18650 batteries are 3.7-volt lithium ion batteries that are compatible with various electronics such as laptops, flashlights, digital cameras and much more. They are manufactured such that they can be recharged after use and one unique feature about these batteries is that they all have an unassuming and uniform look which would make one think they are all the same. The truth is that they aren't the same and they differ in quality.
Panasonic, a top level 18650 battery manufacturer along with other giants in the industry such as LG, Samsung, Sony, and Sanyo are known for producing cells that last long in a standard size which is 18 mm by 65 mm which fits all devices that are 18650 compatible. It is known from this these batteries aren't usually uniform in size. Apart from this, it is known that every China battery manufacturer producing the 18650 battery make very cheap ones which have shorter life spans which are not usually uniform. This implies that we need to watch out for "protected" 18650 batteries that have small circuit boards below which do not fit a lot of electronics like flashlights.
If you trying to decide the most suitable battery for your needs then take note of parameters such as voltage, current rating and capacity and balance them out. LG, a top industrial battery manufacturer, makes the HG2, one of the best 18650 batteries. This battery generates 20 amp and 3000 mAh which makes it a high capacity and high drain battery.
The advantage of high drain batteries is that they are safer and designed to be used by devices of high current like vaporizers. They are not wasteful which ensures that they have a longer life cycle and will last for many more recharges. Having a high capacity implies that the HG2 18650 battery can run for longer periods of time without having to recharge it. Of course, this is very useful for almost any situation.
Lithium Polymer (Lipo) Batteries
Generally, Lipo batteries are known to be safe and more environmentally friendly than other batteries which are used in multi rotors, helis, planes, boats, etc. However, these batteries can be dangerous if they are not properly handled, maintained, stored, discharged or charged; every lipo battery manufacturer would have stated it as a precaution so that it can be used properly.
Here are a few tips to guide you when making use of a lipo battery:
1. Never should you charge, discharge, store or use a damaged lipo battery that is puffy-looking. Make sure you follow the disposal protocols made by the lipo battery manufacturer.
2. Do not purchase used lipo batteries because you won't know what the previous owner used them for and they might even be damaged. Avoid tags such as "Lipo Battery Like New, Used Once" because in most cases, this is usually a scam.
3. The proper Lipo battery balance charger/discharger should always be used whenever you charge or discharge your lipo battery. This is important because all the cells in the battery need to maintain the same voltage across each other all the time.
4. A fireproof lipo safety bag should be used when charging, discharging or storing Lipo batteries. Although fires caused by lipo batteries are rare, they can happen very fast and cause a lot of damage which could be triggered by an internal short circuit.
5. You Lipo batteries should never be left charging while being unattended to. This is because if it becomes puffy, starts smoking or even catch fire, you need to be around to handle the situation immediately.