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

Well, i grinded down the ano on the inside of the tailcap and squeezed a small spring from a $1.50 ebay light between the cap and cells. It works and now i dont have to use 123s!

Buteven though its much brighter than a stock 2C (and much whiter) it cant touch a magcharger, xml thrower, or even an xpg. It was much more impressive back in the luxeon days.

Still, not bad for less than $20...whether you run primaries or 18650's.

MAGs are for modding - they are excellent hosts as mentioned before. like solar force. i cant speak to there newer stuff but regarding modest mods for beginners its a good platform. not that the Pros dont knock out some sick mods with them too.

my example, a while back ,prior to BLF, i took a p7 dropin from DX and a 4c MAG ( yes i am a C cell fan ). blah blah after some cursing a solid flashlight that runs either 4c or 2 18650s ( with adapter) all for around $40

seen a few people drill out some 2 AA MAGs to get a regular driver in there. then you can use a niteize clicky or something ( havent done an AA yet ). again modest but very functional

the AAAs are tight (inside space) and i havent found a easy driver to use with them but again a solid 2 AAA flashlight.

I think Maglite dropped the ball a little. They probably had enough revenue from their lineup in the past few decades, that they could have invested a little more in developing new products that incorporate the newest technology. I also think the Mags are only decent hosts for modding, there are far better options out there. Maybe it's the most rewarding in terms of achievement, but you have too invest a lot of time/money or both to make it a decent host.

I'm not only talking about driving XM-Ls to their limits, but also efficiency which is much more important with alkaleaks. See what Fenix can do with standard cells... one has to wonder why Maglite hasn't reacted in all this time. Also even elder people who are not flashaholics are using NiMHs nowadays. They are not that uncommon... you can buy them in every big Walmart-like store here. (Walmart didn't make in Germany... too competitive market.. ). The Mini Pro+ just has entered the market, they should have updated their whole lineup 2-3 years ago or even before that. After all this time they introduced a light which is essentially the old host with the old thermal problems... to me it looks like Maglite is stuck in the past. I guess their sales numbers have to heavily drop first before they wake up. That's not healthy for a company, that was considered top of the line several years ago.

But, it is what happens to most home grown companies that are still controlled by the original owner. I have seen that in home grown compamies all across the USA. When “The Boss” kicks the bucket, is when Maglite will fall and disappear.

I don't see any NiMHs in WalMart either. They did away with all of their good NiMHs (Duracell) and there's just a handful of Rayovac or Energizer NiMHs out there. They doubled or tripled their inventory of Alkalines, because that is what people here buy. If it wasn't the best selling battery in the US, they would not have dropped their NiMHs and doubled their Alkalines. We are a throw away country and world. Rechargeables will never be the most popular batteries. Just like no one wants electric cars here either. They will even buy the 1.5V throw away lithiums before they buy rechargeable Li-ion. People like us, on these forums, are just a minority. Maglite is for the Majority, who still buy them.

I watch the stock in my local WalMart (the flashlight stock). Ya I'm crazy, but I mark the packages, so I know when they move out. (I said I was crazy). Maglites go out of that place in good numbers. Averaging 15+ lights per month, in one store. (Two years ago, the numbers were higher). The other lights, like Brinkman, that are in the same price range as the LED Maglites, don't sell well at all. 2-5 per month. Now the really cheap plastic lights, they sell well. 4 lights with batteries for $10.00, ya they sell almost as good as Maglites.

WalMart is also starting to push the LED Maglites. They are not putting Incans back up, but putting more and more LED lights up. (Probably because of Maglite). I am starting to hoard Incan 2D Maglites. I buy one a month and put them away, so I can have lights to mod this winter. Sooner or later Incan Maglites will be really hard to find. If I don't use them, then when they do get scarce, I can sell them on ebay for twice the price.

I’m afraid that when I take all of these into consideration, The Mag come close to the bottom of the list. They are Too big, too heavy, they have a plastic reflector, they are not bright enough, and expensive for what they are.

The simple fact is they have been left behind by the Chinese.


Some time ago I dropped a TerraLUX upgrade into my old Mini Maglite, and it is now my most used light around the house. I’ve had the thing for about 20 years, so I guess I have some sort of emotional attachment to it by now, which probably factors significantly into my inclination to keep it in play. Upgrading it was a pleasure. In fact it was almost personal, in a “this faithful torch deserves it” kinda way.

Great iconic light, with a new lease on life :slight_smile:

If you really wanna upgrade it put a xm-l in it.

Once again, for the average flashlight user a Maglite wins by a large margin.

Ease of use ( you pick it up and press the button )

Durability ( They can take a hit and they have been in use for YEARS)

Dependability ( They ALWAYS work just as they are, My last order of Chinese lights were 3 for 3 DOA, simple fixes though, but can you see the average joe putting up with THAT?)

Availablity - Can buy one almost anywhere, drug, hardware, even WalMart! why it takes up to 2 MONTHS to get a Chinese light! I can hop in my car and get a Mag in 5 minutes

Length of runtime - Talking LED Mags here, 9 hours for 2D and 70 hours with 3D. Of course Chinese lights can get that kind of runtime …………on LOW

Availability of Batteries - The average person is NOT going to put up with taking the batteries out and recharging them, THEY JUST WON’T DO IT. They will however plug the light in at night if it has an integral charger. We do this already with Cell phones, but only because a cell phone is an “every day carry” Remember the average flashlight is NOT used every day. Also if you battery runs down you can walk into ANY store and buy more, no waiting for 4 hours to recharge.

Overall Quality of build and Finish Except for the high end Chinese lights, The quality of the build and finish of a Mag exceeds the JUNK that I have seen in ALL the cheaper Chinese lights that I have bought. The anodizing is especially superb.

Usability ( Pick one up and it just works, do you think that a “forgotten Li Ion battery flashlight is going to actually work 3 years from now when you need it, after it has been in a drawer all that time (remember it is not used every day, but rather only several times each year. Now I hear that the latest Duracells have a shelf life of 10 years!

Price (Cheaper initial cost than ANY Chinese flashlight, battery, charger combo) - Its TRUE

Decent enough spill OR Throw for most applications. (how often does one REALLY need 1000 Lumen?)

Front mounted switch, not a tailcap switch, for one handed operation - I HATE tailcap switches

NO BLINKY modes - enough said

Only people with a specific need or a flashaholic would choose anything else.

Now after having said all that, I am excited about these new Chinese lights and find myself lusting after a number of them. I actually buy many of them. But I am a flashaholic, NOT the average flashlight user.

Marc you are right, technologically the Chinese have gone way ahead, but will they sell to the general public??
I think NOT.

I am not saying they are the best for you and I, I am saying they are the best for everyone else!

BTW, When the IPAD first came out my wife wanted one. I objected because

It was Apple - Proprietary
no USB ports
can’t print
no external video port
can’t replace the battery
no flash
etc. etc.

but I got her one anyway…….and she LOVES it, and so do I
It’s simple and it WORKS and it is dominating the market, sometimes what seems best to the ones “in the know” is not the best for everyone else.

That was the Genius of Steve Jobs, creating the best computers, not for techies, but for the “rest of us”
In fact that was Apples motto.

Love my Mag 2c :slight_smile:

I think maybe there is a little patriotism there. First off I do not hate Mags, I have 3 of them, 2x 3D cells and a minimag. But if I need to go into the garden, I pick up One of my Solarforces or my Klarus, because the Mag is too big and heavy. Both of the D cell Mags have been upgraded to XPG R5 with 200lm, made a big difference but still for the size of it, it is just not practical, or bright enough.

As for reliability all of my Solarforces, my Klarus and my Jetbeam work Flawlessly and the crazy thing is, my Jetbean BC40 cost me less than a 3D Mag! So as far as cost goes the Mag loses in a big way. Run time is irrelevant as it’s relative to the output. My Klarus has 33 hours on 2 Eneloops.

Now I agree that Most people will buy a Mag, simply because it is there, But the same could be said about my Klarus, If it was stocked on shelves in every shop. The Klarus wipes the floor of the Mag for quality. It is HAIII, it has a far superior switch, it’s far smaller and far brighter and runs on double AAs, £2 for 4 Duracells (I use eneloops) as opposed to £4 for 2 D cells, £8 for mine as I need 3 cells.

The Mag has a place but it’s no longer a real torch IMO. You must however compare them with high end Chinese torches, because I agree that there is a lot of crap from China, that will not work in 12 months or even out the box. The crazy thing is a Solarforce is only a couple of dollars more than a cheap copy.

Oh, and by the way when I ordered my last Solarforce, it arrived in 4 days.


Aloha and welcome to BLF CamoNinja!

Hi and welcome to BLF!

Now, can you give us more pics of heatsink, driver, switch, or can you give us a link to more details of that build? :slight_smile:


Welcome aboard, CamoNinja!

Hi guys,

I found this thread via Google, I didn’t know of this forum. I think it’s a pity that Maglite is so underrated, so I just wanted to make this comparison between Maglite and Fenix, a much more renowned brand (at least among flashlight enthusiasts). The comparison is between similar lights, not between a 2XAA and a 4xD, so it is a relevant comparison of the know-how of these manufacturers. Here it is:

I think the Fenix is slightly more recent. It has a newer generation LED, 4 cells instead of 3, but still, is far behind the Maglite in terms of output and runtime. But it is 4 times more expensive. The only thing that is better with the TK60 is that it has several other modes.

Some people may say that the Fenix uses aluminium of a better grade, etc. Yes, maybe. But the Maglite is really well made, and it is really solid. I have been using mine for 12 years, using it to do speleology. I treated it rather badly, dropped it several times, and it still works flawlessly. So maybe you can see that the build of the Fenix is better if you use a microscope, but I think it is not relevant. The Maglite is well designed, well built, and seems indestructible. What else do we need?

I lost the rubber switch cover of my 4D once, and my retailer gave me one for free, here in France. Spare parts can be obtained easily, cheaply, in many places. Everything can be taken apart in the flashlight, I’m not sure the same is true about the TK60.

About the output. To do speleology, the krypton bulb was enough for me. A few years later, the Luxeon LED upgrade came out and was even better. Now with the Cree LED, the output is really great. I will never need more light. And the runtime is insane.

In my opinion, Maglite is by far the best manufacturer when it comes to quality-price ratio.

Welcome to BLF, racomir!

First of all, welcome aboard racomir.

Your comparison table seems a little bit biased to me, because it doesn't take into account that the fenix can pump out 800 lumens when you need it. Or if you need an emergency light, it can give you 10 lumens for 400h according to manufacturer specs.

Besides, I would think that if 130 lumens is enough for you, there'd be better options than a 3D light. Or do you actually spend 80 hours in a cave? (not a rhetorical question, I'm really curious.)

^^This! +1!

No, but I’d rather get in the head with a Maglite than with a Fenix TK70 or even Olight SR90.

raccoon city and Steve_the_Chief : thanks!

It’s true. There are two possibilities about the poor runtime (compared to the Maglite) of the middle mode on the Fenix:

1) it has poor runtime because they poorly designed it
2) it has poor runtime because you can’t do otherwise when you want to have several modes

In the first case, I wouldn’t say that “the Chinese make better lights”, because the difference with the Maglite is huge (half the runtime with a more efficient LED and 4 batteries instead of 3). In the second case, I would say that this light is better only if you intend to use it mostly on high mode.

But when do you need 800 lumens so much that you prefer:

- to have 4 hours of light rather than 79 hours

- to pay four times the price

- to use 4 batteries instead of 3


I guess that people in such a case are pretty rare.

No, 10 hours at most. But I really love lights with huge runtime. It feels like the runtime is unlimited because you have to change the batteries so rarely. I have a Mag 4D with the Luxeon LED, which has a runtime of 43 hours “only”. But I’m considering buying the new 3D, because it’s a huge improvement over my 4D both in runtime and output, and it’s lighter and smaller. And so cheap.