What's an inexpensive, but good 18650 charger?

Big Easy

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What's an inexpensive, but good 18650 charger? At least a 5 battery/slot one.

I bought the one below, but it charges to 4.30v. I'd like one that charges nothing above 4.20v, and preferably a safe 4.18v.
 

Bull-Dozer

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---My Experience---

A few years ago I bought a two-slot and a then a four-slot. Fenix and Olight brand charges if I'm not mistaken, though I cannot recall which is which. Anyhow, they both have displays and automatically shut off batteries individually when topped off. Set and forget, nothing to it.

Neither have had any issues with over/under charging. Spot on every time and remarkably good at bringing back batteries from being drained to death.

Whatever you get I would not recommend what I call a "dumb" charger, the ones that do not have a display and do not shut off automatically. Those are a pain and seem to over heat batteries unless you have the time to babysit them as they charge.
 

ChrisGarrett

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I’ve got three Xtar VP2 chargers and they’re top notch, safe and flexible, if not a bit long in the tooth and ‘probably’ out of production.

Most of the top tier Xtar chargers are worthy, as are many from Nitecore, Liitokala, Opus and a few others.

When it comes Lithium Ion anything, don’t pinch pennies and cheap out on beer, paper towels and toilet paper for a month.

Chris
 

yazkaz

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I’ve got three Xtar VP2 chargers and they’re top notch, safe and flexible, if not a bit long in the tooth and ‘probably’ out of production.

Most of the top tier Xtar chargers are worthy, as are many from Nitecore, Liitokala, Opus and a few others.

When it comes Lithium Ion anything, don’t pinch pennies and cheap out on beer, paper towels and toilet paper for a month.
The VP2 has been officially discontinued, however it is still available on eB (can't post links here but go figure) as NOS. I'm not sure though if a successor model will be under way.

Most Xtar chargers are of good quality and can do the LiIon charging well. For Opus I only stick to the BT-C3100/3400 but the 3400 has slightly better materials and optimized firmware (I believe). Not sure about the other two but I believe the ABS construction on many Nitecore units is a little weak.

You're right about the last statement. LiIons need to be dealt with with extreme care, let alone proper charging strategy. Any substandard charger could damage the cells concerned, or even cause them to explode (and such).
 

NYCT

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I just recently got rid of my Pile IBC after using it for about 10 years and chose an Xtar VC4, very pleased with this charger, easy to use and has a digital display. Seems well made and doesn't get too hot. I do recommend Xtar as a brand.
 

novice

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I also have an XTAR VC4 that I'm very happy with, although after a few years it has some futz-with-it quirks in terms of "bay placement" that I won't go into, probably due to the amount of settled dust it has had to deal with. If XTAR makes an updated version that takes a 21700 Li-ion cell, I will get one as soon as Fivemega comes out with a 1x21700 Surefire E-head body/tailcap, and a 2x21700 C-head version of the same.
I gave my old Pila IBC to some dear friends I had given several Surefire lights to, along with several 18650 cells, and a wordy technical/safety fear-of-god MS Word document that I typed up.
 

yazkaz

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I just recently got rid of my Pile IBC after using it for about 10 years and chose an Xtar VC4, very pleased with this charger, easy to use and has a digital display. Seems well made and doesn't get too hot. I do recommend Xtar as a brand.
I too have owned and used multiple IBCs until around 2013-14 after acquiring a VP2 and VC2. The added convenience of these newer chargers esp. with multiple cell length compatibility without the need of spacers seems to render the IBC a joke. Nevertheless, I'll still keep the IBCs just in case (they were expensive after all).

I also have an XTAR VC4 that I'm very happy with, although after a few years it has some futz-with-it quirks in terms of "bay placement" that I won't go into, probably due to the amount of settled dust it has had to deal with. If XTAR makes an updated version that takes a 21700 Li-ion cell, I will get one as soon as Fivemega comes out with a 1x21700 Surefire E-head body/tailcap, and a 2x21700 C-head version of the same.
I gave my old Pila IBC to some dear friends I had given several Surefire lights to, along with several 18650 cells, and a wordy technical/safety fear-of-god MS Word document that I typed up.
Not sure how you store your VC4 but my VC2 doesn't seem to have your said issues. Maybe because I store them properly after each usage?

As far as 21700 is concerned, most older Xtar chargers should be compatible with the unprotected variant. It's the protected variant that is causing problem due to the added length. However, I don't use 21700s and will continue to stick to 18650s as I've invested a lot on this cell form, and will thus hold off getting a new charger just for the said protected cell compatibility (not just yet).

BTW, I'm not looking forward to any 21700 usage on SF systems (even through custom made parts), due mainly to possible compatibility issues with legacy modular parts/components.
 

jm79

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Good day, would be getting a charger for my unprotected samsung 30Q 18650s and AAA, AA batteries. Not a techie guy that much so I prefer and plug and play type that can charge my batteries with overcharging and safety protection. Mains are a plus. Any suggestion about the following and best of all I have chose regardless of price?

Nitecore D4/I4
Xtar VC4/X4
Liitokala Engineer Lii500

Thank you.
 
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