USA (made/assembled) Flashlights

angelofwar

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I find it funny when all these X-Fire companies copy SF's inventions/designs. SF has TONS of patents on Flashlight design and function ...

These include:
The control ring found on the U2/Kroma (Which differs from control rings found on other lights)
Lock-out tail-cap
Combat Rings
The concept of a Combat Light
Lanyards attachment points
A2 Aviator (regulated incandescent)
Two Stage tail-cap found on the L1/L2, etc.
Integrated mount found on the weapon-light body (MH90/M600 bodies)
The tactical tail-cap switch
The P60 drop-in...the concept of being able to change a bulb in 30 seconds or less in the dark
Modularity across the entire spectrum of certain lines of their lights (namely the 660 Classic/Universal weapon-lights)

To name a few. Add to this the fact that SF helped Duracell create a "stable/safe" CR123 (Duracell was very close to scrapping the whole idea), making this battery format available to the rest of the world.

SF did to flashlights what the American Military Industrial Complex did for weapons...another thing "we" excel at.
 

afdk

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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.

+1 I agree with your point! There is not enough discussion on the lights made in Europe.
 

afdk

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I find it funny when all these X-Fire companies copy SF's inventions/designs. SF has TONS of patents on Flashlight design and function ...

These include:
The control ring found on the U2/Kroma (Which differs from control rings found on other lights)
Lock-out tail-cap
Combat Rings
The concept of a Combat Light
Lanyards attachment points
A2 Aviator (regulated incandescent)
Two Stage tail-cap found on the L1/L2, etc.
Integrated mount found on the weapon-light body (MH90/M600 bodies)
The tactical tail-cap switch
The P60 drop-in...the concept of being able to change a bulb in 30 seconds or less in the dark
Modularity across the entire spectrum of certain lines of their lights (namely the 660 Classic/Universal weapon-lights)

To name a few. Add to this the fact that SF helped Duracell create a "stable/safe" CR123 (Duracell was very close to scrapping the whole idea), making this battery format available to the rest of the world.

SF did to flashlights what the American Military Industrial Complex did for weapons...another thing "we" excel at.

+1............That's what I was trying to say about USA developing a significant amount of the forefront technology!
 
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easilyled

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warmurf hit the nail on the head when he distinguished between custom and mass-manufactured lights.

Nearly all my custom lights are from the US. McGizmo, TranquillityBase, Mirage_man, Mac, saltytri, Data are among my favorites. I regard Oveready as "semi-custom" and their products are amazingly innovative and well made.

I can also proudly proclaim Ganp (from the UK), to be equally high up there in terms of quality for custom lights.

When it comes to mass-manufactured lights, I'm looking for reliability as well as innovation in technology. I personally find that Surefire produce lights of immense quality and reliablity but because of their duty to the military and law-enforcement sectors, they are understandably unwilling to be too "experimental" in terms of anything that is untried and untested. For that reason they will tend not to have the latest emitters and the highest output amongst available mass-manufactured lights. They are also reluctant to use rechargables as these are unsuitable for soldiers out on the field for a number of reasons. This hampers Surefire lights from competing with those lights that use multiple 18650s for output.

The leading Chineses manufacturers like Olight, Jetbeam and Fenix are catching up with US mass-manufacturers in terms of QC and machining precision and are prepared to take more risks in terms of output/battery types as they are not duty-bound to a public sector in the same way Surefire are.

The Fenix TK35 is an excellent example of a good quality Chinese light with state-of-the-art technology and spectacular output at a very affordable price.
 

afdk

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warmurf hit the nail on the head when he distinguished between custom and mass-manufactured lights.

Nearly all my custom lights are from the US. McGizmo, TranquillityBase, Mirage_man, Mac, saltytri, Data are among my favorites. I regard Oveready as "semi-custom" and their products are amazingly innovative and well made.

I can also proudly proclaim Ganp (from the UK), to be equally high up there in terms of quality for custom lights.

When it comes to mass-manufactured lights, I'm looking for reliability as well as innovation in technology. I personally find that Surefire produce lights of immense quality and reliablity but because of their duty to the military and law-enforcement sectors, they are understandably unwilling to be too "experimental" in terms of anything that is untried and untested. For that reason they will tend not to have the latest emitters and the highest output amongst available mass-manufactured lights. They are also reluctant to use rechargables as these are unsuitable for soldiers out on the field for a number of reasons. This hampers Surefire lights from competing with those lights that use multiple 18650s for output.

The leading Chineses manufacturers like Olight, Jetbeam and Fenix are catching up with US mass-manufacturers in terms of QC and machining precision and are prepared to take more risks in terms of output/battery types as they are not duty-bound to a public sector in the same way Surefire are.

The Fenix TK35 is an excellent example of a good quality Chinese light with state-of-the-art technology and spectacular output at a very affordable price.

Very good point. I very much like my Fenix LD01s, and the quality seems very good. I'm not thinking of buying any more lights soon, but would consider Fenix again.
 

afdk

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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...

:crackup:Do you know these companies?....Texas Instruments, Fairchild, Linear Technology, National Semiconductor...these are but a few of American companies that develop integrated circuits that make your flashlights possible. Of course, Sony, Hitachi, Philips also invest much in integrated circuit development.
 

ElectronGuru

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Aug 18, 2007
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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.

I believe Lummi is UK based, but something happened last year. Still waiting for the what to play out.


I regard Oveready as "semi-custom"

We don't like staying confined to categories. Change what needs changing, leave alone what doesn't.
 

carrot

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I preface this to say what I say is in consideration of the flashlight market:

I think the biggest distinction is that usually the Chinese are faster to market (besides custom makers from all over the world) and usually ride the bleeding edge. American companies are usually conservative and evaluate their options and take their time before jumping on the next big thing.

American manufacturers have realized they cannot compete on price or bleeding edge, so they compete on the things that they excel at: offering high quality, high reliability, excellent QA, and great customer service. Surefire, Peak, HDS and Malkoff recognize this and offer products that you can put your trust into. Even then, if something does go wrong, a quick phone call or email will result a friendly representative from California, Arizona, or Alabama doing everything they can to make sure they make it right and leave you satisfied.

Chinese mfrs still do not carry the same level of expectations as American mfrs. They are often highly competent and play to their strengths as well. QA may not always be as important to them as lowering their unit costs, which they can pass on to the customer as cheaper and better values.

This probably comes from cultural philosophies: whereas Americans often want something that will last for generations, the Chinese tend to want something that is "good enough for now".

As the Chinese start to tune their products for Western tastes, we'll find more and more cases where "good enough for now" also ends up being "good enough to give to grandchildren." We are already seeing this trend, as early as 2005 when Fenix exploded onto the scene with high quality lighting instruments and others soon followed with varying degrees of success.

That is not to say that this holds true for all mfrs across various industries but certainly seems to be the case for the flashlight industry.
 

afdk

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That sounds right to me, excellent posting! Pelican and Underwater Kinetics also have very good customer service, I've had contact with them a few times.
 

CarpentryHero

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Is Crelant an American company? I like there lights.

I really don't have an allegiance to were a flashlight is from, just that the quality to price ratio is good.
Warranties respected and customer service replies are good to have too.
I dislike that alot of American/Canadian companies won't deal with me directly.
I can't order straight from Surefire, or Pelican. Which is an inconvenience, I literally order my Pelican stuff from SSINC across the road from Pelican :(
 

Chrontius

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Just throwing this out there, it took Arc like a year to catch up with the Fenix E01. I would have given my mother, a "Made in America" fan, the Arc as a gift, but there was at least a factor-of-two performance advantage then, and the Arc also cost more.

I personally don't mind supporting American businesses when reasonably practical, but we no longer have a monopoly on creative, innovative people and regardless of where they're based, innovative people deserve some recognition and maybe even reward. Heck - check out the DQG Tiny some time. It's basically a Chinese McGizmo if McGizmo ever made a budget light. It uses a reversible two-stage twisty interface, sports a magnet and/or tripod mount (I forget which; maybe both) and rand a high bin XPG behind a TIR optic back when that was the new hotness.

If anything, CPF needs a Chinese-language subforum for an entire nation's worth of underserved flashoholics, some of which made the DQG, some of which founded Jetbeam... Patriotism and national pride is all well and good, but this hobby transcends such boundaries.

Also, nobody mentioned Peu, who may or may not be around still, who operates out of Brazil if I recall correctly. Like I said, this is a global hobby and/or business.
 

carrot

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Just throwing this out there, it took Arc like a year to catch up with the Fenix E01. I would have given my mother, a "Made in America" fan, the Arc as a gift, but there was at least a factor-of-two performance advantage then, and the Arc also cost more.
Are you sure about that?

My Arc-AAA is very old and uses a Nichia CS LED. Even still, it is noticeably brighter than a recent Fenix E01 both on fresh batteries (if anything, the Arc's battery is older, since I swapped a fresh one into the E01) in my ceiling bounce test.

I would gamble that the newest Arc-AAA GS absolutely smites the E01. It is true that the E01 offers incredible value for the money, but I wouldn't count out the Arc-AAA quite yet. It is still quite a good little light.

I personally don't mind supporting American businesses when reasonably practical, but we no longer have a monopoly on creative, innovative people and regardless of where they're based, innovative people deserve some recognition and maybe even reward. Heck - check out the DQG Tiny some time. It's basically a Chinese McGizmo if McGizmo ever made a budget light. It uses a reversible two-stage twisty interface, sports a magnet and/or tripod mount (I forget which; maybe both) and rand a high bin XPG behind a TIR optic back when that was the new hotness.
I'll have to check this one out. It's high praise to compare anything to a McGizmo! Are they still available?

If anything, CPF needs a Chinese-language subforum for an entire nation's worth of underserved flashoholics, some of which made the DQG, some of which founded Jetbeam... Patriotism and national pride is all well and good, but this hobby transcends such boundaries.
http://shoudian.com/

Also, nobody mentioned Peu, who may or may not be around still, who operates out of Brazil if I recall correctly. Like I said, this is a global hobby and/or business.
Argentina.

Well then let's not forget Lummi in the UK, MJ and Katokichi Ichishiki in Japan, Delghi in Italy (Iris), Yoo Heui-Gyun in South Korea (BitZ), and Dspeck in Canada (Fire~Fly).
 
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choombak

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Just throwing this out there, it took Arc like a year to catch up with the Fenix E01. I would have given my mother, a "Made in America" fan, the Arc as a gift, but there was at least a factor-of-two performance advantage then, and the Arc also cost more.

Your Arc has dimmed. Unless it has the crimping issue, I think you can get it back to full power by taking out the foam donut, and cleaning the base around the solder blob. Use a dab of oil to emulsify the glue. To stop the glue and dirt from interfering, I have the donut now at the base of the tube. Additionally, an Arc head can be cleaned via boiling (bring water to a boil, drop the head for about a minute, and take it out. Ensure to take off the o-rings before boiling). It will be reasonably brighter than the E01.

-Amarendra
 

sassaquin

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I believe these are American made - Muyshondt, CMG (now china made Gerber), and Brite-Strike (made in Plymouth, MA).

Having worked in manufacturing my whole life, I always try to buy American made goods. However there are some quality foreign-made flashlights that I have purchased and I am okay knowing these purchases support American jobs in sales and transportation/distribution. It might not contribute to the economy the way manufacturing does, but I know that everytime I order a light (foreign or domestic), Marshall at GoingGear and my postman/UPS man has a little more job security.
 

Mudflapper

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Hi everybody. I'm new here to go easy on me. ;)

I have to admit that I never thought much about buying American until this recession. I was laid off from a wonderful advertising job three years ago and, other than a short 3 month stint at an agency last summer, I have been unable to find full time work in my field. And I'm in Chicago, arguably, the ad capital of the world.

The last three years have been the most difficult, financially, of my life. Because of this, and because I'm beginning to realize that this country, sadly, doesn't MAKE much stuff any more, I'm going to do my best to buy American as much as possible. I'm hoping that if a few million people feel the same way it may help the economy. Is that naive?

So, being in the market for a reliable flashlight, I'm going to search these forums for DAYS, trying to find the best Made In The USA flashlight I can, in my budget.

Wish me luck!

Mudflapper
 

angelofwar

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Surefire, HDS, Peak to name a few. Inova's were for awhile then they got bought by Nite-Ize, and moved MFG'ing to China. The old Inova INFORCE lights broke away and still make their lights in the USA, so they can sell to the military.
 

uknewbie

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Sorry to say, there is just something rather xenophobic about this type of thread to me. I am interested in quality, I hate things made poorly, where they were made does not bother me one bit.

Also, before you even start to compare manufacturers products, just draw up two lists; one with US mass manufacturers, the other with non-US mass manufacturers.

There really is not much to compare if you ask me, one list will have a few, some not very popular, some that are very restricted in cell type (Surefire), the other list will be enormous.
 

indychris

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Sorry to say, there is just something rather xenophobic about this type of thread to me. I am interested in quality, I hate things made poorly, where they were made does not bother me one bit.

Also, before you even start to compare manufacturers products, just draw up two lists; one with US mass manufacturers, the other with non-US mass manufacturers.

There really is not much to compare if you ask me, one list will have a few, some not very popular, some that are very restricted in cell type (Surefire), the other list will be enormous.

That's a ridiculous charge at all levels, IMO, as it caters to the idea that if you disagree with someone, call them a 'phobe', making the attack ad hominem rather than addressing legitimate points. There is nothing 'xenophobic' or hateful or prejudicial about supporting one's own nation and economy. If you had a brother or son or daughter who manufactured a quality light that cost a bit more than an import, would you be considered 'clan-a-phobic' because you paid a bit more for their product? Of course not.

I only have a few lights, but most are imports, but I can certainly understand why people would want to support their own country out of national pride, economic support, personal connections to a local manufacturer, etc. Absolutely nothing xenophobic about it.
eusa_doh.gif
 

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