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Why do people like Surefire flashlights?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by Kripto, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    Ok, so I really have no desire to open a can of worms on this, or offend anyone.. I'm seriously wondering why people like these lights!

    Back when I first got a 6P and then a C3 Centurion, they were one of the only manufacturers of rugged lights.. But now we have a LOT of options out there.. Most are way brighter and smaller than the SF lights and all come in at a fraction of the cost..

    So, what is it about these that still interest people?
     
  2. Gnarly
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    I dunno,either!
     
  3. SALT

    SALT Loaded Pockets

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    There are many brands, but not too many that have the same quality and customer service. Plus, many claim to be stronger than Surefire, but I find most exaggerate lumen ratings greatly.

    I use them because I feel they are reliable, durable and if it does break under normal use, I know Surefire will repair or replace

    I would like to hear who people feel really competes with Surefire.
     
  4. archimedes

    archimedes EDC Junkie!!!

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    In my opinion, these are tools designed for maximum reliability and maximum durability (not the same thing, BTW).

    They are not optimized for maximum brightness, minimum size, or minimum cost, however. They do tend to "rate" their lumens very conservatively (meaning they may actually appear brighter than other lights listed with similar output, often substantially so).

    Most designs involve a trade-off between various features or qualities. For their intended market and purpose, SureFire are among the finest quality makers of flashlights (along with ElZetta/Malkoff, Peak, and perhaps HDS/Ra).

    They also have an outstanding warranty and excellent customer service.
     
  5. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    ^^ This. ^^ If I had to take a simple, durable, and tough light that I know will work -- it would be a SureFire. I've dealt with their customer service in the past and it was excellent.
     
  6. tonester

    tonester Loaded Pockets

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    I don't understand either. I'm not gonna knock surefire until I try them out though. Maybe I'm missing something and won't realize it until I hold a surefire light in my hands. I know that was the case for the sebenza. Never knew why people were so in love with them until I held one in my hands then I understood and now the sebenza is my favorite Edc folder. I thought they were ugly and over priced and that's exactly how feel about surefire right know so I still gotta give them a chance.
     
  7. iacchus

    iacchus Loaded Pockets

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    Malkoff & HDS are easily as durable and trustworthy as surefire. Neither exaggerates lumen ratings.
     
  8. Nickortizzle1035

    Nickortizzle1035 Loaded Pockets

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    beautiful beams, made in the USA, Bullet proof (literally in some cases), Tacticool look, Lifetime warranty, some of the best customer service reps i have ever dealt with, very strong filaments in their incandescent lights. the only down side is the price. i have some other brands, but if my life was on the line, i would take my surefire EVERY time
     
  9. SR-71

    SR-71 Loaded Pockets

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    It's a nice piece of hardware. But being USA built is worth a few more dollars to me. I know I can't buy everything from here, but what I can, I will if it's quality stuff.
     
  10. ezeqdb

    ezeqdb Loaded Pockets

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    I think a very important factor is they are modular, you can choose between a lot of bezels, crowns, heads, LEDs, bodies (batteries), tails, switches and so on..
     
  11. shoeglue

    shoeglue Loaded Pockets

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    This^

    Plus alot of what others have said drawme to surefire. (USA made, rugged and as durable as a ford, and awesome customer service ETC)

    Sent using Tapatalk.
     
  12. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Twenty or so years ago, Surefire introduced the incandescent Model 6P. At sixty lumens output with a smooth, even dispersion of light with a distinct hotspot, it broke new ground. The two CR123A batteries it required were $5-6 each.

    This model's external features were quite conservative: tubular with modest knurling. I still have this model somewhere in my junk drawer.

    Next for me was the 6Z, 12ZM, 9N, and various others with model numbers that I cannot remember. All are now in the same junk drawer. I no longer carry or use any Surefire products except the Surefire Pen Model 2.

    Surefire's flashlight products began as a viable alternative to the large, long, and heavy aluminum C and D-cell offerings of Maglite and Streamlight. The 6P and its siblings eclipsed those larger products by being pocketable and having outputs equal or greater.

    Over the years, particularly during the past decade, other makers of similar offerings flooded the market with innovation. Surefire seems to have lost its foothold on that overall civilian market; however has seemingly kept its lock on the military and LE markets where its focus has been from the beginning.

    Lately, Surefire's handheld, pocketable product line seems to be behind in sheer output and features. The company seems content on offering products that showcases its reputation of hard-use robustness that underscores the comparatively-larger external dimensions. I tend to equate Surefire today with Maglite and Streamligjht twenty years ago. Each of these enterprises have found their market and intend to keep it.

    The last Surefire flashlight product that I purchased was a M2 in 2002. I found its external dimensions to be a caricature of the original 6P. I didn't carry it much and quickly found itself doing gun lockbox duty since two months after I acquired it.

    I do not like any of Surefire's current flashlight products. I do not like plastic bodies, crenelated bezels and tailcaps, pockets clips, and the seemingly excessive machining.
    I particularly detest the anti-roll bezel or any protruding angles that cause difficulty when carrying in the trouser pocket.

    I enjoyed reviewing the old Surefire printed catalogs of years past. There were only a few models on those pages; however, they were ground-breaking designs that catapulted the tiny Fountain Valley, CA company to the top of the heap of handheld illumination instruments. I now look at their website with boredom and a bit of contempt for the sheer groundswell of products that seem to spotlight the machinists' trade.

    I have used Surefire lights since 1989 but cannot see myself buying another. There are others that appeal to me now.

    For me, the Surefire flashlight product finds itself alongside those offerings from Maglite and Streamlight as those whose time have come and gone.

     
  13. bladeblabber

    bladeblabber Loaded Pockets

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    for me, with surefire you get toughness and quality like no other brand. sure they dont have the brightnest lights around but they have more capabilities IMO. and there mostly made in the USA :)

    and i dont like brands like fenix or 4sevens as much, they just dont feel nearly as durable and a lot of them are just chinese made copies of surefires.
     
  14. Roood

    Roood Loaded Pockets

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    @0dBm - That's exactly how I feel. I was a MagLite user and switch to SF. My first SF was a 6P but later sold it and replaced it with a G2 Nitrolon and never bought another SF since. I find their batteries, parts and accessories too over-priced. But this changed in 2009 when a friend told me about new trusted and tested rechargeable CR123's. I dropped by the store to check out the said batteries and ended up purchasing SF X300 and M951. Two years later, in fact, two days ago bought a C2 Centurion LED on sale. Sigh, SF just reads trust and durability but I don't use them for EDC, I have other flashlights like OLIGHT, ITP and JetBeam for EDC.
     
  15. VinnyP
    • In Omnia Paratus

    VinnyP Loaded Pockets

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    I like them they feel good solid and well made. Teh early incandescants were so far ahead it's not true. But others have passed them by. We had an unacceptable number of weapon lights fail including a few explosions to the extent we don't use them any more.
     
  16. Rawls

    Rawls Loaded Pockets

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    Their beams are gorgeous. The designs are usually cutting edge (see infinite variable output on t1A), their UI is outstanding, and the lights are very rugged. It is often the case that only custom lights compare favorably to Surefires. I love the UI on the T1A, among the best out there.
     
  17. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    My first "high end" light was a 6P. Great light, well made, totally reliable. Then I tried a Fenix TK10. Same feelings but with the LED I was hooked. Went to Olight, Jetbeam and still just as pleased. My first Surefire still has a mystique for me and a distinct look and feel. However, I'd feel just as secure with any of the lights mentioned.

    My nightstand light is my 6P converted to LED and Solarforce clicky (see a transition here?) while my BoB carries a Fenix T1 so it's all good with me. When I was looking for a really bright torch that could peel paint off a barn door, the first thing to mind was a Surefire M3 but the cost was prohibitive for me and I could not justify that much money sitting on my mantle. A Feinix TK40 sits iin that spot now.
     
  18. jsmitty1967
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    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    The T1A is the perfect EDC flashlight when you sum it all out. I have one right now. I don't have anything different to add but wanted to say I love my Surefires and I feel they are worth every penny. To this point my life has never depended on a flashlight but if it ever did Surefire is the only one I would want. I have dozens of lights from a broad spectrum of manufacturers and like them all. All have strengths and weaknesses. If you want the most output in the smallest package there are better alternatives. If you want a million output levels with programability there are better alternatives. If you want the latest emitter to hit the market there are better alternatives. If you want a light that works ever time you turn it on, that you have to really work at to destroy, that produces a fantastic beam, and is made in the US there are no better options.
     
  19. VinnyP
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    VinnyP Loaded Pockets

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    I like them they feel good solid and well made. The early incandescants were so far ahead it's not true. But others have passed them by. We had an unacceptable number of weapon lights fail including a few explosions to the extent we don't use them any more.
     
  20. Flexxx

    Flexxx BST/Marketplace ban

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    Same here and the Surefire 6px is one sweet light.....