(Review) Klarus ST10

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(Review) Klarus ST10

Flashlightz.com generously sent me the Klarus ST10 for evaluation purposes. My thoughts (below) are the result of using the Klarus ST10 for the past month, and would be exactly the same had I purchased the flashlight.


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Klarus ST10 Owner’s Manual

At a retail price of $44.95 the Klarus ST10 is aimed directly at the EDC market.

With an OAL length of 4.43 inches and a maximum (head) diameter of 1.01 inch, the ST10 sized so it fits easily in most pockets. The included stainless steel clip is removable, for those who don’t like clips, and allows for a relatively deep head-down carry position. The clip is stout enough that it isn’t likely to come off by accident; yet it rotates around the body without too much force (making it easy to position the clip as desired). The clip’s mounting location does not allow for reversing the clip.

The anodized body is finished in a matte black and features squared knurling on the body tube. The head has much deeper cooling grooves that also help aid the user’s grip. Overall the grip is adequate, but not what I’d consider really grippy. The flashlight does feel very good in my hand though, and I did not experience a single time where it seemed like the light was slipping our of my hand (not even when the flashlight was wet).

The non-removable tail has four slots for attaching the included lanyard in a manner that does not impeded the ST10’s ability to tail stand (it tail stands very well). There is a somewhat deep recession on the end of the tail, but the tail is not magnetic – which is a shame because a magnetic tail would make the ST10 even better. I suppose one could glue a magnet into the recession, but that isn’t the ideal as far as I’m concerned.

The head detaches from the rest of the body. There are sturdy springs located at both ends of the flashlight, with the head featuring a dual spring. Even the most violent shaking does not produce the slightest evidence of rattle or movement inside the ST10. The bezel does not appear to be removable (I couldn’t remove it) so my guess is that the threads are glued.

The threads are square cut and well done, but there isn’t a hint of lubrication (as received) on the threads. Despite the lack of lubrication, the two parts go together (and come apart) without the slightest sign of abnormality and barely a whisper of noise. The threads are not anodized.

The lone switch is located on a raised flat section, on the head of the flashlight. It controls all functions: ON/OFF, and mode changes. The switch is barely above the raised section it is found on, but that did not hamper my efforts to turn the flashlight on in the dark. The switch is covered with a hard plastic and features a led in the middle of the switch (battery status indication and charging status indication). Surrounding the switch is a bezel (appears to be stainless steel). Although the switch itself is electronic, I found the feedback to be among the best that I have experienced. There is a slight audible sound when clicking the switch.

Opposite the switch is the USB port; covered with a tight fitting rubber seal to keep moisture and dust out. The port features ample room for use with different cords (in the event that the included cord is lost) – a feature that should be on all flashlights.

The business end features a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED with a TIR optic and a glass lens that is coated to reduce reflections. The resulting beam is a cool white – just a bit north of neutral – beam with a barely discernible center hot-spot that oozes into great spill. It’s really more like a wall of light – but it’s a soft, easy on the eyes light – that just flows beautifully.

The beam is one of my favorite aspects of the ST10. I really like the fact that it isn’t a harsh, brutal, light. Instead it is a very powerful, but easy on the user’s eyes, light that does a great job of illuminating entire areas out to around 70 meters or so (maximum is rated at 115 meters). For me, the ST10’s soft, easy on my eyes, light is the optimal choice for an EDC light.

Operating the ST10 is quite simple and straight forward: Press/release the switch to turn the flashlight on. Press/hold (about 1 second) to turn the flashlight off.

There are 4 regular modes and 2 special modes.

Low mode can be reached, from the off position, by pressing/holding the switch (about 1 second) until the light turns on. Once on, the modes are changed by pressing/releasing the switch. The modes run in a cycle pattern: low, medium, high, turbo, low. The flashlight has mode memory (regular modes only). Press/release the switch to turn flashlight on in the last regular mode used.

The special modes – Strobe and SOS – are reached by double clicking the switch (from either the On or the Off position). Doubling clicking the switch brings up the Strobe mode; from that point double click the switch again to go into SOS mode. Single click to leave the special mode and go back to the last regular mode used. The special modes do not have mode memory.

Low Mode: 10 Lumens, and can run for up to 200 hours
Medium Mode: 100 Lumens and can run for up to 18 hours
High Mode: 400 Lumens and can run for up to 4 hours
Turbo Mode: 1100 Lumens and can run for up to 1.5 hours

Charging the ST10 is simple: plug the micro end of the included cable into the USB port on the flashlight, then plug the other end into a power source. The switch LED will glow red while charging, then green once the ST10 is charged. A blinking red LED indicates a charging issue. The included cable supports charging rates up to 1A per hour. I don’t measure charging times, but it does seem as though they’re reasonable. (The ST10 does feature over-charge protection. It also features reverse polarity protection and over discharge protection).

When the ST10 is first turned on, the switch LED lights up (5 seconds) to indicate the battery status.
Green = 70% of better
Orange = 30% to 70%
Red = below 30%
Flashing Red = below 10%
(with 18650 batteries only)

The ST10 has a lockout mode. To enter lockout mode, press/hold the switch for 5 seconds (light will flash brightly twice in indicate you’re in lockout mode). To leave lockout mode: rapidly click switch 3 times (light will brightly flash two times). In my use, carrying the ST10 in my pocket daily, the flashlight never once came on while carrying it; still it is nice to have the ability to lock the flashlight.

My ST10 came with the following:

Retail box (nicely done) with all pertinent information printed on the box.
ST10 flashlight
Klarus branded 18650 battery (2600 mAh)
Spare O-ring
Owner’s Manual

There is a lot to like with the ST10. There are also a few disappointments (in my mind).

I would prefer that the ST10 had a moonlight mode, as there are times when even 10 Lumens is a bit too much. No direct access to the turbo mode is a bigger issue (for me). I have zero use for the special modes, and would far prefer that double clicking the switch brought me straight to turbo mode. I also think the ST10 should have a magnetic tail – that’s a feature I really expect in a great EDC flashlight and there is plenty of room for it. A nice bonus would be changing the charging port to a type C port.

I do like the build quality and the size of the ST10 (it fits very well in my pockets). I like the clip and the fact that it carries head down (and fairly deep). I also like the modes; they’re well spaced out and do a good job of providing the right output for the task. I like the fact that the special modes are hidden (would prefer that they were absent). I like the anti-roll abilities (thanks to the shape of the head and the included clip).

I love the beam and the way the soft light lets me see without being harsh and obtrusive. I find it to be very impressive; providing me with excellent peripheral vision and covering a very respectable distance while also illuminating a wide area. I love the switch; the feedback is great and the feel is too.

While the ST10 does have intelligent temperature protection, I have not noticed it ramping down at any point. That is likely due to a couple of reasons: the cold temperatures here, and the fact that I don’t run it in turbo mode for long periods of time. I find that the medium mode is ideal for walking at nighttime; proving enough light to see (and be seen) without blinding others.

As it is I believe the ST10 to be an excellent choice for an EDC flashlight. While I do think it could be even better with a few improvements, it would still be on my shortlist were I in the market for a new EDC flashlight.