In search of the best pocket thrower flashlight (lots of research)

I started looking for the best pocketable flashlight with good throw. Ideally jeans pocket (like a D4), not jacket pocket (like a C8).

Following the idea from Agro's thread The hottest hot rod, I started recording some flashlight data to work out which one was best. Agro measured hotness in (lm/cm³) but I'm measuring throwyness in m/cm³. I've gone for meters throw, rather than kcd as its a linear scale.

These are the top ones I've found so far. No surprises that Vinh's modded lights dominate the top of the list.

  1. EagTac D3Cvn – 16.1 m/cm³
  2. Lumintop TOOLvn AA – 10.6 m/cm³
  3. Acebeam TK16 – 9.7 m/cm³
  4. Emisar KR1 shorty – 8.6 m/cm³
  5. Acebeam W10 – 8.3 m/cm³

I've added a fuller list and comparison to my blog if you're interested but I'm keen to find out if anyone knows of any other lights that might make the top 5. Feel free to update the spreadsheet.

After putting this together, I think the most usable pocket thrower would be a FW1A that's modded with an Osram W1 or W2. Or, even better would be a side-switch EDC18 or D4 with a single W1 or W2.

Just buy this one

What about the S2+ with an SST20 and SMO reflector with an 18350 body to make it pocket carry? That’s about 18US total. I got the one he sells with biscotti and while I don’t have any true throwers to compare against myself, it does seem like it would do well for that need. Not so tight that it’s useless close up, too.

The Emisar (or Noctigon?) KR1 is 4th on the list, so one of the best I found. I was hoping to find something a bit smaller though.

I didn’t actually consider the S2 or S2+, though with their thin body and a 18350 they may be a good contender. It looks like they only come with an XML2. Do you have any throw numbers for that?

That was a fun read. I like your throwyness scale in m/cm³, but I don’t agree with assuming they’re all cylinders.

Ask Vinh to put a W1 in a Tool, you’ll have a winner

I explained in my blog post a bit more about why I chose cylinders but that does make it more subjective. Feel free to add extra columns to the spreadsheet to work out a more accurate volume as well - maybe assuming they're a conical frustrum. Even more accurate would be measuring how much water they all displace. I'll happily try that if anyone wants to ship me some lights to test :-).

Vinh lists a Tool AA with a W2, which is second on the list at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised if it's number 1 with a W1.

Here is the one I bought with the SST-20. I got the 5000K tint, x6 driver. The x6 is plenty and will still burn you if you leave it on for 5 minutes at 100. So for long term 100 maybe the x4 would be perfect. If cost is considered in the rankings I think it’s definitely one to consider. The cost it’s at makes it something I would toss in my pocket with keys and whatever without a second thought.

#Aliexpress US $14.36 | Gray Convoy S2+ with luminus SST20,DTP copper plate,ar-coated glass lens,7135 biscotti firmware

Edit: I don’t have any numbers, but there must be some data out there by now.

Acebeam E10?

This right here. I’ve got a Ti Tool with an osram and it’s amazing.

Currently 14th on the spreadsheet, which is still pretty good.

Do you know which Osram you have and its throw?

Vinh lists one with a W2 that throws 268m, putting it in second place on the spreadsheet. Looking at Vinh’s other lights, the W1 seems to throw about 20% further than the W2.

That is a Ti with a W1.
The W1 will always throw farther due to its smaller surface

Where are lights sold by Vinh listed?

He sells them on his web shop, Sky Lumen. If the light you want isn’t for sale, you can also ask him if he can mod it, I think.

What’s that bad boy doing in kcd?

So I have a D1. Love the little beamer for throw.

No love for D1? Budget priced, too.

It’s a W1, modded by Jared at JC Customs. No idea on the throw but I can tell you it throws much farther than my FW1A with XP-L HD but not much less than my GT Mini with SST40 does. So somewhere between 370m and 684m lol.


Who knows lol, I’ve go no way to measure it.

Interesting list.
When I did the hottest list I did not have any specific use in the head. But it appeared shortly after - for a backup light I tend to have tiny high-output throwers. I’ve been thinking that something FW3A or FW4A with Boost HX and aux LEDs would be about ideal backup for me (but there is still no driver that would allow it without crippling current).
I’ve thought that something that combines throw and output in a single spreadsheet and calculates some sensible performance indicators would be useful.
It’s interesting to see you focusing on the other axis. :slight_smile:

I have the Eagtac TX25cvn with W1.1. Crazy thrower for the size.

The GTvn Micro with the W2.1 also amazing. I suspect if Vinh used the Vapcell H10, it would likely be 1250 lumens and even higher throw.

Keep in mind Vinh’s throw throw numbers always measure higher due to his equipment. For example he measured the K1 with SBT90 at 475kcd but Hank specs it at 420kcd.