REVIEW: Balder TD-0.. The new cool

Balder TD-0

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★1/2

http://www.mybalder.com/product/html/?65.html

Summary:

Battery: AAA/10440
Switch: Twisty
Modes: 3 (H>M>L)
LED Type: XP-G R5
Lens: Standard lens and OP reflector
Tailstands: No
Price Paid:

Retails ~$25

Date Ordered: December, 2012

Pros:

  • Very nice anodized finish
  • Nice machining; no blemishes found and threads nicely
  • Feels very sturdy
  • Small yet still long enough to operate with one hand
  • Both lithium-ion and AAA fit snug
  • Good output without over driving the emitter
  • No blinky modes (strobe, SOS)
  • Good grip without covering it with knurling - adds unique style
  • Choice of three colors: Black, Grey and Sand

Cons:

  • No tailstanding due to glass breaker
  • The lowest mode definitely puts out more than the rated 1 lumen

Manufacturer Specifications:

1. Dimension: Head diameter 14.5mm, Tail diameter 14.5mm, length 75mm

2. Cree XPG R5 LED

3. Lumen and runtime:

Single AAA:

Maximum output of 140 lumens for 35 minutes
Medium output of 36 lumens for 2.2 hours

Minimum output of 1 lumens for 13 hours


Single 10440

Maximum output of 252 lumens for 32 minutes
Medium output of 90 lumens for 1.7 hours

Minimum output of 16 lumens for 10 hours

4. Material: Aircraft Aluminum Alloy T6061

5. Weight: 40g (without battery) **ACTUALLY 16g**

6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard

7. Battery: single AAA or 10440 battery

8. Accessories: O-rings, user’s manual


Features


1. Multi-colors choice. Available to the colors of Black, Grey, Sand and Green(coming soon)

2. Titanium Strike Bezel on the tail end

3. Compatible with Balder Magnet Clip

4. Mil-Spec Type III Hard Anodized finish

5. Made from Aluminum alloy, really strong

6. Water proof to IPX-8 standard

7. Precision Aluminum reflector (Orange Peel)

8. Simple operation. High-Medium-Low. No SOS and strobe modes

9. Twisty switch

10. Anti-reverse protection

First the manufacturers photo's:

Now some photo's for size reference:
[Note: TD-0 is on the lowest mode using a 10440 in this photo]

Features / Value: ★★★★

Realistically, you shouldn't expect much from a single AAA flashlight and that's exactly what you get with the TD-0 - not many extra features. That's not a bad thing though. What you get are three modes and a simple twist style switch. However, Balder subtly added a key ring clip and even a glass breaker at the end of the tail cap. Okay, maybe it offers more after all. Is the breaker practical? Probably not, but tail standing with such a small light that might be attached to your key ring likely won't be called upon that often so it why not. Although I would have liked the option to replace it with a magnet or maybe even a permanent magnet would even be more ideal. Either way, the whole package is simple and effective for its purpose: An EDC AAA flashlight. Maybe the biggest improvement could have been made in cost and pricing. Putting a retail price at $20 or under would make a sizable impact for a single AAA light. Although, Balder makes a handsome, well made product and there's still plenty of competition in the higher end with prices

Design / Build Quality: ★★★★

Simply put, I couldn't ask for more at this size and price. The machining is flawless and it's not your typical bland knurling either. The head screws on nicely and the threads were even thoroughly lubed. For being a compact, EDC-sized AAA light the walls are just thick enough to make you feel secure packing it around everywhere you go. The lens is also protected well. I really feel it's light enough because with aluminum the lighter the flashlight the more you sacrifice in durability. When you get this small a few extra grams - compared to the super lightweights - is worth it, in my opinion. My only critique: The trademark silver band where the head meets the body would better serve having some kind of textured surface since this is where you twist the head to turn the light on/off. However, if your hands are dry you still get enough friction. You can get a mildly warm 5 minutes of operation on the highest mode using a 10440 lithium-ion but it starts getting HOT after 10 minutes. It can run the battery dead on NiMH without getting too hot. There is no problem when turning on the light because you'd be tightening both pieces of the head assembly, but when turning off you can easily be unscrewing the reflector portion of the assembly, which does nothing to break contact with the battery. For this reason I have deducted one star from this category.

Battery Life:

I wasn't able to test for total run time

Light Output: ★★★★1/2

This light has three modes, which are well spaced. There is no memory and it starts in the highest mode - I like it! In a flashlight this size I prefer it to start in the highest mode since the AAA battery is already going be to challenged in the department of light output. I can't test it myself, but if this light is putting out the lumens rated by the manufacturer then it's going to be at the top of its class. I can say that I wouldn't expect any more from both the AAA and the 10440. Like their BD-P model, this one retains relatively consistent amperage draw across both battery chemistries. My one gripe would be that it's definitely not putting out only 1 lumen on AAA. Although it's still quite low. Just technically not "moon" low. The beam profile has a subtle ring/halo effect but really only noticeable when shining on a flat surface like a wall. It's only worth mentioning because the Balder SE-1 set the bar high with its buttery smooth beam profile.


[beam shots to be posted here]

Summary: ★★★★1/2

I wasn't expecting much when I was waiting for this light to arrive but I think the exact words I mumbled after playing with it for a minute or two were "this is a nifty little light." It doesn't have flaws but rather more like personal gripes, but even those are insignificant. You can operate it with one hand, it starts on high every time, there's plenty of output on each battery and all this in a durable yet compact package. You'll probably never use the glass breaker, but hey, it's there in case you do need it. There wouldn't be a tail switch, regardless, so it's really just an extra feature. I would have preferred a magnet but all in all I have little to nothing in terms of complaints. I suppose my only complaint would be that this nifty little light is too good looking to share a pocket with keys and such but it will anyway :P

Nice review, I’d also be very interested to know the actual lumen output.

My Led Lenser P3 AFSP has 75 lumen off a AAA battery and has a run time of about an hour. So maybe 140 lumen isn’t completely impossible.

What is generally the best type of AAA battery for these type of keyring torches?

I would probably stick with a LSD NiMH like the eneloop for a light like this. The 10440 will certainly give you more output but you’re also not trying to light up the whole neighborhood with a light of this size. I don’t mind sacrificing some lumens for total peace of mind, especially when the sacrifice isn’t too great.

Great review Weiser.

You forgot to mention this lights greatest feature of all…the cool factor.
Show this light to a bunch of non flashaholics, and they ooh and ahh all over it.
In the world of AAA lights, this little baby shines.

The tan model in particular is “uber cool”. I don’t think I’ve yet seen a non black AAA torch as sharp looking as the tan TD-0. Of the four colours, the tan is the only one without a silver collar. The anodization on it has a rough grippy feel that makes the light cling to your hand.

I was surprised at how nicely it runs on 10440 without excessive heat build up.
When I ordered mine, I didn’t own any 10440, so I got two cheap blue ultrafires to go with them.(don’t usually touch xxxfires, and have replaced them). Oddly enough, they fit in the black TD-0 just fine, but not the tan. I don’t know If they are too wide for the tan, or if the tan is too narrow for them. Maybe it’s the anodized collar. Blue AW ICR and blue IMR fit no problem.

The titanium glass breaker? That’s there for one main reason…because it looks really cool.

Get hip…get cool…get a TD-0

Howly s&%t, almost twice as powerful as any other AAA I’ve seen before :open_mouth: Wanna see some beamshots with other lights for comparison.
Thanks for the review :beer:

I’ll post comparison shots between the TD-0 and SE-1, hopefully tomorrow.

I can tell you now there’s not much visible difference on NiMH except the TD-0 is obviously more floody and the SE-1 will have more of a hot spot. It’s gotta be putting out close to the rated 140 lumens, but it’s some serious flood, of course.

Hi. Mine is color Honey Beige, is a beautiful flashlight. Shines a lot, but nowhere near 140 lumens, I can not measure it, but mine is less than 100. Even so is fine. (Have I been unlucky with my unit? :(( )

Just got mine a few days ago.
Nice machininig work. Nice reflector size for EDC.
I’m working on my own review, and already measured output, and estimated a max of 116 lumen on start up, ~100 after 5 minutes. Output isn’t regulated BTW.
I’ll keep you updated about my progress :beer:

I’m looking forward to it. You already sold me on a MT1C. I liked it so much I bought an MT1A too.

Would you say that the 40g weight spec is correct?
Thats very heavy, but other reviews have said the listed weight is not accurate, and it is more in the neighborhood of 20+ grams.

And, has anyone tried to remove the glass breaker tip?

The correct weight is 16g.

If the output isn’t regulated, does that mean an IMR will drive it harder?

Ordered mine a couple of weeks back, presently in transit from Int Outdoor. :slight_smile: If it doesn’t become a classic I’ll be surprised.

Yes, the correct weight is 16g, so about 25 to 28g including battery

Honestly, I never think to weigh a flashlight when doing a review. Then again, I had previously never reviewed a light this small where incorrect weight specs make a much bigger impact.

The original factory specs all said 40g. I emailed Hank, and he changed it to 16g.

I’d call it unregulated if you get 85 lm after 10 min, 70 lm after 15, etc. (as long as you run it with NiMh - EDIT: I meant alkies :wink: )

Here’s something unregulated (Thrunite Ti :bigsmile: )

Yeah, I copied them directly from the Balder website.

Normally I never worry about correct weight specs if I think it’s within reason but when you get down to something this small a few grams makes a difference.

Has anyone got a green one yet?

That's the one I originally ordered from CNQG. Three days after they shipped it, they informed me that since they didn't have any green, they sent me a black one.

That was my first and last order from CNCQ.

When I ordered my tan one from Intl-Outdoor, they didn't have green. I'd love a greenie, but now I already have two.

If you have a greenie...post pics.

Here you go! https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/14874

Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.