Help me replace my EDC flashlight!
September 1, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

Help! My ARC-AAA keychain flashlight has finally succumbed to corrosion and age. I need a new keychain-friendly flashlight, but I've stopped following the field. What are your suggestions, hivebrain?

My considerations are as follows:

1) It should be reasonably tough. My current one only failed due to corrosion on the negative contact but the LED never broke, the case has a lovely aged patina, the electronics are mostly OK. So that rules out Photons - I've probably broken 3 or 4 of those before I went to the ARC.

2) No freaky specialty batteries unless if it's a self-contained rechargeable. No N cells, no CR123s, none of that. AA or AAA is fine. I would even consider a 2x AA or AAA light. But considering that I'm replacing a 4" long by 1/2" diameter stick, I prefer convenient and always available over being able to light up a room. If I blind myself going "is this damn thing on?", well...

3) Clicky switches versus screw-down switches? I don't have much of an opinion. I know my ARC drove me up the wall when I had to fiddle around with it to get it to make solid contact with the battery, but I suspect tact switches are prone to failure in a pocket.

4) Modes and flashing and replaceable lenses are cute, but not exactly a dealmaker or breaker. Honestly, accessories will probably end up tucked away in the back of my workbench before the new flashlight smell finishes wearing off.

5) Price is.. Eh, it would have to be fantastic to be worth more than $50.

So, what's out there? What should I consider?
posted by Kyol to Shopping (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Maratac AAA from CountyComm? It's a screw switch, but not a fiddly operator. (I'm looking at you, Streamlight Nano.) The lanyard/clip on my AA version is a bit meh, but that's apparently been improved.

One that gets compared to the Maratac: the iTP A3 EOS Upgrade.
posted by holgate at 2:17 PM on September 1, 2012

Best answer: You might want to look around or ask on the Candlepower Forums.
posted by werkzeuger at 2:33 PM on September 1, 2012

I'd check out the Keychain Tools and/or Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices sections of EDC Forums and scroll through the EDC Tumblr for a while.

My two keychain flashlights are a discontinued 4Sevens Preon ReVO and an UltraFire SA-R2. They're both great. I also like the Fenix LD01 (specifically, the stainless-steel LD01S, although it looks sold out almost everywhere).
posted by limeonaire at 2:59 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, and mine are both twisty ones; the 4Sevens Preon ReVO twists more easily and accurately than the UltraFire SA-R2 (and there's only one seam that twists on the 4Sevens, vs. two on the UltraFire, which can be confusing). But the UltraFire is only $16 and still actually in production, so I feel like it's a pretty good buy. They each use a single AAA battery.
posted by limeonaire at 3:06 PM on September 1, 2012

I really like the Fenix LD01 linked above. It's very durable, bright, and compact.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:40 PM on September 1, 2012

Fenix LD01 powered by an Eneloop for me.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:09 PM on September 1, 2012

Also the Fenix E11.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:14 PM on September 1, 2012

I have a keychain Maglite, and I'm very satisfied.
posted by jgirl at 4:41 PM on September 1, 2012

A little different option: I bought 30 of these for $11.25 and are very satisfied. They use inexpensive CR2016 batteries, but at $0.38 each, I just put the burnt out flashlight back in the bag and grab another.
posted by davcoo at 4:59 PM on September 1, 2012

I use the Photon Freedom Micro light from Photon Lights. Lifetime guarantee, easy to change the battery, and a zillion features. I have several!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:32 PM on September 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Arc-AAA has a lifetime warranty. I suggest you send it back and get a new one for free.
posted by masters2010 at 7:57 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Streamlight MicroStream LED Pen Light has become my EDC light ever since I retired my larger Energizer 1-LED Tactical Metal Flashlight. I don't know how well they fit into your needs, both are very bright and take normal batteries. I haven't had any problems with either, and for the low price I don't worry if I lose one. The Streamlight is surprisingly small, the pictures on amazon don't do it justice.
posted by token-ring at 10:11 AM on September 2, 2012

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