New tactical flashlight?


April 28, 2008, 09:13 PM
Walking through Costco last week I came across a Leatherman flashlight for $30.

I have never been all that impressed with LED flashlights (at least the cheap ones), but this one seems to be quite powerful. It claims to have 145 lumens with it's CREE LED, and uses 3 AAA batteries instead of the expensive lithium batteries. It also came with a decent carry case and wrist strap. The case is Stainless Steel. I have not owned this light long enough to test the battery life, but considering it is an LED, it should last a few hours?

How does this compare to the $100+ Surefire lights and other expensive tactical lights out there? I've always wanted to have a really nice (expensive) light for the bedside, but never could justify the price of the good ones.

I realize this is not gun related, but I'm sure most of us consider a flashlight important for night time security.


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April 28, 2008, 09:18 PM
I bought a SureFire 6P LED for $65 and it came with a few extra sets of batteries. The total battery life is around 12 hours. The light level is about half of full power after 4 hours, which is still 40 lumens (starting brightness is 80). I love it.

rust collector
April 28, 2008, 09:50 PM
There's a bit of information here:

The Cree is one of the newer and more efficient designs, but AAAx3 lights are generally not highly regarded. The CR123s, which run a little over a buck apiece in quantity, can run LEDs a long, long time and have outstanding shelf life.

April 28, 2008, 10:23 PM
Just from personal experience, the cheap flashlights I've tried that approach surefires in output simply do not hold up. Surefires and their ilk are expensive but unfortunetly they seen to be worth it for the long haul.

Your milage may vary.


April 28, 2008, 10:25 PM
I have good lights that take the lithium 123A's, but I wouldn't mind having a good light that ran off of AA or AAA, especially at $30.

April 28, 2008, 10:46 PM
I really like my Surefire E2 Defender. I do not have much experience with other lights other then mag lights but I have dropped my Surefire and gotten it wet and it is still running strong.

April 28, 2008, 10:53 PM
After reading a couple other forums, it looks like this is a Costco only flashlight. My local store had maybe 150 of these "Leatherman Monarch 500" lights on the shelf. Seems like a good light, but maybe not a replacement for a high-end light (Surefire...).

I'm amazed at how bright this little light is, but that may be just my lack of experience with modern LED flashlights.


April 28, 2008, 11:44 PM
I've become fascinated with the latest LED technology. The LEDs of today are making some of these flashlights equivilent to the Surefires of five years ago. I don't know about the Leatherman, but in general, LEDs are very impressive. We will soon see the demize of the incandescent.

April 29, 2008, 02:10 AM
Leatherman is ANTI.....don't buy it!

April 30, 2008, 10:33 PM
I am a member of candlepower forums and bought a couple of these Leatherman lights. The CPF consensus seems to be that these are pretty good lights for the money. They are well constructed, have a Cree LED and have a decent run time. The combination of the light, case, batteries and extra batteries for $ 30 makes it a very very good deal. It is brighter than some of my Surefire and Fenix lights, and I appreciate a light that doesn't use batteries at $ 1 per piece.

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