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

I “tested” (hand feeling) this light with a 14500 Li-Ion battery to see how hot it gets.
The battery is a Sanyo UR14500P (with a magnet on top to make contact with the driver), and was not fully charged.
After entering the High mode, it took about 2.30 minutes to get extremely hot in the head.
The body didn’t get hot, the light didn’t flicker, it was holding well in terms of luminosity, and it was possible to hold it well in the hands (except the head).

Being a Stainless Steel, thin body, it gets hot really fast, but its temperature drops very fast as well, after being turned OFF.

With a regular AA Ni-MH battery it doesn’t get so hot, of course, but after a minute on High, we start to feel it warm!

Cant wait to order one with Nichia from Neal!
Neal said approx 7-10 working days and will be on holiday next week, so unfortunately i have to wait before ordering :frowning:

Yesterday, at night, I was using the flashlight and I heard a “bzzzzz” coming from it!

At first I thought it was from the battery, so I changed and used different batteries, alkaline, Ni-MH, 14500 Li-Ion, but the “bzzzz” remained.

Then I thought it was because I was messing with this particular light (the one I used for the review, [dis]assembling continuously… ).
I tought it was any damage I had provoked to the driver or the emitter… So I picked up another of these and used it with all types of batteries. Guess what? The noise remained!

So, on Low and Medium settings, the flashlight produces a slight noise (bzzzz), and I guess its due to the driver.
It is not a super noise but it can be detected about 40 cm away from the head, especially in silent environments.

The only occasions I had heard it before was in a Convoy S2+ (3/5 mode driver) when I was using the 3 mode configuration on Medium, and on a Nebo Redline that uses CR2 alkaline batteries (when the battery power is dimming it makes a similar noise).

Anyone has a clue on this and if it is something that can be “solved”? (without swapping drivers, of course :smiley: )
Thanks in advance!! :+1:

Probably the Pulse Widh Modulation you are hearing, i have the same issue with my s2+ on low and medium, not on high since you dont have PWM on high.
It also depends on the reflection of the material (try it) some materials absorb better then others

Hum, that was my guess PWM, but I thought that it would be expectable on high, as well! My mistake :person_facepalming:
By reflection you mean the used material, like TIR lens or reflector + lens?

Reflection, i meant that you can hear the difference between materials. Try it for instance on your car and then listen to the difference when pointing on your tire and pointing to steel or glass parts.
Also the direction of the flashlight makes a difference, seriously, try it :wink:


Made a quick video to demonstrate it

Thanks Yokiamy for the video! :slight_smile:
Yup, there is difference for sure!! It doesn’t take out the small noise it has, but directing it to different surfaces makes it less intense.
Since the beggining I’ve been thinking about a driver and LED swap for these lights, and this makes me think a bit more on that, despite overall qualtity is not “endangered” right now!!

Looking at the back side of that TIR, an XM-L2 looks like the ideal fit. May also get you a wider beam angle. The 4C is one of my favorites, I bet 75% of my XM-L2 lights have had them installed!

Hum, I tested and it fits well, you’re right!
An XML2 fits and give plenty luminosity! I guess that it will/would be a better bet than an XPL-HI, on this kind of lens, as I want more flood.
If I don’t get to buy a Nichia or anything with a warmer tint, I’ll buy XML2 T6-4C (and maybe a XML2 T6-3B) from Convoy store an get them inside these lights! I also have S2+ with those (both T6-3B and 4C) and the tint is pretty good :slight_smile:

I have some TIR lens with a more flood beam on the way, I’ll just have to check if those still accommodate well the XML2.

Thanks for the tip :+1:

Wow, I wouldn’t have expected someone to do such a excellent and detailed review of this light,
I’ve got one myself got it for free when I bought the JM70.
They do throw these in as a gift if you buy one of the full size Shadow lights and first thing I did with it when it arrived was put in a 14500 to see if it blows up or not, nope works fine and the driver handles the extra volts just fine, that was a surprise to me actually, this light is not really just some junk give away light but actually a good light, just has a switch that needs adjusting much like the Reylight brass if you have one of those, same kind of switch issue.
I just got a message from Shirkey at Amutorch oddly and I linked your review to him, don’t be shocked if he to is impressed, you may have a great future I think as a frequent reviewer, wow … :wink:

First, thanks for your words :+1:

Ah ah, so that was your comment saying you used a 14500 battery on the SS light :wink:
The seller advises not to use it, and the truth is that it gets really really hot with those! I just won’t try it until it fries the driver or the led, so I’ll use Ni-MH batteries :wink: Mostly :smiling_imp:

Hum, I don’t have a Reylight, but they I felt that issue in the switch, yes! Especially in the one I disassembled for the review. After that it had a somehow strange behaviour, but it’s ok now!!

About this review, I did it because I guess that the more information the members get, the better they can pick a light or not, the better we assess if that’s a light we want to have, as a stock light or has a host, or just for pieces!
That is why I was the more detailed I could. I cannot provide numbers of lumens, candela, throw, runtime, … but concerning its physical characteristics, I’ll try my best in each review I make.
I’ve learned a lot here, and I want to contribute to the forum as well, so this is my part here!!

About the seller/store, I also sent them the link and I guess it was a positive thing, and maybe they can improve the flashlight (I stressed the possibility to have a reflector and a warm tint on it).
I’m not sure if I’ll be a frequent reviewer as money is flying from my account and it won’t last forever. But I won’t say no to some opportunities of reviews if they appear :wink:

BTW, did you do a review of your JM70? :wink:

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.