ArmyTek – some notes on technology and torture
This week I’ve been familiarising myself with our current ArmyTek range. There have been some nice surprises and some, frankly frustrating times but I’ve survived and so have the illuminators, and here’s why…
The first thing that strikes you about the ArmyTek torches is the matt black finish and almost rubberised feel. I can’t believe that more torches are not made with this finish; it’s a nice, more tactical look and warmer and better feel. But it would be foolish (and forgivable) to think that this is merely a styling detail from ArmyTek. Oh no, this finish is pure, unadulterated functionality (but it does look great too!).
Researching into this unique finish (I haven’t yet found another range with this) I find that there’s an awful lot more to it, and those clever people at ArmyTek have paid a lot of attention to detail in designing these torches.
The matt finish is due to a very thick coating of Premium Type III Hard Anodising 400HV. Hard Anodising is a much thicker and denser hardcoat for, “aluminium components subject to extreme wear applications where superior abrasion resistance is needed, or corrosive environments where a thicker, harder, more durable coating is necessary.” http://www.anoplate.com/finishes/anodizing.html
So, quite strong then. This is why the ArmyTek range doesn’t have a great deal of knurling, simply because it’s not required as the finish provides a superb amount of grippyness.
The fact that the anodising is also “harder than tool steel” is pretty impressive too and would account for the torture that some folks have tried to bestow upon the Predator Pro; [ embed this video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvA79TAMu6c
Clearly the finish is exceptional but what it’s covering is equally important and here ArmyTek have not let us down. The body material is Aircraft-grade aluminium; lightweight and incredibly strong. What surprises me is how thick this stuff is. Just unscrew the tailcap on any of the ArmtTek range and you can see the thickness of the aluminium; clearly materials and build quality is as important as output and performance to ArmyTek.
The torches all have a very substantial and robust feel – giving the user an immediate confidence in the product, and I suspect that given the materials, technology and warranty from ArmyTek that this confidence is not misplaced.
All the ArmyTek torches here at TacLight are also waterproof and dustproof to the highest IP rating, and many are submersible to a considerable depth (the Predator V2.5 is submersible to 50m!). Now, I know that most of us won’t need this kind of security with regards dust and water but it’s nice to know that it’s there, and should an unfortunate incident arise, your torch will come out less unscathed than you.
ArmyTek’s attention to detail is also incredible and the build quality very high.
- Screw threads are good quality and anodised in the tail-cap for lock–out function.
- The edges of the battery tube is chamfered, a nice touch and attention to detail.
- Double ‘O’ rings and threads are all greased, which in my experience, is not always the case with torches.
- Small raised contact points in the head mean that high capacity flat-top batteries can be used
- Lanyards, pocket clips and pouches that come with different models are good quality
- Bezels are stainless steel with titanium coating (did you see that chap ripping up the tarmac with his Predator’s crenellated bezel? See video.)
- Circuit performance is consistently excellent; regulation, output/runtime and efficiency
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but you get the idea. Such attention to detail and performance is to be expected from the more, considered to be, ‘top of the line’ brands but ArmyTek is clearly going to give them a run for their money.
What differentiates between each illuminator in the Armytek range are the emitters (LED’s) and optics/reflectors. And here ArmyTek ensure that they are getting the most out of each emitter while maintaining integrity and quality; just look at how hard the 1x18650 battery is made to work for the unbelievably high-powered ArmyTek Wizard Pro head torch.
Armytek have made sure that there is a torch to suit everyone.
The Viking and Predator torches are essentially the same torch with different LED’s and reflectors. If you want a simple 4 mode, single cell hunting light with a brighter hotspot and longer throw then you’d need the Predator V2.5, but if you don’t need the extra throw and require a wider beam angle, then the Viking V2.5 is for you. The Predator Pro V2.5 is exactly the same as the Predator V2.5 with the addition of a fully programmable and customisable user interface (U.I.) for its huge range of light levels and tactical modes. ArmyTek really has catered for everyone.
So, why the frustration during this familiarization and research journey? Well, it mostly came about because of all the jargon and the small differences between reflectors, emitters, optics… but I got there in the end and have busted the jargon and worked out the differences so that you don’t have to.
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