What is a 18650 battery you ask? Well it’s time to find out, it’s the best rechargeable battery, with the most power to offer rechargeable devices.
What is a 18650 battery good for? A 18650 battery is a reliable rechargeable battery and good for a wide range of devices from laptop battery packs to Teslas rechargeable electric car.
The 18650 battery has become a favorite among vapers and box mod owners. A trusted and reliable battery that can be found with built in protection, for unprotected mechanical mods.
The 18650 is often sold as fakes with false ratings and labels, so informing yourself is encouraged. Cross reference your batteries with the manufacturer’s website as well as its actual capacity if possible.
What Is The 18650 Battery?
In the engineering world the 18650 is a 18mm X 65mm lithium-ion secondary cell. The term battery is more popular than cell, and easier for consumers to understand.
Lithium-ion is the chemical that travels to and from the positive and negative electrode during charge or discharge, producing electricity. Secondary as opposed to primary, is the engineering term for rechargeable.
Know Your Battery
18650 cells are known for their ability to recharge, long battery life, and lightweight design. However, these cells require extra care because they deteriorate faster in, and are sensitive to, higher temperatures.
Whether it’s a 18650 or 26650 size, a rechargeable lithium battery should avoid overcharge and over heating.
Acquiring a charger with over charge protection is a must. Also, known as a smart charger, or auto shut off, over charge protection is the most important feature in my opinion. Some chargers will have a heat dissipation feature as well.
Your battery cell has certain ratings and chemical make up, check to make sure your charger and devices meet these criteria. Check the charger for support of your batteries chemical makeup.
The 18650 has a cylindrical metal casing wrapped in a plastic shell, and can have a button or flat top at the positive end.
The plastic shell is colored to represent the mAH and CDR rating. This only applies in accordance with the four major companies: Sony, Samsung, Sanyo, and LG.
Newer smaller companies such as Hohm tech, and Vaporfi, can have multi colored 18650 battery labels, with the mAH and other ratings printed on them, and specifically made for vape mods.
The purpose of the shell is to act as an insulator to protect the negative side of the battery from contact.
The major brands of 18650 batteries were not intended to be used outside of a pack. In other words the 18650s were not intended to be used, and suffer the abuse from a vape mod.
The 18650 is the most popular vape mod battery. It is used in many other devices such as cameras and flashlights. This vape mod battery has a max discharge of 3.0 volts, and a maximum charge of 4.2 volts, and a nominal voltage of 3.7V.
The 18650, if treated right, is a very durable and reliable battery as well as all lithium ion batteries. If using the 18650 in a vape mod be sure to treat with respect and check for wrapper damage.
When purchasing or comparing vape mod batteries, it is important to understand the ratings associated with them. You should cross-reference your battery and its ratings with the manufacturer’s web page to avoid fakes and false ratings.
Almost all brands don’t match up exactly to their printed ratings and this is normal but can be unsafe if trying to push an 18650 outside of its intended threshold.
INR, IMR, and ICR to name a few, are three letter formats for the chemical makeup of the 18650 cell. There is trade-offs with different chemistry.
The differences can be found between energy, capacity, life, and safety. By safety I basically mean from overheating, and potentially venting.
For example, ICR (cobalt-based) has high energy and high capacity, but low safety, IMR (manganese-based) is safer, but has lower capacity than ICR.
Adding nickel to IMR makes INR (manganese, nickel-based), and gives you high capacity and a high discharge current, but shorter lifespan.
I use both INR and IMR 18650 batteries for my vape mod. IMR is my favorite out of the two, because it seems to have a consistent lifespan.
It is not recommended to use ICR type 18650 batteries, with any vape mod.
Name 1 – Chemical – Abbreviation – Name 2 – Name 3
- IMR – Lithium manganese oxide – LiMn2O4 – LMO – Li-manganese
- INR – Lithium manganese nickel – LiNiMnCoO2 – NMC
- NCA – Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide – LiNiCoAlO2 – Li-aluminum
- NCO – Lithium nickel cobalt oxide – LiNiCoO2
- ICR – Lithium cobalt oxide – LiCoO2 – LCO – Li-cobalt
- IFR – Lithium iron phosphate – LiFePO4 – LFP – Li-phosphate
MAh stands for milliamp hours, and is the battery capacity, or the amount of energy it can store. For example, If a battery is rated 3000 mAh it will discharge at 3 amps for one hour, or 1.5 amps for two hours and so on. In vapor terms if you multiply the amps by the voltage (3A x 3.7V), you get around 11 watt hours, or 11Wh.
CDR-Continuous Discharge Rate
The mAh is directly related to, and there is always a trade off with the CDR. CDR is the continuous discharge rate. This is the safe rate an 18650 cell can discharge continuously.
There is also a max discharge. This is the max amount of amps an 18650 battery cell can produce in short bursts.
This means a 20A CDR 18650 battery can safely discharge around 70 watts (20A x 3.7V = 74W), for long intervals. These are examples based on fixed voltages, but this will change in accordance with your coil ohms and number of batteries.
A good way to understand mod battery ratings is to think of the mAh as the amount of gas, and the CDR is the size of the motor. A bigger motor (CDR) will give you more current (amps), for vaping at higher wattage. Although a bigger motor will give you less gas (mAh), and won’t last as long. More gas (mAh), will last longer, but you will have a smaller motor (CDR).
18650 Battery Charging
Besides proper battery cell discharge, proper battery charging will insure cell life and safety. When choosing a charger remember it’s an investment that cares for your cells, and even the best chargers won’t break the bank.
There are new brands and models with more features added to the market every day. Deciding on a charger to buy can be daunting, unless you are familiar with exactly what you need. Take several factors into consideration, then narrow down your choices with this knowledge.
Some chargers can recognize your batteries chemistry which is a good fail-safe. You should understand your battery chemistry, nominal voltage, and size, to have a base knowledge, before choosing a charger.
Most companies are jumping on board with options and safety features.
Here is a list of some good features to look for when choosing a charger:
- Charging indicators or an LCD screen
- Reverse polarity and overcharge protection
- mAH and other detection and display
- Has an automatic power-off function
- Can charge batteries independently
- Excellent charging speed
- Overheating function and fireproof materials
- Runs on DC
- Intelligent charging circuit
- Automatically detects Li-ion, Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries.
Only charge your 18650 batteries at the correct charging speed.
I like to stay under 2 Amps per cell. This is why charging batteries with most USBs is dangerous, because they can produce up to 5 Amps.
Some modern 18650 cells are rated for a 4 Amp charge, but be sure to check your 18650 battery products and charge efficiently and safely.
The charging speed will be determined by how many amps your charger runs at. The higher the amps the faster your charge, although this creates more heat.
Most chargers will divide the amps between the number of batteries charging. For example a 2.1 Amp charger might charge four batteries at 0.5 Amps a piece. This same charger might charge two batteries at 1.0 Amps a piece.
Generally it’s good to stay below 1.0 Amp per battery for safety and longer battery life. Remember your lithium ion batteries don’t like heat.
Charging to fast or with to many amps leads to a type of corrosion or build up inside of the 18650 cell. In turn this displaces the chemicals, destroys the battery life, and in the long run could connect the positive and negative anodes and explode.
It’s safe to say, automatic shut off, or current cut feature, with an excellent charging speed, and a great LCD, that is compatible with your battery ratings, is what you want from a charger.
Remember to practice safe battery handling, don’t charge 18650 cells, or any other size, unattended or near flammables.
18650 Battery Safety and Care
Never use a vape mod battery that is dented, has abrasions, or if the insulator wrap/shell is damaged in any way.
When charging your vape mod battery use a smart charger with over charge protection, and reverse polarity protection.
Fully drain your 18650 cells mAH before charging, and always fully charge your battery before discharging. This will insure the life of your battery.
Never charge your batteries unattended, and remove them and let rest once fully charged, before use. Never charge with more than 4.2 volts.
Do not leave discharged for a long duration. Batteries deteriorate over time, a spare battery won’t last much longer than one in use.
If using an unprotected mechanical device, buy batteries with built in protection, or properly match your coil and battery ratings.
Never discharge lower than 3.0 volts.
Never discharge at a rate higher than the CDR.
Never carry in your pocket unprotected, always have in a case.
Store in a dry place around 65 degrees fahrenheit.
Always dispose of batteries at a recycling center or place that accommodates.
A pair of excellent 18650s for $12.95 made by LG
An amazing charger for an amazing price $24.95 made by Smok
A high amp battery for high power mods $15.99 for 2 made by Imren
Vape is the term for the vapor released after firing the coil of an atomizer supplied with e-liquid, I call vape juice.
I explain e-liquid more in my E-liquid categories E-liquid comes in many flavors as well as natural, or tobacco.
Vape is so much better than tobacco in my opinion. Since I have switched to vape, my health has improved in these four ways and much more. First off, I have lost weight, I don’t know what this means but it’s cool by me.
Secondly I’m much more awake and not tired all of the time.
Third my senses have improved. I can taste and smell like i never have before.
Fourth, I can breath better. I’m not out of breath when climbing stairs, and no more coughing. Overall I feel significantly better.
More powerful than an e-cigarette, vape mods can provide a larger cloud of vape, and wider range of options. From around 30 watts to a few hundred watts power is whats up, and the whole point to vape mods.
The e-cigarette or vape cig came out sometime ago and someone was like nope, not good enough, hence emerged the mods.
Vape mods can have the batteries built in, and rechargeable via USB, or removable batteries. I prefer removable, so I’m not committed to my device for power. I like to carry spare batteries while I’m traveling.
If I only had one rechargeable device, it would be a long wait if it died in the middle of the day. This doesn’t mean the built in battery option isn’t awesome. They stay charged quite long, and have an awesome sleek design. I like rechargeable vape mods as a second device for sure.
Mods can have digital displays and stunning designs. Although some are not so pocket friendly, the designs are improving everyday. Mods can have different materials and battery configurations as well as be waterproof. Once you get started it really does turn into a hobby, with lots of aspects to learn about.
18650 Battery Conclusion
I love batteries for some strange reason. If rechargeable batteries are your choice for a sub ohm device, then search no further. I test and review batteries from around the world. I try to find the best deals for your money, partly because I was sick of, and don’t like to see people getting ripped off.
The most important thing to understand about 18650 batteries and what they are is that, 18650s are explosive, and should be treated as such, for your own safety, because a vape mod goes up to your face.
The 18650 and other vape mod batteries can be hard to understand as far as their chemicals make up and terminology, but a few basic terms is all it takes to grasp what your buying, and keep things safe as well.
Please leave a comment with your thoughts! Thank You for your support!