If you’ve ever gotten halfway down the road, opened your pack of cigarettes, and realized you don’t have a lighter, you know the frustration of trying to vape when the battery is dead.
So if running out of battery is already a pain, what happens if you’re in a situation where your vape charger is missing, or worse, lost?
Luckily, vape devices aren’t exactly complicated technological powerhouses – a fact which comes in handy when you’re in a pinch and need to figure out how to get that e-juice flowing again.
There are several ways around a lost or missing charger, especially if you have a micro-USB cable lying around (like using a power bank or your laptop). Temporary solutions include replacing the battery or, if you’re feeling risky, using the power of DIY.
So in the name of out-of-luck vapers everywhere, we’ve put together a few charging alternatives for you to try.
Without further ado, let’s get into how to charge a vape pen without a charger.
Replacing The Batteries
No matter how the internal battery housing has been constructed, most e-cigarettes are powered by rechargeable standard AA batteries inside the mod. Very thin vape pens may contain a AAA battery, but if you’re familiar enough with the two sizes – and most people are – then it’s not so hard to figure out what’s inside your vape pen.
Since a lot of vapes are designed to be well-sealed and without removable batteries, it’s difficult to give you the full rundown on how to get your batteries out of there. Also, if you happen to have a mod where the battery is completely inaccessible, you’ll have to move on to the next tip.
That said, if you can access the batteries of your specific model, replacing your rechargeable with a standard AA (or AAA) battery will get the job done and will give you a few good hours of worry-free vaping. Of course, if you can get ahold of a rechargeable battery, so much the better.
As we all know, a vape pen without a charger is about as useful as a cigarette in the rain but things get a little interesting when you’re charging a vape pen with a DIY charger.
Before we give you the rundown, here’s the disclaimer:
The number one, most important thing you need to understand is to make a DIY charger, you will be dealing with AC power, which can easily put you in the hospital or worse. Do not use a DIY charger for charging your vape pen if you are not confident in what you’re doing – just go find a proper charger (see below for options).
That said, the following is a highly recommended DIY method, as long as you are extremely careful.
- Locate a cord with a standard micro-USB connector.
- Snip off the device-end of the cord (not the brick-end!) with some wire cutters.
- Expose the wires from the outer layers of insulation.
- Regardless of how many wire colors there are, all you need are two: the red wire and the black wire.
- Strip half an inch (~1.25cm) of insulating rubber off the red and black wires, exposing the copper.
- For JUUL-type vape pens, touch the black wire and red wire to the outer two contact slots of the charging area until you see the indicator light turn on. This is how you know the device is charging.
- For a disposable e-cigarette, you have to break it open to access the positive and negative terminals on the battery.
It is very important not to touch the two wires together or touch both of them with your hand at the same time. If at all possible, connect them to the slots or terminals before plugging the device in.
We recommend using electrical tape to keep each wire apart and to secure the charger to your vape pen.
Access Another Device
If you’re only missing the brick, or if you happen to have a USB charging cable that is compatible with your vaping device, you can always use another access point to charge a vape. Any electronic device that’s plugged in and has an available charging port is fair game and will likely recharge your battery.
Laptops or desktop computers work nicely for charging like this and even a PS4 will recharge your vape pen without a problem.
A portable charger or power bank is a great option for charging your vape pen – assuming you have the correct cable and are just missing the plug.
Any portable charger is the right charger for your device as long as it has a standard USB port. You just need a compatible cable with a USB-C or micro-USB connector (whichever your device needs).
These low-voltage devices also help extend the life of your batteries since a portable charger is not capable of overcharging your device!
If your vape battery isn’t charging when plugged into the power bank, it probably means the power source also needs recharging and it is just not your lucky day.
Use A Standard Cell Phone Charger
Like all of the options above, using a phone charger for charging your device all boils down to what kind of mod you have.
Not every vaping device accepts a micro-USB connector – the only way to charge some vape batteries is through the original charger it came with. Other devices might only get a full charge when docked into their base.
However, if your e-cigarette isn’t so picky and can charge using a USB-C or micro-USB adapter, you’re in luck! You can find one of those just about anywhere, anytime.
Your friends probably have an extra cord laying around somewhere or you can usually buy one for cheap at the nearest convenience store. Then you just use the brick that came with a phone charger and voila! Your device is recharging in no time.
Just FYI, USB-C isn’t as prevalent as micro-USB, yet. But every new piece of portable tech, including vape devices, is integrating into the USB-C platform, so that will soon change.
Odds are though, there’s a USB-C cable or adapter somewhere nearby you can get your hands on, so you’re still good to go.
Grab An External Battery Charger
Finding an external charger at vape shops is almost as easy as finding different mods and e-juices. Of course, like power banks and random charging cables, these won’t solve the problem for every vape device, especially for ones that need unique voltage or chargers.
However, if you have an e-cigarette that can connect to an external charger, you should definitely consider adding one to your basket at the vape shop. (They really are clutch if you happen to lose yours.)
Like power banks, an external battery charger is designed for charging rechargeable batteries. Also, external battery chargers tend not to overcharge your batteries.
This means longer battery life for your vape pen and that’s always a good thing.