Maxpedition - Knives and Tools
Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

  1. #1

    Default Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Hi Guys/Galís,

    Fist off I found yíall from the guys at Watchuseek and the DWC (Dive Watch Connection) after asking about of all things flashlights. And I gotta say, this is as bad as getting into watches Ö LOL But, due to my pay grade (this purchase looks like I'll be spending around two bills or so), Iím hoping to get it right or close to it the first time.

    After wearing my eyeballs out, as well as frying my brain reading reviews over the past week or so. Iím presently torn between two lights;

    1. FENIX TK21 U2 CREE XM-L U2 @ 468 Lumens (from what Iíve read and seen, this light throws itís light well)

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/fenix-tk21-u2.html

    2. Olight M30 Triton CREE MC-E @ 700 Lumens (something about the ability to use 2-18650 batteries is pulling me toward this light. But could find any info if using two batteries will increase itís run time and or give it more throwing power).

    http://www.batteryjunction.com/olight-m30-triton.html

    Now to the meat of this thread. After deciding on a flashlight, Iíve now seen threads/posts regarding chargers. I was initially planning on ordering the flashlight, charger and batteries, plus a few extra batteries (to make it easy) from one source e.g. Battery Junction.

    But (please correct me if Iím assuming wrong, I mean no disrespect) have since read that BJ doesnít carry a quality charger?

    I work throughout the night, so my flashlight is a daily tool. Safety is also a big issue for me since my dogs and I live and work out of my MotorHome.

    Now for the million dollar question, What charger would you recommend I purchase?

    Sorry for the long post! But as I mentioned, would like to get this purchase as close the first time if possible.

    Thanks,

    Pops

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Monterey, CA
    Posts
    1,768

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Howdy Pops and welcome to CPF,
    That's funny, a friend of mine has recently gotten into watches, and man, he has some beautiful eye-poppers now, but gee whiz, talk about an expensive hobby .

    I'm glad to see you are concerned with safety in your new batteries and charger purchase. Personally, this is one area I wouldn't skimp on. Get the best you can afford.

    First, here is an excellent resource for learning just about everything you'll need to know about rechargeable batteries:
    http://batteryuniversity.com/

    Handled with care, caution, and respect, most batteries can be used with a minimum of risk, but to learn the answers to all your battery/charger related questions, I'd recommend that you head over to the "Flashlight Electronics-Batteries Included" area of CPF. You'll find tons of good info over there as well as some very knowledgeable folks who will undoubtedly help you find the best charger for your needs:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...eries-Included

    Good luck on your decision between those two fine lights and in your search for the right battery/charger combo.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    I've found that with Li-ions, as with many other things, you get what you pay for.
    That applies to both the chargers and the cells.
    In my opinion, good 18650 cells include AW or Redilast 2600 or 2900 mAh cells. They both use quality new cells inside them, and good protection PCBs.
    And good chargers, short of hobby chargers, include the Pila IBC or the 4Sevens single bay charger, because they both use the CC/CV method of charging/termination.

    But there are other options, those are just my suggestions, to simplify the matter.

    You'll find this a helpful thread to read.

    Also this one.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Thanks for the fast response. Looks like I have more reading to do, but will more then likely order a flashlight this morning (utilizing batteries initially), then order a charger as soon as Iím aware of what Iím purchasing.

    I also agree in not scrimping (if thatís the correct word) in this area of my initial investment.

    Pops

    Oh, wanna hear something funny? After viewing a few video reviews by GoingGear.com, man I canít believe Iím admitting it to yíall Ö LOL

    It looks like the 4Sevens G5 is now in the running and the FENIX TK21 is out Ö

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    I just got an Icharger 106B. The nice thing about a hobby charger is being able to analyze your batteries. I've often wondered which of my li-ion cells is starting to wear out. Being able to log to pc I can now measure their charge holding capacity.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by AZPops View Post
    It looks like the 4Sevens G5 is now in the running and the FENIX TK21 is out …
    Well that makes it easier for you. The actual 4Sevens website has free shipping, the G5, the 4Sevens charger, and the AW quality cells, so you can do what you initially wanted to do and get everything from the one source, if you so desire
    edit: not to mention an 8% CPF discount!
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    If you are getting AW cells (which are great cells) I recommend checking out the cpfmarketplace. Straight from AW or from AW's US reseller they are much cheaper than any other website sells them.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by samgab View Post
    Well that makes it easier for you. The actual 4Sevens website has free shipping, the G5, the 4Sevens charger, and the AW quality cells, so you can do what you initially wanted to do and get everything from the one source, if you so desire
    edit: not to mention an 8% CPF discount!

    To my new friend from the "Land Down Under", man I wish we were in your (winter) season right now. It's so hot in the desert, our lizards are sporting canteens and Ray Ban's!

    Thanks for your suggestion, BUT GoingGear's has the G5 on sale @ 20% off. I plan on calling GoingGear in a few hours and will ask if he carries 4Seven's charger, as well as the G5.

    Pops

    Btw, When I worked for Continetal Airlines in Honolulu waaaaay back in the late 70's. I was the guys/gals hired to work Air New Zealand's flights. After helping out a passenger stuck in the Island's during the Holiday Season (she stayed at my folks house, well it was more like a reasort ... LOL). When I finally got her out (pulled a few strings), her parents sent me a case of your famous Rack's of Lamb. Man did we have a BBQ!
    Last edited by AZPops; 07-25-2011 at 06:25 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by infinus View Post
    If you are getting AW cells (which are great cells) I recommend checking out the cpfmarketplace. Straight from AW or from AW's US reseller they are much cheaper than any other website sells them.
    Thanks, I'll check it out!

    Pops

  10. #10
    Flashaholic Kingfisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    If you're using it a LOT get rechargeable' s if not use primaries - most decent ones have 10 year shelf life and perform better.
    What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by AZPops View Post
    To my new friend from the "Land Down Under", man I wish we were in your (winter) season right now. Thanks for your suggestion, BUT GoingGear's fot the G5 on sale right now @ 20% off. I plan on calling GoingGear in a few hours and will ask if he carries 4Seven's charger, as well as the G5.

    Pops

    Btw, When I worked for Continetal Airlines in Honolulu waaaaay back in the late 70's. I was the guys/gals hire to work Air New Zealand's flights. After helping out a passenger stuck in the Island's during the Holiday Season (she stay at my folks house, well it was more like a reasort ... LOL). When I finally got her out (pulled a few strings), her parents sent me a case of your famous Rack's of Lamb. Man did we have a BBQ!
    Well that sounds like a good deal. Yes, he has the 4Sevens charger... 46 in stock apparently. I'm so jealous of you guys having relatively close access to a store like goinggear... There's nothing like that in NZ, and the shipping to get stuff here is prohibitively expensive.
    PS, I used to work for Air NZ... But that was a few years back now.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  12. #12
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Today, you can get a hobby charger for less than $20 with the following features:

    Microprocessor controlled with LCD
    Automatic charging current limit
    Capacity limit
    Temperature threshold
    Delta-peak sensitivity (NiMH/NiCd)
    Individual cell balancing
    Li-ion, LiPo and LiFe capable
    Ni-Cd and NiMH capable
    Lead Acid capable
    Adjustable charge current
    Store function, allows safe storage current
    Time limit function
    Input voltage monitoring. (Protects car batteries at the field)
    Data storage

    Specs:
    Input Voltage: 11~18v
    Circuit power: Max Charge: 50W / Max Discharge: 5W
    Charge Current Range: .1~6.0A
    Ni-MH/NiCd cells: 1~15
    Li-ion/Poly cells: 1~6
    Pb battery voltage: 2~20v

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate your time.

    I just got off the phone with Going Gear a few minutes ago. After asking a few questions, ok, maybe more then a few. I ordered a 4Sevens Maelstrom G5, charger, 18650 batteries and a couple of CR123 batteries as well (so I can play while the rechargeable are charging).

    Pops

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* djans1397's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Cut Bank, Montana
    Posts
    730

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Pila IBC http://www.pila-usa.com/pilaaccessor...erysystem.html I bougfht mine a few years ago and was told at the time by almost everyone that it was the best availablefor 18650's, RCR123's etc. I love mine. A little more costly than most but worth it. Hope this still holds true!

    Dan
    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NIV)

  15. #15

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by AZPops View Post
    Iím presently torn between two lights;
    1. FENIX TK21 U2 CREE XM-L U2 @ 468 Lumens
    2. Olight M30 Triton CREE MC-E @ 700 Lumens (something about the ability to use 2-18650 batteries is pulling me toward this light...).
    Hey, you might have overlooked the marvellous Fenix TK35:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/fenix-tk353.html
    It also uses 2 18650 recharchables (or 4 CR123A)and produces some 820 lumens with quite a nice throw and flood mixture. The extra mode switch makes mode changes easy and fast. On top of that it is hardly any bigger than the TK21, and comes with a nice belt holster. Impressive little bastard, I like it very much, I hardly use my TK40 anymore, which is nice too.
    Concerning the charger: I took the wolves eyes double 18650 charger my lumens dealer had bundled with the light. Nothing special, just does the job.
    Have fun with whatever you choose!

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Well have fun with it! I'm sure the going gear guys advised you that flat top cells like the AW 2900 or the Redilast 2900 won't work due to the lights physical anti-reverse protection, so you need to use button top cells. It also comes packaged with a pair of CR123s.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by arpy View Post
    Hey, you might have overlooked the marvellous Fenix TK35:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/fenix-tk353.html
    Have fun with whatever you choose!

    Oh, oh, here we go again ... ... Look's like from here on in the . . gonna make me do IT!

    Thanks!

    Pops

  18. #18
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    East of the "Old Big Muddy"
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    This is what I got from Going-Gear.


    http://goinggear.com/index.php?main_...oducts_id=2192

    Great light, Great throw. Great Price.

    Can use extensions on body to use 3 (1 extension) or 4 cr123's or 2 18650's (2 extensions).

    I got it with 2 extensions.

    I'm member Watchuseek also.
    Last edited by Lightfoot98; 07-25-2011 at 05:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by infinus View Post
    I just got an Icharger 106B.
    I have one of these - I LOVE it!

    BUT:
    It is more complicated than a simple cradle charger.

    So, if you don't mind the greater complexity then the hobby charger is a FANTASTIC tool for charging & testing your cells. The iCharger can charge to 3.85 (storage charge) or 4.10 (kinder charge) or 4.20 (max capacity) rather than just 4.20V. Hobby chargers can charge at whatever rate you choose (iCharger - 0.05A to 10.0A) which makes them better for charging very small or very large batteries (I have 10440 through to 32650 cells). Hobby chargers can also charge LiFePO4 cells which require a different voltage (3.6V instead of 4.2V).
    Hobby chargers = much more capability & flexibility, but at the cost of greater complexity that some users aren't too keen on.
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiMark View Post
    I have one of these - I LOVE it!

    BUT:
    It is more complicated than a simple cradle charger.

    So, if you don't mind the greater complexity then the hobby charger is a FANTASTIC tool for charging & testing your cells. The iCharger can charge to 3.85 (storage charge) or 4.10 (kinder charge) or 4.20 (max capacity) rather than just 4.20V. Hobby chargers can charge at whatever rate you choose (iCharger - 0.05A to 10.0A) which makes them better for charging very small or very large batteries (I have 10440 through to 32650 cells). Hobby chargers can also charge LiFePO4 cells which require a different voltage (3.6V instead of 4.2V).
    Hobby chargers = much more capability & flexibility, but at the cost of greater complexity that some users aren't too keen on.
    Are iCharger a Kiwi company? I might get one eventually... Is there a kind that can just plug into a normal power point?
    Last edited by samgab; 07-25-2011 at 08:01 PM.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  21. #21
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Waikato, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,629

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by samgab View Post
    Are iCharger a Kiwi company? I might get one eventually... Is there a kind that can just plug into a normal power point?
    Nah, we don't really do any electronics manufacturing here - they're probably made in China like everything else (including Apple iPhones). The iCharger is a better quality charger than the cheaper ones though and has better features and a better UI - I find it easier to use than my Turnigy charger.

    Normal power isn't too much of a problem, you can buy a power adapter for ~$10 that will work pretty well. I have a computer PSU that easily runs 2 hobby chargers that worked out to be the cheapest option. You can also buy power adapters like this one: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...ers_350W_.html that will supply up to 350W, so you can use the charger to it's limits. The cheap $10 power adapters are usually ~60W which works fine as long as you don't try to charge 6 cells @ 10A (I usually charge 1 cell at 1A which only needs 4.2W).

    I bought this: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...e_Charger.html
    Even with shipping it was under $100 for me.
    There are power adapters like this: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...0_240v_5A.html
    One of these should be all you need. They don't seem to have stock currently, but I'm sure you could hunt around and find the same sort of thing elsewhere.
    Here is a quick Ebay search: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_from=R4...All-Categories
    Having the power adapter separate from the charger means less heat in the charger and also if the power adapter fails you can replace it easily without having to buy a whole new charger.
    So many lights, so little money (cause I spent it on lights). I'm not afraid of the dark, the dark is afraid of ME!

  22. #22
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    WA, USA
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Pila IBC, and I'm looking at Orbtronic.

    Hobby chargers aren't for me...too much fooling around. I'm more utilitarian. And I really think in 2011 there should have been a simple, inexpensive, and high quality battery charger by now!

  23. #23
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    Pila IBC, and I'm looking at Orbtronic.

    Hobby chargers aren't for me...too much fooling around. I'm more utilitarian. And I really think in 2011 there should have been a simple, inexpensive, and high quality battery charger by now!
    You can get a hobby charger for less than half the price of a Pila IBC (that probably does 5x as much ) but as you said, it will require some effort on your part.

  24. #24
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,013

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by snakyjake View Post
    And I really think in 2011 there should have been a simple, inexpensive, and high quality battery charger by now!
    Have you checked the 4Sevens charger?
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    I considered the 4sevens charger but I was turned off by it's high termination current. I ultimately decided that for how anal I generally am about these things a hobby charger was the way to go for me.

    Other than it's high termination current however it does seem like a convenient and well made unit.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,089

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by infinus View Post
    I considered the 4sevens charger but I was turned off by it's high termination current. I ultimately decided that for how anal I generally am about these things a hobby charger was the way to go for me.

    Other than it's high termination current however it does seem like a convenient and well made unit.
    The 160mA termination point is an issue for you?
    I've found it to be a fantastic charger, small, simple, and very capable.
    Looking at the curve charts, there is such a tiny, negligible amount of capacity put in at the end of a charge curve between 160mA and, say, 50mA, that it is really of no concern to me. I can just use the battery, and charge it again another time.

    Edit, having said that, of course the iCharger is better, but they're different beasts, and I think the 4Sevens charger serves a purpose, and performs that task very well.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

  27. #27

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Hey now.... I agree, I did say it's due to how anal I am!

    :-)

  28. #28
    HKJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    6,013

    Default Re: Best Charger for 18650 Battery

    Quote Originally Posted by samgab View Post
    Looking at the curve charts, there is such a tiny, negligible amount of capacity put in at the end of a charge curve between 160mA and, say, 50mA, that it is really of no concern to me. I can just use the battery, and charge it again another time.
    That is true for a 18650 cell, but with a RCR123/16340 cell it is much more significant.
    It would have been nice if the 0.5A range had a lower termination current.
    My website with flashlight, battery and charger information: lygte-info.
    More than 200 battery reviews and 80 charger reviews.
    Compare 18650 LiIon batteries or smaller (RCR123, 16340, 14500, 10450) LiIon batteries.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •