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Customer Review

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new EDC flashlight, March 25, 2012
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This review is from: 4Sevens Mini 123 R5 Edition (Electronics)
I recently purchased the Fenix Compact 140 Lumen Flashlight, the 4Sevens Mini 123 R5 Edition and the Fenix PD20 CREE Q5 Mini LED Flashlight, Black, 180 Lumens, Uses 1 X CR123A Battery to replace my SureFire Executive E1 for EDC (every day carry).

All of these flashlights were brighter, lighter and smaller than my vintage E1. The one I setled on for EDC was the 4Sevens Mini 123 R5 Edition.

Since I won't be writing three entirely different reviews, let me tell you what I like and dislike in a EDC light:
* It has to be something I always have with me - thus the term EDC.
* It has to fit on a key chain (something that my SureFire E1 did begrudgingly)
* It has to be small, light and have at least low, medium and high settings
* It is preferable to have a dedicated on-off switch to a twist-on switch. This is because I don't want the light to turn on accidentally and not be ready when I need it.

Much less important to me are things like strobe, SOS, beacon, and so on because of two reasons: first they are invariably difficult to activate (strobe coming to mind as the most useless in a tactical situation) and second, the additional weight and cost isn't justified since it's unlikely I'll ever use them. Follow me on this: is this the primary use as a flashlight or a signalling device? For me it's simple: If it's dark, I want light and I want that light to be on my person.

In order from most to least preferred for EDC, the following:

#1 - 4Sevens Mini 123 R5 Edition
It's small, lightweight, bright, inexpensive enough and fits on my key chain. It has more than the three brightness modes I require and despite the twist-on activation was the best suited to my needs. This light turn on low, then medium, then high. This means that you have a day or more to notice your light has been accidentally turned-on.

#2 - Fenix Compact 140 Lumen Flashlight
All of the above and 25% less expensive than the 4Sevens. Same twist-on activation BUT this one turns on in high-output first - cycling from high to medium to low. The problem here is that accidental activation will discharge a battery in an hour and I might miss it -- unless of course I felt my pocket getting hot. I deemed this light unsuitable for my purposes and gifted it away. :)

#3 - Fenix PD20 CREE Q5 Mini LED Flashlight, Black, 180 Lumens, Uses 1 X CR123A Battery
This light has a positive end-cap on/off switch and is the brightest, best quality and most expensive of all. The light is simply too large for EDC on a key chain. It is about 50% larger than the other two lights. It's also considerably heavier. This light I carry in my laptop bag where an ounce or two doesn't make much difference.

On the subject of twist-on lights I don't like them for several reasons: accidental activation, wear on the o-ring and wear on the threads will all shorten the lifespan.

As far as being made in China or the USA goes for warranty purposes, I just don't care. If the light works when I get it then I'm good. If it fails, I'll buy another. I'm not going to ship a low-priced flashlight back to China for warranty service.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 12, 2012 10:56:34 PM PDT
Bigos says:
Actually the Fenix E15, which I own, goes med, low then high, not high, med and low.

As for your concern of twist lights accidentally turning on. Has this actually happened to you? I carried a click button switch in my pocket and it did turn on accidentally and startled my quite a bit because of the extreme heat it caused not to mention the possibility of overheating the head and reducing the lifespan of the chip. Needless to say, I don't trust carrying a switch-on light in my pocket anymore so I went for a twist-on. I can't imagine how it would get turned on accidentally especially since you can back the head off a full turn before the o-ring is exposed (on the E15).

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 8:47:49 PM PST
CS says:
I also use this now as my EDC. I love it!

Although, the one thing I don't like about it--if I had to find something to complain about--is the difficulty of one-handed activation. I thought it might wear in after a few months, but alas, I think I'll have to try a small drop of oil on the threads and o-ring to see if I can make it more amenable to one-handed use. Don't get me wrong, it feels very nice and solid to turn, it's just a bit stiff.

I've never found this light accidentally on in my pocket (been carrying for about six months) and find it nearly inconceivable.

Posted on Mar 7, 2013 4:40:10 PM PST
Rob says:
My only concern is products from China and presumably people not caring. American made products last longer.
Like the Kia car NOT one bit American.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2013 6:37:01 PM PST
I couldn't agree more. China is a built to spec country and I think this flashlight is well built. I always have at least one other flashlight and extra batteries in my pack when travelling so minimal risk for me.

I usually have a candle too...

In my pocket, I'm willing to risk it when this is all I have.
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