There are no 18650 batteries with a genuine rating over 30A!
We've all seen them, the batteries with 35A (35 amp) or higher current ratings. And it seems that they would be the perfect choice for mech (mechanical mod) users or really low ohm coil builds, doesn't it?
Except for the fact that as of July 2015 January 2016 there are no 18650 batteries rated at above 30A continuous available to us vapers!
Batteries are manufactured by only a handful of companies like Samsung, Sony, and LG. It takes millions of dollars to start up even a modest battery production line. The companies you see selling these high-amp batteries are just too small to be able to afford that kind of investment. So where do they get the batteries from? The established battery manufacturing companies like Samsung, Sony, and LG!
These smaller companies buy the batteries, rewrap them (i.e., they put their own "wrap", or sleeve, on them), boost up the current and capacity ratings, boost up the price too, and sell them as high performance batteries. This is how we know that there are no 35A or higher rated 18650 batteries out there. None of the big battery companies make them!
Since these battery rewrapping companies use the same batteries that we can buy at a lower price with the original manufacturer's wrap still on them, why should we buy them? In my opinion, no reason at all unless they are the only ones you can get.
Can these 35A and higher rated batteries actually be used at those high current levels? Technically, yes. Those high current ratings are just "pulse" ratings, passed off as continuous current ratings. This means those batteries can only be used at those current levels for short pulses of current. You might be thinking that this isn't a problem because we only vape for a few seconds at a time. But using them like that isn't safe.
Since battery rewrapping companies typically exaggerate the ratings by quite a lot, or pass off the pulse rating as the continuous current rating, we don't know how hard we can safely run those batteries continuously. And this can lead to big problems if we have a regulated mod that autofires or if we have a mech mod and its button sticks or is accidentally pressed in our pocket. Without knowing the battery's true continuous current rating this could easily lead to the battery spraying hot, toxic stuff inside your mod ("venting"). Or worse, it could cause the battery to go into "thermal runaway" where the temperatures rise tremendously and the cell violently bursts open.
To help you figure out how hard you can run different batteries, take a look at my 18650 Safety Grades table. It can help you narrow down your choices:
18650 Safety Grades -- Picking a Safe Battery to Vape With | E-Cigarette Forum
For some great information on batteries and battery safety (and many other topics), see Baditude's blogs:
(18) Baditude's Blogs | E-Cigarette Forum
And don't be afraid to just ask for advice here at ECF. If you see a battery that you want to buy, but aren't sure if it's safe to use in your mod, please ask us! We want to see everyone vaping safely and will be glad to help.
So, are there 30A batteries? Only one, the LG HB6 1500mAh 18650. You can see the classic tradeoff between capacity (number of mAh) and the current rating here. Typically, if you want high capacity you can't have a high current rating. And vice-versa. If you see a battery with both, check around for test results or a review before buying it.
There are other batteries that handle almost as much current as the HB6 though. I recommend the Sony VTC4 as the best all around battery for over 20A. At around 20A it's hard to beat the Samsung 25R. Just be sure to buy from a reliable vendor that carries genuine batteries, like one of these (in no particular order)...
So be careful of these batteries boasting that they're rated above 30A and vape safe!
This blog is my personal opinion only and is based on my battery testing results and knowledge of the batteries that are available on the market. If you are a vendor or supplier with a battery you are confident has a continuous discharge rating over 30A, I would be happy to test it and post the results.
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