I bought a Nitecore MT10A, wonderful light, but the anodising chipped in the first week of use, it is very brittle, and it has lots of chips now. I still recommend the light. I have an Olight S15, which has basic machining, mainly turning on a lathe, no fancy CNC work, but I’m impressed by the quality of the anodising, no chips yet even when dropped from 1m onto the grass verge, and making a clunk as it hit tarmac. Sunwayman seem good too, and Fenix.
Am I right to assume the thickness determines the quality? Is Nitecore anodising generally poor? They claim HAIII hard anodised, and yet my Maglites are not HAIII but the ano is tougher!!! My Zebralight SC5 ano is okay, not as good as SWM/Fenix, much better than Nitecore.
Do others find Olight ano and build quality very good?
I’ve been generally very pleased with my Olights as well. They’re good lights. They use too much glue on some of their threads, but that’s a common issue I guess. I still haven’t managed to access the driver cavity on my SR Mini II. :~
I haven’t had much issue with my Nitecores though. I do believe the Olights are probably better lights, at least better constructed, but my Nitecores have been pretty good so far. My Zebras, however, have always seemed very good. I’ve edc-carried a Zebralight of some sort (usually SC62w) for a long time now. They get a few scratches and such along the way, of course, but they’ve held up very well I think. For best mass-produced anodizing, my vote goes to Armytek. I love that thick matte ano they’ve got.
+1 for Zebralight. Their light grey anodizing is more wear resistant than average brand… I think they even use a better type of aluminium than all those so-called “Aerospace Grade Aluminum”… (Alcoa) Together feels quite solid.
Armytek has a typical velvet grain style anodizing, quite fancy but not as resistant as Zebralight one (attract stain and dirt easily too)
More grippy, indeed.
I like the patina of wear that comes with using something… To each their own, so I am not running down anyone wanting perfect anodizing…
My SWM V10A is tatty from four years of continuous use. The coating should be decent quality if they are going to claim it is hard anodised. Some of my lights are pristine, but used regularly, some are banged about.
The anodizing on most lights is ‘type II’. It’s somewhat durable depending on many parameters; metal quality, anodizing chemicals, current, duration, etc.
Some makers use ‘type III’ or hard anodizing. The finish is very rugged and durable. The process is much more involved requiring a refrigerated anodizing bath, stronger chemicals, more current and longer anodizing time.
Pre-anodizing prep also makes a significant difference in the durability and appearance.
Sorry Gurthang but I don’t think you read my post. Specs and reality are not the same.
Fenix ix the one of the best I have seen. Eagle Eye uses a good process that is extremely durable. Nitecore is just above so-so as far as hardness but I put mine through the paces at work so like RemanG stated it is no big deal.
Keep this in mind. These lights are not completely manufactured in-house. A bad run can lead to certain issues but given the nature of what we are talking about and the fact that function does not get affected, the manufacturers let them roll.
Maybe its all down to the specific alloy that the light is made from? A hard alloy will be less prone to damage even before the anodising process.
it depends on the model and the year it was built. My Nitecore P25 has very tough anodizing & nearly indestructible, while my EA4W has weak anodizing almost like a paint & scratches easily. Olights have great Ano & built quality, but the S-series (especially the S20) drivers are trash. They are sensitive to shock. i had two S20’s fry their drivers. Sunwayman build good light bodies and anodizing, but their electronics are also trash. all four of the sunwayman lights i have all failed. Same goes for other manufacturers too, they all have some good models and some bad models. Some with good anodizing and some with horrible anodizing. The Supfire M6 has so bad anodizing it looks (and scratches off) like spray paint. I find the lights with a more satin/matte anodizing finish to be much more durable and tougher to scratch than the lights with a shiner anodizing.
The Eagle Eye X6 has some of the best anodising, better than the expensive lights.
so far imo the convoy and thrunite had the most decent quality in this.
fenix used to be good. My sis E05 was used as a keychain and the purple anodizing still looks as good as new other than the keyring section chipped but my ld12 got scratched from its own pocket clip in less than 4 minutes of use