made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

U2 Surefire Flashlight Clone a Cheap Imitation

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If an incredibly low price isn’t an obvious enough tip-off, here’s a surefire way to tell a cloned product from the real thing: In a lame effort to “prove” that the fake has been through some sort of rigorous quality-control process, it usually carries at least one official-looking label to that effect. Take this $20 clone of the $270 U2 SureFire Ultra LED flashlight, which is one of the toughest and brightest flashlights out there. The clone is the one in front with the gold “Q.C. Passed” label on its bezel. Of course, there’s other telltale signs that this Chinese-made light doesn’t come close to the real thing, as Craig Johnson, operator of the website www.ledmuseum.org, a site devoted to all things LED (including some highly entertaining reviews of LED-based products), discovered on closer inspection:


This clone of the SureFire U2 Digital Ultra looks pretty convincing on the outside, but you’ll soon find that the selector ring at the base of the bezel does not do anything – in fact, it does not even move. The unit has a tailcap switch that allows two intensity levels. And it is not hard anodized; it appears to have a Type II anodize finish, as it failed “The Knife Test”… Also, the rather beefy pocket clip found on the real thing is absent from this clone. But the unit does have a real glass window (or “lens”), and is water-resistant – though there is some leakage around the tailcap switch. As far as I’m able to determine, the light comes from a Luxeon III LED near the bottom of an almost mirror-smooth reflector, and the unit is powered by 2xCR123A lithium cells.

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4 Comments

  1. Rudy V
    March 08, 2013 02:07

    I’ m gonna throw in my two cents so it doesn’t mean much either way but I really think the domestic made high dollar lights have lagged behind technology wise for 1/8 the price of surefire’s and Streamlight’s you can get much brighter import (Chinese lights) in almost any size configuration imaginable and battery configuration to boot I really love my new Ulatrafire C8 with the new L3 emitter and rechargeable 18650 battery it in shear lumen out put blows away my Streamlight ultrastinger and is 1/3 the size of the ultrastinger along with what I paid for one Streamlight I received six Ulatrafires batteries and a.nitecore.4 bay smart charger with change left over. The down side however is lack of warranty as with my ultrastinger has a life time warranty and I have sent it back twice once after dropping off the wing of a 747-200 and ddropping into a lake , Streamlight repaired both times no questions asked so there is a trade off .

  2. John H
    April 07, 2010 14:40

    Totally agree – if things were not over priced, there would be no market for the fakers.

  3. Jim C.
    October 08, 2009 03:42

    As an owner of several Chinese clone flashlights, though not any clones of this U2 Surefire in particular, I find most of them to be a far better value and work fine although some need a little TLC when they arrive to correct shoddy assembly resulting in poor contact issues.
    $270 for a flashlight is totally insane in my mind, even if you are a police or military officer, EMT, etc. Think about what it is, merely a machined tube and a few inner bits, driver board, power LED. Their profit margins are staggering and offensive to the point I simply will not buy such products even if it were only double the price of the clone.
    These luxury class flashlights are often made in the orient anyway, I know Surefire does manufacture at least some in the US, but I’m not generally opposed to the global market either, made-in-China used to mean something different a lower quality on average, than it does in today’s outsourced environment.
    To each his/her own choice I suppose, but I get the vague impression our ancestors survived without $270 flashlights and we can too.

  4. August 07, 2008 22:09

    Great information, Thank You for sharing……….
    Thanks

    surefire flashlights