Klarus XT10 LED Flashlight Review

I’ve been carrying around the Klarus XT10 tactical led flashlight for a few days now and I wanted to post some pictures, and beam shots; as well as talk about some of the things I really like about this light. First off, here is a photo of the XT10 in the packaging:

Klarus XT10 led flashlight in packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Klarus XT10 came with the usual spare 0-rings, manual, spare button caps, a lanyard, and a nice nylon carrying case. I really like the carrying case this light comes with. Mine has the elastic material in the middle which allows you to easily slide the light right in, and it is still able to hold it in there sufficiently.  It uses Velcro to stay closed, which I also like. This light also comes with a removable cigar hold ring, and a removable pocket clip. Both of those were already installed when I received the light.

Here’s what was in the box:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a photo of the light will all its components laid out (18650 battery in photo for size reference):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power Sources

The XT10 can run off either one lithium 18650, two CR123A, or two 16340 batteries. I already had some 18650s that I use in my Fenix TK35, so that is what I have been using in my Klarus XT10.

Output

This is a very bright flashlight. As you will see in the beam shots below, this light definitely has some output for its size. It’s rated at 470 ANSI lumens on high, and it shows. It has three levels of output, they are:

  • 470 ANSI lumens – 2.3 hrs.
  • 150 lumens – 7.3 hrs.
  • 10 lumens – 300 hrs.!
  • Variable frequency strobe (470 lumens) – 4.6 hrs. (variable frequency meaning it alternates between a fast and slow strobe)

I have noticed something that I didn’t see mentioned in the manual. After about three minutes on high, the light will step down to a lower brightness. I think this is purposefully done to aid the thermal regulation of the light, which is excellent by the way.

Beam

The Klarus XT10 produces a nice beam, due to the orange peal reflector, and the center of the beam has a warmer tint to it. That is also one thing I have wondered about this light. The center has a warmer color, but the outer parts of the beam are more white. You only notice this up close, and at a distance it appears as though the entire beam is warmer in color. Some people like their LED flashlights to project a warmer color and you can see that in the images below with this light.

Here’s a beam shot of the Klarus XT10 at 35 feet, on high (on left) compared to my Nitecore IFD2 at 35 feet, on high (on right). Notice the color difference.

Klarus XT10 beam shot at 35 feetNitecore IFD2 beam shot at 35 feet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nitecore IFD2 is rated at 260 lumens. You can see how much brighter the Klarus XT10 is with its 470 lumen output. You can also clearly see the warmer color of the beam from the XT10 versus the IFD2.

Regulation

As mentioned above, after about three minutes, the light automatically steps down in brightness a little bit. I’m not sure why this happens, but it’s possible that is was intentionally done to help keep the light from getting too hot. I don’t have the professional equipment to test and graph the output regulation of this light and I would be interested in seeing that data if someone else has it.

User Interface (UI)

The UI of the Klarus XT10 is very simple, and it’s meant to be that way because it’s a tactical light. One of the cool things about this light is the dual switch feature. The primary switch activates the light, and the secondary switch is dedicated solely for mode selection… with a neat instant strobe feature.

See image below of dual switch:

Klarus XT10 led flashlight switch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both switches are forward clicky switches for momentary activation. Yes, both have momentary features! The main switch, of course, activates the light, while the mode switch can also be used to activate the momentary strobe feature – very cool! This means that you don’t have to have the light on first before activating the strobe feature. All you do is press the mode switch and the strobe is on! I can see this being very useful for law-enforcement.

To access the other two brightness settings you simply press the mode button after the light has been turned on by the main switch. Not rocket science. It’s very easy to access the lower brightness levels. This light does not have a memory, however. It is programmed to always be in high mode when turned on.

Ergonomics

The feel of the light, including the texture, button placement, button feedback, size, and shape of this light are all very comfortable. The mode button is a little small for my fingers, but I have found that I can easily press it with the inside of my upper thumb joint. If you don’t intend to hold the light using the tactical ring, I suggest removing it as it can create discomfort with other hand holds.

I did not find the clip useful on this light. It could be the style and shape of this light, but it just doesn’t make sense to me to ever use it. You may see that differently, however.

Also, because this is a tactical light, it does not tail stand. This is just a compromise you have to make for a light that provides easier access to the main switch. It’s a trade-off and I am always torn between the two.

Build Quality

The build quality of this light is very good. It feels very sturdy in your hand and the threads are smooth and strong. Nothing rattles or moves in anyway. One thing I really like about this light is the quality look and feel of the buttons. They don’t feel like they’re going to break on you, like some other lights I’ve used.

The lens is made of toughened ultra-clear glass, and the head of the light is a little thicker around the reflector, which allows for better thermal regulation.

With my 18650 battery in the light, it weighs in under half a pound. Not too bad given the thicker layer of aircraft grade aluminum around the entire light. One thing I would mention is that one of my 18650 batteries has a very slight defect, which makes it slightly larger in one part. It’s a very small difference, but that battery fits very tight inside the XT10.

Overall Summary

Pros:

  • Very bright for size
  • Dual switch
  • Instant strobe access
  • Well built
  • Comparatively low priced for lumen output
  • Can use three different types of batteries
  • Superior thermal regulation
  • Excellent ergonomics

Cons:

  • Cannot tail stand (but this is normal for a tactical light)
  • Need to learn more about the regulation
  • Clip does not seem useful

Overall I think Klarus did a great job with this light. This was my first experience with one of their lights and they are now on my list of quality flashlight manufacturers.

Extra Pictures

I will include more beam shots of this light soon. Here are a few extra pictures I took in the meantime.

 

This beam shot compares the Klarus XT10 at 470 lumens (on left), to the Fenix TK35 820 lumens (on right):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nitecore Infilux IFD2 Review

I’ve been carrying around the Nitecore Infilux IFD2 LED flashlight for several months now and I wanted to make a quick post about it because I think it’s such a great torch.

While expensive (about $150), this light remains to be one of my favorites. Since I bought it, Nitecore came out with the IFE2, which is smaller, less money, and nearly 100 lumens brighter. I think you can actually get the IFD2 cheaper than $150 now as well. However, one of the main reasons I still like the IFD2 is because it runs on AA batteries. The IFE2 runs off one lithium 18650 battery, which is fine; I have other lights that use the 18650s, I just like the ability to get replacement batteries at any store if I need to.

So yes, I do wish it was as bright as the IFE2, but at around 260 lumens, it’s plenty bright for around-the-house kind of jobs. In fact, the infinite variable brightness feature is extremely useful for around-the-house jobs and I find myself rarely using it on full brightness. I love being able to switch from .01 to 260 lumens within less than 1 second. The way that Nitecore has designed the variable brightness feature, with the sliding magnetic ring, makes perfect sense and I love it. I wish all lights had this option. I do think that it could work having the ring on the back end of the light, but it works just find towards the front.

As with other Nitecore lights I’ve owned, like the Nitecore D20, the build quality on this light is superb. I once dropped this light from about five feet up, straight onto the road, and it took a chunk out of the road. Did nothing to the light. The Titanium alloy bezel retaining ring on this light did it’s job well. The Mil-Spec type III Hard-Anodized scratch and corrosion resistant finish on the IFD2 is very well done. When you pay $150 for a EDC flashlight, you would expect that kind of quality, and this light has it. As a side note – some people might not consider this an EDC light, because of it’s length, but I do carry it with me everyday in my cargo pockets.

Beam quality on this light is excellent. I like how many of the newer LED flashlights these days have the option of purchasing with a smooth, or a textured reflector. The smooth reflector on the IFD2 does a great job at throwing the light a fairly good distance, given it’s only 260 lumens. Having the ability to control the light output very quickly makes close-up lighting needs very practical and the close-up illuminating abilities of this light, when the light is turned down, are very good. You can see a beamshot of the IFD2 in my Fenix TK35 vs Fenix TK40 review. That beamshot was taken 50ft from the wall at night.

Besides the price, I do have one complaint about this light; the switch. The on-off switch on this light just seams cheap. It may just be mine, but sometimes I can hear a very loud buzzing when I turn the light on, right around the switch. Also, the switch seems a little soft, like it could break easily. It’s never broken, but it just feels cheap, and the buzzing is really strange.

In conclusion, I initially decided to pay the steep price for this light because of the build quality, lumen output for a AA light, and most of all – the infinite variable brightness feature. After using it for almost a year now, I am still glad that I bought it. As with any new LED flashlight, you’re always hesitant to buy something that is just going to be out-dated a few months down the road. With the Nitecore IFD2, I ‘m still finding it comparable to other AA EDC lights.

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Fenix TK35 vs Fenix TK40

Here are a couple beamshots of the new Fenix TK35 compared to the Fenix TK40, 50 feet from the wall. The Fenix TK40 is rated at 630 lumens on turbo (which is what it’s on in the photo), and the Fenix TK35 is rated at 820 ANSI lumens on turbo (also what the image shows). As you can see the Fenix TK35 is quite a bit brighter than the TK40.

The fenix TK35 claims to effectively reach ~330 feet so I tested that as well. Sorry no images of that (my phone camera wouldn’t pick it up well enough), but I could easily see the wall from ~330 feet away. I could have gone quite a bit further and still made that wall out just fine.

Fenix TK40

Fenix TK35

Just for fun I thought I would throw in a beamshot of my Nitecore IFD2, which is rated at ~260 lumens on high (it’s on high in the image). This will give you a comparison of just how bright the Fenix TK35 and Fenix TK40 are.

Nitecore IFD2

I think the Fenix TK35 and the Nitecore IFD2 are my favorite LED flashlights right now. I also have the Quark AA2 regular from 4Sevens and have been very please with it’s performance as well. I’m looking forward to the EagleTac SST-90 lights that are supposed to be coming out soon. Good times.


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What Makes a Good Flashlight?

So I’m going to try and define some of the main factors for determining a good LED flashlight. I’m sure many people don’t care about all the details I’m about to list, but for those of us who can see what a good flashlight is, this might prove beneficial.

Factors to consider when analyzing flashlights, particularly LED flashlights (in no particular order):

  • build quality
  • regulation consistency
  • run time
  • output
  • cost
  • user interface
  • size
  • battery type
  • throw (distance)
  • flood ability
  • beam quality (rings or no rings)
  • weight
  • waterproofing
  • shock resistance
  • ability to perform in extreme temperatures
  • reflector type
  • efficiency
  • ergonomics
  • modes
  • ability to vary in output levels

What am I missing? Please comment….


Nitecore D20 R2 Review

My Nitecore D20 R2 LED flashlight recently came in the mail. Here’s a short summary of the things I like and do not like:
Pros:

  • Superb build quality.
  • Excellent regulation.
  • Good amount of output for a 2AA light (200 lumens on high)
  • Great size (for me).
  • Has an indestructible button.
  • Indefinite variable output levels between low and high.
  • Sturdy clip allows you to carry it in your pocket.
  • Anodization is very good.
  • It can stand on its tail to act as candle light.
  • The UI is simple and convenient.
  • Clip prevents rolling.
  • Has military grade drop and shock resistance rating.
  • Waterproofing seems a little better than other lights like it.
  • Has momentary on/off feature, a twist on/off feature, as well as a click on/off (very little sound on the click on/off though).

Cons:

  • Has rings in the beam (I thought the beam quality would be better)
  • Does not throw very far (it’s a great light for seeing a lot of detail, within 20-30 feet)
  • Batteries rattle a little.
  • Flashlight gets very hot after running on high for 5+ minutes.
  • Light will turn on with centrifugal force, or if tail is bumped. This is actually really annoying.
  • Button travel could be a bit longer (to give better feedback).
  • A little expensive for a 2AA light.

In general, this is a fantastic LED flashlight. It’s definitely one of my favorite lights, within this size category. The only two things that bother me are the rings in the beam and the fact that it doesn’t throw well. Besides those two things, I’m very happy with my purchase.



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