Best Small Flashlight

Corey Majeau

When it is dark and you need light for safety and guidance, a small flashlight can be a great help. Small flashlights are great tools if you need to find something in a dark area, like under a bed or couch. Small flashlights also come in handy when making repairs or in the case of a power outage or emergency. Long story short, having a reliable small flashlight is a great purchase.

There are all different kinds of small flashlights including pen-style lights, pocket style flashlights with straps, keychain flashlights, and clip-on flashlights. Flashlights have different outputs (lumens) that affect how bright they shine. Flashlights can have different modes and functions, offering differing width beams, different modes of brightness, or even flashing light settings. Flashlights also can differ in the way that they are charged, many are charged by batteries, while some are rechargeable.


Energizer LED Inspection Light



Best Overall Flashlight


LE CREE LED Flashlight



Best Pocket-Style Small Flashlight


Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight



Best Keychain Flashlight


MOLAER Super Bright LED Tactical Waterproof Torch



Best Rechargeable Small Flashlight


Thorfire Cap Hat Light 5-LED Headlamp



Best Clip-On Small Flashlight

Flashlights can have different lighting elements as well. All of the small flashlights featured in this article have LED lighting, which is proven to be more efficient, versatile, and longer-lasting than traditional light bulbs.

If you are thinking about purchasing a small flashlight, you have come to the right place. Our experts have sifted through countless options that are available on the market today that all have subtle differences in their design and features. Our top picks highlight notable product features along with pros and cons that will help you make your product comparisons.

Best Small Flashlights

1. Best Overall – Energizer LED Inspection Light

Our overall top pick for a small flashlight is the Energizer brand LED Penlight. This light is constructed with an aircraft-grade aluminum material, which is impact and scratch-resistant. It also has a water resistance certification, enough so that it can withstand splashing or can be used in the rain without worrying about damage. This light is not only durable but also bright, delivering up to 100 lumens of bright light. This small light is a great light that comes ready to use with two AAA Energizer Max batteries.

  • Bright, wide beam
  • Durable construction
  • Has a handy clip for easy storage
  • Reasonable price
  • Comes ready to use with 2 AAA Energizer Batteries
  • Wide beam, not designed for laser pointing


2. Best Pocket-Style Small Flashlight – LE CREE LED Flashlight

The Lighting EVER compact flashlight is our top pick for a pocket-style small flashlight. This LED light is bright and long-lasting. It has a beam distance of 492 feet and a brightness of approximately 140 lumens. This flashlight can narrow or widen the beam with a unique telescoping design. This compact flashlight is durable, with both a skid-proof and water-resistant design. It comes ready to use with batteries and an instruction manual. 

  • Compact, easy to carry
  • Has a wrist strap
  • Adjustable beam
  • Comes with batteries
  • The telescoping beam brightness design does not have a locking mechanism to keep the desired beam set in place.


3. Best Keychain Flashlight – Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain 

If you are looking for a durable mini-flashlight that can clip to your keychain, purse, coat, or duffle, be sure to consider the Streamlight 73001 Nano Light. This tiny (1.47 inch) light easily attaches/detaches to just about anything and has a snap-style carabiner hook that is easy to manipulate with one hand. It is built to last, constructed with aircraft-grade aluminum with an ionized finish. This light is perfect for illuminating keys, ignitions, and doorways with a 10 lumens LED light. This small flashlight has an impressive runtime (up to eight hours) and is powered by four alkaline button cell batteries that are included with the purchase. 

  • Perfect key chain accessory, lightweight, not bulky
  • Well constructed
  • The functional clip is easy to use, attach and detach
  • Low cost
  • Limited range of light
  • Not water resistant


4. Best Rechargeable Small Flashlight – MOLAER Super Bright LED Tactical Waterproof Torch

If a rechargeable small flashlight is what you are looking for, the MOLAER Super Bright, LED Tactical Waterproof torch is our recommendation. This flashlight is bright, with a maximum brightness of 1000 at the ultra-high lumens setting. It also offers medium, strobe, and SOS, making it a great tool in the event of an emergency. This flashlight is waterproof, portable, lightweight, and reliable. It can be fully charged using the included USB cable in 4 hours and has a charged battery life of six hours at medium beam mode. There is a green flashing warning light that will indicate if the battery is low. You can rest assured with your purchase with an 18-month warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

  • Tactical design/performance
  • Rechargeable design, no battery purchases needed
  • 4 operational modes
  • Bright, high lumens (1000)
  • 30-day risk-free satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes a charging cable, but not a plug


5. Best Clip-On Small Flashlight – Thorfire Cap Hat Light 

Our top pick for a clip-style, hands-free small flashlight is the Thorfire Clip-on Flashlight. This small flashlight has 5 bright LED lights and is both ultralight and functional. It has a secure clip, which works great on baseball-cap style visors and has a head that rotates 90 degrees so you can focus the light where you need it. This clip-on light weighs less than an ounce and is powered by 2 button batteries (included) that offer up to 24 hours of working time.

  • Hands-free
  • Secure clip
  • The rotating head makes it easy to direct the beam of light
  • 5 LED lights
  • Low cost
  • Limited light output


What to look for when choosing a good small flashlight.

As you can see, there are many different styles of small flashlights available on the market today. Here are a few things to consider when purchasing one that will be the best pick given your needs and preferences.

— Material Type

When purchasing a small flashlight, be sure to consider the materials it is made from. Small flashlights are typically made from a form of aluminum, plastic, or a combination of these materials. Consider the materials used in the body of the flashlight to make sure you are getting something that is strong, durable, and will withstand the test of time. Some small flashlights are constructed of materials that are water-resistant or waterproof, which can be an appealing feature.

— Style

There are five different styles of small flashlights featured in this article. When considering which style will work best for you, think of how you will be using it most. Are you looking for an ever-ready flashlight that you can keep clipped to your keychain? Are you looking for a small flashlight that can clip on your cap brim? Maybe you are looking for a pocket-style small flashlight. Consider all of the options, and which one would work best for you when making your decision.

— Lumens/Brightness

Brightness is an important consideration when making a small flashlight purchase. The higher the lumens, the brighter and stronger the beam will be. This will also correlate with battery usage.  

— Batteries and Charging

Another important thing to consider is how different small flashlights are powered and charged. The small flashlights featured in this article have many variables between the different products. Some are powered by AAA batteries, some by button-style batteries, while one is powered by a USB rechargeable battery. Flashlights that are not able to be recharged will have the additional upkeep of replacing batteries. It is important to know what kinds of batteries the flashlight you are purchasing uses, so you know what to purchase if they need to be replaced. You will notice that all of the small flashlights featured in this article that use replaceable batteries come with batteries in the packaging, so they come ready to use. 

— Size and Shape

Small flashlights vary in their size and shape. Product descriptions will note the measurement of the size of the flashlight which will help you determine if it will work for you. Larger signs are more visible. 

— Bulb Type

The small flashlights featured in this article all have LED bulbs. According to, LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. They work by having an electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light. LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience ‘lumen depreciation’, wherein the brightness of the LED dims slowly over time. LED lighting is more efficient, versatile, and lasts longer than traditional light bulbs.

— Cost

Just like with any purchase, some small flashlights cost more than others. Higher price points correlate with the quality and durability of materials as well as function and design. But, you don’t have to spend too much money to purchase an effective small flashlight, just make sure you are getting the features you desire.


A high-quality small flashlight is a smart purchase that can provide you with safety, convenience, and peace of mind. Knowing what to look for when making a purchase can help you make a confident decision, especially with all of the choices that are available on the market today. Each of the highlighted small flashlights in this feature is highly recommended. Consider all of the information provided and your individual preferences in terms of features, style, and design when making your choice of which small flashlight will be the best pick for you given your needs and preferences.