Nitefox K3 Flashlight Review

Preface

Truth is, I really only like one kind of twisty light.  That happens to be triple A pocket lights.  Nightfox wanted to send another of their lights for review (the UT20) and I asked that they include this little twisty.  So here’s how that one pans out!  (The UT20 will likely be finished later this week.)


Official Specs and Features

Versions

Just the one version, I believe!  It’s available in two colors: red, and black (seen here).

Price

The black version is $10, and the red is $13.


Short Review

Functionally this light is great.  The size is also great.  I could do without the strobe altogether, and the tint could probably improve, but this isn’t a bad light at all!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Nitefox K3 Keychain flashlight
  • Pocket clip
  • Keychain and clip
  • Split ring
  • Spare o-ring
  • Lantern cover
  • Manual

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Package and Manual

The package is a little plastic box which snaps shut.  It’s a good package really.  The printing is attached by stickers, which don’t really provide much if any information.

The manual is probably better than one would expect out of an inexpensive light like this.  It’s comprehensive, and that’s all we can ask of it.

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Build Quality and Disassembly

Small lights are sometimes hard to evaluate for build quality.  This one feels like a nicely built light in hand.  The knurling is grippier, and has pointed-top diamond, but on a light this small it’s not even aggressive at all.

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The threads are very smooth, and contact is made before the threads bottom out (one of my main concerns with twisties).  Amazingly on a light this small, these are actually square cut threads!  A very nice touch.  The light only disassembles into two parts (head and tail).

Size

Officially the light is 70mm long.  It’s around 12mm in head diameter, too.  This is in line with the smallest AAA lights available.

Here it’s between two brass lights.  Lumintop AAA Tool (left) and Olight i03 (right).  You’ll note the similarities with the Olight.

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Retention

The light ships with nothing installed.  I immediately added the included pocket clip of course. It’s a simple friction fit clip, and works very well.  It’s reversible, with the tailcap installation providing a much deeper carry.

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There’s also a very small split ring, which connects to a small chain and hook closure.

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Power

The K3 is powered by a single AAA sized cell.  It’s made for use with primary cells (alkaline) or NiMH.  The manual specifies these two cells, so I don’t believe I’d try a Li-Ion (10440) cell in this light.  As is most common, the positive end of the cell is oriented toward the head.

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Here’s a runtime on high.  Output is surprisingly stable for 45 minutes.  Very respectable.  There isn’t proper LVP, but the light does switch over to a very low strobe, so any active user would take note of this.

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User Interface and Operation

This is a simple twisty.  Twist for on (low, if it’s been a while since you turned it on).  Turn off and on for med, and again for high.  If you twist off and on very quickly, you’ll get strobe. And you can get strobe from anywhere by twisting off and on twice quickly.  Twisting through the modes slowly will still mode cycle normally (LMH).  The reset is around 10 seconds… Ie if you’re in medium and want low, you must wait around 10 seconds for the light to reset to low.

Modes

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Mode Measured Lux Tailcap Amps
High 150 0.5h 2000 0.50
Medium 15 6.5h 504 0.10
Low 0.1 120 46

LED and Beam

Nitefox has put a Cree XP-G2 in this little light.  The reflector is deep and very lightly orange peel.

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The beam is fairly broad with not much spill at all.

Tint vs BLF-348

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The tint’s probably not as bad as this photo makes it look, but it could certainly be better.

Beamshots, Runtime, and Lux Measurements

Nitefox K3
Emitter Cree XP-G2
Emitter Notes  –
Cell AAA
Glamour Shots Beamshots [0.3″, f/8, ISO 100, 5000k]
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Warning (Strobe)
Claimed Lumens (lm) 150
Lux (Measured) 77 lux @ 2.495 m
Candela (Calculated) in cd 479.3
Throw (Calculated) (m) 43.8
Throw (Claimed) (m) 45

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

To be sure there are a ton of lights in this category.  Particularly compelling in my opinion is the Eagtac D25AAA, which has a Nichia emitter.  Unfortunately it’s two or three times the cost (though, if you find the right sale….)

Otherwise twisty AAA lights are almost a wash.  If this one has the emitter and UI that you like most, it’ll be a great light!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Build quality is very good
  • Square cut threads!
  • Strobe can be avoided if desired
  • Output is rock solid for nearly full runtime on High.

What I don’t like

  • Mode cycle reset is too long at ~10s.
  • No 10440 support
  • High output is fairly low

Up Next

I have the Nitefox UT20 this week as well, and a Rofis light too!  I’ll likely have an RC car review finished this week, and I hope to wrap on something else.  I’ve been working on a lot of stuff for a long time!  I’d love to move it along.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Nitefox for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.wordpress.com.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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