Looking for a small and durable tail-clicky AA flashlight

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price_conscious
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Looking for a small and durable tail-clicky AA flashlight

Hello everyone. Apologies for any incorrect terms used, English is not my first language.

TL;DR: I am looking for a compact, tail-clicky flashlight that is smaller than Sipik SK68 with better build quality and a great price/performance ratio.

Long version:
It would be great if you experienced flashlight users and collectors could suggest me a flashlight to buy. Although I have read a lot of reviews on this forum and in other places, I feel that it is not enough to make an informed buying decision because most people who write flashlight reviews typically do so shortly after having purchased the said flashlights, and I am looking for feedback from people who used their flashlights for at least six months.

So, without further ado, here is what I am looking for. All of these are must haves:

  • Powered by one AA battery
  • Tail-clicky (no e-switch)
  • Should be able to stand on head or tail
  • Durable (should not break if it is dropped on concrete from a height of one meter, should not break if it is used in -20 Celsius temperatures, and should survive regular light contact with rain/snow)
  • Be as compact as possible
  • Have a great price/performance ratio

An acquaintance of mine, who is a huge flashlight geek, suggested Lumintop Tool AA. I liked it, but I did not feel like it would survive for long in the rain/snow.

Bearbreeder
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The tool AA 2.0 is ipx8

Unless there is a QC defect it should easily survive rain and snow

Just remember to use lithium primaries at extremely low temps

If you want “feedback” look at the 1,2,3 star amazon reviews, sure theres folks who dont know diddly there, but theres also stuff you wont hear from reviews of fanbois

And do a google search of various keywords like … lumintop warranty, lumintop service, lumintop failure … etc

Lightbringer
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Any Xeno. ES1 for low voltage only (alkaleak, NiMH), or E03 for any (add LFP and Li-ion).

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der_horst
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Armytek Prime A1 maybe?

Chatika vas Paus
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Eagtac D25A, but not too cheap, although it meets most of your requirements

toddcshoe
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Ultratac A1 stomps the Tool AA, any version. Best $15 you could spend. Customer Service is top notch as well. CW and NW options. The NW is very nice. It’s the only AA/14500 tail clicky light I have and use regularly. Everyone in the house has one. My 12 year old boy carries his everywhere. He’s beats the heck out of it. Looks like hell but still works perfectly.

Xeno and Eagletac are great choices as well.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

tempo
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the new manker

Manx
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Quote:
Ultratac A1 stomps the Tool AA, any version

Really? The shape is practically the same.
What exactly does your opinion depend on?

And compared with the ThorFire TG06S (I own it)? Which do you think it’s the best?
Thank you Thumbs Up

www.youtube.com/channel/UCeDhMPm0L1yvr3LpygDPgMw my flashlights/knives/gear video reviews
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slmjim
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You mention ability to headstand.  If the head crown is crenelated, enough light will escape when headstanding to be obvious the light is ON and, make it useful for very subdued lighting.  A plain, non-crenelated head crown will mask the fact the light is on by not allowing any light to escape, making it possible that the light could be left ON accidentally.

I've lived with a ThorFire TG06S for over two years of daily EDC.  Dropped a few times, wet in rain a few times.  As sturdy a AA as one is likely to find at a budget price point.  Very decent tint.  Lens O-ring is GITD.  Non-crenelated head crown.  Reversible clip.  UI is H>M>L.  It always starts on High, which some users dislike.  For a pocket utility light I personally like that it starts on H, as that is usually appropriate for my needs in the field.   It also offers the added benefit of a practical low-battery warning; it begins starting on M when the battery is getting weak, then later begins starting on L when the battery is almost useless.  Plenty of advance warning to find a replacement battery.

At a higher price is the Jaxman E3.  Some nice emitter options.  Non-crenelated head crown.  Reversible clip.  UI is L>M>H, so it's more of what I'd call a "Gentlemen's light", suitable for dark, populated places like reading a menu in a dim restaurant.  Much thicker tube walls than most other 1AA lights.  I haven't beat on this one as much as my TG06S but, it's worked perfectly.

+1 on the value of the Ultratac A1 mentioned above.  Smaller, shorter & lighter than either the TG06S or the E3.  Otherwise very similar.

Last is Acebeam M10.  Smaller diameter than the A1 but a little longer.  UI is L>M>H.  Non-reversible clip, non-crenelated head crown.  It's my "Gentlemen's light".  Carried often but, not beat on or wet.  Available in different anodized colors.

 

slmjim

 

Great... Carnac the Magnificent tells me I just signed up for yet another expensive hobby.

Smile! It makes others wonder what you've been up to.

pennzy
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TG06S gets my vote.

jfg
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Sofirn SF14 2.0 is a good light.

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Manker E03H, has head switch, almost the same, and then you get tail magnet instead. Very useful. Includes headband. See BLF and Youtube review link at bottom of this site Think I would go for the Nichia version.

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A possibility is the DQG Slim 1/2AA with extension tube. Will take nimh, Alkaleaks, and 14500. I’d avoid submersion but it doesn’t mind rain.
The most compact tail clicky AA size I could find.

EDC Rotation: ZL SC62 | Jaxman E2L XP-G2 5A | Purple S2+ XPL-HI U6-3A | D4 w/ Luxeon V | RRT-01 
EagTac D25C Ti | DQG Slim AA Ti | UF-T1 by CRX | Olight S1 | Klarus Mini One Ti
L6 XHP70.2 P2 4000K FET+7135 | Jaxman M8 | MF02 | Jaxman Z1 CULNM1.TG | Blue S2+ w/ ML Special
In-progress: Supfire M6 3xXHP50.2 
Others: Nitecore EC23 | Nebo Twyst | Streamlight ProTac 1AA | TerraLux LightStar 100

price_conscious
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I like the flashlights that you guys listed and am currently working towards acquiring some of them.

Lightbringer wrote:
Any Xeno. ES1 for low voltage only (alkaleak, NiMH), or E03 for any (add LFP and Li-ion).

Those Xeno flashlights look great.

toddcshoe wrote:
Ultratac A1 stomps the Tool AA, any version. Best $15 you could spend. Customer Service is top notch as well. CW and NW options. The NW is very nice. It’s the only AA/14500 tail clicky light I have and use regularly. Everyone in the house has one. My 12 year old boy carries his everywhere. He’s beats the heck out of it. Looks like hell but still works perfectly. Xeno and Eagletac are great choices as well.

Could you please list the reasons why Ultratac A1 stomps the Tool AA? I do not doubt what you said, I am just curious.

slmjim wrote:

You mention ability to headstand.  If the head crown is crenelated, enough light will escape when headstanding to be obvious the light is ON and, make it useful for very subdued lighting.  A plain, non-crenelated head crown will mask the fact the light is on by not allowing any light to escape, making it possible that the light could be left ON accidentally.


I’ve lived with a ThorFire TG06S for over two years of daily EDC.  Dropped a few times, wet in rain a few times.  As sturdy a AA as one is likely to find at a budget price point.  Very decent tint.  Lens O-ring is GITD.  Non-crenelated head crown.  Reversible clip.  UI is H>M>L.  It always starts on High, which some users dislike.  For a pocket utility light I personally like that it starts on H, as that is usually appropriate for my needs in the field.   It also offers the added benefit of a practical low-battery warning; it begins starting on M when the battery is getting weak, then later begins starting on L when the battery is almost useless.  Plenty of advance warning to find a replacement battery.


At a higher price is the Jaxman E3.  Some nice emitter options.  Non-crenelated head crown.  Reversible clip.  UI is L>M>H, so it’s more of what I’d call a “Gentlemen’s light”, suitable for dark, populated places like reading a menu in a dim restaurant.  Much thicker tube walls than most other 1AA lights.  I haven’t beat on this one as much as my TG06S but, it’s worked perfectly.


+1 on the value of the Ultratac A1 mentioned above.  Smaller, shorter & lighter than either the TG06S or the E3.  Otherwise very similar.


Last is Acebeam M10.  Smaller diameter than the A1 but a little longer.  UI is L>M>H.  Non-reversible clip, non-crenelated head crown.  It’s my “Gentlemen’s light”.  Carried often but, not beat on or wet.  Available in different anodized colors.


 


slmjim


 

This is very good information, I appreciate it.

withoutink
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.

Cheers-

Withoutink

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Macka17
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Have Tool AA. But my general use AA is a Jetbeam Jet-1 MK x 3 now.
Bought them on ticket for around $16USD,
apart from first one when they came out.

Tried probably a dozen others.
NONE touch it. max output around 450 lum
But it holds that till battery gone.
450-600. Not really anything to talk about in actual light.

It’s just a very Niice torch. To hold and use.
Quality. You won’t fault. Build. One of the better ones.
At any price.

I want more output?. Usually a S41 or C8+
Do it properly.

Lightbringer
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I loooove the Jet-I except that the beam’s horribly green. Almost as bad as my Quarks.

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nydude
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Just my two cents.

I had a TG06S and gave it away. It worked fine but felt clunky both in feel and use.

Have a Tool AAA which should be similar to the AA and it got beat up accidentally right after I got it, and even though I took the whole thing apart and cleaned it and tested it, still doesn’t turn on like %25 percent of clicks.

toddcshoe
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Manx wrote:
Quote:
Ultratac A1 stomps the Tool AA, any version

Really? The shape is practically the same.
What exactly does your opinion depend on?

And compared with the ThorFire TG06S (I own it)? Which do you think it’s the best?
Thank you Thumbs Up

Better tint, no blinkies. I believe the TG06S starts in high doesn’t it? Yes, it does. I have one too, well, not really, the wife took it. Starts on high is a no no for me. A mighty fine light though. I don’t mind the Tool, I just prefer the A1. I also like Ultratacs customer service. I haven’t had a problem but have contacted them about other things in the past. Fast and helpful. Haven’t had that same experience with Lumintop when actually having a problem with a product. I honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either the Tool or the A1. The A1 in NW just does it for me.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

toddcshoe
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Lightbringer wrote:
I loooove the Jet-I except that the beam’s horribly green. Almost as bad as my Quarks.

Ahhhhh, love the Jet-I as well. My favorite twisty. Your right, stock emitter is blah. Easy fix though.

"Everywhere I go, there I am"

Lightbringer
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I’m just lazy…

Well, to be fair, I didn’t want to chance ruining a perfectly good light.

It’d kick ass with a ’351 in there, though.

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nydude
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Yes! the Jetbeam Jet 1 is hands down my most reliable AA light plus it seems to run any AA/14500 I put in.

I bought a Jetbeam 14500 battery from BatteryJunction and I think it fried both Jetbeam e10r and a Utorch UT01, but not the Jet1MK.

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Although the OP is asking for a tail switch, i’m glad someone mentioned the Jetbeam Jet I MK. I’ve been edcing one for years now and it is by far the light i use the most – because i always have it in my left jeans pocket. Twist is smooth and can be operated with one hand… and on a 14500 it is surprisingly bright for the size. Tint is not great but i don’t really care when i need to find the key hole or something under the couch.

I also have a Lumintop Tool AA somewhere in a jacket pocket just in case. This one comes with either a tail switch or a plain tail with magnet that turns the light into a twisty. Good light on 14500 too.