1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

I need a good flashlight for keychain/pocket EDC

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by lmbc2, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. lmbc2

    lmbc2 Loaded Pockets

    May 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I have probably about 20 flashlights, but all are pretty basic and generic. I am interested in getting a nice flashlight for EDC in my pocket. Ideally it would be good for both standard lighting and some fairly bright lighting for SD or such. I am less concerned about what type of batteries it takes and the price, although I don't want to spend money unnecessarily.

    Can anyone help me find a great flashlight? Thanks.

    Recommend a Flashlight Checklist: (Don't worry about all the questions, just the ones you feel strongly about!) Please mark "x" inside the [ ] to indicate your choice.

    1) Short Essay Question: What do you intend to use this light for?

    2) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?
    [x] I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
    [ ] I am in _______(country) and __________(state/providence).

    3) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! broke
    [ ] $1-15
    [ ] $15-30
    [x] $40-60
    [x] $80-$120
    [x] $120-$250
    [ ] I have no limit!

    4) Format:
    PART A
    [x] I want a flashlight.
    [ ] I want a headlamp.
    [ ] I want a lantern.
    [ ] I want a portable spotlight.

    PART B
    [x] 1-2 inches. (Keychain sized)
    [x] 2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    [ ] 4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    PART C
    [ ] I prefer a long narrow light.
    [ ] I prefer a short wide light.
    [x] Doesn't matter.

    PART D
    Lights of a similar size can be very different in weight and may turn the perfect sized light into a paper weight. In general a lights of the same size will stack up like this; plastic and aluminum will be your lighter choices brass, stainless steel, bronze will be heavier. I won't put numbers here because everyone has a different weight sensitivity. For the purposes of EDC specifically I'll limit the choices here to the more easily carried sizes pick 2 sizes to represent a range of weight.
    [ ] Very light, can't tell it's there.
    [ ] Light, no heavier than a few keys or a small car remote.
    [ ] Medium light, about the weight of a AAA MiniMag
    [x] Medium, slightly heavier than a AA MiniMag
    [x] Heavy Medium, can of Coke
    [x] Heavy, PDA or small digital camera

    5) What kind of "bulb".
    [ ] LED - more rugged, unlikely to burn out in your lifetime, less accurate color rendition, in general less output but more efficient (longer runtimes)
    [ ] Incandescent - can be very bright, more accurate color rendition, burn out or can be damaged more easily, shorter runtimes, very noticeable dimming as batteries deplete
    [ ] HID - like new car headlights in color, very, very bright, can be had in lights as small as a Mag 2 D cell but generally larger spotlight sized lights, no dimming turns off when battery depletes
    [x] Don't care, just want the best fit for my needs.

    6) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.
    [x] I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA, AAA, C, D)
    [x] I want lithium batteries. (coin cells, CR123, AAA, AA...)
    [ ] I want a rechargeable system. (an investment, but best for everyday use)

    7) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
    [x] I want to read a map, find a light switch/keyhole, or get around the house at w/o disturbing anyone. (5-10 lumens)
    [ ] I want to walk around a generally paved area. (15-20 lumens)
    [ ] I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    [ ] I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    [x] I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

    8) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below. Sometimes a flood is better particularly closer up or indoors. You won't have to "sweep" the light back and forth to see what you need to see. You can also just set it down pointing the general direction rather having to point it right at that which you are working.

    Throw (distance)-----------------x-----|----------------------Flood/close-up

    9) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries. Understand that runtime is a function of brightness and capacity of your batteries. If you want 6 hours you'll either have big batteries or dimmer light, they haven't made a setup yet that lights up like the sun, runs all night, and fits in your watch pocket. wink
    [x] 20 min. (I want the brightest light for brief periods)
    [x] 60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
    [ ] 240-360 min. (4-6 hours)
    [ ] 360+ min. (More than 6 hours)

    10) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
    [ ] Not Important (A “night-stand” light.)
    [ ] Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood.)
    [x] Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    [x] Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

    11) Switch Type:
    [ ] I don't care.
    [x] sliding switch (Stays on until slid back.)
    [x] clickie switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    [ ] momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)
    [x] rotating switch

    12) Switch Location:
    [x] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a push or sliding switch on the body near the head.
    [ ] I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
    [ ] I want a rotating head switch.
    [ ] I want a rotating end-cap switch.
    [ ] I want a remote control.

    13) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.
    [x] A simple on-off is fine for me.
    [x] I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)
    [x] I want multiple light levels. (some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
    [ ] I want a strobe mode. (blinks to show location.)
    [ ] I want a tactical strobe. (Flashes rapidly to disorient an opponent.)
    [ ] I want S.O.S. flashing

    14) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite? In this case "plastic" and it's variants does not mean "cheap" or poorly made. In many applications a plastic bodied light is preferable, hard use and water resistance comes to mind; think caving or lights that get dropped or abused.
    [x] I don't care.
    [ ] I want a metal-bodied light.
    [ ] I want a plastic/composite light.

    15) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).
    [ ] Red (night vision preserving) filter
    [ ] Other filter colors (Amber, Green, Blue, _________)
    [ ] Waterproof – how deep: _____________
    [ ] Non-reflective/dark finish (stealthy/hard to find)
    [ ] Polished silver or brightly colored finish (for easy locating)
    [ ] Corrosion resistant or hard-anodized finish
    [ ] “Hybrid” light (bright incandescent combined with long running LEDs)
    [ ] Built-in second (or spare) lamp or filament
    [ ] Belt/Jacket clip
    [ ] Holster
    [ ] Wrist/Neck Lanyard
    [ ] Kuboton/self defense features
    [ ] Non-sparking Intrinsically Safe (IS) for use in explosive environments
  2. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

    Apr 1, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Consider the Ra Twisty or Ra Clicky. They are good tough reliable lights and offer all the features you list.
  3. insaned

    insaned Loaded Pockets

    Nov 29, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Go here and buy a RAW version - www.lummi.co.uk/

    Contact Rob first to email, to check availability tough

    The best and smaller light you can get.
    Think twice about putting tritium in it if you really will EDC it, or at least cover the tritium vials with a small coat of epoxy. Iv you don't wanna risk, just don't buy it with trit!

    best because:

    -small and very well built
    -20/200 lumens

    the only problem is when you buy one, you want all the models :D
  4. jojobos

    jojobos Loaded Pockets

    Jul 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    You can look into EX10 D10 from 4sevens.com. They are best bang for the buck I think. They are also have good regulated output.
  5. bruner

    bruner Loaded Pockets

    Jun 7, 2006
    Likes Received:
    +1 on that

    I am so happy with my EX10!


  6. lmbc2

    lmbc2 Loaded Pockets

    May 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I have read about those a bit. The D10 looks pretty sweet, especially because it takes the AA batteries. Any reason why I should go with the EX10 over the D10? Also, what about pocket clips or similar carrying options? I don't really want to carry it on my keys or in the bottom of my pocket.
  7. MandM

    MandM Loaded Pockets

    May 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Keychain EDC? How about a Fenix E01?

    Great little light... perfect for keychain carry... and at <$15... can't beat the price.
  8. jojobos

    jojobos Loaded Pockets

    Jul 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    There was a talk about 4seven releasing the clip for them but I don't know what is the deal now. I actually should have recommended D10 over EX10. I picked EX10 mainly because I have many RCR crc123 lights. EX10 is bit shorter but wider than D10. D10 can take commonly available regular AA and lithium as well.

    I carry my EX10 in FenixP1D holster. My other EDC light is LF2X I carry with a clip or on a keychain.

    If you want a light with a nice clip, JET-I pro IBS (AA light) is very nice. I really like their IBS circuit. You can program lowlow and super high and also have SOS and strobe.

    Liteflux LF2X (AAA light)has similar programmable UI but can be complicated to set up.
    They are plenty bright and the body is very compact but runtime is much shorter compare to D10/EX10.

    This is just my opinion. I hope I didn't confuse you too much.
  9. ADK031

    ADK031 Loaded Pockets

    Jul 29, 2008
    Likes Received:
    This light is amazing in terms of size, weight, power and price, very happy with mine.


    Shortened link.
    Please see "How to shorten a link to just a word or phrase" in THIS thread.
    - bruner
  10. DB

    DB Kilted Moderator

    Dec 23, 2007
    Likes Received:
    As many have stated already, the D10 or EX10. I picked up my EX10 first, and was so happy with it, I got a D10 shortly after that.
  11. flip

    flip Empty Pockets

    Mar 11, 2008
    Likes Received:
    My little carry lights are an Orb Raw NS, a Gerber Sonic and a Streamlight Microstream.
  12. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

    Jul 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    If you want a true keychain light I would heartily recommend the Arc AAA-P. There are better lights, but they are vastly more expensive (like five to ten times as much). At $39.99 my Arc AAA-P is probably one of best values I own, including my house, car, and a basement full of power tools. I would have paid three or four times more for the light.
  13. Titus117

    Titus117 Empty Pockets

    Mar 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I suggest a SureFire E1B. I love mine! Check them out! Mine's in my pocket every day and night ;)

    Good Luck :highfive:
  14. maxray

    maxray Loaded Pockets

    Dec 8, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I really really like my new pocket EDC - the Fenix L0D Q4 I bought a $15 E01 on a whim to try out a 1xAAA light, and fell in love with the form factor, but wasn't crazy about the beam or brightness. The L0D seemed like the logical next step... And sure enough, it has exceeded expectations. I had been carrying my Fenix P2D and then my Novatac 120P and the size was a little too big for true easy pocket carry. For me - the L0D is perfect.
  15. BoxANT

    BoxANT Empty Pockets

    May 31, 2008
    Likes Received:
    amen to that :D L0D is awesome, never leaves my pocket.
  16. Dixemon

    Dixemon Empty Pockets

    Oct 3, 2006
    Likes Received:
    You cant go wrong with any of the recommendations already made. My vote would probably be the EX10 or D10. Clips are supposedly going to be available as a seperate purchase at some point. They are the best bang for the buck going right now. On the other end of the spectrum are the RA lights. Not as pocketable as the nitecore and fenix edc's however, they are truly bulletproof and quite amazing. I have the ra100tr and love it. I throw it in the deep end of the pool and let my kids retrieve it. They have a blast, and Im not even worried in the least bit about the durability of that light.
  17. SheepDog556

    SheepDog556 Empty Pockets

    Jun 1, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I really like my Fenix P2D for EDC. It is tiny, but BRIGHT.
  18. lmbc2

    lmbc2 Loaded Pockets

    May 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Wow, thanks for the great advice everyone. I think I'm gonna go with the D10 because it is pretty bright, reasonably priced, has lots of great features and an innovative design, takes standard AA batteries and has lots of good reviews and fans. Hopefully they come out with that pocket clip soon... Otherwise maybe I'll hafta make a lanyard or something for it.
  19. jbviau

    jbviau Empty Pockets

    Oct 19, 2007
    Likes Received:
    About the D10/EX10 clips, I heard from Matt at Fenix-Store.com that they should be available within a few weeks. Hope so!
  20. Mr_Dave

    Mr_Dave Loaded Pockets

    Apr 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I'm going to +1 this. I've got a P2D Q5 premium that I carry on my belt or in my pocket, it goes everywhere with me. The having choices of 12 lumens up to 180 lumens means it fills pretty much any daily use I throw at it. The only time in recent memory when I'd wished I'd had my TK10 on my instead of the P2D was when I was at a friends place and somebody in the apartment building across the street was playing with a flashlight lighting up the balcony we were sitting on. :shrug: That's not to say the P2D didn't get him to stop lighting us up, I just would've liked the better throw of the TK10 at the time.

    So whether I need to not trip over the cat in the middle of the night or I need to convince some random guy to stop lighting me up while I enjoy a cigar, the P2D has been there for me.