Best 18650 Flashlights – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: January 27, 2021

An emergency can befall you any time, right? So, you have to be prepared all the time

Just imagine having a blackout, turning on your flashlight, and finding out that it doesn't work. Even imagining it is panic-causing, isn't it? Thus, you need to make sure there is always a reliable flashlight on-hand.

18650 flashlights are the most trustworthy flashlights out there and you should get one. Here's all you must know to help you buy the best one. 

Comparison of the Best 18650 Flashlights

  • Uses two rechargeable Lithium batteries
  • LED has a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours
  • 1000 lumen brightness makes it the best overall
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  • 1000 lumen brightness for all kinds of usage
  • Directly rechargeable with the use of a USB cable
  • Water-resistant body that ensures durability makes it the runner-up
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  • Has five modes for ease of usage
  • Pocket light flashlight is very easy to carry
  • Best for the money that promises ultra-brightness
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  • Has EDC LED for better brightness
  • Lightweight as it uses only one battery
  • ThruNite 1860 flashlight with 1100 lumen brightness
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  • Easy to use and strong side switch
  • USB port for quick and direct charging
  • 1020 lumen bright Olight 18650 flashlight
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What is an 18650 Flashlight?

There are various models available and they all seem the same, right? 

Well, all flashlights are not the same as they have different makes, builds, and batteries. For instance, 18650 flashlights have lithium batteries in them, which are rechargeable. 

These flashlights are three times more powerful than ordinary AA batteries. With the dimensions of 18 mm by 65 mm, 18650 flashlights have a greater lighting capacity. The display is more powerful than usual flashlights and the frame stays compact, too. 

Such flashlights are also better than others because of their amazing recharging ability. You can recharge them more than 500 times to enjoy smooth functioning. 

Are All 18650 Flashlights the Same?

No, all of these are not the same.

They come in different sizes and shapes, while still serving the same purpose of providing light. All of the 18650 flashlights have one other thing in common, and that is the use of lithium-ion batteries. But these batteries have a diverse range of sizes too.

Moreover, all of them come with rechargeable batteries, but their range and display are not the same. They vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even models within the range of a brand have differences. 

Hence, all such models are not the same, as they have many external and internal variations. 

How to Choose an 18650 Flashlight

Choosing the right unit can be hard. But it is easeir if you know what to look for. So, here are some features to help you choose the right 18650 flashlight.


The size of the flashlight is the first thing you'll notice. It has to be perfect so you can carry it with ease. If the flashlight is large or weighs more, it is going to tire you out. This then makes other tasks more difficult, so choose one which has a moderate size.

Brightness Level

Since the purpose of an 18650 flashlight is to provide light, it must do so in the right manner. These flashlights offer a brighter light than other cadmium battery units. They have different levels of voltage provision, so you need to consider the brightness level, too.

Battery Life

In emergency situations, you cannot keep stopping to recharge your flashlight, can you? This means you need a model with a longer battery life. It should be so good that you can use it for hours without worrying. So, consider the battery life, too while choosing an 18650 flashlight.

Quick Take: 
Our Top 3 Choices

In a hurry? Here's a snapshot of the best 18650 flashlights :

Review of the Best 18650 Flashlights

Well, you already know that 18650 flashlights are the best flashlights for modern users. Now, it is only fair to see the reviews of the best ones to choose from and our detailed article can help you do just that! 

Best Overall:
Fenix PD35 TAC 1000

Fenix PD35 TAC 1000 Lumen CREE XP-L LED Tactical Flashlight with Two EdisonBright CR123A Lithium Batteries


  • Best suited for tactical use due to its build
  • LED-powered light source does not get hot
  • Comes with reverse polarity protection for safety
  • Has two modes: tactical mode and outdoor mode
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction makes it strong


  • Can feel heavy after constant use
  • Hard to find the button to turn it on or off

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are all very happy with their purchase. They are particularly fond of the tactical and outdoor settings. This enabled them to change the brightness level according to their need. It also helped buyers save the battery life of the flashlight to prolong its usage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us because it has two options when it comes to the battery. You can use a single lithium-ion battery or two 3V CR123A lithium batteries. This makes using them easier and you can easily charge them while on the go. You can even use the lithium-ion battery and put the other two on charging at the same time.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are into long hours of nightly adventures will find this the most useful. They will love how its sleek body is easy to carry and handle. This is also great for security personnel who are always on the move.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it is the best 18650 flashlight in the market. The 1000-lumen bright display and light emission are a sure winner, while the battery life is great, too. So, go for this one if you want a highly reliable model on hand.

Soonfire NS17

Soonfire NS17 USB Rechargeable Flashlight:Cree LED 1000 Lumen Waterproof Flashlight,18650 3400mAh Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries,Charging Cable and Holster


  • Has an anti-abrasive and shockproof body
  • A range of modes for efficient performance
  • A red and blue battery indicator to warn you beforehand
  • A great range with 232 meters of extended beam distance
  • Hard anodized finish on the flashlight makes it water-resistant


  • Weighs 3.17 ounces, so it's hard to carry

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love this 18650 flashlight as it helps them save a good amount of energy and time. They like the beam distance of 232 meters, which helps them to look in the distance even in total darkness. Buyers also appreciate the battery time as it does not need frequent charging.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model stands out to us because of its amazing brightness of 1000 lumens. We also like it because you can charge it directly, too. Even if you are in your car, you can use the USB charging port and charge it. This is surely very user-friendly and is rich in amazing features.

Who Will Use This Most

This 18650 flashlight is great for all kinds of uses. But the people who have to do night shifts will find it the most helpful. It has such a great range on its beam that you can rely on to chase any wildlife, too.

Bottom Line

To wrap up, this unit is one of the best on the market, at present. It is great for tactical use and is water-resistant. This makes it ideal for hiking, adventures, and even waterfowl hunting. So, choose this if you are sure that you need something strong enough to withstand all kinds of weather.

Best for the Money:
Thorfire 18650

Thorfire 18650 Flashlight with Battery and Charger, 1070 Lumen Led Ultra Bright EDC Pocket Light(VG15S) with 5 Modes for Camping, Hiking,Cycling


  • The maximum beam distance is 600 feet
  • Has a USB cable battery charger for easier charging
  • A maximum brightness of 1070 lumens is incredible
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum is used for making the body
  • Hard anodized treatment to protect the frame from damage


  • It sticks out of the pocket while walking
  • No instructions regarding the direction of battery insertion

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have reported mostly good usage. They appreciate that the manufacturers have added an anodized aluminum body, which does not get damaged. They also approve of the many modes which make using this model easier. There have been some complaints regarding carrying the flashlight, but they are not a lot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It catches our eye because of its 1070-lumen brightness which is sure to provide more than enough light. The aircraft-grade build of the outer frame of the flashlight is also impressive. We like the beam distance, too as it helps users see far away, as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is great for all kinds of uses, but it is best for campers and hikers. They need more light without having to worry about recharging the flashlight often, and this seems to be the ideal fit. The quick on/off button makes it great for people of all ages, so it is a good choice for everyone.

Bottom Line

To summarize, the flashlight has a lot of cool features which are surprising for the money charged. The brightness of the LED and the strong frame of the unit are absolute winners. So, it can be a great help to users once they get the hang of things with this one.

ThruNite TN12 2016 1100 Lumen Flashlight, CREE XP-L V6 EDC LED Handheld Flashlight for Emergency, Security or Camping - Cool White


  • Comes with amazing accessories
  • Strobe mode activates quite quickly
  • Stainless steel side switch helps in easy usage
  • Centralized LED bulb for a more focused beam
  • An obvious difference between brightness at different modes


  • A plastic switch for shifting modes

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were glad they bought it because it helped them save their energy. They found it very lightweight, as it weighs merely 86 grams when you take out the batteries. This is highly compact and is perfect for all kinds of work conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us due to its sleek build and a sturdy body. No matter the kind of conditions you are in, you can rely on this model. The anti-reflective coating on the lens has made its usage even better.

Who Will Use This Most

This ThruNite Flashlight is best suited for people who like to change light modes very frequently. The controls are smooth and the transition between modes is very fast. This makes it ideal for security people, as they need fast reflexes.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this ThruNite model has left behind its rivals by a long shot. The beam distance and the LED light brightness are amazing. The strobe mode is also a great addition, which makes it much more popular in the market.

Olight S2R 1020 Lumens USB Magnetic Rechargeable Side Switch EDC LED Flashlight and Olight Patch (S2R)


  • Comes with a warranty of 5 years
  • Has a magnetic charging cable with it
  • Easy to operate for individuals of all ages
  • Excellent for both indoor and outdoor usage
  • Uses only one customized battery to keep it lightweight


  • Tactical black merges with the background so it can be hard to find

What Recent Buyers Report

People who bought it lately have left some very positive reviews. They liked the build and frame of the flashlight a lot, as it is highly tactical. They also approved of its lightweight nature as it uses only one customized battery. They had a good experience using it and recommend it highly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It grabs our attention because of both the magnetic charging and USB charging. We find the water resistance remarkable, too, as it helps hunters and campers a lot. The reverse polarity protection in the unit is also a plus.

Who Will Use This Most

This flashlight is most useful for military and security folks as it is lightweight and very easy to charge. The beam distance is amazing and it hides well when you turn it off. This makes it even more useful for soldiers who need stealth.

Bottom Line

Overall, it is a nice flashlight with all the right features in place. It comes with many impressive accessories, too, which make its usage even easier.

Pros and Cons of 18650 Flashlights

18650 flashlights are surely the units of the future. They have changed the way we used to look at the specifications of flashlights. Here are some pros and cons of using such models to help you understand them better.


Here are the main pros:


18650 flashlights are very economical and they last for a long while. As they have rechargeable batteries, you will not have to spend money on buying new batteries. Also, the batteries are highly efficient, and there is a lesser loss of energy.


The lithium-ion batteries are much better than nickel-cadmium ones. Their greater power helps them produce a greater amount of light. This is why 18650 flashlights are brighter than other flashlights.

More Eco-Friendly

As 18650 flashlights have rechargeable batteries, you do not have to dispose of them. You can use them for a long time before throwing them away. This leads to lesser pollution and better protection of the environment. So, these flashlights are more environment-friendly than their rivals in the market.


Here are the main cons:

Slightly More Expensive

As 18650 flashlights are advanced and help you in many regards, they are more expensive than the usual models. Still, the price is not significant and most folks can easily afford these.


Summing it all up, you must have an 18650 flashlight ready for emergency situations. They keep you from panicking in the darkness and are highly reliable. These also last for a long while, and hence, you can save money with them.

So, go through the features of the 18650 flashlights on our list and get one that suits your needs.

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