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#244857 - 04/13/12 04:02 PM reliability of EDC equipment
yee Offline

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
My pockets have assorted equipment of various ages and I noticed some have lasted better than others.

My original signal mirror (about 2"x3", plastic) got completely scratched up after about 2-3 years and needed replacing (with a milsurplus one). The original mirror did not have a plastic protective covering over the surface. This is stored in my wallet.

My current small fresnel lense (in my wallet) also is kind of useless at this point. Its scratched on both sides despite being in a protective vinyl cover.

I am on my second photon light (first one lasted about 5 years). At the time, I think only red was available. First, the on/off switch failed but would still light when the button was pressed. Then the button failed and I had to replace. This was stored on my keychain. I had this replaced as a warranty return.

I had an off brand photon-type light that only lasted about a year before failure. Likely poor quality. It was also stored on my keychain.

I have been through a number of cellphones (non-smartphone) which have failed because of battery issues, antenna falling off, buttons becoming intermittent. This is stored in my hip pocket.

My latest failure is again electrical. I have a 4Sevens single AA LED light for the past two years. The light first became intermittent and now failed completely. I initially bought it because I figured reliability would be higher since there are no moving parts. I found unexpected weaknesses since the light turns on by screwing the cap tight. As such, the cap has to be left loose. The cap kept on falling off the case! I am in the middle of a warranty return on this.
It is stored in my hip pocket attached to a lanyard.

My pockets seem to be a rough place for EDC equipment. Is there a more reliable single AA LED flashlight out there?

The advantage of EDC in pockets is that I seem to notice failures quicker and have them replaced earlier but with the constant movement, changing environments, etc. failures seem to be much more frequent.

Conway Yee

#244860 - 04/13/12 04:43 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5296
4Sevens' 120 month warranty is a good start. I have had no problems with my 4Sevens 1xAA mini, when I carry mine it's at the bottom of my front right pocket. My usual light is a 4Sevens or Fenix 1xAA on my belt behind a LM multi-tool. The light's sheath seems to offer better protection, but that may not be an option for you.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#244861 - 04/13/12 04:43 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
mattmayhem Offline

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 12
Not speaking from personal experience but I've seen alot of people EDCing the Maratac flashlights that country comm sells. They look pretty durable and I'll pick one up one of these days.
In terms of a keychain light I used to use chinese fauxton flashlights and just replace them after they eventually broke. Lately I've switched to the innova microlight and I'm pretty impressed, the light is very bright for its size and the construction seems more durable...the LED is very protected unlike the photon/fauxton sytle.

Edited by mattmayhem (04/13/12 04:51 PM)

#244866 - 04/13/12 05:37 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
Denis Offline

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
I also find pockets to be really tough on EDC gear - especially things that attach to a keyring. I've had the most problems with USB drives, finally finding the Verbatim TUFF-‘N’-TINY actually holds up well. I've also found the more compact Fox-40 Micro wasn't durable enough so I carry the stronger Fox-40 Classic now (although the Mini looks like it might do the trick too).

I've had two different problems with keychain sized lights; either durability issues or they were too easy to accidently turn on. But I've been carrying a Fenix E01 for about 3 years now and it still works great (of course, this is a AAA light, not a AA one so it doesn't strictly fit what you are looking for).
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

#244867 - 04/13/12 06:02 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
JerryFountain Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida

I just bought one of the Maratac AA lights for my keychain. After the fourth Streamlight 3N switch failed. I am particularly pleased by the light starting out on low, instead of high as many do. We will see about reliability, but it looks good.



#244872 - 04/13/12 06:26 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: Denis]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Originally Posted By: Denis

I've had two different problems with keychain sized lights; either durability issues or they were too easy to accidently turn on. But I've been carrying a Fenix E01 for about 3 years now and it still works great (of course, this is a AAA light, not a AA one so it doesn't strictly fit what you are looking for).

My wife and I both have E01s on our keychains. Mine is in my pocket most of the day. So far no problems after 2 or 3 years. Not the brightest of lights, but it serves its purpose.

I think it is unreasonable to expect stuff made primarily out of plastic that is carried in one's pocket where it is subject to almost constant abuse to last real long.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#244874 - 04/13/12 06:30 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
KenK Online   happy
"Be Prepared"

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2080
Loc: NE Wisconsin
I EDC an Arc single AA LED light and that thing has REALLY weathered the test of time well. Almost indistinguishable from the day I bought it. Amazing.

My mini RSK Mk1 has been carried clipped to my pocket almost since they came out (I got a fullsize and then as I recall a few months later decided that the mini would be more comfortable. The only real sign of wear is the black clip, which is really quite worn - with sliver edges and scratches. The handle is pristine, but there are two little chips taken out of the edges - most likely when dropped, rather than pocket wear. The blade shows no wear.

I also carry a Fox 40 whistle. I've gone through two of them - once upgrading to a newer Fox 40 Sonik. Both showed an accumulation of pocket filth, but otherwise showed no wear. The silver (nickel plate?) loop on the Sonik seems to be aging more gracefully than the gold/brass-toned loop on the older one, but both did their job just fine.

For a while I carried a small keychain compass made by Suunto. It didn't last long before the bezel on it started locking up. I don't carry it anymore.

#244880 - 04/13/12 06:43 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: Denis]
yee Offline

Registered: 12/10/11
Posts: 169
I forgot about the whistle. Originally, I carried the Fox 40 Mini but TWO different ones failed at the slipring attachment as this is where the seam of the plastic is.

Conway Yee

#244886 - 04/13/12 07:36 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3309
Loc: USA
Left Front Pocket:

Foursevens Quark 123 R2: I carry this in a Fenix sheath to keep it from banging up my phone or getting banged up. Works perfectly. Some dings in the ano from drops and other abuse. It's been with me since December of 2009.

Fisher Bullet Space Pen (Black Titanium Nitride finish): Carried next to the Quark, replaced a stainless Fisher Bullet that I lost about a year ago. The Titanium Nitride finish looks spanking new. Works perfectly.

iPhone 4 with gel case: Almost two years old. Looks new and works great.

iPhone earbuds wrapped in a cord keeper: The earbuds also look new and work great.

The biggest problem I have with this setup other than the bulk is how long it takes me to fish my pen out when it's time to write something.

Right Front Pocket:

Leatherman Squirt PS4: A friend broke the file off one of these accidentally and Leatherman replaced it so fast my head spun. This one is about a year old. Carried on my keyring, it's showing some signs of cosmetic wear on the ano. However, it looks a heck of a lot better than their older-model Squirts did after a year of keyring carry.

Foursevens 120db Titanium Keychain Whistle: On my keychain for about seven months, it isn't as shiny as it was when it came out of the box, but it's worn nicely and still looks great. Still loud as heck too.

Foursevens Preon ReVO: This rides in a custom leather sheath on my keyring. The sheath is beat up but the flashlight looks brand new and works perfectly. It's been on there for about a year and a half.

My wallet and car keys are also in that pocket.

I also carry a folder clipped to my waistband, under my belt. About 90% of the time since January 2010 it's been a Ritter MiniGrip. As long as I do my part by keeping it sharp and lubricated it works flawlessly every time. It looks great.

Edited by chaosmagnet (04/13/12 08:03 PM)
Edit Reason: Posted too soon AGAIN

#244887 - 04/13/12 07:39 PM Re: reliability of EDC equipment [Re: yee]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1595
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
my yellow plastic Fox whistle from the AMK disappeared from my key ring... it had the brass colored wire ring... replaced it with an old fashoned nickel plated brass referee whistle..

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