BLF-348 - A quick look inside

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JohnnyMac
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BLF-348 - A quick look inside

 I recently received my BLF-348 lights I ordered from _the_'s special group buy.  At just $6.99 each, I feel sorry for anyone who missed out on this special deal!  A AAA/10440, Stainless steel, single mode, tail-clicky light with a Nichia NVSW219B-V1 sw50 R9050 emitter light like this with special BLF engraving were perfect gifts for my family members.  I carry mine and use it often!  Hot spot is nice and fat and the spill is very smooth and it all has that beautiful Nichia 219B NW tint.

For anyone who is curious about the internals I decided to take some pics and post them here.  All in all it's very nicely made with great solder joints and nice components.  All this in a thin, well machined little host with nearly invisible joints at bezel and tail along with smooth threads and a nice little pocket clip.  Fits just right in the 5th pocket of my jeans. 

^ Optional engraving was worth getting, especially at no additional cost. You just have to represent BLF every chance you get!   I know many bought this light with reselling in mind so they ordered theirs without engraving.

 

^ Beam profile is fairly tight for such a tiny reflector.  Spill is smooth thanks to the HOP reflector and the hotspot is large and great for the reasonably close work this light is made for.  It is only a single mode but is extremely useful for all indoor uses.

 

^ Switch isn't easily removed but has great feel with it's metal switch button.  Being a single mode light, the only thing I would have liked to see is a forward-clicky switch instead of reverse so one could have momentary use.

 

 ^ Here is the BLF-348 completely disassembled and arranged in order of install.

 

^ Bezel is deep but tapered on the inside as almost a continuation of the reflector.  I'm sure it accounts for the relatively tight spill.  A nice silicone O-ring sits between the bezel and glass lens.  The lens doesn't appear to be AR coated but that is fine in a light like this.  The reflector is machined from a slug of aluminum and has a heavy orange peel finish and great reflectivity from the shiny coating.

 ^ Here you can see the back of the bezel and the brass pill.  The Nichia LED sits on a tiny MCPCB.  Solder joints on the wires are perfect.  The wonky looking spring sits between the pill and the flat, brass washer to conduct ground current to the driver.

^ The driver appears to be press fit into the pill and the spring is heavily soldered into place.

^ The brass washer sits on a tiny lip machined into the body of the light and the rest of the internals stack on top of that and are held in place by the bezel.  It all works perfectly together.

 

^ Here we have a slightly better look at the emitter.  Pics aren't the best but they should do.

That's about it.  I did find the body a bit to snug to fit my only 10440 cells into it.  A standard AAA alkaline cell fits perfectly and others have had no issues with Eneloop cells fitting theirs.  Only my 10440 cells with their wrapper don't slide in without using any force.

Still available for $9.90, it is still a great price on a great little light.  If you don't have one you should consider getting one. Wink

ReManG
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Nice pics and thanks for the breakdown. I almost did not find the bezel line on mine with a magnifying glass, it is that well put together.

I agree, even for $10, it beats everything else out there for that price.

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Rufusbduck
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Nice review and nice to see a decently solid looking pill. Efest actually recommends removing the sticker label on those cells that have them(10440, 14500, 14650). I’d love to know where to get really small reflectors.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

zelee
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Still waiting mine to arrive

Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.
I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.

hank
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Quote:
The wonky looking spring sits between the pill and the flat, brass washer

hmmm, I hope so on the new ones (mine are still in transit via Twilight Zone).

On one of last year’s model, the wonky looking spring escaped past the brass washer into the battery compartment rather easily.
Puzzled the heck out of me looking down the tube before I figured out the bezel is removable.

MRsDNF
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Thanks JM for rubbing it in. Wink Shipping to Aus from China from many places has been very slow lately. Frown

 

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SawMaster
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An old mechanic’s trick when a brake cylinder hone isn’t available is to tape sandpaper to a dowel, chuck the dowel into a drill, then hone away. Use duct tape, several rounds on the dowel and a few wraps onto the sandpaper. Use a long strip of sandpaper and tear off when it’s easily insertable, too tight will bind and too loose will wobble, lots of room between the two extremes. I’d aim for 150-220 grit on aluminum, coarser for harder metals. Hone 5-10 seconds then check, repeating as needed and always moving back and forth for an even cut. In no time you’ll have it exactly where you want it.

Mine may be in, too busy to check my PO Box till Wednesday or later. Why does life always have to get in the way of having fun?

Phil

Rufusbduck
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SawMaster wrote:
An old mechanic’s trick when a brake cylinder hone isn’t available is to tape sandpaper to a dowel, chuck the dowel into a drill, then hone away. Use duct tape, several rounds on the dowel and a few wraps onto the sandpaper. Use a long strip of sandpaper and tear off when it’s easily insertable, too tight will bind and too loose will wobble, lots of room between the two extremes. I’d aim for 150-220 grit on aluminum, coarser for harder metals. Hone 5-10 seconds then check, repeating as needed and always moving back and forth for an even cut. In no time you’ll have it exactly where you want it.

Mine may be in, too busy to check my PO Box till Wednesday or later. Why does life always have to get in the way of having fun?

Phil


+1, been doing this a lot. Still waiting on mine and then ordered an extra 3 w/o logos.

Edit- can use anything round that you can chuck in a drill. I use hole saws plus tape and sandpaper for larger bores.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

Gebe
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Nice, concise report JohnnyMac!

I just received mine. 11 days from Gearbest to Calif. Not bad and it seems GB is trying harder.

It is indeed nice! Very nice craftsmanship and very nice beam. Who would have thought even a few years ago something this nice could be had for $6.99?!

I’m in the minority and am a CW fan and dislike NW beams and had never tried a Nichia emitter before. This Nichia 219B NW emitter is WAY nice! If they’re all like this, I’m a fan.

This light is listed as being okay to use with a 10440 cell. I’ve read some pros and cons using a 10440 in it. What are you folks opinions and has anyone used a 10440 in theirs for prolonged periods?

gleamer
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thanks John, this helps me a lot as a noob Smile I am saving the pics for future reference, just in case I might have some issues along the road. Receive my yesterday, they are really nice….

Bright_Mike
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Thanks for the nice report, got mine today!

Some might find it a bit dim for running, but I like it, and plan to use it for running again. The small size is really nice, easy to hold.

Nice wide beam for walking in the woods, I like the tint. I had planned on using it as a backup, but I think it’s better than what I used before.

Using eneloops, anyone know the lumens?

Solid little light, too.

Rufusbduck
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Here’s a brief comparison between 3 AAA/10440 lights. The Hugsby XP-1, BLF-348, and modded Maglite Solitaire. The Solitaire has just 7135 chips and a Ledil Lisa-2 optic.

Left to right, XP-1, 348, Solitaire. The first shot is underexposed, the second is over, and in bother cases tint is shifted to the red. In actuality the Hugsby and solitaire appear cool white and the 348 neutral rather than warm. I believe the Solitaire is an XPG R5 -1D if that helps to relatively calibrate the images.
Here’s one last pic with the 10440 loaded in the 348.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

ReManG
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Anyone figured out how to take the tail switch apart yet? Was thinking of drilling a small hole in the body tube at the switch end for a key ring attachment of some sort…

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argolite
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To remove the switch:
- start with the tailcap on the flashlight but with no battery inside
- push really hard on the button to force the switch out the tailcap
Your thumb may be too wide to push the switch, so use an object that won’t scratch the button, like a narrow wooden or plastic stick.


Cereal_killer used a ball mill to bore a hole in the lip around the tail button in this host. See post #512 in an earlier GB thread:

Cereal_killer wrote:
Well the hole drilling went well! I got the ball-mill at a local tool store, i ordered one in .412mm 4-flute, didnt realize when I picked it up yesterday but it was nearly twice as large, .8mm and 5-flute. Had it not worked I would be upset about that but it turned out to be the perfect size. I would offer to go back to the store and order more (only paid $4.80) for anyone that was interested but with this one being the wrong one (even tho it couldnt have worked out better) I dont think that’s such a good idea, just dont want to see stuff go wrong. If you’re really really interested and have no other source PM me but I’d prefer not to have to do that.

BTW the shank is 2.28mm.

{pic’s coming from phone}

I doubt I’ll end up carrying it like this since I already EDC a light in the same pocket as my keys, I actually needed a <.5mm ball mill for something else (which this won’t work for, i have to go back and get the right one but for $5 I’ll keep this one too), just thought I’d give this a go since I had the tool and other people had mentioned wanting to add holes to theirs in the same spot.

Ball mill

hank
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I notice the switch is slightly taller on the new light than on last year’s model — the brass ring is at about the same distance from the lens end, but the button and the outside shell both are a bit longer. That leaves a useful bit more room to dril that hole.

Dba
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Received a BLF 348 (240 lum) and a reg Singfire 348 (180 lum) today from Gearbest.

As noted by others the quality seems excellent and very solid.

Will need to get a 10440 to see full potential as they are frankly a bit underwhelming with Alkaline and NiMH. Both fairly floody with the older Singfire having a much warmer yellowish tint.

In terms of brightness I would say the BLF 348 is a bit brighter than the Lumintop tool on medium and considerably less than the Lumintop on high and the Hugsby XP-1 (which is more spotty)

Have more BLF 348’s coming for gift lights but will get some 10440’s for mine to try

Any recommendations for 10440 batteries and charger (thinking Xtar MCO)

Rufusbduck
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Efest IMR and MC0 is a good choice. Brighter than XP-1 with 10440, wider beam, and gets warm faster. Not sure how well the switch will last on IMR.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

will34
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Received mine and love them. It remains just sightly warm with an eneloop and doesn’t need much to figure out how to use it, perfect for gifts. Construction is excellent and it’s hard to see where the tailcap meets the body which means good machining.

I ordered 2 but wish it have been more, although people have mixed feelings when I gift them a flashlight, they give me this strange look :~ until I explain them why this is superior than their 2D incan in the kitchen drawer. I guess flashlights are not that common in my country.

SawMaster
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I did a 1 hour test on a new cheap alkie; it got warm but did fine. Switched to a Trustfire 600mA 10440, ran for a few minutes before getting hot, back to alkie showed no visible light loss. Efest with sticker intact drops right in all 3 of mine as does Energizer Lithium primary.

A darn fine little light so far, wish I’d bought more.

Phil

ohaya
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Hi,

Has anyone tried swapping in another driver, specifically the AK-007 that DX.com has:

http://www.dx.com/p/ak-007-0-8-1-5v-3-mode-circuit-board-for-flashlights...

I’d like to get some modes on mine.

pilotdog68
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ohaya wrote:
Hi,

Has anyone tried swapping in another driver, specifically the AK-007 that DX.com has:

http://www.dx.com/p/ak-007-0-8-1-5v-3-mode-circuit-board-for-flashlights...

I’d like to get some modes on mine.


I believe that one will be too big. There isn’t a ton of headroom in the pill, and the driver diameter is ~10mm.

I did my own pcb, you can swap parts from a nanjg (but it’s 10440 only)

My Favorite Modded Lights: X6R, S8 , X2R , M6, SP03

Major Projects:  Illuminated Tailcap, TripleDown/TripleStack Driver

ohaya
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pilotdog68 wrote:
ohaya wrote:
Hi,

Has anyone tried swapping in another driver, specifically the AK-007 that DX.com has:

http://www.dx.com/p/ak-007-0-8-1-5v-3-mode-circuit-board-for-flashlights...

I’d like to get some modes on mine.


I believe that one will be too big. There isn’t a ton of headroom in the pill, and the driver diameter is ~10mm.

I did my own pcb, you can swap parts from a nanjg (but it’s 10440 only)

The thing is is that AK007 driver is made of 2 boards. The “front” one is smaller, and I think might fit diameter-wise. The problem that I am wondering about is the “height” of the two-board driver. The BLF-348 has a kind of long spring on the tailcap. Would that give enough leeway so that if the driver was “taller” that it would still work. That’s kind of what I was hoping someone might know or have tried (avoid being the “guinea pig” :)).

Jim

hank
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More like the first seal to jump off the ice

Jell
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Hi guys, would it be good to reflow an xp-e2 red emitter on it? Is the driver suitable for the emitter?

ballard
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How did you get the bezel off? There’s so little of it to grab hold of and it’s on there pretty tightly. I considered trying to grab out with pliers but I think it’ll just slip, too, and I don’t want to scratch it up.

cbrake10
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I just grabbed it with my fingers.

-Clark

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I dropped an Efest 10440 in mine and it fit just fine. The light got very hot very quickly when I used it with the 10440, so I went back to AAA. I saw in another post somewhere that since the light is stainless, it does not have very good thermal conductance as far as moving heat away from the pill, as well as not radiating that heat away after the light is off. They recommended very short bursts of use if using a 10440 to keep the emitter from overheating.

For what I am using it for, and for what I believe anyone I gift with one will use it for, a AAA cell, either alkaline, lithium primary, or NiMH will work more than satisfactorily.

You don't really need a parachute to skydive. But you DO need one if you want to skydive twice!

ballard
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I got it by using pliars on the bezel, and another pair of pliars on the body, and using wide rubber bands as padding/extra grip. My threads were very tight and the body was slippery.

I run a 10440 lifep04 in mine (xp-e – not nichia) with no overheating, but that’s probably closer to a nimh than a li-ion in wattage pulled.

gisewhcs
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As for removing the bezel, I just pressed mine on a piece of rubber and turned it loose.

Rufusbduck
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ballard wrote:
I got it by using pliars on the bezel, and another pair of pliars on the body, and using wide rubber bands as padding/extra grip. My threads were very tight and the body was slippery.

I run a 10440 lifep04 in mine (xp-e – not nichia) with no overheating, but that’s probably closer to a nimh than a li-ion in wattage pulled.


What lifepo and where did you get it?

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

Scott

MRsDNF
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Rufusbduck wrote:
ballard wrote:
I got it by using pliars on the bezel, and another pair of pliars on the body, and using wide rubber bands as padding/extra grip. My threads were very tight and the body was slippery. I run a 10440 lifep04 in mine (xp-e - not nichia) with no overheating, but that's probably closer to a nimh than a li-ion in wattage pulled.
What lifepo and where did you get it?

Theres a few on this page but cant tell you if they are any good.

https://www.fasttech.com/search?10440%20LiFePO4%20

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

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