Too many choices! Need help choosing general purpose lights

ven

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Oct 17, 2013
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Manchester UK
Pick a Zebralight

Dont get me wrong,for a start i dont own one and unlikely i will,from ano issues,QC issues and the "tint lottery"in read ups put me off,not to mention its a sending off to China if any issues prevail(as with most even if state made in canada or usa) so i guess you can discount last comment.......
Not saying avoid as the UI does look excellent.............but i dont think its as straight forward as that:)
 

rickypanecatyl

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Nov 2, 2009
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I didn't read all the responses so maybe somebody beat me to but I was just going to say if your coming from 20 plus year old flashlights there's some pretty big changes.

One example what people on this forum would label a "dedicated thrower" (meaning a narrow beam) is still pretty "floody" (wide beam compared to the 3 D mag.
The high quality 18650 size flashlights getting up to 30X the total light coming out most don't even "throw" - reach as far.
From a 20 year old mag light perspective the new lights are like one of those things that held light bulb and consequently the way people use them is different.

I just got a Eagletac S200C which most here would consider a long distance throwing light. The thought hit me while using it it would be an interesting light for someone coming from a 3 D mag.
It throws a little bit further - about 40K candle power versus 35K.
But it has about 20 times the total lumens/amount of light coming out.

It has two very simple lower modes enabling it to be used in more situations and the light to last longer.

An eagle tac won't be as durable as a mag - with the exception of the bulb/emitter... (another interesting comparison - the weakest link on the old lights is now the strongest link!)
 

Poppy

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Dec 20, 2012
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Northern New Jersey
Material doesn't matter to me as much as cost. I do know I want metal over plastic, if possible. This would be so much simpler if my wife didn't really want to stick with US-made. It's not that I disagree with her motives, but it limits our choices and really ramps up the price.

Looking at the big picture, you are not spending a million dollars, and won't effect the US economy. I'm with you, and her. I buy American when I can, and from a local mom and pop shop when it is practical. My last six cars were bought brand new and were all Fords. OK... now that the introductions are out of the way, where was your television made?

Regarding buying Made in the USA, I think that Maglight is made in Canada, as is ArmyTek.
Rayovac is made in Indonesia, Mexico, and China.

Malkoff drop-ins are made in the USA
and Elzretta is made in the US (way over your budget)

I have a friend who was telling me that he works for a valve company. And if enough of the overall cost of the product goes to American companies they can call the valves "Made in the USA" even if the actual components are made in China or elsewhere, but assembled here, shipped to here by a US owned shipping company, trucked around the distribution network by US owned trucking companies... etc.

I think that you can have the Ti version of the EagleTacs within your $25-$75 budget (about $71)
I understand not wanting to spend extra for Stainless or Ti, BUT...
for a year, I carried a Streamlight Nano and pretty much all of the anno was worn and scratched off, but now that I am carrying a Stainless DQG IV AAA light it still looks like new, a year later.
I have a Stainless Mossberg 500 shotgun that is a pleasure to take into the brakish wetlands. It will never rust and take a ton of abuse.

Sometimes it is worth the extra for stainless for a product that will get used a lot.
 

NoNotAgain

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Jan 25, 2014
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Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
By limiting yourself to USA made lights, you're somewhat limited on choice.

As you all ready have listed, the Surefire 6PX Pro is a good choice, however I'd go one step further and have it bored to accept 18650 batteries. It allows for additional power choices, longer run times than CR123 batteries and the rechargeable route is cheaper than running primary batteries.

I spent thru the nose on machine tools that were USA made. Only problem was that the shops I competed against used whatever was cheapest at the best value. Drive by any union staffed manufacturing plant and see what their workers drive.

I would have liked to offer up a Nitecore EC25/P20/P20UV lights as they can use both cell types (CR123 or 18650).
 

LightWalker

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I did not understand why American made lights were so expensive for several years but after reading many reports of failures of Chinese made lights from waist high drops and seeing what some of the higher end American made lights can endure, it enlightened my understanding.

I have dropped Foursevens and Fenix lights several times without any failures but I doubt they would take much of the abuse demonstrated in the video below.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1ozstdsnHNs
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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That Elzetta looks really nice. But why do the US light manufacturers have crappy websites!? I can't even find out the dimensions of the light, or what type of cells they use! And there's no real description on what the difference is between the different heads, tails, etc.

All the light websites seem difficult to use, but the US makers are even worse. I'm looking at you, Peak and Elzetta and Malkoff to some degree...

The more I think about it, I wonder if a single ~300 lumen mini would be all I need for now. The "general purpose" light I was probably going to get was the Surefire 6PX, which seems to have about the same output. I suppose we could use the one light each for now, and look at a larger GP light later on.
 

Poppy

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Northern New Jersey
That Elzetta looks really nice. But why do the US light manufacturers have crappy websites!? .

Elzetta lists their phone number on their home page. Why not give them a call?

Crappy websites? Generally I think flashlight websites are terrible. Not just US sites. Most do NOT include Beamshots of their lights. Some present a generic beamshot of different lights as one of their own. Ever notice that different tints, all look the same? Disgraceful!!! There are many, where English is not their primary language, and they don't spend a few dollars for an English literate person to review and edit it.
 

LightWalker

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If you want an American made light I would recommend the
Malkoff Turn-key MD2 with High/Low Switch [MD2-TK SW] $119.00
But you will need to sign up for their email alert because when they become available, they go FAST.

If you get one you could get an 18650 rechargeable battery and charger for it later but you need to learn about proper handling of li-ion batteries first.

There are some nice lights that are made in China that will be more affordable if you change Your mind about buying an American made light.
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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Well, as of this moment, I think I have a direction to go in. Subject to an obsessive mind's change, of course!

The Peak Logan, aluminum, neutral white LED, narrow optics, pocket body, at ~$70 seems to be a good compromise for US-made, quality and price. I'll pick up two of them; one for wifey and one for me. Given that they are ~300 lumen lights, I think I'm going to hold off on buying a larger "general purpose" light, especially since the Surefire G2X/6PX is about the same power. This is, of course, if I can get one ordered and shipped to me by this weekend.

Sticking with US-made lights is really tough! The Malkoff MDC looked nice, but more expensive and out of stock. The Elzetta looked nice too, but the body seemed larger and more than double the cost of the Peak Logan. And the Maglite Mag-Tac, while a little cheaper, is a 2-cell, larger body and Mag just seems behind the times.

If I can't get the Peak Logan, I think I'm going to have to fall back on a US company with overseas manufacturing: The EagleTAC D25C Mini will probably be the one. It seemed to have the best balance of price and power at $40 for 275 lumen (325 with boost) over the various Foursevens and Streamlights. I think that would be a good light for my wife, and I might splurge a little for the larger and brighter D25C2 Mini or Clicky.

Given that I'm going to focus on the mini EDCs as the first purchase, and use them as all-around lights for the time being, what should I consider for a larger general purpose light? Possibly to buy now, but more likely to hold off until later. As I said above, the Surefire G2X/6PX doesn't seem like enough of a step up from what we've picked for the EDC. I would think I'd want something with more power and leaning more towards throw vs. wide beam.
 

cland72

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Nov 23, 2009
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Good choice w/ the Peak Logan. For a bigger light with more power, I'd suggest checking out the Surefire P2X Fury. About the same size/form factor as the G2X/6PX, but bigger head means more throw, and it pushes 600 lumens on high.
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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Welp, spent the past 3 hours trying to get a hold of Peak or the two vendors I found that sell the Logan and have gotten zero response from anyone. I'm rethinking this whole Buy American thing because this past week has proven to me that American companies just don't seem to care with horrible websites that are confusing, have missing or incorrect info, and are impossible to get a hold of.

I'm on the verge of just buying my second choice: the EagleTac lights, even though they are made in elsewhere.
 

cland72

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Don't give up on your USA made standard. Trust me.

Order one from Oveready. I PMed you a link.
 

Pixel Hunter

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I'm just frustrated after 2+ weeks of research. The pure US brands are just prohibitively expensive, and I'm not impressed with their customer service. At least in the mini size lights. It's disheartening considering there are so many great recommendations for lights that are made elsewhere. But my wife is really against companies that farm out work to cheap-labor countries. I see her point.

I think I got fixated on buying a mini that we could EDC. It's not a top priority, as we don't have working EDCs now, and have survived without them. Since my post the morning about picking the Peak, I think I've stepped back and rethought things.

So now I'm thinking about getting a Surefire 6PX, Streamlight or similar handheld instead. Find one that is US made. It won't be small enough to EDC in my pocket, but I can worry about that later. Or maybe just grab a couple low power pocket lights like the TerraLUX Lightstar 80's. Where are those made?

My wife keeps saying "just buy the MagLite Mag-Tac", but I haven't gotten much feedback on those.

EDIT: Doh! After my ranting and obsessing, Robyn from Peak responded! Now what do I do!? :duh2:
 

LightWalker

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I've been reading these boards for over seven years and I would say it's a lot to take in, in a couple of week's, give it some time and maybe do a little research, the Google search at the top will give you alot of useful info but it can be time consuming and addictive.
:)

The Peak lights are known for being well built lights with potted electronics and I think they have a lifetime warranty.
 
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N8N

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Apr 26, 2013
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If you plan to use EagleTac D25C with RCR123/16340 (rechargeable Li-Ion) be aware that it loses lower modes. If you are just planning on feeding it primaries it'll be fine. Actually send me a PM...
 

cland72

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Nov 23, 2009
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3,276
I'm just frustrated after 2+ weeks of research. The pure US brands are just prohibitively expensive, and I'm not impressed with their customer service. At least in the mini size lights. It's disheartening considering there are so many great recommendations for lights that are made elsewhere. But my wife is really against companies that farm out work to cheap-labor countries. I see her point.

I think I got fixated on buying a mini that we could EDC. It's not a top priority, as we don't have working EDCs now, and have survived without them. Since my post the morning about picking the Peak, I think I've stepped back and rethought things.

So now I'm thinking about getting a Surefire 6PX, Streamlight or similar handheld instead. Find one that is US made. It won't be small enough to EDC in my pocket, but I can worry about that later. Or maybe just grab a couple low power pocket lights like the TerraLUX Lightstar 80's. Where are those made?

My wife keeps saying "just buy the MagLite Mag-Tac", but I haven't gotten much feedback on those.

EDIT: Doh! After my ranting and obsessing, Robyn from Peak responded! Now what do I do!? :duh2:

Don't buy the Maglite. They make substandard lights compared to the other USA made lights out there.

Care to tell us what Robyn said?
 

Pixel Hunter

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Oct 9, 2014
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Don't buy the Maglite. They make substandard lights compared to the other USA made lights out there.

Care to tell us what Robyn said?

Well, I got answers to all my questions, including info that I would have thought should have been on the website, and that they could rush a couple lights out to me. Then I also got to speak with Bob from RMSK and spent 2.5+ hours chatting with him on the phone! Problem is... I'm back to that indecisive mode again. I don't know if I should get a Peak (Eiger, Logan or El Cap) as an EDC and something else as a general purpose, or just get a Logan as a all-purpose light. And of course Bob was trying to entice me to buy some of the TnC or even Tektite lights!

That Ultra-Lux 18350 seems like a nice little light! :whistle:
 

cland72

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Nov 23, 2009
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Honestly, with the exception of "throw", any one of those lights from Peak will give you the light you need to complete the majority of tasks you'll typically need a light for.

Personally, I'd go with the Logan 123 because I've standardized my collection on CR123 batteries. IMO, lithium 123 batteries are some of the best batteries you can buy, and have a shelf life of 10 years. They are more energy dense than a AA or AAA lithium battery, and are pretty standard in the flashlight world.

Then, later, you can get a Surefire Fury or any number of 2- or 3- cell CR123 lights that have more punch and already be set for batteries.
 
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