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Honest Review: Surefire Stiletto EDC Flashlight



A flashlight is such an important tool that, just like your firearm, needs to be on your everyday carry loadout the same as your gun, regardless of the current lighting conditions. Enter the Surefire Stiletto, the thin everyday carry flashlight that just might change your mind about always having a light.

What is it?

Think of the Surefire Stiletto as a utility flashlight that can also work well with closer range tactical work. The unique shape is flat, thin profile, mimicking the general heft of a medium-sized tactical pocket knife. Combined with the polymer body that only weighs in at a scant 2.8 ounces, you will practically forget you’re wearing it.

I am a big proponent of rechargeable batteries, especially if you are the type of person who will constantly use a flashlight. The Stiletto’s rechargeable battery will pay for itself in no time. (I make sure to only use name-brand CR123 batteries. I figure if I NEED a flashlight, I want every advantage and reliability that Surefire batteries provide.) To recharge the Stiletto, lift up the rubber charge port cover and use a micro USB cord and charger.

Speaking of recharging, the Stiletto does a great job displaying the power levels. Right next to the charge port is a small LED light that, when you use the flashlight, will glow from green to yellow then to a red constant warning all the way down to critically low red pulsing level.

Is it carry-proof?

The Surefire Stiletto is not meant to be disassembled by the end user and this adds to its durability. The Stiletto has an IPX4 rating, which means that the flashlight is protected against things like heavy rain (not necessarily submersion). My only concern is the charge port cover, which has a habit of opening up slightly when you insert the light in your pocket lens-up.

Living in the deep South, especially in the summer, “swamp ass” is a real thing. But get this: Surefire actually Melonite-ed the steel spring clip, meaning it is practically impervious to my sweat. The body of the Stiletto is polymer and the light head is Aluminum, so no worries about rust. After re-charging, the only maintenance needed for the Stiletto is to wipe off the lint and dust bunnies from the lens every so often.

Familiarization: What do the buttons do?

The Surefire Stiletto has three rubber-coated buttons. The program and primary switch are near the bezel above the charging port. The tactical switch is at the back end base of the flashlight.

Primary switch: The oval shaped button with oval lines nested within each other looking like a race track is a constant power with audible and tactical click feel. From the factory, the primary button is set up to scroll through three power levels: low 5 lumens, medium 250 lumens, and high 650 lumen power levels, in that order. (You can re-program this for reverse order high, medium and low if that’s what you prefer. Weirdo.)

Tactical switch: Located on the rear end of the flashlight, this oval button with a dot in the center is set up from the factory as a momentary-activation button. Momentary means that the light will only shine as long as you hold the button down. There is no audible or tactile click with the tactical switch, which is set up to give you the full 650 lumen power of the Stiletto. If you quickly triple press the rear tactical switch you can activate the full 650-lumen power strobe function. The Tactical switch can be reprogrammed for constant full-power function, but you lose the strobe option. Even with the constant power reprogram, there is no audible click or tactile feel.

Program button: Close to the bezel, it is identified by the three lines that look like the “hamburger menu logo” for a computer. This program button can activate an emergency 250-lumen slow strobe, useful to let others see your position. You can turn on the emergency strobe by pushing the program button for about 5 seconds; you will feel a slight click. If you feel a second click, you did not hold the program button hard enough. You can disable the emergency strobe by pushing either the primary or tactical switches.

How to program stuff:

Push the program button and the green LED indicator will light up. Hold the program button down until the green indicator turns blue. Continuing to hold the program button, now also press the primary or tactical switch holding it, while you now let the program button go. The LED indicator will blink green three times to let you know the program was accepted, now let go of the switch. If the LED indicator blinks red, the program was not accepted and you need to start all over.

  • Changing the Primary Switch: Reverses L/M/H Lumens to H/M/L Lumens.
  • Changing the Tactical Switch: Momentary Illumination to Constant Illumination


Surefire’s concept for what they call MaxVision is that they combine a high-performance LED and a MaxVision Beam reflector. This combination projects a wide flood beam ideal for situational awareness. Earlier, I called the Stiletto a utility flashlight that can also serve as a close-range tactical light. The utility part comes from the wide flood beam, that allows you to light up a big chunk of area with usable light.

The Stiletto’s beam is a nice evenly lit circle with no real hot spot or dark spots within the main illuminated area. The edge of the circle is soft as the light feathers out of the illumination area. The Stiletto seems to shine literally when it comes to lighting up a dark room. Since the illumination area grows with distance, if you shine the Stiletto across a bedroom or living room, it fully covers the opposing wall to reveal anything hiding in the dark.

Outside anything past 15 yards, the beam pattern grows to act as a floodlight covering a large area with useful light. It seems like my Belgian Malinois Negan’s favorite game is to lose his Kong toy in our large back yard. I can attest that the Stiletto excels in covering large swaths of land brightly enough to identify a Negan toy. If I were trying to illuminate a suspect in a wood line 40 yards or more away from me, I would probably recommend something else.


The Surefire Stiletto is another quality illumination tool from a company that is known for making great products. I find that the distinctive shape means that I am actually carrying the Stiletto more than I am other lights. If you are used to carrying round flashlights, you might think that the Stiletto would be awkward. In truth, if you are used to carrying a pocket tactical knife, then the transition should be no problem. Using the pocket clip, it rides exactly like my knife does, although I would recommend having the knife strong hand, and the flashlight on the opposite side.

The original Stiletto is now a couple years old, meaning you can find them for under $100. For a rechargeable light that can be recharged hundreds of times, that ends up being a great deal. If you need a utility flashlight that practically melts and disappears in your pocket, the Stiletto is a great option.

Surefire offers a great lifetime warranty, and the Stiletto is American-designed and built, which is just the cherry on top!

Specs N Stuff:

Batteries: rechargeable lithium polymer (integrated)

Buttons: Primary, tactical and programming

Construction: Aluminum/Polymer

Finish: Black

Weight 2.8 oz

Length: 4.45

Bezel Diameter 0.8 in

High Output: 650 lumens

High runtime: 1.75 hours

Medium Output: 250 lumens

Medium Runtime: 2 hours

Low output: 5 lumens

Low runtime: 30 hours

Liquid Ingress Protection: IPX4


—James the “XDMAN” Nicholas Mr. UnPewFessional Himself

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