Best Pen Flashlight: 8 Handy Little Lights for When You Need It

Best Pen Flashlight: 8 Handy Little Lights for When You Need It

12 min read

Do you ever need a flashlight but don't want to carry a bulky one? If so, then you should check out pen flashlights. These tiny torches are perfect for when you need light in a small space and come in various shapes and sizes.

We have compiled a list of the top eight flashlights based on performance and price. Whether you are looking for a small flashlight for everyday use or a tactical flashlight for emergencies, we have something for everyone!

How We've Made Our Selection

When it comes to pen flashlights, the number of subpar-quality products in the market is overwhelming. So, for this one, we only focused on quality and features.

We used an overall user review to determine the durability of the pen flashlights. At the lower end of the budget, we selected flashlights with medium brightness and a solid build.

At the higher end, we looked for superior build and flashlights with all bells and whistles. We were finally left with eight flashlights that we will now review.

1. Streamlight ProTac 2AA

Why We Love It

The Streamlight ProTac 2AA is a high-performance flashlight that delivers bright light with 250 lumens and a beam distance of 130 meters. It also has a low mode for longer run times and a strobe mode for signaling or disorienting. The ProTac is made of durable aluminum with an anti-roll face cap and removable pocket clip, and it's impervious to shock with a 50,000-hour lifetime.

It is a high-quality, durable flashlight perfect for everyday use and emergencies. It features C4-led technology for a waterproof light source that lasts 50,000 hours and an IPx7 rating for waterproofing of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

What You Should Know

Some users complain that this flashlight burns batteries. So, you cannot use it for very long durations. If you need to use a pen flashlight for long durations, this might not be your best choice.

2. Nitecore MT06MD Pen Flashlight

Why We Love It

The Nitecore MT06MD Pen Flashlight has been upgraded from the MT06 that is quite popular, with several new features to set it apart. Nitecore replaced the cool white LED of the MT06 with a Nichia 219B for a warmer beam with a lower peak intensity at 860cd.

The result is a flashlight perfectly suited for up close tasks where details and colors are key factors. Doctors, nurses, and EMTs will find the MT06MD ideal for pupil examination and injury diagnosis.

The Nitecore MT06MD is a great flashlight for everyday carry. It's lightweight and easy to use, with a runtime of up to 35 hours. The included LumenTac battery organizer can store 4x AA or AAA batteries, making it perfect for household chores or emergencies.

What You Should Know

Some doctors and nurses complain that its low light setting is too high for checking pupil dilation. So, if you want a flashlight to check pupils, this might not be the best for you.

3. Infray LED Pen Flashlight

Why We Love It

Infray's LED Pen Flashlight is small but powerful, perfect for everyday use. This flashlight's output is 300 lumens, with the most updated CREE XPG3 LED.

It's super bright and operates with two alkaline AAA batteries. An ultra-compact design makes it easy to slip into your pocket, backpack, or attach to your keychain.

The Infray LED Pen Flashlight is the perfect light for everyday use. It is tough and reliable. It has an IPX5 waterproof rating, MIL-SPEC abrasion, and corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum construction. The flashlight has a wide to narrow beam with a fully adjustable focus. It features three adaptable settings: High / Low / Strobe. On high mode, it offers 7 hours of run time, and on the low setting, it has 14 hours of run time. This penlight comes with a worry-free 18-month warranty and is suitable for cycling and hiking.

What You Should Know

Some users complain that this flashlight has too many features for a small pen light. So, if this annoys you, you should look for something else.

4. Streamlight 66702 Stylus Pro

Why We Love It

The Streamlight 66702 Stylus Pro is a compact and lightweight rechargeable flashlight that's perfect for everyday carry. The 3-mode operation (high, low, and strobe) offers great versatility in whatever situation you find yourself in.

The high setting provides 160 Lumens of light output with an 11-meter light beam distance, while the low setting gives you 40 Lumens with an 8.5 hours battery lifespan. The LED bulb never needs replacing, and the lithium-ion battery recharges in 4.75 hours via any USB port.

.The Streamlight 66702 features an integrated tail-end magnet for hands-free use and a removable pocket clip. It has a durable aluminum body with anodized finishes, and the stylus penlight has a gasket-sealed polycarbonate lens and comes in black or silver. It is water resistant up to 1 meter and impact resistant up to 1 meter.

What You Should Know

Some people complain that the material of this flashlight is too slippery. If this is something you don't mind, this is a good option.

5. Pelican 1920B Pen Flashlight

Why We Love It

The Pelican Flashlight is a durable, ultra-bright flashlight that can be used in high or low-beam mode. You'll receive 120 lumens on high and, on low, 12 lumens. It's made with a type II anodized aluminum body.

This flashlight is powered by 2 AAA alkaline batteries and has a runtime of 9 hours on low and 3 hours on high.

What You Should Know

This pen flashlight comes in a high-quality aluminum alloy casing. So, it is impossible to replace its bulb. This means that the entire flashlight becomes waste once its bulb goes out.

6. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro

Why We Love It

Streamlight's 66118 Stylus Pro is a compact, durable flashlight that is perfect for everyday use. It's made from anodized machined aircraft aluminum; this flashlight is tough and built to last. The white LED produces 100 Lumens and 62 meters of beam distance, making it perfect for finding your way in the dark. With a run time of 8 hours, the Stylus Pro is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable flashlight.

The Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro is a water-resistant, pocket-sized flashlight that is impact resistant up to 2 meters. It fits conveniently in your pocket at just 5.3 inches long and 1.64 ounces and features a removable pocket clip.

What You Should Know

Some people complain that the constant on-switch in the end cap is hard to engage. So, if you mind putting in the extra effort, this might not be your best option.

7. RISEMART Pen Light

Why We Love It

Are you looking for a great penlight set? If so, then look no further than the RISEMART Pen Light. This 2-piece set comes with a black and silver penlight, each with bright white LED lights. The AAA batteries are included, so you can start using your penlights right away.

They're perfect for everyday use, whether you're at home or work. Plus, the comfortable touch feeling in your hands will make sure you never lose them.

The RISEMART penlight is a handy tool for doctors, nurses, and students. It features a built-in pupil gauge that makes measuring the size of your patients' pupils easy. The bright white LED light lets you see clearly when checking ears, throats, noses, and eyes.

This penlight has three brightness modes: low light mode (red), high light mode (white), and SOS flashing mode (white). You can adjust the brightness by pressing the button on top of the penlight.

This high-quality penlight is made of premium material, is super bright, and is easy to use. It's also water resistant, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet. The flashlight comes with 3 AAA batteries which are included in the package.

What You Should Know

Some people complain that these are too bright for the eyes. So if you buy these solely to check pupils, this might not be the best choice.

8. CAVN Pen Light with Pupil Gauge

Why We Love It

These Nurse Penlights are perfect for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Made of premium aluminum alloy and led bulbs, they are durable and long-lasting. A pupil gauge and a 5cm ruler on the side are also very helpful for measuring pupil dilation and length.

The push-button on/off switches make them easy to control and place in your pocket. 2 Packs of AAA batteries power these pen flashlights. They are light and compact, making them convenient to carry anywhere.

What You Should Know

Some users complain that its button is easy to trigger and gets turned on in the pocket. This also causes its battery life to shorten.

What is the difference between a pen flashlight and a tactical flashlight?

If you're in the market for a flashlight, you've probably noticed two main types of small flashlights: penlights and tactical flashlights. But what's the difference between the two? Here's a quick rundown of the key differences between penlights and tactical flashlights to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Penlights are slim and lightweight with lower lumen outputs but longer runtimes, whereas tactical flashlights are larger and heavier with higher lumen outputs but shorter runtimes. And while most penlights simply offer an on/off switch, tactical flashlights often come with additional features like remote pressure switches or Picatinny mounts.

Size and Shape

The first thing you'll notice when comparing penlights and tactical flashlights is that they vary widely in terms of size and shape. Penlights are designed to be slim and lightweight so that they can easily fit in your pocket or purse. Tactical flashlights, on the other hand, are larger and heavier because they're designed to be mounted on a weapon.

Output and Runtime

Another key difference between penlights and tactical flashlights is output and runtime. Penlights typically have lower lumen outputs—between 20 and 50 lumens—whereas tactical flashlights can have outputs of 100 lumens or more. And because tactical flashlights have larger batteries, they also have longer runtimes—between 2 and 6 hours—compared to penlights, which only have 30-60 minutes runtimes.


Finally, you'll want to consider the features each type of flashlight offers. Most penlights simply offer on/off switches, but some may include features like dimming or strobing. On the other hand, tactical flashlights often come with additional features like remote pressure switches, Picatinny mounts, or weather-resistant construction.

How To Buy the Best Pen Flashlight

A penlight is a flashlight that is the size and shape of a pen. Penlights are handy tools to have around the house, in the car, or at work. They are especially useful for inspecting dark places or finding small objects dropped in hard-to-see places.

But with so many different types and styles of penlights on the market, how do you narrow down the selection to pick the best one for you? Here's a quick guide to assist you in making the best decision.

Styles of Penlights

There are three main styles of penlights: compact, folding, and pocket. Compact penlights are the smallest and most lightweight option. They usually have a clip that allows them to be attached to a pocket or sleeve. Folding penlights are slightly larger than compact models but can be collapsed into a smaller size for easy storage. Pocket penlights are the largest option and usually have a longer run time and higher output than other styles.

Types of Bulbs

The two most common types of bulbs used in penlights are LED and halogen. LED bulbs are more energy-efficient, and they also have a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs produce a brighter light, but they also generate more heat.


When shopping for a penlight, there are several features that you may want to look for:

Adjustable Beam

An adjustable beam allows you to focus the light on a specific area or object. This can be especially helpful when trying to find something that has been dropped in a dark place.

Built-in clip

A built-in clip makes it easy to attach the penlight to your pocket or shirt sleeve.

Strobe Function

A strobe function can be used as an emergency signal or as a way to disorient an attacker long enough for you to get away.

On/off button

Look for an on/off button that is easy to operate, even when you are wearing gloves. Some models also have a lock feature that prevents the light from being turned on accidentally.

Rechargeable Batteries

Some flashlights come with rechargeable batteries. They save money because these batteries are considerably expensive to buy on their own If you think that your pen flashlight could fit two AAA batteries, you might be wrong.

Since pen flashlights are tiny, most cannot fit two aaa alkaline batteries, so having a rechargeable penlight with yourself saves the hassle. It is also very rare for pen flashlights to have the option to operate on aa batteries. Having a rechargeable battery also saves a trip to the local store every time you run out of battery.

Choosing the right one can seem daunting with so many different types and styles of penlights on the market. But if you keep in mind what type of bulb you want, how you will be using it, and what features would be most helpful to you, narrowing down your choices will be much easier. And remember—the best penlight is the one you have with you when you need it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Pen Flashlights

Below are the most frequently asked questions about pen flashlights.

Who uses a penlight flashlight?

Several people and professions use penlight flashlights. The most common users include doctors, nurses, mechanics, and electricians.

Doctors use penlight flashlights to help them examine patients' eyes and ears. Nurses use them to check heart rates and blood pressure. Mechanics use them for troubleshooting problems with vehicles. And electricians use them to identify wiring problems.

How many lumens should a penlight be?

A penlight should have at least 100 lumens.

A penlight should have at least 100 lumens because this will ensure you have a bright light to see when you need it. A penlight with less than 100 lumens may not be bright enough to properly illuminate the area you are trying to see.

What is the best pen light for nurses?

There are a few things to consider when looking for the best pen light for nurses:

  1. You'll want to find a pen light that is bright but not too bright to check pupils.
  2. You'll want to find a pen light that is comfortable and easy to hold.
  3. You'll want to find a pen light that is durable and reliable.

How many lumens is a nurse penlight?

A nurse pen light typically emits around 4-6 lumens.

Why do nurses use penlights?

Nurses use penlights to check pupils for responsiveness and to note the size, shape, and location of the pupils. Pupil response is a key part of diagnosing many health conditions. For example, changes in pupil size can be an indication of increased or decreased intracranial pressure.

Can you recommend any other brands?

Inova XP LED penlight has been a popular choice for Canadians. You can check it out on Amazon.

What Option of Pen Flashlight Is Best For You?

We've gone over a few of the best pen flashlights on the market and what makes them stand out.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. If you take into account your needs, you will be able to decide which one is best for you.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has helped clarify what works for different consumers when it comes to finding the best pen flashlight.

Items reviewed:

1. Streamlight ProTac 2AA

2. Nitecore MT06MD Pen Flashlight

3. Infray LED Pen Flashlight

4. Streamlight 66702 Stylus Pro

5. Pelican 1920B Pen Flashlight

6. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro

7. RISEMART Pen Light

8. CAVN Pen Light with Pupil Gauge

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