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Thread: Skilhunt K10, K11 (XM-L U2, 1x18650 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMS, RUNTIMES, VIDEO+

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    Wink2 Skilhunt K10, K11 (XM-L U2, 1x18650 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMS, RUNTIMES, VIDEO+

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.





    The K10 and K11 are two new 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR lights from Skilhunt. They share a lot of similar specifications, but have some distinctive build and user interface differences. Let's put them through their paces and see how they compare to the competition.

    Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    (note: as always, these are simply what the manufacturer provides – scroll down to see my actual testing results).

    Common Specifications for both K10 and K11 models:
    • LED: Cree XM-L U2 (Cool White) or XM-L T6 (Neutral White)
    • Output/Runtime: Turbo 480lm/2hrs, High 280lm/3.5hrs, Med 100lm/10hrs, Low 25lm/40hrs
    • Powered by 2xCR123A, 2x16340, 1x18650, 1x17670 (not included)
    • Operating range 3V~9V
    • Mode sequence Turbo – Hi – Med – Lo, double-click to enter Strobe
    • Automatic memory function
    • Waterproof standard IPX-8, Impact resistant 1.5m
    • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating and diamond coating
    • Stainless steel bezel ring
    • Black, type III Hard Anodized finish
    • Package Includes: Skilhunt Flashlight, Two Spare O-Ring, 550 paracord lanyard, Operator's Manual,
    • Optional accessories: filter, holster

    K10
    • Peak Beam Intensity: 9,100 cd
    • Max Beam Distance/Throw: 190m
    • Tail switch for On/Off, Side switch for mode control
    • Low-voltage indicator – side red LED indicator will light up red
    • Smooth reflector
    • Hollow design
    • Size Length 140.5mm (5.53 in), Diameter Head 36mm (1.42 in)
    • Weight 125g (4.60 oz) excluding battery
    • MSRP: ~$76

    K11
    • Peak Beam Intensity: 8,650 cd
    • Max Beam Distance/Throw: 186m
    • Side switch for On/Off and mode control
    • Low-voltage indicator – main LED beam will blink three times every two minutes
    • Orange peel reflector
    • Engineered anti-slip-knurling
    • Size Length 129.5mm (5.10 in), Diameter Head 36mm (1.42 in)
    • Weight 120g (4.23 oz) excluding battery
    • MSRP: ~$68



    Packaging is identical for the two lights. Inside the cardboard box with cut-out foam is the light, two extra o-rings, decent quality wrist lanyard, warranty card and common manual.

    K10:



    K11:




    From left to right: AW Protected 18650; Skilhunt K10, K11; Eagletac TX25C2; Nitecore MH25; Eagletac D25LC2; Zebralight SC600; Sunwayman V20C.

    All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed (unless indicated):

    Skilhunt K10: Weight: 122.8g, Length: 140.4mm, Width (bezel): 34.1mm
    Skilhunt K11: Weight: 120.5g, Length: 129.6mm , Width (bezel): 34.1mm
    Eagletac D25LC2: Weight: 50.0g, Length: 116.3mm, Width (bezel): 22.5mm
    Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
    Foursevens Quark Q123-2 X (Regular tailcap): Weight: 44.6g, Length: 112.7mm, Width (bezel) 22.0mm
    Jetbeam PC20: Weight: 60.0g, Length: 127.5mm, Width (bezel): 22.6mm
    Nitecore MH25: Weight: 145.4g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
    Olight S20: Weight: 51.8g, Length: 105.4mm, Width (bezel): 23.1mm
    Sunwayman C20C: Weight 57.6g, Length: 104.8mm. Width (bezel): 25.6mm
    Thrunite TN10: Weight: 154.7g, Length: 145.5mm, Width (bezel): 35.1mm
    Zebralight SC600: Weight 87.2g, Length: 107.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm

    K10:






    K11:






    Physically, the K10 and K11 have very similar looking heads – where the two models diverge is in the battery/body tube and tail. As always with Skilhunt, overall styling is distinctive – particularly on the K10.

    On both lights, anodizing is a flat black – and in excellent shape on my samples. The K10 has little knurling, but features a distinctive hollow core with cut-outs along the battery handle (i.e., the exterior rotates around the stationary core). I imagine this rotation is mainly for the bling effect but the cut-outs do help with grip. In contrast, the K11 has a generous amount of knurling all over the body tube, of typical aggressiveness. I would consider grip reasonably good on both models.

    Labels are bright white and clear against the black background.

    There are anodized screw threads where the body tubes meet the head, allowing you to lock out either light. Threads are deeply cut, and have a good feel.

    The K10 features a forward clicky tail switch for On/Off, and a side switch for mode changing. In contrast, the K11 uses the side switch for both On/Off and mode changing. This side switch design is very similar to other Skilhunt lights I reviewed (i.e., an electronic switch under yellow button cover). There is a clearly audible click upon a press-release of the side switch, which is as loud as a traditional physical clicky switch. The K10 also features a recessed low-voltage warning LEDs on the left side of the switch (see User Interface discussion below for an explanation).

    There are springs at both the head and at the base of the tail – an integrated spring with the tail clicky switch on the K10, a stand-alone spring on the K11. Body tube was wide enough to take all my higher-capacity cells, on both lights. And all my flat-top cells worked fine.

    The lights can both tailstand, but the K11 is more stable due to its completely flat base. There are wrist lanyard attachment points on both lights (although a lanyard may interfere with tailstanding on the K11).

    Let's see how the business ends of the lights differ:

    K10:



    K11:



    They don't differ by much – the only real difference here is the smooth reflector on the K10, and the textured (medium orange peel) on the K11. I understand that each reflector type is available as an optional accessory for either light. The reflector is fairly deep, and should translate into pretty good throw for the size. The XM-L emitters (Cool White on my samples) were both well centered. Scroll down for beam comparison pics.

    User Interface

    K10:

    To turn the light on, press the tailcap forward clicky switch (press for momentary, click for locked-on). The light comes on in its last memorized level.

    To change the mode level when On, do a quick click of the side switch. The light will cycle through its output modes in the following order: Lo > Med > Hi > Turbo, in repeating sequence upon clicking of the switch. Note the manual incorrectly lists the modes in the reverse order.

    Turn off by clicking the tailcap switch. The light has mode memory, and will retain the last output setting chosen.

    To access the Strobe modes, double-click the switch from On. Single click to return to the constant output modes. Note that the memory mode will retain Strobe if that is the mode you turn the light off in.

    The LED on the left side of the side switch will flash red as the batteries begin to run down in capacity.

    K11:

    Press and hold the side switch for more than one second to turn the light On. The light comes on in its last memorized level.

    To change the mode level when On, do a quick click of the side switch. The light will cycle through its output modes in the following order: Lo > Med > Hi > Turbo, in repeating sequence upon clicking of the switch. Note the manual incorrectly lists the modes in the reverse order.

    Press and hold the switch for more than one second to turn the light off. The light has mode memory, and will retain the last output setting chosen.

    To access the Strobe modes, double-click the switch from On. Single click to return to the constant output modes. Note that the memory mode will retain Strobe if that is the mode you turn the light off in.

    There is no LED indicator for low-voltage warning – instead, the main LED beam will flash when the batteries are nearly empty.

    Video:

    For more information on the overall build and user interface of the K10 and K11, please see my video overview:



    Videos were recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    As with all my videos, I recommend you have annotations turned on. I commonly update the commentary with additional information or clarifications before publicly releasing the video.

    PWM/Strobe

    There is no sign of PWM on any level, on either model – I believe the lights are current-controlled.

    K10 Strobe:


    K11 Strobe:


    The K10/11 series have a fairly typical (and common) strobe mode, of ~9.6 Hz on my two samples.

    Standby Drain

    The K10 has no standby drain, due to the physical clicky switch in the tailcap.

    The K11 has only an electronic switch in the head, so it will always be drawing a small current when the body/carrier is connected to the head. I measured this current as 460uA on 1x18650. For a 2600mAh 18650 battery, that would give you a little over 7.5 months before a fully charged battery would be completely drained.

    As a result, I recommend you store the K11 locked out when not in use. This is a good idea for lights with a forward clicky switch as well, like the K10, to prevent accidental activation.

    Beamshots:

    And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on 1xAW protected 18650, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.













    Despite the smooth vs MOP reflectors, the beams of the K10 and K11 look very similar. The reflector texturing may slightly soften the center beam hotspot, but there really isn't a big difference. Spillbeam width is as you would expect for a relatively deep reflector.

    Overall output is comparable between the K10 and K11. Scroll down for a more detailed comparison to other lights in my collection.

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lightbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables. Effective July 2012, I have updated all my Peak Intensity/Beam Distance measures with a NIST-certified Extech EA31 lightmeter (orange highlights).







    Output and beam intensity specs seem pretty accurate in my testing, with perhaps a slightly higher peak throw on my samples. I have previously observed that my testing methods correlate very well with Skilhunt's ANSI FL-1 numbers.

    Output levels are very consistent across all supported battery types. Note that as expected, max overall output is at the low end of this class.

    Let's see how outputs compare on my two samples, at all levels:



    Again, my testing results are very consistent with Skilhunt's own specs.

    Output/Runtime Graphs:










    Consistent with the nearly identical output levels across the K10 and K11, runtimes are similarly consistent at all levels. Overall output/runtime efficiency seems about typical for the class of the emitter.

    Regulation patterns are consistently flat, at all levels. Note that rather than just drop off rapidly, the lights both step down to lower levels as the batteries near exhaustion. Once the circuit can no longer maintain perfectly flat regulation, a gradual drop-off in output occurs.

    As expected, the K11 showed periodic warning flashes in the main beam, once step-down occurred. The K10 showed red flashes on the side-mounted LED indicator.

    As usual, Skilhunt seems to be slightly conservative in their ANSI FL-1 runtime numbers. My relatively low-capacity 2200mAh cells lasted almost as long as the published runtime specs (recall that FL-1 standard is time to 10% output). Most specs tend to be based on higher 2800+ mAh capacity cells, but it seems like you could reach these specs with 2400mAh.

    Potential Issues

    Due to the electronic control switch on the K11, the light has a stand-by current when waiting to receive a button press. The current is low enough that you will have several months before an 18650 battery would be fully drained, but I recommend you lock the light out at the head.

    Grip is very good on the K11, and acceptable on the K10. However, the hollow design on the k10 body tube handle means that it can spin freely (i.e., may take a little practice getting used to where to hold it to unscrew the head).

    Preliminary Observations

    The K10 and K11 feature virtually identical circuits and beams – all that really differs is the body tube styling and the presence of a tailcap clicky switch on the K10.

    Skilhunt continues to develop interesting design aesthetics (e.g., I don't think I've seen anything quite like the K10 handle before). I'm probably more drawn to this model, due to its physical clicky switch – but the K11 is more compact, with better grip. Either way, performance is basically the same, so you can take your design pick.

    Mode spacing seems reasonable, but I imagine most would like to see a higher Hi mode and lower Lo/moonlight level. I am at least glad to see Strobe is well hidden behind a double-click.

    Output/runtime performance is reasonable for the class, with flat regulation on all modes. One feature I particularly like is the step-down as the batteries drain (i.e., rather than abrupt shut-off). One small improvement on the K10 is the low voltage side-mounted LED indicator. I prefer this sort of mechanism over flashing in the main beam (as done on the K11). At least in both cases the flashing/indicator only comes on when the batteries are indeed quite low – nothing is worse than an unusually early indicator.

    In terms of the beam, the two lights are very similar – the texturing on the K11 reflector doesn't make much of a difference to the beam pattern or throw. Given their size, the lights are marginally "throwier" than some in this class, with perhaps slightly narrower spillbeams than typical.

    The K10/K11 are both decent all-around performers, with no surprises in the circuits or beams – they do the job well, and worked consistently in my testing. It is nice to see the maturing of Skilhunt circuit design (i.e., no more visible PWM or audible whine). Most of the distinctive touches are in the build styling, plus the difference in switch interface. As always, the choice is yours.

    ----

    K10 and K11 were provided by Skilhunt for review
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 03-16-2013 at 09:45 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
    Gratefully accepting donations to my battery fund.

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Skilhunt K10, K11 (XM-L U2, 1x18650 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: BEAMS, RUNTIMES, VIDEO+

    Thanks I like the K11

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