Special Forces 21-LED Flashlight, retail $ (Free*)
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated 02-06-08

This is the Special Forces 21-LED Flashlight.

It comes in an aluminum body, has 21 screaming bright white LEDs (yes, the intensity is higher than I expected) in its bezel (head), uses three AAA cells in a carriage in its barrel, and has a rubbery pushbutton momentary switch on its tailcap and a twist-continuous "tactical" tailcap.

The batteries (three AAA cells) are not included, so you'll have to buy some or have some on hand before you can use this flashlight.

*It was provided as a "freebie" when I purchased a set of "Hercules Hooks" from a television commercial website.


To use the product, feed it first (see below), and then you'll be ready to rock.

Press and hold the button on the tailcap to turn the flashlight on in momentary or signalling mode. Release the tailcap to turn the flashlight off.

For continuous or hands-free use, twist the tailcap clockwise until you get light, and unscrew it to turn the Special Forces flashlight off.

Unscrew and remove the tailcap, throw it in the {vulgar term for feces}bowl, and flush it away...O WAIT!!! YOU'LL NEED THAT!!! So just set it aside instead.

Tip the black plastic battery carriage out of the barrel and into your hand. If necessary, remove and dispose of or recycle the used AAA cells from it.

Insert three new AAA cells into the carriage, orienting each cell so its flat end (-) negative faces the spring for it in each chamber.

Slide the now-full battery carriage into the flashlight barrel, orienting it so the nipple on the metal plate at one end of the carriage goes in first. Finally, screw the tailcap firmly back on. Back it off a bit so you don't waste those brand spanken new batteries.
Aren't you glad you didn't flush away that tailcap now?

Current consumption measures 191.5mA on my DMM's 400mA scale.
This equals ~9.12mA per LED, so the LEDs in this flashlight are not overdriven, and should have long, comfortable lives..

Photograph of the front of the unit, showing the 21 LEDs.

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 the expected damage. There is some minor gouging on the sides of the tailcap and bezel where it was struck. No optical or electrical malfunctions were detected.

This flashlight is splatter- and weather-resistant at absolute minimum, but it is not submersible. It failed "The Suction Test" rather miserably. It leaks around the LEDs; I removed the bezel and suctioned it to confirm that. There is an O-ring on the barrel there, but it doesn't really do any good if the flashlight leaks elsewhere. So please try not to drop it in creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceansides, docksides, puddles of panda bear pee, glasses of milk, slush piles, mud puddles, tubs, root beer floats, toilet bowls, toilet cisterns, sinks, cups of coffee, fishtanks, dog water dishes, old yucky wet mops, wall-mounted porcelain urinators, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. A little rain or snow probably wouldn't hurt it though, so you need not be too concerned about using it in lightly to at most moderately bad weather.

If it fell in water and you suspect it got flooded, disassemble it as you would for a battery change, dump out the water if necessary, and set the parts in a warm dry place for a day or so just to be sure it's completely dry inside before you reassemble and use it again.

If it fell into seawater, got thrown into a glass of milk, fell in a root beer float, fell in the toilet, or if somebody or something peed on it, douche all the parts out with fresh water before setting them out to dry. You don't want your flashlight to smell like seaweed, sour milk, or urine when you go to use it next. Besides, salt (from seawater or urination), lactic acid (from moo juice), or sugar (from root beer & ice cream) can't be very good for the insides.

There are some ribs milled into the barrel, and raised rectangles milled into the tailcap, so retention (the ability to hold onto the flashlight when your hands are cold, oily, or soaked with water, milk, coffee, beer, pop, or pee) shouldn't be much of an issue.

Photograph of the unit's beam at 12" on the test target.
Measures 356,000mcd on a Meterman LM631 light meter.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of the LEDs in this product.

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

Unit was provided as a "freebie" when I purchased a set of "Hercules Hooks" from a television commercial website, and was received on 08-08-06.

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.

UPDATE: 00-00-00



    MANUFACTURER: Unknown/not stated
    PRODUCT TYPE: Small handheld flashlight
    LAMP TYPE: 5mm white LED
    No. OF LAMPS: 21
    BEAM TYPE: Medium spot w/dim corona
    SWITCH TYPE: Tailcap push on/off, twist on/off
    BEZEL: Metal; LEDs recessed into individual hosels for them
    BATTERY: 3xAAA cells
    WATER RESISTANT: Light splatter-resistance at maximum
    WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated


    Star Rating

Special Forces 21-LED Flashlight *

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