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Maxtoch Owleyes W2 Review: Thrower Flashlight
Maxtoch Owleyes W2 specifications
|Brand/model||Maxtoch Owleyes W2|
|Beam intensity||1,210,000 cd|
|Review date||December 2021|
My favourite lights to review are ones that are a bit different. Well, the Maxtoch Owleyes W2 is certainly different! In a way this is like the oddly shaped Emisar DT8.
Maxtoch specialize in long distance hunting lights. Many of these are either LEP flashlights or LED flashlights with Osram W1 or W2 emitters. The Owleyes series of lights has a pair of LEDs for more throw.
Why 2 LEDs instead of 1 bigger reflector? Firstly, more LEDs means more lumens. Secondly, the 2 reflectors take up much less space than 1 larger reflector. This allows the light to be used mounted to a weapon.
There’s a few other Owleyes lights from Maxtoch, including different colour Osram emitters (red and green). This is the standard white one, which Maxtoch recently upgraded for a bit more throw.
The Owleyes W2 came in a hard shell plastic case. The light fits quite nicely in here, which is another benefit of having 2 smaller reflectors instead of 1 large one. The case has Maxtoch’s branding on the outside and is lined with foam on the inside.
This is a handy case for transporting the light. You could fit a few other bits in the case too.
Inside the case you get:
- Maxtoch Owleyes W2 flashlight
- 2 * 21700 batteries
- 2 cell charger
- Micro-USB cable
- USB wall plug (Maxtoch kindly provided a UK plug for me but I expect they have US/EU versions too)
- 3 pairs of filters: red, green and yellow
- 2 spare O-rings
- Small bag for the charger
Maxtoch also sells various optional accessories as an added extra, such as a remote switch and various clamps for mounting to a weapon.
Flashlight in use
The Owleyes W2 has a 1-inch tube so is very easy to carry. There’s a bit of extra weight due to having 2 reflectors but it’s not significant. This makes the centre of gravity just after the body tube, so it feels a little front-heavy.
The 1-inch body tube means the light will slide into a front jeans pocket. Not the ideal way to carry this light but it works. There’s no holster provided but any standard flashlight holster should be fine, though perhaps not super comfortable.
The light has a tail switch that needs a fair bit of pressure to click on. This is forward clicky, so you can half-press to turn it on.
The switch is half protected by the tail’s U-shape. This also includes holes for a lanyard.
1-handed use over your shoulder works fine, with your thumb resting on the switch. A cigar-grip hold kind of works but this light is a bit heavy for that.
Another benefit of the 2 head design is that the light will definitely not roll away. In fact, it’s probably my least rolly flashlight. It’s top heavy though, so while the light will tail stand you’ll need a flat surface that’s far away from kids and pets.
This light is clearly made for hunting. If you clip it to a weapon, make sure there’s enough clearance for the reflectors.
Build Quality, and Warranty
Maxtoch flashlights seem to have OK quality but I can tell that the matte anodisation isn’t the best. It’s not bad per se but I wouldn’t be surprised if a little knock scratched off some of the anodisation.
The light is made of aluminium, including the heat sink block that joins the body tube to the 2 reflectors. This seems to be well designed.
The body tube has light radial knurling for a bit of grip.
Unscrewing the tail cap, the anodised threads are triangular cut and very well lubed. The threads at the head end aren’t anodised. I’d recommend leaving the threads by the head alone, as they’re hard to screw back in without cross-threading. Both sets of threads have a white O-ring, which should provide the IP-8 waterproofing.
LED, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector
The 2 reflectors gives 2 beams of light. Just like car headlights, these converge after a few meters. As long as you’re not using this light to light things up less than 10 meters away then you don’t need to worry about there being 2 beams.
Having 2 beams does look cool though, especially in fog.
Twice the LEDs means twice the lumens and twice the candela. That doesn’t equate to twice the throw though, as throw is proportional to the square root of the candela. What this means is that you can see about 1.4 times as far with the Owleyes as you could with a single LED flashlight.
With the name “Owleyes W2” you’d expect there to be a pair of Osram W2 LEDs, right? The specs don’t mention which Osram LED is used but looking at the proportions they are definitely Osram W1 LEDs (CULNM1.TG).
Maxtoch has specced the light as being 2000 lumens, which means 1000 lumens per LED. That’s very high for a W1 LED, with most manufacturers producing lights around 700-900 lumens with a single W1 LED. I was expecting the light to use a pair of slightly larger Osram Boost HL LEDs.
The Opple Light Master Pro gives the following:
- CCT: 5920K
- CRI: 68 Ra
- Duv: +0.0018
Maxtoch includes colored lens accessories with the Owleyes. There’s 6 in total, 2 red, green and yellow for each LED. These go in quite easily, by removing the red bezel and placing them on a ridge on top of the clear glass.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 24.8cm / 9.76 inches
- Head diameter: 12.64 cm / 4.97 inches (across both heads)
- Head diameter: 3.61cm / 2.48 inches (each head)
- Body diameter: 2.54 cm / 1.00 inches
- Without cells: 488 grams / 17.2 oz
- With cells: 635 grams / 22.4 oz
Flashlight competition comparison
- Maxtoch Owleyes W2
- Astrolux MF04
- Wurkkos DL40
- Sofirn SF47T
- Maxtoch Owleyes W2
- Astrolux EA02
- Astrolux FT03
- Astrolux WP2 LEP
- Maxtoch Owleyes W2
- Lumintop Thor II LEP
- Alonefire X40
Driver & User Interface:
This light has a real tail switch, which functions to turn the light on and off as well as changing modes. High and medium modes are very similar, so it’s difficult to tell what mode you’re in.
The light has mode memory, but it takes a while for it to “forget” that you’re changing modes. So if you left it on medium then next time you turn it on, it will be on low. This is a bit annoying but as a thrower with only 3 modes it’s not much of an issue.
Available modes: Low, Medium, High
- Single click: on
- Half press hold: momentary
- Half press and click: mode cycle (high, medium, low)
- Single click: off
Low voltage warning:
- The light turns off when both cells are at 3.14V
Batteries & Charging
The light came with 2 Maxtoch cells. These are button top 21700 cells, rated at 500mAh. Although there’s springs at each end, the light needs button top cells as they’re in series and need to make contact with each other. Flat tops with a small magnet between them would work fine too. The provided cells are 72.4mm long, so may not fit in all chargers.
The package comes with a 2 bay cell charger. This will actually take 75mm cells, so the Maxtoch cells fit OK. The charger is powered by micro USB, so will only be able to draw up to 2A. I measured 1.8A going in to the charger. Maxtoch kindly included a UK USB wall plug in the box – I’d expect them to ship US/EU ones too.
The charger has indicator LEDs for each bay. These are red when charging, then turn green when the cells are charged. The charger stopped charging at 4.20V.
Lux meter: Measurements are done with a UNI-T UT383S lux meter and Adafruit TSL2591 connected to a Raspberry Pi (using RuTiTe by bmengineer). All lumen measurements are from an integrating box, calibrated with a S2+ measured by budgetlightforum member Maukka.
Due to the dual head design I couldn’t use my normal integrating sphere. Normally my lumen measurements are within 5-10% of others but I’m not as confident with these numbers, so take them with a grain of salt. The throw numbers are what’s important here though, and they should be accurate.
DMM: Current readings were taken with a Precision Gold PG10B DMM for low currents and a Mustool X1 clamp meter for high currents.
I used Maxtoch’s provided cells, charged up to 4.20V.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
|Mode||Amps at start||Specs||@turn on||@30 sec||@10 minutes|
|High||4.50A||2000 lm||1893||1840 lm||1589|
If you’ve seen any Maxtoch reviews before then you know what to expect from their drivers and run times. Their lights barely drop in output and have a very smooth run time graph. The Owleyes W2 is no different.
High starts off at nearly 1900 lumens. Over the first 10 minutes it’s down to 1600 lumens. After that it stays above 1450 lumens for 1 hour 15 minutes. This is 5 minutes more than Maxtoch’s specs of 1h20m.
The medium line is very close to high. Medium starts at over 1500 lumens and it slowly drops to just under 1400 lumens, over 1 hour 40 minutes. Maxtoch claims the light will last 2h30m on medium.
Low drops just 4 lumens over the run time of just short of 7 hours. This is still great output, considering the throw, though falls short of Maxtoch’s 12h specs.
Maxtoch says the light “maintains a beam range above 2000m during the whole run time and the max beam distance is longer than 2200m at the highest brightness”.
I measured the throw at 20m, to ensure the beams converged fully.
|High||2200m / 1,210 kcd||1,223,236||2212||2419|
The light just hits 2200m throw at turn on with the high mode. At the end of the run time on high it’s about 1460 lumens. This would equate to 1971m throw, which is very close to Maxtoch’s claim of 2000m for the whole run time.
Combining throw and runtimes, you get:
- Over 1950m for 1h15m
- Over 1900m for 1h40m
- Over 1200m for 7h
The distance to the building is 170m. Photos were taken with a Pixel 6 Pro, set to 1/12s shutter speed and ISO 400, F1.85.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Maxtoch. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- As much throw as some LEPs, with a more useful beam
- Very stable output
- Smaller and lighter than massive throwers like the Astrolux MF04
- Some useful spill (unlike a LEP)
- 1” body tube for use as a weapon light
- High and medium modes are too close
- Looks a bit funny
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
5 stars: ★★★★★
If you’re happy with the dual reflector setup in this light then the Owleyes W2 is a fantastic light when you need to see a long way away. This light is much more practical than a LEP as the spill can be used for walking. However a LEP flashlight would still be a better choice if your budget is higher and you don’t want any spill.
Just like a LEP flashlight, the Owleyes W2 can even fit in a jacket pocket, which is something that can’t be said about most > 2km LED throwers like the Lumintop GT range. I’m really impressed by the driver’s run time too. The good performance and stable output reminds me of high end manufacturers like Acebeam and Olight.
Overall, this is another brilliant performing thrower from Maxtoch!
Summary: When you want loads of throw then Maxtoch is one of the best. Their LEP flashlights throw further but the LED-powered Owleyes W2 is still incredible.