Everyone needs a flashlight. Seriously. If it’s dark, you need light to see. And we see tons of flashlights here in the Toolmonger offices, lights in almost every flavor ranging from candy coated (gimmicky) to chicken (simple and useful for everything). Over the last year or so we’ve discovered a few favorites and thought we’d share. Here’s our fourth favorite: the four-cell Maglite.
Let’s just get the jokes out of the way up front. Yes, you can easily beat the holy crap out of someone with one of these, assuming the ass-kickee isn’t a judo or ninjutsu expert who’ll just take it from you. I’m sure that’s why so many cops and bouncers carry ’em. And I’ll admit that mine (which I’ve had for at least 18 years) has seen such duty.
But that’s not why I bought it, nor why I still have it. I bought it because in those pre-LED days it was surprisingly bright — and it fit perfectly in the little space between the door sill and the seat in the CRX I drove in college. I kept it because it came in handy so many times I can’t even count ’em. I’ve pounded nails in with it. I once wielded it against a water valve that wouldn’t close. I even twisted it into a tow rope one time to shorten the rope.
This is one seriously hearty* flashlight, considering its vintage. Mine still works fine — on its original bulb, no less. Sure, more modern lights push this one aside — which is why it’s #4 on the list — but I’m still glad I own it.
Update: If you’re looking to buy one of these now, Maglite offers an LED version for around $27 (see Amazon link below, and it’s available all over). If you already own one, you can update it to LED for around the same price as a new flashlight (which is why I haven’t updated mine). Again from Amazon, here’s a sampling of the upgrade modules [What’s This?] which are widely available.
Update #2: Before any of you make fun of me for using a stock photo instead of a picture of my actual light, please understand that it’s in my truck which I’ve loaned to a friend.
*Editor’s note: And hardy.