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Thread: Tailstanding Manifesto

  1. #1
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    Default Tailstanding Manifesto

    Of all the features a flashlight might have (Lithium vs. NiMH, Warm vs. Cool tint, Clicky vs. Twisty), the one critical feature that I find most defines a flashlight from my perspective is the ability to tailstand well. Note I said well. A friend once explained that he had coached his wife to run her first marathon and she had run it well. I knew what he meant. He didn't mean she won the speed record. He meant she had energy to spare at the end, was able to enjoy a celebratory dinner out and make it to work the next day without limping. This is what I ask of a flashlight. A little committment to tailstand as a civilizing feature.

    Before I continue I should note that many have indicated this to be of little or even no importance to them in their flashlight selection. I have heard that folks never tailstand their lights, they lean them if necessary or put them in a water glass if obliged to have them face upward. For all of you, I respect your positions but your experience differs from my own. I rarely use a flashlight without, at some point in the evening, needing to tailstand if only briefly.

    So. let's talk about configuration. Flashlights without flat ends just don't tailstand. Ok, we all know the HDS Clicky / Rotary with flush button will tailstand under duress. It's heart really isn't in it though. The Jetbeam PA40 is another one. If you put the lanyard bean under the short side it will stand reasonably but it would rather not IMHO.

    For the lights with flat ends, some are just too wobbly or with too high a center of gravity to count. Some have crenelated tailcap shrouds which inhibit stability. Examples of too wobbly are almost all 2AA configuration lights and surprisingly most 1AA lights. 18650's do better but some are throwers with really heavy heads (e.g. Armytek) and just aren't very stable. 123A lights are more likely to succeed but even some of them disappoint. Even nice wide lights will sometimes fail because they are really tall. I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with a tailstanding TK50 but your mileage may vary.

    So what are the flashlight tailstanding champs? Here's the list from my collection:

    AAA Category
    ---------------
    Preon P0 due to it's magnetic base on metal surfaces only

    123 Category
    ---------------
    Quark Mini 123
    Peak Logan 123 with flat bottom

    18650 Category
    ----------------
    Zebralight SC600
    Malkoff MD2 version 1 with delrin shroud (nice and wide despite tall body)

    Multi Cell Category
    ---------------------
    Olight S35
    Fenix TK45 (just about reaching the top of the champ height for the diameter)

    Anyone want to add to the list?

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    My AA/14500 Xeno E03 will tailstand, even with the lanyard attached.

    My Sunwayman V10R will t.s..

    My older Fenix P1D single CR123 t.s..

    As you mentioned, my ZL SC-600 will t.s..

    Chris
    Convoy: S2, M1, M2, Fenix: P1D, PD32, HL30, ET: D25C Ti, SF: 6P, ZL: SC-600, Klarus: P2A, Jetbeam: BA-20, Icon: Rogue 1, L3: L10, Xeno: E03, ShiningBeam: I-Mini, Olight: i3s, SWM: D40A, M11R, V11R, Maglite: 6Ds, MMs, Solitaires, LaCrosse BC-700, Maha C-9000, XTAR VP2, MP1S, WP2 II, NiteCore i4, v2.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* skyfire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    McClicky tailcap (McTC) for E-series lights tailstands like a champ, and theres plenty of room in between for easy access to the switch.
    McGizmo lights look to be the same way as well.
    quark regular tailcaps

  4. #4
    Unenlightened DigitalZen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Fenix L series
    Afraid of the dark?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    AAA:
    -Lumintop worm is the king of tailstanding AAA lights, but the off to the side key chain hole might put some people off.
    -Fenix E05 is a really good tailstander, but you have to align the small ring with the slot just right first.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I have to admit tail standing is not a deal breaker in my book, but theres no denying its very nice to have so long as I can still easily thumb press the button.

    My champ right now is the HD2010:


    My zebralight H501 tail stands very nicely too.

    But it will soon be replaced by this one when it gets here...
    Last edited by kramer5150; 06-17-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Not sure a manifesto is needed, but yes, tailstanding is useful. All of my lights can do it, except for my McGizmo Sapphire, which has a keychain mount I never use. I've thought about paying someone to machine it flat, but I don't care enough because it's not a room-illuminating light anyway.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* mvyrmnd's Avatar
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    Default

    My Mac's Tri-EDC tailstands like a champ.

  9. #9

    Default

    My Quark AAX tailstands quite nicely. But surprisingly, THE BEST "tailstander" I've ever used is my Zebralight H51w. The ZL H series can, very uniquely mind you, throw a beam in ANY precise direction or angle covering the full hemisphere above a flat surface.

    First consider the regular flashlight. You can tailstand it and it just points straight up. You can lie it down, and spin it 360 degrees, but the beam will always be parallel to the flat surface.

    When you tailstand the ZL, it will be the same as a normal flashlight lying down (well, actually a bit better being slightly elevated - less beam is wasted against the flat surface). However, when you lie the ZL down, using the clip as a "kick stand" for it to lean against, you can infinitely adjust the clip/kickstand (by rotating it on the body) so the light infinitely adjusts along the 90-degree arc from straight up to parallel to the flat surface. Combine that angle adjustability with a 360 spin, and you can point the beam anywhere within the hemisphere above a flat surface.

    BTW, there is no balance or instability here at all. The weight of the clip forces the light to lean that direction, and the rounded back of the tube allows the free rotation. It couldn't "tipover" in an earthquake and really feels like a "weeble that wobbles....." if you try to force it.

    I don't know if they intended it work that way, but work it does...
    Last edited by reppans; 06-17-2012 at 09:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* ico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I do not find it a must but given a choice, I would also prefer a light that can tailstand. My E05 is the one I always carry, specially at home, because I can tailstand it anywhere given its perfect base; and I can just lip bite it if needed because of its size.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I only tail stand lights in the evening when I prepare for bed, so I only have a few that do it good and the feature wasn't important to me, but they can do it:


    Sunwayman V11R
    Zebra Sc51, H51 and H31 (probably all zebras for that matter, but I confirm those models are stable)
    Fenix TK45 - also the best anti-roll out there.
    Fenix TK70 - just don't brush against it, but it holds surprisingly well on a level table
    4Sevens Quark AA/123/AA^2/123^2 regular (the whole regular series)

    That's all I can think of...
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Can customs be considered?

    I will say a Spy007 for the cr123 category and overall category. THE most stable tailstanding light ever.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Tailstanding is a nice feature to have, but it's not a deal breaker for me. My only "serious" lights (more-less stock Solarforce L2 and Jetbeam PA40) can't really tailstand, and I don't see a problem with that. There are zillion ways to improvise and make every flashlight tailstand if it's needed - excluding perhaps tank lights

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewnewman View Post
    Flashlights without flat ends just don't tailstand.
    For example, Solarforce L2 derivatives with S8 switch can tailstand well, although their end is nowhere near flat one.

    Cheers

  14. #14
    Flashaholic Danielight's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Sunwayman V10A, 4Sevens Quark MiniX123, EagleTac D25LC2 (with twisty switch, not with new clicky switch!).

    ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I have a Quark 1xAA tactical with the shrouded turbo tactical cap, which makes the tail fatter than the rest but makes for an awesome stable tailstand. It is currently set up with a diffuser lens and Moon and low as the programed levels. Makes an awesome nightstand light.
    Light is the activity of what is transparent - Aristotle

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewnewman View Post
    Some have crenelated tailcap shrouds which inhibit stability.
    Done correctly, tailcap crenelations can form a tripod, creating the most stability.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I don't care so much about tailstanding of a light in theory, but a utility light like Zebra Light's line of angle head lights really do shine for placing them where you want them and having them put light right where you need them, just as reppans said, they go well beyond tailstanding.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    as for my collection, the only un-tail-standing-able is the Surefire E1e...oh and yes, Thrunite Ti.

    others perfectly ts...

    1) Xeno G5 V2
    2) Niteye Eye10
    3) ZL SC600
    4) Fenix E01

  19. #19
    Flashaholic greatscoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Mr Bulk Lion Cub
    Oveready Triad on 3P
    McGizmo 1x123
    VG FB1
    "I got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell"

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectronGuru View Post
    Done correctly, tailcap crenelations can form a tripod, creating the most stability.
    A quadrapod has more stability than a tripod, a pentapod has more stability than a quadrapod, a hexapod etc etc etc. The most stable design is a full-circle shroud like what McGizmos have, because that way there is no direction the light can lean which puts the tipping-point closer to the center of the tailcap than the outer circumference of the shroud.

    McGizmo designed the perfect tailstanding tailcap when he made it a full circle with no crenelations, and made it shallow enough that the switch could be easily reached without needing crenelations.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Sunwayman M40A. Flat base because of the magnetic control ring, and wide because of the four AA battery pack.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I also tailstand a lot. I often need to get in and out of a backpack for cameras, tools, etc. when in a pavillion at night. There are picnic tables, which aren't the smoothest surface, so I appreciate a good TS'er, like my TK45.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    I find tail standing isn't a deal breaker for me, I'm especially willing to give it up on lights with easily accessible forward clickys. Therefore my QAA-T, QAA2-T, Surefire C2 all cannot TS but it doesn't bother me. I find throwing a light into a drinking glass is a good in a pinch solution. I have a forward clicky by Solarforce on my 2*18650 MPP-1, for a dual 18650 light with a big head it still manages a pretty stable TS, with a forward clicky on top of that!

    My Preon P0 does a decent stand, even on non-metal. Realistically, I think most twisty or reverse clicky lights should be able to manage this.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Sparky's Magic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tailstanding Manifesto

    Several MD Series lights with Malkoff/McClicky tail switches - 4 Surefires with the Malkoff/McClicky Tail which is a perfect fit. These all tail-stand perfectly.
    Last edited by Sparky's Magic; 06-26-2012 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Typo.

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