Wowtac A6 Flashlight Review

Wowtac has an interesting new 18650 light out.  It’s a shorty, with a short reflector and a Luminus SST-40.  It boasts on-board charging too, and includes a cell in the package.  Read on for some testing!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.  Wowtac also offers 2 years maintenance service!

Versions

There is just one body of the A6, but it’s available with two temperature emitters:  CW and NW.  The version seen here is CW.

Price and Coupon

The Wowtac A6 is available on amazon.com for $29.99 (that’s a referral link).  I’ll have a 10% off coupon shortly, I think!


Short Review

This is a fun light, and particularly nice because it’s not very big for an 18650 light!  That the package includes a cell and is only $30 makes it a good deal.

Long Review

The Big Table

Wowtac A6
Wowtac’s Facebook page
Emitter: Luminus SST-40 (CW)
Price in USD at publication time: $29.99 and is
available on amazon.com
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): 0.00001
On-Board Charging? Yes
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? 2 Lowest modes (with or without cell)
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1460
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1465 (100.3% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 174
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 360lux @ 5.036m = 9130cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 191.1 (109.8% of claim)*
All my Wowtac 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).

What’s Included

  • Wowtac A6 Flashlight
  • Wowtac 2600mAh 18650
  • Charge cable (USB to micro-USB)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Spare charge port cover
  • Pocket clip
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Typical Wowtac/Thrunite package.  The box indicates if you have CW or NW too.

The manual is included in 4 languages.

Build Quality and Disassembly

Typical build quality for a Wowtac – the quality is good.

One thing I note immediately when holding this light is that the knurling is quite aggressive.  It doesn’t tear the skin, but it’s very grippy.

Even (or particularly) the tailcap has plenty of knurling.  This is needful for easy cell swaps.  You might never need to remove the cap though, since you can charge the cell inside the light.

The tailcap has a spring but no magnet.  The head has a deep brass button, which allows for use of any type cell.

The cell tube is not reversible.

That means the pocket clip can only face one direction, since there’s a spot for it only on the tail end.

The anodized threads mean locking the light out is easy – just a very small twist is all it takes.  Standby drain on this light is very low though.

The threads are extremely smooth – square cut and anodized.  Even smooth enough to allow one handed unscrewing.

Size and Comps

Officially:

Dimension:98.5mm*26.5mm*23.5mm
Weight:  96g (excluding battery)

This is a small 18650 light.  Not the smallest, but it’s on the same order as the smallest.

Retention and Carry

The only means for carrying the A6 is the included clip, which ships unattached.

The clip fits only on the tail end of a cell tube that isn’t reversible.  This means the light can be bezel down carry only.

Friction fit clips aren’t my favorite but this one is very sturdy, and also nice quality.

If you have your own lanyard, you may attach it through the tailcap.  The pocket clip too has a couple of openings that could accept a lanyard.

Since the clip isn’t reversible, the light can’t be used as a hatlight.

Power and Runtime

The A6 is powered by a single 18650 cell.  A proper cell for this application is included.  It’s a 2600mAh cell.

The included cell is a button top, but any type 18650 with reasonable discharge capability will work fine.

I performed a couple of runtimes.  Turbo first – The A6 holds turbo for around a minute and a half, then steps down very dramatically.  Temperature spikes but doesn’t seem to get very high.  There’s not a lot of mass in the A6.  The A6 does hit the claimed output at 30s, which is good.

High output is exactly the same as turbo, after turbo steps down.  The output looks to track cell voltage on the way down.  The A6 does shut off, but the shut off voltage is low (in the 2.6V range.)

The A6 also has built-in charging, via a micro-USB port in the head.  The port is sealed with a press-in rubber cover.  A spare is provided.

An appropriate cable is included, too.  USB to micro-USB.

Here are a couple of charge tests.  Looks like the light charges at around 1A.  I used two different USB sources – it looks like the MC3000 USB out isn’t providing clean current.  When the A6 has a good supply, the CC phase is 1A steady.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1460 2m+210m 1465 3.12
High 400 3.5h 432 0.96
Medium 80 16h 110 0.18
Low 12 104h 27 0.05
Firefly 0.5 104d ~ ~

PWM

PWM is visible on the scope on the middle three modes.  It’s not terribly bad PWM 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

This Wowtac has a single side switch, which is an indicating e-switch. There are two emitters, displaying red and blue. The cover is clear silicone, and a little low and hard to find for my tastes – I prefer these side switches to be a bit proud like on the A4.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (memory, LMH only)
Off Hold Firefly
Any Double Click Turbo
Turbo Double Click Strobe
On Click Off
On Hold Mode cycle (LMH only)

That’s the same UI as other Wowtacs (A4 and A5 for example) and also many Thrunites (TC20 for example).

LED and Beam

Wowtac has opted for a Luminus SST-40 for the A6.  Mine’s CW but NW is also (or will also be) available.  I’d prefer NW but CW is what I have on my bench, so….

The reflector is very shallow and broad, and has an orange peel texture.

As you’d expect on this light with this setup, the beam has a bunch of flood, but still maintains a defined hotspot.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

Test light is on the left.

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!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Low cost complete package
  • Small size
  • Hits specs
  • Output lasts for longer than “gaming FL1”

What I don’t like

  • CW – I’d love to see how the NW version is in person
  • The knurling is a bit aggressive for me
  • Stepdown from Turbo is dramatic

Notes

  • This light was provided by Wowtac for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Shop my amazon.com store for the best lights!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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