[Review] Multi-Emitter Shoot Out

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Andrew_Debbie
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[Review] Multi-Emitter Shoot Out

Sofirn recently asked me to review the SF-25A on Amazon.

There are several stand-alone reviews of the SF-25A here, so I decided to do a comparison instead.

I will be comparing all of my multi-emitter lights.

Left to right: BLF LT-1 (Sofirn), BLF Q8 (Thorfire), Manker MK-36, Emisar D4S, Sofirn SF-25A, Lumintop FW3A (copper), Fireflies PL47.

I won the MK-36 in a BLF contest. Sofirn provided the SF-25A for the Amazon review. I paid for the rest.

Edited by: Andrew_Debbie on 11/22/2020 - 12:28
Andrew_Debbie
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Build Quality

I cleaned and lubricated the threads with silicon grease before ranking them.

  1. FW3A Threads are butter smooth. Precison and feel are a cut above all the rest.
  2. PL47. Quietness puts it just above the next group
  3. IF25A, MK36 and D4S tie for third. Don’t be put off by 3rd place. All three are very good.
  4. LT-1. Just behind the third place group. Perhaps not a fair comparison since the coke can quad 18650 is larger than all the others.
  5. BLF Q8 came in last. Not as smooth as the rest. No amount of silicon grease will make it quiet either. My Q8 is one of the old ones made by Thorfire. The LT-1 made by Sofirn uses the same thread but appears to be better made.

Finish

  1. Cu FW3A. Flawless. A work of art. Ages well. Scraches from use blend in and are almost impossible to see.
  2. MK-36 The MK has a precision look and crisp graphics that set it apart from the others. I especially like the chamfers on the cooling fins that make the light more comfortable to hold.
  3. IF25A, D4S and LT-1 tie for third. The matt black IF25A has a sheen to it. Almost sparkles in the light. The D4S had lovely anodizing when new. Years of daily use have left a few marks. The LT-1 is every bit as good as the IF25A. All three have a quality feel to them.
  4. BLF-Q8. Nicely made but just not as good as the others. Sharpish edges and overall just not as good as the rest.
  5. PL-47 came in last due to sharp edges that can cut into my hand.

User Interface

  1. FW3A, LT-1, IF-25A, PL47 and D4-S all run Anduril
  2. Q8
  3. MK-36. The simple 4+4 mode UI is maddening. The bat check is stuck at the end of the +4 blinkies group. The insanely bright blinkies are all but useless and there is no way to configure them. Or anything. Shame because the MK-36 is otherwise a very good light.
Andrew_Debbie
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Aux Lights
The quad emitter lights have either aux lights, a lighted switch or both.

  1. SF-21A and D4s are perfect.
  2. LT-1 and Q8. Nice lighted switches.
  3. MK-36 and FW3A do not have aux lights
  4. PL47 Waay to BRIGHT. Can be modded. I haven’t.
Andrew_Debbie
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Ergonomics

The switch is often overlooked. My ranking

  1. SF-21A and MK-36 have the best switches. The feel and sound is just better than the rest.
  2. D4S, LT-1, Q8, PL-47 are all very good.
  3. FW3A takes a lot of force to click. I wonder if mine is defective. Repair or modding this is at the top of my to-do list.

Hand Holding.

The D4s wins this highly subjective category. It fits my hand well and the fine knurling works well and feels great.

I also like the MK-36. Three 18650s allow for flats on the body that work.

Andrew_Debbie
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