E-Cig Batteries – Automatic vs. Manual

Automatic Vs. Manual Batteries – What’s the Deal?

One of the questions we find ourselves constantly asked is whether or not there really is that much of a difference between the manual and automatic varieties. In reality, probably not to most people, but there are some out there that definitely have a preference and we are going to take a look at the factors leading to that now.

E-cig Battery


The automatic batteries are the ones WITHOUT a button on the side of the e-cigarette battery itself. This means that when you put the cartridge/filter end of the cigarette to your mouth and inhale, the element is kicked into action and the vapor and liquid work their magic to give you the much needed nicotine hit.


A manual e-cig battery will have a small button on the side. When you put the cigarette to your mouth and inhale, you must press the button at the same time otherwise you won’t get anything out of your e-cigarette. It’s basically only activated when the button is depressed.


Round One

There is one thing that really stands out about manual batteries and that is the fact that they will generally last longer. There is no wastage with the button-operated e-cigarette because the system itself won’t work unless the button is pressed down. In short, this means that there will be less drainage on the battery and on the cartridges and generally, you will find that they both last a little bit longer.

The automatic batteries may be smoother to the fingers and minus the hassle but there can be a lot of battery wastage and you may need to replace components of your e-cigarette on a more frequent basis.

Automatic batteries 0 – Manual batteries 1

Round Two

As far as price is concerned, there is not normally a price difference between automatic and manual batteries. They are the same price and for the most part, you can get most colors and designs in both varieties. Sadly, we’re going to need to call this round a draw and award them half a point each.

Automatic batteries 0.5 – Manual batteries 1.5

Round Three

The automatic batteries are smoother to the touch because you don’t have that pesky button in the way. One thing you’ll find from an early point is if you don’t like the button, you don’t like the button, and it will simply agitate you every time you use it from that point onwards. It really is a case of you’re a button person, or you’re not.

To be honest, the button can get in the way if you’re not used to it, but it is something we grew to like more, the more often we used it. Another point for the automatic here…

Automatic batteries 1.5 – Manual batteries 1.5

Round Four

The automatic battery has something called a safety cut-out normally, which means after a period of time of constant inhalation, the light will normally flash and the element will cut out, providing you with no more vapor to throat hit. It essentially means that you have sucking on it for too long and should probably give it a rest.

You get more control over the length and style of your inhalation with the manual batteries, which wins them back another point.

Automatic batteries 1.5 – Manual batteries 2.5

As you can probably see so far, it’s half a dozen of one and six of another; each time one wins a point, the other wins a point right back. One thing it is vital to remember is that these opinions are just the ones of some of those within our team. What works well for us won’t always work just as well for you so just because one of our writers prefers a manual, doesn’t automatically mean that you will as well. Give both of them a shot before you make your mind up. You can’t exactly have an opinion on something that you have never tried!

Round Five

If you’re looking for a realistic smoking experience, you’re not going to want to press a button, are you? This means that the manually operated e-cigarettes are not going to work out well for you because it will feel unnatural pressing the button to take a “drag”. If it’s realism you’re looking for, the automatic is the way forward.

Automatic batteries 2.5 – Manual batteries 2.5

Round Six

When it comes to actually using the e-cigarette, you will generally find that the automatic batteries will occasionally require a few “primer”puffs in order to get things kick started. This means that you will need to do a couple of short, shallow breaths before you get to the really big inhale. This doesn’t happen all the time and is more common with a new cartridge or a new battery. It’s something that doesn’t tend to happen quite so often with the manual batteries, if at all. If it would annoy you to perform the primer puffs first, go for the manual.

Automatic Batteries 2.5 – Manual Batteries 3.5

Round Seven

As you can imagine, a manual one can accidentally have the button depressed against a purse, keys or phone in your pocket or bag. This can wear the battery down, although there are some electronic cigarettes out there, such as VaporZone, that offer a feature that means turning the device off. Usually this is performed by five fast pushes on the button; the lights will flash a few times and this generally indicates that it is switched off. If you are going to go for a manual version, go for one with the shut-off feature to avoid accidental battery wastage.

Automatic Batteries 3.5 – Manual Batteries 2.5

In Conclusion

As we have seen, there are both advantages and disadvantages for manual and automatic electronic cigarette batteries and when it comes down to it, you’ll need to make your own mind up. We would recommend trying one of each – you’ll probably see that many of the starter kits offered by the likes of V2 Cigs will have the option to choose between one or the other. It might be wise to check out one of each and find out which one works for you.

As long as you find yourself a decent, reputable e-cigarette company with good reviews, you’ll be more than happy with your decision to make the switch from real cigarettes to the electronic ones. Why not check out some of the reviews on the site to see which devices we recommend (or not!) and start your journey to becoming smoke-free today… You’ll never know how well you’ll do until you take the first step!

By John Edwards