Tactical On The Cheap

tactical flashlight

A flashlight can be the difference between getting home safely and stumbling around aimlessly in the dark.

Finding a good flashlight at a good price can be just as difficult… Most “tactical flashlights” are incredibly expensive.

Don’t get me wrong, they are awesome and effective, but I’d much rather have 10 OK flashlights that get the job done just as well for a fraction of the cost.

When I was at the NRA conference earlier this year, I almost convinced myself into buying one of these… but I just could not come to terms with $50.00 for a flashlight.

But check out this one that I found stumbling through amazon this weekend.


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I want to start off by saying that I can’t give this a full personal review as I am still waiting for mine to come in the mail.. but based on the 1,600+ reviews and nearly 5 star rating…. I felt it was safe enough for me to reach into my own pockets for this one!

(the price tag of only $3.80 cents with free shipping helped out a lot too)

This little light packs 300 lumens of power from a single AA battery,

  • 7W 300LM Mini CREE LED Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp
  • Super mini size, sits at just under 3.75″ long fits just about anywhere.
  • Skid-proof  & waterproof design.
  • Weighs in at right around 2 ounces

I’ve been looking for a while to replace my cheap led flashlights, and I can’t wait till this one gets here.

From what I’ve read in the reviews, some of the flashlights may differ (ie some may have caps that allow for strobe, medium, and high modes and others have just an on and off mode), but at under $4.00 bucks  for this type of flashlight… I’m not going to complain.

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Free Outlaw Hat

If you’re looking for a new flashlight yourself, or your just a gear junkie like me, Check this one out!

 

Also if you click here, and scroll down  to the top user review, the poster gives a great video showing just how effective this light is.

P.S.  I was talking to my best friend about this little light and he said he saw it but opted to go for this lights “big brother,” it comes in at a whopping 1000 Lumens of light.  He said it worked great for about 2 weeks but then the rechargable battery died in it.

Even so it only cost him  about $9.00 for it.  So if you think that 300 lumens isn’t enough for you, check out this one:

 

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Want more? Check out these related articles from our site:

Survival Flashlight Review: Zebralight H502 AA Flood Headlamp

Keychain LED Flashlight

Product Review: Olight Baton Flashlight Series

201 Responses to :
Tactical On The Cheap

  1. Keith says:

    Amazon is a great place to look for pretty much anything you are looking for. I always see good deals for different things. You just have to take the time to look.

    1. Col.BullSigh says:

      I have purchased 3 or 4 of those little buggers. They are GREAT for my home defense shotgun and for my nightstand. The best value I’ve ever seen in a flashlight. If you can get past the Chinese inflated lumens ratings (100,000 Chinese Lumens equals about 100 real world lumens), Then you will love them. The zoom is very nice too. When it’s on a shotgun, the tightest zoom makes it a good shot pattern aiming device. No need for $80 shot pattern lasers!

  2. Keith says:

    I was just reading one of the reviews on the bigger of the flashlights you mentioned up above. Apparently it is not a 1000 lumen 3 mode flashlight as is advertised. It is a 510 lumen 5 mode flashlight. Just beware.

    1. 'Above Average' Joe says:

      Hey Keith,

      Thanks for the heads up on that!

  3. Eric says:

    I have one of these flashlights. I deliver food in the evenings and this little light is perhaps the best one I have ever owned. Mine has the three setting feature and there is an added sense of security knowing that I can strobe any potential threats while delivering food. It survived the wash machine. The rubber o-ring on the front leaked a small amount and I had condensation on the inside of the lens. I took it apart and let it dry out and it works perfect. The only downside to this light is that it burns through batteries. To get the brightest, longest lasting light from this flashlight, I recommend using premium batteries. i.e. Energizer, Duracell…. Overall, you would be hard pressed to find a better light for the price.

  4. Chuck says:

    On the other hand, for folks who live in an area serviced by Harbor Freight, they have coupons in just about every publication going that offer a free 9-LED flashlight with any purchase. The light is fairly bright and I have given them to friends, relatives and several used as door prizes at a gun club event. I have four in my car and I don’t know how many stashed all around the house. They come with really cheap batteries — hey, its free. I remove the batteries from the ones I am not instantly using so that they don’t leak and ruin the flashlight and wrap them in saran wrap to keep them from leaking all over everything. Or, you could replace the batteries with quality U.S. brand batteries but I am cheap. I have covered the lens of a couple of them with printers’ rubylith tape so that I have dedicated red light flashlights to use when I don’t want my night vision hampered. They seem durable as I have been collecting them for several years and except for battery leakage in one of them, they are still chugging along, even on the el cheapo batteries that they come with. I just make sure every time I go to Harbor Freight I take along the free flashlight coupon.

    1. gena says:

      Chuck, you seem to know about batteries. Is it true they store better if you keep them in the fridge or freezer? I tried putting some in the freezer and when I took them out it seemed there was condensation as they warmed to room temperature, and I was wondering it that could ruin whatever you were going to use them in. I probably sound like an idiot to you but I do really want to know, does it help to keep them cool, and 2) do you have to kinda lay them out to get completely dry before you stick them in anything to use them. I really have no idea and no one around to ask who would likely know anymore about that than I do. If you poke them in the fridge or freezer, do you need to do anything special about wrapping them or anything to protect them? I’m embarrassed to ask because most people reading this probably think I’m an idiot, but I sincerely would like to know.

      1. Shane says:

        No. Do not store batteries in the freezer. For confirmation, listen to Steven Harris’s podcasts. His website us solar1235.com. If I remember correctly, he said they the battery chemistry gives the battery the longest life in the mid 70 degree range.

  5. Ken Duncan says:

    We use the 1600 lumen version in our business and they work great! Use good rechargeable batteries and you will be Happy! Happy! Happy!

    1. gena says:

      They had them for just a little extra at Amazon with rechargeable batteries and battery chargers. I already have several battery chargers so didn’t spend the extra money.

  6. Dave says:

    The flashlights generally come with one mode bulbs, 100% light output only. When I measured mine, it runs just under 1 Ampere at 3.7 Volts, implying a 4 watt (max) lamp.

    At 4 Watts, a typical AA battery (800 mAH, 1.5V) won’t last long. A Duracell AA runs just under 1A with a service life of under an hour.

    This flashlight also takes 14500 rechargable Lithium batteries, which are 3.7 Volts and 1,200 mAH, that means it will take one hour or more to drain at full output. The drain is similar with that battery, but the light output is much higher.

    While not a good scientific test (which would require running the batteries to zero in both cases), it does show both the real strength (huge light output, special batteries can make it higher), and a weakness (battery life is short.)

    Oh, yes, these can get REALLY hot in operation.

    The bigger brothers (like the WF-501 family with 7 Watt Cree LEDs) run 18650 batteries which can be had in up to 5,000 mAH capacities for reasonable cost (under $5 for the flashlight, under $9 for two cells with a charger) and give longer run times. My ML-803 runs about .66A in bright, .15A in dim and .31A in strobe, that works out to over 7 hours on bright, 32 hours in dim and 16 hours flashing like crazy.

    My bigger one runs .95 A, .48 A, .14 A, .50 A in strobe and some weird value my digital meter can’t measure in SOS mode. With 5,000 mAH batteries, that is 5 hours bright, 10 hours medium and 36 hours in dim. Not bad for a 5.5″ long by 1.5″ package.

    Note that the “maximum value” quoted seems (IMHO) to be way too optimistic, but these MAY be able to use 16340/CR123 batteries for higher output and shorter operating times.

    Carry a pack of spare batteries and you can go a LONG time if you need to.

  7. gena says:

    They had both of those and a similar flashlight at Amazon and I bought all three for $19.??, no shipping charge, but it isn’t supposed to come until mid Sept, so I had to have them shipped to the address I’m moving to in 10 days which caused a little confusion where I had to verify I wasn’t someone else using my credit card, which at least shows they are on their toes somewhat looking out for the consumer. I can’t change my billing address, according to my bank until I actually move. So Amazon caught on I was shipping it to me in another town which is cool. Made me prove I was me and not someone stealing from me.

    1. gena says:

      I got the 1000 Lumens LED flashlight, the 300lm Mini Cree LED flashlight torch and the 1600LM Lumen Zoomable CREE XML XM-L T6 LED Flashlight torch for a total of $19.87, with no sales tax or shipping charges. I have several solar laterns, crank flashlights, crank & solar charging flashlights and lanterns – I don’t like extended darkness.

  8. JJM says:

    I have 1 that looks identical except marked “iZOOM” purchased from ‘WorldStart’. The focus zoom is by pushing/pulling the lens cap (no twisting). Think it is 300 lumen on high, switches from High to Low to Strobe. Uses 1 standard 1.5 volt AA battery.
    My criteria are: Minimum 200 lumen, Switchable Brightness, Reasonable Price and Standard Batteries.

  9. Great Grey says:

    All I can say is brighter is not always better. I have been places where 3 lumen for 100 hours is better the 300 lumen for 1 hour. Also if you’re in an escape/evasion situation, bright can give away your location but, it can also blind your pursuers. My advice is to use as little light as possible to get the job done and save your batteries as much as possible. You don’t need to see the far side of the grand canyon just because you need a trip to the outhouse.

  10. Miles says:

    I bought these flashlights on three occasions — 2 the first time, then 2 more and, most recently, I bought 6! I am a police officer and there are times when I need a good, bright light but my Maglite is in the car. This one is brighter than my rechargeable Maglite and my Streamlight TL-2 — both of which cost way, way more. Its small enough for me to carry it in my pocket so I always have a light with me. The one you show one has one function but the “throw” is phenomenal and you will not regret buying these. Go ahead and get several so you don’t have to place a second order when you see how good it is.

  11. richard1941 says:

    Do these lights have the usual toggle on toggle off switch, or do they have a momentary contact switch that allows text messages to be sent?

    What? You don’t know the code? Shame!

    1. Col.BullSigh says:

      I’ve never seen one of this type that only had a momentary switch. These come with the 3 or 5 function push buttons in the tail end, which is best for use as a weapons light. There are several different sizes of “rat-tail” momemtary switches that you can mount on your forearm or vertical grip, so be sure to measure the thread under the cap and check the specs to make sure you order the right size

  12. john west says:

    I have 8 of these. And I’m talking about the 7W 300lm shown in the photos. I have bought 3 different times in the last 6 months and received the same models each time. They all have bright, dim, and strobe settings. They all work perfectly and shine white, bright light and go from pinpoint to wide angle. Beam adjustment is achieved by sliding the front forward or back. These flashlights are WELL worth the money. AA powered.

  13. Jeremy says:

    Actually had the little one myself for a while. Seemed to work great, the one I got had the strobe selection and focus beam selection as well. It did great carrying it around while getting caught in the rain or dropping it around the house or finding it played with by my kids. However I did accidentally leave it in a pair of jeans one day which the wife washed and in either the extreme heat of the dryer or constant submersion in the washer it died, not surprisingly.

    1. mike says:

      how far do these flashlight shine 100 meters,300 meters????

  14. Ryan J says:

    Check out http://www.tmtactical.com
    They have tac nomex and hunting gloves with a tac light built in. I bought the tac version this summer and the r sweet. Rechargeable batt too……hoping wife gets me the mossy oak camo version for Xmas .

    1. James Miller says:

      These are the best Gloves I have ever had on my hands very comfortable and the light is great too. It’s rechargeable, camo or black, I got the black for Christmas and they light up a really big area. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a good reliable light/glove system.

      James

  15. Tara says:

    Awesome review – love your blog.

  16. Matt says:

    Wow that’s cheap! Can’t complain with a cheeky flashlight under $3.00. Wonder if itl last long?

  17. For $4 this would not be a bad light to have in several places around the house. I would not use this as my survival light but as more of an everyday around the house light. Durability and reliability are a serious question for me at this price point.

  18. Michael Berman says:

    Imagine my surprise when I saw my little treasure of a find on Amazon reviewed here. I bought one on a lark and was so impressed that I bought two more…one for my car and one for my wife. It is never a bad idea to have light when you need it and for such a solid weatherproof little flashlight…a bargain. Anyone who believes in carrying concealed should have one since a blast of bright light may prevent a situation where you might find yourself in a deadly situation…..light up between cars in a parking lot, illuminate the back seat of your car before you get in…etc. Also has a very handy little clip for attaching.

  19. John says:

    I have bought a cree led torch and have written some reviews of it on my blog. Cree products are really reliable.

  20. Robert says:

    I bought 3 of those little flashlights and I have to give one away my buddy like it so much they are very bright and don’t have to spend a lot of money on batteries double A`s and last for a long time.

  21. Brent Carver says:

    I bought this flashlight for 4.95 whoch covered shiping and handling. It has no clip as it shows, and others have got abother gold backing for the battery connection made for lithium batteries. I was also under the impression I was going to get a book, or pamphlet with the deal; no such luck. The package came ups mail and was also daMaged. Poor system

  22. Sophie tanar says:

    This is the lower price and i never thought that i will get a flashlight which price less than $4. I will definitely buy one and share my experience here after using 2-3 months.

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