How to charge 18650 Lithium Batteries

Looking to charge Sparkfun’s 18650 lithium ion cell batteries such as part # 1568-1488-ND or 1568-1490-ND?

6/11/2018 Update: Pointed out in the reply below from DK Tech Kyle, we now offer a charger. You can see it as Digi-Key part number 1568-1748-ND. Thanks for pointing this out, Kyle!

Here is a put-together solution to help recharge these batteries.

You will need:

  • Sparkfun’s Li-Poly Charger - part # 1568-1299-ND
  • A battery holder such as BH-18650-W-ND
  • JST wire lead assembly - part # 1528-1126-ND
  • A 5V power source with one of the following options:
    – A Mini-B USB Cable from your computer such as one of these
    – A wall wart with a USB port or Mini-B USB cable such as one of these

– A wall wart with a Positive Center 2.1mm ID / 5.5mm OD barrel plug such as one of these

This system will be capable of charging one 3.7V 18650 battery at a time.

For more information, check out Sparkfun’s LiPo USB Charger Hookup Guide.

To add to this post- Digi-Key does now have a charger capable of charging 18650 cells, along with other common battery sizes and chemistries. See part number 1568-1748-ND . This charger is capable of charging four cells individually, and can charge AA, AAA, C and Sub-C size NiMH/NiCD batteries, as well as 26650,
22650, 18650, 17670, 18490, 17500, 17335, 16340 (RCR123), 14500 and 10440 Li-ion/LiFePO4
batteries. It automatically identifies Li-ion, NiMH and NiCD rechargeable batteries and can be powered via an included 12v car charger or included standard AC cord.