FW3A Turns On and Becomes Stuck When Tail and Head Tightened

These things are junk.
Dangerous junk.

Any flashlight that you have to loosen the head, then the tail then remove the battery to charge it and repeat the process and then the flashlight still gets stuck on high when it feels like it with no way to get it to shut off other than burning yourself to unscrew both ends is just nuts.

Any USA dealer that sells these things are really asking for a good winnable lawsuit against them.

Tell me of one other electrical item that you have bought in the last 10 years that has this many serious and dangerous faults?
I know of none other than those hoverboard things and they got run out of the marketplace real quick.
Never bought any of those.

Definitely not a Light for the Novice User

I don’t know if the battery is the problem or not, but it looks like you have a fake Samsung 30Q in the video. 30Q’s have a 3 post positive end, looks like yours is 4 posts. Did you buy that battery from an Aliexpress store? If so, almost all of them are selling fake 30Q’s.

This is an authentic 30Q. Notice the 3 prong positive cap

And yours looks like 4 prong, thus a fake 30Q

Muto, I would not go that far. I have been daily carrying one since they came out and have not had the issue described above. One thing to note, the instructions tell you not to take off the tailcap… only remove the head to change the cell. Tolerances are not made for button top cells, they tend to squish down the driver spring and they also tend to put way to much pressure on the circuit boards. If used as instructed, they are great lights. I am not blowing smoke… 4 FW3A’s and 2 FW1A’s and would like one more FW1A. These have become my EDC of choice, but I would not hand them to just anyone. But, then again I would not hand most of my hotrods to just anyone.


Points well taken.
My big problem is you have to loosen tailcap in order to mechanically lock it out as the head threads are bare metal.
So right there it invites problems with the tailcap not being seated as it may like to be. That is bad design IMHO.
I do not trust this flashlight if it is not mech locked out and I’ll be damned if I going to remove the head every time to remove the battery in order to lock it out.
If they don’t want the tailcap to be removed then maybe it should have some decent but not undoable thread locker from the factory.

Have not had a problem with battery fit, am using genuine Samsung 30Q, I know the rules when it comes to battery length of what a flashlight wants or needs.
Mine is the newer one that the tailcap does not fall apart, but again I do not remove it, just barely loosen it after loosening head to lock out.

The thing has gone full throttle after working fine three times on me but then will work great for a good amount of use and lull you into false sense of security.
Got no problem with hot rods, just prefer better build quality, shouldn’t have to read through hundreds of known issues to try and figure out what is going on with a vetted flashlight available to regular masses.


There are currently 1168 posts in the FW3A Troubleshooting / FAQ thread here;

Does that not seem excessive for a “great lights” ?
Just saying.

I use the electronic lockout, in fact one of our members has a FW patch that places the light in lockout with x number of minutes. I do use the patch and love it. It is a unique design and not for everyone. I also really like the D4v2 and would love to see the side switch design in a compact single. That could win me over.

mine did the same, wouldn’t shut off, or wouldn’t turn on, last time I really cranked both ends super tight and hasn’t happened since, but it is probably the one light I wouldn’t put in my pocket or rely upon without a backup if i’m in the dark somewhere.

I have had the same issue with my FW3A. I resolved it by loosening the retaining ring in the tailcap slightly. It works normally now.


So what’s the precautionary approach to this light?

Take the head and tail off, remove the innards, and blow everything out with canned air, or go over it with a small brush and vacuum, to eliminate any metal dust or fragments that might be floating around loose in there?

Inspect the threads and metal edges for any metal “feathering” bits that could break off later on?

Wipe the threads off with a coarse cloth to snag any loose bits?

Dab a bit of Nyogel or other conductive lube on the threads?

How much of that is overkill, and what else might be appropriate to consider doing?

Well said.

I have the same problem with one of mine. It is from the initial Nichia run. I’ve written to Neal about it - the driver is too much off center and must be shorting through the retaining ring. Neal acknowledged the problem and offered a replacement part.
Nothing happened since then. More than three months later I get no response from him and no replacement. My Nichia version FW3A is used as a peperweight. Meanwhile every second week a new praised version pops out. It’s a very frustrating experience.
Obviously the flashlight suffers because of hastly production, and because of the big interest the Nealsgadgets store does not have time to spare for warranty issues. A pleasure for the customer. :money_mouth_face:

Mine did as well...so i asked Victor Zhou on FB for help since he’s Lumintop sales menager (or similar) and i got 2 drivers for 10$, shipping included.

Now my FW3C works again, as it should

How did you fit the new driver?

Desolder led wires, remove retaining ring, desolder wires from old driver and solder them to a new board. Everything else is reversible as removal. Straight forward i’d say.

No the driver board itself, and it’s not straight forward. I have done several driver fixes/changes on the FW3A’s the new boards are over size, so the ones I have changed were do to improper fitting. One was so loose from the factory, when tightened down by the retainer, the signal ring was under the retainer ring? 2 from the factory were just thrown in and tightened down they were not properly fit/seated. Most of the material is taken off the key or the flat that locks the driver into the driver pocket, this keeps the signal ring on the driver centered, not removing material from around the main diameter of the driver.

Ok, well i had to hold the driver spring centered while tightening the ring. But i asume everyone will do the same. If the driver is a bit larger than the seat pocket then some rework of the head can be done via elbow grease system

Yeah right…… :person_facepalming:

Also a note that new drivers don’t have a slot as old ones had.

Relax Kawi...these things are cheap so dramatizing won’t do you no good

Maybe the “NEW” lights don’t have the key flat in the heat sink but the new drivers do still have the flat. I have purchased many.