Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight Review

Sofirn has released the SC31T, a tactical flashlight similar to the SC31 Pro. This dual switch light uses a Luminus SST-40 and has good throw.


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight product page.

Versions

There’s just one version of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight.  It’s available with or without an 18650 though.  Of course, there are other SC31 versions, including the SC31 Pro which I have reviewed.  Also, just a regular SC31, which I’ve also reviewed.

Price

The Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight is selling now for $30.99 (without cell) or $32.99 (with cell).  Obviously for $2, including the cell is the better choice.


Short Review

This is a solid performer at a low cost.  The dual switch interface make it reasonable for tactical purposes, as do the dual springs.  USB-C charging works well, too.  Output doesn’t quite hit the specification, but more importantly, the throw does.

Long Review

The Big Table

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight
Emitter: Luminus SST-40 (6500K)
Price in USD at publication time: $30.99
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime Graph High Runtime Graph
LVP?
Switch Type: Both
Quiescent Current (mA):
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: USB-C
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port In any configuration: No
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2000
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1712 (85.6% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 8
Claimed Throw (m) 209
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 613lux @ 4.919m = 14832cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 243.6 (116.6% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 6500
Measured CCT Range (K) 5600-6100 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Sofirn
All my Sofirn 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

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight what's included

  • Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight
  • Sofirn 3000mAh 18650 (button top, standard)
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Lanyard
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual

Package and Manual

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight box Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight warning

Build Quality and Disassembly

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight

The build quality of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight is commensurate with the price.  It’s around a $30 light – seems about right.  That’s for simply build quality though.  The actual guts of this light (discussed later) put it in a separate (and higher) category.

Ample knurling covers most of the body, including the tailcap.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight tailcap

These threads are quite smooth, too.  They’re square cut, anodized, and lubed.  Long, too.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight threads

The head shares the same threads.  In fact, the cell tube is reversible because of this.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight head off

The head has a nice beefy spring, as a tactical light should.  The tail has this same type springs – dual springs, this is good.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight head spring Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight cell installed

Size and Comps

Dimension: 125.5mm (length) × 24mm (head diameter)
Weight: 67grams (without battery)

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

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight in hand

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.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight beside torchlab boss 35

Retention and Carry

A pocket clip comes already attached.  It’s the lowest kind of pocket clip (and leads heavily to my opinion of the build quality).  It’s a friction fit clip.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight pocket clip hug

As I said above, the clip only goes in one spot, but the cell tube is reversible, so the clip can end up on the head or tail end per your preference.

A lanyard is also included and attaches to the tailcap.  This tailcap is notably different from the SC31 Pro.  This is more of a tactical tailcap, with access from two sides.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight lanyard holes

Power and Runtime

The SC31T operates on a single lithium-ion cell.  I have a package that had a cell included.  It’s a 3000mAh button top and is a completely standard cell.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight with 18650

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight 18650

The cell goes into the light in the usual way – positive terminal toward the head.  There’s a little silk-screened logo on the tailcap to help with orientation, too.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight 18650 installed

Here are a few runtime tests.

Charging

The Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight also has built-in charging, by way of a USB-C port in the head.  The charge port cover is thick and fits in very firmly, and is quite nice.  This aspect of the light is just like the SC31 Pro.

An appropriate cable is included.  USB to USB-C.

This switch also has indicating features – below it’s seen indicating red for low voltage.  Notably, the switch will indicate for 5 seconds after the light is turned on, as follows:

Green: remaining battery power is good
Red: remaining battery power is poor (less than 30%)
Red Flashing: recharge or swap cell immediately.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo 2000 2.5h 1712 6.42
High 800 3.5h 758 1.39
Med 300 7.5h 318 0.66
Low 80 21h 85 0.23
ECO 10 230h 14 0.03
Moon 1 0.4 4.22mA

Pulse Width Modulation

Almost all of the modes use PWM, but it’s fairly fast and I wouldn’t describe it as “noticeable” at all.  Interestingly, only the lowest mode doesn’t seem to use PWM.  (Moonlight is the first image below.)

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

Unlike the SC31 Pro, the SC31T uses two switches.  First, and most important, is the mechanical tail switch.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight tail switch

The switch is not proud, but accessible from two sides, even if you’re wearing gloves.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight tail switch

This mechanical switch controls only on/off.

Next is the e-switch on the head, which controls the modes.  The switch isn’t proud and is more or less flat.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight e-switch

The action is low, and not incredibly quiet.

It’s also an indicating switch!

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight e-switch indicating green

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Tail Switch On (Mode Memory)
On Click Tail Switch Off
On Click Side Switch In Stepped Group: Mode advance (Eco, Low, Med, High)
In Ramping Group: No Action
On Hold Side Switch In Stepped Group: No Action
In Ramping Group: Ramp up (or down, if having immediately ramped up)
Off Tap Tail Switch Momentary (Mode Memory)
On (Except Strobe) Click Side Switch 4x quickly Iterate between stepped and ramping groups.
On (Either Group) Double Click Turbo
Turbo Click Return to the previous output level
On (Either Group) Triple Click Strobe
Strobe Double Click Strobe advance (Strobe> SOS> Beacon)
Off (Either Group) Hold Side Switch, Click Tail Switch Moonlight

Why you’d want to double click from Turbo to get to Moonlight, I have no idea.

Group 2 (Ramping) is very similar to the above Group 1, except holding the switch will cause the light to ramp up.  Loosening then holding the switch again within 1.5s will cause the ramp to switch directions.  So it’s possible to ramp up or down.  Double click still gets Turbo.

LED and Beam

In my review copy of the Sofirn SC31T tactical flashlight is a Luminus SST-40 emitter, in 6500K.  This emitter is surrounded by a smooth and quite deep reflector.

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight emitter

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight emitter with reflector Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight on

Maybe mine’s 6500K, but I have to say it’s still a clean beam and doesn’t feel so much like 6500K.  Warmer than 6500K.  (The tests below support that, too!)

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight headstanding

Sofirn SC31T Tactical Flashlight beamshots

 

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

The claim of 6500K would be quite cool indeed.  In fact, the emitter is not nearly as cool – from anywhere just under 6000K, to just over 6000K.  Certainly, that’s better than 6500K!

Beamshots

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 actually missed that Moonlight (1lm) was accessible from off when I took these photos.  I’ll add the 1lm mode later.)

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

Conclusion

What I like

  • Great deal at $30.
  • Good beam profile
  • Throw is good
  • Low is accessible from off in either group!
  • Ramping option if you want it…
  • But the stepped group is very smart too
  • USB-C charging works great
  • Dual Switch for good tactical usage

What I don’t like

  • 6500K (but not that cool in reality)
  • Ramping is a little bit awkward with ramp speeds

Notes

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