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The Best Tactical Flashlight to Buy

Updated on September 6, 2014

The SureFire E2D LED Defender Flashlight

If you like to cut to the chase, go buy the SureFire E2D LED Defender flashlight -- it's one of the best tactical flashlights you'll find as it checks in at 200 lumens and is the best LED tactical flashlight in the wold, bar none, with rave reviews on Amazon to back that up.

For those that need a little more convincing, let's look at just what you get in the SureFire E2D and why military personnel, law enforcement officers, first responders, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts drool over this flashlight and swear by it.

SureFire E2D Defender
SureFire E2D Defender

The Rave E2D LED Defender Reviews

One of the first things I look at when considering buying anything on Amazon -- including the SureFire flashlight -- are the reviews.

That's especially true for higher-ticket items, as I'll never personally buy something with less than 50 reviews that has great ratings and reviews that obviously come from real people that have used it. This is especially true of "tactical" gear, as a lot of companies are trying to cash in on the craze and slapping the word on anything, when the product itself doesn't really deserve it.

The SureFire E2D passes all of the above tests with flying colors. It's got nearly 100 reviews and they're all glowing reviews; the single 1 star review says it's a good flashlight and rambles on about politics.

These great reviews also come from soldiers, cops, border patrol agents, and hunters -- exactly the sort of person you should trust to tell you about the best tactical flashlight to buy.

SureFire LED E2D Defender
SureFire LED E2D Defender

Technical Specs of the SureFire E2D

If honest reviews from people just like yourself don't sway you, let's take a look at the technical specs of the SureFire E2D tactical flashlight.

People shop for tactical flashlights for all sorts of reason -- not to mention the basic wow factor of owning one of the world's most powerful flashlights -- with the SureFire E2D covering all the bases.

If you're a patrol officer or in the military and need to instantly blind an aggressor, this is the flashlight for you.

Involved in law enforcement and need search bushes or trees with a powerful beam that doesn't destroy your own night and peripheral vision? Then buy this flashlight.

It's maximum output is 200 lumens and you get nearly 2 hours of output at that level; dial it down to its lowest setting of 5 lumens and that extends to 76 hours of light.

This flashlight is just 5 1.2 inches long, with a bezel diameter of 1 inch and weighs a little under 4 ounces with the batteries in it. It uses the same lithium batteries that other SureFire flashlights do, with two 123A batteries required.

Do I Really Need a $200 Flashlight?

It's expensive; we get it. But you should factor in how long this light will last you, too, and the cost of having to frequently replace cheaper lights that aren't as effective or fun to use.

If the price is a sticking point, the good news is that SureFire offers other models. While the SureFire E2D may be the Cadillac of tactical flashlights, there's nothing wrong with owning a Volvo either if that's what you can afford.

The same engineering that goes into the E2D can be found in other SureFire flashlights as well, just minus the lumens and some of the bells and whistles.

All the SureFire models below are very solid choices if you're looking to buy a tactical flashlight, so it's impossible to make a bad choice.

What Makes it Tactical?

Lots of companies that make knives, flashlights, boots, and other rugged outdoor gear are slapping the word "tactical" on their products in an attempt to boost sales and give whatever they're selling some extra allure.

It is a little confusing as there's no official checklist or test to pass to get a product certified as tactical. A good general definition that many use is to look at the history and intent of the product.

If the US Army contracted a flashlight manufacturer to make a lightweight flashlight capable of blinding enemies with a powerful blast of 200 lumens of light -- but also a rugged one that holds up to regular field use -- then that's a tactical flashlight.

It doesn't mean that normal folks can't get just as much use or more out of a torch like the SureFire E2D; it just means that the origin of the flashlight came from the need to fill a very specific purpose in tactical and combat situations.

SureFire Flashlights in Action

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    • profile image

      Devlin99 4 years ago

      I like the Nitecore P25? Right now it is my favorite tactical flashlight. And plus, it has rails.

    • dustin807 profile image

      dustin807 5 years ago

      I always carry my flashlight and pocket knife with me.

    • greenqueen09 profile image

      Laura 5 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the info!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      A good flashlight can be a life saver!

    • Seth Shafer profile image

      Seth 5 years ago from California

      @Freestuffer LM: Thank you!

    • Seth Shafer profile image

      Seth 5 years ago from California

      @WriterJanis2: And thanks for dropping by!

    • Freestuffer LM profile image

      Freestuffer LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Thanks for explaining all of this.

    • Seth Shafer profile image

      Seth 5 years ago from California

      @Deadicated LM: It's definitely overkill for most of us but it is a pretty dang cool thing to play around with.

    • Seth Shafer profile image

      Seth 5 years ago from California

      @anonymous: You're definitely right about companies slapping the label "tactical" on all sorts of things to justify jacking up the price and/or the cool factor.

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Wow, that's an uber flashlight. Lol Thanks for teaching me something new.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for detailing what tactical means. (I imagine another reason for adding 'tactical' to a product name is to increase the perceived value so it can sell at a higher price.)