What are the Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping?
Let’s face it….your device is only happy when you are running the best 18650 batteries in your devices….
Figuring out the best vape batteries though can be a trial and error task, which is why we’re here today…
Such a question isn’t easily answered; in short it all depends on the mod, type of vaper you are, etc… what we aim to do is to give you all the information so that you can make the most informed and safe decision no matter what kind of vaper you are. Remember when dealing with batteries the most important factor is your peace of mind and safety!
We know that there are two different types of vapers, those that want to know the ins and outs of their setups including all the technical information and those that just want to be told what the best batteries are for their setup. At Coil to Cloud we strive to cater to both.
If you desire to learn more about how batteries work and why we chose what we did read below but if you just want to know results and exactly what to get for your setup feel free to scroll to the bottom where we have the best 18650 batteries listed and examples of how they work in different setups.
Your vape batteries are the hidden hero to your vape setup!
Why the 18650 battery?
The 18650 battery is a high drain battery meaning it can output its charge very quickly. It’s important for vaping because in most cases vapers are looking for fast power to their coils for big clouds and big flavor. Another reason the 18650 is an ideal battery is because of its small size. Most vaping rigs are set up for the 18650 battery though some have what you call an inbuilt battery. An inbuilt battery is not recommended by us because batteries have a lifespan; when the batteries die so does your mod but if you use batteries separate you can just pop a new pair in when your favorite batteries come to the end of their life.
What qualities do your batteries need?
Not all batteries are created equal. The trick to finding the best 18650 batteries is to always keep these four points in mind.
1. Capacity (mAh)
2. Current rating ( known as amperage)
3. Voltage when vaping
4. Operating temperature
Why didn’t we add the price in this list you say? Because your safety and the backbone of your vape setup relies on your batteries. Price should never be a factor! Even if it was, most 18650 batteries only cost between $5 and $15 and are always worth the money you spend. You don’t want to be the vaper that ends up on the news because you decided to be cheap. You’ll be happy when your battery lasts longer and vapes better.
How long you get to vape before you put the battery on the charger. At first glance it seems simple, of course I want the most capacity but unfortunately, like most things, it’s not that simple.
Battery capacity is measured in millampere-hours (mAh)
This tells us how many milliamps we can pull from the battery for a specified amount of time. The capacity rating isn’t a set figure and is affected by many different factors. How much power are you pulling with your device? Are your batteries new or has their capacity lowered by the passing of time? Just because your battery is rated for 2500mAh doesn’t mean you will always get this charge. The equation isn’t perfect but instead is to give you a guide. You can with certainty say that a 1500mAh battery won’t last as long as a 3000mAh battery.
Capacity has a cost!
This is where things get tricky. Take an LG MJ1 battery, for example, it has a 3500mAh capacity with a draw of only 10 amps. The capacity is high but its current rating or output of the battery is low at only 10amps. Let’s look at another, the LG HB2 battery, a 1500mAh capacity quite small in comparison but has a high 30amp current rating. I know we haven’t talked about current rating yet but I want to make you understand as a general rule there is a price and that is the higher the capacity the lower current you will receive. The best 18650 batteries are the ones that fulfill your needs. Capacity is the first of four attributes to keep in mind. It will affect whether you’ll happily vape all day at low watts or need to carry around a pair of extras while you blow 10ft plumes.
Of all the attributes in the best 18650 batteries, the most important is the current rating. We here at Coil to Cloud above all prioritize your safety! Matching up the wrong current rating with an improper setup can lead to battery venting not to mention high risk of burns.
Make sure your vaping setup is not pulling more current than your battery is rated for!
Failure to follow the above rule will mean a major risk factor if you force your battery to output more than it was made to! So let’s talk about the current rating or CDR; this stands for continuous discharge rating. All over, even on battery wraps you will see a pulse rating as well but we here at Coil to Cloud don’t recommend that you ever look at this standard whether you’re running a mech or regulated mod.
The problem is there is no overall standard for a pulse rating. One company might pulse their batteries for 4sec every 10sec and another 1sec every 3 sec there is no guarantee that your vaping style and needs will follow the same pulse standard as the company.
A pulse rating is never a good standard to go by because in rare cases the fire button might be hit for longer than intended such as in a pocket, purse, or car cupholder. This will quickly cause your batteries to heat up and vent causing harm to anything surrounding it.
Before we talk about current rating more you will find on each battery wrap its current rating is shown as Amps. Think of amps like a sink and the battery like the pipes and water storage below there might be plenty of water to flow,
but the size of the spigot on the sink limits the flow. Amps work the same way; no matter how many mAh you have in your battery you can only discharge at the amp rating specified.
Later in this post, we will specifically look at how to convert the amp reading on your batteries to watts so you can always be sure your batteries can output safely at the mod’s max capacity. We know looking at amps and trying to change that into usable information is a hard task because most vapers think of their power in watts.
Voltage when vaping
Another confusing term to vapers is voltage; when your buddy says their best 18650 batteries hit hard they are talking about the voltage. Going back to our sink analogy voltage would be considered the water pressure, not the flow that’s current. The higher voltage allows the battery to hit quicker; that’s what brought about the term “hard-hitting battery”. Most 18650 batteries have a voltage rating of 3.2v but there are some that can maintain a higher voltage of 3.7v.
Voltage affects the two different types of mods differently. For mech mods, since their batteries are in direct connection with the coils, a higher voltage from the batteries delivers more current to the batteries causing them to “hit harder”. Regulated mods are a bit different; high voltage means the mod’s chip won’t need to work as hard higher voltage. In the end, it means there is a less current draw and less overall work done by the battery.
The final attribute for the best 18650 batteries is temperature. You want a battery that keeps a cool temperature even when working near max amps. Low battery temperature not only keeps you safe from battery venting but helps maintain the battery’s lifespan. A well-manufactured battery will not only have high voltage and current ratings but also a low operating temperature.
When you strain your batteries above the recommended amps your batteries will overheat, that’s what causes the venting. As we mentioned above it is paramount that you don’t have a setup that puts a strain on your batteries overheating them. Ideally, you want to be well within your safe current ranges and at a low operating temperature.
Battery safety seems like a good subject to get into after talking about not wanting to overheat your batteries. Even if you have the best 18650 batteries, if you don’t follow safety protocol it’s not worth it.
Never risk yourself by getting rewrapped batteries it is not worth the risk for savings!
Rewrapped batteries you ask? On the market today only a few companies actually make the best 18650 batteries. If you buy them from somewhere else they’re almost always the same battery but just rewrapped with their label. The problem with this is there is no way to know what specific battery is underneath the wrapping. The company selling them could tell you they are rated for 30amps but rewrapped a 20amp battery and you would have no way of knowing. We here at Coil to Cloud always recommend you stay far away from any rewraps for your safety and peace of mind.
No matter what type of setup you are running, mech mod or regulated, it is important to understand exactly how much power your particular build is pulling from your batteries and that you are safely within their limits. For our mech mod users, it’s especially important because as soon as you hit the fire button all the current your batteries have goes to the coil directly.
Regulated mods, on the other hand, you can change the wattage you’re using so that at 80watts you’re still within the limits but possibly at 100watts you may be going over. Don’t worry though, keep reading and we will explain and give clear-cut examples of what kinds of batteries and setups can use how much power.
The last safety tip for batteries is you always want to do what’s called marrying your batteries. This refers to always keeping the same batteries for your mod together. Never mix two different brands even if they are the same type of battery; you want them to charge and discharge together always.
Best 18650 batteries Finally!
Now that we’ve gotten basics, safety, and the qualities of your best batteries out of the way let’s talk about what this post is all about- what are your best batteries?
The first battery on our list is the LG HB2; it has been a standard in the vaping world for some time and has been affectionately called “the chocolate”.
20A current rating
Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
This battery is the king of capacity; at 3000mAh you can keep hitting all day long without a worry in the world. But like we discussed above there is always a price. In this case a 20A max current rating. This battery thrives on setups that don’t require very high output but enable the vaper to charge very rarely.
If you’re going to choose this battery you’re getting the best capacity around; you may see other batteries claiming higher mAh but none of the major companies we recommend have yet to produce one. So most likely it is a rewrapped battery or specifically made by that company. Be careful if you choose to go down that route, as we have said many companies lie about their batteries’ specifications.
Our second battery is well known for its all-roundedness- the Sony VTC5A.
25A current rating
Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
The Sony VTC5A is the best all-around battery you can get, that’s why we recommend it for one of the best 18650 batteries around. As far as batteries go it is right in the middle you get a little of the best of both worlds. The 2500mAh capacity doesn’t mean you will have to always be charging it, but with a 25A current rating, you’re safe to power some of those lower ohm setups. If you’re looking for the battery to do everything here it is!
Our third and final recommended battery is the powerhouse of them all, that is the LG HB6.
30A current rating
Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
This battery is the workhorse at a crazy 30A output it can power the craziest builds! On the flipside though with only a 1500mAh capacity, you will find yourself making a trip to the charger more than once. A good tip is if you have a build that requires high output batteries such as these to always charge more than one pair at a time so you can swap them out when needed.
How to know what batteries to put in your setup!
We’ve now gone through all the information you need to know plus given you the best 18650 batteries we recommend. It’s now time for us to help you out and show you in your setup what battery you should choose. What follows will be a quick chart on what watts you can expect to get out of your batteries, then a quick rundown on how to use ohms law to calculate the resistance you mech mod users need to build for your particular batteries.
Calculated wattage power from amps
Remember that these are approximate calculations assuming a 3.2v cutoff of your regulated mod; always put safety first and don’t assume anything.
10Amp = 30watts
15amp = 45watts
20amp = 60watts
25amp = 75watts
30amp =90 wats
Remember do not use your battery’s pulse amp rating but its CDR!
Take the watts from your battery’s amp output and multiply it by the number of batteries your mod is using to get the max safe wattage you can use. For regulated mods, this quick chart makes things quite simple- if your mod has two batteries at 20amps then you can safely vape at 120watts but not above and so on.
Ohms law and mech users
When running a mech mod, safety and precision are much more important. We here at Coil to Cloud liken it to driving a manual compared to an automatic car, it takes more effort but for those that want to tweak and have more fun with their mod, this is the way to go.
It can take a certain type of person to go against the overflow amount of regulated mods on the market and get a mech and we didn’t want to leave these users without any information.
On mech mods, you don’t have the ability to change your watts; you get the full power out of your batteries at all times, so instead of adjusting your watts to the coil resistance, you need to do things backward and wrap your coils to the resistance of your battery.
Fortunately, we don’t need to do this by hand; we can easily find the values we need by using an ohms law calculator. Just type in your voltage and total amp output of your batteries. The resistance you need and the watts used will be populated into the equation, build your coil to the recommended values and you are good to go.
Remember that mech mods are not for the beginner and you need to fully understand ohms law before ever attempting to vape on one!
Let’s look at some quick setup examples with the batteries we’ve recommended here so that you can feel comfortable making your own decisions in the future.
- Our first example- you’re running a regulated mod that can go up to 80watts if we want; that takes only one 18650 battery and a tank with coils rated for 40 watts. Knowing this we can look at our chart and see that the max amount of amps we need will be 15amps to power the coil but 30amps to power the mod at the full 80watts. You now have a decision to make, do you want to have the ability to power the mod at its max 80watts and sacrifice the amount of time you’ll be able to vape on it with the LG HB6? Or know you only need 40 watts to power your setup and use the LG HB2 that has twice the capacity but limits you to only going up to 60watts?
- Our second example- you are using a two battery mod with the ability to go up to 220watts. You’re a cloud chaser and want to blow the biggest clouds and need a ton of power. You have a build that requires a minimum of 120watts, what do you use? To be able to power this beast of 220watts you would need more then 60amps; since we know 30amps is the highest possible output of one 18650 battery there is no way of reaching 220watts with two batteries alone. So we have two options- if we shoot for the low end of exactly what the build needs, 120watts, we can go for two batteries at 20-25 amps to power it such as the Sony VTC5A or we can use a 30 amp battery like the LG HB6 to have the ability to bring our watts up to 180.
Batteries are all about the personal vaper’s needs more power or longer lasting it’s up to you!
Quick tips for battery care!
If you want your best 18650 batteries to stay the best then you must treat them with care; here are several tips on how to make your batteries last longer and get a better vape out of them.
- Make sure to use the best types of chargers; there are many chargers that will keep topping a battery off to keep it charged even after it is done charging, this can put stress on the battery lowering its lifespan.
- Another charger tip- some manufacturers make what they market as “quick charge” up to 4 to 6 amps such speeds can be very convenient but lower the overall lifespan of the battery. Use a normal charge rate to get the best life out of your battery.
- Temperature is one of your greatest enemies; leaving your batteries in a hot place or if they’re running hot in your setup will severely cut their lifespan.
- How you discharge and charge your batteries matters! The recommended is to never use your batteries in your setup if they are discharging at below 3.0V this can be tricky because most regulated mods won’t alert you to the need for battery charge well below this point at 2.5V.
Additionally don’t forget to check out if pre-build clapton coils are worth the cost, or are a financial catastrophe!