Many devices in the industry have a standard 18650 and this battery has become common in vapers day to day life. But when choosing how to charge a battery is there really any difference?
Over the years I have had mods that feature USB charging but I have also opted to use an external charger for a few particulars.
Why use an external charger?
External chargers have always been much more intelligent than charging via USB. When charging via USB you are relying on the device to be clever enough to cut off when the battery is full, and in the use of multiple batteries balance the charging.
Your mod is designed to be very clever at delivering power to the coils but over the years I have noticed that they are not the best at charging batteries. The main reason that I have always opted to use an external charge, is the technology built in to give you the safest charge and prolong the life of your batteries.
Intelligent charging is a fancy name for knowing how the battery is reacting to the power being delivered. A 18650 battery will charge to 4.2v safely. Anything over this can cause damage to the cell and therefore become unstable.
When using an intelligent charger, the unit will taper down the power delivery as the battery becomes close to full to top up the last few percents to ensure a safe delivery and not overload the battery.
When you put power into a battery, you do this using amps. When charging with higher amps you charge the battery quicker. Many charges in 2018 offer variable charging rates.
This allows you to choose how fast the battery will charge. For example, if you do not have long to charge your batteries then you can speed the process up and use a higher amp rating.
One thing to note is that if you continue to charge at higher amps, this will degrade the batteries overall life. It is great for when you are in a rush, but not something you should do all the time
Many mods will charge at a flat high amp rating and over time this will decrease the overall lifespan of the cell.
When you are charging multiple cells at the same time you want to ensure that all of the batteries get a charge. You do not want to charge the first battery in the device to full and the second, third or fourth have not even started yet.
When using an intelligent charger, it ensures all cells get an equal charge at the same time and keep your batteries balanced. This again increases the lifespan of your battery over time, and does not leave you with 1 fully charged cell and 1 empty cell!
As vapers, we often have a stockpile of batteries for when we are low on power. If your mod can only take 2 18650 batteries but you want to charge 4, you have to wait for the first 2 to charge and then replace the batteries and charge the second 2.
This takes double the time and sometimes we need to get them charged ASAP!
Many of the best battery chargers of 2018 have multiple bays that can handle 2, 4, 6 and even 8 cells at a time! This allows you to put them on charge and all of the batteries will get a full charge without you having to change anything.
As we know, battery safety is hot on the lips of everyone these days and charging is when your batteries are most prone to danger.
When charging a mod, the device has the capabilities to charge but it is not its first purpose. Therefore I have always felt safer charging my cells with something that was specifically designed for that job.
A mod has this as an afterthought whereas an external charger was designed for this purpose and often features much higher safety features as standard!
Best 18650 Battery Chargers of 2018 and Why?
Safety, accuracy and speed are the most important factors to be mindful of when selecting the best 18650 battery chargers for vaping. The best 18650 battery chargers will handle your needs safely, accurately, and quickly. I have tried many chargers over the years and found all of the models listed below meet those criteria.
Best 18650 Battery Chargers – 3rd Place
In 3rd place is the Golisi S4 2.0A Smart Charger with LCD Screen.
This 4 bay charger has a built-in LCD screen that shows the stats of your batteries. It features 0.4, 1A and 2A charging. This allows you to select the different charging rates and really helps when you need to charge quickly. It is capable of charging 20700, 26650 & 18650 batteries.
Best 18650 Battery Chargers – 2nd Place
In 2nd place comes to the giant Nitecore Intellicharger I8 Li-ion 8 Bay Charger.
This huge 8 bay charger is a must for anyone with a stockpile of batteries. It features up to 1.5a charging and advanced heat dissipation. It also features 2 x USB ports to charge other devices such as phones or tablets.
The only reason this is not in first place is the lack of screen and the fact you need to refer to different light colours to know the status of your battery. This is quite easy to understand but an LCD is even easier.
Best 18650 Battery Chargers – 1st Place
In first place is the incredible Nitecore Intellicharger SC4 Li-ion/NiMH Battery 4-slot Charger.
This is a 4 bay charger like the Golisi S4, but it provides slightly better features in some areas. The LCD delivers more information and the bay is capable of charging up to 3A per bay! Even better for when you are in a bind.
This also handles almost every size of the battery, so you will have all you need in one charger. Plus Nitecis is a huge name in charging that you can trust.
Although it is an older model, I absolutely love the Efest BLU6 charger. It is a 6 bay charger that is capable of up to 2a charging and features Bluetooth to tie in with an app. This allows you to monitor the states from your phone! This is an older charger now, but it can certainly hang with the new models in 2018!
All of the picks above are among the best 18650 battery chargers for vaping and hopefully, this guide helped you find the one that’s right for you!
I have been vaping for over 5 years and have been a keen hobbyist ever since starting. I moved into the review side of things after the success of my @mikethevaper Twitter page and have been striving to provide help and knowledge ever since.