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Why do people like Surefire flashlights?

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

  1. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    I don't and never have owned a Surefire light, though it seems to me that they are the standard against which other lights are measured and to which other manufacturers compare themselves.

    Looking at their product lineup, they have obviously found their market in the LE/Mil arena, leaving the larger consumer market to other less expensive brands. Their engineering, materials, workmanship and feature list are superb, you do get what you pay for. The down side is that this means many of us can't afford them.

    Surefire revolutionized the flashlight world when the Maglite was king. Now they are on top but Mag is still shipping truckloads of the same lights they had out when I was a kid. LEDs revolutionized the world again but that was a wagon that everyone could jump on, and did.

    Ultimately the only bad thing I can say about Surefire is that they're out of my price range. Which is more of a whine than an actual criticism.

    Streamlight has had some great ideas and fair pricing but as far as I know has never used anything but plastic lenses, which get scratched up over time. I've completely given up on them.

    In answer to the original question: Brand loyalty, nationalism, bragging rights, and outright quality.
     
  2. JonSidneyB
    • Administrator

    JonSidneyB Uber Prepared
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    Surefire I feel are best of breed when it comes to tactical lights just as I think the Stenlight is best of breed when it comes to caving lights. They are not best at everything but for what they are made for I think they are the best of their kind. Being best also costs more.
     
  3. ATF

    ATF Loaded Pockets

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    I don't get it either. I'm sure they are tough and reliable. I like the fact they're USA made, BUT I surely won't be spending $200 for a light that only puts out 80 lumens.
     
  4. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    To which light are you refering?
     
  5. P35

    P35 Loaded Pockets

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    what's NOT to like? I have Surefire (Laser Products) 6Z combat light. I've had it for nearly 20 years, still works as good as the day I bought it.
     
  6. robbyy

    robbyy Loaded Pockets

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    Anyone try the MAGLITE XL100 LED Flashlight?
     
  7. ATF

    ATF Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know. I remember seeing it a while ago. I'll look it up to see if I can find it or something close.
     
  8. zuggzugg

    zuggzugg Loaded Pockets

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    All of my lights are Fenix... Can anyone with experience with both Surefire and Fenix "shed some light" on the differences in quality/reliability between the two?

    Would anyone recommend upgrading my LD10, LD20, or TK12 to a similar but better Surefire? I haven't had any problems with any of my Fenix lights at all - they are some of my favorite EDC gear.
     
  9. jcc

    jcc Banned

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    They feel significantly different, the UI of every Surefire is simpler, compare the threads of Surefire to Fenix, the anodization is different, and the feel of the clicky. I've only had one Fenix to compare with the eight Surefire's I've had, so I might not be the best to judge them.

    I would recommend the E1B Backup or the E1L.
     
  10. chndlr04

    chndlr04 Empty Pockets

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    i have had my surefire 6p for 7 years, before that was ofc a maglite. after the surefire were several high powered flashlights from various of companies. but the surefire 6p is the only one i keep going for when it comes to the power/weight/durablity, its by my side everyday, the rest is in my drawer or sold or given as a present.havent replaced the bulb yet either, although i do have a replacement ready
     
  11. Kripto

    Kripto Evil Sid

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    Awesome info here! Yet another reason I keep coming back to EDCF!

    It really seems that SF has done a very good job at creating rugged/dependable lights and since they focus on LE/Mil, they are able to charge top dollar for these lights.. Kindof like Gerber for their Mil stuff. (I've got a Cable Dawg that set me back $250.. Civilians pay less than Mil (who pays $700 for the same tool))

    For me, I prefer small, high output lights that have good throw, a decent hotspot and fill that isn't so narrow that it's a spot, but not so diffuse that it has no decent center.. When I had my 6P, (incandescent) I really liked it's brightness and throw, but it seems that LEDs have taken over that market at WAY more efficient use of electricity/heat.

    These days, I'm liking the Jetbeam Jet IIIM (bag carry), Novatac 120P (pocket carry), and the Nitecore D10 (AA size) that I keep on my backpack strap and inside as a backup.. I'm also thinking of getting the EX11.2 with Ti clip because I like the CR123 batteries, and the Sunwayman V10R or V20C..

    As for Made In America, generally I prefer it.. But I choose to buy the best I can afford within reason.. (I don't buy cheap asian crap when the same thing made here is only a few dollars more...)

    As an aside, I like some Fenix lights for their size, but I won't give four7s any more money regardless. I just find their customer service appalling.
     
  12. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Once upon a time, Surefire was cutting edge. It was the first and the best of a new breed of flashlight.

    Now, it's not cutting edge. I don't think anyone can argue that point. But the over-engineering and testing that goes into each product line gives peace of mind. Surefires are designed to be abused and mistreated and still function. Their primary audience base appreciates that engineering. I still remember the day a sergeant walked up to me in the MCSS and pointed me at the row of Surefire lights because after watching a HMMWV drive over his and still work, he wouldn't recommend anything else.

    This is not to say that other, cheaper - notably Asian - products aren't good and don't have a place. I have a couple of Fenix lights and use them for scuff lights. But I also find myself intensely disliking their over-gimmicky approach to concept execution: most specifically, complicated UIs and too many modes.

    @Kripto: try a Malkoff drop-in for that 6P. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    ETA: @0dBm: if you ever start selling off some of your older models, let me know. ;D

    -Trevor
     
  13. tonester

    tonester Loaded Pockets

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    ha! looks like the light gods heard me! i was given an amazing deal on an E1b and now have one on the way. im excited for this one!
     
  14. archimedes

    archimedes EDC Junkie!!!

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    Yep, that's one of the best for general use. Great output, small form-factor, and amazing throw for it's size! Did you get the black version, or the silver?
     
  15. tonester

    tonester Loaded Pockets

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    Got the black version.
     
  16. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've owned a 1/2 dozen or so Surefires and am down to my original 6P and an E1b. My only comment of the E1B is that I would have liked it even more with some knurling for a better grip.
     
  17. jsmitty1967
    • In Omnia Paratus

    jsmitty1967 Go Big Blue

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    You could put your E1b head on an E1e body. The E1e has a great feel in the hand.
     
  18. archimedes

    archimedes EDC Junkie!!!

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    Yes, I often run mine on an E1L body/tail. Unfortunately, my E1L is HA (gray/green) and my E1B is silver, though....

    One of my other favorite SF models is the L1. With an F05 red filter, it makes a great low-level light.
     
  19. jcc

    jcc Banned

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    They make a black body E1L.

    [​IMG]
    Not mine
     
  20. tonester

    tonester Loaded Pockets

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    do you guys know if the clip from the E1b can be switched onto the E1e body? that would be sweet!