Sunday, April 17, 2011

Custom Flamethrowers

If the TK35 and S12, from Fenix and 4sevens respectively, represent a new standard for small-ish production lights, as I discussed here, then the Mac Custom's Tri-EDC and the Oveready Moddoolar Pocket represent a new standard of performance for EDC sized lights.

The two lights seem like brothers from another mother--both are truly pocketable, unlike the TK35 and S12, both use three-emitter arrays to produce some truly spectacular lumens counts (around 700-800 lumens on high for the Tri-EDC and 1100 for the Moddoolar Pocket), both require special high power density rechargeables for peak performance, and both are available for relatively little dough, given their custom heritage.

Mac Custom's Tri-EDC

I really like the look of the Tri EDC--it is the successor to Mac's previous EDC light, the SST-50 EDC. Here is a review of the SST-50 EDC. Mac's reputation was built on MEGA photon cannons, but the SST-50 EDC represented an excursion into smaller lights. The Tri-EDC is the next step in that evolution. Here is a colorful shot from the sales thread:



It has a smooth body tube with a few rings for grip, a built in, custom clip, and a wider head. The Tri-EDC is a bit shorter than the SST-50 EDC and the SST-50 is about the same size as the venerable HDS Ra Clicky. Staring down the barrel of the flamethrower shows you some pretty amazing engineering. The Tri-EDC gets its name and incredible performance from not one, not two, but three XPG emitters. Mac has used this cluster emitter approach in other, bigger lights, but this is the first time he has put it to use in a smaller EDC light. The results are literally stunning--700 lumens. Mac warns against using it for a long time, but still in a pocket friendly design, 700 lumens is impressive. There are lower output modes and they can be set at ordering time. The standard setting has an output of 2%/20%/100% or 14 lumens/140 lumens/700 lumens. Looks very good to me.

Mac's stuff has such a good reputation and at $199 (for the Al model) the Tri EDC represents a very, very good value. The only issue is availability. Mac has a small custom shop (as someone that puts a lot of thought and ideas into his workshop, I love looking at other people's set up) and does a run ever so often, but they are small and fill up quickly. Still, peruse the Mac Custom section of CPF and maybe you'll get lucky.

Moddoolar Pocket

The Moddoolar Pocket in an EDC light produced by TorchLAB available through Oveready.com (a veritable showroom of awesome modded and custom lights). Oveready started as a place to get good Surefire upgrades and mods. They custom bored Surefire body tubes to create hosts for high volume, high density rechargeables.

But the Moddoolar Pocket is their first, from the ground up, light and WHOA is it a home run. It uses the Surefire compatible, custom tail cap, the Triad. The Triad itself is a bit of an engineering wonder, compatible with Surefire Z41 tailcaps, tritium inserts, and containing a really nice McGizmo clicky. The deep, rounded scallops are supposed to allow for easy access while still making a superior base for tailstanding. I haven't tried it out, but it looks very nice. The Moddoolar lives up to its name allowing for multiple body tubes, heads, tailcaps. It has a built-in clip (long and short) and a nice bezel (that too is modular, with both a smooth and scalloped bezel).

And then there is the output. With the maximum battery capacity, the light can punch out 1100 eye searing, skin tanning, cloud illuminating lumens. It is not a long time, with the 18350 it is 18 minutes and with the 18500 it is 27 minutes, but still it is 1100 lumens in a truly pocketable light. Its medium has better runtimes (and is the equivalent of high in other lights) and its low is insane (2 or 3 days, depending on the battery). The only issue I can see is that it comes on on high and that could lead to some awkward moments or actual problems (kiss your night vision LONG gone). The light is $330 and even then the flashaholics out there have snapped them and all of their constituent parts up. Everything is sold out.

Both of these lights are incredible. I'd take either one in a heart beat. The Tri-EDC though is a bit cheaper and absolutely gorgeous. Mac has a great reputation and it looks a little more my speed (more tool, less tactical). Still this is DEFINITELY the flashlight equivalent of choosing between a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.

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