Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Review: Malkoff Hound Dog 18650


The Malkoff Devices family of flashlights has a new member, the Hound Dog 18650, which is designed specifically for use with a single 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery.  Rated to produce 800 lumens (900 momentarily) with its Cree XP-L emitter, the Hound Dog 18650 also provides a 30 lumen low mode using a High/Low bezel switch.  Two versions are available:

  • Cool White – 5700K Cree XP-L
  • Neutral White – 4000K Cree XP-L

The Hound Dog 18650 may be purchased as a standalone head for upgrading any existing Malkoff MD2 body or as part of a complete turn-key flashlight package – including the Hound Dog 18650 head, MD2 body and tailcap, KeepPower protected 3400mAh 18650 battery, and Intellicharger I2 charger.  Pricing ranges from $120 for the head up to $186 for the turn-key package.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 – Overview

The Hound Dog 18650 is constructed of 6061 T6 aluminum with a black hard-anodized finish.  The major dimensions are the same as other Hound Dog heads, measuring just over 2.7″ long and 1.8″ in diameter at its widest point.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Although it has the same overall dimensions as the regular version, the Hound Dog 18650 presents a slimmer profile with a more abrupt taper near the bezel followed by a straight neck.  The change shaves a half-ounce off the weight of the head when compared to the original Hound Dog design.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

The Cree XP-L emitter is tucked away at the base of a deep textured reflector.  An ultra-clear acrylic lens with anti-reflective coating finishes off the business end.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Removing the head exposes the Malkoff High/Low bezel switch which provides full output when tightened and a 30 lumen low mode when the head is loosened a fraction of a turn.  The electronics are fully potted and have reverse polarity protection.  A spring at the head allows the use of flat or button-top 18650 batteries.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

O-rings at the head and tail help ensure a water tight seal.  When fully assembled the complete flashlight measures just over 6″ long.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 – Specifications

The Hound Dog 18650 has a maximum operating voltage of 6 volts (nominal) and is designed primarily for use with a single lithium-ion rechargeable battery.  A pair of 123A lithium primary batteries may be used, if needed, resulting in reduced runtime.

Attempting to operate the Hound Dog 18650 at over 6 volts will damage the electronics

 Malkoff Hound Dog 18650Malkoff Hound Dog V3
LEDCree XP-L (Cool or Neutral)Cree XM-L2 (Cool or Neutral)
High Output900 lumens initial / 800 lumens sustained1150 lumens initial / 1000 lumens sustained (Cool version)
Low output30 lumens70-100 lumens
BodyMD2 OnlyMD3 or MD4
Operating VoltageUp to 6 volts5.5-12 volts
Battery Options1 x 18650 rechargeable, 2x123A primaries2 x lithium-ion rechargeables (various sizes), 3-4 123A primaries
Length6.1 inches (155 mm)7.5-8.75 inches (191-222 mm)
Body Diameter1 inch (25.4 mm)1 inch (25.4 mm)
Head Diameter1.8 inches (46 mm)1.8 inches (46 mm)

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 – Performance

The deep textured reflector shapes the output from the Cree XP-L emitter into an artifact free beam capable of providing effective illumination beyond 200 yards.  The center hotspot is well defined and surrounded by a relatively narrow corona.  The Cool (5700K) version has a white center hotspot with a slight bit of coloration in the corona before transitioning into a noticeably cool spill beam.  The center hotspot and corona of the Neutral (4000K) Hound Dog 18650 have a warm white appearance shifting to a very slightly cool tint in the spill beam.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 – Cool (Left) and Neutral (Right)

The following slides show the two Hound Dog 18650 variants compared to a variety of other lights to give some perspective with regard to output, beam tint, and beam profile.  The images can be compared across their full width using the slider and additional comparisons can be viewed by using the navigation buttons at the bottom-right corner of each image.

The comparison lights include:

  1. SureFire P1R Peacekeeper (Review)
  2. Klarus XT11 Upgrade (Review)
  3. Elzetta Charlie with AVS Head (Review)
  4. Malkoff M91B (Review)
  5. Malkoff Hound Dog V2 Cool White
  6. SureFire M6LT (Review)
  7. SureFire P3X Fury (Review)
  8. Malkoff Hound Dog V3 Neutral
  9. Malkoff Hound Dog V3 Cool White (Review)
  10. OVEREADY Mini TurboHead (Review)
  11. Malkoff Wildcat V4 Cool White (Review)
  12. Malkoff Wildcat V5 (Review)

Beamshots – 30 Yards to Swing (Hound Dog 18650 Cool)

Beamshots – 30 Yards to Swing (Hound Dog 18650 Neutral)


Runtime tests were conducted with the Cool Hound Dog 18650 using a single AW 18650 3400mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery and a pair of Battery Station 123A lithium primary batteries.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 runtime

When powered by the AW rechargeable battery, the Hound Dog 18650 exhibited a long tapering output over the course of the test.  The test results matched the specifications listed on the Malkoff Devices website, with output dropping to approximately 70% after one hour of continuous operation.  The 123A lithium primary batteries provided approximately 10 minutes of full output before a sharp drop in output.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 Runtime

When compared directly to each other, the Cool and Neutral versions provide virtually identical output and runtime.  Temperatures remained reasonable during continuous operation, reaching 114°F at the head.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650 – Conclusions

The Hound Dog 18650 is a nice complement to the existing lineup of Malkoff flashlights and helps bridge the performance and size gap between a stock MD2 (equipped with the M61 drop-in) and the MD3 or MD4 equipped Hound Dog.  The smaller form factor of the Hound Dog 18650 is more convenient to carry while retaining much of the performance of the larger lights.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

The redesigned contour of the Hound Dog 18650 head works well with the MD2 body and results in a light that is easy to handle in overhand, underhand, or cigar holds.  The flashlight is a bit nose heavy due to the shorter length but is still very manageable.  As with all other lights from Malkoff Devices, the High/Low bezel switch operates smoothly and is one of the best user interfaces available for providing two modes of operation.

Malkoff Hound Dog 18650

The Hound Dog 18650 generates very respectable amount of light when powered by a single 18650 and its slowly tapering output provides plenty of warning to change or charge the battery.  Although it is still slightly larger than popular flashlights from other manufacturers, the Hound Dog 18650’s size is just right for carrying in a jacket pocket.  It will be an attractive choice for users in a variety of situations.


Malkoff MD2, SureFire P2X Fury, SureFire P1R Peacekeeper, Elzetta Bravo, Malkoff Hound Dog 18650, and Streamlight SuperTac X

The compact size does come at the expense of battery flexibility and regulated runtime.  Where the original Hound Dog heads can be operated with several different configurations of rechargeable or primary batteries, the Hound Dog 18650 is limited to a single rechargeable or two primary cells.  As a result, the original Hound Dog is still the champ when it comes to providing stable regulated output for prolonged periods of time.  As with any other tool, there are always trade-offs between size, power, and convenience.

The Hound Dog 18650 is covered by the Malkoff Devices lifetime warranty and is Made in the USA, using domestic and some foreign parts.  For more information about the Hound Dog 18650, visit the Malkoff Devices website or use one of the links below:

The 123A lithium primary batteries used during this review were provided by the kind folks at Battery Station.  Their support has been invaluable.

Posted in Flashlight Reviews, Malkoff Reviews and tagged , , .


  1. I think this might have been a good idea if it was designed around a Li-Ion 26650 battery instead of the 18650, for increased burn time.

  2. Someone ought to come up with an adapter to allow the Makoff heads ( HoundDog, WildCat and MD2) to work with Surefire C based 26550 bodies (FM, TNC etc,). I will buy a few for sure 🙂

  3. On your runtime graph does 100% represent the initial 900 lumen at turn on ? Also , it appears to be regulated for 26 minutes or so before going in to direct drive. Does this appear to be the case to you ? Thanks

    • Hi Rob, the 100% value equals the light’s output after 30 seconds of runtime, just slightly less than what it produced at initial turn-on. As far as regulation is concerned, it appears to me that the driver is still in the loop up until around the 75 minute mark, although it is not maintaining full regulation. I’m not an expert on the electronics but I think perhaps the driver is limiting current and the drop in battery voltage is why we see the decline in output.

  4. I like this light but I also hate lights where it has this ugly ring around the beam when you shoot against a wall like my Eagletac which I do not like. Was wondering if this light has that or not..

  5. Jim,

    Another great review! Thanks for the information. I have to say, this is by far (in my opinion) the best Malkoff light that I have purchased to date. I have been using mine for a few months now and I am very pleased with it (or them i should say since I got 2). It’s nice having a light that gives you warning of the battery consumption well ahead of the game, instead of just shutting off. It’s darn close, if not equal, to the throw of the standard Hound Dog. I have tried both tents and prefer the neutral. Quality, durability, and performance is what you’d expect from Malkoff. They’re some of the nicest folks I have ever dealt with and their customer service is top notch.

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