- Home Improvement
Maglite Flashlight Review, Illumination and a Weapon
Our Famous Maglite Flashlight
If you're thinking of buying a flashlight which will last, then you're going to be hard pressed to find a better one than a Maglite. I am not going to tell you, the usual review stuff about the build quality, which is excellent, and why you need to get one. The fact you're here reading tells me you've owned lesser quality flashlights and now, finally after all this time, know you deserve a better one. So, I am not going to try and give you the hard sell, because you already know you want one. I want to tell you about how we use ours and why, where we live in rural Brazil, our Maglite flashlight is famous.
A Flashlight for the Tropics
Before I tell you why it has become 'known', I need to give you a little background. We came to Brazil from the UK, where we were living in a small townhouse with a backyard the size of a postage stamp.
Both my husband and I enjoy nature, birds and the great outdoors and had to drive to places to see birds which would off in the distance. When we decided to move, we knew we wanted a place which offered us a better quality of life. We found our home on the internet and came to see it and others on a trip to Brazil in 2008. We moved into our current house in northeastern Brazil in 2009.
Although very different than where we left, we were in our element, with wildlife such as coatimundi racing across the front yard a few days after we arrived. Just 12 days after we arrived, the cat which the previous owners had left, went running. My husband grabbed the Maglite to see what animal of the night sent the cat leaping over the wall.
Using a Maglite as a Weapon
What he saw were three masked men racing towards him. My husband was standing on the top step at the back of our house, which is about a meter off the ground. He instinctively swung the flashlight cracking one of them on the side of the head, hitting him just above the eye. One of the men tackled my husband knocking him to the ground at which point my husband's prosthetic leg came off. The man held him down pressing a knee on his neck and holding a gun to his head.
The man who he'd hit with the Maglite was now bleeding profusely in my kitchen locating a bread knife, which he held to my throat while the other searched the house.
Here, all foreigners are considered rich, so you can imagine their surprise that they found virtually nothing in our house as our shipping container wasn't scheduled to arrive for several more weeks.
In the end, they took an expensive camera, our passports, some cash, our car documents etc.
The result of all that was time-consuming and stressful but that is another story for another time.
A Maglite Flashlight, the Stuff of Legends
What people failed to tell us beforehand, when being robbed in Brazil, you don't fight back. Because of this, the following day we must have had 20+ police arrive at our house. They all wanted to see the one legged man who beat a robber with a flashlight.
They arrived, shook my husband's hand and all had a feel of the Maglite, often hitting it into their own hand. They were impressed by the weight and the handiness of using it as a weapon. They knew that the American police used this type of flashlight and were justifiably impressed by it.
Several of the police who came the night of the robbery and the following day, still even now, show up for coffee and a chat when they are passing. This story I'm sure is still passed around the police station as new recruits come in, and come to visit us.
This is the improved version, which is LED. Ours would be using more battery life as LEDs are low consumption. My husband bought his flashlight about 20 years ago and has put it under some extreme conditions. Ours has been dropped on to concrete, used as a club to hit robbers, and been exposed to climatic conditions where other "premium items" have failed us. Including humidity, salt air, high temperatures, and a constant barrage of sand filled winds.
If I had to take one thing with me into a jungle even a concrete jungle, it would be a Maglite.
Illuminating the Natural World.
Of course, we don't only use our Maglite as a weapon against ne'er-do-wells. Here on our farm, my husband will often go out in the evening looking for the eyes of animals in the light beam. He has seen what he believes was a jungle cat, bigger than a house cat but smaller than a jaguar. We also get nightjars which will normally just sit and look at him.
My husband is a photographer and we have also used the flashlight for locating birds, bats, frogs, and toads for night shots. Shots such as bats eating our mangoes and even roosting birds.
Using a Flashlight as a Deterrent for Security
Another time the Maglite came into its own was when we had a fish thief. We were raising tilapia at the time and a man was carrying out sack loads of our fish. Had he not left his flip flops behind on one of his nighttime visits, we wouldn't have known.
One Friday night sitting in the dark on our front porch, we waited. Just after midnight, we saw a bicycle approach our fence. My husband was dressed in dark camouflage, gripping his Maglite in one hand and a pick ax handle in the other. He already had his route planned to ambush this thief, staying in the shadows, and approaching him from behind. My heart was racing as the thief on the bicycle was waiting by the fence.
My husband had cleared some of the long grass during the previous few days near the fence, it was this which I think alerted the thief that we were aware of what was going on. He got on his bike and cycled away not realizing how close he came to being beaten. The first blow, would have been to the knee with the hardwood pickaxe handle and then followed on with the Maglite. My husband, although disabled, used to be a bouncer at night clubs and had also been trained in martial arts.
This may sound harsh to some of you reading but here, only about 10% of crimes are solved. We had contacted the police about our fish being stolen but without catching someone red handed, there isn't much they can do. Here if someone enters your home or land, you can protect it. Our fish were our livelihood.
If our dogs begin barking, my husband will first check to see which direction they are barking and either stand on the balcony shining the flashlight across the lakes or from the upstairs windows across the back to our trees. With very little light pollution here, the beam is more than enough to pick up any movement across our 8 acres. What it does do, is get all the neighboring dogs barking, and so we get all our neighbors out checking for potential problems.
Other points I feel I should mention regarding the Maglite is it is corrosion resistant. Before moving here I would have shrugged my shoulders and said, “okay, good”. Where I live, I have been told this area has the second highest salt content in the air which makes everything metal rust in next to no time. I know a couple who live here and they had a roof collapsed because the nails had rusted through. Cars, refrigerators, and even the items for sale in shops such as canned foods have rust on them. It is quite unimaginable if you've never lived in an area with salt air and high humidity. The Maglite which my husband has had for years before we moved here, doesn't have a speck of rust or any signs of corrosion. I can't think of one other item we brought with us or have bought here which can make this claim.
I mentioned the humidity we have here as it is something we didn't take into consideration. As I said previously my husband is a photographer and normally uses high quality, Canon cameras. We have had numerous problems due to mold growing inside behind the lenses. Although we keep them in a sealed environment and they are supposed to be able to withstand this due to their construction, the fungus still forms.
The Maglite, on the other hand, shows no signs of mold on the glass or any degradation due to the elements. This, my husband, says is down to the integrity of the o-rings. It happily sits on our dining room table, ready to grab quickly if the need arises.
Do you own a Maglite Flashlight?
The batteries we use are a high capacity rechargeable from Memorex.
© 2017 Mary Wickison