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Best Tactical Flashlight [2019]

Best Tactical Flashlight [2019]

Best Overall: Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 Tactical Flashlight
When you want an easy to hold, strong, durable, bright tactical flashlight, you have to trust the Streamlight 88040 ProTac. With 750 lumens of light, it’s bound to light up whatever is sneaking up on you. It’s three light modes are high (880 feet range), low (190 feet range) and strobe (for self-defense). Adding to this it comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating and its overall build quality is more than enough for what the average user might want to do with it. Bonus: It comes with a nylon holster AND batteries.

Budget Pick: Solaray ZX-2 Super Bright Handheld LED Tactical Flashlight
In case you are on a budget but still want a trustworthy tactical flashlight, you go with Solaray. The ZX-2 is more than bright enough, with the features you want, without the price tag to go with it. The manufacturer claims it has 1200 lumens and a range of 700 feet. Light modes are high, low, self-defense strobe and SOS strobe.

Extreme Brightness: EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight
For someone looking to light up the night sky, the EASTSHINE will easily do it. With 1000 lumens of output, you could probably catch the attention of a few passing by aliens (if they existed). Even though there are flashlights on our list that claim to have more lumens, none of those will beat the up to 1050 feet range the Eastshine offers.

Sale

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

  • 1000 Lumens Of Output
  • Lighting Range Of Over 1000 Feet
  • Dual Lighting Modes With Tactical Mode And Operational Mode

How We Picked

Honestly, everyone should have a tactical flashlight in their bag, in their vehicle, and/or on their person. Now, if you have been looking at tactical flashlights, then you have inevitably seen the massive amount of products to choose from – it is staggering!

Knowing which tactical flashlight to buy can be extremely difficult when every marketing department is tasked with making sure that you buy their product. That is why you need to know what to look for when buying a tactical flashlight. To help you, we have included a buyer’s guide that goes over all of the important features and/or functions to look for in your flashlight. Equipped with this information, you should easily be able to narrow down your search results. Of course, we have actually put together a list of tactical flashlights that we feel will meet your needs sufficiently.

After looking over hundreds of options, we have narrowed down the list to ten. Each one of these flashlights is more than powerful, blasting out well over 300 lumens of light while being easy to use and carry. The point of a tactical flashlight is to provide extra support in the event of an emergency; every one of these on our list does that.

#1 J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 300 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 600 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x AA

Whether for an emergency at home or while out in the wilderness, the J5 Tactical V1-PRO is the flashlight for you. A high-quality build, exceptional brightness, wonderful features, and usability makes this flashlight a great tool to help you get going. No matter if you are left in the dark or just need to shine a little light on a problem, the J5 Tactical V1-PRO makes sure everything around you is visible.

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight in hand

The flashlight is compact and lightweight, weighing in at a mere 2.88 ounces; you will not get tired of holding this flashlight. While it has a sturdy build, its size is conveniently perfect at 4 inches and 4.25 inches when using the neat zoom feature. It is small enough to carry in your pocket or bag without any hassle. This flashlight is simple to operate having a power button on the bottom which is also used for changing modes. The button is large enough to find in a cinch for those times you are in a pinch. The belt clip adds an extra level of perfection to the package. The belt clip allows you to keep your flashlight handy so you have easy access to it when needed. The super lightweight and portable aspects of the J5 Tactical V1-PRO make it a much better flashlight than traditional flashlights on the market.

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight shining light on a tree

While small, the J5 Tactical V1-PRO can light up distances of up to 600 feet away. It is far brighter than traditional flashlights and the zoom feature allows you to see everything around you easily. You get three light mode options to choose from: high, low, or strobe. To activate this, you simply half-press the button on the bottom to switch between modes.

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight close up

It is built to handle everything from water, falls, freezing temperatures and even drops from up to 9 foot. It can easily withstand what a human or even an animal can throw at it. The battery will last four hours on a single charge and changing the battery takes less than a minute.

J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight size comparison

What We Like

The powerful light and zoom make this flashlight stand out in a crowd. The zoom feature allows you to focus in on what’s in front of you. From a wide beam to a narrow spot in the trees, you’ll always be able to find what you want.

Overall

The J5 Tactical V1-PRO Flashlight may be small, but that doesn’t mean it’s powerful. Brighter than other flashlights in its class, it can also handle brutal elements such as torrents of water and freezing temperatures.

#2 Solaray ZX-2 Super Bright Handheld LED Tactical Flashlight

Solaray ZX-2 Super Bright Handheld LED Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 1200 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 700 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x 18650 Lithium-Ion or 1 x AAA

The Solaray ZX-2 is one of the most trusted, durable, and high-quality flashlights on the market today. Police departments, fire departments, military divisions all trust Solaray to light up the night. And for the price, who can argue with it.

It looks a little odd in design because the handle is so small when compared to the size of the flashlight itself. But honestly, this makes it a little easier to hold. It is 5.2 inches in length, but small enough to fit into a pocket. It does not weigh much, coming in at only 5.6 ounces. And yet, it puts out a lot of light for such a small tactical flashlight.

It is built to last, with a strong and durable body made from aircraft-grade aluminum. No matter what happens, it might end up with a few scratches but it will not break. It has five lighting modes they give you plenty of options to work with; they are: high, medium, low, tactical intruder strobe, and SOS emergency strobe. With a maximum output of 1200 lumens, you can literally turn night into day.

Solaray ZX-2 close up of lens

What We Like

One feature that really separates the ZX-2 apart is its built-in memory mode. Most flashlights have to be cycled through to the previously selected lighting mode. That is not the case with this one as it will remember the last option selected and will revert back to that when turned on. This means that you could leave it in strobe mode for those moments when an attacker could be threatening you – that is convenient.

Overall

If you want one of the brightest and most trusted tactical flashlights on the market today, then you cannot ignore the Solaray ZX-2. Even though it is shaped odd in comparison to some other tactical flashlights, it far exceeds the abilities of those in the same price range.

#3 Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 Tactical Flashlight

Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 750 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 885 Feet
  • Power Source: 2 x 3V CR123A Lithium

For a top of the line survival flashlight, it is hard to do much better than the Streamlight 88040 ProTac. It is simple, durable, and straight to the point. It has everything you need in a flashlight. With three lighting modes, a high-quality and durable design, and a reach that makes everything around you visible, this flashlight will make it easier to see what goes “bump in the night”.

Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 side

The solid black, traditional appearance of the Streamlight 88040 ProTac gives it a very sleek look. It is slim and small, coming in at only 5.40 inches, so it fits perfectly in your hand, pocket, or bag; you can take it with you anywhere. Using this flashlight is a breeze thanks to the button on the bottom, which allows you to switch through all the modes and/or turning it on and off.

The three lighting modes are high, low, and strobe.

  1. High: 18,300 candela peak beam intensity; 880 feet beam distance; runs 1.25 hours
  2. Low: 35 lumens; 900 candela peak beam intensity; 190 feet beam distance; runs 18 hours
  3. Strobe: for disorienting or signaling: runs 2.5 hours

To change the mode, simply press the button on the button quickly and it will switch from one mode to the next.

Streamlight 88040 ProTac HL 750 in hand

Three modes are available, high, low, and strobe. Switch between each mode using the button on the bottom. Programming options will give you greater control over this. The LED technology in the ProTac puts out a blistering 750 lumens of light that is sure to blind anyone. Not only will you see what is around you, but it’ll almost look like daylight. The frame is built to absorb all types of bumps and drops, so it’ll be alright if you let it slip on a hiking trip.

What We Like

With 750 lumens, you can change the night into day. The light is absolutely blinding, which is perfect for keeping attackers at bay. With the included strobing option, you could easily disorient anyone with nefarious intentions. Another great feature is the durability of the frame. It is built to be submerged, frozen, beaten, and more without losing light. The IPX7 rating should allow it to be waterproof down to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Overall

If you want to be sure of what’s around you, then you need the Streamlight 88040 ProTac. With 750 lumens of light, you won’t be guessing at what’s in front of you. For those moments when you need to stop a bear or a person, hit the strobe and watch them wince in pain (or run away; preferred). For someone looking for a true EDC flashlight, this is the best option around.

#4 Helotex G2 CREE LED EDC Tactical Flashlight

Helotex G2 CREE LED EDC Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 130 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 100 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x AA or 1 x CR123

Bigger is not always better, and the Helotex G2 CREE proves that. Being tiny in size, but big in usability, this flashlight can make life/navigation easier. While not as high powered as many other flashlights on the market, it is sufficiently strong for the nighttime and it is extremely portable – now you don’t have a reason to leave without a flashlight.

Helotex G2 side

Again, the Helotex G2 CREE is tiny. In fact, with the included CR123 battery, it comes in at 3.6 inches. If you decide to use a traditional AA battery, that goes up to 4.2 inches. Either way, it is so small you can keep it in a pocket or hold it in your hand with little to no discomfort. Design-wise, the body looks like a traditional flashlight, just minified. To make it even easier to carry, it also comes with a clip on the side for attaching to pockets, belts, or other items. And you’ll hardly even notice it with a weight of 2.4 ounces.

Parts of the Helotex G2 Tactical Flashlight

This flashlight has a maximum output of 130 lumens when using a CR123 battery and 120 lumens when using an AA battery. While it’s not as bright as most of the others on our list, it can still blind an attacker during a night situation. It comes with three lighting modes: low, high, and strobe. The durable build can withstand plenty of abuse from drops, bumps, and even the weather.

Helotex G2 Logo

What We Like

This is one of the smallest tactical flashlights we have seen yet. If you need something that can hide anywhere, without weighing you down, the Helotex G2 is perfect. The built-in clip makes it a perfect accessory no matter what you are wearing.

Overall

Do not let the size full you, this is a powerful tactical flashlight. Even though the Helotex G2 seems underpowered, it really is not. For night navigation, anything over 100 lm is more than acceptable. With a light range of up to 100 feet, you will never get caught off guard by something jumping out of the woods.

#5 Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight

Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 600 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 600 Feet
  • Power Source: Lithium-Ion or 3 “AAA”

See the world around you easier than ever before with the Outlite A100. With five modes of lighting, exceptional brightness, multiple power options, and more features than comparable flashlights, it’s an EDC dream. Whether at home, in the car, or on an adventure, you’ll have plenty of lighting to lead you.

Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight unboxed

With a simple, sleek, black design, the Outlite A100 is easy to appreciate. The top half is smooth and rounded while the bottom is designed with high-grip knurling. It is easy to hold being only 5.35 inches in length (retracted) and 6.22 inches in length (zoomed out). The knurling makes it easy to keep it in your hands, no matter what the situation (wet hands, using it as a weapon, etc). It will easily fit in your pocket, a purse, or a travel bag without weighing you down as it is only 5.3 ounces.

Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight measurements

And even though it is so compact, it comes loaded. Of course, it comes equipped with a 600 lumen LED for extreme visibility. But, it also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with an included charger. If you are in a pinch for power, you could throw in 3 “AAA” batteries and be on your way. To make sure you see everything, the adjustable zoom allows you to reach all the way up to 600 feet away, making everything in range visible.

Outlite A100 Tactical Flashlight box

What We Like

Everyone likes to be able to press buttons. Well, with the Outlite A100, you’ll get to press the buttons as many times as you want with five lighting modes: high, medium, low, spotlight, and circle floodlight.

Overall

While the Outlite A100 does not offer a strobing feature, the 600-lumen output should easily stop anyone advancing on you. Of course, it’s also built to fit into just about any container so you should never leave home without it. The dual-power option really makes this a good all-in-one flashlight that should not be overlooked.

#6 ThruNite Ti4 CW Compact LED Penlight

ThruNite Ti4 CW Compact LED Penlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 252 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 25 Feet
  • Power Source: 2 x AAA

Whether on an adventure or in a work field that requires high-quality, portable lighting, the ThruNite Ti4 CW is going to be your new best friend. It is compact, powerful, and blends in well in any environment. The pen-shaded design makes it easy to carry in any environment from the outdoors to a business presentation; you can truly use this as an EDC flashlight.

ThruNite Ti4 CW Compact LED Penlight unboxed

Obviously, this is not your standard flashlight. Instead, the pen-designed flashlight is built for portability/compactness. You can hold it like a pen, clip it on your clothing or hold it in your purse. It is built using aircraft-grade aluminum and feels good in your hand. It weighs almost nothing at 2.4 ounces so you might forget you have it on you.

ThruNite Ti4 CW Compact LED Penlight and packaging

It has four lighting modes to choose from; they are: firefly, low, high, and strobe. It’s also IPX8 waterproof so you can drop it in the pool or lake and it will be fine. Since it is so small, it can take the occasional bump/drop with any problems either.

What We Like

For those who want something portable, bright, and unobtrusive, this is the perfect tactical flashlight for them – because it doesn’t look like one. The pen design is perfect for hiding what you truly have with you. The fact that it can output 252 lumens is astounding as it is so small.

Overall

If you want to be different, be different! The Ti4 from ThruNite can definitely keep through the night (or day). With 252 lumens of output, you’ll be able to use it anywhere at any time.

#7 SureFire G2X Series Tactical Flashlight

SureFire G2X Series Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 600 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 300 Feet
  • Power Source: 2 x CR123A

If you want a tactical flashlight that is sturdy, reliable, and dependable, then the SureFire G2X should be next on your list – it’s on ours! It’s great for everyday activities from camping, hiking, traveling, and more; it can even be mounted on a hunting rifle if you wanted to. It has multiple lighting options, making it perfect for any situation.

SureFire G2X Series Tactical Flashlight side

This is one of the simplest designs we’ve seen yet. It is small, compact, durable, and bright. The body is built from Nitrolon and the bezel is made from anodized aluminum; it can take a beating. The outside has a slight texture to it, although it could be a little more coarse. It has multiple lighting modes, all of which can be adjusted by clicking the power button quickly. It’s extremely light at only 6.4 ounces and it can fit almost anywhere with a full length of 5.2 inches.

SureFire G2X Series Tactical Flashlight in the outdoors

By design, it can easily handle rain, dust, dirt, drops, bumps (lions, tigers, and bears) without failing. The light is projected forward using a specialized reflector that helps to remove lighting hotspots; instead, you simply get a full-visibility lighting pattern. The dual-output option makes it great for day/night and indoors/outdoors.

SureFire G2X lens

What We Like

With the SureFire G2X, you can switch between 600 lumens of blinding light or 15 lumens of usable light. In the dark, the 15 lumens is more than enough to see what you are working on while the 600 lumens can stop a predator in their path. Plus, it can help to preserve your battery when you need it for navigational purposes.

Overall

The Surefire G2X Series Tactical Flashlight is compact and yet sturdy and is equally suitable for your home for everyday use as well as it is for hiking or camping in the great outdoors.

#8 Refun E6 High-Powered Tactical Flashlight

Refun E6 High-Powered Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 400 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 20 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x 18650 3.6v/3.7v or 3 x AAA

Sticking with a traditional design, the Refun E6 is built for comfort. It is designed to be held for long periods of time, even including a strap to make it easier to keep on you. It’s only 5.4 inches in length (fairly standard) and fits almost anywhere. It doesn’t weight much, coming in at 5.6 ounces.

Refun E6 On-Off Button

It comes with five lighting modes: high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS. Switching between modes is simple using the power button located at the base of the flashlight. It is built from durable, high-quality metals designed to withstand the normal abuse that a flashlight encounters (i.e. drops, falls, swims).

What We Like

This is an extremely energy-efficient flashlight. One bulb will last more than 100,000 hours! Literally, you will replace the batteries more times than you remember before the bulb goes out.

Overall

For those who need an up close and personal tactical flashlight, the Refun E6 is just right. It is not going to spread a lighting pattern across a football field, but it is going to keep it right in front of you. It looks stylish yet aggressive, and it easily falls in the budget-friendly category.

#9 EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 1000 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 1050 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x 18650, 2 x CR123

Popular amongst police and military and those who need a trusted flashlight, the EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight is going to offer everything you need from a tactical flashlight. It has several lighting modes, it comes with extra accessories, it is easy to use, and it works well.

Lens of the EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

The EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight does not have many curves to it. Instead, it is a sleek, black, simple cylinder with a light at the end.

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight measurements

It has two different gripping sections covered in a rubberized knurling designed to stay in your hand no matter how much you are sweating. It is 5.6 inches in length, weighing in at 8 ounces; this is one of the heavier models on our list.

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight close ups

It also comes with plenty of accessories like an included holster and clip. The holster attaches to your belt and gives you almost-instant access in the event of an emergency. And if you accidentally drop it, you’ll be fine; it’s built to withstand normal abuse. It comes with multiple lighting modes include a nasty strobing feature. With over 1000 lumens of lighting abuse, no one will keep their eyes open, even if they have sunglasses on.

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight accessories

What We Like

The EASTSHINE Tactical has two lighting modes/grips: a tactical mode and an outdoor mode. The mode chosen depends on which button you use. Using the bottom button, you are in tactical mode. Using the side button, you are in outdoors mode. The buttons are easily accessible, with the side button even telling you how much battery you have left.

Overall

If the police and military trust it, it must work. This is absolutely one of the brightest tactical flashlights on the market with 1000 lumens of light. The fact that it can shine up to 1050 feet away is astounding (that’s almost 1/5 of a mile). If you want to see everything, including ghosts (not really), then you cannot walk away from the EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight.

Sale

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

EASTSHINE Tactical Flashlight

  • 1000 Lumens Of Output
  • Lighting Range Of Over 1000 Feet
  • Dual Lighting Modes With Tactical Mode And Operational Mode

#10 Hausbell 7W Mini LED Tactical Flashlight

Hausbell 7W Mini LED Tactical Flashlight

Specs:

  • Lumen Output: 300 Lumens
  • Light Range: Up To 600 Feet
  • Power Source: 1 x 14500 or 1 x AA

Hausbell has quickly become a trusted name in the lighting market, even though they’ve only been around since 2012. Their 7W mini tactical flashlights are exceptionally powerful, pumping out 300 lumens of light that can shine over 600 feet. The flashlight is extremely small, with a length of 3.7 inches. Plus, it literally only weighs 2.24 ounces.

Hausbell 7W Mini LED Tactical Flashlight and battery

It comes with a built-in clip to keep it close by at all times. If you lose it in the dark, it has a special “glow ring” that helps you locate it quickly. It has three lighting modes: low, high, or strobe. It is extremely durable, with weather-resistance, shock-resistance, and water-resistance built-in.

Hausbell 7W Mini LED Tactical Flashlight on a camping trip

What We Like

For the size, this mini-sized tactical light can put up a fight. It’s extremely strong with features found on higher-priced competitors.

Overall

Even though the brand is still “new”, they’ve built up a quality reputation for some of the brightest and most durable tactical flashlights on the market. If you want a super-compact, ultra-bright tactical flashlight that won’t break the bank, here it is.

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Tactical Flashlight

Budget

With as many options as there are for tactical flashlights today, you will want to find the perfect fit for you. Whether your budget is around $20 or $100 there is a perfect one for you. Take a moment to consider what you are looking for in your flashlight and what you are willing to pay.

Needs

Everyone has specific needs, and there are plenty of options to work with. Research all of your options to find what fits you best. If you need a flashlight that can be used underwater, make sure to find one that can handle this as some flashlights are waterproof and some are only water-resistant.

Lumens

The amount of brightness the light that your tactical flashlight will put out will depend upon how many lumens it has. Buying the right flashlight for you will depend on how bright you need your flashlight to be. Know and understand your limits. You may not need the brightest flashlight on the market and can settle for a less powerful one that will still meet your needs.

Size

When considering what size flashlight you would want will depend on your need and possibly your desire. Do you plan to carry the flashlight on your person? If so, you may want a smaller sized tactical flashlight to fit comfortably in your pocket. Think about what size would fit your needs the best.

Power Source

Tactical flashlights are typically powered by lithium-ion batteries but can use alkaline batteries as a backup. If you find yourself with a drained lithium-ion, you can use an alkaline battery in its place.

Zoom or Not

Though the zoom feature is a very popular one, it is not always needed. It does come in handy at times, but may not be something you need. The zoom feature allows you to zoom in and out causing a beam from a wide-angle spread to a focused beam to really narrow in on something in the distance.

Battery Life

There are multiple types of battery sources for tactical flashlights. The most common is lithium-ion, but other batteries can be used including CR123 batteries and even standard AA and/or AAA batteries too. The primary difference is the length of life that each provides. Lithium-Ion batteries tend to last the longest and produce the brightest output.

Water-Resistant vs Waterproof

Water-resistant is where the device can be subjected to water for a moment without damage. Waterproof is where the device can be submerged underwater without damage. This is important for those who work and/or play around water.

Tactical Flashlight for Military Use

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a tactical flashlight?

A: A tactical flashlight is a flashlight that is designed for skillful or tactical use. Tactical flashlights will include useful features such as being a durable yet lightweight, capable of staying charged for hours, extended beam distance, as well as zoom focus, and more. These flashlights make great survival tools and generally can withstand all types of elements, such as being submerged in water. The durability of a tactical flashlight surpasses any traditional flashlight. Tactical flashlights are high-quality which makes them a favorite with the military and outdoorsy type people, but any person can make good use of them.

Q: Why should I buy a tactical flashlight?

A: There are many reasons tactical flashlights are perfect for many people. One reason people would choose to buy a tactical flashlight over a regular flashlight is simply for emergencies. No matter the emergency a tactical flashlight will outshine any traditional one. Visibility will be much better with a tactical flashlight. Many times you will be able to see 600 feet away if not further. Many of these flashlights have different modes that can be used as a flasher in the chance you need to draw attention to yourself. Since it is lightweight it is easy and comfortable to carry and can be used as a self-defense weapon. It can help you find your way if you get lost in the woods or can scare off dogs or other animals. The long charge allows these flashlights to not only stay bright but last a long time which is always useful in any emergency.

Q: Are tactical flashlights legal?

A: These flashlights are legal. Tactical flashlights have all the makeup of a traditional flashlight. They are made more durable and with better quality. Most of the time they are light-weight and easy to carry, making them handy if ever needed for self-defense. These flashlights are not created to be a weapon, but in an emergency a person will use whatever they have nearby to use as a weapon. Just because these flashlights are used by the military and law enforcement does not make them banned from personal use. Tactical flashlights are perfectly legal, just as any traditional flashlight is.

Q: How do I use a tactical flashlight?

A: Using a tactical flashlight is similar to using a traditional flashlight. There is generally a power button to turn it on and off. The difference between using a tactical flashlight and a traditional one is the tactical flashlight may offer a few different modes, whereas, the traditional flashlight may not. There should be instructions you can review when you buy your tactical flashlight. Different models will have different ways to operate, but the instructions will explain this.

Using a tactical flashlight in emergency situations will depend on the situation. For example, if you are being attacked you could quickly shine the bright light in the attacker’s eyes to disorient the attacker while you get away. Or, if you need to flag down help, the bright light or maybe the flashing mode could help you get the attention of help that may be nearby. There many other ways to use this flashlight in emergency situations.

Q: How bright should my tactical flashlight be?

A: A flashlight’s light output is measured in lumens. Knowing this will help you understand how bright your flashlight should be. There is a little difference in what your minimum brightness should be when using your tactical flashlight during the day versus using it at night. During the day your tactical flashlight should run at a minimum of 300 lumens. When using a tactical flashlight at night you should run the flashlight at a minimum brightness of 100 lumens.

Q: Can tactical flashlights get wet?

A: Many tactical flashlights are made to be submerged in water, but this may not be the case for all tactical flashlights. Some flashlights can handle a little water while others are built to work 80 feet underwater. It is important to know what product you are buying. Check with the manufacturer to make sure the tactical flashlight you want can withstand what you need as not all flashlights are built to be waterproof.

Q: Will tactical flashlights work underwater?

A: There are numerous tactical flashlights that are built to be used underwater. You will need to check your tactical flashlight’s ratings to see what its limitations are. Some flashlights may be able to withstand 80 feet water immersion while others may not. Not all tactical flashlights will work underwater. This is what it is important to know your flashlight. Read the buyers guide for your tactical flashlight before submerging it in water. For the flashlights that are made to work underwater, make sure to know what depths of immersion the flashlight will work. Do not take it deeper than the recommended depths.

Q: Can I use a tactical flashlight as a weapon if needed?

A: A tactical flashlight can be used for self-defense but it is not a weapon. Before you decide to use this tool as a weapon make sure to know your state’s law. In many cases, in an emergency, a person will use whatever is handy to protect themselves from an attacker making just about anything a weapon. The tactical flashlight can be used in self-defense in various ways. Since it is small, you can easily carry it on your person. You could use the bright light to temporarily disorient your attacker while you escape. Since the flashlight is bright, it can help you feel safe as it illuminates questionable areas enabling you to see what is around you. By narrowing the beam you will be able to see a very good distance. It can also be used to signal for help.

Q: Are tactical flashlights allowed on planes?

A: The TSA website will allow flashlights under 7 inches; however, this is meant for traditional flashlights. If it is over 7 inches it will have to be checked. If your tactical flashlight appears weapon-like, it will not be allowed or it could possibly be confiscated. If the flashlight looks harmful, TSA reserves the right to take the item.

Q: What is the purpose of the strobe function on a tactical flashlight?

A: The strobe function of the tactical flashlight is used for defending yourself from a treat. It is common with the law enforcement to use the strobe function to disorient a person who they do not feel is a lethal suspect. The strobe light causes the person to become disoriented and possibly cause vertigo and even nausea. It makes the threat vulnerable as their brain waves are affected by the flashes of light.

Q: Can a tactical flashlight start a fire?

A: In order to start a fire with a tactical flashlight, your flashlight will need to produce 2300 lumens of light. At 2300 lumens you could possibly start a fire with your flashlight and a high-efficiency reflector. You will need the reflector in order to start a fire though. You will not be able to start a fire with the tactical flashlight itself.

Q: Can a tactical flashlight blind a person?

A: It takes less output to sufficiently blind a person in a dark environment than in a bright environment which is why the number of lumens will vary from day to night. In order to blind an attacker during the day, you will need 300 lumens, but at night your flashlight will need to produce 100 lumens. This does not mean you will permanently blind the person; it will be a temporary blindness.

Conclusion

So there you have it, our list of the ten best tactical flashlights for 2019!

We have covered a lot of information to help you make the best decision possible regarding tactical flashlights. Hopefully, you are able to find one that meets all of your needs while staying in your budget. We tried to break out all the features and functions so that you would know which one is perfect for you. If you did not find one that met your needs perfectly, you can still use our buyer’s guide to help you identify and narrow down your search. If you did have any questions, hopefully our frequently asked questions section helped you out. If not, let us know what we missed so that we can help you and others in the future.

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Two more unannounced iPads turn up in Apple filings

Two more unannounced iPads turn up in Apple filings

There appear to be three families in the mix: one A2000-series iPad (A2068), two A2100-series variants (A2197 and A2198) and four A2200 editions (A2200, A2228, A2230 and A2232). This doesn’t mean Apple will announce three completely different iPads, but it does suggest there will be some distinctions. At present, the most likely candidates may be a revamp of the base iPad (possibly due for a larger 10.2-inch screen) as well as refreshes of the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros.

Such an overhaul wouldn’t be surprising. Apple has been aggressively updating its iPads in 2019, with new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini as well as plans for more powerful iPadOS software. More hardware could both keep buyers coming and serve as a showcase for what iPadOS can do.

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Toyota’s 2020 Olympics robots will include a javelin-carrying cart

Toyota’s 2020 Olympics robots will include a javelin-carrying cart

Most of the other bots were already known, such as the Human Support Robot (for guiding people to their seats), the Delivery Support Robot (drinks and other orders) and the T-HR3 humanoid robot (remote interactions with athletes).

However, there will be one more Olympics-specific bot. The Mascot Robot in Miraitowa and Someity variants (you’re looking at Someity below) will welcome people to venues through object detection and remote-controlled limbs. Toyota is also “considering” a way to enhance the games for Japanese kids through the mascot machines.

The robots serve as marketing material for Toyota and Japan’s technology industry as a whole. Like other Japanese worker robots, though, they’re also an acknowledgment of the country’s labor shortages. With a declining population and a reluctance to invite foreign workers, the country can’t always count on having enough people to fill jobs. The Field Support Robot and its peers could ensure that Tokyo 2020 proceeds without a hitch, even if there aren’t as many human staffers as the organizers would like.

Toyota's Mascot Robot Someity

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The Morning After: That’s what quantum entanglement looks like

The Morning After: That’s what quantum entanglement looks like

Yeah, we don’t understand it either.Scientists unveil image of quantum entanglement for the first time ever

In a paper published in the journal of Scientific Advances, scientists from the University of Glasglow shared the first known image of a Bell entanglement. The photo depicts two photons interacting and sharing physical states for a brief instant — an event that occurs regardless of the actual distance between the particles.


And you can win an Xbox One.Microsoft’s Windows 1.0 announcement was about ‘Stranger Things’

To celebrate the return of the show — set in 1985, Microsoft’s banner year — the company is launching the Windows 1.11 app. It features classic Paint and Terminal programs, as well as Stranger Things­-themed puzzles and exclusive content. No floppy disk required.


Competition with AMD’s new Radeon hardware is good for gamers.NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super and 2070 Super review

NVIDIA’s RTX 2060 Super is pretty much the ideal mid-range GPU, while its 2070 Super offers a similar amount of performance as last year’s RTX 2080 for hundreds less. Of course, these cards aren’t really for people who made upgrades last year — they’re more like a reward for those who waited.


Here’s your next retro game system.TurboGrafx-16 mini arrives next March with nearly 50 games

Konami has revealed that the TurboGrafx-16 mini will be available exclusively through Amazon on March 19th, 2020, with pre-orders starting July 15th. The US lineup includes already-teased games like R-Type and Ys Book I & II, not to mention other top titles like Bonk’s Revenge and Space Harrier.


If it only does one thing, then why is it still called a Switch? Nintendo’s Switch Lite is a $200 handheld-only console

The Switch Lite is a slightly different console that’s intended purely for handheld play, and it will arrive September 20th in three colors, priced at $200. The lower price comes with a smaller screen 720p screen, non-removable Joy-Con controls, no TV-out support and no HD Rumble.

While it justifies its name by weighing less than the original, it also should have better battery life by about a half-hour, and it has swapped the four-button D-pad for an old-school Nintendo cross.


The Starhopper will go up about 20m and sideways.SpaceX’s Starship test vehicle will attempt a ‘hover test’ next week

The Starhopper has already undergone two previous hop tests and shown that it can lift a few inches off a launchpad. Now the Raptor engine has been mounted to the Starhopper again so the next stage of testing can begin, with a hover test scheduled for Tuesday, July 16th.

 

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Best Body Groomer [2019]

Best Body Groomer [2019]

Best Overall: Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler
Most people like traditional razors and this one is designed for them. It is easy to hold, easy to use, and it can get in places where you will want to have control. This is the perfect all-purpose body groomer offering from Gillette.

Sale

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler

  • Included Countertop Stand
  • Three Attachment/Length Guides (2mm, 4mm, 6mm)
  • Water-Resistant For Use In Wet Or Dry Environments
  • Easily Replaceable Blades For A Superior Experience

Premium Pick: Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000
Most of the body groomers on our list have fixed heads. While this is good most of the time, having the ability to adjust to the contours of your body making it easier than ever to get the perfect cut. With everything that is included in this package, there is no reason to pass this up.

Sale

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

  • 4-Direction, Pivoting Head Keeps It Close
  • Dual-Sided Design Includes Adjustable-Trimmer
  • Water-Resistant For Use In Wet Or Dry Environments
  • 80 Minute Run Time On A Single Charge / 60 Minute Recharge Time

Best For “Below-The-Belt”: The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped
When it comes to your lower regions, you want something you can trust. Manscaped has built its brand on “protecting your balls“. If you truly want the protection YOU NEED for “down there”, you simply do not have a better option.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

  • Built Specifically For Below-The-Belt Trimming
  • 6,000 RPM Motor Chews Through Hair
  • SkinSafe Technology Protects Your Sensitive Areas

How We Picked

Men of the past were big, burly, and hairy!

But things have changed and now the hair that was used to protect us from the elements is now considered “gross”, particularly body hair. So, why do not you just use a traditional razor to take care of all of that gross body hair?

For starters, a traditional razor completely removes any trace of hair. Secondly, traditional razors can hurt, especially when they are used in the “sensitive” spots. But, you have options – tons of options.

Body groomers are designed to help remove hair safely without taking forever. Today, we are going to show you ten of the best body groomers available right now. These are budget-friendly, user-friendly, and easy to use. If you have been using a razor to handle all of your body grooming needs, stop right now.

We are going to show you ten tools that are much more effective at removing body here than any traditional razor.

#1 Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

Specs:

  • Model Number: BG7030/49
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 80 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: 5-Year World-Wide Warranty

Starting off our list is a brand that is well known in the manscaping market. Philips Norelco has consistently produced some of the highest-quality products for men and women alike.

The Bodygroom Series 7000 is an easy-to-hold, lightweight, cordless, wet/dry body groomer with dual-sided technology (that’s a mouthful). Starting out, the Bodygroom 7000 has a 4-direction pivoting head that is designed to fit anywhere while providing a smooth, close shave. The foil cover is matched with rounded, stainless steel blades to avoid skin irritation. Plus, it can cut both long and short hair at the same time.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000 shaving blade

But, there are times when you want to do more than just cut “down to the skin”. In those moments, all you have to do is flip it over to start using the integrated, adjustable trimmer (dual-sided). Instead of having to attach additional parts and/or accessories, all you have to do is select the link that you want (ranging from 1/8″ to 7/16″) and start trimming. Again, you are protected from nicks and cuts with the included guard.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000 side

The Bodygroom 7000 can be used in wet or dry environments as it is “water-resistant”. When you are finished working with it, all you have to do to clean it is run it under some water and give it a good shake or two.

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000 used for shaving

Philips Norelco made sure you would have plenty of power with an internal lithium-ion battery that provides 80 minutes on a single charge while only requiring 60 minutes to recharge. Plus, there is a battery light indicator that let you know of the battery is getting low. And, if the battery does happen to die, you could use it while it is charging (not in wet environments).

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000 used for trimming

What We Like

The dual-side design makes this one of the best body groomers on the market. Being able to switch from an ultra-close shave to a detailer by simply flipping it over is awesome. The fact that you can adjust to the different lengths with one finger just makes it better.

Overall

Getting into those tight spaces will not be a problem with the Bodygroom 7000 from Philips Norelco. The 4-direction pivoting head ensures you will get a clean cut every time while the adjustable-length trimmer will make it easy to create your perfect look.

Sale

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000

  • 4-Direction, Pivoting Head Keeps It Close
  • Dual-Sided Design Includes Adjustable-Trimmer
  • Water-Resistant For Use In Wet Or Dry Environments
  • 80 Minute Run Time On A Single Charge / 60 Minute Recharge Time

#2 Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler

Gillette Fusion ProGlide Men’s Razor Styler 3-in-1

Specs:

  • Model Number: Fusion ProGlide Styler
  • Battery Type: AA
  • Battery Life: Up To 1.5 Months Of Standard Use
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: No

Gillette has been making men look great since 1901. Over the years, they have developed some of the most sought after grooming tools for everyone. The Fusion Series has consistently outperformed other “comparable” brands and the Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler shows us why.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-in-1 without gards on blade

The Styler looks like the fat, big brother to a standard Fusion ProGlide razor. It is beautiful with a highly contrasting black/blue/gray color scheme. It is wrapped in an easy-to-hold rubberized handle and it weighs just barely more than a pound.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-in-1 guard attached

This is an all-purpose styler that is designed to handle almost anything including your face, chest, legs, and even your nether regions. It comes with the ability to cut at four different lengths: 0mm, 2mm, 4mm, and 6mm. 0mm can be achieved without any type of guard/attachment. 2mm, 4mm, and 6mm can be achieved using one of the three included guards/attachments. When needed, you can turn the razor over and finish out any detail work using the precision trimmer.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-in-1 guards

Gillette is known for making most of their products wet/dry compatible and their Styler is no exception. Cleaning the Styler is a breeze as all you’ll need to do is place it under running water and give it a quick shake. It is powered by 2 “AA” batteries which should last around 1.5 months before needing replacement. The blades are replaceable and should last 3 to 6 months comfortably.

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-in-1 close up of guards

What We Like

The included countertop stand makes it easy to keep everything in one place. It can hold all of the adjustment guides, the trimmer, and even a few replacement blades. The Styler itself is extremely easy to hold, even when wet, due to the rubberized handle.

Overall

For those who like traditional razors, this is purely an upgrade. It does not have a large footprint, making it easy to get into tight places. The four length settings make it easy to create your masterpiece. For those who want an all-purpose body groomer that can even handle some facial work, the search is over.

Sale

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler

Gillette Fusion ProGlide 3-In-1 Styler

  • Included Countertop Stand
  • Three Attachment/Length Guides (2mm, 4mm, 6mm)
  • Water-Resistant For Use In Wet Or Dry Environments
  • Easily Replaceable Blades For A Superior Experience

#3 Philips Norelco OneBlade Face And Body Trimmer/Shaver

Philips Norelco OneBlade Trimmer

Specs:

  • Model Number: QP2630/70
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 60 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: 5-Year World-Wide Warranty

When the OneBlade first came out, it seemed kind of gimmicky. But, it did not take long for it to prove all the naysayers wrong. This is one of the lightest, easy-to-hold trimmers on the market weighing a little under 1 pound. It has a contour-following, pivoting head to make sure it gets into every nook and cranny of your face and/or neck. While it is called the OneBlade, it actually comes with two – one for your body and one for your face.

Philips Norelco OneBlade Trimmer packaging

Now, the OneBlade is not designed for ultra-close cuts. While you can use it for facial hair, it will leave you with an amazing “5 o’clock” shadow. It comes with four stubble combs and one body comb to make detail work ultrasimple. And, it is designed to work in a wet and/or dry environment.

Philips Norelco OneBlade for shaving

It is powered by an internal lithium-ion battery that can last for up to 60 minutes on a single charge. Recharging the OneBlade will take approximately 4 hours, so make sure you plug it in overnight. Cleaning the OneBlade is simple – remove the attachment guards, place it under running water, give it a shake.

Cleaning the Philips OneBlade

Both of the blades are replaceable and last for approximately 4 months (statement based on 2 facial shaves per week). The replacements cost anywhere from $10-$15 per blade so you should expect about $30-$45 for continued-use cost per year.

Philips OneBlade shaving attachment

What We Like

Having a 5 o’clock shadow is one of the manliest things in the world. The problem is, it is extremely hard to achieve. With the OneBlade, not only is it achievable, it is repeatable. You could shave every hour with the OneBlade and still have the perfect 5 o’clock shadow.

Overall

For those looking for a pubic hair trimmer, keep looking. For everyone else, your search may be over. The one blade is designed to provide a clean, safe cut without getting too close. For those who are sensitive to razors, this is one of the most innovative products on the market. You can forget “razor rash” with the built-in dual-protection system, designed to cut you close without getting “too close”.

#4 The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

Specs:

  • Model Number: Lawn Mower 2.0
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 60 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: 30-Day Money Back Guarantee + 90-Day Warranty/Exchange

Now, we are going to focus on a product from the Shark Tank. That is right, the Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscape was presented on Shark Tank (series) and Mark Cuban even jumped on board, seeing huge potential in this company.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped in hand

Starting out, the Lawn Mower 2.0 does not look any different from any of the other body trimmers on the market. It is small, lightweight, portable, and easy-to-hold; basically, it is the same as everyone else.

Or is it?

Manscaped has developed a brand specifically tailored to a man’s nether regions. While most body groomers are designed to handle heavier applications, the Lawn Mower 2.0 is designed for the safety of your “special” parts. In fact, they are pretty ballsy about it (just watch their advertisements; almost NSFW).

The groomer is very light with a fixed head/blade. The blades are designed to last for approximately 3 months under normal use and they feature a special SkinSafe technology to protect you from accidental snips. Unlike most other body groomers, this one has a high-speed, 6000 RPM motor; it will not get bogged down even in the heaviest and/or thickest hair. Plus, it comes with two detachable trimming combs to give you up to four length settings, making it perfect for detail work.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped and guards

It is waterproof and shock resistant so it can handle any environment, wet or dry, while also surviving most any fall. It is powered by the internal lithium-ion battery that provides up to 60 minutes on a single charge. But, it does take a fairly long time to charge, coming in at around four hours.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped with removed blade

What We Like

Manscaped is not shy about what their trimmer is for. For those who dread keeping their private parts trimmed, this is the perfect solution; it was built specifically for that. This SkinSafe technology will protect you from accidental cuts no matter how sensitive the area.

Overall

For those who do a lot of below-the-belt trimming, you will love the Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped. Featured on Shark Tank and endorsed by Mark Cuban, this body groomer will do more than other groomers while providing an exceptional cut every time.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

The Lawn Mower 2.0 from Manscaped

  • Built Specifically For Below-The-Belt Trimming
  • 6,000 RPM Motor Chews Through Hair
  • SkinSafe Technology Protects Your Sensitive Areas

#5 MANGROOMER Ultimate Pro Back Shaver

MANGROOMER Ultimate Pro Back Shaver

Specs:

  • Model Number: Ultimate Pro
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 90 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: No
  • Warranty: 2-Year Warranty

Since we are talking about hard-to-reach places, let us talk about another area that gets overlooked – the back.

We can cut what we can see, but it is easy to forget about the back. Plus, it is not easy getting back there to begin with. That is about to change with the MANGROOMER Ultimate Pro Back Shaver.

This is a very large device meant to make it easy to reach behind you. It does not weigh a lot, but it packs a big punch. It can unfold to give you all the links you need and it even locks in place with an “Extension Lock” button. When you get caught in a thick area, just hit the power burst mode and it will plow right through. And, you get two different types of cutting heads – one for up close and one for knocking it down; both blades are 1.8 inches wide so it is a breeze taking care of your back.

The MANGROOMER will last around 90 minutes on a single charge but it can take up to four hours to recharge. This is not designed to be waterproof so you should try to use it in a wet environment. And finally, unlike some other “specialty” groomers, this one comes with an actual two-year warranty from the manufacturer.

What We Like

It is hard enough reaching your back, much less cutting the hair on it too. This takes all the pain out of back grooming. If you have got a hairy back, you need this!

Overall

Most body groomers forget about their back – not anymore! The Ultimate Pro Back Shaver from MANGROOMER is the perfect accessory for those single men who do not have a partner willing to trim their back. Avoid the “hidden forest” with this easy-to-use back groomer; your partner will appreciate it.

#6 Remington PG525 Head-To-Toe Body Groomer Kit

Remington PG525 Head-To-Toe Body Groomer Kit

Specs:

  • Model Number: PG525
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 70 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited 2-Year Warranty

For those who want everything in one convenient package, this is it. The PG525 is small and extremely lightweight, while giving you the ability to start high and end low. The small, fixed head makes it easy to navigate in the toughest of places, white the stubble comb makes it easy to handle detail work. One extra of the PG525 is the 8-length hair clipper attachment making it possible to start at the top of your head, unlike some of the other body groomers.

Remington PG525 Head-To-Toe Body Groomer Kit used for trimming

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, you will get around 70 minutes of run time on a single charge; recharges take around an hour. And while it is powerful, that is not what makes this the perfect all-in-one/head-to-toe kit on the market. In this package, you get the trimmer, nose and ear attachments, detail trimmer, body trimmer, hair comb with adjustable lengths, beard and stubble combs, and a countertop stand.

Remington PG525 Head-To-Toe Body Groomer Kit used for shaving

What We Like

This kit has everything you need to start at the top and work your way down. Most of the other kits have a “specialty”, but the PG525 is built for any situation.

Overall

Remington has consistently provided some of the best grooming products on the market today. The PG525 is a true “all-in-one” product. No matter what needs to be cut, you’ll have the right attachments.

#7 Panasonic Cordless Wet/Dry Beard And Body Trimmer

Panasonic ER224S Mens Cordless Body Groomer

Specs:

  • Model Number: ER224S
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable
  • Battery Life: 40 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited 2-Year Warranty

When you have thick hair, you need power. And the Panasonic ER224S is powerful! It looks intimidating and it should be – for your hair. When plowing through thick hair, you do not want something small and weak. This is a large beard embody trimmer with an extremely powerful motor which is fed by an internal battery that feeds it. The battery only lasts 40 minutes on a single charge, which is low. But, the reason why the runtime is so short is because of how much power it is feeding the motor; thick hair is no longer a problem. Recharging the battery will take an extremely long time so it is best to leave it overnight. If you do need power in a pinch, just plug it in and it is ready to go.

Panasonic Cordless Wet & Dry Beard And Body Trimmer trim settings

Adjusting the length of cut is super simple with a rotary dial that gives you up to 14 adjustable settings. And when you are finished, clean up all the details with the included detailed trimmer. The blades are precision-honed and supported by a soft-spring system to avoid any type of skin irritation.

How to clean the Panasonic Cordless Wet & Dry Beard And Body Trimmer

What We Like

Even though the run time is short, the power that this puts out is amazing. It is not small by any means, but it is not so big that it is uncomfortable. It does not feel like a toy!

Overall

If you have killed body groomers in the past with your thick hair, then you want the ER224S from Panasonic. It will not get bogged down and you are not going to kill it. The motor will absolutely plow down anything in its path.

#8 Braun MG5090 Men’s Electric Shaver 3-In-1

Braun MG5090 Mens Electric Shaver 3-In-1

Specs:

  • Model Number: MG5090
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable
  • Battery Life: 30 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited 1-Year Warranty

Here is another all-in-one body groomer that can do so much more. This 3-in-1 from Braun can handle body hair, facial hair, and even give you a haircut. It has an extremely wide cutting surface to make long grooming sessions a thing of the past.

Braun MG5090 Mens Electric Shaver 3-In-1 used for trimming

The cutting head is covered with their patented SmartFoil technology to protect you from nicks and cuts. Once you finish shaving, you can turn the adjustable styler and go down your sideburns and beard lines. And, if you do not want to cut all the way down to the skin, simply use the adjustable comb in one of the four length settings: 1.2mm, 2.8mm, 4.4mm, and 6mm.

Braun MG5090 Mens Electric Shaver 3-In-1 close-up

This is a waterproof groomer so you can use it wet or dry. The battery is a protected, internal lithium-ion battery that will last for around 30 minutes on a single charge. Recharges will only take about an hour, but if you need power in a pinch, a five-minute charge will give you enough for a single trim. This is one of the only “international body groomers”, as it is capable of working with 100V up to 240V. This means that it has a worldwide warranty too.

Braun MG5090 Mens Electric Shaver 3-In-1 unboxed

What We Like

We are fans of a true all-in-one solution. This is another body groomer that does so much more than just handle body hair. The included attachments make it easy to customize your beard and/or other body hair. The attached styler is a little gimmicky in design, but it works extremely well.

Overall

For those who do not enjoy taking forever trimming up some areas, the 3-in-1 from Braun will take care of you. The extra-wide cutting head is easy to use but it is not designed for tight places (i.e. lower regions).

#9 Remington All Access Body Groomer

Remington BHT300 All Access Mens Bodygroomer

Specs:

  • Model Number: BHT300
  • Battery Type: Rechargeable
  • Battery Life: 30 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited 2-Year Warranty

Sometimes all you want is something simple, that will do the job, and that is it. Remington understands this and designed the All Access Body Groomer specifically for you.

Remington BHT300 All Access Mens Bodygroomer back

This is a small, easy to hold, contouring body groomer that lasts for around 30 minutes on a single charge. For close cuts, the SmartFoil protective system will make sure you do not get nicked up. For everything else, it comes with three length/guide attachments for any detail-type work.

Remington BHT300 All Access Mens Bodygroomer blade

Remington also included a cleaning comb which is all that is needed to clean this unit – again, simplicity. Plus, Remington covers all of their body groomers with a two-year limited warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

What We Like

Sometimes it is best to be simple. There are not a lot of special features that can break/fail. You get just enough attachments to handle most jobs and the close cuts are safe with the SmartFoil protective system.

Overall

We cannot stress this enough, this is one of the easiest body groomers to work with. It is not the most powerful or the fastest, but it would be a great gift for your favorite man.

#10 Remington Shortcut Pro Body Groomer

Remington BHT6455FF Shortcut Pro Body Groomer

Specs:

  • Model Number: BHT6455FF
  • Battery Type: Lithium-Ion
  • Battery Life: 40 Minutes On Single Charge
  • Water Ready: Yes
  • Warranty: Limited 2-Year Warranty

Finishing off our list is a unique offering from Remington. The rest of our body groomers have been candy bar shaped, but Remington has flipped the script in giving you a truly handheld body groomer.

Remington BHT6455FF Shortcut Pro Body Groomer measurements

This is one of the widest body groomers offered from Remington; it is approximately 60% wider than any of their other body groomers. It is able to cut as close to 0.2 mm making it perfect for those ultrasmooth cuts. If you would prefer, it comes with five guide combs giving you control over how short the cut ends up. A really neat feature that Remington offers with this is an extendable handle that attaches to the groomer. This lets you handle your back as well as your front.

Remington BHT6455FF used for shaving back

Battery power is still limited to around 40 minutes on a single charge, but this should be sufficient for most cutting sessions. Plus, it will work internationally as it can accept 100V to 240V; this means that the warranty is worldwide.

Remington BHT6455FF Shortcut Pro Body Groomer blade

What We Like

This is the only handheld body groomer on our list. Unlike all the others, you can hold this comfortably in your palm. The extendable handle makes it easy to reach around to your unseen areas too.

Overall

Remington has covered everything now. This handheld, ultra-wide body groomer can make even the thickest of hair disappear. It has a dual-sided blade to make it easy to go in any direction and it will last up to 40 minutes on a single charge. Now, there is no reason why you cannot groom your whole body.

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best Body Groomer

Finding the right body groomer for you can be hard, especially if you have used a razor in the past. It would be easy to fall in love with any body groomer after that type of experience. But, we are going to make sure that you will not only fall in love with your next body groomer, but stay in love with it too. Here are the features you need to look for when considering/comparing body groomers.

Corded / Cordless

For the most part, body groomers will be cordless. Some of the more budget-friendly body groomers might not work without being attached to a cord, but even that is falling away quickly. Batteries are a lot more powerful and they are not nearly as expensive as they once were, which means that the argument of corded versus cordless really is not a thing anymore.

Primarily, the cord will be used to charge the internal battery. Some cords are connected to a charging/cleaning station while some connect straight to the body groomer itself. Unless your body groomer loses a charge, you probably will not have to attach the power cord.

Battery Life

Everybody groomer on our list is cordless, which means that it has some type of internal battery. In most cases, you will be using this standing over (or in) a bathtub. And getting into those “tight” or “private” places are already going to be uncomfortable enough without a cord attached to it.

Having enough battery power to last through the whole session is paramount. Most cordless batteries will last between thirty minutes and two hours on a single charge. Of course, ambient temperature will affect the performance of your battery. Extremely cold and extremely hot temperatures will cause your battery to lose effectiveness and potentially performance.

The best battery currently available for any electronic device is a lithium-ion battery. These tend to put out the most power while lasting for a long time when compared to other batteries such as alkaline and/or nickel-cadmium.

Wet / Dry

While everybody groomer on our list is cordless, not everybody groomer on our list works well with water. So, make sure that the body groomer you are considering says waterproof or water resistant.

For the most part, you will not be using your body groomer in the shower. Showering makes it harder to see what you have done and what is left. Again, if you only use a razor to handle your manscaping needs, you are going to be in for a big surprise.

Where a wet body groomer works best is when you are going to be doing a “down to skin” session and you will be using shaving gel. Make sure you know what you want to do before you purchase a body groomer. If you do not intend to cut all the way down to the skin, then it really does not matter which body groomer you pick. If you do intend to cut all the way down to the skin, then you will need to make sure that you find a wet-compatible body groomer.

Our recommendation would be just to make sure that you get one that does both.

Blade Quality

If you have ever used a cheap razor (i.e. dollar store, gas station, hotel), then you understand what a bad blade feels like. It will leave you with skin irritation, bumps, cuts, and more.

So, you will understand what we mean when we say find a body groomer that has a high-quality blade. Currently, the best blades to work with our stainless steel rounded blades combined with a foil shaver/cover. However, some manufacturers have started using titanium blades; these are thinner and sharper but can be a little rougher on some people (i.e. sensitive skin).

One way to figure out if a blade is high-quality or not is to look at the cost of the replacement blades. If the blades are fairly cheap, there is a good chance that they will be uncomfortable and/or rough. Sadly, you get what you pay for when it comes to blade quality.

And considering that you might be working in some private spots, making sure you have the right blades is a BIG thing.

Hair Length Settings

While some people are going to use a body groomer to remove any trace of hair whatsoever, there will be others who just want to keep it nice and neat. Finding a body groomer with built-in adjustment options will make it easier to manscape your body.

Some body groomers do not have built-in adjustments but have attachments instead. Generally speaking, these are called guide combs. These will help to protect you from accidental nicks and/or overcutting.

Accessories

This might sound weird, but making sure that you have enough accessories can mean the difference between a pleasant experience and an “oh crap” experience. Look for accessories that can help you manage and maintain your body groomer like cleaning oils and brushes. Also, make sure that you have some type of travel case if at all possible (you never know when you might need it).

If you can, look for additional accessories such as nose and ear trimmer attachments and even something to protect your “lower” regions.

Design / Size / Weight / Build

This is a big category, but it is extremely important. You need to consider the design and size of the body groomer. Both of these features will determine how easy it is to maneuver in your hand in around your body.

While a large body groomer might not take as long as a smaller groomer, it might not be as comfortable in tighter areas. Also, a larger body groomer tends to way more which means it could possibly become uncomfortable if it takes a long time to finish the job.

And finally, how the body groomer is built can determine how long you will have it. For instance, a body groomer that is made of all plastic might break when dropped. But, a body groomer that is made out of metal might last for years.

Ease Of Cleaning

It is important that you keep your body groomer clean. And unmaintained body groomer is like trying to shave with a razor that is three months old – you just do not do it. There is no reason why you should not clean and maintain your body groomer.

Most body groomers can be cleaned with running water and a good shake. However, some will require the use of cleaning oils and brushes. Make sure you understand the process of cleaning your body groomer. If you do not want to deal with a complex cleaning procedure, then find a body groomer that requires a little water and a shake.

Warranty

And finally, look for a body groomer that has a good warranty. Most manufacturers will warranty the body groomer for up to three years (the average is around one year). This will cover failure due to defects in the manufacturing process and/or workmanship. Blades and batteries tend to fall into a different type of category when it comes to warranty. For the most part, blades and batteries are not covered under any type of warranty.

If you do not want to deal with warranties, then look for an insurance/protection policy during the purchasing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a regular razor for my body grooming needs?
A: Yes you can – no you should not. While most people use razors to trim and remove hair from every part of their body, there are better tools out there. A body groomer is much more efficient than a traditional razor. Plus, a traditional razor has one setting – no hair. Body groomers are adjustable and can give you different lengths/heights to really perfect the look you want.

And, body groomers are much more effective and time-efficient as they can plow through heavy sections of hair without getting clogged up – a traditional razor tends to get clogged up rather quickly.

Q: Can I use a body groomer on my private areas?
A: There is a good chance that you have already used a traditional razor on your private areas with acceptable results. Sure, there was an impending sense of danger every time you scraped the metal across your “sensitive” spots, but you managed to do it.

Body groomers are safer than any traditional razor under any circumstance. They come with protective measures built-in, from foil covers to guide combs that limit how close you can cut. You can get as close as you want without having to worry about an accidental slip leaving you infertile.

So, go ahead and take care of your private parts; a body groomer is much safer than a traditional razor.

Q: Can I use a body groomer to cut my hair?
A: A body groomer can cut hair. If you try to use it to cut your hair and/or style it, it might work. It will definitely cut it, but that is not its intended purpose. But body groomers are designed to remove hair from the body while still giving you customization (i.e. height, length). In a pinch, you could use a body groomer to cut your hair.

We would recommend that you use a hair trimmer that is designed to cut hair rather than try to make a body groomer work the same. The motors are not the same, the size of the blades are not the same, the oscillating does the same – they are totally different devices meant for totally different purposes. Again, you could use a body groomer to cut your hair but it is not recommended.

Q: Can I use a body groomer on my face?
A: Again, a body groomer is designed to cut hair, which means it could technically cut the hair on your face. However, a traditional razor is one of the best ways to remove all hair from your face. And, if you want a little left behind there are electric trimmers and razors that are designed specifically for your face.

Like we said before (in the last question), it is best to use the proper tools for their respective jobs. A body groomer can be used to manscape your face, but it probably will not do as good of a job as an electric razor and/or a beard/mustache trimmer.

Q: Do body groomers need to be oiled?
A: Somebody groomers do need to be oiled from time to time. If they do, they will generally calm with a vial of lubricating/cleaning oil. However, some use the oils in your hair and/or water to stay lubricated. Body groomers that require oiling tend to be a little harder to clean but last longer than non-oiled groomers.

Q: Do body groomers need to be cleaned?
A: Yes, every type of body groomer needs to be cleaned when you have finished using it. Leaving dirt, debris, stray hairs, and whatever else on the blade and/or guide combs is unsanitary and will degrade the quality of the blade and/or body groomer quickly.

Remember, a dirty body groomer is like working with a three month old traditional razor. It might work, but you are going to have cuts, nicks, skin irritation, and so much more. Since a body groomer goes in places that a traditional razor should not, it is important to make sure that it is clean – after EVERY use.

Q: I have sensitive skin, will a body groomer agitate me?
A: If you suffer from sensitive skin, then a body groomer that is used for a “down to the skin” cut will most likely cause skin irritation. That being said, you can use certain oils and/or creams to help reduce the irritation and/or you can use guide combs that will keep the blade from coming in contact with your skin at all.

Q: What are some mistakes to avoid when using a body groomer?
A: There are several mistakes that you should avoid at all cost when using a body groomer. They are:

1. Overusing Blades
Since blades can be expensive, especially high-quality blades, the temptation to just keep using the same all blade can be hard to overcome. But, once you start noticing that the body groomer is not working as effectively as it used to, then it is time to change the blades out. Using old blades can end up causing cuts and skin irritations, and possibly infections.

2. Do Not Share
This cannot be stressed enough, but do not let someone else use your body groomer. While it seems harmless enough, infections and diseases can be shared through a small nick. While you may think you know your friend and/or family, do not risk it.

3. Stay Away From Your Privates While Wet
While staying wet is the preferred option when cutting your “lower” hairs using a traditional razor, it is a big “no-no” when using a body groomer. Hair that is wet tends to stick together, making it harder to cut and trim. Plus, you really cannot tell what has been cut and what is just hanging on.

Conclusion

Finding the right body groomer should not be hard, especially since we have given you ten body groomers that will make the cut without leaving you crying. We used the guidelines from our buyer’s guide to narrow down our results. Then, we compared all of them to each other, looking to see which ones really stood out. And finally, we made sure to see what others thought about them too (all of these are well-reviewed and well-trusted).

Hopefully, you found one on the list that you love too. But, if you did not, you can use the buyer’s guide for finding the perfect body groomer. It helps narrow down your search by looking at the most important features/factors. If you still have questions, you should check out our frequently asked questions section to see if it was addressed. If not, let us know so we can help you and others.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-07-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Best 360 Camera [2019]

Best 360 Camera [2019]

Best Overall: Insta360 One X
The One X from Insta360 tops our list as the best overall pick. While not 8K, it still packs a punch with 5.7K video quality and 18MP image quality. Plus, they packed in so many extra features like FlowState stabilization, TimeShift, and DriftMode that it’s hard to look anywhere else. And finally, it’s priced right!

Budget Pick: Ricoh Theta SC
While the Ricoh Theta SC doesn’t boast 4K video resolutions, it still produces a quality video. However, it’s best suited for image still and can capture stills at an amazing 14.4MP resolution. If you’re more interested in still captures, this is the absolute best option at a GREAT price.

Best 360 Action Cam: GoPro Fusion
Everything GoPro is like gold … not really, but GoPro has done a great job of creating action cameras. Most of them aren’t 360-degree cameras, but this is their 360 option. While it can’t reach above 30 FPS, it’ll capture most action sequences with crisp clarity and minimized seamlines.

How We Picked

A picture is worth a thousand words, but most pictures are only facing one direction. What if you could take a picture and/or video of everything around you including behind you?

360-degree cameras have greatly increased in popularity over the past few years, almost becoming the norm. And while they’ll never truly replace front-facing cameras, they do have a special niche. Now, they are definitely a niche product, but they can produce amazing panoramic shots and other special effects. In fact, they’re being accepted so much, that professionals such as realtors, automotive manufacturers, and even virtual reality creators have jumped on board.

Image and video platforms (i.e. Facebook and YouTube) have even started embracing 360 videos. So, what’s holding you back from buying one?

There are a TON of 360-degree cameras on the market right now, and trying to figure out which one is worth your money and which one isn’t can be hard. But today, that’s going to change. We’ve put together a list of the ten best 360 cameras that we could find. All of these have high ratings and users have loved them more than they’ve hated them. And to help you understand what we’re looking at, we’ve even included a buyer’s guide below and answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

So, are you ready to see the top ten best 360 cameras for 2019?
The Top 10 Best 360 Cameras For 2019

#1 Insta360 One X

Insta360 One X

Specs:

  • 5.7K Video Resolution
  • 18MP Image Resolution
  • FlowState Image/Video Stabilization
  • Dual Lens System

We’re going to start our list off today with the “Best Overall” pick.

The Insta360 One X has two lenses (one front / one rear) that give you a truly immersive 360-degree experience. Combined, these two lenses record in 5.7K video resolution and can still take 18MP images too. The stitching lines are almost invisible (you REALLY have to look for them).

Insta360 One X invisible selfie stick

The video quality is amazing, with very little blur even in FAST scenes due in part to the 50 FPS record-rate in 5.7K video quality. You can actually get 100 FPS record-rates in 3K video quality which is absurd!

Insta360 One X unboxed

Where the Insta360 One X shines is the added features such as FlowState, TimeShift, and DriftShot. The FlowState stabilization feature keeps everything focused without all the jittering and bounce that you see on other action cameras. Next, the TimeShift feature allows you to use slo-mo recording with standard speed movements to create unique, motion perspectives that are unreal. And finally, the DriftShot feature allows this to be used in motion shots while being thrown and/or dropped without fear of breaking. Where before you had to use a drone, now you can use the One X to do some of the same features (for a LOT less).

Insta360 One X App

What We Like

For starters, the One X is more than just a camera … the DriftShot feature actually takes the camera out of your hand and allows you to capture scenes from any angle (it’s a mini-drone). Next, when paired with the selfie-stick from Insta360, it becomes invisible. The camera lenses are high up on the camera, and the selfie-stick mounts at the very bottom – it’s a great design and makes the selfie-stick literally disappear.

Overall

The Insta360 One X is a full-featured 360-degree camera that packs a PUNCH! The video quality is astounding at 5.7K at 50 FPS while you can still take 18MP still when needed. Where the One X really separates itself is with the 6-axis, FlowState video stabilization that is on par with more expensive cameras with fewer features. For the price, the One X is nearly unmatchable.

Insta360 One X

Insta360 One X

  • FlowState Stabilization
  • TimeShift Video Manipulation
  • DriftShot Video Capture for Unreal Scenes From A Camera

#2 Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 360

Specs:

  • 4K Video Resolution
  • 15MP Image Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System

Next up, we’re going to discuss the Samsung Gear 360. Samsung has been working with VR headsets and 360-video captures for several years now, and they’ve become a force to be reckoned with.

Getting started, the Gear 360 is another hand-held camera that is easy to hold. It’s not very big at all, measuring in at 3.9 inches tall, by 1.8 inches width/height (round). And it only weighs 4.6 ounces (barely more than one-quarter of a pound). The bottom of the camera has a screw-type base for easy mount and/or tripod options.

The Gear 360 is IP53 rated which means it’ll work in the rain, but it should not be submersed EVER. The camera has a sealed battery which is charged by using the supplied USB-C charging cable. The battery tends to last for up to 90 minutes when recording in 4K (if you lower the resolution the battery life will be longer).

Samsung Gear 360 without stand

Video quality is 4K (4096 x 2048) at 24 frames per second (there are no other FPS options in 4K mode). If you want more high-speed, action shots, you’ll need a camera with a higher FPS rate. Because of the 180-degree, dual-lenses, stitching is greatly reduced with almost seamless transitions between images. If you want to make the stitchlines disappear, then you’ll need to use the desktop software from Samsung as it has more resources to work with. And finally, you can live stream (Facebook Live and YouTube) your video when paired with the Gear 360 app from Samsung. One thing we want to point out is that when you use the live stream option, the video quality cuts down from 4096 x 2048 at 24 FPS to 1920 x 960 at 15 FPS.

What We Like

The 4K video resolution, paired with the dual-lens system looks great. Stitching is still visible, but not by much. It’s small and lightweight, making it easy to hold for long periods of time and it’s fairly unobtrusive so it’ll look good in most any decor (when used inside).

Overall

The Samsung Gear 360 is a high-quality, affordable option that works great with Samsung products well. And while the Gear 360 is designed to work with the Samsung app, it can be used on its own too. However, it does lack the FPS rate for action scenes and it’s not waterproof, but for the price, you could get a protective case/cover if needed.

Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 360

  • Small and Lightweight
  • Supports Live Stream Options
  • 15MP Still Image Quality And 4K Video Quality

#3 GoPro Fusion

GoPro Fusion

Specs:

  • 5.2K Video Resolution
  • 18MP Image Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System
  • Gimbal Image Stabilization

GoPro has been around for quite some time, especially in the action-capture circuit. They’ve created a plethora of products that are durable and produce amazing results. So, we’re not surprised that they made the cut.

Starting out, the Fusion is a wider, hand-held camera measuring out at 3.5 inches high, by 3.0 inches wide, and 1.0 inch deep. It weighs in at 8.0 ounces or one-half of a pound. The Fusion has a tabbed base that allows for an ultra-secure mounting platform that’s built for lots of G’s and abuse.

GoPro Fusion outdoors

The Fusion is waterproof up to 5 meters or 16 feet in total. And even though the unit is submersible, the battery can still be removed; and there’s plenty of power from the included Lithium-Ion 2620mAh battery. Under full load, you should expect about 90 minutes on a single charge.

Video quality is 5.2K (5228 x 2624) at 30 frames per second NTSC or 25 frames per second in PAL mode. This can be used in high-speed, action shots, but will still have some fluidity issues with ultra-high speed action modes. The camera uses dual-offset lenses to create the 360-degree experience, but the offset design actually helps with stitchline issues. One thing that we want to point out is that this requires two memory cards (one for each lens). As such, you’ll need to make sure that they are Class 10 or UHS-II/III rated so they can keep up with the data read/write requirements of the Fusion.

GoPro Fusion example shot of kayak in ice cave

One feature that the Fusion has that’s absolutely mind-boggling is the OverCapture feature. OverCapture works by letting you record the video without focusing in on ANY target. Then, when the recording is complete, you can use your phone and/or software to refocus the target as if you were recording it in person. Now, you don’t have to have someone else with you to keep everything in frame and in focus.

For the action shots, the Fusion uses a gimbal-designed image stabilization system that’s similar to the technology found on drones and other high-end cameras. It does a great job of keeping everything in place, no matter how bad the bumps get.

What We Like

The OverCapture feature looks like a gimmick at first glance, but it absolutely makes this worth the money. You don’t have to bring your friends out to keep up with you as you try your latest adventure, and if you fall out of the frame, you can easily adjust the video so that everything is back in frame and in focus.

Overall

The GoPro Fusion is a worthy competitor, especially with the high 5.2K video quality and durable body design. If you have the computer for it, you can definitely create some eye-popping videos that’ll impress everyone. The added OverCapture feature makes this one you can’t skip over, especially if you like seeing everything after the fact.

GoPro Fusion

GoPro Fusion

  • Small and Lightweight
  • OverCapture Video System
  • Dual Lens + Dual Memory Card System

#4 Kodak PixPro SP360 4K

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K

Specs:

  • 4K Video Resolution
  • 235-Degree Field of View System

Kodak has been around since … FOREVER! And they even designed one of the first 360-degree video cameras. And now, they’ve got a 4K option that we’re sure you’ll appreciate.

The SP360 measures out at a paltry 1.9 inches high, by 2.0 inches wide, by 2.1 inches deep; basically, it’s a cube with a half-globe on top. It’s extremely lightweight at only 4.5 ounces and it can be set on any flat surface. It does have the standard tripod screw-mount system located on the bottom of the unit for easy compatibility with most mounts and/or tripods.

The SP360 is not waterproof on its own but requires an additional case to protect it from falls and water. If you choose to use the protective case, you’ll be able to submerge the camera up to 30 meters! Also, the battery is removable and can last around 55 minutes on a single charge.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K On table

Video quality is 4K (3840 x 1920) at 30 frames per second, but its native video resolution is 2880 x 2880 at 30 frames per second. If you need a higher FPS rate, you’ll have to lower the resolution down to 1440 x 1440 (effectively 2K). The image is stretched out to meet the 4K numbers reported above (this does create some odd stitchlines). Part of this can be attributed to the 235-degree single camera lens system. Kodak does offer an option where you can put another SP360 back-to-back to create a true 360-degree camera, but again, you still have some odd artifacts that show up in the stitchlines. Plus, you can live stream your 360 videos using the smartphone control app for both Android and iOS.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K accessories

What We Like

While it doesn’t produce a true 360-degree experience (up/down + left/right), it does a great job of capturing everything surrounding the subject of focus. The 235-degree lens captures a lot of detail for a single-lens system.

Overall

Kodak knows the camera market better than most, and the PixPro 360 4K is a step in the right direction. While they aren’t keeping up with Insta360 and GoPro, they’ve got a great camera that can definitely handle most of your 360-degree needs. If you don’t need the spherical 360-degree camera angles, this is a great choice.

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K

Kodak PixPro SP360 4K

  • 235-Degree Camera Lens
  • WiFi + NFC Connection Options
  • Back-to-Back Mounting System For Dual-Camera / Dual-Lens System

#5 Nikon KeyMission 360

Nikon KeyMission 360

Specs:

  • 4K Video Resolution
  • 30MP Image Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System
  • Electronic Image Stabilization

Here’s another company that’s been around FOREVER. As such, they should know how to create a camera that captures amazing images. And the KeyMission 360 can definitely produce some stunning video captures.

The KeyMission 360 measures out a 2.4 inches high, by 2.4 inches wide, by 2.6 inches deep (it’s a box). It weighs in at 7.0 ounces or a little less than one-half of a pound. However, it is durable, able to withstand a drop of 6 feet using the included protective rubber cover. And, it can even be submerged up to 100 feet without failure. The mounting system is built into the bottom of the camera and uses the standard threaded-base for mounts and/or tripods. The battery is removable and lasts for about 50 minutes on a single charge. Access to the microSD card and the HDMI/USB ports are behind the same door that protects the battery.

Nikon KeyMission 360 on rock

Video quality is 4K (4096 x 2160) at 24 frames per second NTSC and PAL. While this is good, for high-speed action videos, this might struggle to produce a fluid video. Image quality is a staggering 30MP (7744 x 3872). The camera does seem to produce some overexposed (overblown) videos when in heavy-lighting situations. Even so, the image quality is amazing with similar results from other cameras like the GoPro Fusion and Insta360 One X. While the camera does have electronic image stabilization, it’s not near as effective as gimbal and/or multi-axis gyro systems. It’ll reduce some jitters, but constant jitters will show up in the video.

Nikon KeyMission 360 side

The biggest plus for the KeyMission 360 is the fact that everything is pre-stitched before it comes off of the camera. You don’t have to use additional software to create stitched videos. Instead, you can download/upload the video to your desired source and it’s ready to go. As such, the video files are MASSIVE so make sure you have a BIG memory card.

What We Like

If you want a camera that makes 360-degree capture easy, then you’ll love the KeyMission 360. It’s almost a point-and-record solution. With the built-in pre-stitching software, everything is done before you do anything.

Overall

For a beginner, this is a great option. It takes all the overhead and guesswork out and lets you focus more on capturing the moment. When you’re done recording, just save it or upload it where you want it and it’s ready. It’s very durable and waterproof so you can drop it a few times without freaking out and if it starts raining, you’ll be good.

Sale

Nikon KeyMission 360

Nikon KeyMission 360

  • Protected Dual Lenses
  • Waterproof Up To 100 Feet
  • Web-Ready Pre-Stitched Videos

#6 Ricoh Theta SC

Ricoh Theta SC

Specs:

  • 1080p Video Resolution
  • 14.4MP Image Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System

The Theta SC measures out a 5.1 inches in height, 1.8 inches in width, and 1.9 inches in depth; similar in size to a Wii controller. It’s extremely light, weighing in at 3.6 ounces. It comes in four different colors (white, pink, blue, and beige). Ricoh doesn’t claim any type of waterproof rating for the Theta SC so don’t get it wet. Also, it’s not designed for drops and will dent and/or crack if not handled carefully. It uses the standard threaded-base mounting system for tripods, mounts, and/or selfie sticks. The battery and memory are both internal and non-removable.

Ricoh Theta SC without stand

Video quality is 1080p or 1K, so it’s fairly basic. And when stretched out to 1920 x 960, there’s a definite distortion on the edges and stitching. However, more effort was put into the image capturing system as it has a 14.4MP rating.

Ricoh Theta SC on stand

The Theta SC is great for selfie shots and surround photos, but not everyone wants a selfie. For those who want to disconnect a little, you can use the Theta S app which gives you the ability to control the Theta SC remotely. You can see what the camera sees from the smartphone or tablet and even move around the frame before taking the PERFECT picture. One caveat, the internal memory is only 16GB which equates to around 1,000 pictures.

Ricoh Theta SC packaging

What We Like

The photo quality is great for the price. 14.4MP is crazy when you consider how inexpensive this 360-degree camera is. It’s extremely lightweight and it looks great.

Overall

For the budget minded, this is a great option. For videos, this isn’t that great, but for stills it’s awesome! Unfortunately, it only has 16GB of internal memory (not expandable) so it’s not going to take a lot of high-quality videos before running out of space. Again, if you wanted to get a great 360-degree still camera, this is a great option at a budget-friendly price.

Ricoh Theta SC

Ricoh Theta SC

  • Candy Bar Design
  • Multiple Color Options
  • Budget-Friendly Pricing

#7 Ricoh Theta V 4K

Ricoh Theta V 4K

Specs:

  • 4K Video Resolution
  • 14.5MP Image Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System

The last Ricoh was a little basic, but here’s the upgraded version that’ll definitely do more to please the video purists.

The Theta V is almost the same size as the Theta SC measuring in a 5.1 inches high, by 1.8 inches wide, by 0.9 inches. However, it does gain a little weight at 4.3 ounces versus 3.6 ounces for the Theta SC. Again, the Theta V is not waterproof on its own but can become waterproof by using the TW-1 protective case which is sold separately. With the protective case, it can be dropped once or twice without any MAJOR damage (still, don’t drop it). The mounting system is the same as the Theta SC with the threaded-base located at the bottom of the Theta V.

Ricoh Theta V 4K in pocket

Video quality gets a BIG improvement from the Theta SC, going from 1K (1080p) to 4K (3840 x 1920) at 30 frames per second. However, image quality is almost identical moving from 14.4MP to 14.5MP. For videos, the 4K resolution will work to create good, non-production videos. During video recording, there’s no image stabilization system so you’ll need to be still if you want it to look great. Also, it should be noted that the Theta SC stops all video clips after five minutes of use. If you want longer videos, you’ll need to restart another capture or use a different device altogether.

One major caveat is that the Theta V still uses non-removable batteries and memory. And the memory is capped at 19GB which isn’t that much. The battery will last around 80 minutes on a single charge. And recordings in 4K will fill up the memory in about 40 minutes (tops).

What We Like

It’s extremely compact and easy to hold. The upgraded 4K video quality is definitely an improvement from the Theta SC. It records at 30 frames per second, which adds to a nice, fluid video output.

Overall

Price wise, this is not for a beginner, but it’s built more for the beginner and/or novice. Everything is built-in so you don’t have to buy too many extras (just a waterproof case). It’s slim, compact, and lightweight with more than enough features to keep most 360’ers happy.

Sale

Ricoh Theta V 4K

Ricoh Theta V 4K

  • Added 4K Video Quality
  • External Microphone Support
  • WiFi and Bluetooth Connections

#8 Rylo 360 5.8K

Rylo 360 5.8K

Specs:

  • 5.8K Video Resolution
  • 180-Degree Dual Lens System

The Rylo 360 measures in at 2.9 inches high, by 1.7 inches wide, by 1.4 inches deep. It only weighs 3.84 ounces. While it’s not waterproof itself, it does come with a waterproof housing that can be used to give some protection. The selfie-stick wraps around the unit and that’s how you can carry it as it’s extremely small (easy to cover the lens when holding it without the selfie-stick).

Rylo 360 5.8K unboxed

The Rylo 360 is all about video and can record in 5.8K resolution. We’re not sure of the frames per second rating as it isn’t mentioned on the manufacturer’s website. Panoramic photos can be taken at up to 6.0K resolution. And, the Rylo 360 has a built-in image stabilization system (where they put it …?) for clear video and/or pictures. Plus, they include the 16GB storage card so you won’t have to buy anything to get started.

Rylo 360 5.8K on mount

After your video has been recorded, you can use their Dynamic Speed Control to alter the speed up to 16x to create unique, time-lapse videos. And, their app gives you even more editing controls such as contrast, cropping, motion effects, and more so you’ll be able to create a masterpiece after all the recording has stopped.

Rylo 360 5.8K close-up for lense

What We Like

It’s so small! The Rylo 360 packs a serious punch with the ability to take 5.8K videos with image stabilization. Being that it’s so small, you’ll need the image stabilization system too.

Overall

The Rylo 360 5.8K camera is built to be a true spherical 360-degree camera. It comes with everything you’ll need to get started, to edit and manipulate, and even push out to the web. It’s so small, you’ll forget you have it with you if you aren’t careful.

Sale

Rylo 360 5.8K

Rylo 360 5.8K

  • Everyday Essentials Package
  • Included Editing Software
  • Image Stabilization

#9 Vuze 3D 4K VR 360-Degree Camera

Vuze 3D 4K VR 360-Degree Camera

Specs:

  • 4K Video Resolution
  • Multiple Color Options
  • 360-Degree Eight Lens System

Vuze 3D 4K VR 360-Degree Camera on stand

The Vuze measures in at 1.2 inches high, by 4.7 inches wide, by 4.7 inches deep and it weighs 14.4 ounces (almost one pound). It does have some waterproofing and dust protection (not much; it’ll handle raindrops). It can be mounted on a tripod with the standard thread-base located on the bottom of the unit.

Vuze 3D 4K VR 360-Degree Camera smartphone setup

What We Like

8 cameras are COOL! It’s a unique product that will definitely get everyone’s attention. It does a good job of capturing 360 views, but it still leaves some heavy seamlines.

Overall

For someone looking to step up to a production quality camera, this could be a good option. Though it would have been better if the quality was closer to the 5.8K+ range.

#10 YI 360 VR Camera

YI 360 VR Camera

Specs:

  • 5.7K Video Resolution
  • 4K Live Streaming

The YI 360 measures in at 4.0 inches high, by 2.1 inches wide, by 1.2 inches deep and only weighs 6 ounces. It does not come with any waterproof ratings so keep it dry (including the rain).

YI 360 VR Camera close-up

It can be mounted on a tripod using the standard thread-base mounting system located at the bottom of the camera (some other similar cameras don’t offer this).

YI 360 VR Camera next to window

Video quality is great at 5.7K (5760 x 2880) and 4K (3840 x 1920) at 30 frames per second. The 5.7K resolution makes it easy to cut the video down to the preferred 16:9 aspect ratio without sacrificing quality. If you want to live stream, you can use the 4K recording option as this will handle all the stitching in real time.

YI 360 VR Camera display

What We Like

The video quality is great, but the live streaming in true 4K is awesome. There aren’t many cameras that offer 4K live streaming.

Overall

The YI 360 is a great camera that can record up to 5.7K video resolutions. While it can’t handle the stitching on camera above 4K, it’s a great camera that’ll impress. For the price, it’s hard to beat, especially for what you get.

Buyer’s Guide To Find The Best 360 Camera

Not sure where to start?

Here are the most important factors to consider when purchasing a 360 camera.

Image And Video Quality/Resolution

Cameras have long been judged simply on their ability to pack in the megapixels. And while the best “stills” can be taken with an ultra-high resolution, they take up a LOT of space. In most cases, a camera that can take 4K (3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160) is more than enough. For reference, almost all of the 360 cameras we’re looking at are 4K-capable.

But there is a LOT more to image and video quality when it comes to 360 cameras. For instance, the number of lenses that are being used, the dynamic range of the lenses and/or the camera itself, and even the stitching software can affect the final output dramatically.

Features like HDR (High-Dynamic Range) can alter the final output from MEH to WOW! HDR helps to fix errors such as washed out images and/or images that are too dark to be seen. It does this by taking multiple images using different light settings and then overlaying them together (that’s the basic premise; it’s a lot more complicated than that). And that’s just ONE feature. As a matter of fact, we’ll discuss another feature a little further down that really affects the quality of your recording.

While most companies tout 4K as the “be-all and end-all” for image resolution, there are other cameras that are pushing out 8K+ resolutions. If resolution we’re the ONLY thing that matters, this would be all that you would need to consider; but it isn’t. Image resolution is a great start, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that you consider.

Let’s look at some of the other factors you need to consider when purchasing a 360 camera.

Field Of View

The field of view (FOV) is what you see in front of a camera. For still-imaging cameras, this was not an issue as it was focused on ONE point. However, 360 cameras aren’t focused on one point only, but many points at ALL times. That being said, 360 cameras with a wide field of view tend to perform better than those with a lower field of view.

A wider field of view can be manipulated based on a number of factors, but the most important being the number of lenses in use at one time. To give you an example, look at the room your in right now. Focus on a picture on the wall. Now, close one eye but stay focused on the picture. Did you notice that some of the room “disappeared” when you closed one of your eyes? Your field of view was diminished. The same principle works with 360 cameras; the more lenses it has, the greater the field of view.

But why does a wider field of view matter? Well, if you wanted to stitch all the different images together to make one 360 image, a wider field of view would leave fewer stitch lines to work with. For instance, if you had a field of view of 90 degrees, you would need FOUR images to make ONE picture. If the field of view was 180 degrees, you would only need TWO images to make ONE picture. Stitching two images together make it easier to avoid “stitch-line distortion” which can affect your video output.

Video Stabilization

Next, some cameras have video stabilization built into them. Video stabilization helps to reduce the “bounce” that you see in videos. That bounce can literally cause motion sickness to the viewer if it’s bad enough.

Video stabilization can be accomplished both mechanically and through special software (either built-in or through an editor). Mechanical video stabilization is done by suspending the camera lens so that it doesn’t respond to jitter and/or shaking as much as if it were directly attached to the frame of the camera. Software video stabilization uses special algorithms to “reduce” the shake by altering the video itself. Used in conjunction, this can help to make amateur videos like “professional” and help to keep the focus on the subject rather than the poor video quality.

As most 360 cameras are used in motion capture situations, video stabilization is absolutely necessary. If a camera doesn’t have some form of video stabilization in it, then you need to look elsewhere. Simply put, this is almost more important than image quality and/or resolution.

Stitching

So, we’ve already touched on stitching briefly, but what exactly is stitching and why does it matter?

Image stitching is where multiple photos are taken and then “stitched” or merged together where the images are “the same”. Going back to the field of view, the wider the field of view, the less the need for stitching. In the early days of 360 cameras, it wasn’t uncommon to see nine or more images to create one image. The equipment costs were astronomical and the quality was lackluster.

Now, we have better cameras with wider FOVs that makes stitching a whole lot simpler. Not to mention, the software we use is more intuitive and has better algorithms to reduce distortion and/or skewing.

Some cameras actually handle the stitching themselves (internally) while others allow you to manage the stitching using specialized software. Is one better than the other? Software tends to have more resources to work with so handling it onboard isn’t always the best. But, with the advancements we’ve made over the years, even a video that has been stitched together on the camera itself will still look great; the biggest difference would be production quality versus viewing quality.

If you’re doing this for a professional situation (i.e. real estate, production video), then use software to handle the stitching.

Cost

And finally, we can’t leave out the cost aspect. We won’t stay here long, but you need to figure out your budget upfront. Some cameras can be bought for less than $100 and some cameras can be bought for a LOT more than $1000.

Depending on your needs and/or application of the camera, you can adjust your budget accordingly. One thing we really want to point out is … be willing to adjust up if necessary to get ALL of the features that you need and want. Purchasing a 360 camera is most likely going to be a one-time purchase. Therefore, don’t skimp on the quality and/or features only to be upset with the final product.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is 4K resolution?
A: 4K resolution generally represents either 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall (4K UHD) or 4096 pixels by 2160 pixels tall (DCI 4K). Both are considered 4K resolutions as they are “close” to the 4000 pixels wide mark.

Q: What is 5.7K resolution?
A: 5.7K resolution generally represents 5760 pixels wide by 2880 pixels tall. Again, the resolution number refers to the width of the image more than the height of the image.

Q: What is 8K resolution?
A: 8K resolution generally represents 7680 pixels wide by 4320 pixels tall.

Q: With 8K resolution being the best, why aren’t all cameras equipped to record in 8K?
A: Cost! The best equipment ALWAYS costs the most. Right now, 8K is the “gold standard” when it comes to image and/or video capture. But, it also requires higher quality lenses and components. As such, it will cost more until a newer, better technology replaces it.

Even so, most 4K images and/or videos will be more than sufficient for your needs. If you can afford a higher resolution such as a 5.7K or even an 8K device, then get it.

Q: What is FPS?
A: FPS stands for frames per second. A higher FPS (framerate) helps to reduce the time between the video images. Most television broadcasts have an FPS of 24. However, some broadcasts are sent out using a higher FPS which helps the video look more natural and flowing. Some cameras are capable of recording at 100+ FPS.

A higher FPS is more likely to be used for slow-motion capture as it can be slowed down without degrading the video quality. In this case, a 100 FPS video could be slowed down up to four times without causing any lagging or glitching issues.

Q: What is an “invisible selfie-stick”?
A: No, it’s not actually invisible. Instead, it’s a selfie-stick that is small enough to fit between the lenses of your 360 camera. In some instances, this is VERY small, which means you’ll need a super-strong, but thin selfie stick. Otherwise, the stick will show up in the video which takes away from the 360 effect somewhat.

Q: Why are some of my videos “laggy”?
A: This could be for a number of reasons, but most of the time it is because your computer does not have the resources necessary to handle the size of the images and/or videos. Another issue could be the quality of your memory card. If your memory card is not designed for high-transfer speeds, it could be the actual bottleneck.

Most of the time, lagging issues are from a bottleneck that is created from a lack of resources and/or an inability to match the speed required for the transfer (i.e. USB 1.0, USB 2.0, Older Memory Cards).

Q: How much video can be recorded on a 360 camera?
A: This depends on your record quality, your framerate, and the amount of memory that you have to work with. In order to maximize your record time, you would need to adjust the recording quality to the lowest acceptable setting, the framerate to the lowest acceptable setting, and buy the biggest (fastest) memory card that you can find for your device.

  • Note: The lowest acceptable rate is where you are still happy with the output of the image and/or video.
  • Q: Couldn’t I just use a normal camera with the right software to make 360 videos?
    A: You could … But, it requires a lot more work, effort, time, and specialized software. Not to mention, you have to have everything “near perfect” for it to work. A 360 camera is built to record everything properly so that there aren’t any issues with stitching so that the imaging looks crisp and fluid.

    Conclusion

    There are PLENTY of 360 cameras on the market, but not all of them are worth your time and/or money. Today, we’ve given you ten cameras that we feel are the best based on price, image and/or video quality, durability, ease of use, and other minor factors. Hopefully, we helped you find the perfect 360 camera. If not, you can use the buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your search time.

    360 cameras can be used for SO MANY different purposes. What used to be a gimmick is now a worthwhile feature. Realtors use it for 3D and full-home video walkthroughs. Automotive manufacturers use it for in-car viewing to help sell their cars. Virtual reality companies use it to help immerse the viewer deeper into the scenes. And home users can use it to show off their vacation on a completely different level. There’s no end to what a 360 camera can be used for.

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STEM kits that don’t look like STEM kits

STEM kits that don’t look like STEM kits

LittleBits Base Inventor Kit (8+)

Amazon

$60

This might be one of the best introductions to electronics for budding inventors, with plenty of options to “think outside the box” — though the “box” itself is pretty cool too. Kids can build and customize a voice-activated robotic arm and innovate from there or just invent whatever they’d like. In addition to the robotic arm, the kit comes with a power supply, slide dimmer, sound trigger, proximity sensor, LED, buzzer and other goodies for hours of play and learning. The littleBits app has some good ideas, too, if your kids need some suggestions.

Don’t let the recommended age of 8+ limit you: You can guide much younger kids with this one. I play with my five-year-old, and older kids get just as much joy out of it as their younger counterparts.

Kiwi Crate (All ages)

Kiwi Co.

$16.95/mth

Every month, my kids leap for joy when they see that the green box has arrived. Kiwi Crate excites them — they can’t wait to bust it open and get to work.

There are a bevy of STEM subscription-box options out there. Here’s what’s great about Kiwi Crate: It offers a line of accessible and exciting STEM and STEAM (that’s STEM with “a” for “art”) projects for infants through high school students. It’s won a bunch of awards too.

My kids currently share the Kiwi Crate, designed for ages five through eight, and they work on it together without my help. Every month, they receive a themed box of three STEM activities that require them to follow directions, build a project and use it. Kiwi Crates also come with a supplementary magazine, which they enjoy. Their favorite so far? Kiwi Crate’s rocket launcher. They’ve already worked out the perfect launch angle best suited to hitting me with projectiles while I make dinner.

If you’re not ready to commit to a subscription service, you can test out its products by buying one kit at a time too. It also offers chemistry sets, electronics projects and other options for onetime purchase.

Wonder Dash and Wonder Dot (6+)

Amazon (Dot Creativity)

$80

Amazon (Dash Workshop)

$150

Both of these coding robots from Wonder Workshop deserve a place on this list, despite the fact that they’re screen dependent. They’re that awesome.

My seven-year-old son came home from school the other day and said, “I can’t wait to write a story about Dash and Dot. I want to make them sing!”

“Who are Dash and Dot?” I asked.

“Robots!” he shouted. “I play with robots at school!”

“Awesome,” I said and immediately emailed the tech coordinator, who confirmed that yes, indeed, Dash and Dot are making a splash across the K-8 spectrum.

In addition to being a playful introduction to coding and robotics, Wonder Workshop’s two robots offer myriad possibilities for storytelling and creative play. While they require tablets, mobile devices or laptops for coding, the opportunities for collaboration outweigh their reliance on screens. My son loves making Dot and Dash carry objects, draw and even play the xylophone! They’re also Lego compatible, which makes them even more spectacular.

Lego Education WeDo 2.0 Core (6+)

Amazon

$198

Speaking of Lego, its WeDo 2.0 Core kit takes a discovery-based approach to design, building and coding, and it’s perfect for little kids through the end of middle school. While older kids may prefer something from Lego’s Mindstorms line, the WeDo 2.0’s ample possibilities for building outside “the box” make it a good investment for all ages. The set comes with 280 building elements including a SmartHub and motor. As Lego does brilliantly, there are opportunities both to re-create pre-made projects using its app and to free build, which I heartily encourage. Whatever kids build, there’s always the chance to code some part of the project using an app similar to ScratchJr, MIT’s lauded coding program for kids ages five through eight.

Lego Education’s lesson-plan page is super helpful for parents, too, as you can filter ideas by kit and approximate age and grade.

My kids have enjoyed re-creating some of the 50+ projects that Lego recommends and then tweaking them. I love hearing my favorite kid-scientist question: “What happens if I do this?”

Makedo Toolkit (6+)

Amazon

$13

There’s just something about a cardboard box.

The most innovative of this lineup, the Makedo toolkit is also the lowest tech and least expensive. It allows kids to amp up their cardboard-box play by designing, creating and building worlds from the recycling pile.
Its starter kit includes one “scru-driver,” 28 “scrus” in two sizes and a safe-saw. Makedo offers some project suggestions and an iPad app, but you don’t need any of it. All you need is a splash of imagination and a kid with the desire to transform cardboard into a space pod or an ice cream truck or a playground or a windball or a…

Tech Will Save Us Synth Kit (12+)

Amazon

$16

Have a kid into music, electronics and building? Check out one of the coolest electronics kits ever: the Tech Will Save Us Synth Kit! Tech Will Save Us offers great STEM kits for kids ages four and up. Its goal? To “empower kids through open-ended play.” I’m all about it. I love its kits, and its age ranges are spot on.
With a focus on coding and electronics, Tech Will Save Us’ Synth Kit, designed for kids ages 12 and older, offers middle schoolers the chance to build a synth that actually works. While kids can use a tablet to follow the directions, they don’t need to interact with screens at all. The kit comes with enough pieces to build three synths — a Dub Siren, Stutter and Atari. Three potentiometers control volume, pitch and frequency, and kids can create the most wonderful of noises… I mean music. Rock on.

Elenco Snap Circuits Basic Electricity Kit (8+)

Amazon

$18

This has been a hit in my house since my son got it for his third birthday. My daughter, now five, plays with it regularly by starting with her favorite circuit — the loop — and then tweaking it by messing with lamps and meters.

The kit comes with nine projects, a snap-on base and the opportunity to expand from there. Elenco’s Snap Circuits Basic Electricity Kit is simpler than some of the other kits and toys on this list, but it offers an accessible, easy introduction to the concept of circuits and electricity. Plus there’s plenty of room to grow, no screens required. It’s worth taking a look at its DIY and maker kits and electronic instruments for older kids too!

Thames and Kosmos CHEM C3000 (12+)

Amazon

$200

This list is incomplete without a good old-fashioned chemistry set, the kind you can use to blow things up in the bathtub. With more than 300 experiments, this fun approach to high school chemistry includes an alcohol burner, multiple test tubes and liquids, and powders of varying colors, textures and viscosity. What’s not to love? Kids get a chance to play with molecules and atoms, the stuff of life. No screens required, although Thames and Kosmos offers apps for its equally impressive robotics kits.

We’re not quite here with this in my house yet, but as it is with most things, I suspect it’s only a matter of time.


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Best Outdoor TV Antenna [2019]

Best Outdoor TV Antenna [2019]

How We Picked

Have you been looking into cord-cutting options recently?

Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Cutting the cord can save you tons of money on your bills (though that much should also be obvious).

Most cord-cutters look into two options:

  1. Video streaming boxes (i.e. Roku)
  2. Outdoor TV Antennas

Today, we’re going to talk about outdoor TV antennas.

An outdoor TV antenna can receive free channels that are broadcasted over the airwaves (OTA). And these aren’t just your local PBS channels. These are your local broadcast stations, news channels, and entertainment channels. While the OTA channels won’t include paid programming and/or pay-per-view, it’s a great way to enjoy your TV without spending a fortune.

Below is a list of our favorite outdoor TV antennas. We’ll explain some of the technical mumbo-jumbo and then we’ll explain why we like them (and why others do and/or don’t).

So, are you ready to see which outdoor antennas made the list?

#1 Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608

Specs:

  • Range: 120 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF/FM
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

If you want to maximize your chances of picking up ALL the channels available via OTA, then the TNB-WA2608 should be on the top of your list. It has an amazing range, covers a huge frequency spectrum, looks good, and even comes with a few accessories to make life more convenient.

It used to be that you wanted to see Magnavox or RCA when you were looking for an antenna, but those days are gone! Now, there are some “new kids on the block” that are looking to change everything – for the better. While Tree New Bee sounds like a funny name, there’s nothing funny about the TNB-WA2608 – it’s all business.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 installed on roof

First thing’s first, the TNB-WA2608 is built for distance. Under the right circumstances, it can pick up a signal from over 120 miles away. It is amplified to help with any noise in your setup and/or connections.

It is a directional antenna, so it has the common and almost bland look that almost all directional antennas have. Still, it does look pretty cool (the x-crosses give it a nice touch).

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 and accessories

When you buy the TNB-WA2608, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Amplifier
  • Rotor Control Box
  • IR Remote Control
  • Power Supply
  • 40ft of Coaxial Cable

It does not come with any mounting hardware, so you’ll need to purchase a mounting kit separately.

What we like about the TNB-WA2608 is that it’s not a big as some of the other 120-mile outdoor antennas we’ve seen, but it performs as good, if not better. Plus, it comes with a lot of “extras” that make having an outdoor antenna enjoyable. The included rotor control box with remote control makes it easier to adjust the direction of the antenna without having to go outside in bad weather or after it’s dark.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2608 mounted

When looking through what others think about the TNB-WA2608, the consensus is the same. This is one of the best outdoor antennas you can find that isn’t MASSIVE. In fact, some users have even installed theirs in the attic and it still outperformed others that were installed outside.

One negative that we can vouch for is the remote control and controlling the direction of the antenna. It seems that you can’t choose which direction you want to turn. Instead, the antenna will turn one direction until it hit the 0-degree mark, then it will reverse course until it hits the 0-degree mark again. It seems that Tree New Bee anticipated this because the unit does spin rather quickly.

Overall, if you want a GREAT long-distance antenna with some extra perks included, then the TNB-WA2608 from Tree New Bee should be on the top of your list (and your home).

#2 Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805

Specs:

  • Range: 150 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF/FM
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Almost everyone knows what it’s like to have a BIGGER brother who just seems to be stronger, faster, better looking, etc. Well our first pick- the TNB-WA2608- has a bigger brother who seems to always show and he’s stronger, better looking, and has even more range.

As you can see, Tree New Bee isn’t playing when it comes to their outdoor antenna lineup. And for the money, there isn’t much left to talk about – but we will.

The TNB-WA2805 adds to what it’s little brother could do by another 30 miles, bumping total distance to a WHOPPING 150 miles in the right conditions. As with the TNB-WA2608, it is amplified to help reduce noise and signal degradation. But, the TNB-WA2805 also adds in a filtering technology called Pure Vertex Technology that helps to reduce signal interference from cell phones, microwaves, other electronic devices, and even AM/FM transmissions.

In the styling department, the bigger brother looks more refined with fewer extras like the x-cross bracing of the TNB-WA2608. But, it still looks pretty gnarly nonetheless. If we were picking based on looks, the little brother would win.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805 and accessories

When you buy the TNB-WA2805, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Amplifier
  • Rotor Control Box
  • IR Remote Control
  • Power Supply
  • 40ft of Coaxial Cable

Again, there isn’t any mounting hardware included so you’ll need to buy that separately.

The TNB-WA6805 is a little bit bigger than the TNB-WA6208, but not by much (a few inches maybe). Installed outside, with a clear line of sight, it can reach up to 150 miles away. When compared to other larger, directional antennas – well, there’s no comparison. We love the fact that Tree New Bee throws in so many extras such as the remote-controlled rotor box, amplifier, and coaxial cable.

Tree New Bee TNB-WA2805 outdoor

What we don’t like is the fact that no mounting hardware was included. This was the same problem that the TNB-WA2608 had as well. Hopefully, they’ll fix this at some point in the future. The only other negative we had was the fact the remote still only turns the rotor until it hits the 0-degree mark. Surely this could be fixed for a few more dollars …

Even so, the TNB-WA2805 proves that the BIG brother is always better! If you live in a REMOTE place where life doesn’t exist, this is the antenna you’ll need.

#3 1ByOne High Performance

1ByOne High Performance

Specs:

  • Range: 85 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K, 3D

1ByOne is fairly new, but obviously they knew something that we didn’t. Their high-performance outdoor antenna is pretty strong! Plus it’s ready for some super-high resolutions with support for 4K and 3D signals. It’s got a small footprint and it’s not very obtrusive, which is just a few of the reasons why it’s on our list.

1ByOne High Performance mounted outdoors

The 1ByOne High Performance antenna is strong. While it doesn’t break the 100-mile range, it does comfortably stay in the 85-mile range which is great considering its size. It is amplified to help with signal quality and noise reduction (up to 23db on VHF and up to 28db on UHF).

Stylewise, the antenna is pretty muted. It’s another directional antenna so it still looks like a toy from Star Wars, but it’s not nearly as gnarly as the ones from Tree New Bee. For the most part, it is black with just a little bit of chrome and/or gray coloring on the ribs and fins.

When you buy the 1ByOne High Performance Antenna, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Supply
  • 1.5m Coaxial Cable
  • Mounting Kit
  • 21-Inch J-Shaped Pole
  • Mounting Base
  • Mounting Hardware
  • User Manual

While this antenna does come with mounting hardware, it does not appear to come with a rotor box to help turn the antenna. If you can’t get all the channels you want, you may need to purchase an additional rotor box that can be controlled via remote to access all the available OTA channels around you.

1ByOne High Performance mounted on wall

What we like about the antenna is the fact that it is not very big at all. It is a good bit smaller than the Tree New Bee antennas, but it still performs well. We also like the fact that mounting hardware is included with the antenna so you don’t have to buy other equipment just to get it “up and running”.

1ByOne High Performance mounted indoors

What we didn’t like about the antenna was the fact that it did not come with a rotor to help turn the antenna. Since this is a directional antenna, it will pick up channels it is facing better than the ones it’s not facing. Therefore, you may have to turn your antenna from time to time. An option to add a rotor would have been nice. Also, you aren’t going to enjoy this much if you try to hide it in your attic. While it will still work, the number of available channels will drop.

If you are looking for a good, reliable outdoor antenna that blends in with its surrounding, then the 1ByOne High Performance antenna is a great option. It’s a very cost effective antenna that comes with a few features such as 3D and 4K support.

#4 1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept

Specs:

  • Range: 80 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

And here’s another outdoor antenna from 1ByOne, but this one is a little different. If you’ve got drinking buddies, you may want to keep them away from this at night (don’t say we didn’t warn you). This omnidirectional antenna has some serious range for such a small antenna and it looks great. All that could make it better would be a great price – oh wait!

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept packaging

Omnidirectional antennas are good, but their range generally suffers. However, the new omnidirectional antenna from 1ByOne is trying to prove all the “haters” wrong with their New Concept antenna.

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept mounted

The 1ByOne New Concept antenna can reach out a staggering 80 miles, which is only 5 miles less than the previous directional antenna we just talked about from them. It does get a little help from a stronger amplifier (32db vs 28db).

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept mounted

Stylewise, it looks like a UFO floating next to your house. Earlier we alluded to keeping your drinking buddies away, this is why. While it probably won’t be mistaken for a UFO, it’s ready to reach out and touch someone – in this case, OTA channels. It’s white, with a rubberized anti-UV covering to protect it from the elements and should look great for years to come.

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept accessories

When you buy the 1ByOne New Concept antenna, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Supply
  • USB Power Cable
  • Optional Power Adapter
  • Mounting Kit
  • 20ft of Coaxial Cable
  • Instruction Manual

This comes with everything you need to get up and running. You won’t need a rotor because this has a 360-degree sight radius.

What we like about the 1ByOne New Concept antenna is the fact that it comes pre-assembled, minus the hardware. It’s literally just a matter of minutes from opening your package to be connected and ready to go. Something else we really like about the antenna is that you can install it in the attic and you only lose about 25% efficiency (performance drops down to around 60 miles).

1ByOne Outdoor TV Antenna – New Concept setup

Some users reported that the antenna mounting kit is not built for high winds as it flexes some. If this is an issue where you are, you might want to invest in some longer bolts and install it directly to a mounting stud.

For someone looking to get away from the raygun-styled antennas, this is a great option. For an omnidirectional antenna, the range is phenomenal. Not to mention, you can tuck it away in the attic and still do pretty good for signal reception.

#5 Channel Master CM-4228HD

Channel Master CM-4228HD

Specs:

  • Range: 80 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Well, with a name like Channel Master, you’d expect them to pick up some channels, right? And with a name like EXTREMEtenna 80, you’d expect it to be extreme, right? Well, it can pick up channels and it’s EXTREME, extremely big. But it’s another outdoor antenna that will work great for you.

So, we’ve finally got to one of the BIG boys! The EXTREMEtenna 80 is big, but it works amazing. While the manufacturer only claims a range of 80 miles, we believe they are being “humble” (so rare these days). What they meant to say was 80 miles of range with flawless reception. It does get a little help, with just 12db of amplification. Unfortunately, it’s still a directional antenna with 180-degrees of signal reception so you may need to use a rotor (we hope not) to turn this beast.

Channel Master CM-4228HD front

Stylewise, this looks like a giant bug zapper on steroids! But, it definitely looks like an antenna and that’s the point. Since it’s BIG, it does attract attention. How big … it’s almost four feet tall and three feet wide.

Channel Master CM-4228HD mounting

When you buy the EXTREMEtenna 80, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Hardware Kit
  • Instruction Manual

This will not come with a mount … and you’re going to need a mount, a STRONG mount at this weight; a whopping 10lbs!

What we like about the EXTREMEtenna 80 is the ability to pick up flawless signals from the longest of distances. Like we said, we think they underreported their maximum distance to be “safe”. The image quality is amazing and if it sees a signal, it picks it up clean (HD-clean).

Channel Master CM-4228HD mounted

What we don’t like, and what other users reported too, is that the EXTREMEtenna 80 is heavy – it weighs 10 pounds! You will need a strong mount, on a strong support wall or pole. With this much weight, enough wind can create some problems. The other issue we wanted to address is that it does not come with mounting hardware or a rotor. While it does have a 180-degree signal radius, you may still have to turn this and without a rotor, that’s going to be hard.

But, the EXTREMEtenna 80 by Channel Master is very reminiscent of the old antennas that worked for years. If you believe that bigger is better, this is the perfect antenna for you.

#6 Antennas Direct DB8e

Antennas Direct DB8e

Specs:

  • Range: 70 Miles
  • Type: MultiDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K

So, you thought we couldn’t find a bigger antenna? Well, you thought wrong … The DB8e is big, equipped with multi-point axis rotation so you can adjust your antennas for better signal pickup. And it doesn’t look like a giant bug zapper, but you will look like you’re trying to establish contact with another planet.

Antennas Direct DB8e rotated

So, let’s be direct … the DB8e from Antennas Direct is what the “old guys” would have foamed at the mouth from. It’s big, it’s got a lot of metal, it has a lot of reception elements, and it has that space-age look that reminds us of the ‘80s and ‘90s. But it has some new equipment that they never would have had, so it’s a big deal.

The DB8e claims a paltry distance of 70 miles of crystal-clear reception, which is hard to believe based on what we’ve seen. This is another one of those cases where they underclaim in order to overdeliver. And the DB8e overdelivers! It does have a 17.4db amplifier to help clean up some of the weaker signals and reduce overall noise. And while it’s multi-directional, it’s still directional which means you’ll need a rotor to help point it if you can’t capture the signal in the direction your facing.

Antennas Direct DB8e mounted outdoors

Stylewise, this is another form of the bug zapper mentioned above. But it’s not identical. Instead, this one looks more like the antennas you see on the naval ships in the Gulf of Mexico. It has four separate antenna boards, attached to a pivoting axis to give you a wider reception spread. It is mostly gray, with highlights of black and red. And it’s absolutely massive – it’s 4ft wide by 3ft tall!

When you buy the DB8e, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • 2 28-Inch Coaxial Cables

And that’s it! You will need mounting hardware and/or a rotor to help turn this beast. And the mounting hardware better be strong as this weighs over 12 pounds.

Antennas Direct DB8e mounted indoors

What we like about the DB8e is the picture is absolutely crystal-clear. Just like the EXTREMEtenna 80 above, it doesn’t seem to have a distance issue. It also reminds us of the old-school styled antennas that we have learned to love.

What we didn’t like about the DB8e is that it’s HEAVY. At 12+ pounds, mounting it can be difficult (you’ll need a buddy to help). Plus, it has a lot of surface area for the winds and other factors (i.e. birds) to affect its positioning. If you do need to turn it, you’re going to want a rotor to help as it’s very heavy.

Again, if you want a BIG antenna that will do the job well, this is an antenna you should buy. Antennas Direct has built a quality antenna that gets to the point – directly!

#7 RCA ANT751E

RCA ANT751E Mounted indoors

Specs:

  • Range: 70 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Just when you thought we had forgotten about the raygun-styled antennas…

Remember when we were talking about Magnavox and RCA? Well, here’s one from the originators and signal reception and quality. The ANT751E is a compacted antenna that can work inside and/or outside, though you’ll want to use it outside for the best performance.

The ANT751E is built to pick up channels as far away as 70 miles. It does not have an amplifier of any type to help with the signal, so a preamp may be required, if your signal is not perfect. It is directional, so if it’s locked on, it’s locked on! You will need a rotor to help you lock in on signals not in the sight-line.

RCA ANT751E mounted indoors

Stylewise, it’s not that pretty (but it’s functional). Since it is compact, it’s not nearly as much of an eyesore as some of the other directional antennas on our list. It is basic, with exposed metal on the whole antenna. If looks matter too much, you can hide it away in the attic, but your signal reception will suffer badly.

When you buy the ANT751E, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Mast
  • Locking Clamp
  • Instruction Manual

You will still need coaxial cable and a rotor to control it during bad weather and/or just to make it easier to adjust.

What we like about the ANT751E is the fact that it works so well. While it only claims a 70-mile signal range, it’s a little more powerful than that. Again, RCA doesn’t like to overclaim so this is expected. The signal quality is nearly flawless and the HD is truly HD. It is compact, and isn’t that obtrusive, which is good as it doesn’t draw too much attention to itself.

RCA ANT751E

What we didn’t like about it was the fact that once it hits the signal range limit, it’s done. There is no maybe it’ll pick it up – it doesn’t. There were some channels that this one couldn’t reach that others would at least “draw in”. Also, we wish they would have included some coaxial cable so it would be ready to go out of the box.

Ultimately, RCA has always been a trustworthy brand, and the ANT751E is a great option if you need something basic, small, and cost friendly.

#8 GE 33692

GE 33692

Specs:

  • Range: 60 Miles
  • Type: Directional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 4K

GE is another of those reputable companies that have proven themselves in the antenna market. The GE 33692 is another great example of that commitment to quality and design. Its multi-element design paired with a directional antenna works great in such a small package.

GE 33692 side

The GE 33692 is strong enough to pick up channels over 60 miles away. GE also didn’t include an amplifier with it, but they rated it for use both indoors and outdoors so the 60 miles is a GOOD rating. It is directional so it will work best when it’s pointed towards the broadcasting station you want to see.

Stylewise, it’s not ugly at all. Honestly, we were a little surprised as it uses a rounded-type look for the main elements along with a directional raygun-styled pointer. They did a great job of using black and gray elements to really give it a contemporary look. It’s not something you’ll want to hide away, but you could if you needed to.

When you buy the GE 33692, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Instruction Manual

Again, GE leaves out extra coaxial cables and a rotor to help with pointing your antenna.

GE 33692 install

What we like about the GE 33692 is the fact that it is small, looks good, and actually performs well both inside and outside. The 60-mile radius seems correct, even inside of the attic.

GE 33692 mounted

What we didn’t like about it is the fact that the directional antenna works great as long as it is pointing right at the broadcasting station (other users felt the same way). It seems that they worked on getting a lot of distance out of a small package by reducing the spread radius.

As long as you know right where you want to pull signal from, this is an excellent option. If you aren’t turning it too much, you’ll love it. If you’re turning it a lot, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Sale

GE 33692

GE 33692

  • Compact
  • Looks Great
  • Locks Onto Signal Well

#9 Mohu Sky MH-110585

Mohu Sky MH-110585

Specs:

  • Range: 60 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

Mohu has changed the look of outdoor antennas completely, using naval technologies to help increase their effective range. What they produced with a cool looking, super-small, powerhouse.

The MH-110585 is able to pick up channels from over 60 miles away, using unique technologies from naval studies and the Mohu research team, paired with a 15db amplifier. In fact, there are times where everything lines up and it can reach past 60 miles pretty well. Since it is omnidirectional, it doesn’t have to be turned which makes the 60-mile radius that much more impressive.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 mounted outdoors

Stylewise, it looks like two boomerangs glued together in the middle (forms a rounded “x”). It looks cool, and it’s definitely something you would want to show off to your friends. It is coated in a cool grayish color that looks modern and contemporary at the same time.

When you buy the MH-110585, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Mounting Hardware
  • 30ft High Performance Cable
  • Power Supply
  • Instruction Manual

It’s an absolute all-in-one package and we love that!

Since we’re talking about what we like, we love that it comes with everything you need to be “up and running” in just a few minutes. Plus, the omnidirectional antenna works better than we expected, even with the “naval” technology. As far as image quality, it’s true HD even on some of the further channels.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 mounted indoors

What we didn’t like about it is that it feels cheap. It’s very light and feels like the elements are covered in plastic. If it were to be hit by flying debris or an animal, it might end up damaged.

Mohu Sky MH-110585 packaging

Even so, this is a great antenna that looks pretty cool. All of your friends will definitely want to talk about your new antenna, which is crazy when you think about it.

 

#10 Antop UFO

Antop UFO packaging

Specs:

  • Range: 65 Miles
  • Type: OmniDirectional
  • Frequency: UHF/VHF
  • Video: 720p, 1080i, 1080p

And finishing out our list is a UFO … literally! Antop absolutely decided to be direct about it, this looks like a UFO. But it works well, for your home and/or RV.

The Antop UFO is able to pick up channels at over 65 miles away, while still being an omnidirectional antenna. It uses an amplifier paired with a smartpass filter to help reduce signal noise and block out interference from 3G/4G devices. Stylewise, it looks like a UFO from the movies. No, it doesn’t have LEDs glowing all around, though that would look cool, but it’s white, round, and floats in the sky.

Antop UFO

When you buy the Antop UFO, you will get:

  • Antenna
  • Power Adapter
  • Mounting Hardware
  • Instruction Manual

You will still need some coaxial cable to finish out the package, but that’s nothing.

What we like about the Antop UFO besides the fact that it looks like a UFO is that it can be set up in less than five minutes. Everything comes pre-assembled and ready to go, except for the mounting aspect. The signal quality is great and it picks up channels in any direction as it should.

Antop UFO mounting

What we didn’t like was that they couldn’t include the coaxial cable (for real). As it is omnidirectional, it does suffer from high trees and/or building. If it doesn’t have a clear line of sight, it does struggle a little bit.

The Antop UFO is a great omnidirectional antenna that will work for most homes, but best for homes just outside of the city. It’s a great antenna to put on your RV and travel, but it’s not going to pick up a lot of channels from the far-away broadcasting towers.

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Outdoor TV Antenna

There are a lot of options to look through, and picking the BEST one for you can be difficult, but using this buyer’s guide, you should be able to narrow down your options quickly. Of course, we believe one of the ten options above are great and will work for you, but if not, here’s what you need to look for in your next outdoor TV antenna.

Size

When it comes to antennas, size really does matter. Understandably, the larger the antenna, the more “unsightly” it is as it’s a little hard to miss. But, if you really want to pick up the far away channels, or lock in on the weaker signals, you’ll need the biggest antenna you can find (in most cases).

While it may look like you’re trying to conjure aliens from another planet, the larger the footprint, the better the performance (generally).

Style

Remember those old rabbit-eared antennas that your mom and dad used to have on top of that old TV – who are we kidding, you’re not that old!

Getting past that, these look nothing like the old antennas that your parents and/or grandparents used. Instead, most of these either look like a UFO or like a raygun designed to shoot the UFOs out of the sky.

The best antennas tend to look like a raygun (these are directional). They tend to focus their reception/signal in one direction with a small spread radius. The next type tends to look like UFOs but are omnidirectional – they receive signal in a full 360-degree spread.

If you are worried about looks, the UFO-styled antennas tend to look less obtrusive, but not nearly as gnarly as the directional antennas.

Omnidirectional Or Directional?

Getting beyond looks, let’s talk about where you’re pointing.

As we briefly discussed, a directional antenna points in one specific direction (i.e. North). In doing so, they increase their ability to receive signal significantly. Omnidirectional antennas, on the other hand, get their signal from all sides, but they sacrifice the ability to receive from far distances.

If you live in the city, an omnidirectional antenna makes the most sense as you’re surrounded by a lot of broadcasting signals. But if you live in the country and/or a remote area, you’ll most likely want to get a directional antenna.

On a side note, a directional antenna can be converted in a semi-omnidirectional antenna using a rotator which can be remotely controlled and used to turn your directional antenna wherever you want on command. So you can “get the best of both worlds” with a directional antenna and a remote-controlled rotator.

Gain

This determines how “strong” the antenna is, but really it helps to identify how sensitive the antenna is.

The higher the gain (dBi) rating, the more likely you can pick up those far away signals and/or weaker signals that your neighbors can’t seem to lock in on. This is not a “boost” that makes it easier to go further out, but it can detect weaker signals that are broadcasting from a longer distance. This should not be confused with amplifier gain which is used to mitigate noise from your connections, splitters, cable length, and other electronics.

Outdoor TV Antenna on house

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I Install An Outdoor Antenna In The Attic?
A: You can, but installing an outdoor antenna in your attic will reduce the effective range quite dramatically. In order to compensate for the signal degradation, you should find an outdoor antenna that is designed to work at longer distances and/or looking into purchasing a pre-amplifier to help improve the signal reception.

One big downside to installing an antenna in the attic is the limited space. If you have a LARGE antenna, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to use a rotator with it to pick up other channels easily.

Q: Can I Use One Antenna For Multiple TVs?
A: Yes, you can use one antenna to provide signal to multiple TVs. To do this, you’ll need to use a splitter. But, depending on how many TVs you are sending signal to, you may want to use a powered splitter to maintain a high-quality signal.

Q: My TV Is Old, Will It Work With An Outdoor Antenna?
A: Well, that depends. Most TVs have an ASTC digital tuner built into them and can work without any extra parts to make them work. In the past, an ASTC digital tuner was not necessary because OTA signals were analog only. Now, OTA signals are digital only.

If you try to use your outdoor antenna and it does not work, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to purchase an OTA digital converter box. Older, tube-style TVs don’t have ASTC digital tuners so you’ll need an OTA digital converter box if you want to use an outdoor antenna.

Q: Why Is My Picture Bad For Some Channels And Not For Others?
A: This can be caused by any number of reasons, but we will address the two primary reasons.

  1. The antenna is pointed in the wrong direction. If your antenna is pointed North, it will pick up OTA signals coming from that direction the best. Which mean that signal coming from the South will be very weak and/or non-existent. If you were to point the Antenna south, the OTA signals from the South would be very strong while the signals from the North would now be weak.
  2. The antenna is not strong enough to pick up weaker signals that are farther away. This can be affected by a number of factors including mounting location, antenna position, clear line of sight, weather, distance, and more. In general, if a channel you know is in your area isn’t clear and/or consistent, you may not to upgrade to a bigger, more powerful antenna or install a pre-amplifier.

Q: Some Outdoor Antennas Are BIG! Is Bigger Actually Better?
A: In almost every case, the bigger the antenna, the better the reception. Bigger antennas are able to gather more signal when compared to their smaller counterparts. Smaller antennas tend to be limited in range. If you are in a remote area, you’ll most likely need a BIG outdoor antenna.

Q: What Equipment Will I Need With My Antenna?
A: In general, you’ll need a mounting kit to install your antenna to your roof and/or house. Next, you’ll need a LOT of coaxial cable to connect your outdoor antenna to your TV and/or splitter.

After that, you might need a pre-amplifier to help fix any signal issues. Plus, you might need a powered splitter for distributing your signal to multiple TVs. And, if your TV is older, you might need to purchase a digital OTA converter box to convert the digital signal into an analog signal (not too likely if your TV is newer).

Q: Should My Outdoor Antenna Be Grounded For Lightning Prevention?
A: Yes! While grounding your antenna will not keep it from being struck by lightning, it will help to protect your home and/or connected devices from being fried. Remember, lightning tends to strike at the highest point – your antenna will be pretty high.

While grounding will help to protect your home and/or wiring, you should still use surge protectors on all your connected devices as another means of protection. The more protection you have, the better off you’ll be.

Q: How Many Channels Will I Get With My Outdoor Antenna?
A: This is totally dependent on your area, the number of available channels, the distance you are from the signal, the size of your antenna. We cannot tell you that you’ll get 50+ channels as we don’t know about your area. But, if there is a signal available, you should be able to pick it up with the right outdoor antenna and the proper installation.

Conclusion

A lot of cord cutters are looking to streaming digital boxes and outdoor antennas to stay connected without paying “out the nose” for their favorite shows and/or channels.

An outdoor antenna is the best way to receive OTA signals that are FREE. While they can’t pick up paid programming and/or pay-per-view events, they can give you enough options that you won’t feel like you are missing out.

Remember, an outdoor antenna is a one-time investment that doesn’t continue to cost you month-to-month like cable and/or satellite subscriptions.

So, did you find the perfect outdoor antenna?

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