Cheapie $9 Nebo Mini Flashlight Falls Apart By Second Week, Gummer Upgrades To The Fenix LD15

We were raising a Maligator puppy last year and I wanted a mini-flashlight that I could drop into a pocket when I took her outside at night to potty. I had two main requirements: It had to be bright. Real bright. And it had to run on AA batteries.

I ordered the Nebo CSI Edge Flashlight from Amazon because the price was right around $9. The reviews seemed good. When it came, I was fairly impressed with it (initially). It could have been brighter, but for the size and the price it seemed like a good compromise. After three days, I ordered another one for my wife to carry in her purse.

The day that her’s came, mine broke. It just stopped working altogether. There had been other things I discovered that I didn’t like about it, either. Like when you put the switch on to the dim setting or the strobe setting… you couldn’t get it to turn back off. I don’t know what I was expecting for $9, but I guess I got what I paid for.

Flash forward (no pun intended) a couple of months later: I did a lot of research on some of the gun forums and decided to add to my requirement: It needed to be blindingly bright.  Well, it seemed that Fenix had a good reputation and since the holidays were fast approaching, I made it easy for the family by putting together a “wish list” on Amazon and at the top of my wishlist was the Fenix LD15.


Wow! What a fantastic mini-flashlight: It’s super small, it’s super bright, it runs on AA batteries, it slices, it dices and it’ll mow your lawn.

Well, maybe not the lawn.

I’ve had it for several months now and it’s still going strong. In fact, the Fenix lasted longer than the Malinois puppy, who’s now living with a police dog trainer in Ohio. (I train ’em and sell ’em.)

The Fenix LD15 is something that should really go in every one of your bags (bug out bag, truck bag, every day carry, etc…) as it’s so powerful yet so small and it doesn’t suck through batteries either. Of course, they’re a little pricier than the Nebo ($31.55 vs. $9). But you’re paying for real quality with the Fenix.

Our Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer once told us: “Your light is your life.” I believe her.  No more cheapie flashlights for me.  Trust me ladies and gents: It’s worth spending just a little more coin to get a quality product in this case.

The Fenix has a low setting and a high setting. Twist the bezel on and it shines bright. Twist it off and then immediately on again and it switches to the low setting which conserves batteries.

The following three pictures show the difference between the Nebo and the Fenix.  The first picture is of a closed room with ambient (minimal) lighting.  The second picture is with only the Fenix and the third is with the Nebo (the one I gave to my wife, who promptly put it in her purse and never touched it).  As you can see, the Fenix wins pretty dramatically.  It almost looks like I had either a light on or a window open, but in fact the conditions were identical:


Ambient lighting. This is the “control” picture in my decidedly non-scientific mini-flashlight test.


Room lit with only the Fenix LD15


Room lit with the Nebo

To be fair, I’m comparing the Nebo CSI Edge flashlight to a flashlight 3X it’s price, which is a little like comparing a Kia to a Mercedes.  But I feel the price points are close enough that it’s worth pointing out that the difference isn’t going to break anybody’s budget and they’ll be getting a quality tool rather than something that breaks when the SHTF.

To read more about the Nebo’s spec, click here.

To read more about the Fenix LD15 specs, click here.

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