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Thread: toughen up chinese flashlights!

  1. #31
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    My Nitecore IFE2, for some reason, has been a light that I just seem to mishandle more often then all of my other lights. It's been dropped multiple times onto concrete floors. Other then a few nicks, the lens has never cracked, and it still functions properly. All China made lights are not fragile. Just as all U.S. made lights are not indestructable. Take a look at the ArmyTek predator video to get a hint at how "tough" lights made in China can be.

  2. #32

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    My TrustFire X6 seems about a tough as you can get. Real thick al in the body, double O-ringed, 3mm glass lens. Can never tell about the electronics without taking them apart of course.
    SureFire UB3T Invictus; TrustFire X6; LumaPower MVP (3xCree) , Sunwayman V11R; 4Sevens Quark AA Tactical, Electrolumens EDC-P7; Nitecore DI (R2, GDP, Q5); LiteFlux LF2XT-R2, LF2X

  3. #33
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Hard Anodising!?

    I was in the aluminium industry for 17 years. If you have ever seen some quality hard anodising you will be surprised just how tough it is.

    What the flashlight manufactures call HA is at the very low end of the scale, at best! Top quality HA done on 6061 at very low temperatures is as tough as nails & has a craze pattern which gets more noticeable at the tougher end of the HA scale.

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* jimmy1970's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Interesting point. Most of my 'HA' black chinese lights have lost a percentage of their anodizing. I have found that simply dropping the light on a hard surface will deform the aluminium and chip the anno. My HDS on the other hand has been dropped a few times and has lost no anno. The resulting dents are also surprisingly minor. I agree there must be some pretty dramatic variations in the quality of HA coatings out there.

    James.... :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by lightwater View Post
    Hard Anodising!?

    I was in the aluminium industry for 17 years. If you have ever seen some quality hard anodising you will be surprised just how tough it is.

    What the flashlight manufactures call HA is at the very low end of the scale, at best! Top quality HA done on 6061 at very low temperatures is as tough as nails & has a craze pattern which gets more noticeable at the tougher end of the HA scale.
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  5. #35
    Flashaholic* CarpentryHero's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edi View Post
    Can you tell me how my thread title is offensive? It's so sad in this day and age that you can't label where something comes from because of people like you. That's what moderators are for, to control offensive material.

    Like someone said in this thread, everyone of us has different requirements in flashlights. To those of you who push pens I'm sure you don't need a tough light. I'm a foreman for a construction company and I inspect dark work areas sometimes. If I drop my torch one in a thousand times I take it out of pocket, it is falling on concrete everytime and I want to know it will survive, that's all. I bet soldiers and police officers even more so.

    I'll say it again, I think all the Chinese manufacturers follow what each other are doing so closely that sometimes it just a preference of something minor. Why not change it up and offer something the competition isn't? I know they're great torches, if I knew they were the toughest and most durable I will pay the big $.
    My statement saying some find it offensive is in that its a blanket statement about lights from china, when it doesn't need to be. I don't want just Chinese lights to step there game up, I'd like to see the world wide flashlight market step there game up to compete with the durability of HDS, Elzetta and Surefire. Don't you?
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  6. #36
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    I agree with what others have posted, in that I think its the manufacturers like Streamlight, Surefire and Elzetta that need to get with the program. I bought a Sc600, and I'm surprised that the lens broke on your's(but not all that surprised). Its lens is pretty close to the end of the bezel, and now that I tap on it with my fingernail, it does seem a little weak maybe. But I dont think the Zebralight SC600 is the best "Ambassador" light to represent the toughness and overall quality of top end Chinese flashlights. Its way overrated IMO. Its not a bad light, its just not the end-all, best thing since sex that its been made out to be.

    There are many really tough Chinese lights out there, and a few that I own are the Eagletac G25C2, the Jetbeam BC10, and the iTp A6, which is tough aside from its slightly weak battery carrier for its 6-AA batteries. I'm waiting on 2 Eagletac Titanium D25's(D25A and D25C) which should also be really tough.

    But I was looking at Elzetta lights, and I think its a bit weak that they, Surefire, and Streamlight sell 1-18650 lights that only put out 200L or so. Some of the SF lights are only anodized to type II. The Lawman, made by SF costs an astounding $400+ for a 700L light! Some are plastic(polymer)...

    Granted they are tough, but they should be, as much money as they cost! They also should be up to date with the technology, but for the most part they arent.

    I'd rather buy a US made light, but until new US companies come out, or until the current lot of US companies stop price gouging while underachieving, I wont be buying them.......

    The HDS lights are the exception, and I will buy one eventually, once they get on track with orders.

  7. #37

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Been carrying a cheap chinese aa Cree every day for work over Two months and am very inpressed with the way its lasting. Thought I'd have long broke it by now, not bad for £12.

  8. #38

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Edi View Post
    Can you tell me how my thread title is offensive? It's so sad in this day and age that you can't label where something comes from because of people like you. That's what moderators are for, to control offensive material.

    Like someone said in this thread, everyone of us has different requirements in flashlights. To those of you who push pens I'm sure you don't need a tough light. I'm a foreman for a construction company and I inspect dark work areas sometimes. If I drop my torch one in a thousand times I take it out of pocket, it is falling on concrete everytime and I want to know it will survive, that's all. I bet soldiers and police officers even more so.

    I'll say it again, I think all the Chinese manufacturers follow what each other are doing so closely that sometimes it just a preference of something minor. Why not change it up and offer something the competition isn't? I know they're great torches, if I knew they were the toughest and most durable I will pay the big $.

    Zebra Light is an American company, not Chinese. It's entirely up to the company as to where they have the product made and to what specifications. A lot of high end brands are having products made to very high tolerances in China now.

    When someone disagrees with you, you can't just bully them into seeing your point of view. I agree with CarpentyHero, the thread title is somewhat racist.


  9. #39
    Flashaholic* jimmy1970's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pahrens View Post
    Zebra Light is an American company, not Chinese. It's entirely up to the company as to where they have the product made and to what specifications. A lot of high end brands are having products made to very high tolerances in China now.

    When someone disagrees with you, you can't just bully them into seeing your point of view. I agree with CarpentyHero, the thread title is somewhat racist.

    I've had 3 Zebralight SC600s - One was faulty out of the box, the 2nd one failed within 2 months of ownership, and the 3rd one was sold off before it went bad. I won't touch another!!
    I don't care if it's a US company, I also don't care where their lights are made. My old Fenix TK10 has outlasted all my other lights and has been perfectly reliable - and it's a chinese light.

    Some companies make reliable lights, some companies only make some reliable models with others having problems.

    Call me cynical but no brand of torches out there can boast 100% reliability. My dad's newish Surefire E1B has a dead tailcap, but his old Fenix L2DQ5 bought in 2008 is running perfectly!!

    It's funny, I have never had so much trouble with my torches in the past until I got involved with CPF and all these fancy new lights. My old Maglites never gave me any of this grief.

    I think a lot of manufacturers have to improve their game. They make all these boasts about their products. IMHO, they spend a fortune on R&D to continually produce new models and not enough money putting real quality into their products. I would prefer manufacturers to produce half of the number of new releases but to double the quality!!

    The only manufacturer I've personally had a spotless long term reliability record with is Malkoff Devices - now that's a guy who knows how to ignore all the garbage and just make a quality product that works.

    I prefer to support Gene Malkoff and other small operations like the Wright brothers - now these guys get it! Some of us at CPF want a light we can keep! We don't all want to sell off a perfectly good light that has proven itself reliable just because brand X has brought out a new model with an extra 10 lumens and an extra flash mode.

    James.....
    Last edited by jimmy1970; 06-13-2012 at 06:00 AM.
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  10. #40
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by lightwater View Post
    Hard Anodising!?

    I was in the aluminium industry for 17 years. If you have ever seen some quality hard anodising you will be surprised just how tough it is.

    What the flashlight manufactures call HA is at the very low end of the scale, at best! Top quality HA done on 6061 at very low temperatures is as tough as nails & has a craze pattern which gets more noticeable at the tougher end of the HA scale.

    I agree that there is a big difference in the quality of anodizing from one product to another, even though they all claim its type III, but I worked in a machine shop for a few years, machining steel and aluminum, and I can tell you that aluminum is MUCH softer than steel. Some of the aluminum alloys are tougher, like 7000 series, but if you take just about any aluminum flashlight with hard anodizing and slam it against concrete or asphalt, and it hits on the edge of the bezel, its going to leave at least a little ding on that spot. The anodizing on my Jetbeam light seems to be great, but I have dropped it hard a few times against asphalt/concrete, right on the corner of the bezel, and it causes a small ding in the metal and a small ding in the anodizing. If the aluminum underneath the anodizing was as hard as tungsten, then maybe the anodizing wouldnt come off in that small spot. But if the substrate that you apply a protective coating to tends to deform when it hits a hard surface due to its softness, then that is definitely going to affect the protective coating as well.

    I am disappointed in the anodizing on the Zebralight SC600, which is apparently the same on most other Zebralight models. It seems not only to be weak, but also very thin. I had only opened mine 2 minutes earlier when I attached the pocket clip, and spun it around about 90 degrees, and it immediately scratched the anodizing everywhere it had contacted, all the way to the metal! My BC-10 has been in my pocket, with my keys for 6 months every day, and its pocket clip has been spun around hundreds of times, but has never scratched the anodizing to the metal....

  11. #41
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Have you seen the Fenix TK40 torture test? In my opinion, Chinese lights are tough enough already, maybe they can make their products more consistent and reliable.

    It wouldn't be hard to make a tough light - just use steel instead of aluminum, but then it will weight much more and it would also be more expensive since steel is harder to work with than aluminium.

  12. #42
    Flashaholic Edi's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    I don't Bully when someone disagrees. I get upset when people like you accuse people of being racist. If the moderators thought I was bullying or racist I'm sure they would step in. Your first paragraph i agree with but they are following what the competition is doing mainly flashlight manufacturers from China. ( hope I didnt offend anybody, sorry in advance )
    My torches: olight sr51, zebralight sc600, fenix tk15, fenix ld10, fenix ld01, fenix e01, led lenser p17,Led lenser p5, led lenser h7, maglite 6d (led conversion) and still waiting for my HDS!

  13. #43

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    If you want a tough light, just use reinforced polymers ! Problem is for cooling !

  14. #44
    Flashaholic* jimmy1970's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    I've had twoTK40s and both experienced switch failure!..... next!

    James
    Quote Originally Posted by yliu View Post
    Have you seen the Fenix TK40 torture test? In my opinion, Chinese lights are tough enough already, maybe they can make their products more consistent and reliable.

    It wouldn't be hard to make a tough light - just use steel instead of aluminum, but then it will weight much more and it would also be more expensive since steel is harder to work with than aluminium.
    removed

  15. #45

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pahrens View Post
    Zebra Light is an American company, not Chinese. It's entirely up to the company as to where they have the product made and to what specifications. A lot of high end brands are having products made to very high tolerances in China now.

    When someone disagrees with you, you can't just bully them into seeing your point of view. I agree with CarpentyHero, the thread title is somewhat racist.

    So you bully people by calling them racist !

    Indeed a lot of good products coming from China but a a lot a junk and dangerous products. Just smell the plastics and various cheap imported goods, it is striking ! Often to win the bid, they will start with a good product then lower the quality to cash more. If that is racist, OK, facts are then racists !
    The responsibility lies also with the importers who wants to make huge profits. And of course the customer, most prefer to buy cheap throw away junk that you will replace by newer cheap junk instead of quality that can be fixed. It is one step further than built in obsolescence. We all loose in the end, unemployment, diminishing natural resources, waste you don't know what to do with, pollution.

  16. #46

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    There are tough chinese lights out there, if you're willing to pay.


  17. #47

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    I have an old Quark AA and a old Fenix E21. Both made in China, both subjected to quite an abuse, both still working quite well. All lights are not created equal, but not all Chinese lights are crap. Quality can come at a price, for those willing to shell out the dough. I'd rather spend a little for a pretty good light that should it break, no worries, buy another! Than spend a lot on a light and wonder if it will last longer than the one i got for half its price.

    And on that note, I noticed I have been purchasing a lot Crelant lately. Hahaha!

  18. #48

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by BoarHunter View Post
    So you bully people by calling them racist !

    Indeed a lot of good products coming from China but a a lot a junk and dangerous products. Just smell the plastics and various cheap imported goods, it is striking ! Often to win the bid, they will start with a good product then lower the quality to cash more. If that is racist, OK, facts are then racists !
    The responsibility lies also with the importers who wants to make huge profits. And of course the customer, most prefer to buy cheap throw away junk that you will replace by newer cheap junk instead of quality that can be fixed. It is one step further than built in obsolescence. We all loose in the end, unemployment, diminishing natural resources, waste you don't know what to do with, pollution.
    While its true Quality Control may not be heard of in some Chinese Manufacturing Companies, but some reputable ones do make fine products. It's hard to pinpoint which ones are the perfect ones as lots of them do have hits and misses, but so far, the lights I have bought from 4Sevens, Fenix, Jetbeam, Sunwayman, Crelant, Lumintop, Olight, iTP, and Dereelight all are in good working condition. Lucky? I might have a horseshoe up my @$$. haha.

  19. #49
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Some of you mentioned about performance. What exactly is your definition of performance? Putting out incredible amount of lumens? I have nothing against Chinese manufacturers and I do buy some Chinese made lights once in awhile, but I do notice that not all manufacturers care about lifelong performance. Some overdrive their lights and some drive them hard enough to being almost overdriven, thus resulting in a lot of heat to build up within. We all know that heat is the number one enemy for LED and not many people understand about letting their lights cool down during use. Some people will run it on full output for the whole duration of the battery life and in fact cause the LED to degrade rapidly over time due to heat build up. If you look at reputable US manufacturers (won't name names), they all share the same idea of not driving their lights hard so as to maintain a certain level of durability but people are claiming that these American manufacturers are underperforming? IMO, I would rather these Chinese manufacturers put more care into proper heat sinking and heat management than just making the light tougher. There is no point holding a chunk of metal in your hands that refuses to light up anymore.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
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  20. #50
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by pjandyho View Post
    If you look at reputable US manufacturers (won't name names), they all share the same idea of not driving their lights hard so as to maintain a certain level of durability but people are claiming that these American manufacturers are underperforming? IMO, I would rather these Chinese manufacturers put more care into proper heat sinking and heat management than just making the light tougher. There is no point holding a chunk of metal in your hands that refuses to light up anymore.
    Doesn't the UB3T and the M6LT both use XML chips? They don't seem to be any dimmer than other Chinese XML light in the category.

  21. #51
    Flashaholic* pjandyho's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by yliu View Post
    Doesn't the UB3T and the M6LT both use XML chips? They don't seem to be any dimmer than other Chinese XML light in the category.
    Yes they are but don't forget that they have a much bigger body mass for proper heat sinking too. Their main beam appears brighter compared to many lights that are rated around the 750 to 900 lumen range but that is because the TIR optics are concentrating most of the output onto a point source, not because they are driven hard.
    The love of light is the reason why I don't walk in darkness. But darkness has it's beauty...Sadly, my lights are much more beautiful!!
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  22. #52
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Horseshoe isn't the only thing it seems.
    My torches: olight sr51, zebralight sc600, fenix tk15, fenix ld10, fenix ld01, fenix e01, led lenser p17,Led lenser p5, led lenser h7, maglite 6d (led conversion) and still waiting for my HDS!

  23. #53

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    As much as I like these new lights, one of the gripes I have about a lot of modern products is reliability and durability. My Zebralight SC600 is at Zebralight because it somehow quit working for no apparent reason. Also, to echo comments about the hard anodizing, the Zebralight SC600 and Nitecore TM11 anodizing is not particularly durable. It may be worlds better than the softer anodizing with the bright colors, but I have found that it chips and scrapes off fairly easily in the course of normal use. I would like it if these were made in such a way that they are impervious to wear under normal use. I don't want to see a high shock impact rating then see my flashlight fall from a lesser height and fail.

  24. #54
    Flashaholic Cheapskate's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    The thread title implies a problem, where there is none.

    I have a Jetbeam Ti M R2, made of 6-4 Ti Alloy. I feel fairly confident you could fit it in a press and use it to crush most 'American' flashlights into flattened tubes.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillo0 View Post
    Also, to echo comments about the hard anodizing, the Zebralight SC600 and Nitecore TM11 anodizing is not particularly durable. It may be worlds better than the softer anodizing with the bright colors, but I have found that it chips and scrapes off fairly easily in the course of normal use. I would like it if these were made in such a way that they are impervious to wear under normal use. I don't want to see a high shock impact rating then see my flashlight fall from a lesser height and fail.
    The lights I have, have quite a number of scratches & marks through the anodising, I do use them but don't flog them to death by any stretch of the imagination! Run of the mill, in other words bottom of the range, 10um anodising as used for Clear anodising on cheap domestic window frames, leaves my lights' anodising durability look very third rate. I've got some cheap 10um black anodised frames that have been bumped, knocked, dropped, assembled & disassembled countless times over decades. There is barely an offensive scratch to be seen.

    If we got HA on our lights you could use them in a bearing, or at the very least could cope with punishment of keys in the same pocket!
    Last edited by lightwater; 07-02-2012 at 05:31 PM.

  26. #56
    Flashaholic peterkin101's Avatar
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    A Fenix TK41 retaining the exact same dimensions inc gauge of tube but made out of Titanium.
    Maglite MiniMag AA. Terralux LED conversion+Tail cap switch. Maglite 6D+LED TLE310 LED Conversion module, Fenix E15, LED Lenser M17R. Maglite 3 x AA+Hahnel LSD NiMH cells.

  27. #57
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Titanium is great, tough as nails, but it's a good insulator! Not really ideal for a hard driven LED. But then again anodising adds a degree of insulation!

    So maybe what we need is copper heatsink through entire body, aluminium casing & titanium ends. But then there will be a price issue!

  28. #58

    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    With all the Iphones and Ipads out there, why not make it with Gorrilla Glass? The wife and daughter ahve broken two phones and Ipad by of all theings dropping them in the "CAN". Waterproof yes but not the corners, cracked. YEs even the Gorrilla Glass can break in hit in the corner and dad ahs deep pockets, Geeze!


    Quote Originally Posted by TEEJ View Post
    Not all American made lights are tough, and not all Chinese lights are not tough.

    Its all a question of degree.

    For example, THOUSANDS of Surefires suffered broken lenses when dropped...its not limited to Chinese lights by any stretch of the imagination.

    ANY light, if it lands wrong, can break a glass lens...its just the involved physics.

    Substitute a tougher and less brittle polycarbonate lens, and a lot of breaks are prevented though.


    Isolating the lens between two O-rings, making the glass thicker and tempered better, etc, can help to cushion it/protect it on drops, but not always against direct and shock impact, etc. So, just because one guy had a dozen broken SF lens doesn't mean a SF light is not tough...it just means that GLASS is not tough, and, that its a weak link in most lights to start with.

  29. #59
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    Default Re: toughen up chinese flashlights!

    Better still, it could be machined out of a solid block of Unobtainium!

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