Why My e-Cig Mods Use NiMH Rechargable Batteries

Why do my e-Cig mods use NiMH rechargable batteries? I’ve been asked why I use regular NiMH batteries in my e-cig mods like the Puck instead of Lithium ion like the commercial e-cigs use.  I have many reasons which I will outline below and you will then see why I feel they are ther best choice for my mods.

I have a few rules I follow when coming up with an e-cig mod.  The first and foremost is built around powering the mod.  This means batteries.  Most mods and commercial e-cigs use lithium ion batteries.  Lion batteries are small and lightweight and can supply more voltage for a smaller package.  So why don’t I use them?

The reason commercial e-cig manufacturers use them is they needed a smaller battery that was about the same size as a real cigarette so an e-cig can mimic a real cigarette in size and shape.  The problem is those smaller batteries still cannot produce the current of the larger batteries.  That means you usually only get about 4 hours or less out of a commercial e-cig battery before it needs to be recharged.  Also, lithium ion batteries need special charging and discharging protection circuitry to make sure they don’t explode from over charging or over discharging (use).   You can get larger lithium ion batteries but you have to order them and you have to have special chargers to charge them.  The batteries you use must be protected batteries which means each battery has the circuitry butil into them to protect them from over charge or over discharge.

All that being said, one of my rules for any mod I come up with is you should be able to get the batteries from any local store.  Currently, the only readily available rechargable batteries you can get at any store is NiMH batteries.  You can even get them at your local grocery store.  That way, if your battery dies, you don’t have to wait on an order to come in, you just run to the local store and pick some up. 

NiMH rechargable batteries do not have the charging and discharging issues of lithium ion so no protection circuitry is needed.  The chargers handle the charging restrictions and there is no discharge issues like lithium ion has.  MiMH batteries have been the workhorse of the rechargable battery market for years.

Many people think NiMH has the old ni-cad memory effect that happens of you don’t discharge them all the way every time.  This is not true and you do not have to completely discharge your batteries.  NiMH technology has eleminated that.  The NiMH charge lever output stays pretty much constant until the very end of the charge life, only dropping off a few tenths of a volt during the use of the batteries.

The only disadvantage to using NiMH batteries is, you have to use 4 batteries instead of one to get more than 3.7 volts.  But what I have found (and every one else that uses a Puck agrees) is that running around 4.8 volts is better.  So in reality having the to use multiple NiMH’s batteries benefits (as in the Puck) are much greater than having to just deal with 4 batteries instead of one.

The real benefit is being able to get your batteries from just about anywhere at any time.  You can also get 15 minute chargers for NiMHs that will have you batteries freshly charged in 15 minutes instead of waiting 2 to 4 hours for your lithium ion e-cig battery to charge.

I’ve been using nothing but NiMH rechargable batteries in all of my e-cig mods for 2+ years now and will use nothing else.

What do you think?

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31 comments to Why My e-Cig Mods Use NiMH Rechargable Batteries

  • AZAM

    Is it pratical to use a linear regulator and the usual 9 volt battery?
    is the 9 volt battery is a nimh battery?
    How long this 9 volt battery can last? and how to use it to power a mod?


    • Puck

      A 9 volt battery would work with a regulator, however, since most 9 volt nimh batteries are less than 200mah, I don’t think it would last very long. You’d be lucky to even get an hour out of it in my opinion. I’ve never tested it, just doing the math in my head.

      9 volt batteries come in the same flavors as any other AA,AAA, C or D cell. You have alkaline, heavy duty, nicad and also nimh. NiMH and NiCad are the only rechargable versions though. To power a mod, you most likely would need to use a regulator since a freshly charged 9 volt may put out too much power for the inital first few hits. That may pop your atty. The power will go down quickly after that.

      In my opinion, I don’t think a 9 volt is a good power source for an e-cig. AAA batteries was as small as I would go as in the Puck mod. With newer battery technologies coming out, it may be feasible in the future nut I feel it’s not worth the time right now.

  • Dave

    If a 9v is not a practical battery to use, how about a C or D cell?
    Can 1 be made using your advice but in a flashlight type mod?

    • Puck

      You would need 4 C or D cells just like you need 4 AAA or AA batteries. It’s all about the voltage. NiMH batteries are about 1.2 volts per battery. For a good vaping experince, you need to have at the minimum, 3.7 volts for the normal 510 or 901 atomizer. 3 NiMH battereis would only be 3.6 volts. Although this works, it’s not that good. I’ve tried it with 3 AA batteries. That’s how I ended up with the Puck using 4 AAA batteries. AAA for the size and power and 4 of them for the proper voltage (4.8 volts).

      What I had found was that 4.8 volts was the perfect voltage for a 901 atomizer with massive amounts of vapor, the taste was enhanced, good throat hit and plenty of hours of vaping (over 24 with 4 AAA NiMH batteries and a 901 atty).

      So if you want to use C or D batteries, you still will need 4 to get 4.8 volts. 3 would give you only 3.6 volts.

      The AAA size battery has just enough current (mah or milliamps per hour) to keep an atty going for 24 hours with a 901, 12 for a 510 atty. A 9 volt does not have enough current or mah to keep an atty going so it will die off very fast (in minutes) since they are not made for that type of application. NiMH battery cells however, are made for high drain applications (which just happens to be what an ecig is).

      If you want to use 4 C or D cells. Be my guest :). It ‘s just going to be a very big eCig mod :) You could build a battery pack using 4 D cells and run a wire up to your atty with a switch like a passthrough. That would be great for camping trips or for where you will be away from a power source for a couple of days… and those batteries should last a couple of days or more on one charge :) Heck, you may get a week out of the D cells before they need charging :)

  • drewy

    hi! i just see this mod last month, and i love it. but I doubt abut ni.mh.
    we know that this celles can deliver about 0.2 C of their power.
    one atomizer 510 LR just requires at least 1 Ampere!
    i don’t know the 901s but i read that you use this solution with 510 LR
    i would like to know more
    thank you very much

    • Puck

      Mah is Mah (millamps per hour). Normal ecigs batteries are 270 mah. An large ego battery is 670 mah. AAA nimhs are 870 mah up to 1000 mah… 3 to 4 times more than a regular ecig battery. You have to remember that mah is milliamps per hour. We only press the button for a few seconds every minute or so on any ecig. That’s how any ecig works. The button is not pressed continuously for an hour.

      I do not use LR 510s. People use normal 510s (2 to 2.2 ohms). Low resistance 510s would be too low for 4.8 volts.

      You just have to remember that power is power no matter what it comes from and the NiMH batteries have been the workhorse of the rechargable battery market for many years and are design for high drain situations. The only reason Li-ion batteries are used is they can hold 3.7 volts with the same current in one battery (charge density) as with Nimh, you have to use more batteries in series to get the voltage. The current however, is current. A lot of people make that mistake. The creators of ecigs originally used Li-ion due to their physical size to look like a cigarette.

      Nimhs actually work as good or better than lithium ion batteries. Build a Puck and you will see what I mean.

      PS… most atties require an amp and a half or more to get the job done. 901s use about an amp and a half also (3.2 ohms). Use ohms law to figure out the power. And remember, the NiMH batteries can supply as much current as needed just like a lithium ion. It’s the mah (millamps per hours) that matters and MiMHs have more. You just have to use more batteries in series to get the voltage.

      • Scott

        I am currently looking at some aa’s that have 3000mah. when these cheap Walmart ones wear out (if ever), I was thinking about getting that set with charger and maybe installing some regulation to set my voltage at 3.7, 4.8, etc.. I currently get 5.8 on new bats and would like to be able to just set that for my atty ohms since I wrap my coils and they can differ.

        Would that also increase battery life ?

        • Puck

          Regulation usually doesn’t work well using a voltage of 5.8 and lower due to the fact that you lose about a volt due to the regulation circuit. That doesn’t leave much left for normal drain down. I’ve tried :). If you run your atty resistance around 3 to 3.5 ohms, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about because at 3000 mah, you should stay at a pretty constant wattage. Regulation just steals too much power for my taste.

          If you want to do regulation, you should start off with about 7 volts or more for best results.

  • ferya

    I have been smoking for 8 years and i have been trying to quit for 5 years i smoked around 30 cigarettes a day. I have tried all the nicotine replacement products and none of them has ever worked for me but since i purchased the E-ecigarette i have not had a cigarette for 2 months. Since using the ecigarette i have had no cravings for real cigarettes and i have had no side affects like i was getting on the other nicotine replacement products. I would recommend this product to anyone and satisfied using the product of jasper and jasper.

  • shawn k

    Hi i read your ecig puck mod and made one with 4 AA battery box with a 510 atty running a genesis tank with a 1.5 ohm coil right now ive been smoking for over 24 hrs and NiMH duracell batterys that have 2450 mah i have to say it is straight perfection i bought them from a local grocery store been using this for 4 months ive had no issue and no trouble all thank you for your mod and anyone reading this make it yourself and find out how awesome this mod is!!!! (Sorry for lack of sentences and periods i could care less for grammer its readable and thats all that matters)

    • Scott

      Hey Shawn!

      Yeh I have had people tell me that it won’t work on other forums. What a load! We both know better and this may even become a lot more popular if FDA starts banning and restricting things.

      People these thing work well and are easy to build so don’t be intimidated and don’t by into those expensive online battery mods. These work very well and ESPECIALLY for the price. The highest cost is for the batteries and charger, but so far that has been a one time cost for me.

      • Puck

        Anyone who says it doesn’t work is all talk. They have never built one to experience what the Puck mod is capable of. I’ve been using NiMHs for going on 4 years now and has been perfect or I wouldn’t have stuck with them.

        If you see anyone yapping that it won’t work, tell them to actually physically build one before they run their mouth to make themselves sound more intelligent than they really are. Sure it’s not the prettiest but it gets the job done as good as the expensive ecigs and doesn’t cost a fortune. You can build as many as you need cheaply.

        Pair the Puck up with a nice rebuildable tank where you can make your own wick and coil and you are prepared for any “doomsday scenario”. That’s what I am using now. A Puck mod with a completely customizable tank where I can make my own wick and coil. It’s sweet and vapes like a champ. With this setup, you are ready for anything, able to vape all day on one tankful of juice and can get your batteries from any store when needed. Can’t ask for any more than that :).

  • Out of curiosity, and a new interest in tinkering, what about Nimh watch batteries? You know, the flat ones. Could one build a puck with those, or something in that form factor?

    I’m not trying to mimic a cigarette, but something more like a pipe.

    • Puck

      NiMH watch batteries cannot supply enough current to fire your ecig. You may get on or two puffs or more but the batteries would not last anytime at all since the milliamps per hour (mah) rating on those batteries is very low.

  • Rijemond

    Just a question ,

    So because of the coil and a wel build e-cig mod there is no reason to worry about a short circuit?

    (I use the Ap—o T3 2.4-2.6 ohm Clearomizer)
    and i’m going to build the mod mostly because of the quick drainage of the 900Mah battery.

    Can’t wait to fire the mod up.

    Great Site ,Keep up the Good work!

  • Ari

    Would it be difficult to safely utilize NiMH batteries with a rebuildable atomizer utilizing the low resistance coils that seem to be so popular these days? I’m sure some extra circuitry (protection, and possibly storage for a burst of current) would be needed?

    • Puck

      The real only purpose for low resistance coils is to “up” your wattage when using regular 3.7 volts li-ion batteries. Since the Puck runs at 4.8 volts, using a normal 2.5 to 3 ohm atty is basically the same thing as running a low resistance atty on a 3.7 volt li-ion. There’s no need to try and use a low resistance atty on a puck.

      You could do it if you only wanted to use 3 nimhs but you still end up using your battery power faster. Nimhs are not prone to problems with shorting and such. If you short circuit one completely, it gets really, really hot… enough to burn you but they don’t explode.

      I have done a lot of experimentation when coming up with the original Puck using 4 nimhs and found that the best possible combination out of all of them is using 4 nimhs with a 2.5 to 3 ohm atty. Anything else just drains the batteries too fast or doesn’t supply enough vapor. The 4 nimh/atty combination provides the right wattage to satisfy just about anyone. (It kept me off regular cigarettes for years).

  • Tim

    Is there any way to make the puck compatible with sub ohm coils?

    • Webmaster

      You could use one less battery but sub ohm coils put a pretty big stress on just about any battery. Sub ohm coils were invented to get more power out of lower battery voltages. But a weird thing happens. The less voltage you try to use, the more stress you put on the batteries and they don’t last as long. You are better off going with a normal ohm range (2.0 to 3.0) and normal battery voltage range (3.6 to 5). You will get better battery life and better vapor production.

      I’ve done a lot of testing and research over the years and the best combination for nimh batteries are a 2.5 to 3 ohm atty or tank and 4 nimh batteries. This is the golden combo I have found that continues to work without fail.

  • bob

    I am getting 3.9 v under load with a double twisted 30guage micro 1.1ohm coil. It still chucks out a lot of vapor!! Giving me roughly 13.8 watts. I’m going to try a sub ohm coil in it next just to see the performance. Whats funny is on my 2600 mah li-ion icr at the same watts on my vtr I get about 5 hrs of use time, my puck still lasts me 6am-12am with 2400 nihm aa batts. Also people don’t realize that in a mech wih sub ohm coils you have to change batts every couple of hours so I’m going to see how long my puck will last with a sub ohm. And now I found rayovacks for 7 bucks at wally world i don’t care if I have to buy batts once a month.
    thanks again puck!! also if you have any advice on sub ohms on a puck it would be appreciated

    • Puck

      I’m curious as to why you want to use sub ohm atties on the Puck. Sub ohm atties were really designed for devices that only put out 3.7 volts or less in all reality. The Puck puts out 4.8 (normally) with about a bit over 5 volts fully charged. If you try it, make sure you keep testing the temperature of the batteries because a sub ohm atty is basically going to look like a short. Nimhs will power it but may get hot in the process.

  • bob

    Puck- thanks for your reply! It’s mostly for the density of the vapor, I get a better mouthfeel. The other thing I love about the nimhs is a lot longer battery life it ses like I can puff on them forever in comparison to my li-ions at a similar wattage and voltage plus I love the fact that they are a lot safer. I thought about building a 3.7 v li-ion modbut after one of my wire shorted on my puck one time(my faiult shaudy soldering) I thought tomy self if that happened w regular batt my leg would have been toast! Plus to charge a 2600 mah 18650 takes like 6 hrs or so with the charger I have. So to answer the original question battery life and quick charge time is why I want to try it vs a regular li-ion mod and safety of course. And lastly I want to prove that pucks can do anything the other ones do. Thx again

  • jaloi

    I have a question.I bought a mod and to not have to change batteries as often I got some lithium ion 18650’s to use with it.I’ve been using the prodoil bottom coil 1.8 cartomizers and when using the lith ion batteries the carts seem to have a much shorter life.Any reason for this? They only last a few hours rith the li ions,but they last several days with the nmh batteries….

    • Puck

      Off the top of my head, I think it may be due to that fact that lithium ion batteries tend to have a more constant discharge rate where the discharge voltage stays fairly constant. With NiMH batteries, they tend to be a bit more flexible and will vary the output just a bit over time.
      NiMH batteries seem to be more flexible in all the applications I use them for since they handle different loads by kind of adjusting themselves appropriately where as lithium ion likes to give the full power all along the discharge cycle and then drops off sharply at the very end of its charge life. This difference is probably why your issue is happening with the 18650s.
      You could try going with a bit higher ohm coils and see if that helps.

  • Joe


    I opened up a new rechargeable MAG-LITE I got, and this thing had a massive (MAG-LITE handle sized) NiMH battery inside. It’s a 3500mAH 6.0v battery, that looks to me like 5 batteries stacked (confirmed this, it’s 5 1/2 D’s), and wrapped. My first thought being a vaping enthusiast was “screw the flashlight, I want to vape this battery!” so I started doing a little research on the safety of NiMH batteries for vaping and stumbled across this thread. Here is a link to the battery noted above:


    My question is, obviously, is this battery SAFE for vaping? That is #1 always! Safety first. Also, what resistance would be a good match for chasing clouds on 6v? I usually build sub-ohm, but after reading some of your replys, maybe around 3 ohm would be better?
    I have seen MOD’s made from small flashlights, but never a giant MAG. I would apply the same principles as a smaller flashlight MOD, but just larger scale. This is more for the fun of building it and the sheer novelty size, rather than an every day vape. Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work! Vape on!

    • Puck

      That’s a pretty cool battery. For this battery, I would probably go with a 3 to 4 ohm coil for a normal tank like a pro tank or equivalent. If you have a tank where you can build your own coil and use like .28 gauge kanthal, you go lower but you would be hitting pretty hot. Just figure out what wattage you want to run and then build your coil accordingly. Wattage = voltage squared / resistance so if you want say… 10 watts.. 6 volts x 6 volts = 36 / 3.6 ohms to get 10 watts.

      As far as safety, you shouldn’t have any problem with NiMH. It’s a really safe chemistry and doesn’t explode. You can completely drain them with no issue at all. You can really push them. My only advice is, if they are getting hot, back off and increase your atty ohms. You would be pushing them too hard if they get hot.

      I assume the flashlight came with a charger so charging shouldn’t be an issue since it was built for commercial use.

      I would say go for it dude and have fun. It will be one monster mod! :)

      • Joe

        Thanks for the quick reply! Using your advice, I am going to go for it and see what happens. I am going to order the prewired 510 connector from madvapes and rig it up to the stock button on the mag, after I figure out how to remove the clicking mech from it (if not possible, get a new switch). I will take some pictures of the build, and if successful, send them over to you, and let you know how it’s working. I would like to ideally use a RDA and go straight mechanical, but if that doesn’t work out I would like to try maybe some VV/VW tech to bring the voltage down. Any ideas on where I could get a good VV/VW board small enough, with a good readout on it? I use strictly mechanical mods, so VV/VW would be a whole new realm for me. Thanks again!

        • Puck

          I’m about to do a complete tutorial on a VW mod and it’s going to use a VAMO board. I have been using the prototype for two months now and love it. You can get the board from fasttech.com. The whole mod completely houses the board, 18650 battery and a complete full size Kayfun 3.1 tank (and you know how big those are) in a box that fits completely in your shirt pocket. The new mod also features a usb port charger (a separate small board) for passthrough charging. You can still remove the battery if you like by removing the kayfun and pulling the battery out through the hole. To put in a new battery, you just do the reverse but with usb charging, you rarely need to remove the battery.

          The VAMO board can be viewed here… https://www.fasttech.com/products/1652300

          I don’t think this board will play well with anything over 3.7 volt batteries though.

          • Joe

            OK, so I got a 510 connector in from fatdaddyvapes and wired it up to the MagLite, using all the existing flashlight connections, to include a few springs, the stock switch, the battery connection, basically substituting the bulb for the atomizer (after some bulb housing hacksaw magic). I chose to do this, because it produced the cleanest looking result, and I could easily make it look like a stock flashlight, or even convert it back to one at any time. The results: It was overwhelmingly underwhelming. I tried it with a IGO-W RDA (dripper), and also a kanger-style tank that uses the small replaceable atomizers. With the RDA, it heated up and eventually produced a little vapor, but it took forever to get there, and performed VERY poorly. With the kanger atomizer, it did well, and vaped just fine, but it was out-performed by my V/V E-GO battery. To me, that’s a success and failure both wrapped into one. Success because it worked (yay) and failure because it was super weak (boo).

            So.. Obviously there is some sort of resistance built in to the stock switch/wiring/mech of the MAG. What do you think is the best way to get more “punch” out of this battery? Right now its basically just a monsterous E-GO battery (blah). I want to keep this thing as stock as possible, and would rather not chop it to pieces in the process.. Maybe a “kick” would help..?

          • Puck

            A kick may help but that thing should be ‘smokin. There has to be a resistor somewhere. I would take an ohmmeter and do spot checks to see where the current is getting limited by measuring resistance across the switch and else where. Something has to be limiting it somewhere.

            If you find a resistor somewhere, maybe you can jumper across it to keep from destroying your flashlight.

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