Why Titanium or Stainless Steel LED Flashlights Popularity?

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z_Richwouldnt

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Why the popularity of Titanium or Stainless Steel small LED flashlights? From a heat conduction and dissipation standpoint they seem to me to be poor material choices. Functionally aluminum seems like a much better choice if the light is actually going to be used.
 

peterharvey73

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Not sure why Ti so popular over Aluminium in flashlights?
Maybe Ti polishes better than Al for flashlights?

I know with glasses/spectacles and air craft, Ti is lighter and more flexible than Aluminium, which in turn is lighter and more flexible than stainless steel.
 

AaronG

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Ti is heavier, but stronger than aluminum. Ti has more tensile strength than steel but is not as hard (generally speaking).
Titanium is pretty much immune to corrosion closely followed by certain stainless steels.

I think the biggest selling feature is the finish. You don't see many unfinished aluminum lights because bare aluminum is nasty on the skin and it corrodes really fast. Also aluminum is quite soft and dents easily.

Aluminum is a better conductor of heat and electricity than Ti and stainless steel.
 

nbp

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For twisties, you won't find smoother threads than SS. They are the bee's knees. Al is ok, Ti threads suck. But the finishes on SS and Ti are better. If it wasn't for the mass, I'd probably go for more SS lights. They are nice, but they're heavy.
 

carrot

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For me it's the finish. I don't really mind having chipped, dented, or worn hard anodize on my aluminum lights but what makes titanium and stainless lights really cool for me is that they wear a lot better: they tend not to dent, have no anodize to lose, and they seem to develop a nice luster from pocket carry and wear. As for heat dissipation: who are we kidding: how many really really high-power lights exist that would really take advantage of the better thermal conductivity of aluminum?
 

beerwax

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looks and feel.

i wish all lights were available in titanium.

stainless can also be good but in a larger light it gets heavy.

alluminium is a heaps better heat conductor but it doesnt matter as much in a torch body as you might think. the closer to the led the more it matters. having said that, some of the wmd light cannons around here need all the heat sinking they can get.
 

Lightman2

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Each to their own I guess however as stated titanium and stainless are far superior in going the distance and lasting over soft aluminum. Unless you are running the lights on high for ages there probably won't be to much of an issue regarding heat and I am sure the manufacturers would not have used those materials knowing it may damage their lights and also LED's have a long life so any heat damage may not be noticed over years of use. Someone has said that the small AAA lights made of ali can crush however you would probably have to do something major for this to happen keeping in mind that some manufacturers like to trim the diameter of lights so much so their is not much wall thickness. I am looking at the stainless steel prevo for my next purchase. Their are a number of pros and cons for all materials used.
 
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MWClint

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choice of metal is personal preference.

as far as heat.. it's really a non issue with any light that is properly designed, be it brass/ti/ss/alum/plastic/etc.
the real issue are the lights(any metal) that are made that do not have proper heatsinking.

i like to grab a light that functions for my task at hand.
if i'm working on the car i'm going to grab a small AAA stainless steel light.
if i'm working around electricity, im going to use a plastic light. you wont see me poking around inside a running computer with a bare metal light.
for my general purpose edc i usually choose a small brass or titanium light. i just love the feel of carrying these metals.
If i'm out in the back woods or walking the dog, i'm going to grab a long running HA light.
etc.
 
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mknewman

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I have a couple of Ti lights, small 14500 or RCR123 keychain lights like a Fenix PD10T and a Ti Quark, but by far one of my favorites is a Fireworm in Ti that I use for incan P60s. The head hardly heats at all due to the poor thermal conductivity.
 

Russ Prechtl

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I like the look of polished stainless or titanium better than HA. That's all. I don't care about heat dissipation because I never run mine long enough or high enough for heat to be an issue.
 

DimmerD

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Because they look nice? Got a Sunwayman V10R Ti and to be honest it's my first titanium light and I can't stop looking at it. I pull it out of my pocket just to admire it, I look to make sure my wife isn't looking at me cause she will really think I'm weird if she catches me looking at my new light, without even turning it on!. She already called me anal when she saw me stripping the paint off the clip and polishing it to a chrome like finish.
 

afdk

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:huh: I bought the Fenix LD01 stainless steel because I didn't want it to be scratch with the cars keys, I seem to drop the keys every now and then. The smaller AA and AAA single key chain lights typically don't produce as much lumen and thus don't need a better conductor metal such as aluminum. So far I've drop the LD01s two times to the concrete with no damage, glad its stainless steel!
 
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twl

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Simply a preference issue.

They all have their advantages.
I think stainless is the king for durability.
I think aluminum is the king for heat dissipation.
I think titanium is something people tend to think of as "exotic" so it's a status metal.

Truth be told, aluminum with HAIII is a harder surface than stainless steel, and cools better, is lightweight, and it's cheap. IMO, it's the perfect material for a flashlight. Not expensive.
Stainless is stronger, and less likely to crush, but is heavier and cooling capability is vastly reduced. It can be re-polished when it scratches. Not expensive.
Titanium is not as light as aluminum, but lighter than steel. It is by far the worst at cooling. Scratches easily, but can be re-polished. Threads gall. Very corrosion resistant. Very expensive.

Personally, I think titanium flashlights are a fad that will go away. They offer almost no benefits, other than exotic status appeal. Either of the other metals is actually better for the application unless you are a deck-hand on a salt-water vessel at sea.
 
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