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Thread: Twisty switch going out of style?

  1. #1

    Default Twisty switch going out of style?

    Noticed most flashlights including Surefire are using clicky switch.
    I believe twisty switch is mechanically more reliable than clicky switch.

    Is Twisty switch going out of style?

    Is twisty switch available as an option for SF E2D ? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    IMHO once you start incorporating electronics into lights then it makes no sense to argue that clickies are less reliable? If the design and manufacturing of the switch are up to speed then there is no reason to argue that a twisty is more reliable than a clickie. Sure, if you use an incandescent bulb you may as well use the KISS priciple and use a twisty as that is as cheap and reliable a switch as you could get. Electronics are no more or less likely to fail than a clickie switch and that is why Surfire amongst others now use clickies more often than the simpler but less sophisticated twist switches. Another reason why clickies are used regularly is because apart from the ergonomics you can incorporate dimming functions into the switch.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    A light can be built smaller with just a twisty and it remains more reliable than any other design IMO. A switch adds an additional mechanism that can fail. This may be rare, but I'm sure they wear out faster than simple threads. Often times you can also eliminate another point for water or contaminants to enter the light with just a twisty. A twisty can be the least expensive design as well. You can access mechanical, electrical, and UI dimming with a twisty.

    It's mostly a matter of preference and utility, but if you want to argue merit, twisties may never be obsolete. Switches seem popular so twisties could go out of style.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* AuroraLite's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Personally, I think I like them for different lights or different settings.

    On one hand, I do love the feel of a clicky and the crisp on/off feel to a flashlight. Also the fact that it could go from momentary to on very quickly is always a plus for me.

    On the other hand, Bogus1 got a really good point of twisty being a more 'robust' design. Threads will always be there so as long we have a tailcap seperated from the body, so a twisty is as simple as one can get. So whenever I know the flashlight might get wet or I need to make absolutely sure it will work at all time(for ex, the backup light), I would go twisty more often than clickie.
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    FF99,

    You can replace the Z57 clickie on your E2D with the Z52 twistie switch, whitch still retains the lockout capability. They show up regularly on BST or I'm sure you can find somebody who wants to swap.

    Twistie designs provide more options, design wise, for relatively simple 2-level operation for LED lights. Put a KL1 or KL4 head on that E2D and you can get 2-stage guts from the Sandwich Shoppe for the Z52 twisty.

    Larry
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* RA40's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    The lights I would use in a tactical situation are supplied with clickies. My daily use and casual carry are twisties. I find both useful and having options like SF does makes a single light adaptable. YMMV
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Most Surefires still use twisties, including the top of the line Millenium Series lights...
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* LowBat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    IMO a twisty is really a lack of a switch. Twisting can be useful as a lockout safety, otherwise having to twist the head or tail for simply on/off operation is a nuisance.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    When I carry a twistie light, each time I use it I find myself testing it to see if I've untwisted it to the lockout position. When I carry it in my pocket, I untwist it really far so it won't turn on in my pocket.

    Life is too short to let a tailswitch cause so much agony. So when I needed a better switch to replace my LEDWave Z-3's twistie, I bypassed the Surefire stock twistie ($11) and went straight to the cadillac, their Z-49 clickie ($33).
    1xAA: EagleTac D25A (Nichia 219C)
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  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I like clickies. If only somebody would come up with an "intelligent" one for multiple levels, etc...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    I like clickies. If only somebody would come up with an "intelligent" one for multiple levels, etc...
    The U2 has a clicky and has multiple levels.

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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    I like clickies. If only somebody would come up with an "intelligent" one for multiple levels, etc...
    You mean other than the HDS's right?
    "a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen." -Warren vs District of Columbia, after three women were raped, beaten for 14 hours and police never came after numerous 911 calls were placed

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    I like clickies. If only somebody would come up with an "intelligent" one for multiple levels, etc...
    I guess I'll have to qualify that one.

    I actually like the simplicity of a twisty. The miniMag, CMG Infinity, Longbows, and a few similar lights come to mind as examples. Heck, the only light I had for several years was a miniMag, and I thought it was great! I can also see how it's easier to implement a two-stage light with a twisty. Anyway...

    What I don't like about the twisties is that I need two hands to activate the light. You can do it with one hand, but not always. I stopped carrying my LS with twisty partly because of this (and partly 'cuz somehow the twisty turned on the light in my pocket and I burned my thigh while driving). I like the convenience of a clickie because I can activate the light with a single hand.

    I do not know how this would work mechanically, but I'd like to see a good clicky tailcap that can give me on(high)-on(low)-off (or something like that). So far the only clicky tailcap that does something like this (that I've used) is in the Gladius. I say something, because if I'm understanding things correctly, there are electronics at work too.

    Maybe that's just the way to go if I want multiple settings and a clicky - a combination of mechanical and electronic swithing? But then you have a whole 'nother component that may fail...

    Why not slide switches? Ray-O-Vac has been using them "forever", and they seem to work reliably over the years.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    There's no way I'd recommend a twistie to a woman who wanted a light she could activate on a moment's notice when walking to her parked car while carrying a shopping bag and her purse.
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I usually kill a Kroll clickie about once a year although when they work, they work OK. As far as twistie going out of style, minimags still fly off the shelves and people will twisty my Peak Mediterranean 2AA light even when I use the Kroll tail clickie.

    My Med 2AA tail can be a clickie or twisty depending if I remove the rear cap and screw in the Kroll or lugged end. The clickie is good for feeding the light rechargables so I don't dent the batteries... the twistie is great for bad environments. I hear rumblings about Peak making a clickie themselves (could it be high/low switching?)

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I have twisties a woman could easily use one handed while carrying groceries. Once my PD broke in this was the case as well.

    Sure we can all vote on it, but even with preferences, one design is better suited than the other for different uses. If you casually hold your light in your hand then a head twisty like a PD is much easier than repositioning the light to push a tail switch, and much easier than fumbling for some of the small recessed side switches. If you are picking a light up and putting it down, there is nothing better than a tail cap. It doesn't matter how the light is turned around. You can just grab it and presto. This is true with momentary tail cap twisties as well. If you use a light overhand obviously it is best with a tail switch. If you have a huge light, then a side switch is the only logical solution.

    I think the question is whether twisties are obsolete; even if they are no longer made I don't think this is the case. Hand a light to any uninitiated user and they will try twisting it. That's a pretty powerful testament IMO.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I read in a previous catalog of SureFire that the reason they're manufacturing the click-type tail caps is because they have received a lot of inquiries primarily from the general populous. So they responded back by producing these since in most everyday circumstances for the general public they're not walking around in stand-by tactical mode. But for the LE/Fed/DOD community, well, that's a different scenario. . .
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I like twisties. IMHO they are a very reliable and KISS way to implement two levels in a very reliable and small setting. We hear clickies failing, but twisties are no-hassle switches.
    Of course ... in the future ... when there is the perfect clicky allowing a KISS multi-output switching I won't say no either ...
    bernie
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Personally, I like the twisties because I don't have to worry so much about it turning on in my pocket. I've had that happen with clickies!

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiessling
    ... when there is the perfect clicky allowing a KISS multi-output switching I won't say no either ...
    Bernie, I love you!!

    Genxsis, I had a twisty in my LS turn the light on while driving. I don't know how that hapenned, but I burned my thigh as a result. Nothing serious, but enough for me to stay away from twisties.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Anglepoise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I like twisties, once the threads have broken in and are well lubed. They must work one handed and be very smooth. Aleph's and PD's fit this criteria. Don't like clickies in the tail end and hate these 'overseas' reverse clickies.
    However my favourite is the body switch epitomized by Bulk and manufactured by Georges80. I hope that George can convince other manufacturers to use his excellent switch/driver combo. For me this is by far the best switch location and is far easier than this ridiculous 'over the head', so called 'tactical' stance.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I like the two button switch on my VB-16.

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I have some of both clickies and twisties, and have made (in the distant past) two stage clickies out of krolls and even made a few for the Surefire L4. It is not rocket science.

    Twisties work well because of the simplicity and the fact that they rotate across the contact area, cleaning off any burn spots from previous contacts. They are, in effect, self cleaning contacts. The twistie is one of the most compact styles, though a switch near the head can be designed to be ergonomic without adding length.

    The most common twisty has one big problem. They are designed without a spring to make contact with the battery. This means that for many designs, like the ARC LS series, you can actually crush the battery between the twisty and the electronics. The Surefire twisty tailcaps are done correctly, with an insulated tailcap and a contact ring attached to a spring. The downside is that the battery tube has to project a fair distance into the tailcap, and the tailcap is a bit thicker than would other wise be necessary.

    The reverse clicky should not be regarded with contempt. While it's different, it has teh added benefit of NOT turning on in your pocket or case unless fully depressed. A kroll, on the other hand, can be activated with only partial pressure, leading to dead batteries and melted chocolate in your back-pack.

    Just my opinion.
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    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    ...not to mention the risk of your toddler munching on the rubber cap of the kroll
    time to find a replacement boot (or new kroll) for me... or switching back to twisty

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Unicorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I want a switch that nearly guarantees that I won't accidentally turn it on (constant on) when under stress and lose my fine motor control and don't realise that I'm mashing in that switch so hard. I want to be able to know that when I take my thumb off the switch, the light will go off.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget_lover
    leading to dead batteries and melted chocolate in your back-pack.

    Just my opinion.
    Sorry to hear about the loss of your chocolate. I know that can be quite devastating. Hang in there.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* RAF_Groundcrew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I just had a quick mental round up of my favourite lights, and realised that all the lights I use, whether regularly, or as a standby, all have clickies where the option exists (exept the 8AX, which does not have any switch options other than those supplied at manufacture).

    I guess it's personal preference, Surefire make many options, people want to personalise their lights. The light is no less bright with a clickie tailcap attached.

    I have fitted clickies to my M3 (z48), Z3 (z59), C2 (SW02), and one of my 9P (z49). My E2e and E1e came with clickies fitted. I do actually prefer the clickies, but on the 'non guarded' clickies (the SW02 and z48/49 come with rubber shrouds to prevent accidental operation), I do back the switch off to prevent light wastage.

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  28. #28

    Cool Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougmccoy
    IMHO once you start incorporating electronics into lights then it makes no sense to argue that clickies are less reliable? If the design and manufacturing of the switch are up to speed then there is no reason to argue that a twisty is more reliable than a clickie. Sure, if you use an incandescent bulb you may as well use the KISS priciple and use a twisty as that is as cheap and reliable a switch as you could get. Electronics are no more or less likely to fail than a clickie switch and that is why Surfire amongst others now use clickies more often than the simpler but less sophisticated twist switches. Another reason why clickies are used regularly is because apart from the ergonomics you can incorporate dimming functions into the switch.

    Doug

    I would much rather have a twisty for My VG FB1, I am losing so much light fronmmy KL1, that I dont use it anymore, it is absolutely rediculouse. I am trying to get a old switch, it is a wast of cash, buy a E1E body! Clickies are a lot less reliable, my longbow Micra's clicky broke too, but I got it fixed.

    -David

  29. #29
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    Ironic Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    Quote Originally Posted by greenLED
    I guess I'll have to qualify that one.

    ...I stopped carrying my LS with twisty partly because of this (and partly 'cuz somehow the twisty turned on the light in my pocket and I burned my thigh while driving).
    greenLED, it is possible to turn a light with a clicky on in your pocket, too. Don't ask me how, but I did it once with my E2d while carrying groceries into the house. It didn't get any less hot because it had a clicky!! ;-)
    - Joe
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  30. #30
    Flashaholic MedusaOblongata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twisty switch going out of style?

    I had always wondered why twisties were considered more "tactical" than clickies. I found my answer in the Surefire catalog; they say that for LEOs it can often be better for the flashlight to turn off when dropped. The twisty is a dead man's switch. Being a civilian I don't know what works best for LEOs, but if I drop my flashlight I'd like it to stay on (so I can find it). Assuming they're reliable, I'd prefer a clicky.
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