Review: BTU Titanium (XM-L2, 1x 18350)

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unknown00101
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Review: BTU Titanium (XM-L2, 1x 18350)

BTU Titanium

 


Summary:

Battery:  1x 18350 
Switch:  Electronic Side Switch
Modes:  Low - Mid - High - Turbo
Mode Memory:  Always starts in Low.      
LED Type:  XM-L2 (CW)
Reflector:  TIR Optic
Price:  $49.95
Provided by: Banggood

 

Function/ UI: 


Press and hold the switch for 0.5 seconds to turn on and off.
Click the switch to cycle through the modes Low, Medium, and High.
Double click the switch to activate turbo mode. Turbo can not be activated while off.

To lockout: After 5 seconds in low mode, the light will flash, at this time turn off the flashlight to engage lockout.
To unlock: Press and hold the switch for 3 seconds, the light will flash once.

 

Data/Measurements:

 

 

 

All throw measurements are lux values taken at 7ft and calculated back to 1 meter (Rounded to the nearest hundred). Estimated Max Output (Lumens) values are calculated based on measurements taken 30 seconds after turn on and are obtained through a DIY 'pvc lumen tube' in an effort to achieve diffusion of dissimilar beam profiles. As such, these values should be taken as "rough approximations."

 

The following test took place in 64 °F Ambient temperature, indoors, with very little air movement. The flashlight sits head facing down on a piece of glass that is recessed inside a 4" PVC pipe.  

Utilizing the included 'special ICR18350 900mAh' cell the BTU Ti puts out about 720lm at 30 seconds slowly dropping to about 640lm by the 2 minute mark. Output then sharply drops to about 300lm. This output is held until the 58 minute mark when the flashlight shuts off. The cell measures 3.16v after a short rest.

 

 

Pictures:

The BTU Titanium 18350 arrived in a small box with a plastic window insert.
 

 

Inside the box is a white rubber diffuser, the BTU Ti flashlight, a pocket clip, a replacement TIR, and the included 18350 cell.

 

The diffuser slips over the front end reasonably tight.


In use it works okay. The light is spread fairly evenly, but it also sends light toward the user. This makes it quite obnoxious to walk around with. 

 

The BTU Ti looks pretty good from a distance.

 

Unfortunately when you get closer there are quite a lot of small scratches and marks from the bezel to the tailcap. The small recessed area where the pocket clip attaches wasn't properly finished.

 

There is a small gap where the tube threads into the head. It doesn't tighten down as far as it should and this causes some issues. 

 

Some more scratches on the tailcap. They are a bit worse in person, some bad enough that you can feel them with a fingernail. 

 

The front part of the tube has a scrawny O-ring that doesn't properly seat. When threaded into the head, the gap between the two pieces causes the o-ring to squeeze out. In order to fix this you have to tighten and loosen the connection many times until it finally seats properly without popping out. The small gap still remains.  

 

The threads arrived dirty and dry with a few slivers of metal left behind. The pictures are after 15-20 minutes of cleaning and lubing. Unfortunately even after the thorough cleaning and lubing they are still noisy and fairly loose. 

 

The tailcap threads are a similar situation. Dirty and dry. Picture is after a thorough cleaning and lubing. The threads are still fairly loose and noisy. There is no O-ring on the tailcap. With a short IMR18350 the cell sticks out quite a bit and requires some inward force while threading the tailcap on. This is due to the oddly long driver spring.

 

While I was taking pictures of the BTU Ti, the switch button and retaining ring fell out at some point. This is after very light use and a runtime test.

I was able to find the retaining ring that fell on a joist in between the deck boards, but unfortunately the button must have fallen below and after 3-4 hours of searching I gave up. The assembly seems to be gently press fit in. I found no trace of glue.

During the light use prior to it falling out, I found the switch to be subpar. It required a very precise press at the perfect angle to activate. 

 

The bezel is quite scratched up. There is quite a lot of dirt and grime under and on the TIR optic. The green O-ring squeezes out oddly like it isn't seating properly. I have yet to open up the head.

 

A closer shot of the LED. It is supposed to be an XPL, but perhaps that is only the NW version? You can see more dirt, grime, scratches, and nicks on and under the TIR.

 

 

 

Opening up the head there are a few interesting things. There's no glue or threadlocker. The TIR optic is quite neat. There is an extra lip that the bezel tightens down onto.

Unlike the other threads, the bezel threads are great. Very smooth and quiet with no lube required.
 

 

Under the TIR and on the mcpcb there was some dirt/grime and a few slivers of metal shavings. The solder joints are quite rough and messy, but they work just fine.

 

This is the best picture I could acquire of the shelf without removing the board. There is a shelf, and thermal dissipation is quite good. 

 

After the cleaning and a bit of trial and error moving the wires out of the way, the view from the front is much better.

 

 

Comparison:

From left to right we have the BTU Titanium 18350, Olight S1R (16340), TrustFire L2M (16340), BLF X5 (14500), Convoy S2+ (18650), and Convoy C8 (18650).   

 

From left to right we have a Samsung 30Q 18650, Special 18350 (the included cell), BTU Titanium 18350, Olight S1R (16340), TrustFire L2M (16340),  and the BLF X5 (14500).

 

 

Beamshots:

As with all beamshots in my reviews, every shot is taken using the same settings in manual mode.

In this location the central tree trunk is about 50 yards away. The water line is about 35 yards away. The hanging tree limb in the upper left quadrant of the pictures is about 10 yards away.

 

A small assortment of lights with similar output and throw compared to the BTU Ti 18350, and I added in the old model C8 as an example of a more throw-focused flashlight.

For the size the BTU Ti 18350 throws a pretty tight beam with minimal spill. It is somewhat similar to the S1R (14500) with regards to spill, but has a much more focused central hotspot.

 

BTU Ti 18350 modes: Medium - High - Turbo

Decently spaced modes. Low is little bit brighter than I would like to see.

 

 

Conclusion:

The BTU Ti 18350 has great output with a decent CW tint, but it is unfortunately riddled with small problems.

From the poor tube and tailcap threads to the gap between the tube and head to the dirt, grime, and slivers of metal, to the loosely press fit switch assembly...

Based on the sample I received, Overall, the BTU 18350 Ti is a mediocre flashlight with very poor quality control.  Sad

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:11
DB Custom
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The black spot visible inside the TIR is where it’s touching the black negative wire going to the emitter. Wink

Titanium get’s small surface scratches very easily. The bulk of what you’re seeing could very well have come from the packaging in the box while shipping. The threads should have been cleaned and lubed though. And of course the o-rings should fit properly.

Thanks for bringing this to us, neat little light but it might need some tweaking…

unknown00101
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DB Custom wrote:
The black spot visible inside the TIR is where it’s touching the black negative wire going to the emitter. Wink

Titanium get’s small surface scratches very easily. The bulk of what you’re seeing could very well have come from the packaging in the box while shipping. The threads should have been cleaned and lubed though. And of course the o-rings should fit properly.

Thanks for bringing this to us, neat little light but it might need some tweaking…


I should mention when it arrived the flashlight was inside the little white foam envelope, the foam folded and doubled over on itself and tucked into the foam in the box. The light is in front of this foam in the picture of the box. It was all secured pretty tight for shipment.

They had the box taped shut and more foam wrapped around the box. The tape directly on the box and plastic left more gunk that required cleaning too. Oops

Also, Beamshots for my reviews will likely be delayed until Thursday/Friday. I have been prepped to take them for the past 3 days, but rain and high winds have kept it from happening. Angry

unknown00101
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Added output measurements and some light teardown. Compiling runtime and beamshots…

All wrapped up. It’s unfortunate but, with some attention to detail and QC this could be a very nice Titanium flashlight.

alphazeta
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geez -> the button fell off? Facepalm Is that a 1st?

In any case, I appreciate the review. Most helpful…

unknown00101
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alphazeta wrote:
geez -> the button fell off? Facepalm Is that a 1st?

In any case, I appreciate the review. Most helpful…


Indeed, it should have been glued at the very least, but a better solution would be a threaded retaining ring.

Anyway, I was asked to share a deal on another Titanium flashlight, the TC8.
http://www.banggood.com/AIRAYLAND-TC8-Titanium-Alloy-XP-G3-6W-770LM-USB-EDC-LED-Flashlight-p-1073225.html
Coupon code: 3507be
Drops the price from $39.95 to $32.

adirondackdestroyer
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I’m not sure any of these cheapie titanium lights are a good purchase, as they even look cheap in pictures online, lol! I’d pick up the Klarus mi7 if you have a titanium fix and don’t want to break the bank!