Last fact-checked 22 December 2023 | Report a content error
There’s nothing more frustrating than a stuck pin on your vape!
In this illustrated guide, we’ll show you the safest way to unstick a 510 pin. We’ll explain how the 510 connection works so that you can safely attempt to fix the problem yourself, and show you what to do if your pin pulling attempts don't work.
Easy fixes to check first
First, make sure that you really do have a ‘stuck pin’ problem. Sometimes, the reason your vape won’t fire is because the battery has been locked. You might also be using incompatible parts (for instance, a button-activated tank and draw-activated battery won't work together). If there is any dust or lint in the connector, that could also stop your vape from firing.
Once you have ruled out any obvious mistakes and you're certain that you have a stuck pin problem, you can get to work ‘pulling the pin’. Pin puling is a simple procedure, but you need to know how a 510 connection works before you get started.
How your vape’s 510 connection works
On most vape devices, the mod (the battery part) is connected to the tank (the atomiser and reservoir parts) with a screw-in connector called a 510 connection. This 510 connection is designed to allow an electrical current to pass through it. When you screw the two parts together, a circuit is formed and your vape’s battery can power the e-liquid atomiser.
One half of a 510 connection is female (the battery part) and the other half is male (the tank part). On the female connection, there is a spring-loaded central plate, or ‘pin’, which makes contact with the central plate on the male connector.
Your battery's electrical current flows up through the positively-charged female pin, into the matching plate on the tank's male pin. The current passes through the coil in your atomiser (creating vapour), then travels back down to the battery through the outside of the 510 connection, completing the circuit.
As long as the central pins on your tank and battery are touching, you can push the fire button and vape away. If there’s a gap between the two plates, your vape won’t fire. The most common cause of this is a stuck pin.
Why a vape’s 510 pin gets stuck
On the battery part of your 510 connector, the pin is spring-loaded and surrounded by a rubber collar. This rubber collar is vital and should never be removed — it’s an insulator that stops your vape battery from short-circuiting. Sometimes, if the insulating collar gets dirty or sticky, it can stop the pin from springing back to its normal position when you unscrew your tank. This creates a gap between the two plates.
Even if it’s just a fraction of a millimetre, a gap between the central plates of your 510 connection will stop electrical current from passing up through the battery and into the tank. The power won't be able to get from the battery to the coil.
How to prevent your 510 pin from sticking
The best way to stop your 510 pin from sticking is to avoid over-tightening when you screw the parts together, and keep the connection clean.
When screwing your tank on to your battery, you shouldn’t need to use a lot of force. Both halves of the 510 connection should screw together gently, then you should stop when you feel resistance. The connection should be snug, but not taut.
A small speck of dust, or a tiny dribble of e-liquid, is enough to jam the central pin. Stuck pins rarely occur if you keep both halves of your 510 connection clean. First, make sure the battery is off, then take a cotton bud with a little rubbing alcohol. Wipe around the pin, the rubber collar and the threads of your battery’s 510 connection. Clean the same parts on your atomiser. This cleaning job takes a few seconds, but if you do it regularly it will keep your 510 connection in tip-top condition.
How to fix a stuck 510 pin
If the pin does get jammed, you might be able to fix it with a specialist vape tool. Set yourself up on a stable surface in a well-lit area. Make sure the battery is off, and grab any small vape tool with a fine point. A tweezers, small screwdriver, or pick, will work.
Gently push the sharp point of your tool into the space between the rubber collar and the pin, then give it a wiggle. Move around the pin a few degrees then wiggle the pin from a slightly different angle. Keep repeating this delicate turn-and-wiggle action until you have worked your way around the whole perimeter of the 510 pin. With any luck, you’ll see the pin spring back up to its normal position.
Vape still not firing? Get in touch!
A little gentle poking around the edges is normally enough to ‘pull the pin’. If, after a few attempts, the pin is still not springing up, don’t force it. It’s possible that something has gone wrong with the spring, or something has fused inside the connection. Don’t try grabbing and tugging the pin from both sides, as this can warp the pin plate. Don’t do anything that could damage the rubber collar, either, as it could make your vape battery dangerous. You can void your device's warranty if you damage the 510 connection while attempting a repair.
Instead, contact us (or whomever you bought the mod from) and we’ll guide you through what to do next.
Stay safe and happy vaping!
- John Boughey