18650 batteries are on of the most widely used batteries in existence today. You can find the best 18650 batteries in anything from vapes to flashlights to laptops. Even Tesla uses them in their vehicles such as the Tesla Roadster, Model S and the Model X. They are a widely sought-after battery because when they die you need the 18650 to replace the previous one. No other battery can be used in place of the 18650 batteries because of their unique shape and power capabilities.
With so many companies and products using these 18650 batteries, the competition for the market is fierce. This is a huge advantage for you, the consumer because it means the price is kept fair and low. It also results in a constant desire from battery manufacturing companies to always innovate their 18650 batteries. Being the company that is known to have the best 18650 battery is a prestigious accolade that can bring in a lot of revenue for that company. Through this guide you will see all the biggest battery name brands popping up. The best 18650 battery brands include Samsung, LG, Sony and Panasonic/Sanyo.
With costs for the production of the 18650 battery plummeting, more and more products are making use of them. This has resulted in more electric applications and products over fossil fueled products.
What is an 18650 battery?
To put it simply, an 18650 battery is a size classification of lithium-ion batteries. The “18650” part comes from their size. They are 18mm in diameter, and 65mm in height. They are known to be a bit bigger than a AA battery, but the same shape overall. For perspective, AA batteries are sometimes called 14500 batteries because they are 14mm in diameter and 50mm in height.
Any 18650 for sale is meant to be placed in several different mobile charger devices. Your laptop, mobile phone charger or other charging device more than likely has an 18650 battery in it.
Where to buy 18650 batteries?
The best 18650 batteries are all available on Amazon. We strongly recommend that anyone reading this guide buys from Amazon as they have the best customer service overall. Not only that, but they take warranties very seriously and will have your battery replaced, should something go wrong.
Power Genix always recommends that you use Amazon when buying battery products. With Amazon, you will not have to worry about buying counterfeits. They take intellectual property seriously, and only sell the real stuff. Amazon is without a doubt they best place to buy 18650 batteries.
What to look out for when buying the best 18650 battery
Like buying any other product, there a few things that you should look out for. In order to find the best 18650 battery for vaping, you will have to go over a few different metrics to ensure you’re getting the right one.
They are quite simple:
- Capacity (mAh)
- Continuous Discharge Rating (CDR)
This means that when you are looking through the best 18650 batteries that cost should be on the bottom of your list. A cheap 18650 battery is always nice, as everyone likes to save money, but it is not always worth it. There are a lot of fakes going around (more on that later). These fakes can cause damage to your vape or flashlight. Resulting in you spending even more money on a full replacement, not just the 18650 battery.
Capacity measured in mAh
Capacity on the 18650 battery you are looking at is important because it determines whether or not you will be able to power your vape or flashlight with it. Vapes often call for high capacity because they need a solid supply of power every time you take a drag. While best 18650 battery for flashlight will often need a low capacity combined with a high continuous discharge, so that is can stay powered on for a long while.
The normal mAh you will find on 18650 batteries is around 3500mAh. Make sure before you begin shopping that you take note of the required mAh for your device. Often just looking at the old 18650 battery still in your product will tell you what the required mAh is.
Maximum continuous discharge
Long story short, “maximum continuous discharge” essentially means how long an 18650 battery can stay on for at a certain rate of power being drawn. Like capacity, you will want to take note of what kind of product you are placing a new 18650 battery into. The old, dead battery in the product will more than likely have a note of the maximum continuous discharge on the battery itself. The most common number for this is “30A CDR”.
Watch out for counterfeits (brand is important)
With any popular industry, there are always bound to be cheap counterfeits. The best 18650 batteries will come from reputable brands. Only problem is that there can sometimes be counterfeits of those reputable brands.
Most batteries that come from China or Malaysia are known to be counterfeit in some way. These batteries can be extremely dangerous because they are often improperly marked. Often, they are marketed as something they are not. The most common case for when these batteries fail is they can start a fire.
Another scam to look out for when buying the best 18650 battery is to make sure that you are not buying old used 18650 batteries. This sometimes happens where old batteries are repackaged and sold as new. We strongly recommend that you only buy brand name and batteries that are made in America.
Proper safety is always necessary
While Lithium-ion batteries are getting safer and safer every year, there are still a few safety measures needed to be taken.
The biggest problem with 18650 batteries is that they can still cause fires when they have either been short-circuited or punctured. For the latter, most people will never have to worry about puncturing unless they deliberately try. For short-circuiting, it is imperative that you properly store your batteries in separate containers. Short-circuiting can cause fires as well.
Properly understanding the battery labels is crucial
As is the same with all other batteries, there are very specific labels and numbers on the best 18650 batteries that you will need to pay close attention to. This is important because different flashlights and vapes call for different metrics and labels.
Here is quick briefing on the battery labels:
- I: Lithium-ion battery
- M: Positive ion is manganese
- C: Positive ion is cobalt
- N: Positive ion is nickel
- F: Positive ion is iron
- R: Shape is round
- F: Shape is flat
The top 6 best 18650 batteries
As with all our other guides, we will be providing the top 6 18650 batteries. Keep in mind these are by no means the only 18650 batteries worth buying. Both the best 18650 batteries for vaping and the best 18650 battery flashlight are below. As with all our other guides, we strongly recommend that you buy in bulk to save money in the long run. Having extra batteries on standby is always advantageous.
If you have been wondering, “what is the best 18650 battery?” Then you are in luck, keep reading!
Samsung INR18650 2500mAh 3.7v Rechargeable Batteries [Best 18650 Battery]
Samsung is one of the most well-known electronic companies in the entire world. They produce all sorts of different electronic devices. The Samsung 18650 battery is one of the best 18650 batteries that money can buy.
Coming in a green color with 2500 mAh. The capacity on these 18650s is perfect for any type of vape or flashlight. Many reviews are saying that these are the best 18650 battery vape. The flat top allows for easy stacking and storage. The maximum 35A means you will have sufficient power supplied to your device always.
Samsung personally recommends these for electronic cigarettes / vapes. With so many highly rated reviews on Amazon, this is a strong buy.
Panasonic NCR18650B 3.7V 3400mAh Rechargeable Batteries
Panasonic may be as well known as Samsung. These Panasonic 18650 batteries are top of the line and strongly recommended by Power Genix. Coming in with 3.7-volts and 3400 mAh these will power any flashlight or vape / electronic cigarette.
You will see that these Panasonic 18650s come in a bright lime green color. The bright colors always make it easier to find these batteries when you are digging through your drawer for them. They are made in Japan. Panasonic specifically tells customers to never buy 18650 batteries from Panasonic that are marked “Made in China” as those are always going to be counterfeit fakes.
Keep in mind the specific 18650 battery we are linking to does not have the Panasonic name brand on them as this is just how Panasonic manufactures them. These are some of the most sought after Li-ion batteries due to their quality.
Efest Purple IMR 18650 2500mAh 35A 3.7v Rechargeable Batteries [Best 18650 Battery for Flashlight]
Efest is a not as well-known battery company as say Panasonic or Samsung, but they are still extremely trustworthy. These candy purple, Efest 18650 batteries make a great addition to this list.
With 2500 mAh and a continuous discharge rating of 20A, these work well with low power vapes. These are better suited for flashlights. Hence, we have called these the best 18650 battery for flashlight on this list. The low CDR rating means that your flashlight will stay powered for a long time. Crucial in those key moments when you need it most.
The reviews on Amazon are extremely good. The buyers have already noted that these are not counterfeit. Power Genix strongly recommends these batteries.
UltraFire 18650 Rechargeable Battery
As with Efest, UltraFire is a lesser known producer of 18650 batteries. These come in with 2200 mAh, good for low powered vapes and flashlights. They are rechargeable as well – as is the case for most of the 18650 batteries listed here.
These UltraFire 18650 batteries come with a low discharge rate and no memory effect. Which is great for people who will be using them extensively and must recharge them frequently.
Notably used for digital cameras, watches, toys, vapes and flashlights. There is a wide variety of products that rely on UltraFire 18650s. They come in blue and have incredible reviews on Amazon.
MXJO IMR 18650 3000mAh 35A 3.7V Rechargeable Battery
These bright yellow MXJO 18650 batteries are another hit on our list. They come in with 3000 mAh which makes them perfect for most vapes. For anyone wondering, “what’s the best 18650 battery for vaping,” then this is definitely it.
With a CDR of 20A, they will not die too quickly on you and require recharge not that often. The max discharge rate is 35A. MXJO specifically asks the users to follow their user manual when the batteries arrive. This is for your safety and we strongly recommend that you read the manual. They do arrive is safety guaranteed plastic storage cases for easier handling and storing.
LG INR18650 HG2 High Drain Li-ion 3.7V 20A 3000mAh
These brownish-red LG 18650 batteries are a great addition to our list. LG is one of the most well-known electronic brands in the world. And Americans are always buying LG products.
These specific 18650 batteries come in with 3000 mAh, 3.7v and a CDR of 20A. This is the perfect 18650 battery for a vaping or even a high powered flashlight.
LG states that the required voltage these must be charged to before use is 4.2v. We recommend that you read the owner’s manual when they arrive. These batteries are operational in -20C, all the way up to 75C.
As with any other battery product, we always recommend that you buy LG 18650s in bulk to cut cost. Below is a link to a package of 6.
Understanding the best 18650 batteries by class designation
There are a lot of different devices relying on the power of 18650 batteries. With all those different products comes different power demands. Over time, there has been a Class designation system created for 18650 batteries. They are quite simply, and are as follows:
- Class A (3500 mAh)
- Class B (3000 mAh)
- Class C (2500 mAh)
- Class D (2000 mAh)
- Class E (1500 mAh)
Class A (3500 mAh) 18650 Batteries
Class A is known for having a very high density of up to 3500 mAh and a low discharge of up to 10A. This is a tradeoff that can be problematic for some people as they can run into issues where the battery supplies enough power but dies too quickly.
Keep in mind, all the major 18650 battery brands are not currently producing Class A. This means that for this specific class you will often run into fakes/counterfeits.
Class B (3000 mAh) 18650 Batteries
Class B is known for having a high density like Class A. The density goes up to 3000 mAh and the slightly higher discharge of around 15A. Ideal for vaping at 30 to 60 watts, as well as high-powered flashlights.
Many brands such as Samsung and Sony are producing these Class B batteries. This means you will be able find these on Amazon with relative without much worry of buying a counterfeit.
Class C (2500 mAh) 18650 Batteries
The Class C batteries come with a medium density of 2500 mAh and a higher than Class B discharge at 20A. These support vapes with wattages between 60 and 80 watts.
All the biggest brand names are currently producing for this class as well. Sony, Samsung and Panasonic to name a few.
Class D (2000 mAh) 18650 Batteries
The Class D 18650 batteries come with a lower density of 2000 mAh and a higher discharge at 25A. With vapes between 80 and 120 watts making full use of Class D 18650 batteries.
As with Classes B & C, these batteries are available from all the biggest name brands out there.
Class E (1500 mAh) 18650 Batteries
Class E come with the lowest capacity at around 1500 mAh and the highest discharge rate which goes up to 30A. These are best for vapes with wattages above 120. They produced by all of the top brands in the 18650 battery space as well.
Properly caring for your 18650 batteries
Even the best 18650 battery can require some basic maintenance. This is often nothing to do with physically maintain the battery. Instead, it is to do with properly charging the battery and storing it in an environment with the right temperature.
Properly caring for your 18650 batteries also ensures your safety. Keeping them away from potentially dangerous areas will prevent fires.
Storage in proper temperatures: When 18650 batteries are placed in an area that is below 0C or above 45C, they rapidly age. Premature aging can happen if your batteries reach 45C while running as well.
Discharging and charging: Failing to properly discharge or charge your battery can lead to early failure. You will always want to keep your best 18650 battery within a range of 3.0v and 4.0v. The reasoning behind this is that anything lower or higher results in the battery being exhausted.
Proper charger is needed: Some chargers do not turn off after the batteries are done charging. This can lead to problems as the battery being charged to much or too little leads to premature failure. Constantly recharging a battery without letting it full discharge also results in the battery being exhausted and an early failure.
Rapidly charging leads to issues: None of us want to sit around while our batteries are charging, but we must. Rapidly charging with too strong of a current can result in the battery having too much stress placed on it. Leading to an early failure.
As you can see, the best 18650 battery is a complex little object that serves the world every day. We as humans rely heavily on these batteries to power our most needed devices. Our laptops, vapes and flashlights all run on these. Even Tesla, the multi-billion-dollar car company relies on 18650 batteries to keep their cars running smoothly.
Keep in mind, that you do not need to be an expert to use 18650 batteries. The companies making them like Samsung, Sony or Panasonic want them to be as user friendly as possible. Should you have a good experience with any product – not just an 18650 battery, you will want to buy it again. Or recommend it to friends. This is what the companies want, so you should never be afraid to give these batteries a try.
Another thing worth mentioning is to always take advantage of the company’s warranty. Some warranties can be a bit of a hassle to deal with, but it is always worth it. Having your product replaced after a failure that is not your fault is crucial to saving money. The company you are working with should always be happy to provide valuable customer service. This results in a happy customer (you) and thus, repeat business.
Always be prepared to follow the safety guidelines laid out by each battery company. They are important for you as it will ensure you stay safe using these batteries. They are simple to follow and can prevent costly fires.