Review: XTAR D01 diving flashlight 1x18650/18700 R5 with variable output and magnetic switch

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Budgeteer's picture
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Location: Slovenia (EU)
Review: XTAR D01 diving flashlight 1x18650/18700 R5 with variable output and magnetic switch

XTAR D01 diving flashlight

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★★



Battery: 18650/18700
Switch: special magnetic
Modes: variable by 16 steps
Lens: toughened 5mm
Tailstands: yes, perfectly
Price Payed: borrowed
From: friend, for EU
Date Ordered: N/A



  • Built like a tank (not the manufacturer)
  • Flawless machining and coating
  • Very thick lens
  • Double quality oring prefectly lubed
  • Excellent magnetic switch and the limited by steps variable output
  • Very appealing design
  • Very usefull and sturdy lanyard
  • Waterproof up to 100m (unverified)
  • Nice SMO deep reflector
  • Excellent very low, low "mode"



  • Could be driven harder at max brightness
  • Cannot be easily disassembled if possible at all without damaging it
  • The magnetic switch draws 10mA if the body isn't unscrewed by a 1/4 of turn to disable the circuit
  • Battery cannot be swapped underwater. :P


Features / Value:  ★★★★★

Being a flashlight designed for diving it has to be built for that purpose. Magnetic switch stands out. Very well made! The switch provide around 16 different outputs. It's a slide switch and works like "ramping" but is got limited steps. Nothing to complain about. Since the magnetic switch draws power even when the flashlight is "off" it is advised to unscrew the body by a 1/4 of a turn to disable the circuit. Features a 5mm lens and a totally sealed fashlight head without a bezel. Tailstands. Has a nice and sturdy lanyard suitable best for divers. When the body is fully screwed it blinks once at full brightness for a fraction of a second showing it is ready for use. Very neat.


Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

It's compact for the fetures it bolsters. Excellent threads and orings. Feels like a very professional product. Machining and coating is flawless too. Apart the battery holder the flashlight cannot be fully disassembled. At least without possibly ruining it. It's not really a con because that way the required waterproofing can be easily achieved. Sports a relatively big and deep SMO reflector which is more of a thrower than a flood light. This is one of the finest flashlights i was pleasure to play with. Not exactly budget but not expensive either considering it was not built for camping purposes. It does get warm after a while but i see no issues using it without being underwater at all.


Battery Life: ★★★

At full brightmess the flashlight draws exactly 1000mA from a fresh XTAR 18700. These cells are nice and actually same size as your usual oversized protected 18650. At minimum brightness draws 40mA. The missing star from 5 star rating was deducted since the switch in "off" position does drain some current. 10mA is quite alot! In a few days it can drain your fully charged battery of choice flat. Protected batteries are strongly advised. Even by using them the 1/4 of turn to disable the circuit is strongly suggested.

Since it has variable output runtime may vary. At full brightness i guess it should run 2h at least. Can't try for low mode since i must return it fairly quickly. Current draw for about half brightness is around 600mA.


Light Output: ★★★

The light output is quite standard. This R5 is driven near 1A to the led. Would have preferred the flashlight at max could provide 1400mA to the emitter. Don't know if divers need that extra output but for general use due to massive heatsink capabilities of this flashlight would be nice. It is more of a thrower but with useable side spill. The beam is good looking with a well defined hotspot and very few artifacts. I could say none, but if you are being very picky you can spot some by dedicated watching at 1m from wall. Since R5 work fine with SMO reflectors this was probably the right choice. At 1 metre i was able to record a good 13300 lux.


This is 120cm from wall at max. Don't know why the camera wanted to add a green glow which was definitely not present.

This is 120cm from wall at the lowest low. Still a bit of green present. It's a indoor daylight shot (like the one above), the walls were ambientally lit like it is shown on the photo.

For purists! This is about 250cm worth of ceiling shot in bathroom (100% dark) The color rendering this time is accurate (at least on my monitor). At max.


Summary: ★★★★★

This is my frist flashlight that deserves a full 5 star rating since the minor drawbacks are easily offset by features it provides. It's a no brainer for divers. Others may like the switch and design with an average R5 based somehow thrower flashlight.

I'm not a diver so i must quote a few that own the flashlight and they all agree it is a very good flashlight. The most deeper they used one was about 35m in saltwater. These are underwater welders and such and usually don't go very deep. One said that this one rivals easily 200€ worth diving flashlights from underwater equipment manufacturers. This is good news for divers on a budget since this one can be bought for around 60€ or less. Not exactly cheap but features a 2 year warranty. Emitter excluded...

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:34
Match's picture
Last seen: 5 years 6 months ago
Joined: 11/14/2010 - 11:57
Posts: 1488
Location: South Carolina, USA

Very nice review, Budgeteer!  Looks like a very robust torch. Too bad about not being able to easily disassemble the head, but understandable... I'm curious as to how they have the magnetic switch set up. Since you stated there's about 16 mini steps during the ramp, I wonder if they're using micro-reed switches...  You've got me thinking now Wink

fishinfool's picture
Last seen: 2 years 2 months ago
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Location: Hilo, Hawaii

Awesome review Budgeteer! 


Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

Budgeteer's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
Posts: 3087
Location: Slovenia (EU)

Thanks. Smile I should add that for divers might be one of the best picks at that price range if not the best. Others might skip it unless they really want the magnetic switch which is really well made. It is a very tough flashlight. Can be used as a hammer probably if need be. Silly

Any damage if dropped? Yes, but only to your floor tiles if present.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

sb56637's picture
Last seen: 10 hours 58 min ago
Joined: 01/08/2010 - 09:29
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Location: The Light

Very well done review Budgeteer, thank you for the details! Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

That's nice to know that XTAR is available on some local shelves. That's a real plus for those who want to avoid the Chinese seller lottery. I do like the design of this light, and the magnetic switch looks handy. Thanks for the heads-up about the battery drain in off position.

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

SashiX's picture
Last seen: 7 years 6 months ago
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Location: Spain

Nice flashlight and very good review, budgeteer Wink Thanks. Still a little bit pricey for me.

Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 05/07/2010 - 20:42
Posts: 2571
Location: Seattle,WA

Looks a lot more interesting than the D002. Much better battery choice and you might get two dives out of the battery. It looks like it might be a good choice for some divers (depending on their local conditions).

Budgeteer's picture
Last seen: 8 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/24/2010 - 02:19
Posts: 3087
Location: Slovenia (EU)

This is actually a gem of XTAR. I own one and very happy with. For divers is one of the best choices you may wish to consider. I have the R5 version and find it very underrated for what it offers.

Having a bunch of li-ion batteries it makes alot more sense than the D02. Did a review for both and i found the D01 far superior. Should be on a short list for divers. Perfect if bundled with a 2600 sanyo based battery and mp1 charger. It is a very well built tough flashlight and should be considered (barely) in budget but serious diving flashlights. It does not cost a fortune but the asking price is lower than waht you get. It does stand out on its own even outside water!

Wholehartedly reccomended.

Having handled and reviewed a wide range of xtar products i can safely say this is the product they really stand out by far. Worth of mention are the TZ50 and TZ20 <- for hunters and really i should add that build quality and aesthetics are very high. The wk20 could do nicely with better modes and less "embellishment" in form of unneded nonsense engravings on them. The A01 (any emitter flavor) is a nice complete bundle and HA anodized.

Have not tried the D31 but i would really like to test one. That is a beast of a flashlight. Apparently made for blinding other divers. Big Smile

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Woody's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
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Location: London

Sorry to revive an old thread, but this is on sale at Torch Direct UK for £20 ($30).