Photon Esquire Knife/Microlight, retail $29.95 (
Manufactured by Wenger for LRI (
Buy one here.
Last updated 04-07-04

If you need a small pen knife, file, scissors, tweezers, and white LED flashlight all in one convenient, handy-dandy package, the Esquire is for you.

Housed in a relatively sturdy, transparent red plastic case measuring just 2 1/2 inches long, 5/8 of an inch wide, and 7/16 of an inch deep, the Photon Esquire can fit into just about any pocket or handbag, or dangle from your keychain via its included split ring.

I'm not a knife expert, just a flashlight reviewer, so I'm rather ill-qualified to tell you how the quality of the knife components stack up to other cutting products out there. Most of this page will focus on the use of the Esquire as a flashlight.

The photograph near the top of this page shows the Esquire with most of its tools folded out; this is generally not how you would carry it however.


To use the Esquire as a flashlight, find the location on the body of the product where there is an embossed image of a light, and press it in that location and hold it for as long as you need light. Relieving pressure on it turns the LED off.
There is no continuous mode, so please don't look for one.

To use the knife blade, file, or scissors, just unfold them from the knife body, and fold them back down when you're finished. The tweezers are located in a small compartment below the LED, as the switch is on top. Pull them straight out of the knife body. When finished with them, insert the tweezers back into the opening provided for them, business-end first. Push them straight in, until the back of the tweezers are flush with the rest of the knife body.

To change the batteries in your Esquire, orient it so the switch is on top and to the right. If you look carefully at the front of the knife now (the side of the knife body facing you), you'll see a seam. Carefully pull this seam away from the knife body with your fingernail, and the battery drawer should become evident. When this drawer is all the way open, the cell on the left should fall out. Tip the knife upside-down, and the other cell should fall out. Turn the knife back right side up, and set it down.

Insert a new lithium CR1216 coin cell in the left-hand chamber from the bottom, button (-) side up, and close the drawer very slightly so the new cell does not fall out. Insert the second cell into its chamber from the top, flat (+) side up, and slide the drawer closed so its front edge is flush with the rest of the knife body.

This picture shows the battery tray on the Esquire almost all the way open.

There is no indication of the expected battery life on the website, and I don't have any of these cells to check that with myself, so battery life will remain a mystery for the time being.

The Esquire is built pretty much as tough as any other Swiss army knife. It is NOT waterproof though, so I won't try to drown it in the can, throw it in a full sink, or leave it out in the rain. If you keep it away from ponds, creeks, rivers, oceansides, snowbanks, puddles of armadillo pee, fishtanks, sinks, toilets, or tubs; you ought to be in good shape. If you know or think it got douched, open the battery tray, remove the two cells, unfold all the blades, remove the tweezers, and leave it in a warm dry place for a day or so to dry out and it ought to be good as new. Rinse all the parts in fresh water first if something peed on it or if it fell into seawater or an unflushed john.

The beam from the Esquire is dimmer than usual, but it's also considerably wider than usual for an LED flashlight. A light like this would be very useful for finding keyholes, looking for articles in a purse or handbag, looking for dropped articles in dark places, reading restaraunt or bar menus, and similar tasks.

The Esquire has a small split ring affixed to one end; this may be attached to your keyring or to a lanyard if you wish to carry it around on your neck.

The Esquire is smaller (by about 1/4) than a common disposable cigerette lighter, and should fit nicely in a pocket or a purse if you do not wish to use the split ring.

Beam photo at ~12".
Appears to use a wide-angle (at least 50) Nichia NSPW310 LED.
Measures 1,537mcd using a Meterman LM631 light meter.
Remember, wider viewing angles always equal fewer mcds, regardless of who's LED is in there.

That blue light at the bottom is an LED in a computer mouse, and is not generated by the Esquire.

Test unit was sent by a fan of the website (G.M. of Florida - thank you!!!) !!!
It was received on 01-15-04, and added to this website around 03-24-04.

UPDATE: 04-07-04
I received an Esquire Micro-Light directly from LRI this morning. This one came with instructions and a soft, velvet-like pouch to carry it in, has several additional accessories, and was also personalised with my name as the photo below shows. :-)

Upon closer examination, this model has more accessories than the one I reviewed above.

This model has scissors, tweezers, pen knife blade, file, jeweler's/optical standard screwdriver, standard screwdriver, bottle opener, wire crimper, reamer, awl with sewing eye, and cuticle pusher.

This version of the Esquire Micro-Light/Knife retails for $39.95; or $10 more than the original Esquire costs.



    MANUFACTURER: Wenger, for LRI
    PRODUCT TYPE: Swiss army knife with LED light
    LAMP TYPE: 3mm LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Circular, fairly wide-angle
    SWITCH TYPE: Momentary squeeze on/off on knife body
    BEZEL: None to speak of
    BATTERY: 2x lithium CR1226 coin cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WATER RESISTANT: Light splash-resistant only
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries, storage pouch
    WARRANTY: Limited lifetime


    Star Rating

Photon Esquire Knife/Microlight *

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