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Baditude

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

Rating: 23 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 08-27-2013 at 02:20 PM (78094 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:

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

LG18650HE2
2500mah 20A

MNKE IMR
18650 1500mah ​20A
26650
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
(LiNiCoMnP)
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.


Resources:

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

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

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Comments

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
  1. moondragon's Avatar
    This is a good summary that is easy to understand. I may come back here to pull out information when trying to answer battery questions in the new members forum (and include a link to back to here) if you don't mind...
  2. Scarey's Avatar
    Clearest explanation I've seen yet. Saved to vape bookmarks folder.
  3. throwback8's Avatar
    Stellar write up. I feel comfortable now with going to around .7 or .8 with my Efest 2000mah 18650. My Magneto and RSST get here today and I have been doing lots of research to make sure I go about it in a safe manner. This write up helped more than any I have found. Thank you.
  4. tenshi's Avatar
    Baditude... You rock. Absolutely love this. Thank you for this summary. Best I've seen yet.
  5. Born2Hula's Avatar
    Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this up and post it. Very appreciated.
  6. ndr_shogun's Avatar
    hi everyone.

    i'm a noob vaping and i don't speak in english, but i'm gonna to try.
    I have tremendous confusion with this topic, i have a vamo purchased to ZAINY link [url=http://www.vaporhawk.com/104358,auction_id,auction_details]New product for 2013 lavatube electronic cigarete Provari VV Mod Vamo 55.9 us dollar free shipping worldwide (Auction ID: 104358, End Time : Nov. 05, 2013 03:07:46) - VaporHawk.com - Cheapest Electronic Cigarettes on the Net[/url] , but the seller and manual say to use unprotected batteries on this device, and in all the forums I've read they say to use in mechanical mods and vv ww device prtected batteries like AW and IMR , zainy send me 2 ICR 18350 batteries and one LIR18650 batterie link [url=http://www.vaporhawk.com/auction_details.php?auction_search=1&auction_id=102753&option=basic_search&basic_search=18650&keywords_search=18650&limit=10&item_type=all]The changealbe battery 18650 for Lava Tube Style DUAL SIZE gs-sub 6pcs x 6.5 us dollars FREE SHIPPING World Wide (Auction ID: 102753, End Time : Mar. 16, 2014 07:06:04) - VaporHawk.com - Cheapest Electronic Cigarettes on the Net[/url].

    i don't know what to do, I beg you please guide me, that of exploding batteries has me scared.
  7. ndr_shogun's Avatar
    sorry my bad english xD, is the best I could do
  8. Baditude's Avatar
    Nowadays, there is no reason to use a protected ICR battery. Unprotected IMR or hybrid batteries are what should be used in both regulated (variable voltage) and mechanical mods. Those who still recommend protected batteries have not kept up with current battery technology.
  9. softarno's Avatar
    Unless the manufacturer or the product description specifically says whether the battery is protected or not, you really don't know. The batteries in the above list are all un-protected "safe chemistry" "high drain" IMR or hybrid batteries safe for either mechanical or regulated mods. ICR li-ion batteries are not safe chemistry nor high drain.
  10. MassiveKlouds's Avatar
    Thanks this was very helpful and informative
  11. Pilot's Avatar
    yes very nice and easy to understand. thank you
  12. PhoenixD's Avatar
    Hi Baditude, I have this bookmarked and am now seeking charger and batteries for my taste SVD. (I have plans to get a 2nd unit…but now I am "suspicious" of my original 18650 flat top batteries from B&M, which are plain, unmarked, and just "pink". (I have trusted the B&M and like them). The booklet that came with the SVD says to get "IMR high drain 18650" but the website (you recommended above which I will gladly use--I trust *you* best!) says, for example: "AW IMR 18650 3.7v 2000mAh" on one battery or another example "Efest IMR 18650 3.7V 2000mAh Flat Top". So I am not sure about the "3.7V 2000mAh" part. Is this the battery I need? Thanks for any light you can shed!
  13. Baditude's Avatar
    Yes, either the AW 18650 IMR 2000mAh or the Efest 18650 IMR 2000mAh will work. (I prefer the AW's)

    The lithium batteries we use in mods are all considered 3.7 volts. The mAh rating is the battery's capacity and helps determine how long the battery can be used between charges. Roughly, 100 mAh = 1 hour use. So 2000 mAh = 20 hours.

    Hard to say what those pink batteries are. My motto is if I can't identify the battery, I don't use it. You have no way to know the manufacturer, the chemistry, or its quality. For all you know it is a re-wrapped used battery pulled from an old laptop computer.
  14. PhoenixD's Avatar
    Thank you, Baditude for all you do for us "noobs" ! "Someone above" is certainly giving you "extra points" !!! <grin> The, uh, Pink batteries were my very first, i am certainly not "techy" to a great degree and of course "didn't think" but ECF and people like you have taught me to look and be careful. thanks again.
  15. Nikkel's Avatar
    This article does a disservice to the vaping community by perpetuating the lie that Li-ion batteries are the only type suitable for vaping.

    "IMR (Li Mn) batteries are the safest batteries available to us for vaping."
    That statement, the central point of this article, is false. NiMH batteries are the safest.
  16. Baditude's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nikkel
    This article does a disservice to the vaping community by perpetuating the lie that Li-ion batteries are the only type suitable for vaping.

    "IMR (Li Mn) batteries are the safest batteries available to us for vaping."
    That statement, the central point of this article, is false. NiMH batteries are the safest.
    And who made you a mod battery expert? What percentage of mod batteries used today are NiMH? Only a fraction if any.

    Our ECF forum manager Rolygate is a reknown battery expert and wrote this blog about mod batteries and battery safety. RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

    He states that IMR batteries are indeed the safest batteries for mod usage. I took much of the information for my blog from his data and from other sources listed as references at the bottom of the page. No where have I read that NiMH batteries are the safest. Regardless of this, NiMH batteries are a non-factor for the general vaping community. But thanks for your opinion.
  17. Nikkel's Avatar
    "And who made you a mod battery expert?"
    I'm not an expert.

    "What percentage of mod batteries used today are NiMH? Only a fraction if any."
    It is a regrettable fact that the ecig infrastructure is built around Li-ion. If NiMH was used more often there would be fewer accidents and injuries, and the government would have less reason to want to regulate us.
    The dimensions of store-bought mods are measured to accommodate Li-ion. That is the way things are. That is not the way it should be.

    "He [Rolygate] states that IMR batteries are indeed the safest batteries for mod usage. I took much of the information for my blog from his data and from other sources listed as references at the bottom of the page."
    If you read the article carefully, you will see that he contradicts himself.
    I quote selectively from the Rolygate article:
    "Our advice is that the best and the safer choice of battery for APVs is the AW IMR Li-Mn rechargeable."
    "But please note that no lithium rechargeable battery can be regarded as 'safe' - that simply is not possible."
    Later in the article he says, regarding NiMH batteries:
    "They are a safe technology and do not explode with mild abuse, and can be safely placed in series ('stacked')."
    "Safe technology, no explosions even when stacked."

    Roly says Li-ion (including IMR) cannot be regarded as safe. He says NiMH can be regarded as safe. And yet, he recommends IMR. If we assume Roly is concerned about the well-being of fellow vapers, then his recommendation is a contradiction.

    "No where have I read that NiMH batteries are the safest."
    I don't believe you.

    "When used as a stand alone battery Ni-MH is a much safer chemistry than Lithium-ion for the following reasons:-
    If wires connecting the battery to equipment are accidentally damaged there is no risk of damage to the battery or safety issues concerning personnel.
    Should the battery be accidentally submerged in water there is no risk of safety issues concerning personnel.
    Should the battery be accidentally damaged there is no risk of safety issues concerning personnel.
    The HAWK. 50Ah Ni-MH batteries have been in operation as stand-alone batteries within the British Army for over 3 years both in extreme temperatures and hostile conditions without one failure and more importantly no safety issues."
    [url=http://www.atsi.co.uk/battery_tech_lithiumVni-mh.html]Batteries, power management and battery chargers, bespoke design: ATSI Power Management[/url]
  18. Baditude's Avatar
    Nikkel, you make some excellent points. However, NiMH batteries will never be as popular as Li-Ion batteries. The industry has chosen Li-ion batteries as the standard. It has moved on from protected ICR to IMR safer chemistry batteries and the future looks to be the hybrid batteries.

    I see this phenomenon as similar to the beta vs VHS tape wars and the DVD vs Blue Ray wars. One will eventually win the market, whether its' the "better" product or not.
  19. kathi17's Avatar
    I'm starting to be afraid my battery may be unsafe.

    I bought an Innokin Coolfire I and the place I ordered it from only had Listman 18350 Batteries to fit it. This battery says it is protected. Should I stop using it, and wait until I get to a place that sells the red IMR ones?
  20. Baditude's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kathi17
    I'm starting to be afraid my battery may be unsafe.

    I bought an Innokin Coolfire I and the place I ordered it from only had Listman 18350 Batteries to fit it. This battery says it is protected. Should I stop using it, and wait until I get to a place that sells the red IMR ones?
    I've never heard of that battery before, so who knows what cell is inside the casing? Some vendors re-wrap harvested laptop batteries and sell them as new, and others sell the rejects of the bettery battery manufacturers as their own brand. Considering we use these batteries so close to our hands and face, I wouldn't risk it.
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