“ Brand: Uni-Com / Dynamo Mini Torch / Type: Torch „
I bought one of these to place on my keychain, as a sort of back up torch, that doesn't need batteries. Sadly though, this is not the solution.
I have another review on a wind up torch, and I have no idea why most of the ones availble seem to just fall apart. I bought one of these, and for the period it worked, it was pretty good. It was surprisingly bright for its size (at the time I also had a maglite solitairre, and it was brighter than that, as well as smaller), and had a wind up part. Its battery life was not brilliant, about 10-20minutes at best before it was noticeably dimmer, but when you got a wind up feature, that is not much of a problem.
This torch is a small square shape, about the size of your little finger, with a fold out crank, an internal battery somewhere, and 2 small led bulbs in the front. There is also a switch for turning it on and off.
Sadly though, this thing broke, very quickly as well, and I didn't put that much abuse on it. I am not sure entirely what happened, but one day the crank just went stiff, I couldn't spin it. When I tried to force it to spin, it suddenly came loose, and span around not connected to anything. Some more fiddling, and the crank then span with loads of resistance, but did not actually charge the battery....
Sigh, I bought this for around £3, which in my eyes is not cheap for something of this dubious quality. I mean, yes £3 is not a lot, but considering I have since bought a metal battery powered torch from poundland, which still works, I couldn't help but feel a little let down by this, the more expensive product.
What makes this really bad though, is the way they advertise it as being green. how can it be green when it lasts about a week before breaking, surely the carbon footprint of making all that plastic, moulding it, and transporting it only for it to be replace in about a week is worse than just buying new batteries? Whats more, batteries would be cheaper in the longer run! I give this 1/5, doesn't meet its own aim, and isn't cheap enough to excuse not meeting its target!
We are on something of a rechargeable light-source kick at our house at the moment, and when I saw these miniature wind-up torches for sale in 'Wilkinsons' I though they looked like a really good idea.
I tend to keep a mini-LED torch on my keyring; admittedly, it's only occasionally useful but when I do use it it is pretty much indispensible eg. when I turn up at the cinema, I always plan to arrive at least 15 minutes after the programme has started (as I don't see why I have to pay £8 to see a film and then have to watch 20 minutes of stupid noisy adverts for mostly mobile bloomin' 'phones)- but if you do that the lights are often off so it's difficult to find a seat. (Luckily, at the multiplex I usually frequent so few of the seats are generally occupied that arriving for a film late tends not to inconvenience anyone). When my most recent 'Cyba-lite' LED battery-powered torch stopped working I replaced it with one of these rechargeable models.
The Uni-com torches come in a packet of two, sealed in very thick, clear plastic onto a piece of card. This means that you can't handle the torches before you buy them - which is a shrewd move on the part of the company who makes them, because if a potential customer was to have the chance to handle one of these rechargeable torches before they forked out for it, chances are they'd decide not to buy it. Sadly these torches are extremely flimsy.
The plastic 'body' of the torch is made of silver-grey coloured plastic, and is about an inch and a half long, an inch wide and maybe a quarter of an inch thick. It's made in two halves slotted together but this join / part does seem relatively robust. There are two rounded LED bulbs at one end of the main body - these are exposed without any sort of cover over them but they're inset so the casing somewhat protects them from bumps and knocks. At the other end is a tiny black pull-out handle that you use to recharge it, that folds in and clips close to the main part of the torch when not in use. This is only about an inch long, but it's easy to turn and not too fiddly to use to recharge the torch with.
The torch produces a surprisingly bright for its size, blue-white light.
So far so good. But the on-off switch of the torch is a total joke. There's a tiny slot in the side of the casing and sticking out of this a little black plastic tab that goes back and forth to work the LEDs. When you use it, this handle feels so flimsy it could snap off at any moment - it's completely devoid of any durability - and makes the torch overall, like a disposable novelty item, of the sort you'd expect to find in a Christmas cracker. This flimsiness extends to the keychain attachment on the torch. My partner had his torch on his keyring for only about two days before one of the jump-rings / links in the chain failed, leading the torch part to part company from the keyring aspect, which wasn't much practical help. I have had my mini-torch on my keyring for about a month now and it's still OK but I don't think it's going to last particularly long.
Admittedly, I did get two of these torches for £5 at Wilkinsons which is pretty cheap, but they do sell for substantially more - eg. from amazon.co.uk where they're currently about £8 for the pair. Quite frankly though I'd rather have one better made rechargeable mini-torch for the £5 instead of two flimsy ones. I wouldn't bother buying these again.