Do Elf Bars Go Off in Metal Detectors?

  • By: Chris
  • Last updated on February 4, 2023
  • Time to read: 12 min.
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Elf Bars are one of the more favored disposable vapes available to smokers worldwide.

While other e-cigarette brands like JUUL are doing everything possible to fight back into the top spot, Elf Bars are a clear favorite because of their kaleidoscopic design and appealing tastes.

This is why many younger users are curious if they can get theirs past a metal detector into concerts, planes, and festivals.

Well, I’m here to answer all your questions.

So let’s dive in!

Do Elf Bars Go Off in Metal Detectors?

do elf bars go off in metal detector
Metal detectors will go off in the presence of an Elf Bar if the conditions are right.

Elf Bars will go off in a metal detector if the magnetic field is programmed to detect undersized metal objects.

Unfortunately, it’s not a simple yes or no answer, as the metals in an Elf Bar aren’t the only determining factor.

So, keep reading to learn what makes the difference and how you can know for sure.

What Is an Elf Bar?

To better understand how metal detectors react to Elf Bars, you need to know what makes them function.

So let’s begin with some general attributes.

what is an elf bar
Do you know what makes an Elf Bar different from other electronics?

Elf Bars are sleek and slim disposable vapes that offer former smokers and vapers a flavorful alternative to traditional cigarettes at a lower cost.

You probably know of the many different models of Elf Bars, and some more recent ones have been made to offer recharging capabilities with more puffs available.

While most operating components are the same, how about we stick to the classic Elf Bar that’s meant to be a one-time use for this discussion?


How Does an Elf Bar Work?

how does an elf bar work
How does an Elf Bar make vapor anyway? What’s needed will play a role in how a metal detector responds.

An Elf Bar is draw-activated, meaning you inhale through the mouthpiece to activate the internal coil.

The coil heats the e-liquid and creates the desired vapor flavor.

Why is this important?

Well, the heating of the coil should tell you that some metal is involved.

Metals are excellent thermal and electrical conductors necessary for powering any device, even a vape.

After you’ve used all the vape juice and no more nicotine smoke is pulling from the mouthpiece, you can throw away the empty Elf Bar.

However, please take care of how you dispose of it. Harmful chemicals remain in the disposable vape, not to mention the battery.

harmful nicotine chemicals in disposable vape
Always handle e-liquid and defective batteries with caution.

But we’ll get to that in a minute.

If you’re wondering how to safely dispose of your Elf Bar, the FDA has several recommendations you can follow.

What Are Elf Bars Made Of?

Now let’s talk about those components.

Every brand of vape selects the materials they determine best for their product. Whether it’s a kanthal coil, a ceramic cart, a plastic mouthpiece, or a gold-plated magnetic connector.

Elf Bars use plastic coverings that a metal detector can’t pick up, but their internal elements can undoubtedly be detected in the right conditions.

Do Elf Bars Have Metal in Them?

Many articles and forums insist an Elf Bar won’t set off a metal detector just because it never happened to them.

Sorry to tell you, but that’s not true.

is an elf bar metal
An elf bar does have metal inside the plastic casing.

There is metal inside of every Elf Bar sold.

Typically, the Elf Bar vape parts made of metal inside the casing will be the battery and the heating element, known as a coil.

There are different kinds of coils used in vapes, but Elf Bars use mesh coils which are strips of metal usually made of Kanthal or Nichrome (iron and chromium alloys).

What Battery Is in An Elf Bar?

The other metal component in an Elf Bar is the battery.

An Elf Bar battery is the standard lithium-ion battery found in most other disposable vapes, with a capacity of 550Mah or milliamp Hour.

These lithium-ion batteries possess slightly more than a gram of lithium. If you didn’t know, lithium is the same metal used in cell phones and electric cars.

what battery is in an elf bar
Elf Bars use lithium-ion batteries to power the heating component.

The Elf Bar battery comes fully charged to power the mesh coil.

And as the name indicates, disposable vapes using lithium-ion cannot be recharged for further use.

Can Elf Bars Go Through Metal Detectors?

Now you have good insight into how Elf Bars work and what they’re made of.

So let’s apply that information to metal detectors and how they function. And hopefully, you’ll start putting the pieces together.


Metal detectors work by sensing the responding signal of a metal’s conductive properties.

The responsive signal was generated by the electromagnetic field output originating from the coils of the metal detector.

can elf bars go through metal detectors
Elf Bars will go through metal detectors without notice most of the time.

If that’s too complex, head over to my post on the different metals a metal detector can detect.

What’s important to know is the misinformation about Elf Bars going off or not within a metal detector comes from the size of their metals.

An Elf Bar vape is small, and the inner pieces are even more diminutive.

Have you gone to a show and set off a metal detector just by the button of your jeans?

I don’t think so.

i doubt you'll set off the alarm at a festival
It’s safe to assume that security at festivals searches for larger contraband-like weapons and isn’t concerned with your vape.

Maybe you recently went on a trip with the family to Disney, and the security guard stopped you?

Getting nervous about that recent piercing?

In truth, this seldom occurs. 

A metal detector’s conductive sensitivity is generally set to a lower level in hopes of avoiding these scenarios.

Otherwise, securing an access point would become a much more difficult task.

You’d need added amounts of metal to achieve the electrically conductive threshold required for a metal detector to go off.

you'd need additional pieces of metal
An Elf Bar usually wouldn’t produce enough conductive energy to set off a metal detector.

For instance, the assortment of your Elf Bar, gold necklace, and BIC lighter might be enough to activate the alarm.

All this to say, Elf Bars can go off in metal detectors, but it’s less conceivable in most cases.

In fact, the odds of your Elf Bar setting off a metal detector are equivalent to flipping a quarter and predicting it to land on tails.

Can I Bring My Elf Bar on A Plane?

Metal detectors at airports are on another level. You’ve got regular walk-through metal detectors, x-ray machines, and advanced imaging technology.

But I’ve got good news for you…

can i bring an elf bar on a plane
You sure can bring an Elf Bar on a plane. Just follow the standard practices.

Elf Bars can be taken on a plane if you follow TSA’s special guidelines and keep them in your carry-on bag.

So, if you’re anxious about the TSA’s Advanced Imaging Technology, don’t be.

If you’re curious about their special instructions, you can find them here. 

But the principal thought behind it is to safeguard against accidentally activating your Elf Bar.

This incorporates removing the battery or carrying the disposable vape in a protected carrier.

And don’t sneak your Elf Bar into your checked bags. That’s an express ticket to deep trouble.

How Many Elf Bars Can I Take on A Plane?

how many elf bars can i take on a plane
You can always follow the FAA policy on lithium-ion batteries or reach out to the airline for confirmation.

The airline you use will have a say in determining the number of Elf Bars you can bring on a plane.

The Transportation Security Administration outlines the limitations of a single lithium-ion battery in your vape.

According to TSA’s e-cigarette constraints, each lithium-ion battery must not surpass 100 Watt-hours (Wh).

If you’re taking multiple Elf Bars in your carry-on, the FAA asks you to separate each vape into individual containers.

As for the airline you choose and their limitation of disposable vapes you can bring on a plane, you’ll need to reach out to them for specifics.

I’ve looked into some established airlines, like American Airlines, but they specify how many Elf Bars you can bring.

delta and AA don't say how many elf bars you can bring
Unfortunately, most airline websites don’t clarify the number of Elf Bars you can bring on a plane.

However, the FAA states that no limit is set to the number of lithium-ion batteries you can bring on a plane, as long as they’re for private use and beneath the 100 Wh regulation.

If you intend to sell them, or the vapes for that matter, you could land in hot water with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Do Elf Bars Leak?

Yes, Elf Bars are known to leak. Like any other type of vape, Elf Bars are subject to the same typical causes of e-liquid leaking

Why Do Elf Bars Leak?

Unfortunately, there are more than one reason your disposable vape leaks.

The most common causes of a leaky Elf Bar are:

  • Temperature related
  • Manufacturing defect
  • User error
  • The pod is not sealed correctly

Leaking Elf Bars from temperature-related issues is a pain.

elf bars leak due to temperature
An Elf Bar overheating is a genuine concern when it comes to leaking and other sorts of hazards.

If you left your vape out in the cold winter air overnight, you might find the device frozen and not working. So obviously, you let it sit under a warm light, right?

Well, that frozen layer will melt and probably cause havoc on your vape and its internal components.

But the real danger is leaving it exposed to the heat. 

An overheated vape pod can damage the battery, causing it to leak. 

Or, the rising temperature can thin out the e-liquid, damage the seal of the pod, and result in the ruined vape juice trickling out from the mouthpiece.

As for manufacturing defects? 

elf bar manufacturing defects
As with any device, defects originating from the time of assembly are a possibility.

Since Elf Bars are disposable vapes, there’s little testing done before the product ships out.

So any faulty coils, batteries, or loose seals won’t be discovered until you use them.

And then there’s user error. Yes, it’s your fault!

Just kidding…sort of.

One example of user error in an Elf Bar is sucking too hard on the mouthpiece.

If inhaling too strongly, you won’t give the coil enough time to heat the liquid into a vapor.

Instead, you get a mouthful of salty nicotine juice.

Lastly, the vape pod inside your disposable vape may not be adequately sealed. 

elf bar pod not sealed
Since Elf Bars aren’t strictly product tested, a loose seal can be a frustrating consequence.

This could relate to the manufacturer’s defect or even a temperature issue.

However, there is one possible alternative to the four reasons I’ve listed.

Have you been on a plane recently?

The sealed pod inside your Elf Bar will leak on a plane if the pressure in the cabin expands the air in the pod enough.

This occurs because the change in altitude of a plane causes the air pressure to rise and fall.

When the pressure rises, the air inside the pod will expand

If the ratio of air to e-liquid isn’t balanced, the expanding air will provide enough force to yield a leak to relieve the pressure.

air pressure on plane will make elf bar leak
A rise in cabin pressure can lead to the air in your cart expanding until a leak is forced.

Unless your Elf Bar leaks from the problem of you sucking too hard, you’ll have to trash it and pick up another.

They’re disposable for a reason and trying to repair them wastes your money.

FAQs About Elf Bars and Metal Detectors

If you didn’t get all the crucial answers you came looking for, keep reading!

How Long Do Elf Bars Last?

An Elf Bar can last anywhere from one to five days on average, depending on the number of puffs you take daily.

That’s a lot of wiggle room, so let’s examine that.

The amount of nicotine a single Elf Bar delivers is roughly the same as 48 to 50 cigarettes.

That’s the same as 20 milligrams of nicotine.

How long does that last?

how long do elf bars last
How long an Elf Bar lasts depends on your usually vaping characteristics.

Well, that depends on you and how much you smoke.

If you’re asking the manufacturer, Elf Bar says their vapes last longer than 90% of other disposable vape pods sold.

Whether that’s true or not, I can’t say. 

But the facts show that an Elf Bar gives users 600 puffs on average. 

It isn’t easy to know how that applies to your smoking habits because everyone’s habit is unique. 

For instance, I could tell you that your Elf Bar will last between 1 and 3 days…

2020 study was done on 5 male smokers under 30 years old who had been smoking for over 10 years.

On average, the number of cigarettes smoked per day was 17; however, each participant varied greatly in the number of puffs taken, from 11 to 26 from a single cigarette.

Using that math, we can assume a smoker taking fewer (longer) puffs than average could reach 600 puffs in 3.2 days.

For those getting the most puffs out of each cigarette, 600 puffs could be reached in 1.3 days.


elf bar could last 5 days
A 5-day life span of an Elf Bar would be great. But again, this depends on your habit.

I could tell you that your Elf Bar will actually last closer to 5 days.

According to a separate study of 185 primarily French e-cigarette users, the average number of puffs per day is 132.

But sometimes, more data means more uncertainty. 

While 132 puffs from one e-cigarette per day was the average, plenty of smokers exceeded that number.

In fact, 14.6% of those studied puffed an average of over 300 daily, which takes those 5 days back down to 2.

Sorry if I’m throwing too many statistics at you. 

I’m showing you how difficult it is to reach a widely accepted number.

how long an elf bar lasts for you is different than for me
Everyone has a different experience with Elf Bars regarding longevity.

You see, how long an Elf Bar lasts for you won’t be how long it lasts for me.

Can I Refill My Elf Bar?

The official answer is Elf Bars are disposable with a one-time use e-liquid pod, which makes them incapable of being refilled.

The ‘ok, you got me’ answer…

While Elf Bars are not intended to be refilled for further use, I’ve seen how easy it is to change that.

There are so many hacks on how to refill them that I’d feel like I was lying if I didn’t at least mention it.

For one such example, check out the video below.

I wouldn’t recommend doing it, but it’s your world.

Are Elf Bars the Same as Puff Bars?

Besides the flavor options and colorful design, Elf Bars and Puff Bars differ due to their longevity. Specifically, Elf Bars offer double the puffs, longer-lasting battery, and larger pod capacity.

Do Elf Bars Explode?

Elf Bars can explode if the lithium-ion battery overheats by being overcharged, damaged, or defective.

Will it happen? Probably not. 

will it explode no
Relax! Sure, Elf Bars could explode. But it’s not a regularly occurring thing.

The chances of an Elf Bar vape exploding on a plane are slim to none.

But I’d prefer it be none.

The defective battery causes the liquid inside to warm and ultimately combust. Once the flammable liquid mixes with the oxygen outside the battery, anything within range is in jeopardy.

Do Elf Bars Set Off Smoke Alarms?

Elf Bars can set off smoke alarms if the smoke alarm operates with specific technology like ionized or photoelectric smoke detectors.

It depends on the type of sensor in the smoke detector and sometimes the viscosity of the vapor.

Ionized and photoelectric smoke detectors depend on a steady current emitted from the sensor to be broken by the output of a vape.

steady current from smoke detector sensor
Newer smoke detectors are capable of detecting vapor, not just smoke.

While the ionized type smoke detector might require the vapor to be near for effective detection, photoelectric smoke alarms are more adept at sensing someone vaping.

Older versions of smoke alarms that rely on heat aren’t likely to be triggered by Elf Bar vapor, no matter how thick the density of the molecules is.


Unlike ordinary cigarettes, Elf Bars contain metals that different metal detectors can detect.

So, it’s no wonder they’d provoke multiple questions about metal detectors going off.

After everything you’ve learned, at least take away this one piece of information.

The chances of you setting off a metal detector with an Elf Bar are a toss-up.

You can reduce the chances of being caught by removing as many other metals on your body as you can.

But the one factor you can’t predict is the sensitivity set on a metal detector.

Have you gotten the answers you needed? No?

Then check my other posts as I discuss other vaping products and how each interacts with metal detectors.

Until next time…

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