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Thread: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

  1. #1

    Default Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Hi There,

    I am looking to buy a HDS flashlight.
    What are the opinions/reviews on these sort of expensive flashlights here?
    Are they worth the money?

    waiting to hear from you.

    greetz,

    Werner

  2. #2

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    HDS has subforum , check it out, also use the search button. In few words, HDS considered to be one of of the most reliable and toughest flashlights, originally designed for cave explorations. If I had to keep one flashlight, it would be hds.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* lion504's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    +1. The HDS sub-forum is in Custom Flashlight Builders and Modders. My experience (around 8 lights) is that HDS has top shelf build quality and regularly updates their emitters among the best available. And you can mix and match the battery tubes to meet your needs.
    Last edited by lion504; 04-03-2020 at 11:14 AM.
    “Experts” are wrong about half the time. [My_Lights]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I wanted to love them but they just weren’t bright enough or throwy to suit my needs at the time. I owned SO many of them and ended up selling/trading all of them off. That being said they are absolutely amazing at what they do and not many flashlights can hold up to the abuse I put mine through. I will probably own another one at some point. Buy it and if you don’t like it it will quickly sell at almost your purchase price.
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* F250XLT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I love their original offerings, they are what got me hooked on flashlights. I've not looked into the newer ones, the design/aesthetics just never grabbed me the way the old ones did.
    "I am not a Collector" - Tim

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

    HDS are some of the finest illumination tools on earth. Not toys that get too hot to hold in 20 seconds. Highly recommend them.
    In no order: HDS/Malkoff/OVEREADY/McGizmo/Sky Lumen -PSM

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Great flashlights if you want high reliability. Not so much if you want output or value.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I don’t recall a situation when I said, dang wish this HDS light had more than 200 lumens. For daily tasks, most of the time it is used in low or medium setting. It has beautiful balance between spot and flood, perfect for close and medium range. When I need to see far where HDS can’t reach, I use one of the Malkoffs extra throw heads, that work awesome for that purpose but unusable at close range due to the concentration of the beam. HDS has arguably the most robust build, programmable to your needs, advanced and very efficient electronics, without using PWM, conservative output that translates to long battery life, It will not unexpectedly leave you stranded in darkness.
    On top of that you have custom choices of emitters, lens, interface and battery tubes.
    Now value, last time I checked Ti rotary sold for $400 more than the original sale price.
    Last edited by Seattle Sparky; 04-03-2020 at 12:57 PM.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic Stoneking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Absolutely amazing lights, I currently have five of them and one on order.
    The build quality and design, in my opinion, is the best I’ve ever owned.
    4500k XPL RD BOSS • 2700k HDS Rotary • Ra-85-Tr • UV 365nm HDS Rotary • 3900k HDS • SW45 HDS (Bare Al) Rotary • FreLux Synergy2 •

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    They do actually use PWM but the elves are so magical it’s undetectable. If you let the magic elf smoke out of the light it’s impossible to get back in-hogo. Paraphrased of course from 2015 haha. They are just amazingly engineered flashlights.

    And regarding the 200 Lumen comment, that’s why we all have different uses. When I’m hunting I want to carry one light. I wanted the HDS to be it but it wasn’t. For daily tasks and normal nightly tasks it would be hard to beat. I was merely talking about my own applications.
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

  11. #11
    Flashaholic blub's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    They are critical mission lights, I use my 85tr red mode to go to the bathroom so I don't wake up my wife.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic De-Lux's Avatar
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    Default

    I've owned several over the years. Also had a few that I had to send back so not sure I can say too much about their impeccable reliability. I will say Henry is awesome and always made things right. He definitely stands behind his product. Ultimately, I stopped buying HDS lights due to the almost 3 fold price increase. In the beginning you could pick up an HDS light for $99.00. There is an old saying " an item is only worth what people are willing to pay for it" well obviously there are many paying the asking price so good for HDS.
    Last edited by De-Lux; 04-03-2020 at 06:17 PM.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Honestly HDS has changed over the years but if you use them for what there designed for. There great. They are not throwers. They are not high lumen they are not particular good for search and rescue. They are designed for EDC. And for that they work pretty good.
    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. #14
    Flashaholic* RCS1300's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    HDS flashlights are general purpose everyday flashlights that are well built and come with a lifetime guarantee. They have a proprietary highly functional programmable light engine with many features and are available with several different LED's. They can use primary and rechargeable batteries. The person that makes them is highly driven to make the best light possible.

    They are not the brightest flashlights, the longest throwing flashlights, or the least expensive.

    When you buy one, use it, you will buy at least one more or many more. They have a very high resale value and will sell within days if not hours of listing. I presently have four but have owned 10 since the year 2012.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Have a Rotary 200, had a Clicky 170. They're cool little lights with tons of features and super techy but they're pretty pricey (imo) and while they seem to have a reputation for being bomb proof there are plenty that found them glitchy with reliability issues. So while I like mine it wouldn't be one I'd recommend, there are less expensive and more practical options if you want a good light. If you want the bells and whistles and tech then it's a pretty cool light.

    Btw, years back they were had new for $99.... what a buy in hindsight.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Yes they are worth the money.
    Rotary is your friend.
    John 3:16

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* LedTed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I tried two. Had trouble with one. Gave the other away. I have since found a much more: affordable, useful, and versatile replacement.
    Enjoy the light show - LedTed

  18. #18

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I have a couple new HDS lights, a rotary and a clicky. They are dependable and built to industrial-usage standards. They do not seem like a great value, until you hold one in your hand and use it regularly. The latest 320 lm versions address some of the output concerns. IMO, the HDS lights are wonderful lights a worth the price. They're not a screaming value like an Emisar D4V2, but I can't imagine being without either of these flashlights.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Great lights. Some people say they aren't bright enough, etc., but it seems pretty bright for a single CR123 light. I don't even use mine on high very often. If I needed more light, I would probably grab an 18650 size light. I like to say there is no free lunch. If you push a battery too hard, it won't last long, it will be drained. Great beam and combination of throw and spill. Solid build and feels great in hand.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    The lights are amazing, worth every penny, and only outdone by the customer service (Hogo). Check out his custom sheaths also, real works of art.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Would have been great if people could be more specific of what exact problem they encountered with HDS, some of that could be subjective. I have passed through my hands close to 15, and never had any reliability issues.
    HDS is not ideal for every single scenario, but for 80% of my daily routine it is, outside of construction work, where I need to use a flood headlamp at 600 lumen mode for close up work, going through two 18650 a day. But for getting out of a car, walking a trash can, getting mail, going to a bathroom, movie theater, ,searching inside a car, under a sofa, shinning up your nose...that sorta thing, it works magically and effortlessly. Rotary even more so. Clicky model is also super simple and intuitive once your grasp it , theoretically it is more robust without moving tail with better pocket clip options. For the clicky, i like the stock level presets for general needs..Frankly up to today I am only interested in high cri white leds offerings from HDS, but that may change, who knows.
    Here is a beamshot of a 200 lumen high cri rotary. Fence is at 13m, the pine tree behind is at 44m. Even in this non traditional event of using an edc light, it still shows that 200 lumen in a compact light is still sufficient. On a plus side too, the battery is not going to die on you in 15 minutes, but will provide amount of needed light for as long possible,and in case of emergency, like getting out of a cave without having spare batteries, this can be life saving.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by Seattle Sparky; 04-04-2020 at 12:01 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Here is another example of 200 lumen hcri hds, 25 or so meters to the fence.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

  23. #23

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    I love my HDS lights. I debating getting one for over a year. I have not regretted purchasing it. I always have always had one on me or within easy reach.

    Whether or not they are worth it is very subjective.
    - If you want an edc and general use light that you can trust to work and have it set to work the way you want it, then it is great.
    - If you want a high lumen light, then HDS is not your light.
    - If you want a thrower, then HDS is not your light.
    - If you want a really small lightweight light, the HDS is not your light.

    As far as issues, I have not had mine as long as some, but I have put mine through some abuse (drops, wet to include saltwater, extreme temps) without ever having a failure. I do have a light that has a gritty tail, which some people complain about, but it still works as it is suppose to.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Goodmorning Guy's,

    Thanks so much for the reply's on this topic.
    Today i am gonna do some reading on the other HDS topics here.
    The light Iam looking for to buy will be the EDC Custom, 325 Lumens, NLT rotary LE.

    What's important for me is the build quality in this light, not the highest throw in Lumens.
    It has to be a daily user, and there must be a clip to secure it in your pocket.
    But looking at these things also the accessories are quit expensive, but a must have for me in this case.

    thanks sofar,

    greetz,

    Werner

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Modernflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    HDS ended my search for the perfect edc flashlight. I keep other lights in case I need more power, but I rarely need them. My most commonly used setting is 8 lumens.

    Due to their price and their polarizing fame, I think the occasional glitches get lots of press, possibly more so than other brands. Anything made my human hands can fail, but you're also buying a top end warranty with your flashlight. Many people baby these lights, but that's a bit like taking it easy on an anvil.
    “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”
    J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

  26. #26

    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    HDS light issues are like airplane crashes MF. Don't happen often but big news when it does.

    I do not own one simply because of price point. I don't own a Mercedes for the same reason, but will brag about both anytime.

    This morning I was remembering my first experience with a 60+ lumen 6P incan. As a joke a police man shined his in my eyes one day from about 6 feet away on a sunny day. It had me seeing spots for hours. What about those measley 60 lumens could do that? Then it dawned on me. A cop light has nat always been designed to see half a zip code. Before bright LED's a cop light, be it Maglite, Streamlight or SureFire was built to shock retinas. And they did just that. A 2c Maglite could cause the person on the other end to see spots. That was what, 16,20 lumens? Henrys are 10x that and do exactly that with rock solid reliability.
    If you need to see a 60 acre (20-ish hectaire) field perhaps another light will be better. But for use as a cop light or generally lighting up a shed, a path in the woods or for walking Fido around after dark, the HDS is hard to beat.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 04-04-2020 at 06:09 AM.
    John 3:16

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

    Werner -

    This is a great summation of an HDS flashlight:

    Quote Originally Posted by thermal guy View Post
    They are designed for EDC. And for that they work...good.
    What you have to be honest with yourself about is the answer to the question as to whether you want to pay ~$300 for an EDC flashlight or not.

    Everything else is just smoke.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by wacbzz View Post
    What you have to be honest with yourself about is the answer to the question as to whether you want to pay ~$300 for an EDC flashlight or not.
    That's really the sticking point. At $99, it's good value. $300? You have to really want one at that price.

    I looked into buying one a couple of years ago. Just the shipping cost (to Canada) was almost as much as what a Zebralight costs. I figured if shipping was that overpriced, I couldn't justify the light was reasonably priced either. I admit I'm a Zebralight fan-boy, though. The $79-$99 price point seems to be the sweet-spot IMO for a modestly expensive EDC light. Though, if you don't need the bells & whistles, I find Convoys are hard to beat for value.

    Obviously, HDS is going after the premium market. Low volume but high margins, like designer clothes. Maybe he's also going after government contracts? Just a wild guess, but cost is usually not an issue there. Surefire might have that market wrapped up, though.

    Anyway, I'm sure they're great lights. But, you've got to want one of them more than several other good lights.

    As for the lifetime warranty.... Over time, I've learned that really means lifetime of the company, not lifetime of the user.

  29. #29
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    Default Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Disregard
    Last edited by bigburly912; 04-04-2020 at 09:37 AM. Reason: App problem
    Big butnotsomuch-burly

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on HDS flashlights.

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    .

    As for the lifetime warranty.... Over time, I've learned that really means lifetime of the company, not lifetime of the user.
    Or product lifetime. I once tried to claim a lifetime warranty on a goretex item that was breaking down/peeling and was told the 'expected lifetime' of the product was 5-7 years. My item was 10+ years so it exceeded its lifetime.

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