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Thread: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

  1. #1
    Enlightened tjdean01's Avatar
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    Default Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Titanium is strongest, but I don't know if that makes it harder to scratch it or not. Aluminum is anodized which is supposed to make it very hard to scratch. Then there's the stainless steel options as well. Thanks!
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  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Stainless. Titanium is fairly easy to scratch but doesn't look bad and can easily be touched up (not anodized or bed blasted finishes though).

    Steel is tough and looks fine scratched. Check out steel keychain lights.

    Anodized aluminum? Can be initially tough depending on how durable the base metal is. The surface can be scratch resistanr but us brittle and when damaged it looks terrible and can't be fixed.

    Bare aluminum is super soft. It can be touched up like any bate metal.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* AlexGT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Tungsten, but I haven't seen a flashlight made out of that material in years...
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...gsten-AA-Light

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* gunga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Oh sorry. I thought you just meant out of the usual 3-4 choices.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* CelticCross74's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Despite its amazing strength titanium is actually pretty soft. Stainless steel? I do not believe I have ever seen a stainless steel light. I have plenty of knives with stainless steel blades of many different high end very expensive types. Despite being very hard they still scratch and left out in the weather will rust. There is no truly 100% stainless steel.

    Aluminum. There are more types and grades of aluminum than I can count. Most modern lights are of "aircraft grade aluminum" which is supposed to be light very strong and damage resistant. Still will scratch fairly easy though. Seen some copper lights. The 2 I have handled just would not scratch or mark up. Makes no sense as copper is actually pretty soft.

    Most scratch and damage resistant lights I have are my 3 Gen3 Armytek lights. They are aircraft grade aluminum but have the thickest toughest anodization I have ever seen on any light ever.

    So the answer is basically a light made of actual "aircraft grade aluminum" with the most properly applied HAIII coating. I have noticed thickness differences in the anodization between some of my lights. Armytek is the thickest by far its very grippy. Anytime I have dropped one or used it roughly to where a mark appears the mark rubs off quick and easily. Jetbeam-the aluminum on my 3 Jetbeams must be an eighth of an inch thick. The anodization on all 3 is perfectly applied and thicker than average. I have yet to leave any kind of scratch or mark on any of them that can be seen with the naked eye.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Quote Originally Posted by CelticCross74 View Post
    Despite its amazing strength titanium is actually pretty soft. Stainless steel? I do not believe I have ever seen a stainless steel light. I have plenty of knives with stainless steel blades of many different high end very expensive types. Despite being very hard they still scratch and left out in the weather will rust. There is no truly 100% stainless steel.

    Aluminum. There are more types and grades of aluminum than I can count. Most modern lights are of "aircraft grade aluminum" which is supposed to be light very strong and damage resistant. Still will scratch fairly easy though. Seen some copper lights. The 2 I have handled just would not scratch or mark up. Makes no sense as copper is actually pretty soft.

    Most scratch and damage resistant lights I have are my 3 Gen3 Armytek lights. They are aircraft grade aluminum but have the thickest toughest anodization I have ever seen on any light ever.

    So the answer is basically a light made of actual "aircraft grade aluminum" with the most properly applied HAIII coating. I have noticed thickness differences in the anodization between some of my lights. Armytek is the thickest by far its very grippy. Anytime I have dropped one or used it roughly to where a mark appears the mark rubs off quick and easily. Jetbeam-the aluminum on my 3 Jetbeams must be an eighth of an inch thick. The anodization on all 3 is perfectly applied and thicker than average. I have yet to leave any kind of scratch or mark on any of them that can be seen with the naked eye.
    Hey Check your inbox, maybe it's full. P. S. Sorry for kidnapping tread.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic campingnut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Mohs hardness scale is a measure of scratch resistance...tungsten carbide has a rating of 9, but would be very heavy.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    TiCN coat is as good as it gets; there used to be TiCN coated Mag bodies sold here years ago, lovely deep gunmetal gray, and they'll stay that way forever..

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    Flashaholic* akhyar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Stainless steel light is heavy. Me and Gunga have the Kronos SS light from BLF and for me, it's just too heavy for everyday use.
    It sure looks nice though.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Str8stroke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Celtic: I have several SS lights. They are indeed heavy suckers, along with Cu.

    OP: I assume you are referencing flashlights? Keep in mind, different metals have different heat handling characteristics too.
    I like Ti because of the feel and how easily you can scratch it. A quick hit with a green pot scrubber can make all the scratches even. Plus when bead blasted it looks just so awesome and feels great too. Once the snail trails get to be too much, blast it again! lol

    Anyways, welcome to the forum! Can you explain your OP a little more? Like why you are asking? I am curious.
    Interested in Saltytri lights. Pm me!


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    Quote Originally Posted by campingnut View Post
    Mohs hardness scale is a measure of scratch resistance...tungsten carbide has a rating of 9, but would be very heavy.
    Yes, tungsten is very hard, and it's also very brittle. Drop it and you'll be crying the blues as it will chip.

    Any of the stainless steels that contain high contents of chromium and nickel are highly resistant to corrosion.
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  12. #12
    Enlightened PROTOOLNUT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Scratch Resistance: Best Metal?

    I honestly think it really depends on the grade of aluminum. I've bought cheap 10 dollar lights that when dropped, the aluminum chipped and scratched. I am sure a 60 dollar light probably handles a fall better. Steel will of course be of the strongest metal, we build ships with steel because its strong, but its also a heavy metal. Imagine a 2 18650 battery based light made of steel, wow, so need a belt pouch for that lol. Titanium is a strong metal, but of course is the most expensive. Honestly, if you dropped a titanium light, I think your biggest concern is really cracking the glass lens.
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