I remember a time when there were only a handful of different types of flashlights to choose from. Nowadays, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are just flashlights whiles others have become a multitool of sorts.
The latter certainly describes the product I recently tested out. In this article, I will be reviewing the Strikelight offered by ApeSurvival. It is a flashlight, impact tool, and glass breaker all in one. Let’s jump right in and see what this piece of gear has to offer.
Constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Strikelight is lightweight, stainless, and rustproof.
Upon arrival, the Strikelight is 14 inches long but can be extended to 18 inches.
The bright CREE LED is powered by 3 AAA batteries and has three different light modes. Full beam, half beam, and strobe. An adjustable zoom gives more control over the size of the beam
A beveled edge around the lens gives one area of striking ability. The adjustable zoom also acts as a means of extending the length of the Strikelight, providing further reach. Along the extension tube is a series of points that can be used for gripping or as another striking area.
On the bottom of the handle is a silver-tipped glass breaker.
A wrist strap is also provided to make sure the light always stays in your grasp.
Strikelight Review: Hands-on Field Test
As you may be able to tell from the above description, the Strikelight is a flashlight, impact tool, and glass breaker all in one with a design that is certainly, unique.
The flashlight has three different modes. A high beam, low beam, and a strobe mode. A small brass button on the handle cycles through the different modes. I was unable to find out how many lumens the light is and while it is not the brightest flashlight I have owned, it will do the job.
The forward portion of the frame acts as both an adjustable zoom for the light and to extend the frame.
By twisting this part counter-clockwise, it becomes unlocked and the beam can be adjusted. There is a very narrow area in which to adjust the zoom but when the right amount of zoom is desired, it can be locked back into place by twisting the frame clockwise.
When the light is zoomed in all of the ways (the beam is focused into a small area) an odd-looking design is projected by the light. This design appears to be the outline of the LED. I found this to be an annoying feature of the zoom.
The flashlight button is also ultra-sensitive and it doesn’t take much pressure when handling the light for the different modes to be changed.
The Glass Breaker
At the bottom of the handle is the glass breaker. Most of these types of tools I have seen form a sharp tip. This one however looks more like a very small ball bearing that is round.
I did not have windows around in which to smash but I did set up a few bottles. While wearing proper PPE I grabbed the handle and swiftly brought the Strikelight down onto the glass.
Nothing happened. I repeated hitting the bottle several times and it still did not break. On my fifth attempt, I decided to bring the Strikelight down much harder. When I did, the bottom half of the bottle broke away. I continued tapping away at the rest of the bottle to break it up a bit.
I noticed when the Strikelite contacted the glass it wanted to slide off to the side. Now, this could be in part because I was using a rounded bottle instead of a flat piece of glass. Or it could have been because the glass breaker is rounded. Or it could have been a little bit of both. Either way I am use to a sharp tipped glass breaker that only requires one strike to break glass.
By twisting the Stirkelite its length can be adjusted between 14 inches and 18 inches. This adjustment also acts like the zoom feature for the light.
In the 14 inch configuration, the Strikelight feels relatively solid. The longest portion of the frame is made up of a series of points and provides a large area for striking capability.
To test this out I decided to use a semisoft material made of canvas and a harder material made up of a plastic barrel.
While the light is a hard hitter there is no grip to speak of on the handle. Because of this, the handle rotated in my hand when striking objects. This brought up two issues. The first is that when my hand moved it would depress the light button. If the light was on it would turn it off, if the light was off it would turn it on.
The second issue is that when the light is at its shortest length, the locking mechanism for the extension tube can disengage. This causes the tube to shoot forward into an unlocked position. When the light is being used as an impact tool, having the extender sliding back and forth takes a lot of efficiencies away from the tool.
Lastly, while I was using this as an impact tool there quite a bit of rattling sounds coming from the light. I believe this was mainly from the large spring housed in the LED compartment, but it also seemed to be coming from the battery compartment.
At the top of the light, around the lens is a beveled edge that consists of six points. The points are not pointed or sharp like a cutting edge but are designed for impact purposes.
The lens of the flashlight is receded about a quarter of an inch below the bevels. This should be enough space that the lens is protected upon impact, especially against flat surfaces.
I smashed the beveled edge into my work table and it left some nice indentations.
One thing to note about the beveled edge is that it is a cap that holds the lens in place. This rim can be unscrewed and both it and the lens can be removed. If you do this be careful as there is a large spring underneath the rim.
All of these parts can be removed which exposes the LED compartment. I am not entirely sure why one would want to remove this section. Also considering that this part of the light is to be used as an impact area, it would have made more sense for these pieces to be solid and not removable.
After I impacted my work table with this part of the tool I checked the beveled edge. It had become quite loose and I had to retighten it. If this was used quickly and repeatedly, I can see the beveled rim completely unscrewing and it along with the spring could pop out.
Just above the handle are two rings that go all of the ways around the frame. There are four holes cut out of each ring and this is where the wrist wrap is attached by a metal swivel clip. The strap itself is black and feels silky smooth.
However, the strap is way too small and is poorly located. Because of its size and location, when I put my hand through the strap, I can barely get a grip on the handle of the light. It is way too tight and uncomfortable.
A lanyard hole at the bottom of the handle would have been a better location so that a hand could come up through the loop and immediately grab the handle.
I do not see how anyone could use the strap as it is and it would be my recommendation to replace the strap with something larger and more durable. A length of paracord for instance.
I wanted to add one last item I noticed after testing. It appears that the flashlight beam is weaker after I carried out the impact tests. I am unsure if this is due to connections within the battery or LED compartment being knocked around, but it is something that I noticed.
Pros and Cons of Strikelight
- A flashlight, glass breaker, and impact tool all in one.
- The length can be adjusted from 14-18 inches
- The wrist wrap is badly located and uncomfortable
- Odd design projected from the light when the beam is zoomed in
- Extender tube can unlock upon impact
- The beveled rim can unscrew upon impact
- Rattling sound when used as an impact tool
- The LED appears to be weaker after impact testing
At the end of the day, this isn’t something that I will be carrying on me.
It could be thrown into a vehicle but in my opinion it is far too bulky to carry on my person as an everyday flashlight. From my short-term testing of the Strikelight, there are too many negatives about its operation and how it is designed that it is not of interest to me.
Lastly, given the multiple uses of this product, it would be a good idea to check your local laws before purchasing. If you have any experience with the StrikeLight feel free to sound off in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!