Today I have another Amutorch straight from Neal. It’s a 21700 cell light, set up as a thrower, but with basically the same body as some other Amutorch lights. It’s a very simple light, with a low price to match.
Official Specs and Features
There is just one body color, but the host is available with three different emitters: Cree XP-L HD NW, CW, and Lumileds Luxeon V.
This is the “medium head” light, because there’s a smaller head version too.
Price and Coupon
The price is $35.95, but buy it at NealsGadgets with coupon AMUTORCH for 15% off! = $30.56 total.
For $31, this is a nice entry into the 21700 light category. I’d prefer it to have a Cree XP-L HI instead of HD, though. The UI could be a bit more feature rich, too. But it’s a nicely built, inexpensive light.
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Lumileds Luxeon V|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$35.95
Buy it at NealsGadgets with coupon AMUTORCH for 15% off! = $30.56 total.
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Switch Type:||Mechanical (Fw)|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||2200|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1075 (48.9% of claim)^*|
|Claimed Throw (m)||531|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||1413lux @ 5.869m = 48671cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||441.2 (83.1% of claim)^*|
|All my Amutorch reviews!|
^Measurement claims are for the XP-L HI version. My review copy is a Lumileds Luxeon V version. (Output should be a little higher, throw should be a little lower than claimed.)
* 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 VG10 Medium Head Flashlight
- Spare O-rings (2)
- Spare switch boot
Package and Manual
Standard Amutorch package.
That’s the whole manual. I don’t speak that language, so it’s not really useful for me.
Build Quality and Disassembly
The built quality is really no different from the TC500 I just reviewed. “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.” In fact the body of these lights really seem to be the same.
I don’t know what the dark line going through the center of the light (seen below) is. It’s not discernible by hand. It has to do with how the finish is applied, I suppose, but what I know about anodizing, this wouldn’t happen. Anyway, it’s not a functional issue.
The threads are anodized, square cut, and big and thick. They’re surprisingly gritty, which is entirely in the finish (it’s that kind of grit). It’s not bad, not that annoying titanium grit… just noticeable.
The tailcap has a big chunk of brass, and a nice thick spring.
The cell tube, of course isn’t reversible.
The head has the same big thick spring, and the mcpcb is soldered to the pill.
The bezel unscrews easily, and the reflector comes right out. Thus the emitter is easily accessed.
Size and Comps
Size:149mm length 149mm x 48mm (head) x25.4mm (tube)
Retention and Carry
There’s just one way to carry the light by design. There’s a small ring collar under the tailcap, with a bumped out lanyard connector. This is removable, and the light will work fine without it. The ring is very thick, and very secure.
Power and Runtime
The VG10 is powered by a single 21700 cell. With springs on both ends, any type of 21700 should work (even if all the types aren’t really available yet). But this does mean that any other li-ion that fits should work – ie in a pinch you could use an 18650 (probably the longer the better). Also the drain on the higher modes isn’t that great, so just about any cell that fits would work fine.
Because it’s what I have on hand, and I like them all, I used a Molicel P42A 21700 cell. I reviewed that cell, too. Great cell – I like all the Molicels I’ve handled.
The highest mode is claimed at 1200 lumens, but the light doesn’t seem to quite hit that. It’s essentially within a 10% difference though. High holds out for over 2 minutes, but steps down hard to Medium, at 700 lumens. The light does have LVP, and before that even has a warning – the emitter flashes on and off (that’s visible at the end of the runtime, too.)
Medium is very flat and well regulated.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
* I don’t know what the manual says for duration. It’s in Chinese. Probably 2 hours, 4 hours 20 minutes, 9h30m, but i’m not certain. Also they tested with a 3500mAh 18650.
No PWM visible, but there appears to be a bit of sawtooth on Medium. Not something you’d likely notice, though.
For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor. And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned. Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!
User Interface and Operation
There’s just one button on the VG10. It’s a tail forward mechanical clicky. It’s proud (prevents tailstanding), and clicky with a bunch of knurling for good grip.
The UI has mode memory, and there are just three modes. So the UI is dead simple. (The only thing simpler would be the same UI with no mode memory.)
Here’s a UI table!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|Off||Half press||Momentary (Mode Memory)|
|Off||Tap||Mode advance (LMH)|
The manual seems to mention a 100 lumen mode, but I’m not sure where that is in the UI – I couldn’t find it.
LED and Beam
Amutorch has a Lumileds Luxeon V in my review copy, though also available from Neal is a Cree XP-L HD emitter in CW and NW. The reflector is deep and smooth, and provides a beam with a tight hotspot and little spill.
These beamshots are always with the following settings: f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.
Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)
I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Low price for a 21700 thrower
- Build quality is acceptable for a $31 light
What I don’t like
- Emitter choice is odd – much rather a HI version of the XP-L in this light.
- This light was provided by NealsGadgets for review. I was not paid to write this review.
- This content originally appeared at zeroair.org. Please visit there for the best experience!
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