10 Best Penlights in 2019 (Useful, Compact and Lightweight)

Best Penlights

The penlight is a useful, lightweight, and compact tool that gives you illumination quickly and easily. This tool can be stored like a regular pen to your sleeve pocket and it's just as light.

Moreover, the penlight has a wide range of applications and can be used anywhere light is required.

It generally does not output a lot of light, but they have a long runtime and the batteries can easily be replaced when necessary.

If you are fresh on the market for a penlight, we have gathered some of the best penlights for the money and give you our impressions below.

Let's find out how they perform!

Product Name

Lumen

Dimensions

Weight

Rating

Price

1. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Penlight

90 lm

5.3 x 0.6 x 0.6 in

1.6 oz

4.6

2. 2cl Direct Tactical Self Defense Tool Penlight

60 lm

6.3 x 0.8 x 2.3 in

1.28 oz

4.6

3. Opoway Nurse LED Medical Pen Light

N/A

5.3 x 0.5 x 0.5 in

0.3 oz

4.4

4. Streamlight 65018 Stylus LED Penlight

10 lm

8.5 x 3.0 x 0.5 in

1.6 oz

4.1

5. Infray CREE XPE2 LED Penlight

220 lm

5.7 x 0.6 x 0.6 in

0.8 oz

4.4

6. EverBrite 4-pack LED Penlight

25 lm

 5.0 x 0.5 x 0.5 in

1.12 oz

4.5

7. I-pure LED Pocket Pen Light

120 lm

5.2 x 0.6 x 0.6 in

1.28 oz

4.6

8. Risemart Nurse LED Medical Penlight

6 lm

5.5 x 3.5 x 0.7 in

3.2 oz

4.3

9. Opoway Penlight With Pupil Gauge

N/A

6.3 x 2.4 x 0.2 in

2.4 oz

4.4

10. Thorfire LED Penlight 

210 lm

5.0 x 0.5 x 0.5 in

0.8 oz

3.5

1. Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Penlight - Best Overall Penlight

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Streamlight 66118 Stylus Pro LED Penlight - Best Overall Penlight
  • Lumens: 90 lumens
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches

The Streamlight 66118 is a true stylus style penlight that will easily fit your pocket.

This model is delivered with a holster and powered by 2 AAA batteries but there are models of the same device that come with a NiMH rechargeable battery.

Despite its small size, the Streamlight 66118 has an efficient LED driver that allows it to output 90 lumens of light which is quite bright for a penlight of this size.

Additionally, it has a pen clip for accessibility and its long length of 5.3 inches makes it easy to handle. It also does not weigh a lot which makes it very maneuverable.

Moreover, the Streamlight 66118 is activated using a push button found at the back. The construction is very good as it is made from an anodized aluminum which is durable and long-lasting.

To make it more comfortable to hold, the surface is coated with a rubberized material that is also anti-slip so it can be operated with wet hands. It is also IPX rated which means that it will make a good outdoor penlight as it is water resistant.

All in all, there are many attractive features that make the Streamlight 66118 a top-rated penlight for the money.

Pros:

  • Anodized aluminum construction. Durable and long-lasting
  • Fairly bright light of 90 lumens
  • Surface coated with a rubberized material for comfortable grip

Cons:

  • This penlight could have been a little bit cheaper

2. 2cl Direct Tactical Self Defense Tool Penlight - Best Tactical Penlight

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

2cl Direct Tactical Self Defense Tool Penlight - Best Tactical Penlight
  • Lumens: 60 lumens
  • Weight: 1.28 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 2.3 inches

The 2cl Direct is rated as one of the best tactical penlights on the market. This is a very versatile illumination tool that does a lot more than what its small price would suggest.

For one, it can be converted into a pen with the push of a button.

Additionally, it is also a glass breaker as well as a multi-tool that is equipped with a hex wrench, a scraper, bottle opener and a screwdriver.

That is a lot of versatility in a penlight that measures no more than 6.3 inches in length. Pretty impressive!

Moreover, the 2cl Direct tactical penlight has an excellent build construction as it is made from a durable and that lightweight aluminum alloy.

Powered by 3 LR936 batteries, it produces a decent light of 60 lumens which is bright enough for tactical purposes.

All in all, in terms of versatility this tactical penlight is a true winner and we highly recommended it.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • All in one penlight. Versatile multitool for heavy-duty applications
  • Can be used as a ballpoint pen
  • Decent brightness of 60 lumens

Cons:

  • None

3. Opoway Nurse LED Medical Pen Light - Best Budget Penlight 

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Opoway Nurse LED Medical Pen Light - Best Budget Penlight
  • Lumens: N/A
  • Weight: 0.3 ounce
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

The Opoway Nurse is a special type of penlight that has a clean and professional look. This particular model has been designed specifically for nurses and other medical aid professionals.

Moreover, it is also the best budget penlight in this entire review since its price is extremely affordable when compared to other models.

It is powered by 2 AAA batteries and provides good illumination at close range. Especially when used to check the pupil. The brightness is not excessive so as to injure the patient's eye.

Additionally, it has a metal pen clip for accessibility as well as has a pupil gauge printed on the shell for quick reference.

We think that the Opoway Nurse is an absolute must-have for anyone. It will make a nice addition to any first aid kit and can even be used by medical professionals.

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable. Value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Printed pupil gauge for quick reference

Cons:

  • Not the most durable penlight in this review

4. Streamlight 65018 Stylus LED Penlight  

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Streamlight 65018 Stylus LED Penlight
  • Lumens: 10 lumens
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 3 x 0.5 inches

The Streamlight 65018 is a compact penlight that output only 10 lumens of light. This is not very bright as it is extremely dim but we think that it would make an excellent emergency penlight.

Moreover, it has an excellent handling as it is covered with grooves that make it anti-skid.

The weak light emitted by this LED driver means that this device has the long-run time.

In fact, the manufacturer claims that this model has a runtime of 60 hours, which when you think about it is a very long time.

Therefore, we think that this model is one of the best penlights when it comes to emergency situations and while it is not a super bright penlight it still gets the job done quite well.

Pros:

  • Comfortable to hold for an extended period
  • Pen clip for accessibility
  • Very long run time of 60 hours
  • Grooves on the surface makes it anti-skid

Cons:

  • Low light intensity of only 10 lumens

5. Infray CREE XPE2 LED Penlight  

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Infray CREE XPE2 LED Penlight
  • Lumens: 220 lumens
  • Weight: 0.8 ounce
  • Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches

For those looking for a penlight that is compact and very durable, the Infray CREE XPE2 is unbeatable.

This model is made from an aircraft aluminum alloy that is lightweight and very durable. It is also waterproof with an IPX-4 rating which means that it is corrosion proof and can be used in wet conditions.

Moreover, what makes this penlight stand out is its bright light of 220 lumens. Indeed, this is very bright for a penlight and can even be used as an EDC flashlight if you want.

At only 0.8 ounces, this model from Infray is the lightest and most compact penlight in this review.

In short, if you need a compact, powerful and long-lasting penlight then we recommend that you seriously consider the Infray CREE XPE2 as it is a very reliable compact penlight.

Pros:

  • Compact penlight
  • Very bright at 220 lumens
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • None

6. EverBrite 4-pack LED Penlight  

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

EverBrite 4-pack LED Penlight
  • Lumens: 25 lumens
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

The EverBrite penlight is more about quantity than quality. Indeed, you get 4 penlights for the price of one with this purchase.

The build construction is still good as the units are made from an aluminum alloy that will not rust.

What we like is that it also outputs a functional light of 25 lumens. This is not the brightest penlight we have seen, not by a longshot, but it is still fairly decent considering the price.

Moreover, it comes in multiple colors like red, silver, teal, and blue to suit individual liking.

This is a very versatile penlight and even if it is not the best penlight out there, it is highly affordable and value for money.

Pros:

  • 4 penlights for the price of one
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Good overall build construction from an aluminum alloy

Cons:

  • Not very bright at only 25 lumens

7. I-pure LED Pocket Pen Light  

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

I-pure LED Pocket Pen Light
  • Lumens: 120 lumens
  • Weight: 1.28 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 0.6 inches

There is barely anything wrong with the I-pure LED. It is close to perfect. This compact penlight can output a decent 120 lumens of light which is very bright making it extremely practical for a wide range of applications.

And despite its small size, the I-pure still has a decent beam distance of 50 meters which is quite impressive considering the size of this penlight.

Further, it has an excellent build construction from an aluminum alloy and the pen clip is good for accessibility.

But what separates this penlight from others is the IPX-7 rating that makes it highly waterproof and an efficient penlight that can be used under the rain and in wet conditions.

Therefore, this is a very versatile penlight that can be used outdoors or inside with great ease.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Bright light of 120 lumens
  • IPX-7 rating. Waterproof
  • Pen clip for accessibility
  • Durable and long-lasting

Cons:

  • None

8. Risemart Nurse LED Medical Penlight  

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Risemart Nurse LED Medical Penlight
  • Lumens: 6 lumens
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 3.5 x 0.7 inches

The Risemart is another medical model that is not a super bright penlight but calibrated in such a way that it can be used for medical purposes.

Indeed, it outputs only 6 lumens of light which is quite safe to check the status of the pupil, for example.

We like this model because it handles well and the pen clip and the size of this unit makes it behave exactly like a pen making it extremely convenient to carry around.

All things considering, we think that the Risemart is one of the best pen light when it comes to family use. Buy it and put it in your first aid kit and your whole family will benefit from it.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Low light intensity is perfect for medical purposes
  • Aluminum shell for durability

Cons:

  • Does not have a ballpoint pen at the end

9. Opoway Penlight With Pupil Gauge  

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Opoway Penlight With Pupil Gauge
  • Lumens: N/A
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.4 x 0.2 inches

The Opoway Penlight is yet another top rated and compact penlight when it comes to medical purposes. This model has a feminine pink and white color making it more suitable for females than males.

It is equally very easy to use and powered by 2 AAA batteries. As with most stylus shaped penlights, it is switched on by pressing the tail switch.

Additionally, there is a 5 cm ruler printed on the shell of this penlight as well as a pupil gauge for quick reference. Clearly, we can see the effort that Opoway made to make this unit a true medical penlight.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Ruler and pupil gauge printed on the shell for reference
  • Small and compact. Easy to carry
  • Aluminum alloy body for durability

Cons:

  • Available only in pink and white color

10. Thorfire LED Penlight with 3 Modes 

Editor's Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Thorfire LED Penlight with 3 Modes
  • Lumens: 210 lumens
  • Weight: 0.8 ounce
  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches

If we have to vote for the best penlight then our vote would go to the Thorfire LED.

For one, we like the built construction of this unit as it is made from an aircraft grade aluminum alloy that is lightweight and highly durable.

Best of all, this model can output a very bright light of 210 lumens and has a fairly good runtime.

But what makes it one of the best budget penlights in this review is definitely its 3 light modes. This provides a lot of versatility to this compact unit.

As far as accessibility is concerned, the pen clip is adjustable and since this unit weighs only 0.8 ounce, it is extremely easy to carry throughout the day.

All in all, we think that the ThorFire is one of the best units in this penlight review and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a compact and versatile penlight.

Pros:

  • Very bright light of 210 lumens. Efficient CREE XPG2(R5) driver
  • Aluminum alloy construction. Lightweight and durable
  • Good-looking penlight
  • 3 light modes for versatility

Cons:

  • Switching between light modes is difficult

How to Buy a Penlight

How to Buy a Penlight

Before purchasing a penlight, here are some advice that will help you get the best penlight for the money.

#1. Purpose

There is a wide range of applications for a penlight. In fact, almost anyone will eventually at some point in their life need a compact illumination tool like the penlight.

But before getting one, it is important that you first understand your need and purpose for it. Indeed, not all penlight models are suited for every purpose.

#2. Weight

One of the things that make the penlight such a reputable illumination tool is the small and lightweight form factor. In fact, many people use the penlight as a substitute for a regular pen.

If you know how light a pen is, you also know just how lightweight the penlight is.

However, lightweight is not everything. Your penlight must be adapted to the task you have at hand.

If you need a long runtime, it is then better to sacrifice low weight with something that can host multiple batteries and provide a longer runtime.

#3. Brightness

The light is the part that makes the penlight a practical tool. Of course, the brighter the better when it comes to a penlight.

The brightness of a penlight is measured in lumens. The more the lumens value, the brighter the penlight can be assumed to be.

In our experience, anything above 30 lumens is good enough for a penlight. 30 lumens is a low-light intensity that is sufficiently bright to illuminate a small area clearly.

Additionally, it is still low enough so as not to draw a lot of power on the batteries, thus promoting its runtime.

#4. Size

Since the penlight is reputed for this slim and compact size, it is important that your chosen model is equally slim and compact.

Remember that most penlights adopt the stylus shape which makes it easier to handle.

However, there are different types of models and penlights that are fatter and more compact usually output more light since they have a bigger head with a larger LED driver.

You will need to choose which penlight shape appeals to you the most and also take into account your purpose.

#5. Battery

There are different types of batteries that power the penlight. Most of the time, AAA batteries are the battery type of choice since it is slim and lightweight which makes it fit the penlight well.

Additionally, penlights use a different number of batteries. Some may use 1 AAA while another may go with 3 AAA.

Bear in mind that the more battery the penlight has, the brighter it can shine and the longer the runtime will be.

#6. Additional Features

Additional features like a pen clip make the penlight more accessible and easier to store. For example, you can clip the penlight to your pocket just like you would for a regular pen.

Conclusion

As we have seen in this penlight review, there are different types of models when it comes to penlights. Some are suited for medical use, other are more general-purpose. But what makes the penlight so different is its slim form factor and pen clip for easy storage.

Indeed, these are highly practical tools that do not cost a lot of money and anyone can use. If you need a quick light, chances are the penlight will come in handy.

They can be carried anywhere and you'll hardly notice them since they are so lightweight. The penlight is an absolute must-have tool for anyone. Go get one now!

Tom Brady
 

Tom Brady is an online blogger. He loves outdoor activities such as fishing, camping. He write articles about outdoor activities for this blog to share his understanding and experience.