Keyring torches

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Zenichiro

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Hi guys,

New around here and in not very knowledgeable about torches. I'm looking for a keychain torch for general use and I need some advice. I'm looking for something hard wearing that will last a long time - for this reason I was interested in the titanium models, but these seem to be limited in availability? How tough are non titanium models? I also read that people use non-official batteries to boost output but that this can come with risks, shortening the lifespan, etc. I am looking for something that will always be there and working when I need it, again, I think this rules out AAA battery torches - I don't want to have to worry about batteries leaking etc.

Two models that I've come across on this site that look like they may suit my needs are the Quark Mini CR2 and the Fenix PD10. Can anyone add any comments in addition to the reviews or perhaps suggest alternatives? I also had a look at the Lummi models but they seem perhaps too niche (and probably more than I want to pay). Price range is probably up to around $100, bearing in mind I'm UK based and also don't know how much of a hit I'd take in customs if I bought something from a US store. I hadn't seen the Quark Mini's on any UK websites for example.

Hopefully someone can help!

Thanks in advance,
Anthony
 
Norm

Norm

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Have a look at a stainless steel (as durable a titanium for every day use) Fenix LD01
I've carried an older version on my keys for a couple of years, still looks as good as new and has been totally reliable.
Norm
 
R

rvsasa

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+1 on the Fenix Ld01, I would agree the SS version maybe more durable when compared to the aluminum version but what you gain in durability you lose in weight. The SS version is 35 grams without battery vs the 14 grams for the aluminum version. The extra weight you "saved" could be used for packing other EDCs or even an extra aluminum Ld01 as a backup. I don't have years of experience with the Ld01 but I'd assume the aluminum version could also last a long time if you don't treat it roughly on a daily basis.
 
archimedes

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Yes, I would also suggest steel for durability. It is less costly than titanium. Although it is heavier too, that is usually not a big issue for keychain/pocket-sized lights, since they are rather small. It also doesn't seem as prone to scratching (or maybe it just doesn't bother me as much as seeing the scratches in pricey titanium lights).

Your post brings up a couple of issues about batteries. Alkaline cells often leak, but they do make lithium AA and AAA batteries. These are NOT the same as rechargeable lithium-ion (Li-Ion, like 10440 or 14500 cells). Li-Ion cells have much higher voltage that can damage lights unable to safely handle them. If you want to use rechargeable batteries for those lights, you could consider NiMH chemistry cells instead.

Of the lights you mentioned, the aluminum (or titanium) MiNi CR2 is a really nice pocket light, tiny and bright indeed, if you don't mind the need for these pricey (and uncommon) batteries. The 4Sevens website also offers free international shipping.

If you prefer AA or AAA, and steel, I would suggest looking into a Peak light -- El Capitan is AA, Eiger is AAA, and the new Volcan can use either. The Peak lights are also specifically designed to handle Li-Ion voltages, too.

Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:
Lighteous

Lighteous

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+1 on the Fenix Ld01, I would agree the SS version maybe more durable when compared to the aluminum version but what you gain in durability you lose in weight. The SS version is 35 grams without battery vs the 14 grams for the aluminum version. The extra weight you "saved" could be used for packing other EDCs or even an extra aluminum Ld01 as a backup. I don't have years of experience with the Ld01 but I'd assume the aluminum version could also last a long time if you don't treat it roughly on a daily basis.

I have an aluminum LD01 and I am very pleased with it. It has been banging around on my keyring for over a year now with minimal wear. You can't beat the availability and price of the AAA cells. I considered replacing it with a titanium Quark Mini 123 or the Mini CR2. While because of my flashaholism I haven't completely ruled either of them out, the extra weight keeps me only thinking. Plus the CR2 cell is not readily available. Both would be significantly brighter, but I haven't been let down by the LD01 yet. If I need brighter I almost always have other options close by. Good luck!
 
Derek Dean

Derek Dean

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If you prefer AA or AAA, and steel, I would suggest looking into a Peak light -- El Capitan is AA, Eiger is AAA, and the new Volcan can use either. The Peak lights are also specifically designed to handle Li-Ion voltages, too.

Hope that helps!
I'll have to agree with achimedes, for down right ruggedness, the Peak series of lights is tops. They pott all their heads (encase in epoxy) for added resistance to shock and moisture.

Plus, with the advent of the new QTC material, Peak is in the process of refitting many of their lights (including the tiny little AAA Eiger) with a special holder that allows this new material to be used, effectively turning their formerly single level lights into infinitely variable lights, all with no added electronics!

And, you can generally choose what material you want for the body...... aluminum, brass (best heat conductor), stainless steel, or with a special order even titanium.

If you're seriously interested in one of these lights, the best thing to do would be to give their authorized retailer a call:
http://www.em-mgt.com/LED/Peak.html

However, it's important to understand that the QTC technology is so new that not all of the Peak models are available with it yet.

If you need something now..... the Fenix LD01 stainless steel or the 4 Sevens Preon Revo stainless steel, or possibly the Preon titanium would probably suit your needs.
 
Bass

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If you need something now..... the Fenix LD01 stainless steel or the 4 Sevens Preon Revo stainless steel, or possibly the Preon titanium would probably suit your needs.

Good recommendations. I would put the Klarus Mi X5 and Mi X6 on the list too.
 
apurva

apurva

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Zenichiro CR2 and CR123a lights look amazing for keychain lights, but once you start figuring out the battery scene, you might want to dive into the mystical world of Lithium ion batteries, chemistries and chargers. I spend nearly the whole of last week do so :)

Or you might come back and have a look at AAA lights. If you do, I would recommend the Preon Revo. I got the Pren Revo SS a couple of days back and intend to do a mini review soon. (Thanks to Derek Dean for the recommendation!). Its an amazing little light, absolutely solid construction, awesome spot beam (lacks flood IMO), One of the smallest AAA lights out there (comparative sizes in HKJs shootout http://www.lygte-info.dk/review/Beamshot AAA lights 2011-03 UK.html ), Can tail stand (important to me), Its allegedly the 'world’s first mass-produced, “smart” multi-level and current-regulated, single-AAA flashlight' Which means it would provide a predictable amount of light irrespective of the health of your battery.

Though 4Sevens advertises it to be a keychain light, I think its too heavy to be on the keychain, especially since I am used to throwing my keys around, I figure that only Photon type lights can survive that abuse. Your opinions may vary, but SS is the toughest metal commonly used in flashlights around here, but certainly one of the heaviest too. $Sevens used to make an al version of the Revo but from their site, i see its discontinued. This would be much lighter i suppose.

Link to the Preon Revo: http://www.4sevens.com/product_info.php?cPath=297_332_412&products_id=2578

I would also recommend to look at stainless steel AAA lights, they does not scratch as easily as titanium.
But check my website for test and reviews of AAA lights, you can also find all my reviews here on cpf, but you have to use the search function in the review section.

Your reviews single handedly made me spend a lot of money! Awesome reviews, and a totally awesome collection !!
 
Z

Zenichiro

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Thanks for all the advice - everyone's been very helpful. I've been looking at the comparisons and looked into all the ones recommended, although I'm not sure if the AA and AAA still seem just a tad large for me.

Size is probably more important than I stated, just with all the other things I have attached to my keys, a smaller torch seems like a big bonus. The CR2 and CR123 lights seem to offer the dual benefits of longer life of power and smaller size. Being able to tail stand is also a big advantage too.
 
archimedes

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If AAA is too large for what you want, you might be disappointed with CR2 as well (and definitely avoid CR123). Might want to consider button-cell or coin-cell lights, instead, such as eGear picolight, Streamlight Nano, or Photon ReX. There are a couple other lights powered by odd small cell types (Peak Shasta runs an N-cell, Klarus X5 uses AAAA), or look for custom lights that run on tiny Li-Ions (Modamag's or Steve Ku's lights, or 10180/10280 Peak Eiger pocket bodies) ....
 
Z

Zenichiro

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I'm probably sounding very fussy, and having another look most of the AAA torches might be ok - up to about 75-80mm is good, but anything longer than that is probably more than I want to keep with me all the time.
 
jhc37013

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I've carried different Fenix aluminum AAA light's on my keychain for years without problems, your going to lose some anodizing from scratching on your keys and dropping on the ground but aluminum is tough enough to handle day to day things. I use to carry a LD01 but the smaller single output flood light of the E05 has taken it's place, it's simple, plenty bright and the diffused beam is perfect for a keychain light.
 
J

Jtolly

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I just got the maratac aaa stainless... it's an awesome little torch. Albeit, I'm new to the flashlight world, but Love this little aaa SS guy! Anybody else have any thoughts on this light?
 
Monocrom

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I just got the maratac aaa stainless... it's an awesome little torch. Albeit, I'm new to the flashlight world, but Love this little aaa SS guy! Anybody else have any thoughts on this light?

I own one. A very nice keychain light. But for something very durable, either a Fenix LD01 or an older L0D version.
 
H

hazna

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If AAA is too large for what you want, you might be disappointed with CR2 as well (and definitely avoid CR123). Might want to consider button-cell or coin-cell lights, instead, such as eGear picolight, Streamlight Nano, or Photon ReX. There are a couple other lights powered by odd small cell types (Peak Shasta runs an N-cell, Klarus X5 uses AAAA), or look for custom lights that run on tiny Li-Ions (Modamag's or Steve Ku's lights, or 10180/10280 Peak Eiger pocket bodies) ....

+1 if you find AAA too large, then avoid CR123. Cr2 is shorter than AAA but fatter. IMO, I would prefer thinner and longer light, than a fatter and shorter light.
 
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joe1512

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The Photon Rex is likely your best option. It has about 20 lumens worth of power in a very compact design. It is brighter than the streamlight nano and other 1 5mm LED lights. None will compare to a light with a real emitter, but they will work.

If you want to spend lots of money, you can get special custom made lights that are awesome. Examples are... (do google search)
Drake/Draco
http://www.velenodesigns.com/html/38dd_proto.html



In fact, this is an older thread that goes over the various types of tiny lights available with beamshots etc. This will at least give you some names to be able to search:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?231920-Small-flashlight-roundup
 
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Lightman2

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Hi Zen........... you can check out my spread sheet in my signature which may help. I have the Photon Rex and like it quite a lot. Has a solar charger, can charge off another 3 volt battery and also have a USB port charger which all in all makes it pretty versitile. Downside is run time is 20 minutes but I love the light it puts out, the easy access switch and all the features from low low to bright and scrolling through in between. Worth a look and is my favourite bed side light until the monsters come and then I reach for my Insight Tech HX120.
 
Z

Zenichiro

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Thanks everyone for all the advice, so much to digest! I can see me probably trying out a couple and giving one away to a friend - I'll make sure to let everyone know what I decide though.
 
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Robinda

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I love my ITP EOS A3 Titanium I have carried it on my keys for 5 months and did not notice any extra bulk on my keys. I have dropped it several times with no ill effects you need to upgrade the clip to the keys as this is not the greatest. nice excuse to buy a stainless steel snap shackle for it though.
 

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