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Thread: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

  1. #1

    Default Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    This question seems to come up frequently so I thought it might be helpful to compile a few testimonials into one thread that way in the future we can just link people here.

    My hope is that this will be a convenient resource for people to read through, so please try to limit back and forth discussion. There are plenty of other threads where debates can be had should you so desire, but let's keep this one fairly tidy.

    Please take some time and share your thoughts!
    Hello darkness my old friend,
    I've come to talk with you again...
    I liked neutral tints before they were cool.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Yesterday I went for a nice casual stroll on a local bike trail, the last 5 or so miles of which was in darkness. It reminded me just how excellent my HDS is as a walking light and how much I enjoy its unique features.

    When pointed ahead the hotspot was almost the full width of the trail, with the spill lighting up the woods on either sides. An excellent balanced beam. The path goes through varying levels of light pollution but I could gradually increase and decrease the brightness using the rotary control so that I always had the right amount of light without any jarring transitions. When I heard something moving off in the brush it was easy to hold down the switch for momentary max to peer off and investigate, then release to go back to my original output. Usually it was just a couple deer but I did spot one beaver. If I saw someone else ahead I could quickly turn the brightness down a bit to not be obnoxious as we passed. I also really appreciated how the high CRI emitter made all of the spring colors pop. When I stopped to look at some flowers I think I was half admiring their natural beauty and half admiring how well their colors were represented under the 4000K Nichia. As I was nearing home the brightness dropped a level, giving me a friendly reminder that my battery was running low. I had a spare cell in my pocket but I was close enough that I opted to simply turn the light down a couple levels and keep walking.

    Yes, none of these features are truly necessary and I would have been totally fine with any of a number of other lights, many of which are less expensive than the HDS, but none would have put a smile on my face in the same way.
    Hello darkness my old friend,
    I've come to talk with you again...
    I liked neutral tints before they were cool.

  3. #3
    peter yetman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    When I press the button on one end of my HDS, light comes out of the other end - every time, no matter what. I know this is going to happen and I depend upon it.
    I know there's other lights out there that do the same thing, but when I drop my HDS, I just pick it up and put it back into my pocket without checking if it works, as I know it works.
    That's why you should buy one.
    P
    "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Only one way to find out :P

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* tech25's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    The UI is my favorite. At the minimum, press the tailswitch and turn the rotary dial for the amount of light needed for the task.
    A bit more advanced, you have 3 other presets available and at the levels you program.

    The beam as mentioned above is a great mix of spot and spill. Iím a big fan of big hotspots (like a triple with frosted optics) but for my everyday use, this became my favorite. It might be because of the reflector but this light holds its own or even better with regards to useful brightness, than many of my other lights. Yes, some might be brighter for 30 seconds but again this is better for everyday use.

    Size wise, this is bigger than many other single CR123 lights but I find this to be the perfect size for me to hold. Any smaller and I tend to use them for spare battery holders.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    When I press the button on one end of my HDS, light comes out of the other end - every time, no matter what. I know this is going to happen and I depend upon it.
    I know there's other lights out there that do the same thing, but when I drop my HDS, I just pick it up and put it back into my pocket without checking if it works, as I know it works.
    That's why you should buy one.
    P

    ABSOLUTELY THIS!! HDS is first and foremost a tool. Sure does put you in a bind if you're out in the middle of wilderness or on the side of a highway at night with a flat and you're fiddling around with your light trying to make it work.
    Who needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you have friends on CPF?
    My flashlight videos: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9TIYcGeuBXa5m0

  7. #7

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?















    Thor's Hammer Custom Leather
    HDS Systems Henry's Mini-Me
    I play with dead things

  8. #8

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by peter yetman View Post
    When I press the button on one end of my HDS, light comes out of the other end - every time, no matter what. I know this is going to happen and I depend upon it.
    I know there's other lights out there that do the same thing, but when I drop my HDS, I just pick it up and put it back into my pocket without checking if it works, as I know it works.
    That's why you should buy one.
    P
    I absolutely love the UI and think it is the best out there for me. I also like the customization options that allow me to set my preferences. But without the reliability mentioned above it isnít worth that much.

    I never set out to deliberately torture test a light, but sometimes it just happens. My edc HDS has endure bouncing on concrete after about a 10ft fall, getting soaked by saltwater, buying used and falling in snow in below freezing temperatures, etc. It has some cosmetic damage but still works great.

    Some will say it isnít worth it when you can buy ďXĒ number of another less reliable light for the same price, so if the light falls you just get a new one. That is fine if you arenít relying on the light at that exact minute or can carry multiple, but frequently you need a light when you need it and may not have the option to be carrying 2-3 ok lights instead of one reliable light.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Why... because you want to burn through that stimulus money before the wife does. Kidding. If you like the tech and want a cool little light and your ok with the price why not.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Slumber Pass's Avatar
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    Default Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    From user Burntrubber87 on the "Show your beat up light" thread. Post 404 and 407






    "I bought it used about 3 years ago. been in my pocket since and i'm a mechanic. I've been a transmission installer at a local independent repair shop for about two, the light has been through everyday of work with me. being in the northeast..the rust and dirt, grime etc on some vehicles is beyond your worst nightmare..its nice having something that works..every time you push the button..broke the enormous clip it had, and two novatac clips..lives in my tool cart most days.."

    -Burntrubber87
    Last edited by Slumber Pass; 05-14-2020 at 08:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* lion504's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    (1) UI/configurability. Ability to move from a mode to any other mode directly, rather than cycling through all modes.

    (2] Emitter choices and beam quality. No angry blue here. Emitter chosen carefully and company provides the specs on what youíre buying.

    (3) Reliability, as others have pointed out.
    ďExpertsĒ are wrong about half the time. [My_Lights]

  12. #12
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    All of the above are true and accurate descriptions.

    However, it would be nice to have a programmable option for a, say 675L burst. I keep wishing for a bit more light from time to time, but it may be because I use mine outdoors primarily.

  13. #13
    ven's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Because if you sit it on a stone, it looks good! Its possibly tougher than the stone to




    Form , size, feel in hand is possibly my fav. Its one of those lights i struggle to put down. Always fondling and rotating the tail cap. The ability to dial up and down on the fly never grows old. As P said, it just works
    Last edited by ven; 05-15-2020 at 10:46 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    If you're looking under the bed for monsters, lighting up the closet, way to the bathroom at O-Dark-30, you don't need a HDS flashlight. Any old torch will do. If your life depends on it.. you might want to seriously consider a HDS flashlight. You get one chance to choose right.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogokansatsukan View Post


    Iíve never seen this photo so large, I donít see these damages on HDS website, there it looks like a slightly dirty lamp. Now the effect is completely different.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* P_A_S_1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by GAReed View Post
    If you're looking under the bed for monsters, lighting up the closet, way to the bathroom at O-Dark-30, you don't need a HDS flashlight. Any old torch will do. If your life depends on it.. you might want to seriously consider a HDS flashlight. You get one chance to choose right.
    Any light can fail, no guarantees. My HDS failed me under a very serious circumstance...it can happen.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    True True. Carry two or more and extra batteries.. your choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by P_A_S_1 View Post
    Any light can fail, no guarantees. My HDS failed me under a very serious circumstance...it can happen.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?


    10+ years pocket carry surefire exec, 10 years Jetbeam rotary in pocket, wanted new lights, wanted rugged.

    tried the following
    Klarus st30 doa summer 17

    zebra sc32 battery indicator broken And bad cust service,
    Armytek Barracuda doa nov 17

    HDS Jan 2019. Now I own 6, including the best uv for epoxy and night critters, and A great Variety of emitters for day or night.


    Current 24/7 (2019) primary- HDS Rotary 325 long Cree XP-G3 5000K; secondary - HDS Rotary High Noon Nichia 219c; HDS Rotary 219b 3500k 9080; HDS Brass; HDS TI; HDS UV; Past: JETBeam Raptor; Other: Malkoff Converted Surefire 6p 6z and Fenix, Olight, JETBeam, Surefire, Thrunite, www.AestheticPhotos.com

  19. #19
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Sounds like a HDS would be a cool light. Maybe I will buy one someday...
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Lou Minescence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    All the Kool kids have an HDS and are on CPF is the main reason.

    The interface is as easy or complex to use as you want. The beam is great for personal space up to 100 yards. I love the press and hold burst mode. Rotary is my favorite.
    Kata Ton Δaimona Eaytoy

  21. #21

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    What a great thread. I debated over jumping in, but why not? I've had a dozen or so Ra/HDS - maybe more - over the past 11 years. Did a review for The Firearm Blog (over here) almost 6 years ago. That was an XPG Tactical Rotary, Sapphire lens, 250 lumen. Then I drifted. Now, it was cool stuff I drifted to....McGizmos, Cool Fall, in more recent years Okluma, and others. And I still love all those lights and enjoy my 2 Tana Triple Haikus and my 3 different Oklumas. These are all lights in the 500-1000 lumen range, all (except the Cool Fall) with high CRI Nichia emitters. But I hung on to that Tactical rotary and it lived in the console of my truck, because I knew that if I needed it, it would work Sold all my other HDS.

    Looking through the WTS the other day, an executive Rotary with Nichia NB4 R9050 caught my eye and I bought it. Dang..it kinda all came back. Hey, it's not a flame thrower like the triples, but the beam is amazing and very useable. Gets out there and 'looks' as bright as the flamethrowers. Decided to retrieve the Tactical from the truck and put it into service and put something else (a Zebralight) in the console.

    Then a High Noon popped up on WTS....took me a couple of days to bite, but after getting opinions from PoliceScannerMan, Scout24, and Hogo, I went for it. It's a clicky. DANG, what an amazing beam, beautiful tint and easy interface. And built like a brick.

    Oh, boy. That familiar feeling - that "twitch"....Flashaholism is coming over me again. Ordered a Silver Stainless head and tail, Luminus SS40, Sapphire lensed Rotary straight from Henry. Don't have it yet, but hopefully soon.

    Now, I'm not a Kool Kid, but I know what I like. They are easy to use, they are made in the USA, they have an amazing warranty (although I've never had to use the warranty), and Henry is one of the good guys (as is Hogo) and has been around for a long time.

    There's no need for a testimonial from me - there are thousands out there already. But the fact that a light that uses only 1 16340 cell (I don't do the 18650) but can sip that battery and live on a primary for a long time...the fact that the interface is sophisticated yet simple in a time of all kinds of new blinky interfaces...the fact that even though I could buy a 1000 lumen mass produced light for less than a $hundred...and I still have chosen to carry an HDS every day since I got that NB4 Rotary tells me that they are pretty special.

    It's funny - I've 're-discovered' some older classic Surefire lights, too, but they are more for nostalgia and posting in key spots around the house.

    And my 2 Tana Triple Haikus, 3 Oklumas, 1 Spy 007, and even my VenomDD Orion are living in the drawer these days. Will I sell them? Heck no. Will I use them again? Dang straight. But for the time being the HDS is checking all the boxes and I'm enjoying using it/them.

    I'm blessed to have a nice group to choose from, but for some reason, every day I reach for an HDS. Usually the NB4 Rotary.

    As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."

    Oh - down there - V - that's the NB4 Rotary. Been carrying it today... :-)


  22. #22

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    What a nice NB4 rotary you have there! It looks kinda familiar!😉 I picked up a 3700k XPG clicky recently. Canít really have just one HDS!
    SureFire - Quality and brilliance

  23. #23

    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Yes sir - you didnít mis-represent. Thatís the best beam Iíve seen in a while - from anything. Loving it. Thanks for sharing!

    Quote Originally Posted by K2-bk-bl-rd View Post
    What a nice NB4 rotary you have there! It looks kinda familiar! I picked up a 3700k XPG clicky recently. Canít really have just one HDS!

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by lion504 View Post
    (1) UI/configurability. Ability to move from a mode to any other mode directly, rather than cycling through all modes....
    This is it, for me.

    Best clicky UI there is.

    There are plenty of other rotaries around, and those are fine, too. But I prefer this clicky
    ... is the archimedes peak

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* RCS1300's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    It has a proprietary light driver not available anywhere else. You can program the light to whatever user interface you want with 24 different distinct light levels, uses both rechargeable and primary batteries, built for a user to use, the warranty works.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* lion504's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by run4jc View Post
    As Forrest Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."
    Well said, run4jc.

    BTW - I really enjoy your posts, which I find thoughtful and considerate. Hope I get to read at least a few more of them.

    ďExpertsĒ are wrong about half the time. [My_Lights]

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    I've been out of the "light wars" for a while so I'm not up to snuff on emitter types, etc, etc. I have an OG HDS U60GT (soon to be modded) and a Novatac 120P. What I like is the programmability of HDS - granted the U60GT still confounds me at times.
    However, whilst I would love a rotary - seems like the perfect interface, I often find myself struggling to justify the price given the low lumen output. We've been stuck at 250 for quite some time. I know, I know...get over the lumens race. However, why is it that HDS seems so far behind on paper on output? Don't get me wrong, not bashing the product, just my understanding as why lumen output is comparatively so low compared to other "custom-type" makers.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Due to their intended use case, they are designed to maintain full compatibility with primary cells, and intentionally limited in their max current draw.

    I am not an experienced caver, but my understanding is that very high output is not only not a priority, but may indeed be a liability.
    Last edited by archimedes; 05-23-2020 at 05:30 PM.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  29. #29
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    That makes sense, thank you Archimedes.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Why Should I Buy an HDS?

    Quote Originally Posted by BytorJr View Post
    That makes sense, thank you Archimedes.
    Sure, cheers
    ... is the archimedes peak

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