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So, I want to make a 18650 battery pack but don't have access to a spot welder. I'm wondering whether a FX-888D would be good enough to do the job quickly and so minimize risk of damaging the cells.

If yes, any other tips to avoid overheating?

And finally, although I can probably get pure nickel strips; they'll be be hard to come by most likely. Could I do the job with copper wires or copper strips? If so, what would you recommend?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What shape would you recommend? Chiseled? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2020 at 16:22

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Use a BIG ASS tip like the T18-C5 Shape-5C. You want large surface contact and lots of mass. Short and fat, not long or thin.

Chisel or bevel tips would work. No coned. They aren't good for anything in my experience.

Bevel tips with only the cut surface tinned are really good for other things too like SMD where the tip carries the solder rather than you feeding it. However, the T18-C5 is tinned around the edges and the largest cut face tinned is 4mm compared to the T18-C5's 5mm. Tinning around the edges is beneficial for tasks (like your batteries) where you have to feed solder to the workpiece rather than pre-loading solder onto the tip (as you would for SMD).

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There is an alternative to spot-welding 18650 cells: https://vruzend.com/

This is a plastic cap system with embedded terminals that allow you to stack the cells like Legos, and strap them together to form larger packs. No soldering or spot-welding needed, and you can easily replace bad cells.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I saw these also but I've read conflicting reviews and anyway, I don't expect to be doing this very often so quite likely it'll end up being overkill. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 6, 2020 at 1:20

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