review: Maxtoch Xsword L2K LEP flashlight (2021 edition) reaching over 3km

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ChibiM
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review: Maxtoch Xsword L2K LEP flashlight (2021 edition) reaching over 3km

After doing all the testing, I thought to myself, this thing is by far the craziest performing thrower on the planet... at the moment. 

Maybe 2 batteries in series help with keeping the stable output, but I am dumbfounded. 

 

Full review can be seen here: https://1lumen.com/review/maxtoch-xsword-l2k/

 

Here are a few highlights from the review: 

Intro:

The one I am reviewing is the extended L2K version powered by 2*21700’s. It includes the optional kit with a holster and charger (this kit is $14 extra). There is also a shorter version that works on 2*20350 batteries and is called the L2K slim.

 

Package quality.

I received a brown carton box wrapped with bubble wrap and plastic. Upon opening the cartong box I found a nice soft carry case. Inside the carry case were the following things:

  • The flashlight: Maxtoch X Sword L2K
  • 2* 21700 batteries (installed without an insulator)
  • Battery charger (Optional)
  • USB power adapter (Optional)
  • USB cord (optional)
  • Holster (optional)
  • Lanyard
  • Spare switch assembly
  • Spare rubber boot
  • Plastic yellow filter
  • Glass green filter (installed by default)
  • Tactical rubber ring (for cigar grip)
  • Warranty card

The only thing I was missing was a manual. Not a biggy though, because the UI is very straight forward.

 

Flashlight in Use:

 

My package included 2 colored filters. A green one already installed, and a yellow one in a separate zip lock bag. These are glass lenses you have to put between the bezel and the front glass. They don’t have a threaded bezel around the filter, as you see with some other brands. Replacing these filters in the dark can be tricky because of this, and they are easier to drop or get your greasy fingerprints on. I’m curious why they chose to do this. They probably have thought this through, but I can see the benefits of a filter with a bezel attached.

Another thing I noticed is the watery grease Maxtoch is using on the threads. When I unscrew the tailcap, there is some light grease (lube) on the switch retaining ring. It looks like they are using very thin lube, which becomes a bit too thin after using. I don’t know the reason they choose this type of lube, though. So it might be wise to wipe it down and add your own silicon grease.

 

LEP:

 

If you have an OCD for color shifts in beams or are just a tint snob, you better stay away from LEP flashlights. Just stay away instead of bickering about the blue corona or rings around the beam. This is not the best choice for you. Get a LED-based flashlight with your preferred beam color and accept it won’t throw as far.

All LEP flashlights use convex lenses to focus the beam. But not all of them have a standard lens in front of the convex lens. This means that your most important piece of glass is damaged when you accidentally hit the front glass. Some use a regular flashlight lens in front of the convex lens to receive the damage. These are much easier and cheaper to replace. The convex lenses can’t just be replaced with any other convex lens because of the focal length difference.

The bezel has a zigzag pattern and a red color. Removing the bezel itself is no problem because it doesn’t have any glue. The colored filters fit right behind the bezel, in front of the convex lens. I would advise ordering an ultra-clear glass lens (without color) to protect the convex lens from scratches or damage. The yellow lens is plastic, and the green lens is made of glass.

 

Dimensions: 

  • Length: 255 mm / 10 ”
  • Head diameter:  59.7 mm / 2.35 ”
  • Body diameter: 25.45 mm / 1 ”
  • Colored filter diameter: 55.7 mm / 2.19″
  • Colored filter thickness: 1.88 mm/ 0.073″

Weight: 

  • Empty: 320.4 g / 11.3 oz
  • With batteries: 462.2 g / 16.3 oz

 

Comparison

 

Size comparison:

Front row: Maxtoch Xsword L2K, Acebeam W30, Weltool W4, Jetbeam RRT M1X Raptor, Astrolux WP2, Jetbeam M1X WP-RX and Acebeam W10 gen 2
Second row: Unbranded 26650 LEP, Nextool T10L, Jetbeam RRT M2S Raptor, Weltool W3 PRO, Fenix TK30, Jetbeam M2S WP-RX, Nextorch T7L

 

User interface

 

The L2K has 3 modes, High, Medium, and Low. But because the hotspot is so intense, it is a little difficult to see the difference in output sometimes. It doesn’t have any blinky modes.

Available modes:

  • High, Medium, Low (in that order)

Performance

 

All of my readings were taken from fully-charged Maxtoch 21700 5000mAh batteries.

Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap.

Mode Amps at start Advertised output @ 30 sec @ start
Low 0.39 100 120 121
Med 0.8 300 274 279
High 1.4 Amps 600 Lumens 445 Lumens 465 Lumens

 

 

Keep in mind that if you compare the output with high-power flashlights, it’s very disappointing. But that’s not the way you should look at these numbers. Please look at the runtime below, which is not calculated for lumens, but candelas. Then you are shocked. This is by far the best performing LEP flashlight I own.. It’s just crazy.

 

Now in terms of candela

I also added Medium in there, just for fun.

Note: The numbers in the graph are based on figures measured in the integrating sphere, and not from pointing the flashlight directly at the lux sensor from a distance. I’ve noticed a difference of up to 12% through testing, but this should still give a good indication of the LEP’s performance.
I did 1 test where I ran the flashlight for 1 hour and 40 minutes before measuring lux (and calculate candela with that number) at 20 meters. The number was 1,904,964 cd, but the graph, based on the measurements in the integrating sphere was 2,159,370 cd.

Throw Measurement

Measurements were taken outdoors at 20 meters using a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.

Mode Candela measured Meters Yards
High 2,508,000 cd 3167 3463.84
Med 1,584,000 2517 2752.78
Low 752,000 cd 1734 1896.72

The numbers are probably good enough. 

Beamshots 

More beamshots on the website

 

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Throws really far, and easily reach its advertised distance
  2. Includes 2 batteries to get started
  3. Lost of optional accessories for hunters, including a remote switch and several gun mounts

Cons

  1. Lubrication on the threads start to spread to the switch
  2. Not much knurling (less grip)
  3. The colored filters don’t have a bezel but need to be screwed directly behind the bezel. Easy to get fingerprints and easy to drop.
  4. Not sure how good the charger is in terms of quality, since I haven't really tested it. 
Edited by: ChibiM on 06/05/2021 - 04:08
Th558
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2.5Mcd! The M1X WP-RX has been dethroned! Hopefully it’s not just a golden sample.

I wonder how short the slim 20350 one is. I guess 7 cm shorter?

Edit: It’s 181mm.

Th558
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Does someone have $300 I could borrow?

Cesconetto
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Congratulations ChiBim !!! Today I have a Weltool Pro and I was looking to buy a W4 … but now after reading this I am thinking about Maxtoch. I’ll wait for the coupons to hit the button. Thank you for that.

Pip
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If there’s a decent discount I’ll probably buy ok one. Been wanting to try a lep.

ChibiM
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Th558: Yes, it did dethrone the WP-RX, but especially the sustained output/throw is incredible. 

Cesconetto: if you don't mind the length and double batteries, this is currently the king of throw and LEP flashlights Big Smile

Pip: it's probably around 10% off, and I might get a few with a higher discount. 

zoulas
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Although I appreciate all technology, I have a $$ limit when it comes to lights and this is way too excessive for me .

ChibiM
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zoulas wrote:
Although I appreciate all technology, I have a $$ limit when it comes to lights and this is way too excessive for me .

I can totally understand!  And these are not budget lights. I hope they will become more affordable sooner than later.. 

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That is a very serious flashlight, but the price is also very serious.

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

dave1010
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Just seen the current on high. 1.4A on high isn’t that much at all – no wonder it can sustain high candela for so long. Does it get warm at all?

I’m guessing the short cell version can easily sustain the same candela until the cells run out too.

In fact I measured the tiny Cyansky M3 with a 16340 cell at hitting more than that at turn on and sustaining 0.8A for an hour. I wonder if you could make a tiny LEP following the same ideas as the GT Nano.

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Let’s get ballpark figures of the diode. 1.4A*8v=11.2W of power. We’ll call that 11-11.5W with some the minimal amount of voltage sag from the 1.4A discharge and voltage drop over springs.

It’s a buck driver. Let’s assume it has about 90% efficiency so we’ll get 10W to the laser diode.
Using the input/output wattage of a cheap laser diode given on DTR’s website we see that 10W input translates to approximately 2.8 W of laser output. I’m assuming they’re using a similar laser diode. Higher power, more efficient ones exist but they’re more expensive. A Nubm44-v2 produces 4 W of laser output at 10W input but it’s more than double the price on DTR’s website and they probably wouldn’t spring for a more expensive diode if they don’t need the power.

I’d estimate the laser is probably outputting 2.5-3W of power so the light is only producing about 8W of wasted heat to produce the laser.

I believe we don’t have the data to calculate the efficiency of the phosphor (Would have to be measured right near the phosphor).

I don’t know how to convert lumens to watts since we don’t know the different wavelengths produced.

It’s using a pretty powerful laser, 3W is deep into class 4.

Marco, it would be valuable if you could measure the amperage the laser diode itself is getting inside these LEPs after the buck/boost drivers do their work. Then we could get a better idea of what the diode is.

Voltage would be useful too but that’s more difficult since you’d need to have direct access to the exposed leads whereas amperage can be done with just a clamp meter.

Thanks for your reviews! They’re very informative and helpful. Keep up the good work!

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dave1010 wrote:
Just seen the current on high. 1.4A on high isn’t that much at all – no wonder it can sustain high candela for so long. Does it get warm at all?

I’m guessing the short cell version can easily sustain the same candela until the cells run out too.

In fact I measured the tiny Cyansky M3 with a 16340 cell at hitting more than that at turn on and sustaining 0.8A for an hour. I wonder if you could make a tiny LEP following the same ideas as the GT Nano.

Be aware you can’t compare the 1.4A as an absolute figure. It has a 2S battery configuration.
That equals 2.8A in a 1S configuration. (8.4V * 1.4A = 4.2V * 2.8A)

You are a flashaholic if you are forced to come out of the closet, to make room for more flashlights.

JaredM
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I agree. At 1.4A, even the slim 2*20350 version should have adequate runtime and full regulation. These are minimally useful lights to begin with, and I can’t imagine ever needing more runtime than what the 20350s would provide.

I might be irresponsible and buy this if there’s an attractive enough coupon AND it’s valid on the slim model.

Thanks for the review!

PS: Seriously. I love, love, love the throw vs time graphs. I really think this should be done for every throw-oriented light review. The comparisons between things like a NM1, PM1, and 90.2 would really help get a feel of usable throw

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And another of my 2cents to those waiting out LEPs. I’m concerned this might be the best and maybe last time to buy these things. I have a strong sense that they’ll be discovered and outlawed in the near future.

Sunnysunsun
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It depends. I think we’re still at least a few years out and a couple dozen plane strikes away. LEPs are still pretty expensive that they’re not something the masses would buy. Anyone can buy an incredibly dangerous laser on eBay for $5 that is powerful enough to be hazardous to planes so there’s a barrier to entry with LEPs. Laser modules/parts are still not banned from being imported, just assembled handheld lasers.

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I hope you’re right

Th558
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Someone needs to make a single 20350/18350 50mm GT mini sized LEP with a buck/boost driver. You may ask “why should someone make this?” Well because I WANT it. Now stop asking questions and get to work!

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That’s awesome. I also love the lep lights. I only own two at the moment. I’m patiently waiting for one that has the option to zoom out. Even to zoom out just a little bit is all I ask. So it can be used for general lighting. Not sure if they can even make this possible. At least make the low a very low low imo.

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blueb8llz wrote:
That’s awesome. I also love the lep lights. I only own two at the moment. I’m patiently waiting for one that has the option to zoom out. Even to zoom out just a little bit is all I ask. So it can be used for general lighting. Not sure if they can even make this possible. At least make the low a very low low imo.

There are 3 that I know can do that, Optispike S50 , Lightstorm S90 , Acebeam W50 .

ChibiM
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I'm not sure there is enough space in a mini sized flashlight for the classic LEP module. There should be enough space for the one that is used in the Astrolux WP1 and WP2. That's only about 1 cm diameter and about 2 cm long. 

About LEP flashlights being outlawed, that might be a valid concern, but not yet. The more we treat them with care, the longer it probably takes before these kinds of laws need to be put in place.... if they have to be put in place.

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ChibiM wrote:

I’m not sure there is enough space in a mini sized flashlight for the classic LEP module. There should be enough space for the one that is used in the Astrolux WP1 and WP2. That’s only about 1 cm diameter and about 2 cm long.


Well the 20350 version is 181mm long. With only one 20350 that could be shortened to 146mm and even more if a side switch is used. It would only last 25 mins on one 20350 but It’d be a pretty fun compact light and you could always switch to a 21700 if needed.
ChibiM
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true, but a GT mini has smaller dimensions than a shorty L2K. 

ChibiM
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Discount code: 

$30 off 

use coupon: X1LU299

can be used on long and short version: 

Long version:  https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32949195871.html(link is external)

Short version: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002237755766.html(link is external)

 

Can only be used up till April 30, 2021. Currently 10 codes available, but more can be added. 

 

There is another code for $79 off, but I will use that for a giveaway. (only a few available)

Th558
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I might get one with the $79 off code but first I have to find out if there’s any import tax. How much further can you see with this compared to the Nealsgadgets LEP? Is the difference noticeable enough to justify the extra price? Let’s say you turn it on from cold at 40% battery, will it still come on at the full 450 lumens? Also 20350 seem to be impossible to find in the UK. I managed to find a couple sellers that have the vapcell 18350 but all others are out of stock.

ChibiM
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Th558 wrote:
I might get one with the $79 off code but first I have to find out if there's any import tax. How much further can you see with this compared to the Nealsgadgets LEP? Is the difference noticeable enough to justify the extra price? Let's say you turn it on from cold at 40% battery, will it still come on at the full 450 lumens? Also 20350 seem to be impossible to find in the UK. I managed to find a couple sellers that have the vapcell 18350 but all others are out of stock.

Good questions. 

For both you need a scope to really see anything beyond a few hundred meters Wink 

Yes, the 26650 and L2K are different beasts. The 26650 unbranded LEP is a fine flashilght for the money, but the L2K beats each and every flashlight out of the water, especially after the first 5 minutes

Th558
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Thanks for the quick reply. So is the small brightness drop we see on turbo due to the laser heating up? If you let it cool down and turn it on again will it come on at full brightness? I want the 20350 version but will only use it for less than a minute at a time. I just want to be sure that it’ll come on at max brightness even with those weaker cells.

ChibiM
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Th558 wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply. So is the small brightness drop we see on turbo due to the laser heating up? If you let it cool down and turn it on again will it come on at full brightness? I want the 20350 version but will only use it for less than a minute at a time. I just want to be sure that it'll come on at max brightness even with those weaker cells.

If you look at the graphs, you can see that the drop is very minimal (that's why this is such an interesting light). You won't be able to notice the difference. This is not a high power SBT90.2 flashlight that drops to AA flashlight territory Wink in 2 minutes

Pip
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Ordered the short version with the coupon.

Thank you.

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Order placed with coupon for long version. Thanks

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What diameter and thickness are the filters?

Edit:
I found it on your main site, 55.7 × 1.8 mm.

Somehow I missed it on the first read through.

Anybody know where I can buy a clear glass replacement?

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Awesome and thorough review Thumbs Up Maybe someone who has purchased from Maxtoch can inform me: does the “full kit” option include the batteries and filters? Looks like “full kit” is the only option for both lengths of the Xsword L2K. The long version has a small photo of the flashlight with batteries, charger, and holster in the options thumbnail but does not explicitly list what comes with the full kit. The short version has no options thumbnail. Both show batteries under the “Available Accessories: Sold separately” section Sad

Edit: Can confirm the short version full kit includes all the accessories shown in ChibiM’s review except for the lanyard.

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