The Top 5 Best Penlight of 2019

Sometimes when all you need is a little bit of light, and you don’t want to be inconvenienced by holding a large flashlight, a penlight is a perfect solution. Quality penlights use LED bulbs and 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 seeing hundreds of yards away in the dark. However, if you need to find something in a dark car or maybe behind a 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 glove box, and have the peace of mind that it is stored in a convenient place.

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

Comparison Table

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Our Score

Coast A8R (our top pick)















One major frustration of finding the right 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 reliable and going to stand the test of time, 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 is better than purchasing four or five cheap ones that continue to break down after only a few uses.

As you shop for the best penlight, keep in mind the type of batteries you usually have around the house, and then pick a model that runs on those kind.

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 battery powered penlight would make a lot of sense.

If you are in the market for the best penlight, the five products below are a great place to start. 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.

Best Penlight Reviews – Tactical

Coast A8R Rechargeable Inspection LED Penlight 

The black Coast A8R penlight is  the smallest (4.25 in./11cm) and lightest weight (0.4 oz/11g) rechargeable penlight on the market. The manufacturer calls it the  “ounce-for-ounce” champion of the world and meets ANSI/FL1 standards. The rechargeable light is impact and weather resistant, and the LED bulb is virtually indestructible.

The Inspection Beam throws out a perfectly clear circular beam without any dark spots, up to 62 ft (19M). This item is also perfect for inspecting things up close, due to its consistent beam that flows from edge to edge. Also, it comes with a clip which makes it easy to store in any pocket securely.

Blue collar workers, like auto mechanics love to use it everyday. The product features a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, with a runtime of 1 hour.

The penlight is simple to recharge.  Simply re-cap the light with the included Coast Pro-Flex Charging Cap. There are numerous ways to recharge this miniature flashlight with the AC, DC, and USB Adapters (included). Best of all, the A8R Flashlight is backed by Coast’s lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

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Welch Allyn 76600 Halogen Professional PenLite

The 76600 Professional PenLite is perfect for those in the medical field. This product is an excellent example of Welch Allyn’s mission statement, which is to provide smarter tools to help identify, diagnose and treat patients with confidence.

This is one of the best penlights on the market because it utilizes a bright white halogen bulb and a durable solid brass casing. This penlight functions on AAA batteries. The quality of the pen is evident just by holding it. Even the pocket clip is solid and will withstand a bit of abuse. The miniature light is simple to operate with one hand, and it won’t turn on accidentally. For instance, you have to pull to power the light on.

However, one critique among customers is the tailcap is made of plastic, which makes it easy to break. Also, some previous customers disliked the unbalanced light, which is a result of the halogen bulb.

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ThruNite Ti4T 

The Ti4T penlight from ThruNite is ideal for everyday carry, specific work fields, outdoor activities, and emergency use. This penlight emits neutral white light with its advanced CREE XP-L V6 LED, which gives this product a max output up to 300 lumens with a max runtime of 137 hours on its lowest setting. Also, it uses an orange peel reflector for a perfect flood. Its thoughtful design uses 2 x AAA batteries and features 4 settings, Firefly, low, high, and strobe.

This miniature light’s titanium alloy body is extremely durable with an IPX-8 waterproof standard. Its construction and design also make it very fashionable. This penlight is very easy to operate. You can turn the light on/off and cycle through the various modes with the press of the tail switch.

This product weighs in at 1 oz. with a length of about 5 inches. But don’t let its size fool you. Its powerful beam has a distance of about 177 feet. The compactness and power make this one of the best penlights out there.

The only negative comment consumers had was that its switch can be accidentally triggered, sometimes too easy.

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ThorFire PF03

Less than six inches long, this last light on our list offers powerful performance from a compact design. The ThorFire works with one AAA battery, 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 at a reasonable price. It’s one of the best tactical flashlights you can buy.

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ThruNite Ti4

Image of ThruNite Ti4 penlight seriesThis is a penlight that is not specifically suited for medical use, but rather general use. 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 best penlights, but more expensive ones the market – but you may decide that the quality and performance is worth the investment.

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Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro 

The Stylus Pro penlight is powerful, compact, and durable. Don’t let its small size (5.3’’) fool you because its pure white LED delivers 100 lumens with a distance of 200 ft.

This marker sized penlight comes ready to use as it already comes with 2 x AAA batteries, tear-resistant nylon holster, and a removable clip. To operate, simply click the tail switch.

The product is constructed with type II MIL-SPEC abrasion and corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum. It features an unbreakable, scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens. These features have earned this product IPX4 water-resistant rating and impact resistant up to 1m.

However, the durability of this product has received mixed reviews. But give this product a try and decide for yourself if it truly belongs on the list of the best penlights.

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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 on our list of the best penlights of 2019.

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Milky House LED Penlight

This 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 Milky House 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.

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Oak-Lite Penlight with Pupil Gauge

One of the major markets for these types of accessories is the medical field, as doctors and nurses have plenty of uses for these small sources of light. They require the best penlights available so they can perform their duties effectively.

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.

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Primacare DL-9325 

This LED penlight is made of high-quality plastic and emits a nice white/blue color light. The Primacare DL-9325 features utilizes a sealed concentric beam and a pre-focused pinpoint lens. This small light is perfect if you need to check a patient’s eyes, ears, throat or even to assist you with IVs.

If you work in the medical field or are a first responder, then you may find the imprinted pupil gauge very useful. This cost-efficient penlight uses 2 x AAA batteries (included) and can be activated by depressing the pocket clip. This reusable penlight is compact in size, with a length of 5 inches.

What makes this one of the best penlights is the value you receive what at the listed price. There have been some mixed reviews among customers in regards to the quality of the product. The concerns were explicitly about the power button/pocket clip and the quality of the material and construction.

For some customers, the power button didn’t work consistently, and for others, the switch would be easily triggered while in their pocket. For the listed price, you can’t go wrong with this product.

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Final Thoughts on the Best Penlight

There are many reasons for owning a penlight, from working in the medical field to spending plenty of time out and about after dark. No matter the reason for purchasing a penlight, make sure that you find a model that will provide plenty of light, hold up over time, and supply plenty of run time on its 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 search for the best penlight based on your needs and budget.

With a good penlight accessible in your pocket, you will be able to brighten up dark areas with just the push of a button.

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