Maglite Manufacturer Is Quite Magnanimous

Jason really likes his mini Maglite, but the part that holds the bulb is corroded. Instead of buying a new one, he wanted to fix and keep the light he loves. He wrote to the company, Mag Instrument, asking whether he could buy a replacement part. Terrible news: that wasn’t possible. But they could send him one for free.

TO: Mag Instrument, Inc. Web Site (www.magmail.com)

Hello. I have a Mini Maglite 2AA and I need to replace the black plastic part that fits down into the barrel, the two-piece assembly that holds the bulb. The small contact inside is corroded away, and this is my favorite light. If I can replace this, Im sure the light will last a long time. Can you give me a price plus shipping for this part?

A representative wrote back:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your interest in Maglite products.

We will send you a switch kit no charge for your ‘AA’ Mini-Maglite. The switch will include a switch assembly, the instructions to remove and install the new one back in and the repair tool all at no charge to you. (not for LED Mini-Maglites, only for regular Mini-Maglites). We will ship it by Feb.17th. First Class mail. Also included will be a list of all our Warranty Service Centers so you can send it to your nearest repair facility incase it still doesn’t work.
Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
[redacted]
Customer Service

That’s so nice of them! I had a hot pink imitation Maglite in the ’90s that wasn’t nearly as durable. And I doubt the company that made it would have sent me free parts.

Comments

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  1. Cat says:

    Where exactly is “the part that holes the bulb”?

  2. framitz says:

    Yeah, Maglite is one great company. Made in USA too.

  3. BurtReynolds says:

    Nice. They also will replace your Maglite if certain brands of batteries leak inside and ruin it. I think Duracell and Energizer are two brands among a couple others. You just pay to ship it to them, and they pay to ship the new one to you.

    I was actually about to ship a Mini Maglite off that has a Duracell battery crusted inside of it, but then I realized I lost the lightbulb after tearing it down to try and dislodge the battery. Maybe I should just write in, or send it off anyway. Sounds like Maglite might not care about a missing lightbulb if they are replacing the unit.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      Is the replacement bulb under the spring in the cap missing as well?

    • hoi-polloi says:

      Here’s information from their site for those who are curious. Maglite doesn’t list this as something covered under the warranty, but has agreements with Duracell, Eveready and Ray-O-Vac to repair or replace free of charge.

      I’ve actually managed to get corroded batteries out of a Maglite, and I still haven’t made time to clean it up. Even if it was a covered brand, it seems I’m out of luck since I actually got them out myself.

      http://www.maglite.com/faq_details.asp?faqProd=D

    • Kuri says:

      Couldn’t hurt to try. Seems like it might get recycled anyway.

  4. Thresher says:

    I love Maglite. Great products and I have never, ever had any issue with them.

    • Dallas_shopper says:

      Me either. It’s the only brand of flashlight I use at home, besides a crank-powered flashlight for emergencies.

  5. JeremieNX says:

    I have two maglites – a mini one and the large one that cops use when trying to blind a drunk driver in the face.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      The large one is awesome. I can use it to spot deer many yards from my house, plus it doubles as a weapon. I keep it handy when I’m home alone.

  6. Sparkstalker says:

    My 6D-Cell Maglite is probably the most durable tool I’ve owned (certainly the tool I’ve owned the longest). It’s been used as an icebreaker, hammer, lever, club, and occasionally as a flashlight.

    And unlike nuclear weapons, it can kill a cockroach.

    • NotEd says:

      I had a smaller D-Cell maglite that I kept in my car when I was a teenager (4-D cell model maybe?)
      It lasted almost until I was 20 and then stopped working. No problem with the flashlight I could tell, but one or more of the batteries had grown old and leaky and seemed to have swollen to such a size that it could not be removed, jamming the batteries behind it as well.
      I remember being quite disappointed then when I had to dispose of it. Nowadays I probably would’ve at least complained to the battery manufacturer, I think.

      • Sparkstalker says:

        Shouldn’t have tossed it. You can break it down to components…the battery tube is just a cylinder that’s open at either end. So a stuck battery is an easy fix. Unscrew the base and remove the batteries below, unscrew the head, and remove the batteries above. Then take your C-Cell Maglite, and use the battery cylinder (with endcap attached) to push/bash the stuck battery out :)

  7. CharlesFarley says:

    Solid!

  8. SpamFighterLoy says:

    Maglite is well worth the money. Excellent light, focused beams, heavy-duty casing and great company to deal with!

  9. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Maglite – It’s not just a flashlight, it’s machined-aluminum billyclub!

  10. Cat says:

    This is what sets a quality American product and company apart from cheap overseas goods – not just a quality product, but more important, great customer service.

    They could have just blown this guy off or charged him for the part plus shipping. Instead the spent a few dollars and gained repeat business and – now that the story has been shared on the internet – more customers in the future.

  11. Firevine says:

    I gotta axe you where the part that holes the bulb be.

  12. incident man stole my avatar says:

    I’ve still got one from the mid-80’s that I used “roadieing”

  13. Minj says:

    Wow. Lots of people in here who apparently aren’t aware of how litigious Maglite is and how they have sued companies (Brinkman, Arc, etc) left and right for having a tubular flashlight. They were also extremely slow to adapt LEDs, well behind the rest of the market. Maglite is like the Monster of flashlight world but the average Joe doesn’t know better.

    • Cat says:

      Yes, they are pricey, and I can’t blame them for trying to protect their designs. Every flashlight before Maglite was pretty much crap. I can see also why they held back on LEDs – the first couple generations of white LEDs sucked. Maglite stakes their reputation on dependability and dependability.

      But IMHO, they’re no Monster Cable. And Brinkman is no Maglite. Maglite has a product that is better than the competition, and great customer care. I own a bunch of cheap aluminum “AAA” cell LED flashlights, but I see them as disposable. My Maglites are worth fixing, should they ever fail – and they haven’t yet.

    • framitz says:

      With Maglite, you get what you pay for: QUALITY

    • rmorin says:

      They were also extremely slow to adapt LEDs

      Companies with awesome, well-built, and well-reputed products don’t always jump on the newest technology because instead of being the first to do it, they want to still be best. This may end up taking a little longer but you end up with a better product.

      Maglite is like the Monster of flashlight

      This is a terrible analogy. Maglite makes a superior product compared to nearly anyone in the market. Monster brands incredibly cheap cables and creates misleading advertising to make techno-novices believe that there TV won’t work with out their faux-premium accessories. As far as being too litigious, I’d have to see the exact cases, but Monster again is worse because while Maglite is suing other flashlight makers, Monster sues completely different industries (even a mini-golf course if I am remembering correctly) that no one would ever think are associated with the cables.

    • esc27 says:

      I agree. Maglite makes the best flashlights available at Walmart, but among tactical flashlights they are almost a joke. My little Surefire (another high quality, slightly over priced, American company…) can out shine most Maglites 5 times its size.

    • Eugene says:

      Lots of people who complain about how litigious Mag is seem to do so from computers with software made by even more litigious companies like Microsoft or Apple yet don’t seem to mind.

    • shepd says:

      Don’t hate the player, hate the game. I’m all for killing patents stone cold dead until someone can fix the problems the system has. Until then, suers gonna sue.

  14. DrLumen says:

    Not to be a buzzkill as it is good a compnay stands behind their product but…

    Per Maglite, “Limited Lifetime Warranty in the Western Hemisphere; Ten-Year Limited Warranty Elsewhere.”

    I don’t think the bulbs are covered under their warranty.

    FWIW, I had a similar experience with a PUR water filter. After moving I needed a faucet adapter that I had long since threw away. They sent me the assortment pack at no charge. They made a loyal customer out of me…

    • Anachronism says:

      I’ve had similar results with PUR. One of their faucet water filters cracked and started leaking, called them up, they sent a new one immediately with a bunch of extra filters. Problem is, the new faucet filter housing cracked the exact same way shortly afterward. Customer service rep said they had “not heard of any type of problem,” despite finding out that virtually everybody I know that bought one of these had it break the same way.

      So… Pretty good customer service, not so good product.

      • DrLumen says:

        I don’t recall ever having a housing get cracked but I have had them sprout leaks in various places over time.

        Luckily the majority of housings are cheap though – buy a filter and get a new housing for a few bucks more. Although, I wish the filters would come down in price some. They are starting to get expensive considering they are only plastic and activated charcoal.

  15. Anachronism says:

    Maglites are great. The only reason I have looked elsewhere for a flashlight is a few years ago when LED lights hit the market and Maglight didn’t make one. Of course, I’ve been through a TON of LED flashlights that crap out- the LED’s stop working or the circuitry goes bad (because LED’s should last about forever).

    Just bought an LED 4 C cell mag for my future father-in-law. He took it out, fired it up, and I was terribly jealous- it threw just ridiculous amounts of light.

    Whenever I think of Maglites, I always think of Steve Jobs. In the early days of turning Apple around, he showed up onstage at MacWorld with a Maglite, and said Maglites success was proof that customers would be willing to pay more for a quality product. He was right, but I still think Maglite is much more of a consistently superior product than the Macs he was referring to.

  16. Kuri says:

    While I am happy with my Stanley Tools tripod flashlight right now, if I go to get another one, I may get a Maglite.

  17. vanctuckymyfoot says:

    These are the ONLY flashlights worth owning. I have about six of them, and keep them around the house and in our car and camper. They’re pretty much bulletproof.

    • The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

      They are far from the only ones worth owning, but they are by far the best of what you can buy at regular big box stores, oddly with the exception of Radio Shack (around here, they are the sole B&M source for Icon, Surefire’s foray into regular consumer products).

  18. Bodger says:

    I guess some people get lucky. If only they would honor their warranty for me and repair/replace the Mini LED light I sent to them after it failed within a year of purchase. I sent it back to their warranty service and they received it over a month ago and still don’t acknowledge anything. It looks like it would be easier and cheaper and more reliable to buy two or three ‘made in China’ lights and throw them away if/when they fail.

  19. Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

    A Maglight seems like a good flashlight, until you use an actual high end flashlight. I have a Fenix TK21, only slightly larger than a mini-mag, that has a max light output of about 470 lumens, and regular high beam runs at 180 for 5+ hours. A full size Maglight LED can only get 137, and the rechargeable at 193. While the power lasts longer on the Full size maglight, the light output of my tactical is really a giant trump card, as well as it being much more compact. You pay a premium for the performance, and not everyone needs it, but once you use it, it is hard to go back.

    I will though give big props to MagLight’s Customer Service for this case.

    • Anachronism says:

      1. The specific flashlight you are referencing costs about triple what the Maglite 3d LED flashlight that you are comparing it to goes for. I don’t think that’s a valid comparison. If I’m buying a $18,000 Honda Civic, saying your BMW 3 Series is a better car is kind of beside the point.

      2. I’m just one person, but I purchased a Fenix flashlight (one of the lower end models- it was about $40 on Amazon), and it arrived DOA. I called the company, they seemed fairly apathetic about it and just wanted me to return it to Amazon, which I did. I then bought a Maglite. Again, I’m just one person, and the Fenix line is definitely technically superior, but I’m not sure that makes it a better brand of flashlight.

  20. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    I seem to be at a deficit here. I have only ever had 2 maglites in 20 years, my first was a mini-mag 2AA which I still own and still functions properly. The second, my billyclub, was sadly stolen out my truck. But it served me well for 10 years before that.
    My new thing is the 9 LED ones that run on 3 AAA batteries. They’re usually less than 3.00 apiece; I bought a handful of them for 1.99 each at a flea market once. They’re bright, the battery life is good (with good batteries) and if I lose it, or forget it, or drop it down the sewer, so what.

    • pegasi says:

      It’s funny, I had my car broken into once, they didn’t take any of my craftsman brand tools, but they did take my Maglite that was almost 10 years old…. go figure.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      I have a bunch of those lying around, along with a bunch of other lights like my new Squidbrite and a magnetic light mine. But as far as the one that goes everywhere with me, the one I will rely on to be dependable and useful for any situation, it’s my Maglite. I know others may be brighter, but I’m nit using it to blind someone…it’s bright enough to light up what I need it to, and heavy enough to be used for defense or to break something if needed.

  21. Robert Nagel says:

    Buy a Cross pen and you get the same “from now on” warranty. Some companies are that proud of their workmanship.

  22. RiverStyX says:

    Very nice, yeah I can see why my dad swears this company is the best at what they do. He’s been singing that tune for as long as I can remember.

  23. L. Frederick Miller says:

    I love Maglites. Used them for years while employed in law enforcement.

    But I have a follow up question. Am I the only guy that will prefer an average product (not Maglite) with this type of great customer service to an excellent product with no customer service?

    Compare this customer service to a french press coffee maker I was given as a gift. $50+ was missing one small piece. Customer service told me they had not parts, I would have to throw it away and buy a new one.

    Anyway, kudos for a good product and good customer service in this day of mediocrity.