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Thread: 18650 choice

  1. #1

    Default 18650 choice

    I am looking to pickup a couple of 18650s and was looking at either Klarus or Olight brands. Is one of these better than the other or should I be looking at something else. Thanks

  2. #2

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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Just to clarify, are you looking for batteries or lights? And where in the world do you live?
    Oh, and if batteries, which lights would they be for?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic SoCalTiger's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    It sounds like there are 2 questions merged into one here. I recommend that you first determine what flashlight you want and then look into the batteries. For both Klarus and Olight, many of their lights have batteries already included. Look at the various options for the brands you are interested in and then find as many reviews as you can on the lights you have selected.

    If you do still need a 18650 after purchasing a light, I would recommend a Protected Pany/Sanyo NCR18650GA based on your question.

    You will also need a reputable charger if your light doesn't have built-in charging.
    SoCalTiger
    Recent Reviews: Thorfire S70S / Thorfire S1 / Thorfire TK15 & TK15S / Thorfire TK4A / Thorfire TG06S / Wuben T101 / Wuben TP10 / Zanflare F1 / Zanflare F2 / Sofirn SP31

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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    The problem I find with protected 18650's is that they're often too long or even too thick for many lights. Unprotected 18650's will give you the correct battery size: 18mm in diameter, and 65mm long. Protected are often 69mm long.

    So, first find out what the battery tolerance of your light is. If it's tight, then don't bother with protected (assuming you only use 1 battery). And, some flashlight require unprotected batteries, because they require more current than protected batteries can deliver. Or, they require flat-tops, which I'm not sure you can even get protected.

    If going unprotected, stick with name-brands like Samsung or Panasonic. Don't get anything that rhymes with "fire"... because it might! Most decent lights have low-voltage protection built into the light, so it's pretty safe to use unprotected even if you run the light down all the way.

  5. #5

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Thanks for the replies. I am looking for batteries, I'm replacing an eagletac battery that went bad in my TK35. I have the xtar wp2 charger who I think was good at the time I got it. I wouldn't mind getting a four bay charger though.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by bismark030 View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I am looking for batteries, I'm replacing an eagletac battery that went bad in my TK35. I have the xtar wp2 charger who I think was good at the time I got it. I wouldn't mind getting a four bay charger though.
    Oh, okay. You'll be replacing both the batteries, and you probably want protected batteries in a multi-cell light. I'd just get something like protected Panasonic NCR18650B. They're good batteries with high capacity, and your TK35 doesn't have very high power requirements so they should do fine. They should fit in your light.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    Oh, okay. You'll be replacing both the batteries, and you probably want protected batteries in a multi-cell light. I'd just get something like protected Panasonic NCR18650B. They're good batteries with high capacity, and your TK35 doesn't have very high power requirements so they should do fine. They should fit in your light.
    So the Sanyo would be a better choice than the Olight. Any suggestions on a four bay charger?

  8. #8
    xdayv's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Try Keeppower for the batts. For charger - Nitecore, Xtar or Liitokala are some good choices.
    Dave
    "two is one, one is none... three or more is fun."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by bismark030 View Post
    So the Sanyo would be a better choice than the Olight. Any suggestions on a four bay charger?
    IIRC, the flashlight-brand batteries are just wrapped versions of Panasonic/Sanyo/Samsung cells. IMO, you're just paying for a wrapper and brand-name.

    You do want protected batteries, but Panasonic protected NCR18650B are the same price as unprotected NCR18650B. And only about $5 per cell. Others know far more than I do about that, so I'm just giving my personal opinion. The only thing I'll say for sure is stay away from crap like ultrafire, etc. If they advertise 4000mAh or more, you can be certain they're lying and they're crap.

    As for the charger, I was planning to order a XTAR VC4. It's not very fast, but I like that it's USB powered and gives you a LCD readout. Fairly inexpensive, too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    IIRC, the flashlight-brand batteries are just wrapped versions of Panasonic/Sanyo/Samsung cells. IMO, you're just paying for a wrapper and brand-name.

    You do want protected batteries, but Panasonic protected NCR18650B are the same price as unprotected NCR18650B. And only about $5 per cell. Others know far more than I do about that, so I'm just giving my personal opinion. The only thing I'll say for sure is stay away from crap like ultrafire, etc. If they advertise 4000mAh or more, you can be certain they're lying and they're crap.

    As for the charger, I was planning to order a XTAR VC4. It's not very fast, but I like that it's USB powered and gives you a LCD readout. Fairly inexpensive, too.
    I knew about staying away from the "fire" brands and thanks for the info and suggestion I will take a look at that.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    OP if you are State side then Orbtronic protected button top NCR18650GA core cell(Sanyo). If you are not State side then Keeppower's protected button top version of the same Sanyo GA 3500mah 10 amp core cell just with Keeppowers choice of protection circuits. The Xtar you have is just fine. All I use is now Xtar and one Maha(for NiMH cells specifically)chargers..they seem to be a step up quality wise from Nitecore chargers. I have 2 VC4's, 2xVP2's and the 4 bay Dragon charger. The info displays on the Xtars are pretty well done on the VC4 and Dragon. The VP2's read well and are cheap.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Couple of subtle points here. It is indeed the case that Klarus and Olight use cells from other vendors, but while the cell is the same, there can be significant differences still.

    Because they can use rewrappers choice of protection, where original may or may not have had protection, the set of safety features and cutoff-points can be different.

    Length and width can both be different.

    Ratings can be different, and sometimes in a bad way. Some rewrappers will inflate which current draw the battery can take for example.

    When in doubt, the safer choice is to either get the manufacturers recommended battery, go with Orbtronic or Keepower for protected, or just use original non-rewrapped for unprotected.

    Also, if you're using unprotected cell, might be worthwhile to consider a safer chemistry like IMR, INR, NCR. They're still not toys, but safer in some ways.

    Checklist of things to consider when ordering:
    - Chemistry
    - Protected / Unprotected
    - Flat top / Button top
    - Total length

    It'll often work out just fine if you search CPF for batteries used with a light, and follow whatever advice Google serves up from here.

    That checklist though, should keep you out of most trouble, such as getting flat-top when your light requires button top, and so on.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Thanks for the info. Batteries just make my a nervous so I tend to be overly cautious with them. I do have a couple of orbtronics that I got in a bundle with my charger. I usually order from goinggear but I am pretty sure they don't carry them. What retailers should I be looking at. I try to avoid amazon as I worry about counterfeit goods.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Which continent?
    NKON is usually good for Europe.
    Battery Junction and IMR Batteries have a good reputation, but I have no personal experience with them. There are other places as well.

  15. #15

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by terjee View Post
    Which continent?
    NKON is usually good for Europe.
    Battery Junction and IMR Batteries have a good reputation, but I have no personal experience with them. There are other places as well.
    I'm in the US.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 18650 choice

    Quote Originally Posted by bismark030 View Post
    I'm in the US.
    liionwholesale
    You and others like you might be the reason lights aren't better made. Buying new flashlights like others devoutly buying the next generation of smartphones, are you pushing innovation or just consumption? Wider head for even more throw. Wow. That's new.

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