USA (made/assembled) Flashlights

afdk

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
181
Location
California
:thinking: Being that I have been on this Forum for about 3 years OFF and On, I think it can be said that the majority of flashlight enthusist don't buy as many USA made/Assembled flashlights. I like to buy American high tech products if possible too support our work force. I also think that our companys that build products here in America don't get enough support! American technology has typically been at the forefront of technology and alot of other countries copy our technology/electronics. What I'm trying to get at is, there is not enough comparisons between American made/assembled lights and overseas lights. Pelican vs Fenix, Surefire vs ?....you know what I mean! Hey I own a Fenix LD01 stainless and I like It, but the electronics of this light was most likely developed using our technology. Lets see more comparisons of American lights vs over seas. I know American light typically cost more, but!!!!! Quality control of some of these overseas companys is lacking and could get better over time.
 
Last edited:

srfreddy

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 21, 2010
Messages
921
Location
New England
...developed using out technology...
What? How much technology does it take to develop a good circuit? It takes a smart engineer. I personally can't afford to buy american flashlights. This is probably going to turn into a Solarforce vs. Surefire thread...
 

Kestrel

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
7,313
Location
Willamette Valley, OR
What I'm trying to get at is, there is not enough comparisons between American made/assembled lights and overseas lights.
Seriously? Have you used the search function on this? A brief search would have yielded many comparisons.

Lets see more comparisons of American lights vs over seas. I know American light typically cost more, but!!!!!
This topic has a grim history with many threads getting closed due to people not being able to discuss this in a constructive manner. This thread will be closed at the first instance of this. Perhaps even earlier, if someone wants to volunteer a half-dozen search return thread links on this topic.
 

afdk

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
181
Location
California
I have used the search function concerning this issue, ok, lets see what other visitors of this site say. Sorry if it was a diatrib, that was't my intent!
 

PoliceScannerMan

Flashaholic
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
9,558
Location
Gainesville,FL
I own both, I own mostly american lights. (SF, Malkoff, McGizmo, Arc, Inova, Mag, Peak)

I own a few Fenix, and a slew of 4Sevens. 4Sevens are sweet IMO. ;)

Overseas brands are definitely for the flashaholic on a budget, but even some of those get pricey!

With that said, nothing beats American Quality, thats IMO of course. :p
 

twl

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
1,565
Location
TN
I have found my preferences for American made lights in Malkoff products, and in Elzetta products. And Elzetta is sort of a Malkoff product anyway, because they come with Malkoff drop-ins exclusively, and have a real heavy-duty American made body.
Both are great.

I also have a Fenix E05 and a Photon Microlight which I suppose are both made in China.
When I spend bigger money, I buy American products. Not "just" because they are American, but in the cases of Malkoff and Elzetta, I think they are the best lights made in their respective categories.
 

JWRitchie76

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 6, 2009
Messages
1,037
Location
Jo Daviess Co, IL
I own both, I own mostly american lights. (SF, Malkoff, McGizmo, Arc, Inova, Mag, Peak)

I own a few Fenix, and a slew of 4Sevens. 4Sevens are sweet IMO. ;)

Overseas brands are definitely for the flashaholic on a budget, but even some of those get pricey!

With that said, nothing beats American Quality, thats IMO of course. :p

+1 mine too. SS Preon Revo is my only non-US light currently but I do love it.
 

jtblue

Newly Enlightened
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
187
Location
Darwin, Australia
I don't intentionally purchase American made products, I just prefer my purchases to be of the highest quality that I can afford; being American made is just a coincidence.

American made flashlights make up the majority of my flashlight collection (Surefire, Malkoff Devices, Maglite and Inova), the only flashlights that are not American made are my Fenix TK10 and Eveready Dolphin.

The Fenix TK10 is by far my most reliable flashlight as it is one of the cheapest (cost wise), so I am less hesitant to abuse it.
 

flashflood

Enlightened
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
608
I don't intentionally purchase American made products, I just prefer my purchases to be of the highest quality that I can afford; being American made is just a coincidence.

Same here. The whole domestic/foreign distinction is mostly historical anyway. If you actually deconstruct your flashlight all the way down to who mined the raw minerals (gallium, indium, lithium, copper, etc) you'll probably find 50 countries and literally thousands of people contributing in various ways. The (relatively) free global market we have today is a major achievement of human civilization that mostly goes unnoticed.
 

warmurf

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
351
Location
Queensland Australia
I'm from Australia so can add a different slant to this discussion. I find the issue is while American made is of high quality; they often lag now in the technology side, especially in say output. BUT, this is an issue I only find with mass production lights. America is the Mecca for Custom lights, and that is where you excel. I love the quality and build (and output) of lights from the likes of Mac's Customs, Electrolumens, Jesse's Quad and soon to be Septa, Varapower 2000 just to name a few. I haven't even mentioned what I would call the "upper end" of Flashlights like the Spy 007 Tri, which is as much a work of art as the Ferrari of flashlights.

It is in this sector of the market where the US excels and nothing comes close IMHO. I have also found that with every custom light I've bought (from the US), the performance, reliability and solid honest construction of the light (or drop-in/device) has made me feel like I got a bargain when all is said and done.
 

Muad Dib

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Mar 26, 2011
Messages
12
I'm not a tech guy, I just buy what works, and especially what works best for the money. Surefire makes a nice light, historically they've been my primary go to light.

Not anymore though, as well built as some are, they are just not worth the extra dough, Olight, Fenix, and others outperform them in almost every respect. One area I am truly impressed with regarding the engineering of the Asian manufactured lights, is the ability to power them with multiple sets of battery's, particularly rechageable battery's!

As I see it, SF got fat feeding us their battery's, battery's to be used in their flashlights with really poor run times. Consider, my Olight M20 which projects about 320 lumens, it does so on either CR123's, RCR123's, 16340's, 18650's, or 17670's! Additionally, it's able to push 300 lumens for almost four hours continuously! The only SF lights that approach that level of performance cost a hell of a lot more then the $87.00 my M20 cost me.

Like I said, I'm not very techy, so to speak, but I know what performance is, and I sure as hell know that getting a light for under $100.00 that outperforms those costing several times more is what we call a no-brainer...
 

gcbryan

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
2,473
Location
Seattle,WA
I live in Washington State and I'd like to learn about all of the high quality flashlights that are made in Washington State. I'm sure they make some fine flashlights in North Carolina but that's 3,000 miles away and I'd like to keep the money local. Anyway you can't beat the fine Washingtonian quality in a flashlight :)
 

BBL

Enlightened
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
770
Location
eu/at
May i ask the admins to open a sub-forum purely for discussing how great american made lights are, how great america is, how much america deserves all the best, how bad all those other countries are, etc. ?
 

Viper715

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Missouri
Sarcasm noted! I would think that given the opportunity you would patronize a company in your country over one here in the US or in Asia if it produced a quality product that you wanted. I like keeping my money local or regional or in the country to help with the economy here instead of China. But if having a non constructive conversation suits you better than have on with it.


Best Regard,
Eric
 

Tana

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
1,850
Location
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Another view from non-american point of view... It just happens that SF made this great base for C/P/M lego concept and USA offers zillion of high-end accessories for our collections (I have multiple OR parts, Malkoff, lot of SF hosts)... but some companies are closing by in quality so close that ownership starts popping up as a question. I find Solarforce lately to be very interesting to play with, together with SF hosts...
Anyway... I could not say a lot about complete light setups, I only ordered Nitecore D11 in the past and Olight I10, I think... I loved D11 but hated parasitic drain it had, w/o use it would drain whole AA to 0% in like 3 weeks... So I gave it to my dad who don't mind swapping battery every week... Olight I15 is pretty good light IMHO but my wife liked it way too much, so she's using it now... So I'm stuck only with Surefires hosts (P & E)...
But Surefire (leading USA brand) DOES lag with newer technologies (LEDs, particulary), a lag that eastern companies do not have... but aftermarket scene in USA is spotless, thus allowing quick upgrades for them, for small fortune, to be honest... Lately I'm hearing a lot of praise for Fenix lights so I presume their developing/production/QC is catching up with USA standards... but I couldn't tell, since I have no Fenixes...
 
Last edited:

ElectronGuru

Flashaholic
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
6,055
Location
Oregon
Layered with location is also age and size. Older, larger companies have more sales layers and tens of thousands of stores for any given change. Fewer product lines and fewer retailers, means easier and less time for product updates.
 

warmurf

Enlightened
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
351
Location
Queensland Australia
Ah Mr ElectronGuru! I'm looking forward to adding your product to my list of Custom lights from the US as well. Please check another thread where I've asked about the 1400 lumens version. I've found that the custom parts or total lights that I can get from small US makers to be so go, I've given up on mass produced stuff, whether it's US, Chinese or where ever.
 

Vox Clamatis in Deserto

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
1,126
May i ask the admins to open a sub-forum purely for discussing how great american made lights are, how great america is, how much america deserves all the best, how bad all those other countries are, etc. ?

I think they already have, it's called CPF. :twothumbs
 

Mathiashogevold

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
381
Location
Norway
I think they already have, it's called CPF. :twothumbs

1+


Some products are missing in this dicussion, WiseLED is Danish and they outperforms many of the USA lights in quality and output. Seriously, there is absolutely not enough discussion on these fantastic flashlights, 2600 OTF lumens isn't bad.
And let's not forget the well-respected Polarion, which aren't made in the USA. American owned, but not made there.
 

LeifUK

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 19, 2009
Messages
391
May i ask the admins to open a sub-forum purely for discussing how great american made lights are, how great america is, how much america deserves all the best, how bad all those other countries are, etc. ?

:laughing:

I only ever buy English torches, and avoid all that foreign crap. For some reason I keep bumping into objects at night. When someone English starts making lights, could they tell me please.

Yeah, there is a lot of chauvinism/pride here among US members, but why not, it's not a bad thing within reason.
 
Top