On HighTechDad, I typically write about gadgets or consumer electronics and how they integrate (or not) within the family environment. For the most part, these are devices that enable Smart Homes or Home Automation or provide some other type of essential utility within the home. But some more everyday and necessary items deserve coverage as well. When you take a step back, a flashlight is a core, emergency- and utility-related gadget that should be on everyone’s list. This review is about one of those items, the KeySmart NanoTorch Twist. (*Disclosure below.)
10/7/19 Update : At the end of the review, there is a 20% coupon code! Sorry all, the code has expired.
If your family is anything like mine, you have all types of flashlights spread throughout the house for various scenarios. I have one by my bed, one on my desk, and one in the pantry to find those hidden food items. I have larger ones with massive D batteries in other locations, but I’m going to guess that those batteries are dead. Yeah, not very effective. And, many of the old, larger flashlights use old fashioned lightbulbs. LEDs are the way to go now. They are longer-lasting and have much brighter output in a smaller form factor than those “old school” flashlights.
But you can pick up these smaller LED flashlights just about anywhere. So how do you know what features to look for? Did you even know that there are features to choose from? The KeySmart NanoTorch Twist has a few very compelling features that truly differentiate them from those hanging on the rack at a supermarket. Let’s look at a few of them.
Compact Design of the NanoTorch
As the name suggests, this LED flashlight is quite small. In fact, it only measures 4.5” long by less than an inch in diameter. But don’t let its small size fool you. It is quite a capable flashlight.
I was a bit surprised by the weight. It comes in around 3.25 ounces. In real-world standards, it does feel “heavy” but not in a bad way. I think a better term to describe it is “solid.”
This solid feeling is because it is crafted from machined aluminum. And that means that while it is a bit heavier than its plastic competitors, it also means that it is much more durable. It feels like it can handle a drop without issue (but I’m not going to purposefully throw it to the ground to test it because I like the NanoTorch Twist).
The NanoTorch has a Twist
Again, as the name implies, there is a twist to this LED flashlight. In fact, the innovative design allows for the flashlight head to pivot so that you can have a 90-degree angle to the flashlight. This is great for shining the light into dark, hard to reach corners.
The twisting process is quite smooth and easy to do. Most likely, when you have in your pocket, you will keep it straight. But it is nice to have the option to pivot.
Many Lighting Options
Traditional, old flashlights were simple. They had an on and off function. But that’s it. This KeySmart flashlight has much more, due to the LED lighting (it’s a CREE LED bulb by the way), which is supposed to last 50,000 hours (no more changing of light bulbs).
But having an LED light means that you can also do a lot more with it. To power the NanoTorch on, you press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds. Once the light is on, you can quickly press the power button to change the level of intensity (low, medium, and high). Here are the output levels:
- Low – 100 lumens and 7-hour runtime
- Medium – 250 lumens and 2.5-hour runtime
- High – 600 lumens and 1-hour runtime
While the light is on, you can also activate two other modes by pressing and holding the power button. One mode is Strobe that is extremely bright (600 lumens) and could cause seizures to some people I’m going to guess. But it is a great emergency beacon. And speaking about emergencies, the other mode is that of SOS (600 lumens), which will automatically blink out the SOS signal (3-short flashes, 3-long flashes, 3-short flashes).
On the highest setting, the NanoTorch Twist throws out a pretty strong and bright light. The product documentation says the reach is about 110m. I tested outside at night, and it truly does a good job of illuminating the darkness well.
Innovative Hands-Free Attaching
The KeySmart NanoTourch Twist has two other methods for holding it without using your hands. One is pretty traditional, actually. It has a pocket clip (mounted upside down). There are times when you need both of your hands to work on whatever you are doing. In this case, you can use the pocket clip to shine the light. And, since the flashlight head twists 90 degrees, you can have it in your pocket and shine it away from your body, not just straight up in the air.
The other innovative hands-free method you can use is pretty cool. The base of the NanoTorch has a strong magnet (watch out for hard drives or credit cards, by the way). But by having this magnetic base, you can just “stick” the NanoTorch onto something magnetic to magically hold it in place.
And with the twisting lamp head, you can easily adjust the direction of the beam. This is ideal when working in tight places, provided you have some sort of magnetic surface to attach it too.
“One More Thing…”
To use that Apple phrase, there is one more thing that I really liked about this KeySmart flashlight. It comes with an innovative, rechargeable Li-ion battery. Not only does the battery output a better light, but it is also supposedly 6X brighter than if you use traditional AA batteries (which you can use, by the way).
As I said, this battery is rechargeable. But you don’t need to put it into a charger. It has a micro-USB slot in the top, and using the included, short micro-USB cable, you charge the battery directly. There is even a little green light that turns on when the battery is fully charged. So no need to hunt for non-dead AA batteries and no need to have to recycle those dead batteries. You simply recharge the included Li-ion battery.
A Great Gift for Yourself or Others
I wish I had been sent a case of these for review and giveaway because I really like the KeySmart NanoTorch Twist. Unfortunately, I only have one (for this review) that I’m going to guard. Ideally, I would have one of these in every car and give one to each member of my family. The features like the twisting head, the magnetic base, and the rechargeable battery make it unique to the space of smaller yet powerful LED flashlights.
Unfortunately, these great features and the durable design of the NanoTorch do come at a price, literally. This is not the $10 LED flashlight you buy at the supermarket. The price on the KeySmart site is listed at $59.99 and, this is a rare case, the Amazon price is actually higher at $69.99 as of this writing.
Promocode available! KeySmart has been kind enough to give HighTechDad.com readers a 20% discount code if you order through their site. Just use code: HighTechDad20 on checkout!
Unfortunately, this code has expired.
But, I believe the features warrant the higher than average price. From my testing, the LED is bright, the pivoting head is extremely useful, and the fact that you can recharge the battery is fantastic. You have to factor the battery into the price. A quick check of these types of rechargeable micro-USB batteries is about $20+ for a 4-pack. And small LED flashlights range from $5 to $100 (and I didn’t see any that have the unique pivoting head).
Bottom line, having a good flashlight is a safety requirement. And you really don’t want to skimp on quality or functionality when you do choose something for your family, friends, or you. While I initially was going to write a “mini” review of this “mini” flashlight, I believe it truly deserves the extra words!
HTD says: Don’t settle for a feature-limited flashlight as you will regret it in times of need. The KeySmart NanoTorch Twist has innovative features like a pivoting head, battery in the base for hands-free holding, and an easily rechargeable battery.
Don’t settle for a feature-limited flashlight as you will regret it in times of need. The KeySmart NanoTorch Twist has innovative features like a pivoting head, battery in the base for hands-free holding, and an easily rechargeable battery. I absolutely loved the ability to pivot the flashlight head. This makes working in tight spaces much easier and if you put in your pocket, you can actually shine the light AT the item you are trying to see. The magnetic base is super-helpful when you need to work hands-free and you have some metal object you can attach to (and it is helpful in picking up nails or screws you might have dropped). The light is bright and I like the options of intensity as well as the strobe or SOS modes. The only place where I put a slightly lower rating is that of the price. This LED flashlight is not inexpensive but that is due to the solid construction and the innovative features.
- Pivoting head
- Rechargeable battery via micro-USB
- Magnetic base
- Small design
- High price