Best EDC between Fenix PD36R or Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K

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DtroitPunk72
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Best EDC between Fenix PD36R or Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K
Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K
80% (35 votes)
Fenix PD36R
18% (8 votes)
Fenix PD40R (bit large for EDC, IK)
2% (1 vote)
Total votes: 44

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

KeepingItLight
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I don't own any Sofirn or Fenix models, so my opinion is worth exactly what you paid... Nothing! That said, I think it's difficult to compare the two brands. The Fenix PD36R is marketed as a premium tactical flashlight, while the Sofirn SC31 Pro 5000K as more of a budget model.

I generally avoid Fenix products, but not because they are not well made. Most Fenix models are wonderfully sturdy and dependable, with quality electronics. I have long been a fan of the top-notch regulation provided by Fenix drivers. They produce near-perfect runtime charts with flat, constant output.

What puts me off Fenix are the design decisions it makes. All too often you get:

  • No neutral white
  • No high CRI
  • No moonlight (and no low 1 or 2 lumen mode)
  • No tail-standing
  • High price

For me, the high price, coupled with so many "no" answers, leads to "no sale."

In the case of the PD36R, it was impossible to support both tail-standing and tactical access to the rear switch, so Fenix chose to forego tail-standing. For the target market, that makes sense. Unfortunately, "tactical" is not the market where I shop.

Between the PD36R and SC31 Pro, I would go with the Sofirn, but I am not sure I would buy either. Good drivers, preferably of the buck/boost variety, are a high priority for me, and I just don't know whether Sofirn has those. On the other hand, Fenix does have excellent drivers, but falls down in many other areas.

 

niajef
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im biased cuz i only have sc31 pro…

TimMc
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+1 for SC31 Pro Silly

SKV89
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Fenix drivers are on another level compared with Sofirn. Way better efficiency and regulation. But Fenix cost 4x the price so it depends on your needs and budget.

niajef
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SKV89 wrote:
Fenix drivers are on another level compared with Sofirn. Way better efficiency and regulation. But Fenix cost 4x the price so it depends on your needs and budget.

ya, im starting to see/realize why sofirn is budget, and why some lights are just expensive for seemingly no reason, im assuming a good driver costs a lot more.

TimMc
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niajef wrote:
why some lights are just expensive for seemingly no reason, im assuming a good driver costs a lot more.

My most expensive flashlight is an EagTac T25C2 from 2014. It now has a purple tint… :-/

niajef
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TimMc wrote:
niajef wrote:
why some lights are just expensive for seemingly no reason, im assuming a good driver costs a lot more.

My most expensive flashlight is an EagTac T25C2 from 2014. It now has a purple tint… :-/

so pretend its aux

TimMc
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niajef wrote:
so pretend its aux

Perhaps it’s a known issue for Cree XM-L2 U4 to have a purple spill… Facepalm

I only noticed it when I got some more flashlights. Blissfully happy with 6500K. Silly

longuylander
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While Fenix makes efficient and reliable lights, to me their downfall is their UI. Many without dual switches use the hold for on/off, and have no shortcut to either the lowest or the highest setting. All you get is memory and click to advance to the next higher setting until turbo loops back to low. Comparing that to Anduril is like comparing the options on a Toyota Corolla to an Audi.

DtroitPunk72
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longuylander wrote:
While Fenix makes efficient and reliable lights, to me their downfall is their UI. Many without dual switches use the hold for on/off, and have no shortcut to either the lowest or the highest setting. All you get is memory and click to advance to the next higher setting until turbo loops back to low. Comparing that to Anduril is like comparing the options on a Toyota Corolla to an Audi.

Any suggestions for a really bright EDC then?

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

TimMc
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Emisar D4V2 XP-L HI V2 5D 4000K Silly

KeepingItLight
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longuylander wrote:
While Fenix makes efficient and reliable lights, to me their downfall is their UI. Many without dual switches use the hold for on/off, ...

Press-and-hold for on/off.

Yeah, that's a problem.

Lightbringer
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Ain’t got any Fenices, so can’t quite compare, but the SC31pro is quite nice, and can be made even more pocket-friendly with the shorty tube.

My still-undefeated EDC is my MH20, though, which just ticks all the boxes.

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SKV89
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KeepingItLight wrote:

longuylander wrote:
While Fenix makes efficient and reliable lights, to me their downfall is their UI. Many without dual switches use the hold for on/off, …

Press-and-hold for on/off.


Yeah, that’s a problem.

Press and hold for off is the biggest problem with most Fenix lights. But the PD36R is a two button light with an exceptionally user-friendly UI and the quality is absolutely top notch. The PD40R is even simpler to use with its mechanical rotating switch. Too bad I’m not a fan of CW lights and all of Fenix lights use CW emitters.

If the OP want a high power EDC with usb-c recharge, Fireflies has a bunch of new lights scheduled to be released this month. They will blow everything out of the water in terms of output for single cell lights. They will also have HI CRI, WW, and NW options. Best of all, they will use an efficient buck driver with >93% efficiency and regulated up to 6A. For me, regulation and efficiency is very important for a practical EDC meant as a tool.

Sofirn lights are excellent for the bargain price but the driver along with other features are in a different class. The E07v2 is going to be ass kickingly good for an EDC.

DtroitPunk72
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SKV89 wrote:
KeepingItLight wrote:

longuylander wrote:
While Fenix makes efficient and reliable lights, to me their downfall is their UI. Many without dual switches use the hold for on/off, …

Press-and-hold for on/off.


Yeah, that’s a problem.

Press and hold for off is the biggest problem with most Fenix lights. But the PD36R is a two button light with an exceptionally user-friendly UI and the quality is absolutely top notch. The PD40R is even simpler to use with its mechanical rotating switch. Too bad I’m not a fan of CW lights and all of Fenix lights use CW emitters.

If the OP want a high power EDC with usb-c recharge, Fireflies has a bunch of new lights scheduled to be released this month. They will blow everything out of the water in terms of output for single cell lights. They will also have HI CRI, WW, and NW options. Best of all, they will use an efficient buck driver with >93% efficiency and regulated up to 6A. For me, regulation and efficiency is very important for a practical EDC meant as a tool.

Sofirn lights are excellent for the bargain price but the driver along with other features are in a different class. The E07v2 is going to be ass kickingly good for an
EDC.

I really wonder how the E07V2 will compare to the Sofirn at like 3 times the cost. I also prefer the form factor of the Sofirn and Fenix, but the specs on the original E07 are impressive.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

SKV89
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The original E07 was one of my all-time favorite 21700. It has insane output for the size, nice looks, and high CRI with good tint options. It also had a very thick shelf and hefty copper mcpcb that gave it better heat sinking than all other lights of its class. The V2 should double the throw distance, have new high efficiency buck driver with regulated output, and 2A usb-c for fast charging. It’s going to be the best 21700 EDC on the market. I am super excited for the upcoming FF lights and I already own over 300 flashlights.

Sofirn makes great lights in its price range though. They are competing in a completely different league.

DtroitPunk72
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niajef wrote:
SKV89 wrote:
Fenix drivers are on another level compared with Sofirn. Way better efficiency and regulation. But Fenix cost 4x the price so it depends on your needs and budget.

ya, im starting to see/realize why sofirn is budget, and why some lights are just expensive for seemingly no reason, im assuming a good driver costs a lot more.

Perhaps, but comparisons between Sofirn SC31 pro to Olight warrior mini and baton pro make the Sofirn look much nicer for less money… They seem to have sort of found a sweetspot where they offer fairly crazy performance for the cash.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

DtroitPunk72
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SKV89 wrote:
The original E07 was one of my all-time favorite 21700. It has insane output for the size, nice looks, and high CRI with good tint options. It also had a very thick shelf and hefty copper mcpcb that gave it better heat sinking than all other lights of its class. The V2 should double the throw distance, have new high efficiency buck driver with regulated output, and 2A usb-c for fast charging. It’s going to be the best 21700 EDC on the market. I am super excited for the upcoming FF lights and I already own over 300 flashlights.

Sofirn makes great lights in its price range though. They are competing in a completely different league.

This seems to be my assessment and experience as well.

I have the SP40 and the SP70 and am awaiting the SF11.

That new e07 sounds awesome, I’m just not sure it’s worth like 3 times the SC31 (to me anyway). Now, if there were a groupbuy promo with battery included for the right price? I’m probably in!

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

phantom23
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The only thing pro-Sofirn is better tint. Other than that it’s just worse and the single switch operation is something I personally truly detest, one milion clicks in either direction, press and hold to change modes is extremely annoying because you have to focus a lot and if you miss – you have to start again. Fenix has much simplier and much much better UI.

SKV89
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phantom23 wrote:
The only thing pro-Sofirn is better tint.

I think you got this completely flipped around. I’ve had many conversations in the past with Sofirn and I know they don’t care about tint and don’t understand what tint is. They only know what color temperature is, which is not the same as tint. I’ve been trying to get them to use Cree NW A and D tint but I think they just don’t understand what that is or more likely it’s too expensive to buy binned tints for the super low price range they sell their lights at.

FF on the other hand cares about tint and always strive to obtain below the bbl tint bins. The SST-20 4000K FA3 is the rosiest SST-20 4000K used by any flashlight manufacturer by a good amount. They were also the first to use the SST-20 2700K JA3 below the BBL tint in flashlights. They were also the first non-custom flashlight manufacturer to use the legendary Nichia 219B sw45k that was though to be discontinued and unobtainable.

In terms of Cree emitters, they have the very rosy 5A and 3A tint bins. Compare those with any XPL used by Sofirn that are generally above the BBL and you will see how green the Sofirns are. The only decent emitter Sofirn has is the 5000k LH351D which is not too much above the BBL and I’m pretty sure that was a matter of luck that they got a good bin and it wasn’t because they sought a batch with binned tint, which is more expensive and harder to find than random binned batches.

There are a lot of pros with Sofirn lights but tint is definitely not one of them and I own over 2 dozen Sofirn lights. The non-custom flashlight company that cares about CRI and tint the most in the flashlight word at the moment has got to be Fireflies.

jp9mm
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phantom23 wrote:
The only thing pro-Sofirn is better tint. Other than that it’s just worse and the single switch operation is something I personally truly detest, one milion clicks in either direction, press and hold to change modes is extremely annoying because you have to focus a lot and if you miss – you have to start again. Fenix has much simplier and much much better UI.

‘one milion clicks in either direction’ Not sure what you mean

Anduril UI is 100x better than Fenix. Fenix has no short cuts, so if you miss you have to cycle through every output again…..

Anduril – Hold to moon light – double click to high. ramping output that goes up with hold or down with click hold.
You cant do any of that with fenix.

how crazy is this
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I would also have to agree that Anduril is a great UI and a strength rather than a weakness. As an EDC the UI and the output choices are a clear win for the Sofirn over the Fenix. The Sofirn goes noticeably lower and noticeably higher in output and you can set your own number of steps between the two. Plus, shortcuts. Plus, you can see the voltage of your battery any time you want. Serious positives for EDC IMHO.

SKV89
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Anduril is much better than Fenix’s standard click and hold for off UI in their single button lights. However, their dual switch lights and rotary lights are awesome and very user friendly. The issue I have with Anduril is that my non flashaholic friends always accidentally find themselves in the blinky or programming modes. It is just not user friendly for muggles. Anduril 2 is supposed to solve this issue.

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SKV89 wrote:
The issue I have with Anduril is that my non flashaholic friends always accidentally find themselves in the blinky or programming modes. It is just not user friendly for muggles. Anduril 2 is supposed to solve this issue.

You ain’t kidding. 3click from off vs 3click from on still gets me batty if I don’t constantly remind myself which is which. And then you set manual memory (more insidious, only rears its ugly head when you turn the light back on, and then “it’s broken” because it doesn’t remember you had it cranked down to near moonlight or cranked up to turbo and it keeps on “forgetting” what it was last set to) and have to remember that 3click and hold is what undoes it.

The Muggle has zero chance.

That’s why it’s probably for the best to have all those weirdo options stuffed into a programming mode. This way, The Muggle can’t easily get into all those modes and get into trouble, while the “pro” can still tweak it to his heart’s content.

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phantom23
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jp9mm wrote:
Fenix has no short cuts, so if you miss you have to cycle through every output again…..

Thing is – you can’t miss with Fenix. With Anduril you can, very easily.
SKV89 wrote:
Anduril is much better than Fenix’s standard click and hold for off UI in their single button lights. However, their dual switch lights and rotary lights are awesome and very user friendly. The issue I have with Anduril is that my non flashaholic friends always accidentally find themselves in the blinky or programming modes. It is just not user friendly for muggles. Anduril 2 is supposed to solve this issue.

If it’s not user friendly – it’s not better.
longuylander
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How exactly can you “miss” with Anduril? You can easily go past the mode you’re looking for with a Fenix and have to cycle all the way around. If you ramp a bit too far in Anduril, you release and hold again until the brightness comes back down a bit.

User friendliness is not the be-all end-all for “betterness.” If that was the case, all we’d have are single switch, single mode lights. To me, dual switches is a terrible design and highly frustrating. I haven’t touched my Fenix PD35 V2 for a long time because of it. Yes, there’s a learning curve with Anduril (which V2 has attempted to and apparently has addressed). But if being user friendly is all that’s important, then a bicycle is better than a motorcycle, a fan is better than air conditioning, and a calculator watch is better than a laptop.

DtroitPunk72
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Bought the SC31 Pro. Probably will still buy the FF E07V2 if the price were right…

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

phantom23
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longuylander wrote:
How exactly can you “miss” with Anduril?

I’m talking about stepped modes, ramping is bad because you don’t know what brightness level you’re at and therefore you cannot estimate runtime. You can miss by not releasing the button in the right moment because cycling through modes is pretty fast. Also to perform the same operation (for example – change two modes up), in the Fenix flashlight, you need to click the button twice. That’s it. Quick, simple, muscle memory – you just program your brain to do two short clicks and you do it automatically, with zero distraction. With Anduril you need to press the switch, hold it, wait for it to start switching modes, stay fully focused to release the switch in the exact fraction of a second it’s in the desired mode. It’s extremely easy to miss, requires much higher level of concentration and it’s very frustrating when you miss (because you need to start all over). I did have one flashlight like that and I will never buy anything like that. Ever. I don’t know how I stopped myself from smashing it into the ground when I missed the mode again.

EDIT. If you’re so allergic to tail switches, there is a walkaround – two stage side switch. Nitecore used it in the MH series and it was great.

longuylander
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I’ve had plenty of times with Fenix lights (UC30, PD35 V2, E16) where the side switch registered two clicks instead of one, causing me to “miss” my mode and having to cycle around (they’re not the same switches, but they are similar enough to suffer from the same problem). The timing of switching modes by holding down the button can be learned as simply as muscle memory too. And if you “miss” by going one mode too far, you can simply release and hold again for it to switch down one mode, not cycle through all other modes. Besides that, with Anduril, you may set however many modes you want to switch through and not be locked into whatever levels the manufacturer has chosen for you. That way, if you’re really so worried about run-time, you can choose a slightly lower mode than you might normally use (or with ramping, just turn it down a little). So I still don’t see how Fenix’s UI is better. Not having shortcuts to moonlight (and on most Fenix lights, no moonlight at all) or turbo, and having to cycle through all higher modes to return to the lower modes offers much less functionality. If I last left my light in a middle mode and now need a low setting, I either have to ruin my night vision by changing through the high modes, or I have to cover the light while changing through the modes, hoping the button does not misfire and change two modes (or else I have to cycle through again), until reaching the low setting.

jp9mm
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phantom23 wrote:
longuylander wrote:
How exactly can you “miss” with Anduril?

I’m talking about stepped modes, ramping is bad because you don’t know what brightness level you’re at and therefore you cannot estimate runtime. You can miss by not releasing the button in the right moment because cycling through modes is pretty fast. Also to perform the same operation (for example – change two modes up), in the Fenix flashlight, you need to click the button twice. That’s it. Quick, simple, muscle memory – you just program your brain to do two short clicks and you do it automatically, with zero distraction. With Anduril you need to press the switch, hold it, wait for it to start switching modes, stay fully focused to release the switch in the exact fraction of a second it’s in the desired mode. It’s extremely easy to miss, requires much higher level of concentration and it’s very frustrating when you miss (because you need to start all over). I did have one flashlight like that and I will never buy anything like that. Ever. I don’t know how I stopped myself from smashing it into the ground when I missed the mode again.

EDIT. If you’re so allergic to tail switches, there is a walkaround – two stage side switch. Nitecore used it in the MH series and it was great.

Not sure if you ever used Anduril but you’re still not understanding how it works. If you miss a mode you release and hold again it goes the opposite way.
With Fenix you wonder if your in high mode? 1 more click your at the bottom clicking intensifies 1 million clicks later there’s another smashed flashlight Big Smile

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