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Flashlights are one of the handiest tools around. They help you find things in the dark, feel secure when walking in isolated places alone after dark and provide light in emergency situations. Having a flashlight with you at all times is a poignant idea as you never know when you might need it.
There are many different types of flashlights available nowadays and you can always find one that suits your needs perfectly. You can find torches for EDC, survival or emergency kits, outdoor trips, tactical use and more. The best part is that there are many excellent flashlights under $100, so you do not necessarily have to spend a lot of money on a quality torch.
At a Glance: Our Choices for The 7 Best Flashlights Under $100
Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each flashlight.
Why You Should Pay More for a Flashlight
While expensive does not necessarily mean high quality, it is better to spend a little more when it comes to flashlights. Here is a look at a few reasons why:
- They are often better quality: Although there are many inexpensive flashlights that are good, paying a bit more can get you an even better one. By paying a little extra, you can find a torch of better quality, and better quality means that the light will be able to withstand rough use and last longer. High-quality flashlights are not only tough and durable, but also incredibly versatile, making them ideal for EDC, camping, hiking, hunting, tactical, police or military use, and much more.
- They have more features: Flashlights that cost more are designed to give you more value for money. They are likely to have quite a number of features that cheaper torches do not have. These features can be extremely helpful in different situations, especially if you are in the outdoors or in an emergency situation. Paying more for a flashlight can give you a unit with water-, impact- and shock-resistance, multiple brightness levels and output modes, tactical tail switch for momentarily-on, etc. With more modes and options, you have a flashlight that is ideal for any type of situation or need.
- They are more high-performance: Let us say that hiking is your hobby. For this, you need a tough, solid flashlight that can stand up to drops and knocks. It will also have to be water resistant in case you have to cross a swollen river or get caught in a sudden downpour. Additionally, you may need your flashlight to operate anything from a firefly mode to read a map to an ultra-bright 1,000-lumens SOS mode in case of an accident or other emergencies. Paying more for a flashlight can give you a high-performance unit that works the way you need it to in any situation.
- They provide consistent power output: Paying a little extra for a flashlight can give you a unit that is likely to have better circuitry for managing power output and get the last drop of energy from its source of power. You will find many cheaper torches that claim to have a high maximum power rating, but when you actually use them, you are likely to find that it does not last more than a few minutes before it starts to dim. Lights that are slightly more expensive are likely to have a regulated circuit that gives you consistent, steady illumination.
- They have good battery life: Although there are some good cheap flashlights, most drain battery life extremely fast. This can be a major hindrance, especially when you are in dire need of light. When you pay more for a torch, you get one that has the capability to manage power output as mentioned above, which means that it will not use up energy as rapidly as a lot of cheaper flashlights do. While many torches come with rechargeable batteries or use, affordable AA or AAA batteries, there may be times when charging your light is not possible or you have run out of replacement batteries.
- They save you money in the long run: You can buy cheap flashlights and replace them with another one every time they stop working. But the fact is that you are spending much more in the long run when you do this. Paying more for a flashlight gives you a top-quality product that is durable and may even last you a number of years. This ultimately means that you save money in the long run, which is always a good thing. So if you are going to buy a flashlight, it is worth paying a little extra rather than buying a cheap one that might only last a couple of months (which is about as long as people who saw The Force Awakens bad mouthed the movie after wasting 2.5 hours watching it).
The Top 7 Flashlights Under 100
|# of Batteries:||1x 18650 or 2x CR123A|
|Battery Duration:||29 h 15 min (low)|
(+) Very bright for its size with wide light spill
(+) Dual battery makes it longer than many other lights out there
(+) Solid and tough – excellent for outdoor use
(-) TAC model button cap needs some improvement
(-) The two included CR123A batteries do not last very long
The Fenix PD35 is very well made with a maximum output of 1,000 lumens and a 656ft beam distance. Fitted with CREE XP-L (V5) LED, it has a lifespan of a whopping 50,000 hours. It also has a built-in tactical tail switch that can be used to activate momentary-on function.
Crafted from solid aircraft-grade aluminum with a hard anodized anti-abrasive finish, the flashlight has a slip-resistant, anti-roll design. Its best features are the reverse polarity protection that keeps the unit protected from improper battery installation, and the intelligent memory circuit that enters the last-used output mode automatically when you turn it on. With a solid build and great features, the Fenix PD35 is a superb choice for a flashlight under 100.
The Fenix PD35 is an excellent choice when it comes to flashlights under 100. It is very bright and comes with multiple modes to give you the light you need in any situation. We like the intelligent memory circuit and the reverse polarity protection – we have not seen them in many flashlights at this price point. It is anti-roll, slip resistant and water resistant, making it awesome for outdoor use.
And yes it can be used to find your toothbrush that you accidentally dropped and you don’t want to turn on the bathroom light because someone else is trying to sleep and so on.
Although the package includes two EdisonBright CR123A batteries, they do not last very long, so you will need to keep extras around. But overall, we are impressed by the Fenix PD35 and highly recommend it.
Streamlight 74751 Strion
|# of Batteries:||Lithium Ion battery|
|Battery Duration:||60 h (low)|
(+) Extremely bright with C4 LED technology
(+) Knurled body provides a secure grip
(+) Clamp-style charge holder with digital control circuit prevents overcharging
(-) Quality could be better
(-) Charger needs to be improved
The Streamlight 74751 Strion is a rechargeable LED flashlight that looks awesome and comes with quite a few handy features. It uses C4 LED technology with a lifetime of 50,000 hours is impervious to shock. It also comes with a lithium-ion battery with on-board safety control circuit that is rechargeable up to 1,000 times – it takes 3 hours for a full recharge. The Streamlight 74751 Strion also features constant On or momentary blink switching.
With a durable anodized aluminum, knurled body, you get a sure grip on the light even with wet or slippery hands. Water and impact resistant, the Streamlight 74751 Strion is ideal for all types of applications, indoors or outdoors.
There is no doubt that the Streamlight 74751 Strion comes with a number of superb features. It is super bright and comes with a deep-dish parabolic reflector gives you a concentrated beam with excellent peripheral illumination. The unit feels good with a good grip in the hand.
But considering the awesome features it has, we think that the quality of the Streamlight 74751 Strion could be improved to make it even better. But all in all, we think that it is one of the best buys when it comes to flashlights under 100 dollars. And it is wonderful for taking with you so you can get your mail after the sun goes down. Hopefully you did not receive too much junk mail!
With a maximum output of 1,000 lumens, the Nitecore P12 uses premium CREE XM-L2 (U2) LED to produce super-bright illumination. It comes with a UM10 USB charger that is compatible with Li-ion and IMR batteries. The Nitecore P12 package includes the charger as well as Nitecore NL 186 rechargeable 18650 battery and two EdisonBright CR123A lithium batteries.
You get unwavering output from the high-efficiency regulation circuit and battery voltage display from the power indicator’s secondary function. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, the Nitecore P12 is tough, durable and powerful flashlight available at a decent price.
With the advanced CREE XM-L2 (U2) LED technology, the Nitecore P12 is a bright rechargeable flashlight that is reliable and durable. It is easy to tail-stand and the mode selection button is very easy to operate, making it a great torch for all situations. We like the supplied rechargeable battery – it can a full work week, even during winter when work is mostly in the dark.
Certainly it can help you when you trying to find your tooth floss in your packed drawer when your bathroom light’s bulb just went out on you.
However, we found that it takes quite a long time to charge. The Nitecore P12 feels solid and has a good grip, which is great when your hands are wet or slippery. If you are looking for a powerful, reliable flashlight under 100, then you should go for the Nitecore P12. We definitely recommend it.
The SureFire 6PX is a well-designed flashlight with an LED emitter that is virtually indestructible and regulated to maximize the output and runtime of light. It has a single high 320-lumens output level to give you maximum brightness. It also features the convenient tactical tailcap switch that makes it easy to get the light you want – simply press for momentary-on and twist for constant-on.
The SureFire 6PX also has a precision micro-textured reflector that provides a smooth, optimized beam. With its high-strength aerospace-grade mil-spec hard anodized aluminum body, you can expect it to last a long time even after daily rough use.
The SureFire 6PX is a high-quality, solid light that performs extremely well under any condition. The solid construction ensures durability. We like how it feels in the hand – firm grip. The low-power beam option is a handy feature when you are using the light for general use.
We found that the SureFire 6PX is a great balance of bright enough for tactical use, but not so bright that it blinds you while using it. It drains battery power pretty quickly so make sure to keep a few extras handy. But overall, we think that the SureFire 6PX is a sterling buy although it is pretty pricey – it definitely gives you value for money.
And yes it can be used to find your dog’s bone that he may have accidentally pushed under your couch!
Olight S30R Baton III
|# of Batteries:||One 18650|
|Battery Duration:||130 h (Very low)|
(+) Magnetic USB charging dock for plug-free charging
(+) Magnetic tailcap for hands-free usage
(+) Compact and lightweight – awesome for EDC
(-) A little too long for some users
With a powerful 1,050-lumens maximum output, the Olight S30R Baton III is a super-bright flashlight with CREE XM-L2 LED. Compact and lightweight, it is an excellent choice for EDC, as well as outdoor, tactical, and other uses. It comes with a magnetic charging dock to give you easy and fast plug-free charging whenever you need it.
The Olight S30R Baton III is a very versatile flashlight as it comes with a sturdy clip that you can use to attach the light to your belt, hat or bag strap. It also has a magnetic tail cap so you can attach it to metal surfaces, giving you convenient hands-free usage options.
When it comes to flashlights under 100, the Olight S30R Baton III is one of the top choices available. It is a powerful and versatile that is ideal for EDC, outdoor trips, emergencies, etc. Although some users may find it a tad long, we think that it is outstanding to carry in pockets, bags, etc.
The clip is a nice accessory as it allows you to attach the light to your belt, bag strap, or your hat for hands-free usage. We also like the magnetic tailcap that allows you to use it without holding it. The Olight S30R Baton III is a superb buy among flashlights under 100. Lost your screwdriver in your toolbox? Yes, the S30R can be used for all sorts of things!
|# of Batteries:||Nine AA|
|Battery Duration:||30 h (low)|
(+) Made with top-quality materials to ensure durability
(+) Ideal for use even under rough conditions
(+) Superior beam quality compared to many similar flashlights
(-) Not fully waterproof
(-) A little bigger than expected
With a maximum output of 1,075 lumens and 351-meter beam distance, the Coast HP550 is a bright flashlight that works brilliantly every time. It features a virtually indestructible LED and weather and impact resistance, making it a sturdy and long-lasting light.
The Pure Beam Focusing Optic System allows you to harness the light and create a superior and powerful beam whether you need flood or spot light. Broad and consistent, the flood beam provides a clear field of vision. The Coast HP550 is a well-designed and solidly constructed flashlight that gives you reliable performance no matter where you are.
We think that the Coast HP550 is a very well-designed flashlight. The high-quality LED is virtually indestructible and so is the body, so you can expect it to work well even after drops and knocks. It provides light for a good distance when you use the spotlight mode.
The Coast HP550 is ideal for use in any situation, whether it is for general use around the house, EDC or survival or outdoor use. Although it is water-resistant, it is not fully waterproof so you have to be a little careful under wet conditions. However, all in all, we think that the Coast HP550 is a bright and sturdy flashlight that comes at a nice price. In the age of tax cuts, you may be able to buy one for each family member as well!
ThruNite MINI TN30
|# of Batteries:||Four 18650|
|Battery Duration:||123 h (low)|
(+) High-quality beam from orange peel reflector
(+) Easy to use
(+) ITC technology automatically lowers the current to prevent overheating
(-) A little difficult to switch modes
(-) A little pricey for the size
If you are looking for a compact flashlight under 100, you should consider the ThruNite MINI TN30. This is a compact flooder that features an orange peel reflector that provides high-quality beam. It features an advanced electronic metal switch with low voltage indication that allows you to operate it silently.
The ThruNite Intelligent Temperature Control (ITC) technology is designed to prevent potential light damage from operation. Knurling is incorporated on the aircraft-grade aluminum body to give you a firm grip when using the light. The ThruNite MINI TN30 is a well-made compact and bright flashlight that is ideal for EDC, outdoor trips, and emergencies.
The ThruNite MINI TN30 is compact and lightweight, making it highly portable – perfect for EDC. You get superb light from all the different modes. We like the ITC technology that prevents overheating, thereby extending the flashlight’s lifespan. You may find a little difficult to switch modes when you start using the light, but you will get the hang of it in no time.
The ThruNite MINI TN30 is well-designed, ensuring ease of use no matter where you are. While it is a little expensive for its size, we think that it is totally worth it. We definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quality light for under 100. And yes, you can use it to find those Transformers toys that your son continues to leave out in the middle of the hallway!
As you can see, there are many top-notch flashlights under 100. Each comes with its own features that meet the unique needs of users. Whether you are looking for a flashlight for EDC, outdoor trips or to include in your emergency or survival kit, you will find that the flashlights mentioned above are superb choices.
It may seem like you are paying quite a bit for a light, but as mentioned earlier, paying a little extra does give you many benefits that cheaper flashlights do not provide. If you are looking for a flashlight under 100, check out the ones on the list – you are sure to find one that suits your needs perfectly.
Image by Joe Loong