The 18650 lithium battery is ubiquitous in electronic gadgets like vapes because it can be charged many times, and it holds the charge for a reasonably long period.
It was given the name 18650 because 18 stands for “18mm,” the diameter of the battery, 65 stands for “65mm,” which is the length, and the 0 stands for the cylindrical shape of the battery.
The 18650 battery comes in two variants:
- Lithium-ion battery that has a maximum voltage of 4.2V and a nominal or average voltage of 3.7V.
- Lithium-Iron Phosphate which has a maximum of 3.6V and a nominal voltage of 3.2V
The rating that is indicated on the batteries usually quotes the nominal value.
Top 10 Best 18650 Battery Chargers
Bearing in mind the aforementioned guidelines, here are the 10 best chargers in the market right now:
1. Xtar DRAGON VP4 Plus
This charger is fairly large, and it has 4 charging ports. It is heat-protected to ensure that it lasts long.
It has 3A/12V slots, 11.1V/3s battery pack, and JST-XH. It also has a USB connection which enables it to charge batteries quickly without damaging them. It has a screen that indicates how much each battery has charged.
- Easy to use
- Great for travel
- Charges batteries quickly
- Relatively expensive
2. Nitecore Q4
The Nitecore Q4 is one of the best chargers for not only the 18650 battery but also the 26650, 21700, and the 20700. Other than being versatile, it charges the batteries fast.
The four slots are in such a way that it can charge 2A batteries on two slots, and it can handle 1A batteries on three or more slots.
It has indicators that turn green when the batteries reach maximum charge capacity.
- Charge batteries of different ratings
- Easy to use
- Charges batteries pretty fast
- Does not have an elaborate display
3. EBL lithium 3000mAh Battery Charger
It is relatively cheap and makes things even better. It comes with a pair of 18650 batteries. Other than being budget-friendly, it is compatible with all Lithium-ion batteries.
Using it is quite easy because it doesn’t have many features. All you have to do is put your batteries in the slot and let it charge them.
Unlike other chargers that have displays, this one has an indicator that turns red while charging and green when fully charged.
- Easy to use
- Has no display to show charging progress
- Has no advanced protection mechanisms
4. Zanflare C4 Smart Charger
This is a 18650 battery charger that also functions as a power bank. It has 4 charging docks and has the option to choose from four current variations: 1000mA, 700mA, 500mA, and 300mA.
It has a screen that displays the charging progress of each of the batteries. Since it is a smart charger, it has a built-in mechanism that detects when the negative and positive sides are mismatched to protect the batteries from damage. It also detects short circuits.
- Has battery protection mechanisms
- Easy to operate
- Convenient for travel
• Relatively heavy
5. Eastshine S2
The Eastshine S2 is a universal charger because it works with other variants of batteries besides the 18650. It has two buttons that enable you to choose the charging current and the battery type.
Besides this amazing quality, it has two slots and a screen to show the progress of each battery. It is a smart charger. To protect the batteries from damage, it has a mechanism that allows it to stop charging when the battery is fully charged.
- Overcharge protection mechanism
- Versatile: can charge different kinds of batteries
- Has a temperature sensor to prevent overheating
- Has only two slots
6. Xtar Over 4 Slim
This is one of the best 18650 battery chargers you can buy. It has two slots and can charges your batteries fast without causing any damage. To protect the batteries, it has internal resistance and temperature detection mechanisms. These allow it to keep it within safe ranges of the two parameters.
It also has a way to protect your batteries from overcharge, and it will alert you when you insert the batteries with reversed polarities.
- Smart charger that ensures that your battery is not overcharged
- Has temperature fluctuation, short circuit, and reverse polarity detection features.
- Charges quickly
- Only two slots
7. Nitecore i4 Intellicharge
Made by the same manufacturer as the i2, the i4 is a four-battery charger that has all the good qualities of the i2 in a bigger package.
This charger has an automatic protection system that ensures that you never overcharge your batteries. It also has a display that indicates the progress of each battery. It has a car charger that enables you to charge your batteries as you commute. It can detect polarity reversals, thereby protecting your batteries.
- Charge your batteries from the car
- Can detect current surges and protect your batteries
- Can charge four batteries at a go.
- Relatively slow
8. Nitecore i2 Intellicharge
It is one of the smallest chargers you can find. However, it makes up for that by charging batteries quickly and safely. It can plug into the standard car charger, making it convenient for when you are on the road.
It can charge other batteries other than the 18650 and can take the Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and Li-ion batteries. The charger has a display that indicates the charging progress to show you by how much each battery has charged. It detects when the polarities are reversed, and it helps you avoid overcharging your batteries.
- Can charge in the car
- Versatile: works with many kinds of batteries
- Has protection against polarity reversal and overcharging.
- Only 2 slots
9. XTAR VC2 Plus
This is one of the few 18650 battery chargers that can revive dead batteries. It can protect the battery from current surges as it charges it thanks to its current buffering property.
It has a screen that shows the level of charge in the battery at any given time. When the charge reaches the cut off voltage, it switches off to protect the battery from overcharging.
- Has short circuit protection
- Can revive old batteries
- Protects batteries from temperature fluctuations and overcharging.
- Relatively slow; compared to its peers.
10. Efest Luc V4 Charger
The Efest Luc v4 is one of the most versatile 18650 chargers in the market. Other than taking on the 18650, it can charge the 26650, 10440, 17670, 14500, 18700, 18500, 26500, 18350, and the 14650.
This charger has 4 charging slots and an indicator that shows how much each battery has charged.
It is also quite powerful. In fact, it can charge a phone and tablet safely. That makes it convenient.
- Versatile and can charge many varieties of batteries.
- Can charge a phone or tablet
- Relatively expensive
How to Use a 18650 Battery Charger Safely
Given how important these batteries are to us, we need to learn the best way to handle their charge them safely and sustainably. The goal here is to make them last as long as possible. A few rules to observe include:
- Use the original cable that you bought with the charger
- Ensure that the charger is compatible with the battery
- Don’t use the wrong charger
- Remove the battery from the charger when it attains full charge
- Pay attention to size compatibility. If the battery is too big for a charger, don’t force it.
- While inserting the battery into the charger, start with the negative pole.
- Don’t charge replaceable batteries via the USB ports of a vape device
- Charge new batteries before you use them
- Don’t modify the charger
- Don’t charge with ruined wrappers to avoid causing a fire
How to Choose a 18650 Battery Charger
Since there are many chargers in the market that are not up to the required standards, here are a few things you should look out for before you buy a charger:
- The Price: Do not just buy the cheapest charger. Find one that meets your unique needs before landing on the price. That being said, buy within your means.
- High-quality material: Buy a charger that is heat and scratch resistant. It should be fairly durable.
- Versatile: Find a charger that can charge more than one kind of battery.