Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight Review

Skilhunt has released the E2A, an EDC flashlight which can run on both 14500 and AA cells! Offered in three emitter options, too! Read on!


Official Specs and Features of the Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight

Here’s a link to the official product page.

Versions

There are a bunch of things to mention here.  First, there are two body colors.  Black (seen here), and Gun Metal Grey.  Also there are emitter options.  I believe they are all Luminus SST-20, but there are Cool White (CW), Neutral White (NW), and “High CRI” which I believe also falls under the “NW” category (maybe even warm).

A package is available with either AA primary, or 14500 cell.

Price

The price ranges for all the options, starting at around $19.90.  The black body is less expensive.  The CW emitter is less expensive.  The 14500 cell adds around $5 to whatever package you’re buying.  I would recommend grabbing the 14500, to save the effort of finding one.  I don’t know what their cell is, but just about any 14500 they might include would be good enough.


Short Review

I am extremely pleased with the Skilhunt E2A.  Dual chemistry support is absolutely crucial in a light like this, and the E2A does a great job here.  The switch is great.  The size is great.  The build quality is nice.  I love the high CRI emitter option and two emitter choices.  I’m not sure what more I’d ask of this light.

Long Review

The Big Table

I’ll note right here a point about Skilhunt lumen ratings.  The ratings on the page are almost certainly for the CW version, which will have higher output and throw farther.  But what I have is the version that will be the farthest away from the ratings.  So first, it’s too bad (and a constant complaint from me) that Skilhunt doesn’t rate all their versions.  But knowing what we know going into that, you can know not to be surprised by any of the numbers, particularly when you note that the numbers don’t meet the claim.

Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight
Emitter: Luminus SST-20 (Neutral White, High CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $19.90
Cell: 1xAA (NiMH)
High Runtime Graph Medium Runtime Graph
LVP? No
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 106 (53% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 10.7
Claimed Throw (m) 61
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 101lux @ 3.222m = 1049cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 64.8 (106.2% of claim)*
All my Skilhunt reviews!

 

Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight
Emitter: Luminus SST-20 (Neutral White, High CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $19.90
Cell: 1×14500
High Runtime Graph Medium Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: Mechanical
On-Board Charging? No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 600
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 299 (49.8% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 9.8
Claimed Throw (m) 128
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 173lux @ 4.248m = 3122cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 111.7 (87.3% of claim)*
All my Skilhunt 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

skilhunt e2a what's included

  • Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight
  • Alkaline AA cell
  • Pocket clip
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Build Quality and Disassembly

skilhunt e2a feature photo

You’ll likely note that the E2A shares a body style of the Skilhunt E3A, which I also reviewed.

Another thing you’ll probably note is that this light shares the style of other AA sized lights like the Lumintop Tool AA, Tool AA Ti2.0, and Ultratac A1.  I can assure you that this light is not the same, and does not share the body diameter and will not swap among those other lights.  Not that you might to, but you might be interested, as I was.

The emitter photo below gives a good idea how warm the light output is!

skilhunt e2a emitter and tir optic

skilhunt e2a tailswitch

The tailcap has reeding just like the head, but trust me this is not the way to swap the cell.  You’ll want to go through the head to swap the cell.  More on this later!

skilhunt e2a tailcap and lanyard holes

The tailcap has two guards over the switch, which allows some tailstanding.  It’s not just completely stable, but it works.

skilhunt e2a switch profile

Here’s the body groove which supports the included pocket clip.  And you can also see here the spiral design on the body.

skilhunt e2a pocket clip groove and twist knurling

The spiral pattern also has grooves, which aid in grip more than the spirals themselves.

skilhunt e2a head end detail

The reeding on the head end is the same as on the tail end.  But removing the head is the way to get at the cell for swapping.

skilhunt e2a reeding on head

skilhunt e2a with pocket clip

Here’s an example of tailstanding.

skilhunt e2a silk screened logoing

The bezel is lightly toothed, a feature I strongly prefer.

skilhunt e2a bezel ridges

This is by no means a “strike bezel.”

skilhunt e2a bezel

The head removes easily, to reveal fairly short, square cut, and anodized threads.

skilhunt e2a head removed

That little lip of bare aluminum makes contact with a part you can see inside the head at the 5 and 11 o’clock positions.  Also note that metal bar beside button in the center.  This is what prevents flat tops from working in the E2A.

skilhunt e2a head contact points

skilhunt e2a 14500 installed

skilhunt e2a aa eneloop installed

Finally, here’s why you don’t want to remove the tailcap.  While it does remove easily (not threadlocked or anything), the parts are not actually secured inside.  That little unusual washer will fall right out, and then the switch pull out easily too.  This is good for switch access, but also great for losing imperative parts of a working flashlight.

skilhunt e2a tailcap removed

That washer is not directional.

skilhunt e2a tailcap parts

 

skilhunt e2a tailcap metal washer

You can see here the cell tube, which is directional.  It’s fully intended to be directional, too, as indicated by the printing there on the left, which gives direction on cell orientation.

skilhunt e2a non-reversible cell tube

skilhunt e2a on

Here’s what I like so much about these bezels.  It’s basically purely academic but I like for lights to not sit flush on a surface.  I want to know if I place them face down on a surface, turned on.

skilhunt e2a bezel relief

And a little bit more disassembly of the bezel follows:

skilhunt e2a bezel removed

skilhunt e2a bezel removed with parts laid out

skilhunt e2a optic size 15mm

skilhunt e2a emitter photo

Size and Comps

If a light will headstand, I’ll show it here (usually the third photo).  If a light will tailstand, I’ll show that here, too (usually the fourth photo).

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.

skilhunt e2a beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

A pocket clip is provided but not installed with the Skilhunt E2A.

This is the “standard Lumintop” pocket clip, which falls squarely into the “ok enough” range.  It’s not a deep carry clip, and the shoulder is barely open enough to support something as thick as blue jeans.

Below you can see that the clip is also not reversible.  Seems to me it would have been so simple to widen the gap where the “circle plus” is below, so a user could run the clip in bezel up or bezel down carry, but that’s not what was done.  The clip will not fit on the head end.

Since the clip is not reversible, the Skilhunt E2A can not be used on a cap.

skilhunt e2a pocket clip not reversible

As mentioned above, the light will tailstand.

skilhunt e2a tailstanding

And finally, the tailcap supports a lanyard, which is included.  Holes are on both sides , for your choice of lanyard attachment.

skilhunt e2a lanyard holes

Power and Runtime

As stated many times already to this point, the Skilhunt E2A runs on both AA cells (that is, “1.5V cells”) and lithium-ion cells (14500, or “4.2V cells”).  This is a bit of a coup – I’ve owned lights that cost 20x as much and didn’t have dual chemistry support!

I have a very strong feeling that a light should support all the cells that will physically fit.  I, as a flashlight user, can be stupid – and often am.  But I don’t like for my stupid to be not remembering to use an AA when a 14500 will fit.

skilhunt e2a with cells aa and 14500

A button top cell is required, for the physical reasons mentioned above.  That’s easy with AA cells (most or all are button tops, as seen below), but you should be certain that any 14500 you purchase is a button top, since they come in all flavors.

I am unsure if the Skilhunt E2A is considered an “AA light with 14500 support” or a “14500 light with AA support.”  So basically throughout this review I’ve listed AA first, then 14500.  That’s how these runtimes are laid out, too.  First AA, where I used a NiMH Eneloop.

skilhunt e2a aa installed

Output does step down after around a minute, but after this point is very well regulated.  I didn’t notice the low voltage warning on this test.

skilhunt e2a aa runtime graph high

Output on medium is very well regulated, and as with High, steps down to around 5 lumens.  You’ll note on this test, around 390 minutes, the line gets quite rough.  That’s actually the low voltage warning, which is the emitter flashing very quickly.  I ran this test over night, and so yes, it flashed like this for 3 hours.  Still the voltage was acceptable when the test was stopped.

skilhunt e2a aa runtime graph medium

Also supported is lithium-ion chemistry, in 14500 size.

skilhunt e2a 14500 installed

Output steps down in around the same amount of time as with AA, but the runtime is much shorter.  This makes sense both because the light is being driven much harder with 14500, and because the capacity of my 14500 is much lower, at 650mAh (vs maybe 2000mAh of an Eneloop.)

skilhunt e2a 14500 runtime graph high

The output on Medium isn’t quite flatly regulated, but it’s pretty solid.

skilhunt e2a 14500 runtime graph medium

When testing on bench power at 4.2V, the emitter flashed a few times at 2.9V, and then shut off around 2.7V.

Modes and Currents

AA (aka 1.5V cells):

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 200/120 1m/150m 106 1.97
Medium 40 470m 22 0.29
Low 5 48h 18 0.06

14500:

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 600/260 1m/80m 299 1.74
Medium 120 200m 59 0.35
Low 15 25h 5 0.06

Pulse Width Modulation

Every mode has PWM, but it’s very fast pulse width modulation.  If I had to complain about one thing about the Skilhunt E2A, it’d be this, but I can’t notice it during use.  So this isn’t really a negative, and some would say that using PWM on a NW High CRI emitter is the smarter option, because it preserves the “high cri-ness” of the emitter.

AA:

14500:

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).  10ms5ms2ms1ms0.5ms0.2ms.  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

Operation of the E2A is through the tailswitch.  This is a rubber covered mechanical reverse clicky switch.

skilhunt e2a reverse clicky switch

The tailcap build allows for access from the side, much like bigger tactical lights.  But I don’t think you’ll be using this one for tactical reasons.  Maybe it’ll be easier to use with gloves this way, though.

skilhunt e2a reverse clicky switch profile

The click is very positive (which means “loud”) and requires surprising force to actuate.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click On (Memorized Mode)
On Click Off
On Tap (“Half press”) Mode advance (LMH)

With regard to the memorized mode – a mode is memorized when the light is on in that mode for more than 5 seconds.

LED and Beam

The emitter here is a Luminus SST-20.  And while there are versions offered, I have the High CRI NW version (which is what I would want anyway, so thanks to Skilhunt for kindly sending what I wanted, and not the cool white which would hit their specs.)

The emitter is behind a dimpled TIR, which gives a fairly diffuse beam.

skilhunt e2a emitter with dimpled tir

I didn’t spend a ton of time on the search, but this optic measures at 15mm, which I believe is a standard size.  I will likely attempt to find a replacement TIR with a narrower profile, and tighter spot.  Swapping is easy, since the bezel just unscrews right off the body.

skilhunt e2a on

There’s a glass lens over the optic.  The optic also sits in a white plastic cup.

Here’s a clear photo of the Luminus SST-20 emitter.

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

AA:

14500:

Tint vs BLF-348 (KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b version) (affiliate link)

I keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.

AA:

14500:

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Multi-chemistry support
  • High CRI!
  • Neutral white
  • Good size for an AA light
  • Easy to completely disassemble (great for modding)

What I don’t like

  • PWM on all modes (but it’s fast, so no real concern)
  • Tailcap has parts that would be easy to lose, and you really shouldn’t lose
  • Pocket clip is a bit generic and not deep carry.

Notes

  • This light was provided by Skilhunt 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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6 thoughts on “Skilhunt E2A 14500/AA EDC Flashlight Review”

  1. Tony Horsfield

    Another excellent review. I’m glad that you’ve pointed out the pratfall of trying to insert a battery into the E2a by doing what you would normally do . I had bits of switch on the carpet as a after unscrewing the wrong end of what is otherwise an excellent light. I know that some people might be put off by the lack of a moonlight mode but I’m happy with the 15 lumens low for day to day use in the dark recesses of South Yorkshire. I also strongly agree with you about getting a 14500 battery included if you order directly from Skilhunt. I like the simplicity of the design, it does everything that I want a small torch to do without giving me a complexity headache; the E2A is a good alternative to the Tool AA and easier to find with a ‘nice’ emitter. It’s good to see another quality AA/14500 model being offered in what seems to be a bit of an AA form revival. Finally, and it’s not a big thing but perhaps worth pointing out, my grey version is much nearer a Jetbeam grey/brown finish in the fesh than the mid grey that you see on the Skilhunt site.

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  5. Great review as usual. Thanks especially for the tailcap removal warning (I couldn’t budge mine, so I did no harm).

    From the review:
    “With regard to the memorized mode – a mode is memorized when the light is on in that mode for more than 5 seconds.”

    That didn’t work for my new E2A, even if I had the light on in the desired mode for over a minute.

    I found the answer for memory to work on my E2A in another review (by 1lumen). It’s to have it off for more than 5 seconds before turning it back on (it doesn’t matter how long it was on in that desired mode before you turn it off, it can be on in that mode for only a second). From that 1lumen review:
    “For memory to work, turn the light off on the mode you want, wait 5 seconds, and it will remember the last mode when turned on.”

    Tidbit: The Sofirn SP10S diffuser fits ok on the E2A. It’s snug enough that trying to shake it off will not dislodge the diffuser.

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