Best keychain flashlights available as of 2023
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Our top picks: Best Keychain flashlight contenders
Unlike most of the “Best keychain flashlights” lists you have found on Google, we have owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights on our team. Many of those lists you saw are written by people who know nothing about flashlights! In fact, many of these people do not even own any flashlights they recommend.
1000 lumen keychain flashlight
Nitecore TUP : 1000 lumen keychain flashlight
The Nitecore TUP is a performer and may look a little unusual with the 2 switches and OLED display. But when you press that switch…. you will blind yourself with a solid 1000 lumens. We have evaluated the Nitecore TUP, and it really reached 1000 lumens! Unlike many other brands on eBay or Aliexpress, this is the real deal.
If you are searching for something lightweight, but don’t mind the bit chunky-sized keychain light, this is a great way to get ahead of the game. The OLED display tells exactly how many more minutes the battery will last. The peak brightness can only be reached while pressing the button continuously. So the highest constant output mode is 200 lumens.
Best Rechargeable keychain flashlight
Actually, most, if not all of the flashlights on this page are rechargeable.
OLIGHT I1R 2 PRO
Let’s start off by saying that the claimed 180 lumens isn’t true.. nope, we measured 226 lm at turn on. Not bad for such a small light. On the highest output setting, you get about 30 minutes of runtime. And on the lowest setting, you get over 15 hours.
The Olight i1R 2 PRO is very tiny, albeit not as small as its predecessor, the i1R 2 EOS. It includes a tiny built-in battery that is not replaceable. So keep that in mind. You need to twist it to turn on and untwist it to turn off. By quickly tightening – loosening – tightening you get to the other mode setting. It’s pretty straightforward if you understand the concept. Olight is a well-known flashlight brand that makes high-quality products. You can’t go wrong with the Olight I1r 2 PRO!
Popular AAA flashlights for on your keys
AAA flashlights are probably one of the most popular keychain flashlights since AAA batteries are widely available. However, we do not recommend using Alkaline batteries, like Duracell. We have experienced and read about too many instances where Alkaline batteries leaked, and even damaged flashlights almost beyond repair. Instead, we only recommend using rechargeable AAA batteries like Panasonic Eneloop. These rechargeable batteries can be charged hundreds of times and they save you money in the long run.
Want all the juicy details? Head over to our Lumintop EDC01 review.
Popular single AA Keychain flashlight (for EDC)
Lumintop TOOL AA 2.0
If you’re looking for a reliable AA flashlight have a look at the Lumintop Tool AA 2.0. It’s extremely popular amongst flashoholics. It’s available in 3 different colors as well as in titanium. We reviewed the Titanium Tool 2.0 AA light here. Although they work with 14500 Li-Ion batteries, we wouldn’t recommend them using for any longer than 10 seconds at a time. With AA batteries it’s no problem to keep them on in Turbo.
The Lumintop Tool AA2.0 has 3 different modes. Simply press the tail switch quickly to change modes. The great thing about AA flashlights is the extended battery life compared to an AAA flashlight. (about 3 times as long) But at the cost of a larger size. We do not recommend Duracell Alkaline batteries. Actually, we don’t recommend Alkaline batteries in general. You are much better off buying rechargeable batteries. Especially ones that are made in Japan. Those are constantly coming up at the top of every rechargeable battery test.
Mini keychain light (most advanced compact keychain light we tested)
If you’re looking at something really small, and extremely bright… for split second… this is it.
There are no real other options other than the Lumintop Frog, which is this small and reaches such a high output. With the 10180 battery, we measured 598 lumens at turn on, and 858 lumens with the 10440 battery.
The 10180 battery has a capacity of just 80mAh.. yes, you read that correctly. 80mAh is like a blink f an eye.. just kidding. So, I would suggest getting the optional 10440 battery tube, and a 10440 battery.
If you’re a flashlight enthusiast, you can program the UI to your liking. It uses the NarsilM firmware 12 different mode sets, including a stepless ramping mode.
The package includes a charging adapter with a USB-C charging port and charging cable, so you don’t need to buy a special charger separately.
Interested in learning more about this little keychain monster? Read our Lumintop Frog review.
Lightest keychain torch
Nitecore Tube v1
If you’re looking for a very thin and lightweight rechargeable keychain light, this may be your best bet. Nitecore is a premium flashlight brand that produces great craftmanship. Although usually in the higher segment, they also have some affordable flashlights like the T series Tube. This Nitecore keychain light is available in multiple colors, including pink (for the other half), and is a great gift for your non-flashaholic friends and family. Simply add the light to their keychain and they’ll be happy. Don’t expect anything bright, since it uses a simple 5mm led, and not a high-power LED! The maximum output is about 45 lumens. Want to know more, check out our Nitecore tube review.
Brightest keychain flashlight (Turbo light)
Most powerful keychain light
The Nitecore T4K is the successor of the 1000 lumen Nitecore TUP. In terms of size, it’s a bit bigger, but not heavy at all. We have reviewed the Nitecore T4K, to see all the details. Ours tested at 3736 lumens, just a bit below the claimed 4000 lumens. If you want to show off with a keychain flashlight, this is probably what you are looking for.
Q&A about buying a keychain flashlight
Some of the most common questions asked when it comes to Keychain flashlights:
Which brand makes the best keychain lights?
What is the most powerful keychain flashlight?
That is probably the Nitecore T4K we reviewed, which reaches to about 4000 lumens.
What’s the smallest keyring flashlight?
It depends on what you mean by small. You can get them as cheap and small as you want. But the smallest, but most powerful keyring flashlight we reviewed is probably the Lumintop Frog, with over 700 lumens
Smartphone vs a versatile keychain EDC flashlight
14 reasons why you should use a keychain flashlight over your smartphone light
There are a few things that you can keep in mind when choosing between a keychain light and a smartphone light.
- Many keychain lights have replaceable batteries. So in case of an emergency, you’re likely to be able to find a spare battery, and your phone doesn’t. You likely want to save battery on your phone in these situations.
- Smartphone lights don’t light up things farther than a few feet away from you. So a dedicated keychain flashlight is likely going to let you see farther away than just a few feet in front of you.
- A keychain light can take some abuse, and it’s easier to lend out to somebody. Especially if you only have an expensive smartphone.
- In case of an emergency, you might need both at the same time, so having an extra keychain light with you can be crucial.
- In most cases, your cellphone light is very limited in terms of functionality. It’s usually an on/off, and no options like high mode, low mode, to extend battery life or have an SOS feature to let other people know where you are.
- Keychain lights are likely easier to use when you need both hands than your mobile phone.
- If it’s a real emergency, you want to save your phone’s battery
- Most keychain lights are much more powerful and can light up a larger area / space
- A keychain light is smaller, and therefore much easier to take with you than a phone.
- Keychain lights can be used by smaller children, and you don’t need to worry about them breaking your screen
- You can lend out your keychain light while keeping on to your phone in an emergency situation
- Keychain lights are more water-resistant
- Keychain lights are more impact resistant
- 2 is one, and 1 is none