[Review after 3 years of use] Lumintop Tool AAA Clicky Review

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GeraldL
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[Review after 3 years of use] Lumintop Tool AAA Clicky Review

For a review with better formatting, please go to my blog

Introduction
What was I looking for?
This is almost the perfect EDC AAA clicky flashlight around. I was looking for a light I can bring with me everywhere, everyday. And it needs to have a tailcap clicky because I was sick of twisty heads. I bought this in August 2015 and it’s been clipped in my pocket almost everyday, which explains the nicks in the coating.

What do I love about it?
I love it for its brightness, form factor, and top notch quality. I used to have the Olight i3s EOS AAA twisty keychain light but I have sold that because it just doesn’t get enough use as compared to my Lumintop Tool. This is not a sponsored post – I just want to share my love for this little pocket rocket!

[Note: the tiny little clip at the tailend of the flashlight does not come with it. I attached it there so I can clip it to my pants pocket]


This was the packaging of the light – not fancy, entirely functional. My version came with just 2 spare O rings but the newer models come with an interchangeable magnetic tailcap.


Look at how well it fits in my palm.

Specs
These specs are provided by the manufacturer, and can be found here: http://www.lumintop.com/tool-aaa.html

Dimensions
Length: 3.16” / 8.02cm
Body Diameter: 0.56” / 1.42cm
Weight: 0.53oz / 15.02g (without battery)

Material
Aircraft-grade aluminium alloy with hard anodization

MSRP
~$18 USD (I bought it for SGD $35 from Fstoplights in Singapore)

LED
CREE XP-G2 R5 LED (CW)

Battery
1 x AAA battery (they don’t recommend using a 10440 in it but I have always used that and my light is still working fine. I never ever let it overheat)

Operating Voltage
0.9~1.5V

Modes/Output
[NiMH AAA] 3 Modes M-L-H:
32 lumens (4 Hours) / 5 lumens (60 Hours) / 110 lumens (30 Minutes)

[LiON 10440] 3 Modes M-L-H:
235 lumens / 59 lumens / 390 lumens

[Note: I did not measure these output levels myself as I do not have a light meter. I obtained these numbers from this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?426720-Lumintop-tool... Post #7]

Max Range/Throw
~ 47m (using NiMH AAA, more if you are using 10440)

PWM or CC
Constant current circuit (however, I do hear a whining sound on Medium and Low mode, but only when I put the light right beside my ear)

Waterproof
IPX8 (waterproof up till 2m, for 30 mins)

Lockout
Tailcap/mechanical Lock-out

Tailstand
No (due to the protruding tailcap clicky)

Lanyard Attachment
Yes, 2 attachment points but lanyard not provided

Quality
Right out of the box, I remember getting a good quality flashlight with

  • Well-greased threads
  • Responsive, tactile tailcap clicky
  • Strong, reversible clip
  • Clear, legible printing on the light in crisp white

3 years on, I still have difficulty removing the clip with ease because it has retained its ‘grip’ so well. Also, I have never had the need to replace the tailcap rubber and O rings. The light is still waterproof (I tested it when I dunked it in a fountain to look for something that I dropped inside). It fits so well in my palms and the clicky response has never failed me in any occasions I have used it over the past 3 years.


Well-centred LED with orange peel reflector

UI
The flashlight has 3 modes. From off, hard press the tailcap once to turn it on. It will come on in Medium. Soft press to cycle to Low, then High then Medium again.
Medium → Low → High
Hard press to switch off the light. There is no mode memory, but if you turn on again within 3 seconds, it will go back to the next mode after the mode you left it at. E.g. switch off in Medium, turn on in Low.

This light has no strobe, beacon, SOS or moonlight mode as it was made to be an easy to use 3 mode light. I do wish that there is a moonlight mode (<1 lumen) so I can use it in total darkness without lighting up the entire room. Some of you might want a hidden Strobe/SOS mode for emergencies but I’ve never had the need for it and I do wish you have a larger secondary light for those emergency situations.

When I first used the light, I hated that it came on in Medium but then I realised that Lumintop made it such that it came on with a very usable amount of light. When I passed the light to my friends (non flashlight enthusiasts), they didn’t realise there were other modes so Medium was just right.

Beamshots
Taken on a Samsung Galaxy S8 set to manual mode: ISO 800, 1/15. Curtains were about 5m away. Level of brightness in the photos are very similar to what I saw with my eyes.


Medium mode


Low mode


High mode


Photo of the beam profile to show you the hotspot and the flood


I found that the cover of an old chapstick fits perfectly on the head as a diffuser, creating a nice beam, perfect for tent or bedside illumination.

Pros & Cons
Pros
Small light which makes it great for EDC
Insane output on 10440
Fantastic finish and strong material
Responsive tactical clicky
Strong clip
Great price

Cons
No moonlight mode
Cannot tailstand
No lanyard provided
No diffuser provided
L-M-H mode cycle would be better for some users

Conclusion
In conclusion, I am still in awe of this light that I’ve EDC-ed for 3 years. I did not imagine how much I would enjoy it when I was searching for a AAA clicky that could take a 10440. Lumintop was a brand that was fairly unheard of back then but I can now attest to its durability, performance and awesome price points (not just for this light, but for all their lights in general). There are definitely areas to improve on, as pointed out in the ‘Cons’ section above but these are minor issues that I am nitpicking on. However, if they can come out with a new version that addresses whatever I’ve mentioned, I would gladly pick one up since it will be the perfect AAA clicky EDC!

[This light was not provided for me to review. I bought it, loved it, and wanted to share about it. This is also my first flashlight review so I welcome feedback or a like and subscribe on my blog!]

Edited by: GeraldL on 09/21/2018 - 12:50
dealgrabber2002
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I also love this light. I removed the dome on the xp-g2, now it throws very well for an AAA light. And the tint is perfect. Very reliable light. A matter of fact I just messed with it last night when i was watching Tomb Raider. Lol

Oh, I am an odd ball, I love lights coming on medium first.

Muto
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Great Review!

Have one of these and it fell out of my pocket when riding a mini bike up the road, found it the next day after some cars ran over it.
Still works although the battery tube is slightly egg shaped near the head and the head will not unscrew so it is hard to get batteries out.
Was worse when found but with pliers was able to straighten enough to use.
Amazed that the lens didn’t break.

Anyway thing is tough.
Thanks
Later

Keith

What’s with all these Bright Flashlights Boy?
Are you Drunk or HIGH on somethin’ Son??
No Officer, I am not Drunk, I am however High, High on LUMENS! HAHA-HAHA-HAH

The Reaper is the hardest working man in the business, never takes a day off!
Enjoy this day like it’s your last, because it just may be.

thisnameisvalid
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Nice review! Yours is in remarkably good condition for 3 years of carry. I’ve barely had mine a year and the anodisation is wearing off all over the place Facepalm Guess that’s what I get for putting it on a keychain… Great light though, only wish it came with a NW xpg2

GeraldL
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
I also love this light. I removed the dome on the xp-g2, now it throws very well for an AAA light. And the tint is perfect. Very reliable light. A matter of fact I just messed with it last night when i was watching Tomb Raider. Lol

Oh, I am an odd ball, I love lights coming on medium first.

How did you dedome it? Did you manage to unscrew the internals from the head? I tried doing it but it was sealed quite tight. I think some of us here might be curious to turn our Lumintop Tools into mini throwers!

GeraldL
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Muto wrote:
Great Review!

Have one of these and it fell out of my pocket when riding a mini bike up the road, found it the next day after some cars ran over it.
Still works although the battery tube is slightly egg shaped near the head and the head will not unscrew so it is hard to get batteries out.

Thanks for the kind words, Muto! Appreciate it Smile

I totally agree that this light can take quite a beating. I don’t abuse mine but I’m glad to hear that it can take a few cars running over it.

GeraldL
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thisnameisvalid wrote:
Nice review! Yours is in remarkably good condition for 3 years of carry. I’ve barely had mine a year and the anodisation is wearing off all over the place Facepalm Guess that’s what I get for putting it on a keychain… Great light though, only wish it came with a NW xpg2

Thanks for the kind words, Sir! I do put it in my pocket, but separate from my keys, which explains why the anodisation holds up.
I agree that there should be a NW option – hopefully they hear us and give us an option when they launch a new version Smile

dealgrabber2002
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It was quite easy. I just use a needle plyer to unscrewed it. Then I used a heat gun to soften the dome and carefully peeled it off.

mrmatt
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GeraldL wrote:
thisnameisvalid wrote:
Nice review! Yours is in remarkably good condition for 3 years of carry. I’ve barely had mine a year and the anodisation is wearing off all over the place Facepalm Guess that’s what I get for putting it on a keychain… Great light though, only wish it came with a NW xpg2

Thanks for the kind words, Sir! I do put it in my pocket, but separate from my keys, which explains why the anodisation holds up.
I agree that there should be a NW option – hopefully they hear us and give us an option when they launch a new version Smile


It’s also my favorite aaa light, perfect light for function/quality and price. I have the flat magnetic tail cap too so I’m always torn between the tailstand/twisty and the nice click.
The nichia version is an amazing tint, I gave away my cool white and bought a nichia to replace it
chinooker
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I have the Cu version (3ea), they all have 10440 batts in them from the get-go and are in my daily use. Why does Lumintop deny the compatibility in the face of common knowledge?

Boaz
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  For years this light has been in my " top 10...must have lights"  list.

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

 

Anyone interested in Dc-Fix pm me.

GeraldL
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
It was quite easy. I just use a needle plyer to unscrewed it. Then I used a heat gun to soften the dome and carefully peeled it off.

Sounds simple! Thanks for the instructions. I might try it to get myself a pocket rocket!

GeraldL
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mrmatt wrote:
It’s also my favorite aaa light, perfect light for function/quality and price. I have the flat magnetic tail cap too so I’m always torn between the tailstand/twisty and the nice click. The nichia version is an amazing tint, I gave away my cool white and bought a nichia to replace it

Hi Mr Matt, thanks for dropping by! I would love to have that option but I bought my light much earlier and it didn’t come with the magnetic tailcap option. That would have been extremely handy for sure. Enjoy your nichia tint! Cheers!

Boaz
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Pretty sure bangood still sells the magnetic tail cap  ..

 Yep here it is >>

https://www.banggood.com/Lumintop-Tool-AAA-LED-Flashlight-Magnet-Tail-Ca...

καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

 

Anyone interested in Dc-Fix pm me.

GeraldL
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Boaz wrote:

  For years this light has been in my “ top 10…must have lights”  list.

Hey Boaz! Does this light rank in the top 3? Just curious Big Smile

Jack Kellar
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I hear ya on all those points, Gerald, excellent review. But I have to emphasize even more the utility aspect from starting in Mid mode with a tail clicky: the Tool is a tiny keychain-ish light, but it puts in work, just like a bigger torch. Unless you need the extra brightness or extended runtime (like a lot of night use), you can easily have this as your only flashlight.

In fact, if you ask me, this tiny light that could outclasses the CR123-size lights I have LOL

GeraldL wrote:
thisnameisvalid wrote:
Nice review! Yours is in remarkably good condition for 3 years of carry. I’ve barely had mine a year and the anodisation is wearing off all over the place Facepalm Guess that’s what I get for putting it on a keychain… Great light though, only wish it came with a NW xpg2

Thanks for the kind words, Sir! I do put it in my pocket, but separate from my keys, which explains why the anodisation holds up.
I agree that there should be a NW option – hopefully they hear us and give us an option when they launch a new version Smile

There already is a NW version: the CRI one with the Nichia 219B. Which, incidentally, is my own AAA EDC and one minitorch I wouldn’t swap away for any other model in the world as of today Big Smile

P.S.: I was monkeying around with a few lights of mine (especially a Thrunite T10 and a Ti3), and I think you can unscrew the Tool’s whole pill with a set of watchmaker tweezers like you can with the Ti3. That’s only speculation, though, I haven’t tried it myself.

GeraldL
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chinooker wrote:
I have the Cu version (3ea), they all have 10440 batts in them from the get-go and are in my daily use. Why does Lumintop deny the compatibility in the face of common knowledge?

I’m thinking they are being cautious, in the case of the layman (non-flashlight enthusiasts) letting the light overheat too much and damaging the internals. I use the High mode in 15 seconds bursts, and drop it back down to Medium after to increase the longevity of my light.

GeraldL
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Jack Kellar wrote:
I hear ya on all those points, Gerald, excellent review. But I have to emphasize even more the utility aspect from starting in Mid mode with a tail clicky: the Tool is a tiny keychain-ish light, but it puts in work, just like a bigger torch. Unless you need the extra brightness or extended runtime (like a lot of night use), you can easily have this as your only flashlight.

In fact, if you ask me, this tiny light that could outclasses the CR123-size lights I have LOL

There already is a NW version: the CRI one with the Nichia 219B. Which, incidentally, is my own AAA EDC and one minitorch I wouldn’t swap away for any other model in the world as of today Big Smile

P.S.: I was monkeying around with a few lights of mine (especially a Thrunite T10 and a Ti3), and I think you can unscrew the Tool’s whole pill with a set of watchmaker tweezers like you can with the Ti3. That’s only speculation, though, I haven’t tried it myself.

Thanks for the kind words Smile You’re absolutely right! When I’m outdoor, coming on in Medium mode works perfectly. I only wish for the moonlight mode when I’m in the cinema looking for my seat, or using it to go to the washroom at night. That ruins my night vision, and that of others around me LOL.

You’re tempting me to remove the pill and maybe dedome it!

Jack Kellar
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GeraldL wrote:
Thanks for the kind words Smile You’re absolutely right! When I’m outdoor, coming on in Medium mode works perfectly. I only wish for the moonlight mode when I’m in the cinema looking for my seat, or using it to go to the washroom at night. That ruins my night vision, and that of others around me LOL.

You’re tempting me to remove the pill and maybe dedome it!

I haven’t yet needed to use the Low mode to not bother others, but I definitely agree that it’s a mite too bright for murk-adapted eyesight. I rarely use it as my sleep light, I prefer to use my Ti3 for that since its firefly is so gentle on the eye.

Since yours is a cool white XP-G2, there’s little to lose so I’d say go for it! Just update us with the results Wink

GeraldL
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Jack Kellar wrote:
I haven’t yet needed to use the Low mode to not bother others, but I definitely agree that it’s a mite too bright for murk-adapted eyesight. I rarely use it as my sleep light, I prefer to use my Ti3 for that since its firefly is so gentle on the eye.

Since yours is a cool white XP-G2, there’s little to lose so I’d say go for it! Just update us with the results Wink

Man, I wish I can get my hands on the Ti3 to compare it against the Lumintop Tool. That’s an awesome AAA light as well.

I used a tweezer to try unscrewing the pill earlier. It wouldn’t budge, and I all did was scratch the underside of the board accidentally. Welp. Is it because it’s 3 years old and set in place already? Or do I need to heat it up?

Jack Kellar
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GeraldL wrote:
Man, I wish I can get my hands on the Ti3 to compare it against the Lumintop Tool. That’s an awesome AAA light as well.

I used a tweezer to try unscrewing the pill earlier. It wouldn’t budge, and I all did was scratch the underside of the board accidentally. Welp. Is it because it’s 3 years old and set in place already? Or do I need to heat it up?

You can: https://www.hkequipment.net/product-p/ti32bk.htm HKe is legit, you can purchase from them with no issues.

Does your board have two little holes? Mine is red and does have them, so I figure it’s unscrew-able. However, yours is of a much older fare, so they may not be the same. If you could post a pic of the board, it’d go a long way.

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My preference is the Massdrop flat tail switch versions. They come on L-M-H and can tail stand. Otherwise internals are the same great stuff. By far my most carried light (brass version).

“Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
~Ben Shapiro

GeraldL
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Jack Kellar wrote:

You can: https://www.hkequipment.net/product-p/ti32bk.htm HKe is legit, you can purchase from them with no issues.

Does your board have two little holes? Mine is red and does have them, so I figure it’s unscrew-able. However, yours is of a much older fare, so they may not be the same. If you could post a pic of the board, it’d go a long way.

Yea I’ve bought from HKE before. Was always a pleasant experience.

Photo link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9SEuVC4Dr7TqKUwo8 (Does it not work if I use Google Photos to host the images and embed them here?)

What do you think? Should I apply more force to remove it? To be honest, I am already quite pleased with my light, and it’s my EDC so I wouldn’t want to risk ruining it haha

Jack Kellar
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Good stuff, Gerald. It looks very similar to mine, holes and all. But again, I was speculating, I didn’t try to open mine.

That’s the link to your album; you have to use the URL of the image itself, like this:

If you’re happy with it as is, well, that changes things. I’d only dedome lights I don’t exactly like as they currently are, so IMO it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie Silly

LichtAn
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GeraldL wrote:
dealgrabber2002 wrote:
It was quite easy. I just use a needle plyer to unscrewed it. Then I used a heat gun to soften the dome and carefully peeled it off.

Sounds simple! Thanks for the instructions. I might try it to get myself a pocket rocket!

I almost broke my needlenosepliers trying his, it does move a bit, then it gets stuck. No way of unscrewing it any further. Facepalm

EDCba
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LichtAn wrote:
GeraldL wrote:
dealgrabber2002 wrote:
It was quite easy. I just use a needle plyer to unscrewed it. Then I used a heat gun to soften the dome and carefully peeled it off.

Sounds simple! Thanks for the instructions. I might try it to get myself a pocket rocket!

I almost broke my needlenosepliers trying his, it does move a bit, then it gets stuck. No way of unscrewing it any further. Facepalm

Could it be reverse threaded?

LichtAn
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Nah, battery tube also screws in regularly. It feels a bit like the threads got damaged in some place and it gets stuck there. Man this is so frustrating, this is the second light this week I can’t get open. And I tried!

dealgrabber2002
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Ah sorry to hear that. Maybe tighten it and try unscrewing again. Mine unscrewed with minimal effort.

LichtAn
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dealgrabber2002 wrote:
Ah sorry to hear that. Maybe tighten it and try unscrewing again. Mine unscrewed with minimal effort.

Check my post here regarding a similar style light: http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1385704#comment-1385704

Big SmileFacepalm
dealgrabber2002
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Oh man. I wish you could open it. It throws very well and the tint is perfect. I usually over think like what to take on a vacation. Need spill, throw, good tint, compact, easy access to battery, lightweight.. After dedomed it; this light is THE light for traveling.

LichtAn
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I mean there are definitely people who got it open. I wonder if the newer batches may have threadlocker now. I just got it delivered yesterday from Banggood. I really can’t imagine how anyone could open this up.

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