Along with the Skilhunt E2A which I posted recently Skilhunt sent this M300, a 18650 flashlight.. This is similar to other Skilhunts I’ve reviewed, but still different and interesting! Read on for some testing of this Cree XHP35 HI, 18650 light, with built in magnetic charging.
Official Specs and Features
There appears to be just one body of the Skilhunt M300 18650 flashlight, but it’s available with two emitter options. Both are Cree XHP35, but an HD and HI (seen here) are available.
Both have battery options, too.
For the HD option, the price is $56.90. But for the HI (which I recommend), the price is $2 more, at $58.90. Depending on the cell you choose, the cost goes up either $10 or $15.
First of all, I like a collection. And the M150, M200, and M300 make a great collection. I like that this light utilizes a Cree XHP35 HI, but I do wish it was just a bit warmer (though really, for warm you have the M200). Output is good, modes are good, UI is good – overall this is a solid contender.
The Big Table
|Skilhunt M300 18650 Flashlight|
|Emitter:||Cree XHP35 HI|
|Price in USD at publication time:||$58.90|
|Turbo Runtime Graph||High Runtime Graph|
|Quiescent Current (mA):||?|
|Charge Port Type:||Proprietary Magnetic|
|Power off Charge Port|
|Claimed Lumens (lm)||1700|
|Measured Lumens (at 30s)||1253 (73.7% of claim)*|
|Candela per Lumen||17|
|Claimed Throw (m)||293|
|Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s)||647lux @ 5.976m = 23106cd|
|Throw (Calculated) (m)||304.0 (103.8% 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).
- Skilhunt M300 18650 Flashlight
- Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
- Pocket clip
- Spare o-rings (2)
Package and Manual
Build Quality and Disassembly
Nothing surprising here. Skilhunt is making a nice $50ish flashlight.
The Skilhunt M300 is a great size for edc, really, and has a great feature set to match.
Skilhunt really gets e-switches right, in my opinion.
The bezel is crenelated, but that is somewhat subtle, and more of a “just grippy” crenelations than anything.
This bezel also has four indentions which should make removal a snap (with the right tool).
The tailcap has a good amount of reeding and also grip – I can unscrew the tailcap one handed easily.
The head has some cooling fins, but not overly so. They aren’t too deep.
Here you can see why removal of the tailcap is simple – the threads are not too long, square cut, anodized, and well lubed. This makes for a great user experience.
Inside the tailcap is a magnet, which is removable. Sometimes Skilhunt will include a little rubber magnet replacer, but in this case they did not.
The head is also removable. This begs the question, why didn’t we see (or will we see) a 18350 body for the M300? I would very very much support that!
The head end has this interesting little spacer. I feel like the only real purpose of this spacer is to protect the components on the pcb, but I really don’t know that. It doesn’t seem to serve much purpose otherwise.
The cell tube is not reversible.
Both head and tail have big thick springs. In fact the head end has a double spring!
Size and Comps
Officially 111mm x 28mm (head) x 23mm (body), and weighs in at 72.5g without the cell.
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.
Retention and Carry
The M300 ships with a friction fit pocket clip unattached. The clip is satisfactory. It’s a one way clip, and connects only on the tail end.
As the cell tube can not be reversed, the clip can only allow bezel down carry.
Here’s the pocket clip hug:
Also included is a lanyard, which attaches through two holes on the tailcap.
I like that the lanyard doesn’t prevent tailstanding.
Also included but not demonstrated, is a magnet in the tailcap. This magnet is plenty strong to hold the light in a horizontal position. The magnet is removable, too.
Power and Runtime
As stated above, the M300 is powered by a single 18650 cell. I tested exclusively with the Molicel P26A, a high current 2600mAh 18650 cell.
I had no real reason for selecting this cell; any cell should work just fine. This is the one I happened to grab, and I wanted to be sure to pick one with a high enough current rating for the light (whatever the light might need).
The Skilhunt M300 18650 flashlight is rated at 1700 lumens. I think from the outset, that’s a bit optimistic…. The emitter should be capable of that at some current but even if it did that, it would do so only briefly. And that’s really what we see – an initial output of 1556 lumens (which is within my 10% margin of error, so that’s “correct”) and then a massive stepdown to around 1300 lumens, and then another massive stepdown to around 550 lumens. After this, the output is very stable, until the main emitter flashes a few times, and the light shuts off.
Now whether you trash the light for a 1700 lumen claim, then stepping down to 1300 lumens or not is one thing. But if the claim had just bee 1300 or 1400 lumens, it’d be perfectly accurate…. In any case, 1 minute at 1300 lumens is not bad.
High lasts longer at near the initial output. Otherwise, it’s well regulated after the stepdown.
Here’s the point of me running multiple tests – I wanted to see at what point the light was essentially fully regulated. On the highest High (H1), the light drifts downward a bit, but is still well regulated.
But basically either of the high outputs are perfectly regulated.
Low voltage warning by the main emitter can be seen on all of the runtimes. The emitter flashes a few times. Also the switch blinks red when the voltage is low (at around 3V). The light is still operable after shutting down though, so if you have an emergency need, you are still able to turn the light on (if briefly).
Charging on the M300 is by way of Skilhunt’s MC-15 proprietary magnetic charge cable.
The cable is USB to proprietary magnetic, and the cable attaches to the head on the connector seen below.
Charging is solid, at around 1.5A. This requires around 2.5 hour.
While charging, the charge cable head is lit red. When charge is complete, the cable head turns blue.
Modes and Currents
|Mode||Mode Claimed Output (lm)||Claimed Runtime||Measured Lumens||Tailcap Amps|
Pulse Width Modulation
No real pulse width modulation to speak of. The sawtooths on the lower 3 modes aren’t PWM, and not noticeable to me.
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 user interface on the Skilhunt M300 is the same as other similar lights I’ve mentioned above.
The M300 is operated by a single switch. It’s an indicating e-switch on the head. It’s not metal, but it’s hard and is very pleasant to operate. It requires minimal force, and has a positive, quiet actuation. It’s a good switch.
The UI is a lot like previous generation Skilhunts, but it adds that clicks go up to the top then back down through the modes (instead of the next click from Turbo being Low). I sort of get this change, but it’s not one that does it for me.
There are two mode groups. Mode A and Mode B. To switch between these Modes, hold the switch from off, for 5s. The light will flash a few times to indicate the change. Mode A is the more traditional Skilhunt option, and the one I’ve used here for the review. It has more output levels.
Mode A Table:
|Off||Hold 5s||Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)^|
|Off||Hold 1.5s||Lockout (allows momentary L2)|
|Lockout||Hold 1.5s||Unlock to low mode|
|Lockout||Click||Turn switch indicator on/off (Switch indicator = red blink by switch)|
|Off||Hold 0.5s||Low (L1 or L2, whichever was last selected)|
|Off||Click||On, Mode Memory (after ~3s, switch indicates battery level for 5s*)|
|Off||Double Click||Turbo (T1 or T2, whichever was last selected)|
|Any||Triple Click||Strobe (memorized strobe). Strobe options: Fast strobe (S1) > Beacon (S2) > Slow strobe (S3)|
|On||Click||Mode advance (LMHT cycle, of your memorized modes from each level)|
|On||Double Click||Advance between sub levels (ie T1 goes to T2 and back, M1 goes to M2 and back) – Memorized to the selected Submode. (Including Strobe**)|
|Strobe||Click||Main mode (memory)|
Mode B Table:
|Off||Hold 5s||Group switch (Indicated by 3 flashes on main emitter)^|
|Off||Hold 1.5s||Lockout (Momentary memorized L1 or L2 is possible)|
|Lockout||Hold 1.5s||Unlock to low mode|
|Lockout||Click||Turn switch indicator on/off|
|Off||Hold 0.5s||Lowest programmed option (Can be L1/L2 but might also be M1 or whatever).|
|Off||Click||On, Mode Memory (Switch indicates battery level for 5s*)|
|Off||Double Click||Turbo (T1 (always T1))|
|Off||Triple Click||Memorized strobe mode SOS.^^ Strobe options: Fast strobe (S1) > Beacon (S2) > Slow strobe (S3)|
|Strobe||Double Click||Strobe advance (and memorize)|
|On||Hold||Mode advance (LMHT cycle, depending on what modes you’ve selected – you can actually add all the subgroups from T2 all the way down to L2 for 8 modes total in the main rotation!). On the flip side of that, it’s possible to remove all modes down to two modes (with T1 always accessible via double click). It seems that any two (non T1) modes can be selected!|
|On||Triple Click||Enter programming mode. Main emitter will ramp output from lowest (L2) to T2. The indicating switch will be red if the output is active in the mode cycle, or not lit if the output level is inactive in the mode cycle. When the light cycles past a mode you want to iterate (in or out of the main cycle), click the switch.|
|Programming Mode||Click||Turn output (L2 through T2) on (red switch) or off (switch not lit)|
|Programming Mode||Hold 1.5s||Exit programming mode|
|Programming Mode||Triple Click||Restore to defaults (confirmed by light turning off)|
|Strobe Group||Hold 1s||Iterate output level for active strobe mode (L M or H). This “Hold” isn’t persistent – hold again (separate “hold” action) to change output level again. Each strobe can have a different output level.|
^ The manual says the indicator for switching between the two groups is three fast then three slow by main emitter (entering Mode B) or three slow then three fast (entering Mode A) but I find that it’s actually just three flashes (period.) Three low flashes = entering Mode B. Three higher flashes = entering Mode A.
* Battery indicator: Constant Blue: 80-100% power. Flashing Blue: 50-80% power. Constant Red: 20-50% power. Flashing Red: <20% power. If cell is below 3.0V, the indicator switch flashes 3x every 2 seconds.
** Strobe subgroups: S1=Fast strobe, S2=Beacon, S3=SOS.
^^ Triple click from on in Mode B is tricky because this enters programming mode! I programmed Low out of the sequence once by accident doing this.
Mode A and Mode B are both useful and very similar except a few important, polarizing things. A requires a hold for off. B requires only a click for off (but requires hold for mode advance).
Mode B with all the programming looks absolutely confusing but it’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. I’ll probably stick with Mode A just because I like for some of the choices to be made for me, and I don’t mind hold for off. If you’re a “click for off” then you can still set the light up just like Mode A but you’ll have the click for off…. Both groups are very good, and it’s nice to see this level of consideration going into a UI!
I’m a little surprised that Skilhunt hasn’t just “moved on” to offering a ramping UI, but I’m also pleased that they haven’t. I’d rather have specific outputs like this, and this is a good implementation.
LED and Beam
As the bigger brother of the M200, the M300 has a “more impressive” emitter – a Cree XHP35 HI (in my case) or a HD if you select that. The HD will have higher output (rated at 2000 lumens), but the HI will throw further.
The no-dome emitter is paired with a smooth reflector of “normal” depth and width. It’s a good pairing.
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 keep the test flashlight on the left, and the BLF-348 reference flashlight on the right.
I compare everything to the KillzoneFlashlights.com 219b BLF-348 because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!
What I like
- Great higher output edition of the “M” series (M150/M200/M300)
- Output is good on Turbo
- Very well regulated on High and below.
- Low is nice and low
- I love the default user interface (but appreciate that there’s a second one)
- Charging is fast at 1.5ish amps
What I don’t like
- Cool white emitter
- Hold for off in the mode group I like
- This light was provided by Skilhunt for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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