Newbie 18650 protected vs unprotected

Hey guys, This is a newbie question in regard to 18650 protected vs unprotected cells.

Some flashlights require unprotected vs protected and vice versa. I have a few questions.

1. What charger to use for both unprotected and protected 18650( I own some Olight 3400 protected)

2. What the the charger automatically shut off for unprotected cells, protected cells when fully charged?

3. What will be charging time frame for unprotected vs protected?

4. How to safely charge unprotected 18650?

Please advise. Thanks.

Practicaly all of the chargers are “smart” chargers. Just pop batteries in and forget about em.

Check out the Littokala or the Xtar line of chargers. They will take care of all your battery charging needs.

There is a great deal on Littokala 402 (4 bay charger) in the group buy threads, I snagged a 402 today for less than $7.

Basically all decent chargers cut off at 4.2V, some Lii-100 chargers are known to have not spot on end voltage,
more sophisticated chargers are calibrated when they test them in the factory, so they have exactly 4.2V on all bays

Charging time highly depends what your charger can deliver

For example unprotected 3500mAh cells can vary from below 2 hours to 10 hours depending on your chargers charge current

in a Miboxer C4-12 or C2-6000 are charged up to 3A so you have full cells in about 1 hour 40 minutes,
while on a Lii402 with all bays you get 500mA or even expensive chargers like Nitecore D4 you get only 375mA

Then on those low current chargers it takes 7-10 hours for a fully drained 3500mAh cell

Any decent charger will charge both protected and unprotected cells… you can visit to find a well rated one at a price point that suits you.

Yes, the shut off point will be the same, regardless if it’s a protected or unprotected cell.

Depends on the charger and the charging rate that you choose. If you charge both at say 1A, charging time will be about the same for both protected and unprotected cell, assuming they both have the same capacity.

There is really nothing that you need to do differently here. Pick a decent charger and you’re done.

Thanks guys for all input. Still looking for more so I can make decision to buy unprotected 18650.

There is a guy in my area selling some Samsung from a laptop.

BTW, any good places to buy quality unprotected cells.

Please advise. Thanks again.

Whether you need unprotected cells or not will primarily depend on your application., for example if you have lights that require high drain cells to achieve max output.

There are so many things wrong with this, I dont even know where to start. Just don’t.

It would help if you at least specified what country you live in. Earth does not help.

Thanks for reply Pete. I plan on using unprotected because some lights require them and protected ones WILL NOT work with certain flashlights. Hence, I asked for info about them , charger working with them, etc….

The Samsung are these posted on craiglist link below. Can you give me heads up if worth it or not.

I am in USA on West Coast.

The Samsung cells pulled from a laptop could potentially mean trouble. Don’t get them. They are most likely going to be ICR cells and you want to stay away from those for flashlights! If your light doesn’t need more then a few amps, and doesn’t draw more then 8 amps, a protected cell is what you want. If you have a beast of a flashlight and it needs more then 10 amps then you need unprotected INR cells, like the LG HG2, Sony VTC6 or Samsung 30Q’s as an example.

This is all a rough guideline though.

This link should give you some useful info.

Thanks for input SovereignKnight. The seller tried to make it sound ” cool ” to buy them and they would work in flashlights. Thank goodness you ” EXPERTS ” here know a lot more than me.

I am very new to flashlight collecting so I have very limited knowledge about unprotected 18650 cells. The reason I ask because of safety concerns. Not worth bodily harm or death by using wrong battery and charger.

I am using all input so I can buy the ” right ” unprotected 18650 cells.

BTW, which part of Cali are you from? So Cal?

Dude, seriously, just don’t. You don’t know the seller, and you don’t know the history of these cells - don’t just trust your life to some stranger on craigslist.

You can get brand new Samsung 30Q for $5 a piece from liionwholesale and other reputable online shops in the US.

Which one of your lights actually requires an unprotected cell?

Here’s some info from our Forum Categories Menu located upper left corner of home page. May provide you some useful battery info etc.

Nor cal actually. I actually read about these battery chemistries the other day from the site I linked you.

One important thing about using unprotected batteries. If you have a light that uses more than one battery, you need to be sure all the cells you use in it STAY with that flashlight. Don’t ever separate them. Don’t ever mix them. When you buy batteries, buy them all at the same time. Charge them all at the same time. They all need to age at the same rate. Unbalanced/unmatched cells can lead to devastating consequences.

I buy all my cells from A trusted source for all my flashlight/mod needs!

Oh yeah, one more thing. Invest in a good multi-meter! Very useful tool in checking the voltage on your batteries. If you run lights that do not have low voltage protection and you use unprotected cells, you run the risk of draining your cells too low. I think a cell that is at 2.5v is critically low. Dangers could arise trying to charge these in such a low voltage state. If you have protected cells, they usually cut off at 3.5v give or take.

2.5V is still OK, but I would not go below that.

Most protected cells cut off at 2.5V.

Interesting. Most of my cells cut off well before they hit 2.5v. But that might be the flashlights low lvp now that I think about it. Now that is good to know. Thanks for the correction!

Oh good lord… I should have a macro for this response.

I used to rec protected cells as in “What can it hurt?”, but now I stick with unprotected cells. Unless your light uses just simple stoopit parallelled resistors to limit current to the LED, it’ll likely have LVP.

Now, I stick with unprotected cells. Thinner, more amps possible, not double-shrinkwrapped, no sense-strip running up/down the entire length begging to be abraded away, cut, etc., and short out the cell most spectacularly.

Stick with unprotected panny-Bs or sanny-As for capacity over drain, 30Qs for drain over capacity, and a nice simple charger like a LiitoKala. VTC5/-5A/6 are good, HG2, etc. Avoid anything with “fire” in its name.

Why can’t a battery have both cap. and drain.?

Why can’t They™ build a 2.0L engine that has 400hp and gets 50mpg?

They’re mutually-exclusive goals, at least for current tek.

You either improve current tek incrementally with better materials, etc., or need some revolutionary tek that’s never been used before (eg, C nanotubes, aerogels, etc.).

Laws of physics and limitations with current technology.

I would think that more ahs would equal higher capacity and visa versa .