Best 18650 Flashlight Review 2020 For The Money

Packing high voltage, solid capacity and reusability, the 18650 lithium-ion battery is known as one of the best power sources for electronic devices including flashlights. Naturally, every year, manufacturers of flashlights introduce to the market multiple models that run on 18650. That being said, while 18650 flashlights nowadays seemingly come in all sizes and shapes, a few stand out from the rest. In the case that you wish to pick up the best 18650 flashlight, it’s widely advised that you check out the models reviewed down below.

Top 8 Best Cheap 18650 Flashlights 2020

1/ Anker Bolder LC90

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Medium, Low, Strobe and SOS)
  • Max Output: 900 Lumens
  • IPX-5 rating
  • Anti-slip finish
  • Pocket-friendly

Featuring Cree XM-L2 LED, Bolder LC90 from Anker possesses a long reach compared to typical flashlights on the market. In addition to that, the Anker flashlight boasts 5 light settings that allow it to match a wide range of situations. As it incorporates a dedicated built-in circuit that is designed to prevent fading, the output of Anker Bolder LC90 remains consistent over time too. Unsurprisingly, Bolder LC90 is considered to be the best all-around 18650 flashlight available for purchase.

Constructed from quality aluminum, Anker Bolder LC90 is light but it’s still able to take on bumps and hits. Furthermore, being rated at IPX-5, the flashlight made by Anker illuminates reliably even after it’s submerged deep under water. Interestingly, the bezel of Bolder LC90 is scalloped for striking which means it also works well in a tactical role. Bolder LC90 packs aggressive anti-slip finish as well so you don’t have to worry about it slipping away from your hands in use.

As proof of confidence in the quality of its flashlight, Anker offers users of Bolder LC90 an 18-month manufacturer warranty. In the case that you seek peace of mind, you should think about adding Anker Bolder LC90 to your shortlist.

Pros:

  • Resilient
  • Intuitive handling
  • Bright and long-lasting

Cons:

  • The charging port should be overhauled
  • Quality control is less than ideal

2/ Wuben L50

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Mid, Low, Eco and Emergency)
  • Max Output: 1,200 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Memory circuit
  • Low power warning

Flexible and versatile, L50 from Wuben could be put to good use by everyone in an assortment of lighting conditions. Made from hard-anodized alloy, the flashlight from Wuben is known to be highly portable so it’s possible to wield it as you like. Also, since Wuben L50 is proof against dust as well as water, it’s capable of operating in challenging environments. As a result, L50 is the all-time favorite of camping enthusiasts that wish to keep a sturdy flashlight around as they explore the outdoors.  

Normally, L50 of Wuben is powered by an outstanding rechargeable 18650 battery that lets it run for a long time but it accepts CR123 x 2 too. As L50 integrates a USB charging port, you could charge the battery directly instead of having to remove it beforehand. Once the battery is about to be depleted, the Wuben flashlight is going to send out a series of warnings. Hence, you would never have to wander aimlessly in the dark because your flashlight shut down out of the blue.  

Upon purchase, Wuben L50 is accompanied by a battery, a lanyard, a charging cable, two O-rings and a manual. That is why people could start using the flashlight made by Wuben moments after taking it out of the packaging.

Pros:

  • Splendid light output
  • Dependable and reliable
  • Portability is excellent

Cons:

  • Tiny switch
  • Customer service is unresponsive

3/ Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 4 (High, Low, COB and SOS)
  • Max Output: 600 Lumens
  • IPX-4 rating
  • Magnetic base
  • Side light

You need an adaptable flashlight? Then it’s strongly recommended that you give Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight a look. Boasting a strong magnetic at its base, the flashlight from Karrong could be attached to things that feature metal exteriors. Because of that, Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight proves handy in tasks that require illumination and both of your hands. Additionally, thanks to the innovative light setup, the Karrong flashlight is able to send beams forward and to the side.       

Rated at IPX-4, Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight handles rain, snow and similar elements well so it’s definitely a marvelous companion in outdoor adventures. Compact and light, the flashlight made by Karrong is a breeze to carry and use over extended periods of time. In the usual cases, Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight would run hour after hour on a single fully-charged 18650 battery. As the battery runs low, you could bring it back to full charge while it’s still in the flashlight using the USB charging port.    

About the control, Karrong Magnetic COB LED Flashlight packs an on/off switch that also doubles as a setting toggle. All in all, the flashlight from Karrong is the best 18650 flashlight regarding ease of operation.    

Pros:

  • Well-built
  • Fair cost
  • Slim and sleek

Cons:

  • A few users experience battery issues
  • Certain parts need to be strengthened

4/ Fenix PD35TAC

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 3 for Tactical (Turbo, Low and Strobe) and 6 for EDC (Turbo, High, Mid, Low, Eco and Strobe)
  • Max Output: 1,000 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Reverse polarity protection
  • Stainless steel switch

Possessing two modes of operation, Fenix PD35TAC is well-received by lots of people from homeowners to tactical operators. For daily use, the EDC mode of the Fenix flashlight should meet various lighting demands as it packs multiple settings. Compared to EDC mode, the Tactical mode contains few settings but it lets you operate the flashlight at increased speed. Besides that, since its output is digitally regulated, PD35TAC is deemed to be unmatched once it comes to consistency.      

Made from aviation aluminum, the flashlight from Fenix is regarded to be both light and rugged which means it could be used in many applications. Moreover, the IPX-8 rating of PD35TAC indicates that it’s going to stay in working order following water immersion. Due to the presence of anti-abrasive finish and slip-resistant body, maintaining a good hold of PD35TAC of Fenix is by all accounts a walk in the park. The strategic locations of the switches facilitate handling as well.

As it lacks a built-in charging port, the Fenix flashlight requires users to remove its battery for recharge. Fortunately, PD35TAC is reverse polarity protected so in the case that you mess up the battery insertion, it remains undamaged.

Pros:

  • Powerful and tough
  • Packaging is sublime
  • Useful light settings

Cons:

  • Unable to tail stand
  • Quality control needs some work

5/ Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (High, Middle, Low, Strobe and SOS)
  • Max Output: 1,200 Lumens
  • IPX-4 rating
  • Zoomable
  • Charging port

Designed to use XM-L2 LED, Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight is capable of delivering focused beams for quite some time. Depending on current requirements, users could even change the focus of the Phixton flashlight by pushing and pulling its head. Through the push-button switch, you would be able to turn it on/off and cycle between the light settings.  As a result, adapting Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight to particular light conditions is a cakewalk.

The standard source of power of the flashlight made by Phixton is a 18650 lithium-ion battery but you could use  AAA x 3 in a pinch. In addition, Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight integrates a USB charging port that allows direct recharges. So as to prevent damages from careless battery insertion as well as electronic issues, the Phixton flashlight receives reverse polarity, short-circuit and overload protection. Therefore, Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight is known as the best 18650 flashlight in terms of integrity.

As for accessories, the flashlight of Phixton is sold alongside a wall charger, a bike mount, a pouch and others. Because of that, you don’t have to make separate purchases to put Phixton Tactical Handheld Flashlight to good use.

Pros:

  • Robust and portable
  • Convenient accessories
  • Nice values for the price

Cons:

  • Customer service is barely acceptable
  • Some users receive inoperable chargers

 

6/ Soonfire NS17

 

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 6 (Ultra Bright, High, Mid, Low and Shimmery)
  • Max Output: 1,000 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Aviation aluminum
  • Temperature control

By incorporating a precise temperature control system, Soonfire NS17 never gets too hot in use so it’s the best 18650 flashlight for draw-out works. Aside from that, the flashlight of Soonfire boasts a wide range of light settings that you could access at will. Hence, NS17 of Soonfire is a valuable tool to have around in plenty of situations. Constructed using aviation aluminum, NS17 is often considered to be light but it also resists shocks and vibrations relatively well.

For battery, the Soonfire flashlight is typically powered by a 18650. In the case that you don’t have a good 18650 on hand, Soonfire NS17 accepts 16340 x 1 and CR123 x 2 too. After power drops below 20%, the flashlight made by Soonfire automatically jumps to the lowest light setting while its red light indicator flashes time and again to remind you to recharge. Since NS17 features a user-friendly integrated USB charging port, you should be able to fully charge its battery in a blink of an eye.

Regarding post-purchase support, Soonfire provides everyone that picks up NS17 with an 18-month manufacturer warranty that covers manufacturing defects. In addition, the customer service of Soonfire would help you take on issues surrounding the functions of NS17 as well.

Pros:

  • Reasonable  price
  • Fast delivery service
  • Sturdy and compact

Cons:

  • The push-button switch is fiddly
  • Charging port need to be strengthened  

7/ Sofirn SP31 V2.0

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 7 (Turbo, High, Mid, Low, Eco, Strobe and SOS)
  • Max Output: 1,200 Lumens
  • IPX-8 rating
  • Dual switch
  • Battery indicator

Built to last, SP31 V2.0 from Sofirn tends to be held in high esteem by those that look for ruggedness. Being rated at IPX-8, the flashlight of Sofirn works reliably in an assortment of settings, indoors as well as outdoors. Thanks to the use of ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) technology, SP31 V2.0 would automatically adjust its light output once the driver temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius. That is why Sofirn SP31 V2.0 is less susceptible to overheat compared to the average flashlights on the market nowadays.

Possessing a dual switch control scheme, the flashlight made by Sofirn lets you manipulate its operation as you see fit. For momentary illumination, you need to use the forward switch and all light settings of Sofirn SP31 V2.0 could be selected through the side switch. Furthermore, as the Sofirn flashlight packs a memory circuit, it remembers the last setting you use and changes to that the next you use it. Thus, you don’t have to cycle through all the settings to get to the one you like every time you turn on SP31 V2.0.

Accompanied by lanyard and clip, SP31 V2.0 of Sofirn offers people lots of carrying options. That means it’s going to be a breeze to keep the flashlight from Sofirn on you as you move.

Pros:

  • Wonderful light outputs
  • Splendid exterior finish
  • Handling is outstanding  

Cons:

  • Mediocre runtime
  • The switches get sticky now and then

8/PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight

Features And Specifications:

  • Light Settings: 5 (Full, Medium, Low, Strobe and SOS)
  • Max Output: 1,200 Lumens
  • IPX-6 rating
  • Soft-touch tail switch
  • Zoomable

Resilient and portable, PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight proves to be the ideal source of illumination in a lot of cases. The body of the PeakPlus flashlight is made from heavy-duty aluminum which allows it to tackle abrasion and impacts. In addition to that, you could even use PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight in the rain since it’s water-resistant. As a result, for those that need long-lasting flashlights, the flashlight made by PeakPlus would be a worthwhile purchase. Besides that, the economical cost of PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight suits various shopping budgets too. 

Boasting multiple light settings, the flashlight from PeakPlus excels at adapting to many light conditions. The focus of the beam is adjustable as well so depending on the current demands, PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight could change from a spotlight to a floodlight and vice versa. The PeakPlus flashlight packs a single switch that lets you cycle through the light settings and turn it on/off. Therefore, you should be able to get used to the operation of PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight in a few minutes. 

As for the battery, the flashlight of PeakPlus runs on a 18650 battery but you could substitute it using AAA x 3. PeakPlus LED Tactical Flashlight is sold alongside a battery charger as well as a case. 

Pros:

  • Sublime intensity 
  • Affordable and durable 
  • Decent runtime 

Cons:

  • Inoperable charger is a common complaint
  • Battery contact often get loose  

 

Features and specification of the best 18650 flashlight

Overall, different people tend to have different opinions regarding the best 18650 flashlight money can buy. That being said, if you wish to get your money’s worth then it’s strongly recommended that you keep in mind the following considerations.

  • Light Output

Since people rely on flashlights for illumination, it’s obvious that light output would be one of the top concerns. Nowadays, the output of flashlights is measured in lumen: as the lumen rating increases, the output raises accordingly as well. To determine the ideal output for your flashlight, you must think about its intended purpose. For instance, you don’t need a blindingly bright flashlight just to read books and if you frequently have to navigate dimly-lit spaces, remember to prioritize high lumen models.

  • Durability

Generally speaking, it’s unwise to treat flashlights in a rough manner but you should nonetheless give durability some thoughts before committing to a purchase. The last things you want to spend your money on are fragile flashlights that break apart after the lightest hits. Thus, while assessing models on the market, it’s suggested that you check out the design, material and so on. In addition, to reach an objective conclusion, you need to take a look at the reviews of fellow users too.

  • Ease Of Use

It’s definitely frustrating to get stuck in the dark with an overly complex flashlight that refuses to turn on no matter what you do. As a result, it’s widely advised that you pay attention to ease of use and save yourself a headache. So if you come to like a particular flashlight, refrain from picking it up until you know for certain that you could master its control. Flashlights packed with features would only provide negligible values if complicated controls prevent them from being put to good use.

  • Size And Weight

Once it comes to size and weight, it’s all about individual liking: some prefer compact lightweight flashlights while others opt to purchase sizable models. In the typical case, small flashlights should have top-notch portability but big ones usually boast superior runtime on average. Hence, to grab a fitting flashlight, it’s essential that you take into account the way you store your flashlight and how you wield it. That is going to help you narrow down your shortlist.

  • Price

Flashlights come at various price ranges so suitable models exist for virtually every shopping budget. Unless you have specific demands, there is no need to empty your wallet to buy an expensive premium-grade flashlight. Today’s market contains a wide range of quality models that come at reasonable prices. However, since price is still linked to performance, it’s best that you steer clear of dirt-cheap flashlights as they often utilize corner-cutting to keep the price low.

Well-Regarded Brands Of 18650 Flashlights

Technically, you don’t have to limit your choices to particular manufacturers of flashlights. If you come across a flashlight that meets your requirements, feel free to buy it without bothering about its brands. But in the case that you wish to stay on the safe side, you should get your flashlight from one of the names down below.

  • Fenix

By constantly updating its facilities and production techniques, Fenix is able to build solid flashlights that never fail to please. From household uses to tactical applications, Fenix has top-notch models for pretty much everything. In addition, Fenix back its flashlights with outstanding warranties that give people peace of mind.  

  • ThruNite

Being a well-established name in the industry, ThruNite is held in high esteem by flashlight users around the globe. Flashlights from ThruNite prove to be relatively affordable compared to models of other brands so they are sought after by those that have tight wallets.

  • Streamlight

As it continues to refine its existing flashlight and put together new ones base on the reports of customers, Streamlight is capable of ensuring satisfaction. Thanks to a combination of quality materials and advanced technologies, flashlights made by Streamlight give a good account of themselves in an assortment of conditions.

  • Olight

Adhering to the latest manufacturing standards, Olight offers superb flashlights that last a long time. Strict quality control means only the best flashlights would reach the hands of the customers.

  • Klarus

Known as the pioneer of the dual-switch tactical flashlights, Klarus is deemed by many people to be one of the premier brands of flashlights. Dependable and reliable, flashlights from Klarus should work like a charm regardless of the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About 18650 Flashlights

  • Could I use other batteries as substitutes for 18650 in emergencies?

Lots of 18650 flashlights could accept other batteries like CR123, AAA and so on as substitutes for 18650 batteries in a pinch. As a result, it’s possible to use certain 18650 flashlights even if you don’t have good 18650 batteries on hand. However, in the case that you want to harness the full potential of your 18650 flashlights, it’s strongly recommended that you stick to genuine 18650 batteries.

  • What should I do to keep my flashlight in top shape?

Flashlights tend to be low-maintenance devices so they only require basic care in order to stay in good conditions. Nonetheless, it’s best that you take a look at the user’s manual that accompanies your flashlight to see what needs to be done. Additionally, you must avoid leaving your flashlight at the brightest setting for extended periods of time as that burns through batteries and leads to overheating. To preserve the integrity of your flashlight, you should also use batteries from well-known brands like Sony, Panasonic, Energizer, …

  • Is it necessary to invest in a battery charger?

A couple of 18650 flashlights have integrated chargers that allow users to charge the battery without having to take them out. If you happen to buy a model that lacks such a feature, it would be wise to pick up a delicate battery charger at once. By keeping a good charger around, it’s going to a breeze to keep your flashlight supplied with charged batteries.

Conclusion

And those are some of the best 18650 flashlights money can buy, see anything you like yet? It’s not easy to make a good purchase when you know little about market products and available options. But with the help of the information, you should have a good idea of what is a good flashlight and make up your mind accordingly.