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Thread: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

  1. #31

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    I love my warm white V3 Predator Pro, it malfunctioned in an auspicious way, burned out the strobe in the first few hours that I had it, but suffered no further malfunctions.
    The second Armytek light I got was a V3 warm HI Predator Pro, it failed spectacularly, now only comes on firefly or gives a brief flash.

    After going through the extensive back and forth for warranty claim, including posting video proof of the malfunction, and video proof that it still happened when bypassing the tail switch, I balked at their request that I ship it back to China with "the least insurance" on the package... I'd spent about 90$ in the light and they wanted me to ship it back under insured... I didn't fully parse out their logic but it didn't sit well with me, I've got another 8 years on the
    "No hassle warranty", so it sits on my shelf, I keep thinking of turning it into a host with a quality driver from Mountain Electronics.

    I love the design of the Predator, they're really cool lights when the components and assembly come together to not make a lemon.
    Last edited by eh4; 02-13-2018 at 04:39 PM.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    One reason is if it breaks within warranty they demand a video showing the fault. It isn't always easy to do that with only phone video & it is a royal pita.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigburly912 View Post
    I honestly am turned off by them because I don’t want my flashlights to look like a NASCAR vehicle.
    I fixed the garish lettering with bicycle inner tube a.k.a. "ranger bands" - gives the light some additional shock absorption as well, no more clacking when I set it down.
    Predator or Viking with the longer 2x 18650 makes for a nice form factor and great heft, and runtimes.
    Great trouble light for checking out bumps in the night.
    Last edited by eh4; 02-13-2018 at 04:37 PM.

  4. #34

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    My Predator Pro just wouldn't work one night when I really needed it. Only lowest output came on. It had 2 brand new SF CR123A so I tried a protected and a unprotected 18650. Still only starter and stayed in lowest output.

    Now I know it's undependable. I cleaned and lubed carefully using alcohol on contacts and nyogel on threads after cleaning still only low. Took out batteries left overnight and tried the next day same thing.

    So I emailed dealer who blew me off to Armytek. They demanded video and even low looked bright on my phone cam so I gave up and threw it in a drawer for a month. Ran into it one day and decided to chuck it but tried a battery for laughs and it worked fine, magically. The thing is what good is it now? I can't sell it cuz I'm not a sleaze and don't want to waste batteries in a light I cannot depend on.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    recDNA,
    Definitely don't "Chuck them", a defective Armytek that's too frustrating to deal with warranty will still make an awesome host for a top notch driver.
    Someone should be rebuilding these puppies, I'm sure that there must be an elegant way to take advantage of the loosen/ tighten circuit pathways without strictly reverse engineering the Armytek setup.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Without a doubt, quality issues have kept me from really considering one. For a product that is touted as tough there certainly seems to be quite a few issues with some models.

    Which is unfortunate because in certain forums out there people are strongly recommending them to virtually everyone and subsequently these folks buy them and come back months later to complain the light is broke...which in turn they either get lambasted or its just explained away as a lemon.

    Not to say, I wouldn't ever buy one, but many of us look at our lights as investments and expect them to perform under any condition...and not necessarily light duty decor that adorns a drawer full of fragile lights.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    A lot of people subscribe to the ' once bitten, twice shy ' theory, and fair enough. A good friend went through the failure/bypass the tailcap/video proof/major hassle with getting any sort of customer service from Armytek, for his Predator Pro, and it also now sits unused.
    I was far luckier with my Barracuda X-PL HI V2. Its only issue ( thusfar ) was a filthy, oily, very scratched piece of ' outhouse ' glass, that I assume Armytek class as 99.5% transperance ' Sapphire hard and clear ' lens glass. The lens is now clean, but still badly scratched. Everything else works fine, but you are always wondering when it will turn into a host.....
    In Armytek's defence, they make an absolutely brilliant looking product. IMVHO, I don't think they have made a dud, looks wise. Some people are lucky, and get a reliable light, but from published tales of woe, a lot don't. If Armytek raised the standard of reliability of their lights to be on a par with just about every other major manufacturer, then they would be onto a winner.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    One reason is if it breaks within warranty they demand a video showing the fault. It isn't always easy to do that with only phone video & it is a royal pita.
    That is a stupid and ridiculous requirement - I agree, a Royal Pita...

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by harro View Post
    A lot of people subscribe to the ' once bitten, twice shy ' theory, and fair enough. A good friend went through the failure/bypass the tailcap/video proof/major hassle with getting any sort of customer service from Armytek, for his Predator Pro, and it also now sits unused.
    I was far luckier with my Barracuda X-PL HI V2. Its only issue ( thusfar ) was a filthy, oily, very scratched piece of ' outhouse ' glass, that I assume Armytek class as 99.5% transperance ' Sapphire hard and clear ' lens glass. The lens is now clean, but still badly scratched. Everything else works fine, but you are always wondering when it will turn into a host.....
    In Armytek's defence, they make an absolutely brilliant looking product. IMVHO, I don't think they have made a dud, looks wise. Some people are lucky, and get a reliable light, but from published tales of woe, a lot don't. If Armytek raised the standard of reliability of their lights to be on a par with just about every other major manufacturer, then they would be onto a winner.
    Agreed - their form factor is far and away better than many - like Emissar, etc. I'm seeing from you and all the others that that their reliability is really sketchy...

  10. #40

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by eh4 View Post
    recDNA,
    Definitely don't "Chuck them", a defective Armytek that's too frustrating to deal with warranty will still make an awesome host for a top notch driver.
    Someone should be rebuilding these puppies, I'm sure that there must be an elegant way to take advantage of the loosen/ tighten circuit pathways without strictly reverse engineering the Armytek setup.
    Ya but I have no such skill. Rather just buy another light that works. By the time I send it to Vinh and he mods it and sends back cheaper to just buy from his stock

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    My Predator Pro just wouldn't work one night when I really needed it. Only lowest output came on. It had 2 brand new SF CR123A so I tried a protected and a unprotected 18650. Still only starter and stayed in lowest output.

    Now I know it's undependable. I cleaned and lubed carefully using alcohol on contacts and nyogel on threads after cleaning still only low. Took out batteries left overnight and tried the next day same thing.

    So I emailed dealer who blew me off to Armytek. They demanded video and even low looked bright on my phone cam so I gave up and threw it in a drawer for a month. Ran into it one day and decided to chuck it but tried a battery for laughs and it worked fine, magically. The thing is what good is it now? I can't sell it cuz I'm not a sleaze and don't want to waste batteries in a light I cannot depend on.
    I think there is a big market out there for modding these "hosts", as you suggest. I would willingly pay to have all my AT's modded with better drivers, etc. because they look so good (now if only I can grind off the laser lettering...)

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    I guess I've been lucky. One reason I like Armytek is that they offer the warmest LEDs of any AA light I can find. Good UI, too. I like them, but I admit I don't find a lot of practical use for Armytek lights. They're built so heavy (I presume for durability) that they make poor EDC lights. Maybe I haven't run into problems because I don't use mine much.

  13. #43
    Flashaholic* Ishango's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    I too have posted about my experiences with AT before, so won't recap it here. But 3 out of 5 of my AT lights have failed on me. Two got replaced (Partner V1 and Partner V2) and now I have a V3 in place for those which works but has a minor flaw. My Prime A1 and Predator V2.5 work without an issue, but when I use them I always make sure to have a backup light available.
    Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam - Cato the Elder

  14. #44
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    Default Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ishango View Post
    I too have posted about my experiences with AT before, so won't recap it here. But 3 out of 5 of my AT lights have failed on me. Two got replaced (Partner V1 and Partner V2) and now I have a V3 in place for those which works but has a minor flaw. My Prime A1 and Predator V2.5 work without an issue, but when I use them I always make sure to have a backup light available.
    Same here. I have two, one of which failed right out of the box from a two foot drop onto carpet. Other one seems to work fine. I just can’t justify using either of them knowing that they could fail at any moment.

    Armytek seems to be highly recommended on Reddit, which is the reason why I even took the plunge in the first place. I should’ve listened to my gut when I saw all the issues with QC on here. Reddit tends to recommend a lot more “budget” stuff. From what I’ve seen, and I believe someone else noted earlier, they seem to get recommended highly, but when someone takes the plunge and the light breaks down, the person who bought it and complains is either ostracized or their light is chalked up to being a lemon.

    On a statistical basis, there is of course response bias. People with broken lights are much more likely to speak out as opposed to those who are satisfied with theirs. But for the volume of lights Armytek presumably produces and for being such a small company, the number of complaints is simply unacceptable. I certainly wouldn’t claim it to be statistically significant, but man! There is definitely way more complaints than there should be from a company that touts toughness and reliability as a primary selling feature.

  15. #45

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    I think discussions about ArmyTek in this forum died out after they stopped introducing their programmable Predators. It's the reason why I bought a Predator in the first place, I found their programmable UI to be incredible useful. And it made ArmyTek lights unique, it made them stand out in a sea of non-programmable lights. And now that they've stopped manufacturing them, Armytek is just another mundane flashlight company.

    Another thing is that people tend to gravitate towards more compact lights nowadays. I, for one, started gravitating towards single 16340 or AAA lights.

    Lastly, due to the saturation of the market with new brands popping up here and there, ArmyTek just sort of drowned. They really should bring back their programmable UI and apply it to their current lineup and smaller lights. I mean, how cool would it be to have a single AAA light that's fully programmable like the Predators of yore?

    As for quality issues I've had my Predator 2.5 since it first came out. Somtime in 2012. In the 6yrs that I've owned it, I've had zero issues whatsoever. And I use mine mainly in marine environments. Heck, I've even gone snorkeling with it. That's apart from being dropped multiple times. Chalk it up to luck of the draw? I don't really know, but it works as perfectly as when I took it out of the box. Perhaps their quality control diminished over time.

  16. #46
    Enlightened niraya's Avatar
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    Nana Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    I agree with you about Zebralight but, I rate them far above Armytek. There lights are more advanced and efficient, more reliable, and there customer service is much better from my experience.
    I use (mostly headlamps) about 6-8 hours daily every single day of the year, and the reason I put Armytek Wizards (I have 2 Pro and 1 non-Pro) above Zebralight headlamps is specially:

    (for me at least) Better more useful UI (in Pro versions only - non-Pro sucks)

    More useful wide TIR beam (TIR reflector with XHP50) versus either Flood or Floody Zebralight beam.

    And in my experience Armytek is more reliable and less likely to break.

    I do not care about the logos/writing one iota. And neither do I care whether the light is manufactured in Canada, China or Vanuatu. For me it is about useful dependable light-source only.

    And finally their warranty is superb. Me and my friends here buy from NKON in Netherland and if the light breaks within 10 years you send it back and they send you new replacement and compensate for shipping. They respond to email same day. I do not see any problem with that. Better than much shorter Zebralight warranty and neither you will have to send broken light to China.

    I can't think of much possible improvements I would like, (and where Armytek is lacking vs Zebralight) except 1. better efficacy 2. higher CRI. But it is not that much important to me, to complain. But it will be a reason to buy their next released version.

    Just my personal experience and few more people I know personally, no hearsay
    Last edited by niraya; 02-14-2018 at 04:14 AM.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    "......And finally their warranty is superb. Me and my friends here buy from NKON in Netherland and if the light breaks within 10 years you send it back and they send you new replacement and compensate for shipping. They respond to email same day. I do not see any problem with that. Better than much shorter Zebralight warranty and neither you will have to send broken light to China."



    @niraya: I agree - I use their headlights (4, 3 are pro) all the time - for work in vaults and out in the woods & caving. I share your experience with AT's service/return policy. Seems that experience is all over the map...

    I always carry 2 spare lights when working or out in the wild - regardless of who made them....

  18. #48
    Enlightened niraya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by wweiss View Post

    I always carry 2 spare lights when working or out in the wild - regardless of who made them....
    Same here, always carry two 18650 and 1 AA or AAA headlamps as backup. Recently either 1. two Wizard Pro and Manker E02h or E03h or 2. Wizard Pro and Zebralight H600Fc and Manker E02h or E03h.
    Never had I been left in dark in any harsh weather/environment.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    Personally for me ArmyTek is not an option because of their quality issues. Too many people had negative experience according to that forum.
    This is it for me, too; quality is one of my top qualifiers when considering just about any purchase, and ArmyTek's track record excludes them from consideration for me.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tachead View Post
    Because they have very unreliable lights, deceptive marketing, exaggerated specs, and customer service and warranty support that is much more trouble then most companies.
    ^This, exactly!

  21. #51

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    ArmyTek has been an ebb n flow brand off and on here for a while and lately seems to be in an ebb.

    When I arrived here in 015 there was lots of talk about them. It seemed like in 016 they fell out of favor in fashion. Then 017 a lot of the talk was about reliability.

    They are not alone in the exagerated specs game as true specs are becoming rare like honest politicians.

    I'd speculate that reliability woes and customer service issues is what has left a bad impression on the casual observer market. But lack of interest by the fashion crowd has led to the lack of discussion.
    John 3:16

  22. #52

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaileStorm View Post
    I think discussions about ArmyTek in this forum died out after they stopped introducing their programmable Predators. It's the reason why I bought a Predator in the first place, I found their programmable UI to be incredible useful. And it made ArmyTek lights unique, it made them stand out in a sea of non-programmable lights. And now that they've stopped manufacturing them, Armytek is just another mundane flashlight company.

    Another thing is that people tend to gravitate towards more compact lights nowadays. I, for one, started gravitating towards single 16340 or AAA lights.

    Lastly, due to the saturation of the market with new brands popping up here and there, ArmyTek just sort of drowned. They really should bring back their programmable UI and apply it to their current lineup and smaller lights. I mean, how cool would it be to have a single AAA light that's fully programmable like the Predators of yore?

    As for quality issues I've had my Predator 2.5 since it first came out. Somtime in 2012. In the 6yrs that I've owned it, I've had zero issues whatsoever. And I use mine mainly in marine environments. Heck, I've even gone snorkeling with it. That's apart from being dropped multiple times. Chalk it up to luck of the draw? I don't really know, but it works as perfectly as when I took it out of the box. Perhaps their quality control diminished over time.
    .... until you REALLY need it....then I hope you are a videographer.

  23. #53

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigburly912 View Post
    I honestly am turned off by them because I don’t want my flashlights to look like a NASCAR vehicle.
    LOL!!!!!!@!!!!!!!&!%!&!!!

    Classic response! I totally agree.
    GOOD TINT!

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by recDNA View Post
    .... until you REALLY need it....then I hope you are a videographer.
    Excellent point. If you’re going to market yor lights as tough and tactical with the ‘name ‘Army’ in the brand you’d better make sure the reliability is top notch.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    It is unfortunate that many people have had bad experiences with Armytek. Personally, I have had three of their lights and have been very happy with them. The build quality is very good, the thick and grippy anodizing is outstanding, and the user interfaces are very practical and intuitive. The only reason that I sold my two Prime models is that after a while I decided I preferred tail switches to side buttons and went for the Partner model which I still have. However all three of my lights worked very well and have been used quite a lot, which I think really says something considering I have quite a few other custom and premium lights in the arsenal to choose from. I don’t buy very many Chinese made lights, but I do like Armyteks. I would agree that less script on the heads would be nice though.

  26. #56

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    One more thing about Armytek,
    when I was first following the excitement about the programmable, pre-V3 models, I remember oggling the specs and being impressed that there was a second, redundant circuit to make sure the light functioned on moonlight in the event of a catastrophic failure... I was thinking high voltage, or EMP strike, rolled over with a tractor, etc...

    I only got around to being willing to pay up after I'd missed the boat on warm programmable models, so I got in with the V3.
    After my second light and second failure, which subsequently would only run on moonlight, I had to bite my tongue, roll my eyes, and admit that I'd been well trolled by a manufacturer that knew that their driver had some design or QC issues.
    Both lights' issues appeared under dry, controlled conditions, just me in my darkened living room doing a little conservative redlining of the lights; manually strobing them with the battery tube tightened, switching between strobe and high by loosen/ tighten, letting batteries discharge on high, etc.
    Normal enough stuff, just to see what they'd do, and try to elicit any impending failure in a safe environment.

    I do the same with any lights I'm going to rely on,
    I push any Zebralight I invest in, and had one Zebralight failure too!
    Apparently came on H1 in my pocket and the thermal sensor failed, or Something; all that I know for sure is that I noticed the light due to the heat, and it wouldn't come back to life with any fresh battery.

    - they didn't ask me to make videos or anything,
    I just sent it back with the custom pocket clip attached, and got the same light back with dings and pocket clip about 6 weeks later, repaired, no explanation of what went wrong (though I requested), and it got red lined thoroughly with no issues, and has been perfectly reliable ever since, edc, dropped and used daily.
    Nobody is perfect, and I can respect Zebralight for giving a warranty period that some might consider on the shorter end, but promptly fixing any issues without any hassle, and having a generous policy on fixing lights out of warranty for a nominal cost...
    Run them hard at first, make sure they work as you expect, then treat them like valued tools, and they'll most likely become exactly that.
    Last edited by eh4; 02-14-2018 at 07:52 PM.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    It's interesting to me you had the exact same issue. They understand WHY my light only functioned in moonlight yet demanded a ridiculous video and wouldn't give me return info without it. Now mine "works" again so I don't dare trust it yet can't send it back since it works (for now).

  28. #58

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    Yeah, it left a bad taste I my mouth after I went through the entire warranty process up to the "don't insure it" part, and put A and B together.
    The brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    From what I can see, their problem seems to be a quality control issue, rather than durability. Some folks have had multiple lights fail after relatively little use or small drops. Most of the rest of us seem to be able to put them through the ringer without issue.

    I constantly forget I have my Tiara headlamp on if I'm wearing it over a stocking cap. As a result of then removing my stocking cap without thinking, it's had probably about ten 6+ foot drops onto hard laminate or concrete surfaces. Every time I hear that "clunk!" my first thought isn't, "I hope my headlamp is ok," but rather, "I hope I didn't dent the new floors."

    The feel of the light and experience so far really inspire a lot of confidence for me.

    But Armytek needs to get a handle on both their quality control and their customer service experience. It's pretty obvious here how much frustration there is with that, and they've got stiff competition from Zebralight, Olight, Manker, and even budget brands like Skilhunt.

    Quote Originally Posted by wweiss View Post
    That is a stupid and ridiculous requirement - I agree, a Royal Pita...
    I completely get why this frustrates people, but in my opinion, it's better in some ways than what most companies do - I had to send a camera back to Canon at one point. Had they been unable to reproduce the problem it was having, they would have billed me for shipping and handling and something like a $40 fee just to look at it.

    At least this way, you can get agreement there is a problem with the light before spending money on it.

    Of course, not all problems will show up in video - hence part of the frustration.

  30. #60
    Enlightened niraya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is ArmyTek maligned or ignored in this Forum?

    I asked again this week NKON as well as Armytek.ca what should I do in case any of my Armytek lights breaks within 10 years. Both told me I just have to send it to them (no video is required at all) and it will be fixed or I will be send replacement and shipping fee compensation after they receive my light. So are those mentioned warranty problems with video difficulties really recent?
    Last edited by niraya; 02-15-2018 at 04:53 PM.

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