FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight - SST-20 available, coupon codes public

+1, unless you are a turbo freak…but in an EDC?

For a full Ti stonewashed : [M4D deal] FW3T Titanium Stonewashed - Interest list open

Yep, I’m #7 on the list lol.

So i purchased two of these lights the sst20 version and the 3d NW version. Im sorry to say that i am having issues with both lights. Both had similar behaviors out of the box. They sometimes wont power on and the leds dimly flicker i have to unscrew the head wait a few seconds and then screw the head back on and then they will power on. They both also would some times power on but then would not ramp up or down and just power off if you tried to do so, again fixed by removing the head waiting a few seconds and then screwing the head back on. Now however the sst20 version refuses to ramp to max brightness as soon as it reaches the point of max brightness from ramping it just shuts off however it will go into turbo mode. I have tried to reach out to neal via email and facebook messenger but he is not replying to either. I am using samsung q30 unprotected cells (the pink ones) which should handle these lights just fine my emisar D4 runs perfectly with these cells. I have also tried LG unprotected cells (brown ones)

I have to say these lights are the most disappointing lights iv ever purchased they have so many issues and for both to have issues is an obvious sign of either bad design or poor quality control. I can not recommend these lights at all with all of these issues. I am also disappointed in that Neal is not replying to any of my messages or emails. At this point I hope to be able to just get my money back and order the new emisar d4 v2.

I forgot to also mention the 3D one at one point i put in turbo and it refused to turn off or respond to any button presses i had to unscrew the head quickly as it was getting super hot fast.

Wow, you are on a roll. Firstly, did you follow the instructions in this thread and the issues thread about loosening the head, tighten the tail nice and tight, then tighten the head. There are a few other things you can check in the guide such as the retaining ring is tight, etc… Here is a link to the guide. See if this fixes your issues.

When there are thousands of satisfied customers and your particular lights act funny, it’s probably not bad design or poor quality control. It’s probably a simple fix, so don’t be too quick to judge.

The nature of this tube in tube design requires quite tight tolerances so the lights can be finicky at first. Once you understand them better they work just fine. There have only been a handful of defective units in the 2000 plus lights sold, so while it’s possible you might have got a bad one, it’s more likely it just needs checking over like any new light.

How long has it been since you contacted Neal? It might take a few days at minimum and maybe a week to get a response. It depends on whether he is focusing on shipping lights or checking emails. I would check the link above before contacting him.

@ luckyeights

Have you followed the instructions in THIS THREAD ??

If not, read it & follow the instructions step by step & in order.

If you will do this, chances are your lights will work just fine. :+1:

Edit: The light is not a bad design & the QC is actually pretty good.

Do what I told you & there is about a 99.999% chance all you FW3A’s will be working just fine… just like everybody else’s are.

And yeah… it get’s hot real fast on Turbo. The FW3A is not designed for extended Turbo run times.


You problems will probably go away if you crank down the tailcap.
Do this without the head screwed on.

Even if you are to get it working with these instructions a reliable flashlight for every day use should not require constant adjusting especially new from the factory. Just by looking at how the inner tube is used for the switch and contacts with a bare contact point on the driver is cause for concern there is nothing pressing the driver into the tube like a spring to maintain proper contact from general wear. Simply unscrewing and re-screwing the head is going to wear that contact enough that it will not come into contact with the iner tube any more. If the tube was mounted on some sort of spring mechanism that compressed as you tightened it would be far more durable and robust. There is also no play, the head and tail tighten all the way down to the body so once it wears the only way you will be able to fix is to remove the driver retaining ring and driver and put a spacer in there behind the driver and reassemble. Tight tolerances as you say in this instance is bad, it invites unreliability which i do not want in a flashlight i rely on for daily use. If i pull a flashlight out of my pocket i expect it to turn on when i press the button consistently every time until the battery is dead.

If i have to mess with the tail cap and head all the time just to make it work it kind of defeats the purpose no ?


You don’t have to mess with it all the time.

Once you make the adjustments for minor tolerance differences it will stay that way.

mess with the tail cap and head once. Should be all right after that.

All your other concerns are not accurate when you actually look at and understand the design. The head and tail tighten to the inner tube, not the body.

If you are (roughtly) understanding the design which is known since the start of the project, why did you buy it ?
It’s like buying a two doors car while knowing that you are going to have passengers on the backsits everyday and complaining afterward that it is not practical and that the frontsits and doors mechanism are wearing off faster because it needs to be used more often.

At least it was not a hatchback!

/\ . +1000:+1: … Well said Tally-ho. :slight_smile:

Ain’t that the truth tatasal. :beer:

:person_facepalming: :person_facepalming:

It is not “if” you get it to work following the instructions. You will get it to work.

All due respect… the problem is not the FW3A, the problem is the man in your mirror…. you.

The light does not need redesigned according to your second guessing. The light is just fine as is.

So instead of moaning & groaning about the light, why don’t you just do what I & others have told you. Then yours light will work first time every time just like the rest of our lights do.

I have four (4) of them…. they all work first time every time. My four (4) are made exactly like yours, the only difference is you.

Complaining to Neal will not fix your lack of attention to this matter. Only you can “fix” that. Just do it & you will have a harmonious outcome that will beat complaining any day of the week…… :wink:

EDIT: Again… follow these simple instructions step hy step & your FW3A’s will work just fine.

Many of us have had to do this with our FW3A’s, it is no big deal. Really, it’s not.
I did it to three (3) of mine…… once. No further issues after that. It only takes about a minute or two.

I have 6 of these (actually gave 3 away but I’m still the one that takes care of any problems with all 6). Only two of them had the issues luckyeights described and both were fixed with the procedures described in the posts above. None of them have had any further problems. The key is just to not get frustrated while you get them set up right.

Zero experience with reflowing. Any sources for pre-populated MCPCBs ?

For some reason very few places stock the 90 CRI 5000k LH351D.

Mtn has the 4000k (which is reported to have a very bad green tint) and the 80 CRI 5000k already reflowed to triple boards.

No Idea why MTN won’t stock the one people seem to actually want.

led4power has them

No they don’t. It’s not in stock and the led4power guy says he won’t stock the 4000k one any more unless he finds a good tint bin. Obviously he should stock the 5000k 90 CRI one instead, but for some reason no one sells that one

I feel your pain. But one criteria for the light was it could be easily modded and we are not experienced with that. Normally a light would be glued and foolproof. So when buying these lights we knew it would be a learning activity with loose nubbins and other parts. But it is a really nice light and I might buy a ti/cu version, especially if everything is glued down. Hang in there and you might find you like the FW3A. Best of luck.