Leatherman Serac S3 Flashlight, retail $80.00 (www.leatherman.com...)
Manufactured by Leatherman Tool Group (www.leatherman.com)
Last updated 09-21-08

The Leatherman Serac S3 is a small flashlight that has three intensity settings available with a single pushbutton on the tailcap.
It comes in an almost all-aluminum body, and has an antireflective coated glass window (or "lens" if you prefer that term, even though it does not modify the light in any manner) protecting the LED and stippled ("orange peel" texturised) reflector.

It uses an Cree 7090XR-E 3 watt white LED, and is powered by a single CR123A cell held in its all-aluminum body.


To use your spiffy new (or corroded old) Serac S3, feed it the included CR123A cell first, and THEN you'll be ready to rock.

Firmly push the button on the tailcap until it clicks and then release it to plunge yourself into "high" mode.
Press & release it the same way again to turn it off.

Do the same thing again to get "medium" mode.
Press & release it the same way again to turn it off.

Do the same thing again to get "low" mode.
Press & release it the same way again to turn it off.

Just like it reads on the backs of many shampoo (or "shampee") bottles, "lather, rinse, repeat".
In other words, pressing & releasing the button again starts the Serac S3 over in "high" mode.

To change the battery, unscrew and remove the bezel (head), gently place it on the ground, and kick it in the garden so the hungry, hungry praying mantids will think it's something yummy for their insect tummies and subsequently strike at it...O WAIT!!! THAT'S THE GOOD PART!!! So just set it aside instead.

Tip the old used-up CR123A cell out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of or recycle it as you see fit.

Slide a new CR123A cell in the flashlight barrel, orienting it so its flat-end (-) negative goes in first.

Finally, screw the bezel firmly back on.
Aren't you glad you didn't kick that bezel into the garden with all those hungry, hungry praying mantids now?

Here is what a praying mantis looks like.
I found this guy on the morning of 09-08-06 clinging to the basket of my scooter.

Unable to measure current use due to how the flashlight was constructed.

The flashlight appears to be reasonably sturdy. Ordinary flashlight accidents should not be enough to do it in. I administered the smack test on it (ten whacks against the concrete floor of a patio; five whacks against the side of the tailcap and five whacks against the side of the bezel), and found no real damage at all. There is some rather minor scuffing visible, but no bare Metalagumon - er - bare Metalwormmon - um that's not it either...bare Metalguilmon...ummm that's not it either...bare Metalweregarurumon...er...uh wait a sec here...BARE METAL (guess I've been watching too much Digimon again! - now I'm just making {vulgar term for feces} up!!!) was seen on the sides of the bezel or tailcap where it was struck.
No optical or electrical malfunctions were detected either.

The exterior finish is a Type III hard anodize ("HA-III" as us flashaholics know it), so it should stay new looking for longer, even if it goes up against keys, coins, or other flashlights during storage or transport. Technically speaking, it has a 6061-T6 HA-III aluminum body, and a stainless steel bezel (head). Even the reflector is made from machined aluminum, not plastic like many other flashlights.

The Serac S3 is waterproof and submersible. When I removed the bezel, relieved the flashlight of its battery, and performed that dreadful suction test on the barrel, no air leakage was detected. I clicked the tailcap switch several times while administering suction, and like I just said, no leakage was detected. Therefore, "The Toliet Test" really isn't necessary here, because I'm extremely confident that it would pass this test with flying colors. So if it falls into water, just shake it off and keep going. And if it falls next to the mailbox and the dog pisses on it, just douche it off with the garden hose or under the faucet - good as new.

There is an O-ring on the bezel that engages when the bezel is screwed onto the barrel, so I don't think the Serac S3 will leak from that location.

Actually, I did perform immersion testing.
Here's proof that I really performed "The Toliet Test" on it.
After being submerged in approximately 12" (~30.5cm) of water at 74F (23.3C) for one minute, I dried the outside off with some Cleanax brand nasal tissue, unscrewed the bezel, examined both the bottom of the bezel and the inside of the barrel, and no water was found in either location.

No battery rattle can be detected whatsoever when the flashlight is turned on or off, regardless of how vigorously the unit is shaken.

The flashlight can be stood up on its tail on a dresser, counter, table, or other flat surface and beam onto the ceiling, acting like an electronic candle, even if a wrist lanyard is attached, because the hole for it is not on the bottom of the tailcap, but on the side.

The Serac S3 has a glass window (or "lens" if you prefer) that is AR (antireflective) coated.

The tint of the light emitted is a pure, slightly cool white, with no red, pink, yellow, blue, purple, or "rotten beluga whale urine green" coloration to it at all.

The Serac S3 has regulation circuitry; this simply means that the light output will remain relatively constant throughout most of the battery's life.

According to the Leatherman web page about this flashlight, it is designed for a wide temperature range of -32F (-35.6C) to 140F (60.0C). The web page does not specify if this is operating or storage temperature however.

Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
Measures 1,586,000mcd (high), 759,000mcd (medium), and 130,400mcd (low) on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~10 feet.

Those rectangular graphic things in the upper right quadrant of this photograph are marquees from:

Sega ''Star Trek''
Atari ''Tempest''
Venture Line ''Looping''
Jaleco ''Exerion''

upright coin-op arcade video games from the 1980s.

And those colored graphics toward the left are my "Viva Piata" posters.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LED in this flashlight.
USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Test unit of this flashlight plus two others were sent by M.L. of Leatherman Tools on 09-11-08, and were received late on the evening of 09-15-08.

The entire shipment of flashlights was received at ~9:07pm PDT - by far the latest any shipment has ever been received.

This product was made in China.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

According to my contact at Leatherman Tool Group:

"Leatherman Serac lights are designed in Portland, Oregon. The lights are manufactured in China. Leatherman's design and manufacturing engineers travel to the manufacturing facilities in China, on a regular basis to oversee production and quality control. Lights are inspected again once they reach the Leatherman facility in Portland, Oregon, before being shipped out to customers."

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    MANUFACTURER: Leatherman Tool Group
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: Cree 7090XR-E 3 watt white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot w/wider, dimmer corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/mode change/off on tailcap
    CASE MATERIAL: Aluminum
    BEZEL: Metal; LED & reflector protected by glass window
    BATTERY: 1x CR123A cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, depth not known
    ACCESSORIES: 1x CR123A cell
    SIZE: 3.2" (8.13cm) L, 0.92" (2.30cm) D
    WEIGHT: 2.6 oz (73.7g)
    WARRANTY: 10 years


    Star Rating

Leatherman Serac S3 Flashlight * www.leatherman.com...

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