The Brinkmann Maxfire LX is the first flashlight that I ever picked up that opened my world beyond the concept that a 2D Maglight was the best there was. I’m not knocking that light, because even if it is nothing else it was a fantastic vehicle to prove to people that a flashlight can be made sturdily and not just be a piece of cheap plastic. However, the Brinkman illuminated my concept of what a flashlight should really be far beyond what I had ever seen previously.
Meat and Potatoes
I am forced to admit that a Brinkmann Maxfire LX is likely not going to be considered as a high end flashlight by anyone and likely this review is a completely moot point with today’s amazing lights (some of which are reviewed here on this site), but for what it’s worth I found this light to be amazingly well constructed for such a simple design. This light uses a xenon bulb and 2 CR123A batteries to produce a very large quantity of smooth bright white light that is very comparable to much more expensive lights. This light proved to be easily as bright if not brighter than the fleet of Surefire G2’s (P60 lamp assemblies rated at 65 Lumens) that my company used at the time. Yet with a purchase price in the sub $20 range including batteries and sometimes a holster, this light became affordable to nearly anyone. I am very fond of the rubber grip that encases the barrel and also a band around the head of the light, because it ends up being nearly impossible to drop. There is nothing slippery about this light at all, yet it is incredibly comfortable.
The switch is where this light really stands out. It is a standard momentary click switch that has just about the best feel of any light I have used to this day. It is stiff enough to not get accidentally activated and yet smooth enough to never feel like it is an effort to use. This is a switch that I have recommended several other manufacturers to look at when designing their lights since it is, in my opinion, pretty much the cream of the crop.
There are a couple of things that I would do better with this light. The biggest of which (to me) is the fact that it really seemed to take some effort to make sure that the light bulb was perfectly centered in the reflector. This may not seem like a big deal, but when it got even a little out of the middle the beam of the light seemed to deform into a bit of a lopsided blob rather than a perfect circle. The good news was that if you got it placed correctly it would pretty much stay there no matter what you did.
Secondly, the tailcap for this light had a set of very fine threads that caused a high likelihood of getting them cross threaded when changing the batteries. Of course, with the chance of shifting the bulb out of center if you unscrewed the head, this meant that you would almost be guaranteed to use the tailcap to change batteries. It’s not something that ever became a make it or break it deal with me, but something I had to consciously watch out for none the less.
This light seems to have really opened the door for me and therefor has a very special place in my heart. However, I don’t really think that is the only reason that I like it so much. I believe this light is really an outstanding value for the level of quality it gives you at such a reasonable price. Since it’s initial usage I have found a generic brand LED drop in that fits the head and runs beautifully giving me a significantly longer runtime off from a set of batteries. I have not forgotten this light in the passage of time, now it resides in my vehicle as a always present backup/emergency light. That is one of the best things about lithium batteries, their ability to hold a charge for the duration of their 10 year shelf life. I never need to worry about being left in the dark now.
All being said, for the <$20 range that this light generally shows up in, I have to definitely give this light a recommendation. This goes especially for someone who is stuck with the same old lights that have been the “norm” for so many years. This light will illuminate a whole new world for you.