I am going to be covering a few topics before we go over what the best 18650 batteries for a flashlight are. The reason being you will have a better understanding of what a 18650 li-ion battery is and by knowing these details you will be in a better position to choose the correct battery for your task. So continue reading and learn all you need to know about the versatile and powerful 18650 li-ion battery.

But for those in a rush here is the short list:-

What are the best 18650 batteries for flashlights:-



what are the best 18650 batteries for a flashlight

What is a 18650 Li-ion Battery

The 18650 battery is simply a cell measuring 65mm in length and 18mm in diameter. The 18650 name, simply put, is the size of the battery, just as the more common AA and AAA batteries have their own names.

Lithium-ion (or Li-ion for short) is the chosen battery makeup for a vast majority of portable electric products like laptops, smartphones, power tools and even fully electric cars like Tesla’s. The reason for their popularity is due to their great power output rates and the fact that unlike other rechargeable batteries they can be charged if they’re partially discharged or fully discharged without causing damage.


What Does mAh Mean and How Does It Affect Your Battery

mAh is short for (milliamp Hour) and is a unit that measures (electric) power over time. The number is an indicator of the amount of energy the battery can store after a charge. Using the same device with a 2000mAh battery compared to a 4000mAh battery, you would achieve twice the usable time before the recharge is needed. A higher number means that the battery can store more energy, so it has a higher capacity.


best 18650 battery

Maximum continuous discharge or CDR (continuous discharge rate)

In plain English CDR is the maximum continuous power in Amps the battery can deliver. This figure is more important when you plan to use your new 18650 battery in a high drain product. You can normally find these details on the item spec that you plan to use your battery on or you can check the battery that is being used or supplied with the product you are planning on buying a new battery for, the most common figure is in the 30A CDR range.


The Benifits In Using a 18650 Battery Over a Standard Non Rechargable Battery

save money

So we have two things to consider here. One is the cost involved between buying non rechargeable alkaline batteries and the other being the ability to buy a battery that completely suits your needs.


Lets do a quick comparison over buying rechargeable vs non rechargeable batteries:-

  • A 18650 Samsung 2500mAh battery x 2 is available on amazon for around $16.00
  • A pack of 8 AAA Duracell batteries from Walmart / Asda around $6.50


A non rechargeable AAA battery in a device like a flashlight or a vape will last up to 24 hours of continual use before it’s fully drained, compared to a 18650 li-ion battery which, depending on it’s mAh, can last longer and then but can be recharged and used again.

A 16850 battery can have a life span of around the 2 – 3 year mark so if it’s a device that you use frequently you’re going to be making a huge saving just by being able to recharge the same battery. If you were using one pack of AAA batteries a month you would be saving $140 over a two-year period.


Protected and Unprotected batteries

When shopping for a new 18650 Li-ion battery you will notice you have the option ‘protected’ or  ‘unprotected’. Unprotected batteries will more than likely be cheaper as there is no electrical circuit built into the battery casing that protects the battery from being excessive discharge and discharging, short circuits and extreme temperatures it also protects the product you intend to use it in.

If you do intend on buying an unprotected battery you will need to take a few precautions like not leaving the battery on charge to long and making sure the device you’re using it for does not have a large power draw as this could damage the battery to a point were it could leak or even explode.

I highly recommend spending the little extra and choosing a protected battery over an unprotected battery if your new to li-ion batteries or don’t want to risk an accident.


Tips On looking Out For Fake 18650 Batteries

This is a bit of a tricky subject to cover because fraudulent companies have become very good at making fake or cheaper version of the battery they claim to be selling look like a genuine. It’s just a case of replacing the plastic cover with a replica of a genuine expensive battery, so there are a few things you should look out for when buying, the main one being if it’s a lot cheaper than all the other’s their is a good chance it’s a fake, the other checks you can do require you to physically have the item in your possession.

The first being, weighing the battery and checking online to see if it matches up with the manufacture’s information. All you need to look up is for example “Samsung 18650 4500mAh data sheet”. The other check you can do but not always is companies like vapCell will put on a ANTI FAKE label on the battery. Just scratch it off and you can check the number on it’s website for authenticity.


My Choose of Best 18650 Batteries for a flashlight

>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

Panasonic NCR18650B 3.7V 3400mAh

panasonic 18650 battery

  • 3400mAh
  • 30A max continuous discharge rate
  • 48g
  • Flat top – positive end
  • Protected
  • Cycle life : 250 plus


The Panasonic NCR18650B is a 3.7 volt 3400mAh battery with a 30A Max discharge rate,  this has the flat top style positive end, weighting 48g, it’s the ideal battery for high drain products like flashlights, vapes, power banks and remote controlled vehicles.

Panasonic have been making batteries since the 1930 and first started producing lithium – ion batteries in 1994 and have producing high quality products all that time so you know you’re in save hands with a Panasonic battery.


>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

Samsung INR18650 2500mAh 3.7v


  • 2500mAh
  • 20A max continuous discharge rate
  • 45g
  • Flat top – positive end
  • Unprotected
  • Cycle life: 250 plus


The Samsung INR18650 – 25R is the cornerstone of Samsung’s 18650 batteries range it has the perfect balance between capacity and continuous discharge rate, it price is really affordable and as with the Panasonic above Samsung have been making batteries for many years and are well known and trusted in the electronics industry with many products coming standard with a member of the samsung battery range including many modern smart phones.

The only down side to this battery is the unprotection of the battery which is fine as long as your using a good charger and not over draining the battery.


>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

UltraFire 18650 3000mAH 3.7v

best 18650 flashlight battery


  • 3000mAh
  •  Max continuous discharge rate = Not stated but states High drain battery
  • 50g
  • Button top – positive end
  • Ultrafire positive plate protection
  • Cycle life: up to 500


The Ultrafire BCR-18650 is a great battery that has been manufactured for high drain electronics like flashlights  with a 3000mAh capacity and a great price makes this battery a must for someone how can use a lot of batteries or needs lots of batteries for a certain high drain product, Ultrafire have a huge following and have sold millions of lithium – ion batteries, one thing to be aware of when buying a Ultrfire battery is fakes, the link I have above is for genuine Ultrafire batteries as Ebay for example is littered with fake Ulrafire batteries.


>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

LG INR18650 HG2 High Drain Li-ion 3.7V 20A 3000mAh


  • 3000mAh
  • 20A Max continuous discharge rate
  • 48g
  • Flat top – positive end
  • Unprotected
  • Cycle life: Not stated


The LG HG2 has been on the market for a few years now but that does not mean it’s old technology or not fit for purpose with it’s 3000mAh capacity and a 20A Max discharge rate it really is a great low cost battery and there are many 1000’s of review’s that will back this up.

But please be aware that this is also  a unprotected battery so needs to be treated correctly.



>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

VapCell 38A 2000mAh 3,7v


  • 2000mAh
  • 38A Max continuous discharge rate
  • Weight not stated
  • Flat top – positive end
  • Unprotected
  • Cycle life: not stated


The Vapcell INR battery has been specifically manufactured for use in Vapes but this does not mean it’s not suitable for use in a flashlight, in fact it makes it ideal for high output flashlights that require a lot of Amps to power them, although the this battery does not have the highest capacity in this line up 2000mAh is no small about of charge.

Again there are endless happy customers using this battery and many reviews to prove the worth of this battery.

As a added bonus when buying this battery from the link above you receive a free padded carry case for two batteries.  


>>Click on battery name for price and more information<<

Efest Purple IMR 18650 300mAh 35A 3.7v

vape best battery



  • 3000mAh
  • 35A  Max continuous discharge rate
  • 46g
  • Flat top – positive end
  • Unprotection
  • Cycle life: not stated


My final offering from Efest is the IMR with 3000mAh and 35A max discharge it really is a big hitter in the 18650 battery market, this battery is available at a great price and has many happy review’s, the only reason I believe this battery is not more expensive is due to the fact it’s a lesser know company, if your looking for the best 18650 battery for a flashlight this might just be it, due to it’s price and performance.


So to conclude, now you know what your looking for in a new 18650 Li-ion battery, you will be able to purchase the best battery for the product or use you have in mind for. You know what a 18650 battery is, what the mAh represents, what CDR is and how it can effect you, the benefits of using a protected battery over an unprotected battery and how to check for fake dangerous batteries. Now you’re in the strongest position to go and get a great battery to meet your needs for you’re flashlight or 18650 product.





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7 thoughts on “What Are The Best 18650 Batteries for flashlights – (This Will Really Help)”

  1. Hi Jason, would the 18650 battery also be useful for children’s toys? I am so fed up of having to constantly replace the standard batteries and these ones definitely sound better. It gets so expensive and with Christmas coming up I need to buy lots of batteries (I have 5 children!).Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance, Andrew

    1. Hi there,

      I don’t think a child’s toy would be able to use 18650 batteries unfortunately as they can explode if damaged, but you could go down the rechargeable AA and AAA route, just recharging the batteries rather then buying new one’s each time would differently be cheaper in the long run.

      Thanks Jason

  2. Woah. I have no idea what 95% of all of this is but I find it really interesting to see someone actually talk about things like this. I have never come acrosss a blog that talks about batteries and I would never, in a million years, could’ve even come up with the idea or curiosity to search for a topic like this. Thank you so much for being so informative!

  3. Hello Jason,

    I learned a lot about 18650 Li-ion batteries from this article. I think it is a very good idea to describe about the battery before moving forward with your review. In my country the common name of this battery is AA. Even though I haven’t purchased any batteries online, I will search the weight of the batteries online before buying them next time. Weighing the battery and checking for the fake label will be great tips to look for next time when I buy a battery. Personally I like the Panasonic batteries. Is that the best among the 6 batteries you have recommended in this article?

    1. Hi there,

      The 18650 battery is not the same as a AA or AAA battery, they are a different size and have a different chemical makeup, but can be use to replace these AA and AAA batteries in some cases, like flashlights.

  4. Hey Jason,

    Learned a lot about batteries in your post on 18650 batteries. Wish I had known this when my kids were younger and we went through batteries like water.  Most of our stuff is rechargeable by just plugging into an electric socket.  Is there a universal charger that works for all sizes of battery?  Our biggest battery need now is our flashlights and lanterns for camping.  I will checkout your recommendations.  Great article.

    1. Thanks for your comment Ashley,

      As for a universal charger you can buy chargers like this CLICK HERE but please be careful to make sure you set the voltage correctly and never leave them alone as they can have issues.

      The 18650 battery really is a great battery for camping lanterns and flashlight.


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