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View Full Discussion I got an early sample of this flashlight courtesy of Massdrop, and I think they knocked it out of the park on their first collaboration for an EDC flashlight! I mean, this absolutely is, in my opinion, one the best sub-$50 AAA flashlight one can buy today! Heck, it's one of the best sub-$75 or even sub-$100 AAA flashlight one can buy today! And it's made of brass too, which will delightfully age and develop patina, and become truly uniquely yours (if you like shiny stainless steel objects that stay that way, this is not for you then!).
First of all, the design is perfect in my eyes; not too small as to be hard to manipulate, not too big as to be a hassle in the pocket. The weight is great for the size; now some may find it too hefty compared to aluminum or titanium lights, but in this small size range, that is not an issue with me. The fit and finish are top notch: I see tight manufacturing tolerances on the machined surfaces, hinting to precision machining and great Quality Control process (at least on the sample I got!). All the pieces fit together nicely, securely, with nice clean seams. It's waterproof but I have not tested that.
The knurling on the body is very nicely done; enough to provide good grip, but not too aggressive as to be uncomfortable in the hand. The clip is good; not the best I have seen, and certainly not the worst. I usually don't use the clips from my flashlights, so YMMV. The usefulness of clips, for me, is mostly to keep flashlights from rolling and falling from a flat surface; so we're definitively good here.
And best of all, it runs on AAA; I use Energizer Recharge batteries (after reading about them at TheWireCutter.com) but in a cinch (say, when traveling), disposable AAA are readily available, making this flashlight even more of an useful addition to someone's EDC (recycle the batteries when done, please!). This is just me, but I prefer clicking a button to twisting the heads, when it comes to turning on flashlights. So I'm very happy here, especially since the button is titanium (perhaps that was done for the coolness factor, or maybe in order not to add unneeded weigh to the flashlight). The button is flush so the light can stand on a flat surface, but not so recessed that it's hard to reach. For me, it's a requirement that a flashlight be able to stand on its tail, as I use flashlights that way fairly often; when looking for something in the basement, in cramped spaces, etc.
And I left the truly delightful for the end: this flashlight can be had with the Nichia emitter, which produces a more natural light and renders the colors more accurately. Given the choice, I always go for the Nichia emitter, even if it's slightly less powerful than a CREE (who cares); colors are way more natural and illumination is plentiful. Come to think of it, a few years ago, it would have been unheard of to get such a high-end flashlight with the Nichia emitter, at this price point!
So, in all aspects, this is a WINNER and if you are looking for an EDC flashlight, your search ends here! Buy this, you won't regret it!
PS Massdrop, one suggestion: consider changing the clicky button from titanium to a magnetic one (maybe as a variant?), so the flashlight can be magnetically attached to metal objects, such as an automobile hood, garage door, etc.
Hey Bobraz, thanks for posting your thoughts! We talked to Lumintop about the magnetic button following your conversation with Mike. Sadly it's not possible given the size of the button and the weight of the brass. Can't get a strong enough magnet. Maybe possible for a lighter material someday though : )
Understood, now that I think about it, makes sense! It would be OK for a lighter titanium or aluminum version, but indeed not for copper or brass... ☺️
titanium special edition with magnets please :D :D
While it has heft, given the size even a Rare Earth Magnet for a button wouldn't be strong enough? Just a wonder from a non-Engineeer. And following up on an earlier comment: what about a slightly larger hole and a keyring?
WireCutter's rechargeable battery testing methodology is flawed. When challenged in the comments section in one of their articles, they combatively defended it, and then decided to ignore the issue.
They have lost all credibility as far as I'm concerned. I suggest you read up on rechargeable batteries on other sites to get second opinion.
I'd say the Reylight pineapple is a bit more value at 41 bucks. Same metal, not much bigger and AA or 14500 coupled with a more powerful Nichia is a lot better.
I don't agree; I was specifically focused on AAA. I wrote "in my opinion, one the best sub-$50 AAA flashlight (...) one of the best sub-$75 or (...) sub-$100 AAA flashlight". Reylight Pineapple is AA, not AAA.
There are tons of AA flashlights, and they should be evaluated on their own merits, not compared to AAA. Perhaps the Reylight Pineapple is one of the best, or perhaps not. I am sure many light geeks can do the comparison exercise, but I haven't!
That Reylight Pineapple *does* looks sweet, however! Not sure if that driver is hi-CRI, but if it is it's great!
You, 90 CRI. Can bearly contain my excitment :)
A neodymium magnet should definitely support the weight.
I bought based on this review, and could not disagree more.
Please let us know why?
Don't forget the review was done 4 years ago. A lot of products have been proposed since then, and perhaps the quality might have dipped.
But do tell us what's the source of your disagreement... Genuinely curious to understand your thoughts.
"A lot of products have been proposed since then, and perhaps the quality might have dipped."
Likely a mix of both. My switch is crunchy and overall I don't think it holds up to other AAA torches available. Not a fan of the "ui" and the use of the pcb/cap in the switch likely means the switch will be a failure point (and after looking further, it seems the switch is likely a weak point in the design. With the low output I think I'd rather have a mechanical switch that wont fail (which means no magnets near heat sources like batteries, and no electrical failure points (pcb's ect).
It looks nice and even for the price it's not bad. I think they should put a TRUE inspection beam on it if they want to fill some niche... at minimum it needs a TIR or maybe a diffused lens
edit: for transparency, I'm actually talking about the copper model I received. I bought both but still waiting for delivery on brass.
Additionally -- If you are going to put a PCB and e-button, you might as well accept 10440 batt's and give us a turbo mode.