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Thread: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

  1. #1

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    Default Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    And, if the "clicky" switch fails in a small flashlight with a "pressed" in installed switch (as contrasted with screwed in installation), do you have a brick?
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-12-2018 at 03:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How long do flashlight "clicky" switches last?

    Yes, of course, mechanical switches can and do fail ... usually unpredictably.

    Much more reliable than "clicky" switches, are "twisty" switches, but nothing is fail-proof.
    Last edited by archimedes; 03-12-2018 at 03:41 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: How long do flashlight "clicky" switches last?

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Yes, of course, mechanical switches can and do fail ... usually unpredictably.

    Much more reliable than "clicky" switches, are "twisty" switches, but nothing is fail-proof.
    Yes, I figured that but was wondering if anyone actually experienced it. I have not had a failure in 8 years of daily use of one clicky switch flashlight.
    Last edited by RCS1300; 03-12-2018 at 03:48 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How long do flashlight "clicky" switches last?

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    Yes, I figured that but was wondering if anyone actually experienced it. I have not in 8 years of daily use with one flashlight in particular.
    Yes, perhaps a half-dozen to a dozen switches, in total.
    Last edited by archimedes; 03-12-2018 at 04:40 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long do flashlight "clicky" switches last?

    I've had two clicky switches fail. If you're unable to replace it yourself, the manufacturer might cover it under warranty, or at least sell you a new switch.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  6. #6

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I've been using a fenix ld20 for 10 years without fail. I just received thrunite tn12 and it failed day 1. It also shipped without the pouch from their amazon store. Really makes me wonder about all these new lights from china.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Had lots of issues with eletronic clicky lights like failing UIs, lock-ups, excess parasitic drain, and accidental activation, but not yet a total clicky failure from either electronic or mechanical.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    ... do you have a brick?
    With electronic clickies, yes a clicky failure usually = brick, but with mechanical clickies, you almost always can bypass them with piece of tinfoil and have a working light.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    My Eagletac D25A clicky was messed up from day 1, it had intermittent issues not lighting up at first, then after a while it'd get stuck pushed in.

    Eagletac wanted 5 dollars for a replacement, the place I purchased it from (Illumination Gear) sent me one for free.
    What kind of self respecting nocturnal being cannot see in the dark, one way or another?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I have worn out three clicky switches. None I considered worth replacing because advances in emitters and user interface preclude that. I recently brought a fresh McClicky to premature failure experimenting with an XPL Hi quad dropin from PFlexPRO. A week before, I watched Randy in his shop, measure sustained 14.2A with his test equipment in one of my hosts, but this was with a very thick copper bypass between negative of battery and flashlight body-end. He used a clamp meter and had to let go of the bypass after about 8 seconds because of intense heat.

    It it is worth noting that PFlexPRO now offers an enhanced switch upgrade for a nominal fee that should extend the life of mechanical switches, as well as other benefits as explained on Randy's website. I watched him take apart my high amp switch and lightly abrade/smooth certain contact areas as well as apply Krytox to areas of friction and a copper particle infused grease to electrical contacts. He told me he has performed mechanical wear tests on his enhanced switches and considers it well worth it.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Back in 2012, I bought a Spark SL5 210CW with the XPG LED. From the start, one of its 2 identical switches felt weaker than the other when I clicked it, so I returned it to Goinggear for a new one. He immediately sent me a new one, except this was the XML U2 version of the same exact light, called the Spark SL5 220CW. It's 2 switches seemed fine.

    I packed it away in its box, because I had chosen to carry a Zebralight SC52 Mk1, which I had pre-ordered before its initial release. I used the SC52 daily for just over 2 years, when, after dropping it at least 4 times prior, I finally lost it for good.

    So I chose to switch to the Spark SL5 220CW as my EDC light, mainly because unlike the Zebralight, the Spark came with a nice holster. I even did a positive review on it here. Then, just 3 months after I began carrying it, it's front switch broke. For safety reasons, I immediately stopped carrying it, because it's 2 switches do the same thing, and I worried that, with 1 broken switch, it could cause problems.

    So then I bought a holster for my Zebralight SC600 Mk1 and carried it for well over a year. Now I am carrying a new Jetbeam Jet II MK that I just received last week, which is MUCH smaller and lighter than the SC600. Now I don't have to tighten my belt as much to keep my pants from sagging!
    Some days you are the bug, some days you are the windshield.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I have a 30-year old 3D Maglite with clicky switch that is still going strong. Of course it hasn't seen the hard daily use of an everyday carry light, but it lights up whenever I push the button, and that's really all that matters.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Yes, but only on budget lights.

    Not yet, on non-budget brands. Just plain old wanting to have the light turn on is why I embraced the world of quality lights when I discovered it.
    Acebeam two X65Vn, X45vn70.2. Eagletac MX25L4CvnT XP-L. Fenix TK75vnQ70. Manker MK34Vn XPL.
    Nitecore TM06Svn 4 x XHP50.2. Noctigon Meteor M43vn XP-L dd. P60vn Quad XP-L HD 2 cell host Cryos Cu head. Thrunite TN36UTvn, TN42vn.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I have an E2L-A that began to misbehave a few weeks ago. I did the "paper clip test" and found out there is some problem with the switch. After several attempts I removed the little battery spring which looked a bit off centered. After reinstalling it, the switch action feels more solid and the flashlight works well again.

    My "household" light, a Fenix LD22, meets dust, water, grime, even oil sometimes, but goes strong.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Yup, I've had mechanical clicky failures. Never had an electronic switch fail, though.

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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    Yup, I've had mechanical clicky failures. Never had an electronic switch fail, though.
    I've had both types fail ... mechanicals more often, though.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Had a few over years, mostly cheaper types like solarforce. More of a latch issue through wear, not always latching on if makes sense. I have some higher asking engines than some McClicky switches are rated, never had one fail yet and have quite a few in action. Maybe being reverse clicky helps out there..............maybe because i am not always asking 100% as well.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I have one cheapie flashlight that has an "iffy" switch. I did have a switch fail on my 1993 Fender Champ 12 amp about 7 years ago. I bought another switch. It is still waiting on me to install it...go figure. I fell in love with my Egnater right after I got the new switch...

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* parnass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    The clicky tail switch on my cheap Snap-On 2xAAA penlight became flaky after a few months of use.



    Retired engineer, author. Running Linux.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Nope.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Two in klarus lights. One in a solar force.
    TOOLvn,TN36UTvn,TN32UTvn,SK68vn,SK98vn,M2Xvn,P60vn quad <<bit of a theme. several variations of S1Baton, srMini, Factor Equipment ghost 130, Cossatot 1000xl, Mizpah 300 Reylight copper tool

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    My Surefire E2L switch completely broke after about 8 or 9 years of use.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by marinemaster View Post
    My Surefire E2L switch completely broke after about 8 or 9 years of use.
    That sucks. This is why I don't buy Surefire, no spare parts are available. As you are aware they used to sell spare tailcaps but stopped a few years ago, but even then that was an overkill purchase at around 37 USD AFAIR, when all most people need a spare switch for the cost of a few dollars.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight &quot;clicky&quot; switch fail?

    I still see Z68 for sale at various places (for less than that) ... and of course there are aftermarket options as well.

    The last few switches of mine that broke got replaced free by SF, but that was before those models got discontinued, so I don't know what their current status is for replacement parts.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  24. #24

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    As noted by many above all switches can and will at some point fail (some sooner than others). This is why I think ALL flashlight makers should sell spare switches (along with other 'consumables' such as o-rings and rubber tailcap boots).

    Jason from Prometheus Lights is spot on (on the McClicky product page):
    This switch sets the gold standard, but you can expect all mechanical switches to fail. That's what happens to things that have moving parts. This is the best switch on the market, but it won't stop it from wearing out. Might as well get a hand full to keep on hand. Remember, two is one and one is none.

    I wish more companies had the same attitude as Prometheus Lights and Malkoff Devices.

    A a general rule, if I'm spending more the 100 bucks on a light I expect to see a solid warranty plus spare parts available for sale.

    I know that Henry's lights use electronic switches but I wish he would re-design his his lights so that the switches could be user-replaceable (currently the EDS Rotary tailcap isn't even user serviceable). Sames goes for Muyshondt.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoVegan View Post
    That sucks. This is why I don't buy Surefire, no spare parts are available.
    Huh?

    SureFire has always sent me replacement tailcaps without charge, most recently for an EB2 where the rubber boot wore through to expose the red clicky button.

    4Sevens had some definite tailcap switch problems on their Quarks and sold a pin wrench so that you could take apart the tailcap on their early lights and try to fix the clicky switch.

    Henry replaced one of the clicky tailcaps on an HDS EDC years ago. It was a model that had thin wires going along the side of the battery. I've got a Rotary with a button that's a little flakey, I might need to send it in for repair.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Nope, not yet anyway.
    John 3:16

  27. #27

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vox Clamatis in Deserto View Post
    Huh?

    SureFire has always sent me replacement tailcaps without charge, most recently for an EB2 where the rubber boot wore through to expose the red clicky button.

    4Sevens had some definite tailcap switch problems on their Quarks and sold a pin wrench so that you could take apart the tailcap on their early lights and try to fix the clicky switch.

    Henry replaced one of the clicky tailcaps on an HDS EDC years ago. It was a model that had thin wires going along the side of the battery. I've got a Rotary with a button that's a little flakey, I might need to send it in for repair.
    I was scratching my head as well after reading that post. I have contacted Surefire over the years requesting replacement tailcaps and have never had an issue. Their customer service folks have always been very nice and sent me replacements at no charge.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nimitz68 View Post
    I was scratching my head as well after reading that post. I have contacted Surefire over the years requesting replacement tailcaps and have never had an issue. Their customer service folks have always been very nice and sent me replacements at no charge.
    I've read posts by many people that say that they used to send out replacement tailcaps previously but then changed their policy a couple of years ago and customers have since been asked to send their lights back. Seems to be because some people were abusing the system (I know of at least one other user on another forum who openly admitted about calling Surefire for replacement tailcaps to be sent out just for spare in-case).
    Besides, when I talk about expensive flashlight parts I'm also talking about the front glass, Surefire don't sell nor are they user replaceable. It's not just these issues that have kept me buying Surefire (but other things like them exceeding the safety specs of CR123 batteries, and their single cell "tactical" lights having multiple modes etc)... however I didn't want to mention those points here as they aren't relevant to this discussion on clicky switches. I hope these points don't don't now distract from the topic at hand.

    I still standby that Surefire should actually sell replacement switches and rubber boots, as they are the most likely wear parts on any light.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    While I'd wager that most reputable manufacturers will replace broken switches under warranty, there's something to be said for having replacement parts on hand. It seems preferable to spend a few minutes swapping out parts than to be deprived of the light for a week, and that's conservatively estimating shipping and repair time. This would be especially true during a power outage or other emergency. Not everyone will have multiple back up lights like the average CPF'er.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  30. #30

    Default Re: Has anyone had a flashlight "clicky" switch fail?

    I have had two Surefire clicky switches fail on me. One was a scout light shrouded one that got stuck in the on position. I could still twist to turn it on and off, so the light was still usable, just not as intended. The second was a clicky from a 6P Defender that was on an old 6Z that I dropped just the right way to break it. Upon impact it tuned on, and seemed to work until I took the tailcap off to see what the problem was, at that point, everything fell out.

    In both cases, Surefire sent me a replacement. The larger clicky was no longer available, so they sent me the hex-type tailcap from a Fury and the light is back up and running. Surefire has a great warranty.

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