Your keychain is a great place to keep all sorts of useful things, and a keychain flashlight is an excellent addition to that arsenal. You carry your keys with you most of the time, so adding additional tools to your keychain ensures that you have got anything you might need readily on hand at any time. Thanks to modern LED technology, there are plenty of bright and powerful keychain flashlights available, meaning that you can get a significant boost to your vision in the dark at any time without needing to carry a heavy, awkward, or expensive flashlight with you when you are out at night.
There are many different types of flashlight that can be attached to a keychain, and it can be challenging to determine which is the best keychain flashlight for your needs and preferences. That is why we have put together a list of our top 10 best keychain flashlight reviews.
Below, you will find our best keychain flashlight review 2020 list, breaking down why we like each model of keychain flashlight and what you should consider when you are looking to buy a keychain flashlight.
View the Best Keychain Flashlight, Below.
- Fenix E12 Pocket Flashlight
- SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Keychain Light
- Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight
- Streamlight Nano Keychain Flashlight
- Maglite Solitaire LED Flashlight
- Olight Rechargeable LED Keychain
- Nitecore USB Rechargeable Keychain
- Streamlight 73200 KeyMate
- ThruNite Ti3 EDC LED Flashlight
- RovyVon EDC Mini Keychain Flashlight
1. Fenix E12 Pocket Flashlight
There might not be any flashy and attention-grabbing extra features available from the Fenix E12 Pocket Flashlight, but that is precisely why this classic style keychain flashlight is such a great choice. It is a simple and easy to use model of keychain flashlight that's powered by a single ordinary AA battery, making it easy to keep powered at all times.
The durable aircraft-grade machined aluminum of the exterior of this keychain flashlight is robust and sturdy enough to hold up to being battered around by carrying casually in a pocket with your keys, and it is even waterproof enough for up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to 2 meters!
The Fenix E12 Pocket Flashlight is small, simple, and stripped down, but it stands out from the crowd thanks to the exceptional durability of its aircraft-grade aluminum body.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Keychain Light
The SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Keychain Light is one of the smaller and lighter models of keychain flashlight on our list, weighing in at a tiny 2 grams in weight. Featuring 3 output levels (5 lumen, 60 lumen, and 300 lumen), this lightweight, key fob sized keychain flashlight offers excellent performance in a tiny package that helps you to ensure excellent visibility at a moment's notice. It is even weather resistant so that you can mitigate the poor visibility of night time rainstorms with ease. It is also entirely rechargeable with a simple standard micro USB cable, making it easy to keep charged at all times.
Packing 300 lumens of light production into a tiny 2-gram body, the SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Keychain Light is a powerful and unobtrusive keychain flashlight that gives excellent visibility in all situations.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight
The Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight is a small and simple LED keychain flashlight powered by a single AAA battery. Even with this small a power source, it is capable of producing a respectable 150 lumens, which is more than enough light for most situations.
Its durable anodized aluminum shell is robust and survivable, making this model of keychain flashlight a great source of light in emergencies such as earthquakes and other natural disasters. As an added bonus, it is water-resistant (although not fully waterproof), meaning that it can be safely and reliably used in even heavy rain with no issues).
Small and durable, the Hatori Super Small Mini LED Flashlight can be casually shoved into your bag or pocket with no need to worry about damage. It is an excellent option for illuminating dark situations in any emergency.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Streamlight Nano Keychain Flashlight
The Streamlight Nano Keychain Flashlight is a tiny and affordable model of keychain flashlight that offers impressive performance for such a tiny light. It is remarkably affordable and accessible and provides a reasonable level of illumination for its size.
The aircraft-grade aluminum used in the body of this flashlight ensures that it is durable enough to survive heavy use and abuse, as well as the everyday wear and tear of being carried around loose in a pocket with your keys, while the handy quick detaching pocket clip can make sure that you can easily access this pocket flashlight at a moment's notice, no matter where you are.
Small and simple, the SureFire Sidekick Ultra-Compact Keychain Light is about as small and portable as a keychain flashlight can be, at under an inch and a half in length. It's unobtrusive and promises to stay out of your way in all situations!Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Maglite Solitaire LED Flashlight
Maglite are a well-known brand of flashlight and for good reason. Their full-sized flashlight models are famed for their incredible durability, and this pocket keychain flashlight version offers the same level of high build quality in a far smaller package, all with a brighter beam.
The aluminum housing of this keychain flashlight is just as rugged as that of larger Maglite models and is resistant to water splashes and even relatively serious impact shocks from dropping the flashlight. This is an impressive and well-constructed model of keychain flashlight that is worth considering if you want something you may never need to replace again.
Offering all the high-quality construction of a full-sized Maglite flashlight, the Maglite Solitaire LED Flashlight is a powerful and incredibly durable keychain flashlight that is an excellent choice for almost any user.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Olight Rechargeable LED Keychain
Coming in at under the size of a regular AAA battery, the Olight Rechargeable LED Keychain is one of the smallest keychain flashlights on the market in 2020. Somehow, this tiny flashlight packs a 130-lumen brightness LED system into its compact case, offering a remarkable level of brightness for such a small device, and it can even be turned down to 5 lumens for a longer-lasting battery if that is your primary focus. The aluminum alloy case of this keychain flashlight is durable and rugged and offers robust waterproofing for depths of up to 2 meters (IPX8 rated).
The Olight Rechargeable LED Keychain is an easy to use, easy to transport model of exceptionally small keychain flashlight that promises to get out of your way and be unobtrusive at all times.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Nitecore USB Rechargeable Keychain
The Nitecore USB Rechargeable Keychain is a surprisingly powerful keychain flashlight, packing 380 lumens of brightness into a genuinely tiny shell. Its lightweight body is small and unobtrusive enough to be easy to carry around attached to a keychain without having any noticeable impact on your daily comfort, and the metallic shell surrounding the workings is durable and tough without adding too much extra weight.
Its LED light comes with 4 different modes of lighting, controlled by a set of 2 side switches mounted on the body of the flashlight for added control over the brightness and battery consumption. This keychain flashlight is powered by a micro USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can reach up to 60 hours of runtime on lower brightness settings.
Remarkably small for the amount of lighting power provided, the Nitecore TINI USB Rechargeable Keychain is a powerful and compact keychain flashlight that promises impressive functionality.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Streamlight 73200 KeyMate
If you are looking for something small and unobtrusive that you can use to light up a small area to an impressive level, the Streamlight 73200 KeyMate keychain flashlight is about as good as they come. This model of portable keychain flashlight looks like a key, and is approximately the same size, but provides a high level of light for working in dark, confined spaces.
It is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and comes with an included 5-inch cable for charging the battery, making it as easy as possible to keep this keychain flashlight in working condition at all times.
The Streamlight 73200 KeyMate keychain flashlight looks just like a regular key but offers a very solid 35 lumens of light for lighting up tight, dark spaces with ease. As an added bonus, it is fully rechargeable!Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. ThruNite Ti3 EDC LED Flashlight
The ThruNite Ti3 EDC LED Flashlight might not offer any features that stand out from the crowd, but its small and affordable body makes it a choice worth considering. This is a great budget option for most purposes, even if it is not the brightest model of keychain flashlight out there.
Offering up to 120 hours of battery life on the lowest 0.08-lumen setting, it is a great backup that should be more than enough for emergencies where you just need a little light at short notice. This is a tough and lightweight model of keychain flashlight, thanks to its anodized aluminum shell, and is an excellent addition to any keychain, no matter how small.
Simple and easy to use, the ThruNite Ti3 EDC LED Flashlight is an affordable and basic keychain flashlight with no added frills, making it an excellent choice for anyone who just wants something small and unobtrusive.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. RovyVon EDC Mini Keychain Flashlight
While most keychain flashlights are bright enough for most general household purposes, sometimes you want something a little bit brighter and more powerful. In those situations, what you are looking for is the RovyVon EDC Mini Keychain Flashlight. This keychain flashlight offers a remarkable 550 lumens, far outstripping the vast majority of keychain flashlights, most of which come in at 100 lumens or below.
It's inbuilt lithium-ion battery charges in a mere 45 minutes and offers relatively high battery life for such a bright flashlight. In addition to this, the RovyVon EDC Mini Keychain Flashlight is tough and durable, offering 1.5-meter impact resistance thanks to its anodized aluminum alloy shell.
The RovyVon EDC Mini Keychain Flashlight offers an impressive level of brightness, with a far higher lumen rating than any other model of keychain flashlight in the same size category.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Keychain Flashlight Buyer’s Guide
The brightness of any flashlight is measured in lumens (lm), a unit that measures the total amount of light that is visible to the human eye produced by any flashlight, bulb, lamp, or any other light source. Higher lumen ratings indicate that a light source is producing more visible light and therefore should be brighter. For domestic lightbulbs and other similar light sources, lumens are calculated in all directions, but a great deal of the light produced is wasted and spread out in different directions, making it less useful.
Flashlights, however, form a focused beam of light rather than spreading it around in different directions, and therefore, all of the measured lumens are useful and produce valuable light. This means that often, flashlights appear brighter than traditional lightbulbs with the same lumen rating. As a good point of comparison, most household lightbulbs produce a lumen level of about 300 to 400 lumens of light. Comparing the number of lumens listed on a flashlight to this is a great way to get a rough sense of how bright the flashlight should be!
The beam style of any flashlight, whether it is a keychain flashlight or a larger and more heavy-duty model, is always primarily determined by a combination of an LED and a reflector. The reflector is a shiny, metallic cone made from either metal or shiny plastic, and it surrounds the LED bulb. These reflectors come in two different types: smooth and orange peel textured.
Smooth reflectors create a focused, clean beam that gives off light about 15% further than an equivalent orange peel reflector would, giving a narrower and cleaner beam. Orange peel reflectors, meanwhile, smooth out the beam and spread the light more widely, giving a softer but broader beam of light.
Smooth reflectors are the best choice for anyone planning on using their keychain flashlight for long-distance spot beam work, but this is a relatively uncommon application for a keychain flashlight and is more often something for which most people prefer to use large, heavy-duty spot beam flashlights. Orange peel reflectors are much more common for keychain flashlights, as they give wider illumination, making them more suitable for use in scenarios where you need to illuminate a wider area, such as a workspace.
Rechargeable vs. Disposable Batteries
There are two main types of battery used for keychain flashlights: rechargeable batteries and single-use disposable batteries. Which one you should go for is dependent on how much you expect to be using your keychain flashlight. If you think you are likely to use it regularly, then a rechargeable battery is worth the extra expense.
Disposable single-use battery options are usually cheaper, but the costs of replacing them adds up relatively quickly if you use your flashlight a lot. If you are only planning on using your keychain flashlight in rare emergency situations, though, then a disposable battery option might be enough for you.
Rechargeable batteries are all similar lithium-ion cells, just like you would find in your phone (but smaller), but single-use non-rechargeable batteries come in two different types. These are non-rechargeable lithium cells (1.6 V and 3 V), and alkaline batteries (all other types of battery). Alkaline batteries are much more common than lithium but are likely to rupture and leak if they get overheated or damaged.
These are a good option for most situations, but if you are expecting to store your flashlight for an extended period of time (such as if it is part of an emergency preparedness kit), then lithium batteries are generally more survivable, with a shelf life of up to around 10 years.
Keychain flashlights are available with outer casings made from a wide range of different materials, all with different properties that are worth considering. The two most common materials, however, are simple plastic and aluminum, as they are the lightest generally available. Other, heavier materials such as steel are also available, but much less common.
Plastic casings for keychain flashlights tend to be much cheaper than aluminum, and can sometimes be even lighter weight than other materials, but are often less sturdy. If you’re not planning on using your flashlight in any particularly intensive situations, or you are not too worried about having to replace it if it gets damaged, then a plastic casing can be a good option, as plastic-cased keychain flashlights often come in at the $10 or under mark.
Metal casings are more expensive than plastic casings, and for good reason. Many premium models of keychain flashlight are built from aircraft grade anodized aluminum or similar anodized aluminum alloys. These materials are extremely tough and very lightweight, resulting in a keychain flashlight that is impressively durable and unlikely to break even when used heavily in rougher outdoor situations.
They come with a correspondingly higher price tag, but if you don’t want to have to replace your keychain flashlight any time soon, or you want to be sure you are getting a high-quality piece of equipment, then an aluminum case is what you want to look for.
How do Keychain Flashlights Work?
Keychain flashlights work in precisely the same way as full-size flashlights. No matter what size or style of flashlight you are looking at, they all work in the same basic way, following the same principles. When any flashlight of any style is switched on, the switch makes contact between two metal contact strips, allowing electricity to flow out of the batteries and into the main circuit of the flashlight in question.
Whether your flashlight has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or a standard alkaline single-use battery, it will be arranged so that electricity can pass between the positive and negative electrodes of the battery and through the contact strip. When you connect the two contact strips, they complete an electrical circuit, allowing the power to flow from the battery to the LED and causing the bulb to illuminate.
When the electricity from the battery travels around the circuit and reaches the LED bulb of your keychain flashlight, the bulb will begin to glow, creating the light that you can see when you switch a flashlight on. The light from the LED bulb will then reflect back off a shiny plastic (or metal) reflector that encircles the bulb. This reflection redirects the light rays into a single focused beam of light, giving you that directional beam of light that you’re familiar with from most standard models of the flashlight.
Switching your flashlight off again separates the two contact strips from one another, which breaks the circuit, preventing any of the electrical current from passing through the flashlight’s circuit any longer. This prevents all power from reaching the bulb, in turn preventing the LED from producing any light. This is because the completion of the electrical circuit is what allows the flashlight to operate, producing light.
Any issues with any of the important elements of the mechanism of the flashlight circuit will prevent your keychain flashlight from working properly, meaning that it doesn’t produce the bright and steady light that you’d generally expect from it.
You’re not likely to be able to get anything particularly powerful from a keychain flashlight, but consider what you’re planning to use your flashlight for. If you’re camping, you’ll want a higher lumen count (300 to 1000) than if you’re just using it around the house (100 to 300).
Did you know?
While you might expect LED keychain flashlights to be low power and generally useless, that’s not the case anymore! Recent strides in flashlight technology have enabled smaller and smaller devices to offer impressive brightness.