Wednesday, July 9, 2014

OLIGHT M18 Striker(1x18650) REVIEW

The OLIGHT M18 Striker is a new flashlight from Olight's Military and Tactical series flashlights.

A compact flashlight,easy to use,easy to carry,made to give you a bright beam instantly in the important moments.
A light for users that don't like to play too much with several modes.
Fast operating the switch.No loosing time to find the right way to press it or to wonder at what mode will start on.
Aggressive stainless steel strike bezel. Deep smooth aluminum reflector.
Type III hard anodized aluminum body.

Two pictures from the included User manual,
showing the important specifications and the User interface.

I measured 650 Lumen High mode 30sec after activation with a 18650 battery Keeppower 3400.
154 Lumen Low mode.
800 Lumens will be probably possible with two CR123A batteries.
I tried to test it with two 16340 batteries.The light was much brighter,but started to flash after a few seconds.
Probably a high voltage warning.

User Interface
It's simple for quick and easy operation.

Half press=momentary On High mode
Full press(click)=constant On High mode
Half press+Full press=Low mode
The light starts always on High mode. No memory for the Low mode or Strobe.

Short video demonstrating the UI.

Standard for Olight clear packaging.

Spare O-rings,Spare switch cap,Lanyard,User manual,CR123A battery carrier(not on the picture).

Nice compact flashlight still good size for stable,comfortable grip.

The tail switch is very easy to press thanks to its raised position.

Size comparison
Olight M22,Olight ST25,Olight M18 Striker,Fenix PD35,Olight S10L2

Straight form. No cooling fins.Simple square knurling typical for Olight.Quite enough for a good grip.
Excellent black anodizing. Excellent machining. Deep pocket clip.

M18 Striker takes easily protected 18650 batteries.No problem with their length.
The flashlight can be opened only from the tail-cap.

The tail switch is very comfortable. Not too stiff,not too light to press.
Forward clicky switch with good response.
The flashlight can't tail-stand.

Really nice laser labeling. The whole body is precisely machined.

Stainless steel strike bezel.Black finish.
Looks very aggressive.Actually it's not so sharp.
Main purpose-self defense and using as a strike tool.
I found it very useful for room illuminating with the flashlight placed head down on a table.

Deep smooth aluminum reflector.
Cree XM-L2 LED. Perfectly centered.
Toughened,ultra-clear glass lens,anti-reflective coated.

One of the things I really appreciate in a flashlight is the square cut threads.
Here they are thick,anodized,very well made. Smooth screwing the tail-cap,stable connection between both parts.
Lock out for preventing accidental activation possible thanks to the anodized threads.

The M18 Striker is compact and lightweight and that means the body is made of minimal thickness aluminum.
As you can see on the picture below,the battery tube has no impressively thick walls.

Reverse polarity protection.
Flat top and button top batteries compatible.

This is a run time graph describing Brightness in % in the time after activation.
The M18 Striker performs pretty well considering the thin body and lack of cooling fins.
As expected there is a timed brightness step down. It is gradual.Starts about 2 minutes after activation and gradually decreases the output in a little more than a minute.
Run time test done with 18650 Keeppower 3400 battery.
The light output is ~650 Lumens, 30sec after activation.
This output is quite enough for the lightweight M18 Striker. A higher output will be a problem for its heat dissipating possibilities.
There's no enough mass to dissipate all the heat coming from the LED.

Here is a closer look at the first 15 minutes,for a better look at the step down.

The light from the LED used here is cool white. No greenish or bluish tint.
There is a blue hallo due to the blue water sealing ring.Not visible if the flashlight's head is more than 10 cm from the wall.

The deep crown bezel also affects the beam by decreasing the beam angle and giving it a shape.

Olight M18 Striker High mode

Olight M18 Striker Low mode

Beamshot comparison.

1 meter, 1/20sec,white wall

1 meter,1/250sec

5 meters, 1/6sec

5 meters, 1/50sec

The M18 Striker is a one more quality flashlight on the market.Very good performance for such a thin flashlight.
Designed according its main purposes-to give you a bright light when needed.
A second lower brightness level for not so important situations and battery saving.There's no real Low mode for regular EDC use,so the M18 Striker is a good choice for people preferring easy to use flashlights with minimum number of modes or convenient single mode flashlights. It is a good choice for a security work light. Easy to carry,doesn't take too much space,lightweight,good pocket clip.The stainless steel bezel may give you some more safety feel.
If you don't like the bezel,there's another similar flashlight in the Olight's product line-M18 Maverick.
Olight has a light for almost any taste,so everything depends on personal preferences.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed the review!

The M18 Striker was provided by Olight for test and review.