14500 battery + charger recommendation needed


Please excuse the noobness of this post, but all I’m trying to do is to buy some a pair of decent 14500 batteries for my trusty SiPik SK68-3W mini flashlight (and its various clones).

I thought this would be as simple as just looking up “14500 battery” on Amazon and choose from the top results. Boy was I wrong. The top results on Amazon (UltraFire brand) have some very shady reviews. This eventually lead me here, with apparently hundreds of different 14500 batteries reviewed, with a hundred different specs regarding mAh rating, physical length, protected vs unprotected, button vs flat-top etc. I guess if I spent about a decade on this site (and other similar sites) eventually I’ll dig out what I need, but I’m hoping some good samaritan will simply point me in the right direction.

What I need is simply:

- 1 good pair (2 cells) of 14500 battery that conforms to the standard AA dimensions,

- 1 good charger.

  • from a reputable dealer with quick delivery to California, US.

Can anyone send me a direct link(s) to these items?

(Incidentally, this Sanyo UR14500P from mtnelectronics is supposed to be good, but what am I getting if I ordered quantity “1” – one cell, or one pair?)


May I ask, what are you going to use the cells in?

The Sanyo you linked (sold individually) is probably the best all-around 14500 available and Mtn is a great source. However, if you are vaping with it or using it in a headlamp or using the pair in series my suggestion may be something different (such as a Windyfire IMR or a Keeppower protected cell).

As far as a charger, I suggest a Nitecore or Xtar from a reputable seller. I personally favor the Nitecore UM20 and Xtar MC2

Xtar MC0 and any two 14500’s from mountain electronics would do you good stead. Richard only sells good stuff.

And Welcome!

Ditto that!! That is exactly what I have; 2 protected Sanyo 840 mAh cells and the MC0. And I use them in a AA/14500 zoomy.

+2 above. MC0 is a nice little charger for 10440, 14500, 16340, 18350 with 2 charge currents and plugs into any USB power port, car, wall wart, etc.

Thanks for the quick reply! I’m getting it for two of ” these guys”:http://www.amazon.com/SpecialFire®SIPIK-Zoomable-Battery-Portable-Flashlight/dp/B00K301272

I’m not sure what “vaping” is, and I’m not using a pair in series.

Just my luck though, it seems the Sanyo UR14500P is no longer in stock. Wow. Can you recommend something that’s available from this page ?

As for the charger, is this UM20 from Amazon what you are referring to?

Yes, that’s the charger I like. Unlike the MC0, it will also work for 18650’s if you eventually go bigger.


Now that the UR14500P is out of stock, my options are limited to only a few. I’m looking at the protected version . But my concern is that it’s quite a bit longer: 53mm (vs unprotected 49.5mm). Will this cause problems?

Going outside of the Sanyo brand I see these options:

Efest Purple 14500 IMR 650mAh
Windyfire 14500 IMR 600mAh
Any thoughts?

I’m also concerned about this disclaimer on every page “These cells, like all lithium and IMR cells, should not be discharged below 2.5 volts.”. What does that mean? What do I need to do/not do to heed this warning?

The protected 14500 cells are still in stock

Since you are going to install in those lights, I’d always suggest protected in case you draw them too low and the light decided to recognize your 14500 as AA and continue to run.

you might risk unable to screw the lights down fully due to longer cells

Btween the 2, I would go for Efest as have no expereinced with Windyfire.
I’m not sure if the light has low battery indication, but if it does then when the low battery indication is triggered, it’s time for your to charge the battery.

Richard is being upfront and honest, unlike some sellers of cells. No Li-Ion cell should ever be discharged below the 2.5 volts. That is part of the idea behind using protected cells. They have undervoltage, overvoltage and over current protection built in. Some lights have protection also built into the driver. Some don’t.

I don’t know if the length is a concern with that sipik model. Mine are a different zoomy from gearbest.

You clearly do not have much experience with rechargeable li-ions, so I highly recommend you get protected cells. You can also look at keeppower 14500’s, I believe either banggood.com or gearbest.com has them in their US warehouse



This is vaping. Vapers love Li-ion too. But not like us their interests are mostly focused on high-drain IMR Li-ions.

Thanks, I grabbed the last two! (The retailer really needs to have these better stocked). I opened up my lights and confirm the negative terminal spring is long enough accommodate a longer cell.

Thanks, I got the protected Sanyos as recommended. But if I had unprotected cells, does that mean it’s my responsibility to never let them fully drain in my flashlight? How would I know to keep the batteries above that threshold? Would I need to hook them up to a voltage tester and make sure it sits comfortably above 2.5V, and charge them if it ever got too close to 2.5V?

Illum is also a reputable US seller and has the Keepower protected 14500

Many but not all flashlights have low voltage detection. As with any device final responsibility rests with the user

Cheapo Multimeter is more than enough of a method to check voltage safely. (I’d suggest no lower than 3.6v for my methods)

If not your light should have a common behavior. (just note that these are very bad methods to test battery capacity)
Running your light with those 14500 low will lead to drastic drop in brightness. That is when you need to stop using your cells and recharge them immediately.
Some other methods would be realizing that your light isn’t as warm as it should when running long.

But the short answer is yes, you can’t just let it drain to nothing like you can with alkalines or nimh.

You may want to look at getting an S15R, it may be much more convenient for you

Only in the lowest modes is dimming due to low voltage hard to see, on high it’s obvious and happens before 3V. Some lights will give warning at 3V and shut down completely at 2.7-2.8V.