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SureFire Stiletto and DBR Guardian Flashlights


3/22/19 - Two of the latest flashlights from SureFire LLC are the Stiletto and DBR Guardian, which deviate from the usual tubular format. The Stiletto is a slim pocket light, designed to be carried comfortably in a pocket all day, while the DBR Guardian is a dual beam light that's aimed at outdoor use with its longer reach. Both are rechargeable.

Stiletto - The Stiletto is a multi-purpose rechargeable pocket LED flashlight designed for every day carry. Rather than the conventional round flashlight shape, the Stiletto has a flatter (but wider) profile making it less obtrusive in a pocket. It's a rechargeable-only light, with an integral battery that's charged via a USB port. It has a primary rubberized switch on top and a 'tactical' swtich on the end/bottom. A 'Fuel Gauge' LED indicator light displays the battery statues (when the light is being used) and is also used when changing modes. The 12mm reflector is housed in an aluminum head which also serves as a heatsink to dissipate heat.

Key Features of the Stiletto:

  • High-performance LED with MaxVision Beam 12mm reflector projects a wide flood beam
  • Primary switch activates high/medium/low outputs
  • Tactical switch (in the rear) activates high output and optional strobe
  • Programming switch unlocks activation sequences to choose between tactical and/or task illumination preferences
  • Integrated Micro-USB rechargeable lithium polymer battery (non-removable). Recharges in about 3 hours
  • LED 'Fuel Gauge' for tracking battery charge/discharge status, and changing modes
  • Melonite coated spring steel pocket clip for bezel up carry
  • Peak beam intensity - 1530 candela
  • Max usable distance - 78 meters/255 ft
  • Weight 2.8 oz
  • Length 4.45", bezel diameter 0.8", max width 1.6", max thickness 0.8" (at the bezel); 1" including the pocket clip
  • Body material aluminum/polymer
  • Finish - black
  • IPX7 water rating (Depth of 1m for 30 minutes)

Included in the box:

  • Stiletto flashlight with pocket clip
  • User Manual
  • USB charging cable

Blister package

Inside the package

Steel pocket clip

Slim profile

Advertised output and run times are as follows (on full battery charge):

Run time
1.75 hrs
2 hrs
30 hrs

The Stiletto comes in a blister pack, with the light's relevant information and specs printed on it. Included is a mini-USB charging cable and user manual/sheet.


Tactical switch

USB charging port

Size comparison to C2 Centurion

Fuel gauge LED

Operating modes

The Stiletto has two switches; the Primary switch on the top of the body, and the Tactical Switch at the end (for use with an ice-pick hold). Each of the switches can be programmed with two different modes.

Primary Switch
Tactical Switch
Programming Switch
Mode 1 (default)
Momentary High/strobe
Mode 2
Constant-on high
Emergency mode
Med strobe

With the Primary Switch, depending on which Mode it's in, it will cycle through Low-Med-High-off or High-Med-Low-off in a repeating cycle if the Primary Switch is repeatedly pressed within two seconds. If the Primary Switch has not been pressed within two seconds, the next press will turn it off. It does not remember the last output level and will start the cycle over.

For the Tactical Switch, in Mode 1, press and hold the switch for High mode; release to turn off. Press the switch more than 3 times in rapid succession and hold down on the 3rd press to activate strobe mode. Release the switch to turn it off.

Switching between modes for either the Primary or Tactical switches is accomplished with the Programming Switch to the left of the Primary Switch:

  • Press and hold the Programming switch. After two to five seconds, the Fuel Gauge LED will illluminate blue. Keep holding the programming switch down and Immediately press and release either the Primary or Tactical switch while the light is blue. The Fuel gauge will blink green three times to indicate mode change success or red to indicate an error.

Personally, I prefer Mode 1 for the Primary Switch and Mode 2 for the Tactical Switch as I'd rather the light turn on in low level instead of high.

When the light is in use or while charging, the Fuel Gauge LED will indicate the following:

In use
Charging via USB
Solid green
95%-100% charged
100% charged to max capacity
Solid yellow
Battery low (reduce output level or recharge)
Charging, medium capacity
Solid red
Recharge ASAP
Charging, low capacity
Blinking red
Battery critically low
Pre-charge mode (battery drained below 3.0V)

Notes/Observations - The Stiletto is specifically designed as a pocket light, with its spring clip and lack of lanyard provisions. It's pretty unobtrusive in the pocket; but not quite as dimunitive as some of the single CR123 lights available on the market because of its length. Its length, however, does make it easier to hold in the hand than the smaller round flashlights, so there's a trade-off there. The top button locations are intuitive, and easily found by feel. I found the tactical switch at the bottom slightly less ergonomic to activate, because the body is tapered such that pushing on the tactical switch is pushing the light out of your hand unless you grip it firmly. It would feel more natural were the taper be reversed with the thicker end at the back, but I understand why it's designed the way it is since the reflector is at the front and the taper is meant to reduce bulk. The tactical switch protrudes a bit past the 'protectors' at the end, so the light doesn't stand on its end. The Stiletto is light enough to clip to the brim of a hat, and makes for a good headlamp in that configuration.

Size in the hand

Tactical switch activation

Used on a cap

DBR Guardian - The DBR (Dual Beam Reflector) Guardian flashlight is essentially two flashlights in one, or two lights sharing the same power source. Typically with a flashlight you're stuck with whatever beam type you pick, whether it be a spot or flood. If you want both, you'd have to carry two lights or have something with a variable focus. The Guardian has two reflectors side-by-side; a 19mm parabolic reflector for a longer throw spot beam, and a smaller 12mm reflector that provides a flood beam (looks visually identical to the one on the Stiletto). Having two reflectors also gives the Guardian its wider, flattened shape. Both beams are programmable independently with 5 different 'profiles', but note that you cannot turn on both beams at the same time.

The Guardian features SureFire's 'IntelliBeam' technology, which automatically adjusts the light output from 15 to 1000 lumens based on the surroundings. There is a small sensor located between the two reflectors, which senses the amount of light being reflected back to it, and will dim the light when it sense more ambient light, or light reflected back to it from a surface, and vice versa.

The Guardian is about the size of a small hand-held 2-way radio, with two rubberized push buttons and a 'Fuel Gauge' LED centered between them. The left button controls the smaller reflector, and the right (bigger) button controls the larger reflector. The buttons have a non-slip, checkered texture and are protected by a raised fence. The sides of the slightly tapered body feature some ridges for grip, and there's a lanyard loop at the bottom corner. The bottom of the light has an recessed, exposed aluminum panel, on which there is information printed, as well as a 'Caution Hot Surface' warning. This panel heats up during use and serves to radiate heat away from the battery. More on this later.

The bottom of the Guardian is flat, so it can be used standing up on its end. A rubber cover seals the USB-C charging port when not in use.

Key Features of the DBR Guardian:

  • IntelliBeam Technology automatically and seamlessly adjusts light output from 15 to 1000 lumens based on surroundings
  • Dual reflector beams - 19mm parabolic reflector with spot beam for longer throw, 12mm MaxVision Beam reflector for flood
  • Estimated max distances - 227 m/744 ft(19mm reflector), 105 m/345 ft (12 mm)
  • Max intensity 12,900 candela
  • Dual pushbutton switches - separate switches for control of spot and flood beams
  • Each reflector can be programmed with 5 different profiles
  • Integrated USB-C portrechargeable lithium polymer battery (non-removable)
  • LED 'Fuel Gauge' for tracking battery charge/discharge status
  • 7-inch adjustable wrist strap and integrated lanyard loop
  • Weight 4.7 oz
  • Length 4.35", max width 2.06", max thickness 1.21" (at the bezel)
  • Body material aluminum/polymer
  • Finish - black
  • Charges small devices at 5 volts with a current range of 1.5-2A (0.5A from a USB 2.0 source)
  • IPX7 water rating (Depth of 1m for 30 minutes)

Included in the box:

  • DBR Guardian light
  • Wrist lanyard
  • Charging cable (USB to Type-C)
  • User manual

Package contents

19mm and 12mm reflectors

Lanyard and charging port

Advertised outputs and run times are as follows (from full battery charge):

Output 19mm (spot) lumens
Run time
2.75 hrs
4.25 hrs
60 hrs
Output 12mm (flood) lumens
Run time
2.5 hrs
4.25 hrs
62 hrs

The DBR Guardian comes in a cardboard box, with user manual, USB charging cable and wrist lanyard.

The Fuel Gauge LED light is licated in-between the two pushbuttons. When the Guardian is in use or while charging, the Fuel Gauge LED will indicate the following:

Fuel Gauge light indicator
In use/charging
Solid green
95%-100% charged
Solid yellow
Battery low (reduce output level or recharge)
Solid red
Recharge ASAP


Size comparison with C2 Centurion

Dome switches (left and right)

Fuel gauge light

Operating modes

The Guaridan has five profiles which either the 12mm or 19mm reflectors can be programmed independently. Outputs are selected by pressing the left or right button within one second to switch to the next level where applicable.

1st output
2nd output
3rd output
Profile 1
Profile 2
Profile 3
Intelligeam Only
Profile 4
Profile 5
Momentary only

Switching between modes for either of the reflectors is accomplished as follows:

  • Enter configuration mode by holding both left and right dome button down for 5 seconds. While the buttons are being held down, the Fuel Gauge LED will change from solid orange to solid green. As soon as the LED turns green, release both buttons and the Fuel Gauge will blink orange.
  • Press the left button to program the left reflector or the right button to program the right reflector. The Fuel Gauge LED withh turn green for left, and red for right to indicate which side is being programmed.
  • Press the button for the side being programmed the corresponsing number of times to select the desired profile. For example, if the 3rd profile for the left side is desired, press the left button three times.
  • To save the setting, press the opposite button for two seconds and release. The Fuel Gauge will blink the number of times for the profile selected and it will exit out of configuration mode.

Notes/Observations - As I mentioned above, the DBR Guardian is essentially two flashlights in one - sharing the same power source, but you can't use both reflectors at the same time. It's not too big for the pocket, but still a bit big for EDC, so this is a light that I'd take along on a hike, walk, etc. I've shown the Guardian below alongside the Stiletto, the Sidekick keychain light, and my old standard size comparison, the C2 Centurion. I do like the flat end so the light can be set down pointing up to illuminate off the ceiling.

The Guardian is also the first light that I've used with SureFire's IntelliBeam technology, which has been out for a few year and automatically adjusts the light output based on the lighting conditions. The sensor, located between the reflectors, measures the incoming light, and a microprocessor will adjust the output based what SureFire deems is the appropriate light level. I'll have to say that I'm pretty impressed with it, considering that not everyone will have the same opinion as to what the suitable light level is for a given situation. Some people like to use the lowest light level possible to save batteries; some like it to be brighter. The IntelliBeam adjusts the light level so it's on the brighter side; so that whatever the condition, whatever you're pointing at is well lit (with the flashlight's usable range of course).

The IntelliBeam feature is most useful if what you're needing to illuminate changes from near to far a lot. It can be outside, in a room, walking through a house, reading, close-up tasks etc. When walking through a house, for example, the light will get brighter when entering a big room to illuminate it, then grow dimmer as you approach a white wall or door. It reacts and adjusts very quickly; if I move my hand or a white piece of paper in front of it while it's shining brightly, it dims fast enough so that I don't get temporarily blinded by the glare. As SureFire advertises, it's pretty much seamless, and you don't really notice it until you get used to the feature, and then don't have it anymore. I decided to program my Guardian to use the IntelliBeam feature (profile 3) for the 12mm flood reflector, and programmed profile 2 (low-med-high) for the 19mm spot. The IntelliBeam feature is both convenient and practical for a utility light.

Shown below are a couple of comparisons between the flood and spot reflectors. The Guardian 12mm reflector looks to me to be the same as the Stiletto reflector; or at least very close to being the equal. The flood is a nice, clean, wide even beam, useful for lighting up a whole room. Even though the larger 19mm reflector outputs less lumens, its focused beam results in more candelas at the same distance, so it effectively doubles the reach with a bright, focused spot and large spill. Great for outdoors. This is why I use the 12mm flood for indoors and the 19mm spot for outdoors.

I made reference to the recessed aluminum area on the bottom side of the light. This surface warms up when the light is being used, and will get hot if the high output is used for more than a few minutes continuously. Not hot enough to burn of course, but almost to the edge of comfort when my fingertips are in direct contact with it for an extended period (in the course of experimentation). When holding the light, the hand doesn't really come in contact with the aluminum plate as it's recessed. An upside to the generated heat is that I actually used it as a hand/finger warmer when using it on a cold night.

As far as external pouches go, it's too big for a single pistol mag pouch, but fits in the EMDOM 3o2 pouch (illustrated below).

Size comparisons

Fits in 3o2 pouch

Beam comparisons (flood)

Guardian on spot beam

The rechargeable, non user-replaceable nature of the Guardian's and Stiletto's batteries relegates them to EDC and general task usage; not really for extended use away from charging sources (unless you're sure you're not going to need them when the batteries run out). USB charging sources are plentiful in the urban environment, but for extended use a flashlight that takes replaceable batteries would probably be a safer bet. I like the USB-C plug of the Guardian better than the mini-USB port on the Stiletto, even though the mini is currently more common. With the larger USB-C, you don't have to fiddle with it as much and there's no up or down orientation.

The Stiletto mades a great EDC light that you keep in a pocket or bag, while the Guardian will work well for a wide variety of uses as it's so versatile. It's nice to see SureFire expand their products into non-traditional light formats; giving the customer more choices.






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