Editor’s Review: ASP Scribe DF Flashlight

Feb. 21, 2020
When you need a reliable compact but serviceable light to carry every day...

Twenty years ago, if you’d picked up a “tactical” LED driven flashlight, you’d have been lucky to get 65 lumens out of it. It would have heat control issues and be powered by two CR123 3V lithium batteries. One of the major flashlight manufacturers was teaching low-light classes and in one of those you might have also been taught that any flashlight producing over 500 lumens of light could cause permanent retinal damage. While such amount of light was assuredly enough to change a subject’s behavior - light that bright would make you clench your eyes shut and turn your head away - it is far more common now than it was then. In fact, in today’s “tactical” lighting world, you can get handgun mounted lights that produce 1,000 lumens running on the same power supply. LED technology has come a long way. Taking advantage of it, and leveraging the evolution to design and manufacture some interesting products, is Armament Systems & Procedures - ASP.

A few months back, I received an ASP Scribe DF flashlight for test and evaluation. Most folks would refer to this as a “penlight” since it really isn’t much larger than a writing pen; especially the “tactical” pens of today’s world. It is 6.5” long and measures .75” across at the widest point of the bezel. Weighing just over two ounces with batteries in it, the maximum light output is 350 lumens. Now, while that 350 may not sound like much given we were just discussing 1,000 lumen weapon lights, keep in mind: we’re talking about 350 lumens from a PENLIGHT.

The “DF” in the name stands for “dual fuel.” The Scribe DF will run on two AAA batteries or a rechargeable battery. Using the 10900 rechargeable at full charge, the light has two modes: high power produces 350 lumens for a maximum time of an hour. It also has a low power setting and using that same energy source, the low setting produces 15 lumens for up to 23 hours.

The other fuel option, the two AAA batteries, will push 225 lumens for up to 90 minutes on high output, or 15 lumens for 22 hours on low output. Remembering there was a time when 65 lumens was considered “tactical,” having 225 lumens is more than sufficient for many applications.

Now, keep in mind that this isn’t meant to be a primary duty light or for tactical applications if you have other options available. That said, this is a great light for having in your pocket as a backup light on duty or a primary light for every day carry. I keep mine in my sleeve pocket if in uniform or clipped in between buttons of a polo or dress shirt (it’s amazing how well a tie hides it). The pocket clip can be removed if you prefer and the thin light body drops into shirt pockets - pen pockets - quite easily.

The body of the light is manufactured from “6061 T6 high strength aluminum” with matte black Type III hardcoat anodizing. In other words, you can abuse it some. The LED bulb is hard to break and the crenelated bezel will certainly leave a mark if this is what you have in hand when a bad guy lunges at you. One swift thrust with your guard hand and there’ll likely be a nicely noticeable 3/4” mark on the bad guy’s forehead.

The activation switch is at the back end of the light and you can touch it on or “click” it on. I know officers who prefer both and certainly it’s good to have the options dependent on circumstance.

All that is well and good, but how does it perform? I only tested the Scribe DF with AAA batteries, so my max output was 225 lumens. That said, I was in one situation in a house without power after sunset. The rooms were dark. I turned on the Scribe and pointed it at the ceiling and the reflected light lit up the whole room. The person I was with made a joking comment about my “little light” and laughed until I turned the light to hit him in the X-ring (eyes). He wasn’t laughing then. He clenched his eyes shut and turned his head away. There’s the behavior modification I was looking for. In that moment, had I evil intent, I could have closed distance and attacked while he was eyes-closed / head-away.

With a price point that averages in the $70 range, this “little” light is handy, more than sufficiently powerful, and an excellent option for backup or EDC. Given that the 10900 Lithium-ion rechargeable unit can be recharged while in the light and via USP cord, the light is easy to keep powered up as well. If you’re using AAA batteries... well, they’re cheap and easy to find.

For more information, you can visit ASP online and check out the Scribe DF or watch ASP's YouTube video on the Scribe DF below.

About the Author

Lt. Frank Borelli (ret), Editorial Director | Editorial Director

Lt. Frank Borelli is the Editorial Director for the Officer Media Group. Frank brings 20+ years of writing and editing experience in addition to 40 years of law enforcement operations, administration and training experience to the team.

Frank has had numerous books published which are available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and other major retail outlets.

If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email at [email protected].

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