What's the best hand torch

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 18:24
ThreadID: 96464 Views:8394 Replies:24 FollowUps:18
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Hi All

While sitting beside the Murray River recently around the camp fire with the grand kids.
We were shining our torch into the trees to see if we could spot any Koalas.
Now my faithful old torch is a "Dolphin" they have served me well for the past 2 decades both on land and at sea.
While I was enjoying the camp fire it got me to thinking about the advances in lighting technologies especially LED.
Just wondering what everyone uses and if I can up date to a better torch to impress the Grand kids next time we are sitting around the camp fire.

I should mention that we use LED lights around the camp and head torches etc.
I was thinking more about a spot / long distance hand held torch.
I don't want to fry the Koalas and creating a " Drop Bear " Ha Ha
Just curious.
Happy camping

Barry..... Southern Cross Dreaming.
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Reply By: Madfisher - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:06

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:06
Barry I managed to find and led replacement globe at BCF, but dont expect the staff to be of much help.
Cheers Pete
AnswerID: 489326

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:22

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:22
Hi Pete
Gee I thought it was just me ? BCF staff are not very helpfull.
Do you mean a globe that fits the Dolphin ??
I'll check it out.
Thanks
Barry
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Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:23

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:23
Forgot to ask are they any brighter.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 21:37

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 21:37
Yes mate, I was browsing around and found a led 6 volt globe, and asked the staff if it would fit a dolphin.They just shrugged their shoulders. Anyhow I took a chance and it worked fine. Its a whiter more concentrated light, and I am sure their is less drain on the battery as its been at least 6 months on one battery,and just starting to dull a bit now. Think it was only $5 or so , worth and experiment.
Re staff, if you can find and older staff member they can be very good, theirs just to many young kids who know buggar all. But we all started like that I suppose.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:36

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:36
BCF staff in Traralgon are very helpful!

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Follow Up By: EmmaC1 - Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 15:27

Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 15:27
Shaker, I agree with you! You must have had a bad store Madfisher. All of the stores I have been to have been quite helpful, in particular BCF Albury :)
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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 20:18

Friday, Jun 29, 2012 at 20:18
A couple of older staff members are good, but some youngers ones dont care.
You get good and bad in everything.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: kennchris - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:24

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:24
We have a led-lenser P 17 torch it has an adjustable beam from wide to spot, and high and low beam as well, it is very powerfull on high beam and and with the lens pushed all the way out you would be able to see up to the top of any tree, it is as good as any of the rechargeable spot lights we have had, this one takes 4 size D batteries and we have had it for at least 6 months and it still has the original batteries in it. I can highly recommend it, very tough, not to heavy and bulky like some of the portable spotlights, overall really good.
AnswerID: 489327

Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:42

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:42
Kennchris thanks for the reply, where can you get them. I'll check it out.
Cheers
Barry
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Follow Up By: kennchris - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:25

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:25
have a look on ebay, search led lenser p17, hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:08

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:08
Iwould also highly reccomend the Lenser torches.Ihave the P14 and is probably all you will ever need.
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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:54

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 19:54
Barry,
for walking and finding your way you can't beat one of those led torches with the little on and off button on the back. They are about 100mm long and 25mm in diameter. They take 3 AAA batteries.

They are aluminium and come in bright colours. Can be purchased anywhere.
AnswerID: 489329

Reply By: graham B9 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:10

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:10
Hi Barry,

I have a surefire 6P and have had one for years. You can see them in the link below. Change the bulb for a "tactical entry bulb". They are much better but something like an additional $35.

They put out more power than a 6 D Cell maglite and but are only about 150mm long and made of the same material.

Surefire are used by police forces and military all over the world. Looks at footage from Iraq and Afganistan and you will see them on the end of rifles. The tactical bulb will strobe as a additional feature and this will stun animals and intruders at night entering your camp site. (Do not do it to the wife as like mine, she most likely will not be impressed.)

Not that expensive. Starting at about $105 and going all the way to just over $800.

http://www.legear.com.au/Surefire-Flashlights-s/335.htm
AnswerID: 489333

Reply By: Member - GregK5202 Qld - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:30

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:30
Hi Barry,

I have a son that is nuts on LED torches. He owns several. We use them for hunting. They throw a very white light, depending on the LED used. You can get ones with a more natural light if desired. There are so many options available. They are not cheap toys.

My best is a Dereelight DBS V3 which we ordered on the net for around $140. The advantages are that they come with rechargeable batteries which run for hours of continuous running. They can be had with flood beams or a spot beam and some can be adjusted from flood to spot. In the better torches the LED can be replaced ($20) if you want to stay with the latest technology in LEDs. They are small, light and very well built out of aircraft grade aluminium. They can throw a light like a car headlight. My son's latest has a special aspherical lens which screws on the front to make it project the LED image, 4 bright squares in a very tight spot which shines at least 100m.

The actual LEDs being produced are still improving, giving brighter light with less power usage.

I hope this whets your appetite.

Greg.
If it is to be, then it is up to me!

GregK5202

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AnswerID: 489337

Reply By: Bazooka - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:37

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:37
I have a Four Sevens Quark. Terrific light, selectable modes (2 available at any one time), lightweight etc. Cost about $60 on special delivered from http://www.4sevens.com

Length: 5.8 inches
Body diameter: 0.86 inches
Weight (without batteries): 2.2 oz
Power: Two AA Batteries (0.9V~4.2V total)
Output: Maximum - 280 lumens; Moonlight - 0.3 lumens
Runtime: Maximum - 0.8 hours; Moonlight - 15 days

Be aware there are plenty of knockoffs of name brands like Fenix.

Excellent review site: http://www.candlepowerforums.com
AnswerID: 489338

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:38

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:38
Barry,

The "best" torch would have to be a Led Lenser X21, but you pay for the privilege......about $400.

Can't beat the old dolphins though, or any compact torch that suits your needs. I currently use a Camelion 9-led torch, from Autobarn, about $17. Uses 4 x AA batteries. Not unlike a dophin too, though a little smaller.

Also like those little led ones they sell, about 100mm long, and as bright as buggery. Small enough to have in glove box, or your pocket.

Bob.
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 489339

Reply By: Rod W - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:52

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 20:52
Try a Fenix TK70. It's brightness is 2,200 luems. Price around $220.
AnswerID: 489342

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 09:06

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 09:06
I have the Fenix, its a fantastic torch, a little big but geez its bright.
The brightest light I have ever seen, 4 power settings and brilliant bright white light.

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Follow Up By: Rod W - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 09:27

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 09:27
Yep there're pretty good eh? and come without the humungus price like some brands.
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Reply By: Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 21:42

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 21:42
Hullo Barry
I have a SS LED torch, 160mm long by about 30mm diam, that I bought at Autopro about 2 years ago for approx $20.
It recharges in the cigarette socket in the vehicle and since buying it, I have recharged it probably 3 times as the battery has a very long life per charge.
The beam is very good, easily lighting up detail in trees 50m away.
If after buying one, you still need something more powerful, you would still find it very useful.
I bought a second one, which has a small compass in the cap, but in my opinion, it is not quite as good and is probably a copy.
Cheers
Andrew
AnswerID: 489348

Reply By: david m5 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:01

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:01
I have a mag light . I like the fact you can change the beem from spread to spot and very bright. They dont float like a dolphin
AnswerID: 489351

Reply By: Dreadnought - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:07

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:07
Barry 2,
Take a look at anything "Cree". They are a new type of LED and like the Lenser, can be used as a wide beam or focussed to a spot. You can buy them in anything from a headlamp configuration to ones that kids can mount on pushbike handlebars. A wide range of prices but the cheap ones seem just as effective as the expensive ones. They are very bright and create an awesome spot beam. I put my little Cree headlamp (approx $8 aus) which takes 3xAAA batteries up against my neighbours Lenser P7 ($100) and you couldn't tell the difference. They are cheap to buy as well, almost throw away cheap. Great for the Grandy's to run around with....Check them out on Ebay.
AnswerID: 489353

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:33

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:33
I have a Lenser P7 and is a great little torch, very powerful for its size and a quality product cost was $100 but I have also bought some cheapies off EBay and they work nearly as well, I suggest you get the cheap eBay ones that take 3 AAA batteries they are less than $20 and there are no grandpa tears when the grand kids lose or break them.
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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:18

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:18
We have 4 different quality LED torches.....Jaycar 3w rechargable (X2), X21 LED Lenser, P7 LED Lenser (X3) and a modified rechargeable MagLite with a TerraLUX upgrade.

The Jycar torches were our first LED torches we bought, they have an adjustable beam and are about 8 inches long. We keep these torches in our swags.

The X21 is a big Boys toys torch and has a fantastic spot/wide beam adjustment but you pay for it $$$ wise. We do retrieving with dogs and we use this torch when running them at night.

The P7 LED Lenser is a good quality small torch that pack a bigger beam then a lot of larger torches can't, the beam is adjustable between spot/wide. We have two of these torches that we keep in the centre console of our two main cars, the third one my wife carries in hear handbag.

The modified MagLite with the TerraLUX upgrade is my favourite torch, brilliant light output, semi compact and is rechargeable but you loose the adjustable beam, this is our main camping torch.
AnswerID: 489354

Reply By: David16 - Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:31

Sunday, Jun 24, 2012 at 22:31
Eagletac by far! Is used by navy seals and special forces, I use mine to spotlight out to 350m. 980 lumens and the size of your hand and super light unlike the trunk that led lenser make. They are only early $200s through led torch shop geelong
AnswerID: 489357

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 07:32

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 07:32
I also have a Lenser P7 which is a compact but very bright torch.
They cost a bit but are worth the money.

If you don't wish to shop around on the web to save a bit of money, you should be able to buy them at any Battery World store.

Bill


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AnswerID: 489362

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 09:50

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 09:50
There are just heaps of LED torches out there, you can spend rediculous money and get a torch that is rediculously bright.

But you can spend very little and get something very usefull.

You can get LED conversions for maglite.

The 4 cell led conversion lamps for the maglite will fit in a dolphin.....but will probably be worth more than the dolphin

I had an aftermarket LED convesrsion in a minimag ( a complete reflector and lamp replacement) and it gave a dolphin a run for its money in the near range but it did not have the long beam performance.

I recently baught an eveready 2 x AA led torch for arround $15 and its a great thing..especially as I have a source of part used AA alkalines.

we have the little 3 cell AAA stubby torches all over the place..the original Toshiba are more reliable then the $5 generic coppies....they are bright enough to be usefull bet not so bright they cause you to squint if you get up for a piss in the middle of the night.

there are heaps of the things out there.

cheers
AnswerID: 489366

Reply By: mrcv8 - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 09:59

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 09:59
I would recommend checking out the Wolfeye torches. I have these and they are very good. They are also rechargeable. Not the cheapest around but definately good quality.

http://wolfeyes.com.au/

Cheers

MrCV8

AnswerID: 489367

Reply By: Mudripper - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 12:36

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 12:36
Hi Barry,

I bought two CREE chip LED torches for hunting from this placeLINK Great torches, adjustable beam. The beam range is around 200 metres. I bought a couple of packs of Duracell rechargeable batteries (NiMH) from Woollies, they do the job well.

Cheers,

Tim.
AnswerID: 489376

Reply By: Muntoo - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 13:02

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 13:02
As has been said already, here are thousands of the LED torches on the market nowadays.

Some are insanely bright.

I personally use LED lenser, the P7 being my favourite, and my glove box torch. The lenser range may not be the brightest, but they have the longest burn time. I have had a P7 for over 2 years, and still on its original 3xAAA batteries. Now its on its last legs, but its still useable. No other torch can boast that.

The LED lenser LEDs arent driven at 100% power, hence the longer lasting. They will be brighter, but i highly doubt there will be longer lasting. And definitely not in the same price range.

There are lots of copies of LED lenser on Ebay, so beware. I have brought 3 off Ebay for gifts and they all looked exactly the same as the one i brought from a dealer. I think i just got lucky though.

Expect to pay around $100 for a P7. And expect it to last at least 20 years.
AnswerID: 489377

Reply By: Charlie B2 - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 13:10

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 13:10
Hi all,

Please note that I haven't bought these, but two of the guys here at work have and they reckon the light output is just amazing.

Mind you, at 1300 lumens it ought to be!

UltraFire 1300Lm XM-L XML T6 CREE LED Flashlight Torch + 2x 3800 Battery+Charger

They bought theirs on eBay from a Hong Kong vendor for around $A25 with no delivery charge, back in April, so that wouldn't break the bank, if cost is an issue.

I tried to give you a link to the eBay listing, but it wanted to go to my computer's history file, so I've just given the details.

Not sure how good these are at long range (e.g. for hunting) but at least you won't run afoul of Victoria's "spotlighting" legislation! Unless you ARE!

Regards,


Charlie
AnswerID: 489378

Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 17:13

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 17:13
Hi Barry,

There is a rechargeable cap lamp (Underground miners us em) torch that'll outlast any other brand for toughness.

I use one for work and it gets thrown in the toolbox bonces around whilst I travel to work.

Is IP67 rated (works underwater).

It last for 20hrs on high and 40 hrs on low.

I mount it to my 22 rifle and do some spotlighting with it.

I think youd get one for around 100 bucks on fleabay.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 489388

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 18:21

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 18:21
Surly you haven't tested it against every other brand for toughness !!
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Follow Up By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 19:36

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 19:36
Yep everyone, They all arent anywhere near the cap light for toughness
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Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 18:20

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 18:20
When looking for wildlife at night time, remember that the eyes of these animal are 10 times more sensitive than ours.

I always use a red film over the lens, this helps in 2 way.

1: the animal wont take off, and 2: it wont blind the poor thing.

Happy spot lighting.

Phil.
AnswerID: 489392

Reply By: Polaris - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:17

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:17
Well I think I have tried most of the - Maglite, LED lenser included - but this little bugger is the one that I like the most - in a word MAGIC !

About 100mm long, 25mm diameter, single AA (1.5V) or 14500 (~4V) cell- I use the rechargeable 14500 battery.
Torch will run on 0.7 to 4.2 V.

read the reviews. At less than $10 each - i buy by the dozen and give them away as presents - everyone so far are really impressed with the size/performance.
AnswerID: 489401

Follow Up By: Polaris - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:21

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:21
] ... sorry, I forgot to add the link .. DUH !!

[url=http://www.dealextreme.com/p/sipik-sk68-cree-q3-wc-120-lumen-convex-lens-led-flashlight-black-1-aa-1-14500-39585?item=4]Link to buy[/url
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Follow Up By: Polaris - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:25

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:25
That didn't work properly either - try again ..

[url]=http://www.dealextreme.com/p/sipik-sk68-cree-q3-wc-120-lumen-convex-lens-led-flashlight-black-1-aa-1-14500-39585?item=4]link[/url]
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Follow Up By: Polaris - Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:27

Monday, Jun 25, 2012 at 20:27
Easily outperforms my LED Lenser P7 ...
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Reply By: Rod W - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 08:35

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 08:35
Heres a link that will just blow you away in LED torches http://www.lygte-info.dk/review/Reviews%20UK.html
AnswerID: 489427

Follow Up By: Rod W - Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 08:38

Tuesday, Jun 26, 2012 at 08:38
And heres another http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forum.php
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Reply By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 08:55

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 08:55
I've got a bit of a question re lights......

Some on here are saying their light is the best and there is no need to spend $$$$$ blah blah blah and will walk all over brand X and Y.

Have you tried them against the other LED torches on the market in a controlled environment and compared results.

The X21 we have is a killer light but prefer my modified MagLite and my wife hates the X21, isn't real fond of the MagLite but loves here Lensed P7.

People say their torch is the best but don't say why.

There are so many things that come into play...... battery life, light output, light quality, beam spot and spread, feel, reliability and quality.

As for eBay..... there are so many copies of torches on there all saying they are the real McCoy brand X or Y and people by them thinking they have saved a LARGE amount of money when really they have been ripped of.

The same goes for torches saying they use a CREE LED..... do they? and if they do what grade CREE are they using...... the cheap factory second or the expensive one?

By the one you like and feel comfortable with.

So what torch is the best?


AnswerID: 489503

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