Review: Xtar Wk 21 Meteor

Yet another review of the Xtar Wk 21 Meteor . . .

This is the second time Xtar has invited me to review their product. Like last time, I was provided two flashlights for evaluation, one of which is this outstanding 16340 hand cannon. Xtar appears to be a comapny on the move, aggressively marketing their lights to the flashlight community. I am among several people here and, probably elsewhere that have received lights for evaluation and review. When I last evaluated Xtar flashlights (Wk 20 and Wk 25) I was distinctly underwhelmed, especially with the Wk 25. My limited experience with Xtar products is that they are well made, assembled with care and exibit a level of fit and finish on par with 4Sevens or Fenix. The previous two examples, outstanding quality notwithstanding, were pitiful performers. Perhaps it is against this backdrop of low expectations that I am surprised and happy to report that the Meteor is an absolutely fantastic flashlight. For those that think I'm a no-nothing windbag, I'll just give it to you quick . . .


Bottom line: The Xtar Wk 21 is a top quality mini flashlight with spectacular performance. It is good looking, thoughtfully optioned and is bright, bright, bright. It performs well right out of the box and can also be configured to many combinations of modes or, no modes at all. The tail cap magnet is handy, the pocket clip is strong and you won't soon find a better, and certainly not a brighter, 16340 size torch at this price or even higher. No regrets with this guy, the Meteor is the real deal, folks.

What I like:

- XM-L emitter pushed hard enough for some real light

- aesthetics; fluted head, styled/notched bezel and engraved exterior name/graphics all suggest quality

- clever mode programming scheme

- tail cap magnet

- dedicated instruction booklet

What I do not like:

- short run-time on high

- not a fan of rotary head switches

- tint

Xtar Wk 21 Meteor Mini Keychain Flashlight

$36.99 szwholesale

XM-L/T6 emitter

2.75 - 4.2 volts

designed for 16340 lithium-ion battery (will work with a 3.0 volt CR123 with reduced performance)

5-mode user interface with mode memory (2-3 second retention): low, medium, high, fast strobe and SOS

"DIY" mode programming

anodized 6061 aluminum

tail stands

IPX-7 (protected against water immersion - immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter)

tail cap magnet

pocket clip


user manual

gift box

Foy's new lame attempt to quantify relative brightness:

light meter lux . . .

in my dimly lit office - 34

4Sevens Q Mini XM-L Edition - 61 (210 lumens OTF per 4Sevens)

Xtar Mk 21 Meteor - 81

Solarforce M6 - 101

Is it 500 lumens as advertised by Xtar? Of course not but as you can plainly see, the Wk 21 is plenty bright.

First off let me say; after receiving so many lights in crumpled envelopes accompanied by nothing, what a treat it was to not only have a nice gift box, but the Wk 21 also comes with a dedicated instruction manual . . .

When's the last time you got an owner's manual with a flashlight? And, it is specifically for the Wk 21, not a generic copy used for an entire series of products as is so often the case. Bravo, Xtar.

The Mk 21 Meteor is quite a little hunk of a flashlight. It feels substantial and the look is purposeful. Foy is not a big fan of clips but the Meteor looks and feels better with it installed. The fluted head helps keep the business end pointed the right way and there is a hole for the provided keychain or lanyard.

Barrel identification and serial number suggests this is a serious lighting instrument. Does the low sequential number mean this particular example is among the first 1,000 produced? The "HOT SURFACE" warning is almost justified; the Wk 21 does get a little warm on high after a while.

SMO reflector is not as ringy as I thought it might be. Notched bezel is kinda cool and lets you know the light is on when standing face-down.

Tail cap magnet is awesome and quite strong . . .

. . . and can be removed completely. Pretty cool for a bright flashlight under $40.

The Wk 21 doesn't break down futher than this unless you want to tweezer the driver/pill out from the head . . .

Square threads are anodized and feel silky smooth.

This is probably a good place to talk about the mode programming feature of the Wk 21. The light ships with all five modes enabled and in this order; low, medium, high, fast strobe and SOS. The English translation instructions leave a little to be desired but the system works very well. Per some smater people than me on this forum, Foy rubbed a pencil over the "contactors" in varying combinations, finally settling on the single mode/high configuration. All contacts must be connected for single-mode high and until the pencil lead shakes free from the little separations, it will work as promised. This may seem like a gimmick at first but after messing with it a while, I believe it adds real value to this torch and once again, just another nice option on a very bright flashlight that cost less than most others in this class that do not have a user programmable interface.

Standing next to the closest comparable light I have, the 4Sevens Q Mini/XM-L Edition. The Q Mini was probably one of the first commercially available XM-L flashlights. There was a wow-factor associated with something this small producing over 200 lumens. I paid $50 plus shipping for this guy last December and I remember thinking that was a pretty good deal. This was a month before joining BLF so, my threshold for what constitutes a "good deal" had changed. To my eye and, according to my light meter, the Meteor basically blows the doors off the Q Mini. If the Q Mini is 210 lumens, the Wk 21 has got to be something over 300 lumens . . .

. . . friends and neighbors, for a torch barely three inches long, that's a lot of light. The only caveat, with the batteries I have at least, is run time. The only 16340s I have right now are lame solid blue generics that I don't even know where I got them from. With these poor performers, I could hardly get 20 to 25 minutes on high before it dimmed. It wasn't any better with LiFePO4 RCR123A. In reality, I got only 15 minutes of full bright on high with either battery. I'm hoping a decent power source will improve this but if it does not, it may indicate why this rocket is so bright - it's driven rather hard?

There you have it. I'm sure others have more to say about this guy but I think that if you want a high-end mini flashlight that is small in size and big on performance, the Xtar WK 21 Meteor is a hard act to follow. It not only out-performs everything anywhere near its price point, it closes the deal with extras like a strong clip, a tail cap magnet that can be removed and a clever user programmable interface. All for under $40. Hard to beleive they can deliver so much value for so little.



Nice review foy.

Get some better batteries.

Thanks for the review , Foy .

It's me or ITP A1/Olight I1 is nicer than this one? (and smaller 8) )

But anyway, great review, foy, no doubt ;)

Excellent review as usual Foy, thanks very much! XTAR is a pretty nice company, they sell some unique stuff at affordable prices with an eye to quality.

Frontpage'd and Sticky'd.

Did you measure how hard its driven? I would think the 500 lumen number would be about right given a decent battery but the current measurement would help determine that.

Measuring amps on it is a little tricky with only two hands and as poorly equipped as I am. The negative end is at the bottom so I need to get some leads/magnets . . . shows what an "expert" I am. The driver is in the head and the positive end is all that is accessible . . .

I'll figure it out . . . I guess 500 lumens is possible but I'm having a hard time believing that a good battery would give it over double the output of the Mini X. That's one of the problems of overstating output; the Meteor is more than just a little bright - one of the brightest 16340 size lights I've ever seen but when output comes into question, the conversation becomes, "is it that bright?" If they had it listed at 250 lumens, we'd be falling all over ourselves talking about it being "way" brighter than that.

Real world OTF specs on a torch like this would do nothing but enhance its appeal.


I gave a quick look to test it myself too but didn't bother fiddling with contraptions to test it out. Probably not 500 otf lumens as that would require around 2A to emitter. I believe it's not far away from that claim visually. It does look at least as bright as a 1,7A on some funky XM-L P60 flashlight. Untill today however i did not managed to fully discharge the battery in it. So runtime wise it's very decent for me and my needs. Your result may vary but probably not.

Remember that the Mini-X 210 OTF number is measured on 3.0v primary cells, with 16340's the Mini-X is around 450-500 lumens OTF as it goes almost direct drive.

Thanks for the review, I love the close ups as usual.

I'm really enjoying my wk21...number 0000016. :)

Number 16 . . . that's a lot lower than mine. Of course, I'm assuming lower means . . . lower . . . actually, I don't know what I mean . . . (looking for medication)


I wanted to wait until I got some good batteries before I did any beam shots . . . I don't normally buy this size flashlight so, I'm 16340 deficient.


Nice little review. The WK21 is a pretty cool pocket rocket. All Xtar lights have dedicate manuals. Xtar seems to do a nice job and attempte to supply a good manual.