Review of a cheap, cheap C8 (XM-L)

I hate the expression “you get what you pay for” Why? Because it ain’t necessarily so! That expression is usually used to infer that the more you pay for something, the better it will be. To me, the only thing worse than spending too little on something and being disappointed, is spending a lot and being disappointed :smiley:
For the last year or so, every once and awhile, I have mentioned how good the C8’s are that I got from the US warehouse of TMart. They were costing about $18 each and would pull about 4A on high with an unprotected cell. Also because I always ordered from the US warehouse, I got my lights in about 5 days. What’s not to like? Now others seem to have finally noticed. Anyway after having such a string of good luck, I thought I would have some fun and see what I would end up with if I took a chance and ordered a really cheap C8 from Amazon.

Here is the light I ordered 6 weeks ago, got it today.

The page says it’s a “TrustFire”, the picture shows a “KinFire” and what I received was an “UltraFire
I guess as they say “parts is parts”

As the price was only $8.92, I thought what have I got to lose? - the answer?, $8.92!

The moment I took it out of the package I could tell that it felt lighter than the C8’s I have been used too. Here are the pics:
It looks like a C8, and it has “C8” printed on it, so it MUST be a C8!

Here is the light disassembled, cheap C8 on top and the TMart C8 on the bottom. Even from this angle and distance it can be noticed how thin the aluminum of the cheap light is.

Close up shots, as before cheap on top, TMart on bottom. (at least the reflector is aluminum)

Once again, cheap on top. The star is labeled “XML-U2” but the emitter is a putrid purple!

No brass ring, the driver is press fit to aluminum. The spring was of good quality though. Turns out the driver has last next mode memory. First time I have come across one. YUCK!

Only 2 threads on the pill

Cheap on top, thinner wall and not as many threads.

The driver, next mode memory.

The thermal compound between the star and the pill, jelly like. The reflector is all that presses the star to the pill.

The emitter, an XM-L at least. I don’t think there has ever been a clone of that at least, but the color is soooo bad.

I have NEVER seen a centering ring like this one! The LED barely protrudes above the top of it. So many lost lumens!

You want to know how bad this light was? It was so bad I didn’t even bother putting it back together after this teardown.

What’s to be learned from all this? Sometimes you do get what you pay for. :wink:

Impressively shoddy!


Thank you!

For the warning about the cheap quality and taking one for the team ,that being said would you mind putting a link up on the Tmart torch that you paid 18.00$ for you have me seriously interested in it.

Thats a great comparison. Thanks for taking the time to take pics and post.

Great review and comparison. I consider myself a "best bang for the buck" buyer as you sound like too. I rarely buy the top brand expensive stuff because that performance to cost ratio just isn't there. I also stay away from the bottom end junk.


It is hard to know what you will get as the stock changes from time to time. Right now this one is hot, and it is upgraded to an XM-L2 U3. It is being talked about in this link, started 12/03/13. This light ships from China though. U.S.

Christmas giveaway!! :smiley:

You paid half price, i wonder how much less the cheaper light actually cost to make

seems tmart has is in the US warehouse.

Yes, I see it ships from the US.

For the link :slight_smile:

What’s the difference between the 105 series drivers and East 209 driver?

At-least you didn’t get a empty pill and the light work !
Only buy lights from reliable sources or can you have nasty surprises, I learn this the hard way too.

Try Convoy C8 its the best quality IMO.

This is why I've forever been preaching to noobs to stay off of Ebay . It seems the C-8 has become the ultra -fire 501 of the past .Welcome to the clone wars .

Convoy for the time being is a great idea if you're looking for this kind of light.

De-dome that purple emitter asap

So many people are interested in the C8

The 105C is a linear regulated driver - regulates the max amps. An East-092 driver (the good one) is unregulated. For me, I hate the 5 modes of the East-092 drivers, plus I've seen variations in the mode memory - some are a good short time, others act as next mode unless you wait long, etc. Also with an unregulated driver running an XML on alum star and a good battery, you can get crazy high amps causing heat sags and un-soldering of the LED because of the heat. All depends of course, but I prefer the 105C's moded up to 3.5A or 3.85A for a C8 and modes of your choice.

This cheapo C8 is moddable of course, but like many budget lights, requires more work, probably more parts - shame though to put $$$ into a poor quality, thin host.

This is all disappointing to hear. There are C8's now offered for $6 I was considering for modding. It's such a crap shoot out there. You do get surprised though now and then. I just modded a pair of these: fasttech ultrafire-c8-cree-q5, and for $13 to get a true SS bezel, it's unheard of. These lights actually had Omten switch's in them, and overall quality of the host was pretty good. The pill could have been better - not the standard size C8 threads, and all aluminum - no brass ring, so had to press fit a ring in myself.

Bought something similar from FT for $12 something…. In order for the reflector to compress the LED to the pill, the pill had to be unscrewn 3/4 way out from the body! And that is with the thick junk of an insulator… To remedy this, after chaning the insulator, I had to 1) add a piece of copper underneath the star 2) remove the lip of the reflector so it will fit inside the bezel and 3) grind away the bottom of the bezel ring (that holds down the window/reflector) so that the reflector is compressed enough… Deffinitely NOT worth the $3 savings. lol.

I appreciate you passing your knowledge on.