Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 Flashlight Review

Skilhunt M300 V2 (Nichia 144 R9050) Flashlight Review

Skilhunt updated the M300 flashlight to a V2, now with a Nichia 144 emitter. It also now runs a 21700 cell, another great upgrade. Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight product page.

Versions

There are a few versions of the Skilhunt M300 V2 flashlight. Even among this “V2” version, there are options! A couple are Cree XHP50.2 HD: neutral white and high CRI. There’s also a CREE XHP50.3 HI, and finally, there’s this Nichia 144 version with high CRI and 4500K output.

The body comes in grey (seen here) and black, and either can be purchased with or without cell. 

Of course this is V2, so a V1 exists as well. I’ve reviewed the first iteration of the Skilhunt M300!

Price

As configured here, the Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight is $79.90. There’s a dollar difference in some of the emitter options, and the 21700 adds around $13. Buy your Skilhunt M300 V2 through my ShareASale link!


Short Review

I’m super impressed with the Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight. I already knew I love the new Skilhunt user interface, and I love this Nichia 144 as well. Output is good and it’s nearly rosy. Moving the M300 to a 21700 cell size seems like a good choice too, as the size seems just right.

Long Review

The Big Table

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight
Emitter: Nichia 144AR (4500K, 90CRI)
Price in USD at publication time: $79.90
Cell: 1×21700
Runtime Graphs
LVP? Yes
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (mA): ?
On-Board Charging? Yes
Charge Port Type: Proprietary Magnetic
Charge Graph
Power off Charge Port with cell: all modes
without cell or tailcap: lowest 5 modes
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1900
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 1666 (87.7% of claim)^
Candela per Lumen 5.7
Claimed Throw (m) 195
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 283lux @ 6.177m = 10798cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 207.8 (106.6% of claim)^
Claimed CCT 4500
Measured CCT Range (K) 4200-4500 Kelvin
Item provided for review by: Skilhunt
All my Skilhunt reviews!

^ Measurement disclaimer: Testing flashlights is my hobby. I use hobbyist-level equipment for testing, including some I made myself. Try not to get buried in the details of manufacturer specifications versus measurements recorded here; A certain amount of difference (say, 10 or 15%) is perfectly reasonable.

What’s Included

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight what's included

  • Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight 
  • Skilhunt 5000mAh 21700
  • Charge cable (USB to proprietary magnetic)
  • Lanyard
  • Pocket clip
  • Manual
  • Spare o-rings (2)

Package and Manual

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight manual

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight manual

 

Build Quality and Disassembly

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight

Skilhunts are usually well-built lights, and this one is no exception. Maybe more importantly, the design language between this and the other M-series lights is very consistent!

The threads are square-cut and lubed an appropriate amount. Unlike the smaller M200 V3, there’s no magnet in the tailcap. I don’t think the spring can be removed.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight tail spring and threads

The head end has a spring, too, which is why I said the M200 V3 is very “18650-friendly.” I tested the light with a flat top unprotected 18650, but just about any type should work fine.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight head spring

The tailcap has a ring to allow a lanyard attachment.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight tailcap

Size and Comps

120mm x 29.5mm and 75g (without battery).

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

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 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.

Also above on the left is a new feature light!! Laulima Metal Craft sent this Todai in tumbled aluminum for some size comparison photos like the ones above. Laulima has a  bunch of incredible items. I’ve tested one (the Laulima Metal Craft Hoku) (the official site for Hoku is here) that was a Friend Fund Friday review. I was impressed enough by that Hoku that I bought a Laulima Metal Craft Diamond Slim (also in tumbled aluminum) (review is upcoming!) These lights by Laulima have impeccable build quality and not only that, they’re quite configurable. There are some (great, actually) default configurations, but Joshua Dawson (of Laulima Metal Craft) is open to ideas and emitter options and the like. I haven’t reviewed this Todai, but I have to say, it feels absolutely fantastic and I love it thus far. (Notably, I love how warm and eggy those emitters look through the TIR.) 

Retention and Carry

A pocket clip is included.  It’s a pretty nice friction-fit clip.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight pocket clip

This is a two-way clip and lives only on the tail end of the Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight. 

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight pocket clip hug

Also included is a lanyard, which attaches either through the pocket clip (less recommended) or the tailcap, where there are holes for this express purpose.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight lanyard holes

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight lanyard installed

Skilhunt included (separately) this little nylon pouch. I like this more than I figured I would, but since it was separate I’m not really sure if it’s included with all purchases or not.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight nylon pouch

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight nylon pouch

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight nylon pouch

Power and Runtime

The Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight runs a single lithium-ion cell. My package included a 5000mAh 21700 button-top cell.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight with included 21700 cell

The cell goes into the light in the normal way: positive end (button) toward the head.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight with included 21700 cell

Inside the cell tube is a sticker indicating that the cell should go with the positive end toward the head.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight cell direction sticker

Below you can see three runtime tests. Performance is very good. There’s a big stepdown from T1 Turbo fairly quickly but after that, output is very stable at the “T2” level.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight runtime graph

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight runtime graph

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight runtime graph

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight runtime graph

Low voltage protection was observed in every test. With the M200 V2 on bench power, the switch starts blinking in red at around 2.9-3V and then the light shuts off at around 2.8V. The Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight seems to be about the same.

Charging

The Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight also has built-in charging.  There’s a connector opposite the switch.  One end is a USB plug, and the other is a proprietary magnetic connector.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight charging cable

The connection works well. Notably, though not pictured explicitly, this is the “MC-20” charger. As far as I know, all previous iterations I’ve tested have been MC-10 chargers. There seems to be quite a performance advantage to the MC-20, as it reaches a max current of around 2A.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight charging cable attached

Charging works fine, and this 5000mAh 21700 required under 3.5 hours.

While charging, the charger blinks red, and when charging is complete, the charger uses a blue indicator.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight charging graph

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
T1 1900 – 800 – 230 2m+110m+60m 1854 (0s)
1666 (30s)
7.54
T2 800 – 230 120m+60m 739 2.20
H1 440 – 230 240m+50m 394 1.05
M1 160 12.5h 148 0.34
M2 40 46h 40 0.08
L1 4 200h 3.9 ~0
L2 1 / 0.7 ~0

Pulse Width Modulation

There’s no PWM at all on any mode.

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, which 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

There’s a single switch on the M300 V2.  It’s a side e-switch, with an indicator in the center.  It’s a big secure switch, with a very positive but quiet click.  I very much like this switch. The switch seems unchanged from the previous iterations of the M-series.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight e-switch detail

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight e-switch profile

The cutout for the switch in the head is the same size as the charge connector, and while it’s hard to distinguish between the two while holding the light, I found that it didn’t matter; I’ll just pinch the light with both spots between my fingers, and activate the light.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight e-switch actuation

The user interface could be a bit daunting, but it’s very straightforward when you get used to it. It’s also very logical and provides access to low from off, which is as close to a requirement from a user interface as I have.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Hold Low (Memory between L1 and L2)
L1 or L2 Hold Iterate between L1 and L2
L1 or L2 Click 2x No change in level
Off Click 4x Lockout (Three blinks of main emitters to confirm and the switch turns red briefly)
Lockout Click 4x Unlock to Low group (memory, can be L1/L2)
Lockout Click 2x Iterate lockout indicator^
Lockout Hold Momentary Output (Appears to be approximately L1)
L1/L2 Click Off
Off Click On in “Main Group” (Mode memory M2/M1/H)
Main Group Hold Mode advance (M2 > M1 > H)
Main Group Click Off
Main Group or Off Click 2x Turbo Group (Mode memory T1/T2)
T1/T2 Hold Iterate between T1 (higher) and T2 (lower) output
T1/T2 Click Off
T1/T2 Click 2x Main Group (memory output)
Main Group or Off Click 3x Strobe Group (with memory)
Strobe Group Click 3x Previous Group (T1/T2 or M2/M1/H, depending on how you accessed Strobe Group)^^
Strobe Group Click 2x^^^ Strobe Advance (S1 > S2 > S3)†
Strobe Group Hold No result

^ Lockout indicator blinks a red switch every 2-3 seconds.
^^ Aside from just general mode memory (which you know I don’t like) this seems to me to be the only place where you may need to immediately remember what mode you were in so you have the experience you expect. However, the difference is getting the two highest white outputs, or the three main white outputs – it won’t be that dramatic even if you don’t remember. Also note that if you access the strobe group from off, triple-clicking will not return to off. For continuity, it should! In fact, if you accessed the strobe from an off state, a triple-click sends the light to the Main group!
^^^ Seems like the strobe group is the only group that isn’t advanced by a hold. Since there’s no hold anywhere else into or out of Strobe, I am not sure why that user interface continuity wasn’t maintained here.
† Strobes are like this:

S1: Disorienting strobe of White (turbo, ish)
S2: SOS (main white, some mid-High output)
S4: Beacon (one highish blink every second or so)

LED and Beam

Skilhunt offers quite a few emitter options for the M300. In this test, it’s the Nichia 144a emitter, which is high CRI at 4500K, as well as (more specifically) R9050. It’s a very good emitter.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight emitter detail

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight indicating switch on

The bezel has teeth, so light escapes when headstanding.

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight indicating switch on and headstanding

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight emitter on

Skilhunt M300 V2 Nichia 144 flashlight emitter on

LED Color Report (CRI and CCT)

Both the CCT and CRI are great. The light is rated at 4500K, and meets that on the highest output – otherwise staying below 4500K (which is usually the preferred way). CRI is high, too, at over 90 in all levels. The Duv is just ever so slightly positive which actually surprises me. Being near zero is really ideal though. So it’s good.

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

 

Conclusion

What I like

  • Great size for a 21700-cell flashlight
  • This new Skilhunt UI has something for everyone (and I like the UI)
  • The button is perfectly clicky and ‘pinch to click’ opposite the charge port works nicely too
  • Nice charging built-in
  • Updated pocket clip is fantastic (even though it’s a two-way)
  • High CRI
  • Great CCT choice
  • Emitter options for those preferring higher output or more throw or whatever.

What I don’t like

  • Charging requires a proprietary charger cable (but the light runs a standard 18650, so you can also use a bay-charger)
  • Adding the (great) cell to the package adds $13 and that seems a bit high.

Notes

  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
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