MechForce Mechtorch Gen2 Flashlight Review

MechForce has updated their extremely popular MechTorch.  The light is still a Nichia 219c titanium triple emitter flashlight with Dr. Jones h17f, but some important changes have been made!  Read on to see what the light looks like now.


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

At this time there seems to be only titanium, but there are a number of finishes of titanium.  By name, they are as follows:

Stonewashed
Anodized Blue
Anodized Electric Storm Blue
Anodized Purple
Anodized Blurple
Anodized Bronze
Anodized Green

And there’s the model I have, which doesn’t seem to be any of those listed models.  What I have here will be offered as a limited edition, and will likely command a premium price.

Price

The minimum price of what’s listed above is $249.95, for the Stonewashed.  The max of what’s listed above are the rest – $259.95.  I would expect the editions seen here to cost more, as there’s much more than just anodization going on.


Short Review

I still really like this light.  I liked the previous generation, despite there being two things I didn’t like about it then.  Those two things I mentioned in my previous review have both been addressed, so I like this one even more.  That there are finish options makes it even better, and this laser etched anodized version is superb.  I do wish the emitters were warmer white – 5700K is too cool for me.  But it’s not a bad middle ground.

Long Review

The Big Table

mechforce-USA Mechtorch Gen2
Emitter: Nichia 219c (5700K) triple
Price in USD at publication time: $224.95-$259.95
Cell: 1×18350 (included)
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: (Included charger)
Chargetime
Power off Charge Port with no cell?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1300
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1094 (84.2% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 5.4
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 437lux @ 3.822m = 6384cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 159.8
All my mechforce-USA 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

  • Mechforce Mechtorch Gen2 Flashlight
  • Efest 700mAh 18350 (2)
  • Efest Slim K1 Single Bay Charger
  • Mechforce sticker
  • Manual

There were two cells in my package – it’s unclear to me if every package includes 2 cells, or just one.

Package and Manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

First of all, check out that finish.  I knew this light was coming to me, but I was expecting the standard Stonewashed finish that I reviewed before, so this anodized and etched version was a massive and pleasant surprise!

The build quality is still superb on these lights.  I’m pleased to report that MechForce read my previous review carefully, and has addressed a couple of my biggest issues.  One of those you can see here – the clip.  More on this later, but they abandoned the under/over screw placement, and went with a standard hole spacing on this very nice milled clip.

The anodizing on the body looks great.  It’s covered with laser etched stars, some of which (as seen below) aren’t all perfectly aligned.  I’ll be honest, I never noticed this in person and I looked over the light thoroughly.  I see it in the photo below.

The next thing I mentioned in my review that I wish was different was the bezel.  The original appeared to have a fluted bezel, but in fact it was not – when sitting on a flat surface, light didn’t escape.  That’s been addressed here, by crenelations in the bezel.  now if the light is on and placed face down, you’ll readily see light escaping.

The light still has a personalized switch cover!

The stars absolutely cover the light.  There are a few places where more stars could be etched, but… what’s there is plenty for me.  Within the grooves of the body, the star placement is great.

 

The Mechtorch Gen2 retains the 16 tritium slots in the pill area.

I didn’t desire to fill my Gen1 with tritium, but some multi-color fills here would absolutely set this light off!

The head screws in on Gen2 just like Gen1.  Again, this is an unusual orientation – most commonly, the head screws over the body, instead of like here, where the head screws into the body.  Neither is better or worse, just notable.  You won’t be swapping parts from this one on to your Hanko!  (Not that you should be able to.)

Both head and tail are held together by an aluminum retaining ring.  Split pliers should allow access here, or you could get the special tool from Mechforce.

Head and tail also both have springs, which allows for snug cell retention.

The threads are anodized titanium, triangle cut, and “moderately long.”  Owing to their titaniumness, you should be somewhat deliberate when installing the head on the body, or your experience might be less than ideal.

The tail/body seems to be one piece.  That tail cap area does not seem to be a separate piece.

Here you can finally see the main change in this light vs previous generation.  This change does come at the cost of the light being longer overall.  If I had my choice between the old version and this one, I’d definitely pick this one.  But when I wished for the light to have this feature I also didn’t want it to be longer….  How to do it both ways?  I don’t know, but I’ll certainly take this.

Like previous versions, this glow gasket is just so stinkin’ glowy.  I literally can not even.

Here’s a demonstration of the glowyness – in broad daylight I can still see it glowing.

And at night there’s practically always a residual glow.

Size and Comps

Metric: W 28.5mm x L 85.8mm x H 27mm
Weight: 113 gram with battery inside

I just wanted to see these two side by side.  This JETBeam was probably my first purple anodized titanium light.

Here’s the …. “moment of truth?”  Side by side of the original vs Gen2.  You can see the height difference, and also you can see exactly where that difference is made up – the longer bezel.  And the stark difference between the two clips can be seen here, too.  Actually now that I’m thinking about it, the third major complaint I had about this light can be seen in comparison here as well  – Gen1 could not tailstand properly (you can see the top of the button protruding).  Gen2 can properly tail stand!

In case you’re wondering, no, the stonewashed edition as you see it below was never an official configuration.  This took two lights – a solid copper and solid titanium.  I took this copper bit out of the copper one and put it in this titanium one.  All the parts just unscrew easily.  I did this for 2 reasons:   The look, and for better cooling – copper is much better here than titanium.

Retention and Carry

The new clip.  The new clip is fantastic – like practically nothing else out there.  I can think of three other brands with milled clips, and none of them are this….  neat?  Fantastic?  What’s the word?  I love this new clip.  I appreciate the slight nod by Mechforce to the “standard” hole spacing, while retaining their milled clip design.

It even rides better than many other milled clips.  At the attachment point it does not protrude grossly.

Again here is old vs new.

The clip is not reversible.  This does not allow for “hatlight” style carry.

Power and Runtime

Mechforce includes the cell you’ll need for operating this light.  The Mechtorch is a 18350 light, and an Efest 700mAh 18350 is included.  I’ve had mixed results with Efest Purple before.  When I’m buying I buy Vapcell 18350 cells because they’re higher capacity (1100mAh plus) and maintain the high current capability.

The included cell is a flat top, and surprisingly came completely charged (normally cells ship at ~3.6V).

The cell goes into the light tail first, aka the same way almost every light except a few random lights (like small Olights) go.  Positive terminal toward head.

 

Here are a few runtimes.  I’ll be honest here in this review – when testing the light on bench power I realized something I often forget about h17f driver lights.  Double tapping gets turboooooo.  Clicking through the modes (on default settings) is only four modes.  In this case (probably all factory cases of h17f) the fourth (“highest”) is actually just a 3A mode.  Double clicking gets the full FET output.  Thus the first runtime is the FET output, providing over 1000 lumens at 30s.  You’re seeing some temps at that point, but the output is there.  (Note that as far as the basics of the UI go on the front page of the included manual, the Double Tap to Turbo is not mentioned.)

High is moderately regulated, but still steps down quickly.  This is the 3 Amp mode.

The second highest mode (in the regular cycle) is pleasantly flat.

The light does have LVP.  Stepdowns occur so that output is very minimal and the light is still on, long before LVP kicks in, though.  (See above, negligible output for over an hour).

Mechforce also includes a charger.  It’s an Efest Slim K1 charger, with just one bay, and claimed 1A output.  This isn’t a charger review, but I did use (and log) two charge cycles with this charger.

18350’s fit, and 18650 cells would too.

This charger is powered by a micro-USB connection.

A micro-USB cable is included – USB to micro-USB.

Here’s a couple of charge cycles.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 1300 1094 8.20
4 711 2.98
3 184 0.73
2 27 0.12
1 0.01

PWM

H17f has pwm on the lower modes.  It’s fairly fast and I don’t notice it except on the very lowest outputs.

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 switch for the Mechtorch is a mechanical reverse clicky, with a custom rubber boot.  Again, that’s a surprising touch – not many manufacturers have a customized boot!!  (And those who do still manage to generic-it-up too much, and don’t own it like Mechforce has here.)

The H17f driver just has too many options for a full table.  Also, this is a reverse clicky, which is an H17f first for me – every other light I’ve had with this driver has been a forward clicky.

State Action Result
Off Half Click (Aka “Tap”) No Action
Off Click On (Mode memory if enabled.  Otherwise Lowest output.)
On Click Off
On Tap Mode advance
On Tap 8x [or more] fast (very fast!) Enter programming mode. Also, display cell voltage *
Programming mode Tap 2x Switch mode groups
  • Cell voltage indicator (immediately when programming is entered): Each ‘big’ blink of the emitters is approximately 0.12V, starting at 3.0V.  So 1 blink =3V.  2 blinks = 3.12V and so on.  10 blinks = 4.2V.

Here is a handy flow chart I made for the forward clicky implementation of this driver:

This flow chart will be true in almost all cases with the major exception of how to get to programming.  With the forward clicky (as above) the light is off to get to programming – you’re basically utilizing the momentary function of a forward clicky to enter programming.  With a reverse clicky, the light must be on to get to programming (otherwise the light isn’t electrically connected – there is no ‘momentary’ with reverse clicky).

Once you’re in programming mode, everything is (should be) the same.

Here’s a link to the driver configuration from the maker himself: http://drjones.nerdcamp.net/h17f.html

LED and Beam

Mechforce has changed not all that much on this light, and one more thing hasn’t changed: this is still a triple.  There are no emitter choices.  The stock emitters are Nichia 219c in 5700K.

Have a look at that glow gasket!!  I can’t think of a more glowy one.

Visible glow in daylight!

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)

Test light is on the left!

I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Conclusion

What I like

  • Every issue I had in my initial review was addressed!
    1)  Bezel reliefs allow light out when headstanding
    2)  Tailstanding isn’t annoyed by a protruding switch cover
    3)  Non-standard pocket clip has been replaced with a standard-hole-spacing clip
  • New clip is great
  • Glow gasket is next level
  • Use of h17f is something I appreciate.  It’s a great driver.
  • This limited edition anodized star version is great.  (And currently unique – it’s not actually listed on the site!)

What I don’t like

  • Added features above increased the length by a few mm (yet still shorter than other similar lights like the Trident).

Notes

  • This light was provided by MechForce for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • For flashlight related patches, stickers, and gear, head over to PhotonPhreaks, another site where I write!
  • Use my amazon.com referral link if you’re willing to help support making more reviews like this one!

Author: zeroair

1 thought on “MechForce Mechtorch Gen2 Flashlight Review

  1. Build quality of this light is amazing for the price, especially compared to what custom makers charge for titanium. Interesting thing is that I received a 1200mah Efest with mine!

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