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Thread: Pierce M10 mini-review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* magic79's Avatar
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    Default Pierce M10 mini-review

    This is a very, very quick review...I got my M10 Narrow Beam this afternoon.

    Let me begin by saying that this is one of the few lights that has been an impulse buy. I had no "need" for the light...it's just been a long time since I've bought a new light! Most lights I buy have a specific requirement that the light fulfills.

    The first thing you notice is that this is one TINY light. It's hard to believe that this uses a CR123 since it is so small. The picture below shows the Pierce compared to two other very popular single CR123 lights, the SureFire L1 and the UDS EDC U60XR.



    The finish is quite nice. The first thing I noticed were the heatsink fins. These clearly will dissipate more heat than a solid body.

    The light comes with two lanyards: one black (attached) and one yellow. They recommend that you use one when setting the light for low mode (400 mA) and the other when you have it set for high (1000 mA). This is a good idea I think. However, these lanyards are very cheesy. They appear to be a simple thin nylon string. This is probably adequate, but it appears quite cheap.

    I opened the light by unscrewing the front bezel and was surprised to see it's shipped with a Surefire CR123 battery. For $150 I expected a Duracel, like came with my UDS. It's a bit trivial, but perception is important and if you're charging top dollar, it should come with the best available battery.

    I turned on the light and there is no complaint about Pierce's claims about brightness. It is very bright and useful at the factory default 400 mA setting.

    As an aside: For Pete's sake, how many more disjoint methods of comparing brightness do we need? Most today use Lumens. Some (Streamlight for example) use Candlepower. Pierce uses LED current.

    Frankly, LED current isn't a bad measure. But, in marketing, perception is reality. So, LED current means absolutely nothing to most people. Why not spend some money to have the light measured in either Lumens or Candlepower?

    Having said that, the light is BRIGHT! I chose the same two other single CR123 lights for beam comparison. I have two "ranges" (haha) that I use. The first is my back yard. It has approximately 17 yards (15m) from the light to the fence. The second is a 1m distance to a white wall in one of my bedrooms. Here are the pictures of each. For the outdoor shots, I used manual on my Canon 20D set at 5 seconds and f4.5. For the indoor shots, the camera was set at 1/5 second and f 8. Sorry that the 'throw' shots are out of focus, but I don't think it affects the data.


    HDS U60XR set at full power (60 Lumens)

    Surefire L1 on High

    Pierce at 400 mA

    Pierce at 1000 mA

    U60 beam

    L1 Beam

    Pierce at 400 mA

    Pierce at 1000 mA

    It doesn't appear so in the photos, but the Pierce's beam is somewhat square (the L1 is VERY square). Frankly, I can't see how beam shape makes any difference whatsoever, so the square vs. round is immaterial to me.

    To me, subjectively, the Pierce at low power is perhaps 20 Lumens. At high power, it appears to be about 50 Lumens. Those estimates are about as unscientific as you can get...eyeballing it. The L1 TIROS optics makes a real difference in throw brightness. I know a lot of people don't like it, but it really does work.

    For it's size, I'm not sure anything compares with the output of the Pierce. Again, this is the narrow beam model; I have no idea how the wide beam compares.

    If I were concerned about the size of the U60XR (my EDC), the Pierce would be "IT". However, the fact that it is a single stage light disqualifies it as my EDC. I think two stages are essential.

    The U60XR will remain my EDC, and I literally do carry it in my pocket every day.

    The Pierce will probably reside in my other pocket most days as my backup light. There is no other light (including the Orb Raw) that seems as bright in this small of a package in my opinion. If your wardrobe precludes even the U60, this is your light if you can tolerate a single stage. If not, the Orb Raw with two-stage switch is better.

    I would like to see this light with a two stage switch. This would be a really useful light if it had a two stage switch.

    I did not perform a runtime experiment.

    That's it! There you have it!
    Last edited by magic79; 04-04-2006 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Mini-Moder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Did your unit have any scrathces or damage to it??
    ~Mini-Moder~

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* magic79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    No scratches or damage. Have others?

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Mini-Moder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    magic, Mine has seceral scuffs all over it, as well as some big blemishes on the knurling.

    EDIT:
    I heard form Sam at Pierce (as it turns out, I was checking the wrong email address ) This problem was due to a HA defect from the company that does the HAing for Pierce. Its not Pierces fault, I was just a little upset and may have posted prematurely...Sorry Sam!
    Last edited by Mini-Moder; 04-04-2006 at 04:35 PM.
    ~Mini-Moder~

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Nice review, thanx!
    Can you do a size comparo with a JIL or Ion?
    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Mini-Moder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    I dont have a jil or ion...YET! But I will take some of it next some other small lights when I get home... Also if anybody got both of them I would love to see another narrow vs wide compro.
    ~Mini-Moder~

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Neat review, thanks.
    If you dont mind me asking, why did you chose M10 over the Ion (CR2 vs 123?) or over the FireFly3?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Moder
    magic, Mine has seceral scuffs all over it, as well as some big blemishes on the knurling. The light looked like it had been well used...I still havnt heard from Sam at Pierce...
    Thank you for your patience. I emailed you late last night and early this morning. I didn't want to post until I have contacted the HA supplier. In the future, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at support@piercelight.com.

    Below is my respond I submitted on the other post.

    --------------------------------

    Mini-Moder,

    Thank you for purchasing the Pierce M10 and our sincere apology for having shipped a product that has small scuff marks and blemishes. All the products we shipped are brand new and the item you received must have been mishandled. Once again our sincere apology.

    Regarding your reference to the HA issue, we checked with the HA supplier and confirmed that some units were inappropriately held on the knurl area during HA. This resulted in some small blemishes. These imperfection were then touched up to hide any imperfection. We are very concern about this and working with the HA supplier to rectify this.

    As promised, we will do everything we can to insure your satisfaction. We are extending the following options to rectify the situation:

    1) We will be do a full exchange at no additional cost to you. We will cross ship the new product to you if you desire (although it still may have the small HA blemishes).

    2) We will provide you a full refund if you would like to return the item. In your case, we will refund all shipping / handling / and battery cost. We'll also pay for the shipment back.

    3) If you don't want to hassle with the exchange or refund and like to keep the Pierce M10 as is, we will refund you $20 for our mishandling.

    Please let me know your choice and once again our sincere aplogy for the inconvenience.

    Also for anyone who has already placed an order, please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have any issues with blemishes or simply not happy with the flashlight. We'll do our best to accomodate.

    support@piercelight.com

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Sam

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Mini-Moder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Hey Sam I sent you back an email. Thanks for handling this all so professionally.
    ~Mini-Moder~

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Blindasabat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Do you have to disassemble it to change from 400 to 1000mA? That is not "on-the-fly" switchable like the FF and HDS. The Pierce web site was not so clear on that. I'm not as interested if it is not immediate accesible two stage since I already have a Jil Intelli and FF2 with POP2 multilevel switching which is about the same size as the Pierce.

    Pierce M10: 63.5x22.2mm, $140 (dual level with some time...)
    FireFly II/III: 68x20.5mm, $130
    Fenix P1: 65x20mm, $45 (single level and prob(?) lower output?)
    Jil Intelli/DD: 50x22mm, $110

    So the Pierce is almost the smallest CR123 light I know of (slightly larger volume-wise than the upcoming Fenix claims to be), but not being "on-the-fly" two stage is too bad (for me, otherwise it looks very nice).

    I'll stick with the FF for my micro RCR123 torch. The FF3 (modded FF2 in my case) equals the U60 HDS light level too.

    Don't get me wrong, this looks like a very well made, nicely styled, intelligently designed, quality product, I just wish it was 'real' two staged. IF I have read this correctly...

    Maybe next year?

    <EDIT> After reading above: apparently very good customer service! That counts for a lot.
    Last edited by Blindasabat; 04-04-2006 at 04:41 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Hey blindasabat, the switch is internal, you need a pin to be able to change it. However, the difference in output is very small, so I think that keeping it on 400 will be sufficiant most of the time.
    ~Mini-Moder~

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Blindasabat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Thanks Mini-Moder,
    Hmm, nifty idea to keep the light small with multiple levels available...

    I figured that close in milliAmps would not be such a big visual difference. Kinda like the 10 versus 42 Lumen settings on the HDS is a decent difference visually, but of course 1/4 the power usage.
    200-250mA would be good level if it was more quickly switchable.

    Like I said, this light looks really nicely done. I hope they sell a bunch. If they add a FireFly/HDS/RAW style staged setup, or even a TM301X-3 type two stage, it will be a really nice all around light. I'm just a big fan of multi-level. I even got the Nuwai 115X Lux 3 for $25 on sale a while ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Moder
    Hey blindasabat, the switch is internal, you need a pin to be able to change it. However, the difference in output is very small, so I think that keeping it on 400 will be sufficiant most of the time.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* magic79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Quote Originally Posted by eart
    Neat review, thanks.
    If you dont mind me asking, why did you chose M10 over the Ion (CR2 vs 123?) or over the FireFly3?
    Well...to be honest it was pretty much an impulse buy! I have an Orb Raw, and like it, but don't particularly want another CR2 light.

    As for the FireFly...I found an order thread, but no description (at least on the first or last page) so I really don't know anything about it. I couldn't find any other thread describing it either.

    There was another thread asking basically the same thing. A reply said there were pictures in the order thread, but I couldn't find them on the first page and don't have time to wander through the whole thread.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* TrueBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    I find a great compromise by setting the Pierce to 400mA. The light is bright and doesn’t get hot with a 3.7V battery. The light is almost the same brightness using a primary CR123A battery. With the setting at 400mA the light will use both a rechargeable and a primary battery. Setting the light to 1000mA and using the 3.7V battery make the light a bit brighter but a lot hotter.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    TrueBlue, I really love the look of the bare on the Pierce, it just looks so nice. I have a few comparison pics for you guys, but I think that TrueBlue has already taken care of it.



    Not an exact line-up, but it gives you a sizing idea...
    Last edited by Mini-Moder; 04-04-2006 at 10:19 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Thanx for the pic !!!

    Does anyone know if there is a version in the works with a hole for a split ring? This lanyard attachment doesn't look like it would withstand keychain carry in a reliable manner ...

    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Kiessling, I think that a split ring would work if you replaced the stock lanyard, with something of a paracord loop. But the current lanyard is very strong, when tightened all the way I couldn’t not pull it off. If you wanted super secure you could either go with paracord, or maybe try to find a very small cord lock to make sure the slip knot on the stock lanyard stays in place. Here is a picture of my FAF (fully adjustable fob) custom made by ghostrider, on the M10, the paracord fits into the slot almost perfectly:





    The flash did some funky things with the orange... But you get the idea.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Thanx for the pic! I still cannot trust this set-up ... but maybe I am stubborn and without experience here
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling
    Thanx for the pic !!!

    Does anyone know if there is a version in the works with a hole for a split ring? This lanyard attachment doesn't look like it would withstand keychain carry in a reliable manner ...

    bernie
    Bernie, we were concern too during our design phase. However after careful testing, we arrived at our final design. During manufacturing we increased the clamping pressure of the lanyard by 3x from our original design to insure that it doesn't come apart. Simply, a user simply need to slide the knot snug against the Pierce M10 groove and it will not come off. We have tested and carried this light for over 1 year on the key ring and have not had any issue with the lanyard coming apart. Nothing like real world testing.

    Sam

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Alloy Addict's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    With the right kind of knot, the more force applied to pulling on the lanyard the tighter the knot will be. The lanyard will be as strong as the cord is, less whatever amount the knot weakens the cord which varies between knots.

    I don't have a Pierce M10, but I think it's an elegant design for a lanyard attachment.

    Thanks for the review Magic79
    Paul
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  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Hey, nice write up on the Pierce M10 with them show-and-tell pictures. Way to go!
    LUX'Ottica

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Nice review and photos guys! I hadn't even heard of a Pierce M10 until today, believe it or not!
    --Scott

  23. #23
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Well, now that you've heard of it, you should get one while it's only $95. (haha..a college student saying "it's only $95" like 95 bones is nothing)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Got one now (Thanx Sigman! ) ... and have to agree that it is a very nice light!
    I am using it with the flood optix ... and what a nice medium flood beam it produces!
    The 400mA setting is perfect, 1000mA won't change too much except heat and runtime, but that is just IMHO of course.
    Very nice light.
    bernie
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
    - paulr


    It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
    My shoes are too tight. But it doesn't matter, because I have forgotten how to dance.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    High *is* twice the output, but there simply isn't enough metal there for it not to quickly heat up when run at 1000mA.
    The shadows are darkest during the day.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* JimH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    . . . . . .
    Jim - Have lights, lead, and steel will travel

    The heck with runtime. I just want to hold the sun in my hands!! Brighter is Better!

  27. #27
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    Thumbs up Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Have one and LOVE it.Has become my EDC for the reason it can run primary or RCR at about same brightness.
    TOOOO MANY LIGHTS!!!

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* luxlunatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Been wanting to pick one of these up for a while now. I first saw them on ebay well over a year ago, looked perhaps like pre-production versions (bare Al), once in a while one would pop up but I kept getting outbid in the last minutes, and at auction end, they were going for about $250-$300 average, IIRC, and at that time (this being BCPF, before Candle Power Forums,for me) that was a lot to spend on a flashlight. It was a stretch for me to buy my first 'premier light', an Arc LSHP at over $100, but now, jeez, well look at my sig line and tell me if CPF hasn't slightly skewed my perception of money when it comes to lights . So for $95 this looks like a sweet deal!
    Last edited by luxlunatic; 08-05-2006 at 02:06 AM.
    What are you people......on DOPE!?!

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* milkyspit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review

    Uh, where does one possessing the requisite 95 bones go to buy one at that price?



    Quote Originally Posted by hawkz
    Well, now that you've heard of it, you should get one while it's only $95. (haha..a college student saying "it's only $95" like 95 bones is nothing)
    --Scott

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Pierce M10 mini-review


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