The Best 18650 Battery Charger in the Market - 2021 Guide
Nothing turns a serious vaper off than vape going off just when they’re about to draw. So, most vapers invest in good 18650 batteries to prolong their vaping experience.
Unfortunately, just buying a good 18650 battery won't cut it unless you have a good charger. If you buy a 'cheap' charger, or worse, a Chinese knockoff, you might find yourself needing to replace your batteries sooner than you thought.
That being said, you must invest in a good 18650 battery and a good 18560 battery charger.
Read on as we check out some of the best 18560 battery chargers on the market. We'll also throw in a few things you need to know before going battery shopping.
Top Rated 18650 Battery Charger
Best 18650 Battery Chargers on the Market
Nitecore i4 Intellicharger Smart Battery Charger
As our first pick, we have the Nitecore i4 Battery Charger. This is one of the best universal chargers on the market. It has the capacity to charge up to four batteries.
This universal 18650 battery charger has a pretty impressive voltage range, from 1.2V to 4.35V, making it suitable for a wide variety of battery types. It also has a controllable voltage feature that allows you to set each bay's charging voltage individually. This means that you can charge different types of batteries simultaneously.
If you don’t want to wait too long for your battery to be ready for use, you can use the 1500mA output. What more is that it automatically detects the amperage required for each battery if you charge any other battery apart from a 18650 battery.
When safety is concerned, you can rest assured that both you and your batteries are safe. It comes equipped with three different safety features that work efficiently to prevent damage and accidents.
The overcharge protector works on a timer basis that ensures that each charging bay turns off when the set charge time is reached. It also comes loaded with a reverse polarity detector that turns off the charging bay when you insert the battery the wrong way.
Lastly, it has a rechargeable battery detector that turns off the charging bay when you insert a non-rechargeable battery. The charger casing is also made from fire-resistant materials that ensure it doesn't catch fire in an electric short-circuit.
When it comes to convenience, the Nitecore Battery Charger has got you sorted. It comes with various visual aids that relay important information such as ‘battery fully charged’ and other relevant information and errors.
It also has a 12-volt in-car charger that comes in handy when you want to change your batteries while traveling.
ESYB M2 USB Battery Charger
If you are looking for a travel-friendly dual battery charger that will give you the functionality and convenience of a premium model at a great price, then this might be the charger for you.
The ESYB M2 USB Battery Charger features two charging channels with independent charging and monitoring. This feature allows you to charge two different batteries simultaneously. The maximum charging voltage of 1.0A also comes in handy when dealing with heavy-duty rechargeable batteries.
It also comes equipped with an intelligent internal charging feature that automatically starts charging the battery when the voltage is below 4.06V and stops when it’s fully charged.
In terms of safety, this smart battery charger is made from ABS fire-resistant materials. It also comes loaded with safety features such as short-circuit protection, anti-reversing protection, over-voltage protection, over-current protection, and excellent heat dissipation to avert damage or accidents caused by overheating.
LUC V4 Battery Charger
The LUC V4 Battery Charger provides you with absolute convenience and excellent functionality. Like our first pick, this universal smart battery charger comes equipped with four independent charging bays and easy-to-use controls and safety features.
When you look at this charger, the first thing you’ll notice is the stylish yet simple design accentuated by an LCD screen and a minimalistic design for optimum portability. The digital screen displays all relevant information like voltage, amperage, and charging status of each cell.
It has two modes; the 0.5/1.0A mode and the 2A model. In the 0.5/1.0A mode, you can charge four batteries, while in the 2A mode, you can charge two batteries.
You can rest assured that all your batteries will be safe as it comes equipped with various safety features such as low power protection, zero voltage activation protection, automatic charge monitoring, and over-charging protection.
Nitecore i2 Charger Version
Nitecore is one of the most reputable brands for producing high-quality 18650 chargers, so you know it's a high-quality charger.
The Nitecore i2 has two charging bays that can simultaneously charge two different types of batteries and twice as fast as your average i2 charger. The fast charging ability is supported by its 100% charging acceleration that delivers a 1000mAh charging current in a single shot.
This charger features various safety and convenience features, including an automated current selection feature that automatically delivers current according to individual battery specifications. Both charging bays can also be controlled independently.
Other safety features include:
- - Over-discharge battery activation.
- - Reverse polarity detection.
- - Overtime charging protection.
- - Short circuit protection.
- - Optimal heat dissipation optimized by the use of heat-resistant materials during construction.
Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best 18650 Battery Charger
1. Number of charging bays
18650 battery chargers normally come with single, double, triple, quadruple (four), or sextuple (six) charging bays. When it comes to charging bays, your choice rests entirely on the number of batteries you intend on charging at once.
Most people go for two-bay chargers, but if you intend to charge more than two batteries a day, you should choose a four or six-bay charger.
2. Does it have independent charging bays?
Chargers with independent charging bays offer less charge time for each battery charging when compared to regular chargers. This is because independent charging bays don't share a circuit; shared circuits contribute to a longer charging time.
On the downside, chargers with true independent charging bays will set you back a few more dollars since they have more components and offer better convenience.
Also, when buying a charger with independent charging bays, always buy from a trusted brand. This is because most four and six-bay chargers share circuits between two bays, increasing your charging time significantly when charging different batteries.
3. Does it come with LED Lights or an LCD Screen?
18650 battery chargers use LED lights and LCD screens to display crucial information. Budget chargers normally use LED lights, while their more advanced counterparts use LCD screens.
LCD screens offer more convenience as you can monitor the batteries’ charging process and read the battery's voltage effortlessly. That being said, although an LCD screen is an added advantage, it is not really necessary.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a millimeter to test your battery's voltage, it is advisable that you use a charger with an LCD screen.
4. How portable do you need the charger to be?
Although the portability of a 18650 charger isn't essential, you should think about it before making your purchase. If you move around constantly, it’s best to choose one with a minimalistic design. Likewise, it would help if you also considered its docking options.
A charger with a USB power inlet comes in handy when you’re using it in a vehicle or any other place where a wall inlet is not available.
Similarly, if you plan to use your charger in the house or on-site, you should consider getting a charger with a mains plug.
5. How much are you planning to spend?
No matter how many features you want on your charger, the model you take home ultimately depends on your budget.
If you plan on charging one or two batteries a day, then you don't have to all-out to buy a six-bay charger. That being said, when looking for an affordable charger, always buy from a reputable brand since most budget chargers sacrifice quality.
Whenever you go battery charger-shopping, always ensure that the charger has all the relevant safety features installed. As a minimum, a 18650 battery charger should have overcharge, reverse polarity, and thermal protection. All the batteries we’ve reviewed have met and exceeded these minimum safety requirements.
7. Which features do you want the charger to have?
You might think that a charger is just a charger, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. And when it comes to 18650 battery chargers, features determine both their functionality and convenience.
One of the most basic features to look out for in a charger is a display screen. Accelerated charging is also a big plus since it reduces your battery's charging time tremendously without damaging them.
18650 battery charger Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At what current should I charge my 18650 battery?
A battery charger's current rating is one of the most important things to look out for when buying a battery charger. But, since most chargers have adjustable charging currents, we’ll not dive into that right now.
The optimum charging current of a 18650 battery depends on its individual specifications. You should, however, note that the maximum charging current for any 18650 battery should be 0.5% of its capacity.
This means that a 3400mAh battery should be charged with an output current of 1700mAh. Charging with any current above 0.5% of its capacity will lead to overheating, which will ultimately reduce the battery’s life.
However, charging your batteries at a lower current rating will charge the battery safely but at a slower pace.
That being said, it is safe for you to charge your batteries at a slightly higher current rating. But this should only be done very rarely in emergencies since prolonged charging with an excess current will ultimately damage your battery.
What is the best vape 18650 battery charger?
The best battery charger you can get for your vape batteries is one that will meet all your demands and not affect your battery’s life. Such a charger should output the correct voltage, have a protection circuit, and an LCD screen to display all vital charging information.
One of the best brands producing such chargers is Nitecore. Nicole produces some of the best and most versatile chargers on the market.
Also, most of the chargers they produce have a protection circuit and a display screen to display all vital charging information useful for both safety and monitoring purposes.
How can I buy the best 18650 battery charger?
If you want to end up with the best 18650 battery charger, you must know what to look for. We’ve already mentioned most of that stuff above, so I’m not going to get into it.
That being said, if you have a small budget and can’t afford a high-end charger with variable output parameters, you need to pay attention to your batteries’ specifications. Doing that will enable you to purchase a charger that suits your batteries.
It would be best if you also considered the brand and its reputation. Apart from Nitecore, you can also go for ESYB chargers since it’s also a reputable brand.
Also, when buying online, always check the reviews of people who have already purchased the model. Reading the reviews will ensure that you get a clear picture of what to expect.
You can’t have a proper vaping experience if your batteries keep dying on you. That's why you have to choose the best charger not only to keep your batteries charged but also to prolong their lifetime.
All the chargers we’ve discussed meet all the safety specifications of a high-quality charger. They also come equipped with lots of other useful features for added convenience.
Before you go out shopping for a new charger, remember all the things we've discussed in the buying guide section, so you don't end up regretting your choice.