Looking for the best 18650 battery charger in 2021…
18650 batteries pack a massive punch and they can be recharged and re-used many times, saving you money in the long run…
All you need is the right charger to do the job.
So, in this post, I am going to cover some of the best options on the market. Furthermore, this article includes a detailed buying guide and the best vape battery charger so you can make the right decision for your needs.
Read until the end to see which 18650 battery charger is the top pick!
Best 18650 Charger – Overview
Before we dive into the details, have a look at our full list at a glance:
|Image||Battery Charger||Key Benefits||Check Price|
|NITECORE UMS2/UMS4 Intelligent USB Quick Battery Charger||Most intelligent and automatic features|
|NITECORE i8 Eight Bays Smart Battery Charger||Smart features and 8-bays|
|XTAR X4 2A Fast AC Power Battery Charger||Stylish, intelligent and can be used as a power bank|
|Efest LUSH Q4 Intelligent LED Battery Charger||Minimal design and no-fuss use|
|MiBOXER C412 3A 18650 fast charger||Highest individual port charging rate|
18650 Battery Charger Reviews
Below are the detailed reviews of each of the chargers. Where available, we included both the 2-bay and 4-bay options for your convenience.
1. NITECORE UMS2/UMS4 Intelligent USB Quick Battery Charger
Nitecore is a well know and reputable brand when it comes to batteries and battery technology.
Their UMS series is their fastest range yet and includes the UMS2 and the UMS4 where the number at the end refers to the battery capacity.
This charger can charge a battery at up to 3000mAh in a single slot with a 4000mAh total output (with a quick charger). So, it will charge at a max of 1000mAh with 4 batteries being charged at once. However, if you are not using a quick charger you will be limited to 2000mAh in a single slot and 500mAh when each slot is being used.
This is an intelligent battery charger so for the most part, the charger will automatically adjust its setting and functions according to the battery you are charging.
Some of the automatic functions include detection of battery charge, selection of correct charging mode, selecting appropriate charging current based on battery capacity, and stopping charging when the battery is full.
Furthermore, the charger can determine battery health so you can keep an eye on when your batteries need to be replaced.
- 4000mAh Max output (3000mAh for a single single slot)
- Fire-resistant material
- Automatically adjusts setting to suit battery
- Determine battery health
- USB charger (include quick charging capabilities)
- LCD Display
- 12 Month warranty
- Requires an additional fast charger for maximum output
- USB input only
2. NITECORE i8 Eight Bays Smart Battery Charger
This alternative Nitecore 18650 charger needs to be included because it is an option that plugs into your wall socket so it will match the above speeds (of the UMS4) without needing an additional fast charger.
You will get all the key features we outlined above and the automatic settings adjustments. The main differences are that you can charge up to 8 batteries with this one but you do not have an LCD screen. Furthermore, this charger includes a USB output so you can use it as a power bank.
So, your choice between the two Nitecore options will depend on your personal charging habits and requirements.
If the i8 is not available the i4 is an adequate replacement for a wall socket option but it will not perform as well as the i8.
- 3000mAh Max output
- Fire-resistant material
- Automatically adjusts setting to suit battery
- Determine battery health
- USB output
- Standard warranty
- No LCD screen
3. XTAR X4 2A Fast AC Power Battery Charger
XTAR has been in the business of charging technology since 2006 and they have quickly become a recognizable brand.
They have a huge amount of 18650 charging options but this one has been included for its speed, design, and input options.
This smart charger will automatically select your charging speed, stop after batteries are fully charged and it has over-current protection. It even has the ability to re-activate the life of an over-discharged battery and its 3-stage charging function prolongs battery life.
It includes a useful LCD display that provides all the charging details you need including charge percentage, current, voltage and charged capacity.
Another useful feature is the dual-input options. You can choose between your socket and a micro-USB depending on your circumstances. Furthermore, the charger includes a USB output for use as a battery pack.
On a final note, this is one of the most modern and stylish-looking chargers which definitely counts for something.
If you are looking for a higher speed option from XTAR, they also have the XTAR ST2 which is likely the fastest charger on the market with a max of 4100mAh. They claim that it can fully charge two 2000mA 18650 batteries in 30 minutes.
- 2000mAh Max output (up to two slots at that maxiumum)
- Flame-resistant material
- Auto-slects current for battery
- Dual-input (AC and micro-USB)
- USB output for use as battery pack
- Stylish design
- Not the highest max output
4. Efest LUSH Q4 Intelligent LED Battery Charger
This 18650 battery charger is slim with a minimal design.
It is packed with all the necessary features of a good battery charger including 4 kinds of charging protection and it will stop charging batteries that are full.
It does not have as many automatic smart features as some fo the rest but it is a great no-fuss, plug-and-play option.
It plugs into your wall socket and provides a maximum output of 2000mA which is halved each time you add a battery. It also has 3 charging modes to adjust for different battery options. Namely, 2A, 1A, and 0.5A.
- 2000mAh Max output
- 3 charging modes
- Stylish, minimal design
- Dual-input (AC and micro-USB)
- LED’s to indicate charging
- No USB output
- Fewer automatic smart features
5. MiBOXER C412 3A 18650 fast charger
This superfast charger by Miboxer is perhaps the most powerful out of all of them. It has the ability to charge four batteries at a maximum output of 3000mAh for lithium-ion batteries. This is usually the maximum for a single slot in some of the previous chargers.
This charger also has all the automatic functions included in some of the smart chargers above. Including detecting battery charge, selecting appropriate charging current based on battery capacity, stopping charging when the battery is full and it will automatically reduce charging rate if batteries are getting too hot.
If all those features aren’t enough this charger also includes a USB output port for use as an external battery pack and it has a 12V input so you can charge it in your car (cable not included).
What this charger lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for with functionality and massive power/charging speed.
- 3000mAh Max output for each slot (12000mAh total)
- Automatic charging functions
- Automatic battery heat protection
- heat and fire-resistance material
- LED’s screen with ample information
- Supports car charging (cable not included)
- Higher price point
What are 18650 Batteries?
18650 batteries are a type of Lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and they come in a range of voltage and current options.
The name 18650 actually comes from the size of the battery. Namely 18mm x 65mm. These types of batteries have become very popular and are used for vaping devices, flashlights, laptops, RC toys, etc.
Tesla has even used them to power their electric cars…around 7000 of them for each vehicle!
If you want some more detail on the size ranges and options, check out the 18650 battery specs below:
If you want to take your knowledge of 18650 batteries further, the next step will be to learn about continuous discharge rating (CDR) or amperage capacity as it is also known. This refers to the speed of current that can be drawn from your battery without it overheating.
This is an important concept when looking for the best battery for your vape because you want to match the draw rate of your device with the battery.
Best Vape Battery Charger
So, we have gone through the list of the best 18650 battery chargers but what is the best battery charger for your vape?
Let’s talk about this…
Depending on your vape you will require 1 or 2 18650 batteries at a time. So, firstly, you need a battery charger that can charge at least 2 batteries at a time.
Secondly, you most likely will have spare 18650 batteries so you can swap out your depleted ones for your newly charged ones so you probably don’t need the fastest charger possible…but a high rate is still nice. All the above chargers have a decent charging rate but some are faster than others…
However, the best charger for you may depend on how many batteries you are likely to be charging at a time, your charging habits, as well as your budget.
If you are likely to only be charging a single battery at a time, the NITECORE UMS2 with a quick charger is perfect because you’ll be able to charge 1-2 batteries at a very fast charging rate.
However, if you are likely to be charging more than 2 at a time, your charging rate will drop drastically with most of the chargers as they split the maximum charging rate between the ports. This is not the case with the MiBOXER C412 though, which allows you to charge at 3000mA with each port.
If charging speed is your primary concern, then the XTAR ST2 is the fastest on the market.
So, the best charger for your vape batteries will depend on your personal circumstances but the above should help you think through your needs!
USB vs Wall plug
This refers to how you will provide power to your charger. Namely, via your wall plug or via a USB port which could include your computer or an adapter that plugs into a wall socket, etc.
However, generally speaking, the chargers with wall plug inputs have faster recharge rates but this is not a hard and fast rule.
There are also, USB-C options out the like the XTAR ST2 which has the highest charging rate on the market. Furthermore, some chargers support 12V charging from your car’s auxiliary power supply (lighter port).
Furthermore, some of the above chargers, like the XTAR X4 supports both USB and wall socket inputs.
So, what you really need to think about here, is where you will be charging your device and decide from there.
Some of the battery chargers have USB outputs. This allows them to be used like you would a power bank. If this is a useful feature to you, the XSTAR and Nightcore charger may be the ones for you.
This is an obvious consideration however there is some nuance to this…
Most battery chargers will have an overall maximum current output that gets divided each time you add a new battery to charge.
To explain this, let’s say that we are looking at a charger with a maximum output of 2000mAh. Then let’s say we added in a single battery to charge, then added another one by one, until we have four batteries. Below will indicate how the rate per battery will be affected:
- 1 Baterry – 2000mA charging rate
- 2 Bateries – 1000mA charging rate per battery
- 3 Bateries – ~660mA charging rate per battery
- 4 Bateries – 500mA charging rate per battery
This is not exact as each battery charger will allocate power to the individual ports but it should give you a sense of what is happening when you charge more batteries at a time.
Again, this is not a hard and fast rule because some battery chargers (like the Miboxer) provide the max current output for each slot, no matter how many batteries are charging at a time.
There is also another component to the output of current when it comes to 18650 batteries. Namely, the health of your battery. If you are constantly charging your battery at the highest possible speed, this will impact the longevity of your battery. Have a look at our FAQ’s below to see what the safest charging rate for 18650 batteries is.
Automatic and smart functions
Some of the newer chargers come packed full of smart functions like determining battery health and automatic functions like selecting the best charging speed based on the battery.
Others will require you to manually select charging speeds.
Above are just two of the many automatic and smart features some of the battery chargers have.
The Nightcore chargers are by far the most advanced and feature-full when it comes to these sorts of features so they are worth looking at closer to see what other features they have.
What voltage should I charge my 18650 battery at?
Voltage and amps are important to consider when charging 18650 batteries. With most 18650 batteries you can charge at up to 4.2 volts as a maximum.
When it comes to the current a general rule of thumb is to charge at half the max capacity of the battery. So, a 2000mA battery should be charged at a rate of 1000mAh.
Thus, it is better to only use a faster rate when you are in a hurry.
How many times can you charge a 18650 battery?
On average you can charge a 18650 battery between 300 and 500 times. From, then onward you will likely experience a decline in performance.
Is it safe to charge 18650 batteries overnight?
For the most part, it is not safe to do this. The reason being that this can lead to overcharging and overcharging can damage your batteries.
However, some of the intelligent battery chargers above will automatically shut off power to battery ports when the battery is fully charged. In this case, it is relatively safe to leave your batteries in your charger overnight.
This article has sifted through the vast market of 18650 battery chargers and provided a filtered list so you don’t have to spend hours and hours doing it yourself. Furthermore, our buying guide should have helped you decide which charger is right for you by highlighting the features you should consider.
When it comes to our top pick, it is gonna go to the NITECORE UMS4 Intelligent Battery Charger. The reason is that the charging rate is as high as you’ll need and it is the most intelligent charger, making it user-friendly and safe.
Our close second is the XTAR X4 Battery Charger because it also has as high a charging rate as you’ll need for 18650 batteries and automatic smart features. However, on top of that, it just looks way more stylish than the Nitcore options. Furthermore, it has a USB output allowing it to function as a power bank.
Regardless, of our opinion, this list includes a charger for whatever your personal needs are.