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Thread: Why is Surefire so expensive

  1. #1
    Unenlightened
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    Default Why is Surefire so expensive

    Why is Surefire so expensiveSurely they have to try and compete Nice torches but way over prices for specs

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Its not just the specs, it is the customer service as well. Also, they have a lot of government and military contracts that require keeping parts available even after the light is discontinued. All of that adds up. This might not apply to some of their newer lights, but they have always had a reputation for reliability. To paraphrase an old Timex ad - They take a licking and keep on shining. Go to their website and read some of the stories that owners have submitted over the years.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  3. #3

    Party Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    They have a real lifetime warranty. I love Surefire very much. If it were not for the superb performance and top customer service from vinh at Sky Lumen, I would definitely choose Surefire as my next favorite for performance, reliability, and quality.

    A few years ago, before I discovered Sky Lumen, a colleague asked me which weaponlight to buy for his AR-15? My immediate response was Surefire. ❤️

    Yes their UDR Dominator is antiquated, but right now if I had to mount an illumination device onto a handgun, shotgun, or rifle, a Surefire weaponlight is the only weaponlight brand I will trust completely, fully, and wholeheartedly, with my life, even in 2018. 😀
    Last edited by search_and_rescue; 07-02-2018 at 11:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Interestingly, Surefire has proved to be the least reliable brand of $10+ lights I've ever owned. I had an E1e with a small imperfection in the glass, which on the first drop became a big crack. I had another incident with the E1e where the internals of the click switch just disintegrated leaving it stuck 'on' (could still turn it off by unscrewing the tail slightly). And finally a bulb in a G2 that failed before the first set of batteries had depleted. To Surefire's credit, despite dealing with an international customer, replacement parts were sent out quickly, no questions asked, including free CR123 cells for my trouble. Also, I think my experience of 2 failures out of 2 lights owned is the exception, not the rule.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    For all my weapon lights needs, I've only used SureFire. From shotgun to AR-15 to my Glock pistols, SureFire is the one that lights the way. I had an issue with my X300 years ago and SureFire fixed it AND sent me a dozen CR123 cells. Personally for me, they are the BEST.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    While they do have two or three models that I consider to be astronomically priced, their pricing is generally in line with other popular US made brands.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
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  7. #7
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by skstretch View Post
    Why is Surefire so expensiveSurely they have to try and compete Nice torches but way over prices for specs

    Expensive, maybe compared to others, just as a $15,000 rolex is expensive compared to a seiko...................yet both will tell the time just fine for years.

    I can only speak for me here, but my attraction is the USA made, the reputation, the military side, their natural HA is excellent. Also there is no need to pay RRP in many cases, these can be inflated . Looking/shopping about can save some serious $'s.

    I love the old p60 design and format as it never gets old. I can have classic surefire built for life, with a modern interior of latest LED/s and driver for the p60. I admit other than the tactician and odd new light, there is not much that does interest me at present. But in hand its a different light, its an experience and an occasion you get during use.

    I cant beat up $500 lights..............just cant, so i find suitable surefire and get it to what i want for work. So basically i have surefire beater lights that dont have much more than $100 tied up in. For that i could have a sparkly fenix or nitecore instead. More lumens with an ice cold beam topped with angry blue tint.............no thanks! Or i can have some nice nichia 219b or 219c programmed to the lumen for my application in mind. My mCclicky fails.....................swap out for new in under a minute on the fly. Driver decides to give up..................seconds later i am running again. So much flexibility , try that with a nitecore, after shipping and waiting! Too add, i am yet to have a fail

    Tough, yes and tested, after a high drop that would push any light , 6p with sportac triple 219b took a good drop from a scissor lift, maybe 20ft up on conveyor maintenance. The light was on when dropped, the light never flickered and remained on, the result


    Placed on a vice edge, mallet and a couple of persuasion taps..............good as round


    Thats a 6p you can pick up for $50, and a $30-$35 2 mode triple
    So good and impressed, i must have 5 or 6 of them


    z2's i love

    Along with other classic flavours


    Although small by many on here in collection, here are a few i have at home


    I am late to the party...................prefer sometimes as it gives me time to get it right 1st time!


    But i put my surefire family in high regard and will always be a special part of my collection(and users). Not for everyone, but how boring it would be if we all like the same. My advice would be try one out, lumens are not the be all and end all of a flashlight(believe or not), there are many more parts to the puzzle.

    Never judge a light by its lumen(or price)

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    My favorite answer given for the expensive prices of Surefire hardware is here, to paraphrase, Surefire is still and likely will remain a relatively small or medium-sized private company, and can only manufacture finite amounts of their product, and their massive supply contracts depleting thier stock and non-supply contract market demand for their limited quantities has inflated the street prices to what they are. So long as the market will bear those prices, they will remain what they are, even apparently in the used Surefire market.

    Why is gold so crazy expensive? How many individual gold consumers do anything more than hoard or wear the gold? Compared to a flashlight, gold really has no purpose for any average unskilled-in-working-gold consumer. But the answer is, mindless market-forces set the price of gold, no matter how much better flashlights are than gold.

  9. #9
    Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Current Surefire's aren't too expensive. You have to ignore the MSRP and shop around a little. I do see some old models for sell from "collectors" that are ridiculously priced.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    A lions share of the selling price is determined by the cost of advertising and warranty.

    And Surefire doesn't skimp on either of those.
    Last edited by seery; 07-03-2018 at 05:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I wasn't going to post in this thread, as this topic is like beating a dead horse around here, and has been for many years, and these threads always end up getting locked, but I feel I must.

    I don't buy the comments like "more Surefire lights failing than any other brand combined", or "
    Surefire has proved to be the least reliable brand",
    not for a split second.

    You can make the arguments that Surefire is overpriced, you can make the arguments that they are behind the times in technology, but one thing you can't do is dispute that they are rock solid, dependable products. The Q&A may be slipping up in recent times, you might get a smudge on a lens, or some dirt on a reflector, but those things do not take away from the actual reliability of the light.

    Surefire lights have been in hostile environments for decades, from heavy police duty to active warzones. They have been blown up, ran over, crushed, and even shot with projectiles, and survived, and continued to work. This has been documented. No other brand can make this claim. You can say that your Chinese light could do the same, but the difference is that is a theoretical, whereas the Surefire HAS been there and done it, and proved it could survive the worst conditions possible.

    Military, Special Forces, SEALS, Police, all rely on Surefire, not because of Government contracts, but because they have EARNED a reputation for utter reliability. Find me an Elite US Special Forces weapon that's doesn't have a Surefire Weaponlight. You won't.

    Then there is the warranty. Best in the business hands down. Allow me to share just a few stories of how excellent they treat their customers. Years ago I purchased my second 10X Dominator from Ebay. The item was described as "Like New". Received it, and the light was total junk. Batteries were shot, glass was horribly scratched, bulbs were blown, the works. I contacted Surefire, explained the situation, and within a few weeks a BRAND NEW 10X Dominator was at my door step. What's more important to note is this light had been discontinued for years. Surefire keeps a large supply of replacement parts for old discontinued lights on hand, and that is part of why the prices are higher. You won't see any of the naysayers mention that when discussing the price.

    I called them a month or so ago, explained I had an old incandescent light that I could no longer find bulbs or batteries for. What was there response? Send it in to us, and we will send you back a new light. A week or so later an brand new EDCL-2T was at my doorstep.

    Can any of you tell of experiences like this with your Chinese lights? I don't think you can.

    Back to reliability, it seems like every single day there are threads popping up, "My Brand X has a problem" "My new Brand X light has issues" time and time again. Do a google search here on the forums, and you will clearly see that Surefire has far far less of these types of threads ever popping up. The evidence speaks for itself.

    I will admit, Surefire isn't quite the powerhouse they used to be, some of the technology in their lights is behind a lot of the Chinese manufacturers. Their outputs are not as bright, and many times they don't have as many features.

    But one thing I will not stand for is them being described as Unreliable. Because that is completely untrue.

    To finish, I'll share a small sample of the difference in reliability between Surefire and other brands. The evidence speaks for itself around the 2:50 second mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhj3XvW81V8

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I was careful to qualify my comments with that being my personal experience. I acknowledge that statistically this is an outlier.

    There are many on this forum that will vouch for my honesty and integrity.

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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I always find this to be an interesting choice of topic, for a first thread from brand new members here ... and am curious as to when they may next be back to comment.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSalt View Post
    Interestingly, Surefire has proved to be the least reliable brand of $10+ lights I've ever owned. I had an E1e with a small imperfection in the glass, which on the first drop became a big crack. I had another incident with the E1e where the internals of the click switch just disintegrated leaving it stuck 'on' (could still turn it off by unscrewing the tail slightly). And finally a bulb in a G2 that failed before the first set of batteries had depleted. To Surefire's credit, despite dealing with an international customer, replacement parts were sent out quickly, no questions asked, including free CR123 cells for my trouble. Also, I think my experience of 2 failures out of 2 lights owned is the exception, not the rule.
    MikeSalt, I find your experience with the lens odd. The temperature resistant glass lens on the E1e/E2e is VERY thick and even dropping the lens should not have had the effect you described. I've never seen one cracked and I'd also find it very odd if it came that way new out of the box.

    The other two things you mentioned I can likely explain. First of all, the clicky switch. The early 1st revision Surefire Z57/Z61 was a piece of crap, to put it mildly. I'm guessing you had the first revision. I had a few of these that failed as well back in the day, and that's what lead to my preference for sticking with the original Z52/Z53/Z54 twisty. I once took a first gen Z57 apart that had failed exactly as how you described (failed in the on position, but I could use it like a twisty to twist on and off the light) and sprayed the parts with breakfree CLP or some type of gun lube, I don't remember for certain this was over ten years ago. I remember having a bunch of crap out on the table, it was a lot of parts and trying to figure out how to put it back together was annoying. When I reassembled the switch it worked fine, but I never trusted it fully after that. Around 2006 or 2007 Surefire came out with a new revision of the switch that had a self contained clicky mechanism that is night and day more reliable than the original Z57. I believe most of those had a white plastic housing. They lasted for a very short time, and the only ones I ever saw were in E2e's that were being closed out in the zippered pouch from certain retailers. Then shortly after that around 2007 they released another revision of the Z57 with the self contained clicky mechanism, but in a black plastic body surrounded by a metal colander. I'm not sure if they were using different vendors, or they just made the change in color to signify the latest revision. That is the internal clicky mechanism that Surefire put on incan E series lights until they were discontinued and both of the final revisions are very reliable.

    Now the lamp assembly. I'm assuming you're most likely talking about a P60 or possibly a P61. Over the years I've had VERY FEW Surefire lamps actually fail on me. In fact there's only one that distinctly comes to mind as I was working a night security shift, it was a new lamp, a P90, and after less than a minute maybe two minutes as it was acting funny, it left me in the dark until I found my backup light in a completely dark building. But, there have been a couple of others, I just can't place them. I've noticed from many hundreds of lamps that if a lamp is good it will last many hundreds of hours without even darkening even though I believe the average rated life on a lot of their tactical bulbs is around 25-30hrs. In my experience if the lamp is bad from the factory, it will fail within the first five or ten minutes. I've had more than one fail this way. If it's a normal good lamp, it will last a really long time. So, it is likely that you experienced, a bad bulb.

    And from what I remember, this is years ago, but I sent in photos of the blown lamp assembly to Surefire with the stamped date code and I think they sent me a new P90 even though they don't normally warranty their lamp assemblies or batteries.
    Last edited by ampdude; 07-03-2018 at 09:15 PM.
    ampdude

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    Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by night.hoodie View Post
    But the answer is, mindless market-forces set the price of gold, no matter how much better flashlights are than gold.
    Would have been easy to overlook that little gem dangling from the end of your post. Well played, sir.
    “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

  16. #16

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I'm kinda with Archimedes here but I'm bored so...my question is more to Ven: If you replace everything but the tube with other manufacturer's parts, is it still truly a Surefire flashlight? I don't mean just dropping in a Li-Ion cell...but when the light source and driver/controller isn't what Surefire put in it then how can it be?

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Even with my experience of Surefire, I'd still not consider them expensive for what they are. Very fine lights.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    They were the best P60 hosts for quite a while. Bored for 18650 by Oveready was a plus.
    WTB: Looking for HDS Flood/diffuse reflector.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    I always find this to be an interesting choice of topic, for a first thread from brand new members here ... and am curious as to when they may next be back to comment.


    Cue Final Jeopardy music .....

    While we wait, why is the sky blue? Discuss amongst yourselves.

    ~ CG
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I understand why SureFire are expensive.
    But why are LED Lenser so expensive?
    John 3:16

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* MikeSalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    But why are LED Lenser so expensive?
    I quite liked my LED Lenser David 15. Don't remember it being silly money though.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    I've owned 3 LED Lenser lights over the years. Paid decent money for them too at the time. 2 broke after a few years usage, and one still works, unreliably.

    I called their customer service one time to ask a question, and the lady was completely clueless. Was asked to leave a message for their "technical department" which I did, and never got a response back.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I understand why SureFire are expensive.
    But why are LED Lenser so expensive?
    I think Fixer was just joking...... CanOWorms - joke.

    ~ CG
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  24. #24
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Too early to say.
    "In for the close?"
    And to answer Arch's question, I think the OP lit the blue touchpaper and retired.

    P
    Last edited by peter yetman; 07-04-2018 at 01:48 PM.

  25. #25
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by lightfooted View Post
    I'm kinda with Archimedes here but I'm bored so...my question is more to Ven: If you replace everything but the tube with other manufacturer's parts, is it still truly a Surefire flashlight? I don't mean just dropping in a Li-Ion cell...but when the light source and driver/controller isn't what Surefire put in it then how can it be?
    An interesting philosophical question - the Ship of Theseus - or if you fancy an amusing parallel ... Trigger’s Broom (search this together with Only Fools and Horses).

  26. #26

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    ^^ What?
    John 3:16

  27. #27

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    ^^ What?
    You weren't joking?

    ~ Chance
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    The first time I was. But post 25 went over my head like a 747 at JFK.
    John 3:16

  29. #29
    Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    The first time I was. But post 25 went over my head like a 747 at JFK.
    It looked like homework.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why is Surefire so expensive

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    Too early to say.
    "In for the close?"
    And to answer Arch's question, I think the OP lit the blue touchpaper and retired.

    P
    He was trolling just to get people stirred up. Historically there have been many "Why are Surefire's so expensive" threads and most of them went down in flames. This one may follow the same course.

    Bill

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