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View Poll Results: These guys REALLY make amazing stuff

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  • Surefire

    115 70.55%
  • Fenix

    53 32.52%
  • Inova

    5 3.07%
  • Nitecore

    9 5.52%
  • Zebra

    20 12.27%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

  1. #61
    Flashaholic* cland72's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    I haven't had as much experience as some of the members here, but I've toyed with a handful of different brands and my Surefires are the ones that keep working consistently, regardless of the use they see. I have no experience with HDS, which seems to be another top contender here. I can say you should stay away from Fenix for a light that you might need to bet your life on. I've owned 5, and 3 had problems. I now only own one, the P1D. I own several Surefires and continue to enjoy their reliability and usefulness.
    Last edited by cland72; 01-18-2012 at 12:32 PM.
    Chris

  2. #62
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Surefire, from experience, HDS from what I've heard. I would have added Malkoff a few months ago, but, I must be honest... recently my M60L died unexpectedly...I got a replacement, and sadly, the replacement ""goes blue" on 9-Volts, and I'm afraid it's going to die if I run it on 9-Volts...I give Gene credit for being an awesome guy, and having awesome CS, but when I'm a mile underground, I don't want my light "dying unexpectedly". I'll use my Malkoff's (in a SF Host), but, I'll have a stock Surefire close-by for back-up.

    I've had to have a few parts replaced on my SF's, but, they were damaged for obvious reasons...if you have a glass lens on a light, and drop it right, the glas will break...but, I don't mind that with the ease of cleaning the lens and the clarity of the beam. My pet peeve is lights that quit working for no apparent reason...never had an SF do that on me. And, having owned 50'ish with zero defects, is a pretty good track record in my book.

  3. #63
    Flashaholic* jamesmtl514's Avatar
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    That's odd.
    I have owned 4 (still have 3) Malkoffs. They all work flawlessly.they are in surefire bodies and see the most use of all my lights.
    I just wish the drop ins were cut in such a way that they didn't leave a gap on SF hosts. They are meant to be p60 style replacements, SF is the leader by far in hosts, why doesn't it fit....no excuse.

    As for my SF, the only catastrophic failure was the MN60 exploding and taking the head with it.
    I wish surefire would either send resplendent innards or just replace the innards instead of the whole head.
    My M4 was ruined due to receiving a purple head. I had to cerakote the whore light including the ridiculously expensive and rare SW01. Sure the light looks amazing now, but come on!
    My lightsWTB: Surefire: New/Used/Rare. Currently looking for everything Crosshairs + D2. Interesting trades available.Everybody, just send your lights directly to James - he'll end up with them anyhow, lol. -Kestrel

  4. #64
    Flashaholic Flashlight Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataract View Post
    Flashlight Dave:

    I regularily clean my Quark 123 tactical while washing my hands, I dropped it once or twice in film fixer solution (basically vinegar) and never had a problem. I wonder what gave you the impression they're not up to IPX8??
    Im glad you did not have a problem with yours. I have seen a couple of youtube vids that had their 4sevens lights fail when submerged in water and have heard of people complaining about loose bezels on some of them too. One of mine does seem to be a little loose as well. Thus the reason I have some doubts. It could be hit or miss.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Surefire, Malkoff\Elzetta, Polarion

  6. #66

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    1. Surefire, Malkoff/Elzetta, HDS (most trusted confident)
    2. Streamlight, Inova
    3. Zebralight, Fenix, 4sevens.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    huh. the first mention of LED lenser I've come across, I use the h7 as my main light for caving. Its got good output, and its not as bright or as large as the h14, which tends to be a bit too bright for enclosed spaces.
    The only thing i've notinced recently that I don't like is that the tilt function is plastic ridging and its starting to wear out. Given that mine is a couple of years old now, it should be expected, but... still. The H14 uses a different design, so hopefully they have updated the tilt method on the h7 as well, or else they are still using a design destined for failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    I am newer to this, and my only "higher end" flashlights are probably what you'd all consider toys, but I do inspections for a living, and crawl around dark places because I need to see what's going on in them....with the seeing part being very important.

    I've had a couple of Inova X5's, one UV and one white light, and they are indestructable. Both in use from somewhere around 2002 or so, my first LED flashlights.

    I've also had great luck with LED Lenser's T7, it also seems indestructible, and the slide forward/back to go from spot to flood is both handy and reliable.

    I had some Princeton Tec's, but they were not sturdy enough, and they failed for one reason or another.

    So, so far, in my limited exposure to this world, Inova and Lenser are reliable.

    I've never heard of some of the others mentioned here...but, I am....intrigued.


  8. #68
    Flashaholic* chaoss's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    ANY HDS, McGizmo or Surefire. I have owned/used several of their offerings and not one has let me down.
    Happiness is having a high rate of fire .

  9. #69
    Enlightened trialt's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vesper View Post
    Anything from Malkoff
    Surefire
    HDS
    Completely agree with this as have many others

    Quote Originally Posted by Cataract View Post
    Another brand I would add even though they are very recent: ArmyTek. I have 2 Predators and that would be THE flashlight I would trust my life with if I had to.
    I have the Predator too and its nice and seems reliable, my only complaint though is it is not as easily pocketable as a 6P or E series light.

    Quote Originally Posted by spe672 View Post
    A coworker just bought a 6P and was showing it off a few days ago. He was sad to see that his brand new light is half the brightness of the one CR123 4Sevens I just bought.
    Sometimes brightness is not all that important for a reliable light. Use a Malkoff M61LL in a 6P host and I believe that makes for a far more reliable light.

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDninja View Post
    Surefire from legend. They use very expensive CR123A batteries until recently so I never got one.
    Have you considered using one with a custom bored body for a 18650 ? Along with a nice led drop in that makes a good combination for plenty of financially guilt free lumens
    Last edited by trialt; 01-19-2012 at 07:36 PM.

  10. #70
    Flashaholic* cland72's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by trialt View Post

    Sometimes brightness is not all that important for a reliable light. Use a Malkoff M61LL in a 6P host and I believe that makes for a far more reliable light.
    I absolutely agree with this. I have a M61LL that will be delivered tomorrow, and in my 6P it will be my "go to" light because it will run for 10 hours at full brightness, then give me a nice long taper.
    Chris

  11. #71
    Flashaholic ieslei's Avatar
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    Default

    Eagletac anyone?

    I always had fenix, zebralight and four sevens, very proud of them....
    FENIX LD20 R4, TK12 R5, TK21 U2, TK35, QUARK Mini AA R5, THRUNITE A1. Zebralight SC51, now the SC52 on 14500 and Eagletac G25C2 MKII!

  12. #72

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    I just got 3 new lights and I can honestly say I think I am done buying for quite awhile. Picked up a HDS 140 T, a Elzetta, and a Malkoff MD2. I had bought alot of inexpensive lights looking for the "one", but these 3 seem to have cured my craving for lights. They all have their proper place, but I really cant think of anything else I want. For now anyway.

  13. #73

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Everything fails. Their are many brands that have good quality and aren't in the poll. Even within very reliable brands there are models whose design is better and models that are more likely to fail than their peers. The name on the side of the body imparts no safety net.
    “The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it’s difficult to discern whether or not they are genuine.”
    Abraham Lincoln

  14. #74
    Flashaholic* davyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    It's got to be HDS for me,i've got 3 now & i think they're better now than when i first got them.They're bomb proof with a great warranty,
    i own a few good lights but nothing comes close for me.Everyone has there own opinions so what i love you may totally hate.

  15. #75

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ganymede View Post
    hemdale,

    Wow! You joined CPF in 2008 and still couldn't find something you like? For me, it is Surefire all the way.

    Good luck.
    I'm new to this. I've bought a Fenix PD32 & TK21. I have 2 JetBeams on the way.

    I'm surprise at all of the SureFire recommendations. The specs do not seem as good as others I've looked at (Lumens seem low) and I've seen warnings not to use various batteries with SureFire.

    Why do so many of you like SureFire?

    Kevin

  16. #76
    *Flashaholic* nbp's Avatar
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    Because there is no correlation between higher output and increased reliability. In fact, as heat is an LED's enemy, often increased output means shorter chip life and decreased reliability. True, SF builds lights with more conservative outputs, but they put emphasis on tried and true components and designs that are more likely to stand up to abuse and harsh usage patterns. Most are not designed to run with rechargeables because in their primary target markets, LE and Military, rechargeable batteries are difficult to use and primary 123s are often provided.

  17. #77
    Flashaholic* angelofwar's Avatar
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    Imagine a soldier out on patrol in Iraq... Bam!, stuff starts going down...your ordered to check out a nearby, poorly lit house for the baddies...you pull out your light, and nothing...r/c's are for a fact alot more unreliable than primaries. That's why SF doesn't recommend them in weapon lights. And if your handheld is running off rc's, you better have a back-up with primaries...or sooner or later, you WILL be left in the dark.

  18. #78

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Got it and it makes sense.

    I have another question. Since I'm new here I don't have any idea how quickly this technology is changing. Are the high lumen LED output lights (300+ lumens) a recent development and the technology is changing quickly, or has this been slowly evolving?

  19. #79
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinm78 View Post
    I'm new here I don't have any idea how quickly this technology is changing.

    Are the high lumen LED output lights a recent development?
    5 years ago, 60 lumens from a single LED was pretty sensational.
    Resistance is futile...

  20. #80

    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    I find that strage. Did you buy the M60L used? How much use had it gotten? I've had two tiny problems with my Malkoff's. The first, was a McClicky switch that got a little funny and wouldnt temporarily activate every time I'd push it, if I were pushing it from an angle. The other, was when I fried an M61 when I put an 18650 in my host upside down. Both times I had the replacements in the mail the next day from Gene, with a hand written note from his wife. Absurd customer service. I wish he'd put a reverse protection chip in there though. Other than that I've never really seen a problem with any of their dropins.

    My HDS Rotary is so far flawless. It just works, there seems to be nothing that could go wrong with it. Its amazing, and clearly built with amazing precision and quality.

    IMO the weakness with the older Surefire's is their modules. A surefire host with a Malkoff dropin seems tough to beat. However the Surefire's as they come, with the P61Ls seem fragile. Any of the older Surefire's that come with the incandescent bulbs are obviously less reliable than anything I've mentioned so far. Therefore to just give the nod to the Surefire's, to me, seems strange. This is just for the 6P, C2, Z2 line. The 6PX line now has the head that can't come apart. Id like to know whats in there or what the module actually looks like.

    The E1L seems unbreakable, A series, L series, and E series LED's are all awesome lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by angelofwar View Post
    Surefire, from experience, HDS from what I've heard. I would have added Malkoff a few months ago, but, I must be honest... recently my M60L died unexpectedly...I got a replacement, and sadly, the replacement ""goes blue" on 9-Volts, and I'm afraid it's going to die if I run it on 9-Volts...I give Gene credit for being an awesome guy, and having awesome CS, but when I'm a mile underground, I don't want my light "dying unexpectedly". I'll use my Malkoff's (in a SF Host), but, I'll have a stock Surefire close-by for back-up.

    I've had to have a few parts replaced on my SF's, but, they were damaged for obvious reasons...if you have a glass lens on a light, and drop it right, the glas will break...but, I don't mind that with the ease of cleaning the lens and the clarity of the beam. My pet peeve is lights that quit working for no apparent reason...never had an SF do that on me. And, having owned 50'ish with zero defects, is a pretty good track record in my book.
    Last edited by Tommygun45; 02-18-2012 at 04:07 PM.

  21. #81
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    I'm surprised Peak isn't mentioned here more than once. I have a few SFs, great feeling robust lights, but I think I trust the Peaks more. Twisties in SS with primaries, fully potted; what's there to break?
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
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  22. #82
    Flashaholic weklund's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    1. Malkoff ..... Malkoff "Wildcat". High / Low and built like a tank.

    2. Surefire C2 ..... Very utilitarian, adaptable and built like a tank.
    Last edited by weklund; 02-18-2012 at 06:51 PM.
    ....."Happy Landings".....

  23. #83
    Flashaholic ArmoredFiend's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    A brand i can really trust - Surefire! But for that kind of money i would be paying, they better be. I wont be paying for a Honda Civic thinking that it would outperform or outlast a mercedes E-class...

    Many times we forgot to mention, in-relative to its price....

    If someone comes up to me and ask, 'what's the safest vehicle u wanna get if price is not an issue?' and my answer would be an M1A2SEP Abrams...you cant get any safer than that beast...

    So maybe we need to mention on the $$ as well..?
    Last edited by ArmoredFiend; 02-18-2012 at 07:21 PM.

  24. #84
    Flashaholic weklund's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ArmoredFiend View Post
    A brand i can really trust - Surefire! But for that kind of money i would be paying, they better be. I wont be paying for a Honda Civic thinking that it would outperform or outlast a mercedes E-class...

    Many times we forgot to mention, in-relative to its price....

    If someone comes up to me and ask, 'what's the safest vehicle u wanna get if price is not an issue?' and my answer would be an M1A2SEP Abrams...you cant get any safer than that beast...

    So maybe we need to mention on the $$ as well..?

    I agree .... A budget $ amount would make this more real world regarding the trust factor.
    ....."Happy Landings".....

  25. #85
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Bit surprised Inova received so few votes. Then again, I haven't bought one since Nite-Ize took over the company.

    While I feel that some of their business practices are a bit odorous, thankfully SureFire's offerings remain top notch.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  26. #86
    Flashaholic whiteoakjoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    4Sevens, never had an issue with any of their lights and have 5 now.

  27. #87
    Flashaholic* nikon's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Tektite should be on the list. For my money it's the most failsafe flashlight available.
    .
    Want to buy Tektite and Tekna lights and parts. PM me with what you have.

  28. #88
    Flashaholic Stream's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    I voted Fenix because I don't have much experience with the other brands on the list. Fenix is the one manufacturer I've owned the most flashlights from over the years. I have had issues with a couple of their lights (both replaced under warranty), but aside from that I find them to be reliable lights that work whenever you need them. Surefire has legendary status here on CPF, back in the day it was THE light to have for any self-respecting CPF'er. Only big issues there I can remember were early versions of the U2, but aside from that they seem to have mostly happy costumers.

    The amount of options available today is mind boggling, and I understand it can be difficult to keep track, but I agree with the others that there are too few brands on your list - you've even missed some of the obvious big names like Streamlight, Pelican and Olight.

  29. #89
    Flashaholic* cland72's Avatar
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    Default Re: A flashlight brand you can REALLY trust ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stream View Post
    I voted Fenix because I don't have much experience with the other brands on the list. Fenix is the one manufacturer I've owned the most flashlights from over the years. I have had issues with a couple of their lights (both replaced under warranty), but aside from that I find them to be reliable lights that work whenever you need them. Surefire has legendary status here on CPF, back in the day it was THE light to have for any self-respecting CPF'er. Only big issues there I can remember were early versions of the U2, but aside from that they seem to have mostly happy costumers.

    The amount of options available today is mind boggling, and I understand it can be difficult to keep track, but I agree with the others that there are too few brands on your list - you've even missed some of the obvious big names like Streamlight, Pelican and Olight.
    What type of issues did you have w/ Fenix that required warranty repair?
    Chris

  30. #90
    Enlightened koolranch's Avatar
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    Default

    I have a large collection of 4 Sevens and really like them. I'm concerned about the law suite with regards to being able to warranty any future questions. What is the law suite specifically about? What switch mechanism does surefire have patents on?


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    "I have more lights than I need, but not as many as I want"

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