26650 vs. 18650: Can a 18650 Replace 26650?

Among the two popular batteries in the market are 26650 and 18650. Although these two batteries are similar in many ways, they are different by several criteria. The question is, “are 26650 better than 18650?”
On the one hand, 26650 batteries offer high capacity, but 18650 batteries are better than them because they have a smaller size that can fit into almost all devices. We’ll further consider these differences in the article as we answer whether a 18650 battery can replace a 26650 battery.

Image of 18650 vs. 26650 battery
Image of 18650 vs. 26650 battery

Image Source: Camping Fun Zone

Rechargeable batteries are fast becoming prominent and famous in the battery market. This is where 26650 and 18650 batteries come to play. They have practical applications such as vapes, laptops, smartphones, electric vehicles, etc. However, choosing between both depends on various features you need to consider first. Some of the scenarios where both batteries differ include;

  • Battery size
  • Discharge rate
  • Voltage
  • Capacity
  • Durability, etc.

What Kind of Battery is 26650 Battery?

What A 26650 Battery Means

Images of 26650 battery
Images of 26650 battery

Image Source: LinkedIn

Everyone wants the best for their devices, and a high-capacity battery is non-negotiable. This is what 26650 batteries offer and more. The 26650 battery is a cylindrical rechargeable lithium-ion battery whose model type refers to a 26mm diameter and 65mm length. This is a high-performance/high-capacity battery with a low discharge rate and long life cycle, designed to offer excellent power for high-drain devices.
26650 batteries are safe and highly efficient, not minding their high capacity performance, and the top choice for devices like powered LED flashlights. Considering dimension and size, all 26650 lithium-ion batteries are the same. The only difference is seen in their chemical compounds. This difference gives rise to the types of 26650 batteries in the industry. They are;

  • Lithium cobalt oxide (LiCO2)
  • Lithium nickel cobalt aluminum oxide (LiNiCoAlO2)
  • Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4)
  • Lithium nickel cobalt oxide (LiNiCo2)

26650 Battery Pros and Cons

26650 batteries have several advantages that make them preferred in applications such as lighting, landscape energy storage, UPS power supply, electric vehicles, etc. These advantages include high energy storage efficiency, large capacity, good stability, etc. However, its small range of use and performance status puts the battery at a disadvantage.
A table summarizing the pros and cons of the 26650 lithium-ion battery is highlighted below.

S/N Pros Cons
1 High energy density Hugh capacity
2 Stable charging and discharge performance Small range of use and performance status
3 Low self-discharge rate
4 High safety performance

What Kind of Battery is a 18650 Battery?

What are 18650 Batteries

Image of 18650 battery detailing its dimension
Image of 18650 battery detailing its dimension

Image Source: NKON.nl

18650 is a cylindrical rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The 18 means a diameter of 18mm, 65 means a length of 65mm, and 0 means a cylindrical battery. 18650 battery is a high-voltage battery, built to dissipate lots of voltage and current to meet the requirements of the device its power. The 18650 cell has a 3.2 – 3.7 volts and 2600 mAh and 3500 mAh current
The two main categories of 26650 and 18650 batteries are protected and unprotected 18650 batteries. It is recommended to select the protected 26650 battery vs. the 18650 battery because the packaging prevents excessive charging and discharging and exposure to high temperatures, leading to linkages or explosions.

18650 Battery Pros and Cons

18650 lithium-ion batteries have a large capacity per unit density, making them useful in laptops, wireless data transmitters, high-end glare flashlights, etc. Additionally, it has stability, making it very good and widely used in major electronic sectors.
The peculiar quality of the battery that allows it to drain energy to 0% while still retaining the ability to charge again fully is advantageous to the battery type. However, this might damage the battery’s life and overall performance.
The content table below summarizes the pros and cons of the 18650 battery;

1 Huge battery capacity between about 1200 mAh and 3600 mAh Limited battery capacity due to fixed physical volume
2 Long service life with a cycle life up to 4000 times Overal performance, negatively affected by cold temperature
3 Safe and not likely to explode or catch fire
4 No memory effect; easily rechargeable
5 Produces high voltage of about 3.2 – 3.7 volts
6 Has internal resistance lesser than 35 m ohms

26650 vs. 18650 Battery: What’s the Difference Between 18650 and 26650 Batteries?

26650 vs. 18650 Battery What's the Difference Between 18650 and 26650 Batteries
26650 vs. 18650 Battery What’s the Difference Between 18650 and 26650 Batteries

Image Source: Canva

26650 vs. 18650 Rechargeable Battery

A 26650 battery capacity is about 5200mAh, which is larger than that of the 18650, having a battery capacity of about 1200mAH to 3600mAH. A higher mAh will run for an extended period on a single charge, making 26650 batteries better than 18650 batteries.

26650 vs. 18650 Battery Size

26650 batteries have a 26mm diameter and 65mm length, while 18650 batteries have an 18mm diameter and 65mm height. Owing to the larger diameter of the 26650 battery, its total size and weight is more significant than the 18650 battery. Therefore, it will only be able to fit into a few devices, making 18650 batteries preferred to it.

26650 vs. 18650 Cell Voltage

26650 batteries are built with material such as Lithium Manganese Oxide and can attain a voltage of about 3.6V to 3.7V, which can rise to 4.2V. Lithium Manganese Oxide. On the other hand, 18650 batteries have a voltage range between 3.6V – 4.4V and a higher charge current of around 0.5 times the battery’s capacity. In this case, 18650 batteries lead to 26650 batteries, meaning no difference in their cell voltage.

26650 vs. 18650 Battery Costs

The prices of both batteries differ and vary. However, 26650 batteries are more expensive than 18650 batteries. A 3.7V 3400 mAh 26650 battery costs between US$2.10-US$2.28 per piece, while that of a 18650 battery costs between US$0.50-US$1.95 per piece.

18650 vs. 26650 Battery Life

Due to the larger diameter of 26650 batteries, it occupies more space, leading to better durability compared to18650 batteries, which are smaller in diameter. You can charge your 26650 batteries via a micro-USB port which allows you to connect and charge the battery directly from the USB port. The same applies to charging your 18650 battery.

What Battery Can I Use to Replace My 18650 Battery?

32650 and 21700 batteries are one of the largest-sized cylindrical rechargeable lithium-ion batteries whose working chemistry is similar to 18650 batteries. They are identical to 18650 batteries and can be replaced due to their size.

Images of 21700 batteries
Images of 21700 batteries

Image Source: Alibaba

26650 vs. 32650

images of 26650 and 32650 batteries
images of 26650 and 32650 batteries

Image Source: Alibaba

Since lithium 32650 batteries have one of the largest standard cylindrical sizes, they offer larger volumes resulting in larger adequate capacity when compared with 26650 batteries. Due to its larger capacity output, 32650 batteries are commonly used in high-drain devices, such as high-power flashlights, electric scooters, electric vehicles, electric bikes, etc.

26650 vs. 21700

Image of 26650 and 21700 batteries
Image of 26650 and 21700 batteries

Image Source: takomabattery

Lithium-ion 26650 batteries have a higher diameter of 26mm compared to 21700 batteries with a diameter of 21mm. Averagely 26650 batteries weigh almost 80G, while 21700 batteries weight ranges between 55-75G. Additionally, 26650 batteries deliver a current of about 5000mAh, which lasts longer than 21700 batteries.

Are 18650 and 26650 Batteries Interchangeable?

Considering voltage and current outputs, 18650 and 26650 batteries can be interchanged. Although their sizes vary, 26650 batteries are not designed to fit into a 18650 space pack. Lithium 18650 battery sources are prominent in today’s high-tech flashlights because they carry much power compared to lithium 26650 batteries. On the other hand, 26650 batteries are used in vape mods due to their large capacity compared to 18650 batteries, thereby ensuring a long run time between charges.

How to Choose the Right

What is the Best 26650 Battery

26650 batteries are ideal power-hungry and high-drain devices requiring higher battery capacity rates and performance. Although they’re larger and can be cumbersome to carry or hold around, they are primarily used in laptops, vaping, etc., due to their outstanding performance.
26650 batteries do not just have higher capacity, and they also last longer due to their large dimension, which makes them occupy more space. Some of the best battery types are;

  • Aspire INR 26650 Battery
  • Golisi S43 IMR 26650 Battery
  • AWT IMR High Drain 45A 26650 Battery
  • Hohm Tech Grown 26650 Battery

According to an authoritative review, the Panasonic 26650 battery is the best.

Best 18650 vs. 26650 Brands

Finally, depending on your need and requirements, choose which battery type is best for you. However, 18650 batteries are the best and exceptionally popularly used in high-tech flashlights because they deliver a lot of power.
Sunly Power is a Chinese brand manufacturer and producer of the best types of 18650 batteries. Our products are applicable in electronics, laptops, electric vehicles, etc., because they’re reliable, have an extended run-time, and can be recharged several times.


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