Best 18650 Batteries

Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping 2020 | What Batteries Should You Buy?

Callumn WinterVaping Accessories 8 Comments

Picking the best 18650 batteries to buy for your vape can be a minefield. 18650 batteries are the most commonly used battery cells in vape devices today and there are literally hundreds to choose from!

We’ve tested dozens and narrowed down the list of the best 18650 batteries for vaping broken down by the Continuous Discharge Rating (CDR) in amps and battery capacity (mAh). If you’re planning to vape at higher watts then a higher CDR is essential. If you’re more interested in vaping at lower watts with greater battery life between charges, mAh is the figure to look for.

We’ve also included some handy tips for buying 18650 batteries and some useful information to help you pick the best 18650 battery for your particular style of vaping.

New to 18650 batteries? We’ve written a complete beginners guide to 18650s and a list of the best 18650 battery chargers.

Quick Note: We only recommend products we’ve tried and tested. If this post contains an affiliate link we may receive a small commission on any purchase made at no extra cost to you.

Best 18650 Batteries – Higher Wattage Devices (25 – 30A)

1. Samsung 20S

Best 18650 batteries - Samsung INR18650-20S 2000 mAh 30A Battery

Discharge Rating – 30A | 2000mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

With the highest CDR of any 18650 battery on this list, the Samsung 20S is a solid choice for cloud chasers and higher wattage devices.

It’s also worth noting, the 30A CDR has been independently verified.

The 20S has the lowest mAh capacity of any cell on this list but it’s one of the best 18650 batteries we’ve used for higher wattage vaping.

2. Hohm Tech Hohm Work 2

Best 18650 batteries - Hohm Tech Hohm Work 2 18650 2576 mAh Battery

Discharge Rating – 25A | 2576mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

Hohm Tech batteries exploded onto the scene in recent years and they’ve been building a great reputation in the vaping community.

The Work 2 boasts a 25A CDR and a respectable 2576mah capacity.

With an excellent balance between power and battery life the Hohm Tech Work 2 comes highly recommended!

Best 18650 Batteries – Medium Wattage Devices (20A)

3. Sony VTC5

Best 18650 batteries - Sony VTC5 18650 2600 mAh 30A Battery

Discharge Rating – 20A | 2500mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

The Sony VTC5 is a great choice for medium wattage devices and it’s also one of the cheapest cells on the list!

The VTC5 has a respectable 2500 mAh battery capacity and a continuous discharge rating of 20A.

It’s also worth mentioning that the VTC5 performed incredibly well under test conditions when being used at the maximum 20A rating.

4. LG HG2

Best 18650 batteries - LG HG2 18650 Rechargeable Battery

Discharge Rating – 20A | 3000mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

A great 18650 battery from LG – the HG2 has an impressive 3000mAh battery capacity while still maintaining a 20A rating.

LG are a trusted and reliable brand with a great selection of batteries and the HG2 is no different.

The HG2 seems to perform best up to around 50W and the battery life for a cell capable of delivering 20A is outstanding.

5. Samsung 25R

Best 18650 batteries - Samsung INR 18650-25R Battery

Discharge Rating – 20A | 2500mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

The second Samsung 18650 on this list, the 25R has a 2500mAh capacity and a verified 20A CDR.

An even more compelling reason to choose the Samsung 25R is their incredibly long life. 

According to Samsung these batteries are guaranteed to survive over 250 recharging cycles!

6. LG HE2/HE4

Best 18650 batteries - LG HE4 Rechargeable 18650 2500mah Flat Top Battery 2PCS

Discharge Rating – 20A | 2500mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

LG certainly know how to produce a great 18650 battery and the HE2/HE4 is 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 wattage device.

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

Best 18650 Batteries – Lower Wattage Devices (10A – 20A)

7. Samsung 30Q

Best 18650 batteries - Samsung INR 18650 30Q 3000 mAh Battery

Discharge Rating – 15/20A | 3000mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

With a whopping capacity of 3000mAh this fantastic cell with go for days in a lower wattage device.

While the Samsung 30Q has a listed CDR of 20A this is temperature dependent.

If you’re chain vaping and drawing 20A the 30Q is going to get hot and you’ll be reducing the overall life of the battery.

We’d recommended only drawing 15A from the 30Q to increase the longevity of the cell.

8. Sony VTC6

Best 18650 batteries - Sony VTC6 18650 3000 mah Battery

Discharge Rating – 15/20A | 3000mAh | Maximum Voltage – 4.2V | Nominal Voltage – 3.6V

This little green cell holds a battery life of 3000mAh and a recommended discharge rating of 15A.

Tests have shown that the VTC6 can manage a 20A discharge but as with the above 30Q you’ll be reducing the life of the cell drastically at these amps.

We always suggest not pushing your 18650 batteries to their limit and using them within the manufacture’s recommended ranges.

The batteries on this list (in our humble opinion) are the best 18650 batteries for vaping. But, there are plenty more options out there! Other noteworthy 18650 batteries include the Molicel P26A, the RadioShack 18650 and Aspire 18650.

The most important piece of advice we could give before picking an 18650 battery is to do your research before buying. The information below can really help to make sure you’re staying safe when buying 18650 batteries for your vape.

Continuous Discharge Rating Vs Pulse/Peak Discharge Rating

One of the biggest factors to consider before you pick an 18650 battery for your vape is the amps the cell is capable of delivering. Where this often becomes confusing is when manufactures and suppliers quote misleading figures.

The continuous discharge rating (CDR) in amps is the industry standard in the world of batteries. When you use your vape you’re applying a continuous discharge to your 18650 battery.

The pulse/peak discharge rating (PDR) on the other hand refers to the amps the battery is capable of delivering in very short bursts. However, every time you use a battery above the recommended CDR you’re damaging the cell.

In a worst case scenario using a battery above the recommended CDR can lead to thermal runaway. The temperature of your 18650 battery rises rapidly and the energy stored inside is suddenly released… Basically your cell explodes or catches on fire!

We’ve come across many stores and manufactures that quote the higher PDR figure as the amps the battery is capable of delivering. Always make sure you verify the CDR rating of any 18650 battery you buy and never draw more amps from your cell than the recommended CDR.

What amps do I need for the wattage I vape at?

Best 18650 Batteries

So you know the wattage you want to vape at….but what amps does your 18650 battery need to achieve that safely? It depends on several factors including whether your vape is a regulated or unregulated mod and also whether your mod is a single, dual or triple battery device.

To make things simple we built calculators that help you work out the amps that’ll be drawn from your battery in a regulated mod (variable wattage device) or in an unregulated mod (mechanical mod).

The bullet points below also give you an approximate idea of the wattage to amps relationship:

  • Higher wattage (recommended CDR: 25-30A) – 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. While there’s no fixed figure for what you can consider higher wattage, we’d consider anything over 55 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 wattage (recommended CDR: 20A) – If you want the best of both worlds, you’ll want an 18650 battery that can safely deliver around 20A. 18650 batteries within this range also have the benefit of a higher mAh capacity (battery life). We’d consider anything between 30-55 watts to fall into this category.
  • Lower wattage (recommended CDR: 10-20A) – If you’re more interested in vaping at a lower wattage and reducing the amount of time spent recharging your cells, the best 18650 batteries to buy are those with a lower amp rating and higher mAh capacity. Ideal for vaping at anything under 30 watts!

Why you shouldn’t buy re-wrapped 18650 batteries

If you’re after the best 18650 batteries for your vape 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.

All of the cells on our best 18650 batteries list are from reputable manufactures. When you haven’t heard of the brand you’re buying then make sure to do your research first!

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 tests in 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! In many cases they also exaggerate the capabilities of these batteries to increase sales.

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 dangerous!

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 the best 18650 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 – Our favourite vendor for 18650 batteries in the UK is Fogstar. In the past we’ve also used UK ECig Store and had nothing but great experiences.

Rest of the World – An excellent place to pickup 18650 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 these are the best 18650 batteries for vaping. 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 Malcolm Koo

Comments 8

  1. I cannot thank you enough! This is a very well-written, thoroughly informative article with several helpful links of the same quality, to boot. I wish I thought to search this out sooner. But glad I found you now.

    1. Hi Abby,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment on our guide, it’s very much appreciated. I am glad you found it helpful. We’ve been a bit lapse on our guides of late due to the influx of reviews we’ve done but plan to put more on in the new year.
      Thank you again.

    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 ( so you might want to give them a try. Happy vape shopping 🙂

  2. 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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