Cheap But Good Duel Fuel 14500 / AA

Right now I’m looking at

Most of my lights are in the 21700, 18650 and 26650 format. I’m not looking for anything fancy. Just a good bang for the buck.

I searched high and low and even ordered a custom Nitecore D10 from CerialKiller and I just can’t get into 14500/AA. I just feel like you give up too much power/ capacity for too small of a difference. The FW3A or Zebralight SC64w HI or SC64c Le are very small 18650 lights and when I put my 14500 lights next to them, it has never made sense to carry 1/3 the capacity for 80% of the volume.

However, if you’re dead set on 14500/AA, the “best” budget one I’ve found is the SP10S. If you increase your budget, the Reylight Pineapple or Ti Lan have the best performance for me as I don’t like long press for off on the SP10S. I don’t have the SF14 but the Lumintop Tool AA mode spacing is horrible with 14500.


I agree with this mostly. There are however a very small handful of AA/14500s that make a meaningful decrease in volume and combined with 1000mAh cells that are now available, earn their right in an EDC line-up. 18mm diameter is my cutoff. Length is ideally around 90mm.

ET D25A and the (now discontinued :cry: ) Amutorch SS AA are my two examples I’ve owned that were best IMO. Modded with the right optic/HiCRI emitter, I love them. Perfect size for pocket or waistband carry when the forecast for light usage is low or dress is formal or athletic.

Really wish we could get an Aluminum (lightweight) budget version of the aforementioned lights. The Tool is close, but for some reason just hasn’t gotten me to buy one time and time again.

BTW, if anyone has any of these three lights for sale used, PM me

Of the lights listed, I recommend the Tool for sure.

I like the DQG Slim AA a lot. It’s probably the smallest tail-clicky AA/14500.
It’s not the brightest. It doesn’t really “try” on 14500. But it’s the only 14500 light I really feel like is enough smaller for me to not grab FW3A or SC62 instead. The slimness in particular is nice.

I carry 18650, 21700 and 26650 lights.

I’m phasing out all of my older flashlights. I have a ton of AA batteries. AA’s are available everywhere. I want something that can burn AA’s if needed but also runs lithium ion. This will probably live in a glovebox or kitchen drawer.

I loved reading your logic though. It is certainly appreciated!

If you like mode memory, grab a Tool AA. If you hate mode memory, grab a Ultratac A1. Both on Amazon and sub $20. Only down side, both pocket clips are horrific.

I actually forgot about the Thrunite T10 II. I have one and it’s probably the best UI. I just prefer a different emitter. I’m going to attempt a swap. You can buy a stock one here or you can order a modded one from Vihn at Skylumen

I’m too new to P.M……sorry. But maybe this will help you out a little bit.

Ton of Custom ones at the bottom of this page that ARE in stock:

Your second one I couldn’t find. The third one, I did.(SP10S) Much cheaper than the first model

A new kid on the block might be the Nicron N7.
It has a very unique twisting head, which might seem like it’s weak, but it’s got smooth, strong action. Will hold it’s position at at any point of the rotation.
Combine that with it’s quite strong magnet on the bottom and you have a very versatile tool.
Overall build quality seems pretty high. Springs seem thicker than they need to be.
Lumens, 250 with AA or 600 with 14500. High-Med-Low-Strobe-SOS.
Color temp is pretty neutral.
Side button is firm.
It’s getting very good reviews from non-flashlight fanatics.

Bad points:
Unique UI, you have to hold the button for half a second to turn on or off. Apparently that’s to stop accidental activations.
No Mode Memory
PWM might whine slightly in low mode. The three I gave away for the holidays did not do it. Maybe as they get older it will start.

At $17 it’s a darn good value.
If it had mode memory I would have kept one of the three I gave away. Might still get another.
That strong magnet with the twisting head makes it the automotive repair light I’ve been looking for.

A little over your set budget perhaps, but I am really impressed with my (2) Wuben E05.

Some info here

I swear by the Tool AA. Perfectly solid light with simple UI and the blessing of LMH distribution + mode memory. The lower modes on AA are a bit too bright for my tastes but should be very much adequate for outdoor use like camping or hiking. The beam on XP-L has excellent flood-to-throw ratio, no idea about the Nichia.