TLF/BLF/Lumintop FW3A review (18650, 3x XP-L HI cool white)

I don’t think there was ever an issue of the battery tube being too short. There were however instances of the driver not sitting down into the driver cavity all the way which thereby made it seem like the battery tube was too short. Maybe that is what you’re referring to. And yes, this issue has been relayed back to the manufacturer.

I must have missed this reviewer’s statement of why the batteries didn’t fit. He stated that button top batteries wouldn’t work, and that tightening the end cap dented them. I assumed this mean the tube needed to be lengthened, but it sounds like recessing the driver more is the real solution. Anyway, glad that it is being addressed. It would make no sense at all to produce this light in a configuration that would not accept both types of batteries.

Button top cells are still not recommended. Due to the varying legnths, some will fit and some won’t. The max recommended length is 66mm. Unprotected flat top cells should all fit, though which is why they are recommended.

Unlike a regular flashlight with a single battery tube you can use long springs to compensate for a wide range of battery lengths. This light however uses a unique dual battery tube and has a very narrow range of battery lengths.

Yes, I studied the dual-tube mechanical diagram. But I don’t see anything about it that inherently requires a short-spring arrangement. As long as both the inner and outer tubes make good contact, we should be good to go, and this has no relationship to the spring length. So increasing both tubes (if necessary) by a small but equal amount, and slightly lengthening the springs, should not hurt the functionality. Am I missing something?

I think the only thing missing is the timing. The battery tube length was finilized a long time ago. Maybe over a year ago.

Maybe you can ask ToyKeeper about it in the main FW3A thread. There might be reasons that I don’t know about.

The below concerning battery type & length is from the OP (post #1) of the main thread, FW3A, a TLF/BLF EDC flashlight .

  • Runs on a single 18650 battery.
  • 92.5 × 25.5 mm: Unusually small for an 18650 light — about the size of a SK-68 (1xAA).
  • Battery size: 18mm x 65mm (66mm maximum). Protected cells won’t fit.

So maybe another thing missing is that it appears there is no need to change anything concerning “tube(s) length”. It was stated long ago that the ’maxium battery length’ was 66 mm. And that ‘protected cells’ would not fit.

Simple as that, it appears to me.

You are missing that a few mm extra length does hurt the functionality, for me it does. EDC’s that use a 18650 battery are almost always too large for pocket carry and this may be the first one that will make it into my pocket, only just, and 3mm extra length will matter a lot.

Most of the safety provided by protected batteries is double-up, accounted for by the driver in nowadays flashlights (reverse polarity protection, low voltage protection), only a battery short can happen if something goes wrong, a large impact may cause that. If a quality brand battery is used, that will be accounted for by the build-in (one-time) fuse inside the battery.

That’s why I love DQG style tail.
I can put 18700 cell-powerbank in a Tiny and make it much better for some trips. Or put 18650 and it gets 5 mm shorter.
That would be harder to pull off with FW3A double tube though.

I think he’s asking about adding 0.5mm-1mm to both tubes length so that more/most button top cells will fit. I can’t really remember if there was a specific reason against this. Fritz or ToyKeeper might know this.

TK's response:

Well, that… and the only reason proto4 had any battery length issues was because of the driver being in the wrong place. Button tops shouldn’t be an issue on the real thing, if Lumintop can fix the other issue.

1 please. XPL HI.

This is a review only.

For the love of all things bright and shiny, please put me on the list for this little gem.

Express your interest in this thread

Does it make a click when you press the tailcap?

Yes, but half as loud as a normal clicky

Just out of curiousity I tested all ten different lights within reach: Not one is silent, all make a click sound.

I’d say it’s a bit quieter than a S2+ mechanical switch. Depends on how you hold the light and how evenly you press the switch. I like however, that no matter where you press it, it always activates. Pressing it at the very edge with a tip of a finger makes it quite silent.

For real silent you need a rrt01. Although my s mini is quite silent also.

That’s a pretty nice review. I guess a lot has changed since this light was conceptualised.

How does it compare with the D4 (since it’s more it’s size)?