DQG Tiny 18650 XM-L2 Review & Comparison

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Chicken Drumstick
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DQG Tiny 18650 XM-L2 Review & Comparison

DQG Tiny 18650

Available from: http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1857

Further BLF thread: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/17838

This is a brand new compact EDC 18650 twisty, eagerly awaited by those like myself who pre-ordered it. Well after a bit of a wait here it is.

Claimed specs:

LED: CREE XM-L2 T6 1A CW LED / CREE XM-L T6 3C NW
Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum
HAIII Anodised finish.
Reflector: optics lens for T6
Mode: Low>>Mid>Hi;
Head twist ON/OFF
Current: 50mA>500mA>2A; Current Regulation
Max output: 500 lumens
Battery Type:1*18650 (not include) Size: 90mm(Length)*25mm(head diameter)*22mm(tube diameter)
Weight::38g(not include battery)
Accessories: O rings , Gift box

First up this really is tiny, it’s very very compact. So for this reason I thought I’d use my trusty EagleTac D25LC2 as a comparison light. The EagleTac is over a year old now in my possession and has an XP-G emitter, but we’ll see more about that later on.

First impressions

Afraid this is a bit of a mixed bag. The light on first look appears superb and on paper its brilliant too. And did I mention it’s small? But it’s not perfect. It appears there was an assembly error and an O-ring which should sit below the TIR optic was actually placed in front of it. So removal of the TIR and relocating of an O-ring is the first order of business. Not the end of the world, but this is the first flashlight I’ve had to complete assembly on before getting to use it. And at $30 (introductory price, $35 regular price), it’s not exactly the cheapest budget light out there.

That said, this is no biggy and hopefully future models will be assembled correctly from the off.

When first opening the box you are greeted to finding not just the torch, but a spare large white O-ring and 3 small black ones. On closer examination the light seems void of any of the smaller black O-rings at all, but appears to have places for two of them. An easy fit, but again, this is a new experience for me in having to complete the assembly of the flashlight after having paid for one, rather than a host.

There have been claims of no lube on the threads, but I can say mine was lubed sufficiently and has fairly smooth threads.

The TIR optic with the now correctly located white O-ring:

And the two black O-rings installed:

So once sorting the O-ring fiasco out it was onto having a closer look at the light. The body tube appears only part finished inside, where the anodising stops about half way down and turns to rough machine aluminium.

The inside of the head and pill:

Batteries

Next up is a battery issue. All along there has been much talk about what batteries will or won’t fit with much reassurances. There are also reports that the black anodised version has a slightly wider 19mm battery tube vs the 18.7mm for the Titanium finish one.

All I can say is my International Outdoor (Sanyo) 2600mAh cells don’t fit. They are too fat. Actually this isn’t 100% true, they fit in the top half of the battery tube, but where the non machined and anodised part of the body tube starts it is too narrow to accept the battery.

Flat top cells evidently are a no no with the twisty head requiring button top cells to make contact. All in all the only battery I have that fits is my EagleTac 3100mAh Panasonic 18650.

Even my EagleTac 2xCR123a to 18650 converter won’t fit Sad

Personally I don’t think this is a major issue, 18650 batteries are cheap enough to buy that buying one or two specifically to use with this torch is really not a problem for me. But it may be something to consider when ordering this light.

Size comparison

My EagleTac D25LC2 is a great light to compare too and often seen as a benchmark compact 18650 light in it’s own right. But I think you’ll be surprised how much shorter the Tiny 18650 is by comparison. Although it is slightly fatter and chunkier than the EagleTac.

Pictures say a thousands words…





Overall the Tiny compares fairly well to the EagleTac. The clip is superior on the EagleTac, it doesn’t rotate and simply clips onto things like a shirt pocket more easily. That said the clip on the Tiny does seem sufficient and robust enough and of course is removable should you want.

Interestingly the head of the Tiny will actually screw onto and fit the EagleTac body tube. But the EagleTac Mini head won’t clear the the body tube of the Tiny. This proved very helpful….

Flickering and poor performance

When I finally got round to trying the light out I was initially very disappointed. SadSad

Despite the threads feeling fairly smooth (although not as smooth as the D25LC2’s) I found it difficult to activate and change modes. Lots of flickering, mode jumping, tightened on but no light, poor contact and difficult to turn off. In fact it was the worst performing torch I’ve ever bought.

Fear not, for there is a bright side Big Smile

As I found out earlier, the Tiny’s head fits the EagleTac body. This allowed me to troubleshoot and establish that the poor mode selection, activation and jamming affect of the Tiny, was not the fault of the head. On the EagleTac body it performed flawlessly.

On closer inspection it was evident that the open end of the Tiny’s body tube was very poorly finished, uneven and of varying heights around the tube. I proceeded to sand this with some sand paper to a smooth even finish and good contact area. Once refitted to the Tiny’s head it was plain to see that the finish of the body was the culprit for the poor performance. It now changes modes, activates and no longer feels like the head jams down when in use. Big Smile

It still is harder to change modes than the EagleTac, but it is now usable and acceptable. Such a shame it was another part of this torch that required me to finish off and complete the construction of it though.

Beamshots







Conclusion

Overall I am pleased thus far with this light. It has a nice beam, a large hot spot and very gradual spill, although to total beam angle and flood is less than that of the D25LC2. I would say it also doesn’t throw quite as well as the XP-G equipped EagleTac, but not by a huge amount.

The Tint is fairly nice, it’s rated as CW which it is, but it isn’t overly cool.

Fit and finish do seem a little sub par. I know this is a budget light, but it’s an expensive budget light and I did expect a better finish. The fact that I had to take sand paper to it to make it even work properly is almost unforgivable. The anodising of the head is also a slightly different colour to the body and the knurling on the head seems to lack anodising or colour on the upper section.

Thermal management seems on par with the EagleTac, they both heat up in a similar timescale. The EagleTac does auto step down after 90 seconds so I’m not sure how the Tiny would fair after prolonged use.

I’m also less keen on the clip on the Tiny. I truly love the deep pocket clip of my EagleTac and like the fact it is screwed on. The clip on the Tiny is thus far showing to be a little stubborn requiring to hands to clip it to my shift or trouser pocket. I also found the clip rotated easily when I first used the light (as it jammed in the on position), now that I’ve solved the contact issue this is of less of an issue.

I do like the TIR optic though and wish more flashlight makers would adopt them.

Smile

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:19
JohnnyMac
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Nice job with the review! You didn't waste any time getting it out.  Smile

A shame quality control on this light is so piss poor. I'm glad I waited to get one. I will hold off until the NW XM-L2 is available in it then order a black one (which was originally my second color choice) since the ano doesn't match and the black version seems machined better.

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Thanks for the review Chicken Drumstick. it seems that the second version if it ever comes out should have the bugs ironed out. The picture off the TIR has me intrigued, it looks more like a reflector than any TIR I’ve seen. Does it have a reflective coating on the inside?

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picrthis
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Great review…..Thanks!

Without mixing words here; shitty workmanship |(

I waited for the pre-sale to be done and the shipping to start, then I ordered with hopes that when my light ships it’ll be QA’d better; we’ll see about that. This kind of makes it harder to trust another project from Ric again.

Assembly required, and fitment issues are unacceptable and Ric should give back 50% of the purchase price, as this is nothing more than a cheaply machined and hurried put together Chinese light; probably would have been better to have be sold as a cheap kit.

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picrthis wrote:
Great review.....Thanks! Without mixing words here; shitty workmanship |( I waited for the pre-sale to be done and the shipping to start, then I ordered with hopes that when my light ships it'll be QA'd better; we'll see about that. This kind of makes it harder to trust another project from Ric again. Assembly required, and fitment issues are unacceptable and Ric should give back 50% of the purchase price, as this is nothing more than a cheaply machined and hurried put together Chinese light; probably would have been better to have be sold as a cheap kit.

I do not agree (thanks for the review, very useful to compare it to the Eagletac). The finish is not good in many of the lights, but it still is a great project IMO, and not at all a reason to distrust the maker. He did manage to bring a really beautiful and different, very small and good performing (no pwm Smile) flashlight on the market, in a section (small 1x18650) that has so many similar quite boring examples. Part of the cheap chinese design that you mention is a whole load of easily avoidable construction mistakes that I find in many budget lights. With this light however everything is very well thought out, that part is not cheap at all (it is the same feeling that I had with the Xeno 03). The poor finish does not make it a bad light all of a sudden.

link to djozz tests 

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Great review Chicken and very thorough. I hate that people are having these issues. I am very happy with mine so far. We did have to install a couple of o rings but since they were included in the box I consider that to be pretty minor. I have had a couple of mode skips while trying one handed operation but that is true on most of my twisty lights including ones from Eagletac and Olight and my tank E07 009 that everyone is so crazy about. The output is great and the fit & finish on both mine and my brothers seems pretty good. Maybe we were lucky though. I use only unprotected Panasonic cells so cell non-fitment is not an issue for me. I also played with mine against my D25LC2 last night and think it compares pretty well. The DQG has more output in Lumens but the ET has a little more throw because if the XP-G die.

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picrthis wrote:
Great review…..Thanks!

Without mixing words here; shitty workmanship |(

I waited for the pre-sale to be done and the shipping to start, then I ordered with hopes that when my light ships it’ll be QA’d better; we’ll see about that. This kind of makes it harder to trust another project from Ric again.

Assembly required, and fitment issues are unacceptable and Ric should give back 50% of the purchase price, as this is nothing more than a cheaply machined and hurried put together Chinese light; probably would have been better to have be sold as a cheap kit.


The two lights I’ve tried now work flawlessly. I find the price very appropriate for what we received. This is a brand new light design. And a unique one at that. Not a copy or one that has been reproduced 1000’s of times. That fact alone justifies a slightly higher price even if the light was on par quality wise with slightly cheaper light.
All things considered, these DQG’s are nice little lights and worth the money Ric is charging for it. I applaud Ric on doing a nice job of coming out with another unique and nice light.
And OP, very nice review!
CASEY
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Bought 2 of these lights. Both of them do not work. No response to my e-mail.

Chicken Drumstick
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CASEY wrote:
Bought 2 of these lights. Both of them do not work. No response to my e-mail.

What cells are you using? You need button top ones to make positive contact, flat top ones won’t.
CASEY
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I am using AW CR123 batteries. I have 1 mode- it is maybe 10 lumens. I also sanded the tube.

ohaya
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CASEY wrote:
I am using AW CR123 batteries. I have 1 mode- it is maybe 10 lumens. I also sanded the tube.

OH! Have you tried just a single 18650? Sometimes drivers will go into single mode if too much voltage. A Mini-02 I have does that (go into single mode) if I use unprotected 16340.

Edit: Is this light even spec’ed for 2xCR123?

CASEY
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Yes-I have tried 18650 battery. Same result; 1 mode maybe 10 lumens. The quality of this build is shameful.

ohaya
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CASEY wrote:
Yes-I have tried 18650 battery. Same result; 1 mode maybe 10 lumens. The quality of this build is shameful.

Maybe you’re discovered a hidden “firefly” mode in these lights :)? Just kidding :)!!

It does sound like there’s something wrong, but it’s kind of strange that you got two of them that have the same problem… I got two also, one in CW and one in NW, but both of mine work fine.

I wonder if maybe using the 2xCR123 batteries might’ve damaged something? As I said in earlier post, I didn’t think these were spec’ed for 6+ volts. Did you see that specified somewhere?

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I picked mine up from the post office today. Overall I’m pretty happy with it so far but a little bummed my protected 3400mah’s Panasonics are too fat to fit.

For protected batteries that do fit I am a little worried about abrasion on battery protection circuit when inserting/removing cells. I noticed that the cell wrapping at the bottom that covers where the connection runs down the side of the cell is becoming abraded. The area is only 1mm or so in diameter where the protection circuit wraps around the bottom of the cell as that area is slightly raised. If the connection becomes exposed and touches the side of the tube will it short?

For now I’ve added some Kapton tape on top of the abraded area for extra protection.

-PG

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CASEY wrote:
Yes-I have tried 18650 battery. Same result; 1 mode maybe 10 lumens. The quality of this build is shameful.

did you use the cr123 before or after the 18650? it does not mention anywhere that these are capable of running 2xCR123, so im guessing you fried something
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Great review. Thanks for sharing! 8)

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CASEY
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You may be right. However, it would have been nice to get some directions with the package!
ohaya
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CASEY wrote:
You may be right. However, it would have been nice to get some directions with the package!

Hi,

Did you use the 2xCR123 with BOTH lights? Or just one of them?

I guess that what I’d say is that, even though I’m still kind of new to flashlights, I’ve already learned the hard way (killed a couple of lights), that if a light is either not spec’ed for a certain voltage, or unless you can find positive evidence that it can support a certain voltage, then you’re taking a risk trying something beyond the spec’ed voltage.

If it does turn out that this is what happened, then the unfortunate part is that, based on an earlier post where someone removed the driver to take a look, it’s not going to be an easy fix, I think :(…

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CASEY wrote:
You may be right. However, it would have been nice to get some directions with the package!

Ill quite the headline and some specs:

Quote:

DQG 18650 World Smalledst CREE XM-L2 CW/NW EDC Flashlight

……
Battery Type:1*18650 (not include)

Its very clear from the description that its only meant for one 18650 battery.

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CASEY
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OK, I have no problem to admit I made a mistake. Still, this was the worst quality light I have ever bought in terms of build quality. I learned my lesson. Time to move on from this subject.
ohaya
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CASEY wrote:
OK, I have no problem to admit I made a mistake. Still, this was the worst quality light I have ever bought in terms of build quality. I learned my lesson. Time to move on from this subject.

Casey,

I don’t think anyone is trying to beat up on you, we’re just trying to figure out what happened :(… As I said, I’ve killed a few lights myself, and I’m guessing that even the more seasoned folks on here have done that, probably a lot more than I have :)…

Anyway, if I were you (and I am not you), I’d just try to contact RIC, either via his websites or via PM, and let him know what happened, and see what he says.

I have no idea what he’d do, but to me, there’s no harm in trying.

I think the fact that you mentioned that you had tried 2xCR123s in your earlier posts is a sign that you were being honest and open, and truly didn’t know that 2xCR123s was bad, so, at least, that’d be to your credit.

Anyway, that’s JMO…

Jim

Edit: I actually think that the description/specs on the website are somewhat vague. They say no “protected 18650”, but they don’t specify voltage range. I’m not trying to argue, but just mentioning it, as you might want to suggest that they put more info on their specs to clarify the voltage range, which I think might’ve avoided this problem?

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Yes it would be good for everybody to know that this light is or isn’t spec’d for more then 4.2 Volts. that would be a major oversite if it isn’t, as I would suspect this will happen to a few others as well.

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a lot of light from such a small tube Smile
how much was it anyway?

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Thanks for the review,I see the build quality is a bit lacking and the 3400 mah batteries are  no-go.I wanted a compact 1x18650 light for my toolbox at work,but I think I'll pass on this one.Thank for your efforts Chicken drumstick.

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$35 + shipping

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The preorder was $30 shipped. Still waiting for mine… hopefully next week.

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CASEY
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RIC contacted me. He is sending replacement driver and emitters. Nice of him to stand behind my failure. All is good.

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CASEY wrote:
RIC contacted me. He is sending replacement driver and emitters. Nice of him to stand behind my failure. All is good.

+1

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ohaya
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CASEY wrote:
RIC contacted me. He is sending replacement driver and emitters. Nice of him to stand behind my failure. All is good.

That was very nice of him, esp. since he didn’t HAVE to do that :)!!

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CASEY wrote:
RIC contacted me. He is sending replacement driver and emitters. Nice of him to stand behind my failure. All is good.

That’s good customer service, very nice.

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