Review: Trustfire Mini-01

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Tecmo
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Review: Trustfire Mini-01

Trustfire Mini-01

 

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

 

Summary:

Battery:

 

1 x 16340 1 x CR123

Switch:

 

Twisty

Modes:

 

3 (Hi, Low, Strobe)

LED Type:

 

XML (cool white)

Lens:

 

Glass

Tailstands:

 

No

Price Paid:

 

16.99

From:

 

 http://www.ebay.com/itm/TrustFire-800Lm-mini-portable-Key-chain-CREE-XM-L-T6-LED-Flashlight-Torch-Lamp-/170827626340?pt=US_Flashlights&hash=item27c61eb764

Date Ordered:

 

5-12-2012

Date Recieved:

5-25-2012

Pros:

  • Very bright for size
  • Works well with primaries
  • Knurling placement works well for one-handed operation
  • Better throw than expected
  • Stainless Steel should be durable
  • Useable low
  • Solid keychain attachment point

Cons:

  • Big for keychain duty
  • Strobe
  • Does not tailstand
  • Gets hot quickly on high
  • No mode memory (but starts on high if left off about a minute)
  • Some surface flaws on my sample

 

Left to right: Duracell CR123, Trustfire Mini-01, ITP A3 EOS, Zebralight SC51, Sipik SK68

 

Features / Value: ★★★★

Pushing aside my desire for the Eagletac D25A, I decided to buy an unknown light that seemed to have potential to meet my wants in a budget fashion (and give back to the community with a review). This little hunk of steel did not disappiont. I was hoping for direct drive on high and I believe that's what I got. The modes aren't the best, but the low is plenty bright for any task. Just wish it had a really low low instead of the strobe. I was impressed with the performance on primaries, a big plus in my book. I thought stainless steel would be heavier, but this being my first SS light I didn't notice much of a difference. Might be significant if pocket carried, which I haven't yet.

A bad point is the mode memory. It doesn't have it. It will go to the next mode the next time you turn it on.... unless you leave it off more than a couple minutes. Then it will start again in high.

 

Design / Build Quality: ★★★ 

The light is a pretty simply designed twisty. It opens up into just two pieces. The body holds the battery, which has a rather large spring at the bottom. Any 16340 battery should have no trouble making contact. 18650 batteries will not fit. The threads were bone-dry, but with a touch of lube it turns quite nicely. At the bottom of the body is a solid attachment point which is a machined part of the body. While this ensures the light won't come off the keychain, it also means no tailstanding. The head is fairly deep with a LOP reflector. Though not a thrower by any means, it has a slightly smaller hotspot than my Zebralight SC600 even though the head is smaller. Nice! It takes four complete turns to remove the head from a fully tightened position. There are GITD o-ring on the body and behind the lens (which I personally enjoy). The light needs to be fully tightened to turn on. There is no "catch" when tightened. It won't easily come loose, but it doesn't take a lot of torque to turn it off. Sans battery the light weighs in at 44 grams. The dimensions are almost identical to the Olight i1, so it's little. The knurling is attractive and very handy. The dip in the light near the tail fits my middle finger very well, and the knurling at the head of the light gives good grip for index finger/thumb one-handed operation.

The bad thing with my sample is quite a few scratches. A few small dings even. You have to look closely, but once you see them they're pretty obvious. It still looks good, just not new. Like I say it's my first SS light, but I doubt this is normal. I'm pretty confident if you bought one of these from a trusted dealer it wouldn't be nicked up. My bet would be if it has the TF CR123 battery included (most of them do now it seems) it would have better QC. YMMV.

 

Battery Life: ★★

A light like this is not expected to be a long runner. In low mode it is pulling .21A so it should give at least 2 or 3 hours on low. On high it's a short term barnburner, good for impressing people or giving you some throw by sheer muscle... but it's not going to last long. You are going to quickly suck the life out of your batteries, but it will be fun doing it! I don't have any IMRs to try.

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

I think this light hits the limit of what you want to pull from a tiny 16340 battery, or CR123 primary for that matter. It draws 2.17A on my Sonshine RCR123. Yeah, over 2A from this little baby! The closest thing I can compare the high to is my ZL SC600 on H2 which is 500 lumens. It's a little brighter than that, but it doesn't touch the H1 mode of 750.... I'd say 550+ lumens?? The high on CR123 is just slightly lower than H3 on said ZL, so I'd guesstimate around 300 lumens. The low is .21A and to my eye it is around 50-60 lumens. Pretty nice general level for a little light, but I wish it had a low-low around 1-5 lumens instead of the frenetic strobe. There is also an obvious pre-flash of high mode when switching to low.

 

Summary: ★★★★

This is an attractive, well functioning and bright little light. It is a niche product in a niche market but I highly recommend it for the money. It's not perfect, hence it doesn't get 5 stars. The mode memory problems and questionable qc are downfalls. Things like heat buildup and short runtime go with the territory in these lights. What I bought this light for was a tiny photon blaster and it delievered!

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:00
Tecmo
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Reserved for possibly beamshots

Boro
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Great light, brighter than my i1 eos xml.

brjones
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Great to see this review! I had just commented on here yesterday that there wasn't a Mini-01 review yet.

Surprising to see it's a little smaller than than the ITP A3 EOS. I've seen CPF'ers "bob" flashlights to shorten them, gluing them back together with JBWeld. I wonder what the doability would be on something like this. I don't need a reflector, or at least not a big one. I'm not extremely handy, but will try if very motivated.

Also thanks for the reference to the Olight i1 Eos XM-L. When I went to ebay and put in "XM-L keychain", only the Mini-01 and larger Xtar came up under $50. For now, it's seeming like the Olight has much better modes (important to me), though a lower top-end (not so important to me with XM-L). Olight is almost double the price. Is there any correlation between "Eos" of ITP fame, and Olight's "Eos"? Quite a coincidence, and confusing. (UPDATE: just saw a review on YouTube by GoingGear for the i1 EOS which said iTP and Olight have merged.)

 

How does the Olight i1 Eos XM-L compare in size to the Mini-01? I think the community would be grateful for pics. At least in writing, what's the size dif? Thanks in advance. 

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

Tecmo
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brjones wrote:
 

How does the Olight i1 Eos XM-L compare in size to the Mini-01? I think the community would be grateful for pics. At least in writing, what's the size dif? Thanks in advance. 

Sorry, I got rid of all my cr123 lights because I don't have a way to get "free" cr123s anymore.  The dimensions on the Mini-01 are 65mm x 20.5mm and the Olight is 63.9mm x 20.4mm.  The Olight attachment point is on the side of the tailcap so it will hang a little sideways on the keychain, while the Mini-01 will hang straight.  The Olight will be able to tailstand the TF can't.  I'm going to try to EDC the Mini-01 to see just how big it is.  If you plan to use your light on the keychain a lot and you don't want the light to blaze into high every time you probably want to look at the Olight or other "brand name" light (Eagletac d25a mini, quark 123 mini).  The diameter of the light is really what makes you notice it in your pocket, which is why AAA lights are so good for EDC.  CR123 lights are shorter, but they are still bigger.

BTW if someone didn't need the keychain attachment, it could be ground off in somehow to make the light 3-4mm shorter.

kreisler
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thanks Tecmo, interesting new light, 41g without battery, woah.

i'll try to order the new Xeno S3A or the Eagtac D25A. very slim lights!!

*FMI* i got 4 i/o sh
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Thanks Tecmo, I don't know where you got that info, but Thanks!! That tells me what I need to know: they are basically the same size. You are right on the Modes. It would have to be the Olight, just for that. 

 

I've been wondering if I could get away with Keychaining the new Zebralight 502 (XM-L in AA, shorter than the 501). Either that or wearing it as a necklace under clothes, which I am not apt to do. I wonder if the glass protector would get scratched, being sideways. Critically, I wonder how I'd transition to Headlamp mode quickly (Velcro?). Because if I got 2 lights in one (good headlamp + keychain/EDC light), that could justify/offset the price.

 

It's still not clear whether 4Sevens will be offering their new Quark Mini XM-L line in CR2. Their original site (4sevens.com) seems out of date right now, while their new site (foursevens.com) is very incomplete and seems like Alpha testing. Guess I'll need to ask them directly. It's looking more and more that 4Sevens is the only CR2 game in town. I hope they don't drop the format. CR2 li-ion is totally capable of what it does there. From the battery's pserpective, there's no meaningful difference driving an XM-L at 300mA than driving an XR-E at 300mA. It's just brighter.

 

Kreisler, I looked up the Eagletac D25A and Xeno S3A, had never heard of them. For benefit of others, the Eagletac is a small AA flashlight, and the S3A purports to be the world's slimmest 18650. 

 

According to GoingGear's review, iTP and Olight will continue to make lights under different names. They are doing away with the XP-G version and going with XM-L. They make a stainless version twice the weight of the Alu! 

- Circumcision, regardless gender, by definition causes sensation loss, and thereby usually causes difficulty later in life. Oppose amputation of children's genitals. ALL children. http://tinyurl.com/haszs6o

joerch
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Hi, what diameter is the driver? I hope it is  aqbout 17mm

Tecmo
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joerch wrote:

Hi, what diameter is the driver? I hope it is  aqbout 17mm



I don't mess with drivers, but my eyeball the tape measure method says it looks 17mm at it's widest.  It is cutout about a mm around most of the OD and fitted in.  Here's a pic.

joerch
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Thanks, so I will put a 4x7135 3-mode driver in it as soon as it arrives

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Nice little light, my first EDC was a Fenix P1D  ,and I was thinking of getting an AAA light for my new EDC, but after seying the Trustfire Mini-01, I'll probably stick with a CR123 light as my EDC, it just has that WOW factor Smile 

You have the Soshine Protected 16340 RCR 700 mah right?

So the light should have space for most protected 16340 RCR123's ... 

Think twice, act fast! 

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[quote=JustFit]You have the Soshine Protected 16340 RCR 700 mah right?[/quote]

Yep, an older version of those. My first li-ion batteries.

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zeremefico wrote:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TrustFire-Mini-01-CREE-XM-L-XML-T6-LED-Flashlight-Torch-Keychain-CR123A-LD121-/330737541615#ht_2413wt_756 from a trusted seller.

Yeap! Just bought one couple of days ago Smile from trading_one, who's the same seller as cyberport888 Smile

Can't wait for the little beast to arrive Big Smile 

Think twice, act fast! 

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Thank you for the review Tecmo. It sure seems like a nice little light rocket for a key chain.

I am pretty close to thinking I should have one of these with a IMR battery in it. But then I have to get a new charger and a new battery type... Still I like the way it looks. I think it is pretty  :8)

Of course I hope to receive one without the ding but for my intended use it will suffer some bruising anyway so I haven o reason to be too picky.

BTW: Nice of you to take a picture with it next to other known lights. Gives a much clearer idea of actual size Smile

~ Ledsmoke ~

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In the review the working voltage is till 3.6v

Can I use 3.7v cr123 or 16340 batteries?

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You can use regular 16340 batteries. Mine are normal licos, just labeled funny.
BTW I quit carrying it on my keys. I have it in my little change pocket in my jeans... with coins!

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I ordered one just now from http://www.easylightbuy.com/trustfire-mini01-stainless-steel-cree-xml-t6-3mode-280lumen-led-keychain-mini-flashlight_p3290.html

I have never ordered from them before but I did a forum search and saw some positive comments about them.

They seem to be a retail outlet for ShenZhen Original Brand Manufacturers (SZOBM), a big OEM factory.

 

jamesearljonesi...
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Just got mine a few days ago. ive had 16340 unprotected ufs and tried protected tf flames very tight fit but turned on.

This is my first SS light and im quite happy with it.

03/04/16 

 

8 lives left

weiser
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Thanks a lot for the review! I just cleaned up the formatting a bit and sent it frontpage and made it sticky.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

VIET PRIDE BULLIES
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This light is amazing bright, I went to pick up my TK70 and had to place order with my dealer in his next shipment.

hank
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Is it possible to lose the reflector and shorten the light?

stevetexas
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hank wrote:
Is it possible to lose the reflector and shorten the light?

The light is quite short as it is, about 2.5 inch (63mm)

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hank wrote:
Is it possible to lose the reflector and shorten the light?

The head is all one piece. You’d have to gut it to get at the reflector. You could grind the tail attachment off and get a couple millimeters off plus get it to tailstand

alex21
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Is this as bright as Jetbeam RRT-01?

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alex21 wrote:
Is this as bright as Jetbeam RRT-01?

I don’t know, but I’d love to find out! This is probably going direct drive, so it should be as bright but that’s just speculation.

VIET PRIDE BULLIES
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This one really bright and had to ordered one even I had no intention to buy it. Have no source to measure it but I would say around 300L

gloomywarfreak
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Alright that’s it. I’m gonna buy this next.

alex21
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What’s the best high performance battery for this? AW IMR 16340?

blueb8llz
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man, after reading this thread. its making me want one now too. this can be my smallest brightest flashlight heheh.

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