Utorch UT02 vs Manker U21, group buy review for UT02

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DB Custom
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Utorch UT02 vs Manker U21, group buy review for UT02

Hello hello! Giorgoskok is hosting a group buy on the Utorch UT02 via GearBest and as many of you know it quickly came up that it’s nearly identical to the Manker U21. There have been some issues with the Manker light and so a lot of folks had questions. May at GearBest asked me if I’d have a look at both lights and give my honest opinion about how the Utorch UT02 stacks up… they came in today. Smile

Here’s links at GearBest for both lights, thanks again May…

Manker U21

UTorch UT02

I have to say, straight out of the box both lights are impressive! The boxes themselves are made the same way, the interior foam holds the lights and accessories identically, the operator’s manual while different, essentially says the same thing. I didn’t delve too far into paperwork but got straight into comparing the two lights…

Fit and finish on each is excellent, ano is a nice matte texture with zero blems to be found. Both lights have flawless reflectors, the lenses are clean inside and out, just exemplary of how it’s supposed to be done across the board.

I noticed immediately that the USB charging port rubber covers are exactly the same on each light. And at first they did seem overall very much the same in overall size and style. But upon further examination, really the only things externally that are the same are the bezel, tail cap, and that USB cover. Virtually everything else has some variation on the theme.

The Manker light has all the normal warnings and industrial markings, including the “HOT” triangle on the bezel. The Utorch doesn’t have these markings, and is really quite minimal in it’s text, stating only that it’s a Utorch and a UT02 model, with the model designation on the tail cap.

Emitters are the same, only the Manker actually says that it’s cool white as the Utorch doesn’t specify… under UV light they are both identical and it’s pretty obvious they’re both in the Neutral White category in spite of the Cool White designation of the Manker… UV light shows Neutral White as orange, where cool white is more lime green or yellow. Wink

The reflectors are beautiful! Very nicely done, clean, and showing a tight hot spot that I really do like a lot, both lights are very nice in this regard.

When I took the tail cap off the Utorch UT02, SURPRISE! It clearly says Manker on the pcb the spring is on!

Oddly enough, looking at the tail cap off the Manker it Does Not say Manker! lol

Removing the battery tubes (the Manker variant has an 18650 adapter tube inside) the drivers are identical and numbered the same…


Ok, so surely some of you noticed in the side by side hot spots that one is brighter than the other…

The surprise here is that it’s the Utorch UT02 that’s brightest! That 3170 on my meter is 1093.65 lumens, The Manker made 3100 on the meter for 1069.5. On lux, the UT02 makes 97.75Kcd for 625.3M while the U21 makes 95.75Kcd for 618.87M. I’m using MNKE 26650’s, same batch, fresh off the charger at the same voltage of 4.19V to start.

The UT02

The U21

In hand, there are felt differences in the way these lights are made. The Manker has flat sides that would fare well with gloves but feel a bit sharp to the bare hand…

The UT02 is round in the battery tube, oval through the fins, with the slash cut at the base of the head tapering to more of a point. Subtle differences, but felt differences all the same. The bare hand likes the Utorch better for me… a perspective thing of course.

On the UT02, the clear switch is covered with a plastic disc that only allows the center spot to show through, much like the Thrunite TN42. The Manker light has a Manker robot head logo that shows more light in the dragon breath mode. I don’t really have a feel preference and like each light the same for actual use, but the Manker looks cool with it’s button.

User Interface seems identical, the drivers are no doubt made at the same place and probably the same time… seems puzzling that the Manker came out as a stronger light and when issues arose they backed it off a bit too far, with the Utorch pulling a bit more tail amperage and making a little more lumens and lux.

Both very nice lights with an excellent feel, great beam profile and nice UI. They’re so much the same that the differences are essentially cosmetic in nature and they will each catch fans with their appeal. For me? I like the Utorch best. It’s a slight win, based on the oval shape of the finned section and the button as well as the round battery tube and less text.

Thank You May, for the opportunity here.

I’ll be getting some very cold beam shots when it gets dark later on…

Dale

Edited by: DB Custom on 12/20/2016 - 23:19
djozz
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Thanks May and Dale for the detective work!

giorgoskok
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Thanks Dale for your comparison . Really good output and efficiency . I’ll have a look too at the Manker U21 tomorrow .

Thanks again.

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Nice! Thought the new, improved Manker lowered the output and amps from earlier U21's reviewed. So both are pretty off in their specs now from the 1,300 lumens and 124 kcd listed  performance specs. I'd assume the CW model was rated at 1,300, not the NW, but still it's quite a bit of difference.

DB Custom
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The oval shaped finned head is interesting. It’s thinner with the switch/usb charger section on top, as compared to a full circle on the Manker. This means the UT02 is 42.5mm thick when sideways and the U21 is 45.3mm in the same area.

Still learning to use the lathe I know how simple it is, comparatively, to turn a circle but that oval shape is pretty neat! The fins are deeper on the Manker due to this, but this light is not a huge furnace anyway, with the emitter seeing less than 1A.

If you have intentions to modify the light and use a different emitter/driver at higher amps, perhaps the Manker design would have perks in that regard. Wink

Dale

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Many thanks for the great comparison Dale. Time to head back for my abandoned shopping cart Smile

we buy light for a brighter tomorrow

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Ok, now I’m confused.

I plugged the Utorch in to a 2A outlet on my computer and charged an Efest 26650 to top it off. The switch glowed red while charging, went to blue when done, and the light was, of course, off. BUT, when I unplugged the cord from the computer the light came on and wouldn’t turn off or change at all until I broke connection by unscrewing the battery tube a bit!!!

I tried the Manker, the Efest in it was charged so it showed blue right off the top, but again, upon uplugging the cord the light came on and was unresponsive until I broke cell contact! What’s up with that?

Edit: In both lights, they resumed normal operation after breaking contact.

Dale

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DB Custom wrote:
Ok, now I’m confused.

I plugged the Utorch in to a 2A outlet on my computer and charged an Efest 26650 to top it off. The switch glowed red while charging, went to blue when done, and the light was, of course, off. BUT, when I unplugged the cord from the computer the light came on and wouldn’t turn off or change at all until I broke connection by unscrewing the battery tube a bit!!!

I tried the Manker, the Efest in it was charged so it showed blue right off the top, but again, upon uplugging the cord the light came on and was unresponsive until I broke cell contact! What’s up with that?

My UT02 light comes on when you remove it from the charger , but you can close it or change mode easily .

Edit : Checking it now again

DB Custom
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Ok, I just discovered on both lights that simply holding the switch like normal to turn it off does so and when you turn it back on it works like always.

So, unplugging from the USB turns the light on in low mode, it’s unresponsive until you turn it off then back on, where it works as usual. Odd. Consistent, but still… never seen that before. Never seen “breathe” before either, and the dragon eye look of the Manker switch is really cool in this regard. lol

Dale

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Thanks for the comparisons Dale, but are you sure you didn’t mix up the tail caps? It seems very odd to me that the manker spring pcb doesn’t have branding but the utorch does, pretty ironic Big Smile

The auto-on after disconnect behavior is also on the manker U11, first thought to be only in defective lights but many people reported this in perfect working units.

DB Custom
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Oh, I’m 100% positive the tail cap marked with Manker branding is on the Utorch… the outside is branded UT02 on that tail cap, can’t really miss THAT! Smile

Dale

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FWIW, the Moli 26700 fits in both lights. Wink

Dale

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“When I took the tail cap off the Utorch UT02, SURPRISE! It clearly says Manker on the pcb the spring is on!
Oddly enough, looking at the tail cap off the Manker it Does Not say Manker! lol”

This world is messed up rofl. What’s next? A Manker light named Utorch…

DB Custom
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The Manker U21’s “dragon eye”

SOOC

Dale

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With the lights on, I see some unclean issues inside… Any guesses which one is worse?

The Utorch has a film on the inside of the lens but the reflector is incredible. The Manker has a finger touch/smudge on the reflector, one major and one minor. Sad

Dale

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hIKARInoob wrote:
“When I took the tail cap off the Utorch UT02, SURPRISE! It clearly says Manker on the pcb the spring is on!
Oddly enough, looking at the tail cap off the Manker it Does Not say Manker! lol”

This world is messed up rofl. What’s next? A Manker light named Utorch…


Maybe a Manker light with Utorch pcb? Big Smile


Is it possible to swap the Utorch with Manker’s switch cover? The dragon eye looks cooler, imo.

we buy light for a brighter tomorrow

giorgoskok
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MAD TM26 wrote:
hIKARInoob wrote:
“When I took the tail cap off the Utorch UT02, SURPRISE! It clearly says Manker on the pcb the spring is on!
Oddly enough, looking at the tail cap off the Manker it Does Not say Manker! lol”

This world is messed up rofl. What’s next? A Manker light named Utorch…


Maybe a Manker light with Utorch pcb? Big Smile


Is it possible to swap the Utorch with Manker’s switch cover? The dragon eye looks cooler, imo.

I have even installed a rubber boot from L6 in mine Big Smile

DB Custom
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The finger smudges on the reflector of the U21…

Both lights reflectors are like large versions of the Manker X6, threaded and with the ramped o-ring shelf on top, the bezel pushes the lens against the o-ring which in turn seals against the reflector and flares against the sides of the bezel. I like this design.

The above 3 pics are from the Utorch, below are from the Manker…

On both lights, the bezel text lines up with the switch, very nice, the Manker battery tube flat with the name on it also lines up.

Dale

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Very odd but I am unable to unscrew Manker battery tube from head. No matter how much force I use it won’t let..
Looks like some epoxy from driver catch the threads and it’s stacked?

On UT02 driver is just pressed to fit no glue at all.

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If manker bumped down the current because of problems, it makes me question the driver in general. I was going to resistor mod the ut02 but maybe I shouldn’t just yet.

I could just give it a go and see how it lasts but I like the UI and would hate to ruin it. But then again… Can you sense my inner termoil? Crying …The output is just too low for this form factor. My U11 at half the size puts out as much light. But the beam on the ut02 is pretty nice. See… here we go Facepalm

Has anyone posted any beam shots with an XPL in one of these lights?

Thanks for the comparison dale!

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I have the same question about the driver.
Can it be beefed up?
I mean only 1 Ampere means it’s only about 11 Watts, doesn’t it?
Then why bother with a XHP35? An XP-L can do 11 Watts too, and without the losses of a boost driver (but with the losses of a linear driver burning off excess voltage).
And can the driver handle 8.4 Volts?

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

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^
But XP-L can’t do 1,000+ lm with just 2.3A current draw!

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will34 wrote:
^
But XP-L can’t do 1,000+ lm with just 2.3A current draw!

Aha!
Good point.
Smile

Looking for:

5” parabolic reflector (for recoil light)

DB Custom
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Well, technically, the XHP-35 won’t do 1000 lumens at 2.3A current draw either. As the cell dies the current will go up, increasingly more until the cell is stomped on. So in the end it’ll balance out something like a normal emitter with higher current draw. I don’t know exactly how it’ll pan out, probably some here that can figure that.

I personally would rather see the new XP-L W2 2B doing 2000 lumens in this light, pulling some 6.7A, with a tighter hot spot. That’s just me though.

Dale

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will34 wrote:
^ But XP-L can’t do 1,000+ lm with just 2.3A current draw!

Actually w2 bin is very close and xp-l2 can reach 1000 with less watts

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A beginners question. What does the pcb board in the tailcap the spring is on do?

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thanks for the comparision, the uto2 is surely the way to go if you ask me. i would have one already if it wasnt because of the ui. can’t remember off the top of my head, but it probably has to do with holding the switch to turn on or off light…..i hate that.
are you planning to mod the light in any way? i know the lux can be greatly improved with an xpg2.
vinh actually sells his model of the manker 21, i think with his driver and xpg2, it more than doubled stock.
with still 1000 lumens.

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Would a flat top 26650 protected Keeppower cell  work in the UT02 and give max rated lumens?

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I wish it would of have a tactical switch in the bottom , and the one in the head forma changing mods;

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arow55 wrote:
A beginners question. What does the pcb board in the tailcap the spring is on do?

You answered your own question, least 50%. Only purpose of the PCB is to mount the spring to it, and give a point of contact to the body tube to complete the ground circuit. When the tail is tightened, the top edge of the tube makes contact to the ground ring on the PCB. This is why it does tail lockout so well - with quality anodized threads, slightly loosening the tail breaks electrically contact at that point of the outer ring on the PCB.

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DB Custom wrote:
I personally would rather see the new XP-L W2 2B doing 2000 lumens in this light, pulling some 6.7A, with a tighter hot spot. That’s just me though.

+1

The XHP35 and boost driver introduce all sorts of losses in a single cell light.

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