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Charging Your Vape Pen - Everything You Need to Know

On top of the many lessons beginner vapers must learn, such as vape maintenance and cartridge selection, understanding the correct way to charge your vape pen matters. 

Not only does improper charging increase the risk of internal hardware issues, but hastily shoving random wires or incompatible phone chargers into name-brand vapes ultimately leads to frustration when you're dealing with a drained battery. 

This article covers how to charge different kinds of vapes and how long it takes when you really want to vape but have to wait for a reliable charge. Find your favorite vape from Vessel's vape collection

Ways to charge your vape

How do you charge a vape? The short answer: Attach the vape to its charging cable, insert the micro-USB connector into the power plug, head to an outlet, plug in, and wait until the vape is fully charged. 

Of course, every vape model is different, so those instructions may not apply to the specificities of your vape. 

(Just so everyone’s on the same page, know that you don’t have to charge a disposable vape, which simply goes into the trash once you’ve smoked all of the pre-loaded vape oil.)

Here’s how to charge three of the most popular styles of vapes:

  • Rechargeable pens (built-in batteries)

Step 1. Locate your vape’s charging cable. 

Step 2. Insert the USB connector into the vape’s USB receptacle.

Step 3. Plug the power plug into an outlet.  

  • Rechargeable pens (removable batteries)

Step 1. Transfer the empty batteries from your vape into a battery charger. 

Step 2. Align the battery symbols with the accompanying plus and minus signs on the charger.

Step 3. Plug the battery charger into an outlet. 

  • Box mods

Step 1. Identify whether your box mod vape has built-in or removable batteries

Step 2. Follow the instructions above depending on the type of battery. 

Signs your vape needs charging 

Have you ever pulled on your vape and not been sure if it’s dead or there's a clog? Maybe you even went so far as to convince yourself that the cartridge was empty and felt tempted to throw away a perfectly good vape. 

Before you go down that path, reference this list of telltale signs that your vape needs a charge:

  • The LED indicator light turns red when you try to inhale.
  • Vapor isn’t coming out of the mouthpiece. 
  • The LED indicator light blinks continuously. 

Many vapes have a color coding system to signal battery life. For instance, a green LED light means fully charged, yellow means halfway charged, and red means the battery is close to dying or is already dead. 

How long does charging take?

Look, for some people, staying ahead of a drained vape battery may not be the most pressing priority—that’s totally understandable, we get it! But no one can dispute the disappointment that comes when you go to vape only to find out that the battery is dead. 

Charging time for most standard vape pens takes up to two to three hours (possibly more if the LED indicator light is red). Bigger vapes with bulkier batteries, such as box mods, may take longer than vape pens. 

Now, you might be asking yourself how long the charge lasts. It all comes down to how frequently you vape, but generally speaking, a person who partakes in microdosing can expect to get days or maybe even a week out of a single, full charge. 

People who vape all day and night, however, can usually get a whole day out of their vape (take it from fans of our Core series, who appreciate the durability of our vape batteries). 

Charging your vape without a charger

A lot of people wonder if it’s possible to charge a vape pen without a charger. 

Call us purists, but we prefer to take the honest route and tell it like it is: Using random cables or wires that aren’t meant for your vape pen stand to damage its internal hardware. Also, you can’t charge a vape without a charger, because, well, technology!

If you’re in a real pinch and can’t find the micro-USB cable that came with your vape (or it didn’t come with one at all), then sticking a phone charger into your vape will technically work. But again, we don’t recommend this for the long-term safety of your vape.

Oh, and just so you know, one way to charge a vape without a traditional cable-style charger is to set up a charging dock. These kinds of chargers have a weighted base that blends in seamlessly on any flat surface. 

Tips for extending vape battery life

For starters, remember to charge your vape! Otherwise, consider:

  • turning your vape off after use
  • unplugging your vape once it’s fully charged 
  • getting into the habit of charging your vape when the LED light is yellow 

To sum it up

Charging your vape is one of the easiest things to learn about vaping. The process usually involves a micro-USB cable, charging port, and outlet, but some vapes come with removable batteries that require a separate battery charger. 

Look to the LED indicator light on your vape for color-coded signals that tell you when your vape battery is almost empty. Most vapes reach full charge in a matter of hours, sometimes less than 60 minutes if it’s not completely drained. 

Final reminder for anyone still not sure about using a random phone charger to charge your vape: Don’t do it. This can lead to unintended malfunctions and wasted money. Stick to your vape’s instructions and use the compatible charging cable that came with it. 


How can you tell a vape is fully charged?

LED lights indicate battery life. Like a traffic light, green means go (vape), yellow means slow down (almost time to charge), and red means stop (charge immediately). 

Do phone chargers really charge vapes?

Yes and no. While phone chargers fit inside vapes and ostensibly charge them, you run the risk of damaging your vape’s hardware. 

Does overcharging damage a vape?

It can. As soon as you see the green LED light, go ahead and unplug your vape. Overcharging puts added strain on the battery.