Best 26650 Batteries: A Powerful Cell for High-Drain Vapes
The 26650 class of batteries are more abundant in diameter than typical 18650 or 21700 cells. The 26650 batteries are aimed at high-drain and high-wattage devices that need higher discharge rates and battery capacity. Only, there are few mods specific to this type of power source.
The larger size of the cell makes it heavier to hold and carry around, which is why they are not so commonly found as the power source of many mods. 26650 batteries are more common to other electronic devices like cordless power tools, flashlights, and laptops. While there are a few mods that take the 26650 batteries, newer mods are leaning more toward the 20700 or 21700 as their power source of choice.
Christina MatthewsUpdated: May 8, 2020
Imren IMR 26650 Battery
Discharge End Voltage: 2.5V
Standard Charging Current: 1.25A
Charging Voltage: 4.20+-0.05V
These two Imren IMR cells have an individual battery capacity of 5500mAh each. Each cell can output up to a maximum of 60A, which is much...
Even though the 26650 batteries are being slowly phased out, there are still a few cells that are worth checking out for their extended life and amperage output. Below are a few selections that are compatible for use with 26650 mods or mods that have special 26650 adapters.
These two Imren IMR cells have an individual battery capacity of 5500mAh each. Each cell can output up to a maximum of 60A, which is much more than traditional 18650 or even 21700 cells. The two batteries are perfect for high-drain devices that can reach triple-digit, high-wattage outputs. The cells have a charge/recharge life of over 500 cycles, which puts their durability on par with other cells of this size and capacity.
This 26650 cell from MXJO has an internal capacity of 3550mAh and a high voltage output of 4.2V. The battery has a high discharge rate of 35A, which is in a Pulse setting. The cell, under normal circumstances, can go as high as 20A. The cell itself has a flat-top design and weighs about 86.6g. It is compatible with many sub-ohm regulated and unregulated devices that can output triple-digit wattages.
Cells sealed with bitumen to prevent excessive pressure
Charge cycles range: 500-1000
Chemistry Type: QSP Li-NMC
#1 HohmTech Hohm Grown 2
#2 Imren IMR 26650 Battery
#3 MXJO IMR 26650
Choosing the Best 26650 Battery
The best 26650 battery can easily outlast smaller capacity cells, as their larger mass allows them more capacity. But they are not all alike. These cells have varying abilities and perform in different ways. Choosing the best one means knowing what you want it for and how you expect it to perform.
Unregulated mech mods that use 26650 cells are very rare and usually are in the realm of advanced, expert vapers who create their devices to support tri-coil or quad-coil setups specifically. Users could also try 26650 regulated mods, even though they are not huge power-pushers and max out at around 100W of power.
Those regulated mods, however, are not always in production and may be hard to find as manufacturers pivot to creating 20700 or 21700 mods that have higher capacity but are more compact and portable. Looking for the best 26650 battery should then entail knowing:
The discharge rate
The resistance range
The life cycle
How We Picked the Best
The batteries were chosen after careful review of their test results and parameters. There are many online resources that many vapers use to make sure they are getting quality, safe batteries that are not fakes or have misleading metrics.
For these reasons, the Battery Mooch is an invaluable resource for finding and choosing the best cells of any class. Only, even BM has stopped rating and reviewing 26650 cells, as they are quickly falling out of favor, given the rise of 20700 and 21700 batteries.
Who Makes the Best 26650 Battery?
It is hard to say who makes the best 26650 battery, as all the major battery makers – LG, Sony, and Samsung – do not make them anymore. But other manufacturers have stepped in to fill the void, like Aspire, Hohm Grown, iJoy, and Nitecore. The latter is a well-known maker of battery chargers, so it has the expertise and knowledge needed to develop a safe and long-lasting cell.
Hohm Tech is another vape maker turned battery maker that also makes chargers. All these brands have good reputations among vapers and consistently put out well-made batteries.
26650 vs. 18650
The 26650 cell has a broader diameter and generally more mass than a 18650 battery. Because of these parameters, the larger cell has a larger capacity and can last longer than even a dual-18650 setup.
The 26650, however, is not as universal as the smaller cell, which is the power source most used in modern-day vapes but regulated and unregulated devices. The 26650 cells, though, does have more extensive applications and is found in many other electronic devices.
26650 vs. 21700 vs. 20700
The 21700 and 20700 cells are the mid-way point between the smaller 18650 cells and the larger 26650 battery.
The mid-size class of batteries has become more popular, as they can output more and last longer than dual-18650 devices that are also bigger and more unwieldy than machines that can take only a single 21700 or 20700 battery.
26650 vs. AA
The main difference between large batteries like the 26650 and a regular AA battery is their chemistry. 26650 batteries and others in its class are lithium-ion batteries that can store more power and are often rechargeable.
AA batteries are primarily alkaline and cannot be recharged. However, AA or AAA batteries that feature nickel-metal hydride or some other build material can be renewed but also have a more limited shelf life than large, lithium-ion cells.
FAQ About 26650 Cells
How Long Does a 26650 Battery Last?
The 26650 cells have a charge/recharge cycle of about 500-1000 cycles. How long a single 26650 cell can power a mod depends on how you are using it. Despite its size, a 26650 battery, if used at a high-wattage and a low-resistance coil can last one or two hours.
How to Charge a 26650 Battery
A vaper can use an adjustable 18650 charger to charge a 26650 cell, as long as the user’s manual says the charger supports 26650 batteries. The cells share the same nominal voltage and can charge at the same rate. If the charger supports 2A charging, it might charge at a faster pace.
How Long Does It Take to Charge a 26650 Battery?
A large capacity cell like the 26650 can take between 3-5 hours to charge if the charging current is only 1A. It could take about two to four hours if the charging current is 2A or 2.5A.
26650 batteries were never as popular as the 18650 for most regulated vaping devices. They always stayed within the stratified air of custom-vape makers who wanted to push the limits of their devices. There are, or were, 26650 regulated mods that used the cell as its primary power source. Still, as the other two battery-types emerged as the heirs-apparent to the 18650, the older, larger-model battery was pushed to the side in favor of efficiency and compactness.
Still, some people enjoy, even seek out, 26650 mods because of their status, and they have something of a mythical status in the vaping community. The cells offer unprecedented power output, as well as a capacity, and are more suited to those vapers who want extended battery life from their mods.
Have you used 26650 batteries? Have you used any 26650 mods? Did you like their performance? Did they last longer than other types of cells? Let us know in the comments section below.
The XTAR VC4 is a four-bay battery charger with a back-lighted LCD that can take several different battery sizes and types from Li-Ion to NiMH.
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