Best EDC flashlights

EDC Flashlights we tested

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We have tested hundreds of flashlights and headlamps, and each has been run through our extensive battery of tests, including runtime, output, and beam distance measurements. We test flashlights to help you make an informed decision on the best flashlight or headlamp to fit your needs. 

Unlike the authors of most of the “Top 10 best EDC flashlights” lists you will find on the internet, our team has collectively owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights with decades of experience. Many of those Top 10 lists are written by people with little knowledge of flashlights or first-hand experience with them, evidenced by their very poor recommendations (no, that 1,000,000 lumen zoomable flashlight you see on Amazon is not a great flashlight). Below is our list of the best EDC (everyday carry) flashlights. EDC flashlights are designed to be lightweight, portable, and as pocket friendly as possible. They come in all sizes and outputs, so read on to see which is the best for you.

Popular rechargeable EDC flashlights / Smallest EDC light

Some of the most popular small flashlights would be right at home clipped to your keychain or your pocket.

Nitecore T4K : 4000 lumen flashlight

Lightweight 4000 lumen EDC flashlight.

holding nitecore T4K in hand
nitecore T4K runtime

The Nitecore T4K is a performer. In-person it looks a little unusual with the two buttons and the OLED display, but it is a very functional and somewhat practical EDC light. We evaluated the Nitecore T4K, and it reached 3736 lumens.

Unlike cheap flashlights sold on eBay or Aliexpress advertising thousands of fake lumens, the T4K really generates (almost) 4000 lumens. The OLED display reports how many minutes of battery life is remaining. Although the peak brightness is only maintained while the mode button is pressed, the highest continuous output is 200 lumens.

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. Hs two user modes: Constant output and Press only (momentary)
  2. 4000 lumens at maximum burst mode
  3. Has built in USB-C charger, so you can charge it anytime and anywhere you carry it

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

Popular AA sized EDC flashlights (including 14500)

Note: Not all flashlights mentioned here can use regular AA batteries. Some will only run on lithium-ion type 14500 batteries.

Lumintop Tool AA 3.0

lumintop tool aa 3 in use 3
lumintop tool aa 3 runtime

If you look through our reviews, you will see that Lumintop has some serious flashlights, including the Lumintop GT4695, Thanos, Mach, and many, many more. The Tool AA is one of those lights you just can’t go wrong with. We’ve reviewed the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 three times, and 3.0 as well. The price for the aluminum version is usually around $20-25, excluding the lithium-ion battery or magnetic tailcap, which are optional. Sometimes, they are included, depending on where you order them from.

It works on AA and 14500 batteries. Lumintop promotes the 920mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which is another $4-5 extra.

During our test, we measured almost 1,000 lumens at turn-on and over 800 after 30 seconds with this battery. It’s specified at 900 lumens, but that’s not 100% correct according to ANSI FL1 standards, which should be measured after 30 seconds, not turn-on. When using a high-quality NiMH battery, like the Panasonic Eneloop AA, you get just over 300 lumens. This is still really good for an AA flashlight.

If you are looking for just a reliable but still affordable flashlight, consider the Tool AA! (beware that there also is a Lumintop Tool AAA, which can only use AAA batteries)

Why we can recommend this flashlight

  • Usable with AA rechargeable battery (300 lumens) and 14500 lithium battery (max 1,000 lumens at turn on)
  • Great for anybody, including (older) children
  • 3.0 is available with Osram P9, which has a cool white beam, but is not greenish or pinkish
  • Price: $20-$25 without battery
  • Almost same as the Tool 2.0, so if you can get that for a great deal, go for it!

Wurkkos TS10

Most popular EDC flashlight on Budgetlightforum

Wurkkos TS10 in hand
Wurkkos TS10 runtime short
Specification:Highlights:
Max output1400 lumens (we measured 1454 at turn on, but 129 lm after 30 sec)
LED typeMany types
Battery configuration1*14500
Extra:For advanced users

The TS10 is mentioned as the most popular flashlight on Budgetlightforum.

The Wurkkos TS10 is one of the best “bang for the buck” lights out there right now, if not ever. Anduril 2, 1400 lumens, triple TIR optics and great feel. With auxiliary lights to boot! The user interface could be a learning curve that is a little much if someone new is thrown into the Anduril firmware, but to some, that just means a lot of new exciting things to learn.

Everything considered, the TS10 flies to the top of the list as most popular EDC flashlights with 14500 batteries.

Reasons why the Wurkkos TS10 is the most popular flashlight in the community:

  1. One of the most affordable triple LED flashlights with Anduril 2 on the planet
  2. The Wurkkos TS10 is often available for around $20
  3. Comes with Anduril 2 firmware, which makes it extremely versatile
  4. Very pocketable because of the 14500 style battery
  5. You can choose the flashlight color, LED type, and AUX colors. The number of choices you get is just amazing!

Popular 18350 EDC flashlights

These are one of the smaller EDC flashlights on the market, yet plenty powerful.

Thrunite T1s

Pocketable EDC light with 1200 lumens

Thrunite T1S in hand
Thrunite T1S turbo

The Thrunite T1s is a small, yet powerful, 18350 flashlight. The business-end of the ThruNite T1S is where you’ll find one of the biggest changes over its predecessor, the T1. The T1 featured a Cree XHP50 in a short orange peel reflector. It’s been replaced by a Luminus SST40 and a TIR optic.

Thrunite advertises Turbo mode at 1212 lumens, but our testing showed Turbo mode started at 1255 lumens and dropped slowly over the first 2 minutes, at which point it was at 1065 lumens. Over the next 7 minutes, output ramped down to 324 lumens which is where it stayed until output began dropping out fast at 1 hour and 29 minutes. It crossed the 10% output threshold at 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Check out our in-depth review of the Thrunite T1S or follow to the links for purchasing.

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. Max output: 1212 lumens
  2. It’s very compact, and therefore easy to carry.
  3. It has a simple but good User Interface
  4. Comes with USB-C charging, so you can charge it anywhere on the fly.
  5. Price is pretty attractive for what you get!

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

18650 EDC flashlights

The 18650 size lithium ion battery still remains a very good choice for EDC lights. It’s only slightly longer than a 18350 and has much higher capacity (up to 3500 mAh vs. about 1100 mAh for an 18350) for longer runtimes. The most popular EDC lights use these batteries, so here are our picks for 18650 compatible flashlights.

Emisar D4v2

Popular EDC flashlight for advanced users

It’s been around for some time now, but still one of the most popular EDC flashlights in the flashlight community. It uses an 18650 cell, but with optional battery tubes, it can also support the 18350 and 18500 size batteries.

Sand colored d4v2 in hand
emisar d4v2

Emisar flashlights are built for enthusiasts, so you’ll get the latest and greatest flashlight technology with lots of options for customization.

The D4v2 uses the extremely popular Andúril UI, which features many interesting modes including utility modes for battery voltage, temperature check and calibration, smooth ramping, momentary on, special strobe modes including candle mode, party strobe, and even a lightning storm mode. It’s an excellent EDC flashlight and one of our top picks. For our full click here: Emisar D4v2, or buy at the following stores.

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. Max output of 4300 lumens, which is a lot (but only if you choose a specific LED)
  2. Comes with Anduril firmware
  3. Available in 4 different colors, so you can choose your favorite flashlight color
  4. Has colorful AUX LEDs, just to make it look even fancier
  5. Available with many kinds of LEDs.. so you can get the best
  6. This is especially great for advanced users, or if you want to step into the world of advanced firmware.
  7. Optional accessories: stainless steel bezel, 18350 and 18500 tubes, pocket clip, and extra tail cap.

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

Noctigon KR4

Another EDC flashlight for advanced users.

noctigon kr4 in hand
Noctigon KR4 runtime graph top of ramp

This is another flashlight designed by Hank Wang (the chap behind the Emisar brand). The Noctigon KR4 is basically an Emisar D4V2 with a rear e-switch, and aside from the sleeker, curvier design, it retains the same quad Carclo TIR optic, drivers, and endless configurability as the D4V2.

The KR4 is not only a beautifully machined and great looking flashlight, but retains the D4V2’s performance capabilities. For more information check out our in-depth Noctigon KR4 review.

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. This is especially great for advanced users, or if you want to step into the world of advanced firmware.
  2. Many LED choices including the Nichia 219C, Cree XP-L HI, and SST20 in 4000K 95 CRI, 5000K, and 6500K
  3. Uses a single, unprotected flat top 18650 battery (not included) to make it fairly compact for EDC carry

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

Emisar D1 (2022 version)

A compact, throwy EDC light, for advanced users. 

Emisar D1 2022 flashlight in hand
Emisar D1 runtime

The Emisar D1 has had a quiet existence up until it was redesigned. It is a compact, very pocketable light with up to 100 Kcd when properly equipped.

The newly designed Emisar D1 runs off a single 18650 battery with optional tubes for both 18350 and the obscure, slightly slimmer 18500. The D1 is highly versatile, with a wide variety of the most popular LEDs on the market in just about every tint and CRI available, from cool white to R9080 and 98 CRI. When equipped with the Osram W1 or too-powerful for a small host Luminus SBT90.2, the D1 is capable of 100 Kcd. The UI has been updated to Anduril 2 for added features and two mode sets (Simple and Advanced). It’s an excellent EDC flashlight and one of our top picks. We tested the D1 with the GT FC-40 LED and it had excellent performance and consistent output. For our full click here: Emisar D1 v2.

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. Available in 4 body colors
  2. Anduril 2 Firmware
  3. Wide selection of emitters, including the GT FC-40, Nichia 519A, Nichia B35AM, Osram W1 and W2, CREE  XP-L HI, Luminus SFT-40-W, and Luminus SBT90.2
  4. Up to 100 Kcd of throw when equipped with the Osram W1 or Luminus SBT90.2
  5. Available in high CRI, warm white, neutral white, and cool white

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

21700 EDC flashlights

For some users, these might be a bit too big as an Everday Carry.

Thrunite T2

he Thrunite T2 is a compact, high power light that features a Cree XHP70.2 LED behind a shallow, textured reflector for maximum flood. It’s a lot of output in a lightweight, very pocketable package, great for beginners and advanced users.

Thrunite T2 in hand
Thrunite T2 runtime chart 30 minutes

Thrunite has become a familiar face here at 1Lumen, and not surprising since they’re a pretty popular brand and have brought the flashaholic and regular consumer market some great lights.

As usual, Thrunite includes their very comprehensive kit, something mirrored across their product line. It’s great for a first-time buyer, who doesn’t need to make additional purchases (li-ion charger, batteries) to get up and going.

For around $60-70 US, you get a lot for a little, especially these days when a tank of gas runs $50. Milled from 6061 T6 aluminum, the machining quality is nice and tidy, with no tool or machine marks, and everything fits together with no gaps or parts that don’t line up.

The UI is simple and has 5 modes, including Turbo, a Firefly mode, and a single Strobe.

Turbo started way down from the advertised output at 2855 Lumens, and it was short-lived, only lasting for about 10 seconds before stepping down. However, the sustainability is pretty decent for a small light, making better than 2000 Lumens for over 2 minutes.

Thrunite once again proves why boost drivers, or any current-regulated drivers are awesome and I think worth the added cost.

Check out more info in our awesome detailed review of the Thrunite T2

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. Pretty powerful with 2700 lumens after 30 seconds
  2. Very powerful LED: CREE XHP70.2 LED
  3. It comes with a 5000 mAh 21700 type battery
  4. USB-C rechargeable, so you can charge it on the fly

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

Acebeam E75

The Acebeam E75 is a high output 21700 sized EDC light. It’s available in a variety of colors, including gray, green, black and teal. Great for beginners and advanced users.

acebeam e75 in use 2
acebeam e75 high turbo runtime 3 hours

It’s a bit on the large side for EDC suitability, but it’s definitely one of the best-performing EDC lights on the market.

It comes with everything to get you started, including a 21700 battery with 5,000mAh capacity. It also includes a USB-C cable, so you can charge the battery inside the flashlight. No need to get a separate battery charger.

Equipped with 4 LEDs, it is specced at 4500 lumens. But that only counts for the cool white LEDs version. The other, with neutral white Nichia 519A are rated at 3,000 lumens. This is also the exact configuration we tested. During our test the E75 reached over 2767 lumens after 30 seconds. After the output dropped, it stayed consistent at just below1000 lumens for about 1.5 hours. That’s pretty good performance, especially considering the test light is using the Nichia 519A LEDs with neutral white color.

For more information on the E75, check out the full review here: https://1lumen.com/review/acebeam-e75/

This is why we would recommend this flashlight:

  1. We measured the output at 2767 after 30 seconds
  2. Available in different colors, green, gray, black and teal.
  3. A 5000 mAh 21700 rechargeable battery included
  4. The battery can be charged inside the flashlights as well as in a normal charger.

Interested? Buy from one of the following stores.

Get a whopping 15% off your next order at Acebeam.com with the following discount coupon: AE15. Simply add the coupon code at your checkout.

Brightest EDC flashlight

Imalent MS03

Imalent MS03 is extremely bright for its size. The brightest flashlight since 2021 running off a single 21700 battery. Reaching approximately 13,000 lumens!

Imalent MS03 in hand
Imalent MS03 chart
Specification:Highlights:
Max. brightness:We measured 12,000 lumens (specced at 13,000)
LED type:3*XHP70.2
Battery type:1*21700
Charging:No built-in charging
Best for:Every Day Carry / Utility

Imalent is known for being one of the few manufacturers that try to achieve the maximum output. The MS03 is no exception in that regard. Pushing out over 10,000 lumens from a single cell is insane!

If you are looking for a pocketable flashlight to blind 100 people at once, get the MS03. This thing is seriously ridiculous. Please check out our in-depth review of the Imalent MS03 for all the details. And yes, it does include a pocket clip, but it’s easy to remove.

Imalent includes a high-drain 21700 battery, so you are ready to go.

A summary of why we recommend this powerful EDC flashlight:

  1. Smallest brightest flashlight over 10,000 lumens
  2. Works on 21700 (is included, with USB charging) as well as a single 18650 battery
  3. Throws farther than 280 meters
  4. Is sold overseas (at Amazon) so you can return it without problems, unlike some other unknown brands

Interested? Buy it at one of the following stores. Use discount code 1lumen at Imalentstore for 10% off

EXTRA: EDC accessories

Do you want to pimp your EDC light? Here are a few accessories to help you do that.

Glow accessories

The following accessories are glow in the dark. These will glow for a short time after you charged them up by pointing light upon them. If you use UV light, they charge even quicker and brighter. The effect lasts only for a short time. And because of this, the price is much lower than their tritium equivalents.

Glow tubes

glow tubes

They look like tritium vials, but are glow in the dark. Tip: charge them with UV light. This will charge them much faster than normal light.

Triple LED glow gasket

EDC flashlight accessories glow in the dark

Fit: Carclo 105xx (10507/10508/10509/10510/10511) triple LEDs. Example: Lumintop FW3A, Hanko, Boss, Okluma, Reylight