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Old November 13, 2018, 03:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,819
Nice write-up.

While I have an assortment of glove-box and large jacket pocket lights that offer 350-1200 lumens, a while back I replaced my pari of 4Sevens Mini 123/ML-X pocket lights with a Fenix E15. Then, I upgraded to the rechargeable battery that offers 450 lumens on Turbo.

Why the small E15? Because at approx 2.5" in length and less .9" in diameter (at the widest, being the head) it easily fits in my pocket with other EDC "pocketable" items. While I usually have a "working" lockblade folder clipped to a pocket, I typically have 1-2 other knives vying for room in that pocket, like an old style (no metal liners and integral plastic clip) Spyderco Delica fully-serrated folder and a 2 or 3-blade penknife.

Back when I was still working in my LE career I've been in thousands of places during daylight hours where either the lights were off/inop when I entered, or they could've easily been turned off to make things difficult for me. I also needed a backup light on many occasions, during both daylight and night time working conditions. When you start to get enough gear hanging from your belt, having the option to have a handy-sized, small "pocketable" light source becomes an advantage to be appreciated.

Nowadays, however, we also have the option of getting more than 60-80 lumens from something that can be pressed into actual pocket service. That little E15 puts out more light than my older uniform light, and it's easier and faster to recharge. (Battery technology has advanced, as well.)

A word about spring-assisted folders, though. I have a bunch of them, and recently I had a tight jeans front pocket and some pressure while being seated cause the blade to partially open on a model that requires some good pressure against the blade stud in order to start it to open. Granted, it was a tip-up (only) design, so I couldn't choose tip-down carry, and it only allowed the clip to be on one side, so carrying it on my off-side (pocketed pistol in strong side pocket) meant I couldn't choose to position the opening direction of the blade to be against the rear of the pocket. It opened "forward". Damn.

I didn't realize the blade had popped open approx an inch until I reached into the pocket and found the needle sharp tip. No pain, initially (sharp point and edge), but only a moment later lots of blood down my jeans leg. Approx 2 stitches later (half an inch long and half an inch deep at the apex of the perforation) I decided that there was a reason some of the more expensive spring-assisted folders might offer a sliding tab at the tip to lock the blade from opening.

Anyway, I've reverted back to the manually opening folders for pocket clip duty, and that very nice spring-assisted model (AM-4, being a tribute to an older design of the late Al Mar) got its own Buffalo leather pocket slip sheath (sans clip, to fit).

Yes, it'll take a moment longer to remove it from the sheath, so it will become one of my "gentleman's" folders that reside in slip sheaths. I used to use leather slip sheaths for my trusty Gerber FSII (except when I briefly tried the Flicket widget), and the Kershaw Model 2040 that replaced it, back in the 70's.

One of my many manually opened folders will once again become the primary clip/carry equipment choices, backed up by a fully-serrated option (handy for aggressive cutting tasks) and one of my SAK's or a 2-3 blade normal stockman, trapper or penknife.

And the a small but powerful pocket light.

I've used my other 350 lumen & greater lights (which need large pockets or belt sheaths) for outdoor tasks (like when teaching patrol rifle classes under night time conditions), but the itty bitty E15 is still a potent option when pocket space is limited (and you can only use finger tips, or lips, versus your whole hand to hold the light).
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
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