“ Lamps and lighting. „
When I went to buy a torch recently I didnt know that Id end up buying two! My dad has about three Magilite torches dotted around the home, large types, different colours and with his birthday approaching I knew that he was looking for a medium, small version Magilite, the type that only need two AA batteries. After parting with £15 for a limited edition one which had a duo tone colour I reckoned he would be more than happy with it and as his birthday approached, he was overjoyed to own yet another Magilite torch. Ive tried to get him to adjust the cordless wind up types but he wont budge. I however needed a small torch one day to get into nooks and crannies, the type that would be hand held and thinking that Id be able to choose a few I was in for a shocking surprise.
Put simply I couldnt seem to find a mini torch aside from the LED flashing types which can hook onto key rings and finding batteries for them are more trouble than taking off the tiny little screws to load a new battery in. After searching a few shops in the high street I eventually gave up and a thought suddenly popped into my head to try my blessed pound shops!
And what I came out with is this Black Spur branded mini torch! Success..?
** Who are Black Spur **
Black Spur as a company deal mostly with garden and work tools, although they also supply and make cut price heaters and other household appliances. Their company products can usually be and most exclusively are marketed for pound and thrift shops rather than large franchises that usually make their own goods such as Halfords, Homebase and other similar stores. Beware of private pound shops that mark up the prices of their supplies though; I recall a pound shop in London who were charging £3-79 for a garden trowel that should by Black Spurs price list only cost £1-00 to sell. Pound shops (unless franchised) are notorious for marked up prices before market valued goods. But my local pound shop came clean with this torch at a mere £1-00.
** The Product **
The Mini Aluminium torch is simply designed and simple to use, using one AAA battery which comes supplied already to power it and with its simple ribbed design it mirrors and copies the same design look of Magilite without the extra quality and thought thrown in. At least you get a handy little hand strap with it which can be threaded in at the top of the torch. Available in other colours such as red, orange, blue, green aluminium and the one I have being coloured in silver. The width of it is similar to a Bingo or permanent marker pen. The fact that the battery can be loaded in at the rear of the torch and the threaded base has a washer at the end suggests that the torch could be used in wet applications but dont even think about it.
Holding it therefore is easy thanks to its ribbed sides and length. I often hold it like a pen or permanent marker or just handling it as usual.
Using this torch however soon reveals its downsides in terms of light spread and mirroring. Thats not really a downside for such a little torch which only measures 4 inches! But when it is switched on, the Black Spur has a poor path of light made obvious by the pattern of the bulbs shape being transmitted rather than a bright ring displaying a fine circle of light and clear path which is more consistent with other torches. In this respect you definitely get what you pay for, but holding the torch away from the selected area you want to highlight gives better results rather than close up and the light spread from the torch stretches up to 20cm before its circular ring path starts to fade.
Actually switching it on only requires the top half of the torch to be unscrewed, but the way in which it unscrews suggests that when the contact has been made, the bulb top feels weak and is too near the end of the threaded top inside which could result in the bulb emerging from the top and falling out. That of course wouldnt happen with a Magilite or a similar torch but then again you can never find such a torch like that for £1.
So what makes me want to keep it? The fact that it has an all over smooth Aluminium finish and is completely round suggests that it wont blemish with age much and can still be used regardless of its poor light path. I find its great to keep in the glove box of the car simply because if I drop or lose something valuable in the car, this little torch finds it. Ive also bought my mum one who has clipped it to her hand bag and finds its a great little torch for using to get to the bottom of her bag!!
And whilst this may be my first mini torch from Black Spur, it isnt my first torch from this company. I have another torch which I use in the garage made by Black Spur, entirely cased in black rubber and uses two AA batteries. The last time I changed the batteries was last year and the black and yellow torch is far better thought out than this little one even though its a medium sized torch and not the same size as this little one.
** Conclusion **
Until a better little torch at £1 comes along with a more uniform spread of light, this little torch is a little life saver. Finding it however may be harder due to the lack of pound shops in your area. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.