How things change over the years...The Maglite is actually pretty good

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SawMaster
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To big for it’s meager 533 Lumens IMHO but it’s a step in the right direction like the XL50.

“Hey Tony M, get a move on with more products like these but better and brighter!”

Phil

WalkIntoTheLight
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SawMaster wrote:
Only 200 lumens claimed but an up-to-date form factor!

I don’t know if I’d consider a 3xAAA light to be up to date. That’s just the standard config for most cheap direct-driven Chinese lights. Granted, this one probably has some (typically poor M@g) driver, but I think you’d do better with a 1xAA light from a modern brand. Zebralight or Manker 1xAA lights will blow this away.

kennybobby
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Today, with help from information on this forum, i repaired an old black baton 3D maglite that had been corroded out by the alkaleak cell. Years ago i think Costco sold this in a set with the little 2AA light and a cloth holster. They were so much better than the plastic body lights of the day that i bought several sets and everyone got one for xmas too.

i had taken the tail and lens off of it many years ago and set them aside in a box. i couldn’t figure how to dismantle it to get the switch out in order to really clean out that bore, so it sat around in a box for a long time—until today someone started a thread about finding old parts in a box and trying to remember what it was. And that sparked me to action. Got it cleaned and working “good” as new (what a miserable anemic beam). Maybe i’ll cut it down and make a hotrod or something like Dale now that i know about the T8 torx set screw holding the switch and the locating snap ring with the holes sheared off. i guess Mr. Mag thought he was really clever with all his useless tricks.

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

nydude
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i have 25 year old mag lights beaten to hell that still work. that's great, and for nostalgia purposes i havn't passed them on, but they never come with me any more. 

Tumbleweed48
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I have several “D” cell Maglites and a few 2xAA variants as well – to me, they simply represent the past. I really don’t understand why Maglite allowed itself to fall so far behind in the field; perhaps there was a manager somewhere who was/is simply ‘stuck in his ways’.

Basic cool emitters and sub 1k lumen outputs simply don’t cut it anymore. Sooner or later the Walmart / Costco / Home Depot outlets will shrug them off in favour of ‘hotter’ cheaper Chinese product and that will be the end of Maglite. If the West stagnates, one can’t blame the East for filling the demands of the marketplace.

Melon
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Hi everyone, I’ve found this thread interesting so I’ll write my first post on these forums and add my 2 cents :).

I bought 2xAA Maglite Mini in 2000, obviously the incandescent version. After using really cheap and trashy torches for scouting and mountain hiking for many years this Maglite seemed like a luxury and prestige – I’d never been particularly interested in quality of such equipment so this was my first ‘quality’ torch, which was much praised by my friends. It had very good build quality, it had zoom, it could act as a candle, was waterproof, had a spare bulb in the tail cap and looked elegant. However, with time it turned out that I was more and more reluctant to use it mostly because the simple action of turning it on and off was a pain: I had to use two hands, I had to adjust the zoom each time and I had to be careful not to twist it too much so that I don’t unscrew the head completely. I preferred using cheap no-name torches that I could turn on with a simple press of a button. Moreover, after some time the twisty switch started having problems with electric contact so the light often dimmed randomly and I had to twist it back and forth many times to restore full brightness – Maglite advertised that this was a self cleaning switch but in practice the cleaning part never worked well.

So now this torch is still working but I don’t use it at all. I’d be happy to get a new 2xAA Maglite Mini but I don’t want to go back to the twisted switch and apart from that the beam and the light emitter are not what would satisfy me. Indeed, there has been little progress in Maglite apart from switching to LED technology – but to be honest they had no other choice otherwise they would go bankrupt immediately.

What I like about Maglite is that they still make torches for primary batteries. But still, I don’t know if it’s deliberate or a sign of stagnation on their part. I got interested in torches recently and I am fan of using ordinary batteries but unfortunately for me, most of development occurs in rechargeable models. I’d be interested in getting a 2xC Maglite but I can see it has many flaws: ugly beam with halos and donut blackhole, people reporting problems with the electronic switch and so on. I’d like to buy a quality Maglite but for me they don’t produce such products. Sturdy and elegant body is not enough.

Pip
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Imagine a 6D sized maglight in solid copper, with an sbt90.2 led and packing 18×18650 batteries. The ultimate self defense light.

One good thing I’ll say for maglight is they have enormous potential for improvement.

And welcome to the forum. Smile

pc_light
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Welcome to BLF Melon.

There aren’t many upgrade kits left for the Maglite Mini-AA but if you’d want to upgrade yours for sentimental reason there is one pretty good looking kit still available from Litt Industries in the US.

They have a LED & Tailswitch combination that’s a simple drop-in.

Although with the added cost of postage from US to Poland it wouldn’t make economic sense when there are much better value lights like the recently released Sofirn SP10Pro.

On the light side.

raccoon city
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It's a pleasure to have you onboard, Melon!

205_milla

Melon
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Pip wrote:
Imagine a 6D sized maglight in solid copper, with an sbt90.2 led and packing 18×18650 batteries. The ultimate self defense light.

One good thing I’ll say for maglight is they have enormous potential for improvement.

And welcome to the forum. Smile

Yes, Maglite is known for their heavy club lights. I agree they have enormous potential but will they use it? They need some fresh minds that will introduce good emitters, reflectors, convenient UI, get rid of halos, dark spots, etc.

pc_light wrote:
Welcome to BLF Melon.

There aren’t many upgrade kits left for the Maglite Mini-AA but if you’d want to upgrade yours for sentimental reason there is one pretty good looking kit still available from Litt Industries in the US.

They have a LED & Tailswitch combination that’s a simple drop-in.

Although with the added cost of postage from US to Poland it wouldn’t make economic sense when there are much better value lights like the recently released Sofirn SP10Pro.

Interesting that I can upgrade the Maglite Mini but I don’t want to go back to the twisty switch anymore. Plus as you say, the shipping costs would make this completely not worth it so I need a better replacement. Sofirn SP10Pro sounds like a nice and sophisticated light but for now I’m waiting for my new Convoy T3 to arrive. As for direct 2xAA replacement of the Maglite I’m considering Fenix E20 V2.0 unless I find something better.

raccoon city wrote:
It’s a pleasure to have you onboard, Melon!

Thanks, glad to be here!
pc_light
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@Melon, both the Fenix and Convoy are great choices.

I have the 1xAA version, E12 V2 and find it very useful.

If you enjoy 2xAA and Convoy, there’s also the Convoy T4.

On the light side.

Melon
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I was thinking of E12 V2 because of the wider beam but I already got the Convoy T3. Interestingly, the single AA T3 at 10% brightness is brighter than my 2xAA Maglite! Sure, it’s not a fair comparison with an incandescent bulb but it shows how much progress has been made in lighting efficiency in the last two decades. BTW, when I look at video reviews of the current LED Mini Maglites I feel a cringe inside when I imagine that I’d have to operate various modes with a twisty head – maybe there are people who enjoy it but it’s a big no-no for me.

turkeydance
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oh yes, Maglites are “old school” and they still work well.

we have one in each of our cars that have been there since

the last millennium. same D batteries. no drain. no leak.

the lumens are weak, but they were from the beginning.

now, although we have graduated to better options,

we are “playing out this string” to see how long

our endurance experiment will finally end.

Sidney Stratton
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Just so rummaging in my light drawer and those Mags…

Anemic beam and littered with artifacts, overly weighed (brass D cell) without grip, and no UI. Right next I have some Rayovacs and Dorcys – night and day. Same era but so much better performance and much less expensive.

Can’t imagine I would use these Mags in any setting, even with some of Matt’s drop-ins.

Tomorrow I’ll be degrading the lot to the lost cause box.

lampliter
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I think they’re purty.

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” ~ U.S. Senator William H. Borah (1865-1940) affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho"

nicodimus22
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Tumbleweed48 wrote:
I really don’t understand why Maglite allowed itself to fall so far behind in the field; perhaps there was a manager somewhere who was/is simply ‘stuck in his ways’.

Probably because since the 1980s, Maglite has done such a phenomenal job establishing itself as the dominant flashlight brand that its longevity is basically endless. Walk into a random Wal-mart, right now, in 2022. There are still maglites hanging on pegs for sale in the sporting goods department. That’s an amazing achievement for any company…to have almost the exact same product on store shelves for 40 years, and selling. If you have a highly successful business formula that consistently works, why on earth would you change it? Keep raking in that money until something necessitates change.

Tumbleweed48 wrote:
Basic cool emitters and sub 1k lumen outputs simply don’t cut it anymore.

The technical /quality side doesn’t even matter to the general public. Most people have a binary mindset when it comes to flashlights…it either turns on and lights things up, or it’s dead. To most people, there are no levels of brightness, no tint, no CRI, no flood or spot, and no interface…just a button that turns it on and off, and it works or it doesn’t.

Tumbleweed48 wrote:
Sooner or later the Walmart / Costco / Home Depot outlets will shrug them off in favour of ‘hotter’ cheaper Chinese product and that will be the end of Maglite.

Really? Why hasn’t that happened already? It’s certainly not due to a lack of access to cheap Chinese flashlights for many years. I guess Maglite must be selling enough of them to keep the lights on (again, because of its branding and incredible longevity.)

Lick
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nicodimus22 wrote:
Probably because since the 1980s, Maglite has done such a phenomenal job establishing itself as the dominant flashlight brand that its longevity is basically endless. Walk into a random Wal-mart, right now, in 2022. There are still maglites hanging on pegs for sale in the sporting goods department. That's an amazing achievement for any company...to have almost the exact same product on store shelves for 40 years, and selling. If you have a highly successful business formula that consistently works, why on earth would you change it? Keep raking in that money until something necessitates change.

They're flashlights. They don't change that much. Look at a cast iron pan and its the same as it was thousands of years ago. They aren't being bought by anyone except those who remember them, and even then have you see the selection? They're C cells and really expensive. Nobody in the last 20 years knows what maglite is unless they had one as a kid, I am a bit older so older people had them but I wouldn't have a clue either if my grandpa didn't have one that was rarely used since the D cells were so expensive.

nicodimus22 wrote:
The technical /quality side doesn't even matter to the general public. Most people have a binary mindset when it comes to flashlights...it either turns on and lights things up, or it's dead. To most people, there are no levels of brightness, no tint, no CRI, no flood or spot, and no interface...just a button that turns it on and off, and it works or it doesn't.

It does matter to people. They don't know it but they are not going to use the flashlight that dies quickly, the one that looks ugly or the one that is too bright. They may buy it, find it insufficient and stop using it or use it once. There isn't a great demand for flashlights since so many things have LEDs in them now.

nicodimus22 wrote:
Really? Why hasn't that happened already? It's certainly not due to a lack of access to cheap Chinese flashlights for many years. I guess Maglite must be selling enough of them to keep the lights on (again, because of its branding and incredible longevity.)

Have you been in a store recently? Nobody buys maglite, they get a free/cheap $1 9 LED battery that uses 3xAAA with one mode until it dies or use their phone. It has no brand recognition anymore and people aren't buying it. I have never seen a single one being used in the last 20 years, everyone uses their phone, the LEDs on the drill, or a cheap/free chinese light. How often do you see maglite in the wild?  I looked at CostCo and they only have Duracell flashlights with High/Low/Strobe, so it is happening. https://www.costco.com/work-lights-flashlights.html

True Luciphile
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Rip on Mags all you want. They are a tried and true brand still made in the U.S. of A. Sure, I have plenty of the new hotness rolling out of China. You know what else I have? A 2AA mini mag with its original incandescent hanging out in the bathroom. That mini serves a very specific purpose in my house that NO newer more powerful light would do as well while remaining comfortable for its purpose. Also, still banging around the house is my slick, black 4D Mag club. I recently bought a drop in Cree led upgrade emitter and a glass lens for that beauty. It’s like having a fresh experience with an old friend. Great beam, plenty useful, and a hefty weapon in a pinch. Gonna club that thug with your MS18? I bet not.

When somebody wanders into this forum, with little knowledge of what is really out there, and asks, “What is a good light I can buy?”, invariably someone will answer in reply with, “Well, what are you going to use it for?” My point being, that every light both new and old, both complex and simple, both “anemic” and surface of the sun, has a use and purpose that is fits like no other. Sure we can sit back and be flashsnobs all we want, but that helps nobody. Every good torch has a purpose, every good torch can outshine another when fitting its niche. Mags have been proven performers for different reasons over the years, and continue to prove themselves as a good torch. Even if nothing else applies, a cheap Mini-Mag could be the reason some little kid ends up falling into our collective hobby/passion. I was THAT little kid, and my bright red 2AA Mag was the bee’s knees.

If you didn't bring a light, feel free to stumble around in the dark.

raccoon city
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If Maglites would use modern LEDs that are really bright, they'd get more love around here.

If you want something really dim or something you can use as a club, and some people do, then a Maglite fits the bill pretty well.  :THUMBS-UP:

nicodimus22
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True Luciphile wrote:
a cheap Mini-Mag could be the reason some little kid ends up falling into our collective hobby/passion. I was THAT little kid, and my bright red 2AA Mag was the bee’s knees.

Very true. I was that kid in boy scouts in 1985 with my royal blue mini-mag. They can definitely be a gateway device.

They’re not the brightest, they’re not the smallest, they’re not the lightest, but they are tough and reliable. That has always been the main feature and selling point of the product, IMO.

Lightbringer
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Lick wrote:
They’re flashlights. They don’t change that much. Look at a cast iron pan and its the same as it was thousands of years ago. They aren’t being bought by anyone except those who remember them, and even then have you see the selection?

Nothing beats cast-Fe for frying/searing meat. Lots of thermal mass, whereas even the best nonstick cools off rather quickly.

I even fry eggs in mine. Smaller one, not a fullsize, but it’s awesome.

And if a cast-Fe pan is good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

True Luciphile wrote:
Also, still banging around the house is my slick, black 4D Mag club. … Great beam, plenty useful, and a hefty weapon in a pinch. Gonna club that thug with your MS18? I bet not.

Yeh, and if you grab it by the neck and beat someone with the tail, the head itself keeps it from flying out of your hand.

True Luciphile wrote:
When somebody wanders into this forum, with little knowledge of what is really out there, and asks, “What is a good light I can buy?”, invariably someone will answer in reply with, “Well, what are you going to use it for?”

That… umm… that, that… that would be me.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Kona G
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Y’all seen Malkoff new Mag adapters? Allows use of (all) of his M-drop-ins to snuggle into a C/D head.
Gene also supplies a 2× 21700 sleeve to D..
Personally I am fond of 2× 18650 running in 3C cell. The smaller diameter body eliminates “grip slip factor” when used as a ninja beater

Hoop
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Kona G wrote:
Y’all seen Malkoff new Mag adapters? Allows use of (all) of his M-drop-ins to snuggle into a C/D head.

Reminds me of D cells that actually just have an AA inside of them.

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