Orcatorch T20 (XM-L2, 1x18650 2xCR123A/RCR) Review: RUNTIMES, BEAMSHOTS, VIDEO+


May 27, 2006
Warning: pic heavy, as usual. :whistle:



Orcatorch is a relatively new flashlight manufacturer. I have previously reviewed their D500 diving light. In this review, I am looking at their more general, multi-purpose 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR (XM-L2) light, the T20.

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

  • High Output LED Flashlight Specially Designed for Police and Soldiers
  • Newly Developed Tactical Tail Switch and Front-Side Switch System:
  • In-Off: Momentarily Turn-On Flashlight with Light-Press of Tail Switch
  • Light-On: Press Side Switch Directly for Strobe Mode
  • 4-Brightness Levels/Burn Times/6-Modes:
  • Output/Runtime: Turbo-Mode: 980 Lumens/1-Hour & 35-Minutes, High-Mode: 350 Lumens/Burn Time 3-Hours, Mid-Mode: 50 Lumens/Burn Time 22-Hours, Low-Mode: 2 Lumens/Burn Time 275-Hours, Strobe & SOS Modes: 980 Lumens
  • Simple Style Appearance, Robust Construction
  • Power: Single 18650 Lithium-Ion 3.7-volt 3000mAh or 2 CR123A Batteries (none included)
  • Body: Aircraft-Grade Type III Military Hard-Anodized Aluminum
  • O-Ring Sealed
  • Reflector: Aluminum Alloy
  • Tough Glass Lens
  • Stainless Steel Attached Head and Anti-Damage Tail
  • Black Coated Stainless Steel Clip
  • Lens: Enhances Optical Efficiency, Ensures Effective Projection of Each Lumen Beam, Anti-Abrasion Exterior Coating: Provides Great Scratch-Resistance, Anti-Reflective Coating Inside: Reduce Light Loss
  • Tactical Ring and Anti-Roll Slip-Resistant Body Design
  • Multiple Heat Dissipation Fins On-Head: Prevents Overheating
  • IPX-8 Waterproof Rating: Good to 6.56' (2 meters) Depth
  • Impact Resistant Tested: Drop from 3.3' (1 meter)
  • Alloy Aluminum Reflector: Professional Optical Analysis, Provides Longer Beam Distance of 922' (281 meters)
  • High Efficiency Constant Current Circuit: Provides Constant Brightness
  • Reverse Polarity Protection: Prevents Damage from Improper Battery Installation
  • Intelligent Memory Function: Automatically Access Last Used Mode when Turned-On
  • Over-Discharge and Over-Heat Protection
  • Dimensions (L x Dia. x Head Dia.): 6" x 1" x 1.57" (153mm x 25.4mm x 40mm)
  • Weight: 6.6oz (183g) w/o Battery
  • Small & Compact Light: Fits Easily in Backpack
  • Includes: Spare O-ring, Holster and Lanyard, Owner's Manual
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty
  • MSRP: $90

Packaging is fairly standard, with a thin cardboard box (which has full specs and instructions printed on the back, not shown). Inside, included with the light are spare O-rings, wrist lanyard, belt holster with Velcro flaps, warranty card, and manual. A removable pocket clip and grip ring are included on the light




From left to right: AW Protected 18650 2200mAh; Orcatorch T20; Olight M21-X; Armytek Viking Pro; Eagletac G25C2 Mark II; Nitecore P12.

All dimensions directly measured, and given with no batteries installed:

Orcatorch T20: Weight: 180.6g, Length: 153.5mm, Width (bezel): 40.0mm
Orcatorch D500: Weight: 217.8g, Length: 152.7mm, Width (bezel): 44.9mm
Eagletac G25C2-II (stock): Weight 141.0g, Length: 150.6mm, Width: 39.6mm
Eagletac TX25C2: Weight 93.6g, Length: 120.4mm, Width (bezel): 31.6mm
Fenix PD35: Weight: 82.7g, Length: 138.1mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Foursevens MMX Burst: Weight 145.8g, Length: 153.3mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
Light & Motion GoBe+ 500 Search: Weight (with built-in battery): 189.2g, Length: 132.4mm, Width (bezel screw threads): 47.7mm
Nitecore P12: Weight: 89.7g, Length: 139.4mm, Width (bezel): 25.4mm
Nitecore P25: Weight: 171.3g, Length: 160mm, Width (bezel): 40.0m
Olight M22: Weight: 148.4g, Length: 144.8mm, Width: 41.2mm (bezel)
Zebralight SC600 II: Weight 79.3g, Length: 101.8mm, Width (bezel) 29.7mm






The T20 has a quality feel, and is similar in overall size and styling to a number of tactical 1x18650-class lights. Anodizing is a matte black finish, hard anodized, with no chips or damage on my sample. Body labels are bright white against the black background. Rather than typical knurling, there are checkered areas on the body tube with fine concentric rings. Combined with the other ridge details over the light, I would say grip is good (excellent with the pocket clip and cigar grip ring installed). Note that the clip and screw on grip ring can both be removed.

Screw threading is square cut (trapezoidal), and seems of good quality. Threads are anodized at both the tailcap and the head to allow for lock-out. :thumbsup:

There is a spring mounted on the positive contact board in the head, so flat-top cells can be used In the light.

The T20 has stainless steel rings at both the tailcap and bezel. The tailcap ring is scalloped slightly to facilitate finger/thumb access to the switch. I find the tailswitch to be stiffer than typical (i.e., requires more force). Tail switch is a forward clicky. The light can tailstand stably.

There is a secondary switch in the head, used for mode switching. This is an electronic swtich, again slightly stiffer than typical for that class. The black boot cover projects a fair amount, making it relatively easy to find by touch.



The light uses a cool white XM-L2 emitter, well centered on my sample. Given the reflector size, I would expect the light to be relatively focused for center-beam throw. Scroll down for beamshots.

User Interface

Turn the light on/off by the tailcap forward clicky switch (press for momentary, click for locked-on).

There are four main output levels controlled by clicking the secondary electronic switch in the head. Mode sequence is Lo > Med > Hi > Turbo, in a repeating loop. The light has mode memory, and retains the last level set when you turn it off/on.

Press and hold the secondary mode switch to jump to Strobe. Press and hold again to advance to SOS. You can exit these blinking modes at any time by a click of the secondary switch.

Note that mode memory does not apply to the blinking modes.


For information on the light, including the build and user interface, please see my video overview:

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.


The T20 uses pulse-width modulation (PWM) for its Med/Hi modes, but at a fairly high frequency.


Hi is not shown.



There is no PWM on Turbo, and Lo was too low output for me to reliably detect. On Med I detected 3.0 kHz PWM, and on Hi 2.8 kHz. Both of these are sufficiently high that you are not able to notice it in real life. I consider these perfectly acceptable (and I am personally sensitive to PWM flicker).


The strobe mode is of medium speed – 7.5 Hz frequency.


A standard SOS mode.

No Standby Drain:

Due to the physical clicky switch in the tailcap, there is no standby current when the light is off.


For white-wall beamshots below, all lights are on Max output on an AW protected 18650 battery. Lights are 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.









Beam pattern is what you would expect for a light with a reflector of this size – a fairly throwy hotspot. I did notice a greater than usual number of artifacts on my sample, especially in the hotspot and corona. However, these were not a problem when shining at a distance.

Scroll down for detailed output and throw measures.

Testing Method:

All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, as described on my flashlightreviews.ca website. 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).




Max overall output of the T20 is toward the high-end of lights in this class (i.e., the more heavily-driven examples of XM-L2 lights).

My peak intensity throw measures match the reported ANSI FL-1 specs.

Let's see how all the levels compare to the official specs in my lightbox:


As with the D500, there is excellence concordance between my estimated lumen meassures and Orcatorch's published specs. :) I expect Orcatorch is using an actual integrating sphere for their measures.

The T20 is somewhat more highly driven on 2xCR123A/RCR compared to 1x18650, on all levels.

Output/Runtime Graphs:

As always, my standard runtimes are done with AW protected 2200mAh cells, under a cooling fan.





Output/runtime performance on all levels is excellent for a high-frequency PWM-based light. Note that current-controlled lights will always have a runtime advantage over PWM lights.

Overall runtimes are still quite respectable, even on Turbo - as the T20 steps down more than most lights do. Note that step-down only occurs after 10 mins runtime, however (which is longer than most lights in this class).

This is a good balance of output and runtime for a PWM light.

Potential Issues

Light uses PWM for its lower modes, but at a very high frequency (~3 kHz). This is high enough to not be detectable visually.

While there is always some loss of efficiency with high-frequency PWM lights (compared to current-controlled lights), the balance of output levels and runtime is very good here.

Switch feel is stiffer than most lights in this category.

Preliminary Observations

The T20 from Orcatorch fits in very with the established brands in the relatively highly-driven 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR class. :wave:

Performance-wise – compared to the current-controlled competition - there is a slight drop in efficiency on the T20 (due to the use of high-frequency PWM here). But Orcatorch compensates for this in part my producing a slightly lower step-down level than typical. Output spacing is reasonable – I personally like the low Lo mode used here. With four regular output modes, there is range to suit most people.

Certainly, for those who prefer PWM (for its constant tint across output levels), this is well-optimized light with very good performance. And for those of us who are sensitive to PWM, the high frequency used here makes it undetectable visually. :thumbsup:

Build-wise, the T20 is a solid light, with a lot of touches one expects a good quality light (i.e., stainless steel bezels, etc). My only comment here is that I found the switches to somewhat stiffer than typical for this class.

The user interface is pretty straight-forward – and quite similar to other lights that use a dual switch design. While design does require you to switch grip after activation, it may nevertheless appeal to those who don't like the head-twist interfaces on some of the competitors.

Beam pattern is quite throwy, as you would expect for this design. Note that I found a higher-than-typical number of focusing artifacts in the hotspot/corona on my sample (although these are more of a problem on a white wall). :whistle:

All told, the T20 is nice example of an Orcatorch model. It has a decent feature set and overall package. It is definitely another option to consider in the 1x18650, 2xCR123A/RCR class. :wave:


T20 provided by Orcatorch for review.
Last edited:


Newly Enlightened
Aug 31, 2014
I work in orcatorch so that I know orcatorch has no cooperation with lumintop,and orcatorch T20 is upgrade model of T10,we got the patent number very long time ago.
T10 patent no: 2012300643690(successfully applied in March,2012)
T20 patent no: 2013305860212
The design and build remind me of Lumintop TD16... I think maybe OEM?