Surefire Titan Plus Flashlight Review
The Surefire Titan Plus flashlight is a coated brass LED light in AAA twisty format. Read on for thoughts and testing!
Official Specs and Features
This is at least the second iteration of the Titan light. Of the Titan Plus there are at least two finishes: Nickel-plated brass (seen here) and black.
It seems this light is still available new around $90. I picked this up used for less.
It’s well documented that twisties aren’t my thing. But this is probably the smoothest twisty I have ever had. It could be that the previous owner took exceptional care of it and lubed the threads before sending it, but I have a feeling it’s just that smooth. There’s PWM on low which bothers me but the other two modes are good. Output meets specification too. Overall it’s a nice light that I’d love to see updated and brought current. A better emitter, no PWM, and some aluminum options would be great!
The Big Table
|Surefire Titan Plus|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$90.00|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||300|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||310 (103.3% of claim)^|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||77lux @ 4.094m = 1291cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||71.8^|
|All my Surefire 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).
- Surefire Titan Plus Flashlight
- Eneloop Pro AAA NiMH
- Tailcap quick release keyring attachment
Package and Manual
The package is a blister pack, and has a bunch of light-details.
Below is the manual. Looks like it also shows the Titan (A) series light. This is the Titan Plus, aka Titan Plus (B).
Build Quality and Disassembly
Again, the first most remarkable thing about this light is the buttery smooth threads. The second remarkable thing is the heft – it’s a nickel coated brass light. So while it might look aluminum, it’s not. And the weight will tell you that immediately.
The nickel coating has a fantastic feel in hand, and gives just a tiny touch of grip. Grip is something that’s not really provided any other way, because there’s no knurling at all.
The lights are serialized, too. The tailcap has this keyring loop, which is not removable. Let’s shelve that topic for now….
The quick-release is a steel friction fit piece that attaches very securely – again, more on that later.
The Surefire toupee.
The tail end has a thin spring, and the head end has only a button.
The threads might look dirty, but even if they are – so smooth is the action…. They’re just triangle cut, very fine threads.
The guts in the head just unscrew, and offer no resistance.
Despite the body of the light being brass and looking aluminum, the pill is actually aluminum. Aluminum’s great for pills, but it’s hard to understand why the body is brass, made to look like aluminum….
The emitter sits on a mcpcb which by look (and reports) is thermally glued down.
Here are some further disassembly shots, on candlepowerforums. A solid effort by Noctiluco, but not enough to convince me to reflow a different emitter on there. A hot air station is what you’d really need, I think. It’s likely that the mcpcb is thermally glued down.
Size and Comps
Length 3.375 inches
Bezel Diameter 0.58 inches
Weight w/Batteries 2.0 ounces
Here’s the test light with the venerable Convoy S2+. Mine’s a custom “baked” edition Nichia 219b triple. A very nice 18650 light.
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
First of all, there are two ways to attach a split ring. On the tailcap there’s a built-in loop. This of course prevents tailstanding, which I think is a terrible decision. Also there’s this clip on black split ring attachment meant for keyring use and quick release. I won’t use the quick release, but I’d prefer it to be an option with no built-in loop.
The built-in loop is just too much.
Also included is a pocket clip, which is a collar variety and removable. It’s not reversible though, so no hatlight use for this light. It’s not an extremely finished clip, so the edges are a bit sharp. That said, I actually like it as a clip. The mouth is small but big enough, and it holds the light deeply. If this clip doesn’t suit you, there are aftermarket clips made specially for this light, by DarkSucks. That clip is titanium.
This clip also affords the option to attach a lanyard. The tail loop does this too, really.
Power and Runtime
The Titan Plus is powered by a single AAA-sized cell. Surefire includes an Eneloop Pro, which is a very nice touch. It’s unclear if this light will support a lithium-ion AAA-sized cell – a 10440, but at the very least it’s not officially supported. Reports are that it won’t kill your light immediately, though.
Here’s a runtime on High. Output at 30s meets specs, but soon after the voltage-tracking decline begins. There isn’t LVP, but that’s a less terrible thing for NiMH cells.
Here’s a runtime on the middle mode, and this time no fan was used. This output too is right at the specification.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
PWM is noticeable visibly on low, but doesn’t seem to even be present on the higher two modes.
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
This is a twisty, and there are three modes with nothing hidden.
Here’s a UI table!
|Low||Off then On (within 1 second)||Medium|
|Medium||Off then On (within 1 second)||High|
Some users report that there is an even lower mode available and the way to get to it is to sprinkle pixie dust on the light and twist with unicorn fingers while it’s raining mermaid tears. That lower low isn’t officially mentioned, so I’m not going to mention it here. Something lower than 15 lumens would be a nice feature, though.
LED and Beam
In this light is a Cree XP-G2. Appears to be cool white. There’s a reflector in this tiny light. I don’t know that it’s specified but it looks like a small Ledil Boom reflector.
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!
Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….
Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on parametrek.com. I use that site a lot!
This isn’t a small category. Twisty AAA light…. At $90 this isn’t particularly compelling unless you just really have to have the name Surefire on your lights, or need a brass light that looks like aluminum.
But if you can find one of these used for less, it’s much more compelling. It’s very well built, and meets specification.
What I like
- Great heft (it’s brass!)
- Includes high-quality NiMH cell
- Suuuuuper smooth threads
What I don’t like
- Would love an uncoated brass option
- Wish it was updated to a (C) version that had a better emitter and no PWM
- Has PWM on low (and low is the mode you’ll see the most)
- The built-in tail loop
- This light was provided by me for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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