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Best battery charger??

Discussion in 'Batteries and Chargers' started by Nautilusfan, Jun 24, 2014.

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  1. Nautilusfan

    Nautilusfan Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Looking for a battery charger for 18490 and 18650 batteries. Who has the best and safest charger. 4 bay a must. Looking at efest luc v4 and nitecore intellicharger I4. Opinions on those, other options and best place to buy would be appreciated :)
     
  2. Ostinato

    Ostinato Unresolved Status ECF Veteran

    Dec 3, 2011
    Budapest
  3. kojul

    kojul Senior Member Verified Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I second this, best charger for the price. Or anything higher grade made by Xtar, if money is no problem.

    Stay away from intellichargers unless you like buying lots of batteries.

    sent magically through air, wires, and light tubes
     
  4. Nautilusfan

    Nautilusfan Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    What kind of problems do the intellichargers have? Why would I be buying lots of batteries?
     
  5. kojul

    kojul Senior Member Verified Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    They'll improperly charge some batteries and reduce the longevity of your batteries, so they'll stop working faster and you'll have to buy more sooner. Just do some research on nitecore vs. xtar and ask around. I've even seen online shops that have battery safety warnings about nitecore chargers, even though they sell them.

    sent magically through air, wires, and light tubes
     
  6. JMarca

    JMarca E-Cig Afficionado Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 19, 2013
    New York
    Do you have a source for any of these shop warnings?
     
  7. The Torch

    The Torch Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 12, 2012
    Montreal
    A review dating from last october had this to say as a conclusion after heavily analyzing the Xtar XP4 (note that revisions could have been made since):
    "Generally it is a good quad LiIon charger, but the NiMH function is not very good before Xtar get it fixed."

    The Nitecore i4 is apparently slower and it is recommended to charge smaller bateries (RCR123, AAA/10440) in pairs because it has a higher charge current at first.

    The Pila IBC seems to be agreed to be the best charger, but it has only 2 bays.

    [EDIT]: The only problem I have seen discussed with the intellicharger is with the smaller batteries that should be charged in pairs. The problem explained would diminish battery life if those were to be charged one at a time, but it does not apply to batteries used for vaping (none that I know of anyways)
     
  8. JMarca

    JMarca E-Cig Afficionado Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 19, 2013
    New York
    I know the pair charging is true with the i4 units because the unit is actually a dual controller not a true quad, so bay 1 and 3 as well as 2 and 4 are actually linked. Never heard of any shop warnings saying the Nitecores are bad chargers though.
     
  9. The Torch

    The Torch Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 12, 2012
    Montreal
    Neither have I. I would think that if they had second thoughts about it they just wouldn't sell it rather than risking law suits for giving Nitecore a bad name. The Nitecore chargers are very popular in outdoors equipment stores and at vape shops here.
     
  10. StrafeMalone

    StrafeMalone Senior Member

    May 8, 2014
    Hutchinson KS
    The Nitecore Intellicharger i4 is nice and can be picked up for about $16 online.
     
  11. kojul

    kojul Senior Member Verified Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Let's just take it by the specs.

    Xtar XP4

    Cut-off Voltage: 4.2v ± 0.05v

    Efest LUC V4

    Auto cut-off voltage: 4.23v ± 0.05v

    Nitecore Intellicharger i4

    Output Voltage: 4.2v ± 0.1v

    So, what this means is at its worst the i4 can overcharge to 4.3v and the LUC v4 at its worst will overcharge to 4.28v, whereas the XP4 at it's worst will overcharge to 4.25v.

    Any overcharge will diminish longevity of the cell, but more overcharge will do it faster.

    Also, the i4 charges at .75A or .375A (if you pack four batteries in there). XP4 will charge at .25A, .5A or 1A.

    Slower charging current is also important to longevity of cells.

    Then there's these...
    Nitecore Intellicharger i4 charges to 4.22V - Flashlight guys talking about the i4, mention of charges up to 4.28v
    Nitecore Intellicharger i4 killed all my batteries?

    I've only once seen my XP4 overcharge... to 4.21v. Never owned a Nitecore, and I probably never will.

    sent magically through air, wires, and light tubes
     
  12. kojul

    kojul Senior Member Verified Member

    Jun 12, 2014
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It was sun-vapers.com saying "intellichargers are junk". Coming from a guy that does battery shootouts, I would say it carries some weight, even though that statement is excessive.

    They're popular because they're inexpensive.

    I'm not saying they are horrible, there are far worse chargers. It's still a decent charger, but I just wouldn't put my money there. I'd stick with Xtar. Maybe I'm just anal about my batteries.

    OP asked for best and safest 4-bay charger, so I'm just explaining why the Xtar is better.

    sent magically through air, wires, and light tubes
     
  13. jimbill

    jimbill Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 4, 2011
    aurora,indiana
    I have the i4 4-bay and it has been working great for over a year now and it sound to me that sunvapers is just trying to sell a bunch of expensive chargers.
     
  14. Racehorse

    Racehorse ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 12, 2012
    USA midwest
    The best, IMHO. I also like chargers that are drop in bays, hate moving spring loaded contacts to insert batteries.

    I have been ecstatically pleased with my PILA IBC, going strong for 2 years now and charges perfectly every time, won't overcharge anything, etc. I feel very safe with this charger.

    All the flashlight guys like it too.

    2nd choice would be Xtar.
     
  15. Despraci

    Despraci Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 23, 2014
    Palmyra, PA
    I just tested my Jetbeam i4 ver3 (nitecore rebranded I think). And out of 8 batteries charged all different types, they all measured 4.21 to 4.22 after the charger cutoff.

    This is same results I've gotten I the past when spot checking after charging batteries. I even tried to overcharged some old efest red batteries I had laying around and the charge pr cut off at 4.22 and 4.21.

    Just wanted to post my findings. :)
     
  16. The Torch

    The Torch Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 12, 2012
    Montreal
    No kidding, I took the info on the flashlight forum I've been on since 2009. I guess my screen name isn't obvious enough :lol:

    P.S.: That IS a flashlight lighting my back in my avatar picture... and that's cigar smoke, not vape, though.

    Jetbeam bought Nitecore a couple of years back if my memory is correct. Both are flashlight manufacturers, but Nitecore finally decided to make a reasonably priced charger.

    Just had to :D
     
  17. Nautilusfan

    Nautilusfan Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Any thoughts on the efest luc v4 ?
     
  18. Unforeseen

    Unforeseen Admin
    Commercial/Suppliers Asst. Manager
    Admin Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Moved to Assorted PV Topics - E-Cigarette Accessories Discussion
     
  19. tayone415

    tayone415 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 9, 2013
    CA
    The Nitecore i4 is actually: Output Voltage: 4.2v ± 1% according to their website that you linked, but when I had mine it would keep charging to 4.23-4.25v and kept making a buzzing noise when the batteries were charged so I exchanged it for the Efest LUC4 and depending on the battery slot I normally get either 4.2v or 4.23v and once got 4.16V. If you change the amp charge speed when you're batteries come close to a full charge it will stop charging and say it's 4.2 on the LCD but, can keep charging if you place the battery in a different slot, middle to outter slots and vise versa.
     
  20. catalinaflyer

    catalinaflyer Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Been using the same i4 on the same 4 batteries since the beginning of last August. Don't know if it's hurting my batteries but between the wife and I we run the batteries through it about every other day and my 18650's still last a full 24 hours before dropping to yellow on my 134 and VTR. YMMV but if I can get 10 months out of a set of batteries then I think it's a decent charger for the price.
     
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