"Review": Amutorch Stainless Steel XPG3-S3 AA flashlight [Modded TIR Lenses]

Thank you for this review, the light is very good looking. I’ve searched and found a seller with almost the same at Amazon.(de)

Got it yesterday (ordered it 04/08/17). There are some slight differences in package/contents: it has a plain brown box with no markings, two (very small) o-rings but no spare switch.
The light itself seems exactly the same as described above. I’ve tested it with a lithium primary battery (Energizer Ultimate Lithium) with 1.5V. It’s bright enough for me and not worth the risk to use a 14500 cell (although the Amazon seller says it’s possible). A stainless steel host is not capable to spread the heat very well, so the small aluminium pill will get very hot if the current is too high.

Hi Antenne!
Hum, I guess that your buy confirms that the o-rings really are very weak, but maybe the switch is not that weak as we thought!
So far I had no problems with mine!
Using a alkaline gives you enough power? I normally use Ni-MH, but it also gets a bit hot after some time! That’s for sure that the host is a bit thin as is the pill.
I’ll make some mods to mine and see if with a different driver and LED it doesn’t get that hot…but maybe it turns out to be hotter…!!

BTW, the seller mentions this: “hoch, niedrig, stroboskopisch” ! Does it have strobe? Which are the modes and in what order?

Thanks for your input :+1:

Nice thorough review with pics to back up your findings. Well done!

No strobe, always starts at Low, then - Med - High.

@ DB Custom
Thanks :wink: Just doing what I can :+1: :nerd_face:

@ Antenne
Thanks! It seemed that the information was a bit confuse there (or maybe my Deutsch reading skills aren’t as good as I thought :smiley: )
So, the UI is the same here!

One more thing: mine always starts on Low! But, if quickly clicking ON and OFF, it enters in the next mode! I’m not sure if this happens with yours too…

Today I received some TIR lenses I ordered 2 weeks ago, to modify this flashlight, following vwpieces suggestion on this thread! So thanks, for it :+1:

As seen before, the original beam is very narrow, so I wanted it to get a bit floody. Being an AA/ 14500 flashlight, I rather have it with a flood beam than with throw, as the main use I’ll have for it will be at close range.

I ordered 2 different types of lenses: 1 that has the “hive” look (60º) and 1 that has a flat surface (also 60º).
They produce different types of beams, as you probably know, and as will be shown in the pictures.

NOTE 1: The lenses came with plastic holders (cylindrical and cone shaped) but the holders (16.6mm to 17mm diameter) didn’t fit the head of the flashlight. The lenses, without holder, have 15mm diameter, so they fit the head and that’s they way I used them, without holder.

NOTE 2: The lenses that arrived and “shorter” in height than the original lens, so some strategies have to be used so that the battery fits properly inside the host. I’ll show what I’ve done.

The 3 lenses:
L > R (“Hive” 60º - Flat 60º - Original (center is frosted) )

L > R (Flat 60º - Original - “Hive” 60º)

Spill/beam comparison in a wall and over a white surface (photos taken by a cellphone):
L > R (“Hive” 60º - Flat 60º - Original (center is frosted) )

L > R (“Hive” 60º - Original - Flat 60º)

Original spill

“Hive” 60º spill

Flat 60º spill

“Tricks” I had to use for the lenses and battery
1 - “Gasket” from another light I recently modded. The original led of that light as super small (blame me, I don’t know the type of it :person_facepalming: ) but it fits the LED of these flashlights (XP-G3). This gasket helps to center the LED and also helps to compensate the height lost comparing to the original lens. This one is being used in the flat surface lens

2 - Plastic holder, cut on its top and sanded (to reduce diameter) so that the base of the lens fits well on the LED! This one is being used in the “hive” lens!

3 - Small magnet in the top of the battery (Panasonic Evolta Ni-MH, button top) because the space left by the original lens originated that the pill goes up and leaves more space below; then, the battery rattles and the modes jump to the next with a slight shake!

Short conclusions:
1 - I prefer the “hive” lens, as the flood is uniform and it is better for close range or to illuminate a room (on High, at least);
2 - The tint seems to change from CW to NW when the “hive” lens is placed, what makes it not so annoying as the original;
3 - The flat lens seems to accentuate the CW tint (maybe because it is more direct light, not frosted as the original, or as the “hive” shaped);

Next steps:

- try one of these with a reflector and glass lens (borrowed from another flashlight);

- mod 1 or 2 drivers (I’ll keep one in the original shape)

  • mod the LEDs, maybe to a XML2 (14mm, T6-3B and T6-4C) (yeah, it will be hard to fit in the lens and the holder, by I’ll try it :smiley: )

Hope this helps the interested people on these lights :wink: :+1:

Despite what I said about the CW apparently turns in NW, here is a comparison.
On the left is a XML2 T6-3B (NW) and on the right the Amutorch XPG3-S3 (CW)

Both are using TIR lens!

Nice review, but the pictures are many and probably more than 1MB each or at least MANY MANY PIXELS, so it took a long time to load the pages over here…
(There’s no real point in using pictures wider than 1000 pixels on forums.)

Glad i read the review though, because i was just about to buy one because it looks neat.
Yeah they use the old XR-E TIR which does a 10° beam with little spill. They’re pretty good on a XM-L2 though, which fits perfectly in the hole of the TIR and gives a wider beam.
But i see in the pics that it uses PWM for the low and medium modes… :cry:
They also put on an ugly clip… :weary: but you can remove that. :slight_smile:

Other than that, it’s a pretty little thing, but the PWM is a bit of a deal breaker for me…

Thanks for the review. :+1:

If 20mm, plenty (’though types vary by season). 14mm or so? Not a clue.

Not bad! Like having little aspheric lenses up front to smooth out even a wide-angle beam.

@ Jerommel

First, thanks for your words and tips :wink:
Sorry for the heavy pics! I guess I will resize them in IMGUR before posting here. Normally I don’t do because I was not sure about what size would be better/acceptable. But I will resize them :+1:

About PWM, yes, low and medium has it, but not visible through human eye, just through a camera (or cellphone). And the small noise you may listen here and then in Low and Medium modes, also, but just if you are in complete silence or if you put the hear close to the light :smiley:

Hum, despite the clip looks one of those attachable to some lights (like those in Convoy store) this one is shiny stainless steel, and I guess it fits perfectly this light! Perhaps the design could be more innovative or different, but it does a great job, it is very strong and deep carry, only the very little top of the light is seen when on a pocket! :+1:

The original lens gives a narrow output that I didn’t like, so I bought other lenses, and it improved a lot!! I now use the flashlight more frequently because it is and looks more useful and beautiful spill/beam!
I will try to put a reflector in from a small flashlight I bought (on the way from China) and then will compare.

With few mods (mainly the lens and driver…and eventually the LED if you don’t like CW), believe that this is a pretty EDC light!
Thanks for

@ Lightbringer
Following vwpieces suggestion , I bought the lenses from here: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/219000?spm=a2g0s.9042647.0.0.a6FCsV

They are not 14mm, but closer to 15mm (without the holder). They fit well and the rest its above in the photos :wink:
The “hive” one is the one I like the most here, but I guess it’s a personal preference :sunglasses:

TIRs with a “hive” (usually called “pebbled”) are often the best, i agree.
Frosted ones are nice too.
Yajiamei (they have 2 stores on AE) has A LOT of choice in optics…
Do you have a link to the specific pebbled TIR you bought?

Thanks for telling the specific name of the lens type :wink: I just “hive’d” it because of the look! And yes, for flood beam is pretty good. I have one frosted for an S2+, but didn’t try it yet!
Yup, I just recently discovered that store (before this thread) and they have good choices in several shapes and sizes!

These are the links for these specific lenses I bought:

These have the closest size I could find on the store (and on AliExpress) for the Amutorch flashlight. Maybe there are other places, but I picked these and they’re good so far (specially the “pebbled”) :wink:

Thanks for the links. :+1:

edit: The links don’t work… :frowning:

Maybe i can search by the product ID which is in the link…

Hey that works :slight_smile: You can enter the product ID number in the AE search bar and presto!

The pebbled ones:
Available in 15, 30, 45, 60 and 70 Degree.

:person_facepalming: :person_facepalming: :person_facepalming:
I just clicked on the links in my purchase and put them here, so of course they wouldn’t work properly :person_facepalming:

Glad you managed to find the products and thanks for fixing the links :wink:

Yup, there are several degrees both for the pebbled and the others . Mine were both 60º degrees lenses, as the original already produces a narrow beam and I wanted floody :wink:

(Now I’m trying to put a reflector on this light, maybe today or tomorrow I’m able to write it down here :wink: )

MascaratumB - Thanks for posting this review and documenting your mods. I may just get myself one of these and a ‘hive’ lens.

Would it be worth lining the inside of the white plastic holder with some kind of shiny foil? Do you think there would be any perceptible increase in brightness?

Not worth the hassle.
Yes, some light will hit the inside of the holder, but it has to make its way back through the transition from holder surface to air to TIR at a shallow angle so most of it will bounce back from the TIR instead of joining the rest of the output.
I think even silver plating a TIR doesn’t make a significant difference.

What you could do for ‘fun’ is put some glow in the dark tape inside the head.
Enough light will excite it and you have a green after glow (but not a lot in the direction of the beam)
This only works when you don’t use the reflector shaped plastic holder.
You could put the tape in the straight holders though.

Hi Intio! Thanks for your words, glad you liked it :wink:
Hum, I must tell you that I’m not an expert on this kind of things (lenses, reflectors….I’ not really an expert on anything, I think :person_facepalming: :stuck_out_tongue: ), but my guess is that it wouldn’t bring more brightness on this, specially using a “pebbled” (“hive”) lens.

I’m not sure about what I’m saying, but my guess is that using this lens with or without holder will produce the same brightness. I’m just using the holder to help to fix the LED in the lens.

(….and just checked it and I confirm: there is no significative difference using it or not! Maybe in a light with a bigger head/bezel/led/reflector that can make a difference, but not on this one!!)

Also, as you may have seen, the holder was cut so there is not much space to place the foil. Plus, maybe that could also damage the led, unless if meticulous placed (with glue or something).

(I just looked to the holder and… I guess it doesn’t worth it (to put the foil), in any sense! Neither the brightness, nor the work that it would imply to make it go perfectly).

I’m just writing an experience with a mod with a reflector and glass lens, and a comparison between this and the TIR lenses, you can take a look later or maybe tomorrow ! Maybe that helps you to decide on the light and what to do later to mod it :wink: :+1:

Thanks Jerommel! I was writing and couldn’t see your answer! Yup, it doesn’t worth the work!
About the tape, that’s nice :smiley: Never though about it and maybe I’ll try that :+1:
Nice idea :sunglasses:
I like this funny ideas :smiley: :smiling_imp:

So, my quest in modding these Amutorch flashlights continues :wink:

Today I received a small and very cheap flashlight I ordered after seeing this review by mizou51: [REVIEW] Cheap 14500 flashlight with COB light side and little modding .
(Btw, this is a pretty light for its price, and very useful with the COB part! For indoor use, it’s pretty nice despite tint, beam and UI)

I asked him to make some measurements on the reflector to check if it would fit in these lights and…it fits!!!
So, I picked one of the already modded Amutorch (that had a 60º TIR lens), and put the reflector and glass lens of the other COB light in it.

I will show you the comparisons I’ve made! (click the photos for a bigger picture)

BEAM / SPILL with reflector

COMPARISON [L to R: Reflector > Original TIR LENS (10º-15º) > Pebbled/Hive TIR lens (60º) ]

(HIGH MODE, no PWM. Only the camera focus has changed)

COMPARISON [L to R: Reflector > Original TIR LENS (10º-15º) > Flat TIR lens (60º) ]

Pieces used with the reflector and with the Flat TIR lens

(HIGH MODE, no PWM. Only the camera focus has changed.)

COMPARISON [L to R: Reflector > Original TIR LENS (10º-15º)]

Some “conclusions”:
1 - While the pebbled TIR lens seems to drift to Neutral White, the reflector reinforces the Cool White tint;
2 – Also, the hotspot seems to produce a “yellowish to greenish” hallo (more identifiable in human sight than in these photos). I guess that a LED with NW may solve this pretty well;
3 – I couldn’t test the throw in a wider space, comparing the original TIR lens and the reflector, but it seems to me that the original lens may have a bigger capacity to throw as the beam is narrower and more concentrated that the reflector;
4 – The reflector creates a concentric circle in the outer side that is not annoying, but that at a close range is more noticeable.
5 – The PWM “buzz” (Low and Medium) that the light produces sounds the same, comparing the three lights. HOWEVER, in the one with the original TIR lens this sound is louder, a bit more, but still louder.

“And that’s all folks!”…for today :wink:

(BTW, sorry about the not-so-good quality of the images…cellphones are good but they do not capture what human eyes do!

@ Jerommel - I followed your suggestion and resized the images! It’s really light!!! Hope this works better for everyone here :+1: