Tool Review: Streamlight Double Clutch USB

June 17, 2016
The reviewer says the time savings from using this tool can be immense.

The Streamlight Double Clutch USB, is a 4 oz, compact, low-profile LED headlamp that is USB rechargeable, with optional battery back-up. This light features both spot and flood beams -- for either distance or close-up lighting needs -- and provides high- and low-intensity settings for each beam mode. This light offers a 60-degree tilting head to reduce neck fatigue and a “glove friendly,” easily rotated face cap for shifting between modes, and turning the light on and off. The light features durable polymer construction, is IPX4 rated for water-resistance, and is impact-resistance tested to 2 meters. Available in yellow or black, the headlamp comes with both an adjustable elastic head strap and a rubber hard hat strap.

The review

Depending on how you use it, time savings from using a headlamp like the Streamlight Double Clutch USB can be immense, says Lou Fort, lead technician at K.A.R.S. Inc. in Huntingburg, Ind. “I found the Double Clutch very easy to use and recharge, when needed,” he adds.

The Double Clutch USB comes with a blister pack, cardboard sleeve and a 110V to USB charge adapter. “The sleeve has a great picture of the lamp being recharged along with useful specifications. The lamp also came with a heavy duty rubber ‘helmet strap’ that could be interchanged with an elastic one,” says Fort.

To set up the headlamp, the battery pack needs to be charged and the strap needs to be adjusted to the user’s head size. “It may also have involved a few extra steps if one wanted to change the head strap over to the included helmet strap or install some regular AAA batteries in place of the ‘USB’ rechargeable battery pack.”

A manual was included, which offered instructions on how to change out the intensity of the lamps. “I also discovered that the lamp itself has directions for changing its intensity and type of beam emitted on the lamps housing, that however is not pointed out in the manual. The manual also has a provision to record the lamps serial number and date of purchase for future reference if needed, for its limited lifetime warranty,” says Fort.

Fort used the headlamp to perform an array of jobs including changing out an engine on a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, replacing a transmission on a 2005 Dodge Ram, repairing wire harnesses and more. Because he has used other headlamps in the past, where the batteries had to be changed out, he thought the most valuable feature of the Streamlight headlamp is the rechargeable battery pack. "The lamp can be charged from just about any USB power source… Being able to use either the included rechargeable battery pack or three AAA’s is nice, should the need ever arise.”

He liked that the headlamp’s IPX4 rating kept dirt and moisture out, which helped keep the light source clean and clear. He also liked the light weight and that the headlamp remembers the previously chosen light intensity. “I didn’t experience any of the neck fatigue when wearing it, unlike other headlamps I own. I also liked having the positive stops in its tilted positions. They make sure the lamp stays where intended. Opening the lamp up to access the charge port couldn’t much simpler or secure either,” he says.

To improve the tool, Fort suggests a brighter lamp that could be focused while still keeping the overall tool weight down. “The one thing I kept wishing for was more light, at only 125 lumens and not having a beam that can be focused were minor drawbacks.” He says, “Even at the expense of run-time, that would make the headlamp a dream tool.

“The lamps battery setup and its light weight make it a very nice lamp to use, the low lumens and lack of beam focus leave room for improvement. When I need quick moderate hands free lighting I reach for the Double Clutch now.”

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