EagleTac D25LC2 Clicky 12-mode
kreisler's Overall Rating: ★★★★★
|Battery:||1x 18650, or 2x CR123A/RCR123/16340|
|Modes:||5 brightness levels + 7 blinkies|
for CW: XM-L U2, XP-G2 R5 or XP-G S2
for NW: XM-L T6, or XP-G R4
|Date Ordered:||July 2012|
- 10 yrs warranty from a prospering US-flashlight brand
- emitter and tint options, premium beam
- very bright, 550+ OTF lumens confirmed
- #2 industry-leading efficiency and brightness stabilization, no PWM
- immense runtimes on Turbo/Hi, immense!
- 5 brightness levels, moonlight mode can be turned off
- supports wide range of operating voltage
- brightly advertised tough modern driver pun intended
- 1-piece head design with copper direct touch technology
- ultra compact and light-weight
- good looks, stainless steel bezel
- overall nice build quality, construction and fit'n finish
- great switch
- fast safe disassembly, lens user-replaceable
- secure yet easily removable sturdy pocket clip, anti-roll
- reversible pocket clip
- reverse polarity protection
- tailstands perfectly
- comfortable carry breakaway lanyard ring
- comes with quality accessories, also after-market (diffuser lens, diffuser tip, deep carry pocket clip, sheath)
- not overpriced. fair price, affordable.
- too many blinky modes (my niece loves them)
- no tactical momentary activation (impossible with 12 modes)
- threads not anodized (for natural reasons)
- D25C can toggle mode memory (Fenix, Quark dont have mode memory)
- gets hot fast (because of superior thermal path)
- production quality same as Olight or Fenix factories, i.e. not worse/better
- like 4Sevens, Eagtac avoids complete ANSI/NEMA FL-1 Standards
According to their official website EAGTAC LLC was founded in 2009, Washington (office location), USA, and may be an Arizona U.S. based company. Similar to other US-based flashlight brands such as 4Sevens, Shiningbeam, Streamlight, Zebralight and PowerTac, the products are manufactured and assembled in China. For example brands such as 4Sevens (Dave), Shiningbeam (Bryan), iTP and Olight (Christina) are produced by Olight China (Dave). Coincidentally 4Sevens, Eagtac (Dan) and PTS (Mike) share some common history and business relations, and one might assume that some EagleTac parts are produced by Olight China too but that's another story so let's not go there. In any case, currently the largest ET importers/distributors/dealers in the USA are Eagletac-USA (Mike) and illuminationGear (Tod).
While EagleTac as a US-brand made in China was known from the very start and appreciated by authorized dealers, re-sellers and forum boardies from all over world, especially in the US and EU countries (UK, Germany, Russia, ..) as maker --designer and producer-- of affordable high-end throwers for personal use and tactically oriented precision flashlights for professional use (law enforcement, police, tactical gear aficionados, military fields, search and rescue teams), only recently did they make a broader appearance in the scene and left a footprint in so many new potential buyers' minds.
Even without the introduction of their best-selling EDC series, the D25 Mini's & Clicky's, there are so many little details about this brand and their products which in most cases turn a simple EagleTac user to an ardent EagleTac fan. Truly exciting are:
- the 10 yrs of warranty, service and performance guarantee
- the very likable clear product line and compact catalog (it's growing tho)
- the continuation and evolution of old strong products
- the first to release models with updated LEDs
- the separate availability of updated LED modules and upgraded heads
- the manifold LED options for throw, flood, tint or even color LEDs, IR, UV
- the thoughtfully designed well built great performing end products
- the rich set of included accessories plus the optional
- the premium-feel packaging (similar to the old 4Sevens retail packaging)
- the beautiful modern website (new since Nov 2011) packed with product info
- the fair price point below Fenix pricing and much below 4Sevens
- cant think of any aspect which sucks
By looking at the above list one can tell that ET works hard to do it right in every respect, keep the pace of technological advances, and literally excel and convince the audience. ET is also going to be the first of its class (among Xtar, Fenix, Solarforce, Nitecore, Jetbeam, Klarus) to release Protected 18650's 3400mAh based on Panasonic NCR18650B. Not there yet but ET seems to be at the forefront of closing the gap behind Zebralight's #1 industry-leading circuit efficiency.
As it appears this is going to be the very first official EagleTac flashlight review on this forum, my home, BLF. Rarely does this budget lights forum see a Fenix, Sunawayman or 4Sevens review originally written by a senior BLF reviewer. On BLF, we enjoy the inexpensive, well built and hard driven China-made flashlights and when they break, we disassemble the parts, exchange the driver and LED, do some further modding optimizations and done is the resurrected budget light flashing brighter than any premium stock light. Eric's unforgotten UF2100 group buy comes to mind .. and for sure nobody expected any great runtimes or efficiency from it. So i shouldnt be wondering why there hasnt been any other EagleTac flashlight review before on BLF, the more am i pleased to be the first (Sept 2012) to do so: the premiere introduction of the brand and of a highly recommendable 1x18650 flashlight suitable for EDC. Yes, you saw it already, i gave it a 5stars rating. If i thought that this flashlight werent worth this high score, I wouldnt take the trouble to review it -- and i didnt even get started till now hehe.
The WWW offers a bunch of fine, short, neutral, objective, factual D25LC2 reviews, in all kinds of languages. My take will be to guide you to those inet sources, keep my own work short (well.. we will see.. hehe) and write from an enthusiast user's point of view. So much has already been written on the inet regarding the D25LC2, beginning with the freaking great product pages by the company itself, that i wont waste our time by re-re-regurgitating the obvious.
Some Background Info:
The whole D-series, Mini's and Clicky's, was announced during summer 2011 within the 2011 product catalog PDF when the former ET website, a horrible looking and frustratingly neglected outdated flashlight brand website, was still online. In September 2011 the aluminum versions of the D25 Minis were released --soytnly reviewed the D25C Mini a month later-- which surprised the market by the optimized compactness (diameter, length, weight) and good looks. In particular the official ET webpage photos on the then new ET website made the Minis look very attractive. The D-series lights are still looking good, i.e. in RL and not only on the company photos. However this fact is a mystery and somewhat surprising to me .. because if you think about the why's, it is hard to understand why. At the end of day these EDC lights have a simple slim round tube format with no high profile design. Maybe it is the lengthy stainless steel bezel or the nice pocket clip design, maybe it is the harmonic proportions of the total form factor or the length ratio between body and head. In any case, the D25 Minis stirred quite some interest among old ET users because Eagletac was till then not known for good looking lights or EDC lights or beautiful webpages or retail packaging. Eagletac's brand was a synonym for tactical, professional portable lighting, and their products were a tad too serious to appeal to a larger audience. Then the marketing department decided to revamp the brand's image and word hard to expand the ET customer base. While 4Sevens' rebranding to Foursevens didnt seem to have any significant effect or impact on the scene there is no single doubt that Eagtac (and also Nitecore, wow) made a profitable transition from the Old to the New. As can be inferred from the many ET-related posts and threads on CPF in 2012 as opposed to say 2011, ET did successfully enlarge their following. D-series lights can ;=) be acquired at prices in the exact middle between premium Fenix and budget Romisen and are thus the next step up from the budget level. Shoppers coming from the opposite end, namely the premium level, didnt hesitate long and bought several models from the same series. In a recent forum poll, 78 boardies had bought 117+ lights from that series . Why would so many people buy another D-series light?, think about it. I myself own several copies too and plan to buy more (and gift away my used ones hehe) if ET continues to offer updated LED's or evolutionized D-series models. And i am more than confident that in the next few years this series will still be part of Eagtac's sales program and not have dropped out of their catalog. Imho it is one key of success and consumer's satisfaction for a brand to hold on to popular models, offer incremental updates, technological improvements and never abandon them. When consumers revisit the company's website after years, they would still see their old D-series light in the catalog and learn that it was never discontinued but further supported to a D25LC2 Mk III release. This is actually what happens in the car industry and what Maglite does: their 2xAA Mini Maglite, launched in 1984, still exists in the same format, only with updated LED and electronics. People love it and continue to buy it, the upgraded model.
Next came the Titanium offering of the 2 smallest members, D25A and D25C, in December 2011, with CW LEDs U2 or S2. Especially Eagtac's picked XP-G S2 emitter is lauded for its beautiful coolwhite tint .. a clean white tint with no greenishness (well and if you ever get an ET light with an unpleasing tint, then simply return it to the authorized dealer and get a FREE replacement. ET aint no better produced than Fenix Made In China factory produce and we all know how greenish and badly centered Fenix emitters can be!). Some buyers were still holding back because in January during SHOT Show 2012 the company was fair enough to show off samples and announce the release date of aluminum D-series Clicky's. Users arent very grateful for grating twisty Ti threads so these Mini Ti's were a moderately successful seller only and prices for them dropped when the more popular Clicky Ti's became available 6 months later in June. Meanwhile, introduced in April, the D-series could finally take off on its victory lap. Most of its boost and sales boom goes back to the impact of selfbuilt's extensive review . His review even beat everybody's darling lights iTP A3, Xeno E03, Quark and all Zebralights in replies popularity and is only beaten in the past 12 months by the legendary Nitecore Tiny Monster TM11. Clearly, in 2012 the EagleTac D25 is an often mentioned and well-selling flashlight of its class: compact EDC non-budget China-made production light. Discussion of this product will continue, ET has already updated the webpages with specs for the new XP-G2 emitter options..
Features / Value: ★★★★★
The great and many features of my light are listed and summarized in best manner on the Eagletac website. The company put much effort in compiling the info together with top quality photo material and pointing out the various design details. I can hardly add to the wealth, clarity and precision of the descriptions found there. Therefore i urge the reader to study the following webpages, since they contain all essential and interesting info regarding the features and value of the product. The 11 URL's are probably more helpful for your purchase decision than this lengthy blablah review!
Whatever you would possibly want to know about the D25LC2 Clicky can be found on the above 11 official webpages or in the below 22 annotated references which contain even more textual and visual material than the already packed official webpages and downloadable resources. For a full summary of the product features please check again the list of Pro's at the top of this review.
Design / Build Quality: ★★★★☆
On my unit the XM-L U2 LED is acceptably well-centered, the big hotspot is free of stains or corona artifacts and the floody beam profile looks beautiful, just perfect. The CoolWhite tint with a fine lime hue on the lower current-driven modes is exactly the same as known from Eagletac U2's or other flashlight models/brands with U2's. This doesnt come surprising because U2 is made by Cree, and Cree is the same company. haha. From the many user reports on the WWW one can gather that Cree tint lottery affects also premium flashlight companies incl. Sunawayman, Klarus, Fenix and Zebralight. Eagletac too but maybe to a more confined and predictable degree because of the many user reports:
- Eagletac XM-L U2 CW: dont expect perfect pure white. most likely your tint will have a very fine lime hue but that's standard with U2's and acceptable. if it is bad and you think that you got a greenish lemon, return your sample to the dealer no questions asked.
- Eagletac XM-L T6 NW: expect a very warmish tint reminding of late evening sunsets. yellowish-orange tint should be uniform across the beam profile with no detectable greenishness in hotspot or corona. if the tint is irregular inform your dealer for a replacement greetings to kreisler. has high CRI.
- Eagletac XP-G S2 CW: expect a truely coolish white. looks high-energy, artificial pure white. no greenishness or lime. all user reports are highly positive regarding this emitter.
- Eagletac XP-G2 R5 CW: expect a creamish white, with an interesting cool ;) tint shift from non-PWM to PWM. compared to the Eagletac XP-G S2 CW or as observed in other XP-G2 lights, this white is definitely not a pure artificial white but rather a tinted white, a "natural" white, beige, yet with no greenishness, lime or yellowishness. users rave about the consistently likable XP-G2 tint in general and in the D25-series lights in particular. offers good color rendition. outside the creamish corona tint may have purplish tendency.
- Eagletac XP-G R4 NW: oh please. give us a break will ya. lets ignore and not bother.
- Eagletac X*-* ** **: yep yep, more emitter choices to follow i am confident. expect ET to support or improve this quite successful Clicky flashlight model in the following few years. if you think of buying a Quark, better buy some Eagletac. well, at least think about the advice. hehe
The switch, as has been noted by many reviewers, is of excellent quality. Tactile feel is really good (unlike Jetbeam BA20), switch responds very well (unlike Fenix PD20) and is failsafe and flicker-free (unlike Xeno E03). The boot cover is recessed --at least on my sample-- therefore tailstand a perfect breeze.
There is nothing wrong with the physical quality of the light. The torch is well-designed, well-constructed, well-made, and fit'n finish of the parts, anodization, etc is impeccable. No flaws, nothing. It is what you expect and get from other quality factories such as Fenix or Olight. No surprises here, negative nor positive. Me too , I could easily think that this light, or the aluminum parts of it, comes from the same factory in which 4Sevens Quarks are produced, their physical quality is too similar! What does that mean, is this good or bad, 4Sevens? Well, search youtube for <foursevens quark> or <4sevens quark>, every week some arbitrary young youtuber, not necessarily an experienced flashaholic!, does a proud unboxing and raves about the physical quality of his newly gotten 4Sevens flashlight. That says it all, doesnt it? From my exposure to 4Sevens produce i can tell that their anodization doesnt hold up very well. Do we know what type of anodization 4Sevens uses? Definitely not military-grade and definitely not long-lasting at all, shame on 4Sevens! Eagletac is less expensive stuff and seems to come from the same factory .. at least the aluminum parts. If that is true, then there is no hope that the D25LC2 anodization will hold up any well. Since i am going to take very good care of this lovely flashlight and i didnt EDC it frequently enough, it is too early to say anything proven about the longevity of the anodization. Let's check user reports after a couple of months. In any case, if you already believe that physical build quality including anodization of Klarus, Niteye, Jetbeam, Sunawayman and the new Nitecore is superior to Olight produce, then you're more than right. But none of them ever dared to release a similar "fine" product optimized for compactness, too. It's an optimization problem and engineering challenge: the thinner the body tube walls, the finer will the threads become and the smaller the thread height. Do the maths yourself, 18650 means that the nominal thickness of the battery is 18mm, the D25LC2 flashlight body inner diameter is ~18.9mm to compensate for tolerances of 18650's, outer diameter at the threads area is ~21.2mm, that leaves you with ~1.15mm space in radial direction for total thread thickness, consisting of ~0.70mm remaining wall thickness and ~0.45mm thread height, 2x(0.70+0.45)=(2x1.15)=(21.2-18.9). However these are average numbers or rounded numbers. If you ever measured the dimensions of Olight produce threads with a digital sliding caliper you would know that their manufacturing tolerances are way off from Swiss precision. I am not a Chin*se machinist, and as a Geman flashlight user i feel ridiculous to re-measure the dimensions of the threads and complain about machining tolerances, because it is not my task or paid job to do so, it is the Chin*se machinist's, not mine! So i dont. Hehe sorry for the rant, I am going to stop here. When you exchange batteries you will notice that the body walls are thin and I wish that the threads looked beefier. In a way, yes, fiddling with the 3 aluminum parts of an unloaded D25LC2 flashlight makes the user think that the torch is built too light-weight or feels cheap-ish and could possibly be crushed with one's bare hands. Crazy thoughts! And to be honest, when i was new to power LED flashlights and got a LD20 as my very first experience, i myself thought wow that's light-weight and feels kinda cheap and what the heck i paid 40+€ for this cheap stuff?? i couldnt believe it how the unloaded LD20 felt physically in my hands, so cheap, argh! After loading 2x AA's the torch felt much much better, nonetheless i returned the light for a full refund because, the LD20, it felt that there was nothing to it. Not worth the asking price. So here with the Eagletac we have it again: walls are thin, body and tail feel too light, look thin, and neither of the two exude premium-ness, strength or durability. Well, that's how it is, my impression. After loading a Protected 18650 --they weigh at least 49g apiece wtf-- all is good again and former dubious impressions gone with the wind vivien leigh is beautiful forever. Should we complain about the slim walls and threads? No. This and the lack of anodization on the threads are the natural outcome when one tries to design an ultra-compact 18650 flashlight body with reversible head/tail parts. In any case, back to the tolerances of the boring and threads, expect tighter, finer machining tolerances from Made In Gemany stuff or Niteye Jetbeam produce, so only 4 stars here. And if in distant future the threads or aluminum parts fail on you, wear off, wear out, then contact EagleTac and they will have a dealer or distributor ship a FREE replacement part to you, ET's warranty service works smoothly and with no hassle, they don't give you a hard time.
Battery Life: ★★★★★
For the repeated runtime tests i used pairs of high-quality 18650's with different nominal capacities. Runs were terminated when brightness began to dim at a fast rate nearing the ~"50%" mark; all tests are continuous runtime tests conducted in a glass of cold water. Remaining cell voltage measured 1.0h after ejecting from torch. Runtimes on XTAR 18700 are readings from the below graphs (incl. the influence of the DMM on the driver regulation and runtimes!), all other runs were time stopped by hand with no such/any equipment (DMM, ..) connected to the torch. If in doubt, dont trust the XTAR 18700 runtimes because the connected DMM might have altered the proper runtimes by some extent.D25LC2 Clicky XM-L runtimes (min)
|battery||nominal capacity||cell inside||Turbo (voltage)||Hi1=Hi2 (voltage)||Med1 (voltage)||Med2 (voltage)|
|Eagletac 2500 blue label, cell#1||2500mAh||Korea|
|Eagletac 2500 blue label, cell#2||2500mAh||Korea|
|XTAR 18700 2600, cell#1||2600mAh||Sanyo||110 (n/a)||130=130 (n/a)||untested||untested|
|XTAR 18700 2600, cell#2||2600mAh||Sanyo||115 (n/a)||untested||620 (n/a)||1080 (n/a)|
|Protected Panasonic 3100, cell#1||3100mAh||NCR18650A|
|Protected Panasonic 3100, cell#2||3100mAh||NCR18650A|
|Eagletac 3400 green label, cell#1||3400mAh||NCR18650B|
|Eagletac 3400 green label, cell#2||3400mAh||NCR18650B|
For the runtime tests with the XTAR 18700 cells i also logged the tailcap current with my UT61E. Constant brightness stabilization means that the current has to rise by all means during the entire runtime because of the declining cell voltage from 4.20V, full 18650 cell, down to 2.75V, depleted 18650 cell. Unfortunately the shunt resistor phenomenon of measuring amperage in low voltage circuits with cheap DMM's does influence the delicate circuitry of the driver and you can tell from the graphs where the targeted stabilization falls out of regulation prematurely. HKJ reviews flashlights with expensive professional equipment so that his graphs represent the true behavior of the driver. While my graphs of the Med-modes seem to depict reality correctly, the graphs of Hi-mode and Turbo-mode clearly show the effect and influence of the voltage drop within the DMM. In other words, these 2 graphs dont show the true tailcap amperage lol but the tailcap amperage when the tailcap (zero voltage drop) is fully replaced by probes, leads, connectors, and a cheap DMM rofl. What we see is distorted reality.
The following Med-modes graph looks good and correct:
The following Hi-modes graph looks nice but at t=65min the voltage drop in the DMM distorts the proper graph:
We learn from the following Turbo-modes graph that the torch goes into some kind of direct drive, starting from 2.0A, for the first 3mins before it does a step-down to 1.5A. From then on the torch goes into fully regulated mode with brightness stabilization. The current would increase from 1.5A continuously and monotonously, however my cheap measurement technique fails to illustrate this behavior my bad. At the end of the day the graph looks nice but after ~20mins the voltage drop in the DMM distorts the proper graph:
The following shows all graphs in the same picture. "H" is the upper cycle with head loosened (Lo-Med1-Hi1-..), "L" is the lower cycle with head loosened (Moonlight-Med2-Hi2-..). As other reviewers stated, there is no brightness difference between the Turbo-modes or the Hi-modes. Hi1 is as bright as Hi2. However since Med(L) is less bright than Med(H), runtimes differ by a lot:
The above graph indicates that runtimes between Hi1 (=Hi2) and Turbo differ by ~20min only. This is confirmed by the data given in the runtimes measurement grid.
Light Output: ★★★★★
In a qualitative comparison between D25LC2 U2, D25A U2 and T20C2 U2, all loaded with 1x4.20V LiIon, i can tell from a visual ceiling bounce comparison that on Turbo mode:
D25LC2 U2 D25A U2 T20C2 U2
In other words, there is no big difference in output between these 3 EagleTac lights. No wonder because all use the same Cree XM-L U2 emitter with the same CoolWhite tint and all run on a fully charged single LiIon cell.
Several users report that ET's official specs are underspec'ed. Since I dont have a lumens lightbox or my own database of lux measurements for a large variety of similarly bright flashlights, i cannot give exact quantitve output estimations of my unit. On Turbo, the specs say "548lm", Mev says 542lm, selfbuilt says 650, 660 or 670lm depending on the liion cell configuration in his unit. [quote=selfbuilt]
As major flashlight reviewer on CPF he tested a great deal of quality flashlights so I wont disagree here with his observation, the above quote. In any case, the D25LC2 produces a nice wall of light, I'll subscribe to that! Keep in mind that there are currently 5 emitter options available. The quoted numbers (548, 542, 660) are valid for XM-L U2 CW only. If you get a different emitter, output will be lower according to this table:
Please see the References for series of high-quality beam shots and beam shot videos. I might add my own beamshots when i buy a new camera.
In compactness only beaten by the unattractive looking Xeno S3A no offense, the D25LC2 Clicky is the most compact 1x18650 flashlight on the entire market. This feature, and its output, runtime, build quality, looks, plus 10yrs warranty are strong selling points, and I can highly recommend its purchase. Maybe the price point is still above what budgeteers would be willing to spend on a small 1x18650 flashlight but other than that, with the D25LC2, we have a thoroughly tested efficiently running compact pocket rocket with a wide operating voltage, LED purchase options for flood/throw/tint, out-of-the-box after-market diffusers, and versatility with the reversible pocket clip, carry options and secure tailstand. Performancewise, apart from the high output of 650-670 ANSI lumen, what maybe sets this flashlight apart the most from any other 1x18650 sized flashlight is its incredible runtime on the 2 Hi modes, which in turn opens up a broad field of serious practical applications not only as primary EDC light but also possibly as headlamp, bike light, work light, walking light, or allround flashlight for house indoors, outdoors, car, etc. The 7 blinky modes might appear as overkill but they give you only more usage options in tactical or emergency situations. Ultra-compact 22.0mmØ 1x18650 lights such as this and related products (21.5 S3A, 23.5 UF2100/F12) are shorter and weigh less in total than the popular 2xEneloop AA form factor flashlights (21.5 LD22, 22.0 Quark, 23.0 P2A). If you are a 2xAA believer because of the extended Eneloop runtime, slim body, good throw and high brightness, then the D25LC2 will beat it in all categories: it is as slim but weighs only 99g in the heaviest liion cell setup, is shorter, much brighter, pocket-friendly, throws further (w/ S2 or G2 emitter) and most amazingly of all, runs much much longer with a typical 2600 Sanyo, or 3100/3400 Panasonic cell. The EagleTac fan base is growing since, be part of it and buy a D-series flashlight too! My top recommendation as EDC light!!