Survival Gear Review: Rayovac Roughneck

I think I like flashlights almost as much as knives (almost is the key word).  I am very particular about flashlights that I purchase and have always wanted a very bright light, like a Surefire or any other tactical light. 

By B. Lynch, a reader of

Karambit Knife

However, I have never purchased any of those because justifying the cost to my wife just didn’t seem worth it.  A few months back I was at a store called Batteries Plus where I saw a handheld flashlight called the Rayovac RoughNeck.  It boasted a 200 lumen output, ran on 3 AAA batteries and it only cost $29.00.  For that price I thought I could at least give it a try.

Here are the specifications from the Rayovac website:

RoughNeck™ 200 Lumen Metal Flashlight Features:

200 Lumen high performance Cree XR-E LED
High, Low and strobe modes
Beam Brightness: 200 Lumens on High Mode, 70 Lumens on Low Mode
LED lasts 50,000 hours, never needs replacing
Spot to flood adjustability
Battery Run Time: 2 hours on High; 6 hours on Low; 8 hrs. on strobe
Impact Resistant to 5 feet
Beam Distance: 130 meters/415 ft.
Anodized Aluminum Body
Water Resistant
Holster Included
Lifetime warranty
Uses 3 AAA Alkaline Batteries

The Rayovac Roughneck does not have a real long run time if you run the light on high beam but AAA batteries aren’t that expensive.  I carry this flashlight with me everywhere, Survival Flashlight Reviewat work, outside, and in the car.  I have used it in the rain, dropped it several times on concrete, dropped it in the mud and it keeps going.  One night I stepped outside of my house and pointed it at my neighbor’s house across the alley which was about eighty yards away and it put a perfectly defined floodlight circle on his house, it was cool but he definitely didn’t know what was going on…good thing we are friends.

One change I made to the holster was that I wrapped several layers of black gorilla tape around it to form a pouch where the belt loop is.  Yes this makes the belt loop unusable but the light is small enough to fit in my pocket so the sacrifice for more batteries instead of accessibility is worth it to me.  This way I can always carry an extra six AAA batteries wherever I go and thus have six totals hours of run time on high if I need it.  The strobe feature is especially helpful and also very blinding!  I haven’t even touched another flashlight for months because I have gotten used to how well this light works for any kind of occasion.  Anyone looking for an extra light to throw in their car, or BOB for a good price I highly recommend the Rayovac RoughNeck.

Also read B. Lynch’s review of the Bear Grylls Survival Knife

Photos by:
Vision Smidgen

30 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: Rayovac Roughneck”

  1. Thanks for this Review. I have always wanted to buy the high end flashlight. Never could due to wife has her hands on the wallet. Seems if its for her and the daughter its ok. For me Oh well. So I have always just used the Mini mag light. They are much better since they came out with LED. But I have see these Rayovac's and was interested. Now I think I will take a chance. Again thanks for your review.

    • Good reason for couples to always have a separate account… We also have a joint account for community costs and bills. A friend of mine does weekend work that he uses for his funny money… His money, his rules. I have a separate business account. One that the wife cannot micro manage. She wanted to have access. Nope! If I did that she would have me broke all the time. Not that I want to spend $100 on a flashlight but, I buy gear based on my requirements not hers.

      • Agreed, I have my own separate account. We have a joint account for the bills, and my own account for whatever I want to spend. I buy the little things and I do as I please, and we never miss any bills. If we do, it's on the wife.

    • I always find it irritating when someone says something like "the wife won't let me do this, or the wife won't let me buy that".. It's the only life you have, so do what you want, and if it's your money, buy what you want, as long as it isn't breaking your bank account. She can/will get over it.

    • I just don't understand why people still want to use equipment that needs batteries. In a SHTF scenario, your batteries are all gonna run out very quickly and then what?
      Go look at this, where they make excellent torchlights that are tough and converts mechanical energy (from shaking the torchlight) to visible light.
      These works great and last forever and never needs any batteries.

  2. I never really like the mag lites….don't know why but I just didn't. And before it seemed like rayovac only had cheap plastic models. I originally bought this one for work and was so impressed that I bought another one for home. The great thing about this light other than its brightness, is that it runs on AAA batteries which are easy to find and cheap. The higher end lights run on lithium or more specialized batteries that i'm sure are more expensive and maybe harder to find. So, for the same run time i'll go with the cheaper batteries.

  3. According to Rayovac's website, the Roughneck is a whole line of lights, with varying lumen ratings. One of the lights is a headlight. Would anyone recommend that one as well?

  4. I bought some similar flashlights and a two pack of headlights from HomeDepot. They are comprable to the output of this light, AAA batteries, and very affordable. Big box home stores have awesome selection of lights but are spread around the isles and not central location.

    I have one surfire light in my car with pistol. Around the house, tacklebox, hunting equipment, are all these types so if they get lost, dropped, toddler wants to play with it, etc….. no worries on buying a new one or money lost.

  5. I have not bought a tactical light because of the cost also, but was in sams club yesterday and they had a two pack of a brand called Rocky.. They are both aluminum and waterproof and shock proof to 1m, with a cree led. One is a six aaa 220 lumen and the other a three aaa 160 lumen. Great price marked down for 19.99 so I could not pass up. The only drawback I see right now is the beam is not adjustable but for the brightness and price still a steal..

    • Bought these several months ago as well. Haven't had a single problem with mine. I have dropped them in water (into my fish tank non the less) and on the driveway with out a anything more that a little road rash from the driveway. The wife liked it so much we went back and bought some for her. Just make sure you keep extra batteries on hand.

  6. I've posted a similar post before but hands down the best bang for the buck I have found is the led lenser tactical the one thats not adjustable takes 3 aaa batteries output is something like 60-70 lumens it costs around 40 bucks at home depot.I use a flashlight in an industrial setting at least 6-8 hrs of runtime each week and I'm still using the same flashlight after 4 years and 2 trips through the washing machine.

  7. Good review. Thanks! This light would make a great addition to my gear. Going to try to find one at my local sporting goods store. Got a 10% off coupon by joining their email list. I love the compact size and weight of the AAA battery. I can reuse rechargeable AAAs a hundred times and get a longer burn time than the standard high end battery too. My back up power system uses solar panels. Since we generally don’t need artificial light during the day I can recharge all day long and use them all night. My family all have a Hybrid Solar Flashlight as the primary hand held flashlight… 40 lumens for 10 hours on an 8 hour charge. Back up lithiums supposed to last 3 days… I guess if you were stuck in a cave that would come in handy. Waterproof to 80 feet. Good enough for general daily use but it can’t put out 200 lumens.

  8. Bought this same flashlight at CostCo in a two pack with batteries included for $19.00. Though you did not mention it in the review the back button on the ones I bought will flash red when the batteries start going low. Looked like yours does the same thing based ont he picture you posted. Loved the light so much I went back and bough two more two packs. My only complaint about the thing is that in long -term storage (e.g., bug-out bag, glovebox, vacation home, etc.) the batteries die out faster than in other fashlights. Not sure why, but AAA batteries are cheap and the flashlight is great.

    • Well I didnt know that about the button. Don't remember reading that on the package and haven't seen it happen yet, will keep my eyes open for it!

      • UPDATE: I was just at CostCo and saw the flashlights again. Same exact ones I bought last time, same price, and everything. They only difference when looking at the packaging was that these newer models didn't advertise or speak of having a low battery light on the back, even though the back button was the same (clear rubber button). Seems like this may have been a feature on the earlier model (bought mine about 12 months ago.) Not sure why they changed it up or if the model being discussed is a slight variation on the one I bought. Either way it is a great light.

        • Well I always enjoyed the irony of a battery operated device having an option of using what life it had left to tell me it was running out of energy…lol

  9. The Surefire flashlights are very bright, however if you bump it while it's on, you get to buy a new bulb. They aren't cheap.
    Also those 123 batteries will die All Of A Sudden, with no warning.

    I'm converting all my flashlights to LED type.

    I agree with DB. I love my CostCo flashlights. In my job I need to look down dark pipes during bright sunny days and that light kicks butt. I bought a Ray-o-Vac charger for AA and AAA so batteries are not so much of a problem. The warning light is a nice feature also.

    • Just wanted to throw out there. The 123 batteries dont really die out all of the sudden. Its because most high end and tactical lights are regulated to put out the same lumens through the entire battery life. Instead of being like the old maglites that were nice and bright for about thirty minutes and then would dwindle down to nothing.

      Also the 123 may be more expensive but they are the same size (roughly), last longer, and have a better shelf life (10 yrs) making them better, imo, for bug out bags and survival/prepping situations.

  10. I purchased the Rocky twin pack from Sams and I have to say that I’m more than impressed with their reliability. I work in a foundry and with everything covered in soot and dust these lights do a great job of cutting trhrough rthe darkness. The difference between the 220 lumens rocky light and my 220 lumen Surefire is the Surefire light color is whiter and the Rocky has a blue color to it. But for the money and ease of finding batteries the Rockys win hands down. The only thing I don’t like about it is there made in China and the Surefires are made in the US.

  11. As far as a good flashlight I still stand behind the Mag Lite. I have had great success and durability. However, for batteries I would check out the Duracell Pro cell. I can't think there is to much that beats them. I used to have this boom box back in the 90's that played on 6 or 8 D cells. I used it at a car was with Energizers and with it on "HI" volume and the bass boost on playing the CD player it didn't last 10 minutes before turning the bass boost off and going to radio. The following week I had gotten some of the Pro cells from work. They lasted all day with the CD player, bass boost and volume on HI with no problems at all and then I used some of the same batteries to go caving the following week. Those batteries aren't cheap and you usually have to order them from a catalog or get them from your work place but promise you will not be disappointed.

  12. The problem I have with some of LEDs on the market is the AAA battery . The smallest I want to go is AA , a lot of other of the smaller tools I have also run on AA , it saves me from having to stock up on yet another battery size . Does anybody know of a good LED that uses a C and has a body long enough to use as a club like the old police issue lights ?

  13. My husband and I got a 3 pack of these at Costco. They really take a beating. My young boys dropped one down a flight of wooden stairs, I was sure it was a goner because it bounced off each individual step. It still works like the day we got it. For a pocket sized flashlight these are very bright. They've gotten us through a couple blackouts already. So far we haven't been disappointed.

  14. after reading this review i about the rayovac roughneck light i went to amazon and purchased 2 of them …and as a trucker/logger/ and four wheeler.. ( fourwheeler with trucks not atvs)…this is a great light its tuff as nails first day out with it i dropped it in a 2ft mudhole picked it up sprayed it off and its still working today..thanks for such a great review and leading me to a great inexspensive light…

  15. My rule is, "Don't go out at night time!" My cousin, April Paulette Wigle, went out to hang up some wash, "Gosh! I don't remember that big black rock being there before!?!"
    Next afternoon, when she went to bring in the clothes, the "rock was gone!"
    If something is out there, it will come to you eventually. The same rule about bears apply also to breakins. You don't go down the stairs to look. You let them come up to you.
    Flash lights? They don't always work out like you think they should. Occassionally, the flashlight will miss that rabbit hole on the way to the outhouse. I like the $6.00 Canadian Tire water immersible flashlight.

  16. I carry a Nebo redline flashlight, approximately 220 lumens with i think, a longer run time on high and other modes than alot of flashlights, they make a 250 lumen an others as well. about 40-50 bucks so not as hugely expensive as the surefires and such but a very good flashlight for the money and found in most hardware stores in my area at least. here the link for your reviewing

    I tried logging in but my account wasnt found.

  17. I read this post and thought to give it a try. Bought in on amazon, showed up at my door within a week. Threw the batteries in and turned it on. The light lite up my whole floor. Where ever i shine the light it makes things very clear. I also work security in bars where there are lights always flashing or something going on. Also very dark at some points. I use this light there to signal people for help and it gets their attention every time. Even when the strobe lights at work are going my light still shines brighter. Great light for its price. Thinking of buying a nother for the truck or tool box. Great anywhere you need something reliable.


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