Last update on 2018-12-16 PTS - Details
In the previous article, I mentioned two tactical flashlights run on 18650 batteries which I bought for my camping trip
It’s so interesting that one of my friends is also asking me about “the best 18650 battery and the best charger for flashlights”.REVIEW: Top 3 BEST 18650 Battery Chargers REVIEW: Top 3 BEST 18650 Batteries
Honestly, it’s quite hard to present all of the essential things in few words. So you may get it, this post is all about the best 18650 battery and charger for flashlights.
Just like the methods I used as looking for the best led-flashlights before, I also set some criteria for 18650 batteries and chargers.
After 10 hours of deep internet searching, and even after testing, I’m sure that:
Below are what the BEST 18650 batteries must have:
As for best 18650 battery chargers, I just use intelligent (smart) charger because it keeps battery life long and maintains safety during charging.
I can’t wait to show you my review of top 3 BEST cheap 18650 batteries. Amazingly, they are not only good for flashlights but also for other devices such as vaping and toys.
This is one of the button-top high-capacity 18650 battery for led flashlights or any devices which need the longest run-time possible.
However, if you are looking for high drain best 18650 battery for vaping, the LG HE2 18650 2500mAh High Drain 35A is one of the best choices.
It is very safe working because it had good PCB protection:
To recharge 18650 batteries, you should not use dumb chargers. I highly recommend this smart charger – Nitecore D4 Smart Charger
Nitecore D4 charger is easier to monitor a status of batteries as well as safer. It is cheap BEST 18650 battery charger worth buying.
Nitecore is a big flashlight brand, and they have provided batteries and chargers for quite a time. So, I do not worry when choosing it.
Just like ORBTRONIC 18650 batteries, the NITECORE NL189 is the best 18650 battery for flashlights
So NITECORE NL189 is safe to use and a popular choice for led flashlights and other heavy load devices. But NOT for Ecig devicesBuy It On Amazon
I’ve bought and used both 18650 Orbtronic and Nitecore NL189 for my led flashlights for a week. Till now, I feel no difference between them, all work well.
So what is the best 18650 battery for vaping? That is high-drain 18650 batteries. It means these batteries have max-min discharge from 30 amps to 20 amps.
I haven’t used these 18650 flat top batteries for vape mods.
In searching 18650 processing, however, I noted and picked out the list of best 18650 vape battery for your reference.
So you’ve already picked the good 18650 batteries and now you are looking for a good charger?
A fast, safe, and reliable charger at a good price?
Here are three BEST 18650 battery chargers – Nitecore D4, Nitecore I4, and XTAR VC4, you can’t go wrong with any one of them.
As I said above, Nitecore D4 Digi charger is my favorite. It is a small, and all-in-one smart charger for almost all cylindrical rechargeable batteries such as:
The reason I like Nitecore D4 so much is each of the four slots can monitor and charge independently.
Moreover, it integrates an LCD panel that visually displays progress and charging parameters.
Plus, the Nitecore D4 is super easy to use, you just insert the battery into the slot and done.
It will auto-detect the battery type and status, and then automatically apply charge mode (CC, CV, dV/dt) for each battery.
Note: CC: Constant Charge Current, CV: Constant Charge Voltage, dV/dt: delta Voltage/delta Time
And, other great features are:
In my book, Nitecore New I4 is absolutely another good choice if you need a simple design charger at a reasonable price.
In fact, Nitecore New I4 features similarly to the D4.
The significant difference between D4 and New I4 is, the New I4 only has an LED light displays progress charging while D4 has an LCD panel.
The New I4 can fast charge at 1.5 A with one battery put into the slot while D4 is good at 1A.
So, which one is the BEST, Nitecore D4 or New I4?
Here is the comparison table of New I4 and D4:
Although Nitecore D4 and New I4 have the same features, the price of D4 is higher and completely worth a few extra dollars.
Xtar VC4 seems to be similar to the Nitecore D4 above, but VC4’s current charging is a little bit higher than D4’s.
Here is the comparison table between VC4 and D4:
The Xtar VC4 can charge 2 cells at 1 ampe each bay or 4 cells at 0.5 ampe each bay. The Nitecore D4 can only charge one cell at 0.75 ampe and 4 cells at 0.35 ampe each bay.
Moreover, VC4 has a USB interface that helps to charge flexible and convenient.
In short, both VC4 and D4 are the best for 18650 batteries or any other. If you need fast charging, VC4 is my recommendation.
Note: charging cells at high current can cause short life cell, but if you’re in the rush, it is fine.
Personally, I like Nitecore D4 the most, I bought it for a few months ago and I don’t regret my choice.
Can a 18650 be charged without a specific charger? The answer is YES, of course. However, I don’t recommend you do that, why?
In addition, when the battery is being charged, you easily monitor the status of the battery such as voltage, current, estimated charging time, which dumb chargers can’t tell you.
If you don’t want to use default mode, you can probably set the current charging for fast charging or something like that.
There are two main reasons for battery explosion.
The battery was the short circuit, that means the positive (+) and negative (-) are in direct contact together via the metal objects such as paper-clips.
That causes the temperature and internal current of battery increase quickly and explode.
Over-charging, over-discharging, high-current-charging, buying low quality batteries are the reasons why batteries explode.
Plus, you need to store batteries into the battery case, that keeps your batteries out of the short circuit.
The lifespan of 18650 batteries depends on how you use and charge them. Here are these tips to keep your 18650 long-life:
Do not deep discharge (don’t let it discharge to empty or near empty). If the capacity of 18650 battery reduces to less than 50%, you should recharge it.
The high temperature will cause short lifespan and reduce capacity rating. That is why you do not store them at high temperature.
Do not charge batteries with high-current-charging:
In most of 18650 batteries, you should charge them with current under 1Amp. Although high-current-charging helps you reduce charging time but it also causes over-heating, explosion, and short life battery.
Each type of 18650 batteries has separate-special-features. So, understanding about it is necessary to help you easily choose the right type.
Below are 3 popular 18650 batteries in the market.
The IMR batteries are HIGH-DRAIN rating and don’t need Protective Circuit Board (PCB).
It supplies big current immediately without heat or burns out the battery. Even if it is shorted, which won’t cause flames or explosion because Manganese is an awesome chemical.
That is why there is no built-in protection circuit to prevent over discharging and shorted.
Stay with IMR 18650 batteries – these are better for portable devices such as the LED flashlight, power tools, vaping and more.
These INR 18650 batteries are similar with IMR 18650 batteries but being added Nickel for optimizing performance.
The INRs combines the safety and low resistance of Manganese with the high energy of Nickel, which gives high capacity, HIGH-DRAIN and higher discharge than the IMR 18650 batteries and have a higher price, of course.
The most quality ICR18650 are built-in with protection circuits because ICR 18650 batteries have higher capacity (mAh) but lower drain rating.
When you use high-current discharging or short circuit [get in an accident] it becomes too hot and may cause the explosion. A protection circuit, in this case, will reduce the problems.
These ICRs are used in laptop batteries and other devices which need constant power over a long time.
If you need HIGH-DRAIN 18650 battery for portable devices such as LED flashlights, power tools, vaping…
… I highly recommend not to use ICR18650 batteries or at least choose ICR18650 batteries which have PCB (protection circuit board)
Hopefully, these reviews will help you choose the cheap best 18650 batteries and chargers in a budget for the flashlights and vamping.
Thanks for stopping by!