The Swiss Tech Klassisch 8″ Premium Flashlight is all the rage on reddit lately, because it was found to be on sale at $7.  I grabbed one, and here’s my testing of it!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Swiss Tech Klassisch 8″ Premium Flashlight page at WalMart.com.

Versions

There is just one version of the Swiss Tech Klassisch 8″ Premium Flashlight.

Price

The price is the joy!  These were on sale for around $7 recently, and you might still find them in your local store for that price.  Regular price is around $40 or so, though.  Read on to see if either of those prices is worth it!


Short Review of the Swiss Tech Klassisch Premium Flashlight

You know what, this light is neater than you’d probably think.  For $7, yes, you should buy one? Many?  Definitely 1.  Honestly even at $40, it’s probably not the worst deal you can find.  The output is really great on High.

Long Review

The Big Table

Swiss Tech Klassisch
Emitter:
Price in USD at publication time: $7.00
Cell: Internal (single 18650)
High Runtime Graph Low Runtime Graph
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port Yes, all modes.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1685 (140.4% of claim)*
Candela per Lumen 1.2
Claimed Throw (m) 50
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 185lux @ 3.28m = 1990cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 89.2 (178.4% of claim)*
All my Swiss Tech 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

what's included

  • Swiss Tech Klassisch Premium Flashlight
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Lanyard
  • Manual

Package and Manual

box open

manual 1 manual 2

Yes that sticker comes off.

sticker

Build Quality and Disassembly

feature photo

What an interesting design this light has.  There’s nothing else like this, at least in the “flashlight world” of enthusiasts.

Here begins the top down views.

top down views top down views top down views top down views

This head “mushroom” is metal… or at least feels convincingly metal.  With a claimed output of 1200 lumens, you’d really want metal here for better heat management.

top down views

You can see below that the tailcap has some indication of “lock/unlock” – but it’s not locked or unlocked.  It’s demonstrating removing the tailcap.  Also note that this image can be confusing – you might assume that the image means you can unscrew this tailcap and pop out the cell (which is pictured there at left).  But that’s not so; removing this only provides access to the charge port.

tailcap view

One more not of disassembly….  I didn’t disassemble anything in this light.  Others have done it (a reddit post, which I can not find now), and discovered some interesting bits.

head detail head

Here’s the tailcap removed.  This is one massive gripe about this light, and one that makes me think that the designers either never used lights, or that this light would be used once and thrown in the garbage can.

The threads here are not particularly smooth.  And the tailcap is completely bereft of any grip whatsoever.  So you’re left with just gripping the cap as tightly as you can, and unscrewing.  It’s not that big of a deal, really.  You’ll get used to it, good at it even.  But some reeding or knurling or practically anything here would have gone a long way.

tailcap off

Once removed, the charge port is exposed.

charge port

Very nice that it’s USB-C!!

charge port

You may think that removing the switch cover would provide some access. You’d be wrong!  It’s just a cover on the handle.

switch cover off

Speaking of that green handle:  It’s not bad.  It’s grippy, but it’s also a grippy sleeve over a metal tube.  It’s not all that firmly connected, and when unscrewing the tailcap, it has a tendency to slip around.  Also it’s silicone, so there’s no good reason at all that this isn’t orange instead of green.  Just saying.

All in all the build quality is ok, but nothing to write home about.  I don’t think there’s all that much room for modification, and despite the very long handle, there’s just a single 18650 inside.  There’s room for a 21700, and probably even two, if a proper driver is used.

Size and Comps

Officially:
Width: 4 inches
Depth: 4 inches
Height 8.07 inches
Weight: 414g

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.

with convoy s2+ with convoy s2+

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 format.

with torchlab boss 35 with torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

The Swiss Tech Klassisch 8″ Premium Flashlight ships with a lanyard, which attaches through the tailcap.

lanyard

This lanyard has the appearance of leather, but I have my doubts.  Also, it’s very stiff, and the edges are quite unforgiving.

lanyard hole in tailcap

The lanyard is the only means of retaining this flashlight.

Power and Runtime

As stated above, this Swiss Tech flashlight is powered by a single 18650 cell.  If you’re like me, then you figured this was a 2×18650 light, or maybe even if we were lucky, a 2×21700 light.  I think the cell tube would support it.

But it’s not either of those things.  It’s a single 18650 cell light, which in some ways might even be a good thing.  With just one cell, you’ll never have to worry about imbalanced series cells, for example.  Just one cell keeps the weight down.

Of course, just one cell also means that the runtimes will be shorter than the very long cell tube implies.  Here are runtimes for both High and Low.

runtime graph high runtime graph low

The runtimes are … respectable.  We aren’t really seeing anything different here from what you’d see on many enthusiast level flashlights, so it’s unfair to fault Swiss Tech for stepping down.  Also note the output.  They’re claiming 1200 lumens, but at least initially (and even at 30 seconds) I’m seeing way higher than 1200 lumens.

In both tests, the light does either shut off or switch to very low.  Even after the shutoff, the light can still be turned back on (though on High, it won’t reach the very high level output).

Charging

With the built in battery, you’d expect the light has built-in charging.  It does, in the form of a USB-C port in the tailcap area.

charge port

Like I said above, accessing this port is hard because the tailcap is slippy with no grip.  There’s also a charge indicator there beside the charge port, which is red during charge and green when charging is complete.

charge cable

I tested only with the supplied format:  USB to USB-C.  Here’s a single charge graph.  Charging is respectable, at over 1A.

charge graph

The USB-C port does not have output capability.  Also the USB-C does not work at all with USB-C to USB-C.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
High 1200 2h 1685 ?
Low 300 5h 523 ?

Pulse Width Modulation

One other issue that I have with this light (aside from the tailcap) is the aggressively bad pwm on every mode.  Yes every mode.  Even “Flash.”  How can strobe have pwm you ask.  Well it’s like a special level of atrociousness here – First off, the strobe is… well that’s it’s own kind of pwm, right?  Just very very slow (and obviously acceptable).  But in the on-times of strobe, that mode displays PWM as well.  <shudder>

Here are all 3 modes, in order.  High, Low, Flash.

Since that’s completely useless because the pwm is so slow (slow is bad), here’s a different timescale:

Strobe is last there, and it’s an even longer timescale – I wanted to be able to capture both on and off time in one graph.  As you can see, the “on” is displaying pwm.

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

There’s a single e-switch for operating the Swiss Tech flashlight.  It’s nice and clicky, easy to find, and has a silicone cover.

switch

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click High
High Click Low
Low Click Flash
Flash Click Off

That’s right, you have to cycle through all the modes (including Flash) to turn the light off.

LED and Beam

There are 9 emitters in the Swiss Tech Klassisch flashlight.  I’m really not sure what they are exactly….

This almost looks like a dedomed (or domeless, or “HI”) Cree XP-G3, but it lacks the orientation mark in one of the corners.  The center tint-shift in the beam would support this, too.  But it’s probably just some generic emitter, which can be had for very cheap.

unknown emitters

They operate in unison, and there are no modes that allow individual operation.

emitters on

Two things here:  Each emitter has its own reflector.  And the whole unit there is covered by a lens, which is plastic.  And not a hard plastic, but a soft, hollow sounding plastic.  I also question the sealed nature of this, too, because just in minimal use, there was debris under this lens.

reflectors

The illumination is extremely even.  And very very floody.

flood

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

  • Neat and unusual design
  • Hits the claim for output
  • Hits the claim for throw
  • USB-C Charging

What I don’t like

  • Very bad PWM
  • Tailcap hard to remove
  • Very dumb UI – mode cycle through all modes to turn off, for example.
  • Doesn’t work at all with USB-C to USB-C.

Notes

  • This light was provided by me 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!

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