My 20A 18650 Workhorse – The LG HE2 (and its cousin the HE4)

The LG HE2 20A Continuous 18650 Battery
The LG HE2 20A Continuous 18650 Battery, purchased from Ohmbusters on eBay

I have quite a few LG HE2s…disclaimer: I sell battery rewraps, so none of them look like HE2s anymore…lol

I also have quite a few HE2s that I bought with other manufacturer wraps on them that perform amazingly identical to my HE2s.  Nothing brings a smile to my face quicker than a Hey – EFest “35A” versus MXJO “35A”…which battery is better? “bro-science” debate on Facebook.  You will have sworn testimony including graphics, test results, spec sheets, audio and video on both sides of that emotional, supercharged debate.  Meanwhile, the wise 18650 battery purchaser knows that they’re pretty much both 20A continuous LG HE2s with different colored wraps on the outside.

Buying those “premium” MXJO and EFest batteries is basically buying “premium” PVC.  Don’t get me wrong, MXJO’s have very nice wraps, complete with authenticity holograms and all sorts of valuable information.  I got a chuckle when I rewrapped my first set of 6 MXJO “35 A” batteries and found slivers of red PVC under those pretty tellow wraps.  Funny thing – LG HE2s come in that same shade of red.  But I digress…  I do refer to them as “35 A ” batteries in quotes because the wise battery purchaser also knows there’s no such thing as a 35A continuous high-drain 18650 battery on today’s market (mid-2015).  Zero, zip, nada, zilch.  If it’s claimed, it’s a pulse rating.

LG HE2s in a Fractured Jaw from Modz By Nasy (Dual 18650 Parallel)
LG HE2s in a Fractured Jaw from Modz By Nasy, Dual 18650 Parallel Configuration

Introduced in April of 2013, the LG HE2 is an 18650 battery.  That means it has a diameter of roughly 18mm.  It is roughly 65mm tall.  The 0 means it’s been constructed in a cylindrical shape.  All of the batteries we use follow this relatively simple nomenclature.  Like all 18650 batteries, the two primary attributes of the LG HE2 are it’s max continuous amp rating (20A) and capacity measured in milli-Amp hours (mAh) – a healthy and respectable 2500.

I vape unregulated series between 0.4 and 0.7 ohms – well within the 20A continuous maximum amp draw for safely using this battery.  Unregulated parallel (mostly double, but sometimes triple), my builds are between 0.1 and 0.2 ohms (sometimes 0.3-0.4 ohms when I use my Goliath v1 and Goliath v2 tanks) – also well within the 20A maximum amp draw.  If you vape like I do, you should see the same performance that I do…did I mention they’re cheap?  This is the lowest cost option on the market today, and performs very similarly to the Samsung 25R, another favorite battery of mine.

Before we go too far – for those that would like to peruse them, here are the technical specifications of the LG HE2 Lithium Ion Battery at Powerstream.  There’s a lot of technical information therein, including what tests were performed on the cells when manufactured.  These are very well-known batteries actively in use in many different industries including vaping.  They are ubiquitous and widely available – according to the laws of supply and demand, they should be cheap…and they are.

LG HE2 18650 Battery
LG HE2 18650 Battery – 20A Continuous, 2500 mAh

My last batch of HE2s (a dozen) wound up being $4.05 each, shipped.  I usually buy all of my batteries from IMR Batteries, but I have a friendly hook-up in a Facebook group that works with a store on eBay called ohmbusters with 15k+ positive feedback.  They are solidly legit, as is a vendor called Illumn.  Three four-packs in the shopping cart and voila, I got a dozen HE2s for a little over 48 bucks.  I know people that pay that much (or more!) for four 18650 batteries all the time.  Sigh…it’s kinda sad.

LG HE4 18650 Battery - 20A Continuous, 2500 mAh
LG HE4 18650 Battery – 20A Continuous, 2500 mAh

HE2s and HE4s are quite similar – they have identical specifications and HE4s in general run a little cooler at load than do HE2s.  Here is an incredible write-up on the differences between the two cells, as well as a thorough set of test results on both cells.  I get a lot of information from BatteryBro – they are a great resource and you should bookmark their site if you want to stay up to date with changes in lithium-ion batteries used in vaping.  I use both HE2s and HE4s for my unregulated style of vaping, in series and in parallel.

LG HE2s under TokeJuice Custom Wraps
LG HE2s under TokeJuice Custom Wraps in the Chump Modz “SVT Cobra” Dual 18650 Series Box Mod

Like the title says, HE2s are my current workhorse – I have two dozen currently in rotation along with four HE4s.  Everything I say about HE2s also applies to HE4s – HE4s generally are a buck or so more than HE2s…in my opinion, I haven’t found a reason to replace HE2s with HE4s.  As I cycle either HE2s or HE4s to the battery graveyard in the future, I will be replacing them with LG HG2s as of today – the new 20A but 3000 mAh cell introduced in 2015.  The extra 500 mAh comes at a price – HG2s are usually a couple bucks more than HE2/HE4 when this was written.

So, to wrap things up, I heartily endorse and use this one daily.  A lot.  I wouldn’t ever pay more than $6 for one unless you need it yesterday.  It will be a part of my daily rotation for at least the next year or so.  There are a few arguably better cells out there for my dual 18650 box mod applications today (Samsung 30Q, LG HG2, LG HD2), but they’re evolutionary not revolutionary.  Skip the rewraps and buy the real deal…:)