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Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 review
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 specifications
|Brand/model||Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2|
|Flashlight category||Long-range / searchlight|
|Max. output||1,000 Lumens|
|Max. beam distance||1,600 meters|
|Max. beam intensity||–|
|Review date||October 2023|
We had its bigger brother, the X Pro on our list of the best throwers, but unfortunately, that was discontinued. Maxtoch said this flashlight might be a replacement, but just looking at the numbers, it doesn’t come near to the X Pro, so let’s dive right into the review and see if it can reach anything close to the X Pro.
The Archer M Pro v2 was shipped in a plain carton box. Inside the box is a soft case with the following bits and pieces:
- Maxtoch M Pro v2
- Soft carry case
- Spare o-ring
- Cigar grip ring
- USB-C charger + USB charging adapter
- 21700 battery
Flashlight in use, Build Quality, and Warranty
The Archer M Pro v2 is a long-range flashlight that’s definitely visible. The head is much bigger than you would expect for an EDC flashlight, for example. This, in combination with a deep, smooth reflector, makes it really ‘shine’.. pun intended.
The Archer M Pro v2 uses 2 separate switches, with 1 mechanical forward-clicky switch in the rear, and an e-switch on the side. The former is used for power, while the latter is used for mode switching.
So you can’t use the side switch without the rear switch for powering on. There is no standby mode with the side switch. You must use the rear switch to turn it on/off.
And since the rear has a forward clicky switch, you can use the rear switch for morse coding and momentary use.
The side switch is an electronic switch that you can click press and hold. Continuously pressing will ramp up the brightness, and if you briefly let this go and press the button again, it will ramp down in brightness. The light blinks at both ends (the lowest and highest output) to indicate you can’t go any further.
There are several ways you can carry this light. And Maxtoch included a holster for carrying it on a belt, but they also included a lanyard for carrying strapped to your hand.
With the side switch, you can use the light in the overhand grip, as well as in the underhand grip. In the overhand grip, you can use your index finger or middle finger to manipulate the side switch, while you can use your thumb to turn the light on/off with the rear switch.
Either way, the flashlight focuses on long-distance use, which is perfect for hunting. And most of Maxtoch flashlights are built for this use case: hunting. But it can also be used to do some searching around the barn, or on a long hike.
Like many other flashlights, Maxtoch included a cigar-type ring for tactical use. You basically add it to the rear end of the flashlight, so you can hold it like a cigar.
The build quality is what you can expect from Maxtoch hunting flashlights. Not too much attention to detail and no precious metals. The body has black anodization including the threads. This means that you can also unlock the light by unscrewing the tailcap with a quick turn.
Then, there is a white o-ring that is located near the threads, with an extra slot for a second one. These should help you keep water out.
If you’re looking for other accessories, Maxtoch has you covered. They are sold separately, and here is the list: Remote switch and some gun mounts: Gm06 adapter, GM07 adapter, and GM08 adapter.
Warranty according to their website:
1 year warranty – MAXTOCH offers free warranty work if the problem is caused by normal usage within 1 year after receipt.
Lifetime warranty – For the life of your light, repairs will be made with no labor chargers and as long as parts are available from MAXTOCH. You will be charged for the parts needed to repair your light.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
Maxtoch mentions the LED brand, Osram but not the exact model number. To me, it looks like the W1, a very small LED, with a very high beam intensity, and has no silicone dome.
I can’t say for sure because I’m not an expert in these types of LEDs.
It’s sitting deep inside a smooth reflector, surrounded by a white spacer. This all is protected by a large glass lens with some type of coating. The coating is usually purple, but not on the M Pro v2, because it’s green. This is pretty unusual, and I don’t remember seeing this on any other flashlight I reviewed recently.
The glass lens is again protected by a black aluminum bezel with the same type of anodization as the body.
In terms of beam quality, it has a distinct hotspot and some weak spill, just like what you would expect from this type of LED combined with a large smooth reflector. The beam has no clear green or pinkish tint, so I would need to rely on my measurements to say whether it is above or below the BBL.
I used a Sekonic C800 spectrometer to measure the flashlight at 5 meters distance in the highest ramping mode.
This means the beam is pretty cold and has a standard, low CRI and a negative duv. A negative duv means that the tint of the center of the beam has a slightly pinkish tint. Keep in mind that this is very hard to notice on a very small and intense beam like this one.
Dimensions and its competition
|Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2||Millimeters||Inches|
|Length||166 mm||6.5 in|
|Head diameter||63 mm||2.5 in|
|Body diameter||26 mm||1.0 in|
|Tailcap diameter||30 mm||1.2 in|
Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter and the nearest tenth of an Inch.
|Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2||Weight in grams||Weight in oz.|
|Without battery:||217 g||7.6 oz|
|With battery||286 g||10.1 oz|
Weight is rounded to the nearest gram and the nearest tenth of an Oz.
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 flashlight comparison
Size compared to other throw flashlights
Group 1: Maxtoch X Pro, Maxtoch M Pro v2
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 UI : User interface and driver
The M Pro has 2 switches, 1 in the rear for power and the side switch for mode settings. There is no standby mode, so you need to use the rear switch to turn on/off at all times.
There are basically 2 modes.. 1 is the last used ramping mode, and High. So a double click will always go to High. When powered on, it will always go to the last used output in Ramping mode.
The available main modes:
- Ramping + Highest mode (you may call it Turbo)
The available special modes (blinkies):
How the UI works when the flashlight is still turned OFF:
- Side switch: nothing
- Rear switch click: turns on in last used Ramping output
How the UI works when the flashlight is turned ON:
- Rear switch: 1 click: turns off (forward clicky switch, so you can use it momentarily)
- Side switch 1 click: nothing
- Side switch, press and hold: ramping up/down
- Double click: Highest mode (and do 1 click to go back to ramping modes)
- Triple-click: Strobe
Shortcuts within the UI:
- To Highest mode: double click when On
- To Moon: none
- To Strobe: triple click when On
- Yes. It memorizes the last used ramping mode.
- Triple click side switch to (de)activate strobe mode.
- Strobe mode is not alternating strobe, but continuous.
Low battery warning:
- No that I noticed.
- None with the flashlight being powered on. But a singe click on the rear switch equals lockout.
- Not visible by eye
Firmware / UI Conclusion:
- I quite like the UI, where you basically have 1 mode, with access to High and a Strobe mode.
- However, you still have to get used to the ramping mode. Ramping doesn’t work as visually linear as Anduril, for example. You basically get a high output for 4 seconds (without really noticing any drop in output) and then for 1-2 seconds, you see the output drop very quickly. It’s not easy to get a specific lumen output in the lower part of the ramp. But you probably don’t need an ‘exact’ output anyway. But it’s something Maxtoch should probably take a look at.
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 Charging and batteries
Interestingly enough, the Archer arrived with a 21700 battery, that looked exactly the same as the batteries I received with the Maxtoch LEP flashlights. But upon closer inspection, that doesn’t seem to be the case. They aren’t the same, except for the black wrapper and identical sticker.
The sticker mentions “protection built-in”, but I don’t see a protection board on the provided battery. I then compared it to the other Maxtoch batteries I have. This one is indeed shorter and without the characteristics of a protection board. A protection board is usually added to the negative terminal of the battery, which you can easily see because of the wrapper. I don’t believe this battery has any built-in protection, so the sticker is useless.
So, this battery is a button top, unprotected cell. But you can also flat top, unprotected cells, as well as protected cells. It does not work with long, protected cells with USB ports. Those are too long.
There is neither onboard charging on the flashlight nor on the battery itself. However, Maxtoch included a Maxtoch C1 USB charger that can easily fit this 21700 battery.
During the test, I used a USB meter and saw that the meter jumped to 2Amps of charging at turn-on when the battery was still below 3V.. this is not too good. And within a few minutes, it was down to 1A, and stayed there for most of the charge. Just before the end, it increased again to 2A, and dropped again. After 2 hours and 30 minutes, the indicator light on the charger turned green. But when I removed it, it was only 4.09 V.. I then re-inserted it, and it started charging again. More than an hour later is turned green again.. and now measures 4.18V.. The total charge time was roughly 4 hours and 20 minutes.
I noticed that the battery doesn’t fit snugly into the charger. So a little bump will disconnect the battery and turn the charging light green.
|Charge type||Fits||No fit||Charge time|
|N/A||Unprotected + protected 21700 sizes||Protected with USB ports||2h 30min – 4h 20min?|
This is the gear I used for testing:
|Gear||Purpose||Link to buy|
|Hagner E4-X||Measuring beam intensity (throw)||Inquire at Hagner.se|
|2* Extech SDL400||Lumens and logging runtimes||Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,|
|Leica Disto D2||Distance for throw measurements||Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,|
|Sekonic C-800||Spectrometer for LED measurements||Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk|
Lumen measurements:How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards How Lumens are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards: The ANSI FL1 standards specify that output in lumens should be measured 30 seconds after turning on, as this is the standardized time for measuring brightness according to the industry standard. This is why we focus on this part in our measurements.
The output measurements in this review are based on my homemade integrating spheres, each equipped with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter. For consistency and accuracy, a calibration light (Convoy S2+ with 249lm and a Convoy S2+ with 261lm) is measured prior to each set of lumen measurements.
For high-output lights, one of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter to prevent the lux meter to max out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 up till about 80,000 lumens or Gobe ND32 for anything above.
All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Maxtoch 21700 button-top battery without a protection board.
The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10-minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph.
|Maxtoch M Pro v2||Specified||0 sec.||30 sec.||10 min.|
|Lowest||50 lm||20 lm||20 lm||–|
|Highest||1000 lm||828 lm||787 lm||586 lm|
I try to use rounded lumen numbers, except for maybe Low or Moonlight/Firefly modes.
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 Battery life and runtimeHow Runtimes are Measured: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About ANSI FL1 runtime standards: The runtime is measured until the light drops to 10% of its initial output (30 seconds after turning on). This does not mean that the flashlight is not usable anymore. The last column shows how long the light actually works till it shuts off. If there is a + symbol, it means that the test was stopped at that particular point, but the light was actually still running. This happens on certain occasions, with certain drivers, firmware, or batteries.
Runtime tests were conducted in my 50cm homemade integrating sphere, paired with the Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
The lowest output was specified at 205 hours, so I didn’t test it. There are also no other helpful output indicators that can help check runtimes etc., so I only did the highest mode (double click).
|Mode||Specified runtime||Measured runtime (ANSI FL1)||Time till shut off|
|Highest||3+87min (1h 30min)||2h 02min||2h 02min|
My runtime was quite a bit better than specified.
You can see that the output drops after 3 minutes, and Maxtoch already mentions that in their manual. It’s a time-based drop, and not thermally controlled.
They also say you can re-activate the highest output (turbo/high) after the drop. Here’s a graph, where I manually double-clicked after about 3-4 minutes.. Not precisely, but you can see its performance. Note: the flashlight becomes really hot when you do so.
Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2 Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurementsAbout Peak beam intensity: Understanding ANSI FL1 Standards About peak beam intensity The calculated value of distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. (0.25 lux is about the brightness of a full moon shining on an object). This means that the intensity has decreased so much, it becomes difficult to see darker objects, or objects that don’t reflect light. The columns ‘Meters’ and ‘Yards’ use rounded numbers.
Measurements were taken outdoors at 20 meters with a Hagner E4-X Lux Meter. The measurements were taken 30 seconds after turn on. Maxtoch only specified the beam distance, and not the beam intensity.
My measurements were a bit lower than advertised, but 1459 meters is not bad at all, for such a relatively compact thrower.
Maxtoch M Pro v2 vs X Pro, vs Noctigon K1
Here’s an interactive graph to show the performance of the M Pro v2 versus the rest
For the following tower beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D mk2 with a 100mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 0.5sec, F4, 5000K. The tower is about 450 meters / 492 yards away.
For the shed beamshots, I used the same camera setting but with a 50mm lens and 1/4 shutter speed instead of 0.5sec. The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence about 200 meters.
Explore and compare the beamshots from the following flashlights:
- Maxtoch Archer M Pro v2
- Maxtoch X Pro
- Noctigon K1
- Nitecore P30i
Please note that beamshots are mainly intended to showcase the beam pattern and beam quality, rather than overall performance. These images are typically taken directly after activation, and do not fully represent its overall performance. For accurate performance metrics, such as output, beam distance, and runtimes, you need to look at the performance section of this review.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to us for review at no cost by Maxtoch. We have not been paid to review, nor have we been holding back on problems or defects.
- Nice and affordable thrower
- Kit includes charger and 21700 battery
- Simple UI, with a selectable mode + High
- 2 switch design makes it easy to use
- Mechanical rear switch, so no parasitic drain
- Throws plenty far for its size
- Lots of accessories
- Ramping doesn’t go linear. It ramps too quick in the lower output, and to slow in the higher output.
- Design and finish is a fairly ordinary
- Highest ramping output and double click = same. So difficult to know if you are in ‘turbo’ or just ramping mode.
- Time controlled output drop instead of thermally controlled
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues; almost unusable – 3: Average: some defects or issues; but still usable 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4 stars: ★★★★
While our star rating provides a reliable indicator, we encourage you to read the full review to make an informed decision based on your own needs and preferences.
If you’re looking for a successor to the Maxtoch X Pro, the farthest shining single-cell reflector flashlight, the Archer M Pro v2 is not it.
However, for its size, it’s a pretty good performer, relatively close to the Noctigon K1, which it has to call its superior. But not all people like Anduril and a single e-switch. In that case, the Archer M Pro v2 might be a good alternative, especially with all the accessories you get.
It reaches almost 1500 meters or 1600 yards, and even after the initial output drop, it performs pretty well at a beam distance of 1200 meters / 1300 yards for almost 1.5 hours. That’s pretty impressive.