Incomplete Review: XTAR WK30. Once the review's done there will be a giveaway.

Xtar WK30

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, maximum ★★★★★


Battery: If it is 14mm in diameter and around 50mm long it'll probably work
Switch: Reverse clicky
Modes: The usual 5
LED Type: Cree XP-E Q5
Lens: Feels like glass to me
Tailstands: Yes
Price Payed: List price US$39.99. SZWholesale say $15.96 plus shipping
From: SZ Wholesale
Date Ordered: March 2011


  • Type 3 hard anodising.
  • Comes with a spare switch and two spare O rings.
  • Comes with a useful keychain attachment and a lanyard.
  • This one won't roll.
  • Very durable finish.
  • Reverse polarity protection.
  • Well put together.
  • Available in seven colours
  • Nice gift box and presentation.
  • Can't see any PWM even on low.


  • The head and body don't line up perfectly when the head is fully tightened down.
  • Claimed maximum voltage is 3.2V though I've fed it 14500's with no trouble.
  • There are rings in the beam. White wall hunters are likely the only folks who'll be bothered by this.
  • I'd like it better without any flashing modes.

Features / Value: ★★★★★

This was provided for free by SZ Wholesale (Who seem to be the main distributor for XTAR lights). Once this review is finalised, I'll be giving the light away as is my policy for review stuff. If I like it enough, I can buy my own one.

At the list price of $39.99 it isn't a very good deal to me. However, from the SZWholesale link above, it sells at $15.96 plus shipping. Unless the shipping is silly expensive I'd give this one 5 stars. I'm giving it 5 stars assuming it can be had for $20-22 delivered. At $40 I'd only give it three stars - at $20 I'd say it is an excellent deal. It is now available from szws here for $20 in three colours. At that price it richly deserves five stars for value.

It has the usual five modes but no detectable PWM flicker. As an aside since most of Europe's AC power is 50Hz as opposed to the US/Japan's 60Hz, Europeans seem to be much less sensitive to flicker than Americans.

I like the hexagonal body design - you put it down and it isn't rolling.

The package is rather nice.

The upper box is the WK30's one, the lower the WK20's. Ignore the CR123 which came with the WK20 for review.

It comes with some nice extras. A spare switch is unusual. The two spare O rings are very good to have, the handmade lanyard does little for me but the crab claw keychain attachment is very good.

I have no way of testing whether or not the finish is Type 3 anodising or not, but the light spent a month attached to my work keys so I can vouch for the durability of the finish.

There are a small number of marks visible on the tail end after a month of sharing a pockets with keys, coins and all the other stuff one keeps in pockets. The marks round the switch retaining ring were my attempts to remove it to play with the replacement switch.

The head end also has a few marks. With my normal usage of lights, none of these marks would have happened as I don't normally put anything bigger than an AAA light on a keyring.

One good feature is the reverse polarity protection. A wrong way round battery isn't going to do bad things to the driver. The black foam ring at the base of the head has a hole for the battery's + contact. A wrong way round cell can't complete the circuit.

It is a pretty big light as AA lights go. It is a couple of millimetres longer than the Trustfire F22/Yezl S5 but smaller in "diameter"

WK30, Yezl S5, Trustfire F22 (A replacement for the much-loved lost one), Trustfire R5-A3, Uniquefire S10 singlemode, Tank007 E07, Zebralight H50 and an XTAR WK20 whose review will be up soon. All but the last one are AA lights.

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★★

The design is a matter of taste. My taste doesn't like the extra engraving. I like plain and simple.

If they'd just left it with the XTAR logo I'd have liked it more. The build quality is very good. The only niggle I can find with it is that if you screw the head down hard, the head and the body do not line up.

It gets the five stars for the hexagonal body and the build quality, most emphatically not for the extra engraving. It may appeal to some, but doesn't to me. Some appropriately coloured filler would fix that easily enough. If the engraving bothered me more, I'd give it 4 stars.

Battery Life: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, maximum ★★★★★

Current Draw:

Battery Type High Medium Low Strobe SOS
Li Primary

Runtime graphs to follow:

Alkaline High

Alkaline Medium

Alkaline Low

Light Output: ★★★★

The reflector is pretty deep for an AA light and has a narrower beam than many AA lights. On the left, the XTAR on a 14500, on the right an Ultrafire C303 on medium. As you can see the beam is relatively narrow. Both are tailstanding on top of a door 60cm from the ceiling.

The beam on its own.

I need to add results from LiFePO4 cells which arrived last week. I also need to add throw numbers, which I am sure I have already done, I just can't find the numbers.

Light Battery
Xtar WK30 High NiMH
Xtar WK30 Medium NiMH
Xtar WK30 Low NiMH
Xtar WK30 High Alkaline
Xtar WK30 Medium Alkaline
Xtar WK30 Low Alkaline
Xtar WK30 High Li primary
Xtar WK30 Medium Li primary
Xtar WK30 Low Li primary
Xtar WK30 High NiZn
Xtar WK30 Medium NiZn
Xtar WK30 Low NiZn
Xtar WK30 High 14500
Xtar WK30 Medium 14500
Xtar WK30 Low 14500

Some outdoors beamshots.

It wasn't all that dark but I was in urgent need of sleep. It was, however, a lot darker than these pictures make it seem. Living in a city with plenty of light pollution and rapidly lengthening days, we don't get all that good-quality darkness round here till around the end of September.

I'm not working this weekend so will do better pictures later at night.. The white balance is locked on daylight so I also used an outright yellow light (Mega warm designed for jewelry inspection) for comparison.


Strange jade inspection light. According to DX this is a very warm bin Cree XR-E P4. According to my lightbox it puts out just short of 100 lumens at switch on, down to 70 after a couple of minutes. It gets hot.

WK30 High

WK20 High This is an XP-G as is the Ultrafire C303

Ultrafire C303 High

WK30 Medium

Ultrafire C303 Medium

WK30 Low

WK20 Low or medium. It is a 3 mode light with high, less high and strobe.

Ultrafire C303 Low

The level spacing is good at 175 / 57 / 14 lumens on a 14500, 69 / 26 / 6 on an NiMH. This is not the brightest AA light, but performance is respectable on 14500 and perfectly acceptable on NiMH where it is in the same ballpark as the Tank007 E07 but is much throwier.

Summary: ★★★☆☆Copy and paste, use rounded average, maximum ★★★★★

I like this light a lot. It will be given away, but I think I might well get myself another one. My rating is absolutely dependent on the shipped price. I'm expecting it to be available for $20-22 delivered. If it is at the RRP of $40 I'd not be interested. SBFlashlights are selling it for a little over $40 shipped.

It's probably nearly as long since mine. That is just placeholder text until I get around to writing the body text. It doesn't actually have any meaning. For some reason, printers have used that text for centuries.

Here's what Google Translate makes of it. "Hello world! is love, consectetuer adipiscing elit, make it hidden by contributing authors tincidunt administer and pain _PN_OF. Be added to by trivial example, whichof us ever undertakes the army tation ullamcorper lobortis nisl when some from the selection below. Edit or the normal models upon vulputate News, products, and / orpain good to him easy, but to no feugiat eros and but a heap and to hatred of the justwho upon gentle with a ready Sample a different zzril delenit a Sample duis feugaitthere is no pain you easy. This is text for us at the time when the feeble Thinking ofnothing option congue imperdiet mazim Domingo that which is roasted at the can I doto please. Where can I get some? is the use of the reader is in them that makes their splendor. The investigations showed the son of the readers to read me, they read that they very often too. The brightness of the process is also dynamic, which follows the custom of a change of the bed. It is a wonder to note than the Gothic alphabet, which they now do we think a little clear, anteposuerit of letters the form of humanity through the ages of the fourth and the fifth of the tenth to the tenth. In the same way types, who is now famous for it seems to us a little, they become a feast in the time to come."

I like the light more than the R5-A3 but it isn't as bright. The XTAR on a 14500 makes 175 lumens, the Trustfire 292 (Both are initial switch-on figures). The modes on the XTAR are better spaced. I have to do the throw numbers - I thought I'd already done them.

It is better built than the Trustfire and the switch is more usable though it is similar in design.

Hey Don, looking good. Lucky! Want to trade for a nasty yellow color WK30? ;) But it's good to know we are "Beloved".

This is a pretty nice light, I'm just having a hard time getting over the ugly color and engravings.

Interesting! I like the shape.

I like the light. If I can get a blue or grey one for $20 shipped I'll buy my own. For me, that is the real test of a review light.

Nice rewiew so far!

Nice light. I like the different shape. Maybe the beam is too narrow.

Nice review and nice flashlight. However it would be better if it had a completely round body instead of that "hexagon" shape....

It seems to work for me - there are beamshots now up. Not great ones, but they show the beam clearly enough.

Actually, one of the reasons I like it is the body shape. That one isn't rolling off of anything. I suspect the WK25 is rather similar internally and has a nice round body - i rather like the look of it.

But Don, It is comfortable in your hand?

It is, it is quite a large light for a single AA - I have some pictures of it with other lights to upload when I get back home to a faster (and much less expensive) internet connection.

It is about 2mm longer than the very large Trustfire F22/Yezl S5, though about 1mm less in "diameter". I do not have large hands and find it comfortable to hold.

One curious thing:

I know that, to make a flashlight with normal round shape, you only need a lathe. But... How do they make this rare shaped flashlight in the factory?

I think they must invest many time in mechanizing the body... probably they begin with a round tube.... the start mechanizing and they get this thing?..... I dont know

Aluminium rods are availible in various shapes. They probably made it out of a hexagonal raw material.

Or got hexagonal tubes cast. If you are making enough of them, this might be cheaper.

mmmmm I thought that only were available round aluminum tubes. Never knew about hexagonal shaped alu tubes. Now I understand. Sorry

Thank you Don for the review and the lux/lumens of all the different batteries.

I like it, if things are a little bit special and different to many other products. Most flashlights are round - a hexagon form could be nice.

Nice flashlight in blue (I love blue).

At $40 It's expensive but if it was available for $20 including shipping then it would make a great gift light

I really like the look too.
The hexagonal shape is a warm welcome from the normal shaped flashlights and i really like the blue color. Too bad it’s a bit pricy

I like the hex shape, nice to have something a little different. I reapply like the beam though. I probably wouldn’t have thought about that one before I saw those.