Amutorch TC500 Flashlight Review

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zeroair
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Amutorch TC500 Flashlight Review

Neal sent another light – this time an Amutorch thrower.  It’s a nice little light.  Nice to see 21700 lights, particularly in throwers like this.  Read on for more!


Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the most official product page I found for the Amutorch.

Versions

There are three emitters available on the TC500, but just one body and color.  The options from Neal are: CREE XP-L HI, Luminus SST40, and Philips LUXEON.

Price and Coupon

I recommend buying this from Neal at NealsGadgets.  Here’s an affiliate link to click, even if you don’t end up buying!  The price is $45.95 for the light.


Short Review

This light is a nice use of a 21700 cell, and has good throw (nearly 900m) to match.  Not only that, the lumens are fairly ridiculous (at 2561), and well over the rating (of 2200).

Long Review

What’s Included

  • Amutorch TC500
  • Lanyard
  • Spare o-rings (2)
  • Spare rubber button cover (tailswitch only)
  • Spare lens (!!)

Package and Manual

Standard Amutorch box here.

I don’t believe I had a manual with my package!

Build Quality and Disassembly

I immediately notice that the cell tube and tailcap seem to be different color anodizing.  That won’t be a functional issue, but it’s just a little noticeable.  Still, the light is nicely built and seems quite solid.

There are some fins on the head around the switch, and also further up the bezel.  They aren’t too deep, but seem fine.  The anodizing feels particularly thick on this light, too.

The bezel is stainless steel, and the head of the light has a model number and serial on one side.

And the logo and brand on the opposite.  Both are silkscreened on.

The cell tube removes completely from the head and tail.

Above, note the thick spring on the tailcap, and all the brass parts for good electrical connections.  Below note that the head end has a big thick beefy spring, and the brass ring looks to be soldered to the pill for electrical contact.

The cell tube is not reversible, but has anodized, square cut threads on both ends.  (If you’re keeping score, these are actually probably “trapezoidal” threads, in fact.)

That lanyard ring is stainless steel, and removes easily but must go over that clear o-ring, with a bit of resistance.

All in all, the build quality is good.  The threads are just a little grainy; noticeable, but not really bad.

Size and Comps

I measure this light as the following:

Bezel diameter:  63.69 mm
Length: 146.55 mm
Tailcap diameter:  30.24 mm

The light isn’t long, but the bezel is quite large for such a light.

I like 21700 lights, and this is no exception.  It feels the “right size” and particularly with a thrower, this larger size makes great sense.

Retention and Carry

The only included means for carrying this light is a lanyard.  The lanyard attaches only on a stainless loop on the cell tube, near the tailcap.  This collar ring may be removed.  This is a very secure lanyard attachment point.  Even with the light fully tightened, this collar ring can rotate around the body of the light.

There’s no belt clip, pouch, or any other means for carry of this light.

Power and Runtime

The TC500 runs on a single li-ion cell.  A perfect fit is a 21700 cell, but 20700 cells should work fine too.  A 18650 cell will not work, because it’s not long enough.

I’ll add that on Turbo this light wants over 7A, so you’ll want to use a very capable cell in this light.  I chose this Molicel from LiionWholesale (reviewed here), and I wholeheartedly recommend that cell for this light.

On Turbo, the light output basically tracks cell voltage, and doesn’t seem to get too hot – the fins seem to do their job fine.  I measured the output much higher than the claim, of 2200 lumens.

Output on High is much more stable, but still just tracks voltage as the cell depletes.

At 2.9V there’s a flash warning, and then the light turns off.  This is good LVP.

PWM

PWM is present on all but Turbo.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

There are two buttons on the TC500.  There’s a tailswitch, which is a mechanical forward clicky.  This allows momentary (mode memory).  This switch is surprisingly stiff, and very clicky.

And there’s a side e-switch, which is white but doesn’t seem to have any indicating function (as you might expect with it being white/clear).  This is a very grippy silicone switch, and also quite clicky.

Here’s a UI table!

State Action Result
Off Click Side Switch (SS) No action
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Mode Memory)
On Click TS Off
On Click SS Mode Advance (LMH)
On Double Click SS Turbo
Turbo Click Previous Mode
On Triple Click SS Strobe

I believe that’s it.  It’s a very straightforward UI.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Amps
Turbo 2200 2561 7.08
High 897 1.05
Medium 372 0.26
Low 177 0.08

LED and Beam

The emitter in my review copy is a Luminus SST40, and there’s a very smooth reflector for better throw.  This is a cool white emitter, and I think the SST40 isn’t available in this light in anything but CW.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

The Big Table

Amutorch TC500 (New)
Emitter: Luminus SST40 (CW)
Cell: 21700
Runtime Chargetime N/A
LVP? Yes
Power off Charge Port with no Cell?
Claimed Lumens (lm) 2200
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 2561 (116.4% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m)
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 7850lux @ 5.019m = 197744cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 889.4
All my Amutorch reviews!

* Standard measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

Conclusion

What I like

  • Very high lumen output
  • Good throw
  • Use of 21700 cell
  • Dual Switch UI
  • Proper LVP

What I don’t like

  • Dual switches could be better utilized in UI
  • Mismatched anodizing in tailcap and body

Notes

  • This light was provided by NealsGadgets for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons. It’s possible to subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!
Edited by: zeroair on 04/10/2019 - 14:57
BlueSwordM
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Wait, what?

How are you getting 2500+ lumens out of an SST-40?

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

tm07
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7.08A 2,561 lumen???

JasonWW
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BlueSwordM wrote:
Wait, what?

How are you getting 2500+ lumens out of an SST-40?


I’m thinking these lumens are too high especially for only 7.0 amps at the tail. We need more details on how it was measured.
zeroair
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BlueSwordM wrote:
How are you getting 2500+ lumens out of an SST-40?

That’s with a high drain 21700. It could be a high reading…. I use the fairly standard PVC tube setup, and it’s been fairly reliable in the past.

JasonWW wrote:
I’m thinking these lumens are too high especially for only 7.0 amps at the tail. We need more details on how it was measured.

I measure the current with a bench power supply. In this case it’d be attached to the head, not tailcap. Set the bench power to 4.2V, and see where the current falls on turbo (and other modes).

May be that with a cell things are different, and more current is going to the emitter. djozz looks to have tested this emitter (at least one specific bin) up to 9A, and the output was around 2450 lumens.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4196/35023999340_55764077b4_o.jpg

Almost anywhere in that range (ie somewhere above 7A) is just about covered by the 10% “amateur equipment” asterisk.

BlueSwordM
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The thing is, only a P2 SST-40 would be able to do that.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

contactcr
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Why measure current with bench supply and not clamp meter? You measured everything else with a battery might as well do that with a battery too

zeroair
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contactcr wrote:
Why measure current with bench supply and not clamp meter? You measured everything else with a battery might as well do that with a battery too

The simple answer is that I don’t have a clamp meter.

contactcr
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Well you already know what the simple solution is then Smile

BlueSwordM
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@zeroair, have you thought about building something like a 10mOhm shunt?

Not only would you be able to measure current easily(by using Ohm’s law), but you will be able to simulate the resistance of a low resistance spring.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

contactcr
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no battery supplies 4.2V under load and i’ve never heard of anyone powering their lights with bench supplies. No need to go through even more trouble to still get something which isn’t realistic

zeroair
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contactcr wrote:
no battery supplies 4.2V under load and i’ve never heard of anyone powering their lights with bench supplies. No need to go through even more trouble to still get something which isn’t realistic

7A isn’t realistic?

The output measurement was tested with the cell mentioned in the runtime graph.

JasonWW
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zeroair wrote:
BlueSwordM wrote:
How are you getting 2500+ lumens out of an SST-40?

That’s with a high drain 21700. It could be a high reading…. I use the fairly standard PVC tube setup, and it’s been fairly reliable in the past.

JasonWW wrote:
I’m thinking these lumens are too high especially for only 7.0 amps at the tail. We need more details on how it was measured.

I measure the current with a bench power supply. In this case it’d be attached to the head, not tailcap. Set the bench power to 4.2V, and see where the current falls on turbo (and other modes).

May be that with a cell things are different, and more current is going to the emitter. djozz looks to have tested this emitter (at least one specific bin) up to 9A, and the output was around 2450 lumens.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4196/35023999340_55764077b4_o.jpg

Almost anywhere in that range (ie somewhere above 7A) is just about covered by the 10% “amateur equipment” asterisk.


Djozz measures a bare emitter. In a light you have lots of loss from the reflector, lens, etc… This is why the FT03 tends to measure about 1800-1900 lumen on a high drain cell with FET driver.

Also, when a battery is under load it will not be at 4.2v. It sags down some depending on the battery used. This is why we get different amp draws depending on what battery is used.

contactcr
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The simple answer is: it seems unlikely

Rusty Joe
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Is the PWM visible with this light?

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Visible on camera? I haven’t seen any but I haven’t looked for it either.

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― George Carlin

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If I set it on low, will it come on low if I tap the tailcap to fire it up and not default back to high?

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Relampago
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I believe it does have the memory function. I’ll check when I get a chance.

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
― George Carlin

Rusty Joe
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Relampago wrote:
I believe it does have the memory function. I’ll check when I get a chance.

Thanks.

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Rusty Joe wrote:
If I set it on low, will it come on low if I tap the tailcap to fire it up and not default back to high?

Zeroair.org has a review:

https://zeroair.org/2019/04/10/amutorch-tc500-new-flashlight-review/

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
― George Carlin

Rusty Joe
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Relampago wrote:
Rusty Joe wrote:
If I set it on low, will it come on low if I tap the tailcap to fire it up and not default back to high?

Zeroair.org has a review:

https://zeroair.org/2019/04/10/amutorch-tc500-new-flashlight-review/

I emailed him. He doesn’t mention that detail.

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Relampago
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I think the mode instructions show memory with tail switch.

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State Action Result
Off Click Side Switch (SS) No action
Off Click Tail Switch (TS) On (Mode Memory)
On Click TS Off
On Click SS Mode Advance (LMH)
On Double Click SS Turbo
Turbo Click Previous Mode
On Triple Click SS Strobe

“Electricity is really just organized lightning”
― George Carlin