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Thread: OrcaTorch T20 Review

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* firelord777's Avatar
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    Default OrcaTorch T20 Review

    Hey guys,
    OrcaTorch is a relatively new company that came onto the flashlight scene specializing in dive lights. They were originally branded under the Brinyte name, but soon afterwards split and became OrcaTorch to target the high end market, independent of Brinyte, which for most people, it’s a no brainer regarding the types of lights they focus on.

    OrcaTorch’s kind representative however, sent a flashlight geared towards the tactical market, which some people may initially view with skepticism since they are apparently a dive light manufacturer. The main question now is, can this new company effectively develop, produce, and offer a traditional LED flashlight that is good enough to compete with those of other well-known and established brands?


    ---OrcaTorch T20 provided for review---

    To start, here are the official specifications:
    Cree XM-L2(U2) LED,
    max 980 lumens output
    Uses 1*18650/2*CR123A/2*16340 battery
    Dual switches design, offers a fast access to momentary-on function and strobe mode
    High efficiency constant current circuit, constant brightness
    Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation Intelligent memory function
    Over-heat protection function
    Over-discharge protection function
    Stainless attack head and drop resistant stainless rear design
    Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
    Aircraft-grade high strength aluminum AL-6061-T6 with premium
    Type III military hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
    Alloy aluminum reflector with professional opticalanalysis
    Toughened glass with anti-reflective coating


    The OrcaTorch T20 seems to be off to a good start – a current XM-L2 LED, a simple and favorable UI, standard battery and emitter protection, and current controlled circuits.
    First Impressions



    My first impression when I held the flashlight was that it had some heft to it. Since OrcaTorch is still a fresh company, and made dive lights, I was expecting a flashlight that was of decent quality, but that probably would have a few minor things to improve on as they gain experience, such as beam artifacts or the dreaded donut holes some SMO reflector-equipped lights suffer from. How wrong was I.

    Turns out, the T20 has one of the mirror smooth reflectors I have ever seen – as well as one of the smoothest, artifact free beams. That told me two things. One, they’re not kidding when they (OrcaTorch) claims their “alloy aluminum reflector” was developed with “professional optical analysis”. Secondly, that I better hide this flashlight from my friend that is really picky with flashlight beam profiles for fear he might “accidently borrow” it forever.
    The light comes with the lanyard, o-rings, and a suitable holster:






    Anodized threads came generously lubed:

    Another notable aspect was its crown and tailcap – both have a shiny, silver touch to it, and personally it makes it look sweet. Speaking of looks, the provided lanyard was another thing that just grabbed my attention – I mean, it’s the first time I see a company provide a camouflaged lanyard, although I’m sure there are some other cases.



    Construction
    The OrcaTorch T20 seems to have been built to a tough standard, thick walls, good heatsinking, and basically overall, it feels sturdy. The only thing that I would say may use some improvement would be the knurling, because it is exclusive only to the battery tube – the tailcap could use a bit of knurling as it feels a bit slippery when removing it. The finish is up to par with other lights in its class, but I noticed only when looking real hard at it, that the finish is only very slightly lighter coloring than the finish of the Fenix TA21 and Olight M20/21, but darker than the ArmyTek Predator V 1.2.

    Finish compared to a “gun-metal” grey:




    The tailcap is a clamshell design, meaning it enables users to access the power switch more easily, but compromises tail standing stability. Anyways, during my “testing” in the middle of the night, when I went to take bathroom trips, it is always more stable when you put the light inside the cardboard hub of the toilet paper roll…just saying (hint hint).













    The positive terminal has a spring, so flat tops can be used:



    The T20 has a strong clip that seems removable, I just have yet to figure out how to.

    Size Comparison
    From left to right (large to small) – Fenix TA21 – Crelant V6CS – ArmyTek Predator V 1.2 – YiLight AK21 – OrcaTorch T20 – Olight M21-X – Olight M20-X – ArmyTek Viking X – Streamlight Scorpion X – Olight S20



    Orange-Wall Beamshots
    I realized that I didn’t have a good enough white-wall in my house so I had to use the orange background, oopsies!


    OrcaTorch T20:
    Control:

    Low:

    Medium:

    High:

    Super High:

    Reduced Exposure (Note – in some of the following images you may notice a green tint on the lower right corner of the beams, this is the camera, not the actual beam):



    ArmyTek Predator V1.2 vs OrcaTorch T20

    Olight M21-X vs OrcaTorch T20

    Outdoor Beamshots
    I took some outdoor beamshots after waiting a few days for the summer rains to subside:
    Control

    Yi Light AK21

    Olight M21-X

    ArmyTek Predator V1.2

    OrcaTorch T20


    T20 output levels:
    Low

    Medium

    High

    Very High

    We have a lot of light pollution here in Miami, which is why the clouds all seem lighted up, it’s normal.
    Control

    ArmyTek Predator V1.2

    OrcaTorch T20

    Olight M21-X

    Conclusion
    The OrcaTorch T20 possess all the quality hallmarks of a tactical LED flashlight – smooth beam, evenly spaced modes, hidden but accessible strobe and SOS modes, and robust design.
    The UI on the T20 is very straight-forward. There are four main modes, the lowest being a 2 lumen mode that can run for 275 hours on a single charge, and the highest being 980 lumens, which during my testing and comparisons seems about right. As a result, this particular model is quite versatile and adaptable to a wide range of situations, from, as I’ve mentioned, bathroom trips without destroying your night vision, to finding things around the house without blinding yourself, to blasting an area with lumens with a comparatively long range for lights in its class (~20,000 lux).
    To activate strobe and SOS, you need to have the flashlight on, and then press and hold the mode switch for around 2 seconds, so it is definitely a welcome setup for most to have strobe/SOS out of the way during normal use but still have it there for when they need it.
    In terms of performance, the T20 is amazingly a flashlight, considering that can hold its own against other competitors. I only wish I could have the Olight M22 to compare it to, as the two are in my experience extremely close in performance – too bad it got stolen a long time ago. If the T20 was branded as the Olight M22’s sister, say, sold as an Olight M25, I would never have suspected it was from a recent company concentrating on dive lights. The T20, like the Olight M22, beats the Olight M21-X just by a bit in the throw department, but is likewise beaten just a bit by the ArmyTek Predator V1.2. I couldn't detect PWM, not even in its lowest levels so that is good news.
    Some of you may ask: well, how can an XP-G flashlight producing around 500 emitter lumens out throw a 980 lumen one?
    Well, this is actually a common question. Firstly, the Predator is a hunting/military light born to be a dedicated thrower, so its deep reflector already gives it an advantage over the T20’s more balanced reflector. Secondly, the XP-G is a smaller emitter with a higher surface brightness, so given the appropriate conditions, it can out throw higher output lights, though it won’t be able to necessarily compete in brightness.
    All in all, I think OrcaTorch is off to a good start for a mostly unfamiliar brand and hope their engineers keep up the good work in the future.
    If you guys have any questions or requests please feel free to ask them here or send me a PM.
    -Alain
    ---OrcaTorch T20 provided for review---
    Last edited by firelord777; 06-22-2014 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: OrcaTorch T20 Review

    It's amazing. Glad to see the review.

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