Klarus XT10 LED Flashlight Review

IMG_4540-300x225I’ve been carrying around the Klarus XT10 tactical led flashlight for a few days now and I wanted to post some pictures, and beam shots; as well as talk about some of the things I really like about this light.

First off, here is a photo of the XT10 in the packaging.

The Klarus XT10 came with the usual spare 0-rings, manual, spare button caps, a lanyard, and a nice nylon carrying case.

I really like the carrying case this light comes with. Mine has the elastic material in the middle which allows you to easily slide the light right in, and it is still able to hold it in there sufficiently.  It uses Velcro to stay closed, which I also like.

This light also comes with a removable cigar hold ring, and a removable pocket clip. Both of those were already installed when I received the light.

Click here to save up to 32% on the Klarus XT10 in 2015!

Here’s what was in the box:

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Here is a photo of the light will all its components laid out (18650 battery in photo for size reference):

IMG_4561-300x225

 

Power Sources

The XT10 can run off either one lithium 18650, two CR123A, or two 16340 batteries. I already had some 18650s that I use in my Fenix TK35, so that is what I have been using in my Klarus XT10.

Output

This is a very bright flashlight. As you will see in the beam shots below, this light definitely has some output for its size. It’s rated at 470 ANSI lumens on high, and it shows. It has three levels of output, they are:

  • 470 ANSI lumens – 2.3 hrs.
  • 150 lumens – 7.3 hrs.
  • 10 lumens – 300 hrs.!
  • Variable frequency strobe (470 lumens) – 4.6 hrs. (variable frequency meaning it alternates between a fast and slow strobe)

I have noticed something that I didn’t see mentioned in the manual. After about three minutes on high, the light will step down to a lower brightness. I think this is purposefully done to aid the thermal regulation of the light, which is excellent by the way.

Beam

The Klarus XT10 produces a nice beam, due to the orange peal reflector, and the center of the beam has a warmer tint to it. That is also one thing I have wondered about this light. The center has a warmer color, but the outer parts of the beam are more white.

You only notice this up close, and at a distance it appears as though the entire beam is warmer in color. Some people like their LED flashlights to project a warmer color and you can see that in the images below with this light.

Here’s a beam shot of the Klarus XT10 at 35 feet, on high (on left) compared to my Nitecore IFD2 at 35 feet, on high (on right). Notice the color difference.


Klarus-XT10-300x225Nitecore-IFD2-300x225

 

The Nitecore IFD2 is rated at 260 lumens. You can see how much brighter the Klarus XT10 is with its 470 lumen output. You can also clearly see the warmer color of the beam from the XT10 versus the IFD2.

Regulation

As mentioned above, after about three minutes, the light automatically steps down in brightness a little bit. I’m not sure why this happens, but it’s possible that is was intentionally done to help keep the light from getting too hot. I don’t have the professional equipment to test and graph the output regulation of this light and I would be interested in seeing that data if someone else has it.

User Interface (UI)

The UI of the Klarus XT10 is very simple, and it’s meant to be that way because it’s a tactical light. One of the cool things about this light is the dual switch feature. The primary switch activates the light, and the secondary switch is dedicated solely for mode selection… with a neat instant strobe feature.

See image below of dual switch:

IMG_4556-300x225

Both switches are forward clicky switches for momentary activation. Yes, both have momentary features! The main switch, of course, activates the light, while the mode switch can also be used to activate the momentary strobe feature – very cool! This means that you don’t have to have the light on first before activating the strobe feature. All you do is press the mode switch and the strobe is on! I can see this being very useful for law-enforcement.

To access the other two brightness settings you simply press the mode button after the light has been turned on by the main switch. Not rocket science. It’s very easy to access the lower brightness levels. This light does not have a memory, however. It is programmed to always be in high mode when turned on.

Ergonomics

The feel of the light, including the texture, button placement, button feedback, size, and shape of this light are all very comfortable. The mode button is a little small for my fingers, but I have found that I can easily press it with the inside of my upper thumb joint. If you don’t intend to hold the light using the tactical ring, I suggest removing it as it can create discomfort with other hand holds.

I did not find the clip useful on this light. It could be the style and shape of this light, but it just doesn’t make sense to me to ever use it. You may see that differently, however.

Also, because this is a tactical light, it does not tail stand. This is just a compromise you have to make for a light that provides easier access to the main switch. It’s a trade-off and I am always torn between the two.

Build Quality

The build quality of this light is very good. It feels very sturdy in your hand and the threads are smooth and strong. Nothing rattles or moves in anyway. One thing I really like about this light is the quality look and feel of the buttons. They don’t feel like they’re going to break on you, like some other lights I’ve used.

The lens is made of toughened ultra-clear glass, and the head of the light is a little thicker around the reflector, which allows for better thermal regulation.

With my 18650 battery in the light, it weighs in under half a pound. Not too bad given the thicker layer of aircraft grade aluminum around the entire light. One thing I would mention is that one of my 18650 batteries has a very slight defect, which makes it slightly larger in one part. It’s a very small difference, but that battery fits very tight inside the XT10.

Overall Summary

Pros:

  • Very bright for size
  • Dual switch
  • Instant strobe access
  • Well built
  • Comparatively low priced for lumen output
  • Can use three different types of batteries
  • Superior thermal regulation
  • Excellent ergonomics

Cons:

  • Cannot tail stand (but this is normal for a tactical light)
  • Need to learn more about the regulation
  • Clip does not seem useful

Overall I think Klarus did a great job with this light. This was my first experience with one of their lights and they are now on my list of quality flashlight manufacturers.

Extra Pictures

I will include more beam shots of this light soon. Here are a few extra pictures I took in the meantime.

This beam shot compares the Klarus XT10 at 470 lumens (on left), to the Fenix TK35 820 lumens (on right):

Klarus-XT101-300x225 Fenix-TK35-300x225 IMG_4551-300x225 IMG_4568-300x225 IMG_4567-300x225

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