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(9) Battery Basics for Mods: IMR or Protected ICR?

Rating: 23 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 08-27-2013 at 02:20 PM (93451 Views)
As mod users, we depend heavily upon batteries. To assist novices to choose which battery to use in their mod I have written this guide. Our choices are Lithium IMR, protected ICR Li-Ion, and a new class of Hybrid batteries.

High quality IMRs are currently recommended in place of protected ICR Li-Ion for all applications. reference - Rechargeable Batteries

IMR (Li-Mn) are the safest batteries available for vaping. They use safer chemistry, so they don't require a built-in protective circuit like ICRs do. They have higher tolerence to stress, and although they may vent during failure it is less likely to be as dramatic as a ICR. Should protective circuits fail in ICRs they can vent violently in flames and possibly explode. ICR battery explosion

High Quality, Brand Name Batteries. Batteries are not created equal. I recommend buying only the batteries from the list below, paying attention to model numbers:

18650 2000mah 10Amp
18650 1600mah 24A
18490 1100mah 16.5A
18350 ​700mah 6A

2500mah 20A

18650 1500mah ​20A
3500mah 20A

Panasonic ​or Orbtronic hybrid
CGR18650CH (IMR/hybrid) 2250mAh 10A
NCR18650BD 3200mAh 10A
NCR18650PF (LiNiCOMnO2) 2900mAh 10A
NCR18650PD (LiNiCoAl) 2900mAh 10A
Orbtronic 18650 SX22 2000mAh 22A
Orbtronic 18650 2500mAh 21A
Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100mAh ​30A
Panasonic 26650 CGR2650A 2650mAh 50A

Samsung hybrid
INR18650-22P 2200mAh 10A
INR18650-20R 2000mah 22A
INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A

Sony hybrid
18650VTC3 1600mAh 30A
18650VTC4 2100mAh 30A
18650VTC5 2600mAh 30A
26650 2600mAh ​26A

Efest IMR
18650 2250mAh 10A
18650 2000mAh 10A
18650 1600mAh 30A
18490 1100mah 8.8A
18350 800mah 6.4A
purple 18650 2500mAh 35A* (rebranded LG18650HE2 2500mAh 20 amp*)
purple 18650 2100mAh 30A (rebranded Sony 18650VTC4)
purple 18500 1000mAh 15A
purple 18350 700mAh 10.5A

  • Lower Quality Brand-Name Batteries. Trustfire, Ultrafire, and Surefire are a lower-tier name brand battery in terms of quality and safety. Not recommended.

  • ​Generic Batteries. ​Not recommended. Seen at Amazon & EBay at cheap prices or thrown in for free in a kit when you purchase a mod from China. These are unknown batteries of unknown quality by an unknown manufacturer, and not worth the risk using in your mod. Never assume because they were included with your mod that they are safe or the correct battery to use.

  • If uncertain about the quality or type of a battery, don't buy or use it. Do not use over-the-counter batteries like those from Radio Shack, etc. Buy only from trusted e-cig vendors such as RTD Vapor AW Batteries. Use the type of battery that your mod calls for. For example, Provape recommends using only AW IMR button top batteries in the Provari; using magnets on flat top batteries will void the warranty because this is an unsafe battery practice.

  • Battery Chargers. Get the best charger that you can reasonably afford. Statistically most battery incidents occur while charging. Pila, Xtar, and Nitecore Intellicharger ​are the most recommended brands.

  • Always use safe battery practices and common sense with all batteries. Even the safest battery available to us can fail. IMR battery failure Most common user error battery failures are the result of rapid discharge, either from the fire button inadvertantly pushed for too long, or the battery being shorted from metal objects (keys, change, etc) completing the circuit when carrying a battery in a pocket or purse. Use Battery Cases. Do not stack batteries.

  • If you are using sub-ohm coils in an RBA/RDA, it is extremely important to use the highest quality IMR battery. Coils < 0.6 ohm require an IMR battery that has a maximum continuous discharge rate over 10 amps, preferably with a 30 amps continuous​ discharge rate. Sub-Ohm Battery Chart

PROTECTED or IMR BATTERY: ​Which Lithium battery is best for your application?

IMR Li-Mn. Lithium manganese batteries. Also called "high drain", "safe chemistry", "unprotected".

  • These are used in regulated mods that use buck boost circuitry to achieve variable voltage-wattage, but they are now also recommended for single voltage mechanical mods as a safer alternative to protected Li-Ion batteries.

  • This class will have less capacity in mAh rating compared to protected batteries, but are superior when maximum load current is required, such as in regulated mods, mechanical mods using a Kick, or using an RBA. Why High Drain Batteries?

​IMR/Hybrid batteries.

  • New mixed chemistry batteries that are both safe chemistry/high drain and extended capacity in one. A good choice for applications that demand both maximum load current and longer battery time. Can be used for either mechanical or regulated mods. Some of these have 20 or more amps continuous discharge rate which are ideal for sub-ohm.

Protected ICR Li Ion. Lithium ion class batteries, also called "protected batteries".

  • These batteries are now considered obsolete for mod use because of their potential for flames & explosion.


Mods, Batteries, & Safer Vaping

PBusardo's Mod Battery Information Guide

Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries

What does IMR mean

Sub-Ohm Vaping: Discussion, Safety, Battery Info, Warnings

Battery Data | Deus Ex Vaporis

What does a battery's C Rating mean?

Battery Specifications and Online Calculators

Updated 11-20-2014 at 06:40 PM by Baditude



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  1. Baditude's Avatar
    Lebertine89, your understanding is solid. The safer chemistry IMR & IMR/hybrid batteries do not require protection. Just be sure to stay within the batteries specifications for amp limits (continuous discharge rating).
  2. Libertine89's Avatar
    Cheers buddy, its also worth mentioning that one of the main reason i think people have choosen Li-ion/Li-Mn batteries over others is because they dont have a memory like old style batteries and can be partially discharged then recharged without loss of capcity.
  3. Pinggolfer's Avatar
    I just purchased my first Provari and ordered 2 (AW IMR 8650 2000mah) from RTD Vapor and a Xtar charger from them. Should I be confident in my purchase? Seems like RTD sells real AW batteries.
  4. Baditude's Avatar
    Speedracer, that is the only battery that Provape recommends for the Provari. RTD is the best choice of vendor to buy AW batteries because they are an authorized AW vendor and you can be certain not to get a counterfeit AW battery because they buy directly from Andrew Wan (AW).
  5. Pinggolfer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Baditude
    Speedracer, that is the only battery that Provape recommends for the Provari. RTD is the best choice of vendor to buy AW batteries because they are an authorized AW vendor and you can be certain not to get a counterfeit AW battery because they buy directly from Andrew Wan (AW).
    Thank you so much. Reading your blog on batteries should scare a lot of people and get them thinking about cheap bargain batteries. I had no idea how some companies can sell fake or used batteries as the real thing.

    If you have time to answer I noticed the charger has several charging switches. Should I be using the trickle charge on the batteries? I should have my Provari and batteries by this weekend. I'm excited.
  6. derekspencet48's Avatar
    thank you so much for taking the time do do this rite up on battery's i perched the INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A and it hits soooo much harder than my efest 1865o i am using it on a k101 with a keyfun plus v2 with a 1.0 ohm 26 g coil love the dense vapor it creates thanks.
  7. Fictitious Character's Avatar

    Nicely written and very helpful on the question I was wondering about on the difference between L-ion and LiMn batteries.

    Are there an older version of vtc's that are Li-ion? I was just wondering because I almost ordered 4 of the Xstar re branded vtc4 from Battery Junction but noticed that they are Li-ion. Are these types more just flashlight batteries with the same vtc4 name? Or are they old stock?

    Needing to pick up another 4 vtc's for a IVP3 dual battery regulated box mod that I am waiting on. I currently use vtc 4's because they did not have the 5's when I needed them and then I just kind of stuck with them.

    Wife uses the panasonic 3100 3.7 18650 but I am not finding clear specs on them and I am considering replacing them as they are Li-ion as well. She uses them in a VTR a regulated 15 watt box mod. Any info on the panasonics?

    We use a 4 bay nitecore intelcharger. I unplug it when not in use to just to be safe.

    Anyways thanks again for taking the time to write this.
  8. Baditude's Avatar
    @ Fictitious Character. Battery classification and labels are very loosely thrown around by vendors and consumers alike. Technically, all lithium batteries are Li-ion, including Li-Mn (IMR) and all of the IMR/hybrid batteries which includes NCR (Panasonic hybrid) and INR (Samsung hybrid) batteries. It's admittedly confusing, and I'm often not sure at times under what sub-classification a battery falls under.

    The Panasonic NCR18650A 3100mah battery is an IMR/hybrid battery, with a 6.8 amp continuous discharge rating. Like the NCR18650B 3400 mah battery, it is not considered a high drain battery, but it is a safe chemistry battery. Their mixed chemistry is heavily weighted to the ICR side, and performance-wise they should be considered more of a low-drain ICR battery than an high drain IMR battery. These batteries were designed for flashlights. To be blunt, there are better batteries than these for a regulated mod.
  9. fishj's Avatar
    Baditude, thanks for your work. My question is why won't my XTAR 18650 batteries that are claimed to be Sony VTC4's fit my Vamo but are a bit too long to fit my Innokin VTR, which is why I bought them? I purchased four of them from the Xtar web site. Thanks.
  10. NicM's Avatar
    Baditude I looking for some advice.
    I've sort of done things abit backwards...I purchased my batteries my new mod before reading this thread and I'm abit worried I've got cheap nasty batteries. So I kinda want your opinion cos you sound like you know what your talking about.
    I purchased them from my local ecig shop and he talked me into buying the 18650 instead of the smaller ones. After reading your post it looks like mine are the unbranded type, its just a grey battery with stamped black writing, no make or anything and the box says lithium-ion battery.....do you think i should I be concerned? Any help would be great, thanx
  11. heyjohn's Avatar
    First: thanks, Baditude, for a highly informative page. Second: how does this information apply to mods that take *two* 18650 batteries? I have a Siglei 100W box, and a Dovpo E-Mech. They claim to be able to handle 0.1 ohm and 0.5 ohm, respectively; each one takes two 18650 batteries. Right now, I'm using twin Samsung pink batteries ("eVic compatible"), but I'm also using commercial coils of 1.6+ ohms. However, I have a few RBAs ready to build, and will probably create some 0.5-1.0 ohm coils. I know that 20A of battery would get me to 0.8 ohm -- but I've no idea how the dual battery setup affects things. Any advice?
  12. Tedjameson's Avatar
    Really helpful! Thanks alot for all the info Baditude!
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