18650 sourcing

Anyone have good experiences buying a small lot (4-10 units) of 18650 batteries from a vendor on Amazon or Ebay?

From what I gather, they are all sketchy as hell. Even the ones with good reviews seem suspect. The brands don't matter because they place if full of knockoffs (100% real authentic Samsung!)

tl;dr where do I buy batteries?

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  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    https://www.18650batterystore.com/

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Is $5 a cell reasonable? That seems kind of high and way outside the budget of what I am after.

      For those that care, I have a couple of outside LED lights that are solar. I have repurposed them into under cabinet lighting for an area that I use occasionally and has no electric near by. They are motion sensitive so they only turn on when I am doing something nearby which is perfect. Unfortunately, they came with shit tier quality lithiums.

      I tried them out on my hobby charger and only got like 200mA hours off it. LOL

      I suppose that I could use off the shelf AA rechargeable but the nominal on Lithium is like 3.7v and 3 AA would be only 3.6v. and prob nominal somewhat closer to 3v.

      I haven't experimented. I suppose the light would still work somewhat at that voltage

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >Is $5 a cell reasonable?
        cheap cells are generally lying about their AH rating.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        If you don't need high current cells (vaping, power tools) then you can salvage them from old laptop batteries. Just ask the IT hardware guy from your office if he has any old packs. My guy automatically dumps the old pack on my desk when he has some, he already knows me. I salvaged 100+ cells from them. You could also ask in small computer stored that also repair laptops. I heard that bicycle shops that sell ebikes often also have old packs you can just ask for. Maybe returned power tool packs in hardware stores?
        The cells more often than not hace 2000+mAh still left. Perfect for flashlights and other random low-power stuff.
        I test the cells like this:
        1) Cells <2V get ditched.
        2) Cells are charged up to around 4.2V and discharges once. Cells getting warm or not meeting my capacity expectations are ditched.
        3) Cells are charged up to around 4.2V again and left alone for 2 weeks. All that discharge on their own to <4.1V are ditched.
        4) The rest are discharged to 3.7V and stored until I need them.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          name one business grade laptop that still uses 18650 cells

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Even goofy gamer laptops are usually too thin to accomodate 18650s nowadays but that doesn’t mean you can’t get other usable cells from them

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      The Chinese counterfeit/fake/"exaggerated" market for batteries of any kind is so bad that I flat-out won't buy off-brand batteries anymore. Amazon, Ebay, and AliExpress are easily the worst offenders in this regard. Dedicated online stores like are a much safer bet in general. I have bought batteries probably a dozen times off of Ebay specifically. Only one lot was within even 80% of the stated capacity. Even the Sony coin cells I got were counterfeit.

      If you can be hassled to pull the plastic housings apart, places that sell used/NOS/overstock batteries (particularly those for UPSs) can be far cheaper. Last bunch I bought were like $0.50/ea for Samsung cells.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      This. Have never gone wrong with these glorious motherfrickers.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      molicels are the best ones on the market for high-discharge cells
      i use 42As on my 7 inch FPV drone

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Find a reputable chinese brand and buy from them.
    I found EBL for NiCd batteries (since nobody but china makes NiCds anyway) and they seemed good, but time will tell. Generally, even NiCds have improved over the years. Something to consider for cold weather, and roughly double the charge cycles.

    Samsung 18650s cost around $1.50 each, in bulk, so it’s amazing some drill packs for power tools cost $100-200 each with those cells. The supply seems tightly locked up, so you’re best bet is to find a device that has them (that isn’t charging 10x profit) and take it apart for the cells.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >reputable chinese
      oxymoron.

      What are these used for? Just curious.

      have you been in a cave?

      most freight companies won't accept just straight lithium ion batteries without a bunch of insurance and safety packaging, which makes it expensive. That's why only these shady companies sell batteries online that need to be shipped; they do it under the table and don't declare what is being shipped.
      Your best bet it to go to a local electronic or battery store and get them there in person.

      >most freight companies won't accept just straight lithium ion batteries without a bunch of insurance and safety packaging,
      bullshit. they just have to be labeled correctly and sent by ground transport.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >bullshit. they just have to be labeled correctly and sent by ground transport.
        bro, i'm agreeing with you. the issue is that the vast majority of online retailers aren't going to have an IATA certified shipper that knows how to label the box and put a "cargo aircraft only" sticker on them. instead, they simply choose to not sell/ship the batteries at all, which leaves only the chink shops that don't care.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Every place I have ever ordered an 18650 or any other Lithium ION battery has been labeled correctly. there is no special packing requirements. I have received 18650's rolling around in a box from known reputable websites and sellers.

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    What are these used for? Just curious.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Everything

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      better question is what aren't they used for

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    if you are just using them for dicking around with home projects grab battery packs from the battery recycling bins and strip them. usually one or two cells are failed at most

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    most freight companies won't accept just straight lithium ion batteries without a bunch of insurance and safety packaging, which makes it expensive. That's why only these shady companies sell batteries online that need to be shipped; they do it under the table and don't declare what is being shipped.
    Your best bet it to go to a local electronic or battery store and get them there in person.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I hadn't even considered the rules about shipping these things. Right now I just want 4.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I have bought these they test as rated.
    https://www.parts-express.com/PKCELL-Flat-Top-18650-3.7V-3350mAh-Rechargeable-Li-Ion-Battery-142-211?quantity=1

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      This. Pkcell ones have been good for me. There is also a place that recycles them and will send you good used cells too, but I can't remember the name. Probably already been mentioned.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        https://batteryhookup.com/products/new-eve-icr18650-26v-3-6v-2550mah-18650-li-ion-cells

        You're welcome.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Lots of commercial devices are still coming with NiMh. Some bluetooth radios, cordless screwdrivers come to mine. You don’t always need to pull 10 A from the thing.

    We still get Ni-cad batteries for repairing older motorola equipment, they definitely last longer than li-Ions.

    So, unless they’re for replacement, consider alternates. Even LiPO4 are extremely popular.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    whereabouts do you live? I actually have a small stockpile of good quality (presumably, they came from old laptops and such and are still 4+v after sitting on my desk for literal years) 18650s I've collected but am looking to get rid of.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    It's been a few years ago now, but twice I've had a decent experience ordering from:
    https://www.batteryjunction.com/

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Hey my brother just went to the burn unit when one of these exploded. Whose flashlight sucks now stumpy.

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