The Top 5 High Quality Penlights of 2018

When a small source of light is required, and you don’t want to take up very much space in order to have that light at your disposal, a penlight is likely the perfect product for the job. Most penlights use an LED to output an impressive amount of light considering their small size. Not surprisingly, penlights take on the shape of traditional pens, and many run on just one or two small batteries.

find something within your dark carOf course, a penlight isn’t going to be the right tool for lighting up the night sky or searching through the dark hundreds of yards away. However, if you need to find something within your dark car or maybe behind your desk, this is a great item to have on hand. Thanks to its small size, you can easily slip a penlight into your pocket or your glove box, and it will be there when you need it.

After reviewing all the top Penlight available, we’ve selected our top 7 picks in the comparison table below. We’re confident you’ll find the perfect model for your needs.

Comparison Table

Mobile Users: For optimal viewing, tilt your phone to landscape (wide-view) to see the entire table.



Our Score

Coast A8R (our top pick)



Coast Cutlery G19



Welch Allyn 76600



ThruNite Ti5



Streamlight 66405



Streamlight 66118



Primacare DL-9325



One of the major frustrations that come along with owning a penlight is the poor quality of many of the products on the market. Small electronics such as these are prone to cheap manufacturing by poor companies simply looking to make a quick buck. If you want a quality penlight that is going to stand up over time and work each time to call on it, make sure to shop only reputable brand names and find products that have plenty of good reviews. You will have to pay a little bit more to buy a good penlight, but that option is much preferred to purchasing four or five cheap ones that continue to breakdown after only a few uses.

As you are shopping for a penlight, keep in mind what kind of batteries you usually have on hand, and then pick a model that runs on that size. You don’t want to have to go out of your way to locate new batteries when yours run out, so make things as convenient as possible by picking a penlight with batteries that match some of your other electronics. Already have a bunch of gear that is powered by AAA batteries? Picking up a AAA penlight would make a lot of sense.

If you are in the market for a new penlight, the five products below are a great place to get started. Take a moment to review the features that each has to offer – along with the prices – before deciding which will work best for your needs.

Top 5 Tactical Pen Flashlight Reviews

Streamlight 65018

Image of Streamlight 65018As you likely already know if you have spent anytime shopping for flashlights, Streamlight is one of the best names in the business. They have taken their experience and applied it to the penlight market, with the end results being one of the best options available. The comments from owners of this product include praise for the quality of the construction, the amount of light that it offers and the compact size.

This Streamlight penlight runs on AAA batteries, and it includes basically all of the features you would be looking for in an all-around penlight. It is made from machined aluminum, has a non-slip grip, it is waterproof, and will run for up to 60 hours on fresh batteries. The LED bulb itself is rated to last up to 100,000 hours, and there is a pocket clip to attach this product easily to your clothing. Whether you work in a field that requires you to use a penlight or if you just like to have one around for odd jobs, the Streamlight is a strong contender.

Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability

Escolite Medical LED Penlight with Pupil Guage

Image of Escolite Medical Led Penlight with Pupill GaugeOne of the major markets for penlights is the medical field, as doctors and nurses have plenty of uses for these small sources of light. This model is specifically designed for medical use, and it runs on easy-to-find AAA batteries. The unit itself is lightweight and compact, making it convenient to carry around all day long.

The main compliment seen from users of this product is the fact that it offers an appropriate amount of light for a medical setting. Some penlights produce too much light, making them painful for the eyes of a patient. Commenters on this product seem to think that it strikes a nice balance – enough light to do the job, but not too much. Other compliments include the fact that it is easy to put in your pocket; it seems durable, and the AAA batteries are easy to replace when necessary.

Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability

Zitrades Nurse Penlight Medical Reusable LED

Image of Zitrades Nurse Penlight Medical Reusable LEDThis is another penlight that has been aimed at the medical field. Just as with the previous model on our list, this penlight runs on AAA batteries, and it is an LED model.

One issue with some penlights that you will find on the market is the fact that they will turn on accidentally while being carried around (whether in a pocket or a bag). Fortunately, reviewers of this Zitrades model claim that is not the case with this unit. The clicking action required to turn the light on and off is sturdy enough that it isn’t easily activated on its own, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry about burning up batteries while you aren’t even using the light. In all, buyers have considered this product a good value for the money, and most would recommend it to others.

Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability

ThruNite Ti4 Penlight Series

Image of ThruNite Ti4 penlight seriesThis is a penlight that is not specifically suited for medical use, but rather general purpose applications. However, depending on the specific task at hand, it may be suitable for some medical purposes. It is an aluminum unit which offers users an impressive top end output of 252 lumens, and it has a maximum runtime rating of 137 hours.

Just as with the previous model on the list, this is another light that users enjoy due to the ‘stiffness’ of the switch that is used to turn on the light. If you are looking for a penlight that won’t come on accidentally, the ThruNite is one worth taking into consideration. This is one of the more expensive penlights on the market – but you may decide that the quality and performance is worth the investment.

Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability

ThorFire PF02 Tactical LED Flashlight CREE LED Mini EDC Penlight

Image of ThorFire PF02 TacticalLess than six inches long, this last light on our list offers powerful performance from a compact design. The ThorFire works with two AAA batteries, and the company offers a 40-day money back guarantee if you are unhappy with the product’s performance for any reason. The LED that is used in this light is rated for more than 20 years of run time, and it is programmed to start on ‘moonlight’ mode to avoid overpowering your eyes in the dark.

There have been a number of compliments handed out by current owners. Light output is considered to be adequate, the water resistance makes it useful in a variety of settings, and the overall build quality rises above some of the other items in this market segment.The ThorFire penlight represents a nice mid-market option for those needing a quality penlight for a reasonable price. It’s one of the best tactical flashlights you can buy.

Check Amazon To View Current Pricing & Availability


There are many possible reasons for owning a penlight, from working in the medical field to spending plenty of time out and about after dark. No matter your reason for needing to purchase a penlight, you want to make sure that you find a model which will provide plenty of light, hold up over time, and supply plenty of run time on a single installation of batteries. Fortunately, there are plenty of great penlights on the market today, and most of them are very affordable. Take some time to check out all five of the options above and narrow down your personal list based on the needs and budget that you have for this purchase. With a good penlight in your pocket at the ready, you will be able to brighten up dark situations with just the push of a button.

Other Great Guides

Additional Resources