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

Published by Baditude in the blog Baditude's blog. Views: 13795

As mod users, we depend heavily upon batteries. To assist novices to choose which external (removeable) battery to use in their mod I have written this guide. Our choices are:

  • Lithium IMR or Li-Mn
  • a new class of IMR/Hybrid batteries
  • protected ICR Li-Ion
(LiPo batteries used as internal batteries in the eGo, MVP, iStick, etc will not be discussed here other than to say they are not safe chemistry.)​

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

IMR (Li-Mn) are the safest batteries available for vaping. Using safer chemistry with nickel or manganese, 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 an ICR. Should protective circuits fail in ICRs they can vent violently in flames and possibly explode. ICR battery explosion

Guide to Battery Specification Terms:

capacity or mAh rating - an approximation for how long a battery charge should last from 100% charge to when the battery will cut off. Roughly, 100 mAh = 1 hour usage with low drain applications like a flashlight. The "best battery" is not always the one with the largest mAh rating. In some applications, like high drain applications, the amp rating determines the better battery.

amps rating - or "continuous discharge rate", is the maximum current at which the battery can be discharged continuously before the battery will fail. This specification is set by the manufacturer, and is a standard measurement in the industry. The "pulse or burst discharge rate" is not a standard measurement and varies from one manufacturer/vendor to another, and therefore should never be relied upon. Beware of dubious marketing claims for battery amp ratings. Purple Efest Batteries Not As Advertised

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
18650 2200mah 20A new
18490 1200mah 18A new
18350 800 mah 12A new


18650HE2 or 18650HE4 2500mah 20A
18650HG2 3000mah 20A

18650 1500mah 20A
26650 3800mah 20A

Panasonic or Orbtronic hybrid
CGR18650CH (IMR/hybrid) 2250mAh 10A
NCR18650BD 3200mAh 10A
NCR18650PF (LiNiCOMnO2) 2900mAh 10A
NCR18650PD (LiNiCoAl) 2900mAh 10A
Orbtronic 18650 3500mAh 10A
Orbtronic 18650 SX22 2000mAh 22A
Orbtronic 18650 2500mAh
Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100mAh 30A
Panasonic 26650 CGR2650A 2650mAh 50A
Orbtronic 26650 5200mah 20A

Samsung hybrid (LiNiCo
INR18650-30Q 3000mah 15A
INR18650-20R 2000mah
INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A

Sony hybrid
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
Efest 26650 4200mAh 20A

  • 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 FastTeech, 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 alkaline batteries like those from Radio Shack, etc. Buy only from trusted e-cig vendors such as RTD Vapor, Illumn, Lighthound, or Orbtronics. 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 batteries are charging. A higher end charger will have better built-in protections. Pila, Xtar, and Nitecore Intellicharger are the most recommended brands. Recommend batteries be charged on a flame-resistant surface: stove top, marble countertop, metal baking pan, pyrex glass dish. Do not charge batteries if you are not physically present to keep an eye on them.

  • 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, 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 plastic 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 less than 0.6 ohm require an IMR battery that has a maximum continuous discharge rate of at least 20 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 ICR 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 ideal for sub-ohm or high wattage regulated mods.
Protected ICR Li Ion. Lithium ion class batteries, also called "protected batteries".
  • ICR batteries are now considered obsolete for mod use because of their potential for flames & explosion.
Form more in-depth information on mod batteries, see Deeper Understanding of Mod Batteries

[​IMG] AW 18650 2200mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid (new 2015)
[​IMG] Samsung 18650 2500mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid[​IMG] LG 18650HE2 2500mah 20 amp IMR/hybrid

Sony 18650 VTC4 2100mah 30 amp IMR/hybrid

[​IMG] Orbtronic 18650 SX30 2100 mAh 30 amp IMR/hybrid


Mods, Batteries, & Safer Vaping

PBusardo's Mod Battery Information Guide

IMR Battery Specification Comparison

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

Exactly why 18650 battery names like VTC4, VTC5, Samsung 25R, are confusing everybody

Green Samsung 18650 25R5 vs. Blue 25R2

Best 18650 Battery (2015)?
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