Best Tactical Flashlight for the Money: Top 5 Reviews

tactical flashlight reviews

What is a tactical flashlight vs a regular flashlight?

LED Tactical flashlights are generally more compact, powerful, and black in color when compared to standard flashlights. To be considered a true tactical flashlight, they should be of a high enough grade to be used by police or military personnel. They also come equipped with a side clip for added carrying versatility. It’s possible to find a larger, more powerful flashlight, but with tactical flashlights it’s all about efficiency where you need it. Below, we showcase 5 tactical flashlight reviews of what we consider to be the best tactical flashlights for a variety of categories.

 

 FlashlightLumensPrice 
Fenix FX-PD35TAC

brightest tactical flashlight
Best Tactical Flashlight1,000$$$Check price
Vizeri VZ460

tactical flashlight moderate budget
Best Tactical Flashlight for a Moderate Budget230$$Check price
Vanksy VS-BFL1

cheap tactical flashlight
Best Cheap Tactical Flashlight700$Check price
Klarus XT12-XML2

rechargeable tactical flashlight
Best Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight930$$$Check price
Nitecore MH20

best small tactical flashlight
Best Small Tactical Flashlight1,000$$$Check price

 

Best Ultra-Bright Tactical Flashlight: Fenix FX-PD35TAC

brightest tactical flashlightLength: 5 inches

Weight: 5.6 ounces

Max Brightness: 1000 lumens

Batteries: (1) Rechargeable 18650 Li-ion OR (2) 3V CR123A Lithium

Price range: $70-$80

We start off with our favorite tactical flashlight, the Fenix FX-PD35TAC. At 1,000 lumens, this is one of the brightest tactical flashlight options available online, especially when at the highest setting at 1000 lumens. The low light setting is also useful in certain situations when you don’t want to a blinding light output. Most tactical flashlights have 3 continuous light settings, however this Fenix model comes with 5, not to mention a strobe function. We love every detail on the flashlight, it is well worth the money.

As far as cons go, we really don’t have any related to the flashlight itself. We appreciate that Fenix included a free sheath with each flashlight, however reviewers have found it to be a little “cheesy” and not as well made as the light itself. The good news is there are tons of aftermarket sheaths out there for sale, you can probably find a good one for less than $20.

 

Best Tactical Flashlight for a Moderate Budget: Vizeri VZ460

tactical flashlight moderate budgetLength: 6 inches

Weight: 7.2 ounces

Max Brightness: 230 lumens

Power: AAA OR CR123A OR Rechargeable 18650 Li-ion

Price range: $35-$42
If you’re working with a moderate budget of under $50 it’s still completely possible to get an exceptional, military tactical flashlight. Vizeri has a couple models that like, but if we had to pick one we’d go with the VZ460. Vizeri is a great company and they provide above and beyond customer service. After buying this flashlight you’ll get a very informative PDF emailed to you with everything you need to know about your new purchase. Reviewers online keep going back to a few common areas when discussing the VZ460: awesome customer service (plus lifetime warranty), and awesome bang for your buck. It’s not the best tactical flashlight money can buy, but it definitely gets the job done for the average user.

We’re big fans of the included light diffuser/cone as well. When the light diffuser is attached to the head of the flashlight, it acts like a lantern which really comes in handy. That’s just one of the included bonuses with this light. You’ll also get a belt holster which is a nice inclusion. We’ve heard stories of a small minority of owners having trouble with the programmable features, but overall most people seem to figure it out pretty easily, definitely consult the PDF if you are confused.

 

Best Cheap Tactical Flashlight: Vanksy VS-BFL1

cheap tactical flashlightLength: 6.1 inches

Weight: 6.4 ounces

Max Brightness: 700 lumens

Power: AAA (included) OR Rechargeable 18650 Li-ion

Price range: $11-$14
Very bright and very cheap. Not only is this the best cheap tactical flashlight available, but the batteries ARE included as well, making it a truly amazing deal for the money. We’d normally expect a cheap flashlight to have very little to offer in terms of bells and whistles, however Vanksy did not skimp on the extra features thankfully. There’s an adjustable feature that allows you to easily switch between one solid beam, and a flood light. There’s also added functionality that allows for 3 different light modes, two for brightness and one for strobe. Just because the light is under twenty bucks doesn’t mean it has to be made of cheap materials. This Vanksy model is made from aircraft grade aluminum alloy materials. 3 AAA batteries are included so you can be ready for action right out of the box.

Of course with the least expensive tactical flashlight on our list, there are a number of negatives, but if you can handle them then this light is for you. First off the flashlight is only water-resistant not water-proof. Also there is only a 1-year warranty included, but with the low cost it really wouldn’t be much hassle to just buy another years down the line if you need to and were happy with it.

 

Best Rechargeable Tactical Flashlight: Klarus XT12-XML2

rechargeable tactical flashlightLength: 6.5 inches

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Max Brightness: 930 lumens

Power: Custom 18650 rechargeable (included)

Price range: $80-$102

The Klarus is unique in that it comes with everything you need to make this a truly rechargeable tactical flashlight. Included with the flashlight is a USB or AC charging kit which will charge the custom 18650 battery. You can either charge the batteries separately using the AC kit, or you can just take the USB cord and plug one end into the flashlight, and the other end into a power source such as a computer.

We like that the Klarus is waterproof to IPX-8 Standard, and when used underwater allows for a 2 meter beam. This torch uses a powerful 930 lumen CREE XM-L2 U2 LED and has an average lifespan of 50,000 hours, which is decent. If you’re looking for something unique and practical that doesn’t rely on frequent disposable batteries, go with the truly rechargeable Klarus XT12-XML2.

 

Best Small Tactical Flashlight: Nitecore MH20

best small tactical flashlightLength: 4.13 inches

Weight: 3.8 ounces

Max Brightness: 1000 lumens

Power: Custom 18650 rechargeable (included)

Price range: $85-$97

The Klarus is easily the best option if you’re looking for the most well-liked, smallest tactical flashlight. A typical tactical flashlight is around 6” long while this Nitecore model is only 4.13”. Not only is this incredibly compact, but there are 3 different options for recharging the torch itself. You can charge the included 18650 via a wall outlet, USB, or even a car charger.

There are many light modes to choose from including 5 different brightness levels (1-1,000 lumens), and 3 concealed special modes (strobe, SOS, and location beacon). Like the Klarus, this one is also waterproof, and provides an underwater beam of up to 2 meters.

It’s not the cheapest option, but if you can afford to spend up to $100 on your next tactical flashlight, and want a compact option, definitely go with the Nitecore MH20, you won’t be disappointed. Even for being so small, it’s quite a super bright LED flashlight.

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