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Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by dmattaponi, May 9, 2017.
Haha yeah believe me I know ...I'm RE addicted LOL
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TEOWAWKI- HDS twisty or clicky
Edc- muyshondt or surefire
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Mostly I use Elzetta and Malkoff stuff (including 8 or 9 Surefire bodies with Malkoff dropins ). My key chain has an Olight I3e since it's bright and tough and still tiny.
Surefire with Malkoff drop-ins.
Good question..and hard to answer with a simple reply!
My favorite Manufacturers are Fenix, Olight, E'tac and Thrunite.,,,,,,,,,,I need more power so I have them modified! I have Two lights that go over One mile. TK61vn V4 1800Lumen/770Kcd and my TN42vn 2400Lumen/800Kcd.
Here is a line up of my modded torches that I use on the trail.
4Sevens/Foursevens - My first upgrade from an old Maglite Mini-Mag AA that I had carried for years was a 4Sevens Quark AA back in 2009. It was pocket-able, had good runtimes, and I found that I used the moonlight mode a lot. I have since acquired quite a few older Quarks in both AA and CR123. They are nearly perfect for my day to day EDC/utility needs. With that said, I'm not a fan of the Click series and smart/Bluetooth lights (just a matter of personal preference).
Hehe... I'm with my buddy twin63 ^^ on 47s and Quarks.... except Clicks are my favorite being programmable. I buy 47 lights in bulk when they go on clearance and gift them. I like my HDS also and programmed it nearly the same, but is not too efficient. The rest... meh - too much disappointing spec exaggeration, electronic clicky problems, PWM, narrow voltage tolerance, slow UIs and poor mode spacing (for me), etc.
Maybe the question should be, which is the worst/most unreliable brand of torch out there?
Again, probably a difficult question to answer?
From what I gather, the majority of lights are made in China, all these brands must sell X amount of thousands of torches, no doubt every company will have failures/returns.
I've owned decent lights from Maglite, Lumapower and Ledlenser, and my current headlamp is a Suprabeam.
However, if I were to pick a favorite brand, it would be Fenix.
- Waterproof and rock solid
- Simple, common sense UI
- Reasonable output/runtime balance on most models
- A good choice of A/AAA lights.
- A lot of bang for my bucks
My favorite is Fenix, have three on me right now (E01, E12, and E15). Plus an E25 and E35UE at home.
Have a couple of SureFires, really like them, but $$$.
Of course, the requisite Mag Lights everyone should have
Had an ITP A1 that I liked, but it died at about 1 year old.
Several cheapie Rayovacs, etc.
Picked up a J5 Tactical V1 Pro in pink for my wife because...it's pink.
Recently got a few Thorfires because we're looking to do some camping this summer, because they have pretty decent reviews and inexpensive, spent about the same amount for 6 (four that use 18650's for everyone to have camping, and 2 AAA lights for my kids for EDC) that I would one Fenix, so if one goes missing it's not as big a deal. I must say I'm pleasantly impressed with the Thorfires, and might get a AA for my pocket and save the E12 from potentially going missing (got an E11 "hiding" somewhere...)
Inova, mainly the X2. Reason, they work well for me. I like the fact they come in something other than black. It makes it easier to find in my pocket, pouch, or bag.
Im a Surefire guy.
With a couple of recent additions
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I use lights from Fenix, Thrunite and Olight. The quality of these brands appear pretty even. No technical analysis here, just empirical observation based upon my personal use.
Fenix lights are my EDC provided by an E05 and E12. An early version of the TK15 is a great around the house light and decent thrower.
A Thrunite TN4A provides a good match of throw and flood all from 4X AA batteries.
My wife uses an older AAA Olight. I am considering the purchase of the Olight SRII Mini-Intimidator.
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Pretty impressed with the broad range of different manufacturers and models used by the community.
My (much) smaller collection consists mainly of ThruNite, Lumintop, Olight, NiteCore, Petzl and some cheap Chinese average models.
My second ThruNite Ti3 failed after only a few weeks, got replaced by a new one without question by ThruNite support - this was about 3 years ago (IIRC) and this flashlight serves my well since then. Thumbs up!
Their TH20 headlamp is my default outdoor & toolkit illumination device - mostly for its robustness and seamless brightness control.
NiteCore Tube failed after a few month (starts flickering when reaching about 50% of brightness).
I'm looking into the Tube successors - not sure if it's worth to trust $30-40 for another of their lights ...
Lumintop and Olight are fine - also they don't make it into my EDC, mostly because for the modes that don't fit to my use cases.
Petzl Tactica and Tikka are reliable but outdated in terms of brightness and power consumption, still in my camping gear.
FWIW, my failure rate with Tubes is about 50%. I've purchased maybe 12 total for myself, family, friends, random gifts etc. One was DOA, and about 5 others failed anywhere from 4 weeks to six months.
The ones I gifted worked out of the box but not sure of the total longevity.
Some of the surviving ones have quirks; random dead batteries, turns off suddenly, won't indicate a full charge etc. When they work, it's a great light and I still have one on a set of keys after several years (one of the few problem free ones). However, the QC is terrible and I no longer gift them.
IMO, it's a near perfect little light but not reliable enough for me. Conversely, the similar Fenix UC01 I've had for about 3 years now has been utterly reliable; battery still holding a charge well, USB port is fine, everything works flawless even after numerous drops and some minor water exposure.
But it's one flaw is the terrible cold blue tint. With a more neutral or even warm tint it would be perfect, perhaps even more so than the Tube. It's a shame because they are both so close to being great.
Despite all that I actually tried the new Nitecore Tup. I've had it for about 3 weeks now and no quirks or problems yet. Interesting little light and packs 1000 lumens in a small package.
Although the size is definitely larger than what I would consider a "keychain light". It's more like a small CR123 type light. It could work on your keys, but for all intents and purposes it's a small pocket light that just happens to have a keychain clip.
It's definitely better than I expected and hopefully a sign Nitecore is improving their QC.
HDS is what I most often choose and gets used daily. I love the rotary UI, durability and tint.
Fenix, EagleTac and Nitecore lights are also present and have their place, but not chosen nearly as often.
My first lights have been Fenix and Thrunite and all work perfect since 5 years. Mostly AA and AAA's. Fenix is rock solid, and Thrunite has the nicer modes and UI's.
Still, since this year they discontiniued my favourite EDC the T10 and upgraded it to a sideswitch light. Also the TI5 is discontinued and the TI3 got an "update" from no mode memory to Next Mode Memory, which is the worst idea ever.
Also, new emitters are constantly released and the interfaces are improved all the time. Also my expectation for what I want from a light have changed.
So time to move on. Recently Sofirn habe been come to my attention as a company open for collaborations with the flashlight-community, which results in much better emitter choices and great user interfaces.
So times are changing. What was good 4-5 years ago does not have anything to say about what is good now. The trend for high CRI and natural or warm tints luckily came to some manufacturers attention, and the awesome versatile ramping interfaces the community developed start getting adopted by the industry.
My favourite lights at the moment are the venerable BLF A6 and my Emisar D4. My Thrunite T10s is still my daily companion. I don't use keychain lights at all anymore, but I have a BLF348 in my jacket and a Sofirn c01 on the way.
Being brand loyal does not make much sense for me in the flashlight world, except maybe if you already bought into their convenient but overpriced proprietary charging and battery systems (looking at you olight).
But I will happily buy lights that implement NarsilM/Arduril as User interface and that will have very good emitters. In the AA/AAA category I will buy into ramping UIs with shortcuts to Moon/High or anything that is roughly set up like a simple and proven T10 or old Ti3/Ti5 either with or withought memory. And they better have no strobe or hid that really well. Also Convoy is a good reliable stuff with a lot of emitter choices and the new biscotti driver makes them very customizable. They are a bight behind in some trends like e-switches and ramping UIs, but what they do, is rock solid.
+1. I wish ThruNite would make a spin-off of the TH20 (ramping UI, shortcut to Moon + High modes) in the T10 form factor with a tail (forward) clicky, and keep the AA and 14500 battery capabilities.
Well the t10v2 has shortcuts to moon and turbo. and then you have the middle modes with memory available from short click. It is not smooth ramping, but still not a bad light, if you like sideswitches.
The TH20 seems pretty good. you can still use it handheld, too. but I agree a more traditional form factor would be nice in a handheld flashlight.
I am decked out with a wowtac A2s and a Wizard pro anyway, and can put all AA/AAAs I have in a DIY headband to have an improvised headlight..
Otherwise the TH20 would be my choice for headlight with AA's. But as it is now, I will just wait a bit until more High CRI options become avaiable. It is so much nicer to use especially when you do cooking while camping etc..
Also the trend towards better UI's is strong. Manufacturers will hopefully realize it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel and add weird features, when they can just use the Thrunite/Wowtac UI, Biscotti or Narsil/Anduril.
I guess this year a lot of them will eventually get it.