i live off-the-grid in the wilderness and have been a flashaholic all my life.
while i enjoy trying out the newest-brightest 'lights, i've come to discover that the most important lights i own are the ones i carry everyday 24/7 (EDC), particularly those that are as reliable as humanly possible.
having purchased hundreds of tiny lights, the finest light i've found for my use is the Mako, custom-made by longtime CPF member Endeavour (aka: Enrique).
its a basic low-power 1xAAA "key-chain" light, much like its predecessor, Gransee's original Arc AAA. its also much like its contemporary, McGizmo's Sapphire.
as the maker put it: "The design objectives were to create a small, unobtrusive torch that ran for a very long time on a common AAA cell, in a durable package, with some compelling features at an affordable price point."
of course, it sure can't compete with the high output or number of settings available in lights like the LF2XT, Illumina Ti, Maratac, iTP, et al.
so why would anyone pick the Mako?
although i enjoy my fun high-tech lights, what i require most is a trustworthy survival / back-up / emergency / EDC / camping flashlight.
what sold me on the Mako was:
- bomb-proof titanium construction
- simple design using 24K gold anti-corrosion contacts (read: ultra reliable!)
- super efficient electronics/LED for extreme run time (80 hours on a lithium)
- option of a tritium vial
- lack of breakable glass "cover" lens
- ability to tail-stand
- two-level output with lots of twist between them
- ultra-light weight for a titanium light
- long threads requiring over two full turns before engaging the contact (to keep from losing the head)
- reasonably white beam (not a blue-yellow amalgamated beam)
- very smooth threads
- one-handed operation
many other lights have one or more of these features, but in my mind none come close in terms of total functionality and reliability.
i own a few of Makos. one to EDC in my pocket, another in my survival BOB, one next to my bed for navigating the house at night, and others for back-ups.
some Mako owners were disappointed with the 15-degree off-center ringy beam, a result of the designer's demand for water resistance. i agree: it not pretty when wall hunting... but for a survival light that's not a huge concern. still, a nicer beam would be wonderful, making the Mako just about perfect for me.
at some point i heard about the "Mako 60", a rare 60-degree smooth-beam flood version. after years of searching, last week i finally located one through a fellow CPF'er. scout24 was kind enough to sell me his.
turning it on for the first time i was stunned and amazed. this floody Mako is THE answer i've been looking for most of my adult life (i'm 58 yrs old).
Mako "60" Flood on left --- standard Mako on right
of course, one "Mako Flood" isn't enough for me. sadly, research indicates that only a handful were made and the likelihood of buying another is next to nill.
so why brag on something we can't buy?
because i recently learned that the maker is still into producing custom hand-made lights!
if i can twist Enrique's arm by convincing him that there's a big enough market to do another run of them, who out there would be willing to pony up as much as $150 to own a new Mako Flood, "the world's greatest back-up light"?
2012 news: on Jan 7th 2012, it was announced that a special run of 75 Mako Floods will be produced.
Here is a link to that thread: Mako Flood Run - A Titanium, Two-Stage, AAA-Based Flashlight
Early 2014 news: on Feb 20th, 2014, a very limited special new run of 22 Makos as announced
More info on page 8 of this thread, or click HERE to go there now.
Mid-year 2014 news: yet another very limited run was produced, called the Mako MK II
the run was of approx 50 units, in three versions of the Mako Mk. II:
High Output (HO)
This is a 21-lumen output flood light, with much higher brightness and spacing between modes than the previous model, which was around 10 lumens. I’m very excited about the performance characteristics of this light.
This is a regular output Mako equipped with a UV LED with a nominal wavelength of 375 nanometers. Useful for finding things that fluoresce, curing adhesives, activating glow phosphors, finding scorpions, etc.
Regular Output (RO)
This is essentially a “6/30” Mako flood, with updated styling.
delivery began on Aug 25th and they are wonderful. i'm now carrying the Mako MK II HO as my EDC light. best of the best.
Fall 2014 news: a small run of a new version using a single AA battery is in the works. it will be called the Spinner
enrique describes it this way:
"...I've also started work on and will be putting up for pre-order this week a new light called the Spinner. It's essentially a AA version of the Mako, with similar design and named after the Spinner Shark, in keeping with the shark-based naming of the Mako.
The benefits from a AA include longer runtimes, and the ability to drive the light a bit harder than using the AAA as a power plant. This means that with a lithium or eneloop cell in the light, you can toss it in a bag, along with a spare cell, and you'll have days and days of light. If you need more output, the high mode allows you a small brightness edge over the AAA while still providing decent runtime as well. As with the Mako, it will be made from 6AL4V titanium, feature two stages, and nice, white, high output 5mm LEDs. This will be a fairly limited run based on the number of pre-orders placed, with few extra pieces being made. Cost will be $225."