SureFire EB2

Review: SureFire EB2 Backup

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Surefire EB2 Backup – Overview

The SureFire EB2 Backup is a relatively compact dual-output flashlight capable of producing 500 lumens of output focused with SureFire’s new 22mm TIR (Total Internal Reflection) optic.

The EB2, like its “little brother” the EB1 Backup, provides two levels of output controlled by a single tail-cap switch. Two models are available with different methods of operation.

The EB2C variant comes equipped with a click-type switch which allows the user to partially press the switch for momentary-on high output or press further, until it clicks, for constant-on high output.  The low output can be accessed by returning to off and pressing or clicking again within 2 seconds.

The EB2T variant utilizes a tactical 2-stage switch which allows the user to partially depress the switch for momentary-on low output or fully press the switch for momentary-on high output.  Constant-on activation for low and then high mode can be achieved by twisting (tightening) the tailcap.

The MSRP of the EB2 Backup is $235.  It has a high-strength aerospace aluminum body with a Mil-Spec hard anodized finish and is available in black or desert tan.

SureFire EB2 Backup – First Impressions

The EB2 Backup is a distinctive looking light with its slender body and smooth design.  Holding true to the original intent of the Backup series of lights, the EB2 body is designed with no projections or design elements to snag when inserting or drawing the light from a pocket.  The finish is very even  with only slight differences in texture between the body, head, and tail.

The EB2 features a steel 2-way carry clip permitting the light to be carried in a bezel up or bezel down configuration and allowing hands-free use when clipped to the brim of a hat or cap.

SureFire EB2T Tan and EB2C Black

The EB2 can be easily disassembled into its component parts (head, body, and tail cap).  The head is interchangeable with other SureFire E-series lights but the body and tail are unique to the EB style Backups.  The batteries are supported by springs at both the head and the tail.

SureFire EB2 Backup

The EB2 is comfortable in under or overhand holds with the carry clip and finish texture providing a little extra grip.  Cigar hold is much less secure than with the EB1C due to the added length and straight tailcap.

SureFire EB1 and EB2 comparison

 

EB1 Backup

EB2 Backup

Output (high)

200 lumens (1.3 hours*)

500 lumens (2.25 hours*)

Output (low)

5 lumens (40 hours)

5 lumens (67 hours)

Length

4.4 inches (112 mm)

5.8 inches (147 mm)

Weight (w/ Batteries)

3.3 ounces (94 grams)

4.2 ounces (119 grams)

Bezel Diameter

1.125 inch (28.6 mm)

1.125 inches (28.6 mm)

* Runtime until output drops below 50 lumens

SureFire EB2 Backup – Performance

SureFire EB2 BeamshotThe EB2 is a high performer with an impressive amount of output.  Similar to the E2DL Ultra, the beam is extremely versatile with a bright white center hotspot and plenty of surround light for peripheral vision. The EB2 does have a slightly broader spill beam than the E2DL Ultra due to its shallower bezel.

As with other recent SureFire releases, the EB2 beam is smoother than that of past generations of TIR-equipped lights.  There are some slight rings present but they are not noticeable in actual use.

Overall, the EB2 beam is very useful and effectively combines the center hotspot intensity needed for distance with the spill needed for area lighting.

The following slides shows a comparison of the EB2 Backup to a variety of other lights, including some that are much larger and/or more powerful. The beamshots can be compared across the full width of the image using the slider, while additional images can be accessed by using the navigation buttons in the bottom-right corner.

The comparison lights are (in order):  SureFire LX2 Lumamax, SureFire EB1 Backup, 4Sevens Maelstrom X7, SureFire Fury, SureFire E2DL Ultra, SureFire M3LT, SureFire UB3T, SureFire M6LT, and Malkoff “Hound Dog.”

30 Yards to Wooden Swing

45 Yards to Wooden Swing

Runtime

The EB2 Backup can be powered by 123A lithium primary batteries or LFP 123A rechargeable cells.  Runtime tests were conducted with both types of batteries.

SureFire EB2 Backup runtime

Over the course of my tests, the EB2 Backup maintained its initial level of output for only a few minutes before beginning a decline, to approximately 70-75% of its initial level, due to thermal regulation (thank you to the fine people at the German Messerforum for demonstrating how temperature affects operation).  This level of output was maintained for over 90 minutes with lithium primary batteries and for just over 40 minutes with rechargeable LFP123a cells.

The head of the EB2 became noticeably warm within the first few minutes of operation but the temperature never exceeded 114 degrees Fahrenheit (at an ambient temperature of 77 degrees).  The body of the light also warmed over the course of the test, rising to slightly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

SureFire EB2 Backup – Operation, Click versus Tactical

With two switching options available, users may select the EB2 model which best fits their usage patterns, opting for a conventional click-type switch (EB2C) or SureFire’s 2-stage tactical tailcap (EB2T).  Externally, there is very little that distinguishes one model from the other, with a slight difference in the tailcaps being the only clue.

When both lights are off, the EB2C has no space between the tailcap and body while the EB2T tailcap will present a slight gap.  However, the overall length of the lights is still virtually identical due to the EB2T having a slightly shorter rubber switch boot.

SureFire EB2T-TN and EB2C-BK

Over the course of 2 weeks of use, the EB2C has operated flawlessly, reliably coming on in high mode first, followed by low with another press of the switch.  Rapid switching on and off gave the expected high/low output levels and I did not experience any mode jumping or other surprises.  The switch provides adequate travel to easily activate the EB2C in momentary mode without accidentally clicking into constant-on mode.  The click-type tailcap can be locked out by loosening it just over 1/4 turn.

The two-stage tailcap on the EB2T functions smoothly and is easily operated in momentary-on low or high modes.  Twisting the tailcap to achieve constant-on output first triggers the low output mode with high mode following after an additional 3/4 turn.  In normal use the EB2T operated as expected, producing the desired level of output in the momentary and constant-on modes.  During testing I did experience a few instances of a high output flash when cycling the EB2T between off and constant-on low.

There is a very small amount of play in the threads of the EB2T tailcap which can be felt when using momentary switching.  As a result, if the tailcap is loosened just enough to turn the EB2T off, a slight side pressure on the tailcap can cause the light to momentarily turn on.  To prevent this from happening, the tailcap must be loosened approximately 1/8 turn from constant-on low.  Full lockout can be achieved by loosening the tailcap approximately 1 3/4 turn.

Although they appear identical, the heads on the EB2C and EB2T are programmed differently.  The EB2T head is effectively a single output light, with the lower output level a function of the 2-stage tailcap (as with the LX2 LumaMax).  The EB2C head is a true two-mode head, similar in operation to the E2D LED Defender and E1B Backup.

SureFire EB2 Backup – Conclusions

The EB2 Backup is a wonderful light and is already a part of my EDC rotation.  As with the E2DL Ultra, its large center hot spot can easily illuminate objects well over 100 yards away while its spill beam is effective to 30 yards or more.  Although the spill is not as intense as many reflector-based lights it makes up for that with its width, providing a nearly 180 degree field of view.

As with any high powered light, when used in tight spaces the broad beam of the EB2 may be a disadvantage if reflected back into the user’s eyes.  However, the reduced intensity of the spill beam makes this much less of a problem than with some reflector based lights such as the SureFire Fury.

The EB2 is long for a 2x123A light, approaching 6″ in length.  I have been able to carry the light in a pants pocket, and will continue to do so, but it is approaching the limit for what can be comfortably carried in that fashion.  The light is an ideal size for carrying in a cargo or jacket pocket.

The smooth design of the EB2 makes it very easy to slide in and out of a pocket and has not caused me any issues with grip, but of course it is not as secure as a light with extensive knurling.  I normally use it in an overhand grip with the carry clip at the 12 o’clock position, allowing the clip to serve as a finger rest, providing additional stability.  The matte finish of the light also enhances grip by providing a very slight amount of texture to the EB2 body.

I initially found it difficult to withdraw the EB2 from a pocket due to the smooth design of the body and tailcap.  However, after becoming accustomed to the light (and perhaps due to the clip loosening up slightly) I have no problems with it now.  A shrouded cap, such as the one on the EB1C, could make this much easier, as shown below, but it would add slightly to the size of the light.

SureFire EB2 with EB1C tailcap

With a MSRP only $10-$15 higher than the EB1 Backup and $30 less than the E2DL Ultra, the EB2 is a very attractive alternative to those users who want more output than the EB1 but don’t want the aggressive styling of the E2DL Ultra.

The EB2C-BK used in this review was from my personal collection.  The EB2T-TN was provided by SureFire for review purposes.

Strengths

  • Ridiculously bright
  • Versatile and useful beam profile.  Long reach combined with wide spill
  • Available with clicky or tactical switching
  • Smooth body styling won’t snag or cause as much wear to clothing
  • Nice finish with just a touch of texture to it

 Concerns

  • May be a bit longer than what some people want to carry in a pants pocket
  • Straight tailcap does not provide very much grip when withdrawing from pocket
  • Only maintains initial output for a short time before thermal regulation kicks in.  However, this does keep the light cool and easy to handle.

The EB2 Backup is compatible with SureFire’s new F04-A Diffuser, F05-A Red Filter, and F06-A Blue Filter.  Visit their mini-review to see more about these attachments as well as beamshots when used with the EB2.

Additional information about the EB2 Backup can be found on the SureFire website.  Share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below or head over to CandlepowerForums and join the discussion there.

Have you ever wanted to know what goes into the production of SureFire flashlights?  Check out our exclusive Behind the Scenes look at the SureFire machining and production facilities in Orange County, California.

SureFire EB2 Backup – Photos

 

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17 Comments

  1. Percentage of initial output on your run time graph. Should be marked in increments of 10 not 20. It would be a lot more accurate that way.

  2. Do you notice a difference in traction on the Black and Tan finishes? I have a Tan EB2 and find it more grippy in my hand compared to my Black Surefires: P2X Fury, E1B, and G2X.

    • Yes. It is a very small difference but the tan EB2 feels slightly more grippy than the black finish.

      By way of comparison, I feel that the black finish EB2 has slightly more grip than some of my other black hard anodized SureFire lights such as the Fury, E1B, and EB2.

  3. Hi, is the bezel diameter 1.125″? I see the 1.125″ diffusers are now on Surefire’s website but they list the EB2 as having a 1.1″ diameter bezel. Just making sure that they will fit the EB2. Thanks!

    • Yes sir, the bezel of the EB2 measures 1.125″ and the new F04-A diffuser should fit. I hope to have one this week, along with the colored filters, and will post a mini-review of how well they work with the various new SureFire lights.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Would you recommend the EB2 (tactical) or the E2D as a everyday carry flashlight? I use flashlights daily, and I want to upgrade to a surefire. My only concern is the EB2’s smooth grip… what is your opinion?
    -do you recommend any other EDC flashlights with high lumens and reliable manufacturers?

    • The EB2 is one of my favorite lights and I carry one of the versions (EB2-C or EB2-T) nearly every day. Grip can be a concern but I think that is a mostly individual factor that will depend upon how you use it and your personal preference. Generally speaking, if you don’t mind the crenellated bezel on the E2D Ultra then I would probably point you in that direction. That bezel is the only reason I don’t carry mine more often.

      Thanks for visiting!

    • The shrouded EB1-C tailcap works fine with the click version of the EB2, the EB2-C. It is basically the same switch, aside from the shroud, as the EB2-C tailcap and you retain both output modes.

      If the EB1-C tailcap were used with the tactical version of the EB2 (the EB2-T) then it would give high mode only.

    • Hi Pablo, thanks for visiting. SureFire shows these flashlights being compatible only with non-rechargeable CR123a batteries so, without any additional information, it would seem the answer is no. I have not tested any of them with RCR123 lithium-ion batteries myself.

  5. The cost of the light makes it an investment. I look for American made products and shun imports; and don’t mind spending more for American jobs and quality. However I expect to have a solid warranty with a purchase, and expect a full service department in the U.S. to back it up. I saw no mention of a warranty. I would expect to receive a quality light in a casel . Does the light include a charger and any other accessories? Where can I purchase your products in the Phoenix 85029 vicinity?

    • Hi Richard.

      The SureFire EB2 has a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. If service is required, it is all handled at their facility in California. I have an article I’m working on that will talk a little more about that.

      The light does not come with any “extras” other than a pair of CR123a batteries already installed.

      I am not affiliated with SureFire and do not sell any flashlights myself. You can enter your zip code on their dealer locator page and it will show the authorized dealers in your area. Link -> http://www.surefire.com/dealer-locator/

      Thanks for visiting and I hope this helps!

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