The Olight M18 Striker is a tactical flashlight dedicated to one thing and one thing only. Self-defense. Period. If you are looking for a ton of lighting modes, look elsewhere. If you are looking for a tactical flashlight with immediate access to 800 lumens of toasty brightness this may be the flashlight you’ve been looking for. If that’s not enough, the M18 Striker has a very aggressive strike bezel will definitely leave a mark if you get up close and personal. For those of us that consider self-defense a priority the M18 Striker may become your go-to EDC tactical flashlight.
Please note: The M18 Striker is a flashlight that I purchased for my own use. It was not provided to me by Olight. The Olight M18 Striker used for this review was purchased at Amazon.com.
Flashlights fully dedicated to only self-defense are somewhat rare. I’ll admit that when I purchased the M18 I wondered if it offered enough useable features to make it worthy of the expenditure. After a full evaluation, I believe it’s the right flashlight for the right person faced with very specific needs. At the end of the post I’ll share the upgrade I hope they make to this light that would make it just about perfect.
In this post I’ll take you through:
- Unpacking and packaging quality
- Battery information
- Key specifications
- Mode operations and general impression of the M18
- Detailed information on flashlight build quality
- Close-up examination of strike bezel
- Beamshots and throw
Unpacking the Olight M18 Striker
I bought the M18 Striker from Amazon.com in a package including a charger and an Olight 18650 rechargeable battery. The flashlight was also placed in a bubble wrap envelope as well.
This package included a generic battery charger, Olight 18650 rechargeable, flashlight holster and the supplier included a little key ring light as well.
The M18 Striker has a 5 year warranty, 160 meters of throw and an 8 hour run time. I’ll go into the full specs a bit later.
Another look at the M18 Striker packaging.
The rechargeable that was part of this package was an Olight branded 18650 rechargeable. To date the battery has worked well.
The battery charger is a generic version you get in many flashlight packages. When the battery is charged the LED turn green.
If you choose to use CR123A batteries an internal sleeve is provided to place the batteries in. The pocket clip is extremely sturdy, so sturdy that I couldn’t remove it with my hand (which is a good thing). To get it off I had to take a thick rubber band, slide it down behind the clip and pull straight out to get the clip off.
The flashlight holster is fairly generic but completely useable. My guess is that most people will carry the M18 Striker in their pants pocket because of its slim design. The strike bezel could cause some pocket rash in blue jeans, but would be fine in cargo pants.
Here’s a close-up of the M18 Striker. Mine had zero finish defects and excellent fit and finish.
Note the easily accessed tail switch. This M18 Striker automatically is set at 800 lumens. It is meant to disorient a would be attacker immediately. No fumbling with tail cap clicks to hit the turbo mode. Here’s how you access all the modes of this flashlight:
- Half press – 800 lumens mode
- 2 half presses in quick succession – 130 lumens
- 3 half presses in quick successions – 800 lumens strobe
- 1 click – 800 lumens
- 2 half presses and click – 130 lumens
- 3 half presses and click – 800 lumens strobe mode
I’ll admit that it took a bit of practice to learn how to change the modes consistently. Once you have it down you’ll find it to be a very efficient way of switching back and forth between the lighting modes.
Here’s the M18 Striker next to my Kershaw Blur. The two make a very nice EDC combo.
The M18 Striker is the defensive version of the Olight M18 Maverick. The M18 Striker will run for 1.8 hours at 800 lumens or 8 hours at 150 lumens. The M18 Striker also has overheat protection that will reduce the initial output after one minute.
The M18 Striker is 5.2 inches in length, waterproof down to 2 meters and has a drop resistance rating of 6.6 feet. It weighs 2 ounces (excluding batteries).
The M18 Striker can use two 123A batteries or one 18650 rechargeable. Testing on this flashlight was done using the Olight 18650 rechargeable.
If you carry concealed, the M18 Striker may just be your best friend, particularly if you don’t use a dedicated weapon mounted light. This tactical flashlight is ready made for use with your concealed carry rig.
The Striker fits comfortably in your hand and in your pocket.
The Cree XLamp XM-L2 was well centered.
Rear tail cap clicky.
Close-up of the rear battery contact. Very clean and centered. A few small scratches on retaining ring. Threads were clean and well machined.
Here’s why this tactical flashlight is called the M18 Striker. A very well-defined strike bezel that would definitely leave a mark if smashed against a hand or raked over a face. The bezel points are sharp enough to do what they are designed to do but not so long as to interfere with the throw of the flashlight beam.
Another example of clean, lightly lubed threads and correctly positioned o-ring seal.
M18 Striker Beamshots
Here’s why I really like the M18 Striker. In a practical self defense application you might hear a noise and investigate. In the picture below the stairwell below is illuminated by a single 40 watt bulb. If an intruder was standing in the doorway there is no way for you to easily identify your threat and what you are facing.
Here’s what you’ll see once the M18 Striker is deployed. Now you can see what your facing.
Finally, the beam pattern of the M18 Striker.
If you are looking for a self defense based tactical flashlight that would be great for EDC and a compliment to your concealed carry rig, I’d highly recommend the M18 Striker. The only thing it’s missing is a decent anti-roll accessory.
Oh, and the feature I think would make this flashlight perfect? A split tailcap switch to either choose 800 lumens turbo mode or strobe mode. I’ll be suggesting that to them as an enhancement for sure.