6 Best Keychain Flashlights: EDC, AAA, Rechargeable

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Best Keychain Flashlights

Besides your house key, your keychain is a convenient place to keep various tools from a clipper to a can opener. Since you often carry your keychain anywhere you go, attaching some useful gears to it is not a bad idea.

A keychain flashlight to enhance your vision in a low light situation could come in handy because of its lightweight design. But if you know little about market options and only rely on your smartphone flashlight, it’s not easy to make a good purchase.

Well, don’t worry, this article shall show you how to buy the best keychain flashlight plus several features for your consideration.

There are way too many products around, so it’s vital to have a clear understanding of a keychain flashlight before you head to the store. In most cases, it must be small enough so you won’t end up with a prominent bulge in your pocket.

Take some time to make sure that the keychain flashlight’s features are good enough for your need and requirement. No one wants to buy something only to see it fail in a matter of days.

Finally, there is a diversity of preferences and demands. That is why you have to incorporate your tastes into the selection process.

6 Best Keychain Flashlights

1. ThruNite Ti3 Keychain Flashlight

Best Overall

Thrunite

Features:

  • Length: 70 Millimeters
  • Weight: 12 Grams
  • Maximum light output: 130 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (AAA, NiMH, or Alkaline)

Belong to the Ti series of ThruNite, Ti3 is among the best keychain flashlights in its price range. Using a single AAA battery (not AA battery), it’s quite a dependable keychain flashlight with an excellent brightness and a relatively long runtime.

The aircraft grade aluminum alloy casing is tough. You can submerge the keychain flashlight under 2 meters of water without damaging its internal component.

To protect itself from incorrect installation, the keychain flashlight possesses a reverse polarity protection system. The Cree XP-L V6 LED flashlights of Ti3 have an estimated lifespan of 20 years, which makes it a quality and long-lasting product to have.

There are four operating lighting modes available at your disposal: Strobe, High, Medium, and Firefly. At the maximum light setting, the Ti3 keychain flashlight can deliver a 130 Lumens beam out to a distance of 50 meters, good enough for a keychain flashlight.

To change between the modes, all you have to do is to rotate the head. Do keep in mind that running the keychain flashlight on the brightest levels like High mode and Strobe mode significantly reduces the power life.

The convenient snap hook on the tail section permits you to detach/attach the keychain flashlight whenever you like during everyday carry or emergency use. This is one of the best keychain flashlights that you should purchase.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Compact profile for your keys
  • Many keychain light settings
  • Good customer service
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Inconsistent quality between products
  • Could get stuck in the low mode
  • Barely acceptable power spring

2. SureFire Titan Plus Keychain Flashlight

Best Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight

Surefire

Features:

  • Length: 3.375 Inches
  • Weight: 2.0 Ounces
  • Maximum light output: 300 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (AAA, NiMH, or Alkaline)

Want a bright and beautiful keychain flashlight? Then perhaps you should take a good look at Surefire Titan Plus. While humble in size, the use of nickel-plated brass gives it a high level of resistance to scratches and corrosions.

Besides the keychain flashlight, you shall receive a removable pocket clip for secure carry. However, you can always pass over the clip and hook the Titan Plus to your keychain using the eyelet on its tail.

In terms of size, the keychain flashlight is a bit bigger and heavier than its predecessors, but the increases are often negligible.

With a maximum light output of 300 Lumens, the Titan Plus keychain flashlight could illuminate a wide area. The purchase also includes a rechargeable AAA battery, which should sustain the keychain flashlight for 1 hour on the High operating mode.

To charge, you have to invest more money since the charge is sold separately. Other light settings consist of Medium (75 Lumens of light) and Low (15 Lumens of light) which are average for the human eye.

The Max Vision technology researched by Surefire ensures a wide and equally distributed light beam on every mode. This is one of the best EDC keychain flashlights that you can choose for everyday carry.

Pros

  • Smooth beam
  • Nice brightness
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Strong and reliable

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Fast drain rate
  • The switch and power button are less than ideal

3. Nitecore TIP Keychain Flashlight

Best Durability

Nitecore

Features:

  • Length: 2.39 Inches
  • Weight: 0.75 Ounce
  • Maximum light output: 3 hundred and 60 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (Li Ion battery)

Portable and durable, Nitecore TIP is a perfect flashlight to light up your vision in a low light environment. While it only uses 1 Li On battery, the keychain flashlight can reach a maximum light output of 360 Lumens.

There is a memory function as well. It should remember the last option you use until the next time you turn on the flashlight. Same as other modern designs, it employs a micro USB rechargeable port for USB charging.

You can plug it in and recharge whenever there is an electric outlet or a power bank nearby. That’s as long as they’re compatible with micro USB rechargeable ports for USB charging. The presence of a regulator also prevents issues like overheat or overcharge.

Because of its polycarbonate casing, TIP is capable of withstanding 77 pounds of weight and 1.5-meter drops. It’s also waterproof and water resistant, so it can come into contact with water and still be operational.

With up to seven color options available, you can go after the one that suits your taste the most. In the brightest operating mode, the flashlight can project its beam to a maximum distance of 77 meters.

A metallic ring is there to let you attach the flashlight to your keychain as well for more convenient everyday carry.

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Water resistance
  • Many color choices
  • Simple to recharge with USB charger
  • Has a keychain attachment point for your keys

Cons

  • The On/Off may get hit accidentally
  • Not very long runtime
  • Drains

4. SureFire Sidekick Keychain Flashlight

Best LED Flashlight

Surefire 2

Features:

  • Length: 2.5 Inches
  • Weight: 2.0 Ounces
  • Maximum light output: 300 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (Li-On)

Featuring a compact-sized body and powerful LED bulb, SureFire Sidekick can be used by adults and children alike without any problem. This tiny flashlight and LED emitter possesses excellent light settings, making it a good choice for illumination compared to your phone.

It employs a convenient micro USB rechargeable port that is compatible with the wall and vehicle charger. While other products require you to get the battery out of the flashlight to charge it, Sidekick lets you directly charge through the micro USB port.

The quality of the Li-On battery is top-notch. You can recharge Lithium Ion batteries repeatedly for the next seven years without fail because of the micro USB port. You can charge it with a micro USB rechargeable cable and charger.

Similar to other SureFire keychain flashlights, Sidekick makes fair use of the Max Vision technology to produce bright and wide beam out to 50 meters. There are 3 operating brightness modes for you to choose from: High, Medium, and Low.

The estimated runtime may vary from 1.25 hours to 45 hours, depending on the user habit and light setting. To cycle the modes, the flashlight employs a basic click-type switch.

You can change the default mode sequence if you want to. There is a simple metal clip for you to attach Sidekick to your keychain. When you charge the flashlight, it shall go into beacon mode.

The beeping light could be annoying at times but make it easy to locate the Sidekick flashlight in the dark. It’s makes it a great LED flashlight for everyday carry and self defense.

Pros

  • Decent beam coverage
  • Fit well in your pocket and with your keys
  • Simple to operate
  • Handy settings

Cons

  • Wire issue in certain products
  • Inadequate customer service
  • Quality control should be improved

5. UltraTac K18 Keychain Flashlight

Best AAA Flashlight

Ultratac

Features:

  • Length: 77 Millimeters
  • Weight 16 Grams
  • Maximum light output: 370/110 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (10440 or AAA)

Using aircraft grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel in its construction, K18 holds up together very well in harsh environments. Due to the durable outer casing, the internal parts are well protected against water and impact force.

Its surface is slip-resistant so that you can hold the flashlight tightly and conveniently. To prevent overheat, K18 employs an innovative thermal path with copper aid that considerably enhances the heat dissipation rate.

For a power source, K18 can accept 10440 or AAA but just remember your choice would affect the flashlight brightness potential. This is the best aaa keychain flashlight that you can’t miss.

With a 10440 battery, the flashlight’s highest light output should be around 370 Lumens of light. On the other hand, using an AAA battery results in much lower maximum brightness levels, with 110 Lumens being the norm.

Reverse polarity protection is in place to protect the flashlight from installation mistakes. There is a switch lockout feature to conserve power and avoid accidental activation.

Click the switch twice in quick succession, then turn off the flashlight to engage the lockout. Since the K18 trail is completely flat, it’s capable of standing upright on its own.

Pros

  • Quite bright for its size
  • Straightforward controls
  • Durable body
  • Impact resistance
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • The key hook should be improved
  • Customers complain about switch malfunction
  • A bit pricey

6. Olight I3E EOS Keychain Flashlight

Best Micro Flashlight

Olight

Features:

  • Length: 60.5 Millimeters
  • Weight: 19.4 Grams
  • Maximum light output: 120/90 Lumens
  • Battery capacity: 1 (AAA, NiMH, or Alkaline)

Compact and smooth, Olight I3E is a slim keychain flashlight that can easily slide into a pocket or a bag. As small as it is, the flashlight packs a relatively nice beam.

There are 6 color options: Silver, Red, Black, Purple, Green, and Blue. The Silver version got a maximum output of 120 Lumens while others possess around 90 Lumens of white light.

Since the EOS keychain flashlight’s outer casing is rather smooth, it should not wear down the fabric interior of your pocket and bag. With the 19.4 gram weight, you can hardly tell the I3E presence while carrying it.

Running on a single AAA, the flashlight could last for approximately an hour, depending on your type. Its beam’s farthest distance can reach roughly 44 to 48 meters, adequate for a flashlight of its size.

For LED light, Ỉ3E uses a long-lasting Philips LUXEON TX with an estimated lifetime of 60,000 hours. Along with the premium quality PMMA TIR lens, the flashlight produces a bright and powerful beam.

On the tail cap is a handy key ring. You can use it to secure Ỉ3E to a keychain in no time. This is one of the best pocket flashlights you can get.

Pros

  • Super light and slim for your keys 
  • Helpful customer service
  • Basic control interface for everyday carry
  • Quite cheap

Cons

  • Only has 1 light option
  • The head occasionally unscrew itself
  • Could get a bit hot

What to Look for in a Keychain Flashlight

Battery Capacity

Because of its limited dimension, the keychain flashlight often uses compact batteries as its energy source. Thanks to technological advancement, the power longevity of small-sized batteries is fairly nice compared to their size for keychaing flashlights.

There are 2 types of batteries: Disposable and Rechargeable battery. Disposable batteries are cheap to get at first and simple to use but not exactly an economical choice in the long run.

While their acquisition cost could be considerable, built in rechargeable batteries let you use them repeatedly. Therefore, the overall flashlight expense is substantially reduced for keychain flashlight.

To charge rechargeable batteries, you can use a USB port. Simply plug in your USB charger into any USB port.

Beam Type

As with their standard size counterparts, keychain flashlights primarily utilizes 2 beam types: one is Spot and one is Flood. The Spot beam illuminates a small area at a far distance, while the Flood beam is the complete opposite of the spot beam.

In terms of purpose, people tend to use the spot beam for tasks like route finding, utility work, search, and rescue, etc.

On the other hand, the flood beam is suitable for general uses such as reading, walking, repairing, etc.

Common LED keychain flashlights usually utilize an adjustable beam. That means you can easily switch between the spot beam and the flood beam, depending on the situation of the keychain flashlights.

Brightness Level

Measured in Lumen, the brightness level and brightness modes of the flashlight largely influences its effectiveness on the field. Of course, a flashlight’s light output is closely connected to its energy life and operating mode.

Multiple lighting settings lead to a variable estimated runtime for the flashlight. The runtime is calculated by measuring the time it takes for the light output to drop below 10% of the designed capacity.

Technically speaking, using the flashlight on the higher mode always drains the power at a much faster rate compared to the lower ones.

Resistances

Given the flashlight profile, there is a good chance that you could drop it to the surface below by mistake. Therefore, it must have a certain level of resistance against impact force and other things like water and corrosion.

The material of the outer casing is going to be an important factor to consider here. It will decide the structural integrity of the flashlight and its overall resistances.

However, you still have to consider the weight of the material. You don’t want to let the flashlight weigh down your pocket.

Conclusion

And those are some of the best keychain flashlights available for purchase. Whichever brand you get, keychain flashlights are always a good investment since they’re handy.

Does anything catch your attention? It could be tough to make a logical purchase when you know little about market options.

But with the help of this article, you should have little trouble securing a suitable product for yourself. You’ll get to have a handy light source during a power outage or scary weather conditions.

If you need more flashlight options, you can check out our article on the 8 Best Police Flashlights for Law Enforcement Officers.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.