Lumintop Tool 1xAAA Clicky Flashlight Review (3 years use)

Introduction

What was I looking for?
This is almost the perfect EDC AAA clicky flashlight around. I was looking for a flashlight I can bring with me everywhere, everyday. And it needs to have a tailcap clicky because I was sick of twisty heads. I bought this in August 2015 and it’s been clipped in my pocket almost everyday, which explains the nicks in the coating.

What do I love about it?
I love it for its brightness, form factor, and top notch quality. I used to have the Olight i3s EOS AAA twisty keychain flashlight but I have sold that because it just doesn’t get enough use as compared to my Lumintop Tool. This is not a sponsored post – I just want to share my love for this little pocket rocket!

[Note: the tiny little clip at the tailend of the flashlight does not come with it. I attached it there so I can clip it to my pants pocket]

Lumintop Tool flashlight spare O-rings
Clear tiny carrying case for the Lumintop Tool flashlight, perfect for a gift.

This was the packaging of the light – not fancy, entirely functional. My version came with just 2 spare O rings but the newer models come with that AND an interchangeable magnetic tailcap.

20180902_171732Look at how well it fits in my palm.

Specs

These specs are provided by the manufacturer, and can be found here: http://www.lumintop.com/tool-aaa.html

Dimensions:
Length: 3.16” / 8.02cm
Body Diameter: 0.56” / 1.42cm
Weight: 0.53oz / 15.02g (without battery)

Material
Aircraft-grade aluminium alloy with hard anodization

MSRP
~$18 USD (I bought it for SGD $35 from Fstoplights in Singapore)

LED
CREE XP-G2 R5 LED (CW)

Battery
1 x AAA battery (they don’t recommend using a 10440 in it but I have always used that and my light is still working fine. I never ever let it overheat)

Operating Voltage
0.9~1.5V

Modes/Output
[NiMH AAA] 3 Modes M-L-H:
32 lumens (4 Hours) / 5 lumens (60 Hours) / 110 lumens (30 Minutes)

[LiON 10440] 3 Modes M-L-H:
235 lumens / 59 lumens / 390 lumens

[Note: I did not measure these output levels myself as I do not have a light meter. I obtained these numbers from this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?426720-Lumintop-tool-10440-or-not Post #7]

Max Range/Throw
~ 47m (using NiMH AAA, more if you are using 10440)

PWM or CC
Constant current circuit (however, I do hear a whining sound on Medium and Low mode, but only when I put the light right beside my ear)

Waterproof
IPX8 (waterproof up till 2m, for 30 mins)

Lockout
Tailcap/mechanical Lock-out

Tailstand
No (due to the protruding tailcap clicky)

Lanyard Attachment
Yes, 2 attachment points but lanyard not provided

20180902_171615.jpg

 

Quality

Right out of the box, I remember getting a good quality flashlight with

  • Well-greased threads
  • Responsive, tactile tailcap clicky
  • Strong, reversible clip
  • Clear, legible printing on the light in crisp white

3 years on, I still have difficulty removing the clip with ease because it has retained its ‘grip’ so well. Also, I have never had the need to replace the tailcap rubber and O rings. The light is still waterproof (I tested it when I dunked it in a fountain to look for something that I dropped inside). It fits so well in my palms and the clicky response has never failed me in any occasions I have used it over the past 3 years.

20180902_171348.jpg

20180902_171531.jpgWell-centred LED with orange peel reflector

20180902_171252.jpg

 

 

UI

The flashlight has 3 modes. From off, hard press the tailcap once to turn it on. It will come on in Medium. Soft press to cycle to Low, then High then Medium again.
Medium → Low → High

Hard press to switch off the light. There is no mode memory, but if you turn on again within 3 seconds, it will go back to the next mode after the mode you left it at. E.g. switch off in Medium, turn on in Low.

This light has no strobe, beacon, SOS or moonlight mode as it was made to be an easy to use 3 mode light. I do wish that there is a moonlight mode (<1 lumen) so I can use it in total darkness without lighting up the entire room. Some of you might want a hidden Strobe/SOS mode for emergencies but I’ve never had the need for it and I do wish you have a larger secondary light for those emergency situations.

When I first used the light, I hated that it came on in Medium but then I realised that Lumintop made it such that it came on with a very usable amount of light. When I passed the light to my friends (non flashlight enthusiasts), they didn’t realise there were other modes so Medium was just right.

Beamshots

Taken on a Samsung Galaxy S8 set to manual mode: ISO 800, 1/15. Curtains were about 5m away. Level of brightness in the photos are very similar to what I saw with my eyes.

20180920_011458.jpgMedium mode

20180920_011503-01.jpegLow mode

20180920_011509-01.jpegHigh mode

20180920_011225.jpgPhoto of the beam profile to show you the hotspot and the flood

20180902_174853.jpgI found that the cover of an old chapstick fits perfectly on the head as a diffuser, creating a nice beam, perfect for tent or bedside illumination.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Small light which makes it great for EDC
  • Insane output on 10440
  • Fantastic finish and strong material
  • Responsive tactical clicky
  • Strong clip
  • Great price

Cons

  • No moonlight mode
  • Cannot tailstand
  • No lanyard provided
  • No diffuser provided
  • L-M-H mode cycle would be better for some users

Conclusion

In conclusion, I am still in awe of this light that I’ve EDC-ed for 3 years. I did not imagine how much I would enjoy it when I was searching for a AAA clicky that could take a 10440. Lumintop was a brand that was fairly unheard of back then but I can now attest to its durability, performance and awesome price points (not just for this light, but for all their lights in general). There are definitely areas to improve on, as pointed out in the ‘Cons’ section above but these are minor issues that I am nitpicking on. However, if they can come out with a new version that addresses whatever I’ve mentioned, I would gladly pick one up since it will be the perfect AAA clicky EDC!

 

[This light was not provided for me to review. I bought it, loved it, and wanted to share about it. This is also my first flashlight review so I welcome feedback!]

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