Okluma DC1 Review (Titanium – Ti DC1)

Preface

The TinyDC first debuted around mid-2015. The TinyDC was then renamed DC1 (1*18350 body) in early mid-2017, to pave the way for the introduction of the DC2 (1*18650 body) model later in the year.

As we have mentioned in our Oveready TorchLAB BOSS review, there are several Custom makers with Titanium triple lights in the market for several years now – is this the one to get while you still can?

Note: This review is based on the Titanium DC1 (Ti DC1) model with Blue Titanium Clip Screws & Green Optic Glow options.

Design Philosophy

The DC1 design philosophy from Jeff himself (slightly edited for brevity):

“I’m a self-employed machinist and in 2014, I saw one of Mac’s Customs Tri-EDC lights and I fell in love.

Clearly this light looks a lot like the Mac’s Customs Tri-EDC. Like many of you, I just really wanted one. I religiously watched the WTS (Want To Sell) threads on CandlePowerForums, waiting for one to show up. After it became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen any time soon, I sent Chris (Owner of Mac’s Customs) a couple emails. I thought that maybe in exchange for his plans, I could work on his backlog. He’d pay for material, I’d donate my labor, we’d all get Tri-EDCs and everyone would be happy. Like many of you, I never got a response.

That’s when I started designing this light.

Visually I wanted them to be very similar, but absolutely no confusion between who’s light is who’s.”

In case you are wondering, these are the guys behind Okluma.

  • Jeff – the guy behind Okluma (Designer, Builder & Machinist of DC1 and DC2 lights)
  • Clark – the guy assisting Jeff in the DC1 and DC2 production process
  • Richard – the guy behind Mountain Electronics (Creator of the Okluma’s Light Engine)
  • Joey – not a guy but is Jeff’s German Shepherd dog who is always near Jeff in his shop

The Okluma flashlights can be purchased in the following formats (subject to availability).

  1. DC1 – comes with 18350 body
  2. DC2 – comes with 18650 body

Note: The DC1 and DC2 heads and/or bodies are not interchangeable.

The Titanium DC1 (Ti DC1) is made from Grade 5 Titanium (Ti 6Al-4V) material.

Titanium is not the best heat dissipating material for a heat generating light. Hence, the Ti DC1 comes with a solid copper pill that screws into the DC1 head. The Triple LEDs & Light Engine are mounted on the copper pill. This copper chunk helps to mitigate the heat dissipating issue substantially.

Short History of Okluma

Okluma flashlights are made in Oklahoma and the company was originally named “OKLumen”, back in mid-2015. The name “OKLumen” was essentially brought about by the combination of “Oklahoma (OK)” and “Lumen”. However, Jeff’s friend who designed the Okluma logo, suggested a change of name to “Okluma” and Jeff, being a machinist at heart, liked the idea as it sounded a lot like “Okuma” – the company that makes lathes, mills and more.

“TinyDC” was the name of the first product made by OKLumen. The name “TinyDC” was a play on words where it would sound a lot like “TinyEDC”, with a longer “y” pronunciation. By early mid-2017, the name “TinyDC” was changed to “DC1” (1*18350 body), to pave the way for the introduction of the “DC2” (1*18650 body) model later in the year.

Here are some Fun Facts:

  1. CHAMFERS: The first run was made up of 5 Aluminium lights, and they all had the small chamfers for the tailcap. For all subsequent runs, the tailcaps are made with larger chamfers.
  2. KNURLING: Flashlights made before the first run (Prototypes?) had much sharper knurling on the body. Jeff has, since then, turned down the knurling substantially to get a minimal amount of texture to prevent any shredding of pants/clothes.
  3. LED: Several runs of flashlights had the Nichia 219B LEDs as the default option. Subsequently, the Nichia 219C LEDs replaced the 219B LEDs as the default option.
  4. CRENULATION: Several runs had crenulation on the head but they have been removed in favor of a cleaner and simpler look. The crenulation was originally part of the light to help check if the light was switched ON if left face down but the more Jeff used it, he realised they didn’t really help and were starting to feel more like a decorative function instead.
  5. DRIVER: Several runs had the NANGJ 105C 3.05A Driver with JonnyC’s Firmware as the default driver. Since then, the driver has been changed to a customised Okluma CC (Constant Current) FET + 1*7135 Driver, made by Richard from Mountain Electronics. There are other Driver options available like the H17F and CWF Dragon.

Packaging & First Impressions

When it comes to the “Custom” level of flashlights, not only does is the product required to be near perfect, the packaging and customer service are all part of the buying consideration process that customers would be taking into consideration as well. In other words, it is the minute attention to detail that sets apart each Custom Maker from another.

As such, it is obvious that Jeff puts in a rather substantial effort in the overall presentation and packaging of the Okluma DC1 (most probably for the DC2 model as well) as can be seen in the photos below. For instance, all DC1 models comes in cigar box with microfiber bag & 18350 battery (Efest), note of thanks (birth certificate), Okluma stickers, Okluma magnets and specialised foam packaging.

And yes, every of the packaging items mentioned above, has the Okluma logo on it – even the shipping box is spray painted with the Okluma logo.

This is what the light will come with as shown below.

  • The threads and o-rings were lightly lubricated.
  • Rather smooth threads for Titanium material but some slight breaking-in period is required. Cleaning the threads and re-lubing with Christo-Lube MCG 111 helps to make the threads almost butter smooth.
  • Excellent fit and finish – no rough/sharp edges and “tumbled” finish.
  • The light will definitely stay clipped to any material with almost no chance from falling out due to the tension provided by the Ti clip.
  • The Ti clip is held down firmly by 2 x T8 Torx Titanium screws. This Ti clip is swappable with Steel Flame (SF) clips, McGizmo clips and the likes.
  • The tail switch (McClicky) requires a slightly firm press to activate and is almost impossible to accidental activate in pocket due to the flush tailcap.
  • Utilises the McClicky switch which is by far, the best forward clicky mechanical switch made to date.
  • Battery compartment holds unprotected IMR 18350 battery without issue. CR123A batteries are not recommended for this light due to the driver used (FET drivers are essentially “Direct Drive” drivers that will pull the maximum amount current from the battery to provide the brightest output possible).

Note: The following pictures depicts a Ti DC1 with optional Titanium Okluma Bead.

Sides:

Contents:

Okluma Stickers & Magnets

Note of Thanks (Birth Certificate)

Cigar Box & Microfiber Bag

Complimentary IMR 18350 Battery (Efest)

Quick Overview (Manufacturer Specifications)

  • Body Material Options:
    • 7075 Aluminium
    • Brass
    • Copper (C145)
    • Titanium
  • Limited Run Body Material Options (mostly via Lottery/Lotto):
    • Zirconium
    • Damascus
    • Timascus
    • Radmascus
    • Aluminium Bronze
    • Nickel Bronze
    • Mokume
    • 4140 Chromoly with Black Oxide Finish
    • Note: Some of the above materials might be a one-off production run.
  • Lens Material: Sapphire
  • LEDs with default Narrow Spot, Plain Optic (Carclo 10507):
  • Titanium Clip Screws Options (picture below is courtesy of Okluma – from Left to Right):
    • Plain (Default)
    • Anodized
      • Blue (As selected for this review sample)
      • Purple
      • Turquoise
      • Bronze
  • GITD Optic Glow (picture below is courtesy of Okluma – from Left to Right):
    • 1st Color indicates Optic Glow with light and 2nd Color indicates Optic Glow in the dark
      • White / Turquoise
      • Green / Green (Default)
      • Orange / Orange
      • Red / Orange
      • Blue / Blue
      • Yellow / Green
  • Battery Format: (Voltage Range: 2.5V to 4.35V)
    • DC1 (1 x 18350 / 1 x CR123A ONLY)
    • Note: DO NOT use CR123A batteries on MID or HIGH modes, due to their higher current draw.
  • Modes (Okluma Driver) :
  • Waterproofness: Rating not available but see “Waterproofness” section for more information
  • Dimension: 25.0mm (head diameter) / 88.9mm (body length)
  • Weight: 95g (excluding batteries)
  • Battery reverse polarity protection
  • No PWM
  • MSRP: ~$499

Optional Accessories

There are various accessories available for the Okluma light.

Lanyard Bead

For those looking to have an Okluma bead with a similar knurling style as the DC1 body knurling, this is definitely the one for you.

The hollow end on one side of the bead enables the paracord knot to be hidden for a cleaner look.

Comes in the following materials-

  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Bronze
  • Titanium (as shown below)

Drilled Carclo Optics

For those who find that the included GITD Optic Glow could be further supplemented by Tritium Vials, this is the perfect solution for you.

These drilled Carclo Optics can fit 3 pieces of 1.5mm by 6mm Tritium Vials.
Note: Tritium Vials are NOT included.

The drilled Carclo Optics are available in the following options (subject to availability):

  • Carclo 10507 – Narrow Spot, Plain Optic
  • Carclo 10508 – Medium Spot, Frosted Optic
  • Carclo 10509 – Wide Spot, Frosted Optic
  • Carclo 10510 – Elliptical Ripple Linear Optic
  • Carclo 10511 – Narrow Spot, Frosted Optic

Miscellaneous Accessories

The following are the other (spare) accessories that one can purchase for the DC1 light (subject to availability):

  • DC1 Pocket Clip
  • Titanium Clip Screws (Plain, Blue, Turquoise and Bronze Options)
  • Boot (Rubber boot of DC1 tail)
  • Lens/Window (Sapphire)
  • McClicky Switch Tool (Custom-made for DC1’s McClicky Switch removal)
  • IMR 18350 Battery (Efest)
  • Nano Oil (10W – for Thread and O-Ring maintenance)
  • Cigar Box
  • Microfiber Bag
  • Okluma Walnut Tray (comes in 3 or 5 slots for Okluma flashlights storage/display)

UI (User Interface)

UI for this light is perfect for Every Day Carry (EDC) as it is extremely straightforward to use.

Despite the modified FET + 1*7135 used in the Okluma Driver, the modes and memory setting are fixed (non-programmable). That said, the Okluma Driver is more than sufficient for day-to-day uses. However, if programmability is required, the H17F or CWF Dragon has to be opted as Driver Upgrades.

Switching ON and OFF is done by the tail mechanical switch on the light so momentary activation is possible.

Normal Operation

From OFF:

  • 1/2 Press –  Light will switch ON to MOMENTARY last used mode (last mode memory) – any of the brightness levels.
  • 1 Click –  Light will switch ON to last used mode (last mode memory) – any of the brightness levels.
  • Repeated 1/2 Press – Mode change (light cycles through MOONLIGHT, LOW, MID & HIGH -> MOONLIGHT, LOW, MID & HIGH).

From ON:

  • 1 Click – Light will switch OFF.
  • Repeated 2 Click – Mode change (light cycles through MOONLIGHT, LOW, MID & HIGH -> MOONLIGHT, LOW, MID & HIGH).

Fit & Finish

The “tumbled” finish is beautiful – not overly dark and it hides the usual “swirl” usage marks that polished Titanium lights tend to suffer from. After scrutinizing through every inch of the DC1, there isn’t a single sharp point or uneven machining anywhere. The “tumbled” finish is perfectly even throughout the entire light; no dissimilar finishes between the head and body.

The attention to detail can be seen even from the almost precise (perfect) amount of tension the Titanium Pocket Clip clips to one’s pocket to the almost buttery smooth Ti threads.

If we had to nitpick, the only thing we can fault is the finishing on the Titanium Pocket Clip. Upon close scrutiny, several lines can be seen and are probably caused by the contact of the tumbling material against the different surfaces of the Titanium Pocket Clip. After several weeks of usage, the lines became indistinguishable from the usage marks.

Form Factor

For flashlights that are intended to use on a daily basis (EDC) and for possibly a long period of time, form factor is extremely important.

This DC1 feels well balanced in a medium sized hand (not head/tail-heavy), with the DC1 being able to almost disappear entirely in a clenched medium sized hand. Switching between overhand and underhand holding method is easy with its form factor.

The knurling on the body of the DC1 is not overly aggressive. It has just about the right amount of texture to ensure that the light does not feel slippery, even with wet hands/gloves.

It can tail-stand perfectly without the slightest wobble due to the recessed switch. Owing to the larger chamfer on the tail, activating the tail switch is also easy without increasing the chances of accidental activation.

Beam Style/Beamshots

For this triple lights, the spill, corona and hotspot is somewhat predictable – often producing what is known as a “wall of light”. With the sheer output from the LEDs used, the beam is still sufficiently “throwy” for recognising items in the near to mid-range distance.

The above beam profiles are rough interpretations of what is seen when white wall hunting when up-close with the default optic (Carclo 10507). The beam will vary based on the different optics used. When up-close, the beam has a somewhat circular hotspot with some slight corona and a triangle spill. There are no rings in the beam when whitewall hunting/in real world usage.

The below photos show the DC1 in MOONLIGHT mode and the GITD Optic Glow in action.

All of the beamshots taken below are done so with the following camera settings (MOONLIGHT: 8sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, LOW: 2.5sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB, MID: 0.6sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB and HIGH: 1/6sec, F3.5, ISO100, 5000K WB).
Some pictures have been adjusted slightly to depict as close as to what is seen in real life. The distance of the light from the door is 4.6m.

Control shot:

MOONLIGHT:

LOW:

MID:

HIGH:

Mode (Output) Spacing

The mode spacing of the Okluma Driver appears progressively brighter to the eye and the modes are well spaced enough to be able to select just about any level one would need. With that in mind, TLR tend to view mode spacing as battery life indicators (amount of runtime left) rather than the specific output (lumens).

In most cases, we usually harp upon the MOONLIGHT capability of a flashlight and the Ti DC1 certainly did not disappoint here. The MOONLIGHT mode is perfect for night-adjusted eyes and midnight snack runs.

The highest output for MID mode is limited by the Okluma Driver’s single 7135 chip used. As such, if a brighter MID mode is required, the only option is to opt for a Driver Upgrade to a H17F or CWF Dragon.

Tint & CRI

The default LEDs used is the 219C with the color temperature of 4000K with a  high CRI (Color Rendering Index) Rating.

A guesstimate for this flashlight, would be in the 90CRI ballpark, at the very least. This being that colors pop rather vivdly, especially red.

There are some slight tint shifts throughout the beam profile. The hotspot has a slightly yellowish tint with the the corona and the spill possessing a slight pinkish tint.
This tint shift is not noticeable in real life usage.

Overall, the tint is a pleasant one and that is one of the common traits for the 219C LED at 4000K. It is probably one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular default option among flashlight Custom Makers.

Waterproofness

Despite the light not being officially rated, we went ahead to test it like as though it was rated for IPX-8.

The light was subjected to warm water submersion, followed by cold water submersion and left under room temperature running water tap whilst running on HIGH.

No signs of water intrusion in the head, body or switch/tail was seen.

For kicks, check out the washer (washing machine) test video by Jeff HERE.

Lockout Capability

There is neither electronic nor mechanical lockout available when needed, like during transportation in a bag.

While the recessed switch is shielded by the tail and need quite a deliberate press to activate, there is always the possibility of it coming ON (especially if stored in a bag). Hence, it is highly recommended to leave the light in MOONLIGHT mode before switching OFF.

It isn’t the best workaround for having no lockout capability but it is better than not having a solution at all.

Warranty

We often do not talk about warranty in our reviews because most manufacturers have varying degrees of coverage and we do not want to be held liable for stating any false information.

However, for Okluma, Jeff said the following about their “No Questions Asked” Lifetime Warranty.

“All of our flashlights come with a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty. That means if you ever have trouble with your flashlight, even if you’re not the original owner, we’ll fix it for free. And we’ll cover shipping. And if you need a flashlight to use while we’re repairing yours, we can send you one in the mean time. If you purchase an Okluma flashlight, we want it to be the last light you ever need to buy, and we’re serious about it.

Please send all support or warranty questions to support@okluma.com.”

Talk about standing behind one’s product. This is probably the gold standard for Warranty right here.

Okluma Ti DC1 & Mac’s Customs Ti Tri-EDC

As mentioned in the “Design Philosophy” section earlier, Jeff designed the Okluma DC1 to be visually similar to the Mac’s Customs Tri-EDC, but also ensuring that there is absolutely no confusion between who’s light is who’s.

The following photos help depict how well Jeff carried out his Design Philosophy.

Note:

  1. The Mac’s Customs Ti Tri-EDC depicted below is not stock. All other parts are stock, except for the following changes.
    1. Jeff Hanko & ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond Light Engine
    2. Drilled Carclo Optics with 3 Tritium Vials
    3. O-ring on the tail rubber boot to give it a cleaner look

Size Comparison (Custom Flashlights)

Here are some of the other Custom flashlights that might be recognizable for those looking to get a Titanium DC1 and would like to get a feel of how the DC1 would fit into their collection.

For the 1st photo (L to R): McGizmo Mule / McGizmo Sundrop / Oveready TorchLAB BOSS 35 / Jeff Hanko Sunwayman V10R Ti / Mac’s Customs Tri-EDC / Okluma Ti DC1 / McGizmo LunaSol LS20 / McGizmo Haiku.

Scale Comparison (Ruler)

Summary

To sum up, we believe that the most important part of any review is if given the chance to purchase the same light for our own EDC or to gift to our loved ones out from one’s pocket (wallet), would we still do it?
For this light, it is a definite YES – no question about it.

The easy User Interface means that there is absolutely no learning curve to master.

Then there is the well-designed ergonomics – there is almost no uncomfortable way of holding it as they all provide ample grip (even with wet hands). Looking back at the Design Philosophy of the DC1, Jeff definitely knock it out of the park. The fit and most of the finishing just screams quality and attention to detail.

This is a tool light that just so happens to be a Custom light as well and with a “No Questions Asked” Lifetime Warranty to back. In this current day and age, Customer Service can make or break a company and in the last ~4 years of Okluma’s existence, we have not encountered a single bad rep/complaint on the forums or social networks.

While the DC1 has almost everything going for it, there is still one tiny niggle that we could not help noticing. For most, this would not even matter but it would be nice if the finishing of the Titanium Clip matches the finish of the Titanium DC1’s body and head.

Thank you for taking the time to read this longer than usual review and we hope it benefits you greatly. So now, get your PayPal loaded up and ready to purchase the next available run/wave of Okluma DC1 flashlights along with their range of accessories to choose from.

Here is a bonus size comparison picture next to some Grade 5 Titanium (Ti 6Al-4V) flashlights we reviewed previously.

From Left to Right: Oveready TorchLAB BOSS 35, Okluma Ti DC1 & Reylight Ti Lan V3.

Stay safe,

The Lite Review


Disclaimer: The Okluma Titanium DC1 was provided for by Okluma (Jeff) for this review. No other compensation was provided.


Where to Buy Links

Disclaimer: The links to the Okluma Titanium DC1 do not contain any affiliate or tracking links.

However, purchasing using the Christo-Lube MCG111’s affiliate link below will enable TLR to receive compensation from corresponding affiliate companies (Amazon/ShareASale/etc.) directly.
It will NOT cost you anything and is a way to help support the website to keep pumping out reviews like this.

Okluma Titanium DC1

Okluma DC1 flashlights are sold in runs/waves. There are a few ways to get notified before each run/wave starts.

  1. Subscribe to the Okluma email notification HERE
  2. Join the Okluma Facebook Group HERE

HERE is where to purchase the Okluma DC1 flashlights.

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