walmart westinghouse 2000 mAh 3.7V 18650's - are they safe?

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xxo

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Hi got a 4 pack of these a year or so ago and forgot about them until now - are they safe? Any good?


Thanks.
 

magellan

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They might be fine—or they might not. Without further info, you can’t really say. There are several possibilities.

How much were they? If you paid 8 bucks for a four pack they could be recycled and relabeled cells. There are whole facilities in China that just take batteries that fail quality control from a major manufacturer, which they then sell cheap to one of these relabeling operations, that then sell them to the public, but that are still okay for ordinary use. They’re just not great, but they might be okay for the price.

The problem is that there are also much worse batteries out there that are being passed off as new, not to mention the counterfeits and fakes, which is another story just by itself. I’ve seen it said that pretty much all the name brand batteries being sold on the Alibaba website are fakes.
 
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xxo

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Three were 3.89V and one 3.83V out of the package. they have a date 0f 2016 100 printed on them. They don't appear to be rewrapped laptop pulls, walmart used to have a ton of these in their stores, I think the original price was something like $14, but I got these on closeout.
 

ChrisGarrett

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Three were 3.89V and one 3.83V out of the package. they have a date 0f 2016 100 printed on them. They don't appear to be rewrapped laptop pulls, walmart used to have a ton of these in their stores, I think the original price was something like $14, but I got these on closeout.

If you have an analyzing charger then you should analyze them. Their voltages out of the pack are not alarming. Westinghouse doesn't/didn't make li-ion cells, so they're getting them from somebody else.

Who that 'somebody' is, is the 64 cent question.

Chris
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Hi got a 4 pack of these a year or so ago and forgot about them until now - are they safe? Any good?

Why would you suspect they are unsafe? They're probably not great cells, but they should be safe in single-emitter lights unless you have a reason to believe they're bad. I wouldn't use them in a multi-emitter light that requires high-drain cells, but otherwise try them and see. If they don't get hot, you're probably good to go.


I’ve seen it said that pretty much all the name brand batteries being sold on the Alibaba website are fakes.

I've bought genuine Sony VTC6 cells from Ali. At least, they check out from every physical and capacity test I could find, and seem equal to VTC6 cells I've bought from Illumn in the US. You can find good stuff there, but you're right that there is a ton of fakes too.

The Walmart cells sound like cheap cells from China, but that doesn't mean they're bad. Just low capacity and likely only built for about 4 amps drain.
 

xxo

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They are made in China. There is someone who did a discharge test on them on youtube:

 

ChrisGarrett

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If you need lower capacity cells in a pinch, then why not?

If you need better cells in a pinch, you probably have a Vape store nearby.

Anyhow, I'll look the next time I'm there. I know the local ACE Hardware had some generic brands in there the last time I looked, but I wasn't interested in learning more.

Chris
 

alpg88

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i bought those, charged them put them into srk, used it for few hours, then left it for few month, they died, all of them would not even take a charge.
 

Boris74

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I use them regularly in a MT40GT. Work fine. About 15 minutes less run time than when 3400mah cells start flashing.

Light needs small spring contacts on both sides. The button top is WIDE. they will not work in any of my streamlight because of the wide button top.

Been running fine for about four full cycles to dead to dead to full charge.
 

magellan

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Why would you suspect they are unsafe? They're probably not great cells, but they should be safe in single-emitter lights unless you have a reason to believe they're bad. I wouldn't use them in a multi-emitter light that requires high-drain cells, but otherwise try them and see. If they don't get hot, you're probably good to go.




I've bought genuine Sony VTC6 cells from Ali. At least, they check out from every physical and capacity test I could find, and seem equal to VTC6 cells I've bought from Illumn in the US. You can find good stuff there, but you're right that there is a ton of fakes too.

The Walmart cells sound like cheap cells from China, but that doesn't mean they're bad. Just low capacity and likely only built for about 4 amps drain.

Glad to hear yours turned out to be okay.

As far as the fakes go, I’ve spent some time on the websites that give detailed instructions on how to detect them, so theoretically I know how to tell. I just haven’t bought anything off Ali yet to put it to the test.

Limiting yourself to 4A max and single emitter lights sounds like good advice in the case of these batteries.
 
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magellan

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Three were 3.89V and one 3.83V out of the package. they have a date 0f 2016 100 printed on them. They don't appear to be rewrapped laptop pulls, walmart used to have a ton of these in their stores, I think the original price was something like $14, but I got these on closeout.

Sounds like they might be okay as I assume Walmart no longer carries the old re-wraps.

As for myself, I have plenty of brand new, name brand cells, as well as some former laptop batteries pulled from surplus packs that have been fine. But the laptop batteries are lithium cobalt types and over the last two years I’ve been buying fewer of those and more lithium manganese ones despite the up to 40% less capacity of IMRs.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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As for myself, I have plenty of brand new, name brand cells, as well as some former laptop batteries pulled from surplus packs that have been fine. But the laptop batteries are lithium cobalt types and over the last two years I’ve been buying fewer of those and more lithium manganese ones despite the up to 40% less capacity of IMRs.

If you look up the MSDS of various cells, including the ones most commonly used in laptops, you'll see they're all a hybrid chemistry now. They all contain cobalt, manganese, and nickel. You can't really tell anything about the chemistry anymore, you need to just follow the spec sheet to know what current draws they sustain.

Safest thing is to stick with new brand-name cells from a source known to provide genuine cells. Even if they're more expensive, they're still extremely cheap considering the number of cycles you get. Maybe two pennies per charge, if you average it out over its lifetime.

But, I'm not adverse to using lesser cells and laptop pulls. I just don't use them in my good lights.
 

magellan

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Right, a lot of the ones I have are hybrid. Actually come to think of it I started moving away from ICRs about four years ago. Time flies.

However, I still have lots of ICRs, but they’re little. As far as I know, the 10180s have always been ICRs. If that’s changed I’d be interested in knowing that.
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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Right, a lot of the ones I have are hybrid. Actually come to think of it I started moving away from ICRs about four years ago. Time flies.

However, I still have lots of ICRs, but they’re little. As far as I know, the 10180s have always been ICRs. If that’s changed I’d be interested in knowing that.

ICRs are still hybrids. For example, the Samsung ICR18650-26F has an MSDS that lists it contains cobalt, nickel, and maganese. It's a hybrid. The Samsung INR18650-30Q has a similar MSDS.

There may have been a time many years ago that ICR meant is was strictly cobalt. I think it's just an internal company product code, now. They seem to use ICR for lower-drain stuff, and INR for higher drain. I don't think it has any bearing on safety, as both ICR and INR cells have to pass the same strict safety tests for shorting, heating, etc.
 

magellan

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That’s good to know, as I probably have around 30 of the little 10180s since I have so many small lights. Most are at least 3 years old, so if by then they were already hybrids, that’s probably what I have.

The reason I thought they were were real ICRs was I got some of them from someone who said they were not hybrids and they weren’t making them in that size yet. Since they seemed pretty certain about it, I figured that’s what they were.
 
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WalkIntoTheLight

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The reason I thought they were were real ICRs was I got some of them from someone who said they were not hybrids and they weren’t making them in that size yet. Since they seemed pretty certain about it, I figured that’s what they were.

Well, that's possible. I was talking about 18650's, not the tiny 10180's which may still be using old protection technology.
 

xxo

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

I think it is a little strange that walmart was selling unprotected (assuming these are unprotected?) Li Ion cells to the general public.
 

WalkIntoTheLight

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

I think it is a little strange that walmart was selling unprotected (assuming these are unprotected?) Li Ion cells to the general public.

I've seen hardware stores sell (I think unprotected) 18650s, even here in Canada. Never name-brand cells, but that's no surprise since I don't think the makers of cells officially allow their sale to the public. There's probably some demand for 18650s in solar garden lighting or something like that. Since I've never seen an 18650 flashlight for sale in any brick&mortar store, I don't think they're sold for flashlight use.
 
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