Protected 14500 Recommendation

Good morning.

I enjoy 1xAA lights and own a good many. I use eneloops or LADDA cells and have been happy with them. That said, I’d like to give 14500s a try (almost all my 1xAA lights are 14500 capable). I don’t need the ones with a built in micro-USB charging port as I recently picked up a charger at SBFlashlights’ sale (Xtar MC1 Plus). Here are my other desires:

1) protected cells

2) button top

3) under 51mm in length. Eneloops are 50.4 mm and I’ve noticed that many protected 14500s are around 52mm (or longer). I’d prefer 14500s that are under 51mm so as to easily fit and not overly compress the springs in the lights.

4) high enough drain to allow for turbo mode

5) reasonable price (shipped) for a pair of cells

At Battery Junction, I saw a few protected 14500 cells with lengths under 51mm: Xtar, Nitecore, and a couple of different Klaurus cells. The Xtars looked attractive price-wise. Availability at Amazon would be a plus due to free shipping.

I’d appreciate recommendations for 14500 cells that meet these criteria, as well as where to buy them.

Many thanks,


Maybe you could give the names of the specific flashlight models that you’re planning to use protected 14500s on.

Not all may need (very) high-drain 14500 (which can be more difficult to find and typically lower capacity).

Unfortunately, I’m not very familiar with the various protected 14500 since I mostly use unprotected 14500 batteries on flashlights that use AA/14500… But with that said, I understand your looking for protected 14500 batteries — since most dual-chemistry AA/14500 flashlight may not have a proper low-voltage protection (it won’t exactly know if it might be a 14500 that has drained to the voltage of an ordinary AA) and still keep using this “very-drained” 14500 battery. (eg. a 14500 battery that gets drained below 2.0v)…

Protected button top 14500 wont be easy to find. The only ones I know is Sofirn and they happen to be quite good.

Thanks for your replies, gents.

d_t_a, you’re right as to my reason for wanting protected 14500s. As an amateur I guess I’m just a little leery of unprotected lithium ion cells and want to be extra careful. And good idea to list my 1xAA lights. Here they are (to date):

Lumintop Tool 2.0

Convoy T2 (new version)

Sofirn SP10S

Thrunite T10 II

Jetbeam JET-1MK

Sooner or later, I’m likely to add a Manker E05.

I also have a Fenix E12 V.2.0 and an L3 Illumination L10C and a couple of L11Cs, but none of these are suitable for 14500s.

zoulas, I’m interested in your recommendation of Sofirn 14500s as I’m a fan of Sofirn. But the only Sofirn 14500s I’m aware of are these: I emailed Sofirn about them a while back and they told me that they are unprotected. Can you point me to the protected Sofirn 14500s you’re referencing?

Thanks again,


The only 14500 model that i use right now.

freeme, thanks for your post. Please tell me more: Are these protected? Length? Where to buy?



You will struggle (a lot) to find some good protected 14500 cells.

Many moons ago, in my earlier CPF “flashlight life”, AW li-ion cells were highly regarded and I had a bunch, and that may have included protected 14500s. Is AW out of the business?

Looks like AW is gonzo. 14500 is gonna be real hard, you are probably better off buying what you can find.

zoulas, thanks, and sorry to hear about AW.

But I’m interested in your recommendation of Sofirn 14500s as I’m a fan of Sofirn. But the only Sofirn 14500s I’m aware of are these: I emailed Sofirn about them a while back and they told me that they are unprotected. Can you point me to the protected Sofirn 14500s you’re referencing?

These are the only ones I know, I thought they were protected as its unusual to have a button top unprotected battery .

Yep, I was likewise hoping they’re protected as I like Sofirn products and the price is certainly right. But when I emailed Sofirn about them last Novemember, Lan Lee replied and said they are unprotected.

Be careful with protected button top 14500s, as they can be quite long for the host, since AAs are more common.

For single cell lights, you might not need the protection circuit, but you may need a button top.

I’ve got some older EVVA Sanyo 840mAh and they have BTs and the PCBs.

They fit in my ZT SC52, but they don’t fit in my Icon Rogue 1, my Zeno EO3, or my L3 Illuminations L10, so be aware.


I guess it is better to start asking: in which light(s) do you want to use the 14500 batteries?
Are they flashlights that need high drain cells?

Most of the high drain cells are not protected. Ex: Vapcell H10, Shockli H10, Efest IMR, Windyfire, …

Many unprotected cells are not high drain. Ex: the black Shockli above, Vapcell 14500 gold, Sanyo UR14500P, …

Most protected cells are above 51mm. Ex: the Nitecores, the Skilhunts, the Keeppower, the Xtar, the Wuben, and so on

Some protected cells (that even have mini usb port) are below 50mm. Ex: Lumintop (blue and white), and eventually the orange and white too

So, I would ask: for which lights you want the high drain? If it is a light like a Lumintop tool AA, you won’t need a Vapcell H10. But if you will use it in a light modified with a direct driver in which you want full power, you will need one of those, because otherwise the light won’t put max output.

You have unprotected cells below the 50mm such as the black Sofirn, but it will depend on the light you will use them in.
EDIT, I guess you have this information already.

EDIT 2: Rechargeabe 26650, 21700, 18650, 14500, 10180 Li-ion Battery Lumintop
Search for : Lumintop 14500 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery with Micro USB charging port

MascaratumB, thanks for the information. As for which of my 1xAA lights I’d want to use the 14500s, I guess the answer is I’d like to try 14500s in all of those which can safely accept them, as per my list above. And I’m thinking from what you say that I don’t really need high drain cells on those?

As for the Lumintop cells, are those protected and what is their length? Can’t tell from the website.

Finally, what are opinions about these Xtar cells? Xtar 14500 800mAh 3.7V Protected Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Button Top Battery - Boxed They’re button top, protected, and the length is 50.5 mm (almost identical to eneloops). The price is good and shipping and tax are reasonable, and they ship from the U.S. (where I am). And the reviews are very favorable. On paper they seem to be pretty much what I’m looking for.

Sorry, I missed the list above :zipper_mouth_face:
No, for any of these light you won’t need high drain cells! They don’t use FET/direct drivers, so they won’t drain too much as if they were pockect rockets.

If you were willing to try unprotected cells, I would say check the Vapcell gold or the Shockli black. These are not long cells. I have the Vapcells and they are 51,12mm more or less (with the button top, the flat tops are shorter) . I bet they fit almost all the lights poste above. You must only pay attention to the driver, in this case if it accepts flat tops or only button tops (the Tool AA is one of the cases that uses button top, mostly).

If you wanna go protected cells, they will be longer and fatter (due to the wrapping) so I am not sure if you will be able to fit all of them in those lights. Currently, except for that blue and white Lumintop with mini USB port, which is inherently protected, all the 14500 protected cells I have are longer.

Those Lumintops are: 50.2mm*14.5mm. Being USB-rechargeable cells, they have a protection circuit.

Extra info from their website, that I linked:

Unfortunately I don’t have any info about those, but normally Xtar does decent batteries, so maybe you can try them.
They have less capacity than the Vapcell or the Shockli I linked above, but I am sure that in the lights you have, they will eventually perform well, as none is a high-drain flashlight.

MascaratumB, I really appreciate your detailed reply—-it is very helpful.



You’re welcome :wink:
Glad it helped and let us know about your decision on “shopping” :+1:

Vapcell 14500 P1409A cells are protected, rechargeable (USB port, what a waste of space) and 50,3mm long:

Unless a mfr uses a shorter 14430 instead of 14500, the cell with protection doodad will be fiendishly long.

My Wuben has the room for it (protected 14500) because it’s sold with it and can fit it, but that cell doesn’t fit any other AA/14500 lights I have.