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Thread: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic
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    Default Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    As the title says, does knurling make a light more or less grippy?

    My very unscientific experiments lead me to believe most knurling reduces surface area and makes for less grip. Unless the knurling is aggressive enough to actually get a mechanical hold on the skin, is it worth doing?

    Steve
    Fenix TK11 R2, P1D. Tiablo A9. Tiablo A10-G. Thrunite Catapult. Quark AA2 Turbo. Mag 3D LED. UF WF-600 incan. 35W HID. Deben Stinger. Surefire 9P with LF EO-9. Tiablo A10-G Direct Drive. SF L2 host with LF IMR-9. Fenix LD 10 R5. Jetbeam PA40.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I would say yes. I'd say knurling increases surface area. Skin is elastic, so when griping a textured surface, it will mold to that surface. This is why you sometimes get imprints on you hand after holding something tight. Some people go a set further and add rubber grips, or make one with paracord. In my experience, smooth objects, including lights are harder to hold.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Not too scientific, but knurling can vary so greatly that there may be no simple answer. An aggressive, sharp knurling is certain to provide for greater gripping effect, unless it's so sharp that you can't comfortably hold it and prefer to let go rather than risk flesh. However, a light knurl may as you indicate so reduce surface area that gripping is less sure. Polishing a lightly knurled surface to the extent of rounding may further reduce its co-efficient of grippinessability or whatever.
    Peakaholic!

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    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Even the old worn knurling on my old minimag is easier to grip with oily hands, than the smooth metal beside it.

    Lone of my EDC lights has a really nice flat topped knurl that is nice to hold but not too agressive
    the other has a series of ridges around the light
    both work to hold onto the light, but the knurl is better if you are trying to twist the light
    flashlight collector by day
    flashlight user by night

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dances with Flashlight View Post
    ...co-efficient of grippinessability...
    I like this term - they should have an ANSI rating for this ...
    ... is the archimedes peak

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    You can try a simple test: take a 3D or longer MagLite, complete with batteries, and hold it in your hand by the knurling. Standing up, drop your arm straight down and slowly relax your grip until you are barely holding onto it. Now let it slide through your hand until you are holding the smooth part next to the tail cap. Notice that you need to grip it harder to avoid dropping it? MagLites don't have aggressive knurling so it's a pretty good test.

    I have one light that I had made from the smooth end portion of a 6D MagLite tube. I'm seriously considering cutting shallow grooves into it to make it harder to slip out of my hand.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    That's the test I performed PCC. Maglites are much more slippy on the knurling doing it this way. I suppose if you are gripping a light tight the forces are different and the skin must deform into the grooves?

    Steve.
    Fenix TK11 R2, P1D. Tiablo A9. Tiablo A10-G. Thrunite Catapult. Quark AA2 Turbo. Mag 3D LED. UF WF-600 incan. 35W HID. Deben Stinger. Surefire 9P with LF EO-9. Tiablo A10-G Direct Drive. SF L2 host with LF IMR-9. Fenix LD 10 R5. Jetbeam PA40.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I think the knurling is there to improve the grip when the light is wet from rain or whatever else would cause a smooth light to become slippery.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I prefer a sharp knurling always. I wish all lights would have it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I wish all my lights had the knurling of my keychained thrunite ti,,,love the feel,, aggressive sharp knurling

  11. #11
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    Default Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Hmmm... Doesn't knurling increase surface area?

    Just like heatsinks etc. when you have some sort of pattern on a surface, there surface area will always be larger than that same surface without any pattern.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Knurling all the way!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    I have one light that I had made from the smooth end portion of a 6D MagLite tube. I'm seriously considering cutting shallow grooves into it to make it harder to slip out of my hand.

    That's a nice light.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Yeah, knurling increases rather than decreases surface area.

    You forgot about the surfaces IN the grooves, etc...and that your skin does mold a bit to fill the irregularities.

    When the light is wet, the knurling provides a place for the water to go leaving the peaks drier, etc.

    As far as how aggressive it should be...that depends on the size and heft of the light, and, your hands, the weather, etc.

    Any texture to the light will improve grip...just like tread on a tire or cleats on soccer shoes, etc.

    I like it a bit aggressive, but shy of what will tear up my pocket, etc.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I gotta revive this old thread because after using my T25C2 (with cigar ring) then switching to my Malkoff MD2, I just about pushed it out of my fingers when clicking the rear switch. The knurling is SO smooth that I think if you gave it to a blind-folded person and had them run their fingers across the surface, they wouldn't be able to differentiate between smooth and knurled aluminum.

    I know I'm not allowed to speak negatively of the all mighty malkoff lights, but work with me here.
    GOOD TINT!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    If your hands or feet gets wet for a longer period, they will wrinkle. It's the bodys way to increase the grip, add surface area No other part of your body will wrinkle up like this, hands and feet are the only bodyparts that will need extra grip when wet. So if your light dont have knurling, your hands will have if they are wet for a while

  17. #17

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    I think some manufacturers combine style and comfort along with their knurling.

    Others are out to provide the maximum grip possible, while others are going for pure style.

    And like bicycle tires on wet pavement, some tread patterns help aid in traction, some patterns don't and some actually make contact area less grippy.
    John 3:16
    "The only friends I have from France are french fries" -PK

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    The best test is to put oil on your hand to see if you can get a better grip with the knurling.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Not satisfied with the grip on you light? Not an elegant or fancy fix but this one works - friction tape. Usually found in big box stores with the electrical tape. Adds grip tremendously. You can also use bicycle handlebar grip tape or foam grips.

    The best part about these solutions is that they not only give you grip but also insulate from heat and cold.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Old school Surefire knurling is my favorite.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Knurling on flashlight bodies...more or less grippy?

    Knurling increases surface area (and diameter too if it is deformation knurling), however the design of the knurling will impact how grippy the area is. Peak's knurling for example, is cut flat and polished which leaves the surface only slightly more grippy than smooth metal. The old Maratacs however had a nice sharp diamond knurl which distinctly increased the grip. Generally even a smooth knurl should have more grip than smooth metal with a firm grip since skin will deform to the surface, and have more contact due to the increased surface area.

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