New vapers often ask what a rewrapped battery is but things have changed enough over the past couple of years that we might not be able to definitively answer that question anymore. A couple of years ago this question was easy. A rewrapped battery was a Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, or Sanyo (“OEM”, Original Equipment Manufacturer) battery that had its original plastic wrap removed and a new one put on by another company before being sold. Often with spectacularly exaggerated current and capacity ratings. The exaggerated ratings situation is slowly getting better and some battery wrapping companies now rate their batteries pretty accurately. Most still have useless “pulse” and “max” ratings though. Many in our community said there were only three manufacturers; Samsung, Sony, and LG. Murata bought a lot of Sony’s battery operations in 2017, and Murata now makes the VTC batteries we use, but that is a different story. Something important to mention is that these OEM batteries, which were rewrapped, were not purchased directly from the big manufacturers. They were bought as excess inventory on the gray market or (I think very rarely) from diverted shipments meant for recycling. This can still happen. It’s all a lot more complicated now though. We still have the rewrapped OEM batteries but we also have the same wrapping companies using batteries from other OEMs and from the smaller China factories. The cells manufactured in China are particularly popular now for these companies because of the, I believe, lower cost per battery and the much more reliable supply from these factories. The wrapping companies no longer have to search everywhere for the batteries they need, a few thousand at a time, all over the world. That often resulted in mixed grades of batteries, ones stored in less than ideal environments, and higher costs. Now these companies can order unwrapped batteries from a China factory and get a consistent supply shipped to them on whatever schedule they need. Are these rewrapped batteries then? Technically, they might never have been wrapped. They’re certainly not from any of the large OEM’s we associated with rewrapped batteries originally. So what do we call them? Making it even more complicated, what do we call batteries from Moli, BAK, Lishen, and other large manufacturers? Some are in China but Moli is in Taiwan and Canada. If a company wraps those batteries can we call them rewraps? Did they need to have had a wrap on them originally? What if the rewrappers buy bare batteries? Gets a little confusing. Lastly, many of the wrapping companies will sell rewraps from the large OEMs along with ones from the other OEMs and ones from the smaller China factories. Okay...yea...it gets very confusing. In my opinion, there are true rewraps using batteries from Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Sanyo but I would also add the other OEMs like Moli, Lishen, BAK, and a couple of others. Whether the cells are sourced bare or in original factory wraps, I would call all these rewraps because they are from the large, established manufacturers who make these batteries for uses other than vaping. In my opinion, the other batteries from the smaller China factories are just that...China manufactured batteries. Not rewraps. But, of course, it can get all muddled up here because what if these batteries had factory wraps on them? LOL...it’s never easy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I do want to make clear that, in spite of the reputation rewrapped batteries seem to have, they are not inherently inferior or dangerous in some way. Most are likely a lower grade but that is just a performance hit, often unnoticeable, not an inherent safety issue unless they were truly low grade or were faulty batteries destined for recycling or were made without the typical internal safety devices that are in OEM batteries (the CID and PTC). For those who advocate purchasing only OEM-wrapped batteries, that might not guarantee much of anything. Where do you think these rewrapping companies get their OEM cells for rewrapping? While I’m sure there are some Grade A batteries being sold in their original wraps, or rewrapped, we can never assume that any battery in an OEM wrap is superior in performance or is somehow “safer” than a rewrapped battery. We just don’t know. Batteries from the E-One Moli Energy Corp., maker of Molicels, are an exception to this though as they pass all safety tests and Moli is willing to sell directly to our community and they have authorized vendors. Are the batteries from the smaller China factories, so popular now with the companies marketing to vapers, a way to help ensure a safer source? They could be if the manufacturing is consistent enough and they pass international safety standards testing. There are standards like UL1642 and IEC/EN62133 that could help lower the risks and UL certification requires factory inspections (not sure about the IEC certification), a very good thing. Right now they are not as consistent in performance, from cell to cell, as the ones from the large OEMs though. We just don’t have any definitive information yet either about the safety of these batteries from the smaller China factories. I’ve been trying to dig into all this but few of these factories get this kind of safety testing done. Most say they pass the basic UN38.3 safety testing (required for some methods of shipping) but there is no data I can find on field failure rates due to internal defects. It’s just don’t think it’s required by their customers. Hopefully that changes someday. In the mean time, we can only hope we’re not taking a big risk. As a comparison, the internal defect failure rate of 18650’s from the big OEM’s is typically quoted as being about one in one million batteries. That’s a very low failure rate and “failure” does not mean the battery exploded. Most failures are just the battery self-discharging down a lot faster than normal to a very low voltage, making the battery useless. So, what makes a battery a rewrap can get complicated and it all makes things very confusing for new vapers. How can we simplify it all? What is your definition of a rewrap?