Thursday, February 10, 2011
A few months ago I contacted Greg Mcgee from Greg Mcgee Engineering. I came across him in one of the survival boards I visit, practicalpreparedness.com.
The first thing I noticed about the MTE flashlights Greg sells is that they are very affordable.
Greg specifically asked me to tell everyone that he’s the MTE brand name owner and only importer in USA. If you’re buying MTE from anyone else you’re not getting the original product even if it says MTE. I've seen some on DealExtreme marked as MTE and the quality is totally different.
The second thing I noticed was the interesting type of lights he has. LED lights look all alike these days, but that doesn’t mean that they are all equal. MTE uses top of the line Cree LED just like the best brands do. Sometimes cheapo flashlights use Cree LEDs as well, I have many myself, but Cree makes batches and not all LEDs are alike. Actually, due to LED technology not two LEDs are alike, there’s always slight variations of color and performance and its only after making them that Cree separates them depending on the resulting product.
But what I liked about Greg the most an the reason I’m reviewing his product and supporting him is the customer relationship and quality control he stands by. Over at Practicalpreparedness he actively participated in the flashlight thread, when I email him he’s always kind and quick to reply. You don’t get this type of customer service often, where you directly deal with the person that says “yes, I’m the owner of MTE, I back up my product 100%”. This is the greatest advantage in my opinion. Not only buying a product at very affordable prices, but having it quality assured by someone easy to reach within USA.
If you buy at China Stores like DealExtreme, a website I’ve mentioned before (and recommended in the past, not any more) maybe you save 5 bucks, but if there’s a problem with it and there usually is, no one backs it up. DX claims to offer a guarantee, ever tried to use it? I have half a dozen DX lights that are dead in my drawer. Some still work after a couple years, but other died, usually in the worst possible moment. That’s why I don´t mention it much anymore. It really is a hit and miss purchase. When you buy Greg’s product, you know he tested it before shipping and he backs up the quality of his merchandise.
This is the light that caught my attention right away because I was looking for a handy, extremely bright (I wanted at least 500 lumens)and rugged tactical light. Man, am I happy with it. I’ve been using it for a couple months now and fully recommend it if that what you’re looking for.
The MTE M3-2I costs $65 but I knew this was still a bargain because of the LED used and general top notch quality. Of course there’s other manufacturers that offer MC-E 10 Watt LEDs, but they don´t come cheap. Fenix’s TK30 uses it too, but then again it costs $140.
For less than half that price MTE M3-2I has a maximum output of 740lumens, has a solid, unbreakable “bullet-proof” lens made in Finland (That thing must be an inch thick, no kidding) and a nicely finished strike bezel to be used as an impact weapon. If you even have to use this thing to crack someone’s skull, you’ll appreciate the bomb-proof lens.
The flashlights has a bunch of different modes including, strobe and a practical 10 lumen low mode for general purpose use, but thankfully it remembers the last one used. This is useful because in my case I’m mostly interested in that maximum 740 lumens output.
740 lumens is no joke. You’re getting close to HID performance, flashlights that cost several hundred bucks. With 700 lumens pointed directly at someone’s eyes, specially in the dark with the pupils wide open, you’re not just ruining his night vision, you’re causing permanent damage to his vision. Definitely not a toy and it must be kept out of the reach of children. I keep it close to my gun, for easy access but because of this reason too. This light is for tactical/defensive use and throws a wall of light with an intermediate balance between flood and throw. Greg has great throwers which I’ll be buying and reviewing as funds allow, but lots of throw also means you have to aim directly at your attacker’s face. I’m more than comfortable with the balance this flashlight offers.
The light uses 2x 3.0V CR123 batteries or a single 18650 rechargeable. Of course you get the best brightness with the 18650 rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
For an extra $27 Greg offers this same light with a 1000lumen (!) Cree XM-L and reinforced glass lens. Talk about burning the eyes of a would-be home invader with this thing!
Here’s the link to the flashlight, remember to mention me if buying. If you want the one with 1000 lumens (Cree XM-L) you can choose it before adding it to the cart on the lens and LED type option.
I’ll be doing a video of the flashlight soon so you can all see how bright it is.
Take care folks.