Mag Lights

fishndad

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Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
460
Location
ohio
alot of talk about cheap lights from China.Having problems with drop ins or tail cap switches.
The list goes on and on.

I like millions of folks have owned many Mags.
And i have had very few if any problems.From the older incans to there latest led models.
Mags have been as reliable to me as a set of channel locks.

So why do folks (myself included) continue to order these cheapos from china?:popcorn:
 

jmpaul320

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Messages
3,805
Location
CT, USA
alot of talk about cheap lights from China.Having problems with drop ins or tail cap switches.
The list goes on and on.

I like millions of folks have owned many Mags.
And i have had very few if any problems.From the older incans to there latest led models.
Mags have been as reliable to me as a set of channel locks.

So why do folks (myself included) continue to order these cheapos from china?:popcorn:

After 12 led.lights and over 2000$ my go to light is my 6 d mag which I keep under my bed

When my wife hears a noise I reach for the light with the most mass. Not the most lumens lol
 

bshanahan14rulz

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Jan 29, 2009
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2,819
Location
Tennessee
Have you folks tried a malkoff dropin? Last I saw, they were on sale for like, $40. It is what it implies, barely more than remove the guts, drop in this chunka burnin lumens, and enjoy light. I think there may be a reflector mod required. I.e. cut off the stem with a knife ;-) There are much more detailed instructions elsewhere, but just to give you a general idea of how easy to install.
 

cland72

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
3,276
Any link to beamshots of the Malkoff Maglite dropin? I have an old 2D model kicking around and might be willing to pull the trigger on the upgrade.

To your point, I think people buy Chinese lights for their small size (compared to the C & D model mags) and multiple output options.
 

badtziscool

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Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
1,720
I think it's just that, cheap (as in price). It's like a promise of mega lumens or maybe a unique body style or interface, and we all know in the back of our heads that it probably won't work as advertised, but for such a low price, we just don't care if they're subpar performers. AND, if we happen to find one that is actually decent, then it's like we hit the jackpot: finding a good usable light for a great price.
 

bshanahan14rulz

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Jan 29, 2009
Messages
2,819
Location
Tennessee
I'm not in this hobby for having lights; I'm in it for the fun of it. As such, it's kinda fun knowing that when the light gets here, I'll havta disassemble it and carefully reassemble it, understanding along the way how it was meant to be assembled and coming up with different optimizations (read: hax) to the overall system. The main downside is the whole "supporting the wrong economy" thing. I rationalize by taking my heritage into account, but I do still feel bad that I can't afford more domestic lights.

When it comes to quality, you get what you pay for. My L2 has never failed me yet, but in my own humble opinion, I've increased the build quality of this light by verifying and modifying any possible weaknesses I find. However, if I knew I were going into a life or death situation, I would grab my 6P.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lesliewong/4428615074/
This photo is a decent starter, but you can do another image search at images.google.com for malkoff mag drop in beam shots and find quite a few others of varying exposures and comparing to different models of lights. You can see a nice, tight spot, with a slightly misshapen corona and the standard even spill. The corona shape is due to the "wobbliness" inherent to the maglite's head's threads. In non-white-wall use, it is not noticeable, but you can hold the head and make the beam a perfect beam for a whitewall if you so desired.
 
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watchcollector1968

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Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
67
alot of talk about cheap lights from China.Having problems with drop ins or tail cap switches.
The list goes on and on.

I like millions of folks have owned many Mags.
And i have had very few if any problems.From the older incans to there latest led models.
Mags have been as reliable to me as a set of channel locks.

So why do folks (myself included) continue to order these cheapos from china?:popcorn:

I often wonder that myself. I have come up with a few answers I think. Often it is said on various light forums that Maglites are for "The masses" of people and that no "flashaholic" would have one. I personally love 'em.

When somebody needs a light to take camping to look at something 500 feet away "but I want it cheap" then the budget minded will point out some cheap chinese light that advertises 500 lumens (which it may or may not do). Lets face it, probably 80 percent have fallen for lumen marketing thinking that lumens are the only measure of brightness. My 137 lumen Maglite ML100 2C with its 23000 lux will easily out throw plenty of these supposed little 500 lumen Chinese lights and still have plenty of usable spill light. But but but how can that be? The Chinese light has more lumens????

I know some people like to have to take something apart, clean it, make sure it is put together right, buy extra parts (until they have spent more on a budget light than a real light) and talk about how it is just as good as a Surefire for 12 bucks. Im different, I like to buy things and then have them work right out of the box...strange I know.

Still the budget lights are probably good for somebody who wants to go light up the backyard for a few minutes or have 3 sets of shelves filled up with lights to take a picture of their "collection".

Oh well, if everybody settled on one type and brand of light then we would not have light forums and would not have lights to talk and argue about.
 

march.brown

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Joined
Nov 25, 2009
Messages
1,472
Location
South Wales, UK
After 12 led.lights and over 2000$ my go to light is my 6 d mag which I keep under my bed

When my wife hears a noise I reach for the light with the most mass. Not the most lumens lol
The big Maglite would be great if fitted with a Fusion 36 LED drop-in ... Heavy and with a decent bright flood of light ...
.
 

fishndad

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Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
460
Location
ohio
Any link to beamshots of the Malkoff Maglite dropin? I have an old 2D model kicking around and might be willing to pull the trigger on the upgrade.

To your point, I think people buy Chinese lights for their small size (compared to the C & D model mags) and multiple output options.

Been wanting a malkoff myself.

And yes i agree they are looking for more compact pocket carry light.
But if you follow along. Many of the guys complaining have got more than 1 or even several cheap knockoffs.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice im a dumbass!
 

JerryM

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 12, 2003
Messages
1,042
Location
New Mexico
I like Mag Lights. However, for daily carry the single cell AAA and AA Chinese made lights fill a need. However, if all I had was a C cell and a 2 AA mag light I would not really need anything else. Those served me well for many years.
Jerry
 

JaffoAZ

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Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
12
Maybe you guys have already seen it, but there's a dude over on BLF ( and here, I think) that is modding old Mini Mag AA incans to run a custom XL-m drop-in on a single AA - size cell. The reviews are fantastic, and they looks great and perform well, albeit at something like $65 a pop. I've always loved my Mini-mags, but I can't justify spending the cheese, even if it's for a retro-cool factor. At least not YET.

My problems with the Maglights are size vs. performance, and a severe lag when it comes to keeping up with other manufacturers in the innovation and improvement departments. Let's face it. We all want quality light to do whatever we are needing light for, and we want it to fit in our hand. I have a Mini-mag incan AA that looks pathetic next to his brother who has had a (somewhat silly) cree upgrade. So the 2x or 3xD-cell bazookas that put out LESS usable light than some of these more advanced "chinese" budget torches seem like dinosaurs to me, even if they hurt more when you smack someone with it. For the price of a good Maglight with their latest technology and quality, I can have two custom-built Chinese cheapies that far out-perform the old stand-bys.

Don't get me wrong - I am NOT anti-Maglight. I will always love them. But after looking around a bit and reading these forums a LOT... I can't understand why someone would settle for the performance of a Mag when, for the same $$ they can get a little hand torch that has multiple modes, specifically preferred bin or tint, and higher performance on something much more efficient and less dirty than C or D-cell alkaline cells. The body of one of my Mini-Mags is permanently fused to a pair of corroded alkaline AAs. I am through with store bought alkaline anything at this point.

They are making some really cool custom mods that bring the awesome old Maglight bodies to the present with nice LED technology and li-ion battery configs. Why settle for the old dull yellow dimness of the incans? Maybe you guys are talking about LED Mags and I missed it. But if I want a torch in my hand, it's all about powerful, reliable light, and performance. Everything progresses. :)
 

deadrx7conv

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Joined
May 5, 2010
Messages
621
Location
USA
Size vs performance? I've personally have seen what Maglites can do to burglars, aggressive dogs, .....
I've used Mags as tools too, from leverage to a hammer. Their size is a benefit when needed.

Maglite leans toward reliability and useability. Sorry if they don't have 20 useless modes or don't fit in your pocket or have a bazillion lumens.

I'll include Kel-Lite. You'll sometimes find a 30-40 year old flashlight at a flea market or a yard sale, scratched up, dinged, inscriped with name or SN or ID or...... and it powers up with new batteries... says a lot for simplicity & good ol' Made in USA quality. Maglite, old KelLites, Brinkmann Legends.... will be still working when alien archaeologists dig them up.

I also own 20+ year old Maglites. Lets see how well all these so-called innovative and improved lights last. We already have seen import reliability with the number of threads on 'why doesn't my innovative improved cheaper import doesn't work right'. I know that I'm tired of replacing switches, fixing drivers, cleaning threads, fixing cold solder joints, improving contacts, stretching springs, adding little battery magnets...... The more import lights I buy, the more repair projects I have.

For the cost of the Maglite, I too could have several imported junk flashlights. But, I know that my Maglite will outlast any of them.

I, for one, wish that the 7D Maglite's come back.... caveman technology at its best!

I prefer flashlights that take normal batteries that are available everywhere and in bulk. The unrechargeable, when power is out, batteries are useless. The good ol' C and D flashlights make a great showing during every hurricane and snow storm induced power outage.

I don't have a problem with alkalines. If you use your flashlight, you'll end up replacing them before there is an issue. If not, make an effort to inspect or just replace batteries as needed. Stick with name brand locally bought alkalines. Too many alkaline 'name brand' clones and knock-offs sold online.

I certainly hope that Maglite doesn't go all gee-whiz gimmicky featured:
http://www.maglite.com/productline.asp

The Maglite also makes a great canvas for all the modders out there.

For those that demand more output or runtime, there are plenty of LED drop-ins and conversions available.
 

JaffoAZ

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Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
12
I agree with all of the points you've made. Mags will last forever and are built like tanks and will split noggins.

I still dig innovation and progress as well. I am not against modding a big Mag a bit, though...

.
 

wordwalker3

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Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
61
Toughest flashlight ...Maglite 3C, purchased in the late 70's early 80's, recently upgraded with a dropin from Malkoff devices because I just could not bring myself to toss it. I'm VERY pleased with the upgrade. Surefire E1E, my son's E2E, any of my Solarforce L2P/L2Tseries, Shadow TC6. My least tough lights, anything from DD or DX...I think I'm cured from low budget lights.
 

Mike_TX

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
225
Funny - I have several old Mags in drawers. After i got my first Ultrafire LED, the Mags got retired. Now, when I look at the pitiful output of a 2xAA Minimag, I have to laugh. Even my big 2xD and 3xD Mags are laughable - horrible, horrible artifacts, uneven beams, etc., etc.

I know they can be rehabbed with LED dropins, but it's a lot easier and cheaper to just get one of the small, high-intensity lights purpose-built for this kind of thing.

RIP, Maglite.

.
.
 

betweenrides

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Oct 19, 2010
Messages
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Chicagoland
Maybe you guys have already seen it, but there's a dude over on BLF ( and here, I think) that is modding old Mini Mag AA incans to run a custom XL-m drop-in on a single AA - size cell. The reviews are fantastic, and they looks great and perform well, albeit at something like $65 a pop.

That would be JohnnyMac.

As a proud owner of one of his candy apple red single AA/14500 Mini-Mac Zombie Hunters, it seriously kicks butt. XM-L,TIR optic and 5 modes. Beautiful light and a serious performer, plus it just glides into your pocket. One of my favorite rotating edc's.

I have and always will love Maglites. The new Pro+ is a very nice flashlight that competes very well with others in it's class, at least in initial output, plus it has the classic design and feel of a Mag. Currently don't own any C or D-cell Mags, but I'm on the lookout for a 2C in gunmetal with a decent LED. I'm not a modder, probably won't ever be based on my almost total ignorance of electronics and serious lack of time due to another full time hobby (Cycling). So I'm dependent on getting a light that works when I buy it with minimal futzing around with it. Largely due to the excellent advice and knowledge here and over at BLF, I am now confident about using Li-Ion batteries, disassembling a light, cleaning it, lubing it and putting it back together. Driver or LED swap? No way I'm going there. Replacing a lens, o-ring, switch or a boot? No problem.

I've been in this hobby for about 4 years, seriously for the last 2-1/2. I'm up to 30+ flashlights, most of those are China sourced 'budget' lights. There are some very cheap crappy lights for sale out there, especially on fleabay, but also some brands that are quite good. I would rank my lights from Solarforce, Balder, N-Light and Shadow as very good quality. Recently picked up two Thrunite lights (T30 and Ti) and they are the bomb, but I'm not sure that is considered budget around here. All these lights share good design, finish, workmanship, performance and I've never had an issue with any of them. TrustFire (If it's not a fake) is ok but somewhat hit or miss, but then they are generally a lot cheaper too. For the most part, the other ****Fire lights are just what you would expect for the money: Cheap. If they don't work right, well I didn't pay a lot for it so I'm not too upset and I don't mind plunking down $10-20 on an experiment. I see a cheap light that I like the looks of or that has been rated well by another forum member and the price is right, I'm going to buy it (See JohnnyMacs review of the Trustfire Z8 below - case in point). And every once in a while, you stumble across a jewel in the rough. I picked up a TangsFire HD 2010 last month (Stupid Name) that is an absolute killer thrower. For $34. Yes, it required a little work, but nothing I couldn't handle with a little help from my forum friends.

There's room for all kinds of lights if you're a flashaholic. It doesn't have to be either/or.
 
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hoffmyster86

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Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Messages
115
alot of talk about cheap lights from China.Having problems with drop ins or tail cap switches.
The list goes on and on.

I like millions of folks have owned many Mags.
And i have had very few if any problems.From the older incans to there latest led models.
Mags have been as reliable to me as a set of channel locks.

So why do folks (myself included) continue to order these cheapos from china?:popcorn:

its the dream of reduced size, longer use and ooooo bright bright bright purdy light that yu can see fu miles with?:laughing:
 

PCC

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Oct 28, 2007
Messages
2,326
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Sitting' on the dock o' The Bay...
I'm a run time junkie. I don't EDC a big 2/3D Mag, but, I have them sitting at home waiting for "the big one". If/when that happens pretty much all of my lithium powered lights will be retired until things return to normal. As far as Chinese made lights are concerned, I only buy the higher quality ones: ThruNite; Solarforce; 4Sevens; etc.
 
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