Review: Sipik HK22 1xAA XR-E 3-mode Flashlight

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sb56637
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Review: Sipik HK22 1xAA XR-E 3-mode Flashlight

Sipik HK22

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 1xAA (14500 successfully tested by another owner)
Switch: Reverse Clicky Side Switch
Modes: High > Mid > Strobe (no mode memory)
LED Type: Cree XR-E  Q3
Lens: Glass?
Tailstands: Yes
Current Price:
 $14.50
From:TinyDeal.com
Date Ordered: 02-March-2011

 

Pros:

  • Tailstands by design
  • Nice bright, smooth beam
  • Good overall quality
  • Less common side switch design
  • Simple, clean design
  • Threaded brass tripod mount

Cons:

  • Lowest mode is not very low
  • Worthless strobe mode
  • Relatively large

Features / Value: ★★★☆☆

Let me start by prefacing this review with a disclaimer: TinDeal.com was kind enough to send me a sample of the Sipik HK22 flashlight  for review. Nevertheless, I will still try to be objective with this review. I am not receiving any monetary compensation from TinyDeal.com for this review. All opinions are my own.

The Sipik HK22 is a fairly new flashlight design that is available at several online retailers. I had a good experience with another Sipik flashlight, so I was curious to review the HK22. It has several attractive features. The price is affordable, the design is attractive, and it breaks from the statu quo by offering a side switch and a tripod mount. In addition to the side switch, it offers three modes. Although one of them is a worthless strobe mode, at least it only has three modes, so the nuisance of switching modes isn't too frustrating. The HK22 does not have mode memory, which would be nice, but again is not strictly necessary with a flashlight that only has three modes. My most significant complaint is the lack of a true low mode, which will be discussed in the Battery Life section of this review. I would also like to see a pocket clip, but that's probably not the purpose of a flashlight with a tripod mount. It offers a cheap wrist strap, similar to the one found on most other generic flashlights. I am very glad to see that this flashlight can tailstand, which I count as feature, and a very important one at that. Most importantly, the HK22 tailstands by design, in contrast with other flashlights whose ability to tailstand varies across samples and manufacturing batches. Since it has a side switch design, there is no switch boot that can protrude from the tail. The beam is nice and smooth, thanks to the light orange peel type reflector. The emitter is a standard fare Cree XR-E, verified visually. I am unsure about Li-Ion 14500 support on this light. Neither the packaging nor the product page mentions anything about 14500, and I don't own any to test it. The HK22 has few other distinguishing features. The price is very reasonable at $14.50, but several other lights such as the Trustfire F20 offer a true low mode, mode memory, and a pocket clip for a pricetag around $12.00. So I am giving the Sipik HK22 a respectable 3 star rating for its balance between Features / Value.

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★

The Sipik HK22 is a visually attractive flashlight featuring a clean, cylindrical design that is free of worthless fins and crenelations. The bottom half has a nice diamond pattern, although I would prefer it to be a slightly more aggressive knurl. As mentioned previously, the side switch design leaves the bottom free of switch boots, so has a nice flat tail that solidly tail stands. The side switch could be useful for those who need to use this light with gloves. And the side switch feels somewhat more natural than a tail clicky when holding it in the hand with the thumb pointed forward so that it rests comfortably over the switch. And this design would be practical for mounting on a tripod for those who need this feature. So the overall design is very good. Build quality is quite good. The light only disassembles into two pieces approximately in the middle of the body. The threads feel smooth and effortless, and there is an O-ring where it should be. Apart from that, my only complaint about the design is its large size. It measures 107mm in length by 22mm in diameter, which is almost a full centimeter longer that a Trustfire F20, and much larger than most other 1xAA lights.

Top to bottom: Sipik HK22, Trustfire F20, Eastward YJ 609, Ultrafire UF-H2, Fenix LD15

Then again, I suppose the purpose of the HK-22 is not to be pocket EDC but rather for tripod mounting, where size is less important. The HK22 has only a few minimal visual flaws. There are few tiny nicks in the paint, and few small blurs in the diamond pattern. Inside, there is a nice spring for the negative contact, and the head has the strange protruding positive contact that I've seen in a few other lights recently. I don't know why they would use a positive nub to contact the positive nub of the battery, but at any rate in practical terms it doesn't seem to affect anything. The flashlight arrived without any significant dirt or grime, and fortunately everything worked out of the box without tightening or tweaking. Interestingly, the printed box it came in is labeled with Sipik, but a blurb on the back side says "Tank007 products are checked strictly in each producing procedure to make sue [sic] safety in use". So as I suspected, Sipik appears to have some relation with Tank007, which is a good thing in my opinion. Tank007 also offers similarly designed tripod mount lights. So in summary, the Sipik HK22 has good overall quality, in a relative large package. It receives a strong 4 star rating for this criterion.

 

Battery Life: ★★☆☆☆

Battery life is my biggest complaint with the Sipik HK22. It is advertised as having High > Low > Strobe modes. But in reality, low mode is not very low. In the lowest mode, it appears approximately as bright as my Trustfire F20 on medium. This negatively impacts battery life. In my runtime test with a freshly charged Eneloop, output was stable, but faded quickly after 4 hours. I require at least 12 hours of runtime on low, and many budget lights offer close to 24 hours of runtime if not double or triple that. So I'm unimpressed with the battery life, and I am giving the Sipik HK22 only 2 stars for this category.

 

Light Output: ★★★★★

The brightness and beam quality are good selling points of the Sipik HK22. Despite using an older Cree XR-E emitter (Q3 according to another owner), the beam is surprisingly bright on high, right up there with some of the best lights I own. When tailstanding indoors, it comfortably lights up my entire kitchen at night. Outside, the beam throws well, clearly illuminating the tree I usually use as a reference. The beam quality is another very positive point of the HK22. Some flashlights are incredibly bright, but fall on their face with a beam pattern that shows many rings and shadows, thus making it difficult to see objects without moving the beam around to avoid the shadows. However, The Sipik's light orange peel reflector does a great job of smoothing out the beam. It gives a nice hotspot, with a smooth transition out to the edge of the aura, with no rings or shadows. It is definitely one of the prettier beam patterns in my collection. The beam is balanced between throw and flood. The color temperature is neutral. The color temperature is slightly more "fruity" in tone than the vanilla color of my Trustfire F20. So I am very happy with the beam and brightness of the Sipik HK22, and it receives a perfect 5 star rating in this criterion.

 

Summary: ★★★★

In summary, the Sipik HK22 is a good choice for a unique side switch flashlight with a tripod mount. The overall design and beam quality are quite good. It is simple, reliable, and affordable, albeit not such an outstanding value as other budget lights. However, the poor runtime on low and relatively large size make it considerably less useful for me personally. Taking all this into account, the Sipik HK22 receives an average rating of 3.5, so I'll round it up to 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks again to MrCool at TinyDeal.com for sending me the Sipik HK22 for review.

Do you own the Sipik HK22? Give it your own star rating below!

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Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:06
Budgeteer
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Nice review. It is nice to know that decent AA powered flashlights with side switch exist.

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Sipik Hk22 is a Q3 and 130 lumens according to DX which has this light for 3 bucks cheaper at 11.40.  

The reason why it is as large as it is ,  is because it shares the exact same body tube as the  Hk21-16340/cr123A  and also the hk23 the 18650 version of it .(I have 1 of these as well). If you look into the body you'll see an actual ridge that is sloped to accept the AA battery And the thikness of this tube is much thicker and heavier because i hasn't been bored out //not nessesarily a bad thing since more metal leaves for possible future mods for different batteries 17500 or 18500 batteries not terribly common but would yeild longer runtimes . the light does accept a 14500 but in my opinion offered up not much difference between a AA in actual light output .

*has visable  PWM that the  tank 128 doesn't

It seems readily clear that the sipik and tanks are different brothers from the same mother .. the numbers themselves are almost exactly the same ..I have the tank hc-128 which is a q5 5 mode 18650 version of the exact same light with very few differences other than Much much more aggressive knurling (which i also like)better emmitter ,better driver and a little bit better fit and finish overall ?plus the little tripod  Which is on my list of silly things everyone needs .. they are available on these sites for about 2 or 3 bucks and come in remarkably handy when shooting pictures of lights or as another way of mounting a flashlight.

There is also some question as to whether the Brinyte PD 30 isn't a distant cousin to these lights as well as possibly the zy c55 smallsun.

I think people like a side clicky  more than manufacturers are giving them credit for and i understand why some of the higher end lights recess them or have a rear tail clicky as well to shut the light off.

I think your review is pretty right on . 

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Match
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Nice review. I'm a fan of side clickies, as long as they're not easily activated while in a pocket. Have you noticed that problem with this one? It looks like a fun one to mod. Wink

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Very nice review Mr. Admin. 

I wouldn't mind having a side clicky and maybe this could be it.

 

 

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Hi guys, thanks for your comments!

Boaz: Thanks for the additional info. I'll update the review with "Q3". And thanks for the price tip at DX. And yes you're right about this being a generic body for several other battery sizes. I did notice very thick sidewalls in the battery chamber, and I found a very similar 18650 light in TinyDeal's catalogue.

Match: I would say that the HK22 could probably be turned on accidentally in a pocket, like most other side clickies. I just now tried to do so in my pocket, and I couldn't get it to turn on. The switch protrudes about 5mm out of the body. However it travels about 2mm into the body before meeting the click-point resistance, which is substantial. And being a reverse clicky, at least it won't turn on momentarily in the pocket. As far as modding, I don't know the first thing about modding, but with the relatively large size and thick sidewalls I imagine that you could work wonders with it. Smile

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Match wrote:

Nice review. I'm a fan of side clickies, as long as they're not easily activated while in a pocket. Have you noticed that problem with this one? It looks like a fun one to mod. Wink

I noticed just a tiny tendency from you to not like stock lights anymore... Silly

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Crud...is it that obvious?  No suprise, my favorite toys as a kid were Lego's Smile

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Match wrote:

Nice review. I'm a fan of side clickies, as long as they're not easily activated while in a pocket. Have you noticed that problem with this one? It looks like a fun one to mod. Wink

 

Two weeks later: "Look at my Triple XML Sipik HK22 1xAA!"

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

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 they all have the same switch which is ok but it isn't what you'd call a well made switch like a mag light or a zebralight . It does feel a little fiddly and  the .one on my 18650 sipik is a little harder to work than all the others . The action on them are generally pretty light and easy to work. Overall opinion of the switch is it's ok .maybe a B-.. better than fair but below good .. never had one come on in my pocket //but I've never everyday carried it either ... 

EDIT: you're right it has to be pushed pretty far ...I think i'm scared by people who have screamed about the evils of side button switches .So I just didn't want to be a promoter and say there 's nothing to fear .. guess the easy answer is  get one  add a eneloop and carry it till the paint wears off and then you tell us .:) !  At the price I paid It's a fairly decent light ...kill the disco and add a lower low and it steps up 3 more rungs ..add an xml and bore it out for a 18500.maybe i can forgive the cut down knurling.  all totalled I have 9 of these type lights ...Mod away match you have my full attention

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...and I love it! I run a protected 16340 in it and it's probably the brightest of all my stock small lights.  The switch feels very good but having the side-clicky really does add length to it. It's one light I'd love to mod for an XM-L but haven't figured out how to disassemble it yet. If anyone gets one (I'd imagine the AA, 16340 & 18650 sizes are all the same to disassemble) and figures out how to break it down please post a how-to and some pics.

 

Johnny

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Modding this one is quite a hard job because the head is glued (same as the official tank007 version - Sipik is tank007, too). You need to use a vise and carefully crack the head open.

Have a look at the Sipik dx product forum page, there is a link to a video showing how to do it with the tank007 version.

 

I can confirm the lens is glass (both AA and 18650 version).

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The pieces on that are so well machined I would have sworn that it was one machined piece instead of 2 threaded together.  There is a thin threaded ring at the back end of the switch that I would have sworn was the only way to back out the components.  Glad I was wrong.  Kinda sad that the pill doesn't look very thick and good for wicking away heat.  Still might drop an XML in it for S&G and only use high mode for very brief periods. Laughing

 

Johnny

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Johny, so you successfully opened it? Any hints or photos, please?

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the difference in the tank and the sipik is pretty serious..the tank is higher quality on every level ,knurling much better ,switch ,  better driver and emitter much nicer  .the similarilies would lead you to say it's the same company ..OR it's just a copy .. the HC-128 tank 18650 is just that much better than the sipik...  tank never made a AA ..i think they did make a 16340. the tanks are also twice the price.

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phlowcus wrote:

Johny, so you successfully opened it? Any hints or photos, please?

I haven't, but watching that video showed me what to expect when i do. I will certainly report once I do get around to it.