The 18650 is a variety of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Are you looking for the best 18650 battery? Here is everything you should know about them and how to bypass dangerous fakes.
Lithium-ion 18650 batteries have reformed compact devices. They are in every device, from our smartphones and cameras to child monitors, fitness devices, and flashlights.
As battery technology has developed, cells like the 18650 li-ion battery, once reserved for device companies, have found their way into consumers’ hands. However, as you’ll see in the supermarket, these new lithium cells have not been regulated quite like the rechargeable ones.
What Is an 18650 Li-ion Battery?
A 18650 battery is a cell that measures 18mm x 65mm. The name 18650 refers entirely to the size of the lithium-ion battery cell.
The 18650 cell gives the best performance of any consumer-grade rechargeable cell. They are not sensitive to damage from charging before being fully discharged.
Choosing the Best 18650 Battery
The 18650 is not a regulated cell. These are not all built relatively or with the same task in mind. The most important feature to consider when looking at 18650 batteries is the constant discharge rating, also known as amperage capacity.
Protected vs. Unprotected Batteries
During shopping for 18650 batteries, you will have a selection between protected and unprotected cells. As the name might recommend, protected cells have a small electronic circuit combined into the battery packaging.
This is placed at one end of the battery and is invisible from the cell itself.
This circuit guards the battery against excessive charging and discharging, short-circuiting, and improper temperatures. This is designed to protect the devices you use them in and to limit damage from blasts or leaking.
Many safe batteries also have a valve that disables the cell forever if the pressure becomes too high inside the cell. This commonly happens when batteries expand, at which point they are more sensitive to burning.
Unprotected batteries require these connections. They are more affordable as a result and more prone to the queries that such protections are designed to avoid.
Flat Head vs. Button Head
To show how non-standardized the 18650 li-ion battery is, there are two slight differences in size: flat top and button top.
This describes the contacts, especially the positive contact. Button-top batteries will swell slightly, whereas flat-top batteries sit quite flush.
These special few millimeters can be the difference between a battery that goes and a battery that does not. If in difficulty, look at the existing batteries that came with your machine, consult a manual, or contact the company.
Like any stigmatized product, you have got to beware of fake products. It is usual for many merchants to buy up cheap cells and rewrap them as name brands.
The Best 18650 Batteries
The best batteries are generally produced by Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, and Sanyo. That does not mean all other brands are irresponsible, but these brands produce strong and trustworthy CDR ratings and enough information for you to detect fakes.