Keychain lights

Unlike most of the "Best keychain flashlights" lists you have found in Google, we have owned and reviewed hundreds of flashlights on our team. Many of those lists are written by people who know nothing about flashlights! In fact, many of these people do not even own any flashlights they recommend. How we can tell? 

We are on a mission:

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Stop relying on Amazon reviews, top 10 websites, or manufacturer's specs.
We test flashlights to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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We provide you with real knowledge and real-world testing to really tell the difference.

1000 lumen keychain flashlight

Nitecore TUP : 1000 lumen keychain flashlight

Holding Nitecore TUP in hand
  • Tow user modes: Constant and Press only.
  • Real 1000 Lumens
  • Plastic TIR optics for
  • XPL-HD V6 LED
  • Built-in USB micro charge port

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.

Rechargeable keychain flashlight

  • Max output: 180 lumens (I tested 226 lm at turn on)
  • Modes: 2 (Low and High)
  • Battery: built-in
  • Onboard charging: USB-C port
  • Length: 52.3mm / 2.06" (turned off)
  • Length: 62mm / 2.44"(turned on)
  • Weight: 22.4 gr / .79 oz.

Instead of the claimed 180 lumens we measured 226lm 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 tighetining - 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 Keychain lights

Lumintop EDC01

Lumintop EDC01 holding in hand
Lumintop EDC01 runtime
  • Max output: 120 lumens (we measured 111 lumens)
  • Mode: 3
  • Battery: AAA (Alkaline or NiMH)
  • Available in several colors

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.

Why do we love this Lumintop EDC01?

  • It's very affordable at only $10
  • It doesn't have a normal mechanical switch, so less chance of to break
  • It doesn't have a USB port, which can damage by water or get dirt stuck inside
  • Works on AAA rechargeables, and primaries in case of an emergency
  • It's available in different colors, so it's great for gifting
  • Plenty bright for its size at 110+ lumens
  • It has 3 modes, and the lowest mode runs for 26 hours non stop

Want all the juicy details? Head over to our Lumintop EDC01 review.

Popular single AA Keychain flashlight

Lumintop TOOL AA 2.0

lumintop flashlight in hand
  • Maximum output on AA: 140 lumens 
  • Maximum output on 14500 lithium: 650 lumens
  • Diffuser included
  • Optional Magnetic Tail cap
  • Uses 1AA battery or 1* 14500

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

  • Maximum lumen output: 750 lumens (we tested 858 lumens at turn on with 10440 battery)
  • LED: Luminus SST20 4000K with High CRI (with optimized color rendering)
  • Modes: multiple mode groups
  • Battery: 10180 (and an optional 10440, which is recommended to get)
  • Onboard charging: With USB-C charging adapter (included)
  • Length: 44.6 mm / 1.758" (with 10180 battery)
  • Length: 70.3 mm / 2.77" (with 10440 battery and battery tube)
  • Weight with 10180 battery: 14.2 gr / .38 oz.
  • Weight with 10440 battery: 24.2 gr / .85 oz.

If you're looking at something really small, and extremely bright... for split second... this is it.

There are no real other options other the Lumintop Frog, that are this small and reach 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 1/10 of even an AAA battery. So, I would suggest getting the optional 10440 battery tube, and 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

nitecore tube in hand
  • Impact resistance to 1.5 meters
  • 2 brightness levels
  • USB rechargeable (Micro USB)
  • Built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery with a runtime of up to 48 hours in the lowest output mode.
  • Available in many colors

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

Nitecore T4K

Most powerful keychain light

holding nitecore T4K in hand
  • Tow user modes: Constant and Press only.
  • Max output: 4000 Lumens
  • Plastic TIR optics for
  • 4*XPL-2 LED
  • Built-in USB-C charging

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 Keychain flashlights

Some of the most common questions asked when it comes to Keychain flashlights:

Why don't you recommend a smartphone over an EDC keychain light

There are a few things that you can keep in mind when choosing between a keychain light and a smartphone light.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. A keychain light can take some abuse, and it's easier to lend out to somebody. Especially if you only have an expensive smartphone.
  4. In case of an emergency, you might need both at the same time, so having an extra keychain light with you can be crucial.
  5. 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 having an SOS feature to let other people know where you are.
  6. Keychain lights are likely easier to use when you need both hands than your mobile phone.
  7. Most keychain lights are much more powerful and can light up a larger space
  8. A keychain light is smaller, and therefore much easier to take with you than a phone.
  9. Keychain lights can be used by smaller children, and you don't need to worry about them breaking your screen
  10. Keychain lights are more water-resistant
  11. Keychain lights are more impact resistant
  12. 2 is one, and 1 is none

 

Who makes the best keychain flashlights

That's a really tough question to answer.

There are many great keychain lights made by different manufacturers. But there are just a few that focus mainly on keychain flashlights, and 1 of them is RovyVon. Please have a look at the reviews we've done of the RovyVon S3, and RovyVon Aurora A9.

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