Tactical flashlights (or EDC flashlights) bear little resemblance to their bulky, often poorly-performing, D-Cell-battery-hog precursors. So if you recently received a tactical flashlight as a gift, or if you purchased one for yourself, congratulations! You’re bound to enjoy years of meaningful service out of this piece of high-functioning kit. Today’s tactical flashlights are precision engineered, compact marvels that can help you have a safer, more enjoyable camping experience, fight off a would-be attacker, help you find a blown fuse in the basement and do about a hundred other things. However, while they’re tough as nails and built to last they’ll still require a bit of maintenance now and then to ensure they’re always operating at peak effectiveness. After use of your flashlight, below are some lovely tips on how to look after your tactical flashlight.
Simple Steps to Keep Your Tactical Flashlight Working Properly
It’s not often that a high-quality tactical flashlight will fail to answer the call but it does happen; typically when the flashlight has been poorly maintained. While you certainly don’t have to treat your tactical flashlight with kid gloves you will need to provide a little TLC from time to time. Here’s how to do that.
Before we start, it should go without saying after you carry your flashlight that when you store your tactical flashlight away for any extended period of time you should remove the batteries first. That said, here’s our preferred method for servicing a tactical flashlight.
- Clean the exterior using a soft, damp cloth. Use a toothpick to get into the crevices and remove any grime or debris.
- Remove the head and clean the threads using both the toothpick and the cloth. Do the same at the butt end of the flashlight.
- Check for any corrosion inside the battery compartment while you have the end cap off to clean the threads.
- Check the glass cover on the head to make sure it’s not cracked or otherwise compromised. A tactical flashlight’s greatest asset is its powerful beam of light. A dirty or damaged lens can compromise the strength of the beam.
- Check the LED lamp to ensure it’s properly seated and do a quick visual inspection of the entire bulb mechanism.
- Keep the battery charged when not in use, even though it’s not in the flashlight. Not only does this mean it’s ready for action when required, but it helps keep the battery in good condition. You could even use a portable power bank to top up the juice on the go, just ensure you don’t let it get flat, and definitely don’t leave it empty for long periods of time.
- Return the head and end cap to the body of the flashlight then check the body itself for dings, cracks, scrapes or any other damage. Check that the switch is intact and operating smoothly.
- Make sure the lanyard is undamaged and well secured. You don’t want the flashlight falling off your wrist unexpectedly at an inopportune time.
- Coat the exterior lightly (and we mean lightly) with a silicone-based lubricant. Since the flashlight is doubtless made of high quality, aircraft-grade aluminum or steel this will help keep corrosion at bay. Wipe the exterior after applying the lubricant to remove any excess.
Perform Regular Inspections
Regardless whether you take your tactical flashlight with you everywhere you go or you only take it out of the drawer periodically make sure you inspect it at regular intervals. When you do make, make sure the bulb hasn’t failed, the power button/switch still functions correctly, and as above, that the batteries have significant charge for when they’re called upon.