KeySmart Nano Torch Twist review (updated)
The KeySmart Nano Torch Twist is a high quality aircraft-grade aluminum swivel-head 600 lumen flashlight that ships with a rechargeable AA battery and has a magnet to secure the flashlight for optimal lighting positioning.
Updates at the bottom
I’ve been playing with it putting it against my trusty 97 lumen mini Maglite for a couple of days and unless something pops up, here’s what we’ve got:
It’s extremely bright, but a fairly narrow beam. Pretty much the same aperture as my Maglite but more intense.
Learning to use it is a little bit of a curve. It’s a two seconds press to turn it on. Single quick press after it’s on to cycle brightness between low, medium, and 600 lumen eye hurting power.
They’ve included a map that also appears to indicate that you can also press two seconds to get to strobe and SOS mode. For those I’ve found that I have to press two seconds to turn on, then press and hold for maybe 4 seconds more for it to power off and then cycle into the hidden modes.
There’s also a five second lock press for the times when you think you’ll somehow trigger it with a two second push but not any longer. To disable that just press for five seconds.
The head can swivel 90 degrees and the light is balanced well enough and has a flat enough back that you can put it on a table and probably aim light wherever you want. The swivel is machined well enough that I was unable to get my skin caught in it while I was actively trying to get my skin caught in it. This is a beef I had with an ex-light of mine.
The battery is a 750mAh 14,500-USB Li-ion 3.7v rechargeable (via USB). If I’m not mistaken that’s less than a AA battery in terms of mAh storage, but it’s rechargeable and evidently can deliver better than a standard from what I’m reading. I guess just be sure to juice up the battery before you go and rob the library. Alternately put a AA battery in there (I did for an initial test because the battery it came with shipped dead).
I have been informed I was incorrect about battery capacity assumptions and that delivers more than a standard AA…
But… three things… maybe four
There are three things I do not like about this. The first being that it comes with a belt clip and not a belt holster. The position of the clip means the flashlight can’t hang with most of the body down. Personal preference for me is that no lights can be bent into by gut or side gut.
The second thing I don’t like is that jostling the Nano Torch Twist can turn it off. This means if you drop your flashlight while running from Old Man Smithers who’s wearing a zombie mask to scare away customers and close down the park so that he can work a deal with developers, you’re going to have to trust that your canine friend can find the dropped flashlight in the dark.
Here’s a video where it turned off a couple of times just from magnetic snapping.
I’m able to have it shut off about once every six drops from standing. It’s always when it lands on the head or the tail, never on its side.
The awesome memory features comes in as my third complaint. It remembers the last setting on the low, med, high. The next time you turn it on it’ll be at that setting. For me this resulted in expecting low and getting high a couple of times which may not sound like much but when you’re crawling around under a desk and expecting ~200 lumens and you get 600 it’s not pleasant.
I’d really rather just cycle low to high manually, but maybe that’s just me.
Four… four things… I forgot the belt clip caused me issues and I chucked the light in my pocket, with my wallet, and credit cards, and forgot that it had a strong magnetic base. (sad trombone)
Coming in at $59.99 on the manufacturer’s website, this premium flashlight has a premium price as well. That doesn’t include shipping. You can also pick it up at Amazon for about $10 more.
I continued using the light until October 29th. In this time I found the following rather interesting – the light itself will last somewhere around 6 hours before dimming. I used it as a pumpkin light starting at 8 and ending around 7am this morning. Looking on my doorbell video it dimmed about 3-4am.
However, if I don’t charge the battery that was included with it every 3-4 days it won’t turn on after a week.
I’m assuming the USB rechargeable battery is at fault here, which is a shame. If you can’t hold power for a week or two it’s not a particularly useful device.
At this point I’ve pretty much given up on the thing. The battery will last if 1) it’s not used, or 2) all used at once. Something’s wrong with it. The light intensity tends to be dim and then ramp up and down indicating that the voltage isn’t being maintained.
I’m going to guess I’ve got a bad battery with this one, which sort of goes along with my general experience with the USB rechargeable AAs.
The light, when I charge the thing and use it within a few days is great. Past a couple of weeks it’s meh.
May 2021 update
So over a year and a half I used that thing, tried to destroy it finally and failed, and then my then 7-yo borrowed it and broke it and lost it. I found it recently, with a 2020 Duracell in it and it would not turn on. Replaced with another and yup, the light’s dead. So yeah, shipped with a bad battery, lasted under a year in extreme use along with me trying actively hard to break it, and a child killed it.