SureFire introduced the first compact high-intensity flashlight more than 30 years ago, and SureFire Everyday Carry (EDC) Series flashlights are representative of the knowledge we’ve gained since then. Striking the perfect balance between compact size and high performance, EDCs offer tremendous functionality and versatility in the palm of your hand, and you can store them in virtually any pocket with ease.
But, with several models to choose from, what’s the difference between them? When discussing quality, reliability, and lifetime durability, there is no difference. Every SureFire EDC Series light is precision-machined in the USA from aerospace-grade aluminum and Mil-Spec hard-anodized to ensure durability in the most extreme environments on earth. They all utilize only the finest LED emitters and sophisticated electronics to maximize output and runtime. They feature a durable steel pocket clip for secure carry or attachment to a hat brim or hearing protection. And all of them are guaranteed for life via the SureFire No-Hassle Guarantee.
That said, when it comes to high-performance flashlights, one size does not fit all. You might require specific functions in a light, whether you’re a law enforcement professional clearing a warehouse while responding to a 3 a.m. break-in call or a citizen walking your dog through the neighborhood before turning in for the night. Fortunately, SureFire offers models with highly specialized features, giving you true freedom of choice. Every SureFire EDC excels at a variety of tasks, but some accomplish them differently than their siblings.
Switching: Tactical vs. Click vs. Programmable
When SureFire pioneered the light-activating tailcap, it revolutionized the entire flashlight industry. Every SureFire EDC flashlight still offers this versatile and convenient feature, but there are two specific versions available, depending on which EDC model you choose. SureFire’s EDCL1-T and EDCL2-T features our gas pedal-style tailcap, incorporating a switch and a twist feature. Lightly depressing the switch activates a 5-lumen low output that is great for administrative tasks. But firmly pressing it unleashes the light’s maximum output, a critically important feature in high-stress situations where positive identification may help you defend yourself against a potential threat or avoid a conflict entirely. If you do need the light to remain on constantly, you can rotate the tailcap one-quarter of a turn to maintain low output or one complete turn for high output. The SureFire E2T Tactician incorporates a single-stage tail switch that is similar in feel but activates high or low output only, depending on you’ve set the output by rotating the front bezel.
SureFire also offers click-style push-button switching on some of its EDC models. Available on the E1B-MV Backup and E2D Defender Ultra, this switching style activates high output first, either by pressing the switch for momentary-on or pressing and clicking through to maintain constant-on. The dual-output Backup and Defender Ultra allow activation of momentary-on low output by pressing and then releasing the switch for 1 second, or you can click through to maintain constant-on low output.
It’s worth mentioning that there’s also a third switching option available on the SureFire Stiletto and Stiletto Pro. These groundbreaking, slim-profile, rechargeable EDC models incorporate a programmable primary switch that allows you to activate three different output levels from low to medium to high or vice versa — whichever you choose. Stiletto models also feature a tail switch that you can press to activate momentary-on high output, pressed three times to activate an emergency strobe function, or programmed to activate high output in constant-on mode. For more information on the Stiletto, CLICK HERE. For more information on the Stiletto Pro, CLICK HERE,
Beam Patterns: TIR vs. MVB
After you’ve decided what type of switching works best for you, you’ll also want to determine what beam pattern suits your needs. SureFire EDC lights are available in our proprietary Total Internal Reflection (TIR) or MaxVision Beam® configurations. There are substantial differences between the two, and it’s an essential consideration if you want the best EDC model to fit your needs.
Breaking it down, MaxVision behaves like a floodlight, and TIR is like a spotlight. Although either beam pattern works well in a wide variety of conditions, the MaxVision Beam® holds the edge in situations that favor a seamless light pattern with maximum peripheral light, anything from camping to close-quarter combat. Its intensity varies gradually, from the beam’s center out to its edges, so you don’t see a bright center spot when you shine the beam on a wall. Although it is still over 10 times brighter at the center than at the outer edges of the beam, the eye sees the light uniformly across the entire field of view. The E1B-MV Backup, the E2T Tactician, and the rechargeable Stiletto and Stiletto Pro models all utilize MaxVision Beam technology.
By contrast, the TIR delivers more of a searchlight beam. Its groundbreaking lens technology is specifically designed for medium- to long-range use, producing a proper spotlight with a comparatively “tight” central cone of light. TIR also produces an outer cone containing the remainder of the emitted light for ample peripheral illumination. Used in SureFire’s Scout Light WeaponLight models, TIR technology is available in the EDCL1-T, EDCL2-T, and E2D Defender Ultra.
The Backup is what a single-cell light should be, delivering tremendous performance in a tiny package. Originally designed with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department’s input, it is a practical yet battle-worthy light that can be carried as a backup to a larger flashlight or stand on its own. Its click-style push-button switch delivers 400 lumens of intense MaxVision Beam-optimized white light on the first click — a beneficial function in tactical or self-defense situations. You can also easily switch to 5 lumens for tasks that don’t require max illumination. Its steel pocket clip is designed for bezel-up or bezel-down carry and can be clipped onto the brim of a hat as an impromptu headlamp.
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The Tactician provides tremendous output in a compact package, making it a versatile, high-utility primary or backup light for a wide range of conditions. It’s the only SureFire EDC light with a clip design that supports bezel-up storage only, and it includes a lanyard to give you more carry options. It’s also the only one to feature a rotating front bezel, so you can deliver all 800 lumens of seamless MaxVision Beam illumination or rotate it to provide 5 lumens for tasks requiring less light and more runtime. The Tactician’s single-stage tail switch activates both settings in momentary-on mode with a press of the tail switch, or you can twist the tailcap for constant-on mode.
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Think of the EDCL1-T and EDCL2-T as the David and Goliath of the EDC family. The EDCL1-T delivers TIR-lens reach and performance in a compact, single-cell body that offers easy 24/7/365 carry, while the larger EDCL2-T provides the most lumens of any SureFire EDC model in a slim two-cell package. In a tense situation where your gross motor skills may already be under stress, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that mashing the gas pedal-style tailcap switch will take you straight to 500 lumens of blinding high output in the EDCL1-T and 1,200 lumens in the EDCL2-T, with no click-through. It’s a critical timesaver as you don’t have to think about activating the light, and that could save your life. Fully press the tail switch for high output, lightly press for low, or you can twist the tailcap for constant-on activation for low or high light output. The EDCL steel pocket clip permits these lights to be carried bezel-up or bezel-down.
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E2D Defender® Ultra
The E2D Defender Ultra combines other SureFire EDC models’ fine qualities while adding a knockout punch of its own. The Defender Ultra’s crenellated bezel design delivers added strike capability to defend the user from an adversary, while its TIR lens channels 1,000 lumens of intense white light into a concentrated beam that can disorient an attacker in low-light conditions. It provides excellent long-distance reach and delivers sufficient peripheral light to help keep you situationally aware. The Defender Ultra’s click-style, push-button tailcap provides momentary-/constant-on activation so you can quickly choose between 1,000 or 5 lumens. You can position the Defender’s sturdy steel pocket clip for bezel-up or bezel-down carry.
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The Bottom Line Is…
If you’re serious about having the best tools in your everyday carry kit, then a SureFire EDC flashlight is definitely the right tool for you. SureFire designs, engineers, and assembles every EDC model in the USA to be the best it can be. Don’t settle for anything less.
For more information on all things SureFire, visit SureFire.com.