Leatherman S3 Torch

Review by Matt Heason
Monday 30th March 2009



On seeing a price tag of £69.95 for a small pocket torch, one tends to baulk. That said, this one has a 100 lumens bulb (which is extremely bright) and a 10 year warranty. Built by legendary American pocket-tool brand Leatherman, it has a seriously good feel to it. It’s similar in size (in fact a little shorter and fatter) than the old style pen-lights, runs off a single CR123 battery (my one quibble is that these are not always the easiest batteries to get hold of, especially when travelling), has a pocket clip, and three brightness settings (be aware that the 100 lumens setting means the battery lasts just 1 hour; 43 lumens for 4 hours on med, and 7 lumens for 36 hours on low).

Switching modes is done via repeated pressing of the button embedded into the end of the torch. As high is the default mode you always have to turn it to high before pressing again for med and again for low. Personally I’d prefer it to be the other way around, thereby not wasting battery power and not illuminating the whole room (when all you need to do is check the time at night, for example).

Although incredibly bright for its size I have, over the past twenty years, become accustomed to wearing a torch on my head. Therefore, I find it a little less useful than an average headlamp as I either have to hold it in my mouth, or use just the one hand. A simple clip and head-strap would put this torch firmly in contention with some of the better head torches out there. In fact, a couple of them mounted together would provide ample light for a night-ride (battery life would obviously be an issue here as it’d only work on the brightest setting!). All in all a nice bit of kit, if you can afford it.

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