How about best 18650 bang for the buck

Rather than the best, how about best price/performance for around the house flashlights. Preferably protected because knowledgeable people will be using them in cheap lights.

I just bought 20 lights (about $2.5 a piece) to sprinkle around the house. Very thin metal but reasonable quality for the price. And they actually make light. That world famous UltraFire brand. Now I need protected batteries that are relatively inexpensive with "decent" capacity. I have, of course, looked at the regular places.

Opinions on what is "decent" capacity. Any particularly good deals.

Samsung on GearBest (26F) non -aff Currently around $13.36 (set of 4) but sometimes for around 10$ (flash sales or other coupon codes)
They have 2600mAh, can pull a decent load and are overall a good brand.

I am assuming that your 2.5$ lights don’t need any high-draw cells?
There are also good local online sellers (sometimes even retail stores) that might have good prices.

I bought these during the latest flash sale but have an older set in my Solarforce lights, I am very happy for the price I paid.

edit: apologies, I believe the ones linked are unprotected.

Nice price, but they are not protected.

4 PCs ICR18650 - 26FM 3.7V 18650 2600mAh Protected the protected variant is even cheaper! non -aff

edit: correct non-aff link.

Nothing beats the price/performance of laptop pulls.

I would think this is a good deal as well, since you probably won’t need the highest mah nor A.

Here's a real non-aff link:


Thank you! I am new to all of this and I don’t exactly know how GB “get this free” works! I don’t mean to make any money with this. will edit/correct my post.

I will consider GB again once I receive my C8 or get refund. It’s 42 days and counting.

That’s the problem with GB. Their processing and shipping times have been erratic. I’ve bought items closed to $350 from them this past 3 months, including the infamous INR18650-30Q that have been playing hide and seek.

On the contrary, I’ve bought some small ticket items from Banggood, with the most expensive being the Olight S1 Baton using coupon from M4D M4X, to $3 silicon grease, and their processing and shipping have been top notch, all within 1 to 2 working days, for in-stock item.

With that being said, I still have some GB store credits that I have to use, so maybe the ICR 18650-26FM are worth the try at the price offered by GB.

Has anyone here actually bought these from GB and can verify they are good?


A GB reviewer posted this comment:
“If the useful range of a battery used in a flashlight at less than 3A is from 4.2V down to 3.6V, these deliver the same or more mAh than a 3400mAh-rated Panasonic NCR18650B battery (e.g., Nitecore, Olight, KeepPower) They have a higher discharge rate than the NCR18650B cells and provide more Wh during the useful voltage range in most flashlight applications.”

Can anyone confirm this statement is true and offer further explanation?
(if they really are equal to the performance of a 3400mAh Panasonic NCR18650B)

Because I’m also looking for the best BFB on protected 18650 and was looking at these 3400mAh Panasonic NCR18650B for more than twice the cost:
2PCS-NCR-18650B-3_7V-3400mAh-Protected ($13/pr. with code)

Also I remember seeing some comments on the forum about GB selling fake batteries?

I already have 2600mAh (xtar’s) but was looking to upgrade for longer runtimes.

I also tried to research for the absolute highest capacity, highest discharge and highest quality 18650 protected cell available, and came up with these:
Sanyo/Panasonic NCR18650GA Protected 3500mAh

I used the battery tests on HJK's comparator. I found that in most cases the Samsung 26F have me more usable capacity than the Panasonic B's because they measure the Panasonic capacity down to 2.5vdc

are you comparing the unprotected samsung 26F to the unprotected panasonic B ?
because when i look at them they look to have the same discharge curve until the 26F is almost drained and reaches a “knee” and drops the voltage quickly. after the 26F’s knee the panas keeps going for a bit longer, but i’m not sure if you care about the last 500 mah since it’s at a low voltage.
but since the curves are so similar i wouldn’t say that the 26F have more usable capacity, but the same. unless you mean per $ :slight_smile:


I added that 4-pack with an order.

Cells seem real enough, but were poorly packaged. They were floating free inside a shared zip baggie inside the bubble mailer with the other items. One cell ended up dented and all are scuffed.
I do not want to use them.

Now I stick with Fasttech or Mountain Electronics for cells.

EDIT: Mine was the non-protected version.

I ordered these from Banggood and they were packaged excellently:

That’s the problem with ordering cells from GB.
If the cells don’t come with their own battery holders like those from Olight, TangsFire, etc, they will just dump it inside small zip lock bag, maximum 4 cells in a plastic bag.
These cells will end up crashing into one another during postage and you might end up with some damaged cells…

Other online shops, including those from eBay take the extra effort of bubble wrap the cells, to minimize the risk of the cells getting damage in transit.
Why is it so hard for GB to do the same?

My overseas cells have come from Banggood and in proper condition/packaging. I just ordered from GearBest and those cells were legit packaged properly so I order some additional protected 26F's. I ordered from FastTech long ago but it took 79 days to get that order so I never ordered batteries from them again.

Most of my lights have LVP that kicks in before I can use the last 500mah of the Panasonic B

Yes, many people do not realize how important voltage is while delivering current.

Power (watts) = Voltage (volts) x Current (amps)

Fasttech seemed to have figured out the shipping for lithium cells.
All my packages containing cells came care of Sweden post.
23, 28, 24, 20 and 19 days delivery.