Easy-to-grip ergonomic handle
Can be charged at home or in the car
Folding stand allows hands-free operation
Battery stays charged up to one year
Highest setting has short battery life
Choosing the right flashlight can be tough—especially if you want one that’s sturdy, durable, and dependable, yet bright enough for camping or boating. We put the popular Stanley Fatmax 10-Watt LED Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Spotlight to the test to see if its square design and bright light were worth its price tag. Read on for our breakdown of its features, from design to performance.
Design: Square and solid
This spotlight is not your ordinary flashlight. It has a square design with an ergonomic trigger at the base, almost resembling an oversized glue gun. The body is made of heavy-duty plastic with a rubber bezel surrounding the lens. A rubberized grip on the back of the handle makes it easy to hold. There are also plastic vents on the side to prevent it from overheating. Also, in case of emergencies, the included red emergency lens fits neatly over the bezeled lens.
Even though this flashlight was heavy, it was very durable.
However, weighing 1.5 pounds, this spotlight is a bit heavy to hold for long periods of time. Thankfully, it’s designed for hands-free use, making it easy enough for anyone to operate, even a 3-year-old. The trigger locks into place, allowing the light to stay on until you manually turn it off, and a collapsible aluminum stand snaps into place so the light can be moved to different positions. If a wider range of light is needed, the Fatmax can stand upright on its bottom, too.
It’s also important to note that even though this flashlight was heavy, it was very durable. I dropped it more than three feet into grass, on a hiking path, and onto my hardwood floor—once, it even fell with its lens facing the ground. Each time, no damage was done.
Lastly, if you need to stay connected to the outside world, this flashlight can help. Phones, tablets, and other small electronics can be plugged into the integrated USB port on the base and recharged using the Fatmax’s battery power.
Battery Life: Too short on high
The Fatmax runs on a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which cannot be removed. Charging this battery is simple and can be done at home or in the car with the included AC wall charger and 12V DC automotive charger. If you need to use the flashlight when the battery is dead, it’ll run when plugged into its included wall charger. Although the Fatmax retains charge up to 12 months without recharging, the instructions recommend recharging it every three months if it’s not in use.
The battery lasts around one hour on the highest setting and seven hours on the lowest setting.
There are only three settings; high, low, and off. It’s built for short-term use; the battery lasts around one hour on the highest setting and seven hours on the lowest setting.
Performance: Super bright but not waterproof
The Stanley Fatmax arrives partially charged—the instructions recommend that it be charged to full power before you first use it. Recharging time takes around four hours, and then it’s ready to go. An indicator light at the bottom makes it easy to see whenever the spotlight needs charging, although you must push the charge button, which is located below the spotlight, to check. It turns green when fully charged, orange when partially charged, and flashes red when it needs to be charged.
At 920 lumens, this flashlight is very bright. When we positioned it outside to set up a telescope, it gave us a good view through our neighbor’s second floor windows. It also came in handy when we had to round up sheep on a dark night, illuminating two fields and another neighbor’s window.
Thanks to a constant light output, the spotlight doesn’t dim during use. However when the battery life was low, we had trouble switching between modes. It skipped the lowest setting and only functioned in the high and off settings.
It came in handy when we had to round up sheep on a dark night, illuminating two fields and another neighbor’s window.
If you need a spotlight that can be submerged in water, this isn’t the one for you. This one will stand up to a rain shower—or in our case, being sprayed with the hose for several minutes. While it can be wiped dry in seconds, it dripped water for several hours afterward. If you need a waterproof rechargeable flashlight, Stanley also offers a Fatmax Waterproof LED Rechargeable Spotlight, which looks very similar to this one.
Price: Expensive choice for its short battery life
Retailing at around $45, this spotlight’s seven-hour battery life (on low) and one-hour battery life (on high) is no match for the battery life of many competitor flashlights. However, its ability to retain charge for up to one year, its charging feature for small portable devices, and its limited one-year warranty make it a solid choice for hunting, night fishing, and boating.
Competition: The brightest light of all
The Anker Bolder LC40 Flashlight: We also tested this compact flashlight, which packs in a lot of lumens for the price tag of around $20. Its long battery life (about 20 hours on medium), its sturdy aluminum body, and its small size make it a durable choice to stash in a purse or car dashboard. Its light has five functions, including a strobe and SOS setting for emergencies. Although its 400 lumens can’t compare to the Fatmax’s 920, it’s a solid choice for everyday use.
Maglite RL1019 MagCharger LED Rechargeable System: This flashlight, which we also tested, is a heavy-duty product with a price to match. It has an ability to reach 660 lumens on high, and its run-time in eco mode is a long-lasting 37 hours. Its anodized finish both inside and out make it a flashlight that will last for a lifetime. The main downside is its size—it’s nearly 13 inches long—and its weight (2 pounds), both of which make it heavy to carry and difficult to store.
Need some help finding what you’re looking for? Read our list of the best rechargeable flashlights.
Cheaper options are available for everyday use.
If you live in an area with frequent power outages, go boating or camping often, or spend time wrangling livestock in the middle of the night, the Stanley Fatmax will come in handy. If you’re looking for a flashlight for occasional or everyday use, opt for a cheaper option.
- Product Name Fatmax 10-Watt LED Lithium-Ion Rechargeable System
- Product Brand Stanley
- Price $44.82
- Weight 1.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 9 x 4 x 11 in.
- Color Yellow with black trim
- Battery Life 1 hour on high, 7 hours on low
- What’s Included Flashlight, lithium-ion battery, car charger, wall adapter
- Max Output 920 lumens
- Warranty Limited 1-year warranty