Irrespective of the purpose for owning 18650 batteries, you will need a top-quality charger to rely on.
Many household products such as flashlights and vapes use the 18650 batteries, and if you do not have the perfect charger, how will you use your batteries?
In choosing the best 18650 battery charger, you need to consider many factors. Not least of which is your battery size. A charger that can promptly, safely, and accurately charge various battery size is essential.
Without delay, I have compiled a list of the best battery chargers.
- A Comparison Chart of The Best 18650 Charger
- The Top 5 Best 18650 Battery Charger
- #1 - XTAR VC4 Charger for Ni-MH and Lithium-ion Batteries - The Best Overall 18650 Battery Charger
- #2 - Nitecore i2 Intellicharge Charger for 18650 NiMH Li-Ion/ Battery - The Battery Charger with an Intelligent-Charge for Heat Dissipation
- #3 - EBL Battery Charger for Li-ion/IMR/Ni-MH/Ni-Cd - The Most Portable and Travel-friendly Battery Charger
- #4 - Eastshine LCD Display Universal Battery Charger - The Battery Charger Which Provides Superb Protection
- #5 - Efest LUC V4 LCD Universal Battery Charger - The 18650 Battery Charger that Double as a Power Bank
- Things to Look Out for When Choosing the Best 18650 Battery Charger
- How to safely charge the 18650 battery
- In Conclusion
A Comparison Chart of The Best 18650 Charger
If you are in haste searching for the right battery charger, take a peek of the top 3 18650 battery charger below
The Top 5 Best 18650 Battery Charger
Different factors come into play when picking a charger, here are the 5 of the best 18650 chargers followed by a discussion on how you can select the right one for use.
This battery charger is made from solid heat resistant plastic.
It is much bigger than most four bay chargers on the market today. This rugged heat resistant plastic allows for seamless dissipation of heat and aids easy removal and addition of batteries from the bay.
It comes with a USB connection for test probes, a USB output, and a JST-XH for an 11.1V/3s battery pack. In addition to a 3A/12V power supply, it has the required juicing-ability to kick start your battery.
Whether you are used to reading the charts off battery chargers or not, the user interphase of this battery is easy to learn and use.
The three buttons it comes with works for record/test, display, and current/refresh. That simple!
It has a digital screen which displays displayed slot, mode, battery type, charge current and percent of charge.
The ease of use is also aided by the animated bar effect which shows the discharging and charging of batteries. No matter how dim the screen is, you can still read displayed information off it.
The XTAR VC4 Charger for Ni-MH and Lithium-ion Batteries is suitable for a variety of conventional batteries. Within three seconds of battery insertion, the default charge mode kicks in.
Starting with a soft charge and low rate for the first ten minutes. If you do not want to start with the soft charger at a low rate, simply change it by pressing charge button.
Furthermore, you can run an IR or test voltage by using the gold plated and spring-loaded test probes.
Unfortunately, as reliable as this 18650 Battery Charger is, it does not come with audible signals or alerts. You must check your battery status regularly.
This is one of the best 18650 Battery Charger you can get, and this for the right reasons.
First, it is compatible with Ni-MH, Li-ion and Ni-Cd batteries. Second, it is designed to hold two batteries at once. Third, it is fitted with LED light indicators which transmit the status of your batteries.
The Nitecore i2 Intellicharge Charger has an intelligent optimal heat dissipation function which serves as a protection against overheating.
This charger is compatible with many battery types. Furthermore, it shut off automatically, when your batteries are fully charged. The LED lights display the charge progress of your batteries as they charge independently.
The top part of the Nitecore i2 Intellicharge Charger is a black screen which displays numerical data on the sides. This numerical data can take the values 30%, 80%, and 100%. As the battery charge state reaches these percentages, it lights up.
You will agree this is a much better way of tracking your battery charge progress than a tedious wait for when the green light pop, indicating your battery is fully charged.
One distinguishing feature about this beauty is the fast charge speed feature. In this mode, batteries get charged at 1 amp in each bay. Although the fast charging speed mode can get your charger warm than the normal charging mode.
Therefore, if you decide to purchase this battery charger, stick to charging using the normal charge mode. Forcing it to charge above the normal mode may be disastrous.
Ideally, 18650 chargers and batteries are sold separately; hence they are more expensive. On the other hand, if you want to save some bucks, then you should purchase the EBL Battery Charger. You will not be getting only a charger, but two batteries as well.
This battery charger can charge all types of cylindrical batteries including Li-ion, IMR, Ni-MH, Ni-Cd.
Additionally, it comes with a 0.5 amp charging speed per bay. Plus, an overtime safety function which works similarly to other chargers off-function. This feature helps prevent overcharging and constitute a temperature control system.
The EBL Battery Charger runs on DC and AC power sources. Most chargers run only on AC and rarely on DC. Therefore, with this charger, you can receive charging support from DC outputs like car outlets. This charger is travel-friendly and portable.
Furthermore, this charging device has three charging modes. These three modes are Trickle charge (TC), Constant charge voltage (CV), and Constant charge current (CC).
And an iQuick Charging Technology, which ensures you only need half of the time to charge your battery full than a standard battery charger.
The EBL Battery Charger determines the percentage charge of the batteries and changes the charging mode according to the cell’s state. A typical example is the CC mode which charges drained batteries, and the TC mode which is saddled with bringing a half-charged battery to 100%
Unfortunately, the EBL Battery Charger does not have an LCD. It comes with LED indicator lights which show status, but this does not in any way compensate for lack of LCD display. An LCD screen is the best battery charger monitor. But in all, this is an excellent 18650 battery charger.
Sometimes you can not afford to overcharge your battery.
Therefore, it is essential there is a monitoring LCD display to show the progress and state of your cells. The Eastshine 18650 battery charger makes achieving this feat possible.
The key feature in this charger is the built-in LCD panel. This is what keeps you informed about the status of your battery and its charging parameters. This is important to prevent your batteries from overcharging unnecessarily.
Designed with two conveniently placed sides buttons, you can easily select your specific battery type as well as the required charging currents.
To further protect your batteries from overcharging, the Eastshine 18650 battery charger also comes with overcharge prevention. This feature kicks in by auto switching off the charger at the end of each charging process.
It can charge two batteries individually at the same time, and battery types such as Ni-MH, NI-Cd or Li-ion are all compactable. This beauty has a fast charge feature too, charging your cells at 0.5 amps for both bays, which makes a total of 1 amp overall.
Safety and protection are assured when using this charger, as it monitors temperature and keeps it at optimum levels where there is no risk of overheating, battery damage and accidental explosions.
The Eastshine 18650 battery charger is made from durable ABS, it supplies constant current while juicing up your batteries. You would expect this 18650-battery charger to show actual mAh capacity of batteries; unfortunately, it does not.
Maybe you are a commercial charger and have been on the lookout for a 18650-battery charger that suits commercial use. The Efest LUC V4 LCD Universal Battery Charger might be the one you have been looking for.
First, this charger can withstand high temperature, it can work safely in a temperature range of 0 - 400C while stored and from -40 – 700C while charging. No other battery charger will give you such convenience of use.
Unlike other LCD 18650 battery chargers that do not display the exact voltage and capacity levels, this battery charger presents both. It removes all ambiguities that might come up during your battery charging process.
It also comes with a self-adjusting bay, which auto respond to different batteries you try to slot in the bay. It greatly reduces the stress and efforts you must put in to get your battery in place.
The Efest LUC V4 LCD Universal Battery Charger can charge four batteries at a time. It offers many protections both to the user and the batteries. The protections are reverse polarity, over-voltage, over-discharge, overcharge and short-circuit.
The distinguishing features of this product are the ability to function as a power bank and be used on the goal, and the USB output for charging phones.
The package comes with a wall charger and a handy car adapter. The cool dark orange screen will show your battery details like voltage, current amperage, charging levels and many more. It is portable, road trip-friendly and can hold four batteries, fully charging them in three hours.
Things to Look Out for When Choosing the Best 18650 Battery Charger
If you stick to the recommended top 5 18650 battery chargers above, you are less likely to run into any issues when charging your batteries.
Nevertheless, you still need to choose a specific charger for use. The following are things to look out for to get the right one that suits your needs.
1. 2 Bays Or 4 Bays?
It is normal to consider that a charger having more bay is automatically better.
If you do not have plenty of batteries, you should save some money by getting a high-quality smaller charger.
However, if you have several batteries, purchase a 4-bay battery or even higher, they do not cost too much more.
2. The Speed of Charge and Varying Charge Speed Selector
If your batteries can take a higher charging speed without damage (though high quality 18650 batteries can charge at higher current) and you are in a rush, the rate of charge and the ability to select desired speed is important.
Charging at a slow speed is generally better. The best chargers will allow you the freedom to choose charge speed.
3. Safety Features
Battery chargers should have varieties of safety features.
Look out for safety features such as reverse polarity, short circuit protection, over-charge protection, etc. there should also be vents to dissipate heat generated during the charging process.
Many 18650 battery chargers can be used for several other battery types.
You may have different battery sizes that require regular juice.
Check to see if your charger of choice is compatible with: Li-ion, Ni-MH, and Ni-Cd batteries before purchase.
How to safely charge the 18650 battery
Charging a 18650 battery is quite simple.
There are safe and unsafe practices when it comes to charging, and they are as follows:
Top quality 18650 chargers come with safety features.
Ensure you use a safe battery charger and follow charging best practices.
Electronic components can sometimes fail, so the last line of defense against any potential hazard is proper and safe usage.
There are many 18650 battery chargers on the market, and it is easy to get overwhelmed.
Hopefully, this review has simplified the process for you. And choosing the charger that suits your needs is a lot easier and quicker.
Making it to my number one spot on this list is the XTAR VC4 Charger for Ni-MH and Lithium-ion Batteries.
It comes with advanced features which are not visible at first glance, an LCD screen and a soft start that help regulate the amount of current going into your batteries.
If you find another 18650 battery charger on the list more deserving of the top spot, indicate in the comment below.