Best 18650 Battery Charger Reviews

Getting the best 18650 battery charger is your best bet at actually getting the most from your 18650 cells.

If you get some poor quality junk of a charger there are good chances that your 18650 batteries will lose their capacity much sooner than they are supposed to, they could burst into flames along with the charger, die on you, the charger could die and etc.

You get the picture. There are quite a lot of bad things that can happen if you get a poor quality charger beside just wasting your money.

But don’t worry as there are many high quality chargers that will properly charge your batteries with many safety features.

But even if you were to buy a quality charger you could still be wasting your money. A lot of these devices offer multiple features that you may not need. Not everyone will need all features but everyone will need some features.

You don’t want to buy a charger that misses the feature that you need at worst, and you don’t want to waste your money on something overly expensive at best.

That is why I decided to write this guide for the best 18650 chargers to help you get a safe and quality option that satisfies your particular needs.

9 Best 18650 battery charger reviews

First we will take a look at the best overall charger. This one would be your most expensive and the best quality option.

Second I will present the cheapest but still quality choice that offers the most basic functions.

Third, you will see the best value choice. Something like a budget version of the first choice.

The rest of the chargers will be ordered in no particular order. They are all great and meant for different needs. You could easily find what you are looking for among them so don’t give your attention only to these three options.

You will see a lot of Xtar and Nitecore chargers on the list. That is because they are some of the best brands there are. They proved themselves over the years by demonstrating safety, reliability and effectiveness. 

Now let’s go!

1. XTAR DRAGON VP4 Plus Smart Charger

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Xtar’s VP4 plus is the cream of the crop and the best 18650 battery charger. It is expensive but well worth it considering that it is also a discharger and analyzer at the same time. You get tons of features with it.

This charger comes close to perfection if you ask me. While it lacks some features, it is still the best overall on the market.

It is a 4 bay charger that also supports fast charging but only on 2 slots at the rate of up to 2A. If you want to charge 4 batteries at once then you need to use either 0.5A or 1A. It will charge pretty much all batteries. Li-ion, Ni-MH/Ni-CD of a lot of formats. 18650 is of course supported but it will support pretty much any format except protected 20700 and 21700 battery.

// It can charge, discharge, test for capacity, test for internal resistance of the batteries, test voltage, has a beautiful big screen that is easy to read and navigate, you can charge your phone or other devices with an additional USB output and etc.

It also allows you to record the tests when discharging your batteries so that you can see how your batteries performed.

The Xtar Dragon VP4 plus has an amazing build quality, the spring mechanism feels really good, the screen is great, it comes with a special carrying case and to top it all off it can be used as a power battery bank.

You cannot go wrong with this charger really. If you don’t mind paying the bigger price and you want the top of the line charger then this one is for you. But if you wish to get something cheaper or with some different set of features then read on! Not everyone will need this many features packed in their machine. Chargers like this one are meant for people that have a lot of batteries that they are using professionally.

2. Klarus K1

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Out of all cheap chargers out there I think the Klaurus K1 makes the best cheap 18650 battery charger. It is also a universal charger as it charges a lot of various cell sizes including big batteries like 26650.

This is a decent charger that you won’t really feel on the wallet. It has the basic features and they are implemented very well.

The most notable features are the automatic battery type detection, ability to change the charging current from 0.5A to 1A, ease of use and a wide array of supported batteries.

This is a single bay charger. You can only charge one battery at a time with it. Klarus K1 is only good for people that don’t use a lot of batteries all the time.

You can charge Li-ion cells with multiple voltages, NiMH/NiCD and believe it or not LiFePO4 cells too. That’s a nice little addition as most cheaper chargers won’t accommodate lithium phosphates. Not even all expensive chargers offer their support.

It is powered using a simple micro USB port making it a good portable charger. It has overcharge and reverse polarity protection in place. The charge cut off is fairly accurate which means that it will stop charging the battery when it is properly charged.

It has a pretty good build quality as the plastic is solid and doesn’t feel cheap. The spring mechanism offers decent compression and the battery will stay in place (you may have a bit of difficulty at keeping small batteries in place but nothing critical).

It is very simple to use. Pop the battery in, it auto detects everything and if you need to change something it is all done via a single button.

My only wish is that they enabled this charger to dual as a battery bank as well. That would really make it ideal choice in its price range.

3. Opus BT – C3100 – Best 18650 Charger For The Money

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Opus BT – C3100 is the best value 18650 battery charger. You won’t find this many features packed in a single unit of high quality and for a decent price.

It is very similar to the Xtar Dragon VP4 plus. You won’t get all the goodies of the Dragon but you will also have a much lower price with the Opus here.

This is a universal battery charger, discharger and tester. It has a good looking screen and you can easily perform various tasks with it. It supports fast charging of up to 2A on two channels while if you use all 4 bays you can get the maximum output of 1A per channel.

It charges almost all batteries. Li-ion, NiMH and NiCd. Almost all sizes are supported and it will fit smaller cells quite well too.

All channels are independent of one another. That means that you can perform testing on one, charge on another, discharge on the third and charge completely different chemistry on the fourth or whatever other combination that you need. This is very useful.

Every channel can be configured for different charging rate.

The manual is somewhat difficult to read but it contains a lot of info. The unit can be a bit loud at times because it has a cooling fan. This is good but if overloaded it can get loud.

It has all of the safety in place. Over-charge protection, short-circuit protection, overdischarging protection and etc. All of the chargers on this list are safe but it is worth noting that Opus is one of the greatly trusted brands among the value choices when it comes to the chargers.

This makes a perfect choice for almost everyone. The amount of value you get is insane. However, if you don’t need all of the features that it has or you simply don’t need a 4 bay 18650 battery charger then this still may not be a choice for you.

Now let’s proceed to the rest of the chargers. They have various features, numbers of bays and etc. You are sure to find what you need below if these three don’t cut it for you.

4. NITECORE D2 Digicharger

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nitecore is a phenomenal brand when it comes to their chargers (and everything else they sell too). Their chargers are safe, reliable and offer a bunch of useful features. But most importantly they just work.

The Nitecore D2 Digicharger is a 2 bay universal battery charger that will fit almost all cylindrical format cells. It is an excellent 2 bay 18650 battery charger that has a pretty good price to quality ratio.

This charger has a beautiful big and easy to read display. It is fairly easy to use and adjust as it automatically recognizes which battery type you are using and selects the appropriate charge mode. Except for the LiFePO4 which requires manual action.

This charger will work with the Li-ion, NiMH/NiCD and LiFePO4 cells. It accepts pretty much any cylindrical cell all the way up to 26650s.

You can charge two batteries simultaneously with the charging speed of 0.5A and this represents the maximum charging current. Even if you place just one battery it will still charge with 0.5A. There is no manual adjusting of the battery charge current.

On another hand each of the slots is independent from another. That means that you can monitor and charge two batteries independently.

It has all the protections in place including the overcharge protection. It offers multiple certifications including those by FCC, CEC, CE and RoHS. It boasts a very good build quality and it feels premium as all Nitecore chargers do.

This charger is very simple and safe to use. Place your batteries and they will be charged. On top of that, you can monitor the charge level and voltage on the LCD panel. This is the best option for people that need something simple, reliable and with a screen for readouts.

5. Nitecore F2 2 bay and powerbank

image of the Nitecore F2 18650 charger

Nitecore F2 is a very simple but incredibly useful budget 2 bay 18650 battery charger. It is actually compatible with a lot of Li-ion cells of various sizes from 10440 to 26650 cells. It is meant only for use with Li-ion batteries.

It duals as a battery bank and a charger. You can use the two cells in it to power your devices like phones, laptop, camera and etc. It has a USB output port which outputs 2A of power.

This charger will charge your batteries with 1A per battery bay. You can’t modify the charge current.

The batteries are charged independently which means that there is no interference between them and once one of them is charged, it will stop charging while the other one will continue.

The input is handled via a micro USB port which is good as you can charge the batteries with any USB device including the solar charger. Since this charger is very light and a battery bank at the same time, it represents an awesome portable charger to work in tandem with some solar charger for outdoor use.

It has a voltage check function and the LED lights that display the remaining battery power and charging status.

This is a very simple charger that does the job well. It doesn’t have a display but if you don’t need it then it could be your choice. It is very durable, rugged, meant for outdoor use and its battery terminals are gold-plated in order to resist any corrosion and oxidation. It has all protections in place which gives a nice finishing touch of this charger.

Recommended for beginners and people who don’t need many features that also want a power bank feature.

6. Nitecore D4 Digicharger

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Another Nitecore?

Yes. Like I said, they are an incredibly good brand in the charger world. And D4 is no exception.

The D4 is actually a lot like the D2. They are very similar and the main difference is the number of batteries that you can charge. The Nitecore D4 is a 4 bay battery charger that can charge various types of batteries and sizes.

But there are some other differences too.

The D4 charger outputs 375mA on all 4 bays if you charge 4 batteries. You can also charge just two batteries and get the 750mA output. If you will be charging 4 batteries at once that will be a bit of a slow charge. This may be healthy for the batteries but it means that you have to wait longer.

All battery slots function independently and you can monitor the charge of each of them on the big clear LCD display. You can see the charging mode, current, voltage and the charging progress.

The D4 accepts Li-ion cells, LiFePO4s and NiMH/NiCD batteries. You will be able to charge almost all sizes.

There are overcharge protections, overheating protection coupled with excellent heat dissipation, reverse polarity protection… This is a safe quality charger.

Like all Nitecore chargers, this one has an incredible build quality that feels premium and looks really good.

This is a great option for people that want something simple with the LCD screen so that they can monitor their batteries in more detail and for people that don’t need fast charging.

7. XTAR VC4 Charger

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As you may have noticed from the no1 pick, the Xtar is another phenomenal brand in the world of chargers. They make high quality devices that have all protections in place, are efficient and have a lot of useful features.

The Xtar VC4 is not as good as their top model, the Dragon VP4 plus, but the Xtar VC4 is an excellent budget choice that has a lot of great features.

This is a universal battery charger that will charge pretty much any cylindrical cell and it represents one of the best 18650 battery chargers.

It has a beautiful, well illuminated LCD screen that makes reading the battery details as easy as it can get. That is if you like the Tachometer style. I find it a bit odd that they used the Tachometer style to display the values like voltage and charging current. It is easy to read and understand but incredibly unexpected. When I first saw it I thought that it was really odd.

This charger will accept li-ion cells from 10440 all the way up to 32650s. Keep in mind that it can’t charge the protected 20700 and 21700 batteries. Other than li-ion, it accepts the NiMH and NiCD of all sizes.

It charges with the maximum current of 1A but will intelligently choose which current to apply to your battery. You should also know that if you intend to use a maximum of 1A power you can’t use channels 3 and 2 but only 1 and 4. If you want to use all bays then the maximum current will be 0.5A in all channels.

This charger will show you the voltage of the battery, the charging current and the capacity that was charged into the battery (great for testing as it can also drain the battery to discharge voltage and charge again).

It has the protections in place and it is really well built. A great option for people that need something that can show them battery analysis and be of high quality at the same time for decent money.

8. Nitecore SC4 – Best Fast Charger

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Nitecore SC4 is the fastest 18650 charger that I would recommend. It is a universal battery charger that will charge almost all Li-ion/IMR/LiFePO4 cells and household batteries like NiMH/NiCD. It is very fast, adjustable, safe, provides you with many battery details like internal resistance and is of really high quality.

It is a 4 bay charger that can charge two cells at a maximum of 3A per cell or if you place 4 batteries in it, you can have a maximum of 1.5A per battery which is still plenty fast. In a nutshell, it will output maximum of 6A of current.

I don’t think that anyone will need more charging speed than that and even that could be too much for the life of your battery. Never charge your battery with such high currents unless the battery specifications clearly state that it can withstand it!

You can manually adjust the charging current of your batteries in a span of 300mAh-3000mAh or 300mAh-1500mAh depending on if you are charging 2 or 4 cells. All charging channels are independent and can have their own settings for each battery.

The LCD screen is truly magnificent and feels like a next level premium gadget that you can easily place on a visible spot in your home. It is really good looking and the device itself is made of high quality fire redundant materials which give additional safety.

Speaking of safety this charger will provide you will all of the safety must haves like overcharging protection, reverse polarity protection, overheating, short circuit protection…

It automatically detects the battery type, capacity and adjusts the charging current accordingly. You can manually edit everything and set it according to your needs. Manual edits are very simple as everything is clearly labeled on the display.

This charger is costly but it is a really fast 18650 charger or for any other battery that can actually take that much charging current. It is perfect for someone who has a lot of batteries, that need something highly reliable, adjustable, safe and with a high current output.

9. Tenergy TN456 Intelligent Universal Battery Charger with 4 Slots

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tenergy is another very good brand that I love the most for their rechargeable battery series. They also sell a few quality devices for batteries and this charger makes a great 18650 battery charger choice.

It is a universal battery charger with four bays. It will charge smaller household cylindrical batteries of NiMH and NiCD chemistries and of course the lithium ion batteries of almost all sizes.

It supports the individual bays which means that for each battery you can use a different charge level, select a different mode or use a different size or chemistry.

Each of the bays can be adjusted to charge in the range of 300-1000mAh. It is not a very fast charger but choosing the maximum output of 1A is still very good. You also get a USB output of 1A to charge your phone or other devices.

You can also test for the actual capacity of the battery with the test mode. This is very useful and is always a plus if a charger offers it.

The charger has a pretty good looking display and it is really simple to use. The user manual is straightforward and easy to understand.

It has the most important protections in place like prevention  of overcharging and overheating.

It is well made with good build quality. Tenergy is a very good brand and they are California based. They also offer lifetime support customer service.

Are you also looking for high quality 18650 battery?

If you are looking to buy the best 18650 battery I got you covered. In that article, I covered everything you need to know about these batteries and which brands are the best.

Since you are here, reading about a charger, you obviously already have some batteries. Still, you could be looking for a replacement or for another recommendation. Regardless of the case, in that article, you will also learn a ton about how these batteries work and some important things that you should know.

Conclusion

In the end I would like to say that you should be extra careful when choosing your 18650 battery charger. These batteries are always a risk regardless of how quality of a brand you have. That is just their nature. Lithium ion chemistry has certain dangers that are innate to it.

Never buy a cheap random charger. They can be dangerous at worst or they can diminish the life of your battery at best.

The most important protections that your charger needs are overcharge protection, overheating protection, short circuit protection and reverse polarity protection.

You should never charge the batteries with a fast charging current if they are not designed for it. It is also wise to stay on the safe side and use a slower charging mode too but if the batteries can handle the higher load and you need the charge to be done sooner than later then go right ahead and use a fast charger.

Of all the chargers that I listed here you should find one that suits your needs. Think about your regular use case. Do you need an LCD? Do you need it to be portable? Does it have to have a discharge option too? Should it dual as a power bank as well?

I hope I helped you narrow down your search for the charger. I did my best to make a list of the best 18650 chargers for various needs and purposes. If this article was helpful then feel free to share it with your friends that are into the lithium-ion world.

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