Top 5 Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping 2020 [Updated]

Author: Alisa Yin / Category: Guide / Published: Apr-30-2020

18650 batteries are by far the most common batteries in vaping. They are reliable and extensively tested, and the most of the box mods are compatible with 18650 batteries. The name comes from traits about the battery. The 18 comes from 18 millimeters diameter while the 650 means the length is 650 millimeters.

The 20700 and 21700 batteries are used for some mods recently, but we rarely see them in dual battery mods due to their larger dimension. The 18650 is more cost-efficient and compact. Most manufacturers still rely on 18650s as they have smaller size and have stood the test of time.

The right 18650 battery for you is mostly depends on what you need it for. The 18650 batteries are insufficient to allow you to have both high current rating and high capacity. Some 18650s have long-lasting battery life but cannot be discharged at high rates while others have a higher discharge rates but will need to be charged more frequently.

There are flood of 18650s brands from electronics manufacturers. Pick a 18650 battery that works best for vaping isn’t easy. That’s why we have created a list of the best high-drain 18650 batteries in 2020 for sub-ohm vaping to help you make that a little easier.

It is not rare for 18650 battery to be counterfeited, so you should try to choose a reputable seller.


Top 5 Best 18650 Batteries for Vaping

SONY VTC5A

Sony stays at the top of the list since they have introduced many excellent batteries for high-drain vaping. The Sony VTC5A is one of the reliable and balanced 18650s on the market and the best offerings for sub-ohm vaping from Sony. It tops out at 25A and can technically exceed these ratings while remaining cool and collected. The 2600mAh capacity is large enough for an entire day vape. It works perfectly with mechs and regulated mods. you will get the best balance between high discharge and high capacity.

  • Manufacturer: Murata
  • Style: Flat Top
  • Nominal Capacity: 2600mAh
  • Discharge Current: 25A Maximum Continuous, 35A Maximum Continuous with an 80deg C cutoff
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
  • Cutoff Voltage: 2.0V
  • Approximate Dimensions: 18.2mm x 65mm
  • Approximate Weight: 47.8g
  • Origin: Singapore or Japan

LG HG2

The LG HG2 IMR 18650 battery is one of the best battery you can buy for up to 20A. It offers 3000mAh large capacity and a 20A continuous discharge limit while remaining cool and safe operating temperature. It has been tested with good performance at 20A. The 3000mAh capacity means less charging frequency. It is ideal to use with the regulated mods and you will easily get an entire day vape. It will be a great choice if you look for a long-lasting battery.

  • Style: Flat Top
  • Nominal Capacity: 3000mAh
  • Discharge Current: 20A Maximum Continuous
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
  • Cutoff Voltage: 2.0V
  • Approximate Dimensions: 18.35mm x 64.94mm
  • Approximate Weight: 47g
  • Origin: South Korea

Samsung 30Q

The Samsung 30Q will be a great choice for a fairly tight budget. It comes with the standard 3000mAh battery and discharges up to 15A safely and efficiently without overheating. It performs well but is the hardly remarkable battery. The 15 amps of continuous discharge are fine but just not the best. The 3000mAh high capacity with less current at 15A makes it last a lot longer. If you look for a lower output battery with long-lasting running time, the 30Q will hit the spot.

  • Manufacturer: Samsung SDI
  • Style: Flat Top
  • Nominal Capacity: 3000mAh
  • Discharge Current: 15A Maximum Continuous
  • Pulse Discharge Rating: 25A
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
  • Cutoff Voltage: 2.5V
  • Approximate Dimensions: 18.33mm x 64.85mm
  • Approximate Weight: 48g
  • Origin: South Korea or Malaysia

Samsung 25R

Samsung is a trustworthy brand in electronics, which makes it top-rated in the vaping industry. The 25R offers 2500mAh battery capacity and has the ability to output up to 20A while maintaining a cool and safe operating temperature. It comes with two packs and can power at least 250 power cycles before lowering output. The battery life is decent. It is an ideal 18650 for high-wattage devices.

  • Manufacturer: Samsung SDI
  • Style: Flat Top
  • Nominal Capacity: 2500mAh
  • Discharge Current: 20A Maximum Continuous
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
  • Cutoff Voltage: 2.5V
  • Approximate Dimensions: 18.33m x 64.85mm
  • Approximate Weight: 45g
  • Origin: Republic of Korea or Malaysia

Samsung 20S

Samsung takes the solid place on the best 18650 battery for vaping in 2020 due to its great capacity and the impressive maximum continuous current rating. It has a 2000mAh battery and delivers remarkable performance with a maximum continuous current rating of 30A, which has been confirmed in testing. It is the only battery that can reach up to 30A without overheating for a lower-wattage mechanical mod. It also performs very well throughout the discharge cycle.

  • Manufacturer: Samsung SDI
  • Style: Flat Top
  • Nominal Capacity: 2000mAh
  • Discharge Current: 30A Maximum Continuous
  • Nominal Voltage: 3.6V
  • Maximum Voltage: 4.2V
  • Cutoff Voltage: 2.5V
  • Approximate Dimensions: 18.2mm x 64.8mm
  • Approximate Weight: 45.7g
  • Origin: Republic of Korea

How to Pick the 18650 Batteries for Vaping?

Choosing the best 18650 battery is not something to pick by subjective likes. We rely on the data offered by Battery Mooch, who is an expert tester of batteries in the vaping community. You can find highly detailed research of batteries on his blog, YouTube and Reddit. There are three essential factors you should be aware of when you consider picking up the best 18650 battery for vaping.

1. Continuous Discharge Rating (CDR)

The CDR means the maximum current that the battery can discharge continuously and safely without taking damage or reducing its capacity. A high discharge rating is pretty important if you want to use it with a low-ohm device. Image you have a full water bottle. The opening size of the bottle would be the maximum discharge rating and the size of the bottle would be the battery capacity.

The CDR is used by reputable electronic manufacturers. It is an essential factor to compare battery discharge. Some manufactures will often overstate the CDR, or use other ratings to instead of it. The rating on the wrap may be the maximum current that a battery can discharge in short intervals, which is not the real CDR of the battery. So when considering a 18650 battery, you should not just look for the CDR, which can be misleading.

2. Battery Capacity

Battery capacity is a measure of the charge stored by the battery, which is calculated in mAh. It is the maximum amount of power that can be extracted from the battery. It signifies the running time of a battery. A high battery capacity means that the battery can transfer power for a long time before requiring to recharge. Sometimes, the battery capacity is overstated on wraps but it doesn’t as often as the CDR does.

There is always a balance between CDR and battery capacity. There is no 18650 battery with a CDR over 30A. And there is no 18650 battery capacity at or over 3000mAh with over 20A CDR. The battery that is not rated with the above two rules can be assumed to be misleading.

3. Operating Temperature

It is hard to suggest categorically which operating temperature is the best for your 18650 cells. The battery produces heat itself, and the ambient temperature must be considered. The 18650 batteries generate heat, which will affect battery performance. The safe temperature is one of the most important factors you should consider as the heat will cause aging and damage to the batteries. The overheating batteries will have less lifespan.

If the battery often runs too hot, you will need to replace it much earlier, which is not cost-efficient. What's worse, if an ungraded 18650 isn’t reaching its rated current, the battery will vent or even explode. The battery safety is crucial. You have to be careful while choosing a 18650 battery for your mods.


How to Avoid Fake 18650 Batteries and Where to Buy?

You have to pay attention to the fakes since it’s common for many vendors to purchase cheap batteries, repackage them as the famous brands, and sell through AliExpress or eBay as genuine items. That wastes your money and brings potentially dangerous. If you buy 18650 batteries for high-wattage mods considering it to have a reliable and safe CDR, you could get injured or damage your vaping device if the battery has an entirely different rating.

It’s hard to distinguish the battery is true and false as the battery scammers are good at what they do. The packaging, branding, and online description look like the real deal. The only way you can tell fakes from genuine batteries is by weight. Most manufacturers have provided the weight of their genuine 18650 batteries on their official website. You can cross-reference the specifications or weigh them after receiving them. You can directly purchase from manufacturers or trustworthy third-party retailers, and other online vape stores like NewVaping to avoid buying fakes. Since the 18650 batteries are affordable, there is no need to buy them used.

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