Amutorch TC500 (New) Flashlight Review
The Amutorch TC500 (New) flashlight is a 21700 based thrower, which can reach 900m and runs a single Luminus SST-40. Read on!
Official Specs and Features
There are three emitters available on the TC500, but just one body and color. The options from Neal are CREE XP-L HI, Luminus SST40 (this is the version I’m reviewing here), and Philips LUXEON.
Price and Coupon
My version of the TC500 came from NealsGadgets. Here’s an affiliate link where the price is $45.95 for the light. At this time it’s hard to find Amutorch lights anywhere but Neals!
This light is a nice use of a 21700 cell and has a good throw (nearly 900m) to match. Not only that, the lumens are fairly ridiculous (at 2561), and well over the rating (of 2200).
The Big Table
|Amutorch TC500 (New)|
|Emitter:||Luminus SST40 (CW)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$45.95
Use coupon NDAMTC500 if you buy it at NealsGadgets!
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2200|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||2511 (114.1% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||7850lux @ 5.019m = 197744cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||889.4^|
|All my Amutorch 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).
- Amutorch TC500
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Spare rubber button cover (tailswitch only)
- Spare lens (!!)
Package and Manual
Standard Amutorch box here.
I don’t believe I had a manual with my package!
Build Quality and Disassembly
I immediately notice that the cell tube and tailcap seem to be different color anodizing. That won’t be a functional issue, but it’s just a little noticeable. Still, the light is nicely built and seems quite solid.
There are some fins on the head around the switch, and also further up the bezel. They aren’t too deep but seem fine. The anodizing feels particularly thick on this light, too.
The bezel is stainless steel, and the head of the light has a model number and serial on one side.
And the logo and brand on the opposite. Both are silkscreened on.
The cell tube removes completely from the head and tail.
Above, note the thick spring on the tailcap, and all the brass parts for good electrical connections. Below note that the head end has a big thick beefy spring, and the brass ring looks to be soldered to the pill for electrical contact.
The cell tube is not reversible but has anodized, square-cut threads on both ends. (If you’re keeping score, these are actually probably “trapezoidal” threads, in fact.)
That lanyard ring is stainless steel, and removes easily but must go over that clear o-ring, with a bit of resistance.
All in all, the build quality is good. The threads are just a little grainy; noticeable, but not really bad.
Size and Comps
I measure this light as the following:
Bezel diameter: 63.69 mm
Length: 146.55 mm
Tailcap diameter: 30.24 mm
The light isn’t long, but the bezel is quite large for such a light.
I like 21700 lights, and this is no exception. It feels the “right-size” and particularly with a thrower, this larger size makes great sense.
And here’s the light beside my custom engraved TorchLAB BOSS 35, an 18350 light. I reviewed the aluminum version of that light in both 35 and 70 formats.
Retention and Carry
The only included means for carrying this light is a lanyard. The lanyard attaches only on a stainless loop on the cell tube, near the tailcap. This collar ring may be removed. This is a very secure lanyard attachment point. Even with the light fully tightened, this collar ring can rotate around the body of the light.
There’s no belt clip, pouch, or any other means for carry of this light.
Power and Runtime
The TC500 runs on a single li-ion cell. A perfect fit is a 21700 cell, but 20700 cells should work fine too. A 18650 cell will not work, because it’s not long enough.
I’ll add that on Turbo this light wants over 7A, so you’ll want to use a very capable cell in this light. I chose this Molicel from LiionWholesale (reviewed here), and I wholeheartedly recommend that cell for this light.
On Turbo, the light output basically tracks cell voltage, and doesn’t seem to get too hot – the fins seem to do their job fine. I measured the output much higher than the claim, of 2200 lumens.
Output on High is much more stable, but still just tracks voltage as the cell depletes.
At 2.9V there’s a flash warning, and then the light turns off. This is good LVP.
Pulse Width Modulation
PWM is present on all but Turbo.
I’ve included two views of PWM, both because I accidentally measured it on two different occasions and because they provide two views on PWM based on the timescale shown. The upper shows 5ms, and the lower shows 50us. Just interesting data points. I haven’t found a good “always works for every light” graph, so it’s good to have a look at the timescale. Also, I think this is the first review posted with the “bad PWM” example light link below. It’s comically bad.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. Also, here’s the light with the worst PWM I could find. I’m adding multiple timescales, so it’ll be easier to compare to the test light. Unfortunately, the PWM on this light is so bad that it doesn’t even work with my normal scale, with is 50 microseconds (50us). 10ms. 5ms. 2ms. 1ms. 0.5ms. 0.2ms. In a display faster than 0.2ms or so, the on/off cycle is more than one screen, so it’d just (very incorrectly) look like a flat line. I wrote more about this Ultrafire WF-602C flashlight and explained a little about PWM too.
User Interface and Operation
There are two buttons on the TC500. There’s a tailswitch, which is a mechanical forward clicky. This allows momentary (mode memory). This switch is surprisingly stiff and very clicky.
And there’s a side e-switch, which is white but doesn’t seem to have any indicating function (as you might expect with it being white/clear). This is a very grippy silicone switch, and also quite clicky.
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click Side Switch (SS)||No action|
|Off||Click Tail Switch (TS)||On (Medium)|
|On||Click SS||Mode Advance (LMH)|
|On||Double Click SS||Turbo|
|On||Triple Click SS||Strobe|
I believe that’s it. It’s a very straightforward UI.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
LED and Beam
The emitter in my review copy is a Luminus SST40, and there’s a very smooth reflector for better throw. This is a cool white emitter, and I think the SST40 isn’t available in this light in anything but CW.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Very high lumen output
- Good throw
- Use of 21700 cell
- Dual Switch UI
- Proper LVP
What I don’t like
- Dual switches could be better utilized in UI
- Mismatched anodizing in tailcap and body
- This light was provided by NealsGadgets.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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