The 10 Best Keychain Flashlights for EDC

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Your keychain is one of the most convenient places to keep your tools. You carry your keys every day anyway, so adding extra gear to them—like a flashlight—ensures you always stay prepared.

You might think to get a flashlight that's powerful enough to be worth carrying would take up way too much pocket space. But thanks to LED and battery tech, even smaller modern lights are more than powerful enough for everyday use. The best part is that many of them can live right on your keychain, always within reach.

A good part of our days is spent in the dark, so carrying a light is always a bright idea. Here are 10 of the best flashlights that can go on your keychain to round out your EDC.


TEC Accessories Pixel

If you have no more space to spare in your pockets but still want to stay prepared with a light, then it doesn't get smaller than the TEC Accessories Pixel. The fact that a 1.69”, 0.45 ounce light can still produce up to 25 lumens is impressive in its own right, but the stainless steel construction and water-resistant seal makes it a strong (and resilient) candidate for an EDC light.

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Olight S Mini Baton

Olight's taken one of our favorite CR123A lights, the S1 Baton, and made it even smaller with the S Mini Baton. But don't let the smaller size and lighter weight fool you—it's got even more lumens and runtime than its predecessor, with a maximum of 550 lumens and 30 days of runtime. While perfectly suited to clip to your pocket thanks to its smaller profile, metallic body, and a clip that allows for split ring carry, it's also right at home on a keychain.

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Nitecore TIP CRI

The original Nitecore TUBE made waves because of its power and features for its size, and the TIP builds on each of those strengths for an even better keychain light. The TIP CRI comes with 240 lumens in an eye-pleasing high CRI tint, metallic construction, and a size and weight perfect for keychain carry at 2.39” and 0.75 ounces. A micro USB port also lets you charge the TIP CRI as you would your phone, with a built-in 500 mAh battery giving you a runtime of up to 46 hours.

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Olight i3E EOS

AAA is one of the most smallest and most common batteries out there, making it a convenient power source for a compact flashlight. Olight makes good use of it with the i3E EOS, a 120-lumen, IPX8-rated twisty keychain light. It's available in a number of colors to match your EDC, comes built from lightweight (only 0.4 ounces!) aluminum alloy, and even has a handy split ring so it's ready to go on your keychain.

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SureFire Sidekick

SureFire makes some of the most rugged flashlights in the world, so when they make a light designed to withstand bumping and jangling with the rest of your keys in your pocket, you can bet it's a tough one. The Sidekick is 2.5” of 300-lumen portable power, unprecedented for a light of this size. With a weather-resistant polymer body and convenient micro USB charging, it's a no-brainer addition to any EDC, whether in your pocket or clipped to a lanyard or bag.

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MecArmy Illuminex-4

Sometimes the tradeoff for an uncommon battery is better size and voltage, which is exactly the case with MecArmy's use of a rechargeable 10180 battery in the Illuminex-4. It lets the light push out 130 lumens despite the whole thing being smaller than an AAA battery by itself, making it an almost invisible addition to any keychain. And no need to worry about having to charge an irregular battery—the Illuminex-4 comes with a micro USB port embedded right in its threads.

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Fenix UC02SS

Fenix puts its own spin on the rechargeable 10180 flashlight, this time wrapping a rugged, IP68-rated stainless steel shell around the compact battery. At 1.7”, 0.65 ounces, and with a tail ready to go on a lanyard or keychain, the UC02SS is ideal for EDC, especially given the powerful 130 lumens for its size. Charging is also no problem for the light, with a built-in micro USB port ready to top it up when its maximum runtime of almost 4 hours just isn't enough.

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ThruNite T01

Simplicity is key. Sometimes you just need a solid light that gets the job done with no fuss. And that's exactly what you get from the ThruNite T01. It's inexpensive, uses a common AAA battery, and twists to turn on to its single 125-lumen mode. A hard-anodized aluminum exterior with plenty of knurling gives you easy operation without sacrificing toughness. It even comes with a built-in lanyard hole so it's ready to clip on to your keychain to use the moment you need it.

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Maratac AAA Titanium Flashlight

Browse our site and you'll inevitably find some of County Comm's creations; after all, they make some of the most durable EDC gear on the market. They've taken their popular AAA flashlight and given it the titanium treatment. It's the same form factor as their regular AAA light, but now comes with some helpful new features along with its polished new exterior. The light now pushes out 145 lumens on high for up to 70 minutes, comes with glow in the dark o-rings and diffuser, and now uses an orange peel reflector to match its 3 brightness levels. It's also smaller than previous versions at 2.6”, and with the included clip and lanyard hole makes it a great addition to your EDC, whether on a keychain or clipped to your pocket.

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LRI PII PRO

If you've seen those plastic button flashlights at the checkout counter, this is the light whose design they were probably emulating. It's a good one for a reason. It's tiny, comes with a quick-release ring that clips to your keychain, and gives off enough light for everyday use (visible up to a mile, in the case of the PII PRO). 5 lumens for up to 12 hours is a lot of light from something this small, making it perfect for EDC.

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Do you carry a light on your keychain? If you have a one that you think is worthy of the title “best,” make sure to let us know in the comments below!

#keychains #flashlights #buying-guides #flashlights-keychain #best-edc-flashlight #keychain-light see all



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Discussion (33 total)

Wow, no Olight i3s eos?
After researching what's on this list as well as other models, I wanted something that was stainless steel or titanium (not aluminum), not painted, USB rechargeable, no buttons, a minimum of two brightness settings, and waterproof.

I ended up finding and going with the Ghost 130 from Factor Equipment and love it!

https://www.factorequipment.com/product/flashlights/ghost-130-compact-led-flashlight/
what about the LEDLENSER K1? its less then 10 dollars and its brighter then the tec assessories pixel https://www.ledlenser.com/uk/products/flashlights/k-series/k1/
In the picture of the Fenix UC02SS, what knife is it leaning up against? It's a swiss army style knife with a clip.
Thanks for share Mikey! Have been using the Streamlight Nano, think its time for an upgrade!
I've had a photon light for years now, and have replaced the battery a few times. It still works like a champ whenever I need it.
no Astrolux AO1? :-) My wife ditched her Led Lenser P5 for an Olight i3eos then the Astrolux AO1 especially that it comes in purple..
I use the Mecarmy SGN3, It is a great key chain light.
Maratac Peanut. Teeny. Bright- 12 & 145 lumens. Rechargeable. Sturdy and well made. Did I say teeny? The kit comes with all you need, and the light is fairly inexpensive for what you get. Especially when it goes on sale. Plus you can get a spare battery and a case for it for 10 -15 dollars more IIRC. Really a key chain light. https://countycomm.com/collections/view-all-light-products/products/stainless-steel-maratac-peanut-led-flashlight-kit.
I'm surprised that the Prometheus QRV2 was added to the list. Especially as you guys wrote about it in 2015! http://everydaycarry.com/posts/5932/prometheus-brass-beta-qrv2-review
I had to think a long time about cutting the Beta from this list, and I did for a few reasons: price (the versions that have the three modes are more expensive), weight (especially the brass one), and for AAA lights I wanted to highlight solid, inexpensive options (not to mention colors). That said, the quick-release system is still unique to this day so expect the Beta to show up on a future list.
Rather than olight, i think foursevens atom A0 and AL worth a place here better.
I own both Nitecore Tube and Tip, I believe Tube should be on the list still compare to some of it. It size is small, friendly to the keychain and pocket, able to provide maximum 45 lumens, stepless lumens adjustment and 48hours battery life with 1 lumen. Also, it is rechargeable! Although Tip is brighter, it's not on my keychain cause of the size still consider large for me. It's my jean's coin pocket light.
That's a fair point. I did think about picking the Tube over the Tip, but if I were to only have one light (and not a backup) I would probably choose the more powerful and neutral tint option. That said, the Tube is fantastic in its own right like you said.
did people forget about the nova microlight ??
Admittedly I'm a Surefire guy and was surprised to not see Titan Plus and/or the Titan. I have both and haven't been disappointed with either one. I also have the Sidekick. The downside with the Sidekick is there's no way to replace a battery if you run out if juice in the field. I use mine strictly at home , where it can be recharged, on a neck lanyard .
I went with their actual keychain product this time and am saving the Titan Plus for another article coming soon!
Fenix UC02SS is my #1 favorite. This thing is tiny, stainless steel, and has two modes: normal and insane 130 lumens. Rechargeable via USB and the battery is replaceable. It has TWO o-rings at the twist point to turn it on and off. It is also deeply threaded together which surprised me. I've lost a good number of keychain flashlights due to the top or bottom twisting off and getting lost. You will not have to worry about that with the Fenix. Also, it twists on to low power, THEN to higher power if you twist it further. I hate it when lights go to full power first and you have to lower th brightness if it is too much. It is a good way to conserve power unless you really need it. I used to carry a Streamlight nano but the batteries can be pricey if buying retail. I also own the Olight i3 EOS in brass. It is also an amazing flashlight. It takes a common AAA battery, and is keychain-able, but it is kind of on th big side compared to the Fenix. The Fenix UC02SS has the best size-to-power ratio out of the lot at an affordable price in my opinion.
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