Led Lenser has been a huge name in the LED torch world for a very long time, they offer a very good product at a reasonable price so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their M7 and M7R torches and put them through their paces.
Today I am reviewing two similar products as one here, as far as I can tell the only differentiators between the M7 & M7R is that the M7 is powered by 4 AAA batteries and the M7R uses a rechargeable Lithium-Ion 18650 2200mAh battery. The M7R is also slightly taller and heavier than the M7.
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The M7R has a great recharger that doesn’t require you to remove the battery from the torch. The charger simply attaches magnetically to the on/off button and emits a red light when charging and a green light when fully charged. It is a simple, elegant solution. It also comes with a holder for the torch so you can stick the torch on the wall whilst it is charging.
Battery life for the M7 is up to 11 hours if using the lowest setting and up to 20.5 hours for the M7R. Unfortunately I could not test the battery life of each torch on the highest 220lm setting as I have not found a reliable way to monitor this without sitting there with a stopwatch waiting for both lights to run flat it is just a little too much like watching paint dry for my liking, but neither torch has let me down when it comes to battery life.
I did a 1.5 hour hunt the other night with the M7R and it was on for nearly all of that time and I haven’t charged it since.
The M7 is still using the original Duracell AAA batteries that comes in the box and still is as bright as its rechargeable brother at full charge.
Both the M7 and the M7R feature a 220 lumen LED, an adjustable spot to flood beam which is easily changed by pushing the lens housing away or toward you once you have selected either spot or flood or anywhere in between you twist the lens housing anti-clockwise to lock it into place and prevent it from moving.
The M7’s both feature 5 modes which are changed via the on/off switch.
Once you have turned the torch on depress the on/off switch half way without clicking the button and turning the torch off. It is hard to explain but think of it like focusing a digital camera before you press the shutter.
The 5 modes are:
* Full Brightness (220 Lumens)
* 15% Brightness, but if you hold the button down it will get start to get brighter and brighter until it reaches it’s full 220lm brightness again. Take your thumb off of the button and it will stay at this brightness. This is one of my favourite features of these two great torches.
* Slow Strobe
* S-O-S Signal
* Fast Strobe
Half depressing the button after the fast strobe will return it back to the first setting but it is far easier to turn the light off then back on to get back to full brightness.
Recently, I had the opportunity to use the M7R in the field whilst whistling foxes.
The light performed flawlessly mounted to my 12 gauge shotgun with the Led Lenser Gun Mount. On that particular hunt I called up 4 foxes within 20 minutes and shot 3 of them.
In a hunting situation the M7 and the M7r is suited ideally for out to medium distances so it is perfect for use with a shotgun or a rimfire rifle.
The other hunting use I have for these torches is to spot foxes as both have beams that extend to 255m. My usual method is to have either of the M7’s in my hand scanning the paddock for the familiar glow of fox eyes, when I locate a fox I put the M7 in my pocket and use a bigger spotlight mounted to my .223 Tikka to take the shot.
Whilst the M7 and M7R has a beam out to 255m I find it better to use it to locate my game rather than have it mounted on a varmint weight centrefire rifle. This way I have a bright light in hand so I don’t have to swing around my Tikka to scan the paddock. It is safer and far less tiring to use two light sources when hunting in my opinion.
Overall these two torches are top notch and by giving the buyer the choice of rechargeable or AAA batteries for the same light output is a great idea.
I have to say I like the ability to recharge my torches and that has me leaning toward the M7R for my favorite torch of the two but there are plenty of people who like to be able to buy batteries for their torch anywhere and that is where the M7 comes into its own.
The M7 and the M7R are great torches and I can’t wait to see what Led Lenser sends me next.