This is not really a “flashlight” review – it’s a review of the body tube that shortens the FW series lights from 18650 cell size to 18350 cell size. So bear that in mind with all the runtimes and most other stuff – a lot of the info just supports the photos, which adequately describe the product. And it’s a neat on! Read on!
Official Specs and Features
Here’s a link to the official product page. (referral link)
These shorty tubes are available in a variety of metals – copper (seen here), brass, aluminum, and titanium. Titanium’s even available stonewashed or polished.
The copper goes for $9.95, but the price varies for other materials.
You can view and buy them here at Nealsgadgets.
If you find the 18650 size too long, then this shorty tube might be just the thing. This makes a great little pocket weight, since there’s no pocket clip. Performance (with regard to output) doesn’t really suffer much, so it’s reasonable if an 18350 sized (capacity) cell is enough for you.
The Big Table
|Lumintop FW3C (18350 Tube)|
|Emitter:||Tested with Cree XP-L HI 5000K Triple|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$9.95 at NealsGadgets.|
|Turbo Runtime||High Runtime|
|Quiescent Current (A):||–|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||–|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||687|
|Candela per Lumen||5.3|
|Claimed Throw (m)||–|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||464lux @ 3.355m = 5223cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||144.5|
|All my Lumintop 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).
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
Size and Comps
Retention and Carry
The 18350 body offers a spot for a clip, but to my knowledge, Lumintop does not offer a shorty clip for these bodies.
I do recommend if you go with this body, to also grab a $2 lanyard ring. It’ll sit in the groove intended for a pocket clip, and won’t be in the way like a pocket clip would be (being too long). It’ll fill that annoying gap, whether you use it as a lanyard holder or not.
Update! There is actually a clip for this little guy. Here’s a link. It’s one of the two-way type clips which are absolutely not my favorite, but it looks pretty slim. Still, I think the lanyard loop is a better option!
Power and Runtime
This section is a little bit arbitrary since you could put the 18350 body on just about any 18650 FW light you own (except the FW3E). But I’ve tested here on a standard FW3A, which I reviewed here. Yes, I tested this copper body with an aluminum head/tail. I did this because my FW3C doesn’t work reliably enough for testing.
I reset the light to Turbo a couple times toward the end – you can see the performance lowers as the cell voltage gets lower.
High, with a bunch of resets. More relevant is that the runtime is noticeably shorter than with an 18650 cell.
We know Anduril has PWM. Since this is just a body and has no electronics, I won’t add images here.
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
The interface for this light is a tail clicky, but unusually, it’s an e-switch. That’s a bit of a coup, and something not many manufacturers are doing (in tail-switch form). Lumintop actually has the Tool AAA, which has a tail e-switch option. And at least one more option I can’t think of right now.
The button itself is metal (with that rubber cover under), and has a very minimal amount of travel (1mm or less). Despite being a very big switch, it’s possible to actuate from anywhere on the surface – even the tiniest fingernail on the very edge will still work.
It should absolutely be noted that there are replacement switch covers. For example, Neal sells turboglow options (which I’ll be ordering obviously [r/GITD!!]). There are a bunch of color options. Here’s that option.
This chart will probably be more useful for you right brain users….
But here’s a UI table anyway!
|Off||Click||On (Mode Memory)|
|Off||Click 2x||Highest Hybrid Mode|
|Off||Click 3x||Blinkie Mode Group|
|Off||Click, Click, Hold||Strobe Group (Mode Memory Strobe)|
|Strobe Group||Click 2x||Strobe Cycle (Candle > Bike Flasher > Party Strobe > Tactical Strobe > Lightning Storm)|
|Blinkie Mode Group||Click 2x||Blinke Cycle (Sunset > Beacon > TempCheck > BattCheck)|
|On||Click 3x||Switch between Stepped and Smooth Ramp|
|On||Click 4x||Ramp Configuration|
|TempCheck||Click 4x||Thermal Configuration|
|Beacon||Click 4x||Beacon Configuration|
|Candle||Click 3x||30 minute timer to off|
|Strobe Group||Hold||Heighten selected mode (Make faster or brighter)|
|Strobe Group||Click, Hold||Lessen selected mode (Make slower or dimmer)|
|On||Click 2x||FET Turbo|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Single flash] Click N time for level N.||Selection of the “Low” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different levels of low.|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Second flash] Click N time for 1+Turbo-N.||Selection of the “Ceiling” you like best by clicking 1, 2, 3, etc. where 1, 2, 3, etc are different Ceiling levels.|
|Ramp Configuration||[Wait for Third flash] Click for how many steps you want in Stepped mode.||Sets Number of Steps.|
|Thermal Configuration||[Wait for First flash] Click for N times for N degrees C.||Displays Current Temperature.|
|Thermal Configuration||[Wait for Second flash] Click for N times for 30C + N.||Sets Temperature Limit.|
|Beacon Configuration||[Wait for First flash] Click for N times N seconds per flash||Sets Beacon Speed.|
This is a second pass on a table for Andúril, and I it might still be incomplete. It’s also the longest UI table I’ve done, which highlights the versatility of this UI.
LED and Beam
My review copy of the FW3A (which I’ve used on the copper 18350 body) has the Cree XP-L HI 5000K emitter option. It’s a triple, so there are three of them in there. They are behind an optic – in this case a Carclo 10511 (matte), which gives a fantastic, even beam profile.
What I like
- Great short option, on the already-short 18650 light
- Build quality is great (fits all the FW series lights it’s supposed to
- Provides adequate and expected runtimes from 18350
What I don’t like
No pocket clip optionupdated above – there is a clip!
- 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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