“What’s the best 18650 battery? Or “What is the best vape battery for my mod?” are questions we get asked and see in vaping forums all the time.
The answer is usually “It depends on your style of vaping & what you require.”
Some batteries have higher mAh and last a very long time before they need to be recharged, but they can’t handle being discharged at high rates. Then some other batteries don’t even get too hot at 30A, but they will require recharging more frequently.
It all depends on the wattage you are vaping at, the device you are using to ensure you stay safe and have a good performing 18650 battery.
In our roundup below, we’ve not only taken out some of the guesswork for you to find the best 18650 battery for your style of vaping – but we’ve also covered what you need to know about 18650 vape batteries.
5 Best 18650 Batteries
|1||Molicel P26A||Best All-Round|
|4||Samsung 20S||Best High Amp|
|5||Samsung 30Q||Best High Capacity (MTL)|
The Moilicel P26A holds its place as the best all-around 18650 battery on the market. It has a continuous discharge rate of 25A, just shy of the marked 26A. It has a 2600mAh capacity and edges out the Sony VTC5A in testing for accurate capacity numbers. If you are looking for the best all-around 18650, the Molicel P26A is our top choice.
The Sony VTC5A is one of the most renowned 18650s on the market, and for a good reason. This excellent and balanced battery has a continuous discharge of 25A and a capacity of 2600mAh. It’s another superb all-rounder that has been trusted time again by all vapers and is undoubtedly one you can’t go wrong with.
The Samsung 25R is another tried and tested battery when it comes to vaping. It’s a 20amp battery and achieves its 2500mAh capacity in testing. There are two different editions on the market, one with a green and one with a blue wrap. They both perform well, with the blue just edging a slightly longer life cycle. These 18650s are inexpensive, easy to find, and a solid choice.
Best High Amp
The Samsung 20S is one of the few 18650 batteries that can safely be used in the 70-80 watt range due to its high amp specs. It’s a genuine 30-amp battery, which means if you are looking for the best high amp 18650 battery for a high-powered single battery mod – then this is your best choice. As with all cells, being a high CDR battery means its overall capacity takes a bit of a hit, but 2000mAh is still solid.
Best High Capacity (MTL)
If you are looking for the best lower output battery with the longest running time, then look no further than the Samsung 30Q. It’s a 15Amp battery with an excellent 3000mAh capacity. It’s the ideal battery for those MTL setups where high amp output is not required and will feel like it lasts forever. It’s another trusted 18650 battery from Samsung and is easy to spot in its pink wrapper – our top choice to keep your vape going the long haul.
How We Chose The Top 18650 Batteries
Finding the best 18650 batteries for vaping is not a subjective thing. In fact, even though we have a great understanding of vape devices and have used many 18650s over the years, the best way to find the best vape batteries is to thoroughly test them.
When it comes to safely testing any type of vape battery, there’s only one guy to listen to in the industry. ‘Battery Mooch’ (or just Mooch) has been the vape community’s resident battery expert for years. His ability to do in-depth testing on all of the available batteries on the market, along with creating highly detailed battery charts, has been a godsend to many.
While this list isn’t just the top picks of his list, but a tailored choice through our experience and his knowledge to help you to find the best 18650 battery for your needs. Nevertheless, ‘Mooch’ we thank you immensely for all your hard work in the vape community.
What is Continuous Discharge Rating (CDR)?
Continuous Discharge Rating or CDR is used to signify the current that a battery can be safely discharged at a continuous rate without taking damage or reducing its capacity. The rating is used by reputable electronic manufacturers and is the rating we used to compare battery discharge.
Unfortunately, many batteries are produced by Chinese manufacturers or others that are simply rewrapped that either overstate the CDR or misled using another rating.
An example of this is when you see a maximum discharge rating (or maximum discharge current). This is the maximum current a battery can supply in short intervals and not a continuous discharge. Therefore it is not a rating that should be taken into account when considering a battery for vaping. This is why it’s imperative to cross-check battery ratings with online sources to find the true CDR – and only go with those that have been recommended for vaping.
What is Battery Capacity?
The capacity of a battery helps to give an indication of its running time. It is calculated using mAh (milliampere-hours).
One mAh is equal to the charge transferred by a steady current of one milliampere flowing for one hour. The higher the mAh of a battery, the longer it will last in use.
This rating is also sometimes overstated on battery wraps, not as much as the discharge rating and not in an unsafe way. However, as per the above, it’s worth double-checking the stated mAh against an online source like Mooch’s.
You will notice that there’s a pattern when it comes to 18650 batteries with the CDR and mAh figures. There is always a trade-off between having a high CDR and the battery’s mAh capacity.
Currently, there is no 18650 battery with a capacity at or over 3000mAh that will have a CDR above 20 amps. There are also no 18650 batteries that have a CDR higher than 30 amps. Therefore when looking for 18650 batteries, always check their rating, and if they don’t fall within the above two rules, then you know they are falsely rated.
Always try to avoid rewrap batteries of any kind, especially if you use them in a vaping device to power a sub-ohm tank that requires a high discharge rate.
18650 batteries are readily available all over the internet, but always make sure to get your batteries from a reputable manufacturer.