Go Ahead, Mag-Lite: Make My Night into Day!

Nov 13, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:durable, dependable, darned near indestructible

Cons:there are no cons with a Mag-Lite

The Bottom Line: A Mag-Lite is a must for every house in hurricane country. Every house in tornado country or earthquake country, too!

Big Blue now has a little silver brother. Big Blue, if you've never met him, is a Mag-Lite 3 D-Cell who's served as our power-failure, find-kitty-in-the-backyard, and even oven light for the past decade. But when Hurricane Ike stormed into Houston this September, Big Blue was a thousand miles away (next to the oven, probably). So part of my preparation was buying another quality flashlight and stocking up on batteries: Big Blue's brother, Little Silver, joined the family. He's as heavy-duty and versatile, just a little smaller and a bit less powerful, since he runs on two D-Cells instead of three. He's a Mag-Lite 2 D-Cell model; but other than color and size he's the spittin' image of Big Blue.

Mag-Lites, which were at one time the flashlight of choice for police officers (they'd aim them into your eyes from beside their ears), are marvelously useful heavy-duty flashlights with solid, all-aluminum bodies. Mag Instrument in California has made them since the 1970s. They offer sizes from the Mag-Lite Solitaire that runs on a single AAA battery to big honkers that take six D-cells; and most are available in a range of colors. Mag recently introduced a line that uses LEDs instead of incandescent bulbs.
Mine's the classic Mag-Lite with an incandescent bulb. It's constructed of an aluminum alloy left unfinished in bright silver. Like all Mag-Lites of this design, Little Silver has a waterproof, self-cleaning push-button switch and a rotating head to focus the light beam. The thumb-switch is recessed and covered with a rubber seal. The shaft has a cross-hatched pattern for a non-slip grip, and the head also has a knurled ring on it to improve grip when focusing the beam. As with all classic Mag-Lites, there's a waterproof compartment at the base of the handle for storing a spare bulb. The battery compartment is sealed with O-rings on both ends to make the whole case water-resistant.

This model's about ten inches long and a little over two inches in diameter at the head; the handle is just over 1½ inches thick. Loaded with two D-cells, it weighs about a pound and a half (small wonder big Mag-Lites have been used as clubs on occasion).

With fresh batteries, Little Silver's output is more than enough to spot a squirrel on backyard fence (100 feet away) with the beam dialed to narrow. On its widest setting, Little Silver lit the way for me to wander around a six-story office building just hours after Ike left town - when emergency lighting batteries run down, it's like being in a cave in the stairwells!

Like all Mag-Lites, Little Silver is guaranteed against manufacturing defects for life. Spare parts - lenses, bulbs, etc. - are available from the manufacturer and some retailers. The only Mag-Lites I've ever had to replace, however, are the ones that disappeared - and I miss every one of 'em. Great flashlights: get one (or two)!

At 487 words, certified lean-n-mean. Brief rules, wordy drools!

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