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Thread: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

  1. #61
    Flashaholic De-Lux's Avatar
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    Default Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigburly912 View Post
    Then you discover malkoff........
    I wasn't going to go there but since you did, I sold all my HDS lights years ago and replaced them with malkoffs.

  2. #62

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Seems like there isn't actually a whole lot of overlap between malkoff and HDS. For me at least malkoff doesn't make anything that would work for a daily carry, which is exactly where an HDS excels.
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  3. #63
    Flashaholic De-Lux's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Random Dan View Post
    Seems like there isn't actually a whole lot of overlap between malkoff and HDS. For me at least malkoff doesn't make anything that would work for a daily carry, which is exactly where an HDS excels.
    Seriously? What about the Malkoff MDC line? I have the MDC AA, the MDC 1xcr123 and a 2xcr123 MDC body with VME head. All three are excellent option for EDC. All three tailstand. All three have a robust deep carry pocket clip and the single cr123 MDC is smaller than the HDS. Did I mention that the MDC is a fraction of the price and I never had to send back a Malkoff for repair.
    Last edited by De-Lux; 04-05-2020 at 03:47 AM.

  4. #64

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I must say that Malkoffs are in my edc and it is up there with HDS, I use them daily and they are my favorite as well. Malkoff would be my second, if not another first recommendation. I carry both, they complete each other. Malkoff has many options.

  5. #65

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    CPF member indigon has expressed an opinion: "Do yourself a favor, pick up an HDS Rotary and EDC it for a week.. -You can thank me later."

  6. #66
    Flashaholic* lion504's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by De-Lux View Post
    Seriously? What about the Malkoff MDC line?
    HDS and MDC are similar in 123 size, body mix-n-match, clip availability, tail-standing, and max output.
    Dissimilar in electronics, body machining to accommodate these electronics, and price. HDS is fully programmable and, from off, goes directly to mode you want. Via e-switch and adv electronics in head and tail. The fwd-cycle through modes is completely avoided. Strobe, momentary, locator flash, auto-turn-off, etc? All possible, but only if you want Ďem, with the HDS. And HDS can switch hit between primary and li-ion cells (arguable that MDC line can do this too). I think thatís the reason for the price difference. HDS is more expensive because itís more complex which presents more features to the buyer. MDC is simpler. Both are good products, IMHO.
    Last edited by lion504; 04-05-2020 at 07:04 AM.
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  7. #67
    Flashaholic* Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Most people who love HDS also own and celebrate Malkoff devices. This is CPF. Just buy from both brands.

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  8. #68
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Absolutely agree with that statement. There are many reasons why I favor Malkoffís over HDS nowadays but the BIG thing is Simple dependability. HDS are good lights but they have SOOOO Many bells and whistles that can and have gone wrong with mine.and if itís got anything to do with ďthe elfĒ your screwed. Malkoffs have a readily fixable switch a battery tube and a tough as nails LED. Even the hi/lo which is designed to work even if it fails. Make no mistake they are both great lights itís just one is more dependable then the other. IMO. Hell, even the maker of HDS holsters has Song there praise. HDS lights are what got me into this hobby in the first place. But now they have become my backup as opposed to my primary light source. And yes bang for the buck is also a big part of it. Right now I can get a MD2 with hi/lo ring 2-M61ís. One high one low and extra head for it and 4-18650ís for the price of one HDS.or a standard MD2 with a Dropin and a MDC AA and be done with it.🤔
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  9. #69

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by De-Lux View Post
    Seriously? What about the Malkoff MDC line? I have the MDC AA, the MDC 1xcr123 and a 2xcr123 MDC body with VME head. All three are excellent option for EDC. All three tailstand. All three have a robust deep carry pocket clip and the single cr123 MDC is smaller than the HDS. Did I mention that the MDC is a fraction of the price and I never had to send back a Malkoff for repair.
    I do own an MDC and I enjoy using it, but not as a daily carry. It's a fine light, but the lack of a good low mode, funky mode memory that doesn't always work, lack of over discharge protection kill it for me as a daily. I think I've just been spoiled HDS.

    I still think the ideal situation is having an HDS rotary as a primary light for its plethora of features, a malkoff md2 as a backup for its dead simple reliability, an H17F pflexpro for high output and flexible modes, maybe a torchlab boss just for fun, and an ... ok now I'm getting carried away.
    Last edited by Random Dan; 04-05-2020 at 09:02 AM.
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  10. #70
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Yes no reverse protection is an issue there. Very good point. But the mode memory is probably working ok itís just that it works with time on and if you switch levels to quick or for not right amount of time it seems to skip modes. I had this same problem when I first started using mine. But the low imo is fine. You are right itís not as low as HDS can go down to however.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  11. #71

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    Yes no reverse protection is an issue there. Very good point. But the mode memory is probably working ok itís just that it works with time on and if you switch levels to quick or for not right amount of time it seems to skip modes. I had this same problem when I first started using mine. But the low imo is fine. You are right itís not as low as HDS can go down to however.
    I believe Random Dan meant that MDC low mode is too low. Some people would prefer it to be 10 lumen for edc. instead of sublumen that works best for night walks to bathroom.
    Last edited by Seattle Sparky; 04-05-2020 at 11:11 AM.

  12. #72

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    itís just one is more dependable then the other. IMO. Hell, even the maker of HDS holsters has Song there praise.
    As throwers. Yes. I have two. I also never said they were more dependable than an HDS. One's a rifle the other a handgun.
    Gene makes great lights but are VERY different lights from HDS. I don't even see them as being in competition with each other. Same with Hanko... I don't see them as competition for HDS. They are very different with a different purpose in mind, different company philosophy, and different ways of executing the design. Elzetta as well. Great tactical lights. Again, different end use. Different philosophy. Great lights.

    I have M1A SOCOM which has a different purpose than my G17 which has a different purpose than my S&W 617. All rock solid. None better than another... but the purpose for each is quite different. Only the end user can decide if it fulfills their "purpose".
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  13. #73
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Oh I never said or would presume that you said anything about dependable between the two.I stated that it was my opinion.And on that note I think I have said enough the OP has a starting point and lots of information on the subject. To end yes they are both great lights.
    If i had one day left to live i would want to be at my workplace.Because every day is like a frickin eternity.

  14. #74
    Flashaholic glimmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    The rotary function of an HDS is a game changer for me. The ability to simply & easily dial in any level of light needed is fantastic. Even better is being able to adjust the output level before even turning the light on.

    I'll admit, the first time I saw the price tag, I couldn't imagine ever spending that much on a light. Now I have two. There's just nothing else like it.

    Reliability has been flawless for me. I have a warm (3K) HDS that I use in my home theater. It gets used 5-10 times a day, and has for a long time. Works as good now as when I bought it.

  15. #75
    Flashaholic* wacbzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by RCS1300 View Post
    Hold, program, and use a HDS light. After a short period of time all of your other daily EDC lights will be stuffed in the back of a drawer never to be seen again.
    Have done exactly that now 12 times.

    The only two EDC lights currently being unused and stuffed in the back of my dresser drawer in their original packaging are my HDS lights.

  16. #76

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by glimmer View Post
    The rotary function of an HDS is a game changer for me. The ability to simply & easily dial in any level of light needed is fantastic. Even better is being able to adjust the output level before even turning the light on.
    I agree a Rotary function is a total game changer.
    I dont need all the clicky functions HDS offers, so I went with a simpler design, that is Rotary only, no multiclick features.

    This Sunwayman Rotary has smooth stepless ramping, plus a tailswitch that also allows me to easily dial any level, before and or after I turn it on.


    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post
    ... unused... HDS lights.
    Everyone has different use and feature priorities.
    The only way to really know if a light is for you, is to try one.
    Now you know.

    curious why you choose not to use your HDS,
    and what do you use instead?

    For someone looking to form a first hand opinion, there are lots of HDS being resold in the classifieds. The deal of the day is this SS40 High CRI Rotary (not affiliated)

    that seller originally asked about HDS in this thread

    Shortly after, he put the HDS lights he bought, up for sale. One of them, with the XP-G3 LED, sold recently, after he dropped the price by $75 (23% discount) below retail.

    He did not have the option to return the light to HDS for refund, because that LED is considered a customized configuration. Custom configuration HDS lights are non returnable.

    Moral of the story:
    If you want to buy and try an HDS light,
    buying used can save you some cash.

    I also think it is great when people share, passaround, lend, an HDS to others that express interest.
    Last edited by jon_slider; 04-05-2020 at 06:01 PM.

  17. #77

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I only have HDS clickies. I will get a rotary one of these days. The UI of the clicky is really good. Something I really like about the HDS is that no matter what mode it is in, you can go straight to high. I like the factory preset a lot. I have reprogrammed it, but went back to factory settings. I don't like to have to cycle through a moonlight mode all the time on other brands. The rotary would obviously eliminate that, but with my Executive I turn it on while shielding it and then click 3 times to moonlight for bathroom trip, etc. If outside with dog and light on first mode and I need more, just click twice for more power and at any time hold button for max. My HDS has been flawless. Basic info, but meant for the original post.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I agree a Rotary function is a total game changer.
    I dont need all the clicky functions HDS offers, so I went with a simpler design, that is Rotary only, no multiclick features.
    That is true the HDS Rotary has tons of functionality. But after the light is configured than I only use the stuff that I really would like to have. I have i.e. pseudo momentary, locator beam enabled, and depending on the light the lockout also.

    There are not a lot lights in the market having all this possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    This Sunwayman Rotary has smooth stepless ramping, plus a tailswitch that also allows me to easily dial any level, before and or after I turn it on.
    Yes the SWM V10R/V11R are great lights. The "old" V10R with XP-G LED were great. They had ~200 lumens more or less and were not getting really hot. Later models with XM-L were at ~500 lumens and after 20s (or less) the body of the light was that hot that is was not possible anymore holding the light.
    But the V10R/V11R are great lights. I prefer the early versions of the V10R because it does not heat up that extremely. Unfortunately there are no new models anymore from SWM with selectorring. At all SWM is not making any new lights at all. Seems they are not really in business anymore...
    The only available current selectorring light is the JB RRT-01. But this light is more a dragster. ~900lumens (even if it is only for a short time), the light gets than extremely hot. It is unfortunately than no option to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I also think it is great when people share, passaround, lend, an HDS to others that express interest.
    Some years ago Hogo did a passaround with a Rotary for the US folks. Maybe if there is interest it makes sense to ask for this in the HDS section.

    The good thing for me is I do not need extremly high output lights. Most of my lights are below 1000 lumens. I do not only one of this high lumnes light that are offered by i.e. Nitecore, Acebeam, .... it is cool to see 10000 or 30000 lumen, but there is for ME no usecase.
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarriorOfLight View Post
    The good thing for me is I do not need extremly high output lights. Most of my lights are below 1000 lumens. I do not only one of this high lumnes light that are offered by i.e. Nitecore, Acebeam, .... it is cool to see 10000 or 30000 lumen, but there is for ME no usecase.
    I agree that 10000+ lumen lights are mainly a toy. I have one, and I don't think I've used it in almost a year. Too big, and far brighter than needed.

    I do, however, often use 1000 lumens. Very useful outdoors, when the normal 20-100 lumen levels I use are just not bright enough. It makes a huge difference, as long as the light is not too floody (which washes out for foreground and makes it difficult to see). I find the Zebralight SC600w HI is the perfect EDC outdoor light. The SC64w HI is a better all-'round light, though, for indoors and out. The SC600w Plus beam is too floody for general-purpose outdoor use, IMO.

    Anyway, if beam spots are kept under an angle of 12 degrees, 1000 lumens or more can be very useful. I wouldn't want to be limited to 200 outdoors. 10000+ lumens is fun, but quite impractical, especially since they are usually floody beams.

  20. #80

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    > I have i.e. pseudo momentary, locator beam enabled, and depending on the light the lockout also.

    good specific feature options
    the Sunwayman also has momentary, and does not need lockout because the tailswitch is not electronic, but physical lockout is also possible. No locator beam, but tritium or GID are an option. I like glow better than beacon flash, personally.

    > The only available current selectorring light is the JB RRT-01. But this light is more a dragster. ~900lumens (even if it is only for a short time), the light gets than extremely hot

    It is not required that the RRT-01 be used at maximum, it works great at all the lower levels too. That UI has no tailswitch at all, even simpler than Sunwayman and HDS. Want maximum, turn the dial. Want less, turn the dial. KISS

  21. #81

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Hi Guy's,

    Had to visit a dear friend and knifebuddy yesterday, he has also some flashlights.
    He told me he had a HDS rotary NLT 325 for sale.
    So now iam the proud owner and user of a HDS flashlight with a clip, and iam very happy with it.
    I would like to thank you all for the usefull contribution on this topic.
    In the near future I will be doing som tweaking on this light, first on the list is a Saphire glas in the bezel.
    I will let you know how that went.......

    greetz,

    Werner
    Last edited by Der Werner; 04-06-2020 at 01:23 PM.

  22. #82

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Congratulations, Werner!

  23. #83

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I took me a minute to figure out what Saffier glas meant. My German is very bad Two of my HDS came with sapphire lens, but it is impossible to tell a difference with regular use. Anyhow, congrats on your HDS, enjoy using it!

  24. #84

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Der Werner View Post
    HDS rotary LE NLT 325
    congratulations!

    fwiw, an LE model is NOT a Rotary, it is a Clicky, like Dicaeopolis describes above.
    You can still program the four different brightness levels to be as in the Executive EDC, like Dicaeopolis has, if you want. afaik the LE is the same internally, just different preference settings...

    have fun, its a very sophisticated programmable UI

    Quote Originally Posted by eala View Post
    HDS Clicky:


    share your thoughts about the light, and the LED
    Last edited by jon_slider; 04-06-2020 at 04:00 PM.

  25. #85

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by troutpool View Post
    You can easily change the tint with one of the many Lee filters.
    troutpool, I'm too used to my Surefires, and did not know that the bezel of my HDS would unscrew that easily. Gel filter installed, new tint is much better. Thanks!

  26. #86
    Flashaholic* lion504's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Der Werner View Post
    So now iam the proud owner and user of a HDS flashlight with a clip, and iam very happy with it.
    Congrats! Gotta love a happy ending...
    ďExpertsĒ are wrong about half the time. [My_Lights]

  27. #87
    *Flashaholic* carrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post
    Hmmm...This thread - especially the last couple of posts - reminds me of those folks that post their EDC gear...and how a lot of the posts in many forums are photos of costlier items that are usually in perfect condition. Strider knives, Starlingear beads, Kifaru backpacks, and designer hankyís are almost always pictured alongside mint HDS lights.
    Itís too bad, because those are exactly the things that get better with age and patina.

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  28. #88

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by lion504 View Post
    Congrats! Gotta love a happy ending...
    I have been trying to send a pm, it says your inbox is full

  29. #89

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Sparky View Post
    I believe Random Dan meant that MDC low mode is too low. Some people would prefer it to be 10 lumen for edc. instead of sublumen that works best for night walks to bathroom.
    I too found the low low mode on the Malkoff MDC HA AA to be too low. I sat down and thought about it and the real reason it bugs me so (other than the battery life savings a mid mode would offer) is that during the day, when I need to look under a dash or something, the only mode that works in the daytime is high and it starts in low so I click like crazy every time I use it. I did just pick up an MDC HA 2AA and itís perfect! The modes are much more useful!! I still find myself looking at a HDS 2AA Clicky model. Does anyone have any experience with the 2AA models? How is the output and runtime compared to the Cr123/Lithium models?

  30. #90
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    It's the same model head, just a different tube. Also the output on CR123, 16340 and AAs is the same. Runtime will depend on cell capacity.
    P
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