5 Top Rated 18650 Batteries For Flashlight Reviewed- Flashlights in Focus

BEST 18650 BATTERY FOR FLASHLIGHT - BUYER'S GUIDE

TOP 5 BRIGHTEST FLASHLIGHTS IN 2017

3500mAh 18650 ORBTRONIC pricing
  • Orbtronic
  • Capacity: 3500mAh
  • Voltage: 3.7V
Nitecore NL189 2014 Universal 18650 pricing
  • Nitecore NL189
  • Capacity: 3400mAh
  • Voltage: 3.7V
2pcs 18650 2500mah 20A Samsung pricing
  • Samsung
  • Capacity: 2500mAh
  • Voltage: 3.6V
18650 Battery 3500mAh EASTSHINE pricing
  • Eastshine
  • Capacity: 3500mAh
  • Voltage: 3.7V
EBL 18650 Battery 3.7V 3000mAh pricing
  • EBL
  • Capacity: 3000mAh
  • Voltage: 3.7V

Flashlights are among the most valuable commodities of the modern world - they are an indispensable part of many professions. Their capability to illuminate a huge area makes them a necessity for policemen, night watchmen, repairmen, camping enthusiasts, and many other occupations and hobbies.

The only issue here is that when one uses a flashlight with alkaline batteries, he is certain to see it die just when he needs it the most. Fortunately, there's a solution to this problem, in the form of 18650 batteries. Not only do they last longer than their alkaline counterparts, but are also rechargeable and provide a lot more lighting power.

For that matter, we have decided to take a closer look at the currently best 18650 batteries and see what they offer. In our short but informative reviews, you'll be able to find out everything you need to know about these cells - read on!

Top 5 18650 Batteries Reviewed


3500mAh 18650 ORBTRONIC

Even though the company exists for only a decade, Orbtronic is already one of the most trusted manufacturers of batteries, battery chargers, and flashlights. Their 3500mAh 18650 batteries are the priciest on our list for a reason - they offer top performance and have a long runtime.

The Features:

Due to the fact that the company decided to use the newest 1500mAh 10Amp technology, these batteries come with a huge number of benefits. They effortlessly provide unbroken flashlight operation at higher loads and allow a longer runtime in high and turbo modes. Furthermore, their Seiko-designed protection circuits don't cause a cutoff anywhere below 10 Amps.

The manufacturer claims that these cells have a very long storage life - over 5 years. This is very impressive, and something we totally expected from batteries made in Japan. Orbtronic also claims that they have been designed to be used only in high-power flashlights. We can safely confirm this statement - they have a great capacity and have a high voltage that the high-output flashlights require for uninterrupted operation.

We were very pleased with the results of our tests - regular night use will lead to full depletion after four days, which is very impressive. They offer an outstanding performance and are bound to provide you with all the lighting power you'll ever need.

One thing we particularly liked is the packaging. The batteries come in a lovely plastic case and each of them is individually wrapped. When we combine this with Orbtronic's excellent customer service, we get something truly special - it's one of the best choices when it comes to batteries of this type.

The Verdict:

These batteries receive the best reviews for a reason - they have a solid manufacturing, a great capacity, and they definitely live up to their claimed specs. We recommend them!

3500mAh 18650 ORBTRONIC product image
QUALITY
PRICE

PROS & CONS

PROS

  • Great capacity
  • Powerful output
  • Cost-effective

CONS

  • Gold plating can wear off after some time

Nitecore NL189 2014 Universal 18650

Established in 2007, Nitecore is undoubtedly one of the world's most well-known manufacturers of flashlights. They are especially famous for their tactical, variable-output models - these are among the most popular torches on today's market. But did you know that they also produce 18650 batteries? Let's have a look at one of their best:

The Features:

Sporting the well-known black and yellow color combination of all Nitecore products, the Nitecore NL189 18650 batteries arrive in the standard plastic packaging with all the necessary info written on the back. They are certified by ROHS, UL, and CE, and are environmentally friendly as they provide 500 full recharging cycles (which equals to 500 CR123 batteries).

Since they have been designed to be used in high-drain devices, these cells come with a number of both internal and external safety features. The internal safety features include a pressure relief valve (to prevent rapid temperature increase), a built-in PTC (prevents high current surges), and a microporous barrier that successfully protects the model's delicate internal components.

The external safety features, on the other hand, include things like the durable metallic film, tough circuit board protectors, as well as the nickel-plated S.S protectors.

A pair of Nitecore NL189 batteries is more than capable to provide your high-drain tactical flashlight with all the necessary power. The manufacturer claims that these batteries offer 62% more power than the common 18650 rechargeable models, and we tend to agree with this - the capacity of 3400mAhs and the voltage of 3.7V left us with very impressive results.

The Verdict:

In case you have a Nitecore flashlight or any other torch that these batteries can fit in, definitely go for them. Their outstanding safety features and a high output make them a worthy investment.

Nitecore NL189 2014 Universal 18650 product image
QUALITY
PRICE

PROS & CONS

​PROS

  • Excellent safety features
  • Designed for high-drain flashlights
  • Environment-friendly

CONS

  • Larger than normal 18650's

2pcs 18650 2500mah 20A Samsung

Who doesn't know about Samsung? This South Korean multinational conglomerate is well-known for its electronics products, particularly phones, TVs, and other audio-video devices. For that reason, we've decided to have a look at their attempt to create the market's most cost-effective 18650 batteries - the Samsung 2500mah 20A INR18650-25R cells.

The Features:

Sporting a pretty raw look, these rechargeable batteries provide a fantastic performance and are more than capable of assisting the user with all situations that require powerful illumination. Due to the fact that most 18650 cells bear a 3000-3500mAh marking, one might think that these cells sport a low capacity. This is, of course, wrong - they have a generally higher energy output and won't leave you disappointed.

During our testing period, we have decided to test their effectivity. We left the torch turned on overnight and then checked out the charger's LCD monitor the following morning. Surprisingly, it showed us that there's more than 90% charge remaining, which left us speechless. The longevity of Samsung's 2500mAh 20A cells is truly impressive, and a feature that deserves special praise.

With the right kind of equipment, one is able to fully charge these cells in under an hour. This is yet another impressive characteristic and something that makes these batteries suitable for a variety of uses. With the nominal voltage of 3.6V and the maximum discharge count of 35A, one can use them in flashlights, digital cameras, car toys, electric tools, and a wide array of other battery-powered devices.

Our only complaint is the lack of protection features - hence the plain appearance.

The Verdict:

In conclusion, all we can say is that the plain look of these 18650 cells is quite deceiving - they offer top performance and are absolutely worthy of being considered for purchase.

2pcs 18650 2500mah 20A Samsung product image
QUALITY
PRICE

PROS & CONS

​PROS

  • High power output
  • Fast-charging
  • Long-lasting

CONS

  • The lack of protection features

18650 Battery 3500mAh EASTSHINE

Next up are the Eastshine's 18650 3500mAh batteries, which are among the best-selling cells of this type on online retail websites. There are a couple of reasons behind this - they sport a number of protection features, have a high output, large capacity, and offer a great value for the money. Let's check them out!

The Features:

As we said, one of the primary reasons behind the popularity of these batteries is their large capacity of 3500mAhs. This is 50% more than your regular 18650 cells, and something that makes them a suitable choice for high-drain devices, such as headlamps and tactical flashlights.

One particularly impressive thing about them is the high amount of safety features. These cells are very safe to use, as they sport three external and four internal safety protection systems. Some of these include a durable metallic film (protects against abrasion), a nickel-plated S.S protector (offers high impact resistance), an injection-molded protection circuit, a pressure-relief valve, the PTC cathodal block, as well as the microporous protection. All of these features combined put the Eastshine's cells into a category of 18650 batteries that provide maximum security during high-output use.

Another thing we liked is the presence of button-tops. These make the cells more compatible with a variety of electronic devices and will allow you to use them inside most of your battery-powered appliances. During the testing, we've experimented with a couple of flashlights and these batteries did not make a rattling sound in any of the torches.

The Verdict:

With the protection from overcharging, discharging, and short-circuiting, the Easthine 35000mAh batteries are among the safest on the market. When we combine this with their extensive life cycle and a huge capacity, we get a best-seller - buying them can't really turn out as a mistake.

18650 Battery 3500mAh EASTSHINE product image
QUALITY
PRICE

PROS & CONS

​PROS

  • High power capacity
  • Numerous safety features
  • Presence of button tops

CONS

  • Not the fastest charging

EBL 18650 Battery 3.7V 3000mAh

EBL is a company well-known for their battery chargers - they often have a capability to charge 8 or more cells at the same time. However, we've decided to analyze the batteries themselves, as the company also manufactures 18650 cells and sells them at a pretty affordable price. Are they worth the money?

The Features:

These button-top cells come in stable-storage boxes and are pre-charged, allowing the buyer to use them straight out of the package. One of their most unique features is the fact that they have zero memory effect. If you're not familiar with this term, it means that one can recharge them more than one thousand times when they're drained. This, of course, makes them very eco-friendly and a great choice for the environmentally-conscious users of electronics devices.

Another great thing about them is that they use a special degradation protection feature. This feature is employed during charge and discharge cycles and is there to extend their lifespan. It is important to note that they can't work with E-cigs and similar devices, as these appliances accept only flat-topped cells. Those searching for a quality 18650 model for their E-cig device will have to look elsewhere.

However, that's not the biggest flaw of these batteries - it is the fact that they never reach the indicated output of 3000mAh, which is something we noticed during the testing. They only ever charged up to about 2500mAh, and then drained quite quickly.

The Verdict:

​Fact that they can be charged over a thousand times and have button-tops makes them suitable for your flashlight, camera, battery-operated toys, and other electronic devices.

EBL 18650 Battery 3.7V 3000mAh product image
QUALITY
PRICE

PROS & CONS

​PROS

  • Zero memory effect
  • Button-top
  • Degradation protection features

CONS

  • Do not charge up to the shown capacity

Five Qualities of a Great 18650 Battery


When looking for a good 18650 cell for your flashlight or any other battery-operated device, look for the following qualities:

1. High Capacity

As you already know, the capacity of batteries is measured in mAh - milliamperes. The number of mAhs written on the package shows how many milliamperes the cell allows to be drawn and for which amount of time (typically shown in hours). In simple terms, a battery with the capacity of 2000mAh allows the user to draw 2000mAhs in one hour and half of that number (1000mAhs) in two hours.

The cells don't always have 100% efficiency, and the conditions in which they are operating can also impact their overall capacity. However, we can safely say that the higher number of mAhs means higher capacity - a higher number leads to less frequent recharging.

The capacity of each 18650 cell gradually decreases over time, although their longevity can be increased by proper storage, avoidance of over-discharging and overcharging, and by using a quality, compatible charger.

2. Running at Low Temperature

There's only one thing you'd like to keep low in your 18650 cell - the temperature. Low temperature doesn't only ensure a longer lifespan but also removes the risk of overheating and possible dangers that come with it.

3. High Voltage

High voltage is quite important when it comes to using 1865 batteries in high-drain flashlights. With a high amount of voltage coming from the cell, a flashlight user is able to use his torch more efficiently and for longer periods of time.

4. Current Rating

This is one of the most crucial features since a high-drain flashlight can put a large amount of pressure on the battery. The cell needs to be capable of safely delivering the current which is withdrawn from it without any overheating.

However, there's usually a tradeoff between the current rating and the capacity - a model with high current rating will have lower capacity and vice versa. There's a difference between the maximum current rating and the continuous current rating - the later one is the one that matters, and should always be at least 30A.

5. Price

Since the costs of the cells we've reviewed all range between $10 and $30, we believe that the price shouldn't be as important as the above mentioned factors while shopping for a quality 18650 battery. However, we should still mention that the more expensive batteries of this type bring better protection from overheating, better capacity, as well as the higher voltage.

Tips To Extend 18650 Battery Life


A single cell of this type has a runtime that equals that of three or four standard AA batteries, and the reason behind this is its higher voltage. Depending on the bulb of your flashlight, a regular AA battery will give you around 10 hours of use, while the 18650 one can increase this number to whopping 30 hours.

But even so, the user can extend the cell life in a couple of different ways. Here are some of them:

  • Don't wait for your battery to get completely discharged. When the juice is below 50%, you can already put it on the charger.
  • Try to avoid high temperatures. They can easily shorten the cell's lifespan and reduce its capacity rating.
  • Always charge your 18650 model with a current that's below 1Amp. Even though the high-current charging can speed up the process, it can also lead to a shorter lifespan, overheating, and even explosion.
  • Purchase a decent charger that features things like fire safety, reverse polarity protection, and overheating protection.
  • Since not all models are the same, don't forget to read the user manual and instructions.

With these tips in mind, your 18650 cell should last a lot longer.

The Conclusion

Lightweight, rechargeable, more eco-friendly, and sporting a longer runtime than their AA counterparts, 1865 batteries are the future. These cells come with numerous benefits and provide the best possible way to power your flashlight.

In case you use your torch on a daily basis, we recommend you to buy a 18650 rechargeable battery for it - you won't have to think about battery swapping or frequent recharging any longer.

These cells belong to a category of high-capacity batteries that effortlessly power high-performance devices, and are the only viable choice for those in a need of top performance and high output.

Our Verdict: Which One Do We Prefer?

All of the 18650 batteries we've reviewed here come with their own distinct sets of advantages and disadvantages - it's up to you to choose a pack that suits your needs the best. However, if we would have to choose a winner; that would undoubtedly be the Orbtronic's 3500mAH 18650 cells.

These batteries effortlessly deliver top performance due to Orbtronic's use of latest technology in manufacturing them. Not only does their high voltage provide the user with uninterrupted use of a high-drain flashlight, but they also have a very long lifespan and can serve you for years to come.

3500mAh 18650 ORBTRONIC product image
OVERALL SCORE

Their outstanding performance is precisely the reason behind their immense popularity - the guys and girls at Orbtronic certainly know how to make the best rechargeable batteries. We hope that our reviews and articles have been helpful to you - don't forget to read our reviews of the best EDC and tactical flashlights and find a house for your new, powerful 18650 battery.