Best 18650 Batteries

Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping | What Batteries Should You Buy?

Callumn Winter Batteries 6 Comments

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Picking the best 18650 batteries to buy for your vape can be a minefield! In truth, there isn’t any one particular 18650 battery that stands above the rest. Instead, it all depends on how you like to vape…

In a nutshell, you need to know what amps you’ll be drawing from your battery. The amp rating (CDR – Continuous Discharge Rating) is arguably the single most important factor when deciding which 18650 battery is best for you.

The higher the watts you vape at, the higher the CDR you’ll need.

18650 batteries with a lower CDR (and larger mAh capacity) can vape for days without needing a recharge but they may get hot and potentially dangerous at higher watts. In contrast, 18650 batteries with a higher CDR are safe to use at higher watts, but you’ll need to recharge them more frequently.

If you’re confused about what CDR you need, we’ve created calculators for regulated mods and unregulated mods. These will help you work out what amps you’ll be drawing from your battery and what 18650 battery is safe for you to use. 

Read on for a list of the best 18650 batteries for vaping, broken down by their Continuous Discharge Rating.

What type of 18650 battery suits my vaping style?

Best 18650 Batteries

We’ve even gone a little further and split the list into three different styles of vape setup:

  • Higher wattage vape mods (30A+) – If you’re chasing clouds and using a mod with higher variable wattage, the best 18650 batteries to buy are those with a higher CDR (30A+). While there’s no fixed figure for what you can consider higher wattage, we’d consider anything over 50 watts to fall into this category. Just keep in mind, 18650 batteries with a higher CDR come with a lower mAh capacity (battery life).
  • Medium to higher wattage vape mods (20 – 30A) – If you want the best of both worlds, you’ll want an 18650 battery that can safely deliver between 20-30 amps. 18650 batteries within this range also have the benefit of a higher mAh capacity (battery life). We’d consider anything between 20-50 watts to fall into this category.
  • Lower wattage vape mods (up to 20A) – If you’re more interested in vaping at a lower wattage and making each vape battery last, the best 18650 batteries to buy are those with a lower amp rating and higher mAh capacity. Ideal for vaping at anything under 20 watts!

New to 18650 batteries? We’ve written a complete beginners guide to 18650s and a list of the best 18650 battery chargers. Also, if you want some tips on how to stay safe when buying and using 18650 batteries check out our post on 18650 battery safety.

Best 18650 Batteries – Higher Wattage Devices (30A and higher)

1. LG HB2 / HB4 / HB6 

With a maximum continuous discharge rate of 30A and a battery capacity of 1500 mAh these range of 18650 batteries from LG are perfect for heavy duty sub-ohm vaping. The three different models are all basically the same battery, with each just being a different generation of the HB series.

There are only very slight differences between the three but if you really want the absolute best for your higher wattage device then go for the HB6. It runs at a slightly cooler internal temperature and has slightly more capacity and voltage at the higher current levels.

Price – $5/£3.70
Discharge Current – 30A
Battery Capacity – 1500 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Charging Voltage – 4.2V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

2) Sony VTC4

Another great 18650 battery for higher wattage devices; the VTC4 from Sony has an impressive 2100 mAh battery capacity and a continuous discharge rate of 30A. If you’re looking for an 18650 for your higher wattage device, you wouldn’t go far wrong with the Sony VTC4.

Price – $5/£3.70
Discharge Current – 30A
Battery Capacity – 2100 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

Best 18650 Batteries – Medium to Higher Wattage Devices (20 – 30A)

1) LG HD2

With a 25A rating and a 2000 mAh battery capacity, the HD2 from LG serves as a brilliant all round 18650 battery. While it has an impressive amp rating the battery capacity also remains fairly high.

Price – $7/£6.99
Discharge Current – 25A
Battery Capacity – 2000 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

2) LG HG2

Another great 18650 battery from LG; the HG2 holds a very impressive 3000 mAh battery capacity while still maintaining a very reasonable 20A rating.

Price – $9.95/£7.30
Discharge Rate – 20A
Battery Capacity – 3000 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.7V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

3) Samsung 25R

Samsung’s first entry in the list sees a battery with a 2500 mAh capacity and a guaranteed 20A continuous current supply. An even more compelling reason to choose the Samsung 25R is their incredibly long life.  According to Samsung these batteries will survive over 250 recharging cycles!

Price – $8.80/£6.50
Discharge Rate – 20A
Battery Capacity – 2500 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

4) LG HE2/HE4

LG certainly know how to produce a great 18650 battery and the HE2/HE4s are no different! With a very respectable capacity of 2500 mAh and a continuous max discharge current of 20A, these batteries will do a stand up job in any medium – high wattage device.

The difference between the two models isn’t much…mainly improved heat control with the later released HE4.

Price – $9.50/£7
Discharge Rate – 20A
Battery Capacity – 2500 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

Best 18650 Batteries – Lower Wattage Devices (up to 20A)

1) Panasonic/Sanyo NCR18650GA

With a whopping capacity of 3500 mAh this fantastic cell with go for days in a lower wattage device. With a 10A max continuous discharge rate you should only use this device in the lower end range.

Price – $6.30/£4.70
Discharge Rate – 10A
Battery Capacity – 3500 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

2) Samsung 30Q

This fantastic cell from Samsung features a capacity of 3000 mAh and a continous discharge rate of 15A. While tests indicate that this 18650 battery performs reasonably well at 20A, for safety its best to stick at the 15A mark.

Price – $10/£7.50
Discharge Rate – 20A (recommended 15A)
Battery Capacity – 3000 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

3) Sony VTC6

This little green cell holds a battery life of 3000 mAh and a recommended discharge rate of 15A. Tests have shown that the battery can manage 20A discharge but as with the above Samsung cell, its safer to stick to the recommended discharge rate.

Price – $10.80/£8
Discharge Rate – 15A
Battery Capacity – 3000 mAh
Nominal Voltage – 3.6V
Cut Off Voltage – 2.5V

The batteries in the above list, in our humble opinion, are the best 18650 batteries you can buy for your vaping needs. Now while we warned you about using re-wrapped batteries above, there is an exception to the rule. All of the team here at Vaping Hardware have been using the Efest 18650 batteries for some time now. These batteries aren’t as reliable as the above cells but are still definitely worth a look!

Things to consider before you buy!

If you’re after the best 18650 batteries then the way to go is with a trusted source. When you buy from a big brand name like Sony or Samsung you know exactly what you’re getting and you won’t be compromising on quality.

When you haven’t heard of the brand you’re buying then make sure to do your research! Many of the lesser known brands, especially those based in China, can be unsafe. Many suppliers buy the batteries produced by companies like Sony that didn’t meet the quality testing post production. These companies then re-wrap the substandard batteries with their own sleeve and sell them on claiming to be the best 18650 batteries on the market!

As a rule of thumb you want to try and avoid buying 18650s from companies like Trustfire or Ultrafire. These brands only sell re-wrapped batteries. Unfortunately, this means you can never quite be sure what you’re getting. Not ideal and also potentially hazardous!

If you need some ideas on where to shop for the best 18650 batteries, take a look at the list of trusted suppliers below!

Best 18650 Battery Suppliers

U.S.A A great place to head for your batteries in the states is IMR Batteries. These guys offer great quality cells at a very reasonable price! Other reputable suppliers include Illumn, RTD Vapor and Orbtronic.

U.K – In the past we’ve used UK ECig Store and have had nothing but great experiences. Another great vendor of batteries in the UK is Fogstar.

Rest of the world – An excellent place to pickup the above batteries for a very reasonable price is Fasttech! Because they’re a Chinese based supplier you’ll probably be waiting longer (depending on where you are), but they offer an excellent range of battery cells.

So there you have it folks; in our humble opinion the best 18650 batteries money can buy. We hope you found the article useful and feel free to share below or drop us a comment with your thoughts!

Happy Vaping!

 

Photo credit:
Post photo courtesy of Ludwig via Wiki Commons

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Comments 6

    1. Hello Ado,

      Thanks for your comment! We would really recommend buying either the LG HB battery series or the Sony VTC4…. these are both excellent 18650 batteries for vaping higher wattage devices! As for where you can buy these in Cape Town I’m not so sure. A quick google search shows great reviews for ‘Foggas Vape Shop’ in Cape Town (https://foggasvapeshop.co.za/) so you might want to give them a try. Happy vape shopping 🙂

  1. I personally like the LG brand. I’m not sure if it’s the best performing battery though. There are so many out and I can’t try them all. What would you recommend for battery life vaping at low wattage?

    1. Hi Jason, thanks for your comment. We also love the LG brand 🙂 If you’re vaping at low wattage, we’d recommend taking a look at a battery with high mAh (something in the region of 3000+). It’s worth keeping in mind the higher the mAh, the lower the discharge rate. Therefore, these batteries can’t be used at high wattage. As always, NEVER exceed the CDR (continuous discharge rate) stated on the battery! If in doubt, take a look at our current, power and resistance calculator to make sure your battery is able to safely deliver the current you need. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thanks for the comment! We’re really glad you liked the post and we agree that batteries are important (and often overlooked!). Keep you eyes peeled because we’ll be uploading a new battery guide soon!!

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