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Maxtoch Xsword L2K review: (2021 version) LEP Flashlight
Maxtoch Xsword L2K specifications
|Brand/model||Maxtoch Xsword L2K|
|Beam intensity/distance||1,823,000 cd / 2700 meter|
|Review date||March 2021|
For many people, this might be the first time hearing about the brand. But don’t get fooled. Maxtoch has been around for quite some time but mainly focused on building flashlights for hunting. 9 out of 10 flashlights they product are in the category “long-range flashlights’. And many of them are either available in different LED colors or include filters to change the beam colors. Going through their website, they do have a couple of non-hunting flashlights like the F1 Bomb and LR550 headlamp, but their main lineup consists of throwers. The one I am reviewing is the extended L2K version powered by 2*21700’s. It includes the optional kit with a holster and charger (this kit is $14 extra). There is also a shorter version that works on 2*20350 batteries and is called the L2K slim.
I received a brown carton box wrapped with bubble wrap and plastic. Upon opening the cartong box I found a nice soft carry case. Inside the carry case were the following things:
- The flashlight: Maxtoch X Sword L2K
- 2* 21700 batteries (installed without an insulator)
- Battery charger (Optional)
- USB power adapter (Optional)
- USB cord (optional)
- Holster (optional)
- Spare switch assembly
- Spare rubber boot
- Plastic yellow filter
- Glass green filter (installed by default)
- Tactical rubber ring (for cigar grip)
- Warranty card
The only thing I was missing was a manual. Not a biggy though, because the UI is very straight forward.
Flashlight in use
Since the flashlight is so long and there is only one switch in the rear, you likely have to operate it with two hands. When you hold the flashlight overhand, you might have difficulty pressing the button with the flat part of your thumb. The only way to activate the switch is by pressing it with the tip of your finger/thumb. So keep that in mind.
For hunters there is also an optional remote switch, so you don’t have this problem anymore.
The Maxtoch Xsword L2K is too long to use with a pocket clip, but it does come with a rubber tactical ring and a holster. Maxtoch also sells some optional gun mounts, so you won’t have to stick to 1 way of carrying or attaching it.
I have to say that the body is a little bit on the slippery side for everyday carry, but that’s not the application this flashlight was built for. It’s a real hunting light, so the slipperiness needs to be taken with a grain of salt. There is some redding on the body, but that’s nothing like the aggressive knurling you can find on some tactical flashlights.
My package included 2 colored filters. A green one already installed, and a yellow one in a separate zip lock bag. These are glass lenses you have to put between the bezel and the front glass. They don’t have a threaded bezel around the filter, as you see with some other brands. Replacing these filters in the dark can be tricky because of this, and they are easier to drop or get your greasy fingerprints on. I’m curious why they chose to do this. They probably have thought this through, but I can see the benefits of a filter with a bezel attached.
Another thing I noticed is the watery grease Maxtoch is using on the threads. When I unscrew the tailcap, there is some light grease (lube) on the switch retaining ring. It looks like they are using very thin lube, which becomes a bit too thin after using. I don’t know the reason they choose this type of lube, though. So it might be wise to wipe it down and add your own silicon grease.
Build Quality, and Warranty
When reviewing a flashlight, it is essential to keep the intended application in mind. The lack of knurling on the body doesn’t always mean it’s something terrible. This means that it’s mainly used in combination with some rifle/gun mount. The build quality seems just fine. A little more attention to detail would have been appreciated. But again, this flashlight is likely getting beat up, so it doesn’t need to be designed extremely nice like your average EDC.
The bezel, tailcap, and battery tube can all be removed without too much trouble. The threads near the tailcap have 2 o-rings that fit very snug. At one point the rear o-ring got a little unhappy and tried to move outside the tailcap. Putting the tailcap back on can be a little challenging because you need to press the spring and find the threads lining up, while the o-rings are thwarting your efforts. But practice makes perfect.
Maxtoch offers 1-year warranty if the problem is caused by normal usage. But there is a lifetime warranty for repairs with no labor charges as long as parts are available. You will only be charged for the parts needed to repair the light. Accessories like lanyards, holsters, etc are not covered by this warranty. More info can be found here: https://maxtoch.com/pages/–14
LEP, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
We’re not reviewing an LED flashlight but an LEP flashlight. From the outside, these types of flashlights look identical, but the inside is not. Instead of using an LED on top of an MCPCB, an LEP flashlight uses a Laser Phosphor Module that includes a blue laser, pointing its beam onto phosphor to turn the beam color from blue to white/yellow. In this process, there can be a slight change in color temperature depending on the object’s distance.
Objects close to you might show a blueish beam, while objects far away show a much cleaner white or yellow beam color. This has to do with the LEP technology, focusing the laser onto the phosphor and then converging the beam with a convex lens.
If you have an OCD for color shifts in beams or are just a tint snob, you better stay away from LEP flashlights. Just stay away instead of bickering about the blue corona or rings around the beam. This is not the best choice for you. Get a LED-based flashlight with your preferred beam color and accept it won’t throw as far.
All LEP flashlights use convex lenses to focus the beam. But not all of them have a standard lens in front of the convex lens. This means that your most important piece of glass is damaged when you accidentally hit the front glass. Some use a regular flashlight lens in front of the convex lens to receive the damage. These are much easier and cheaper to replace. The convex lenses can’t just be replaced with any other convex lens because of the focal length difference.
The bezel has a zigzag pattern and a red color. Removing the bezel itself is no problem because it doesn’t have any glue. The colored filters fit right behind the bezel, in front of the convex lens. I would advise ordering an ultra-clear glass lens (without color) to protect the convex lens from scratches or damage. The yellow lens is plastic, and the green lens is made of glass.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 255 mm / 10 ”
- Head diameter: 59.7 mm / 2.35 ”
- Body diameter: 25.45 mm / 1 ”
- Colored filter diameter: 55.7 mm / 2.19″
- Colored filter thickness: 1.88 mm/ 0.073″
- Empty: 320.4 g / 11.3 oz
- With batteries: 462.2 g / 16.3 oz
LEP Flashlight comparison
Size compared to other LEP laser flashlights.
It’s getting difficult to put them all in 1 row, so I had to make 2 rows to still fit them on my photography backdrop.
The order of the front row is the same as the first photograph, but with the Acebeam W10 gen2 at the right. The back row from left to right: Unbranded 26650 LEP, Nextorch T10L, Jetbeam RRT M2S Raptor, Weltool W3 PRO, Fenix TK30, Jetbeam M2S WP-RX, Nextorch T7L,
Driver & User Interface:
The L2K has 3 modes, High, Medium, and Low. But because the hotspot is so intense, it is a little difficult to see the difference in output sometimes. It doesn’t have any blinky modes.
- High, Medium, Low (in that order)
- Half-press: momentary-on (keep tapping to change modes from High to Low)
- Single-click: to last used mode, mode memory
- Half-press: doesn’t work
- Single-click: the flashlight turns off
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- No, but the output will decrease, which is a clear indicator that you need to replace the batteries.
- Not necessary with just 1 mechanical switch
- If there is any, it’s not visible by normal use.
Batteries & Charging
When you order the kit, you also get a Maxtoch C2 Lithium battery charger with 2 slots. The charger has a Micro USB port, and both slots fit different sizes from 16340 to protected 21700’s. The specs mention a charge current of 1A per slot, which is a bit on the low side because the 21700 batteries have a capacity of 5000mAh each. This means that charging at 1A per battery will take 5 hours. The charger itself is pulling 1A from the USB power adapter while charging 1 battery, and exactly 2A for 2 batteries. I’m not 100% sure how much of those amps go directly into the batteries because I don’t really have a way to test that.
Each slot has an indicator LED to show the charge setting. Red= charging, green= finished charging.
The batteries Maxtoch includes are 5000mAh and have no product code. They have button tops (of course) and a protection board, but there is no explanation of what kind of protection it is. And because of the protection board, they are a little longer than flat tops, which of course won’t work in series, because they don’t make contact with each other.
I also tried to insert non-protected button tops that fit just fine, but they do rattle a little bit, plus the tailcap is a little easier to attach.
All output numbers are relative for my home-made Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
All of my readings were taken from fully-charged Maxtoch 21700 5000mAh batteries.
Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap.
|Mode||Amps at start||Advertised output||@ 30 sec||@ start|
|High||1.4 Amps||600 Lumens||445 Lumens||465 Lumens|
Most LEP flashlights are over-specced, including the Maxtoch Xsword L2K. But because lumens aren’t as important as throw, I don’t care too much about it, unless they are performing at 50%. It didn’t achieve the 600 lumens according to my testing.
- There is no parasitic drain.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter. I ran High runtime test a couple of times, but all performed the same.
Keep in mind that if you compare the output with high-power flashlights, it’s very disappointing. But that’s not the way you should look at these numbers. Please look at the runtime below, which is not calculated for lumens, but candelas. Then you are shocked. This is by far the best performing LEP flashlight I own.. It’s just crazy.
This is an interactive graph, use your cursor to highlight the flashlights.
Note: The numbers in the graph are based on figures measured in the integrating sphere, and not from pointing the flashlight directly at the lux sensor from a distance. I’ve noticed a difference of up to 12% through testing, but this should still give a good indication of the LEP’s performance.
I did 1 test where I ran the flashlight for 1 hour and 40 minutes before measuring lux (and calculate candela with that number) at 20 meters. The number was 1,904,964 cd, but the graph, based on the measurements in the integrating sphere was 2,159,370 cd.
When you compare the runtime graphs to the other ones, this thing is totally crazy. It outperforms all the others by a crazy amount. Also, just for the fun I added the runtime graph for Medium mode…… totally shocking.
Keep in mind what I said, that the actual candela could be 10-15% lower.
Measurements were taken outdoors at 20 meters using a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
I’ll have to say that these numbers are pretty impressive. High mode is actually throwing quite a bit farther than the 2700 meters they claim. That’s one of the nicest surprises, for sure!
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 100mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, .5sec , F4, 5000K
The tower is about 450 meters / 492 yards away.
Disclaimer: I bought this flashlight with my own money with a small reviewer’s discount. Nobody paid me to review this flashlight, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Throws really far, and easily reach its advertised distance
- Includes 2 batteries to get started
- Lost of optional accessories for hunters, including a remote switch and several gun mounts
- Lubrication on the threads start to spread to the switch
- Not much knurling (and low build quality)
- The colored filters don’t have a bezel but need to be screwed directly behind the bezel. Easy to get fingerprints and easy to drop.
- Not sure how good the charger is in terms of quality
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
I would give it 4 stars if it would perform as well as one of the other LEP flashlights, because it does have a few issues that I’m not very fond of. But I had to give it .5 stars more because this thing’s performance is I N S A N E. Really, the candela numbers are just staggering.
Maxtoch Xsword L2K For Sale
Buy directly at Maxtochstore with our special $30 discount code: 1L60M3 (expires on October 31).
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