Best 21700 Batteries 2023. 21700 battery 6000mah

Best 21700 Batteries 2023

The Molicel P42A is a high-capacity battery great for vaping up to 90 watts, and our number one pick for 21700s.

21700s are the latest batteries for vaping. They are considered an upgrade over 20700s and 18650s because they come with a larger capacity and can generally be operated at higher wattages. With more and more companies coming out with 21700-compatible vape mods lately, these batteries are considered by many to be the future of vaping. Outside of vaping, 21700s are mainly used in the electric vehicle market (electric bikes and cars).

Most of the batteries that don’t come from long-time electronics manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and LG, are rewrapped cells. Many of these come with exaggerated specs, so always do your research before purchasing batteries for your vape.

Note: Always practice battery safety when operating powerful lithium-ion cells. Make sure you understand Ohm’s law, especially if using mechanical mods. And only charge vape batteries in dedicated battery chargers.

Molicel P42A

The continuous discharge rating of the Molicel P42A may be exaggerated, but it’s a great 30A cell for vaping up to 90 watts. The best all-around 21700 battery on the market right now, the P42A may lack the output to directly compete with the Samsung 30T, but makes up for it with its whopping 4000 mAh capacity!

Samsung 30T

The Samsung 30Ts are the best 21700s for high-wattage vaping. While not the longest lasting of the bunch (quite the contrary), if you are in the market for powerful 21700s you should get some 30Ts. Up to recently the only cells that could reliably go up to 100 watts, 30Ts are also ideal for 21700-compatible mech mods.

Samsung 40T

The Samsung 40T comes with a name you can trust. Best paired with a regulated single or dual-battery mod and good for up to around 70 watts per cell, 40Ts will give you an all-day running time while performing at a consistent level throughout. If you are not vaping at very high wattages, this is the cell to get.

Sony VTC6A

The Sony VTC6A is a dependable battery that performs almost identically to the Samsung 40T. It is a great battery for vaping up to around 70 watts per cell, and its 4000 mAh capacity provides long vaping times. It’s not as widely available as some other batteries on the market, so we are placing it third on the list.

Hohm Run XL

Hohm Tech is a company that’s not afraid to associate its name with vaping. They offer a wide array of batteries in various sizes, including 21700s. The Hohm Run XL is a great 21700 battery for vaping up to 75 watts per cell, and its capacity is only slightly lower than that of the Samsung 40T and the Sony VTC6A.

How we picked the batteries

Choosing “best batteries” is not something to pick simply based on subjective likes. While our international team of experts and vape enthusiasts use the batteries on our lists, our recommendations and product selection could not have taken place without first going over the data offered by Battery Mooch.

Battery Mooch (or just Mooch) is the vape community’s expert tester of batteries. For a few years now, he’s been supplying the community with in-depth and reliable testing for the majority of batteries used in vaping.

This is not his list of best batteries, though all these batteries have been verified by his battery charts to be worthy of inclusion. Mooch and his highly detailed research can be found on his E-cigarette Forum blog, his channel on YouTube, and his recommendations on Reddit.

BU-301a: Types of Battery Cells

As batteries were beginning to be mass-produced, the jar design changed to the cylindrical format. The large F cell for lanterns was introduced in 1896 and the D cell followed in 1898. With the need for smaller cells, the C cell followed in 1900, and the popular AA was introduced in 1907. See BU-301: Standardizing Batteries into Norms.

Cylindrical Cell

The cylindrical cell continues to be one of the most widely used packaging styles for primary and secondary batteries. The advantages are ease of manufacture and good mechanical stability. The tubular cylinder can withstand high internal pressures without deforming.

Many lithium and nickel-based cylindrical cells include a positive thermal coefficient (PTC) switch. When exposed to excessive current, the normally conductive polymer heats up and becomes resistive, stopping current flow and acting as short circuit protection. Once the short is removed, the PTC cools down and returns to the conductive state.

Most cylindrical cells also feature a pressure relief mechanism, and the simplest design utilizes a membrane seal that ruptures under high pressure. Leakage and dry-out may occur after the membrane breaks. Re-sealable vents with a spring-loaded valve are the preferred design. Some consumer Li-ion cells include the Charge Interrupt Device (CID) that physically and irreversibly disconnect the cell when activated to an unsafe pressure builds up. Figure 1 shows a cross section of a cylindrical cell.

Typical applications for the cylindrical cell are power tools, medical instruments, laptops and e-bikes. To allow variations within a given size, manufacturers use partial cell lengths, such as half and three-quarter formats, and nickel-cadmium provides the largest variety of cell choices. Some spilled over to nickel-metal-hydride, but not to lithium-ion as this chemistry established its own formats. The 18650 illustrated in Figure 2 remains one of the most popular cell packages. Typical applications for the 18650 Li-ion are power tools, medical devices, laptops and e-bikes.

In 2013, 2.55 billion 18650 cells were produced. Early Energy Cells had 2.2Ah; this was replaced with the 2.8Ah cell. The new cells are now 3.1Ah with an increase to 3.4Ah by 2017. Cell manufacturers are preparing for the 3.9Ah 18650.

The 18650 could well be the most optimized cell; it offers one of the lowest costs per Wh and has good reliability records. As consumers move to the flat designs in Smart phones and tablets, the demand for the 18650 is fading and Figure 3 shows the over-supply that is being corrected thanks to the demand of the Tesla electric vehicles that also uses this cell format for now. As of end of 2016, the battery industry fears battery shortages to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

The demand for the 18650 would have peaked in 2011 had it not been for new demands in military, medical and drones, including the Tesla electric car. The switch to a flat-design in consumer products and larger format for the electric powertrain will eventually saturate the 18650. A new entry is the 21700.

There are other cylindrical Li-ion formats with dimensions of 20700, 21700 and 22700. Meanwhile, Tesla, Panasonic and Samsung have decided on the 21700 for easy of manufacturing, optimal capacity and other benefits. While the 18650 has a volume of approximately 16cm 3 (16ml) with a capacity of around 3000mAh, the 21700 cell has approximately 24cm 3 (24ml) with a said capacity of up to 6000mAh, essentially doubling the capacity with a 50% increase in volume. Tesla Motor refers to their company’s new 21700 as the “highest energy density cell that is also the cheapest.” (The 2170 nomenclature Tesla advocates is not totally correct; the last zero of the 21700 model describes a cylindrical cell harmonizing with the IEC standard.)

The larger 26650 cell with a diameter of 26mm does not enjoy the same popularity as the 18650. The 26650 is commonly used in load-leveling systems. A thicker cell is said to be harder to build than a thinner one. Making the cell longer is preferred. There is also a 26700 made by E-One Moli Energy.

Some lead acid systems also borrow the cylindrical design. Known as the Hawker Cyclone, this cell offers improved cell stability, higher discharge currents and better temperature stability compared to the conventional prismatic design. The Hawker Cyclone has its own format.

Even though the cylindrical cell does not fully utilize the space by creating air cavities on side-by-side placement, the 18650 has a higher energy density than a prismatic/pouch Li-ion cell. The 3Ah 18650 delivers 248Ah/kg, whereas a modern pouch cell has about 140Ah/kg. The higher energy density of the cylindrical cell compensates for its less ideal stacking abilities and the empty space can always be used for cooling to improve thermal management.

Cell disintegration cannot always be prevented but propagation can. Cylindrical cells are often spaced apart to stop propagation should one cell take off. Spacing also helps in the thermal management. In addition, a cylindrical design does not change size. In comparison, a 5mm prismatic cell can expand to 8mm with use and allowances must be made.

Button Cell

The button cell, also known as coin cell, enabled compact design in portable devices of the 1980s. Higher voltages were achieved by stacking the cells into a tube. Cordless telephones, medical devices and security wands at airports used these batteries.

Although small and inexpensive to build, the stacked button cell fell out of favor and gave way to more conventional battery formats. A drawback of the button cell is swelling if charged too rapidly. Button cells have no safety vent and can only be charged at a 10- to 16-hour charge; however, newer designs claim Rapid charge capability.

Most button cells in use today are non-rechargeable and are found in medical implants, watches, hearing aids, car keys and memory backup. Figure 4 illustrates the button cells with a cross section.

CAUTION Keep button cells to out of reach of children. Swallowing a cell can cause serious health problems. See BU-703 Health Concerns with Batteries.

Prismatic Cell

Introduced in the early 1990s, the modern prismatic cell satisfies the demand for thinner sizes. Wrapped in elegant packages resembling a box of chewing gum or a small chocolate bar, prismatic cells make optimal use of space by using the layered approach. Other designs are wound and flattened into a pseudo-prismatic jelly roll. These cells are predominantly found in mobile phones, tablets and low-profile laptops ranging from 800mAh to 4,000mAh. No universal format exists and each manufacturer designs its own.

Prismatic cells are also available in large formats. Packaged in welded aluminum housings, the cells deliver capacities of 20–50Ah and are primarily used for electric powertrains in hybrid and electric vehicles. Figure 5 shows the prismatic cell.

best, 21700, batteries, 2023

The prismatic cell improves space utilization and allows flexible design but it can be more expensive to manufacture, less efficient in thermal management and have a shorter cycle life than the cylindrical design. Allow for some swelling.

The prismatic cell requires a firm enclosure to achieve compression. Some swelling due to gas buildup is normal, and growth allowance must be made; a 5mm (0.2”) cell can grow to 8mm (0.3”) after 500 cycles. Discontinue using the battery if the distortion presses against the battery compartment. Bulging batteries can damage equipment and compromise safety.

Pouch Cell

In 1995, the pouch cell surprised the battery world with a radical new design. Rather than using a metallic cylinder and glass-to-metal electrical feed-through, conductive foil-tabs were welded to the electrodes and brought to the outside in a fully sealed way. Figure 6 illustrates a pouch cell.

The pouch cell offers a simple, flexible and lightweight solution to battery design. Some stack pressure is recommended but allowance for swelling must be made. The pouch cells can deliver high load currents but it performs best under light loading conditions and with moderate charging.

The pouch cell makes most efficient use of space and achieves 90–95 percent packaging efficiency, the highest among battery packs. Eliminating the metal enclosure reduces weight, but the cell needs support and allowance to expand in the battery compartment. The pouch packs are used in consumer, military and automotive applications. No standardized pouch cells exist; each manufacturer designs its own.

Pouch packs are commonly Li-polymer. Small cells are popular for portable applications requiring high load currents, such as drones and hobby gadgets. The larger cells in the 40Ah range serve in energy storage systems (ESS) because fewer cells simplify the battery design.

Although easily stackable, provision must be made for swelling. While smaller pouch packs can grow 8–10 percent over 500 cycles, large cells may expand to that size in 5,000 cycles. It is best not to stack pouch cells on top of each other but to lay them flat, side by side or allow extra space in between them. Avoid sharp edges that can stress the pouch cells as they expand.

Extreme swelling is a concern. Users of pouch packs have reported up to 3 percent swelling incidents on a poor batch run. The pressure created can crack the battery cover, and in some cases, break the display and electronic circuit boards. Discontinue using an inflated battery and do not puncture the bloating cell in close proximity to heat or fire. The escaping gases can ignite. Figure 7 shows a swollen pouch cell.

Swelling can occur due to gassing. Improvements are being made with newer designs. Large pouch cells designs experience less swelling. The gases contain mainly CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CO (carbon monoxide).

Pouch cells are manufactured by adding a temporary “gasbag” on the side. Gases escape into the gasbag while forming the solid electrolyte interface (SEI) during the first charge. The gasbag is cut off and the pack is resealed as part of the finishing process. Forming a solid SEI is key to good formatting practices. Subsequent charges should produce minimal gases, however, gas generation, also known as gassing, cannot be fully avoided. It is caused by electrolyte decomposition as part of usage and aging. Stresses, such as overcharging and overheating promote gassing. Ballooning with normal use often hints to a flawed batch.

The technology has matured and prismatic and pouch cells have the potential for greater capacity than the cylindrical format. Large flat packs serve electric powertrains and Energy Storage System (ESS) with good results. The cost per kWh in the prismatic/pouch cell is still higher than with the 18650 cell but this is changing. Figure 8 compares the price of the cylindrical, prismatic and pouch cells, also known as laminated. Flat-cell designs are getting price competitive and battery experts predict a shift towards these cell formats, especially if the same performance criteria of the cylindrical cell can be met.

Historically, manufacturing costs of prismatic and pouch formats (laminate) were higher, but they are converging with cellular design. Pricing involves the manufacturing of the bare cells only.

Asian cell manufacturers anticipate cost reductions of the four most common Li-ion cells, which are the 18650, 21700, prismatic and pouch cells. The 21700 promises the largest cost decrease over the years and economical production, reaching price equilibrium with the pouch by 2025 (Figure 9).

Automation enables price equilibrium of the 21700 with the pouch cell in 2025. This does not include packaging where the prismatic and pouch cells have a cost advantages.

Fraunhofer predicts the fastest growth with the 21700 and the pouch cell while the popular 18650 will hold its own. Costs per kWh do not include BMS and packaging. The type cell chosen varies packaging costs as prismatic can easily be stacked; pouch cells may require some compression and cylindrical cells need support systems that create voids. Large packs for electric vehicle also include climate control that adds to cost.


With the pouch cell, the manufacturer is attempting to simplify cell manufacturing by replicating the packaging of food. Each format has pros and cons as summarized below.

  • Cylindrical cell has high specific energy, good mechanical stability and lends itself to automated manufacturing. Cell design allows added safety features that are not possible with other formats (see BU-304b: Making Lithium-ion Safe); it cycles well, offers a long calendar life and is low cost, but it has less than ideal packaging density. The cylindrical cell is commonly used for portable applications.
  • Prismatic cell are encased in aluminum or steel for stability. Jelly-rolled or stacked, the cell is space-efficient but can be costlier to manufacture than the cylindrical cell. Modern prismatic cells are used in the electric powertrain and energy storage systems.
  • Pouch cell uses laminated architecture in a bag. It is light and cost-effective but exposure to humidity and high temperature can shorten life. Adding a light stack pressure prolongs longevity by preventing delamination. Swelling of 8–10 percent over 500 cycles must be considered with some cell designs. Large cells work best with light loading and moderate charge times. The pouch cell is growing in popularity and serves similar applications to the prismatic cell.


[1] Source: Sanyo [2] Source: Cadex Electronics [3] Source: Avicenne Energy [4] Source: Sanyo and Panasonic [5] Source: Polystor Energy Corporation [6] Source: A123 [7] Source: Battery Experts Forum

Using Li-ion Battery Packs for Long Range FPV Drone Flying: Pros, Cons, and Recommendations

Long-range FPV drone flying requires batteries with high energy density for extended flight time, Li-ion batteries are an excellent choice for this purpose. In this tutorial, we will discuss the pros and cons of using Li-ion battery packs compared to LiPo batteries, focusing on flight performance, weight, flight time, and cost. Additionally, we will explore the options of purchasing a ready-made Li-ion battery or constructing one yourself using high-discharge 18650 or 21700 Li-ion cells.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these affiliate links. This helps support the free content for the community on this website. Please read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

Differences Between LiPo and Li-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion (or Li-ion) battery packs serve as an alternative to the more common LiPo batteries.

best, 21700, batteries, 2023

Left: LiPo 4S 1500mAh; Right: Li-ion 4S 3000mAh (18650)

Three main differences distinguish these battery types:

LiPo batteries have a much higher discharge rate than Li-ion, meaning they can provide a significantly higher current output. For example, a LiPo battery typically has around a 50C continuous discharge rate, while Li-ion batteries only have around 5C (Learn more about C rating here:

Here’s a demo of my 4″ Flywoo Explorer achieving 30 minutes of flight time using a 4S 18650 Li-ion pack:

Another distinction is the safe discharge voltage. You can generally discharge a LiPo battery down to 3.5V per cell safely, whereas Lithium-ion batteries can go much lower, e.g., 3.0V per cell. Both battery types can be fully charged to 4.2V per cell.

Pros and Cons of Using Li-ion Battery Packs

Increased energy density and flight time

Li-ion battery packs offer higher energy density than LiPo batteries, meaning they store more energy per unit of weight. This results in longer flight times for long-range FPV drone flying. Comparing similar size packs, Li-ion has about double the capacity than LiPo.

For example, a 4S 18650 3400mAh Li-ion battery weighs around 200g, while a 4S 1600mAh LiPo has nearly the same weight. On paper, you should get double the flight time!

Lower discharge rate

Li-ion batteries typically have a lower discharge rate (C-rating) than LiPo batteries. This means they may not be able to provide the high current demands required for aggressive, high-performance flying. While Li-ion batteries are not a popular choice for freestyle and racing, they are an excellent option for long-range that don’t require a lot of amp draw. If you use an efficient power system, Li-ion cells can sufficiently handle the demands.

Understanding 4S1P and 4S2P

If you’re not familiar with LiPo battery terminology from our beginner’s tutorial, let’s revisit the meanings of S and P in battery specifications.

The S in 4S represents the number of cells connected in series. Conversely, the P in 2P signifies how many cells are connected in parallel. A 4S1P configuration consists of 4 cells connected in series, while a 4S2P configuration contains 8 cells in total. Although both configurations have the same nominal voltage, a 4S2P battery can deliver double the current, capacity, and weight compared to a 4S1P battery assuming they are using the same cells.

Buying Ready-Made Li-ion Battery Packs

Ready-made Li-ion battery packs are available for purchase, providing a convenient option for those looking to quickly incorporate Li-ion batteries into their long-range FPV drone setup.


2S 3000-3500mAh 18650 (10-30A):


3S 2500-2600mAh 18650 (25-35A):

best, 21700, batteries, 2023

3S 3500mAh 18650 (10A – for fixed wings):


4S 2500-2600mAh 18650 (25-35A):

Building Your Own Li-ion Battery Pack

DIY Lithium-ion battery packs with individual 18650 or 21700 cells can be a cost-effective and customizable solution. By choosing specific cells and assembling the battery pack yourself, you have full control over the battery’s quality, capacity, discharge rate, and overall performance. However it requires decent soldering skills.

Below is a wiring diagram for a 4S Li-ion battery pack with XT60 and balance connectors.

Pay close attention to the wire order on the balance connector.

FPV pilots commonly use two types of Li-ion cells: 18650 and 21700. They are the same type of battery, just different in size. These numbers represent the dimensions of the cell, with 21700 cells being heavier and larger but offering greater capacity and discharge rate.

To ensure optimal performance and safety, select high-discharge 18650 or 21700 Li-ion cells from reputable manufacturers.

Popular 18650 cell choices include Molicel P28A, Sony VTC5A (US18650VTC5A), and VTC6 (US18650VTC6), with capacities of 2800mAh, 2600mAh, and 3000mAh, respectively. The VTC5A has a higher discharge rate (25A) than the VTC6 (20A), but slightly shorter flight time. Molicel P26A and P28A are the newer options that offer similar performance to the VTC5A, typically at a lower price.

Molicel P26A/P28A 18650:

Sony VTC5A 18650:

Sony VTC6 18650:

Recommended 21700 cells (Molicel P42A):

You’ll also need wires (I recommend using 16AWG for the discharge lead and 20AWG or 22AWG for the balance lead), a 5-pin balance connector, and either an XT30 or XT60 connector. The XT30 is an excellent choice due to its lighter weight and capability to handle the low amp draw. Choose an XT60 if that’s the connector type used on your drone, or use an XT30 to XT60 adapter if needed.

How to Make a DIY Li-ion Battery

Disclaimer: Soldering on batteries can be dangerous. If you decide to follow the instructions in this post, do so at your own risk.

Start by soldering wires to the connectors, using longer wires than necessary so you can trim them to the desired length later.

Next, solder the wires to the 18650 cells according to the provided wiring diagram. Use good quality solder with flux core, avoid using additional acid based flux (solder paste) as it will corrode the connection/battery in the long run. See my solder recommendation here.

Before soldering, use sandpaper to scratch the top and bottom sides of the cell. This will help the solder adhere better.

“Tin” both sides of the batteries with a small amount of solder, allowing it to cool down before soldering the wires.

Keep the time your soldering iron touches the battery terminals to a minimum. The longer the iron is in contact with the battery, the more heat will build up. To accomplish this, use a powerful, temperature-controlled soldering iron. A less powerful iron won’t maintain its temperature as effectively since the heat will be absorbed while soldering large pieces of metal. I personally use the TS100 iron, which works exceptionally well.

Cover all solder joints with electrical tape, and then wrap the entire assembly in heat shrink. While you could use a shorter discharge lead to save a couple of grams, I made mine longer on purpose.

The finished 4S 18650 battery weighs around 200g and provides over 30 minutes of flight time on my Flywoo Explorer LR 4″:


Li-ion battery packs offer significant advantages for long-range FPV drone flying, such as increased energy density and extended flight times. Despite some trade-offs like lower discharge rates and a higher initial cost, the benefits often outweigh the drawbacks. Building your own Li-ion battery pack can be a cost-effective and customizable solution for those looking to optimize their drone’s performance. However, for those who lack soldering experience, purchasing ready-made battery packs off the shelf may be a safer and more convenient option.

Edit History

  • Aug 2020 – article created
  • Mar 2021 – added product links to where you can buy Li-Ion packs directly
  • Apr 2023 – updated tutorial and product links

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