What are 18650 vape batteries, and which are the best? The answer to these questions can be complicated, but this guide tries to simplify things for you. 18650 batteries are lithium-ion rechargeable cells. Although they are not exclusive to vaping, as you can use them for other high power electronics like flashlights. Which ones should you look out for, and which are the best for your vaping needs?
Well, the answer is, it depends on the mod you use and your vaping style. Some batteries have huge capacities while others have massive discharge rates. In other words, some batteries can last for two days without requiring a recharge, but they may get hot when discharged at higher rates. On the other hand, some batteries will not get hot at 30A or even higher, but they need to be charged more frequently.
Therefore, choosing the best 18650 vape battery is not easy, and we cannot label one battery as the ultimate best. However, here’s a list of the top seven batteries that can be a great fit for serious vapers. Before we proceed, we are assuming that you have invested in a high-quality 18650 battery charger because it can also impact the performance and lifespan the vape batteries. Choosing the best vape battery charger is a whole different venture, but the rule of thumb is to use a charger that’s recommended by the vendor.
Top 7 Vape Batteries
1. SONY VTC4
The Sony VTC4 works well with regulated and mechanical mods. It operates at 3.7V, and with 2100 mAh capacity lets you vape non-stop at full throttle for hours, which is amazing. Moreover, it charges extremely fast, which is always a big plus.
The VTC4 comes with a 30A current rating, so even if you are using it at its highest capacity, it will not overheat. This makes it ideal for sub-ohm vaping and mech mods which require batteries that can withstand intense pressure. The good thing is they are not too expensive.
The only thing is to make sure you get the batteries from a commendable retailer as there are many counterfeit, re-wrapped batteries sold on the market. You can find out whether it is genuine or not by weighing your Sony VTC4 and making sure it is 4 ounces and carefully looking at the markings to make sure they look legit. The same rule can also be applied to any other battery brand or make.
2. LG HE4
This battery is known as the super high current power battery from LG. You can readily use it for the sub-ohm-vapes, cloud chasing, or just with high wattage mods. The maximum discharge current it can offer is 35A whereas the continuous discharge current it can produce is 20A, which is just above average. It works well with mods that drain high amperage, and the performance is commendable in dual and triple settings.
The good thing about these batteries is that they not only charge fast but can last for days. For instance, at lower wattages of 20-30W, and a sub-ohm coil of 0.5, these batteries can run for up to three days, but at higher wattages, they can still last for more than a day of intense vaping. Moreover, the high-quality materials used will ensure that the battery will offer many cycles of charge and discharge. One of my colleagues has been using the LG HE4 for more than eleven months and has only recently started to feel a decline in performance.
35A maximum discharging current
Dimensions: 65.2×18.5 mm
Weight: 48g weight
Full charge voltage: 4.2 V
Discharge cut off voltage: 2.5 V
3. LG HB6
LG has some of the best-selling vape batteries including HB2, HB4, and HB6. HB6 has the coolest operating temperatures and is ideal for powerful vape mods, especially mech mods. Because of its ability to stay cool while producing high wattages, HB6 has increased life and efficiency, despite the comparatively low mAh. As it has an insane 30A discharge rate, it is an ideal choice for sub-ohming.
Moreover, you can also use the LG HB6 it for the unregulated builds without having to worry about any mishaps as these batteries are built to perform under extreme pressure. The only glitch is again the comparatively short battery life, but it is the best performing battery at an amazingly low price.
30A maximum continuous discharging current
Dimensions: 64.91×18.16 mm
Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
Charging voltage: 4.20 +/- 0.05 V
Discharge end voltage: 2.5 V
4. LG HG2
LG HG2 is known for offering an insanely high capacity of 3000 mAh and decent amperage. This battery is ideal for chain vapers who do not like to charge their batteries too often. The battery has received a 500 mAh upgrade from its predecessors, HE2 and HE4. The only downside is that the HG2 has only a 20-amp discharge limit, which is not bad but might not be enough for high power mech mods. The battery has a nominal voltage of 3.6V and the full charge voltage of 4.2V. If you consider the features and price, the batteries are ideal for mods that run at low to medium wattages and offer nonstop vaping for rich flavor but don’t want too much power to produce massive plumes of vapor.
5. SAMSUNG 25R
It is a flat top 2500 mAh vape battery that guarantees 20A continuous current supply. Samsung has redesigned 25R’s chemistry to boost its efficiency, and the green color was chosen to depict this. However, the key selling point of the Samsung 25R is their long life.
According to the vendor, you can recharge the battery more than 250 times. After that, it will start losing its capacity. If we do the math on it, the high capacity battery can easily last for two days on average, which means that for chain vapers, the battery will last for almost 1.5 years. You cannot expect this from any other battery, including those that cost twice as much, as most others give up the ghost after 6-8 months. The battery is ideal for mods that operate at medium level wattages, though it can work with more powerful ones you might not get the desired experience.
6. PANASONIC NCR18650B
It comes with 3400 mAh capacity which makes it one of the highest capacity batteries. It perfectly fits most vape mods including Vamo V3 and V5, Lambo, Sigelei, SVD mods, eVics, Ego-T Mods and Joytech. However, it might be slightly loose in some mods though without any impact on the performance because unlike most other 65mm batteries, this is only 64mm in length. It works great for sub ohm vaping too like the Kangertech Nano and can last for two days of intense vaping.
The price is reasonable, and the 3400mAh battery capacity is one of the biggest. In other words, this battery is ideal for those who want to get massive plumes of vapor for extended periods without having to recharge their batteries too frequently. Again, just like some other batteries, many counterfeits are being sold in the market. So, to be on the safe side, make sure to do due diligence and get yours from a reputable retailer only.
Protected and rechargeable
4.87A maximum continuous discharging current
Dimensions: 69.41×18.90 mm
Weight: 48.1 g
Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
7. SAMSUNG 29E
The Samsung 29e is quite an affordable piece for the high performance it has to offer. It works well for the vapers who do not require high amperage but rather prefer soft, smooth vapor and need a battery with long life. Its price is nearly the same as 25R but with 25% more capacity. The standard charge time for the batteries is three hours which is a little long and annoying but once charged; they can hold a charge for longer than most other batteries which make up for this downside.
Five Qualities of a Great Vape Battery
Whenever you’re on the lookout for a vape battery, consider these five qualities:
1. HIGH CAPACITY
Capacity is measured in mAh. It means how many milliamperes the battery allows to be drawn and for how many hours. In layman terms, a 2000 mAh battery will let you draw 2000 milliamps in one hour or 1000 milliamps in two hours. The batteries are not always 100% efficient, and their operating conditions can further impact their capacity. However, the rule of the thumb is that the higher the capacity, the longer the battery will last and the less frequently you will have to charge it. Remember that gradually the batteries will wear out, and their capacity will decrease, but avoiding overcharging and over-discharging the batteries, storing properly in a plastic case, and using a good, compatible 18650 charger will make sure your batteries will last longer.
2. CURRENT RATING
This is the most important feature considering the vape mod will put an insane amount of pressure on the battery. The battery will have to safely deliver current that will be withdrawn from the battery without overheating the battery. Unfortunately, there is a tradeoff between capacity and current rating, the battery with higher capacity will have a lower current rating and vice versa. There is a difference between continuous current rating and maximum current rating. The continuous rating is what matters, and ideal rating is 30A or above.
3. HIGH VOLTAGE
Vapers like high voltage batteries, and especially mech mod users call it hard hitting and swear by it. The “hard hit” means that the coil gets more current from the battery in a short time span while regulated devices do not have to work hard to work because of an excessive amount of voltage coming from the battery.
4. RUNNING AT LOW TEMPERATURE
The only thing that you want to keep low for your battery is the temperature. This ensures that the battery will not only work without causing any risks to your or the mod, but it will also last longer.
Maybe we lied, you also want the price to be low. However, this is not a major factor because most of the batteries cost between $5 and $15, and there isn’t much variance. So, we believe this should be the least important factor but do compare the prices, and shop around to get the best bang for your buck.
Five Battery Safety Tips
Buying high-quality batteries are only half the battle; you still have to upkeep them, so they run for a long time and offer optimal performance.
Keep the batteries away from children, pets, and fire.
Never overcharge or over-discharge your batteries. Better yet, charge the batteries to about 95% of their full potential and stop using them once they are below 15%.
Don’t carry or store loose batteries. Store your batteries in a plastic case, and if you are putting them aside for a while, make sure they are at around 70% charged. Leaving your batteries dead for a long time can immensely decrease their potential.
Only use the recommended, compatible, and good quality 18650 vape battery charger and don’t use different types of batteries together.
Clean your batteries once in awhile with a pencil eraser and clean cloth.
To Put It Short
In short, you want high amperage and high mAh battery, but since getting both of them high in a tiny 18650 isn’t possible, you have to sacrifice one for the other. Secondly, try to get voltage batteries that run at low temperature.
Buying vape batteries deserve nearly as much deliberation as buying the vape. Many cheap and even counterfeit or re-wrapped batteries on the market can not only reduce the performance of your mod but can also be a hazard. When the cheap batteries discharge high current, they can become hot, and stop working or even explode. These batteries can especially pose a risk when they overcharge in the vape battery charger. On the flip, choosing the right vape battery will ensure that you will enjoy your vape for several months to come, without any glitches.