There’s a brand new flashlight maker on the scene. Mechforce has been making all sorts of things: firearm accessories and parts, spinners, and tools, and has this new entry to the flashlight world. It’s the Mechtorch EDC Flashlight. I’m super excited to have one of these and pleased to submit this review. Read on for photos and thoughts!
There is just one metal option (titanium) but it’s available in two finishes. Stonewash (seen here) and a “black gold” (TiN (Titanium Nitride Coated) and Black PVD)). The black gold may be slated for later release (and oh how I wish it was black orange!). The stonewash version has two options, too: Lite and Turbo. The Lite is fairly non-specific but the Turbo (what I have here) is a H17f driver. The lights are the same otherwise.
Price and Coupon
Stonewash Lite: $180
Stonewash Turbo: $200
Black Gold Titanium: $220
Don’t even think about not getting the H17f (Turbo) option unless you’re just going to be putting some other driver in it. $20 for the H17f is an absolutely no-brainer.
To be perfectly honest, I did not expect to like this light in hand. Based solely on looks I thought it’d be a little cumbersome, and just… not all that appealing.
In hand, I absolutely love it. The driver is great (of course, H17f is great), but the body of this light is just fantastic. The stonewash is a great finish for touching, and the lack of knurling allows the user to really feel the finish (much like on the TorchLAB BOSS lights, which we should all know I love). Overall, just a great light and a great experience with the light. I recommend it.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Nichia 219c (Warm White)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$200.00|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1300|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1212 (93.2% of claim)*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||164lux @ 6.163m = 6229cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||157.8|
|All my Mechforce-USA reviews!|
- Standard measurement disclaimer: I am an amateur flashlight reviewer. I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment. I test output and such in PVC tubes!! Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).
- Mechforce Mechtorch Titanium Turbo EDC Flashlight
- Efest 700mAh 18350 cell
- Mechforce Sticker
- Two page printed manual
Package and Manual
The Mechtorch arrives in a printed box, with Mechforce branding, and a QR code on the back. The box is slip-fit, but opens easily. The box does specify the model; in my case “Titanium Turbo.”
Here’s the extensive manual. It’s two full pages of paper, both printed only one side. I like small concise manuals, but it’s understandable that the H17f would need to be a much longer document, since the full information is included.
Build Quality and Disassembly
As I intoned above, this light – particularly the finish – feels great in hand. It’s also well built.
There are a number of things about this light that indicate it’s been designed from the ground up. First of all, what else have you ever seen that’s like this light:
Secondly the clip is an unusual pattern for a flashlight (more on that later). That means the clip is thinner than most. There are other differences, and here’s one:
Notice the head. Many lights, the head screws onto the body. On the Mechtorch, the head screws into the body. I can’t say if that’s better or worse, but it’s interesting that it’s different. Effectively the usage is the same. As far as I can tell, none of the other parts are removable – the tailcap doesn’t unscrew from the cell tube, and does look to be one piece. The bezel doesn’t unscrew from the head, but it does look like two separate pieces. I didn’t get them apart, anyway. (Read on and look at photos of the guts, though.)
The tail end has a big thick coated spring. The head has a standard qlite spring. Another difference, though I believe not specific to Mechforce, is the retaining rings that are used on the head and tail. They’re nice symmetrical beautiful parts.
The threads, oh the threads. Titanium threads are notoriously gritty. In fact that’s one thing that confirms this as actual titanium. That’s not necessarily good, but at the same time, these are quite smooth titanium threads. They’re triangle cut threads, much like just about any other higher-end custom flashlight. Below have a look at the bezel – it must be removable, but it’s quite confident and happy to stay put exactly where it is, and I didn’t really want to pull it.
Here’s a better look at the head and body meet. There’s an o-ring on the head
Below is the driver with the retaining ring out, and the driver pulled up a little. The wires go through a hole in this pill to the head.
Maybe it’s just the flashlight nerd in me, but I think the guts below just look great. That retaining ring is aluminum.
And a better look at how other lights achieve the same connection between body and head. The Hanko (Brass Total Tesseract) seen below is a prime example – body is threaded to accept the head that fits over those threads.
Though it is not advertised (and seems to be a bit of an open-secret), those slots inset into the head are in fact tritium slots. I count 16 slots. That’s the standard “flashlight sized” slot – 1.5mm x 6mm, I believe. With those 16 slots already milled, I’m surprised there aren’t more all over the light (particularly the thicker neck).
In case you needed more proof that I like this light: Here’s a shot that I don’t even have anything to say about. Just look at that awesome light.
I’ll follow that up with my single gripe about this Mechtorch. The rubber switch is proud. It’s not so proud that the light won’t tailstand, but it’s very close. I’d really rather have a flush rubber button, or even a nice metal cover on the switch (though, other makers have proven this doesn’t work all that well). It’s just that one little niggle….
Another surprise about this light: Despite what looks like a fluted bezel, the actual lip of the bezel sits completely flat on a surface. Ie no light escapes (unlike below, but that’s because the surface is varied, not the light). This isn’t good or bad, just surprising based on the look of the bezel from the side.
Here’s a look at the “tailstanding.” It does work. Just not well. Or maybe perfect, if you need the light on at a non-90 degree angle? Maybe it’s a feature not a flaw. 🙂
One final glamorous thing: Under the optic is the absolutely glowiest slow ring that I have ever had in a light. Run this light on turbo for a minute and you’ll be able to use the glow as a moonlight mode. It’s extremely bright. By the way I love glowy things.
Size and Comps
I don’t see any official measurements, so I took a bunch.
28.4mm (across body at clip)
26.6mm (thickest part of body only)
23.4mm (area for trits)
20.8mm (thinnest part of body)
5mm hole spacing (I am pretty sure, that’s the same as Fellhoelter pen clip spacing, but I can’t find the actual hole spacing measure anywhere.)
Now the real kicker about this light. It’s small! The BOSS is the standard, and while the Hanko is bigger, it still has a small feel (especially compared to something like an Okluma DC1). The Mechtorch is just barely longer than the BOSS. That’s practically a coup for this little light.
Retention and Carry
The only way for carry of this light is the clip. It’s an unusual clip as I’ve said. Unusual doesn’t mean bad, but it does mean you won’t be throwing your SteelFlame clip on here. I don’t have that sickness fortunately, so the stock clip is just fine for me. The clip screws in with Torx screws, but is easily removable.
As far as usability, the clip is great. It’s very stiff which means there’s absolutely no room for error in the build. It’s not stamped or water jet cut or whatever. So strictly speaking, it’s probably a more precise piece of equipment than most clips.
I often mention tailstanding in “Retention” when there’s nothing else to say, or tailstanding is bad. I’ll mention it again here with this photo, because I just really wish this light would tailstand!
Power and Runtime
Mechforce includes the cell you’ll need for operating this light. The Mechtorch is a 18350 light, and an Efest 700mAh 18350 is included. I’ve had mixed results with Efest Purple before. When I’m buying I buy Vapcell 18350 cells because they’re higher capacity (1100mAh plus) and maintain the high current capability.
The included cell is a flat top, and surprisingly came completely charged (normally cells ship at ~3.6V).
The cell goes into the light tail first, aka the same way almost every light except a few random lights (like small Olights) go. Positive terminal toward head.
It’s a little hard to provide runtimes on a light with a H17f driver. I tested the light 3 ways. The light comes configured in a certain way, which isn’t really described in the documentation. That’s ok; set the modes how you want them.
Here’s a runtime on the highest mode in the default group (there are two groups!). This isn’t helpful or telling regarding output or temp, since we can’t say what the defaults are. Anyway, here are the defaults. (Also, sorry for no temp here: I’m pretty certain my temp logger is on the fritz.)
Next is a runtime on the third highest mode of the default setup in the main mode group, but with the temperature setting changed from default to a 70 degree shutoff. At the end of this runtime, I tried to hit turbo again, and that’s the blip you see – the cell doesn’t have the juice to get more than a few hundred lumens. (That’s expected, but included just FYI.)
And finally, here’s a runtime on what’s practically the blazingest mode possible but with still reasonable temp settings. I reprogrammed the light to mode 24, which is as high as the output can be. I set the temp stepdown to 70 degrees C. The output is much higher. Even at 30s, the output is still almost twice what the default is.
I recommend playing with the programming on this light to get the modes like you want, and I hope the above runtimes are helpful in that regard.
User Interface and Operation
The switch for the Mechtorch is a mechanical reverse clicky, with a custom rubber boot. Again, that’s a surprising touch – not many manufacturers have a customized boot!! (And those who do still manage to generic-it-up too much, and don’t own it like Mechforce has here.)
The H17f driver just has too many options for a full table. Also, this is a reverse clicky, which is an H17f first for me – every other light I’ve had with this driver has been a forward clicky.
|Off||Half Press||No Action|
|On||Half Click||Mode advance|
|On||Half click 8x [or more] fast (very fast!)||Enter programming mode. Also, display cell voltage *|
|Programming mode||Half click 2x||Switch mode groups|
- Cell voltage indicator (immediately when programming is entered): Each ‘big’ blink of the emitters is approximately 0.12V, starting at 3.0V. So 1 blink =3V. 2 blinks = 3.12V and so on. 10 blinks = 4.2V.
Here is a handy flow chart I made for the forward clicky implementation of this driver:
This flow chart will be true in almost all cases with the major exception of how to get to programming. With the forward clicky (as above) the light is off to get to programming – you’re basically utilizing the momentary function of a forward clicky to enter programming. With a reverse clicky, the light must be on to get to programming (otherwise the light isn’t electrically connected – there is no ‘momentary’ with reverse clicky).
Once you’re in programming mode, everything is (should be) the same.
Here’s a link to the driver configuration from the maker himself: http://drjones.nerdcamp.net/h17f.html
Modes and Currents
I’m skipping this category alltogether. Please see the runtimes above for what my outputs are for the respective tested modes. Since nothing is claimed on the product listing, I won’t make a table of such outputs.
LED and Beam
As is just about standard with these little lights, this is a triple. There are no emitter choices, but the stock one is just fine – it’s Nichia 219c in “warm white” (but unspecified). Again, have a look at that glow gasket!!
I find 219c emitters to be the most ‘stark white’ of any, and this is no exception. I’d call this one Neutral White before I’d call it Warm White.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
This photo looks exactly like it should. See how stark white the left, 219c is, vs the 219b?
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Hanko, BOSS, Okluma, Venom, Rotavision, Pele, etc – all are comparable. Not one of those approaches the price of this light. Particularly that this is a titanium light, with some unusual features…. Every one should buy one of these. Period. I would absolutely love to see these in other metals too. Brass, copper, etc. I would buy brass. I really like this light!
What I like
- Unusual build, and good build quality
- Independently thought out, as proven by the clip, head connection, trit slots, etc
- 16 tritium slots (!!!)
- Very individualized, with the custom switch cover as an example
- So glad H17f is an option, and only adds $20 to the price
- Carries well, and is small
What I don’t like
- Tailstand isn’t clean. I want the boot to be flatter
- Since we’re starting from scratch here, I’d really like to have seen beefy square cut threads on the head/body connection
- Specification page lacks the granular detail I’d really like
- Lack of brass as a body option
- This light was provided by Mechforce for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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