Amutorch X9 Flashlight Review
The Amutorch X9 is an e-switch flashlight with Luminus SST-40 emitters, and onboard charging! Read on for some thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
There’s just one version.
Price and Coupon
The price now is $59.95, but the coupon AMUTORCH will take 15% off at NealsGadgets!
I’d recommend buying other lights instead of this one. It’s a neat light, and has some things you might not find elsewhere (larger head with a triple), but the absolutely unregulated output on Turbo (and even high, for that matter) make this a no-buy for me. Unless you really know you want a light to get over 70°C, then look elsewhere. (Buy two FW3A’s, and use them at the same time!)
The Big Table
|Emitter:||Luminus SST-40 (Triple)|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$59.95
Use coupon AMUTORCH to take 15% off at NealsGadgets!
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||0.00004|
|Power off Charge Port with no Cell?||Yes, 3 modes|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||4500|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||4775 (106.1% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||356|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||951lux @ 4.455m = 18875cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||274.8 (77.2% of claim)^|
|All my Amutorch reviews!|
^ 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). Throw at 30 seconds is after a stepdown.
- Amutorch X8 Flashlight
- Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
- Spare o-rings (2)
- Manual (in Chinese)
Package and Manual
I’m not including the manual, because it’s in Chinese. I didn’t find an English manual.
Build Quality and Disassembly
As with other similar lights, the threads on this light are a bit gritty. But that’s probably the second thing you’ll notice. The first is that the parts don’t seem to match – the head (switch/charge area) and tail match mostly, and the body and bezel match (mostly).
The X9 is titanium, and the thread scratchiness support that claim.
The tailcap has some nice indentions for grip, and is generally roughish, which also provides grip.
The head has thick fins, and let me tell you it absolutely needs those finds (more later). Also seen below is the charge port.
The button is opposite the charge port.
The cell tube is not reversible, even though it does screw together – electrical contact is not made.
The threads are big and thick square-cut, with moderate lube.
Both the head and tail have very short gold-plated stiff springy springs. The brass looking ring on both the head and tail is actually a brass ring (not a layer on the mcpcbs).
The bezel unscrews easily, and the reflector comes out easily. The mcpcb is held in place by a single screw in the center.
The underside of the aluminum reflector (which has a lot of mass, by the way) has built-in the initials RHD (Or HDR or DRH or whatever). I don’t know what that means but probably something important. I’m sure Nicholas Cage could help us decipher it.
There’s plenty of room in the cell tube. While this is a 26650 light, I have many more 18650 cells, and many more capable 18650 cells, so I tested the light with this Molicel P26A.
Size and Comps
Size: 104mm x 42mm x 32mm (Length x Head Diameter x Body Diameter)
I measure it at: 104.21 x 42.12 x 31.69
For a 26650 light, this one’s quite small. The head has some size, of course.
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 the X9 is the lanyard, which attaches through this steel ring collar on the tailcap. This is a very secure way to carry the X9. The ring is removable.
Power and Runtime
As said above, this is a 26650 light. A cell isn’t included, and all my 26650s aren’t necessarily high drain cells. So I picked from my fairly vast supply of 18650 cells, and went with this Molicel P26A 18650. It’s lower capacity (2600mAh) but has very high drain capabilities (35A).
And it works just fine. The springs hold it in place well enough. The only downside is that the cell probably can’t get its heat to the body of the light as efficiently.
Here’s the runtime on Turbo. At 2 minutes I manually shut off the light. Note the temperature (and the primary reason I will not recommend this light). It seems that the light is essentially a direct drive with no stepdowns and no regulation. At over 5000 lumens, for 2 solid minutes (drifting downward with cell voltage of course), this thing makes some heat! Over 70°C when I shut the light off. That’s absolutely too hot to hold, and was just about too hot to even touch. I let the light cool (fan-cooled runtime!) for a few minutes, and then restarted on turbo – the light stepped down quickly, and though the temperature still goes higher than lights usually do, it stayed within a safe range.
Thankfully at least the light has LVP, which kicks in at around 3V. Very likely on Turbo the light would drain a cell so fast that the temperature might not cause any problems, but it’s much too close for my preference.
The High runtime performs similarly, appearing like an unregulated run. Note that the temperature rises quite high here, too.
In both cases the light exhibits LVP.
The X9 also has on-board charging. A cable is included, because the connector is proprietary. It’s USB to proprietary magnetic.
Charging works quite well, seeing over 1.5A for the whole CC phase, and charging this 2600mAh 18650 in well under 2 hours. (Yes at peak current, that’s a little high for the average 18650, but ok once in a while. For 26650 cells this should be a good charge rate.)
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
PWM is visible on the scope on low, but not in person. No other modes exhibit PWM.
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’s a single switch on the X9. It’s a side e-switch, with red and blue indicator functions. The silicone cover is translucent, and the button is clicky.
Here’s an example of the blue indication.
Here’s a UI table! Remember I don’t have a manual, so most of this is just going off me playing with the light and testing. I could easily miss things (like, apparently I can’t figure out how to get to one of the middle modes, and make this a 4 mode light, not 5.)
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory, excluding Turbo)|
|On||Click||Mode advance (LMH)|
|Off||Click 4x||Lockout (Double blink confirmation)|
|Lockout||Click 4x||Unlock (Double blink confirmation)|
|Low||Hold||Ramping (stops at max, no indication)^|
^ After ramping all the way to Turbo, clicking again ramps the light down to Low.
Note that the only way to make the light be a ramping light is to turn it on to Low, and ramp-up. Once the ramp is happening, a click turns the light off (whereas a click advances the mode if you didn’t start in Low and make the light ramp.) I hope to be explaining that clearly enough….
LED and Beam
The emitters here are Luminus SST-40. There are three of them, which makes this a triple but not a traditional triple – each emitter has most of a reflector to itself. The beam is surprisingly well focused, and the three appear as one in the beam. The reflectors are smooth, and the beam has a hotspot with a bunch of spill too.
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
- Good use of a 26650 size body
- Nice to see SST-40 emitters in production lights
- Charging works well
- Works with more than just 26650 cells (ie 18650 cells)
What I don’t like
- The unregulated output on Turbo (and even High, really) make this light a danger to use carelessly
- The threads are gritty
- The body and head and parts don’t really match well
- Claimed modes and actual modes don’t seem to line up well
- This light was provided by NealsGadgets.com for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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