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Thread: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Author's Statement for Transparency and Disclosure
    The test sample/s featured in this article have been provided for technical testing and review by the manufacturer. Test samples are retained by the reviewer following publication of the completed review for the purposes of long term testing and product comparisons.

    All output figures and test results published in this review are the sole work of the reviewer, and are carried out independently and without bias. Test results are reported as found, with no embellishments or alteration. Though best endeavours are made to maintain the accuracy of test equipment, the accuracy of these results is not guaranteed and is subject to the test equipment functioning correctly.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Updating their M18 Striker, Olight have created the M1X Striker which is listed under a section of ‘Self Defence’ lights. With a very aggressive strike bezel, the M1X certainly looks the part.





    Taking a more detailed look:

    The M1X Striker in its box.




    As well as the M1X you get two spare o-rings, wrist lanyard and the instructions.




    Immediately you see why this is in the self-defence section.




    Rather than traditional knurling, the M1X has a very nice pattern of squares cut into the body and tail for grip.




    A steel clip is supplied fitted. The clip can be taken off and fitted the other way round.




    The head has a set of cooling fins.




    And there is that strike bezel. Deeply cut, this is a very prominent feature. The bezel is not a screw in feature, on the front of the head, but is integral to the front section of the head. The front of the head is thread-locked into place as it does not want to unscrew.




    The tail switch is a protruding tactical style switch.




    The side switch is low profile.




    A view of the contacts inside the tail-cap.




    Fully anodised square cut threads are used for the tail-cap.




    Inside view of the battery tube and positive contact spring.




    A CR123 holder is supplied with the M1X to prevent cell rattle, or you can use an 18650.




    The M1X uses an XM-L2 LED




    This XM-L2 LED sits in a smooth reflector.




    As supplied the clip is in the bezel up position.




    The clip can be pulled off and fitted in the tail up position. It does mark the anodising in the clip groove, but this is unavoidable really.





    The beam

    Please be careful not to judge tint based on images you see on a computer screen. Unless properly calibrated, the screen itself will change the perceived tint.
    The indoor beamshot is intended to give an idea of the beam shape/quality rather than tint. All beamshots are taken using daylight white balance. The woodwork (stairs and skirting) are painted Farrow & Ball "Off-White", and the walls are a light sandy colour called 'String' again by Farrow & Ball. I don't actually have a 'white wall' in the house to use for this, and the wife won't have one!



    Starting indoors, it is obvious that the strike bezel affects the outer spill, with clear crenulations in the spill edge. Despite the height of the bezel crenulations, the spill is still wide enough for close range use.




    The hotspot is focussed enough to give good range, and wide enough not to give tunnel vision.





    Modes and User Interface:

    There are 5 constant modes, Turbo, High, Mid, Low and Moonlight plus a Strobe mode.

    Access to these modes is via the two switches. The tail-cap switch is a forward clicky with momentary operation, and the side switch is an electronic click switch.

    Using only the tail-cap switch you have access to the ‘last used mode’, Turbo and Strobe. Half pressing or fully clicking the tail-cap switch turns ON the last used mode. This includes Strobe and Moonlight modes, but does not include the direct access Turbo or Strobe.

    For direct access Turbo, double-tap the tail-cap switch and either use this as a momentary mode, or fully click the switch to hold on Turbo. As mentioned previously, this direct access Turbo does not count as the last used mode.

    For direct access Strobe, Triple-tap the tail-cap switch and either use this as a momentary mode, or fully click the switch to hold on Strobe. As mentioned previously, this direct access Strobe does not count as the last used mode.


    It is possible to directly access Moonlight by pressing and holding the side switch and then press the tail-cap switch.

    In normal operation with the M1X switched on, pressing the side switch cycles through Mid, High, Turbo, Low… (Moonlight is NOT in this cycle).

    At any time the M1X is ON, press and hold the side switch for 2s to enter Strobe. Accessed this way, Strobe is remembered as the last used mode. To exit Strobe press the side switch to return to the constant output.



    Batteries and output:

    The runs on 2x (R)CR123 or 1x18650.

    To measure actual output, I built an integrating sphere. See here for more detail. The sensor registers visible light only (so Infra-Red and Ultra-Violet will not be measured).

    Please note, all quoted lumen figures are from a DIY integrating sphere, and according to ANSI standards. Although every effort is made to give as accurate a result as possible, they should be taken as an estimate only. The results can be used to compare outputs in this review and others I have published.

    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    Olight M1X using specified cell/s I.S. measured ANSI output Lumens PWM frequency or Strobe frequency (Hz)
    ___________________________________________ ________________________________ ________________________________
    Turbo – CR123 825 0
    High – CR123 377 0
    Medium – CR123 74 0
    Low – CR123 10 0
    Moon – CR123 Below Threshold (<1.7lm) 0
    Turbo – 18650 904 0
    High – 18650 377 0
    Medium – 18650 72 0
    Low – 18650 9 0
    Moon – 18650 Below Threshold (<1.7lm) 0

    * Beacon and Strobe output measurements are only estimates as the brief flashes make it difficult to capture the actual output value.

    Note that peak output is actually obtained using 18650 and not CR123.

    Peak Beam intensity measured 9800lx @1m giving a beam range of 198m.

    There is no parasitic drain.

    Turbo output initially sags and then reduces to a steady 620lm after approximately 7 minutes. This is maintained until the cell cannot maintain that output any longer.





    Troubleshooting

    This section is included to mention any minor niggles I come across during testing, in case the information helps anyone else.

    No issues were encountered during testing.

    As per the description of this section, this information is provided in case anyone else finds a similar 'issue' that might be fixed in the same way.



    The M1X in use

    As a ‘defence’ light, the M1X has a relatively simple interface for a modern multi-mode light. It is actually becoming one of my favourites and feels very intuitive.

    This interface has direct access to Max and Minimum modes along with the immediacy of a tactical forward clicky tail-cap switch. With normal mode selection controlled by the side switch it keeps the operation clean and efficient.

    Though the side switch is low profile and not always easy to find, you can use the clip position to point you to the switch.

    The strike bezel is aggressive and not particularly pocket friendly, so you need to find the best way to carry this light for your purposes. I’m seriously considering grinding off the crenulations as I like the interface so much, but personally find the bezel a bit too rough for my EDC. I also wonder how the TSA will view this. If anyone has carried a M1X through airport security, please add a reply to let us know how you got on.

    Of course the strike bezel is a matter of personal preference and I think Olight have got it just right as it is prominent enough to be effective without being overly spiky. If you want a strong strike bezel the M1X is a great choice.

    When using the moonlight mode, you need to be careful not to double tap that tail-switch as if you do you’ll get Turbo. However, there is a little trick. When you have moonlight mode set as the last used mode, a single press of the tail-cap gives you moonlight, and a double tap gives you Turbo. However if you imagine you have not yet set Moonlight mode, so you press and hold the side switch, you can tap away at that tail-switch and you only ever get moonlight mode. So the trick is to ensure you keep the side button pressed when you want to guarantee moonlight output.

    Forgetting the strike bezel, the M1X is a great EDC light. I really like the streamlined user interface and the useful set of modes. Add in the strike bezel and you make the M1X a reassuring companion for the dark.



    Review Summary

    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Things I like What doesn't work so well for me
    _______________________________________________ _______________________________________________
    Excellent UI No holster provided
    Prominent Strike Bezel Bezel is not particularly pocket friendly
    Direct access the Moonlight and Turbo Mode switch can be hard to find by feel
    Reversible pocket clip Bezel does affect outer spill
    Great EDC beam




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    Last edited by subwoofer; 01-17-2016 at 05:15 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    reserved for updates...

    I've customised this a little:

    Last edited by subwoofer; 01-19-2016 at 03:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Thanks Subwoofer for a great review. Sadly this lights bezel makes it almost useless IMHO for any type of LEO work. If the light had a more mature bezel like the one used by Nitecore MH27 I would have bought the M1X already.

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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    I have the M1X Striker and have been carrying it clipped in my front left pocket for a couple of weeks now. I really like the UI. It is hard to find a light that has instant access to moonlight and turbo. The only thing that I do not like is the over aggressive bezel. I will be grinding it off, not all the way but enough to make it pocket friendly. My previously carried light was a Thunite TN12. It's biggest problem is that you have to cycle through all the modes, no instant moon or turbo. That said the TN12 is a great light and one of my favorites but the Striker has edged it out for EDC.

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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Thanks for another fine review. I appreciate all the effort you put into these.

    For any serious striking, should the bezel not be made from steel? I thought aluminum was weaker than steel. Doesn't aluminum bend more easily, especially with big crenelations like this light has?

    What happens when your battery runs low on the Olight M1X Striker? Does it have a low-voltage cutoff? Does it blink in some manner to warn you? Does it force step-downs to lower modes? Or does it do nothing, except perhaps to get slowly dimmer?

    What would happen if you accidentally left your flashlight on? Would it over-discharge an unprotected battery?
    Last edited by KeepingItLight; 01-16-2016 at 11:46 PM.
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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    UI section updated in the main review (I forgot the direct access to strobe).

    KeepingItLight - I'll reply properly a bit later.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Thanks for another fine review. I appreciate all the effort you put into these.

    For any serious striking, should the bezel not be made from steel? I thought aluminum was weaker than steel. Doesn't aluminum bend more easily, especially with big crenelations like this light has?

    What happens when your battery runs low on the Olight M1X Striker? Does it have a low-voltage cutoff? Does it blink in some manner to warn you? Does it force step-downs to lower modes? Or does it do nothing, except perhaps to get slowly dimmer?

    What would happen if you accidentally left your flashlight on? Would it over-discharge an unprotected battery?

    "Should the bezel be steel?" - The crenellations of the M1X are strong as the aluminium is thick. If you want to break down a brick wall then the aluminium will deform, but as it is intended as a defence feature I'd say it was up to the job.

    "What happens when your battery runs low?" - The side switch has a red light in the middle and this comes on steady when the battery gets low (like on many of the Olight Baton lights). I'm unable to confirm about any low voltage cut off, but can tell you these facts:

    After the ANSI cut off, the output continued to fade without cutting out.
    The output got so low it had become useless (apart from having an ultra-low moon mode).
    At the point described above (well past the ANSI cut off), the 18650's protection had NOT activated.

    Unless a light has a specific feature where it states un-protected cells can be used, you should use protected or primary cells only.
    Last edited by subwoofer; 01-18-2016 at 03:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Thanks!

    I always like to learn how a Li-ion flashlight behaves when it is left on too long. Accidental activation, or simply putting a flashlight down, and forgetting that it is on, means that blinking LEDs won't always help you. A true low-voltage cutoff is the best way to go.

    And I second your advice regarding unprotected batteries. I generally use them whenever I can. Exceptions include the upcoming ZebraLight SC600d Mk. III and the BLF Special Edition A6. Both are designed for unprotected batteries. Both include a low-voltage cutoff.
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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    A little update regarding the use of unprotected 18650.

    I had an old unprotected cell about to be recycled so decided to see what happened running this right down.

    The red warning light came on steady once the Turbo and High modes were no longer available (by which I mean that they showed no increase in brightness when cycling through modes). The output continued to drop until it was pretty much useless. At this point I popped out the cell and it measured 2.51V. The red warning light never started flashing but was on, and the output was very low.

    So at this point I did stop the test. The M1X appears to be configured such that at 2.5V it draws virtually no power, but had not cut out at 2.51V. Of course it would have been possible to 'forget' about the M1X and leave it on even longer.

    Typically, a light designed to run on 2xCR123 will go to 2.5V or below to get the maximum energy out of the cells, so this behaviour looks right.

    Purposefully abusing a cell goes against the grain, but as I was going to recycle it, I'm considering leaving this 2.51V cell in the M1X switched on for a bit longer. If I do, I'll report back.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by subwoofer View Post
    A little update regarding the use of unprotected 18650.

    I had an old unprotected cell about to be recycled so decided to see what happened running this right down.

    The red warning light came on steady once the Turbo and High modes were no longer available (by which I mean that they showed no increase in brightness when cycling through modes). The output continued to drop until it was pretty much useless. At this point I popped out the cell and it measured 2.51V. The red warning light never started flashing but was on, and the output was very low.

    So at this point I did stop the test. The M1X appears to be configured such that at 2.5V it draws virtually no power, but had not cut out at 2.51V. Of course it would have been possible to 'forget' about the M1X and leave it on even longer.

    Typically, a light designed to run on 2xCR123 will go to 2.5V or below to get the maximum energy out of the cells, so this behaviour looks right.

    Purposefully abusing a cell goes against the grain, but as I was going to recycle it, I'm considering leaving this 2.51V cell in the M1X switched on for a bit longer. If I do, I'll report back.
    +1 keep update. thx.

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    Flashaholic* KeepingItLight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Cool.

    You know more about this than I do. Perhaps it was from you that I learned that mildly over-discharging a cell does not usually cause it to vent. Storing a cell in a deeply discharged condition, and then attempting to recharge it, might.

    I understand that testing the claims of a flashlight manufacturer that a certain product contains a low-voltage cutoff will not always be possible. If such a claim is made, however, a reviewer can at least pass that on. If a manufacturer is silent on the subject of low-voltage cutoff, then I think we can safely assume that the product in question does not have one.

    I believe that is what you have said about this flashlight. Thanks for trying to test, as well.
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    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by KeepingItLight View Post
    Cool.

    You know more about this than I do. Perhaps it was from you that I learned that mildly over-discharging a cell does not usually cause it to vent. Storing a cell in a deeply discharged condition, and then attempting to recharge it, might.

    I understand that testing the claims of a flashlight manufacturer that a certain product contains a low-voltage cutoff will not always be possible. If such a claim is made, however, a reviewer can at least pass that on. If a manufacturer is silent on the subject of low-voltage cutoff, then I think we can safely assume that the product in question does not have one.

    I believe that is what you have said about this flashlight. Thanks for trying to test, as well.

    You've got it


    Further to my previous posts, I did leave an unprotected cell in the M1X over night.

    Here it is this morning. As you can see, the main LED is completely off but the red warning light was still showing. (You might also notice I've modified it a little)



    The cell measured 2.25V. I immediately popped this cell on charge and it recovered to 3.6V in a few minutes. I've taken it off charge and will carry out a full but monitored charge later (remember I was about to recycle this old cell anyway).

    This is all as expected. The M1X will drain CR123s as much as possible and if you were to use unprotected 18650 you certainly will get warning the cell is empty, but it is not abuse proof.

    For your information, the customising I carried out last night proved the M1X's bezel is tough as it took me far longer than expected to grind it down. I was using an 800W belt sander with a new 120 grade aluminium oxide belt and had to pick on one crenelation at a time to make any progress. I also had to take breaks to avoid heating the head too much.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Good mod, looks just right sub

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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Great review!!! The fit and finish of that light is top notch. Thanks for the write up.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    I finally got around to modifying my M1X. I didn't grind as much but left about 1/8". That was enough to make the light pocket friendly and much to my surprise really made it look a lot shorter.

    This link will let you view pictures of the moifications to the light.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...0U&usp=sharing

    The light is now just about perfect. The pocket clip broke when I went to change it from tip up to tail up carry. The clip that you see in the pictures is from eBay, it worked out great for me as it leaves a little bit sticking out of the pocket making it easy to pull out. My favorite features of the M1X are that it will turn on in moonlight no matter what mode was last used and instant access to turbo. These two features allow it to be a great EDC and tactical light.
    Last edited by KCL Knives; 01-23-2016 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Trying to get pictures to load

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* subwoofer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by KCL Knives View Post
    I finally got around to modifying my M1X. I didn't grind as much but left about 1/8". That was enough to make the light pocket friendly and much to my surprise really made it look a lot shorter.

    This link will let you view pictures of the moifications to the light.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?...0U&usp=sharing

    The light is now just about perfect. The pocket clip broke when I went to change it from tip up to tail up carry. The clip that you see in the pictures is from eBay, it worked out great for me as it leaves a little bit sticking out of the pocket making it easy to pull out. My favorite features of the M1X are that it will turn on in moonlight no matter what mode was last used and instant access to turbo. These two features allow it to be a great EDC and tactical light.
    Thanks for sharing. I nearly went with the way you have, but was also considering taking the entire bezel to the point it had no trace of the crenelations. I stopped where I did as it left evidence of the original design and I quite liked the black/silver effect.

    It was modifying it for the UI.
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by KCL Knives View Post
    I finally got around to modifying my M1X. I didn't grind as much but left about 1/8".
    How did you do this?

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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore41 View Post
    How did you do this?
    I used my knife making equipment, a 2" X 72" belt grinder. It removes aluminum very fast. You could use any belt sander to get the job done. A small 1" strip sander or a handheld belt sander would work fine, just a little slower.

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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    Thank you.
    Edit.
    I have a Astrolux S1 and I wait a BLF A6 .Reading about the M1X,I think if it is better to sell both,buying the above.After all,I prefer a more throw orientated light.
    Have you any suggestion to this?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Review: Olight M1X Striker (1x18650, 2xCR123)

    I come back to say that I bought a Nitecore P12GT,so I ask if somebody has done a comparison between the M1X and the P12GT?

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