actually charge in different ways – and it’s important to charge your device correctly if you want it to work reliably and not overheat.

So, what types of vape chargers are out there today, and how do you use them? We’ll start by discussing the most common type of charger: the humble USB cable.

Further Reading: Simplify your vaping experience! Check out our roundup of the best disposable vapes on the market.

USB Vape Chargers

Vape mods usually have built-in USB ports for charging.

Most of the vapes that you’ll find in vape shops have USB charging ports, and most of them include the required charging cables. Disposable vapes are the only major exceptions to this rule. Although they usually have USB ports, users are generally expected to provide their own charging cables because including a cable with every disposable vape would increase the price and lead to a lot of waste.  

In the past, vapes usually had micro-USB ports for charging. Like most other consumer gadgets, though, they’re almost all using USB-C ports today. The switch to USB-C allows modern vaping devices to have more stable – and faster, in many cases – power delivery.

How to Use a USB Vape Charger

Using a USB vape charger is very easy. Just follow these steps to charge your device.

  • Connect the charging cable to your computer’s USB port and to your device’s charging port. The device’s screen or indicator light should turn on.
  • Wait a while. How long a vaping device takes to charge will depend on the charging rate and the device’s battery capacity. In general, though, a smaller vaping device will charge in around an hour or less. A larger vape mod may take a few hours. If the device has an indicator light, the light will turn off or change to a different color when charging is complete. If the device has a screen, the display will show a full battery icon, or it’ll say “100%.”

What to Do If a USB Vape Charger Isn’t Working

If you have a USB vape charger that doesn’t seem to be working, the problem might not be as bad as it seems because it’s usually fairly easy to fix a vaping device that isn’t charging. Here’s what you should do.

  • Wiggle the USB connector gently while it’s attached to your device. If your device starts charging, the problem could be that the solder points on the device’s logic board are starting to become weak. To prolong the life of your vaping device, connect the charging cable very carefully in the future.
  • Make sure that your device’s charging port is clean. If pocket lint is stuffed in the port, remove it with a toothpick.
  • Try charging your device with a different cable. USB cables usually don’t last very long before they start developing internal issues. If you’re unable to charge your device with a USB cable that has Type-C connectors on both ends, try using a cable that has a Type-A connector on one end. Some vaping devices have difficulty charging through USB-C-to-USB-C cables.
  • Try connecting your vape to a different power source. You should usually charge a vaping device with your computer and generally want to avoid using a wall charger unless it’s specifically recommended by the manufacturer. If you want to charge your vape with a wall charger anyway, don’t use the charger for a tablet or smartphone because your vape probably won’t support the charger’s higher current.

External Battery Chargers

An external vape battery charger usually works with most lithium-ion batteries.

Virtually every rechargeable vaping device on the market has a USB port and can charge through your computer or another device that supports USB power delivery. If your device has a removable battery, though, that gives you another option: You can remove the battery from the device and charge it in an external charger for lithium-ion batteries.

The 18650 cell that’s used by most vaping devices with removable batteries is a very common battery type, which means that it’ll work with most external battery chargers. Before you use a charger to charge a vape battery, though, you want to make sure that it supports lithium-ion batteries and that it’s compatible with the 18650 cell specifically.

In addition to supporting an external charger, your vape mod probably has a USB port and can charge through a USB cable. The benefit of using an external charger, though, is that you can charge one battery while you’re using another. In that way, you don’t ever have to worry about the battery in your device dying because you can swap it whenever you want.

How to Use an External Vape Battery Charger

To use an external vape battery charger, start by opening your device’s bottom door and removing the battery. You’ll also need to plug the battery charger into a wall outlet. Place the battery in the correct orientation between the charger’s metal contact points. Usually, the positive terminal on the battery should face up.

After connecting the battery to the charger, just watch the charger’s screen. It’ll show “100%” or display an icon of a full battery when the charging cycle is complete.

Safety Precautions for Removable Vape Batteries

When you use a vaping device with a removable battery, it’s important to follow a few safety precautions because lithium-ion cells store a lot of power and can potentially catch fire if they’re mistreated.

  • If you have a vape mod that supports two batteries, make sure that the batteries are identical and have the same age. Always use and charge the batteries together.
  • Don’t ever carry spare vape batteries in your pocket. If you need to transport some batteries, put them in a dedicated carrier that provides protection and prevents the batteries from touching other metal objects.
  • If your battery charger allows you to change the charging rate, don’t increase the amperage unless you’re sure that your battery supports it. Remember that while a higher amperage will shorten the battery’s charging time, it will also reduce the battery’s life due to the extra heat generated.
  • Don’t ever charge a lithium-ion battery unattended. If a vape battery overheats, disconnecting the charger can help to prevent a fire.

Proprietary Vape Chargers

A proprietary vape charger usually screws directly into the device's threading.

The last type of vape charger is the proprietary type. This usually takes the form of a screw-in charger that connects directly to your vape pen’s threading. A vaping device that uses a proprietary charger won’t have a USB port. Proprietary vape chargers are usually very reliable, and they may have added features such as magnets for increased stability. The drawback of a proprietary charger, though, is that it’s a single point of failure that can prevent your vaping device from working if it breaks.

If your vaping device’s proprietary charger does break, don’t buy a generic replacement from a third-party company. Always replace the charger with an identical model produced by the maker of your vaping device.

How to Use a Proprietary Vape Charger

To charge a vape pen with a screw-in charger, follow these two simple steps.

  • Screw the charger into your vape pen’s threading and connect the other end of the charger to your computer’s USB port. You can also connect the charger to a wall adapter if your vape pen has one. When you connect the charger to a power source, the light on the charger will turn on.
  • Watch the light on the charger to see when your vape pen is done charging. The light may change from red to green, or it may turn off when the charging cycle is complete.

What to Do if a Proprietary Vape Charger Isn’t Working

If you have a proprietary vape charger that isn’t working, start by testing your vape pen. Since a vape charger’s light usually turns off when the charging cycle is complete, it’s possible that your vape pen is fully charged already. If you’re certain that your device isn’t charged – and the charger isn’t working – you should try connecting the charger to a different power source. If you’re trying to charge your vape pen through a wall adapter, try connecting the charger to your computer instead.

If your vape pen still isn’t charging, it’s possible that the device’s threading is dirty, perhaps because a cartridge has leaked. Remove the oil from your vape pen’s threading using a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. You may need to use a few cotton swabs to make sure that the threading is completely clean, and it may be necessary to clean the charger as well. Don’t try charging your vape pen again until the device and charger are fully dry.