RMSK, Inc.        
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

  1. #1

    Default Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Hi, first post here but been reading on an off for a few years. I'm a mechanic now working in a shop with not so good lighting. Most of the techs are using rechargeable Stingers they bought off the tool trucks for inspecting vehicles. I've got an assortment of lights that are all to dim or wearing out.



    Can I get some opinions on what the best option is for my sort of work in the under $200 class for a hand held light? I do under dash work, brake and suspension inspections and everything else... need to see what I'm looking for in dark dirty oily engine bays... and be able to track where stuff is leaking from.



    Run time, rechargeable light or batteries, I think more flood than throw... but I love a light that can light up a block. Is the Streamlight Knucklehead rechargeable worth the money (or even available yet?) Got a better choice?



    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I'm in the same boat as you. I've been using Streamlight Stinger Flashlights their C4 CREE versions. After posting my questions here, and getting tons of response back, looking at the Zebralight Sc600 would be the best choice for mechanic work. I Just placed an order for one from from Goinggear.com

    A bit excited to see how this performs from my Streamlight Stinger DS C4 Rechargerable flashlight. If I remember correclty, the Streamlight Stinger DS C4 is 180 Lumen.

    The Zebralight SC600 is 750 Lumen on Turbo, 500 Lumen on High.

    The Streamlight Stinger DS C4 Rechargeable is around $160 ish from Snap-On Tools.
    The Zebralight SC600 is $99.99. Throw a few dollars into a good 18650 Battery and charger and you'll be almost the same price as a Streamlight Stinger DS C4 but with tons of Lumen!

    Can't wait to get it, it's already shipped as of today!
    Last edited by SC300TWINTURBO; 09-07-2011 at 08:12 PM. Reason: List pricing of flashlights

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* fivemega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    4,427

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Most of auto technicians like to use small rechargeable flashlight with cradle like Strion.
    There are not many brighter choices for
    small rechargeable flashlight with cradle charging system.
    Stinger is also good choice but still using old technology NiCad.
    BTW, you can get LED Stinger for less
    here.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Quote Originally Posted by z_Redorblack Nigelbottom View Post
    Can I get some opinions on what the best option is for my sort of work in the under $200 class for a hand held light? I do under dash work, brake and suspension inspections and everything else... need to see what I'm looking for in dark dirty oily engine bays... and be able to track where stuff is leaking from.

    Run time, rechargeable light or batteries, I think more flood than throw... but I love a light that can light up a block. Is the Streamlight Knucklehead rechargeable worth the money (or even available yet?) Got a better choice?
    Thanks
    If You can wait a vew days, Take a look at the Sunwayman V60C
    It is rechargeable, has a good runtime on 5 lumens AND can light up Your block. Probably will turn out to be the best rechargeable light available for some time.

    Max Output: 728 Lumens (2hrs)
    Min Output: 5 Lumen (150hrs)

    http://www.sunwayman.com/html/products/201108/59.html
    Great spirits have always encountered vigorous opposition from mediocre minds.(Ursus arctos horribilis)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    For years ( 6 ? ) I have used a Coast Led Lenser rechargeable flashlight. It has a lithium Ion battery that can be charged in the flashlight. The thing is worn out. I am currently using an Olight T15 with 2 Lithium Ion 14500. I just swap and charge the batteries. I never run out of battery power.
    I have found the EDC 'every day carry' style light with a tactical forward clickie carried in my pocket to be the best. 100-200 lumens. 100-140mm length. 1" diameter. I tried larger flashlights in sheaths. I would wear out the sheaths every 6 months and had to worry about scratching someones fender. Then I tried to carry larger flashlights in my pocket. I was uncomfortable and they would fall out of my pocket in someones car. As far as flood or spot, I like a spot. If I need flood, I use the electric shop droplight. Install a wrist lanyard. You can only drop a flashlight so many times from 6ft before it quits for good.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic*
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Cleveland,Oh
    Posts
    2,422

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I spent time as a mechanic, and do service work on trucks now. Everyone is mentioning great lights, but I think they are way too bright. My recommendation is something small, floody and about 150-200 lumens on high.
    I find that usually, my Fenix LOD Q4 does fine. It can be clipped on a hat brim/shirt pocket or held in my mouth. The last thing I want when inspecting under a dash, or in an engine bay is to be blinded by glare.
    If the Fenix had better color rendition (neutral or high CRI is better for wire color ID), it would be about perfect. And it was inexpensive enough that I don't mind dropping it in a puddle of hydraulic oil..

    Don't worry so much about the rechargeable part. Buy some good batteries and a charger.
    Last edited by jabe1; 09-09-2011 at 05:15 PM.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    -- Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    11,487

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    In my town I am seeing a lot of Stinger's used by mechanics, and one place I use for smog tests uses some of the rechargeable LED Stinger,s such as fivemega linked to. They also use the incan Stinger.

    Bill

  8. #8
    Flashaholic Cypher_Aod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    the 5.11 Tactical Light For Life might be a good option? recharges in less than two minutes and lasts more than an hour.
    http://www.511tactical.com/html511/static/LFLDemo.html

    Might be a bit big though...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I use a Surefire headlamp for general illumination and a Surefire G2 incandescent with 17500 battery. Headlamp does most of the work on a project, the surefire somes out of my pocket for really dark places. You can hold the G2 (plastic) in your teeth once in awhile. I use rechargeables in both....but sh! don't tell anyone!

    I also own a Knucklehead. That is one handy light! The magnet mount is strong and helpful. The light is floody and bright enough to be useful
    Last edited by HotWire; 01-19-2012 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Add info.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I've used to work in a shop enviroment for years and I always carried the Stinger in my pocket. I feel if you get anything brighter than this flashlight then it would be too much light.
    I bought the piggyback charger later in life and then I always had a fresh battery to use. I used mine enough that I eventually turned the lens yellow and started cracking right in the center where the beam was focused the tightest. I really think the streamlight is the way to go, for easy of parts availabilty (tool trucks, cabelas, hardware stores, cheaper than dirt), good daily use and service life.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic AaronG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I'm surprised that so many guys are using handheld lights. I'm an electrician so I quite frequently work in poorly lit places (who needs an electrician when the lights work?)

    After buying the Zebralight H51F I couldn't imagine doing two handed tasks with a flashlight.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Quote Originally Posted by AaronG View Post
    I'm surprised that so many guys are using handheld lights. I'm an electrician so I quite frequently work in poorly lit places (who needs an electrician when the lights work?)

    After buying the Zebralight H51F I couldn't imagine doing two handed tasks with a flashlight.
    Another vote for the ZL "H" series. Although it's billed as a headlamp, it's actually a 90-degree angle flashlight with a headband. Remove the headband, and it's just as good as a regular flashlight that will EDC in a front pocket... well, maybe better in that, even without the HB, it has more hands-free options than a traditional flashlight: clip to your collar, shirt pocket or belt, tail stand and point, or lie down and adjust ceiling/wall bounce angles through 90 degrees.

    The other nice thing is that it a has broad range of low lumens (0.2, 2, 7), so if your working in a relatively dark and confined space (under car?), you won't have a blinding light killing your eyes, not to mention that it'll run days/weeks at the lowest levels on a single AA. Flood and a warm light sounds best for that type of work too.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* ericjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    1 Alpha Louisiana
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Mechanic's flashlight?

    Keep it simple, Mini Maglite Pro+ (200 lumens I think) or the newest version of the 2D LED Maglite (131 lumens). Either of those would not only be under $200, they would be under $40.

    A slightly brighter (but rechargeable) is the Maglite ML125 (193 lumens alkaline; 186 lumens NimH) but I don't think it has hit the store shelves yet.

    Those all could be on the same level as (or better than) the SL Stinger. The lumen values of the Stinger Series are: Original and Poly Stinger (Xenon/incan) 90 lumens; DS LED and Poly Stinger LED 185 lumens; Hazardous Location Poly Stinger 130 lumens; LED HP 200 lumens; Ultra Stinger 230 lumens.

    As you can see the only Streamlight giving you a brightness advantage over the mags is the Ultra Stinger, which is more geared to LEO's not mechanics. If you need a light that could easily be located in the shop get the yellow Poly Stinger or Hazardous Location LED Poly Stinger, but remember they are not that bright. I don't know what colors the aforementioned mags come in, but I they have better lumen outputs. I peronally am prejudice in favor of the mags since they DO NOT outsource their manufacturing to other countries such as cHINA.

    Hope I have been some help.
    "When egrets take flight, foul weather in sight."

  14. #14
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    11,487

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I think, the Stinger is a serious mechanics flashlight that has proven itself through the years. Some of these serious users has been experimenting with the Stinger LED models, and are finding them useful, but the color rendition of the plain old Stinger, metal or plastic is probably ideal for them, and I have never heard one of them say to me, that they are not bright enough, yellowed plastic lens or not. On one occasion I did find myself offering to have a mechanics worn out, yellowed plastic lens, almost dead bulb replaced for him. He took me up on it, and I took it down to the Streamlight warranty store in my area and had it fixed up for him. He was grateful, but not overwhelmed at the difference, and is definitely not a flashaholic. LOL.

    Bill

  15. #15

    Default

    One of today's auto check engine light tasks is to 'smoke test' fuel vapor lines for leaks. Cool tint lights are needed to see the smoke escape and find the vapor leak area. Warm or neutral tint lights are not well suited for this task because they cut through the smoke and make finding vapor leaks harder.
    The headbands of headlamps become quickly soiled by fluids associated with auto repair.
    Warm tinted headlamp lights are not recommend by me.

    I have found a small cool tinted handheld flashlight is best for a mechanic for general use.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Z; I am a new member as well and fix cars a lot. Have my own GM Tech 2, Lift, wheel balancer, Brake lathe, tire changer etc etc. I have always been looking for a great work light. Had 'em all, standards floursencts rechargheble. The snap on guy always sold the little magnet thing to put a small P60 in.

    But I am like the electrician who can work with one hand holding a flashlight. Try wrenching like that. Just routine jobs need a great light. and I have good light in the garage. Bought two Maxxeons a couple years ago they have magnet and a hook great swivel head, but hold up. Broke both of 'em at the head connection same place.

    Just got a Knuckelhead by Streamlight and so far I am Impressed, Magent perfect even has a rubber protector, hook works, head swivels great and two LED's, I got the Piggyback fast charger. This thing is well thought out and I think would be great for plumbers and electricians as well. It has a bright wide flood. Stands up and has a high and low setting. I did a brake and wheel bearing job the other day and never had awork light this good.

    I agree on the smoke also. I have a smoke machine and just did a small evap leak, you can use a hand held to look for the smoke, but you can't use the handels to remove the gas tank and the emission lines. If I have to have one it would be the Knucklehead right now. I think streamlight did some research and they make firefighters lights and in fact I see they are marketing a Knucklehead to them as well.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Sunwayman V10R or V10A - Having a variable control would be the best for your application. You can select from 1 to 140 lumens by simply turning a dial. These lights also come with a clip that you can stick on the bill of your hat. If you're working under the dash that will come in handy.
    Last edited by cubegleamer; 01-19-2012 at 07:19 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    Quote Originally Posted by cubegleamer View Post
    Sunwayman V10R or V10A - Having a variable control would be the best for your application. You can select from 1 to 140 lumens by simply turning a dial. These lights also come with a clip that you can stick on the bill of your hat. If you're working under the dash that will come in handy.
    How a flashlight is used in auto repair depends on how you need to look at something.
    I thought I would post a couple of pictures of my current use lights at the shop. The small black EDC style is a rechargeable Coast Led Lenser. This light is beat and needs to be retired soon. It has worked great with it's unprotected 14500 li-ion. I will replace it with my Olight T15 soon. The orange light is a rechargeable Snap on multi array led with a magnetic base. I like it alot. The blue light is a Snap on that takes AA batteries. The corded flourescent is also sold by Snap on.
    my orange rechargeable:
    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=93202&group_ID=3454 8&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog


    http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=96758&group_ID=3508 9&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog

    A
    s far as one light for all, there isn't one. Sometimes I need to suspend a flood of light shining on something. Other times I need a spot of light to see something clearly. I have used headlamps, but the bands get dirty too quickly for me. A problem I have found with the cordless magnetic lights is cars have driven off with them ! As far as a CPF style light, cool tint EDC style works best for me.

  19. #19
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    ST. Charles MO
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    i use a 4sevens quark aa. i use rechargable 14500 Li batteries. i have four batteries. i never run out of light. on high mode its over 200 lumens. and it gets to the very low lumens when needed. its small enough to carry on your person all the time. comes with a 10 year warrenty. you could get the light, batteries, and charger for under 100 bux. thats what i use as a mechanic. everyone in the shop is always asking me to see it to look at somthing in a dark engine bay.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Best flashlight for a mechanic? Stinger rechargable seems to be the standard

    I think a good flashlight would be a Solarforce L2P with a decent XM-L module, make sure to get a few 18650's and a charger. It would be bright and floody, good for working on stuff and also a good magnetic base would be useful. Something like the "Stage Ninja Flashlight Mount" You can search for it since mods don't like links. This ought to be as bright as any worklight but portable. Also since you're a mechanic being all handy you'll appreciate the repairability of the lights.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •