18650 Battery Vs AA: Main Differences You Need To Know

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The 18650 battery is a higher voltage battery (3.4V to 3.6V) and is usually used in high-energy drain devices. AA batteries are usually used as throw batteries with low voltage (1.5V) and are generally used in moderate or low-drain devices. 

Thus, if you want to know more about the 18650 battery vs AA battery, this guide will help you with the 6 main differences between both batteries.

What is an 18650 Battery?

The 18650 battery is a lithium-ion battery, and its numbers represent its 18mm diameter and 65mm length. Its voltage varies between 2.5V to 4.2V, and it properly works for 1800-3500 mini-amp-hours. 

A high-density battery can store higher energy in a small place. It is generally used in devices like laptops, electric vehicles, flashlights, etc. Its average battery capacity ranges from 3000mAh to 6000mAh. It is a rechargeable battery with around 500-800 charging cycles.

However, this battery also gets discharged at 2% per month, which makes an annual discharge of around 30%. These cells work properly for 2-3 years without any issues. Plus, If you charge them 3-4 times annually, it increases their lifespan. 


  • These batteries can store an immense amount of energy in a very compact design that is helpful for portable devices. 
  • These batteries use well-known technology that makes them more trusted by consumers. 
  • They can be charged hundreds of times before needing to be replaced. 


  • This battery is a little big and heavy, which doesn’t make it a suitable option for small and lightweight devices. 
  • This battery can also explode if it gets overheated. 

What is an AA Battery?

AA Battery is a standard-size cylindrical battery for high-energy devices such as radios, flashlights, toys, and headlamps. Due to the different chemistry formulas, these AA batteries are also known as double A batteries, LR6 batteries, or R6 batteries. 

It generally ranges from 1.2V to 1.5V and has a capacity of 2000mAh to 3000mAh. There are various types of AA batteries, and some of them are not rechargeable batteries, mainly lithium and alkaline batteries.

There are various types of AA batteries with multiple chemistries, such as alkaline, lithium, NiMH (nickel-metal-hydride), and zinc-carbon. We have mentioned various types of AA batteries below.

Alkaline AA Batteries are the most common types of AA batteries with a usual 1.5V. These are one of the most befitting batteries for moderate and low-drain devices, including remote controls, flashlights, and toys. They also have a good shelf life. 

Lithium AA Batteries are high energy density cells with the same 1.5V. These cells are capable of providing consistent voltage even in high-drain conditions. Therefore, they are suitable for devices such as digital cameras, electronic devices with motors, etc.

NiMH AA Batteries are rechargeable batteries with 1.2V. They are also high-output batteries that can provide enough power to the devices such as cameras, game controllers, and other portable electronic devices. 

Zinc-Carbon AA Batteries are very unusual batteries with a nominal voltage of 1.5V and are generally used in low-drain devices, including clocks, remote control, and simple baby toys. 


  • These batteries are very easy to install and replace if needed, without needing any special knowledge. 
  • They are cost-efficient batteries compared to other types of batteries, including 18650 batteries. 
  • These AA batteries, especially lithium and alkaline AA batteries, have a great shelf life and the same performance and capacity. 


  • AA batteries might often face a voltage drop during use, directly affecting the device’s performance. 
  • They are lower-capacity batteries that don’t last long in high-power devices. 

6 Main Difference Between 18650 Battery Vs AA Batteries 

1. Size

As far as the 18650 battery vs AA size is concerned, 18650 batteries are bigger than the AA batteries, while the AA batteries are more compact. 18650 batteries indicate its size; 18mm diameter and 65mm length. AA batteries have a diameter of 14.5mm and a length of 50.5mm. 

2. Capacity 

Generally, you can consider the 18650 battery equivalent to AA batteries, but the 18650 has a higher capacity than the AA batteries. 18650 batteries are large, which allows them to store more energy and provide higher energy to the devices, and that is for a longer duration. Therefore, the 18650 batteries are befitting for the higher energy devices; on the other hand, the AA batteries are befitting for the low-drain devices. 

3. Voltage 

The 18650 batteries come up with a standard voltage of 3.6 to 3.6V. This high voltage helps the battery to power the higher power devices like flashlights and other specified electronic devices. The AA batteries are generally 1.5V. This usually helps low-drain or moderate-drain devices like kids’ toys. 

4. Applications

AA batteries are generally used in daily devices, including radios, remote controls, flashlights, etc. At the same time, the 18650 batteries are usually used in high-performance devices, including high-power flashlights, laptops, electric vehicles, and other power tools. 

5. Rechargeability

The 18650 batteries are usually rechargeable and are even used in devices generally requiring rechargeable batteries, like laptops, power tools, and electric vehicles. On the other hand, AA batteries are rechargeable and non-rechargeable. However, It is widely used to use and throw cells. Therefore, you can easily replace 3 AA batteries with 18650 batteries in terms of durability. 

6. Cost

AA batteries are more affordable than 18650 batteries. Thus, many people ask, “Can I use AA batteries instead of 18650 batteries?” But, it is not only about the cost. The 18650 batteries are more costly because they have a bigger size and higher capacity than AA batteries. The cost of AA batteries can also depend upon their brand, chemistry, and capacity.

To Wrap Up

These are the 6 main differences between the 18650 battery vs AA batteries. We hope this guide helps you find out the potential differences between both batteries and clarify which one you need accurately.

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Priya Singh

Hey readers! I'm Priya Singh Founder of (MercerOnline.com), I am full-time Digital Marketer, Organic Affiliate Marketer & a Blogger.

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