18650s are the most typical batteries that are used when it comes to vaping. They’re reliable, available, and are used in most mods. Most of all, they've been tested rather extensively. New batteries, like the 21700 and 20700, are rarely seen in new dual or battery vape mods because of how big they are. This notable performance and its size is why 18650 is basically a tried and tested battery still used by many manufacturers.
It should be noted that given how popular and reliable they are, 18650 batteries are often counterfeited. You need to make sure the vendor you're buying them from is reputable.
Ratings and Specifications
The amount of power a battery can hold is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh). One milliampere-hour is equal to the ability to transfer one milliampere of current for one hour. The mAh rating on a battery gauge may be exaggerated, but this is not as common as the exaggeration of its discharge rating.
You may have noticed that the CDR and capacity of a given 18650 battery varies with the manufacturer. This is because there is always a tradeoff between how much power it can deliver and how much energy it can store. For example, there is no 18650 lithium ion battery rated over 30A that also has 3000 mAh. At the same time, there is no 18650 with 3600 mAh that also has 20A.
The only way to know for sure is to look into the manufacturer and be sure you're buying a battery made from someone reputable. Under no circumstances should rewraps be used, since batteries on that end can change anytime.
Continuous Discharge Rating
Sometimes referred to as CDR for short, this rating is crucial for 18650 batteries. That's because reputable electronic manufacturers use it. Moreover, it's the best when it comes to comparing battery discharge. An accurate test of the battery’s maximum continuous discharge (drain) rating is important because it helps ensure that the battery can handle this amount of current without damage or reduction in capacity.
Reconditioned or Chinese-manufactured and rewraps batteries often overstate specifications such as capacity, or they list misleading specifications. In some cases, they use other raings entirely. An example is the maximum discharge current or maximum discharge rating. It's the maximum current a battery supplies in short bursts or intervals, usually not mentioned on the rating. The rating should be accounted for when batteries are taken into account.
Be sure to take note of a battery's CDR, cross-checking any ratings with sources on the internet.
As long as they're correctly handled, 18650 batteries are like other batteries. Basically, you must follow the same rules you would for handling AA batteries. Additional precautions must be taken because of the different form factor, however. Don't just casually carry them around in your pocket.
Vapes can be modified quite a lot these days, batteries included. The most common type used is the 18650, which is also used for the likes of laptops. However, since it's so widely used, many counterfeits exist. It's important to pay close attention to continuous discharge rating and capacity.
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