Tactical flashlights or even ordinary flashlights for that matter have never really been my thing. I don’t get very excited about them or obsess over the amount of lumens they have, a particular bulb system, or battery type. I know that a lot of people do judging by forums such as CandlePowerForum that specialize in everything to do with flashlights, and that’s okay (I am not a member). Flashlights just never really did much for me. Then I got my hands on a flashlight that changed everything…
If You Can’t Beat ‘em, Join ‘em!
I find flashlights extremely handy and use them all the time. I carry a small Inova button light on most of my keychains. I have several single AAA LED flashlights around the house and in my cars, but they’re all just tools for occasional use. I’ve been more than happy with them and their performance seemed perfectly adequate for my needs. And if I were to be 100% honest, it would be more accurate to say that I’ve resisted the urge to fixate on flashlights for quite some time, rather than being completely uninterested in them. Of course, I need another gear category to spend my money on like I need a hole in my head. Too late now, Pandora’s box has just been opened.
To those of you who are already flashlight fanatics, my foray into this world will paint me as somewhat of a newbie, but stay with me because LED flashlights have quickly become a new obsession (damn it) and I’ll need your help in getting up to speed on all the technical specifications and what to look for. It’s safe to say that you can expect more flashlight posts in the very near future. I’ll let you decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing – either way it’s my blog!
Olight M10 Maverick
I recently accepted an offer from BatteryJunction to test an Olight M10 Maverick compact tactical flashlight. Compared to all of my pervious flashlights the M10 was a bit of a heavyweight despite it’s diminutive size. It is a significantly more powerful and up to date tactical flashlight than I have ever owned. Wow! Clearly I’ve been missing out on some pretty amazing gear by ignoring flashlights all these years.
The Olight M10 Maverick is a tactical version of Olight’s very popular S10 model. It has a maximum output of 350 lumens and a beam distance of 107 meters. That’s blindingly bright and powerful. In fact in the strobe setting it’s painful to stare directly at. Here are the specifications for the M10:
- Weight: 1.89 oz / 53.5 g (2.46 oz / 69.9 g with CR123A battery)
- LED: Cree XM-L2
- Battery: 1 x CR123A or 1 x RCR123
- High: 350 Lumens/1.3 Hours
- Medium: 80 Lumens/7.5 Hours
- Low: 5 Lumens/108 Hours
- Max beam distance: 107 meters
- Waterproof: IPX8 “Submersible”
- Dimensions: Length 3.66″ (93mm) x Diameter .9″ (23mm)
Easy Operation (newbie’s perspective)
I don’t have a lot of experience with quality flashlights nor do I have a series of benchmarks to compare the M10 against, but coming at this as a complete newbie I can tell you that the Olight M10 is simple to operate. There are two buttons on the M10. The tail switch operates in two modes. You can gently tap the tail switch for momentary light, the output will depend on the last constant mode that you left it in.
If you click the tail switch all the way you will get constant on. The small white side switch cycles between the three different outputs modes 350 lumens, 80 lumens, and 5 lumens. In addition to those basic functions, the rear switch can be tapped twice quickly to access the max output mode of 350 lumens, or tapped three times to activate the 350 lumen strobe!
Rugged as Hell
I’ve been beating up on the M10 for several weeks and have to say that I’m totally impressed by this rugged little flashlight. In fact I’ve put off posting a review of the M10 because in the back of my mind I was searching for something that I didn’t like about it or waiting for it to fail – it hasn’t! If I had to find something to fault on the M10 it would probably be the white side switch. If it were me I would have made this black – but that’s easily fixed with a Sharpie!
This is a rock solid and powerful little flashlight that can easily take an abuse you can throw at it. It’s also rated as IPX8 waterproof meaning that it is completely submersible. Olight stand behind their products with a 5 year satisfaction guarantee. They also provided a small lanyard, spare rubber O-rings, and an extra silicon rubber boot for the tail switch.
Which Flashlights Would You Recommend?
The Olight M10 is now a part of my every day carry and to my complete surprise gets used on a daily basis. How did I get by without a quality pocket flashlight for so long? What’s you favorite LED flashlight and why? I’m hooked now, so bring it on…