Pila vs. Xtar Vp1 opinions?

Discussion in 'APV Discussion' started by DoogieTony, Aug 2, 2013.

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  1. DoogieTony

    DoogieTony Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    So I'm thinking about picking up a higher quality charger as I'm stepping into the mech world. As far as I can tell these two chargers are among of the best.

    I'd like to get some opinions on the Pila and Xtar Vp1 battery chargers. If you have one of either I'd like to hear some pros and cons, which you prefer and why.

    I'm open to other suggestions as well, but please state what makes them "high end" other than price
     
  2. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    I've only had the Pila. I used mine for over 15 months of daily use, and just recently one of the bays stopped charging. I've built up a collection of several mods since I first purchased the Pila, and have about a dozen batteries in four different sizes, so when I decided to replace it I got both the 6 bay Xtar and 4 bay Nitecore Intellicharger i4. I would love to have 2 or 3 Pila's, as it is a superior charger to the two new ones that I got which I feel are still high quality themselves.

    The Pila is a sturdily built charger. With general inspection it just looks like a superior charger in overall build quality. Kinda like the Provari of chargers. It charged my AW IMR's faster than the new chargers do, even when only one battery in a single bay is charged in the multi-bay chargers. Batteries were always charged up to the 4.2 limit consistantly. I once read (and can't find the link now) that the algorhythms the Pila uses can prolong the lifetime of a high quality battery. True? I have the original AW IMR 18650 batteries that I got along with the Pila, still in rotation with about 4 other AW 18650 IMR's that are only a few months old, and I can barely tell them apart from the newer batteries.

    I do prefer the spacers that the Pila uses for different size batteries. They allow the batteries to fit better and the batteries are easier to put in and take out of the charging bays. The 6 bay Xtar charger that I have has flimsy wire springs which make installing the batteries in the bays a pain. My 18350 button-top batteries like to pop out of the bay of this charger as the spacers seem to cramp this size. The Nitecore has slider bars that work a little better, but they are stiff and not as easy as the Pila was to use.

    I can't speak for or against the top of the line Xtar VP1. It's probably of equal quality as the Pila. You likely won't go wrong with choosing either one.
     
  3. montara

    montara Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I have both, several Pila's actually. With the Pila there's never been an issue and seem to perform well but the design is dated. With the VP1 there are several features that IMO put it ahead of Pila. No spacers to hassle with, digital voltage readout and adjustable charge rate make it the winner for me. If the VP1 AND my batteries hold up long term I will be selling the Pila's and replacing them with VP's.
     
  4. DoogieTony

    DoogieTony Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks Bad,
    I'm still running my tenergy that I bought with my provari, so I'm sure both the Pila & Xtar would be an upgrade.

    I like that the Pila has a door to enclose the batts while charging and I've seen its highly regarded in most hobby communities.

    I've seen that the Pila requires spacers to charge 18350s, it doesn't require them for 490s and 650s correct?

    Any drawbacks beside the bay dying after 15 months ?
     
  5. serenity21899

    serenity21899 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I had an older Xtar and the indicator lights didn't, well....indicate when the battery was done charging. Sometimes my batteries would overcharge. I replaced it with a Pila, and have no issues. I like the Xtar spacers better and use instead of the Pila ones. Both work fine with the batteries I have, all AW nipple top in all 3 sizes, 650, 500, and 350.

    I actually do not know anything about the newer Xtars, but wouldn't buy one based on my experience with the one I had.
     
  6. montara

    montara Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    The door is more cosmetic/comfort, I don't think it would serve much purpose in event of battery fire.

    605 requires no spacer, 350=2 spacers, 490/500=1 spacer
     
  7. DoogieTony

    DoogieTony Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks Montara,
    How long have you been running the VP1? I agree that it looks better with the digital display and functions but sometimes less can be more (i.e. less to break)
    I'm kind of wondering about the xtar's longevity.
    Have you seen any difference in the charge (besides the amount of time it takes) when set in different charging modes?


    Does the Pila include spacers or will they have to be bought separately?
     
  8. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    It does come with spacers, but I don't recall how many. I bought extra spacers from RTD Vapor when I purchased 18350 batteries for my Mini Provari and Segelei V8.
     
  9. Scott_Simpson

    Scott_Simpson Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I have both a Pila and an XTar VP-1, and for me the VP-1 is the hands-down winner. I've been using the VP-1 ever since it first came out, about 3 months now. I may have gotten a dud Pila from Super-T, but it never performed very consistently for me. I stack 18350s and I keep a very detailed spreadsheet on all my pairs to be sure they are aging together. On the Pila, they never came off the charger at the same voltage; on the VP-1, they come off at the same voltage each and every time. Plus, I like being able to monitor the charge progress with the digital readout, and not needing to use spacers for anything.

    So, my vote goes to the XTar VP-1.
     
  10. vang0gh

    vang0gh Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I just got a Pila from Provape and it came with 4 total spacers. But, I was under the impression that it would only come with two and ordered extra spacers when I ordered the charger. I'm still not positive that it was supposed to come with four of them.

    So far, I like the Pila a lot more than the cheapo, generic charger I was using. The build quality is nice and all the batteries I've tested come off the charger at 4.2v. My only complaint is the constant blinking red light when a battery bay is empty. In a darkish room, it can be a bit annoying.
     
  11. DoogieTony

    DoogieTony Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thanks guys and gals! I really appreciate the input.
     
  12. Rickajho

    Rickajho ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I've been using an Xtar WPII 2 for 18 months now with zero problems.

    another point to consider is Xtar chargers have a 2 year warranty. No idea what the warranty is on a Pila.

    If it matters to you: The VP1 can safely charge batteries as small as 10440's since the charge current is selectable: 250 mA, 500 mA or 1 amp.

    I've read the flash light reviews of the VP1 and the charging curve is identical to the Pila. Neither has an advantage when it comes to how they actually treat Li-On batteries.
     
  13. Rickajho

    Rickajho ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Ewww! Didn't know it did that - thanks for the heads up. I already have one NiMh charger that has SIX LED's that all flash when the thing is fully populated. They only stop blinking when a charge bay is done. I really wouldn't want another charger that insisted on blinking for any reason.
     
  14. Baditude

    Baditude ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Xtar has an unsatisfactory way of honoring that warranty, IMO. See this thread of an Xtar charger that died after only 6 months. The owner contacted Xtar and they refused to replace the charger, but offered a discount on their most expensive charger.

    http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/apv-discussion/448685-need-new-charger.html

    Pila USA provides a 1 year warranty if Pila batteries are used. (Really? How do they know what batteries you use if you don't tell them?)
     
  15. Scott_Simpson

    Scott_Simpson Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Yes, this is what I ran into when I tried to return my Pila charger ... I was told that I'd have to deal directly with Pila, and that they probably wouldn't honor the warranty if I used the Pila to charge non-Pila batteries. I suppose I should have lied, but I just can't do it.
     
  16. Kyndcookie

    Kyndcookie Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I have both and like them both equally. The VP1 is easier to use and more flexible, in my opinion. Pila exudes somewhat better overall build quality. Both do a great job at charging, and I trust them.
     
  17. st0nedpenguin

    st0nedpenguin Moved On Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I only have experience with the Pila, but it's been used every day for more than 2 years now and I haven't had a single issue.

    The Xtar seems to be well liked but personally I like the proven track record of the Pila.
     
  18. montara

    montara Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    One final thought on the VP1; with the rapid advancements in battery technologies especially LIB, charger manufactures offering "the best" are hopefully incorporating software to keep up with the changes. IE: VP1 is fresher, Pila is dated?
    Very good reading > Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University
     
  19. st0nedpenguin

    st0nedpenguin Moved On Verified Member ECF Veteran

    There are no changes as far as our batteries goes, adhering to correct CC/CV charging specs is the most important and something that the Pila is known for doing a very good job at.
     
  20. montara

    montara Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Not questioning your source, but Battery U has been a trusted source of industry information for many years.

    "Manufacturers are constantly improving lithium-ion. New and enhanced chemical combinations are introduced every six months or so. With such rapid progress, it is difficult to assess how well the revised battery will age."
    Advantages & Limitations of the Lithium-ion Battery - Battery University
     
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