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Thread: The All-things Malkoff Wiki

  1. #1
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    New Hampshire, U.S.A.

    The All-things Malkoff Wiki

    Over the years P-F members have reached out to me with questions about Malkoff lights in response to the photos of them I have posted. Based on that, I figure this thread might be of value.

    One of the things that differentiate Malkoff lights from many others is the fact you can purchase components separately (vs. buying a complete light) and configure a light to your liking. This also includes a complete list of repair parts, making these lights very easy to maintain and repair. This will be one focus of the many topics I plan to post, making this thread a work in-progress. I invite any P-F member to share their own experience with Malkoff lights.

    The first of many to come, I'll kick it off with this...

    Online Malkoff Resources

    While inhabited almost entirely by flashlight nerds, a wealth of information can be found in the Malkoff sub-forum on the website. Things like beam shots, runtime graphs, reviews and commentary about Malkoff lights, etc. can be found there. If you own a Malkoff light or would like to learn more about them, I recommend spending some time on this site;

    You'll find my contributions there under NH Lumens.

    To be continued...

  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Southwest Pennsylvania
    For those unfamiliar with Malkoff, price is more than many alternatives but less than Surefire. The quality is worth every penny, exceeding that of anything else I have seen, including Surefire. Gene Malkoff runs a small US based business, and if I understand correctly his lights are made in the US.

    His Bodyguard versions 1 and 2 have one of the best user interfaces I have ever seen, coming on in high without exception with every tailswitch press, and switching to medium after being on for 8 seconds.

    His LED drop in units for Surefire lights have turned my obsolete incandescent Z-series lights into lights with continuing usefulness.

    Gene is a good guy to deal with.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    one foot in the gulag blues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    down in the holler
    Gene, Cathy and Todd are in a class by themselves, imho. If I need it and they make it, I buy it. (Sometimes even if I don't really need it...yet.)

    The only light I've purchased in recent years that wasn't a Malkoff was a headlamp. (Since it's not yet in their catalog and I wasn't interested in using a head strap that would accept one of their lights as it's less useful to me.)
    These are the times that try men's souls. - Thomas Paine

  4. #4
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Central Front Range, CO
    Thanks for doing this...
    More info + easier access to info = better shopping decisions

  5. #5
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Redneck wonderland
    My defensive EDC is a BG2 with a single cell body. Itís the best light Iíve seen for the purpose.

    But the Malkoff universe is hard to navigate. Thanks for the guidance, @NH Shooter.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You donít really graduate from certain problems or certain thingsÖ like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  6. #6
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    @NH Shooter, I am one of those who's reached out to you. Thanks for all of your help and info it was invaluable. I love my lights. The combo you recommended with the X300 body from Arisaka and V2 head has been amazing. Also loving my MDC Bodyguard.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Thank you @NH Shooter

    I own, iirc, 6 Surefire flashlights and a couple of 3 cell Mag Lights...all have been "Malkoff"ed.

    Great folks and a great business. Incredibly patient with my questions and always responsive to my queries.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Desert Southwest
    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    But the Malkoff universe is hard to navigate.
    That is a huge reason I have never ordered one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Glock View Post
    That is a huge reason I have never ordered one.
    Lights in general are a huge rabbit hole to go down, and Malkoff are no exception. is a great resource, but I understand if people are unwilling to spend time on yet another forum/topic.
    I think it's a great idea to use this thread to help out anyone on this board with questions regarding Malkoff products. I own a number of their drop-ins and MDC lights and have had nothing but good experiences, so I have no issue singing their praises here!

  10. #10
    Marginally Relevant NH Shooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    New Hampshire, U.S.A.

    General Terms & Definitions

    To make sense of some of the techy talk to follow, I'll post definitions to make the conversation easier to follow. I will undoubtedly be adding to this post as the thread progresses.

    General Definitions

    Bezel - the front section of the flashlight (the head) that contains the LED module.

    Body - the center section of the flashlight that holds the batteries

    Clicky switch - a switch that when partially depressed provide momentary operation, when fully pressed "clicks" to lock the switch into constant operation. Fully pressing the switch a second time "unclicks" it and turns off the light.

    Drop-in - first used to describe an integral LED module to replace the incandescent bulb assembly used in Surefire lights. Term is still used today to describe interchangeable LED modules (also referred to as "engines" by flashlight nerds).

    EDC - every day carry

    E-series light - Surefire designation for their small, hand held lights. These are smaller than the P-series lights, and generally speaking the components are not interchangeable. The E-series size lights are very suitable for EDC carry.

    Fight light - a hand held light dedicated 100% to defensive use, especially in conjunction with a handgun. In its purest form, it is a light with the following features;

    • Single output only
    • Single switch located on the tailcap, momentary function only
    • Blinding output - 10,000 lux or more, and the more the better

    IMR cell - a rechargeable cell that uses lithium-manganese chemistry. IMR cells do not have the energy density of the ICR chemistry used in Li-ion protected cells, but is considered a safer chemistry. For this reason, IMR cells generally do not have a protection circuit and are physically shorter than a protected cell of the same size designation. This can be an important consideration when building a "Lego light." Also see Rechargeable cells.

    Lego light - a light assembled using parts and pieces from different manufacturers. In this thread, it will also refer to lights using all Malkoff parts that are not available as turnkey (preconfigured) lights.

    Lumens vs. Lux - lumens is a measure of the total light emitted by a light source without regard to the distribution of the light.

    Lux is the amount of light (in lumens) hitting a target one square meter in size. In typical flashlight specifications, the target is specified as one meter away from the light source. Because of this, lux and candela can generally be used interchangeably when comparing specs of different lights and should be considered the true indicator of the brightness of the light in the center of the beam.

    Primary cell - refers to single use, non-rechargeable batteries (such AA alkaline, CR123A lithium batteries, etc.)

    Protected cell - a Li-ion with an integral protection circuit board. The board is a round wafer attached to the end of the battery (negative side) that protects the cell from shorts, over-discharge (low volt cutoff), over-current, etc. The use of protected cells is recommended, though protected cells are longer and can sometimes lead to fitment issues. Additionally, the circuit boards are somewhat fragile and are not recommended in WML applications where repeated recoil may damage them. FWIW, I've never had a protected cell become damaged to the point it would no longer function, but recently I did receive a brand new protected cell with a defective protection circuit (battery read zero volts).

    Rechargeable cells - typically a lithium ion (Li-ion) cell that uses a dedicated battery charger. These cells are designated by numbers that indicate their nominal physical size in millimeters. Example: an 18650 cell measures 18mm in diameter and 65.0mm in length. The most common sizes that we'll be referring to are 16340 (approximately the same physical size as a CR123A primary); 16650 (two CR123A batteries); 18500 (1.5 times the length of a CR123A and 2mm larger in diameter); 18650 (2 times the length of a CR123A, 2mm larger in diameter). A wealth of Li-ion cell knowledge can be found on

    Also see Protected cell and IMR cell.

    Spill - the amount of light surrounding the central hot spot of the beam. A light with "good spill" with have a higher ratio of lumens to lux (a more even distribution of lumens across the beam).

    Tailcap - the rear section of the flashlight. May or may not include the switch, but in this thread the tailcap does include the switch.

    Throw - how far the beam of light reaches. A light with "good throw" will have a higher ratio of lux to lumens (focus most of the lumens in the central hot spot with fewer lumens in the spill).

    TIR lens - Total Internal Reflection, a lens that is used in place of a reflector.

    Twisty switch - generally referring to the switch included with the old Surefire 6P, a switch located in the tailcap that only provide momentary activation when pressed. The tailcap must be tightened to the body to provide constant-on operation (thus the "twisty" designation).

    3P/6P/9P - the series of professional-grade Surefire lights that started it all, these numbers refer to the number of 3-volt CR123A cells the light holds: 3P hold one, 6P holds two, 9P holds three. The original Surefire 6P can still be found on ebay and serves as an excellent starting point to build a Lego light.

    Malkoff-specific Definitions

    High/low switch - an optional switch that can be used in the MDX head (bezel). A simple, rugged and reliable switch that gives full output when the bezel is tightened to the body, and reduced output when the bezel is loosened slightly.

    Hound Dog - series of high-throw (high lux to lumens) lights

    MDC - Malkoff Daily Carry, these are the small Malkoff LED flashlights that are the same size as the Surefire E-series. The Malkoff MDC heads will (with few exceptions) fit on Surefire E-series lights and is a common upgrade to the older incandescent SF lights.

    MDX head - used on the MD2/3/4 bodies. This head is available with a 16.5mm opening and a 22.3mm opening (typically used with the Malkoff drop-ins that use a TIR lens).

    MD2 - refers to series of lights (or just the flashlight body) that are similar in size to the Surefire 6P that hold two CR123A cells. The MD2 is bored to also accept the larger 18mm diameter cells, such as the 18650.

    MD3 - refers to series of lights (or just the flashlight body) that are similar in size to the Surefire 9P that hold three CR123A cells. The MD is bored to also accept the larger 18mm diameter cells, such as a pair of 18500 cells.

    MD4 - if Surefire had ever made a 12P, this would be the Malkoff equivalent. The MD4 body holds four CR123A cells or a pair of 18650 cells. Used when the longest possible runtime takes priority over size/ease-of-carry.

    Wildcat - series of high-lumen/low-lux flood pattern lights
    Last edited by NH Shooter; 11-22-2019 at 07:58 AM.

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