The 5 (or 10) flashlights that every BLFer should own

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bose301s's picture
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The 5 (or 10) flashlights that every BLFer should own

I am new here obviously and just getting into the hobby, so I figured for us noobs a topic like this would be useful so that we know what lights we must own to be a true BLFer.

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N-Light B3 / Maratac AAA / ITP AAA  [AAA]

A decent 1xAA light of there choice 

Jetbeam PA40 [ or Ultrafire C88 ] 

A good P60 [ Solarforce L2 ] 

A Thrower ...  [ At least one ] 

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Solarforce L2P

3-mode UltraFire XM-L drop-in from Manafont (sku 5720)

UltraFire UF-980L

Solarforce M8


Whatever AA/14500 floats your boat.



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Single AAA ... ITP A3 or Thrunite TI

Single AA...many to chose from...I like Ultrafire BJ08A

Single 18650...P60 of your choice ...Solarforce of some sort is the most popular choice I suppose

Headlamp..UF-H2 or PT EOS

Thrower...aspheric zoom version might be SmallSun ZY-C10-S

A little more expensive but good choices (personal choices of mine) are (single AA) Photon Proton Pro and (single 18650) Ultrafire T-50.

An ITP A3 with a 10440 in it is interesting to have just for the impressive amount of light in such a small package at a fairly low price.

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a headlamp Uf H2 or H3  BOTH

a aaa keychain light dqg tiny AND/OR a Tank

a 3xml light

P60 type light - multiples

a c8 size light like kd c8 at least 2

a  AA light like a sipik

other aa/14500 lights

kechain led like a fauston

Why stop at 10

bose301s's picture
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Well, I was wanting to prevent huge lists, just what everyone thinks the lights that most represent BLF are Wink

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Flashlight Foy wrote:
Also can be substituted with SkyRay King (if extra $15 won't hurt your wallet) :]
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Actually, I don't think you can "represent" BLF because not everyone here is the same. For popular lights you can just look at Don's poll and list.

The lights mentioned in this thread so far are good budget lights.

If you look at the lights that get the most mentions and have to own them to be a BLFer then I'm not one either :)

You'll always have to factor in your own preferences. It was mentioned that you need to have at least one 3x XM-L light.

I don't have one and don't have any interest in having one and yet I consider myself to be a BLFer :)

Once you figure out what types of lights interest you the most then you can find out what some of the most popular lights that people here have purchased are.

The other thing that makes this hard is that many BLFers have bought just about every light out there :) So the BLF choice is probably as EDC alludes to...just keep buying :)

One interesting thread might be (if it hasn't already been done and I wouldn't be surprised if I have even started one like this) a thread about what lights you have finally decided on as your favorites after going through the process of buying so many to try out and learn for yourself.

I've bought quite a few but generally try to weed them out as I go along. I'm the anti-collector I guess :)

Chicago X
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gcbryan wrote:
....I've bought quite a few but generally try to weed them out as I go along. I'm the anti-collector I guess :)

You could always say that your collection is very carefully curated...

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[quote=Chicago X][quote=gcbryan]....I've bought quite a few but generally try to weed them out as I go along. I'm the anti-collector I guess :)[/quote]You could always say that your collection is very carefully curated...[/quote]

Haha...exactly. It's a very exclusive collection of only the finest pieces :)

Would you like to see my rare 2011 BD Storm in Mango?

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-ITP eos SS-

  good looking, the xp-g gives a remarkable amount of warm light. perfect "read the menu, look at the map, find the keyhole while drunk" light when you didnt think you would need a larger light, so you did not bring one.

-Nitecore D-10-

  find somebody who will sell you one of these discontinued lights. if you get into modding a nice upgrade is "shining beam xpgr4 3D emitter and a lil heatsink goop and it's a straight forward emitter swap", best UI ever, my EDC, no, you cant have mine.

- Shiningbeam S-mini, (or UF-2100) -

  simple dependable, 1 x 18650, palmable, worklight.   partial to the S-mini as i find it efficient,  tough (have dropped it a couple of times on tile at work where i am never without it) long runtimes on one cell, low is low enough to check patient pupils high will light up a room.comes in XP-G or XM-L .

   2100 is cheaper but i hate strobes, unsure of its long term dependabilty. T-mini from CNQG is an alternative under 30usd, but i trust bryan at Shiningbeam and know he will do right by his products if there is a problem, that is worth 10usd to me

- P-60 host and drop in-    

my vote is probably Solarforce L2p (for multi-mode) or L2t (single), bombproof 1x 18650, many iterations of this style, 504b,etc. E1320, on this site, does remarkable work with p-60 drop-ins (that i will be looking into when i have some spare funds~!)

- C8 or its kin-

the KDC8 might just be the best bang for your buck in the flashlight world. of this style, i am partial to the new romisen RC-t601II in XM-L. but i am partial to two mode lights

-to make things more manageable to start, my recommendation would be to limit your lights to two battery styles (rechargeable AA/14500 and 18650)  the AAA itp will run fine on batteries you can get anywhere (or steal from work)

-spend a few extra dollars, (and some research time) and buy decent cells, as to scrimp at this point to save pennies will not work out in the long run.

-good charger that will not overheat when you forget you are charging cells (and you will) is worth some extra dough.

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  • CNQG S1 AAA for EDC.  I prefer mine around my neck on a lanyard.
  • P60 host with XM-L.  SolarForce L2t or L2 model of your choice.
  • Compact 18650 for pocket carry.  UF-2100 all the way for this one.
  • Good thrower (which I don't own any of yet) such as a TF-X9 or Crelant 7G
  • XM-L triple like the DRY or even the SR King
  • Small aspheric zoomer like the Sipik SK68
  • Good AA light.  I'm more than a little biased but suggest a Micro Mac-light for uniqueness and WOW effect. Silly

So many other good lights and formats to choose from but if someone held a gun to my head and forced me to choose the minimum I'd go with the above.  Thank God I can have way more than that now!

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all what you need:

AAA on keychain, SS(heavy but durable and easly to make it reborn as new with some sandpaper and time) or silver(I hate scratches on anodization) aluminum, ... xpg/xpe led

AA/14500 quality flashlight as EDC, with xpg/xml a bit floody ..too many available

AA/14500 xpe/xre zooming like spik68

18650 floody and small like the XM-L UF-2100

18650 P60, solarforce l2x/Ultrafire 504b or 502b if you want a clip

18650 thrower from C8

diffuser/hosts/backup batteries/money to keep paying the electric bill to recharge you batteries or an universal solar charger xD

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1 2xAA XP-G

1 1xAA zoom

1-3 P60 lights

1-2 C8 or similar XM-L

1 C8 or similar XR-E

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Interesting consensus... Small-ish and compact seems to be a common preference.  Not seeing many of the long tube designs.

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Solarforce L2P or Ultrafire 504B with a 3-mode UltraFire XM-L drop-in

Solarforce L2M or Ultrafire 501A with a real regulated drop in.You don't know what your missing. This one or a custom "nailbender or budgetbender".

Ultrafire MCU C-88 or C8 or 980L: You gotta have some throw.

Dry: Ouch my eyes.

EDI-T P-4: You gotta have a zoomie, this ones the best IMHO

Ultrafire UF-H2: Headlamp, EDC, 14500 or AA this little guy does everything well.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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gcbryan wrote:
An ITP A3 with a 10440 in it is interesting to have just for the impressive amount of light in such a small package
I call mine my "noisy cricket" after the weapon Tommy Lee Jones hands Will Smith in Men in Black. Such an unassuming little thing, and then *BLAM* you light up the entire room.
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I'd mostly go with E1320's recommendations.


But I'm not a fan of zoomies so I'd not bother with one or would get the cheapest one possible to see if they are for you.


If KD still do the RQ thrower it is well worth a look and not expensive.


AAA light - there are almost too many to choose from. The ones that have seen most use by me are the Fenix E0, Fenix E01, ITP A3, Tank007 E09, Tank007 TK-703, Trustfire F23



The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

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Xin TD C8 for a C8-style light ($30)

Shiningbeam S-mini for a nice, pocketable, long-running 18650 in XP-G or XM-L ($42)

Caveman from shiningbeam, nice light that runs on 2 x AA batteries for emergencies ($40)

Klarus ST10, single AA light with hidden strobe and moonlight-low ($40)

Solarforce L2T for an 18650 tactical light. Small, bright, nice finish, only $18 without a drop-in.

And if you have the luxury of having an exra 100 bucks to spend on a light, buy a TK41, or forget about a couple of the above and buy one anyway.

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

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See guys, this is a fun thread Smile

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IMO you can group them in 6 categories:

  1. AAA or AA/14500 or single 123 shorty-type torches - These are the little ones you EDC or stash them everywhere.  My fav is a 4Senvens Quark MiNiX 123 as it was gifted to me but otherwise I would not fork out $50 for this thing - not worth it IMO as I'm cheap.  I have couple dozen Sipik clones because they meet the criteria of being small, light, bright & most importantly cheap cause I need lots of them.
  2. P60 type torches - my favourite is a hand warmer/massager, Solarforce L2X but yet again, I have many WF-502Bs & clones I give away.  Anyways it's the drop-ins that really matter in this case.
  3. C8 style torches - to me the hosts are not important in this case as I think of them as utility torches (most used).  I like the style and light-weight of the Kegos KE5 but the UF clones are a 5min mod to upgrade the driver.  They are built pretty tough and most importantly, they are cheap!
  4. Thrower torches (I rarely use these but my modded TF X9 was my first re & re project so it has a place in my heart.  Upgraded the LED to U2, upgraded the driver to 3A, changed the modes to H-M-L and got rid of the flashies.  Eventually I like to be able to program the driver to send out morse code that spells, F - U or whatever floats your boat.
  5. A WOW torch and a generic incandescent (I tend not to spend over $30 for a torch but I broke my rule when I recently bought 2 DRYs.  It's a WOW torch because everytime you put it on turbo, they go "WOW".  The generic incandescent flashlight is just to show people what the difference is between a blaa torch and one that blinds you.

As a flashaholic I believe it is YOUR responsibility to get people into this cult.  I feel like a drug dealer sometimes.  Usually I gift them a free $5 light (sipik clone) and then they usually come back asking for something more powerful like a P60 type or C8 style torch.  Then you show them the address to BLF...

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Support smaller shops, get NW setup, everyone wins! Smile

AAA: DQG Tiny II NW (out of stock, new version to come soon?)
3xAA: Cyclone C88 NW
1x18650: XinTD C8 NW (or some P60 host with intl-outdoor 3A NW dropin)
2x18650: Shadow TC6 NW (SMO for some throw)
3x18650: DRY NW
4x18650: SKYRAY King NW 



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AAA keychain on NiMH: upcoming DQG Tiny III NW

AA on NiMH: Hugsby P31 (if you get one without mixed up drivers) or Klarus P1A

2AA on NiMH: Fenix E21 or Klarus P2A

1x18650 compact: UF 2100 5-mode with SF Clip (but has stupid strobes) or T-mini from CNQ

1X18650 P60: L2P reverse with Manafont dropin

1x18650 C8-style thrower: XinTD C8 NW

Hmmm, I just realised that most of my recommendations are in the $30-35 range... which is on the higher end of my lights... coincident?

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To each their own, that's why no one really represents BLF. Individuality.

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ANY other battery and any other configuration of components - A Modded Maglite


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I'm with Don.  Get those lights Erik mentioned and you will not only be well entertained, you will own a group of the best performing flashlights available anywhere, at any price.  There's a long list of expensive, name brand torches that we hardly ever talk about ('cause they ain't budget) but even some of those would have a hard time hanging with a few on E's list.



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AAA  a cqgs S1 or a thrunite ti

2AAA saik 207 or streamlight stylus pro

3AAA L2i  or Tank 737

Cr123 ex-10 nitecore or edi-t T-11

AA  D-10 nitecore  or tank 566

2AA  fenixE21 or  a tank 566w/extra tube

3AA mcu c-88

4AA fenix LD-40

Zoomie/Flood2throw-Edi-t P4 or tank737

18650 RominsenT601 or solarforce L2t

D   2D Maglite clone

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