Malkoff M61 Destroyed and Rebuilt

I’ve always wanted to take apart a Malkoff P60 drop-in module to see what makes it so well known for its reliability and recently Malkoff gave me a reason to do so when they put up blemished M61 modules for $29.

Here it is next to a modded Neofab D1000 module.

Note:the Neofab D1000 module was made by neoseikan on CPF. I was lucky enough to get one before he disappeared.

My M61 arrived with very slight hazing on the reflector (only visible from a certain angle) and a slightly off-center emitter. Both blemishes didn’t really affect the beam much.

I removed the potting from the driver side of the module first, using a combination of heat from a soldering iron and flathead screwdrivers to pry the potting out. As I pried out the driver, several components were ripped off the PCB, destroying the driver in the process. Sorry, I do not have pictures of this process, but there are pictures floating out there of people removing their drivers.

Moving on to the fun side of the module, I thought it would be pretty easy to push out the reflector once I had removed all the potting from the driver side. I couldn’t be more wrong.

As you can see, even the underside of the reflector is potted to the module. Reflector totally destroyed in the process. Oh well…

A close up of the reflector, even the channel under the middle lip was potted, hence why I couldn’t simply pull up the reflector.

Here is the bottom of the MCPCB which the XPG-R5 emitter sits on, it was with coated with thermal paste, no thermal epoxy here. Better thermal conductivity I guess.

Blank module all sanded and polished, ready for the transplant. The blank M61 module is quite a bit heavier than the Neofab D1000 module, and the platform (?) which the MCPCB sits on is much thicker as well.

For the new components, I put in an XP-G2 R5 on a KD 16mm MCPCB, a reflector from cnqualitygoods (20mm Aluminum Mill Reflector For XP-G R5 #F4), and a single-mode 1.4A AMC7135 driver.

I used a spare GITD o-ring from a Fenix headband to center and hold the reflector in place. I glued the o-ring to the reflector, then glued the o-ring to the module.


So now you know what makes a Malkoff module so well-known for its reliability: Good thermal management and a knack for injecting potting into every goddamn crack.

Compared to the stock XP-G R5 and reflector, the modded module’s hotspot is roughly the same size but with a more defined transition to spill.

Beamshots coming soon…

Awesome teardown/rebuild !

Thanks for sharing all of the nitty-gritty.

Thanks for sharing the tear-down. That looked like a lot of work.

Very nice. Its along way down to solder the led.

No Malkoff should ever be subject to such abuse, you have taken a $60 dropin and turned it into little better than a $15 DX dropin.

Thanks for sharing! Very interesting.

I respectfully disagree. Every item, no matter what the price, should be disassembled to show the build quality and what's in there. Thanks for taking one for the team MosesM!

..and I think that the new build is exactly what you wanted -> Great Success!

Welcome to the family, fartybum!

You’re welcome guys, I haven’t seen any tear-downs other than Leslie Wong’s, so I thought I’d share.

It was a lengthy process, especially since I was trying to salvage as much as possible, but things moved along speedily after that first scratch on the reflector :frowning: Alas, my curiosity is insatiable.p

Malkoffs were built to take abuse…I just hastened the process :stuck_out_tongue:

Would I have done the same if I had paid full price for an un-blemished module? Maybe…just not so soon :bigsmile:


Thank you for the nice tear-down pics, and if I haven't mentioned yet welcome to BLF!

Differences in perspective I suppose. From where I sit, I see an overbuilt $15 drop-in that costs $60... Unless I'm mistaken, I saw neither pixie wings nor unicorn dust fall out during the teardown.

The malkoff unit does look to be very well built, and I'm not knocking the product...but all in all it's still a common pcb mounted emitter and underwhelming driver surrounded by lots and lots of potting (in a one piece solid brass unit).

Interesting read, thanks.

Impressive, if only he would come out with a fully driven XM-L one.

Thank you

I have always wondered why they charge so much for Malkoff devices, and now I know!

"special" potting!!

Awesome thanks for taking one for the team.

I have tear down pics of the older XRE-M60 with the TIR optic if anyone wants I can post them up too.

I’ve only bought one Malkoff module, an M61, that I gave away to a friend who didn’t know what a Malkoff was nor did he care. Me, personally, I can and have made my own copper Malkoff-style drop-ins that better fill the Surefires that I have for better thermal contact. The only thin I like about their modules are their drivers, which I’ve never seen available separately.

The M61 reflector is, essentially, a McGizmo McR20 reflector available through The Sandwich Shoppe. I don’t like that they use brass nor that it’s a loose fit in a Surefire, necessitating wrapping the module for better thermal contact. The EDC+ module has the same problem as they modelled their module’s dimensions after Malkoff’s.

Welcome to the forum and way to stand up for that poor defenseless Malkoff although I have to say I’m more in the “Off with <it’s> head” camp on this one. Nice recycle of the old littering commercial.

Thanks for the tear-down. VERY interesting!

Awesome teardown, Moses! I’ve always wanted to see what makes a Malkoff so much better than any other and like match, I’d have to say “nothing”. Certainly not $35 worth of potting material. You also lose lots of what little throw a p60 already has by running a reflector no bigger than that in a minimag.

Can you upload the pictures again? Whats glue you use?