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Thread: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

  1. #1

    Default Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Hi folks,

    this is might be a silly question but for a noob in flashlights it would be nice to get a grounding in the current market. There seems to be a million brand names, but most seem to be Chinese brands that I assume are simply copies or clones of superior brands? Please correct me if I am wrong of course. I would like to know if there is a list anywhere of premium brands where I know that if I purchase a product from said brand, it will be of assured quality, if there is such a thing! So far I have purchased a Nitecore P12(?) which I am very happy with, and a couple of Convoy lights too. I am led to believe Nitecore is an average brand, with Convoy being on the lower end whilst giving good value for the money. Any information or opinions on which brands are the best quality, best value for money, and the best reputation. I realise this is possibly a subjective issue but there must be a general consensus as to which lights are the market leaders and which are just plain, poor quality rip offs. Sorry if this seems a naive request.

    best regards.

    Andrew.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    From a VERY large Dutch reseller:
    EagleTac gaat heel vaak stuk, Acebeam en Armytek redelijk vaak
    Zebra en Olight bijna nooit.
    Petzl nooit.

    Translated:
    Eagletac breaks down very often, Acebeam and Armytek also quite often, but to a lesser grade
    Zebra and Olight hardly ever breaks down
    Petzl never breaks.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    My EagleTac has never broken down. I don't own an Acebeam or an Armytek. I own multiple Olights and Klarus lights as well as a Nitecore. I've never had an Olight fail from a drop and they have all been dropped, unintentionally but dropped all the same. Same with my Klarus lights, Wowtac lights and my Nitecore. All of my Surefires are merely hosts these days so I don't count them for those kind of comparisons. I've had plenty of lights not meet my expectations, or not function quite the way I hoped but none have failed to turn on or operate according to their manual except due to gunk building up on the threads. Once clean, they all work as intended.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcoregeneral View Post
    Hi folks,

    this is might be a silly question but for a noob in flashlights it would be nice to get a grounding in the current market. There seems to be a million brand names, but most seem to be Chinese brands that I assume are simply copies or clones of superior brands? Please correct me if I am wrong of course. I would like to know if there is a list anywhere of premium brands where I know that if I purchase a product from said brand, it will be of assured quality, if there is such a thing! So far I have purchased a Nitecore P12(?) which I am very happy with, and a couple of Convoy lights too. I am led to believe Nitecore is an average brand, with Convoy being on the lower end whilst giving good value for the money. Any information or opinions on which brands are the best quality, best value for money, and the best reputation. I realise this is possibly a subjective issue but there must be a general consensus as to which lights are the market leaders and which are just plain, poor quality rip offs. Sorry if this seems a naive request.

    best regards.

    Andrew.
    hello your new. welcome.
    try the search function first. 'which brands' is a frequent topic asked by newbies over de years. nothing has changed much.
    mass market leaders are maglite and fenix good luck bye

  5. #5

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Zebra Light is quite popular here. But it really all depends on what you seek in a lighting tool which way to go. Do you prefer simple on/off for example or more hidden features than Mario Kart 64 for example. Tailcap switch or side switch. Floody beam or thrower beam, stuff like that. Cool white, an orange glow or something in between?
    John 3:16

  6. #6

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    If you want something that will last forever and is bulletproof get any Malkoff or Elzetta. Classic SureFire is up there as well (especially when used with a Malkoff Drop-in), together with some of their simpler modern offerings (G2X (z) (especially the MV), 6Px, Peacekeeper, Fury DFT (tactical)). Essentially most of their single and dual output lights. With the G2X and 6Px I recommend upgrading to a metal bezel.

    Or get a SureFire or some other Body (for example a SureFire 6P) as a host for a Malkoff. Same thing.

    Those should never fail on you, as long as you donít abuse them (meaning mistreating/using in a way they are not intended for/intentionally damaging them). Lots of people talk about abusing their gear. No gear should ever be abused, and no gear, no matter the quality, can stand up to abuse indefinitely. But it can, and should, stand up to hard use.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    What Olumin said. +1.
    "Welcome to the edge. It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

  8. #8

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Quote Originally Posted by 325addict View Post
    ...
    Petzl never breaks.
    mine broke

  9. #9

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    So far I am really liking the fit and function of my Fenix PD36R. I have two Olight headlights, one is not reliable, the other is, the not reliable one has a different tint and a different click in the switch. Both lights were supposed to be cool white. It kind off tells me the quality control may be lacking.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Strange. A lot of broken Olight. A lot of broken modern Surefire. People tend to like Acebeam. I do not know how reliable it is yet. Older Surefire were exceptionally reliable. Just going by what I read here.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    I have owned tons of lights over the decades including some Chinese brands. Just a very few would be Nitecore, Four Sevens, Olight, Emisar, Fenix, Etc.

    I only have 4 Chinese lights left, and I most likely wont ever buy another one again because of Covid. I am spending my money on American products more than ever now. So to get back on track, these are the high quality brands I would recommend for handheld lights. All of them are higher quality than any Chinese made lights.

    Malkoff, Elzetta, Surefire. The Malkoff and Elzetta lights have potted electronics and are very good, they should outlive you. Surefire is also good although not fully potted, they have conformally coated electronics and should also outlive you. If not all have lifetime warranties.

    The best Chinese lights I found are Olights, I have 3 of them. The X7 Marauder, M3XS-UT and the Seeker 2 Pro. I also have an Emisar D4. The rest of my lights are either Malkoff, Elzetta or Surefire.
    Last edited by Whitelight1; 10-26-2020 at 12:06 PM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* seery's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    I used to trust Surefire more than any.

    But nowadays I trust Acebeam and Fenix more than any others.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    One post no Chinese. Next post only Chinese! Surefire is not what they were. No way. Neither are the other American companies. Had to cut corners to compete with the Chinese. Plus all the parts inside them are Chinese. Only assembled in USA. Now rushed without a care. Acebeam does seem to be very popular. Fenix was always a good bet. I hear a lot about Olight failures.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    All parts inside are from China? Eh, probably not. Some come from Germany. Some are produced in America. And some in China. There are good flashlights being made in various countries. Some are well made. Others are not. Country of origin does not matter as much as the engineering, design and production. Some are poorly produced, some are in the middle and some are produced as cheaply as possible so they may not be as reliable.
    John 3:16

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    Indeed, all of my old SF lights ARE exceptionally reliable. Even my C3 Centurion with P90 lamp assembly in it NEVER broke down, and it has been used for TEN years now regularly, beaten, fallen to the concrete floor multiple times and... still going strong on that FIRST P90. Now tell me an incandescent cannot be reliable...

    Quote Originally Posted by nitebrite View Post
    Strange. A lot of broken Olight. A lot of broken modern Surefire. People tend to like Acebeam. I do not know how reliable it is yet. Older Surefire were exceptionally reliable. Just going by what I read here.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Flashlight brands and manufacturers - so many but is there a list of qualities?

    I fully agree with both of the last two posts. I would agree that not 100% of the parts are Chinese. However I have had 2 new Surefires with issues. I have many over 10 years old have been beat to heck and work fine too. I truly feel the old ones were much more robust. I also agree a flashlight does not care where it is made. There is good and bad from any country. Generally over a certain price point they tend to be okay but not always. However a $10 light tends to never be any good.There are brands that are usually a good bet and we all know what they are. I am not saying don't buy Surefire anymore. I am just saying that they are not what they used to be. Although many things are not. It has to do with the economy not Surefire. I have mentioned that I wonder how many UDR Dominators they sell now. Since there is better and smaller competition for that light. I stopped carrying mine a week ago. Now the new T27 that came out a week ago. Now that it is hitting 2500 lumens it is actually beating the Dominator in half the size/weight. Other Surefires I do like currently. The problem is they are not cost effective in the global market now.

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