The keyring is an ideal place for attaching a small flashlight. More often than not, you will have your keys whenever you go out of the house. This makes a flashlight readily available when needed. No more fumbling with your keys or tripping over unseen stuff in the dark. Dropped something on your way to your car in the parking lot? You will easily find it if you have an accessible source of light. Read on to learn more on what to look for the best keychain flashlights.
Good keychain flashlights are compact and durable. They are sharing space with your keys and other pocket tools so they are more exposed to regular wear and tear. Their small size should basically make them disappear in your pockets. This means that they comfortably to carry and you will always have an illumination tool when needed.
Keychain flashlights are not intended to replace your everyday carry flashlight. It should complement it. They are easier to carry, lighter, and less expensive compared to a full sized flashlight. A larger light is always useful for lighting up large areas, which a small flashlight is always intended for lighing things up close.
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Why have the Best Keychain Flashlights
Having the best keychain flashlight readily available is a must. Very handy when walking in dim parking lots, walkpaths, and poorly lit hallways. No more fussing and fumbling in the dark.
There are different types of keychain flashlights depending on battery used. Popular ones use AAA batteries, which are good since those batteries are readily available. But with the disadvantage of being bigger than those that use rechargeable lithium ion, proprietary, or built-in batteries. Keychain flashlights using AAA batteries are excluded from the list below.
How to Choose the Best Keychain Flashlights
- Profile – there are different styles of keychain flashlights, those that have round profiles tend to use 10180 batteries. Flat and slim ones use built-in batteries. Flat and slim flashlights are great since they look and work similar to a key fob and can be operated with a simple push of a button. Cylindrical flashlights are usually twist operated, and while they do work well and are very reliable, some prefer button operated ones.
- Battery – since keychain torches are small and compact, they use AAA batteries, built-in Li-ion rechargeable, or 10180 lithium ion rechargeable batteries. Keychain flashlights using AAA batteries are good but they tend to be larger in size and less bright than those that use built-in or Lithium ions. Rechargeable keychain flashlights using lithium ion batteries are more versatile since they have micro-USB ports and charged by plugging in your car’s USB port or power bank.
- Brightness – the brightness of common LED keychain flashlights ranges from 100-500 lumens. Anything in the low range is still great to as high performance keychain flashlights tend to run hotter and have lower run-times. Remember that keychain flashlights are good to have but will not replace a dedicated EDC flashlight.
- Material – keychain flashlights are built from a variety of materials, with most flashlights having polymer, aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, or titanium bodies. They are all tough and durable, but if you prefer lighter weight, a polymer or titanium bodied flashlight will be a good choice.
Here’s our top picks for the best keychain flashlights available.
The Best Keychain Flashlights
SureFire makes excellent flashlights and SureFire Sidekick is one of the best keychain flashlights that you can get. The high performance LED produces a wide 300-lumen beam, which is great considering its compact size. There are three output levels from 5, 60, and up to 300 lumens maximum. The tough polymer body is weather resistant and very durable. This flashlight has built-in battery that is easily charged through a micro USB port. SureFire Sidekick looks like a standard key fob making it a stealthy and useful tool.
This is currently one of the best keychain flashlights from Nitecore. The Nitecore TINI is a small but very powerful keychain flashlight capable of emitting up to 380 lumens of smooth floody beam using a single Cree XP-G2 S3 LED. This ultra compact flashlight has a solid aluminum body which is both lightweight and strong. There are multiple color options to choose from and it is also available in stainless steel and copper. The dual controls to operate the flashlight and change modes are simple to use. It has four brightness levels that cycle from the lowest mode of 1 lumen, up to 380 lumens turbo mode. The rechargeable keychain flashlight’s built-in battery is easily charged through the micro-USB port.
Nitecore TUP is another high performance flashlight perfect for everyday carry. With an output of up to 1000 lumens and a long beam throw, this is a very capable flashlight for your keychain. It has five brightness levels and very easy to operate using two buttons for power and mode settings. The built-in 200mAh li-ion battery allows a maximum run time of up to 70 hours and is charged via a micro USB port. It comes with a removable deep cary pocket clip which makes it easy to clip to your bag, pocket, or the brim of a hat.
The Fenix UC02SS is a rugged compact flashlight and this is the model with a stainless steel body. It uses a Cree XP-G2 S2 white LED that has a maximum brightness of 130 lumens. The flashlight is easy to use and with a simple twist of the head, you can turn it on and change modes. There are two modes, 10 lumens on low and 130 lumens on high. Unscrewing the flashlight head reveals the hidden micro USB charging port which charges the single replaceable 10180 Li-ion battery. The IP68 classification makes this Fenix keychain flashlight dustproof and waterproof up to 2 meters.
Olight I1R 2 EOS is an amazingly small and sleek keychain flashlight made from aluminum alloy and has a built-in rechargeable battery. It features a 5-sided Glowing CSP LED with dual output of 5 and 150 lumens. The TIR optic lens produces a soft broad beam perfect for close up illumination. The flashlight is rechargeable through a hidden micro USB charging port. A simple twist operation controls the flashlight and changes the output setting.
The RovyVon Aurora series of flashlights are some the most popular bright keychain flashlights available. This is the A4 model, RovyVon Aurora Titanium made from strong and lightweight material. It is tiny and super bright flashlight with an output of 550 lumens using a Cree XP-G3 S5 LED. Use a micro USB cable for charging via the covered USB port. The side switch operates the flashlight and also used to cycle through three modes. RovyVon Aurora A4 Titanium is a tiny flashlight perfect for your keychain. If you need a super bright flashlight this is one to get.
Klarus Mini One Ti is lightweight, small, and durable keychain flashlight constructed from Titanium. This high performance flashlight is very simple to operate with a simple twist to power the light and change the levels. It has a dual output of 30 and 130 lumens and easily rechargeable using a hidden micro USB port. A removable 10180 Li-ion battery comes included.
One of the brightest flashlight in our list, the MecArmy SGN5 is a unique flashlight specially designed as a personal protection tool. It features a side alarm switch that triggers a loud siren (115dB) with simultaneous strobe for self-defense or emergencies. The bright keychain flashlight uses a Cree XP-G2 S3 LED with an output of 560 lumens. A single side switch allows for easy one handed operation. There are four modes plus strobe and the internal battery is rechargeable using a micro USB cable.
MecArmy’s X series are compact and reliable flashlights for EDC. The MecArmy X1S model is crafted from lightweight and high-quality Titanium alloy. It uses a rechargeable 10180 lithium ion battery that powers a Cree XP-G2 LED. Capable of delivering up to 130 lumens and is rechargeable via a hidden micro-USB interface. The flashlight flat tail end is well designed for attaching to a keychain while being able to tail stand when needed. There are two modes, with the lowest at 8 lumens with a maximum run-time of up to 6 hours. Other variants are X2S (stainless steel), X3S (copper or brass), and X4S (aluminum).
A well engineered tiny flashlight that fits a Cree XP-G2 S4 LED. Maratac Peanut flashlight has dual mode brightness capable of delivering 145 lumens on high and at 12 lumens on low. The orange peel reflector produces an even soft light which is great for close up work. Using a replaceable 10180 lithium ion battery recharging is easy to do by swapping the head with the included micro-USB charging port. The stainless steel construction with the well designed tail cap that allows for tail stand makes this one of the best keychain flashlights.