It may not have been lost to you that 18650 Batteries have grown in popularity over the last few years. They are still utilized to power flashlights and power vapes. However, their use has exploded over the last few years to include other specialized devices.
If one way or another you find yourself using some of these batteries, then you quickly realize you also need a charger. The catch is in choosing the best charger. There is a wide selection of them on the market that it can sometimes be pretty hard to figure out the best one for us.
In the following review, we look at some of the best 18650 Battery Chargers on the market to make your choice easier. We also discuss how you go about choosing the right charger and some basics on how to safely and correctly make use of them.
Nitecore i2 Intellicharge Charger for 18650 AAA AA Li-Ion/NiMH Battery
This is without a doubt one of the best chargers out there with a price that is pretty favorable. It has the capacity to charge two batteries simultaneously while also telling you how far you are through three indicator lights.
And another good thing about Nitecore i2 Intellicharge Charger is that it can juice up a wide variety of batteries out there making it pretty versatile – this is one of the factors that make it one of the best 18650 battery chargers. It automatically detects the kind of batteries you insert into the slots and applies the right charging for them – quite the smart one.
The charger has built-in protection that shuts down the device when you are done charging. However, you should learn to remove these batteries from the charger once you are done. And if you need to charge on the move, the charger has a 12V port for charging in the car. It is without a doubt something to have around the house.
XTAR VC4 Li-ion/Ni-MH Battery Charger
Well, this charger is a bit more expensive than your average chargers, but it is for a pretty good reason – quality doesn’t often come cheap. It comes with nifty little features that account for the cost, and that is not so bad. The first element you notice is the LCD screen which keeps you in the know how matters are regarding charging and all. And what’s more, this model is quite the versatile one as it can charge a wide variety of batteries.
The charger can handle four batteries at a go making it quite functional. And to avoid the situations where the cell is ramped up with a higher current, the charger has a feature that prevents this. It comes with three different modes that play an important role in prolonging the life of your battery. Without a doubt, this one deserves to be on the list for the best chargers in the market.
It takes about five hours to charge four 18650 batteries simultaneously and half that time when charging the two of them.
EBL Smart Battery Charger for 18650 AA AAA & C Size
If you are among those always on the lookout for cheap and quality products, then this charger fits the category. It is one charger that shuts down after the battery is all pumped up with the necessary power. This is fast and can handle a wide variety of batteries. It has all the essential protections to maintain the battery in excellent condition. The only noticeable drawback with this charger is that it lacks some of the useful features you find in more expensive products. You also need to ensure that you have placed the batteries in the right manner to avoid associated risks.
Foxnovo F08 8-Slot LCD Battery Charger
If you are looking for something intelligent, versatile and charges fast, then oxnovo F08 8-Slot LCD Battery Charger may be your thing – and the cost tells it all. It is one dependable charger that keeps your batteries fully juiced up whenever necessary. The LCD shows just how far you are with charging and has the charge protection needed to prevent overcharging or undercharging.
This product can hold up to eight batteries at a go meaning that you don’t have to wait as a pair charges. It automatically detects the type of cell you insert in the slot, and the battery status then applies the right charge mode. And when charging is complete, this charger shuts everything down to ensure the protection of the batteries and safety.
Selecting a Battery Charger
Apparently, there is a wide variety of products in the market, and each may come with its own features. The goal of each manufacturer is to capture customers by offering attractive functionalities, and that makes it a bit difficult to determine the right features.
The most important among them is the shut off feature. This was a common problem when lithium-ion batteries were first introduced into the market. And as long as your charger comes around with this feature, then you are in good stead and sure that nothing bad can happen – something like accidental fires from overheating.
Another important feature you need to look out for is the Amp draw. Basically, the higher it is, the better. It would mean fast charging and a shorter wait period. However, it should not be too fast as it would mean overheating and stuff. But you shouldn’t worry too much as long as you are purchasing the right brand.
Convenience features that indicate the charge level are also important as they inform you how far the charging is and the much you need to wait. If the battery also has different charging modes, the better, as it would mean prolonging the life of the battery. This latter feature might slow things a bit, but it is all worth it if you consider it for a while.
The number of ports is down to the number of batteries you use. If the number of cells is significant, then you need a charger with several slots. Of course, the person that only has a flashlight battery to charge may not see the reason to have many ports.
How to Use Battery Chargers
Using the chargers may seem like a walk in the park – easy – but there are some things you need to be aware of and among them is that they are directional. This means that they need to be put the right way to avoid such problems as fire risks and discharging. However, this factor may not be a problem if you choose the right brand – like the ones we have listed above. However, should you decide to go for the cheaper models out there, then you must be careful how you place them on the charger.
Another critical thing to note is that you should never leave the chargers unattended. Better and innovative chargers are hitting the market once in a while, better and safer. However, that does not diminish the importance of not leaving your charger unattended. Anything can still happen, the quality of the charger notwithstanding. The failsafe may malfunction leaving you with losses or worse still, injuries.
That does not, however, imply that lithium-ion batteries are unsafe. If anything, they are quite safe, but it doesn’t hurt when you take extra precautions.
If you have several of those devices using lithium-ion batteries, then you will need a charger. It is better to spend extra and get the best 18650 battery charger than get a cheap knock-off putting you at risk and prove expensive in the long run. If you think about it, a good quality battery charger is worth every cent as it will give you a considerable amount of service years and maintain your batteries.