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Thread: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic N_N_R's Avatar
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    Popcorn Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I don't even know how to formulate the question better

    For example, I've seen so many cool pictures of guys and their brand new looking lights.

    While I have like 15 flashlights, bought in different periods of my life and I've used hard all of them and most do have scratches, wear, scuffs, dents and so on...

    So, do you buy a light and then pamper it, do you buy a light and immediately test if it's water/shock/everything proof or do you just go for the golden middle and let time and regular use show how tough your flashlight is?

    For example, I bought a Fenix LD05 two weeks ago and despite my efforts, I've dropped it like 5 times so far, one of them in water, so it already has a few scratches...
    ~ ~ ~ Why did God create the night? So that we can use our flashlights. ~ ~ ~

  2. #2

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I definitely pamper mine but they're not shelf queens either. I don't use mine for work or hour-by-hour like I'm sure many here do, so it's hard to really beat them up. Mine just sit around the house and get used for easy stuff. I'll take a headlamp and torch backpacking but even then I take care not to drop it throw it around. In general, I take really good care of all my gear just to try and make things last, even stuff that is intended to take a beating. So that habit just seems to apply to everything whether it makes sense or not.
    GOOD TINT!

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    Flashaholic* mcnair55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Although i have one or two for work i must admit i pamper each and every one and do with most of my stuff.I would imagine you will get some mixed replies and i look forward to reading how others treat there kit.
    Diagnosed with Grumpy Old Man Syndrome

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    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I take care of them. These lights are already a expensive business, so don't want to scratch them.
    Of course if it happens, it happens. Have quite a mark on my Fenix TK11. Dropped it ones on a stone-floor from about 1 meter. Now it has a little dent in the bezel.
    Not something I'm happy with, but.. it happens. For the rest I try to keep my lights as clean as possible. Still have to buy some extra cases for storage

  5. #5

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I don't pamper my lights at all. If they're still in mint condition it's because I haven't had a regular need for it.

    When I bought my first real light, an SF E1B. It immediately went into my pocket with my keys/knife/change or whatever else I was carrying.

    Lights are utilitarian for me. I only buy what I can use. I admire all of the shiny lights people make but buying a light to treat it like a prize figurine isn't my thing.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic N_N_R's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Yep, the only disadvantage to this hobby is that.... it's pretty expensive... haha.

    One of my reasons to buy more expensive lights is actually exactly this - I treat them not that well and I need something really tough..lol

    I don't intend to drop them, but this somehow always happens. I also often need to hold a light in my mouth and... since I need the respective light CleaN, I often just wash it under running water before "biting"... .
    ~ ~ ~ Why did God create the night? So that we can use our flashlights. ~ ~ ~

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    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I am not OCD but i look after everything i have,my work tools get cleaned up after use,my truck gets washed at least once every 2 weeks,summer weekly along with oil/water checks.I cant stand scratches on body work,i cant even sit down and chill unless house is tidy(having 2 kids proves some bits challenging)

    So thats me,i have some expensive lights(well to me anyway) but i look after them the same as my lower cost lights,i buy holsters for some that dont come with too for protection.

    I think and admit to an extent once a light gets marked or dinged you tend to relax more and use it without as much precaution and maybe enjoy it more.

    Work lights are a little different as frequent use is almost impossible to avoid marks/dings/dust/dirt but get cleaned up after use at the end of the day.
    My old work light


    My i3s which was on my keys and got used along with a nitecore T0 which my lad has


    I wont let callum(4yr old) just pile out my vinh lights on top of each other and ding them so i am careful with them and they are as i got them...........as new BUT THEY GET USED all be it not as much time as i would like to use them

    On a personal level,i guess working for them,spending your hard earned gives me appreciation for everything i own so do look after my stuff in general......

    So some are pampered ,some are dedicated work lights,all get used,just with care or in works case intentional care but roll off machines now and then

    I am a strong believer in if you look after your tools/equipment etc then they will look after you.........simples az dat

  8. #8
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    [QUOTE=N_N_R;4410938

    I don't intend to drop them, but this somehow always happens. I also often need to hold a light in my mouth and... since I need the respective light CleaN, I often just wash it under running water before "biting"... .[/QUOTE]

    Nice head lamp!!!! save your teeth

    I admit in past many a time i have been under my truck with a flashlight in my mouth and a spanner in my hand
    Head lamp makes life so much easier in those conditions

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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    My lights are tools and get used as such...even the most expensive ones. Having said that, besides water and drop tests onto carpet when new, I don't purposefully abuse them.

    The lights that are closest to shelf queens are my Alpha Blasted & Polished twins, but I do use them regularly.

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    Flashaholic N_N_R's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    @ven

    Haha, no thanks I still can't fit headlamps into my idea of what a flashlight must look... LOL. Btw, thanks for showing what your beat up i3s looks like. The one that I ordered last week (and haven't received yet) is also black, so now I know what the black looks like with some wear on it.... I think I like the way the red ones "age" better...


    I see so many videos on YouTube where people deliberately test their lights..... True, it's fun to watch, but ... what IF the flashlight gets damaged? Ok, it's waterproof, it's shock proof and so on...but it's not meant to be hit with a hammer, dropped from 10 meters or left in a full bath tub deliberately.... so what IF something goes wrong? Isn't the guy who attempts to be cool going to feel a little foolish...
    ~ ~ ~ Why did God create the night? So that we can use our flashlights. ~ ~ ~

  11. #11
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Unless stainless or ti then if its going on your keys it will get marked.My olight m20 seems to be about as solid as a light could feel,so well made(bit big for keys )

    The cheaper key chain dont have as good ano........

    Bonus is they are cheap,so even if you replaced when tatty its no biggy .

    I have moved my i3s on to work keys(its a fantastic little light by the way,love the modes,80lm is ample too for a key light) so now have a little DQG spy ti on my keys..........see how that lasts up against the keys etc.

    YouTube vids are entertaining,the ones by actual companies can never be taken 100% as they will just mark up a new light and continue a test imho if it breaks .Ones done by peeps with too much money are more realistic. I still say within reason the olight m20 is one of the toughest feeling lights,i know i could drive over it and it would work.........no pics for that!!! before you ask or i will end up doing it and i dont like dings Besides i could not anyway as its an m20vn with a nichia 219=too special to me

  12. #12
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Some more i3s dings




    so now i have


    next to i3s and nitecore t0

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* všlineurheilija's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I use all of my lights including Surefires that are quite expensive and hard to get here and if they get dings and scratches i really dont care as long as they work

  14. #14

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I use them as a normal tool! Scratches, dings, and falling on hard surface and water are part and parcel of my torches' life the poor things have a hard life with me!

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    Flashaholic* Jash's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    There's nothing in my life that gets pampered. Most of my lights show regular wear and tear, some however just look abused, and I'm not sure why. I do try to look after them, but it's hard when you're clumsy.
    There can never be too much honey to lick off your fingers.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    NRR,
    I'm not big on jewelry, and my lights are not show pieces. I do like tools, and I treat them with a degree of respect. I have also been taught... "if you take care of your tools, they'll take care of you." So I am not purposefully hard on my tools, but I have been known to drag a screw gun across the floor a few feet, and then pull it up to me on a ladder, by its attached extension cord. I might lower it to the ground the same way and drop it when it's nose cone hits the ground. Yet my paint brushes are put away, clean and dry, and my mechanic's tools don't get put away greasy, or wet. And they get put away, where they belong. Many of my tools have been with me for 30-40 years.

    My flashlights are tools. The lights I bought for SAR have almost never been used. One stays in it's case, one stays in its holster on top of my desk, the other is in a drawer with a few other lights, and sometimes gets used. Each of those are spotless. I guess the rest of my lights are more carelessly thrown about, either in the car or various locations about the house and garage, and they get used, dropped, and rained on. I don't think any of them look as bad as ven's i3S, but none of them have been used 250 days a year. Well, except my Nano which had as much AL showing as the original blue anodizing. It has been retired.

    So I guess to answer your question directly, I don't handle my lights with gloves. I don't purposefully abuse them, but don't really care if they get scratched. Their cosmetic appearance does not affect their functionality, and I bought them for their functionality.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I use my lights if I need to use it and take care of them simply because this is not an inexpensive investment or hobby.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* D6859's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Combination of both hard use and pampering. I've bought some of my lights from Finland and I can trust the seller with warranty issues. For example, I've sunk my Olight S15 in to a lake just to see if it can take it and T25 I've dropped while riding a bike. But with some of the lights that I've ordered online (or that I dont 95% trust it can take it) I will let the use show. So even if I've been tempted to take a shower with my Fenix HL30, I've yet not tried it. Maybe I'll test it before taking a longer trip when the headlamp is essentially needed to be sure I can trust it.

    Btw, ven, have you used your i3 as a bottle opener? I have same kind of scratches on my old Nokia 3310

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    Flashaholic N_N_R's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Thanks for all the replies guys! This thread's really interesting to read for me

    So far the "attitude" seems to be 50:50, lol.

    I'm thinking that with time, when I get more and more lights (God forbid?!), some of them may not get enough... use time, so they might remain on the shelf, looking intact..

    On the other hand, I'm kinda happy when a flashlight gets worn and bad looking.. well, this is a reason for me to buy a new, pretty light!
    ~ ~ ~ Why did God create the night? So that we can use our flashlights. ~ ~ ~

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    Flashaholic* rayman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I would say for me about 90% of my lights I pamper but I got some lights I use hard and don't take care if the get a scratch or not.

    rayman
    My Lights (current EDC: Foursevens Mini MkII Titanium)

  21. #21

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Quote Originally Posted by ven View Post
    I am a strong believer in if you look after your tools/equipment etc then they will look after you.........simples az dat
    +1

    Though my reason is more that stuff tends to last longer, and thus you don't need to buy replacements as often. Because I prefer to buy new stuff at my own schedule rather than needing to when something breaks. For example keys and lights tend to scratch each other. So when I have a light in my pocket I'll maybe have a handkerchief in there too. But keys go into another pocket.

    That said, no reason to over-do it. No point in wasting excessive time on cleaning / polishing etc. Just enjoy using the stuff you have...

  22. #22
    Enlightened Loed7984's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    As I often work in harsh environments such rivers, Forests, both as ems responder, both as actual forestal worker, I usually use my light very hard.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Quote Originally Posted by N_N_R View Post
    For example, I bought a Fenix LD05 two weeks ago and despite my efforts, I've dropped it like 5 times so far, one of them in water, so it already has a few scratches...
    You use them and try not t beat them up, but if they get scratches, so be it. They are meant to be used and you seem to have struck the right balance. Use 'em.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Quote Originally Posted by RetroTechie View Post
    +1

    Though my reason is more that stuff tends to last longer, and thus you don't need to buy replacements as often. Because I prefer to buy new stuff at my own schedule rather than needing to when something breaks. For example keys and lights tend to scratch each other. So when I have a light in my pocket I'll maybe have a handkerchief in there too. But keys go into another pocket.

    That said, no reason to over-do it. No point in wasting excessive time on cleaning / polishing etc. Just enjoy using the stuff you have...
    Well said!

    It's improtant to enjoy using your lights and any other stuff. I always laughed at the old people that put plastic over their couches and furniture...of course that keeps it clean, but what's the point? You're not enjoying the clean fabric in any way until you uncover it...but they probably never would at that point. So, plastic covers for your flashlights anyone?

    The first drop, dent, scratch is always a bit worrisome, but then you relaize it's not the end of the world. A new smartphone is a perfect example; mine always look new out of the box within the first few weeks then it's just another phone getting dropped and tossed around.
    GOOD TINT!

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    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I'm one of the "split decision" people.
    I have lights that are "shelf queens" for various reasons. I'll fire them up and play with them on a foggy night and so forth but they are part of my "collection" not part of my "workforce".

    Then I have the workhorses like my 20-something year old, several times upgraded, Magcharger (now sporting a 1k lumen triple emitter) which lives in it's charger right by the rear door of the house ready to "grab n go". It's been dropped, kicked, knocked over, left out overnight, rained on, submerged, and Maker-knows what else.
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I use all of my lights, but not hard. I simply won't keep a light if I don't pick it up for a while...I have more than I need, certainly, but all of them get used. However, I see no reason to beat them up...I keep them holstered unless I am using them, in which case it is in my hand, not being tossed around or abused (keychain lights being the exception). A few lights have minor scratches, but beyond that, all of them look almost new.

    Drop testing is something I don't do, to any great extent. It really doesn't help much...you could drop a light 100 times, call it amazingly durable, and an accidental 101st drop could kill it. Just no way to tell. However, I consider water testing to be an absolute must. Doesn't do any harm to the light if it works, even cosmetic, but if it fails, you need to know that early on. I simply cannot understand why anyone would not do this sort of basic water testing.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I try to take good care of them, but something usually ends up happening to them eventually anyway. After I drop them once I don't feel so bad about dropping them anymore, and then I am actually a little bit relieved they are imperfect. And I have no problem using them while working on the car and camping. They are usually pretty easy to clean off anyway.

  28. #28
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    I use my lights and knives, but don't abuse them. I don't use my lights as a hammer and I don't use my knives as a pry bar. I regularly clean and lube my lights and knives - and I sharpen my knives when they get dull. I don't consider regular maintenance as pampering.

  29. #29
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoyoman View Post
    I use my lights and knives, but don't abuse them. I don't use my lights as a hammer and I don't use my knives as a pry bar. I regularly clean and lube my lights and knives - and I sharpen my knives when they get dull. I don't consider regular maintenance as pampering.

    Nicely said yoyoman,i am the same,i take care of my equipment,bit fastidious like that,clean up my tools after use,lights wise i clean my threads,check the lube,not too much/too little,buy holsters for lights i think require them that dont come with........Same with my cells,top off,dont drain down etc.....

    One of my edc, d25cvn is in my coat,in holster.........nothing metal near it.

    Truck keys are different,i dont have a choice(live with keys) so trying ti in the spy at the moment after the i3s looked worse for wear after just a few months(expected tbh).

    Its only been a few days,no marks at all which is better already than the cheaper ano olight,but at under $20 i did not expect much different........

    Money or rather cost has no bearing too,my convoy m2 gets as well looked after as my tk75vn / x3vn/tm15 and tk61vn .

    Admittedly if i had to crawl on my hands and knees over rocks and had a light in my hand,i would make sure it was not a $300 one ...........(obv a head lamp)

  30. #30
    yoyoman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do you use your lights hard or do you pamper them?

    Someone, I don't remember who, said scratches on ti are patina. I agree. Scratches on ti are much nicer than chipped anodize and nicked alum.

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