In the world of high end flashlights, Enrique Muyshondt has done something no one else has—he has made truly world class lights AND made them readily available. They aren’t cheap, but unlike the designs by pretty much everyone else, if you have the dough you can buy a light. No need to hunt and peck around the CPF BST boards or search the backwaters of IG. You want a Muyshondt, you can get a Muyshondt. That’s something that McGizmo, Cool Fall, Mac’s Customs, Torchlab, Barrel Flashlight, MBI, HDS, and OKluma have yet to master. Only Prometheus is even close.
Despite that accessibility, Muyshondt continues to put out state of the art lights. The Aeon still has a great runtime to output ratio. The Maus is a great size. And the Flieger is a nice entry into the oft-neglected 18650 market. But as nice as all of those lights are, it is the Beagle that really shows off what Enrique can do design-wise. This is one of a very small handful of dual array lights. The club is tiny: the McGizmo Lunasols, the two different Surefire Aviators, and some of the last gen GatLights. I guess you can include the insane SPY Tri V in that club too. The idea is that instead of harnessing multiple emitters solely to get more output, the design uses multiple emitters for different beam patterns. You get a soft floody array of LEDs around the outside of the head of the torch and a tight, high impact beam from the central array. It fixes one of the age old dilemmas in flashlight design—do I get a floody or a throw light? The answer is both.
But that’s not all that you get with the Beagle. This is a light built like a brick shithouse—its easily on part with the HDS lights in terms of durability. The emitters are, of course, state of the art as well, Hi CRI and all that jazz. The machining is clean and relatively straightforward. This is a light with all of the bells and whistles. And, unlike many other such lights, it is readily available. The Beagle is clearly one of the best lights on the market, so the question for this review is simple—is it an all time classic?
Here is the product page. There are two finishes available on the standard titanium model—satin and a darker stonewashed that Enrique calls Darkwell. There is also a copper Beagle, a mokume gane Beagle and a moku ti Beagle. The copper and titanium Beagles run $595, while the mokume gane Beagle hits $2,500 and the moku ti version costs a cool $3,000. Like I said, they are expensive. Here is a written review from Reddit. Here is a video review. Here is my video overview.
And here is the review sample:
Twitter Review Summary: Muyshondt runtimes and light quality, plus dual array—yes, please.
The first thing you notice about the Beagle when you pick it up is just how heavy it is. I expect tough from Muyshondt, after all the Aeon did a trip into near space during testing and came back fine, but the Beagle is HDS level overbuilt. That toughness makes me confident of the light during use—given its build quality and Enrique’s magical capacity to stretch runtimes there is pretty much no reason not to use the light as your emergency-must-work-now torch. But that robustness comes at a cost. The Beagle is pretty boat anchor-y in the pocket. In suit pants and slacks this thing is pretty unwieldy. In jeans, it tends to work much better. Given its weight I would have preferred the light to be made of aluminum rather than titanium (it also happens to be cheaper). Compared to the similarly dimensioned BOSS 35, the Beagle feels unnecessarily bulky. I am not going to ding the Beagle a point for the heft as it is clearly a design tradeoff and one that is appropriate to make given the lights intended use. Now if the Aeon or the Maus was this bulky there would be a problem, but as a full featured light platform, the Beagle’s stout build makes it a dauntless EDC companion.
Fit and Finish: 2
Enrique’s fit and finish has always been top shelf. In the Aeon Mk. 2 era it was notable for its simplicity—a few bands of knurling and that is it. Now, Enrique’s matching build quality with complexity. This is a body tube replete with fine details and an excellent grip. The threading here is like no other light I have ever seen or handled. Undoing the tailcap doesn’t convey a bank valut feel—no this thing feels like its the door on Cheyenne Mountain’s NORAD base. With Acme (or flat top) threads and double o-rings, the Beagle is insanely overbuilt and yet, unlike a monster truck, each element of insanity is accompanied by quiet hidden craftsmanship.
In hand, there is little this light leaves to be desired. Thanks to good knurling—grippy but not obnoxious—the Beagle stays put. It is also not so long or quite so chubby that it is hard to hold. I am still a little concerned about the clip, but I will save the points penalty for that for another category.
Yikes! A 0 in a Muyshondt review. That’s kind of like seeing a Ferrari with an ugly hood—it just doesn’t happen. But here there is no way around it—this thing is a dense hunk of a metal. In the pocket it can be a real pocket pendulum, swinging around with reckless abandon when walking, running, or hiking. Its not great in a coin pocket either because of how chubby and heavy it is. All of this is an acceptable tradeoff, to some degree, for a light as robust as this one. Standing alone, I’d still take off a point, but it would be close. The real design crime here is this:
The clip is perhaps the only real, inexplicable blemish on an otherwise godworthy torch. It is a genuine surprise, given how good the Aeon Mk. 3’s clip is. Its certainly not because of the machining—its damn near perfect. Nor is it for the normal reason I detest sculpted clips—this one flexes and bends correctly. Nope, the reason the clip is awful is 100% unpredictable. In milling it flat (and it is dead flat) the edges of the clip became incredibly sharp. The corners are sharp enough to cut through paper, which means, given the light’s weight that they will be banging into you and poking you all of the time. Eventually I had enough of the pokiness and I grabbed some tri-angle sharpening sticks from the Spyderco Sharpmaker and ever so carefully knocked down the edges. You can’t see the difference, but my hand and leg can feel the difference. Enrique has a new clip in the works, and hopefully it is a stamped clip. Sculpted clips are just too much of a hassle regardless of how much of a “high end” feel they lend to an item. We don’t have carbon fiber windshields on high end cars for a reason—it doesn’t work. We should, as a community, abandon sculpted clips for the same reason.
Like all of Enrique’s torches this thing isn’t a screamer. It isn’t going to blind people three miles away. What it will do, however, is provide you with plenty of light for days, even on high. Again, the lumens arms race a fool’s competition—even the numbers themselves are a bit of a lie given how are brain processes light. Yes, the BOSS 35 is perceptibly brighter on high, but the difference is not as big as you think.
The dual array works like this: on low you activate just the outer ring, at the next two level you still give the outer ring, but the LEDs are brighter, on medium high the main emitter kicks in, and on high, everything is activated at its highest level. At around 465 lumens on high, with a great array and reflector, the Beagle is quite good. On high you activate both the outer ring and the inner emitter. The low, again because of the dual reflector is incredible. In low mode you not only get moonbeam of barely perceptible light it comes out in a diffuse, beautiful haze. This is a truly great light that exploits the dual array set up to its maximum, but more on that below.
Its a Muyshondt, don’t worry—you’ll be changing batteries some time in the 2020s. Next.
Beam Type: 2+2
Well, this is the point where the Beagle makes up for any small flaws it has. It is also the point where the Beagle finally, after eight years, is a tool that breaks the 20 point scale. The outer array provides an amazing cloud of light, equal to the performance of a dedicated task like like the Klarus M1C with the aespheric lens. Actually, it is probably a lttle better.
The main emitter, likewise, has a beautiful beam pattern and really works well. The light is powerful, the beam is focused, and on any other light but the McGizmo Haiku, it would be incredible. This light is literally the best of both worlds—area lighting and throw lighting. It is stuff like that makes high end lights incredible pieces of tech. They can do things that other tools of their kind can’t hope to do. And so, for the first time ever I have decided to award 4 points. I am not sure if this is something all dual-array lights will be eligible for, but in this one case, it seems appropriate. Simply incredible.
Beam Quality: 2
If all the gee whiz, dual-array tech was in service to terrible tint or a messy beam, it would be heartbreaking, like missing the lottery by one number. But because this is a Muyshondt it is not. In fact, these are among the cleanest, most beautiful beams I have seen. Other than the reflector on the Haiku, I can’t think of anything with nicer beams. Amazing.
Even the tailswitch is nice—a polished beautiful button.
Hands Free: 2
Tailstanding is easy, it won’t roll, but don’t try the in-the-teeth move, this thing is too heavy and bulky.
Overall Score: 20 out of 20
I am not going to go on about the competition because this is the third light reviewed in a shoot out between three incredible high end lights--this, the BOSS 35, and the HDS Rotary. Each is best in class in some way so we will have to see.