If you’re looking to find out which 18650 battery is best, the answer depends on what you need it for. Your build and how you vape will determine the battery that will be best for your needs. This is because currently, an 18650 battery can have either a high current rating or a high capacity but not both.
For example, some batteries may last a long time without having to be charged but can’t be discharged at high rates. Other batteries may perform great at high discharge rates but will need to be charged again more frequently.
That’s why we’ve created a list of the best 18650 batteries for vaping 2020 to help you more easily choose the battery that’s right for you and your needs.
The Best 18650 Batteries For Vaping 2020
We’ve divided this list of the best 18650 batteries for vaping into three categories to help you easily choose the battery that is right for your needs.
Best 18650 Battery for 20A
3000mAh Capacity 20A Continuous Discharge Rating
The LG HG2takes a solid first place as the best battery you can buy for up to 20A. The HG2’s large 3000mAh capacity and ability to comfortably discharge up to 20A while remaining at a cool and safe operating temperature are the main features that make it a great battery.
The 3000mAh capacity of the LG HG2 is amazing, and will mean less frequent charging. You may even get multiple days of use from one charge, depending on how much you vape. If you’re looking for a battery that will operate cool, function safely all the way up to 20A, the LG HG2 should be your first choice.
2500mAh 20A Continuous Discharge Rating
Boasting an impressive 2500mAh battery and the ability to discharge up to 20A continuously, the Samsung 25R 18650 battery is a great contender for the best 18650 battery for up to 20A. This cell is great at up to 20A because it runs at a cool, moderate temperature that will not affect the life of the battery.
The 25R is a great, hard hitting 18650 battery, and the 2500mAh capacity means less frequent charging. For these reasons, combined with its ability to output up to 20A while maintaining a safe operating temperature, we rank the Samsung 25R as a close second to the LG HG2 for 18650 batteries up to 20A.
3000mAh 15A Continuous Discharge Rating
For a battery that will discharge up to 15A safely and efficiently without overheating, the Samsung 30Q is a great choice. If you only need around 15A of current, the 30Q boasts a better battery capacity at 3000mAh over the 25R while providing the same hard hitting voltage. And because you’re drawing less current from the battery at 15A, your battery will also last a lot longer.
While the Samsung 30Q is capable of discharging up to 20A continuously, this is only if the cell is kept under 75 degrees C. Any hotter than this, and the cell will become damaged and therefore have degraded performance and a shortened life span.
If you’re only going to be drawing up to 15A from your battery, the 30Q is a superb choice because of its large battery capacity, and cool operating temperature.
Best 18650 Battery for 25A
2500mAh 25A Continuous Discharge Rating
If you need a battery that can safely discharge up to 25A while remaining cool and collected, theSony VTC5Ais the best battery for you. The VTC5A is great because not only does it output a high current, but it also has a decent 2500mAh battery capacity. In our opinion, the Sony VTC5A is the best you can get in terms of both high discharge, and high capacity. 25A and 2500mAh is about the best you’re going to get, before you start seeing a serious compromise for one or the other.
The VTC5A is a great, hard hitting 18650 battery, and the 2500mAh capacity means less frequent charging. For these reasons, combined with its ability to output up to 25A while maintaining a safe operating temperature, we rank the Sony VTC5A as the best 18650 battery for up to 25A.
2100mAh 23A Continuous Discharge Rating
A hard hitting dependable battery, the Sony VTC4 is one of the best 18650 batteries for vaping at up to 23A. At 23A the cell operates at a safe and cool temperature and will not suffer any damage due to overheating. Though a bit smaller in capacity than the VTC5A at 2100mAh, the VTC4 hits quite a bit harder.
If you’re looking to draw up to 23A for your build and looking for a hard hitting battery, the Sony VTC4 is great at 2100mAh and will safely and efficiently deliver power. Because it isn’t as high capacity, nor as high rated as the VTC5A, the VTC4 comes in as a close second for the best 18650 battery up to 25A.
Best 18650 Battery for 30A
2000mAh 30A Maximum Discharge Rating
If you’re looking for a cell that can discharge high amounts of current while staying cooler than any other battery at these loads, the Samsung 20S is the only battery you should consider. Although the Samsung 20S only has a 2000mAh capacity it delivers fantastic performance up to its maximum current rating of 30A.
For low builds on a mechanical mod, the 20S is the only battery that can safely deliver up to 30A without overheating but we recommend only using it at up to 20A for maximum performance. Keep in mind that with a 2000mAh battery, you’re best to get two and a battery case so that you’re never without your vape.
If you’re using a mech mod, you should make sure that you always exercise proper battery safety precautions and have a firm understanding of Ohm’s Law. Knowing the amps that your build will be drawing from your battery is essential when using a mechanical mod, and you should pick a battery that is rated comfortably above that.
For example, If your build will draw 17A from your battery, a battery rated for 20A would be ideal. If you’re using a regulated mod, knowing your battery safety is always a good thing and you should always follow Ohm’s Law.
Battery safety and staying within the limits of your build and battery is paramount when it comes to vaping, because terrible things can happen if you aren’t careful. Batteries can and will explode if used improperly, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that you’re buying a battery that is both rated correctly for your build, and manufactured by a reputable company.
Our list of the best 18650 batteries for vaping only includes LG, Samsung, and Sony branded batteries. While you can get cheap, or even knockoff 18650 batteries that state high current ratings and high capacities, these are frequently cells that did not pass the quality assurance checks from one of the big 3.
If it isn’t good enough for LG, Samsung, or Sony to sell, it probably isn’t good enough for you to buy. Be wary of cheap counterfeits, as these brands are frequently faked and will not perform the same as the original. For your safety, you should only purchase your batteries from a reputable vendor. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, in our opinion, price should not be a deciding factor when picking a battery for your vape.
Key Qualities of a Great Battery
There are four key factors that you should consider when picking the best battery for your vape:
- High current rating
- High capacity
- High voltage when vaping
- Low Operating Temperature
High Current Rating
A high current rating is extremely important when choosing a battery if you’re planning on running a low ohm build. The current rating on a battery is the maximum current that the battery can safely discharge at one time. For example, imagine we have a bottle filled with water. The size of the bottle opening limits the amount of water that can be poured out at one time. In this analogy, the size of the opening would be the maximum current rating, and the size of the water bottle itself would be the battery capacity.
Some batteries with a high current rating are able to discharge up to 30A without overheating. However, this doesn’t mean that you should just go out and buy the battery with the highest current rating. While this would definitely be the safest approach, you would be sacrificing battery capacity in return. Instead, you should use Ohm’s Law to properly calculate the amps you will be drawing from your battery and pick a battery that is rated comfortably above that.
A higher capacity in an 18650 battery means that it will be able to deliver power for longer without having to be recharged. Capacity is measured in milliampere-hours, and is a measure of how many milliamps we can draw from the battery for how many hours. Now, the milliamps you will be drawing from your battery will be dependent on your build, but this means that a 3000mAh battery will be able to deliver power for twice as long as a 1500mAh battery under the same conditions without having to be recharged.
A high voltage is desirable in an 18650 battery because different batteries will deliver different voltages. For vapers using a mechanical device, a battery with a higher voltage will “hit harder” and deliver more current to the coil, therefore creating more vapor.
For those with regulated mods, a higher voltage is still beneficial because it means that your mod doesn’t have to work as hard, and thus won’t have to draw as much current from the battery.
All of the best 18650 batteries for vaping have a high voltage, and will deliver the hit and vapor that you desire when combined with a suitable rig.
Low Operating Temperature
Having a battery that operates at a safe temperature is one of the most important aspects you should consider when purchasing a battery. Heat is the number one cause of aging and damage to batteries, and a battery that runs too hot will greatly shorten its lifespan. Instead of being able to use the battery for a year or longer, you may find yourself having to replace it much sooner.
In the worst case, if your battery isn’t rated for the current that you are trying to draw from it, the battery can vent or even explode. As previously mentioned, battery safety is paramount and if you simply know your battery safety, ohm’s law, and choose a battery that is rated for your build, you will not encounter any problems.