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Thread: Best 18650 battery question

  1. #1

    Default Best 18650 battery question

    Hello all,

    I just purchased a new bicycle light from Fenix (BC30). The light uses 2 18650 batteries and I was wondering what everybody would suggest as the best battery to use? I use an electronic cigarette and for that I use AW IMR 18650 1600 mah. The charger that I use is an XTRA VP1. I would imagine that the charger would be fine for charging my flashlight batteries also. Am I correct in thinking this? Thank you for any help that you can offer.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Welcome to cpf. Google search is your friend. To answer one question yes your charger is fine. Batteries any brand that doesn't end in fire will be fine

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by vicv View Post
    Welcome to cpf. Google search is your friend. To answer one question yes your charger is fine. Batteries any brand that doesn't end in fire will be fine
    Tried Google, thanks for suggesting though . Could anybody else offer some battery suggestions? Which brand and where everybody buys their batteries from? Thanks.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Panasonic NCR18650B protected button top 3400 mAh

    mtnelectronics would be my first choice to buy from

    eagletac 18650 3400 mAh is another great choice

    take a look at HKJ's reviews in this sub forum he has a great comparator

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    I've been using the Panasonic 18650B, 3400 mAh since last year and its been working flawlessly. I top it everytime the voltage goes down between 3.7 to 3.9 volts and its its very good to go again. I second to Shiftyk5 recommendation for you to take time to read the battery reviews of HKJ and start from there. You will enhance your knowledge about batteries and what you will need for your new light. Good luck and

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    I'd suggest the SoShine 3400mAh. These are shorter than the Panasonics, thus more compatible with a variety of lights. And they are among the cheapest protected cells available. Illumination Supply is my go-to source. With coupon code, you can get them for about $8.50 each.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    I would make sure that your choice be a "protected" battery which has a chip to prevent overcharging and over draining. In addition to the previous recommendations, I would add Olight/ Fenix/ AW/ Keepower/ & Nitecore to the list of quality Battery brands. There may be others also. 3100 to 3400 MAh are good. You can save a few bucks by choosing lower MAh batteries too.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    I really appreciate all of the suggestions. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Nana Re: Best 18650 battery question

    for flashlight you 'd better to choose the high capacity battery With PCB protection , so Panasonic NCR 3400mAh battery is a good choose .

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    I ended up buying 4 SoShine 3400mAh and also grabbed a XTAR VP2 charger to replace my VP1 which was giving me problems.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    From Googling battery reviews it seems a lot of the protected 18650 are rebranded Panasonic. Why are the rebranded double the price, is the protection circuit better?

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by IgglePiggle View Post
    From Googling battery reviews it seems a lot of the protected 18650 are rebranded Panasonic. Why are the rebranded double the price, is the protection circuit better?
    Everybody's gotta make a buck and if you're selling in smaller volumes, you're not going to make much for your efforts going the McDonald's path of 'pennies made on a billion sold.'

    I run the cheaper naked cells in my single cell lights and pay $6-$10 for some of the better ones.

    We're starting to see more protected cells from LG, Sanyo, Samsung and Sony, but Panasonic is still the big dog in the yard.

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, S2+, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, XP1, MC1+, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiftyk5 View Post
    Panasonic NCR18650B protected button top 3400 mAh

    mtnelectronics would be my first choice to buy from
    Do you have direct experience with their protected Panasonics? Has anyone done some test to check actual capacities? I have seen data for a bunch of 18650, but not any from mtnelectronics.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by pilou View Post
    Do you have direct experience with their protected Panasonics? Has anyone done some test to check actual capacities? I have seen data for a bunch of 18650, but not any from mtnelectronics.
    Genuine Panasonic NCR18650B cells have the same capacity disregarding which company or seller installs the protection circuit. These cell are tested to match their advertised capacity, about 3200mAh @1A draw. Which practically makes it the highest capacity 4.20V 18650 battery in the market.

    MTNelectronics is a very respectable seller, I had several orders with them without any issue.


  15. #15

    Default What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    So I'm looking to stock up on a few more 18650s.

    My only hard requirement for them is that they're made in Japan and protected. I prefer Panasonics (I don't have any desire to burn my house down)...

    Anyway, the last time I bought them, I bought a few 3100mAh EagleTacs (with the red label), because those looked to me like the best dollars-to-mAh value at that time.

    What's everyone buying these days?
    Current EDC: Eagletac D25C Clicky, Foursevens Mini-ML XP-G2. The rest of the collection: Fenix E15, Fenix LD20, Fenix TK41. Nitecore MT2A, Foursevens Quark Tactical QTA. EagleTac T20C2 Mark II, XM-L Neutral White, EagleTac SX25L3, ArmyTek Viking Pro . Oh - and a whole bunch of Eneloops, CR123As and 18650s.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    Other info would help others for reccomendations; ie location and budget.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    Good idea. Location is US. For budget... since these things aren't going to cost hundreds of dollars, we'll just say unlimited. Also, forgot to mention, button top.
    Current EDC: Eagletac D25C Clicky, Foursevens Mini-ML XP-G2. The rest of the collection: Fenix E15, Fenix LD20, Fenix TK41. Nitecore MT2A, Foursevens Quark Tactical QTA. EagleTac T20C2 Mark II, XM-L Neutral White, EagleTac SX25L3, ArmyTek Viking Pro . Oh - and a whole bunch of Eneloops, CR123As and 18650s.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by awyeah View Post
    My only hard requirement for them is that they're made in Japan and protected. I prefer Panasonics (I don't have any desire to burn my house down)...
    Do you want both the protection circuit and cell to be made in Japan? You won't find the best value there, of that you can be sure. If the bare cell is of good quality, I'm not too worried about the protection circuit...it is only there for backup anyway, I usually charge cells well before the cutoff is reached. I have over 30 18650s, so that difference of a few dollars really adds up.

    My personal preference is SoShine 3400, or Keeppower 3400 - they are both button top cells. Keeppowers have a bit lower internal resistance, and protection allows for somewhat higher current before it cuts out, but they are more expensive (around $12 each). SoShines are just fine for most uses, a little bit shorter (meaning better compatibility with a variety of lights), and the cheapest branded cells I have found...only about $8.50 each. They both use Panasonic cells.
    Last edited by thedoc007; 09-08-2014 at 09:25 AM.

  19. #19
    Honorary Aussie
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    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    I bought a couple of the Voidhawks. They're more expensive than just about anything else out there, but what the hell, I figured I'd buy two and see if they live up to the hype. So far so good, I use them in my Soshine 2x18650 power bank which gets constant use keeping my iPhone and iPod Touch charged up on the fly as well as being used to charge the AA batteries used in a Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus charger/power bank. I can't say for sure if they're worth all the extra money, but I have no complaints about the overall quality so far.
    It is better to buy a beautiful, expensive, custom flashlight than to curse the darkness.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by magellan View Post
    I bought a couple of the Voidhawks. They're more expensive than just about anything else out there, but what the hell, I figured I'd buy two and see if they live up to the hype. So far so good, I use them in my Soshine 2x18650 power bank which gets constant use keeping my iPhone and iPod Touch charged up on the fly as well as being used to charge the AA batteries used in a Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus charger/power bank. I can't say for sure if they're worth all the extra money, but I have no complaints about the overall quality so far.
    Ouch, tell me you didn't pay $40 for a couple 2600 mAh cells. That is just a rip-off, plain and simple. You could get four high-quality 3400 mAh cells for the same price...and they would give you over 2.5 times the capacity.

    Edit: I see they also sell the 3400 mAh cells. $25 each. Still far too expensive, given that they probably use the same cell as other brands that charge $10. But a better deal than the 2600 mAh cells.
    Last edited by thedoc007; 09-21-2014 at 08:13 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    A question would be if you are looking for a higher capacity lower amp draw or a higher amp draw and lower capacity. There are some great offerings in LiCo, hybrid and IMR cells right now. eFest has been producing some great IMR cells in their newer purple line.

    Check out HKJs comparator here: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batterie...mary%20UK.html for a great comparison of many cells he's tested.

  22. #22

    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond View Post
    A question would be if you are looking for a higher capacity lower amp draw or a higher amp draw and lower capacity. There are some great offerings in LiCo, hybrid and IMR cells right now. eFest has been producing some great IMR cells in their newer purple line.

    Check out HKJs comparator here: http://lygte-info.dk/review/batterie...mary%20UK.html for a great comparison of many cells he's tested.
    I tend to use stock lights - ArmyTek, EagleTac, etc. I *think* all of mine are ICR - because those are the ones that are protected? I might be wrong on that. These are the cells I have now (although they have newer white labels on them): http://www.eagletac.com/html/accesso...0_3100mah.html
    Current EDC: Eagletac D25C Clicky, Foursevens Mini-ML XP-G2. The rest of the collection: Fenix E15, Fenix LD20, Fenix TK41. Nitecore MT2A, Foursevens Quark Tactical QTA. EagleTac T20C2 Mark II, XM-L Neutral White, EagleTac SX25L3, ArmyTek Viking Pro . Oh - and a whole bunch of Eneloops, CR123As and 18650s.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    I've been really happy with a set of Keeppower 3400 Panasonic based cells I've been using. They should be worth a check out.

  24. #24
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the "best buy" in 18650s these days?

    I have been using KeePower(pany inside) and efest cells recently,find great performance and well priced too


    KP IMR next to a 3100 protected


    Had fun trying to get them over seas,now i am sure they are sent by ground/sea so i try and order local,my case the UK and although more expensive its not as bad as i thought

  25. #25

    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiftyk5 View Post
    Panasonic NCR18650B protected button top 3400 mAh

    mtnelectronics would be my first choice to buy from
    Just purchased a set of unprotected button tops from mountain electronics - my first order from them. Good price and fast shipping only being a few states away! I like the ones from fasttech but they are out of stock often and obviously much slower to deliver.

    The tops are a little different than the ones I currently have, so being a little OCD that could bother me not "matching"
    GOOD TINT!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by golphinn View Post
    I ended up buying 4 SoShine 3400mAh and also grabbed a XTAR VP2 charger to replace my VP1 which was giving me problems.
    I got my vp1 after my vp2 but as a companion to charge up to 4 cells and at 1a at same time. If i want the 3.8(4.35) option i just use the vp2.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best 18650 battery question

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiftyk5 View Post
    Panasonic NCR18650B protected button top 3400 mAh

    mtnelectronics would be my first choice to buy from

    eagletac 18650 3400 mAh is another great choice

    take a look at HKJ's reviews in this sub forum he has a great comparator
    Fenix recommend flat top cells for the BC30.

    Quote Originally Posted by golphinn View Post
    I ended up buying 4 SoShine 3400mAh and also grabbed a XTAR VP2 charger to replace my VP1 which was giving me problems.
    Let us know how you get on. The BC30 cell holder is quite tight, so cell length will make a difference.
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  28. #28
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    Default What battery to use?

    I have bought a flashlight with the specifications.
    "Working Voltage 3.6 ~ 4.2 V" that is not so hard to understand, that the voltage should be inside those specifications.
    "Circuitry 3000 mA" Can I not have a battery with a higher mA than that?
    Because on ebay, you can find 18650 batteries with significantly higher mA but if it is harmful to the flashlight then I will not use one.

  29. #29
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: What battery to use?

    Hi there,the mah is not harmful as this is your run time basically BUT the exaggerated claims of the ****fire cells can be bad.

    Pany cells are the best or up there,3100/3400 and if lucky to get 3600mah is the highest available. In truth the 3100 or 3400 will suit your needs.

    In short any higher its lies and more likely 1500mah if lucky,respected seller/shop is the answer,if very cheap its for a reason.

  30. #30
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: What battery to use?

    Bare in mind depending on what light it is protected cells (usually around 69mm) may not fit where as unprotected(just over 66mm) will fit.Is it button or flat top required,also a decent charger to,this stops over charging the cell once its charged.Brands like xtar and nitecore do well priced chargers to suit,no need to spend$$$ on a charger when $20 cover most

    Have a little read up on the safety side on here if unsure,but just dont leave intended when charging.................avoid left alone overnight for example.

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