XTAR VC2 vs Nitecore UM20 (or other options)

Im needing a good 2slot Usb charger for my new A1 - 18650/18350 batteries
Something I can also connect to my truck or motorcycle
I was considering these two. XTAR VC2 or Nitecore UM20
Anyone have preferences, comments or other options to consider?

I would lean toward the Xtar.

I would go with the Nitecore simply because Xtar chargers don’t last. I have 12 or 13 Xtar chargers but only 4 have ever been used and 2 or those broke, 50% failure rate. Their warranty is useless. They want me to ship a $20 charger back to China for a replacement, shipping is probably $30 or more. Xtar, every time someone ask about one of your chargers I will continue to post the truth about my experiences with Xtar.

How important is display??
Only charger or a travel charger?

I do not believe the um20 will reset protection. My um 10 won’t.

Some of the best prices in chargers are at Illuminations.

  • The Xtar MC2 goes for $8.90
  • The Nitecore I2 goes for $10.99
  • The Nitecore D2 goes for $13.99

You will not get hurt with any of those and if you had a problem Illuminations is here in the US.

USb powered with DiSpLaY ( Not complets lists ,I might have missed some ,)
BANYOU BY001X ( 1 slot )

BANYOU BY001X ( 2 slot ) $10 ( Battery % only , nothing more ) Li-On ( bought ) Charges to 4.15v something mostly

Nitecore UM10 >> ( 1 slot )

Nitecore UM20 >> $12 ( $7-8 ebay bidding ) Battery % only >> Li-on

Xtar VC2 >> $14.2 - $16.5 ( Li-on only , No Ni-Mh

Xtar VC2 plus >> $20 ( Li-on & Ni-Mh )

Xtar VC4 >> $27.3 >> 4 slot ( Li-on & Ni-Mh )





KLARUS CH4S >> $34-$36

KeepPower L1 >> $10-$15 ( 4.3v , not or 4.2v cells ) ( 1 slot )

Keeppower L2 >> $20.5- $25 ( bought ) No idea whether it does charge/ overcharge to 4.3v like L1

Soshine SC-S7 >> $14.7 ( 1 slot )

There are others without display.

Most Li-On chargers use 12v input , so a car charge / cigarette ligher would work fine.

or USB powered Battery Charger the max charging current is mostly 1A per slot for 2 slots or 0.5A or 4 ports.

Meaning total is 2A Max Total output o battery charger

Remarks : Nitecore UM20 & BANYOU BY001X are functionally same .
I u r using USB powered Battery charger , U will need a good USB power supply/ charge , ideal would be one the tablets use.

5.2-5.35v , 2-2.4A

I u use standard USB supply standard it will be 5v ± .05 , 2A-2.4A.

Higher voltage @ 5.2/5.3 would be required to compensate or loss in cables ,efficiency , etc ,

I the power supply is not adequate/ enough , the battery charger wil slow down the charging,

Closing Remark : Most popular ones are Xtar & Nitecore.

Also u can buy 2 single slot , if it suits ur purpose.

You’re the first person I’ve come across who has had issues with XTAR chargers. Which models failed you? What was the problem with them? From whom did you purchase them? All of mine were purchased from the XTAR Direct store (brick and mortar), which is only maybe five minutes away from where I live. I always deal with a guy named Allan, who is really friendly. I’ve bought some 14500, 16340, 18650, and 26650 batteries from them, as well. No problems with any of them.

I currently have 13 chargers; but only 12 of them charge lithium ion batteries; and of those 12, only 8 of them are XTAR chargers. The other four are Nitecore units. I use every one of these XTAR chargers, more than any of the others, based on what my needs are, for that day.

Of those 8 XTAR chargers, not a single one has failed me - which is why I keep buying more :D.

Top Row
Nitecore i4 V2 (2) (these were my first lithium ion battery chargers. They saw a lot of use, until I picked up my first D4 charger. The D4s have individual charging banks, and one thing that really attracted me to them, other than the elaborate metering system, was that you could charge LiFePO4s in them; so you can have entirely different batteries in each well (LiFePO4 in one, NiMh in another, lithium ion, in another, etc.). The XTAR VP2s can do this as well, but you have to use both banks for the same type of battery. So, no mixing and matching LiFePO4 with lithium ion ICRs.

One thing I don’t like about these chargers is their lower charging rate (only 750 mAh x 2, or 375 x 4), and the displays aren’t very bright, compared to any of the XTAR VC Series chargers. On the up-side, they use standard electrical cables, though (no bulky wall wart power supply - a definite plus), and they can be powered with a 12V (car) power supply, if needed). The retaining clips kind of gut stuck on the older i4 V2s; but I lubricated the sliders with some Nyogel 760G flashlight grease, and they’ve moved smoothly, ever since.

Nitecore D4 (2). One of these units failed me (the readouts were all strange/inaccurate); but when I contacted the seller, to see about an exchange/refund, they immediately responded by advising me that they would be shipping me out a replacement unit, as well as a prepaid envelope to return the faulty one, even though it was beyond the 30 day return period. Had it not been for that positive experience, I probably would have stopped buying Nitecore chargers, altogether. I’m not slamming Nitecore, at all. I love their lights, and currently own 11 of them. I just think the build quality of their lights is better than their chargers.

Second Row
XTAR VP2 (2) - The VP2 charger was the very XTAR charger I ever purchased, based on numerous very positive reviews I read about it, and I was not disappointed. I loved it _so _much, I ended up purchasing a second one lol.

XTAR VC4 (2) - I wanted to experiment with the different attributes that were found on this model. A big plus was that they were USB-power-able. Same deal with this model. I loved it so much, I picked up a second one.

an older La Crosse BC-700 - still going strong! I sometimes use this for my AA NiMhs.

Bottom Row
XTAR VC2 Plus (4) - I was attracted to the % readout, and the time remaining countdown display on this unit. This seems to be my most used charger of them all, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. They’re all excellent chargers.

As you can tell, I’e gravitated more towards the XTARs, than I have, the Nitecores.

No complaints, thus far.

Anyway, my recommendation for a nice 2-slot charger (as long as you’re not charging LiFePO4 batteries, and as long as you have a suitable USB power source, with enough amperage to fully drive the charger), would be the VC2 Plus, hands down.

Can assure you I would never just say that if it weren’t true. Also have pictures. All chargers were purchased from HID Canada, E2FIELDFEAR, and the VC2 from BG or GB. Only four have ever been used and two of those broke, one WP2II and one SP2. Have probably had 40 or more chargers and only three have broken, two were Xtar. Have had at least 20 of the lowly Ultrafire UF139 and only one of them has ever broken.

I don’t recall saying that what you said wasn’t true. All I said was you were the first person I’ve come across who had problems with XTAR chargers. When I asked you what the problem was, I was hoping you’d say something more specific than… “those broke”. That doesn’t mean anything usable, to most people. What happened? Did they not power up? Did the status lights go crazy, so you couldn’t tell whether the batteries were charged, or not? Did they end up over or undercharging your batteries, which you verified with a multimeter, after pulling the batteries out of the charger(s)? Did they go up in smoke, and make your batteries explode in the process?

I appreciate you posting the pictures; but what are we hoping to see in these pictures? I apologize, if I’m missing it. My picture was for the purpose of the original poster, seeing how all of these chargers look (well…externally; not powered up. I was too lazy to put them all together and run power supplies to all of them), compared to each other. I went on to state, specifically, what things I liked, or didn’t like, about some of them, hoping that would help the original poster make a more informed decision about which one to buy.

I don’t have any experience with HID Canada, or E2FIELDFEAR. By BG or GB, I assume you’re referring to Bangood, or Gearbest…? I think I may have purchased one flashlight from Gearbest, a while back; but that’s the extent of any any buying experience I’ve ever had with them.

I think the two models you mentioned may be older models. Maybe they had some issues with those models, that I’m unaware of. I don’t really know; but I do know that I didn’t want to entertain buying any more chargers that didn’t have metering that gave me as much information as I wanted to see, rather than just blinking lights, which is one reason I felt okay with spending a few extra bucks, to buy the chargers I bought. I also liked the idea that the XTAR store was so near me; so if I ever had any issues with any of their products, I could simply go to their store and they would address my concerns, quickly. For example, with one of the VC2 Plus chargers that I purchased, the status light, and the LCD displays didn’t seem to want to power up, with the USB cable that it came with, but it did, with another cable; so I called them up, and told them about it, then I drove to their store, and they immediately gave me another charger, on the spot. They apologized for the inconvenience.

As it turned out, it wasn’t the cable, at all, but my USB charging hub that had an issue (one channel on that hub, wasn’t working properly; but it did, after a reset). Anyway, they took care of me, on the spot, no questions asked. That’s one of the benefits of buying electronic goods, locally. I never had to deal with a warranty issue. My problem (which wasn’t really XTAR’s fault) was handled, the very same day I bought the unit.

I’m not affiliated with XTAR (or Nitecore); and I can only speak from personal experience. I bought all the newest chargers that I currently own, not just because of the more advanced charging features they had, but also because of the enhanced readouts (whereas my old i4 V2 had nothing, other than the four charge lights, just above each charging well). I wanted more information visible on the display.

Anyway - which Nitecore chargers are you using now, and are you pretty pleased with them?

The WP2II just stopped working, would not come on. Tried a different power adapter from one of my other chargers and still didn’t work. On the SP2, one side stopped working, shows battery is fully charged and will not charge. The SP2 had probably been used around 10 times when it broke and the WP2II broke the second time I used it.

They are both older models without all the bells and whistles but they have power cords I can plug into the wall, the SP2 will charge at .5. 1, or 2 amps. The WP2II also works as a power bank and works well at charging short 16340 batteries using the extension adapters. Neither of these chargers was a budget model, the SP2 retailed for $40 or $45 and the WP2II for $20 or $25. The VC2 is a much lesser charger in my opinion, USB power and only 1 amp charge rate.

Still using the working Xtar chargers to charge, not throwing them away just because some of them broke but won’t be buying any more.

My question is, if Xtar has an office in Huntington Beach, CA, why would they not let me ship the broken chargers there for replacement instead of asking me to ship to China? If I were Xtar I would want to know why the chargers broke. I would open them up and find the weak link.

I’m not understanding. Did you contact XTAR customer service, directly; or did you contact the seller (the distributor), to address your problems with these two chargers?

XTAR Direct (in Huntington Beach) offer a very good warranty program:

The catch, with the warranty coverage from XTAR Direct is, you have to register your purchase from them (with them) within 30 days of purchasing your product. I think that’s reasonable. Did you register your product with the people from whom you purchased, to activate warranty coverage? Do they even offer that kind of coverage?

If the purchase was made within fifteen days, XTAR Direct will just swap out your product, no questions asked. They will also assess the damages, even after the two years’ warranty is up, and they will contact you within 72 hours to advise you of the cost of replacement parts/labor. If it’s within the two years from the date or purchase, they will simply replace/repair the unit. You have to pay for the return shipment, of course, but it’s a lot cheaper to ship to Huntington Beach, California, than some other continent. You have to go through the RMA process, but that’s standard policy for many companies. This is one of the perks of ordering from a local, reputable distributor.

If you are displeased with the way the company (who sold you the chargers) handled your repair request, I would recommend you don’t use them again.

I’m not aware of the return policy for places from which you purchased your chargers; but these are old chargers (so they are most certainly out of warranty), and you purchased them from a distributor, on another continent; so it would make sense to me that they would not want to be bothered with a return/repair of your units. That seems like a standard practice, to me. I understand the ridiculous cost of shipping a product back to another continent can be prohibitive, which is why I generally prefer making purchases from within the United States, whenever possible, with a few exceptions, since they have a good reputation.

I cannot think of a single charger company that offers better than two year warranty on their products (Like XTAR Direct, for instance).

It wouldn’t hurt for you to give XTAR Direct a call, to see what they say. Ask for Allan. You have nothing to lose. The worst that can happen is that they’ll tell you they can’t help you since the products were purchased elsewhere, and are out of warranty.

XTAR Direct
16321 Gothard Street Suite D
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Phone: 714-696-1196

email: support@xtardirect.com

On a side note, I have never liked chargers for which I have to actually insert a spacer, just to charge a smaller battery like a 16340 (I’ve got about a seven lights that run on that size battery). I think that’s a very poorly thought out design, and I don’t like dealing with the extra parts, just to charge a battery. I have too many batteries to be bothered with spacers. I also prefer chargers that will easily accommodate two 26650 batteries simultaneously. A lot of chargers won’t do this, but all of mine will. That was one of many considerations, when I researched the purchase. The ability to charge LiFePO4 batteries was another consideration, for me (which prompted the purchase of the 2 Nitecore D4 and the 2 XTAR VP2 chargers).

I also do not like using chargers that require the use of wall wart power supplies. Too much bulk/heat produced by the power supplies/room for failure (usually at the power supply, with those flimsy cables. Those power supplies are usually of very poor quality, and I prefer chargers that have their power supply internal to the charger, or chargers that can be USB powered, although one of my VC2 Plus units is being powered by an adapter USB (wall wart) power supply, but I use my own USB cable. Wall warts can fail, way too easily, and they get very hot, and take up way too much space. I charge as many as 36 18650 batteries, at a time, so buying a bunch of chargers that required those ridiculous wall wart power supplies wasn’t really an option. Can you imagine, having to plug in nine (4-port) wall wart power supplies, or 18 (2-port) of those into multiple power strips? For me, that would have been a nightmare, not to mention, a potential fire hazard.

A good quality multi-port USB hub is a better option for me. Only my two VP2 chargers use those bulky power supplies, and with the one USB adapter supply that I’m using for one of my four VC2 Plus units, I can always change out the USB cable, at will, if necessary. I think that’s a better design (modular power cables)

Well, I’m glad you at least still have some working chargers.

I would choose (and I plan to buy) a UM20 because I believe it offers faster charging than any other USB powered model (as long as your USB adapter is up to it)

The VC2 Plus and the VC4 models (both USB-powered chargers) are capable of 1000 mAh x 2 - the VC4 drops to 500 mAh x 3 or 4. Yes, you definitely need a suitable USB power supply (regardless of which USB-powered charger you buy), to fully power the unit (for the quickest charging). A laptop’s USB output, for instance, wouldn’t do the trick. It would charge extremely slowly, no matter what charger you used.

HJK (of CPF) did an exhaustive review of the UM20

The VC2 Plus can act as a power bank (for charging your devices, like a cell phone. Handy. The UM20 is strictly a pass-through USB powering device. Not an issue for a lot of people, but if you want to use the charger, to act as a battery for your cell phone or other device, while on the go, the UM20 won’t work, unless it’s plugged into a USB power source.

I’ve never been a fan of wrapping my power cables around any device (even for storage); but if it’s not hardwired (If the USB cable is actually modular, which it appears to be), then that would never really be an issue, since you could simply replace the cable, if it got messed up, after repeated winding, over the years.

The price point, for the UM20 is extremely reasonable, though :-). I suspect they’ll sell a lot of them.

Yes the UM20 price point is very attractive, some have sold at auction under $5 on ebay.

The BANYOU clone looks even nicer to me. It doesn’t have the giant cord-wrap thingy

Just be careful with clones. They may not carry the same safety ratings as the originals. The CE rating, for instance. In fact, some less reputable clone companies will even stamp the CE rating on their devices, even though they are not actually CE rated; very dangerous for the consumer, who unwittingly buys the non-safety rated product.

HID Canada is located in Canada, E2FIELDGEAR is located in Indiana, USA, only I charger was purchased from China and it hasn’t broken. SP2 takes 26650, WP2II was used for 16340 only.

Contacted Xtar through their main website and on this forum. They requested pictures, videos, and receipts which took a lot to time to get together. After all that, they wanted me to ship the chargers back to China for replacement. If I had known they were going to request that, I would never have wasted all my time getting all that info together. Both chargers were in warranty when they broke. Didn’t contact the sellers because it isn’t their fault the chargers broke and I wouldn’t expect them to replace a manufacturers faulty product unless it arrived DOA. Have not contacted the Xtar US location, followed directions on Xtars website for warranty service.

These chargers are not that old, purchased sometime in 2013.

Um20 under $5 ,hmmm , I have seen final/ closing bidding of $7-8.5 mostly

I don’t own UM20, but the Banyou is nice looking , & final voltage is also below 4.18.

Remember u need 5.2-5.3 rated @2.1 A to get the maximum out of Banyou ,

Lower spec chargers will work , but charging might be slower , also power supply - Usb adapter might heat up , because , most are rated rated @5v ,2A .

The cable with Banyou I have tested is @1.2A, so use ur own 2A rated cable .

Hi Guys,
Today i bought the Xtar VC2 from a vendor on Ebay. I charged a couple an Efest batterys, no problems. According to the instruction manual once the battery is fully charged the display should flash on and off every 10 seconds, this unit doesnt, it stays on continually. this caused concern so i tried to verify that i had a genuine unit. The silver scratch off panel on the label which hides the unique number didnt scratch off it just smudged, further attempts started to rip the label, now im even more concerned. To look at the charger it looks solid, very well built, looks exactly the same as the ones ive seen on youtube even down to the labelling, words all spelt correct, came in a decent box with warranty card. Really does look like the real thing.’’’’’ display not flashing indicating charged battery’’’’‘, ’’‘’scratch off label duff’’’’’, anyone else have the same issues? thanks in advance.

I have the annoying “digital hiss” from the XTAR VC2, with or without batteries charging

Any users have this? I use to return all the electronics that make “hiss”, as it’s a sign of “bad design” or at least bad electronics…

I bought it from the XTAR OFFICIAL store on ALI Express: https://pt.aliexpress.com/item/32830649369.html

I’ve got 15-16 Xtar chargers, going back over 8 years and all still work.