What is the best flashlight?

Customwoodcreations

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OK, before everyone blasts me, I know it is a subjective question, and it is intentionally vague.

So, as you can see by my post count, I'm brand new to CPF. I've been searching locally for the best flashlight for years. And then I found this site... and I think I'm hooked.

I've been reading posts for a few weeks now, trying to suck up all of the information I can. All of the reviews are awesome! They lead me to my first "big boy" flashlight, an Eagletac DX30lc2-r, and I love this little guy! Now I'm hungry for more! I ordered a T6vn, and just found out it will ship late next week. The wait will kill me...

One of the issues I'm having reading posts, however, is that a lot of the information is in out-dated models, and a novice like me is struggling to find out if something that used to be great is still great.

So, this leads me to my question. In an attempt to gather the most of the most current information:

In your opinion, as of the day of your post and in your opinion, what is the "best" flashlight in each of the catagories below? It can be stock or mod'd, as long as the mod'd model can be purchased (Vinh). I'm not to the level that information on a one-off modified version will help me.

1. Longest throw (any size)

2. Brightest flood (any size)

3. Best throw/flood combination (any size)

4. Best EDC (throw, flood, or both)

Thanks in advance for your help in my insatiable thirst to learn!!
 

Brasso

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You've basically asked an opinion that would take the entirety of the forums to answer. Very broad. There are certain brands that have strong following. You probably just need to read a bit more.

For edc, which is what most here talk about, I would think Zebralight, Olight, and Fenix would be the top 3 brands.

Welcome to site.
 

run4jc

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Nah, man - you won't get blasted. This is a friendly and helpful forum. And you'll have as many answers as there are members. Brasso makes great points/suggestions...I own all three brands and Zebralight is the light I have the most of.

That said, HDS should be looked at very carefully. THOUSANDS of posts - multiple threads. Many, many dedicated owners. Having said that, it isn't the brightest, longest throwing, etc. For that you'll need to look elsewhere.

What it is is a bulletproof, American made and awesome light made by an American company/man in Tucson. Funny - I've had many lights come and go, but there are ALWAYS Zebralights and HDS lights in my collection.

Good luck, and welcome aboard.
 

Joe Talmadge

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Well, the good news and bad news is, in the EDC category, you already have the heads-and-shoulders best, IMO -- the ET dx30lc2 series. Been hoping someone would have done a review on one of the new ones with the side LED, but no one has yet. FOr my requirements, at least, easy choice above vaguely similar lights from olight, nitecore, fenix, etc
Or if your idea of an EDC light is a smaller form factor, then give us a hint as to size...
 

archimedes

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My opinion, FWIW ....

"Best" is about more than only "numbers" , a lot more. Numbers are relatively easy to answer - just look up a bunch of stats.

The vast majority of lights I recommend are from a rather small list of brands.

Malkoff, HDS, Peak ... production manufacturers

McGizmo, Okluma ... custom makers

MBI, Lupine ... niche products

And, if you want to "stay current" with the best lighting gear, give serious thought to choosing a modular system. Whether you choose Malkoff (MDx) , SureFire (P60) , McGizmo (Aleph) , or something similar - you can just pop in a new light engine to upgrade, as soon as better emitters are developed :)
 
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Customwoodcreations

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The vast majority of lights I recommend are from a rather small number of brands.

Malkoff, HDS, Peak ... production manufacturers

McGizmo, Okluma ... custom makers

MBI, Lupine ... niche products

And, if you want to "stay current" with the best lighting gear, give serious thought to choosing a modular system. Whether you choose Malkoff (MDx) , SureFire (P60) , McGizmo (Aleph) , or something similar - you can just pop in a new light engine to upgrade, as soon as better emitters are developed :)

Now that's helpful. Just looking at HDS now, as made in America matters a lot to me.

Also the the first I've heard about modular. Really like that idea. Can you recommend a specific one that would be a good thrower?

Not to get sidetracked, but I have a Nebo Seven-Z HL15E that quit working after the 4-5th time I used it. Is this something to upgrade, or is it scrap? It was a gift, so returning wasn't an option.
 

SG Hall

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Welcome customwoodcreations! [emoji106]

My opinion, sticking to stuff that's not too obscure, is:

1. Best throw K70vn. Lots of lumens on target too, not a pencil beam.

2. Best flood. I'm not a flood guy, because your best flooders get too hot. If I was, TK75vn hand scorching 16000 lumen fireball ( Q suffix for short ). I don't own it but it sounds like fun. If funds and limitless and you need the exercise, the new RC40vnF.

3. Throw/flood. K60vn or MM18vn pop can. Heard good things.

4. Best EDC. Even more subjective. Olight S1 baton is tiny, Astrolux S1 ( not related to the Olight) for output but it's not my favourite form, or EC11 for a 18350 light that's small and 900 lumens.

The above opinions are not necessarily those shared by all of CPF. [emoji6]
 

archimedes

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Now that's helpful. Just looking at HDS now, as made in America matters a lot to me.

Glad to help :)

Also the the first I've heard about modular. Really like that idea. Can you recommend a specific one that would be a good thrower?

Malkoff HoundDog

Not to get sidetracked, but I have a Nebo Seven-Z HL15E that quit working after the 4-5th time I used it. Is this something to upgrade, or is it scrap? It was a gift, so returning wasn't an option.

Yes, reliability is one of those factors not measured by "most lumens" or "farthest throw" ... ;)
 

Customwoodcreations

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Welcome customwoodcreations! [emoji106]

2. Best flood. I'm not a flood guy, because your best flooders get too hot. If I was, TK75vn hand scorching 16000 lumen fireball ( Q suffix for short ). I don't own it but it sounds like fun. If funds and limitless and you need the exercise, the new RC40vnF.
[emoji6]

I've really been looking at both the RC40vnF and the RC40vnT. I just need to decide if they are worth sleeping on the couch for a week!
 

archimedes

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I've really been looking at both the RC40vnF and the RC40vnT. I just need to decide if they are worth sleeping on the couch for a week!

~ 20,000 lumens

The best flashlight is the one you have with you that works when you need it.

Buy a Malkoff and a bunch of batteries and you'll be set.

The rest is academic.

~ 1,000 lumens

Hmmm, if only there were a graph to account for this ... :thinking:

:)
 

KITROBASKIN

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Do you want to describe applications for your planned use, or are you kind of wanting to get a sense of the possibilities?

Some folks use a thrower for short durations while others also need long runtime. That would determine how much battery capacity. The larger the reflector coupled with the smallest, non-domed (efficient) emitter will give more throw. Then one must decide just how small a hotspot is suitable for their needs.

Some do not want to be lugging around a heavy flashlight, and search for a happy medium that suits their specific application. If a person wants a wide area lit to a considerable distance, you're talking serious horsepower.

The user interface is ALL IMPORTANT. Tread thoughtfully my friend, but Don't be afraid to experiment.

Finding an everyday (or everynight) carry flashlight should require all of the above considerations and a thorough examination of what is available. It is a dazzling time to be interested in portable illumination.

And try to avoid having to sleep on the couch by a gentle reminder that these creations are ultimately practical (not as expensive as classic cars or hand built wristwatches) and that you will meter-out your photonic explorations.

Go For It
 

Skeeterg

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Well, the good news and bad news is, in the EDC category, you already have the heads-and-shoulders best, IMO -- the ET dx30lc2 series. Been hoping someone would have done a review on one of the new ones with the side LED, but no one has yet. FOr my requirements, at least, easy choice above vaguely similar lights from olight, nitecore, fenix, etc
Or if your idea of an EDC light is a smaller form factor, then give us a hint as to size...
+1 on this Eagle TAC dx30lc2 what a cool light.
 

gigbyt

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An important question you didn't ask about is TINT.
you will need to decide what color you like your lumens to make good decisions about
what will work for you personally.
Good luck on your journey for enlightenment.
 
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Your question is impossible to answer but it's absolutely vital to ask! If that makes sense.:eek: Probably there can be no single "best" light. There can be a brightest one, or a longest running, etc. But "best" is a title that eludes simple specsmanship, IMO. For example there are many cheap Chinese lights that are brighter than my Elezettas and Malkoffs but will they survive a drop from a treestand while hunting or a tumble onto the concrete? Will they survive a dunk in a cold stream if I fall out of a canoe? Many very bright lights can't take any abuse at all.

Also, the best thrower by definition won't have the best flood. A good light will do both pretty well but given the laws of physics and the way lenses and reflectors work one fixed device can't do both optimally.

As other have pointed out, tint may be more important than output, at least to some. I have a cheap Chinese dropin that is supposed to crank out 1000 lumens and maybe it does- but the tint is so blue that it's almost purple! I used it for a couple minutes and tossed in in drawer where it will probably sit til I get around to throwing it away. To me color temp/tint is more important than max output.

Beyond that build quality is just as important. Years ago I bought some Chinese "Black Cat" lights that I really loved...for awhile. Over a period of about 10 months every single one of them failed. Pity, the tint was pretty good and the OTF output was very nice for the size. But what good is a light if it doesn't work when you need it? In sharp contrast a couple years back I bought a Malkoff Scout head for my Surefire E1b. The first night I carried it I was messing around with it in the parking lot of the local theater when I dropped it, and as I lunged to catch it I managed to kick it fly across the lot!:ohgeez: Despite flying fifteen feet and skidding another 30 or 40, aside from a scratch on the bezel it worked just fine.

Lastly cosmetics are important to some folks. Must the "best" light also double as jewelry? I don't care much about the looks of a light but if you do that is a factor.
 
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