While looking for rechargable batteries, I ended up at a web shop that also sold flash lights. That sparked my interest in flashlights again. I've had my (incandescent) 3D Maglite for ages and I've also got a Mini (2xAA) one, both of which I like quite a lot. The mini one had some leaking batteries though, but I managed to get them out (although I damaged the finish while opening it). Anyway, seeing all these nice and bright LED lights made me decide it's time for a new flashlight.
After a lot of reading on forums, reviews etc, I came to the conclusion that carrying a small flashlight all the time would useful. The small 1xAAA lights probably give at least the same amount of light as the Mini Maglite (haven't found a good comparison yet, so I might be wrong), and I think it should be plenty for most uses. So I want to start with a (small) 1xAAA LED flashlight to put on my keychain, powered by a low self discharge NiMH battery, and see whether that can works for all the things I now use the Mini Maglite for. My (old) MP3 player uses the same batteries, so I usually carry spare batteries for that anyway, which is a bonus.
Reading all the forums gave a lot of information, but I'm still not sure about a few practical things:
- Will aluminium flashlights (type 3 hard anodized) get damaged by the keys or the mini swiss army knife that it will be running into in my pocket? Is stainless steel a better option?
- Does knurling on the flashlight damage other things in my pocket or clothes more than for example keys?
Some things I want from the flashlight (most important ones first):
- Durable and reliable (don't want to carry around something all the time and then discovering that it doesn't work when I need it)
- Small enough to not be annoying in my pocket (not sure what size is small enough, but I would think thinner is better, shorter probably helps too)
- Not accidentally turning on and draining the battery (from what I read twisty UI is better for that)
- Nice throw/narrow hotspot, but enough spill as well (spill enough to see where I'm putting my feet while pointing far away).
- As might light as possible without compromising other things
- Low mode (firefly/moonlight? not sure how low as I have no reference) and maybe a medium mode as well
- Neutral color (in all modes)
- Preferably current regulated (not sure whether I would really be bothered by PWM though)
- Not interested in support for lithium batteries (for safety and battery availability reasons)
Some flashlights that I'm currently considering:
Fenix LD01 (Alu R4 can't find the SS in a local store and it's heavy)
Seems pretty reliable (read some issues where mode switching became unreliable)
Aluminium might be damaged easily by keys etc?
Bit bigger than some of the other options
Plenty of local shops that sell it, but a bit expensive at 35 euro
Klarus Mi X6
I like the smooth design in stainless steel and it's nice and thin (but still pretty long)
No tailstand (no idea whether I would use it)
There are some reports about the battry tube "spring" going bad and the thread allowing over tightening and crushing stuff
Quite expensive even at a "cheap" seller that does not seem very dependable (about 30 euro including shipping)
DQG III SS
Probably the smallest and stainless steel.
Read some reports about the threads not being very good quality, and I'm worried about the knurling damaging other items in my pockets
Keychain attachment might not be very durable
Only 2 modes, and probably less bright than the other 2
Not sure whether it's actually available and how reliable the supplier is
I've seen some cheaper alternatives as well with different mixes of options. But these 3 seem good options that are at least very good in 1 category. At one point I thought titanium would be nice, but twisty operation and titanium doesn't seem like a very good combination. I haven't really looked at clicky ones, as they are often longer and they might accidentally turn on (might not be an issue if there is a lockout system though).
Any considerations I might have missed for keychain/pocket use that I've missed, other good candidates, or experiences that might help me make a good choice are appreciated. I'm not planning on starting a big collection, so I'd rather pick a good one right away.