The Brinkmann Maxfire LX is a high output
compact polymer flashlight. It has a black impact resistant
polymer body with rubber grips around the body tube
and a rubber grip ring around the bezel. Inside the
body tube is a metal tube for electrical conduction
that runs the entire length of the body.
The bezel, like the rest of the body is black polymer
with a thick glass lens in the front. The top of the
bezel is crenelated/notched so that light leaks out
around the edges if placed down while on. Inside is
a high pressure xenon bulb mounted on a small contact
plate system. The reflector is metal and is textured
to help smooth out artifacts in the beam. The beam is
pre-focused and is not adjustable.
Output is in the form of a brilliant white spot with
a bright center and a wide spillbeam. Despite the use
of a textured reflector there are some slight artifacts
in the beam which are of minor consequence.
completed with "GE/Sanyo" brand batteries.
More information on runtime plots is available HERE.
The switch is a simple click switch built into the
center of the tailcap. It is covered with a textured
rubber cap. The clicking action is quite firm and produces
a very audible click. Pressing in partially on the switch
will allow the light to be used in "momentary mode"
Ergonomically, the light is comfortable in the hand
and is a very good size. If you want to trim it down
some more, the rubber grips around the body tube slide
off, but leave a fairly smooth, slick surface behind.
Golf club stick-on grip strips would work great here
to reduce the diameter of the body and yet give a good
gripping surface. The rubber ring around the bezel is
removable as well, which reveals what appears to be
heat sink style fins.
For batteries, this little unit takes two 123A lithium
batteries. Pila batteries
do not fit in this light. I would recommend Titanium
brand cells for $1.00 each (here's
a review) or BatteryStation
brand cells for less than $2 each. I would not recommend purchasing
these cells at retail stores since they cost $10 a pair
or more in most retail stores!
To change out the batteries, just unscrew the tailcap
and replace the cells, inserting + first. Be careful
when you re-thread the tailcap - it likes to try to
crossthread. Just be gentle and it'll go on just fine.
No additional accessories come with the light.
There are o-ring seals on the head and the tailcap,
giving it good water resistance.
NOTE: I was able to install a BugOutGearUSA.com
regulated Luxeon III LED module in this light (do
so at your own risk if you decide to try it!). The modification
is reversible. Remove the bezel and look inside the
base of the head - there will be a black cylinder with
2 flat sides and a hole in the middle where the bulb
goes in. Clamp down on the flat sides with a wrench
of some sort and unscrew the cylinder from the inside
of the head to remove it. This is the reflector retainer.
The reflector will drop out. Set aside the bulb, reflector
retainer, and reflector. Drop the Luxeon III module
(no G2 spring needed) into the bezel against the glass
lens and reassemble. That's it! Using the same procedure
you can put in a Surefire P60 or P61 lamp assembly as
well, but I don't know how well the unit will handle
the heat - try at your own risk! The P60 and P61 don't
quite sit centered in the bezel, but the BugOutGearUSA.com
regulated Luxeon III LED module centers itself perfectly.
What I Liked: Water resistant, Tough/impact
resistant, Bright, Easy battery change, Lightweight
What I Didn't Like: Tailcap tries to crossthread
from time to time.
Other Things I Noticed: BugOutGearUSA.com regulated
Luxeon III LED module fits with some simple (reversible)
modification. Pila rechargeable batteries do not fit.
Conclusions: Great high powered light for only
$20! This thing is a bargain! Some folks have tried
to compare this light to another high output polymer
light made by a famous manufacturer... awww heck, I'll
just say it - a Surefire G2.
The Brinkmann isn't quite as high of a quality, but
it's not all that far off either. Textured metal reflector,
glass lens, clickie switch, durable polymer, crenelated
bezel... and just 20 bucks. It's hard to go too wrong
with this one. What am I going to do with it? I'm leaving
the BugOutGearUSA.com Luxeon III module in it and dropping
it into one of my belt sheaths as my new "beater"
light. It should see a lot of use over the next several
UPDATE Oct 2005: I bought another one recently
for some testing at the request of a reader. The good
news is that since the original review, Brinkmann got
rid of the junk batteries and are now including much
better GE/Sanyo cells. The bad news is that it flickered
badly during the start of the runtime test. Then it
went out. Upon investigation I found that the pins of
the bulb were not attached to the contact plates on
the bulb assembly in any way except for friction. The
original bulb had the bulb pins tack-welded to the contact
plates. This one did not. If you purchase one, CHECK
THE BULB PINS IMMEDIATELY UPON OPENING. If you can push
on them with your fingernail and they slide around on
the contact plates, return the light as defective and
try another. The defective light was returned and the
next one I purchased was assembled correctly. Oh, and
you can now get this light for 16.99 at Target dept.
stores and it includes a vinyl belt sheath.
READER UPDATE: From George T.:
I have successfully been using my 2 Maxfire LX flashlights
in night handgun courses at Front Sight and they work
beautifully. I use the SureFire V70 holster.
READER UPDATE: From Andrew J.:
The main reason I wrote was to share with you that
I have found that the Brinkman Maxfire LX fits very
well into the Stallion Leather Gear American Warrior
Nylon compact flashlight holder "model SFR-AW"
. I took my Maxfire down to the local uniform store
and tried it in several belt holsters after I was
shall we way, less than overwhelmed with the the quality
of the holster supplied with the light. To be fair
the Stallion holster is snug when the light has it's
rubber grips in place, but it's certainly workable,
and the top flap snaps securely.