The Best 18650 Battery Buying Guide
The choice of a 18650 battery is mainly a brand and a model. For brands, it’s simple and for the model, we will simplify it. Here are some quick explanations, but you can go directly to our selection if only the answer is important to you.
There are two types of marks for 18650 batteries (best 18650 battery): the original and the “rewrap”. The originals are made by the factory that inscribed his name on it. For those that interest us, there are only a very small number: Sony, LG, Samsung, and Panasonic / Sanyo. The others, like Efest, Enercig, AWT or MXJO are “rewrapped” batteries, that is to say, the original ones of which one simply removed the labels to sell them under a mark of distribution. Clearly, a battery Efest, it does not exist, it is a battery of a manufacturer of which we just changed the packaging.
To put it simply: buy originals. Avoid the rewrap with which you do not know what you buy, but you are sure they are overvalued. We have devoted a full article on brands , you will have all the details on the issue.
Characteristics of best 18650 battery
18650 batteries have two main features, their maximum capacity and discharge current, sometimes called CDM or “amperage”. The first measure autonomy and is expressed in milliamperes per hour (mAh). The larger the number, the greater the autonomy. The second is expressed in Amps (A), and characterizes the intensity, the power to simplify, the maximum at which the battery can be used. The larger the number, the more power the battery can provide.
The problem is that you have to make a choice: the larger the capacity, the lower the amperage, and vice versa. We favor power or autonomy, not both at the same time. You can read our article on the essential features of the batteries for more details. The idea is to choose a battery that can deliver the power you need, while having the best possible autonomy.
How far is the limit?
Some will tell you that these limits are far too low, and that you can push the batteries far beyond these powers. That’s true to a certain extent. You can actually skip a category and use for example a battery rated 15 A at 20 A. This nevertheless implies a significant decrease in the life of the battery, as well as an increase in risk.
The problem is that this increase is not quantifiable. It depends on the intensity, the battery, its condition, the electronics, the battery compartment (which retains more or less heat), etc. In itself the more you go over the CDM and it’s more likely to go wrong, but you can exceed 10 A and it will pass, or 3 A and it will not pass. In short, no one can tell you how much you increase the aging of your battery or what the increased risk in a particular case represents. Hence the reasonable idea of sticking to the maximum power recommended, without playing Russian roulette.
To calculate the intensity drawn on a battery at a given power in an electronic box, the calculation is totally different from that of mods without regulation. You have the formulas and their explanations in the article on batteries in electronic mods. You should know that the batteries we use are not intended specifically for the vape, but designed to be inserted into groups in packs with specific electronic protection. They are therefore not used under the prescribed conditions, and they are easily pushed to their limits. You can go even further, and use for example a battery 15 A at 90 W in a box mecha simple accu, but do not hope to keep a long time, and you will know who to blame in case of malfunction or, worse, of more explosive concerns.