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Thread: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

  1. #1

    Default 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Hey there!
    So after about 5 years with my ITP A3, a cheap battery leaked inside and welded itself to the tube of the flashlight.... Had to bin it.

    After noticing how much I used the damn thing, I figured maybe I would look at the higher end offerings and saw the Copper maratacs for about 50 dollars.
    There is also the Olight I3 for 9.99, and I could buy 5 of them for the price of the Maratac.

    Anyone had both and can tell me if the build quality is that much better on the Maratac or it just the same feel, just the copper-exclusivity that costs more?
    I am fine with both their LED's, so we're down to structure and durability.

    Thanks for any tip.

    If there's another durable, reliable AAA I should consider do let me know, but it has to be available on a major store, no preorders and crap like that.

    Thanks !

  2. #2

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Never owned an Olight, but the copper Maratac AAA is an excellent light. I have one in my pocket today. You could also look at the Drop brass AAA (made by Maratac), and two Lumintop models, the EDC01 and the Tool.

    Welcome to CPF!

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    You will probably get hundreds of recommendations with a question like that but I can start with a great cheapie; the Sofirn C01s. Under $10. Also it will help to further refine requirements.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Thanks fellas!
    Requirement number one is a reliable twist flashlight to be used daily in the shop (car garage)
    must be AAA, must be durable because I HATE buying things every month, I want to buy once and forget about it. Buying 3-4 units of something cheaper is also an option, considering all these AAA lights are the same, and the price difference is just for the exclusive metals/advertising- But I wouldn't know.

    It WILL fall inside oil tubs, it WILL fall on hot engines, it WILL fall into running alternator belts and get scuffed
    I put it in my mouth a lot while working with both hands, so it's best if it's not sharp or anything(Also the reason why it must be an AAA)

    I will look at the recommendations!

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    I have the Maratac in copper, brass, and aluminum. I have owned them for years. One is used multiple times daily. Of the three I would choose the brass as being the smoothist. I love Maratac AAA's.
    Stop buying alkaline batteries and move up to lithium and your leaking issue will disappear.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    afaik,
    the Massdrop Tool is made by Lumintop
    Maratac is now also made by Lumintop
    the heads are interchangeable

    > ITP A3

    that is a 3 mode light, very similar to the Maratac
    (both used to come from the same factory, currently owned by Olight)


    The Olight i3e only has one mode, so although I like it, I prefer the versatility of 3 modes.
    The Olight does have excellent 1 hour runtime on its single max mode
    but if you use a Maratac on Medium (about 20-30 lumens depending on LED), youre going to get more like 4 hours runtime..

    they all work as long as they are not overlubricated, and the O ring is not worn out (making the head spin too easily)

    Im a big Copper Maratac fan, though they are heavier than aluminium


    for an Aluminium option, staying with the twisties, I like the Thrunite Ti3. here is one I modified , different LED, different optic:

    fwiw, It starts on an ultra low firefly mode that you will either love or hate. Maratacs and Tools have lows of about 3-5 lumens, depending if you choose High CRI

    there is also a difference in UIs, some are LMH, others are MLH.. I can live with either, but prefer MLH (Medium first instead of Low first)

    beyond twisties, I like the Massdrop Tools, but they are larger and heavier than an aluminium light.

    good luck with your decisions.. they are all equally reliable, chose the one whose Host Metal, UI and LED option you prefer

    the only one I caution against, is the Titanium Twisties, be they Maratac or Trunite, just say not to gritty threads..

    welcome to the forum
    hang on to your wallet
    Last edited by jon_slider; 03-08-2021 at 06:38 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Beautiful pictures and flashlights Jon!!

    Ok so after seeing the pictures the Maratac looks like my cup of tea for that price range.
    But is there something that is built the same from plain aluminum on Amazon that you liked build wise?

    I checked out the Sofin that was recommended here and it is really nice although no silver/black.

    Is the Olight I3E a good flashlight?

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Quote Originally Posted by blatman500 View Post
    Beautiful pictures and flashlights Jon!!

    Ok so after seeing the pictures the Maratac looks like my cup of tea for that price range.
    But is there something that is built the same from plain aluminum on Amazon that you liked build wise?

    I checked out the Sofin that was recommended here and it is really nice although no silver/black.

    Is the Olight I3E a good flashlight?
    As far as I know, Sofirn may still make the C01s in raw aluminum. Most of these lights are "good" unless you get a bad one which can happen. With the kind of abuse you are describing and not knowing what your spending limit is, I will suggest the Peak Eiger. They are made to order in the US with potted electronics and can be had in a few different metal types. They also can run on lithium ion batteries if you choose.
    Unfortunately they are a bit confusing to order especially if you are not sure what you really want. Most folks dislike the Mule head but I like it and have one in raw aluminum. There is not much available that is a more rugged design.
    Last edited by Vemice; 03-09-2021 at 02:05 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    > Is the Olight I3E a good flashlight?

    the i3e is the smallest, lightest, single mode AAA I can think of



    you will have to decide if you like it, and whether it holds up to your abuse, from personal experience
    there is not a lot that can go wrong with an aluminium tube sealed with an O ring...
    I dont have any hesitation to use any of the lights mentioned

    this is not a case where paying more gets you more reliability.. we are talking about very similar designs
    price differences are primarily based on the type of metal the light is built from

    > is there something that is built the same from plain aluminum on Amazon that you liked build wise?

    if you like your ITP, you can still buy it:
    https://www.amazon.com/ITP-Outputs-K...5324107&sr=8-7

    I dont consider the Maratac "build quality" any different than the ITP ...
    the Olight uses less expensive material for the pill, but, in actual use, I dont think it matters..

    all in all, these are inexpensive, easily replaceable lights.. none of them stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of the design reliability. They all use a metal tube, sealed by an O ring, that holds a battery and powers an LED.

    the differences are more in terms of the mode sequence and outputs

    none are High CRI.. that requires a different LED, that you may not know, or care about, since you were fine with your ITP until it had a battery seizure.

    btw, here is a rechargeable battery kit I recommend:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    (I have no affiliation with any of the vendors linked)
    Last edited by jon_slider; 03-09-2021 at 03:56 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    I would also suggest the possibility of stainless steel if you like the look of raw aluminum. It would probably hold up to dings a bit better.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Thanks for the info!
    What an awesome collection you have Jon, and also what camera is that? The pictures are magazine-like.

    I went ahead with two ITP A3 from Jon's link, and in addition, a massdrop Vega AA in Green.

    https://drop.com/buy/drop-vega-aa-14...num-flashlight

    It's a clicky, but comes with a flat-magnetic tailcap that turns the flashlight into a twisty

    I hope it will not be too large, but even if so, I still have my two ITP's on the way.

    Those copper maratacs are a work of art, but I decided it's a bit too much money to pay for one torch at this time, but it's on my watchlist!

  12. #12

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    Quote Originally Posted by blatman500 View Post
    TI went ahead with two ITP A3... and in addition, a massdrop Vega AA in Green.
    Yay! Thanks for sharing your shopping decision, congrats.

    and thanks for enjoying my photos, I have a lot of fun posting them.
    I use an iPhone, dont own any other cameras.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    One last question if I am here,
    Is there an O-Ring kit on amazon that can fit various AA/AAA flashlight, as well as Fisher pens?

    Will this do for all of the above?
    https://www.amazon.com/XLX-Silicone-...416256&sr=8-14

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1XMaratac AAA or 5XOlight I3?

    I think buna-nitrile is preferred over silicone, but Im no expert
    and iirc a 1x9mm O ring fits AAA

    maybe wait til you get your lights, they come with spare O rings, and you could measure them..

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