Vosteed – Nightshade LT Review (Titanium Shark Bomb Prybar Preview)

Today I am taking a look at a new folding knife from Vosteed, the Nightshade LT. I bought the Limited edition Nightshade earlier this year because it was a unique shape in my collection and have really been enjoying it, as a fantastic all-around blade. That version is sold out for now, but don’t fret because the Nightshade LT is available and is a very similar knife. Vosteed reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at it and I said, of course, I would be. They have offered me a coupon to save $5 or a package deal to save $20 with their titanium prybar, both good deals below.

 

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Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd

 

Packaging

The packaging here like the other Vosteed products I have is top-notch. You have the cardboard sleeve over the steel case, it reminds me kind of the Altoids boxes but the lid just pulls straight off. Unfortunately, I can blame the USPS for the damage here, mine got squished pretty good. Thankfully the nylon zipper pouch inside the tin with the knife inside was unharmed. Inside you also get a nice card giving knife specs, and a card urging you to join the Vosteed community on Facebook.

 

Specs

There are two versions of the Nightshade LT available. There is the black G10 model with the gray center pivot, and a satin blade finish, and the Gray G10 model with the white pivot color and a stonewashed blade which is what I have. The knives are made in a Kizer facility but by Vosteed employees. It’s a Vosteed design.

Overall length is 7.48”, blade length is 3.26” which should be legal in a lot of places, and the blade width is 1.21” so it’s a little wide in the pocket, I measured blade thickness on the rounded crown at 0.1135” and at the tip 0.025”. Handle thickness is 0.531”. The weight came in at 4.16oz and it does have pockets milled in the liners to reduce weight. It’s a liner lock with a flipper too. The body and clip screws are T6, and the pivot is T8. 

 

The Blade

The blade here is made from 154CM,  and on my gray model here it’s a light stonewashed finish. I like 154CM steel, it has good edge retention for the price range, is easy to sharpen, and is made in the USA. The blade shape most closely resembles a traditional Shilin style knife. The Shilin is a traditional all purpose knife blade shape from the Chinese & Taiwanese regions and has a long history of carry by all different professions and demographics. It has a little Kukri in it too with the downward sloping angle too. 

This blade shape is pretty unique in my collection, the closest I probably have is some of the leaf-shaped Spyderco’s like the Manix or Sage 2, both are different though. The grind here is full flat grind which is always my favorite, here though it has a crowned spine which isn’t super common in my more modern collection, it makes it comfortable in the hand. Centering here was spot on, and lockup was good. 

The blade performance is my favorite feature of the Nightshade. It really can take on a ton of different tasks and excel at that. I did a little food prep with it over my time with it, and it did well here. I tend to do very little food prep with my pocket knives at home because I have kitchen knives, and as a side note, I reviewed the Vosteed Morgan which is from the same designer over at Vosteed. Food prep isn’t all what it is good at, I am in the process of doing some reorganizing at home which involved breaking down a lot of cardboard boxes. This is a lot of draw-cut motions to cut through both cardboard, tape, and an occasional zip tie or plastic strapping. It did that without issue and stayed pretty sharp still. The only thing I have done is to stop this with some Gunny Juice diamond emulsion on leather. 

 

Feel in the hand

The G10 Scales on the Nightshade are simple and rounded, edges are well chamfered so there are no sharp points. The G10 gives some texture but it’s not aggressive, nor is it smooth. One of the more interesting design features of the scales is the different color materials around the pivot of the knife. 

To me the scales are comfortable, I can fit for fingers on the body, and my thumb on the jimping up top on the spine. If I am gripping as hard as I possibly can, the clip creates a little bit of a hot spot for me but it’s not a problem with normal grip strength. I like that the lock bar has a little grip milled into it too. 

 

Action

The Nightshade is designed as a flipper but that’s not the only way to deploy it. It runs on ceramic bearings and it closes just as nicely as it opens. The flipper has deep jimping on it. The detent is good but a little stronger than I expected. I had no issues using a light switch motion and it makes a satisfying swack when opening too. The flipper tab it’s too pocky and actually allows the knife to sit on its back very nice and square. On my knife, I am able to press on the side of the blade a little to open it too. I think Vosteed could easily make a thumb stud version or a version with a thumb stud and both would work very well too. 

 

The closure is drop shut smooth. This is how it came from the factory, I haven’t disassembled it, to clean or get the factory oil out, I did put a drop of Gunny Glide on it though. It’s drop shut closed, I think that’s due to the bearings and the size of the blade. It just adds to the fidget factor of the knife here for me. 

 

Retentions

Retention on the Nightshade LT is accomplished via a deep carry simple stainless steel clip that only mounts on the right-hand side of the knife. For me, I had no issues either with the knife coming loose or the clip snagging on anything. There is also a lanyard hold if that’s your style. 

The only pitfall that I have with the knife is really that this isn’t a lefty-friendly knife. Not a big deal for me personally, I transitioned to right-side carry years ago, but I know this will bother some people. 

 

Prybar

A few quick words on the Vosteed Sharkbomb prybar too. It’s made of titanium, has a heavy stonewash, and has a fish-style backbone laser engraved on both sides. The front features the prybar, and a nail puller, the eye is a hex bit driver, however, my standard-sized bits didn’t quite fit, and smaller ones do though. It has a bottle opener for the mouth, and a deep carry pocket clip on both sides. I like the design and it was an impulse purchase for me. I do actually use a prybar at work sometimes to help depress the lever on an ethernet cable in tight areas. It also came in nice high-quality packaging. 

 

Final Thoughts

I have quite a few pocket knives, and many are drop points, sheep foot, and other designs. Most have some negatives, like the grind might be too thick and not great at slicing or opening mail, others have a delicate tip, or might not carry in the pocket as well due to a compromised factory clip (Spyderco’s standard clip). The Nightshade for me doesn’t have any of those, it’s a slicing machine and the tip has enough steel where I don’t have to worry about it being too delicate.

For me, the biggest downfall is probably its width in the pocket. It’s not thin and takes up some real estate, but even with thin shorts on the knife isn’t what I would call too big for me personally. I’m not sure I would call it a lightweight in its name since it’s over 4oz, but it does have a pretty large piece of steel for the blade too. 

Between my two Nighshades, it’s honestly been in my pocket several times a week, for weeks and weeks. It’s a great pocket knife, it’s fun to flip and play with, and it does very well as a knife. MSRP is $69 with free shipping in the USA,  and I think it’s pretty a good value, especially with the coupon codes I have down in the description. That will knock $5 off for the knife only or there is also a code to save $20 off the Titanium Bomb Prybar and the Nightshade LT combo which makes it a pretty good deal to grab both. 

Get the Nightshade LT from Vosteed direct at https://www.vosteed.com/products/nightshade-lt and use code “LR5” to save $5 off the Nightshade or use code “LR20” to save $20 off the Nightshade and Prybar combo.

Link for just the Shark Bomb Titanium Prybar at https://www.vosteed.com/products/shark-bomb-prybar

Get the Gray Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3TvWEEY
Get the Black Nightshade LT on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3ebx4Fd

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.

Wuben X-0 Knight Review (EDC, LH351D, Kickstarter Preorder)

Wuben has a new EDC light they are currently offering via Kickstarter. It’s the X-0 Knight and it’s a twist on the right-angle light we typically think of in headlights but this time around more focused for EDC. It’s a modern design and a big chunky boi. Thanks to Wuben for sending this to me, if you are interested I will have a link to the Kickstarter preorder in the description below. The Kickstarter will be running through July 16th 2022.

 

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Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

 

Packaging & Accessories

This is a preproduction sample and really only came with a charging cable and spare orings. The clip and battery are preinstalled. The packaging and accessories will be different in the production version.

 

Construction & Design

The Wuben Knight is a twist on the right angle we more commonly see on headlamps. It has sharper, hard angles to it that to me are modern. They have 4 color options, the Black and white versions are made from aluminum with the black being normal hard anodized and the white being what they call Micro Arc Oxidations which is what I have. I thought this was a Cerakote finish at first and it has a silver tint to it. The other dark gray and Green are both made from titanium. The green is my favorite because it has a circuit board pattern anodized into it. 

The top has an operating and battery status indicator as well as a metal cover that acts as the USB-C port cover and the switch pad. It’s an interesting design, and while it doesn’t offer much water protection for the port, the port itself is waterproof. I will note, that because of this design using lockout is a must as this large switch is easy to press when carried. The hinged lid for lack of a better word is magnetically attracted. There are 2 sprung brass-colored magnets that it rests on. There was definitely some engineering that went into this. I will talk about the pocket clip in the retentions section and the lens in the LED section.

The body also features 4 milled slots and 2 on top, for 6mm x 1mm tritium slots if that’s your thing. At the bottom is the round magnetic cap. This is a strong magnet and has no trouble holding the light up. It does unscrew but they have chosen to make it a little difficult. I ended up using an adjustable jewelry wrench to get it open. Once unscrewed you can replace the 18350 battery inside.  

 

Retention

The W0 Knight is designed to be an EDC light and comes with a milled aluminum pocket clip preinstalled. It was quite close to the body and retention was good, however, I bent it pretty easily pulling it out of my pocket one day. It’s just slight and something I could probably fix if I removed the Torx screws and rebent it. It’s a reasonably deep clip but still kind of a chunky carry in the pocket due to the diameter here. The tail is magnetic here as well. There are milling marks in the clip, not sure if those will be tumbled out in production or not.

Using lockout is an absolute must if you’re going to EDC this in the pocket. When carried the lens is facing your pants, and it’s very easy to turn on with the large loose paddle over the switch. This will burn holes in people’s shorts and pants if you’re not careful. You can lock and unlock with 4 quick clicks. 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 57mm, width at 33mm (From clip to lens), and depth at 24mm. I measured the weight at 2.94oz with clip and battery. The light is IP68 water rated. Important here to say that it’s the port itself is water-rated due to the construction. Here are a few comparisons with lights that I have that are most similar. 

 

LED & Beam

The Wuben X-0 Knight has 2 LED options, an Osram P9 LED, and a Samsung LH351D which I believe I have. I tested the light with my Opple meter saw 4950k tint with a CRI of 96. It’s a pleasant neutral white and the TIR optic is good for EDC tasks because you get that hot spot for a bit of throw, but also get a significant amount of flood while in a compact package. Mode Spacing here is reasonable from the moon at 1 lumen, to high at 250. However, Turbo is a huge jump up to 900 lumens. To the eye, it’s not as big as it seems but it’s still big. There was no PWM detected.

 

Output Measurements

Heat & Runtime

Turbo on the LH351D was good for right about 50 seconds before it reached it’s normal output around a measured 200 lumens. This lasted out to 2:15:00 which isn’t too bad for a 1100mAh battery. I did another runtime test comparing Turbo, to High, and Medium. Runtimes are expected with less bright modes being more efficient. The heat peaked around 35C which is just above body temperature so comfortable to hold in the hand.

 

UI

Default UI is pretty similar to many other flashlights. From off a quick press turns the light on in the last mode used, and then long-pressing causes the light to cycle in from moon to low to med to high. Double press to go to turbo. Direct to low can be accessed by long pressing when off. To get to strobe just double click when the light is off or on turbo. 

There is also a programable mode where you can slightly adjust the outputs of each mode, however, the manual only told about this and not actually how to do this. I presume they will fix this before the Kickstarters ship.

Locking is critical in this light and is easy to use, click four times quickly from off to lock and again do this to unlock.

 

Recharging

Recharging is done via the USB-C port on the top. It’s a semi-exposed port but has been waterproofed although debris could be a problem. The total charging time of the 1100mAh 18350 battery was 1:33:00 with a total charging rate right at 1A.

I will note here again that the battery is removable but tools are required to do so. I used a watch wrench but I think a pair of snap ring pliers would work but your chance of scratching would be much higher. It would be nice if Wuben included a simple tool here to help, or changed the milling in the bottom of the light so that you could use a coin. 

 

Final Thoughts

The Wuben X-0 Knight is advertised primarily as an EDC light. While most people think of right-angle lights more as headlamps they work pretty well as EDC too. For me this is probably a little bulkier than I want to carry with shorts on due to its diameter at least with shorts on. 

 

That said I think this is a unique design. I like the exterior look myself, and I like it’s being offered from the beginning with different colors and materials. It’s great they are offering it a neutral white and what appears to be a high CRI LED. I will again remind you if you pocket carry this please use lockout (4 fast clicks) or you have a strong risk of melted pockets)

I do think it would be great to see a small headstrap included so you could use it as a headlamp if you wanted. I do think some type of wrench should be included to help open the tail cap to change the battery out, otherwise, you really need a tool here to help you. 

One small note here is this is being offered as a Kickstarter preorder. Call me old-fashioned but I still think of Kickstarter as a way for small companies to get funding to turn around and make their first product. Wuben is a midsized flashlight manufacturer, well established for many years now. They don’t exactly fit the mold for a startup company, but they are not alone in using Kickstarter as a marketing platform. It seems to be the standard these days. The project has exceeded it’s funding goal so the risk of not getting your light should be minimal.

So some interesting design choices on this one make the exterior kind of unique but the inside seems to be a pretty solid EDC offering if the diameter isn’t an issue for you. Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.

 

Check out the Wuben X-0 Knight on Kickstarter at https://bit.ly/39vySXB

Wuben G2 Review (500 Lumen, P9 LED, Flat Keychain Light)

Wuben has a new flat keychain style light out with the G2. It’s a little different with the LED being on the flat side, with a wide large reflector, USB-C rechargeable, and can crank out up to 500 lumens in turbo.

 

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Pickup the Wuben G2 at https://www.wubenlight.com/products/wuben-g2-mini-flashlight

Use code “LRG220” to save 20%

 

Packaging  & Accessories

The packaging is a nice clear box, with the product labels being stickers on the top and bottom. Inside the box includes the light, USB-A to C charging cable, a gray plastic clip, and manual. 

 

Construction & Design

The G2 is flat light, with the reflector on the flat side. Its body is made from aluminum and is available in 3 colors currently, black, Blue, and Green which I have here. The ends are both plastics. At the bottom end there is a plastic keychain ring that twists on and off, it can be a little tricky to put back on. Under this is a magnet that is strong enough to hold the light vertically on a painted metal surface without an issue. 

In the middle is the P9 LED and TIR optic. On the sides there is the connection point for the pocket clip which I will talk about more in a minute. 

 

At the top is the USB-C charging port. It has a silicone flap covering it. It’s not a very tight fit. The light doesn’t have a dust or water rating as a result. This is an area for improvement in future versions. Next to the charging port is the switch. It sits nearly flush and I had no issues with accidentally activating it.

 

Retention & Size

Size here is 2.3” x 1” x 0.36” thick without the clip. Weight is 1 ounce without clip. There is no water or dust rating officially for the light. With that flap I think it would probably struggle to meet the standard specs.

Retention options include a plastic clip that clips on the rear of the light in some indentions. This isn’t necessarily a light or clip designed for front pants pocket EDC but more to strap on to a bag, hat, etc. The clip is stiff. It also has a split ring attachment that twists off to reveal a magnet underneath too. 

 

UI

The UI on the G2 requires a Long press to turn on when the light is off. This really mitigates accidental activations in my experience. The light has a memory mode to the last previously used setting. To adjust between the 4 modes when turned on, just press the button. The double press goes to turbo.

 

LED & Beam

The LED being used here is an OSRAM P9 LED. My Opple meter measured 6050k at 68 CRI as well as some PWM on high. The beam is mostly flood with a small hot center thanks to the TRI style optic. A good beam profile for up-close work for a light this size. 

 

Outputs, runtimes, temps

Official outputs on Turbo were 500 lumens, and I measured 437 lumens initially, with a fast decline in under a minute to around 190. High is rated at 200 lumens, I measured 190. Medium is rated at 65 lumens I measured 61 at 30 seconds. Max heat I saw on the body of the light was 36C near the end of the runtime. Total runtime starting in Turbo was 40 minutes as well as in High mode. Medium lasted out to 2 hours of runtime which is longer than quoted. 

 

Recharging

Internally the light contains a 280mAh lithium polymer battery. When I tested the capacity I got slightly more than this at about 314mAh. The total charge time here via USB-C was 1 hour. The light is USB-C PD compatible but you don’t get any benefits of the charging speed here with such a small battery. There is a small LED near the button that goes red when charging, and blue when charged. 

 

Final Thoughts

At less than $20 with my discount coupon, the G2 is a decent keychain light. I like the small thin nature, it’s smaller and thinner than most car key fobs and produces a good amount of light for its size. It’s smaller than some of the Nitecore lights I have like the TIP which is similar but larger than some of the Royvon lights. 

I don’t like that the silicone port covering the USB-C port is more of a flap. It’s not really a seal, and the light carries no water rating as a result. I did pour some water on it in the sink and it was ok, but it definitely won’t survive a full submersion. Hopefully, they can come up with a better cover in the future. 

 

It has a really broad floody beam but with a super small center hots spot, thanks to its TIR optic. It works for the close-range tasks it’s designed for pretty well. The cool white LED isn’t my favorite but it works. Overall a decent keychain light for the money.

 

Pickup the Wuben G2 at https://www.wubenlight.com/products/wuben-g2-mini-flashlight

Use code “LRG220” to save 20% 

Fenix GL19R Review (1200 Lumens, 18350, Tactical WML)

Fenix introduced a new line this year with the high-performance weapon-mounted tactical lights. Today we are looking at the brand new GL19R a midsize pistol mount light, with a TIR style reflector, onboard USB-C charging that runs off of a standard 18350 battery. With the name GL19R, I had to put this one on my Glock 19, it just seems it was meant to be. Thanks to Fenix for sending this preproduction sample to me to look at and review. 

 

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See more about the Fenix GL19R at https://www.fenix-store.com/fenix-gl19r-rechargeable-tactical-light-1200-lumens/

 

Packaging and Accessories

Since this is a pre-production model I don’t have any samples of the retail box or the final accessories. It did come with a 1100mAh Fenix branded but standard flat top 18350 battery, USB-A to C charging cable, as well as two different rail attachment points to fit both Glock and 1913 sized rails. A quick note on the manual, I thought it was kind of interesting they included some basic gun safety instructions that were actually good such as “never point a firearm at something you are not willing to destroy”. 

 

Construction & Design

The light is made from aluminum and hard anodized in a flat black color. The overall design is similar to what I have seen from other weapon lights, nothing very revolutionary. The front untwists to give access to the battery. It has springs on bother sides, which is good. The front bezel has small crenulations and stands proud of the large TIR Optic. The optic is topped with glass which is great for cleaning and scratch resistance.

I will cover the mount in the section below. The user interface buttons are plastic, with a little texturing. They are hinged at the bottom and the actual button to press is at the top. I like this, as I rest my finger above the trigger on the frame of the handgun.

Labeling on my light is a little strange, there are sections on the head and one on the body that is shiny and it looks almost like they put a sticker or paint to cover up something, then did laser engraving again. I expect this is unique to the preproduction unit I have as they make slight label changes.  I do like that the engraving here is grayer than bright white and the required CE and No Recycling markings are made on the underside where they won’t be seen when mounted. 

 

Size and Weight

I measured the length at 70mm (not including the buttons) width at 30mm and height at 31mm including the top of the mount. The outside diameter of the head is 25mm. Weight with the battery came in at 3.50 ounces with the battery or 99.2g. The light is impact resistant to 1M and IP68 water-related. 

 

Mounting Options

As mentioned before the light is designed to be mounted on the rail of a firearm. It came fitted with the aluminum insert for Glock, but a 1913 piece was included. It’s secured with a small Torx screw. The light uses a quick-release system on the right side of the light, with an adjustment screw on the left side. It’s a little different from the system that Olight uses and doesn’t have as much range of motion. Once properly adjusted it does fit snugly but it’s not as easy to switch between firearms without adjustment. Probably not an issue for most people. The lock is pretty easy to actuate, while it does it flush I would prefer a bit more force needed to unlock it, just for extra security. 

As far as holsters, being such a new product I couldn’t find any with a search online and Fenix didn’t have any partners signed up at the product launch, so you will have to turn to the custom holster market if you want a holster for your firearm and this light. That is one of the problems with new companies getting into the market for the first time. 

 

LED & Beam

The GL19R is running a Luminus SFT40 LED. No official tint is given by Fenix here, but my Opple meter measured it at 5570k, and 62 CRI. The beam mostly spots as you would expect in this application, the TIR reflector helps increase the size of that hotspot and minimize the spill. On Turbo there is almost no PWM according to my Opple meter but there is a decent amount on High as visible from the meter. 

I have a calibrated Lumen Tube now from Texas Ace and this was the first light I put on it for lumen output and later runtimes. Official outputs put Turbo at 1200 lumens, I tested it at 1197 Lumens at 30 seconds, and on High, it’s rated for 350 lumens, I tested it at 339 lumens, so all very close to as advertised. 

 

Heat & Runtime

In Turbo mode, you can count on that full output for the first 30 seconds, before you see any declines, the decline happens slowly out to 3 minutes, where the light is making about 500 lumens. It holds this for about 50 minutes before a significant stepdown and shutting off right at 1 hour. During this time the hottest I saw was at 43C at the 55-minute mark. The light does have thermal protections at 60C according to the manual but I never saw that high of temp when I tested at room temperature. 

I compared Turbo to High outputs and while High produces quite a bit fewer lumens about 340 lumens, the shape of the curve is a very linear decline out to 2 hours of runtime. In high mode, my meter did measure a decent amount of PWM too. 

There is a low voltage warning on the light with the battery indicator on the left side, it flashes red, but it also reduces the light’s output to only 50 lumens so it’s hard to miss. Fenix does recommend charging the light every 4 months if not used for peak performance. 

 

UI

UI here is a little different but logical. From off you can press the light to turn it on or off into the mode used last and this will turn it on constantly. If you long-press from off the light will go to momentary if held for more than 1 second. To select your different output mode when press one of the buttons and hold, and then click the other to toggle between High and Turbo and vice versa. Kind of difficult to do while mounted in a tactical situation especially if you follow Fenix’s recommendation that the light only is activated with the non-trigger finger and to use a two-handed grip. To get to the strobe with the light on press and hold either switch for half a second to enter or exit the strobe. This is momentary strobe only, not ideal for a tactical situation with ½ second being kind of a long time to activate. It’s worth noting the light does have a way to lock it if you wish and that memory mode works as long as the battery is installed, when the battery is removed the light goes back to default mode. 

 

Recharging

Recharging is accomplished via a USB-C port on the left-hand side of the light. The port is covered with a silicone port cover that fits well. The light is compatible with PD chargers however it does not charge in the PD mode. One thing to note is that the light will not work while charging. 

Using the onboard charging here from LVP at 3.074V, the light reported it was full in 1:44:00 and the cell tested at 4.160V. Max charge rate here was 0.72a during the constant current charge phase, with a small spike before it started to decline. Roughly a 1C charge curve here, good for overall battery longevity. 

LED Indicator on the side servers as both a charging status indicator (Red when charging, green when charged) and as a battery check. Check the manual for what the different colors and blinks mean. 

 

Conclusion

The Fenix GL19R is a solid offering from a company experienced with tactical lights but new to pistol-mounted lights. The build quality here seems to be good, and the mounting system works pretty well. The rear buttons are certainly better than some brands but it’s hard to beat Shurefire’s toggles in my opinion. I would say it’s as good if not better than the system Olight is using on their similarly sized models. I really like that they are using a standard battery size here, so nothing is proprietary and it will easy to get replacement 18350’s in the future. 

I think the UI here while it works could probably be optimized, the UI here means you have to go into a situation knowing what you want to use, for me that would be high mode, and then bump up to Turbo if I needed it. To do that while easy in theory I find is a little hard to actually reach. I would prefer a quick double or triple tap for turbo, and something similar with strobe. 

Other than the UI side of things I think this is a solid offering. Hopefully, Fenix is able to partner with some holster manufacturers soon and we see some support for that soon. 

 

Let me know what you think of the Fenix GL19R in the comments below!

Fenix TK20R V2.0 Review (3000 Lumens, SFT70 LED, 21700, USB-C)

Today I have one I am excited to bring you, it’s from a New brand on the Channel with Fenix and the TK20R V2. Through the years I have gotten a lot of questions on Fenix and what I thought of specific models and I and I just didn’t have the experience to answer, so I was excited when Fenix reached out to start working together. This is the first of 2 reviews for Fenix you will see in the coming weeks. 

 

The TK20R V2 is an updated light that’s using a Luminis SFT70 LED, producing 3000 lumens, has onboard USB-C charging of the 21700 battery. You can check out more at https://www.fenixlighting.com/ The light I was sent is preproduction, and actually has a Luminus SST70 LED, however that has been changed in the production light to a Luminis SFT70 LED. 

 

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Here is a link to the USB-C Cable I used in the video https://amzn.to/3Dwt0rA

 

Packaging & Accessories

I received a preproduction light, and final packaging was not ready at this time. Accessories that came with mine included a USB-A to C charging cable, the light, and the branded button top protected 21700 battery (ARB-L21-5000). Mine came with a velcro patch as well, not sure if this is normal or not. Other things that are expected to come with the production model include a lanyard, holster, 2 spare orings, user manual and warranty card.

 

Construction & Design

I am only going to hit the high points here, and let the photos and video do the rest of the talking. The light is made from T6061 aluminum and nicely anodized black. At the tail cap you have 2 protruding buttons, a larger round mechanical switch that takes a good amount of force to push, and then a smaller rectangle mode button. The light does not tail stand as a result.

The pocket clip only mounts on the rear of the light. The body tube has concentric ring knurling like texture on the body, this provides a good amount of grip and looks nice I think. 

The recharging port cover is worth noting here, instead of using silicone rubber covers like many manufactures do to seal the USB-C ports, Fenix’s solution on the TK20R V2 is to have a retained aluminum cover that twists one full revolution to reveal the port. It has orings at the top and bottom and lots of anodized threads, so it’s silky smooth. Also under this port cover is the battery level indicator and recharging status LED. This just makes sense to me and has nothing to catch, or get in the way like the silicone covers sometimes do. 

 

Internally there is a stiff spring at the front of the light as well as in the tail, threads are smooth, square cut and a bit dry. Up front the head is glued in place but the bezel is removable. There is a crenulated bezel made of aluminum protecting the AR glass lens, deep smooth reflector and nicely centered LED. 

 

Retention

Since this is a pre production prototype I don’t have the lanyard or holster that the light will ship with in it’s final form. What I can talk about is the pocket clip. It only attaches at the rear of the light and is relatively narrow for the lights size. It’s stiff and does a good job of retaining the light in my front pocket, with about 1” of the light sticking out. 

 

 

Size & Weight

I measured the length at 152mm, maximum diameter at the head at 34.1mm, minimum diameter in the body at 26mm. I measured the weight here with the battery and clip at 203.2g or 7.17oz so a little on the heavy side. The light is IPX8 water rated and drop resistant to 1.5M.

LED & Beam

The Fenix TK20R V2 is using the Luminis SFT70 LED in cool white. The light I was sent is preproduction, and actually has a Luminus SST70 LED, however that has been changed in the production light to a Luminis SFT70 LED. My Opple meter shows it as 6035k and 67 CRI when on in turbo. In lower lumen modes it warms up slightly to around 5600k and has a notably green tinge to the beam to my eye. The beam has a pronounced hot spot in the center and minimal spill with some tint shift noted. Parasitic Drain was measured at a very low 1.8uA. There was very minimal PWM here, it’s basically constant current. 

 

Below are the official outputs from Fenix. I will note the mode spacing is pretty good to the eye here. 

Official Total Outputs for the SFT70 verison

  • Turbo – 3000 Lumens
  • High – 1000 Lumens
  • Medium – 350 Lumens
  • Low – 150 Lumens
  • Eco – 30 Lumens
  • Strobe – 3000 Lumens

 

Heat & Runtime

For all of my runtime tests I used the included 5000mAh battery and measured the % of relative output change, not total output (lumens). Starting with Turbo it lasts for about 2:20 before reaching equilibrium. During this time the light peaks at about 45C. It runs at this equilibrium very steadily out to the 3 hour mark.

I ran the same test and compared turbo to high and to medium modes for total runtime. You can see in the graph that High in green had a few more stepdowns but ended up at a very similar total runtime as turbo. Medium is a very flat output curve out to 7:40:00 mark where it begins stepping down several times, eventually shutting off at 9:18:00 when LVP on the battery kicks in at 2.89v.

 

UI 

UI here is very simple. The light has 2 buttons on the rear tailcap of the light. There is the larger power button which Fenix is calling the Tactical switch, it’s a forward clicky switch with momentary, and then the smaller button which they are calling the function switch. You can half press the tactical switch to turn the light on in the last mode used before locking fully on. Once on you use the function switch to cycle through the 5 modes in a linear manner. The light does have memory mode. At anytime you can press and hold the function switch to get to strobe mode. 


Recharging

I already talked about how the recharging port works on the TK20R V2, it’s under the aluminum nut that unscrews from the base of the head. It’s nice robust design. Also inside that port is your LED battery status indicator and charge indicator. When recharging it starts as red, and goes green when charged. The light is not capable of being used when charged. It does support C to C charging but has no PD charging support.  

The light is powered by a Fenix branded button top, protected 21700 battery (ARB-L21-5000) with a capacity of 5000mAh. I tested the capacity with my Vapcell S4 Plus charger and came away with 4863mAh. I tried the light with an unprotected button top battery and had no issues. 

Charging itself using the onboard USB-C port and included battery from LVP at 2.89v to full at 4.226v took 2:38:00. The light has a soft start charging when the battery is low before it jumps up to about 3A at the very beginning, and it falls as the battery charges. So a bit of a different curve then what I typically see.

 

Final Thoughts

I am excited to see Fenix on the channel. It’s a brand that I can find locally at two different sporting goods stores, and a LGS, which I think can be appealing to many people if you need something of quality and don’t have the time to wait for an online order. Of course they can be found online as well. 

As for the Fenix TK20R V2, It’s a pretty nice semi tactical light. The controls are easy to use, and strobe is easy to access if you want it. It has a useful beam that’s a good combination of flood and throw without making too many compromises. That said it is still cool white, and at lower tints the LED does have a pretty strong green tinge neither are my personal preference but at the higher end of the consumer market where this light is aimed won’t care like enthusiasts do. The USB Port cover design here is really nice, and I am surprised more lights don’t do something like this.

You can pickup this new release and other Fenix products at https://www.fenixlighting.com/ I will have a link in the description.

Folomov EDC C2 Review (2022 Version, Cree XT-E, 14300)

Folomov is back on the channel after a few years break with their new EDC C2. It’s a very small “EDC” style light running a 14300 battery, and a Cree XT-E LED producing 525 lumens. I am going to try and keep this one short but still through. Thanks to Folomov for sending this to me to take a look at. 

 

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Pick up the Folomov EDC C2 (2022 Version) at  Amazon: https://amzn.to/36y3fdP 

 

Packaging & Accessories

The name of this light is confusing. So to understand this you have to understand that in 2019 Folmov released a small light called the EDC C2. The new light is has printed on it “EDC” however the marketing material and manual say it’s the C2. I asked Folmov about this and they said it’s the same name as the old but a different design, LED, UI, with a similar battery. A real head scratcher why they would call the two the same when they are similar but quite different. So prepare for confusion in the market place for the purposes of this review I am going to call it the EDC.

 

Packaging is a small retail box in orange and gray will all the relevant info on the outside. Included accessories are the pocket clip, the 520mA 14300 battery, 2 extra orings, manual and USB-A  to MicroUSB charging cable.

 

Construction and Design

The light is made from aluminum, anodized black, with no construction or anodizing issues. The overall design is basic, the tail is flat and non magnetic. There is no knurling on the light and all the surfaces are smooth. Only the rear tail cap is removable and it’s not interchangeable with the previous model. Internally only the rear has a short spring, the front is a brass post. 

The button is an eswitch, with a silicone/plastic cover, with no LED under. The front bezel is brass, very flat and holds in the diffused TIR style optic. 

 

Retention

Your main retention is the pocket clip on this light. It’s a captured snap on style clip, and is in a tip up configuration only. The clip has plenty of room for pocket material. Mine is secure however its slightly away from the body. The very end of the clip is flared out and this makes it easier to snag on things like a seat belt.

The you could attach a lanyard (Not included), although there isn’t a dedicated mounting place on the light itself, I think the idea is to attach via the hold in the clip. Not the most secure design. You could put a split ring here to attach as a keychain light but again not the most secure option.

 

Size & Weight

Length is 42.4mm, minimum diameter on the body is 16.1g, maximum diameter is 17mm at the head. Weight with battery and clip is 24.2g. The light is IPX 8 water rated and drop rated to 2 meters.

 

LED & Beam

The LED being used here is a Cree XT-E LED in a very cool white behind a TIR style reflector to diffuse the light. My Opple meter measured between 5400 and 6100k with a 77 CRI but to my eye it’s cooler then that, probably closer to 6500k. The beam coming out of the TIR reflector is fairly diffused with a huge hot spot creating the flood and minors spill. A good beam for EDC. PWM is very minimal on all modes and fast.

Parasitic Drain was measured at 135uA which is pretty significant. This was a problem with the previous model and this light actually has a slightly higher drain rate. That said Folomov says this light is still good for 166 days of standby, but my recommendation would be to mechanically lock out the light instead to avoid the drain issue. There is a pretty big jump between high and turbo here, other then that mode spacing is good. 

 

Official Output numbers

  • Turbo – 525 Lumens
  • High – 150 Lumens
  • Medium – 50 Lumens
  • Low – 10 Lumens
  • Moon – 1 Lumen

 

Heat & Runtime

For my Runtime tests I did my usual tests of comparing the percentage of relative output of the light while measuring runtimes here. Starting in Turbo it lasts a good 3 minutes before it starts dropping all while heat climes to 45C  out at the 4ish minute mark. Turbo steps down considerably and then starts a very linear decline starting at about 30 minutes. Runtime out to FL1 at 10% is roughly 1:20:00 however the light still produces light out to 5 hours, just very very little between 0-1% of relative output. LVP Kicks in at 2.806v.

I did the same comparison test but with Turbo compared to high output. High on this light is only 150 lumens so it was able to sustain this for longer, the output here is very linear so possibly not regulated or it didn’t make enough heat to actually regulate itself. FL1 is out to 3:20:00, but again it keeps running just making very little light out to 7 hours. 

 

UI

The light has a low, medium, high, turbo mode progression. It has a memorized mode feature as well. Double click unfortunately takes you to strobe instead of turbo. Once in strobe you can double click again to cycle between Strobe, SOS, and beacon modes. Personally I find these blinking modes unnecessary on a light this small and would have preferred a shortcut to turbo. 

 

Moonlight mode can be activated by long pressing when the light is off. To turn the light off from any mode you have hold the button for half a second. 


Recharging

The light runs off of a 14300 battery with a capacity of 525mAh. It has onboard microUSB charging built into the battery. 14300 batteries are not common, a quick google search doesn’t bring up any listings for them and Folomov doesn’t sell replacements direct but mentions their resellers may in the future.

Charging is slow here which is what you want. It took 1:53:00 to charge from LVP at 2.806v to full at 4.128v. Max changing speed I saw was about 0.26A. No problems detected with the charging curve. 

 

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on the EDC C2 (2022 Version) is that it’s an interesting space to be in due to it’s size. It’s small enough yet functional that this would make a great keychain light, but it doesn’t have a solid keychain attachment point.

 

Unfortunately what I loved about the older Folomov EDC C2 was the warm (3000k)  high CRI (98 CRI) Nichia 21A LED. The new light however uses a far inferior LED in my opinion, as it’s low CRI and very cool white. It’s user interface is less useful for a light this size, with a double click going to strobe instead of turbo. This is a small enough light your not going to use it to blind someone and practically I don’t know anyone that actually uses strobe for signaling. 

 

The new light is smaller, has a better pocket clip, and a nice TIR reflector, while not giving up any battery capacity. It’s still plagued by the high parasitic drain though that the older model had. So I have mixed feelings on the new EDC C2, it’s not bad but I don’t think the sum of the parts are an improvement for me over the outgoing model, mainly due to the LED being used here. However I am a tint snob and prefer warmer tinted lights to cooler tint lights and that’s a personal preference and your opinion may vary. 

Pick up the Folomov EDC C2 (2022 Version) at  Amazon: https://amzn.to/36y3fdP