Every serious vaping enthusiast and every beginner vaper who uses mods without a built-in battery will be using a high-drain and top-quality 18650 lithium ion battery. Although most mods have an onboard charging option, the best 18650 vape battery chargers are far better and safer solution.
Transitioning from stinkies to vape pens and to mods, we all start with one mod, usually single 18650. We are hesitant about investing more money in a few spare batteries until our mod dies on us in the middle of a party, a weekend trip or a night out.
For a single battery mod, two batteries are a minimum, one in the mod, and the other one on hand for quick replacement. For a dual battery mod, 4 batteries are a must: two in the mod and the other two safely tucked in a protective case, again for convenient replacement. To keep all your batteries properly and fully charged, you need the best charger for 18650 vape batteries.
Why You Need An External Battery Charger
Table of Contents
- 1 Why You Need An External Battery Charger
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Top 18650 Vape Battery Chargers | Reviews
- 3.1 1. Nitecore D4 Charger (free car adapter and battery case)
- 3.2 Things We Didn't Like
- 3.3 2. XTAR VC4 from XTAR Electronics
- 3.4 Things We Didn't Like
- 3.5 3. Nitecore New i4 Smart Battery Charger
- 3.6 Things We Didn't Like
- 3.7 4. Nitecore D2 Universal Smart Charger
- 3.8 Things We Didn't Like
- 3.9 5. XTAR VC2 Plus LED Display USB Universal Battery Charger
- 3.10 Things We Didn't Like
Most people finally realize that having a spare battery is a must. Soon enough they find out that there are different mod sizes, some of which are dual 18650 for higher power like VooPao Drag and some are single 18650/26650 for better portability like GeekVape Aegis.
So a happy vaper decides to use some of the money he’s saved from not buying stinkies to buy a new quality box mod every now and then. Mods are affordable and even the highest-quality 18650 batteries are downright cheap.
Eventually, beginners, intermediate and advanced vapers realize that their vape starter kits and mods get the power they need from a reliable battery. Be it for those chunky coils for huge clouds or for micro coils which give that delicious vapor for mouth-to-lung style you need a fully charged battery or two batteries. To charge them safely and for the best performance, you need one of the top 18650 vape battery chargers.
The Number Of Slots
I myself now have 14 18650, 6 18350 and 2 18500 batteries so, naturally, I was looking to buy a charger with at least 2 slots and the ability to charge batteries of different lengths and of different capacity at the same time.
Some vapers will be happy with a 2-slot battery charger, while others will need more slots, like 4 or even 6.
The Speed Of Charging
In the vaping community, there has been a debate recently on whether the speed is more important than the overall precision and reliability of the charger. I vote for the latter.
Once your battery has been almost fully charged, you need a slower speed of charging to finish the charging without any excessive heat which is bad for both your batteries and your charger. I always recommend chargers which have the option of decreasing the charging speed near the end of the charging process in order to get those 4.2V.
Now, this is a matter of personal preferences. The best 18650 vape battery chargers will meet your needs first and foremost by charging your batteries efficiently. Some chargers have led signaling of the charging process and some come with easy to read LCD display where you can see all the info you need.
The Affordable Long-term Investment
A high-quality charger costs a fraction of the price of your mod and it will power up all your 18650 batteries. A good charger will last you a few years or more so the cost is considered a valuable but really affordable investment.
The best vape battery charger I could get 3 years ago is still working perfectly so I consider the usual prices of 18650 battery chargers really insignificant considering how long they last.
IMPORTANT NOTE: All vape battery chargers can be used with rechargeable batteries only. They cannot charge disposable batteries. You will get an error message if you insert a disposable battery into the charger.
Top 18650 Vape Battery Chargers | Reviews
Editor’s rating: 4.7/5
Nitecore D4 Charger is an intelligent, reliable and accurate 4-slot versatile battery charging solution. It comes with a high-quality LCD display and can charge various battery sizes and chemistry.
This is by far the most versatile battery charger from Nitecore. It is compatible with Li-ion (26650, 22650, 18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 18350, 16340(RCR123), 14500, 10440) but you can also use it to charge Ni-MH and Ni-Cd (AA, AAA, AAAA, C) rechargeable batteries. So, apart from your vaping needs, Nitecore D4 Charger will meet all charging needs at home.
This charger automatically detects Li-ion, Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries, and through manual selection, it is also capable of charging LiFePO4 batteries. Intelligent charging circuitry selects the optimal charging mode (CC, CV and dV/dt) for any rechargeable battery you throw at it. Each of the D4’s four microcomputer-controlled charging slots monitors and charges the battery independently.An integrated digital LCD screen clearly displays charging progress, voltage, current and time for all individual batteries in any or all 4 slots, regardless of the battery size and chemistry.
The intelligent automatic power-off function terminates current when charging is complete so your batteries will not overcharge. There are two conveniently located side buttons which allow easy selection of specific battery types and charging parameters.
Apart from over-charge prevention to protect batteries, Nitecore D4 also features temperature monitoring to prevent overheating. The charger is made of durable ABS and is fire retardant and flame resistant.
Other protection features include reverse polarity protection and optimal heat dissipation. Nitecore D4 charger is certified by RoHS, CE, FCC, and CEC.
This kit comes with Eastshine EB182 battery protective case and a car charger adaptor, which are cool extras.
Editor’s rating: 4.3/5
VC4 is a 4-slot charger which can charge up to 1A for two slots or 0.5A for four slots simultaneously. The actual current depends on slots used and available USB power. It supports vaping Li-ion batteries and NiMH and LiIon cells.
This intelligent charger can recognize, charge, and display charging current, battery voltage, and charge capacity of your vape Li-ion batteries and also Ni-MH. The charging current is 0.5A to 1 A, depending on the battery.
Inside the box, you will find a fabric bag with the charger, USB cable, and the manual. The bag is really convenient for traveling and to keep the manual, charger and cable together.
It can charge 18650/ 18500/ 18490/ 18350/ 18700/ 22650/ 10440/ 14500/ 14650/ 16340/ 17500/ 17670/ 25500/ 26650/ 32650 3.6V/3.7V Li-ion and AAAA/ AAA/ AA/ A/ SC/ C/ D and Ni-MH/Ni-CD batteries.
XTAR VC4 charger is USB powered, but the connector is a 5V DC barrel connector so you need to use the supplied cable to connect the charger. The DC barrel connector is not compatible with the one used on the 12V chargers, which is good as there is no risk of connecting a 12V power supply from a different XTAR charger to VC4 charger.
An easy to read display has four red/green LEDs and one button. This display uses dials to show voltage and maximum current. It also has 7 segment digits to show charged capacity and slot number.
If the charger only has two batteries in it, the display will always show them, regardless of slots used. With 3 or 4 batteries being charged, the switch needs to be used to select between them.
The button is used to restore full background light on the display as the light will dim after a short time. It’s also used to turn the background light/display off or on: a long press will turn it off while any press will turn it back on.
You also use the button to select which slots are displayed, which is only necessary if more than two batteries are charged simultaneously. The LEDs are red while charging and green at all other times. This makes it very easy to see when a slot has finished charging your vape or other batteries.
This charger is very good at both Li-ion and NiMH charging and keeps impressively low cell temperature while charging. For charging at full current the charger is fairly demanding of the used USB power supply. It is possible to use weaker supplies, but the charging will be slower.
Editor’s rating: 4.5/5
Nitecore New i4 Smart Battery Charger is the new and upgraded version of Nitecore's popular i4 battery charger. The New i4 comes with faster-charging speeds up to 1.5A.
It also comes with expanded battery support for 3.7 and 4.35v batteries plus an improved display. The i4 is a universal, automatic smart-charger compatible with almost all types of rechargeable batteries.
It features active current distribution technology allowing the i4 to intelligently optimize each battery slot for the appropriate charging current. The New i4 automatically stops charging when finished to protect your vape batteries. It's as simple as insert, auto-detect, and charge.
Nitecore New i4 box contains the charger, a mains cable, a manual and a warranty card. This charger has two power connectors, one for the mains input (100-250VAC 50/60Hz) and one for the 9-12 VDC input.
The front panel has two buttons and the LEDs which are positioned behind a dark cover. It has 3 green status LEDs and a red led to signal full current (1.5A). These LEDs also have a secondary function: they are used as indicators for selected voltage.
The charger is a bit special as regards current selection. Normally, it will select current depending on battery length and chemistry, but it can be overridden in one case: 2 long Li-ion batteries can also be charged at 1.5A, but then they will be charged in sequence, not simultaneously.
The New i4 is compatible with Li-ion/IMR/LiFePO4: 10340, 10350, 10440, 10500, 12340, 12500, 12650, 13450, 13500, 13650, 14350, 14430, 14500, 14650, 16500, 16340(RCR123), 16650, 17350, 17500, 17650, 17670, 18350, 18490, 18500,18650, 18700, 20700, 21700, 22500, 22650, 25500, 26500, 26650 as well as Ni-MH(NiCd): AA, AAA, AAAA, C, and D batteries.
To change voltage or current, you need to tap the C button until a single green led above the required slot lights up. Then hold C or V button to adjust current or voltage. C button can only turn the red LED on while the V button will change between the 3 green LEDs for the 3 different Li-ion charge voltages. Press again shortly on C or wait for the timeout.
The slots have the usual construction and work well. They can handle batteries from 28mm to 70mm long. The long bar at the plus end enables this charger to handle anything up to D or 32xxx size.
Editor’s rating: 4.6/5
Nitecore D2 Universal Smart Charger is an improved i2 version with a great display added and a few more improvements. It can handle more battery types than the i2 and also executes charging in a more controlled and more detailed way.
In the quite big cardboard box with the battery types and specs info, you will find the charger, a mains cable, manual and a warranty card. Just like D4, D2 also has two power connectors on the back, one for the mains input (100-240VAC 50/60Hz) and one for 12 VDC input.
This charger has two slots which can independently charge the same or different types and sizes of vape and other batteries at the same time. It’s easy to operate using the two buttons located on the left side.
The SLOT button is used to select the slot. In addition, holding it down will turn the display off or on without affecting the charging. So if you want to prolong the life of the display, just keep the SLOT button pressed for a few seconds and the display will turn off. You can turn it back on by pressing the button again.
The MODE button is used to change value displayed which can either be the voltage, the charging current or the charging time (Volt, mA, time). If you keep it pressed for a few seconds, the MODE button can also be used to select low charge current and LiFePO4.
If you don’t need a 4-slot charger, Nitecore D2 will meet all your vaping needs. Beside vape batteries, it will also handle a wide variety of sizes and types usually used. It intelligently recognizes and charges Li-ion (26650, 22650, 18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 18350, 16340(RCR123), 14500, 10440), Ni-MH and Ni-Cd (AA, AAA, AAAA, C).
The D2 is equipped with an advanced ‘overtime’ safety function. It will individually monitor the elapsed charging time for each battery slot and if a particular slot exceeds 20 hours, the D2 will automatically power off the slot. It will then display full charging bars to indicate completion of the charging process. This feature reduces the risk caused by forgetting to take the batteries out of the charger.
Another D2 feature is the ability to select a low charging current which is recommended to help extend the life of batteries with a capacity lower than 750mAH (e.g. 18350, 10440, 16340 batteries and AAA)When charging batteries.
To select a low charging current, while in regular charging mode, you need to press the side SLOT button to select the desired battery slot and then press and hold the side MODE button for more than 1 second until “LOW” is displayed on the LCD display indicating activation of low current charging mode.
I use this feature for my 700mAh 18350 batteries which I use in all stealthy configurations of my tubular regulated and mechanical mods. To exit low current charging mode, I simply press and hold the side MODE button for a few seconds once again, or remove the batteries from the slot.
Editor’s rating: 4.5/5
It is powered from USB so it comes with a USB cable, a pouch, an instruction sheet and a warranty card.
The user interface consists of a display, two LEDs, and one button. A short press on the button will change charging current while a long press will turn the display on/off.
The CH1/CH2 LEDs are red while charging and green at all other times. It’s another easy to operate vape battery charger.
While batteries are being charged, the display shows a percentage and a time estimate. The time estimate will start fairly high (About 7 hours for 0.5A and 3½ hours for 1A charging) time and then use the measured voltage to estimate how much time is left till the batteries are fully charged.
This charger has a DC input socket (5.5/2.5mm) so the other 12V XTAR power supplies won’t fit in this socket; only the supplied USB cable will. The USB output is rated for 1A. It will supply power when the charger is powered or from Li-Ion batteries. It can also be used to charge various devices while charging batteries or as a power bank.
The slots utilize the typical slider construction with a metal rail. They work smoothly with batteries from about 30mm to 70mm. This means that XTAR VC2 Plus can handle long unprotected as well as protected 18650 and 26650 cells.
Only one of the two slots is used for USB output and, unlike some other charges, this charger has the USB output clearly marked in writing indented into the sturdy plastic slot housing.
Overall, this is a reliable and affordable dual slot 18650 vape battery charger operating in the range of 0.5-1A and also convenient for various other battery sizes.