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You may think that quitting smoking is a total impossibility for you....

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Mark 10:27 - But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible."

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

18650 & 18350 Battery Review

UPDATE: Please participate in our anonymous POLL.  It's for a really good cause!

So over the past few months, I've been conducting my own independent tests of a few different batteries for use with my eCigs.  There's a huge disparity of information out on the internet about "what's the best", so instead of concerning myself with "what's the best", I want to answer a different question...

WHAT WORKS GOOD?



Having been involved in the electronics world for the past 30 some-odd years, I've had a lot of experience dealing with all sorts of rechargeable cells.  I won't mesmerize you with the depth and breadth of that knowledge here today, because it's irrelevant.  If you need charts and graphs, move along as you won't find any here.  Just know this - I want to help steer you away from OBVIOUS JUNK, but I also don't want you to have to break the bank in order to get a good, reliable and consistent setup.  Fair?  Good.


Just know this, there is no such thing as the "best battery".  Yes, there are many that are bad, but I don't believe there's any such thing as "best".


For the sake of completeness, I want it to be known WHAT these batteries were tested in.  I have tested each of these batteries inside of:


a. VAMO V2

b. SmokeTech Natural
c. Sigelei Mechanical Mod #19
d. VAMO V3 (added 10/20/2013)
e. Grand Vapor Private V2-clone (added 10/20/2013)

#1Samsung ICR18650-26F (unprotected)

I'm starting with this particular battery for a reason.  As the model number of this battery suggests, this is a 2600mAh battery.  This is the first "cell" that I purchased for use in my first APV, the VAMO.  I originally purchased 2 of these in order to swap one out while charging.  This battery has performed so well in my tests, that I now have a grand total of *6* of them in rotation.  I selected this battery from a universe of 1,000's of possible cells.  I chose it, because it's made by Samsung.  Samsung's technology for producing batteries is second to none and I TRUST these batteries.  What do I trust them to do?  I trust them to be reliable, to have a good life and to do exactly what I ask of them.  In other words, if you do something stupid and they leak/explode, you don't blame the battery, you blame the user.

Some will use their batteries until the charge runs out and then replace the battery.  I do not subscribe to this irresponsible usage of a rechargeable battery.  I swap my battery every 24 hours, whether it's dead or not.  And let me tell you, these batteries DO last a full 24 hours PLUS.  I smoked 2 packs of Analogs a day for 30 years, so it's safe to say that I'd be considered a "heavy Vaper".  I've done PLENTY of Sub-Ohm Vaping using these batteries and plenty of 2.4-2.8 Ohm Vaping as well.  No matter what I do, these batteries have lasted at least 24 hours and have done so for months as of this writing.  


They hold a charge EXTREMELY WELL.  After 6 days of sitting on a shelf waiting to be used, these batteries are still testing out at 4.19V.  I highly recommend these batteries - HIGHLY!


Update 10/20/2013 - First of all, I want to thank Katya for the plug on e-cig forums.  Second, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm STILL using the same 6 - ICR-18650-26F's that I wrote about in this review.  No problems, no issues, 100% reliable.  If / when they die, I'll be sure and update this.

#2 - Samsung ICR18650-30B (protected)


Early on in my Vaping life, I came across many people talking about the severe dangers associated with the rechargeable batteries used for Vaping.  For the most part, the cautionary tales are true.  In reality, most of you will never have a problem.  Problems are the exception, not the rule.  As the model number of this battery suggests, this is a 3000mAh battery.  


I purchased 2 of these cells and I have been testing these for about 2 months.  One test I ran, was a shelf-life test.  After 30 days, the charge was metered at 4.17V, not bad.  These cells are protected and as such are LONGER than an unprotected cell.  They DO NOT FIT in most non-telescopic mods, such as the SmokTech Natural.  There's only a 4mm difference between this one and the unprotected Samsung 2600mAh cell, but due to the way that non-telescoping mods are made, it's a non-starter.  These WILL NOT FIT into a VAMO V2 (and I suspect the V1 & V3 as well).  Don't even try it, the pressure from FORCING the battery cap on will undoubtedly break the small circuit board.


These batteries have proven to be reliable, they pass my 24 hour requirement, AND as they're made by Samsung, I have enough faith in these cells to recommend them.

#3 - TrustFire 18650 - 3000mAh (protected)

There's a lot of misinformation floating around on the net about any battery with the word "Fire" in its name.  Here's what you need to know.  They OVER-RATE them.

This is their higher-end cell and it's the reason that I chose them.  While the battery is clearly labeled as "3000 mAh", there's published information available on the internet that shows these batteries are only 2600mAh.  Is that a problem for me?  Nope.  I've been using Samsung 2600mAh batteries now for months and there's PLENTY of charge for my needs.


I purchased 2 of these and I have been testing them for 2 months.  Much like the Samsung ICR18650-30B, their shelf-life is impressive.  Tested at 4.19V after 30 days of sitting on a shelf.


These cells are protected and as such are LONGER than an unprotected cell.  There's only a 3.9mm difference between this one and the unprotected Samsung 2600mAh cell, but due to the way that non-telescoping mods are made, it's a non-starter.  These WILL NOT FIT into a VAMO V2 (and I suspect the V1 & V3 as well).  Don't even try it, the pressure from FORCING the battery cap on will undoubtedly break the small circuit board.


These batteries have proven to be reliable, they also pass my 24 hour requirement.  The big question that I have to answer, is can I responsibly recommend them?  Well, they're made in China and like it or not, Chinese made batteries are not made to the same standard as most Korean made ones.  Knowing that, the question is, "do I trust the protection circuit?".  While China hasn't quite gotten the "battery thing" figured out yet, their ability to produce IC's and circuit boards is good enough even for Apple to have their stuff made there.  If you follow safe practices for handling rechargeable batteries, I'd say YES, go ahead and get a pair and see if you like them.  Remember, TRUST IS NOT GIVEN, IT IS EARNED.  A product can only EARN your trust if you give it a chance.


#4 - EFest 18350 - 800mAh V2 (unprotected)

             
Truth be told, I only purchased these batteries for ONE REASON.  I bought them to test out the ability of my VAMO to handle higher voltages when there's a greater supply voltage.  At 800mAh, I consider these batteries almost useless FOR ME.  On average, I get only about 4 hours of use out of them.  Are they defective?  No, they're just half the size of an 18650 and can't FIT enough power in them to be useful.

If you need to have the "smallest mod possible", then you're going to want 18350's.  Just be prepared to have extra batteries in your pocket, your glove compartment or in your purse.


Do I recommend them?  I only recommend them if you need to Vape at anything higher than 6V or if you have the "tiny mod complex".  They don't pass my 24 hour requirement, but they are manufactured by a known reliable company, so I can't say "don't buy them".  As with anything, your mileage my vary...


#5 - Standard eGo-C 1100mAh (protected)

You might be asking yourself WHY I would bother to throw this in my 18650 & 18350 Battery Review.  Let me tell you why.  I threw it in here for a LONGEVITY comparison that I'm sure somebody out there might be interested in.

For my very first eCig "kit", I selected the BEST and LARGEST battery I could find.  The 1100mAh eGo-C battery fit the bill.  I used that battery until I discovered that there WAS a better way to Vape (but that's a story in a different blog post).  And quite honestly, I do pull this battery out from time to time, just to see how it performs with various atomizers.


Over the course of my time Vaping, I have used every device I own on this battery.  It always lasted at least 24 hours before the blue light started flashing and it always performed as designed.  This device won't even power on if your coil is under 1.2 Ohms, but I've used 1.2 ohm and all the way up to 3.0 ohm coils on this unit and it always passed my 24 hour test.


Do I recommend you get one?  Well, if you're new to Vaping, then sure!  Go get a couple and figure this whole Vaping thing out.  If you want the freedom and flexibility to Sub Ohm Vape, or even to make a 1.1 ohm coil for that matter, then you're going to want to get a Mechanical mod.





Too many people are pushing AW IMR batteries and EFest batteries unnecessarily.  There's no EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you NEED to spend the extra $$$ (or £££ for that matter).  Just because I recommend these batteries does not mean that you SHOULD get them for yourself, it means that I can CONFIRM that they WORK WELL.  In other words, you could do worse...


Update 10/28/2013: I just wanted to throw one more piece of information into this blog entry.  IF and that's a BIG IF, you want to seriously go 100% Subohm Vaping @ ridiculous Wattage levels (remember, Watts is a measurement of HEAT), then you're going to want to find batteries that can withstand 20A or more of current drain.  Just as an example, .2Ω @ 4.1V is about 84 Watts.  That's just 16 Watts less than a 100 Watt light bulb   Ever touch one of those with your bare fingers?  I'm just sayin'....  ;)  To the best of my recollection, none of the batteries in this review are able to supply more than 10A if memory serves me correctly.  99% of MOST Vaping is done between 5-5.5W!  See what I'm getting at here?

So that's my 18650 & 18350 Battery review.  I know there are many choices for batteries out there and I know that there are MANY good batteries for sale, from a variety of countries and manufacturers.  Just follow safe practices when dealing with rechargeable Lithium-Ion cells and try to incorporate your cells into a rotation, so that your batteries last a very long time.



If you appreciate what I'm doing here, you know what to do....
Like it, Tweet it, Share it, +1 it, tell your dog about it, etc...  ;)


(images used above sourced from http://www.google.com)

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for this amazing review of batteries for ecig. I have lavatube running on 18650 2200mah and an ego-c 1100mah. They sure can last. Happy vaping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Thank you for your comments...

      I'm glad to see that you have found what you need to have a happy Vaping experience.

      For those of you who are just getting started, It's not that it's hard to do, it just takes a little bit of research and anyone can do it!

      Delete
  2. This is a nice site. Just a FYI on the 3400mah batteries. That is just size not width. Found out if you have a Evic, there are only certain batteries you can use. Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. This is helping me to quit smoking and its not easy. The juice you pick out make sure there is a flavor you like, but dont over do. If you want a good vape, Evic, Tesla, with Protanks are the best you can go with. Reg'ed at 1.9-2.0 oms. Watts recommended on that tank is 5.2W.you will get a good vape off of it. Do not run the 2000 generic batteries either of the two devices when they are set for 2600 to 3400mHa.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your great post. I really appreciate the efforts you have put in your blog .It is interesting and helpful.
    Battery Manufacturers in India

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Austin, but I wasn't able to find any information about 18650 or other eCig related batteries at that site. Perhaps you can explain the link?

      Delete
  4. Pastor,

    Thanks for the nice review. The battery issue is confusing for new modder's like me so this was very helpful and practical. It's interesting you review the Ego-C as I've been wondering how long an Ego lasts a heavy vaper such as myself. I'm the person you wrote that couple of paragraphs for! Amazing that your Ego-C passed the 24-hr test. We seem to be very similar vapers re: quantity (and formerly smoking quantity too) and my Ego-C's last me only a couple of hours if they're brand new. This is why I moved to using a mod when at home...in the hopes of not having to change batteries every hour or two. I'd love to find a 24-hr mod (or any e-cig) battery. As of this writing my mod batteries get me through about 1/2 day. I'll try the Samsung's you recommend and see if they do the trick. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      What a nice post!

      And by the way, you have the special distinction of being the 100th comment on this Blog! ;)

      For clarity to those who haven't read my entire Blog, I was a smoker for 30 years. I smoked 2 packs of full-flavored cigarettes per day. I quit and moved to Vaping in one step. I tried a few Vaping items, saw that I could do it, finished my carton of cigarettes (hey, I hate wasting money!) and that was it.

      I worked with a 1100mAh (and that's not pronounced MAH, it's spelled out m-a-h) eGo-C battery for the first 4 months. Since I wanted to start using a Rebulidable with coils under 1.2 ohms, I had no choice but to start using Mechanicals and VV/VW devices (of course I had to use the mechanical for anything under 1.2 ohms). I now Vape approximately 4ml of 6mg eLiquid per day. A significant drop in my nicotine intake from just a few months ago, when I was using 18mg! I'm also down from about 6-7ml per day! And I can assure you, I'm not trying, or doing anything special to cut-back. If you get the right device and the right eJuice, it all just falls into place.

      Trust me, if you can find a FLAVOR of eLiquid that you like, you can quit smoking too. It doesn't require any willpower and it's kind of like getting a new car. Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM... You get in, adjust your seat and mirror, start the engine, put it in gear and drive! Nothing too difficult to figure out AND you stop putting carcinogens into your body! What's so hard?

      I wrote this Blog entry back in June 2013 and i'm STILL using the same 6 Samsung 26F batteries I purchased earlier this year. They are still my favorite!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Anonymous from Louisiana, I'm glad I could be of some help to you. :)

      Delete
  5. Can anyone tell me how long should a 18650 charge?
    I have a single charge charger...its new..only a week...i now have 2 batteries that i have in rotation one is a trust fire
    And the other one is gray..i dont know the name
    Also my vaping tool right now is a itaste svd
    My settings are rather low in the 5.5 range

    My issue is the trust fire is only a week old
    And i putvit on for charge and 24 hours later the light was still not green....i took the battery off the charge and tested the power in it. My itaste said 4.1
    So to check that i out it againstba voltage meter and it was confirmed.
    To my understanding a full charge is 4.2
    My vape machine turns from green to orange to red on the firing button as the battery level is low. When is it recomended to actually put the battery on the charger?

    Any help with this would make my world a little less stressful place

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave,

      Here's a copy and paste from my ProTank Review - 2nd Followup post:

      7. How long does it take to charge the ProTank? - Alright look, I didn't think this one up, I've got dozens of search hits from people looking to have this question answered. Your ProTank is not a battery and can not be charged. A standard eGo-C battery in the 400-700mAh range takes about 4-6 hrs to charge and a 800-1300mAh takes about 8-12 hours to charge. 18650 and 18350 batteries take a similar amount of time to charge. Clearomizers, Atomizers, Glassomizers, Tankomizers, RBA's, etc. do not get charged.

      If your 18650 batteries are not charging after 12 hours (turning the light green), then there's a problem with either your batteries or your charger. So if one of your batteries is charging properly and one isn't, then you know it's the battery and not the charger...

      As for you "testing the power in it and your itaste said 4.1V", that's opening up a whole can of worms. Voltage and Current are two completely different things, especially when it comes to rechargeable batteries. Just because your meter shows 4.1V, doesn't mean that the battery has properly charged and doesn't mean that its current handling capacity has been completely satisfied, by receiving a proper charge.

      9 times out of 10, there's a short inside of the battery, in between the layers, that causes or prevents a complete and proper charge. It's nothing you can fix and could be the result of a manufacturing defect, being connected to the wrong type of charger OR as the result of a DROP onto a hard surface...

      Batteries are cheap enough Dave. I'd suggest that you pick up a couple of more reliable cells than what you currently have your hands on. The ones I reviewed are good choices, but there are many other good batteries to choose from out there.

      As for how far to let a battery discharge, most VV/VW mods will shut down at 3.2V, so I would say that 3.2V should be your indication that your batteries need to be charged. This is also good to understand NOW, before you start to delve into the "mechanical mod" arena...

      The other thing that I should also mention, is to let your battery REST once the charge is complete. In other words, after you take your battery off of charge, set it down and let it sit for a few hours before you use it. Your patience will be rewarded with longer battery life.

      Thanks for the questions...
      I hope that I've been of some help! :)

      Delete
    2. PS: I just noticed that you're looking around in several places for answers to this question, and I see that you've already received some answers... A word of warning... "Don't believe everything you're told"....

      Delete
  6. Pastor,

    Yes, I'm a little late in finding this most useful review. But better late then never.
    So as useful as this review on batteries is (and yes, my Fasttech order for Samsung 18650s are submitted) have you ever tested what a good charger is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard,

      EXCELLENT QUESTION!

      The reason I've never done a charger review, is because the very first charger I purchased (which was actually part of the VAMO 2 kit that I bought), worked and still works great!

      The TrustFire TR-001 is what I have. It will charge 2 batteries, anything from a flat-top 18350 all the way up to a protected 18650 with button-top! The only downside to this charger, is that it'll overcharge your battery IF you only charge one at a time (not dangerously, but it's noticeable). If you charge 2 batteries at the same time, it's 100% reliable. It's also downright affordable, so there's no reason to go out and spend $20-$30 on something "prettier". Red light means charging, green light means charged....

      One quick note, I'm STILL using the same 6 Samsung 26F's that I purchased more than a year ago and they're still working LIKE BRAND NEW! You really can't go wrong with these guys!

      As for being late... It's never too late to be right on time! :)

      Thanks for your question and comments!

      Delete


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