18650 battery and Soshine SC-S2 charge time= ridiculous!

Does anyone make a charger that won’t break the bank for 18650 batteries that doesn’t take 3-4 hours to charge a cell? I am new to 18650 batteries. I just got a nice Convoy light for christmas, did a ton of research, bought some nice Sanyo protected cells and a highly rated Soshine SC-S2 charger which claims to have a faster charge than other chargers according to all the online reviews I have read! Fast? I can plug my Galaxy s5 in and from 10% charge can have it fully charged in less than an hour. My Asus laptop can charge at a similar rate. But take a near dead 18650 battery and watch the charger take hours before it will start blinking a green LED (indicating almost done). Why can’t these cells charge rapidly like any other device (cell phone, laptop, ipod)? Help?

HKJ’s review on the charger is that it’s slow. His review is here

I would take his word over other internet reviews any time of the day.

If you really want fast charging you can always get a hobby charger where you can set the current higher than what low end chargers use.

Be aware, some devices just lie to you about when they are “full” or make up their own definition of what full is. To be truly full, a li-ion battery requires a saturation charge. But this takes time, no getting around it. So some manufacturers just skip the saturation part, but then you only get 85% of the batteries true capacity.

You can also charge at a very high rate, but that can cause excessive wear, shorten the life of the battery and progressively reduce it’s capacity.


At 1 amp a large capacity 18650 (3100-3400) will take 3-4 hours

At 2 amps the same battery will take about 2 1/2 hours

There are few chargers, other than hobby chargers, that will charge multiple batteries at more than 1 amp. and the hobby charger will need to charge in parallel to give good speed, as balance charge can take much longer than a parallel charge because of balancing time.

HKJ has tested the Xtar VP1 here: Review of Charger Xtar SP1
It takes only 1 battery and can charge at .5, 1 and 2 amps, have a look at the charge graphs for large capacity 18650s to see what I mean.

I have an Xtar SP1 and use it for 26650s and 4.35v 18650s, and my hobby charger does most of my 18650s and also testing laptop pulls.

With a hobby charger and suitable battery holder you can charge multiple cells in parallel. But it is wise to start them all at closely matched voltages to avoid sudden current spikes when you insert them in the carrier.

Unless you want to get the absolute maximum runtime from your cells it is not necessary to charge to 4.20V and then hold for the saturation phase. In fact, tests have shown that charging to only 4.10V can significantly increase the number of cycles (life) achieved.

Your hobby charger may show you the voltage readout as it charges, allowing you to simply stop the charge whenever it suits you. With a suitable power supply you may be able to charge multiple cells at a high rate but keep in mind that high charge rates will also shorten the life of your cells.

It’s a complex business.

This explains a lot Halo…. My Dewalt impact has li ions and will charge in 30 minutes. But sometimes I don’t think they last as long as they should.

Parallel charging - Its commonly thought that all the batteries must be close in voltage - but here is a link to some tests from 2007 that demonstrates that a .5 volt difference is a conservative recommendation.