Fenix E18R V2.0 Review (1200 Lumens, 16340, USB-C)

Fenix has a new small higher performance EDC with the updated FenixE18R V2.0. This is running a Luminis SST40 and a 1634 battery. Its biggest competitor would be the Olight Baton 3, and I will be using that as a comparison throughout the review. Thanks to Fenix for sending this to me to look at and review, all opinions are my own.

 

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Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.

 

Packaging & Accessories

The packaging here is a nice fully decorated retail-style box. The outside has some of your typical stats on the back. Inside the light is in a plastic tray, but what I really like here is that the accessories underneath are held in place with an extra piece of plastic. While this is minor it really helps to put everything back into the box with ease. If you save boxes and everything that comes with a light like I do this a useful bit of packaging. Accessories include the light itself, preinstalled pocket clip, lanyard, 700mAh Fenix branded battery, USB-A to C charging cable (short), layard, extra orings, port cover, warranty, and manual,

 

Design & Construction

The E18R V2 is made from 6061 aluminum, and hard anodized in black in a smooth semi-gloss anodizing. The tail is mostly flat, and strong magnetic. It tail stands without an issue despite it only having 2 outer wings. The tailcap as very shallow straight knurls on it for minimal grip.

The body has very fine circular grooves milled into it. They provide a minimal amount of grip but on a light this small I feel like the clip help gives your fingers something to lock on to. The threads on the tail are anodized and inside there is a spring only on the rear of the light. The head is glued onto the body tube, and the clip only attaches in one position but isn’t captured in terms of rotation.

The head has a slightly raised area around the electronic switch. The switch has a metal button cover with LED in the center to give the battery and lockout status. The accent colors here are a rosy copper color that I think is attractive. The USB charging port is opposite the button, and the port cover here is very secure as it has an additional hook to hold it in place.  The lens is plastic TIR with a flat top, with no additional cover to protect it. The light has basically no bezel, what bezel it does have is flat.

Lastly, the markings on this light should be mentioned, they are laser engraved, and nicely aligned. I like that they hid the CE mark, and it contains the typical hot warning near the head. What I hadn’t seen before but think is a decent idea is very small directions under the switch to remind you how to lock and unlock the light.

 

Retention

The primary retention method with the light is the dual direction pocket clip. It’s designed primarily as a lens up carry clip which isnt’ my personal favorite method. When carrying this way it leaves about ½” of light sticking out. The same can be said If you flip it over. The clip is also one of the 3 ways to do lockout on this light if you slide it over so it physically covers the switch. 

You also have the two lanyard attachment points on the rear of the light. In hand it’s pretty small, the body design doesn’t aid much in grip but the clip does when installed giving you a place to lock into.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 66.64mm, and the diameter at the head at 21.1mm. I measured the weight with the clip and battery installed at 1.9oz. The light is IP68 water rated and impact resistant to 1 meter. In comparison to the Olight Baton 3, the E18R V2 is just slightly longer. 

 

LED & Beam

The Fenix E18R V2.0 is using the Luminis SST 40 LED in cool white. On my Opple meter, I measured it at 5278K with a 62 CRI. So a fairly neutral tint but a pretty low CRI. There is PWM but it’s extremely fast, I don’t think anyone will notice it. 

The beam profile is pretty typical of a TIR-style optic. A reasonably large hot center with minimal spill and no artifacts. Good for short-range EDC tasks and throws further than you think in the higher output modes when needed.

 

Outputs & Mode Spacing

For my output measurements I tested on my Texas Ace calibrated PVC lumen tube, it’s not professional measuring equipment but usually a pretty good approximation. Outputs here were very close to Fenix’s claim, the only place I saw a difference was turbo and that was only by 30 lumens or so short. 

Mode spacing here not taking into account Turbo is 4 modes from 1 to 350 lumens. They are well spaced inside this, and I appreciate they included a true 1 lumen moon mode here. Turbo on the other hand is kind of off the charts at 1200 lumens.

 

Heat & Runtime

For my heat and runtime shots, I used the Li-ion battery the light came with. Turbo stepped down after 1:45 down to the 600-lumen range. The heat peaked around the 6:00 mark at 46C. The light ends up being very stable at about 11 minutes of runtime around the 400-lumen mark and runs out till 42 minutes before seeing a large stepdown and running in moonlight mode out till an hour. 

I also did a runtime test comparing Turbo, High, and Medium modes that you can see in this graph. 

 

UI

The UI is a little different from many other flashlights, so it might take a few minutes to understand if you’re coming from Olight, Thrunite, Nitecore, Sofirn, and others. To turn it on you have to long press. To increase in modes once on long press and the light will cycle from moonlight mode up through turbo. The light does have memory for all modes except strobe and turbo. If you shut it off in Turbo it will come on again in High next time. There is no shortcut to turbo, you have to incrementally get there. You can access moonlight mode by long pressing from off. If you hold the button too long when turning off the light will also go to strobe. Double pressing is a shortcut to strobe. To turn off you long press again. To lockout, the light double tap when off, same to unlock. You can also unscrew the tail cap slightly or cover the switch with the pocket clip.

Personally, this isn’t my favorite UI, and I would prefer there to be direct access to turbo with a double tap, and strobe is a triple tap. I find myself instead putting the light into strobe when I want turbo. Long pressing to turn off isn’t my personal favorite either.

 

Recharging

The light has onboard USB-C charging opposite the e-swtich on the light. I had no issues charging via USB-C to C or PD. I ran all tests with the included Fenix 700mAh branded battery. I tested the capacity of this battery at 685mAh on my Vapcell S4 Plus charger which I reviewed previously. 

Charging from LVP of the battery at 2.973V to full when charging stopped at 4.163V took 1:21:00. Charging speed was right at 1C for most of the charging, and the charging curve looked pretty typical.

The light is capable of running a few different battery types. The manual notes that it can run a standard button top 16340, but may not be able to achieve peak performance. Same with a CR123a which is nonrechargeable. LiFePO4 16340’s are strongly not recommended due to the lower voltage the charging circuit isn’t designed to handle these.

One thing to note is that the battery level indicator is specified to only work with the Fenix branded ARB-L16-700P battery the light comes with.

 

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to like about the Fenix E18R V2.0. I like the design of the light physically I think it looks pretty good with the bronze-colored accents. There isn’t a ton of grip on the body tube but for me, the clip makes up for that. The tint here doesn’t seem to have any noticeable undesirable green tint. While I tend to like more neutral or warm emitters I understand why they went with cool white here to maximize the number of lumens and because it seems that’s what the segment of the market this light is aimed to prefer and it’s not super blue.

I like that battery here isn’t proprietary, and that it can run on CR123a’s in a pinch but with reduced performance. Another plus is that it uses USB-C for charging instead of a proprietary system.

A few things I wasn’t a fan of either, like UI here with no direct access to turbo, and where strobe is only a double pressor extra long press when turning off. I am not as much of a fan of lens up carry with 1/6th of the light sticking up out of my pocket and the switch being right at the pocket hem of your pants or shorts.

Overall a pretty solid light. If you like Olight but want to try another brand that’s similar but different I think this would be a good place to go. The UI will be a change for sure, but it’s a well-built light with a good beam thanks to the TIR lens and above-average build quality.

Get the Fenix E18R V2.0 at Fenix-store.com and save 20% for first-time orders.

Olight Drever Review (Olight’s First Knife Design, N690, Made by Kizer, 20% Off Coupon)

So Olight made a knife, well they released a knife, and no it doesn’t contain a flashlight inside. You might have seen I made a post about this here on my Youtube community and Facebook channel page when it was announced. I have had one now for about a week and have been carrying it pretty much exclusively so here are my quick thoughts. Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to share with you. 

 

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Background Info

A few things you should know, Olight didn’t actually design or manufacture this knife, it’s a collaboration with Kizer knives, a well known Chinese knife manufacturer, and it was designed by Yue Don a Kizer knife designer. This should help ease the concerns of some of the Olight faithful on Facebook who were concerned that Olight should stick to making flashlights, etc.

 

Full disclosure I know Yue, and he has provided me a bit of inside info to share. Kizer is the only folding knife manufacturer in China to have ISO14001 (Environmental Standard), ISO9000 (Quality Standard) certified. The coatings used on the Drever are FDA certified so it’s safe to use with food. 

 

Packaging & Accessories

Olight does packaging well, and the knife is no different. You have a nice true to size color photo of the light on the front slip cover and a full set of details on the back. Inside you a nice nylon and velcro slip with Oknife embroidered on it and felt inside. Inside you have a sleeve for the copper colored challenge coin. It has heft to it, but I don’t think it’s actual copper. Olight seems to be getting into the challenge coin with a few models recently. The other accessories include a gray microfiber cloth and the manual with some care directions. 

 

Stats & Versions & Size Comparison

The knife itself weights 3.42oz, thanks to skeletonized scales, and comes in at 4.5” in length with a 3.49” blade, so just under my city/states legal limit. I measure it as 0.52” thick so not the thinnest knife in the world but I haven’t had an issue with the smoother contoured G10 scales in my pocket or hand. So it’s a large knife blade wise, but not too bad in the pocket.

The knife is using Bohler’s N690 with a full flat grind, which is a new steel for me, I have read up on it online and for a conventionally produced steel (Not powered metallurgy) people seem to like it. It will take a very fine edge, and hold it reasonably well, some suggest slightly better then 154CM or VG10, while being very stainless, so it should make a decent food prep steel. 

Out of the box it came pretty sharp, and I have no need to sharpen it currently, but I am excited to sharpen and put a mirror edge on it with my TS Prof Kadet sharpening system. For the price range here, I think it’s a solid choice and should be easy to sharpen. It’s a liner lock, made of 3CR13 Stainless with the scales being G10. 

There are two versions, available currently, a Blackwash blade, with blue pivot and clip, or the limited edition blue scales, pivot, clip and stonewashed satin blade that I have here. Each knife is serialized on the blade on the show side. 

Here are a few photos of how it compares to other knives in this price range/size that I have. 

 

How it feels in my hands and pocket

Ergonomically I like how it fits in my medium sized hands when open and closed. I have no obvious hotspots when gripped firmly. When open you can choke up easily with the large finger choil on the blade, or hold entirely on the handle. I could see if you had large hands, it might be a little small.

 

In my pocket 

As far as how it carries, I really like they went with a deep carry clip, it’s right side, tip up carry only on this model. The flipper tab hasn’t grabbed my hand or other stuff in my pocket. I wouldn’t mind a bit more tension on the clip or texture on the G10 to make it just slightly more secure in my pocket. 

Action

The knife is running on bearings, and has 2 main deployment methods, you have the short flipper tab with jimping on the tab or thumb studs on both sides. I found the initial detent to be very positive, and it taking a decent amount of force to get going with the flipper, that said it’s still easy to open, just more force than normal. Hopefully this will break in more. 

I am able to deploy the thumb studs easily. Thumb studs are not my favorite way to deploy most knives but it works here very well. It floats nicely  when opening, and after some use is easily drops shut without any wrist action, hard to film with the angle I have here. Centering when closed is spot on, and there is no blade play when open. I found the lockbar easy to get to with the G10 contouring as well as the texture on the lock bar. 

Conclusion

I think Olight was smart here to partner with Kizer to produce and design a really nice knife from day 1. This allows Olight to keep up their reputation for making quality products and designs. The experience with production and design here are obvious in my opinion. As competitive as the knife world is, especially at this price point, it was a good business decision. Quality is quite good, centering was spot on and the knife is solid when deployed. Hopefully it’s a partnership that will continue and we see other designs in the future. 

 

I won’t lie, I like this knife, this price range has a lot of competition but this is a serious contender. For me it fits well in the hand and pocket, the full flat ground sheepsfoot blade, performs well too. This should be a blade shape that’s easy for anyone to sharpen on any system or stone too. 

I don’t have much to say here in terms of negatives for the MSRP price of $69.95 with a sale price of $52.46. The detent is pretty strong when using the flipper tab. The pocket clip is tip up, right hand carry only, which some people may not like. The blue scales make for a lot of blue on the knife, and I wish they were a bit darker in color. 

 

The good news is the Black Drever is in stock currently. Hopefully the success here means we will get some special edition colors (Orange scales?), and maybe other knife designs in the future.

 

If you do decide to pick one up make sure you use my code LQ20 to save 20% off the regular price. That code is good anytime on regularly priced flashlights and accessories too. https://bit.ly/OlightLQ

Cyansky M3 Review (700 Lumens, Titanium, 16340, EDC)

Today I have Cyanskys Titanium M3 light. This is a new manufacture to the flashlight world and new to me. Thanks to them for sending this to me and being patient with how long it took me to review it. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging here is a very small retail hanging box. It’s made of plastic and has a few stats on the outside and a clear window to see the light inside. Accessories include a 700mAh 16340 battery with microUSB charging on the cell, a microUSB charging cable, extra oring, and clip. Outside the box came a fairly traditional lanyard with some leather straps at the joints.

 

Construction

The light is made from titanium, the exact alloy is unknown, but it looks and feels of it. The finish is a fine bead blast and almost semi gloss as a result. The tail is flat, non magnetic and there are additional “required” laser engravings here. You have a spot for a small diameter through the lanyard here, which might be a good idea due to the size of the light. 

 

The clip on the light is designed to fit at the rear, for a head down carry. It’s the clip on type and is a pretty tight fit. The body section has different linear millings on it to add some texture and style. Thread on the body are square cut and have the slight grittyness/galling of titanium. The tight threads, and strong spring at the rear mean with the battery in it’s a little hard to get the threads started sometimes. 

 

The head looks like you could reverse the clip here but in practice it doesn’t work very well, due to the wrong angle of the clip. The head grows in size slightly with some very shallow fins and anti roll “rings”. The button here is nearly flush fitting and also titanium. It’s hard to find and makes no noise when pressed which makes it even harder to locate. The front bezel is thin in depth but thick in diameter. It spins freely but doesn’t seem to unscrew. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 50.85g, max diameter at 22mm, minimum diameter at 20.5mm. I measured the weight with the battery and clip installed at 49.1g. The light is rated for IP68 so not completely waterproof but good for 30 min of water at 1.5m. 

 

Retention

The light has 2 retention options, first is the push on clip, it’s designed to fit at the rear of the light. While it can rotate it’s a tight fit and will scratch the light. The clip allows for a very deep carry but amount of space at the top of the loop is too small for any material that I tried. 

 

The other option is to use the included lanyard at the rear of the light. This lanyard is a little more fancy than normal with a bit of leather on it and it didn’t fit in the box. 

 

LED & Beam

The M3 uses Cree XP-G3 LED with the S4 bin. It’s very cool white, and fairly harsh to my eyes. I would guess it’s about 6500-7000k. The orange peel reflector under the anti reflective coated lens, is actually pretty small, at about 9mm in diameter, and it’s decently deep. That said the beam is mostly flood, it has a semi large hot spot but it’s not very defined. Personally I prefer a TIR style optic in a light like this. 

 

As far as output Chansky claims 700 lumens, but comparing it to other lights I have I have my doubts about this. That’s confirmed by a few others reviewers. Mode spacing is decent but it lacks a firefly mode. Modes spacing is 5, 30, 150, 700.

 

I noticed no PWM to my eye or camera. On my oscilloscope there was a bit of sawtooths to the lower modes. Nothing to worry about. 

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime tests with the included 700mAh 16340 battery. When I tested the battery itself in my Vapcell S4 Plus charger that I reviewed last year it came in right at 704mAh which is great. The light will also run off a CR123A if you want, but expect less runtime. 

 

Overall effective runtime on this light in my tests was 1:05:00. LVP kicked in at the 2:15:00 mark at 3.13V. Turbo on this light steps down very quickly, at the 30 second mark, It’s able to maintain this after step down for most of it’s runtime thought. Max temp I saw was 54C at the 1hr mark. 

 

UI

The UI on this light is simple but a little different from many others. From off, to on you have to press and hold the button, and the light comes on in low. If you keep holding the light will go to strobe. Once on you have 4 modes, and at any time you can do a single press to go up modes. Long press will turn the light off. There is no memory modes or shortcuts. The biggest issue I have with the UI is finding the button, it is almost flush, and the same color when looking at it so it’s hard to feel and hard to see. 

 

Recharging

Recharging is accomplished on the included 700mAh battery via a built in MicroUSB port on the battery. The charging time here is pretty long at 2:09:00, and on the slow side at 0.34A. This is certainly on the safe and conservative side for a battery this size. The battery itself has LED’s on top like many cells with onboard charging, red when charging, green when charged. 

 

Pro’s

  • Titanium body with a nice fit and finish
  • Very small, and short size
  • Standard Battery

 

Con’s

  • Very cool white, floody beam
  • Button is hard to find, has no tactical feel, impossible to use with gloves.
  • Expensive list price

 

Conclusion

The Cyansky M3 is a good first attempt by the new company of an EDC style flashlight. While it’s expensive because of its titanium construction that also what caught my eye and why I wanted to take a look. The front lens assembly is a little different construction from what’s more commonly seen, and the result is a very floody beam. I personally prefer a TIR optic in this type small EDC light.

In a future light I do hope they improve the button locatability with maybe a button with some texture on it, add some additional space on the clip so that it fits better over more materials, and offer an LED that more neutral, maybe even high CRI even if it sacrifices overall output. 

 

Because of the well thought out UI, activation in the pocket isn’t an issue, it just takes a second to remember you have to press and hold to turn on, making it different from most other flashlight UI’s. 

 

Let me know in the comments below on your thoughts on ths Cyansky M3.

Vero Axon Review

Today I have a knife review for you of the Vero Engineering Axon. This is a knife I preordered, and have been waiting since August 2020 for. I have had it for about 2 weeks now and been carrying it most days during that time. This is going to be a bit of a long review so settle in and enjoy.

 

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Who is Vero

Vero Engineering is one of the hot new knife designers of 2020. Joseph Vero has a background as a mechanical engineer and was working in the drone industry in a professional setting. Vero Engineering started as a hobby with some CAD sketches but with it’s growth, it has allowed him and his wife to work on Vero Engineering full time which I think is an accomplishment in itself, especially with everything that happened last year economically. The Axon is his 3rd knife design. All knives are made by Bestech in China, to Vero’s tolerances and standards.

https://veroengineering.com/

 

Packaging & Specs

The knife comes in a zippered taco pouch with padding. You get a Vero branded microfiber cloth that the knife is wrapped in, as well as an identification card with the specifications of your specific knife on it too. The case has a cool velcro embroidered patch with the Axon on it. The background is green which is perfect for me.

 

Specs & Size Comparison

      • Overall Length: 8″
      • Weight: 3.67oz
      • Blade Length: 3.4″
      • Cutting Edge: 3.25″
      • Blade Thickness: 0.135″
      • Blade Material: M390
      • Blade Style: Sheepsfoot
      • Blade Grind: Full Flat
      • Finish: Hand Rubbed/ Hand Belt Satin/ Stonewashed
      • Lock: Titanium Nested Liner Lock w/ Steel Lockbar Insert
      •     Handle: Micarta/ G10/ End Cut Carbon Fiber

The Good

I had high expectations for this knife as the hype was real and it was the most expensive knife to date, that I have purchased. Fit and finish wise it didn’t let me down. I have the black micarta configuration here that’s unoiled which I am really enjoying so far, and the belt satin grind on the blade. Centering was perfect and there is absolutely no blade play which is saying something with how well the action works here.

The grinds on the M390 sheepsfoot blade are all symmetrical and pretty intricate, you have the belt grind on the blade, then the flat is going in a different, contrasting direction, then an upper faeit, again, is ground like the blade. The edges where you’re going to be touching on the spine have a nice chamfer and these get slightly less and less as you go towards the tip. To the point of there are sharp edges on the sheeps foot but no burr. Then the rectangular ‘V-spot” (Which has what the Vero community on Facebook has named it) notches in the blade are bead blasted inside which is a nice touch and some added contrast.

I am a fan of the sheepsfoot blade, it’s slicing machine, everything from opening boxes, breaking down cardboard and more. The blades “belly” is flat in the warrencliff style and gives you a lot of cutting surface and it should be easy to sharpen on a normal stone or other sharpening systems when it’s time to do so, and there is a small sharpening choil to help with that as well. It’s not your best piercing blade shape but the only time I miss that in my EDC use is to open envelopes under the flap and that still works for that task. It’s a nice touch that every knife does have a hidden serial number at the base of blade near where it locks up. There is jimping on the spine of the knife just where you need it to help with deployment and no more.

 

Weight

When I first picked up this knife out of the package the weight was the first thing to hit me. It was lighter than I expected for the size. My scale says 3.67oz and this is thanks to the extensively milled titanium liners, backspacer, and clip. For the size of the blade this is fairly light weight while still feeling solid in your hand. For me it works well.

 

Action

The knife runs on ceramic bearings inside brass races which makes for a super smooth action. This is the factory action, I haven’t taken it apart, added oil, or messed with the pivot tightness at all. There is no grit or break-in needed here. There are multiple deployment methods which I will talk about in a minute. The knife does have a detent ramp, which makes it feel even smoother, while still having a knife that won’t fall open. That said if I flick it hard with my entire arm or shake it violently in my hand, I can get it to come open on its own. Lockup on my knife is about 40% and there is a steel insert on the titanium nested lockbar, so no lock stick concerns.

 

The closing action is great too, it’s so close to being drop shut that I think after a bit more use or a cleaning the first time; it will be. All it takes now is a slight jiggle to drop shut in a controlled manner. The sharpening choil is also sized just right so the blade will drop on your thumbnail which is nice considering how free flowing it is.

 

Deployment Methods

There are multiple deployment methods with the Vero Axon. It’s designed as a front flipper, with the jimping on the spine allowing you to roll your thumb over it to open if you want. You can also use your index finger to kind of light switch it from the front side. I can’t do this myself one handed, but you might have better luck with larger hands or longer fingers. Other options are using what the Vero Facebook group has called the “V-spot”, which are the rectangular reliefs on each side of the blade as a Spydie hole of sorts, it works well and since they are on each side you can easily middle flick it from the underside too.

 

Material choices

Another thing I really like is the wide selection of materials that Vero is offering on most of his knives but especially the Axon. At preorder your you had 3 blade finish options on the M390 Steel (Tumbled, Belt Satin, Hand sanded hand satin), 2 colors of unoiled Micarta, a Red G10, and an end-cut carbon fiber. Since then, he has offered, or teased, that DLC will be an option for the blade, clip and body, brass scales have been offered as well. Bacon Damascus has been talked about for the blade here too. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see Timascus back spacers or clips offered eventually as it’s an option on most of his other designs. With that wide selection of options, it feels more like a custom knife then a production model. It’s also been said that Joseph is going to have scales available for purchase after all the preorders ship too so you can swap out colors. I am thinking I may have to pick up end cut Carbon Fiber or the Red G10.

I like that all of the scale materials options ship unoiled too, so you can let the knife either take on your own patina as you use it or oil it if you prefer. The micarta I have ads a nice grip without being too grippy. Blade steel here of M390 is a great choice for this price range.

 

The Not So Good

One of the areas I think there is room for improvement in future generations of the Axon is access to the nested lockbar when you disengage the blade. It’s a little tight and hard to access, I have to press my thumb pretty hard into the knife and then over to get it to move. If you had larger fingers, I think this would be even more difficult. I think possibly changing the relief angle or even amount on the opposite scale to open that area up ever so slightly would improve the user experience when closing the knife.

 

Screws

One of the reasons the Axon was slightly delayed was the screws. They were changed in the late stages from T6 on the prototype to T8 on the production models to make the design a little more robust for owners who plan on swapping screws. All the screws and the pivot are stainless steel, and the screws are a bright polished finish. On my knife the screws were a little inconsistent in their depth – which is something that isn’t an uncommon problem in the industry on popular designs. I tightened them which helped slightly but I still have one in the rear that sticks up a little higher and isn’t perfectly flush with the scale. This seems to not be a widespread issue based on other owners I have chatted with and it’s pretty minor.

 

Clip

I feel a little bad listing the clip as a not so good on this one because it’s a good clip but let me explain a few small issues I have with it if I am really nitpicking. The clip is mounted internally using hidden hardware and is solid titanium. It is mounted for right hand carry only, and is not reversible. It’s deep carry but not ultra deep carry, about 10mm of the knife will stick out of your pocket. Tension is good, with a few pairs of pants I have tried, my issues comes with the amount of relief that’s in the clip. Depending on the pants you’re wearing you may have to either pry up on the clip slightly or hold your pocket to keep from bunching up when carrying the knife. This is still better than a clip being too loose in my opinion and it’s easy to get used to.

Ergonomics in my hand are decent, this kind of goes back to the clip which is why I am putting it here, but the bottom of the clip where it flares out is a bit of a hot spot in my hand if I grip the knife really tightly in a normal way. If I choke up, or slide back a bit so the flare of the clip fits between my fingers instead of my palm it feels better. I do like how the body slightly tapers as you reach the clip. It helps the knife feel slimmer. 

 

The Ugly

There isn’t a lot to say here about the Axon, but the availability of any of Vero Engineering designs is a bit of a negative. They sell out in 2 to 3 minutes tops, everything from the various knife designs to the prybars, he just can’t keep them in stock. The result is they are hard to get, and even the secondary market is hot if things do pop up. This isn’t new to other knife manufacturers, or things in the EDC world but just a little frustrating if you’re a fan trying to get one.

 

The other thing is the time it took to get my Axon. I ordered in August, and it showed up late January. 5 Months is a long time for a preorder for a production knife, I knew it was going to be a while, but I didn’t quite expect it to be this long, and I was even in the first wave. Not everyone who did that preorder the same day I did has their knives just yet.

 

Conclusion

I am really happy with my purchase of the Vero Axon. I was worried after waiting for months and seeing the continual hype that it wouldn’t live up to what I built up in my head but for me that’s not been the case. I see holding onto this one for quite a while and it being a staple in my EDC rotation.

I think this is about as close as you can come to a “Custom” knife but with high end production level prices. Production location doesn’t matter to me, as long as the quality is there and for me Vero and Bestech achieved that. This is a really nice design that’s been well executed. Should you have the issue Vero Engineering is easy to get a hold of. They have an active social media presence too, with live streams of updates on preorders, upcoming models and more. That’s one thing I always like to see when paying for a higher end EDC item is that the maker is accessible not only for service but I think it helps create a community feel and draws at least me more into the brand.

So, let me know in the comments if you have been able to pick-up any of the Vero Engineering knives and what you think of the Axon.

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/tvSAd5T

Reylight Quad Dawn Maratac (21700, 4000 Lumens, Cree XPL-Hi, 5000k)

Today I have the new Reylight Quad Emitter Dawn flashlight by Maratac. It’s a CountyComm exclusive light producing 3200 lumens out of 4 Cree XPL-HI LED’s in 5000k and can be powered from a 21700 or 18650 battery. It’s got this really nice dimpled style texture on the body all done in this grey type 3 anodized body. Let’s take a deep dive on this light and show what it’s capable of. 

 

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CountyComm is giving my viewers 10% off their order of this light by using the code “LiquidRetro” at checkout. Check it out here if you are interested https://bit.ly/2SqBcTo

 

Packaging and Accessories

The Reylight Maratac Quad Dawn packaging is very simple. It ships in an orange hard plastic case with foam inside, some extra orings, and a plastic spacer for running an 18650 if you want to. The case is nice to store the light in but great to put other stuff in too. CountyComm is shipping these with a Samsung 40T 21700 battery but no charger. No manual is included but it’s a pretty simple 4 mode interface so you don’t need one. 

 

Construction

The light is made from 6061 aluminum and type 3 hard anodized in a gray matt finish. Starting at the tail switch, it’s a recessed textured rubber boot with a mechanical switch underneath. It has a satisfying feel and sound too it. The clip attaches at the edge of the light, using 2 purple anodized titanium screws and a titanium clip. I will talk more about the clip in the retention section. The only branding is opposite the clip, and it has the Maratac logo and the serial of the light. This minimal branding is great! 

 

The body and tail are a one piece design. I really like the almost golf ball like dimpling on the body of the light. CC says this increases the gripping surface by upto 300% over standard knurling, I don’t know how they come up with this calculation but I just like the feel in my hand and different look to most other lights on the market, and it won’t tear up your pocket insides. The head grows in diameter and has 4 tear drop shapes milled into it the length of the head. It’s a design feature that is common on many other ReyLight designs, like the LAN, and Gemini. 

 

At the front the bezel is raw aluminum to provide some contrast and when standing on the head it allows light to leak out letting you know if it’s on or not. The lens is sapphire, which is great for scratch resistance. Below that is the quad carillo style optic and LED’s. There is a green glow gasket underneath, it’s reasonably bright but definitely not turbo glow. 

 

 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the light at an overall length of 121.78mm, a minimum diameter of 25.5mm on the body and a maximum diameter on the head at 28.2mm. Weight with my 21700 battery is 140.1g. With a 30Q and spacer the weight was 127.6g.

The light is narrow for a 21700 and quad emitter light. Here are a few comparisons to similar quads or 21700 lights. 

 

Retention

For retention this light has the same pattern Reylight has used on the Dawn and Gemini flashlights. It’s a wide paddle clip that has the popular Steel Flame spacing for the screw holes, so you can upgrade to a skull clip if you like. The stock clip is 1.2mm Thick and quite stiff. It’s a bit of a challenge to get it to clip to my pants pockets. That said it’s very secure and isn’t going to go anywhere once clipped. I like how this light feels in my hand, it’s the perfect size for me and that dimpled texture gives a nice grip.

LED & Beam Shots

The Reylight Quad Dawn by Maratac is using Cree XPL-Hi LED’s in 5000k tint so it fits that classic neutral white tint, but to me it seems on the cool side of 5000k. My preferences in recent years has opted to the warmer emitters but this is nice too. The optic is all flood, and it’s pretty even with no real distortions, not something you see on all quads. The beam has a broad center with a slight corona, and the overall shape is slightly square at short ranges. 

Quad Dawn Beam Shot 

Reylight Krystal Beam Shot 

 

The middle 2 modes exhibit some PWM, It’s not bad and my eye or camera can’t see it but my scope can. See the example below. 

 

 

Heat and Runtime

The Reylight Quad Dawn by Maratac has quoted outputs of 2 lumens, 250 lumens, 1400 lumens and 3200 lumens. I did my runtime test with an Xtar High Drain (42A) 4200mAh 21700 battery because that’s what I had two of. I did a complete runtime in Turbo, which isn’t recommended because of the extreme heat, but it’s how I test all my lights in the brightest possible mode and see where they go from there. On this light it starts stepping down pretty soon after and a 0:2:25 it’s down to 50% relative output. From here it holds itself for an hour  before stepping down again and ending at around the 1:15:00 mark. During this time the light gets super hot, a whopping 78.9C (174F). This is dangerously hot, for both the battery and your skin. Again this isn’t recommended, CountyComm recommends only using “turbo” for 90 seconds and when you do that the light steps down much less and remains a warm but reasonable temp of less then 60C. I tested High only mode and fell a little short of the 2 hour quoted runtime but my battery is also 800mAh short of what the light ships with so I expect it to hit that without issue. 

 

UI

The UI here is super simple, it’s a 4 mode flashlight, with moonlight, low, high and turbo. Mode spacing varies quite a bit, between 2, 250, 1400, and 3200 lumens. The mechanical button can accept half presses while on to advance the modes and then a full press to lock in on. There are no flashing modes on this light, which I am cool with. The light doesn’t have memory mode.

 

Pro’s

  • I love the golf ball style dimpled texture on the body, it’s different and functional. Nice grey anodizing here too.
  • Surprisingly light and small for a 21700 quad light.
  • No stepdowns due to thermals mean it stays bright for as long as possible but gets extremely hot.
  • Simple 4 mode interface, no strobe.

 

Con’s

  • In continuous output in maximum output this gets super hot, Up to 78.4C in uncooled runtime tests. This is too hot to hold safely, so run the light only as bright as you need or can stand.
  • The pocket clip is super stiff, it takes effort to clip onto your pocket.
  • Some rattle with the 18650 adapter but that is to be expected.

 

Conclusion

The full name of the light (Reylight Quad Emitter Dawn Custom Maratac LED Flashlight + Glow Afterburner) is lunacy, but the quality of the light makes up for it. For a 21700 sized light it was smaller than I thought it would be. The slimness of the tube really helps.

 

It’s not something I will carry often in my front pockets for EDC for office tasks but you could carry it pretty easily in a larger pocket or back pocket if you wanted. It’s not too big in a front pocket either if you wanted. For me it fits great in the hand and that is only made better with the dimples for grip. It’s a great walking the dog type of light, high at 1400 lumens and the floody beam is more then you need, and with 2+ hours of runtime it is plenty for most people. One more mode between low at 250 lumens and high at 1400 lumens would make it a little more useful I think.

That said on Turbo for continuous use this light is dangerously hot, 78.9C (174F) is burn you hot, that said you I only saw this at the 31 minute mark and I don’t think you will see it in the real world because a sane person would shut the light off or turn it way down as you wouldn’t be able to hold it. I don’t recommend running your light in turbo for so long because it’s not good for the battery either. 

Overall this is a nice light at a fair price. I enjoy it and am glad I have one. It’s easy to recommend and is a nice size too. Remember these are limited to only 500 lights and are only being sold through CountyComm, so check the description below for a link to their website to pick one up if your interested. 

CountyComm is giving my viewers 10% off their order of this light by using the code “LiquidRetro” at checkout. Check it out here if you are interested https://bit.ly/2SqBcTo

Acebeam L17 Review (160,801 Candela, 1400 Lumens, Awesome Thrower)

Today I have a new compact tactical thrower from Acebeam. They boast that the L17 which easily fits in your hand will throw out ot 802 meters. It runs off an 18650 and features a Osram LED. Thanks to Acebeam for sending me this new model. Let’s take a detailed look. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

The light does come in 3 different versions, a white or Green LED version both capable of 800 and 820M of throw respectively, and a Red LED version that’s capable of 460M of throw. T

The standard package is a nice retail box with a line drawing of the light and the LED lumen and distance ratings on the box. On the back side there is a lot of stats and detailed info, good for any retailer looking to sell this. Accessories that are included is the light with the clip and tactical ring installed on the light. It comes with a lanyard, spare button cover and 2 spare orings as well as the standard paperwork and manual. You also get a nylon holster that’s branded Acebeam that has a D ring and belt loop with a button. 

Acebeam offers a couple of additional accessories on their website that will work with the L17 but are not sold in the standard version. First is a 10A rated 18650 battery with microUSB charging and a remote pressure switch for only $10 which is a good price. 

 

Construction

The L17 is made from aluminium and is hard anodized in a flat black. In the tail is the e-switch for the light and it’s truly silent. The cover is a rubber boot that has medium texture that sits just under the bezel. Internally, the tail has a single stiff gold coated spring and then an additional contact to the inner tube of the light. Threads are anodized, square cut and smooth. 

There is a tactical ring on the body which serves as a cigar grip point, the lanyard attachment point and adds reinforcement/lock for the clip on pocket clip. Both the tactical ring and pocket clip are removable should you wish. It’s a nice way to add quite a bit of security to the clip without making it permanent. The body tube itself is plain and features no knurling, I would like to see a little more grip here or closer to the head. 

The head itself is glued to the body. The head has some decorative milling around it and it helps dissipate some heat. The bezel is aluminum and has some modest large crenulations for a tactical light. The lens is glass with a Carclo TIR lens inside designed to enhance the throw. 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 140mm, minimum diameter of the body tube at 25.5mm, and maximum diameter of the head at 40mm. Weight with an 18650 battery is 196.9g,

 

 

Retention

You have a couple of retention and carry options with the L17. It does come with that nylon holster for belt carry. It’s a basic holster but does the job well. You also have that pocket clip. The clip is 1.4 inches from the top of the light so it’s definitely not deep carry. 

LED & Beamshot

Acebeam doesn’t specify which LED exactly is in the L17 only that it’s an Osram. I asked my contact for clarification and they said it was an Osram KW CSLPM1.TG which is a mouthful but good to know exactly whats in it. It’s a very throwy LED that Acebeam has put a TIR optic on top with a glass lens. It’s different looking than your traditional optic and this is designed for all throw. 

The result is a light that has virtually no spill, it’s all focused on the center in a tight pattern. The combination of the optic and LED choice explain the claimed 160,801 candela rating here at 1400 lumens in Turbo mode. Tint here is cool white but I don’t detect much blue in the beam. In my night shots it stands up pretty well to some of the competitors using different LEDs but this has a tighter more focused beam. I didn’t notice any PWM here.

Specs below are for the White Version I have. The Green version throws slightly further. 

  • Turbo – 1400 Lumens – 160,801 Candela
  • High – 370 Lumens – 42,025 Candela
  • Mid – 150 Lumens – 23,409 Candela
  • Low – 50 Lumens – 11,025 Candela
  • Ultra Low – 15 Lumens – 3,600 Candela

 

Heat & Runtime

I did all my runtime and heat tests with the supplied (optional) Acebeam 3100mAh battery that was sent. It’s a 10A battery so keep that in mind for what you decide to put in this light and choose something with at least htis rating. Total runtime was 4:35:00. In my runtime tests I saw Turbo last for 3:30 before stepping down to right at 50% relative output. This is also where I saw maximum heat at 64C (147F) so this definitely gets hot and that thermal protection kicks in to limit output. The light maintained this 50% output for a total of 1 hour before stepping down again to about 4% relative output. My advice would be if you plan to use this light on Turbo for more then once past step down is to wear gloves. It only takes exposures above 60C for more then 3 seconds to get 1st degree burns.

 

UI

The L17 uses a pretty traditional and simple interface. When Off long press on the rear tail switch for ultra low (15 lumen), single click to turn off. Single press to turn on to low, long press to cycle modes. Double click to go to turbo, and triple click to go to strobe. 

 

I will say mode spacing here isn’t super common. Ultra low is 15 lumens and throws really well for not much light. Next is low at 50 lumens, Mid is 150 lumens, high is 370 lumens. Acebeam says this will go 410 meters. Next is Turbo the full 4500 lumens or 160,801 candella. 

 

Pro’s

  • Nice to see colored LED’s being offered here instead of just a filter. I could see this being popular with a hunter with the green tint option. 
  • Very tight and compact beam with great throw
  • A fairly compact bezel which makes this more accessible.
  • Silent Tail Switch & good vibration resistance.

 

Con’s

  • The light gets incredibly hot during turbo before step down. Wear some gloves or hold the back of the light.
  • Big steps between High and Turbo. 

 

Conclusion

I can recommend the Acebeam L17 if you’re in the market for a fairly compact 18650 powered thrower with basically no spill. I am typically not a big fan of tactical lights but the UI on this light is pretty non-tactical so it works out well. 

 

This isn’t the light to take with you when hiking, or for EDC or for walking the dog to see right in front of you. It would be great for a security guard who was needing to point out a specific spot on a house or inspect something from a distance. It’s also just a lot of fun to impress your friends or significant other, it’s a lot of power and so focused. It’s probably the next best thing to a LEP light.

 

https://www.batteryjunction.com/acebeam-l17.html

Olight i5T Cu Review (AA, 300 Lumens, Raw Copper, Great EDC)

Olight has another raw copper light out for all you copper fans with the Olight i5T Cu. This is a special edition of the i5T which has been released in several different editions in 2020. It’s a 2 mode light taking a AA battery with a deep cary pocket clip. It’s similar to the Olight i3T but larger. Thanks to SkyBen for sending this to me to review.

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Versions

There are a couple of versions of the i5T from Olight. There as a Shot Show edition they gave out to people, it was aluminum with a neutral white emitter, A CoVID relief special edition that was sold, it was aluminum and had some blue anodized accents on it, a normal black anodize and desert tan models, and the one I have here the in copper. Everything except the shot show edition has the standard cool white emitter. 

Packaging and Accessories

The i5Tcu came in what I would call a gift box. It’s a heavy duty white cardboard that’s finished nicely with a color photo on the front and a limited amount of details on the back. Inside the light was vacuum sealed in plastic with an anti oxidizer packet to prevent any patina from forming until it arrives in your hands. The only included accessory was the manual and GemTec AA battery that came preinstalled. 

Construction

No complaints here on construction quality, Olight does a nice job with these, and is one of my favorites when it comes to their raw copper machining. Everything is nicely chamfered, and polished. It also comes in the least oxidized state of any of the copper flashlights I have. The overall design here is a largely a scaled up version of the Olight i3T with a few differences. At the tail the buttons appear to be the same, as the i3T. The proud switch has a hard plastic edge and then a rubberized grip at the very top. It takes quite a bit of force to active the switch which I like. This one won’t come on in your pocket on accident. I do feel a bit of cell movement internally when pressing the switch which feels a little unnatural. 

The knurling on the tail cap is mostly horizontal with just a touch of vertical, mine seems to be not perfectly centered, like it is on the i3T. Not sure if this is intentional or just a slight manufacturing issue, either way it adds a nice amount of grip to unscrew the tail for battery replacement and style. Internally the tail section is made of copper too, and has nicely cut square threads that need a bit of grease.

The pocket clip is push on style but fits tightly, more on retention in a minute. The body itself has the double line spiral as the i3T does. It’s fairly deeply cut and the walls have minimal chamfer. It’s mostly for style but adds some grip to. The head is very plain, it has the model number and serial engraved into it and does not appear to come apart or it’s a one piece design. The lens appears to be plastic and be a one piece with the optic and reflector.

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length of the light at 95.5mm, diameter at 17.9mm and weight with an Amazon Basics High Capacity NiHM and clip at 112.3g. It’s a pretty heavy light, but that’s what you expect for copper

When I compare it to other similar lights I have, the diameter is a little smaller than my Reylight Pineapples or Ti LAN or the copper variants. Length wise it’s a little shorter too. If you liked the Olight i3T it’s just a little longer and slightly larger in diameter. It’s fairly comparable in size to the Olight M1T Raider, but smaller diameter and slightly longer. 

 

Retention

Retention on the i5T is good. I like to EDC 14500 lights, they are a good balance of size, weight, and most importantly diameter. This is especially true when I am wearing shorts. The i5T has a reasonably deep carry pocket clip, and on the copper model it’s a bronze PVD colored finish that fits pretty well especially after the light takes on some patina. It has a reasonable amount of room for material at the top too. It is using Olights dual direction clip which some love to hate. I will say my original clip on my i3T did snag not go back into shape. Olight did offer a replacement but it was only available in black, not the original PVD bronze copper it came with. It would be kind of nice if Olight included an extra clip with these special editions since they don’t seem to have spares.

 

LED & Beamshot

The i5T Cu here is running an Osram P9 LED in cool white. That said it’s not Olights typical 6500k, it’s warmer and more neutral, I would guess somewhere about 5500k or so. It does have a bit of a green tinge. The beam is using what Olight calls a PMMA lens. It creates a beam that is mostly a spot, with minimal flood. Good for EDC. There is a bit of PMW on low according to my oscilloscope and camera but I don’t notice it with my eye. If you are sensitive this may bother you.

 

Runtime & Heat

The i5T Cu is designed to run with 1.301.5V batteries so Alkaline and Ni-Mh batteries primarily. As you know from watching my other reviews I don’t run any light with Alkalines because they leak. Olight has provided the i5T with an Alkaline from the factory, so get it out and replace it with a high quality rechargeable Nickel metal hydride instead. 

For my testing I used an Amazon Basics High Drain cell, Previous testing shows these are slightly above 2500mAh, so basically on par with Eneloop Pro’s for half the cost. Peak output is right at 300 lumens and the light holds this for a timed 3 minutes before stepping down to right at 50% output where it runs for for just short of 2 hours and 30 minutes before stepping down and ran at it’s lowest mode. This time was the FL1 standard of 10% relative output. It eventually turned off completely at 5 hours and 45 min.  There is no Low Voltage protection built in to this light, so my battery had a voltage of 0.9V when I pulled it out. So when the light gets very dim, it’s time to switch the battery. Maximum heat I saw was 30.4C at the 3:30 mark.

I had read a few accounts of people running this light with Lithium Ion batteries so I wanted to test that too. Olight doesn’t recommend this and neither do I after testing. The light isn’t built for this at all, while it does substantially increase the output you will damage the light if you continue to do this due to the immense heat and increased voltage lowering the life of the LED. The light also doesn’t have low voltage protection so I used a protected KeepPower 800mAh cell to protect the battery from damage.

Total runtime with the Liion was 23 minutes to the FL1 standard, 31 minutes till protection kicked in. It’s a pretty linear decline until the 20 minute mark where voltage really starts having an impact on output. Temps are the big story here, this is the hottest light I tested when run this way and that makes sense given this is outside it’s designed mode of operation. Here a bit of a table of time and temps.

 

Time Temp in C Temp in F
0:00:30 36.1 96.98
0:01:00 40.7 105.26
0:03:00 53.4 128.12
0:09:00 69.3 156.74
0:15:00 72.7 162.86

As you can see the light gets dangerously hot, super fast. At 30 seconds it’s 36.1C at 3 minutes it’s 53.4C, at 9 minutes it’s 69.3 C, and at 15 minutes it’s 72.7C. To put this into a frame of reference most adults will have 3rd degree burns after 2 second exposure above 65C. So for this reason alone this light should not be run with Liion batteries it’s unsafe.

 

UI

UI here is super basic as it’s a 2 mode light. The light always comes on in it’s lowest 15 lumen mode and then if you press again you get the higher 300 lumen mode. There are no flashers or anything else. It would have been nice to see another mode to give you an ultra low 1 lumen mode. 


Pro’s 

  • Copper! With a great surface finish
  • Carries Well in the pocket
  • Good beam characteristics for EDC
  • Nice button

 

Con’s

  • Only Cool White is offered to the Public, there are probably better LED choices here too.
  • No moonlight mode
  • Pretty Middle of the road performance here. It would be nice to see 14500 support.

 

Conclusion

The Olight i5T Cu is a nice special edition light for general EDC, especially if you like the patina and characteristics that raw copper can develop over time. Olight’s timing is pretty good too with the positive antimicrobial characteristics of copper.That said you pay the price in weight here for copper, and I wish they would have went with a different LED and a more advanced driver. This is a basic light and it’s low mode is still too high for many who want a 1 lumen or less mode. Other then that it’s a nice high quality light I enjoy having around and I think you will too if you are a fan of raw copper. 

If your interested be sure to check out my link to where you can pick this up on Amazon from Skyben trading

Full Image Gallery https://imgur.com/a/w89SyWL

Wowtac W1 Review ($26, 562 Lumen, 16340, EDC Budget Flashlight)

Wowtac has released a new small form factor EDC style light with the W1. It features a 16340 battery, onboard micro USB charging, deep carry pocket clip and tail magnet all for a very affordable price. Thanks to WowTac for sending this to me to review. 

 

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Packaging & Accessories

Packaging for the W1 is much like other Wowtac models, with a brown cardboard box with minimal information. The box does suggest there may be a neutral tint version of this light eventually but it also might just be production flexibility. The included accessories is a Wowtac branded 650mAh 16340 battery, deep carry pocket clip, extra o’ring and recharging port cover, and microUSB cable as well as the manual. 

 

Construction

Construction of the W1 is pretty standard. The tail is magnetic and flat so the light tail stands well. It’s threaded for a lanyard (not included), and the 2 way deep carry pocket clip that snaps in place but can rotate. The body of the light is heavily diamond knurled. It feels nice in the hand for a small light. 

Inside the threads are square cut and anodized, the spring is relatively long in the tail cap. Inside the head there is a solid post instead of a spring. The diameter of the head is a 3.2mm larger in diameter then the body and 6 sided. It features an electronic button that requires a solid click with LED’s underneath to indicate charge status. On the back is the micro USB port and silicone cover that stays out of the way when in use. 

 

The front bezel is a bit thick and silver colored, it’s nearly flat with the glass lens with AR coatings. The optic underneath is wide and shallow with a light orange peel. The LED is nicely centered but seems small for the reflector.

Sizes, Weight, & Competition

I measured the Wowtac W1 at 68mm in length, 20mm in diameter at the body, and 24mm on the head. Weight with the battery and clip was 56.3g. The light is rated for IPX8 for 1.5 meters, so it will easily survive the bucket test here.

Comparing to Wowtac W1 to other similar lights, the two that are most similar are the Olight S1 mini Baton and Thrunite T1. The W1 look a lot like the T1 in design, with the body being knurled instead of milled and being overall smaller due to the different battery sizes in use. The Olight S1 Mini Baton uses the same sized battery as the W1 and is smaller overall. I will compare the beams between the two in my night shots. I do like that the W1 is head down for carry vs Olight’s head up design. 

Retention

The pocket clip is a push on style dual direction clip. It mounts only at the tail. It’s designed primarily for head down carry and does a nice job of being deep carry. However since the size of the head is larger I found myself needing to pull the pocket clip out a little to attach it to my jeans pocket easily.  Overall good but it takes an extra step to clip on to the pocket. 

LED & Beams Shots

The W1 features a Cree XP-G2 in cool white, while neutral white is mentioned on the package they are not available for purchase at the time of this review. The beam here is a little different. It has a small hot center, that throws decently well for a light this small. Then it has a wide, fairly weak spill. On lights this size I do generally enjoy a TIR style optic for EDC use because it does a good job of a blend of beam characteristics. There is Cree rainbow with this light in the beam with the center being warmer with some green tint and the outer spill being cooler.

There is some PWM in this light, its fairly minor and not noticeable to me by eye or by camera but I can see it via the scope. 

Wowtac lists the output specs of the W1 as the following.

  • Firefly 0.5 Lumens
  • Low 12 Lumens
  • Medium 60 Lumens
  • High 197 Lumens 
  • Turbo 562 Lumens with step down to 215 lumens after 1 min.

Heat and Runtime

Heat is well controlled on this light, after 1 minute I measured temperatures at 87F, at 5 minutes 95F, and at 10 minutes 98F. 

 

Runtime 

No big surprises were found in the runtime of this light. Turbo stepdown is large and occurs after 1 minute. From there the output fell as the battery depleted, We got another major step down at the 70 minute mark where the light faded into it’s lowest output of around 0.5 lumens till low voltage protection kicked in (2.88V) at 170 total minutes. Of this total runtime I would say about 70 minutes of that is useable light, not too bad for a 650mah 16340 sized battery. 

UI

The UI here is the same as many other Wowtac and Thrunite lights which is a good thing. When the light is off firefly mode can be accessed by long pressing on the power button. From off a single quick tap will turn the light on in the last mode it was in (not turbo or firefly). To change modes when the light is on long pressing will cycle through the modes in an increasing order, Low, Medium, High. To get to turbo, double click on the button from any mode. Triple click from any mode to get strobe. 

 

Recharging

Recharging the light is accomplished via the built in microUSB port on the head of the light. When charging the main button turns red, and then blue when charged. Charging from LVP at 2.88V to full at 4.142V took 1 hour and 50 minutes and the maximum charging speed I saw was 0.48A which is safe for this size of battery. 

Conclusion

The Wowtac W1 is another good budget light from Wowtac, especially if you’re interested in a new small EDC light. At the price point of around $25 for a complete kit, the W1 is a good value and pretty easy to recommend to people. I do wish they had a neutral white option, that and USB-C would set this light apart from the competition.

 

The beam pattern here isn’t my favorite with it being almost more of a thrower then a small area flood that is typically useful in EDC, at lower outputs the spill isn’t that useful. The light carries in the pocket pretty well, and also clips onto a hat easily for a quick access headlamp if needed. I wish the clip was slightly longer so it rested on the body and made getting it into the pocket just a little easier. All this said this is a high value light for the price and a nice inexpensive place to start if you want to start EDCing a flashlight in your pants pockets on a daily basis. 

 

Pickup the Wowtac W1 on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2UUwlMq

View the full Image gallery at https://imgur.com/a/JsOmc88

 

Wowtac is also looking for 100 volunteers to try the W1 flashlight on Facebook @wowtacflashlights and share their feelings and help WOWTAC improve. (follow us on Facebook and join our group, contact to get a free W1) There are also weekly flashlight GAW on WOWTAC Facebook page.