EDIT 11/10/2010: EagleTac has released a revised version of this excellent light. For impressions of those revisions, please click HERE.
The EagleTac T100C2 is, in its broadest generalization a souped up P100 series light. Electronically identical to the P100C2, at initial glance it is difficult to see beyond the extra bulk, however this light does offer enough individuality under closer inspection to clearly differentiate it into its own distinct entity.
Meat and Potatoes
As with the other EagleTac 100 series lights, quality knurling is the order of the day here. Enough of it to provide a grippy surface without becoming overly aggressive. As a matter of fact it appears very similar to the knurling common to several Nitecore branded lights. The result is an understated light without over the top machinework complexity. It makes its entrance as a no-nonsense duty light designed more as a professional tool than something to beautify a collection sitting on a shelf.
The EagleTac T100C2 takes the much praiseworthy regulation of the P100C2 and adds to it, most notably, a body with support for 18650 Li-ion rechargeable cells. This allows the end user complete customization as to their preferred power supply. One of my biggest concerns with flashlights is that when I push the button to turn it on, I want reliable output no matter what state the batteries are in. I want to be absolutely assured of what light level I am going to get every single time. The EagleTac T100C2 offers that no matter which battery type you decide to feed it.
The T100C2 uses the same Q5 bin Cree XP-E LED found in the P100 series lights. This time however the reflector has been retooled to accommodate the increased diameter of the lights head. This results in not only a tighter spot as expected, but also surprisingly it provides a broader transitional corona to the beam. The longer I use this torch, the more impressed I am with how beautiful the light it puts out is. This is very nearly enough for me to recant my previous position regarding the use of textured reflectors.
The T100C2 is the first EagleTac light to be given the removable Tactical Grip ring similar to offerings by Surefire and Fenix. This ring does accomplish it’s goal of providing solid retention and anti-roll features. It appears to be made from a high quality plastic that has been given a nice matte finish. This ring however ends up rather narrow and inflexible and therefor digs into your hand unnecessarily when using any grip other than the cigar grip. I would suggest that instead of plastic, some semi-rigid rubber would be used and the corners be rounded a little more to provide a more comfortable user experience. Personally I have decided to remove the ring for long term use.
As much as I profess the T100C2 to be more of a tool than a shelf decoration, it doesn’t hurt to have the finish continue to look good for as long as possible. The anodizing on the T100 appears to be of the same quality as that on the P100 Series before it so that makes long term observation a little easier. Those lights have been in my possession in regular use for a while now and have already begun to show considerable wear to the finish. None of the damage they have sustained over their use is anything but cosmetic and they continue to function as well as the day they shed their packaging, but quite a few wear spots have appeared, especially on the sharper corners of the knurling and bezel, where the anodizing is likely the thinnest. I personally don’t mind if a quality tool looks like it receives a lot of use, but a thick durable finish would better maintain the professional appearance that this light initially gives.
During my time thus far with my narrow sample set of this model, I did experience one minor operational defect. For a short time the low mode seemed to diminish to a very small portion of the threading making it rather difficult to obtain, especially in a hurry. briefly even it appeared to disappear entirely. Further inspection revealed that the spring loaded mode-selection ring inside the head of the light was sticking in the compressed position, severing electrical contact when it would normally be expanding into general mode. This was fixed with some careful reshaping and light lubrication to where it is back to operating like brand new. I just would hate to see a light like this succumb to simple issues that could be circumvented by tighter control in manufacturing.
I began my review of the T100C2 at the same time as the EagleTac M2XC4 and as such at first it seemed to hide in the shadows somewhat by comparison. It is a much simpler light destined for a completely different purpose. The longer I used this light however, the more I came to appreciate the quiet competence it exudes for it’s intended tasks. I am very pleased with the overall product and once again find myself impressed with EagleTac for producing such quality at a very reasonable price.
Provided for review by the kind folks at:
Like many of their other products EagleTac has provided an evolutionary update to the T100C2 model in the form of a Mark II release. Much like the Mark II variant of the P100A2, this new light doesn’t offer huge advancements over the original. Rather it groups together a collection of small improvements that cumulatively create a much better light.
From the beginning I have thought of the 100 series as simple tools, rather than shelf decoration. The new improvements have definitely helped to advance the robustness of their design. This fosters a much greater usefulness in the field by assuaging worry you may have about your tool’s reliability. The T100C2 sports the same thickened bezel and apparently more durable anodizing that the P100A2 received. This eliminates the super sharp corners that the original possessed and will help prevent the deforming that it was prone to if ever dropped.
One of the more invisible improvements made for the T100C2 has to do with the o-ring in front of the lens. The original T100 had issues where a number of these torches had the o-ring fall out over time. This happened to mine and because the head is completely sealed, I am now left with a permanently rattling lens and all the waterproofing qualities of a screen door. I don’t know exactly what steps EagleTac has used to improve this, but they have assured me it has been addressed.
I mentioned previously about how surprised I was at the stunning quality of the beam in spite of being a smooth reflector. That has been taken up a notch. Not only does the light have the excellent beam provided by the now R2 binned XP-E, but it is even nicer because it is focused by a lightly textured reflector that creates a beam that is nigh unto a work of art.
The most obvious, and in my opinion possibly the best advancement offered by this next gen light, is the inclusion of the rubber cigar grip ring found originally on the T20C2. I spoke out against the horrible plastic ring that came with this model originally and I know that others did as well. Apparently our voices were heard. This grip ring is the best that I have experienced thus far, providing a solid and secure grip in the cigar position while not significantly hindering any other method.
In all, a collection of simple improvements that add up to a much better overall experience. The light was good before, These all make it even better.