Review: XTAR Wk20 CR123

22 posts / 0 new
Last post
Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas
Review: XTAR Wk20 CR123

 Can the Wk20 Quash a Quark?

 I did a quick Google before begining this and found that somebody from XTAR (maybe the same gentleman that contaced me?) tried to promote this little guy here about a month ago.  I hope I can provide a little more information/hands-on experience, however inexperienced technically I may be.  This light (and a Wk25) were provided me for purposes of evaluation.

The bottom line: 4.2 out of 5 Foys because this is a fantastic CR123 flashlight but this form-factor is not my favorite.

 

Because this light compares in size and battery use to the Quark Mini123, I naturally wondered how the R4 Xtar would do next to a proven T6 pocket rocket like 4Sevens' MiNiX 123. (thier spelling, not mine)  On paper, it may not be a fair match but at work under real-world conditions I can say without hesitation that I prefer the Wk20 over the MiniX 123.  Even though its smooth reflector produces a slightly more ringy beam pattern, I've found I like the stronger throw.  The better throw does not come at the expense of a very useful flood of light, that always surrounds you when walking in the dark with this little powerhouse.  Yes, the Quark is an XM-L and yes it has four "hidden" modes in addition to the high-medium-low primary modes.  You could also argue that the super low 1.2 lumens on the Quark is a nice high-end feature, and it is.  But, I don't care about flashy modes and unlike the Quark, this light's first mode is high.  So when I want a lot of light right now, I get it with a single twist and the bonus?

The XTAR Wk20 is $20 cheaper.

What I like:

- 265 lumens (if that is to believed)

- a UI that makes sense

- pretty good lumens for the dollar

- nice gift box

What I do not like:

- would an R5 have been better?

- needs a lower low

- may chip easily

 

XTAR Wk20 3-Mode CR123 Flashlight Available from szwholesale.com for $29.99. http://www.szwholesale.com/xtar-wk20-cree-3mode-265lm-flashlight-p-3837.html 

Specs from xtarlight.com http://www.xtarlight.com/en/05-chanpin/p-001-1.asp?styleid=100 

- Cree XP-G R4 emitter

- 265 lumens maximum output

- uses 1 x CR123 battery

- IPX-7 rated  (immersion for 30 minutes @ 1 meter)

- head twist on/off: high 100%; low 29%; strobe

- 21.5 x 16.5 x 63.5mm

The site says the "set" includes the flashlight, laynard, package, manual and accessories.  What I got was a nice box with the flashlight, keychain and one extra o-ring.  They did send a CR123 battery but I don't think reseller's ship this light with a battery.

The light arrived thus:

I will admit being a little self indulgent; I like nice packages.  I know it's bad for the environment and increases costs unnecessarily but there are so few feel-good rewards in life, a sturdy box is a satisfying way to get a new flashlight.

aesthetics:

The Wk20 is pleasant enough to look at I suppose.  The rows of bars probably make as much sense as the knurling found on most lights in this category; aggressive knurling on a light this small would look stupid.  I think the overall appearance is one of quality and I like that the keychain connects in the center of the base, rather than to the side.

build quality/reliability:

I've never owned an XTAR fbefore so my reliability comments are limited to my experience during the past week using this great little flashlight.  No failures or even a hiccup with its function; the light comes on, goes off when you want it to and the threads feel pretty good.  The WK20 seems fairly tough with the possible exception of the anodization.

It may have been just an unlucky landing but while photographing this light, it rolled off the counter onto our laminate floor resulting in this tiny chip.  Not a big deal and certainly not a deal breaker but I have dropped heavier lights from this same three foot height without incident.  I also notice a new chip on the end after being on my wife's keychain a few days.

In all other respects, quality and workmanship seem top drawer.  The o-rings came bone dry so, I had to break out the NexTorch silicone grease.

ergonomics:

As I mentioned, I don't care for this form factor.  The only thing I want on my keychain are keys.  All I can say with even a little enthusiasm is this may be the perfect mouth-hold light for those times when you might not have a third hand the hold a flashlight.

performance:

What really matters of course is what, and how much, comes out the business end.  I'm here to tell you, the Wk20 is a serious flashlight.  It may be because my experience with R4 emitters is limited, (as in; I've never had one) but damn this thing is bright.  It has a smooth reflector so there are some insignificant rings but the hot spot is rather large ala XM-L and the spill is generous and bright.  That's what this light is - bright.  Is it 265 lumens?  Unfortunately your humble scribe cannot yet measure that oh-so-important number.  What I can do is make use of the world famous Uglywall test facility on the back lot of Foybezels, Inc.

The almost dead cactus plant is 55 feet away and all shots were 1/4 second shutter speed @ f2.8.

First up is the 4Sevens Quark MiniX 123 in all its XM-L/T6 glory.

Now the XTAR Wk20 sporting an XP-G/R4.

Yes, the foreground is better lit with the Quark but to my eyes, this R4 powered Xtar easily keeps up with the more expensive Quark XM-L hotrod.  There's more than enough spill to see where you're going and the actual center beam is brighter.  When you're under the hood of a V12 Jag, trying to find the damn engine number where the owner's manual swears it should be, this bright, directed beam is exactly what Dr. Jaguar ordered.

XTAR's site says it should run 270 minutes but that is probably on low.  Even if it were half that on high, that's about twice as long as the Quark and remember; XTAR is claiming 265 lumens - 4Sevens says the MiniX is 210 OTF.  By any measure, the Wk20 has sterling performance.

All IPX rated lights must pass the grueling waterFoy test that includes sharing a shower with Foy folowed by a series of "depth-sink" dynamic underwater maneuvers.  The Wk20 is IPX-7 rated so, unless you go diving, there won't be a problem.

cost/value:

This light is $34 at qualitychinagoods.com and $29.99 on szwholesale.com.  $30 is about right for a nice XP-G CR123 light I guess but what you're really getting here is (rated) 265 lumens in a flashlight as well made as anything in its price class.  In fact, this is probably not a budget light but compared to some of its competition, it is budget.

My wife saw this light, played with it for a minute and promptly clicked it on her keychain with a smile and said, "thanks."  I couldn't have said it better myself.

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:00
old4570
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 09/06/2010 - 02:44
Posts: 3359
Location: Land of Oz

A very nice review Flashlight Foy , well done !

 

  But Hi-med-junk , is the worst mode arrangement I could immagine .. OK I was wrong , Hi - Strobe - SOS would be worse !  I love the format , but the modes offered bite ! And if mem serves its CR123 Primary only [ ? ]  So if anyone from Xtar reads this = Please offer Hi-Med-Low  [ please forget about strobe -SOS ] ..

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

Budgeteer
Budgeteer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 9 months ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
Posts: 3087
Location: Slovenia (EU)

What a review!

ReviewFoy TM!!!

I like the form factor! I migh get one for myself. Being CR123A only is the only minor drawback i found.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

mfm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/14/2011 - 15:55
Posts: 467
Location: Europe

Nice review and nice light.

The problem (for XTAR) is that while this light is $40 shipped the iTP A1 is around $23 shipped. The A1 also has a 1.8 lumens low instead of strobe.

jamesearljonesi...
jamesearljonesisascab's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 03/16/2011 - 00:02
Posts: 1034
Location: US

Another excellent review! Just having gotten myself the Nitecore Ex10. I am amazed at the amount of light that these mini lights produce.

IamofficiallyaFoyfan

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

sb56637
sb56637's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
Posts: 6788
Location: The Light

Fantastic review Foy! Great pictures, and a nice chatty style for the review. I just tweaked the first image width, and I moved this post to the CR123 category and made it sticky and frontpage.

I agree that this looks like a nice product, but they will face tough competition from ITP.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas

Yeah, I tried to get it centered but . . .

The single CR123 is a competitive category and I think Don may be currently evaluating the Wk20 himself.  If so, he will likely provide the hard data this review lacks.

Anyway, I hope to put up the Wk25 tonight and . . . a lucky forum member will soon find that light in thier mail box.

goingtoraffleitoffFoy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

Match
Match's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA

Oustanding review, Foy...and very nice pics to boot! You're a great photographer...have I mentioned I like those pics of yours?  I like those pics..Tongue out

Davx
Davx's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 03/17/2011 - 20:29
Posts: 910
Location: Italy

Good job Foy. Also the flashlight seems to be a good one!

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

photon1k
photon1k's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2011 - 23:29
Posts: 901
Location: Lotus Land, Canada

Nice looking light. The resemblance to iTP lights is interesting. I wonder who manufactured the WK20. Too bad about the High/Low/Strobe, but the killer for me is the lack of support for 4.2v. I much prefer lights with H/M/L and rechargable support.

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. In your case Foy, I believe that's true.Smile

LightQuest
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 03/15/2011 - 11:31
Posts: 47
Location: Houston

Great review & pictures!

One thing I don't like about this light (and the itp a1) is it can't tailstand with that keyring nipple.  & I'd never use it on my keyring.  Personal preference.

But your pics show it tailstanding.  How'd ya do that?  Wad a bubblegum?  Smile

Don
Don's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2010 - 16:32
Posts: 6617
Location: Scotland

Mine has a tougher finish. No chips on mine after a month in my pockets with the keys and coins.

 

If it'd take rechargeables I'd reckon it just about perfect. But it doesn't.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

photon1k
photon1k's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 02/11/2011 - 23:29
Posts: 901
Location: Lotus Land, Canada

The keychain post is quite flat, however small. It will tailstand, delicately, but it will. My iTP A1 SS has the same post and will  tailstand - just don't breathe on it!

kragmutt
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/17/2011 - 01:20
Posts: 406
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Haha, you should include the "wife test" in all your reviews. If she steals it, then that's a plus. Sometimes the input of a non-enthusiast is quite valuable.

Piers
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 01/18/2011 - 20:31
Posts: 896
Location: Bolton, UK

I really do like this light, it's just a little more than I can justify spending for a light this size.

 

Thanks for the review Foy Smile

Foy
Foy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: 01/02/2011 - 17:56
Posts: 3009
Location: Las Vegas

Like photon said, the keychain post (wish I had thought to call it that, it's perfect) is flat and it will tail stand however, give it a puff like blowing out a match and over she goes.

Foy

No referral links and nothing embedded . . . ever.

                      &nbsp

LightQuest
Offline
Last seen: 8 years 3 months ago
Joined: 03/15/2011 - 11:31
Posts: 47
Location: Houston

Thanx Photon & Foy.  Maybe it can be ground off, ala an inverse Foyzeltm .  Being on the tail, would that make it a Toyzel?

SirJohn
SirJohn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/28/2010 - 10:12
Posts: 479

I just found this light also at the vendor below. Another china site but their site seems to be very well put together compared to al lot of the competition. Xtar seems to be the only flashlight brand they carry. Anyway, it is $29.99 with free shipping so it may save people a few bucks from having to go to szwholesale.

http://www.airsoftpark.com/product_info.php?products_id=3669

fishinfool
fishinfool's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/09/2010 - 00:30
Posts: 4342
Location: Hilo, Hawaii

 

    Flashlight Foy   

 

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

mfm
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Joined: 03/14/2011 - 15:55
Posts: 467
Location: Europe

Don wrote:
If it'd take rechargeables I'd reckon it just about perfect. But it doesn't.

It should take these? http://www.manafont.com/product_info.php/ultrafire-icr123a-30v-800mah-re...

how2
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: 06/01/2010 - 10:26
Posts: 2417
Location: london

 

Maybe this may be cheaper alternative ?JO1 at $11.40

 

O.k it's only a Cree xre q4

Piers
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 01/18/2011 - 20:31
Posts: 896
Location: Bolton, UK

I ordered one of the JO1's earlier, so more information when it arrives.