Finding the best 18650 vaping battery charger

What is a battery charger?-Infographic

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best vaping battery charger for you. With so many models touting ancillary features, finding the one that ideally suits your needs as a vaper can be tricky. Here are the most important factors to be mindful of when selecting the best battery charger for vaping.

  • Safety: You want a charger that will handle your batteries safely. Along with high-quality batteries, a charger isn’t something you should skimp on. You’re dealing with high-discharge batteries with a lot of power and care should be used handling them.
  • Accuracy: You want an 18650 charger that will get your lithium-ion batteries to 4.2 volts. A tiny bit (less than 0.10 volts) is fine. Overcharging is unacceptable and bad for the longterm life of your batteries.
  • Speed: You want a charger that can handle two batteries at 1.0 amps and four batteries at 0.5 amps at the very least. If you have batteries that can handle faster charging, then faster charging rates are welcomed.

Features like Bluetooth connectivity for monitoring, being able to use a charger as a power bank, and the ability to charger NiMH batteries are nice, but they’re not essential. The best vaping battery chargers will handle your needs safely, accurately, and quickly. All of the models listed below meet those criteria. Read on to find out which one is right for your vaping needs.

Best four-bay battery charger for vaping

  • 0.25-1.0 amp charging rates
  • Battery slots are clearly marked
  • Cons
  • Relatively small display
  • An oldie, but a goodie, the Xtar VP4 is lauded by the flashlight community (an extremely discerning crowd when it comes to batteries) for providing safe and accurate charging. The charger’s four bays run independently. It can charge four batteries at 0.25 or 0.5 amps and two batteries at 1.0 amps. The bays are marked so you know the charging capabilities of each slot.

    The Xtar VP4 doesn’t have the bells and whistles that some of the other models in this roundup have, but if you’re looking for a straightforward four-bay charger for your lithium-ion vaping batteries then this model is an excellent choice.

  • 0.5-2.0 amp charging rates
  • Can be used as a power bank
  • Cons
  • 1st version overcharges
  • One of the most commonly found battery brands in vape shops and online vape stores, Efest also makes a very good four-bay charger. The LUC V4 is very close to the top pick in terms of accuracy and can actually charge vaping batteries faster. While some top high-discharge lithium-ion batteries will be able to handle the 2.0-amp charging-rate, others are not meant to; check the manufacturer specs for “maximum charge rate” for your specific batteries. If your batteries can handle the charge rate then they’ll be ready for vaping in a flash.

    One issue to keep in mind is that the first batch of Efest LUC V4 chargers was known to overcharge batteries. This is bad for the longterm life of the cells. It’s unlikely that you’ll end up with the earliest version, but it’s not impossible.

    Best two-bay chargers for vaping

  • 0.25-2.0 amp charging rates
  • Also charges NiMH and NiCD batts
  • Cons
  • Relatively small display
  • One of Xtar’s newer products, the SV2 Rocket is accurate, fast, and versatile. It can charge lithium-ion vaping batteries at rates as high as 2.0 amps. According to the company, this unit can recharge a depleted Samsung 25r 18650 cell in less than 1.5 hours. Naturally, you should make sure that the batteries you’re using have an acceptable maximum charge rate if you want to take advantage of the 2.0 amp setting.

    In addition to being an excellent battery charger for vaping, the SV2 Rocket can also handle NiMH and NiCD batteries. While that can be a nice bonus for some vapers, the main appeal of this product is how well it handles lithium-ion batteries. If a two-bay charger best fits your needs then the Xtar SV2 Rocket is one of the best vaping battery chargers you can buy.

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  • 0.5-3.0 amp charging rates
  • Also charges NiMH and NiCD batteries
  • Can be used as a power bank
  • Cons
  • Display shows minimal information
  • If you have a need for speed then the Nitecore SC2 is the charger for you. This dual-battery unit can charge at 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 amps. That makes it the fastest charger on the list (again, you need to make sure your batteries can handle the amperage).

    Not only is this charger fast, it’s versatile too. In addition to being a safe, accurate, and zippy battery charger for vaping, the Nitecore SC2 can handle NiMH and NiCD batteries. It can also serve as a USB power bank in a pinch.

    The display and user interface of the Nitecore SC2 is unusual. Instead of an alphanumeric display and battery gauges, each bay has two columns of lights. The position of the lights shows the charging rate and battery life. This requires some learning and doesn’t provide information in the most straightforward manner. That said, certain vapers will gladly take funky UI in exchange for the SC2’s mercurial capabilities.

    Best portable charger for vaping

  • 0.5-1.0 amp charging rates
  • Huge display
  • Also charges NiMH and NiCD batteries
  • Can be used as a power bank
  • Cons
  • Speed dependent on power supply
  • Overestimates charge time
  • Road warriors will want to take a hard look at the Xtar VC2 Plus for their vaping battery charger needs. It has two independent bays that can charge at 0.5 or 1.0 amps. The VC2 Plus also has some extras that could come in handy during travel; being able to charge NiMH batteries and serve as a power bank can be useful. The unit doesn’t use a traditional power brick, but instead has a power cord that plugs into a USB power supply.

    The VC2 Plus has the largest screen in this roundup and it’s a pleasure to view. It displays all the pertinent information you need. While the “time remaining” feature is great, it usually overestimates how much charge time is needed when you first place the batteries in the charger. Some SKUs of this model only come with a power cord and not a power supply. You’ll want at least a 2.1-amp supply (preferably higher) so that you can use this charger while also being able to charge another device.

    Best eight-bay charger for vaping

  • 0.1-1.0 amp charging rates
  • Eight independent bays
  • Also charges NiMH and NiCD batteries
  • Cons
  • Extra care is needed for thin batteries
  • UI can be intimidating at first
  • Vapers that have multiple devices — especially those with multiple two-battery or three-battery mods — have demanding charging needs. While going with two four-bay chargers gives you more versatility, vapers that insist on one large charger should definitely consider the Enova Gyrfalcon All-88. It’s a fantastic charger with eight independent battery bays.

    While the user interface is the most complex of the chargers mentioned on this list, the Gyrfalcon All-88 offers superior control. The settings for each individual bay can be determined by the user. Additionally, the slots can remember their settings, allowing users to set a certain amount for Li-Ion batteries and have the others ready for NiMh batteries. The charger has a copy-and-paste function, which makes setting up all eight slots fairly fast.

    As expected, an eight-bay charger that can use all eight bays at one amp requires a large power brick. So you’ll need to make room for this large charger and its large power supply. For vapers with with several multi-battery devices, the Enova Gyrfalcon All-88 is absolutely worth it.

  • Up to 1.5 A charging
  • Eight bays
  • Compatible with various batteries
  • ACD technology
  • USB slots
  • Safety features
  • Fire resistant material
  • Affordable
  • Cons
  • Batteries pop out if not cautious
  • Specifications

    • 8 Bay battery charger
    • Compatible with lithium ion/LiFePO4/Ni-Mh/Ni-Mh batteries
    • Maximum charging rates
    • 1.5A single bay use
    • .75A to 1.0A four bay use
    • 0.5A eight bay use
    • 2.1A USB output
    • Battery identification
    • Over charge/over time/short circuit/reverse polarity protection
    • Fire preventative polycarbonate housing

    Nitecore is all about simplicity and efficiency. This 8-bay charger is optimized for IMR cells and uses ACD technology to identify battery type and capacity. The Nitecore i8 also features 5V USB slots on the side and safety protections such as over charge, over time and short circuit.

    The housing of the device is constructed of a polycarbonate material that is resistant to fire. The Nitecore i8 is safe and effective. Charge your batteries up to 1.5 A with a single cell or .5 A using all eight. This charger is intelligent and does it all. A must-have for the enthusiast vaper.

    Other chargers considered and closing thoughts

    Nitecore makes a number of safe and accurate chargers that are commonly found in vape shops. Aside from the SC2, those models didn’t make the cut for various reasons. The Nitecore D2 and D4 chargers have lower charging rates than the top picks above. Nitecore’s “New i2” (as opposed to regular i2), and i4 models are faster, but lack detailed LCD displays. The Opus BT-C3100 is a highly regarded battery charger with an annoying flaw; it has an obnoxiously loud fan that kicks in during charging.

    The vaping battery charger picks above are all safe and accurate products when it comes to lithium-ion batteries. It all comes down to the features you need. Vapers with a lot of devices will likely need a four-bay charger like the Xtar VP4. If speed is the primary concern and your batteries can handle it, the Efest LUC V4 and Xtar Rocket SV2 are fantastic picks. Vapers that travel frequently will appreciate the versatility of the Xtar VC2 Plus. All of the picks above are among the best battery chargers for vaping and hopefully this guide helped you find the one that’s right for you.

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