18650 batteries are used in a wide range of devices that include; flashlights, cameras, vamping devices, etc. Depending on the power your devices use, these batteries will often drain after a couple of days and will need to be recharged. The type of charger you use to recharge your batteries has a big impact on the overall lifetime and performance of these batteries on a day to day basis.
Using a bad charger will not only affect the lifetime and performance of the batteries but it is also unsafe. So, before buying a charger for your 18650 batteries, you need to make sure you get one that will not negatively affect the batteries
In this article, I am going to share with you how best to choose a USB charger for your 18650 batteries and some of the best charger models on Amazon.
What are the characteristics of a good USB charger for your 18650 batteries
It should have a good number of charging slots
Having many slots to charge from gives the advantage of charging more than one battery at ago. So, while choosing a charger, you need to choose one that has at least 4 charging slots. This will save time that you would use for charging especially if you have so many batteries to charge.
It should be having a digital display
The importance of the digital display is to show the users the different charging parameters like the current, charging progress, slots in use, and many more. This helps to monitor the charging process so that you know when to get the batteries off the charger when they are full.
It should have a protection circuit
The importance of a protection circuit is to regulate the current flowing to the battery based on how much charge the battery has. When the battery is almost getting full, it reduces the amount of charging current. It should also cut off supply when the battery gets full. This kind of circuit is important especially for people who tend to leave their batteries to charge without monitoring them closely
It should have adjustable charging current
This feature is important especially if you are charging batteries with different internal resistance that require different charging currents. It also gives you a chance to fast charge the batteries that can handle fast charging and slow charge those that can’t handle fast charging.
What is the best charger for 18650 battery
After looking at the characteristics of the good battery chargers above, lets now take a look at some of the best 18650 USB battery chargers that we recommend.
1.XTAR DRAGON VP4 Plus Smart Charger
This USB charger is one of those that you need to check out especially if you have a couple of batteries that you want to charge. Here are some of its key features;
It has up to 4 charging slots that you can use
You can vary the charging current on each slot based on how fast you want to charge the batteries. The current variations available include; 0.5A, 1A, and 2A.
It has an LCD that shows you the battery charging parameters like charging progress, current, the charging slots that are currently being used, etc.
It also has a protection circuit that will automatically stop charging the batteries once they get full
2.Smart Universal Battery Charger MiBOXER - 18650
This is one of the most rated 18650 battery chargers with an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Some of its key features include the following;
It has 4 charging slots that you can use to charger a couple of batteries at a go. There is also another model of the same type that supports up to 8 charging slots.
It has a display that shows the various charging parameters while the batteries are being charged
It can automatically detect a damaged battery and will show the error on the display. This same smart system is what stops the batteries from charging as soon as they get full
It has variable single-channel current that can be set up to 1.5A maximum current
3.XTAR VC4 Li-ion/Ni-MH 18650 battery charger
This is another battery charger that is meant to charger Li-ion and Ni-MH 18650 batteries. Some of its key features include the following;
It has 4 charging slots that you can use to charge up to 4 different 18650 cells
It has a digital display that shows you the charging progress, current, and a couple of other charging parameters
It can intelligently detect the resistance of the battery and then charge the battery with the maximum allowable current for it to charge as fast as possible
It can rescue over-discharged batteries that are at 0V
4.TAR VC8 Type C Fast 18650 Smart Charger
If you are a user of so many 18650 batteries, this is the charger for you. It is one of those USB 18650 chargers that have a good number of ratings and reviews on Amazon. Here are some of its major features;
It has 8 charging slots
Each slot has a variable current of up 3A maximum
It has a smart system that can detect the battery type and choose the appropriate way to charge it. This same system can detect when the battery is full and then stops charging it immediately to avoid overcharging the battery.
It has an LCD to show the various charging parameters that users need to see
How do you buy a good USB 18650 battery charger
Before buying a USB 18650 battery charger, you need to, first of all, know the features that would make the charger good for you. This means determining the number of batteries you intend to charge at once, how fast you want to charger them and also using a charger that will charge them safely
After knowing these features, you can now easily get into the market and choose a charger that meets all of them or the most important ones at least. Don't try to buy cheap chargers at the expense of quality because this will negatively affect the lifetime of your batteries in the long run.
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