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Maxtoch LA60 review: Long Range LEP Flashlight
Maxtoch Xsword LA60 specifications
|Brand/model||Maxtoch Xsword LA60|
|Beam intensity||1,562,000 cd|
|Review date||August 2021|
I admit, I quite enjoy reviewing LEP flashlights. After being in touch with Maxtoch for a while, I asked them if they were willing to produce a zoomable LEP flashlight (available to consumers), and surprisingly enough, they were already working on 1. So here we are, a zoomable LEP flashlight, called the Maxtoch Xsword LA60. The first affordable zoom LEP flashlights. There is also a zoomable light, called the Acebeam W50, but that one is priced $2500+
It’s a 2*21700 flashlight, but quite a bit shorter than its siblings. If you don’t mind the length, you really need to keep reading this flashlight. It’s pretty cool at what it does, but of course, there are a few things I noticed that are worth mentioning.
The LA60 has the same kind of packaging as the L2K and L3K. But this time I didn’t choose the charger set. I received the following inside the box:
- The Maxtoch Xsword LA60
- Cigar style tactical grip ring
- 3 colored lens filters
- Black carry bag
- Warranty card
Flashlight in use
There aren’t many 2*21700 (in series) flashlights around. We’ve reviewed the Imalent UT90 that has 2*21700 batteries, as well as the Maxtoch L2K and L3K. It’s probably the length etc, that these aren’t widely available. Most people like to have their flashlights short and stubby.
The LA60 has only 1 switch, at the rear. It is a forward clicky switch and feels like any other forward clicky you may have encountered. Unlike the L2K and L3K, this one doesn’t include a spare switch in the package. I’ve heard some people saying these switches going bad after a while, so having a spare one at hand isn’t a luxury.
Because of the length, it’s probably better to operate it with 2 hands; 1 for holding, and the other for changing modes. But you can carry it in a tactical position, and rest your thumb on the switch. The tailcap has 2 cutouts, so you can rest your thumb right on the switch. Half pressing the switch results with a forward clicky is called momentary-on. The light will be momentarily on until you release the switch. That’s usually preferred on tactical lights or hunting lights.
Overall, the body doesn’t have any real knurling but thin redding across the body. And because they are built for hunting and attach to rifles, that shouldn’t bother you too much.
Because there is only 1 mechanical 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.
Maxtoch also included a lanyard and a tactical cigar grip ring, just in case.
Build Quality, and Warranty
The Maxtoch Xsword lineup of flashlights is long-throw flashlights specifically built for hunting. Maxtoch is actually one of the few brands that focus mostly on building flashlights for hunting. And the LA60 doesn’t have the appearance of some high-end flashlights, because of that. It’s supposed to be attached to a rifle or thrown around in the car.
Just like the L2K and L3K, the LA60 has a coating with a matte finish. But there is a huge difference between the L2K (+ L3K) and the LA60. And that, of course, is the focus system. To change focus, you need to twist the head to tighten and widen the beam. By default, completely tight is also the best-focused beam. I don’t know how good its waterproofness is with this system, but they mention IPX8 in their specs. I think this is a little too optimistic, but maybe I’m totally wrong.
I assume that might be different with other copies, because mine performs really, really well.
Inside the tailcap is a nice, but short, beefy spring.
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. See their website.
On a side note: I read comments from people in New Zealand who said they have had trouble with getting replacements or warranty, but I haven’t encountered any problems as of yet.
LEP, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
I already mentioned that the LA60 has a focusable head. When you point the light away from you, and you twist the head counter-clockwise, the beam widens, and you have a beam that looks like any other zoomy flashlight.
Likewise, when you twist the head clockwise, the beam becomes narrower and narrower 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.
A lot of cheap flashlights don’t have a perfect focus, and you need to finetune it to get the best and most intense beam, but mine seems to be perfect. At least good enough that I’m very happy with it. And I can back that up with numbers…
When it comes to a beam shape and color, a zoomy is never perfect. And neither is the Maxtoch LA60. Zoomed out (widest beam) you have a perfect round beam, with a bright ring on the outside, but with some blueish and yellow in it, a bit like a rainbow. The center of the beam is (of course) less intense and more uniform light.
One other thing that Maxtoch has done is adding a glass lens (by default) in front of the convex lens that focuses the beam. The Maxtoch Xsword L2K didn’t have one, and they listened to the users and included a glass lens from the L3K onward. This will protect the convex lens, which is the most important (and probably most expensive) lens in the flashlight.
They’ve also included a red, green, and yellow filter. Depending on the type of animals you are hunting, you can choose your preferred colored lens/filter. Keep in mind 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.
To install a colored filter, you just unscrew the red bezel and place it right underneath it. One thing I would recommend Maxtoch to do next is making that bezel ring wider. It’s really narrow and hard to screw down at times. The threads are very thin and it’s hard to hold in your hands.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 237 mm / 9.3 ”
- Head diameter: 60.8 mm / 2.396 ”
- Body diameter: 25.38 mm / 1 ”
- Tailcap diameter: 30mm / 1.18″
- Empty: 298.3 g / 10.52 oz.
- With battery: 445.1 g / 15.7 oz.
I used the batteries that were supplied with the L3K, because they fit. The slightly longer cells that were included with the L2K didn’t fit.
LEP Flashlight comparison
Size compared to other LEP flashlights
Image 1+2: from left to right: Maxtoch Xsword L2K, Maxtoch Xsword L3K, Maxtoch Xsword LA60
Front row: 26650 nonbranded LEP, Nextorch T10L, Jetbeam RRT M2S raptor, Weltool W3 PRO, Fenix TK30, Jetbeam M2S WP-RX, Olight Odin Turbo, Nextorch T7L, Acebeam W10 gen2, Lumintop Thor 2, Lumintop Thor 1.
Driver & User Interface:
Who doesn’t enjoy simple UI’s as a reviewer, haha. It’s not just for reviewing but also for using. There are just too many flashlights out there with UI’s they probably don’t even need.
A hunting flashlight is probably not needing a lightning mode or candle mode, so a 3 mode flashlight is likely everything you need, and want.
- Low, Medium, and High
- Half-press: momenary On
- Tap half-press: change modes from High to Low
- Single-click: to last used mode
- Half-press: there is no half press
- Single-click: the light will turn off
- There are no shortcuts, just 3 modes.
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- No visible
Batteries & Charging
This time I choose the flashlight without a charging set. I probably have too many chargers at this point in time anyway, so I opted out of the charger set.
I first tried to use the 2*21700 batteries that were included with the Maxtoch Xsword L2K, but they didn’t fit. They were just a bit too long. I then used the batteries from the L3K, which fitted perfectly. The LA60 has a shorter battery tube, that will only accept short button top cells.
Because it uses batteries in series, you can’t use flat tops, because both batteries wouldn’t be able to connect and close the circuit. You really need 2 button top, unprotected batteries. If you don’t have any, you can simply put a soldering blob on a positive terminal of your battery and be done with it.
I also tried other batteries that I had, but they would be rattling. You can solve this by adding a piece of paper around the cells.
All output numbers are relative to my homemade 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 2 fully-charged Maxtoch 21700 batteries. I also tested the LA60 with 2 Samsung 40T, and the measurements were very close, too close to care about.
Amps were measured with a Fluke 77III, at the tailcap.
|Mode||Amp at start||Specs||Zoom in@ 30sec||Zoom out @ start||Zoom in@30sec||Zoom in@ start|
|High||1.28A||500 lm||456 lm||466 lm||441 lm||460 l|
The difference between Zoomed in and Zoomed out is very very small. Unlike zoomies with LED, this LEP maintains almost the same output throughout the zoom. Which is good to know! There is almost no loss of light. The reason why Low performed better when zoomed in is not clear, but it’s very close nonetheless. Med and High lost a bit of lumens zoomed in. It could also be that I didn’t cool the light down enough.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
High starts at around 450+ lumens and drops quickly to about 380 lumens in 1 hour, and becomes a bit more stable from that point onward. It turns off at 3 hours 29 minutes.. just a few seconds shy off 3:30.
(Specs say: 3 hours 20 minutes)
Medium has the same drop at the start, but a stable output of about 235 lumens for 5 hours and 54 minutes when it abruptly turns off.
(Specs say: 4 hours 50 minutes, which it beats easily)
Low also has a little drop at the start but then has a stable output of roughly 100 lumens for 11 hours and 22 minutes straight.
(Specs say: 10 hours.. so that is pretty conservative.
Measurements were taken outdoors at 20 meters with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter.
|High||2,272,000 cd||3015 m||3297||1.87 miles|
Specs say it is supposed to throw 2500 meters, and mine easily beats that by 500 meters. Its reach is farther than the L3K, but just a bit less than the L2K. It’s definitely a performer!
Here’s a graph with all the big LEP throwers. The dark blue line is the LA60.
For the following beamshots I used a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 and a 100mm lens. manual settings: ISO1600, .5sec , F4, 5000K
The first tower is 650 meters / 710 yards away, the second tower is about 450 meters / 492 yards away.
Disclaimer: I bought this flashlight with my own money including a reviewer’s discount. Nobody paid me to review this flashlight, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
- Throws farther than on paper
- First affordable focusable LEP flashlight
- 3 simple modes
- Includes colored filters
- Zoomable flashlights usually have a nonuniform beam profile while zoomed out
- No spare switch like they included with the L2K and L3K
Explanation on star ratings:
1: Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice – 2: Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price – 3: Average: some defects or issues – 4: Good: recommended (minor issues) – 5: Great: highly recommended
4.5 stars: ★★★★⋆
Since Maxtoch underreported the beam distance on the L2K, I was expecting the L3K to overperform as well. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was a little hesitant to believe the Maxtoch LA60 to reach 2500 meters for that reason but was happily surprised to find out it was able to beat that. I think we have yet another winner.