Maxtoch Xsword LA40

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Maxtoch LA40 review

Maxtoch Xsword LA40 specifications

Brand/modelMaxtoch Xsword LA40
Flashlight categoryLEP flashlight / long-range flashlight
LEDLEP (shine through)
Max. output420 lumens
Max. beam distance1,800 meters
Max. beam intensity810,000 cd
Battery config.1*18650
Onboard chargingN/A
Modes2
BlinkiesN/A
WaterproofIPX8
Review dateMay 2024

Review intro:

We’re back with another LEP flashlight reviews. And if you’re new to this, LEP stands for Laser Excite Phosphor, basically telling you that the light source isn’t an LED, but a blue laser.

With the help of phosphor, the blue laser turns into a white-ish beam, similar to a normal LED flashlight, but with a more intense hotspot

After reviewing 50+ LEP flashlights, we still haven’t seen all possibilities yet. And since there aren’t that many, there is still room to improve.

Right here, we’re looking at the Maxtoch Xsword LA40, or in short Maxtoch LA40. It’s another LEP flashlight, but just a little different. It has a zoom mechanism, and uses a single 18650 battery?

Want to know how it performs? Me too!

What’s in the package

Maxtoch uses pretty simple but adequate packaging, containing a brown cardboard box with a small black carry bag inside. This bag contains the following

  • Maxtoch Xsword LA40 with tactical grip ring
  • Holster
  • 18650, 3500mAh battery
  • Lanyard
  • USB charger
  • USB power plug
  • USB A to USB-C cable
  • 3 colored filters
  • O-ring
  • Manual

All in all, this is quite a nice package, but without a pocket clip. The website doesn’t give you the option to order it without this charging kit. But if you reach out to them, they will likely help you out.

Flashlight in use, Build Quality, and Warranty

There aren’t many zoomable LEP flashlights around. We’ve reviewed its bigger brother, the Maxtoch LA60, Acebeam W35, Loop SK01S, Acebeam Terminator M1, and the Natfire SF2. And I guess there aren’t that many more.

The La40 is a simple flashlight with a forward clicky switch that feels like any other forward clicky you may have encountered.

The tailcap has two cutouts, so you can rest your thumb on the switch. Half-pressing the switch results in a forward clicky, which is called momentary-on. But each time you press the switch, it will cycle between low and high, so it’s not that great for Morse coding I suppose.

The body has no real knurling but thin redding across the battery tube. The coating is black and slightly glossy, making it look low-quality. Because they are built for hunting and attached to rifles, that shouldn’t bother you too much. Just like other Maxtoch flashlights, they aren’t the prettiest with the nicest machining, but they are good enough for the tasks they were made for. They are not built to impress people by their looks but by their performance.

The mechanical rear switch, it is very easy to operate, even with hand gloves.. you don’t need to ‘feel’ the switch like you would with an electronic side switch. The only time you really need both hands is by focusing the beam. The zoom mechanism is too tight to move single-handedly comfortably. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because if you attach it to a gun, it wouldn’t zoom in or out unintentionally.

The package includes a lanyard and a holster for carrying, but it should also fit in larger coat pockets. But you can hold it like a cigar because of the included cigar grip ring (or tactical ring) just below the tailcap. It can even tailstand if you ever wondered.

This type of flashlight is best used for hunting, as a locator, but with its zoom mechanism can also be used for a more close-up stuff. When the flashlight is in flood mode, (widest beam) you don’t get a pretty beam. It has rings around it. So, my first suggestion to Maxtoch is to add a frosted glass filter. I’ll give some comparison images later on.

If you want to combine the LA40 with a weapon, you can get the following accessories: GM06, GM07, GM08, and a Remote switch.

Warranty:

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. 

LEP, Lens, Bezel, Beam, and Reflector

The Maxtoch LA40 has a focusable beam. When you point the light away from you and you twist the head counter-clockwise, the beam widens, when you twist the head clockwise, the beam becomes tighter, until you can’t twist it any further. My copy had the best focus at this point. You should double-check if yours needs some adjustment, or maybe all copies will have a perfect focus right at the end of the focus system.

Most cheap zoomy flashlights don’t give a perfect focus, and you need to finetune it to get the best and most intense beam, but mine seems perfect, as it lines up well with their specified beam intensity, and I can back that up with number later on in this review.

When it comes to a beam shape and color, a zoomy is never perfect, and neither is the Maxtoch LA40. Zoomed out (widest beam/flood mode) you have a perfect round beam, with a bright ring on the outside, and some blueish and yellow in it, just like you would expect from a zoomy. The center of the beam is (of course) less intense and less uniform than a normal flashlight. Check out the images below.

At the moment there are 2 main types of LEP modules, and 1 that is rather unique. The most popular ones are the Mirror type LEP, and the Shine through LEP. The LA40 has the shine-through LEP module.

One other thing that Maxtoch has done is adding a protective glass lens (by default) in front of the convex lens that focuses the beam. This is important, as it protects the convex lens, which is a crucial part of this kind of flashlight. But you can remove the front glass, and replace it with 1 of the included colored filters. They’ve included a red, green, and a yellow filter. Depending on the type of animals you are hunting, you can choose your preferred colored lens/filter. Remember that these filters cut out a lot of lumens, so you won’t be able to throw as far as a dedicated red, or green thrower. It’s nice to have.

To install a colored filter, unscrew the red bezel, remove the protective glass lens, and place it underneath with the filter.

There are 2 things I would recommend Maxtoch doing:

  1. Please widen or thicken the bezel so that it can be easily removed by anyone.. Right now, it’s too thin and hard to get a good grip on.
  2. Include a frosted lens! If you’re going to use the flood mode, the beam is ugly (like any other zoomy) and not very useful. I recommend including a frosted lens to make the beam much nicer for close-up work!

I will include some pictures below on the different beams (spot, flood, and with a frosted lens).

Spectral measurements:  

I haven’t tested the spectral measurements because of the nature of this beast. If this becomes a thing in the future, I might test it. For the time being, spectral measurements for LEPs don’t seem to be very helpful.

I’ll add some pictures of the beam below. One image shows the beam in spot mode (tightest beam), while the other shows the beam in flood mode (widest beam). You’ll notice the rings in flood mode, which can be seen in basically all zoom flashlights. I’ve also added 1 more picture, where I hold a frosted glass lens in front of the flashlight. In combination with the floody beam, you’ll get a nice smooth beam for close up work. Much, much better than the default flood mode.

Dimensions and its competition

Dimensions: 

Maxtoch LA40MillimetersInches
Length flood mode144 mm5.7 in
Length spot mode151 mm5.9 in
Head diameter43 mm1.6 in
Body diameter26 mm1.0 in
tailcap dia27 mm1.1 in

Dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter and the nearest tenth of an Inch.

Weight

Maxtoch LA40Weight in gramsWeight in oz.
Without battery:159 g5.6 oz
With battery210 g7.4 oz

Weight is rounded to the nearest gram and tenth of an Oz.

Maxtoch LA40 Flashlight comparison

Size compared to other LEP flashlights

Group 1, from left to right: Acebeam Terminator M1 (zoomy), Amutorch BT35 (non-zoomy), Lumintop Thor 2 v2 (non-zoomy), Maxtoch Xsword LA40 (zoomy), Loop SK01S (zoomy), Maxtoch Xsword LA60 (zoomy).

Group 2, Maxtoch LA40 vs LA60

Maxtoch Xsword LA40 UI : User interface and driver

The UI is very basic, fortunately, with only 2 modes. It uses a forward clicky switch, so a half press will turn the light on momentarily. Tapping the switch (without doing a fully click) will cycle between Low and High. A full click will activate the light. You can’t change modes when the flashlight is turned on with a full click. You have to turn it off again, and half-press the switch until you get your desired mode.

The available main modes:

  • Low, High

The available special modes (blinkies):

  • None

How the UI works when the flashlight is still turned OFF:

  • Half-press: momentary on
  • Multiple half-presses: cycling between low and high
  • Single-click: turns the light on

How the UI works when the flashlight is turned ON:

  • Half-press: doesn’t work
  • Single-click: turns the light off

Shortcuts within the UI:

  • To Turbo: none
  • To Moon: none
  • To Strobe: none

Mode memory:

  • Yes, it will memorize your last used mode

Blinky modes:

  • None

Low battery warning:

  • No

Lock-out mode:

  • No.. it has a mechanical switch, so there is no need for a lockout mode.

PWM:

  • Not visible by eye

Firmware / UI Conclusion:

  • The UI is as easy as it gets. Mode memory wouldn’t have been necessary. But it doesn’t make the flashlight really worse. It’s just extremely easy to simply switch between the modes, that it shouldn’t be a problem. And on top of that.. the difference between them isn’t like going from 1600 lumens to 1 lumen, so it’s not as problematic.

Maxtoch Xsword LA40 Charging and batteries

At the moment I am reviewing this flashlight, you can only opt for the flashlight kit, which includes a battery, charger, and charging cable.

The battery they include is an 18650 lithium-ion, rechargeable battery. The battery has a protection board which makes it a bit longer than a non-protected flat top battery. And even though both ends of the flashlight have a spring, flat top, unprotected batteries are too short. They don’t make contact, and won’t work.

You’ll need longer batteries, with protection. Even a Fenix 3500 battery, with protection and onboard charging fits without problems.

Maxtoch includes the Maxtoch C1, a single-bay lithium-ion battery charger. It can fit 18650, 21700, 26650, and 32650 batteries.

It charges at a 2Amps rate, so it’s not recommended charging a 10440 or 18350 battery. I added a USB meter in between the charger and USB power adapter to see the charge amps and voltage. Of course, this is not what the battery is seeing, but it give us an understanding of the charge status.

During the charge, you can see a red light. Towards the end of the charge, the light will turn green, but it’s not done charging yet. When the light turns green, the battery reads about 4.11 Volts, and the USB meter shows 0.6 – 0.7 Amps. You’ll need to keep the battery on the charger for a bit longer for a full charge. When you do, the battery finishes at around 4.19V. But you’ll only know this if you are using a USB meter. So I’d recommend getting a USB meter because it really help diagnosing problems with charging,etc.

The time till it shows a green light was 1h 45min, and 1h 47min respectively. But you’ll need to wait 30-60 minutes more for a complete charge.

Charge typeFitsNo fitAvg. charge time
Charger is includedLonger 18650Flat top, unprotected 186501h 46min

Performance test

This is the gear I use for testing:

GearPurposeLink to buy
Hagner E4-XMeasuring beam intensity (throw)Inquire at Hagner.se
2* Extech SDL400Lumens and logging runtimesAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Leica Disto D2Distance for throw measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk,
Sekonic C-800 Spectrometer for LED measurementsAmazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
Uni-T UTi260BThermal Image cameraAmazon.com,

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 ANSI FL1 standards require an ambient temperature of 22 ± 3°C. We record the ambient the ambient temperature to identify potential reasons for any observed discrepancies.

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 before each set of lumen measurements.
One of the lux meters uses an ND camera filter for high-output lights to prevent the lux meter from maxing out. This is either the Kenko PRO1D ND16 for up to about 80,000 lumens or the Gobe ND32 for anything above.

All of my readings were taken from a fully-charged Maxtoch 18650 battery. Keep in mind that I charged the batteries fully, instead of when the charger light turned green.

The measurements were taken manually at turn on and 30 seconds. The 10-minute numbers are taken from the runtime graph.

ModeSpecifiedAt turn on30 sec10 minutes
Low (spot)120 lm113 lm111 lm112 lm
High (spot)420 lm336 lm328 lm212 lm
Low (flood)120 lm118 lm116 lm
High (flood)420 lm352 lm344 lm

I haven’t done the runtimes in Flood mode, but they are a bit brighter. I can do the calculation though, but I’m using these runtimes also for calculating the throw runtime. I do this to compare it to other LEP flashlight in terms of throw.

Ambient temperature during testing:

  • 21.8°C

Parasitic drain:

  • None, because it uses a mechanical switch

Maxtoch Xsword LA40 Battery life and runtime

How 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. Ambient temperatures are included from the moment the runtime test started.

ModeSpecifiedRuntime (ANSI FL1)Time till shut off
Low (22.9°C)3h 40min3h 55min3h 55min
High (21.3°C)1h 30min2h 32min2h 33min

It’s interesting to see that High mode ran 1 hour longer than specified.

Towards the end of the runtime, the flashlight starts blinking.

Maxtoch Xsword LA40 Peak beam intensity and beam distance measurements

About 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.

ModeSpecifiedCandela measuredMetersYardsMiles
Low320,000113112370.7
High1800 meters876,000187220471.16

Ambient temperature during testing:

  • Around 12°C outdoors

Here’s a comparison between the LA40 and other small LEP flashlights.

maxtoch xsword la40 runtime comparison

It’s performing pretty well compared to the small LEP flashlights, with head diameters of 40m or smaller.

LEP flashlight comparison: Medium LEP flashlights (40mm-60mm)

A comparison list with medium sized LEP flashlights we reviewed: These numbers are NOT from the specifications but measured by our reviewers. They include all single-cell LEP flashlights with a medium sized head (roughly between 40-60mm). The numbers include the measurement in lumens (lm), measure candela (cd), and calculated distance in meters, and yards. These numbers are all measured 30 seconds after turning on.

Flashlight30sec (lm)Candela (cd)MetersYards
Fenix HT30R474700,00016731830
Loop SK01S265350,00011831294
Lumintop Thor 2324888,00018882065
Lumintop Thor 2 v2297752,00017341897
Lumintop X0486592,00015391683
Unbranded 26650 LEP533992,00019922179

Interactive runtime graphs below

Below are interactive throw comparison graphs (candela), between single-cell LEP flashlights with a medium head (+- 40-60mm). Hover your mouse over the interactive graph below to see the details of each specific light.

(tip: hold your mobile phone horizontally to see the full graph). Or check this link to view the full interactive graph.

Same, but then focused on the first 60 minutes. Or open new window for 60min interactive graph here.

Beamshots

For the following 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. The pictures with the yellow, green, and red filter were done on a different day. So the sky is a little brighter..

For the other beamshots, I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 with a 50mm lens. Manual settings: ISO1600, 1/4sec, F4, 5000K. The shed is about 65 meters / 71 yards away, and the reflective fence is about 200 meters.

Explore and compare the beamshots from the following flashlights:

  • Maxtoch Xsword LA40
  • Lumintop Thor 1
  • Lumintop Thor 2
  • Maxtoch Xsword LA60

Please note that the following 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 in different seasons or weather conditions, and therefore 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.

Final Verdict

Pros

  1. Kit has lots of accessories included, with USB charger, and battery
  2. Optional accessories available for weapon mount
  3. Throws really far for such a small flashlight
  4. Focusable beam
  5. High mode runs 1 hour longer than specified
  6. 3 colored filters included

Cons

  1. Flood mode has the common zoomy type beam which isn’t uniformly lit
  2. Red filter reduces output a lot
  3. Price

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

Reviewer Marco
Author: Marco

4.5 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.

We’ve reviewed quite a few Maxtoch flashlights, and they are clearly focusing on long-range, hunting flashlights. The LA40 is a zoomy LEP flashlight with a beam distance of up to 1800 meters or 2000 yards. That’s pretty good for such a small flashlight.

In flood mode, you get a typical ugly zoom beam, with the center of the beam much weaker than the outer rings. And because of that, my suggestion to Maxtoch is to add a frosted lens for close up work. I added some images in the LEP section to give you an idea how much of a difference that makes.

With that being said, I believe the LA40 remains an interesting choice among LEP flashlights, despite its price. However, you can get that price down by using our coupon code. It offers a much better throw, compared to smaller LEP flashlights, despite having a head diameter only 1 cm larger.

Buy your Maxtoch Xsword LA40 here

Use the following code for $30 off: LA401K8M

1lumen selects and reviews products personally. We may earn affiliate commissions through our links, which help support our testing.