Thursday, August 25, 2016

Update On the Nebo “Twyst” Flashlight

A little over a year ago I posted a product review of a new flashlight, the Nebo Twyst. I recently got a chance to give it a bit of a torture test and thought it would be a good idea to post an update with what I learned.

Testing Conditions
I work at a farmer's co-op, mainly in the grain elevator but I'll do whatever needs to be done to keep things moving. The location where I work is old; the original concrete bins were poured somewhere around 1919. This means that things have been modified, jury-rigged, repaired, replaced, and added onto for almost a hundred years. Some of the work wasn't very well done and a lot of pieces and parts are worn out, leading to leaks. Corn and soybeans, as well as dust, seep out of small cracks and holes, making a mess and providing plenty of food for vermin.

We recently changed management, and there is now an emphasis on housekeeping that didn't exist for the last twenty years or so. We're cleaning up big messes, and most of the cleaning is underneath grain storage and handling equipment, where access tunnels and “pits” for machinery had accumulated up to 6 feet of spilled grain, which was rotting. Cleaning is done with an industrial vacuum mounted on a modified semi-tractor and lots of water to sluice the mess into the 3 inch vacuum hose.

All of that is a description of a hot, wet, dirty, dusty, dark, rat-infested confined space. I spent three full working days underground, with half-hour breaks when the truck got full and had to go dump about twice a day. I had my Nebo Twyst with me and it got used (and slightly abused) but came out still working.

Notable Conditions and Issues

Water-Resistant Construction
I lost track of how many times the light got soaked by the high-pressure wash down hose, and it found its way into standing water a few times as well. I also washed it off every day and gave it a once-over to make sure it was still in good shape. I did have to unscrew the front bezel that holds the glass lens in place and reseat the o-ring there after the light fell once, but no moisture got through the seals. It may not work underwater, but rain or splashing water isn't going to hurt this light.
Rugged Construction
Several times it fell onto rough concrete from 3 to 5 feet above the floor. One of its fold-out legs got bent, but I was able to straighten it out with a hammer and metal bench. The light picked up some scars and dings, but everything still works.

I really enjoyed how bright it is, especially since it was the only source of artificial light we had while 15-20 feet underground in a concrete box with a manhole on top. Most of the spaces we were working in did not have light fixtures, and the few light fixtures we did have were turned off for safety reasons (wash-down hoses and old electrical equipment don't mix). The boss was working with me and he was impressed with it, so there may be one in each company vehicle soon.

Battery Life
The manufacturer claims 4 hours at full power using the main light. I haven't changed batteries in a year, and we were using the main light for at least 5 hours each of the three days we worked (at least 15 hours of non-continuous use). Since this is normally my truck flashlight it gets used infrequently, this was a good chance to test the run-time. I am very impressed with the battery life.

Magnetic Base
Being able to stick the light onto a conveyor or piece of structural steel freed up our hands to work a bit more efficiently. However, neither rust nor thin sheet metal are suitable for holding a magnet, which is why the light sometimes fell.

All in all, this is one of the best flashlights I have ever owned. I've given a few of them away as gifts and they are greatly appreciated once the recipient actually uses it. I highly recommend this light for keeping in your vehicle or tool box, as it's still too heavy to be an EDC light. 

Given this performance, I may have to try out a few other unique lights that Nebo is making in the near future. 

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