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Thread: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

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    Default Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I've done some research for the best CR123 battery, I couldn't find too much. Although most CR123 seem to have 1400mAh capacity. The highest I found is the Varta CR123A with 1600mAh.

    Will that make a difference in battery life of flashlights?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    battery capacities as listed on the labels are sometimes bogus as many asian companies inflate the mah ratings to get people to buy them thinking they have more power in them when in fact at times they have even less than more known brands rated lower.
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    Flashaholic* srfreddy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Titanium Innovations are the best bang for the buck from a reliable brand.

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    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by srfreddy View Post
    Titanium Innovations are the best bang for the buck from a reliable brand.
    I'd have to disagree. Several reports mentioned the batteries being discharged after ~2 years in storage, where top tier cells actually have a 10 year shelf life. I don't use CR123's normally though, so I don't have much personal experience other than using some stock SF cells.

    I'd stick to a top tier brand, with cells made in the US or Japan. SureFire, Duracell, and Rayovac cells I believe are all made in the US by Panasonic. The Rayovac branded cells seem to be the cheapest and the most reliable cells.

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    Flashaholic* Sparky's Magic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    4Sevens CR123a @ 1,500mAh. come fresh around 3.26V. I'm happy with that and the price is very fair.

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonck08 View Post
    I'd stick to a top tier brand, with cells made in the US or Japan. SureFire, Duracell, and Rayovac cells I believe are all made in the US by Panasonic. The Rayovac branded cells seem to be the cheapest and the most reliable cells.
    The Varta (German Company) CR123 seems to be the highest priced here in europe, even higher than the Duracells and Energizer CR123s. Does that consider a top tier? and how are the Panasonic CR123?

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I went through a box of titanium innovations...I bought Surefire the next go around.

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Are 4Sevens CR123 good? I've heard a few cases that they don't last as long as other top brands. Someone with experience on them to comment? Thanks.
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    Flashaholic* jasonck08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. LED View Post
    Are 4Sevens CR123 good? I've heard a few cases that they don't last as long as other top brands. Someone with experience on them to comment? Thanks.
    There is no way to know, as they have only been on the market for a little over a year. My guess is they'd perform similar to the titanium innovation cells and not have near the shelf life of top tier cells.

    If you buy them and plan to use them up within a year, then they would probably work just fine for you.

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I just bought 2 VARTA CR123 batteries, they are made in china. I am really scared of CR123s after seeing some pictures of them exploding in flashlights. So I really want to only get high quality batteries.

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I also found that lithium batteries always have a weird smell, does anyone know if it's poisonous?

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    Flashaholic Cypher_Aod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I recently bought 106 US-Panasonic CR123A cells because I found them for a Silly good price (£1.12 each in the UK)
    I bought them on the assumption that, as Panasonic-US make the Surefire, Duracell, Rayovac etc... cells which seem to receive accolades of praise, that these would be equally good?

    I hope that this was not a mistaken assumption. The cells are in Panasonic-retail-blisters, which are in boxes of ten, ten of which are in a crate/bundle. All of them have Panasonic-stickers, barcodes, serial numbers and Date-Codes (08-2020) and they all say "Made in USA"
    Last edited by Cypher_Aod; 04-18-2011 at 11:00 AM. Reason: added more detail.

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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by yliu View Post
    I also found that lithium batteries always have a weird smell, does anyone know if it's poisonous?
    I've noticed the smell after opening a pelican case or tube with CR123s, but lots of stuff can smell funny so I haven't worried about it (I doubt is poisonous unless you are snorting them while they vent, which would probably sting). I use rechargeables but I have CR123s just incase, I get Surefire because they are 2 for $5 at Lowes and cheaper online.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    cant go wrong with surefire. they are damn expensive though. luckily my department provides mine and I smuggle as many as I can get my hands on lol.

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    Enlightened bel_riose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I use SF, Panasonic and Sanyo.

    Sanyo did good with me.


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    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Surefire primaries are the only one's I buy...but I won't hesitate to use Energizer/Panasonic.

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    Flashaholic* Sparky's Magic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Gene Malkoff's 'lights come with Battery Station Cells installed...

    I put one up against a Sanyo and a 4Sevens and in my HDS 140 ex. got identical run times (more or less). The Battery Station started out a little lower than the others and gave about 40" less - 3.23V as opposed to 3,26V. I repeated the test, replacing the Sanyo with an Energizer and again there was nothing in it. At $12.85 here in Aust. (not a typo.) for top CR123's, I'm not likely to repeat this test ever again! It did, however, tell me what I wanted to know; the HDS ran for 77min. on high before stepping down and was consistent across 4 different cells. I used a small personal fan to circulate some cooler air around the HDS; not because heat was an issue but to even things out a bit for all cells. Indoors, v/hot, muggy, I could have have hand-held the light, I guess.

    I thought the run times being almost identical was astounding: There was only seconds in it!

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* 45/70's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by yliu View Post
    I also found that lithium batteries always have a weird smell, does anyone know if it's poisonous?
    I don't think the fumes are all that poisonous. The smell originates from the solvents used in the electrolyte. Some refer to it as "flashahol". It is often more noticeable when lithium CR123A primary cells are run at higher current loads. Under these conditions, due to the heat generated within the cell, a small amount of the solvent escapes through the vent at the top of the cell. This really doesn't come under the definition of "venting" per se, but rather, is just a normal incidence when using this type of cell.

    For the record, I don't really use lithium CR123A primary cells much anymore, but I've used Duracell and Sanyo cells for years in the light(s) I keep in my car. I have never had any problems with them and they last about forever. Then again, these lights don't see much use, as I always have a ""pocket light" that usually gets used instead. As far as shelf life goes though, the aforementioned cells, as I said, last a very long time.

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    Enlightened Lego995743's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I only use surefire cr123a cells because they are made in the usa!!!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lego995743 View Post
    I only use surefire cr123a cells because they are made in the usa!!!
    +1 here they have always worked great for me with a long lifetime!

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* jtivat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    I just discovered that half of my two year old Battery Station cell where dead! Sanyo's from the same age group are still good to go.
    Last edited by jtivat; 04-23-2011 at 12:11 PM.
    JT

  22. #22

    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtivat View Post
    I just discovered that half of my two year old Battery Station cell here dead! Sanyo's from the same age group are still good to go.
    Have a look at this thread, this thread and this post. Then search for information on passivation and lithium batteries. An email to BS wouldn't be a bad idea.


    - Syncytial.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* jtivat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by syncytial View Post
    Have a look at this thread, this thread and this post. Then search for information on passivation and lithium batteries. An email to BS wouldn't be a bad idea.


    - Syncytial.
    Thanks that is good info I think they did have yellow on them but I tossed them six months ago.
    JT

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Titanium. A buck a piece. CR123a lights pull a lot of juice at high voltage to get the brightness (which is what everyone wants). There is a price to this though. CR123a batteries were really never designed for a flashlight to begin with. They are just not going to last that long no matter which brand you use. You want to pay big bucks for a battery that will last no longer (or not any longer that's going to make any noticeable difference), be my guest. I'll stick with paying a buck a piece or lower. Better yet, you want more longevity in a flashlight, don't get one with cr123a batteries.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Is there any difference in output/brightness between a rechargeable cr123, and a non-rechargeable one?

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* mrlysle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    The RCR123's come off the charger at 4.2 volts. So, in some cases, in lights designed to take them, they're brighter than primaries, because of the higher voltage. They only have about half the capacity though, so your runtime will be shorter.
    Jeff

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Rayovac's are great. They are made in USA at the same factory as the Surefires/Energizers/Panasonics and they are only $15 for 12 at batteryjunction.

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    Flashaholic HighLumens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike89 View Post
    Titanium. A buck a piece. CR123a lights pull a lot of juice at high voltage to get the brightness (which is what everyone wants). There is a price to this though. CR123a batteries were really never designed for a flashlight to begin with. They are just not going to last that long no matter which brand you use. You want to pay big bucks for a battery that will last no longer (or not any longer that's going to make any noticeable difference), be my guest. I'll stick with paying a buck a piece or lower. Better yet, you want more longevity in a flashlight, don't get one with cr123a batteries.
    Do you mean flashlights powered by cr123's have shorter runtime than other ones, like AA powered flashlights?

    I hope I'm not turning this thread into a "AA vs CR123" thread, but I'm quite disappointed since I see cr123 powered flashlights usually have better runtimes than any other battery option (at the same brightness level).
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Any of the USA made cells are fine. They are all made in the same place (there is only one lithium battery factory in the U.S.).
    There's more to a light than its output.

    CPF Member 13...

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Best CR123A batteries? What do you use?

    Someone recently made a thread about his Titanium brand cells exploding.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...attery-blowout

    I know this could be an isolated instance, but more often than not, it involves made in China cells.


    Go with U.S. made

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