Looking for a charger for 18650's and NiMH AA's/AAA's. $50 budget

Hi. I’m looking for a charger to charge both 18650’s and NiMH AA’s/AAA’s for me and a buddy. Budget is $50. I’d like a charger that can handle 3-4 cells at once if possible, but I can deal with just a single bay charger if it means I’d be getting a higher quality product. I also wouldn’t be opposed to having two chargers (one for the Li-Ion’s and one for the NiMH’s) if needed.

The Nitecore i4 V2 has so far caught my eye, coming in at ~$30 and being able to charge both Li-Ions and NiMH cells to some extent.

Thanks in advance for the help, and apologies if I’m not supposed to post links at my post count.

I’ve seen mixed reviews on the i4 charger. $50 will get you a hobby charger that does almost all types of batteries. Just a thought.

Not everyone wants to take the hassle using hobby chargers, they are not for non-tech savvy persons :wink:

As for Sysmax i4 V2, Ive got two of them couple of days ago, so cant comment much on them other than this:

Taken from this thread:

The i4 v1 has a couple of problems, they where fixed in the i4 v2. When reading reviews you must check if it is for the v1 or v2 charger. It is very difficult to see, because there is no markings on the charger.

A hobby charger has much better settings LiIon, but is not always very good for NiMH batteries and it does not take four NiMH at a time. There is also all the problems with making your own battery tray and remember to set the correct settings each time.

Personally I often use a hobby charger for LiIon, but nearly never for NiMH.

I have one of these I got a couple of months ago: http://www.revolectrix.com/pl8_specs_tab.htm
Not a $50 charger but it does just about everything! :slight_smile: It even has the opto isolated USB computer interface. Still saving up for all the accessories of which there are many.

I suggest a BC700 (or clone) for NiMH and an XTAR WP2. BC700 and WP2 should each be around 20$, so that works with your budget.

Make yourself at home, Default Username!

Not difficult to see — someone has a comparison here with photos. Short answer: yellow label on front and back — v2, get that one.
I just got one a few days ago, charged a couple of LiIons that came off just slightly high 4.21v .
Doing a handful of NiMHs with no problem, of varied ages and qualities. So far I like it ok

Thanks for the replies!

@Yellowhorse: To be honest, I haven’t really considered using a hobby charger. If you don’t mind me asking, what would be a good hobby charger that’s within my budget? I see that the Turnigy Accucel-6 gets a lot of acclaim as being a good budget-oriented charger, but I’m wondering if there’s anything I should be wary about or if there’s a better hobby charger that fits in my ~$50 budget.

@vēer: Thanks for the review. Did you have any trouble with hot/overheating cells when charging your NiMH cells on the i4?

@HKJ: Sorry for not clarifying; the 3-4 cell capacity requirement is for my Li-Ions, not the NiMH cells. My buddy has a couple of small single-cell AA and AAA lights which he’d like to use with some NiMH cells, so there’s not much of a concern about charging multiple NiMH cells at the same time.

And thanks for pointing out the differences between the i4 v.1 vs i4 v.2.

@NightCrawl: That’s definitely an idea! I’ll give them a look.

I charged original Eneloops, 2nd gen AA, two pieces, both charged just fine and didnt become hot at all.
Fake DinoDirect Eneloops and HobbyKing’s Turnigy AA batteries did get really hot while charging them.