I’ve been getting more into flashlights lately. And with that simple fact, comes the testing that must be done to find the ideal tac light for my purposes. I need something that has a wide range of brightness settings, won’t break the bank, and is small enough to clip onto my front pocket for easy access.
I’ve tested others in the past, but this time around we’ll be focusing on the PowerTac E9R. Let’s take a more in depth look at it.
PowerTac E9R-G4 Build:
This is a hefty little flashlight that is well-built. While it can sit in–and is roughly the length of–my hand, you can tell that the people at PowerTac built it to exact standards. It feels strong like it will hold up well over time.
Because of its relatively small stature, I have the ability to carry it in my front pant pocket as intended. To help facilitate this, there is a removable clip if you don’t want to use the included holster, but you have the option to EDC it with either method.
I personally have chosen to clip it to my pant pocket because I really don’t need anything else on my belt. My daily carry pistol and the extra ammo is more than enough in that regard.
The housing of the light itself is all metal, and the bezel is designed in such a way that you can use the flashlight to break something open. Like what? Like a car window, a watermelon, or a bad guy’s face.
And being that the housing of the flashlight is knurled, it helps you hold onto it while you’re bashing the watermelon in. The knurling would go a long way if I had to use it with sweaty or otherwise wet hands.
This would obviously not be my first choice for a weapon, but if I had nothing else I would have no problem trusting this light in that type of scenario.
After dropping the light a handful of times on different surfaces ranging from my wood floor to the pavement on my driveway at heights ranging from 2-4 feet, the distance I feel the average person would drop it from, I can say that the light has held up quite well.
While it shouldn’t be your goal to drop the light because anything can break, mine still works the way they intended it to.
PowerTac E9R Battery and Life:
This is perhaps the most impressive part about this powerhouse. The flashlight comes with an 18650 battery that, once charged, keeps the light going for hours on end.
I’ve been using this specific light on my nightly dog walks. Each walk takes between 10 and 20 minutes and I’ve only charged the flashlight one time since getting it in September. Granted, I only put it on the brightest setting when I feel like I hear something big in the woods and need to scan for bear, but those are still some impressive numbers.
The rest of the time the light is on low or medium.
I will say, though, that the light currently does not go into “turbo” mode because I have not charged it for so long and I suspect that there isn’t enough battery life to put it into the highest setting, which boasts 2550 lumens.
It does still go into high, which is no slouch either, when it comes to brightness at, 1135 lumens.
So, you can have all of the lumens in the world, but if your flashlight has no throw you should just toss it in the trash. What I mean by throw, is how far the beam of light travels before it stops being useful.
I have no way of measuring the throw to see if what the company says is true, but can say with certainty that it reaches out pretty far. For example, I can stand at the base of a large oak tree that I can only reach my arms halfway around at the base (because it’s about 150 years old) that is over 100 feet tall and the beam touches the top leaves with ease.
And that is on the high setting. I can reach the neighbor’s tree line across the street and behind their house to scan for bear on turbo mode.
What’s pretty neat about this light, specifically, is that it doesn’t produce a narrow beam. I have some lights that are very narrow, and don’t light up a wide area. Those lights are not ideal for scanning the forest for bear, pissed off raccoons, or a pack of hungry coyotes.
The wider beam of this E9R is a nice feature.
Flashlight Switches and Settings:
There are two switches to operate the light. The way I have it set up is the tail cap switch turns the light on, but the button on the side of the tail cap changes brightness in steps.
Unless the light is off. If the light is off the button on the side puts the flashlight into strobe while it is held down. The moment you let go strobe turns off.
The tail switch also has momentary function, meaning that you can do a half press of the switch and the moment you let go the light turns off. This is good for tactical purposes so you don’t fumble with your light trying to not give your position away.
Both switches are, I believe, meant to be operated by the thumb as if you were holding the light with a neck index. Or, by holding the light up by your head or neck with the beam pointing forward and the switches by your thumb.
This allows for easy on/off with the tail switch, as well as easy brightness adjustment by the side switch because it is right by the tail switch as shown in the above photo.
Battery and Charging:
I’ve spoken about this briefly but it pays to get more in depth. The battery is fantastic and I’ve only charged it once so far since September. We use it just about every night to walk the dogs.
Granted, I don’t put it on the highest setting or it would have died by now, and it no longer goes into the turbo mode, which is the brightest setting, because the battery is too low to support it.
Simply plugging it in will fix that with no problem.
Speaking about plugging it in, it does come with a magnetic charging cord.
I have sadly misplaced the cord, but that is no problem because I can remove the magnetic charge port from the flashlight and stick a USB in it to charge. That’s a huge plus for me, since some of the other light manufacturers don’t provide dual charging modes on their lights.
And, if I lost the cord those other, unnamed lights came with, I’d be up that creek without a paddle.
Warranty and the One Downside:
PowerTac has an excellent warranty put in place. They have lifetime coverage on some of the components and limited coverage on others. It’s nice when a company stands behind their product to the point where they have a no questions asked type of warranty.
The downside here, is that the flashlight is manufactured overseas. And, when I say overseas, I mean Made in China. They don’t try to hide it, however. It says Made In China right on the side of the housing.
For those of you looking for an American Made product, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Overall I’m very pleased with this flashlight. My wife has taken it over to be hers because she prefers it to any of the others we have. The tail cap switch is nice and big, and because it is, it’s easy for her arthritic fingers to turn on and off.
You can learn more about this flashlight on their website.
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