Best EDC flashlights

Jump to the following sections:

EDC Flashlights

Unlike the authors of most of the "Top 10 best EDC flashlights" lists you will find on the internet, our team has owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights. Many of those Top X lists are evidently written by people with little knowledge of flashlights or first-hand experience with them, to judge by their very poor recommendations! So I'll do my absolute best to help you with real knowledge.

1

Popular rechargeable EDC flashlights / Smallest EDC light

Some of the most popular small flashlights

holding nitecore T4K in hand

Nitecore T4K : 4000 lumen flashlight


4000 lumen flashlight on your keys?

  • Two user modes: Constant and Press only.
  • 4000 Lumens
  • Plastic TIR optics for
  • 4*XP-L2
  • Built-in USB C charger

The Nitecore T4K is a performer. In-person it looks a little unusual with the two buttons and the OLED display. But when you press that button.... you will be dazzled by a solid 4000 lumens! We evaluated the Nitecore T4K, and it reached 3736 lumens! Unlike many other brands on eBay or Aliexpress, this can really produce almost 4000 lumens.

If you are searching for something lightweight and don’t mind a somewhat chunky-sized keychain light, this is a great way to get ahead of the game. The OLED display reports exactly how many minutes of battery life remains. The peak brightness is only maintained while the mode button is held down, so the highest continuous mode is 200 lumens.

2

Popular AA EDC flashlights (including 14500)

lumintop tool titanium in hand

Lumintop Tool AA 2.0


Affordable EDC flashlight

  • 139 lumens on AA batteries and 800+ lumens on 14500 lithium-ion batteries
  • Cree XPL HD LED
  • No mode memory

The Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 is a very affordable AA flashlight. It has a simple UI and no blinky modes in the main menu. The build quality is good, and it has well-spaced modes, with a Low mode of only 7 lumens (when used with a AA battery). This is a great benefit over most cheap flashlights, which have less useful brightness selections and start at ten or even 30 lumens. Many people prefer a very dim Low mode for an EDC flashlight, and the Tool AA 2.0 provides that. We reviewed the titanium version: Lumintop Tool AA 2.0 Titanium (upgraded)

3

Popular 18350 EDC flashlights

Reylight Krystal in my hand

Reylight Krystal


Beautiful Titanium flashlight with trit slots

  • Max 2500 lumens 
  • Large choice of emitters: Nichia 219C, XPL Hi
  • 18350 batteries
  • Secondary LED: red or amber
  • Titanium, extremely durable

If you're looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary and with a hint of luxury, the Reylight Krystal may be the light for you. Four different mode groups provide a user interface that adapts to most preferences and situations. Reylight is a small manufacturer that produces lights in small batches. Reylight is probably best known for its various Kickstarter projects.

You definitely need a good, high drain 18350 battery in order to power this beast. If you prefer to use an 18650 battery, you can order an extender separately. To maximize the bling on this light, you can add 8 trits (tritium vials) to both the head and the tail.

thrunite-t1

Thrunite T1


Small and powerful little flashlight with an XHP50 LED

  • Max 1500 lumens 
  • Magnetic tailcap
  • Versatile modes
  • 18350 battery
  • Cree XHP50 LED
  • Including Thrunite 1100mAh 18350 battery
  • Rechargeable

The Thrunite T1 is a small, yet powerful, 18350 flashlight. Turbo mode outputs 1500 lumens and runs for 3 minutes before stepping down to 400 lumens for another 80 minutes. The T1 also has a Firefly mode which outputs just a single lumen. Great for night walks to the bathroom. You can use the T1 hands-free by attaching the light to anything ferrous via its tailcap magnet. Thrunite includes an 1100mAh battery, allowing you to use the light from the moment it arrives. It has a ramping interface with direct access to Turbo, Strobe, and Firefly.

4

18650 EDC flashlights

emisar-d4-v2-fancy_point

Emisar D4v2


One of the most popular EDC flashlights. Uses an 18650 cell, but optionally supports the 18350 and 18500 as well.

  • Max output of 4300 lumens
  • Available in 3 body colors
  • Large choice of emitters: Nichia 219C, XPL Hi, XP-G2 S4, SST20 (from warm white to cool white)
  • Colorful aux LEDs with 7 configurable colors
  • One of the most popular 18350/18500/18650 EDC flashlights
  • Available options: shiny stainless steel bezel, 18350 and 18500 tubes, pocket clip, extra tail cap.

Emisar flashlights are built for flashaholics. You won't find them in any brick-and-mortar stores. With Emisar lights you'll get the latest and greatest technology currently available in the flashlight world. The D4v2 is the second version of this immensely popular EDC flashlight.
The D4v2 uses the extremely popular (amongst flashaholics) Andúril UI, which features many interesting modes. To name a few: battery voltage meter, smooth ramping, momentary on, temperature check, candle mode, party strobe, and even a lightning storm mode. With such an array of capabilities, this light is probably not for the average user. Don't forget to check out our in-depth review of the Emisar D4v2.

lumintop BLF TLF Fw3a in hand

Lumintop FW3A


Definitely the most popular flashlight in the Flashlight communities!

  • #1 most popular flashlight!
  • LED choices:
  • SST-20 4000K
  • Cree XP-L Hi 3D (neutral)
  • Cree XPL Hi 7A (warm)
  • ~2800 Lumens @ max output
  • Uses 1*18650 batterry (not included)

This is one of the most anticipated flashlights ....ever... A group of BLF members and TLF members put their heads together in 2017 to make one of the best budget flashlights ever! In 2019 it finally came into production and thousands of flashlight enthousiasts got one. It's one of the smallest 18650 and brightest flashlights currently available. Please read our Lumintop FW3A review to see if this is something you would like to own!

Since the size is about the same as a normal 18350 flashlight, you get the both of best worlds. And besides the size, you need to take a little bit more caution with this one than a regular flashlight. That is due to the nature of this beast. Also available in blue, purple, copper and even titanium.

  • LED choices:
  • Nichia 219C: 3000lm
  • Cree XP-L: 4300lm
  • SST20 4000K
  • SST20 5000K
  • SST20 6500K
  • ~2800 Lumens @ max output
  • Uses 1*18650 battery (not included)

Check out all the details in our in-depth Noctigon KR4 review. Beautifully machined and beautiful looking. Uses the Andúril firmware and includes aux LEDs behind the glass.

This is probably the #1 EDC flashlight of 2021 (among members of the enthusiast flashlight community). The size is just slightly larger than the average 18350 flashlight. The output is staggering at over 4000 lumens at startup - and is even higher with the right battery. When you order the Noctigon KR4, make sure you have a good battery, or order the optional Samsung 30Q with the flashlight.

zebralight-sc600-mkiv

Zebralight SC600w Mk IV Plus


Etremely bright and small flashlight made by Zebralight

  • 2300 lumens
  • Powerful CREE XHP50.2 LED
  • CRI 80+
  • Single 18650 battery (not included)
  • IPX8 waterproof
  • Extreme low level output at 0.2 lumens

Zebralight is one of those manufacturers that produces top notch flashlights in all respects. Their flashlights are extremely bright, have intuitive firmware, and are very dependable. Although it has "only" 3 main modes, you can actually program each mode with sublevels. So you have the ability to set your preferred output.

We reviewed this flashlight’s bigger brother, the Zebralight SC700d, which is an amazing light. A little on the large side, but some people still use it as an EDC.

5

21700 EDC flashlights

holding zebralight sc700d in hand

Zebralight SC700d


On the edge of technology

  • 3000 Lumens
  • Powerful Cree XHP70.2 LED
  • Extremely long runtime and extremely powerful
  • Top of the notch quality
  • 21700 type battery

Zebralight is a premium flashlight brand that is amongst the best of its kind! We reviewed the Zebralight SC700d here. It's their first 21700 battery type flashlight with an extremely powerful XHP70.2 LED that can reach 3000 lumens. Runtime with a 40T 21700 battery is very, very good. In max output mode it drops down to 1000 lumens and remains at that level until the end. We can't stop recommending this beautiful beast!

If you have larger pockets or you need something for the car or truck, you will love this flashlight!

6

EDC accessories

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

Tritium accessories

Tritium vials (or trits) are made in nuclear reactors by neutron activation of lithium-6. They have a glow effect that lasts for years without the need for a recharge. It simply glows for years on end. You don't need and you can't recharge the glow effect.

Tritium vials

tritium inserts for flashlights

Tritium vials

Tritium pendants

EDC flashlight accessories trits pendants

Add this to a paracord

Keychain pendants

edc-tritium-gas-pendants

For on your keychain. 

Tritium key fob

keyfob

For on your keychain.

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. 

Turboglow button

glow gasket buttons

Specifically made for the Lumintop FW1A, FW3A, FW3C, FW3T, FW9x

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

Quatro LED glow gasket

edc-glow-gaskets-quad

Fit: Carclo 106xx TIR optics (10622/10623) quad LEDs. Example: Lumintop FW4A, Emisar D4