10 Best Keychain Flashlights That Are Smaller Than 3 Inches

Best Keychain Flashlights

If you would like to know which flashlight was my favorite, then I would highly recommend the Helius flashlight that is 1.7 inches long and can project up to 130 lumens worth of light.

It can be a real pain when you cannot find the keyhole of the door on your car or house during the night. I personally have always used my phone to provide light in order to find the keyhole at night. Sometimes you just wish that you were born with an extra arm just for these types of situations.

Carrying a large bulky flashlight with you everywhere is just not an option. Fortunately, there are flashlights so small that they can easily be used as a keychain. When I mean small, I refer to less than 3 inches long.

Inside this article, you will discover the best keychain flashlights that will make your life a lot easier. I am going to go through the sizes, lumens, brightness adjustments, the types of batteries each one will use and other very important features as well.

Best Keychain Flashlight Buying Guide (Beginners)

If you are like me and you sometimes do not know what you want then maybe this guide can help you out. This guide is specifically designed to also keep those in mind that know nothing about flashlights in general.

Think about this for a moment.

Keychain flashlights might look very simple and small in appearance but if you do not look close enough then you might miss out on some very good hidden features.

1. Let us start off with what you can expect regarding price.

Some of us have a limit as to how much we can spend on something like keychain flashlights. This is why it is important for me to mention the price of some of these products.

price tag of flashlights

When it comes to keychain flashlights, you can expect to pay anything from just under $10 up to just under $70 per mini flashlight.

If you do not want to spend a lot of money on these little flashlights and you just fine with the least expensive option, then I would like to recommend the GLAREE E03 (150 lm) which is also the least expensive option in this article.

If you are serious about getting the best of the best and you do not mind paying for one of the little flashlights, then I would highly recommend the MecArmy PT16 (1000 lm) which easily fits in your palm and can project up to 1000 lumens in brightness.

2. This is why a smaller size is important

The purpose of a keychain flashlight is to attach it to your keys for where you can either wear it in your pocket or handbag.

It should at most be small enough to fit in your pocket so the cut-off point regarding the size will be 3 inches. Iwould not consider any flashlight longer than 3 inches to be a suitable for a keychain.

Picture this:

There are many small keychain flashlights in this review and if I have to recommend at least 3 then I would point you to the:

1. Finware 5 Pack (<50 lm)

2. Maratac Peanut LED (145 lm)

3. SdeNow Keychain Flashlight (200 lm)

All of these flashlights are less than 2 inches long and will easily fit in your pocket.

3. It needs to be made from tough material

When you are wearing a keychain flashlight in one of your pockets then it will be very likely that you will accidentally lie with your weight on this small object.

keychain flashlights that are tough

If the hull is not made from a material that is strong enough to resist the weight, then it will easily break which can be very unfortunate.

There are 3 types of materials used to make these flashlights.

The first type is going to be aircraft-grade aluminum which is very strong and also lightweight. Most tactical tools or gadgets will be made from this material.

The second type is going to be stainless steel which is somewhat heavier than aircraft-grade aluminum but also strong and does not easily rust.

The third type is going to be titanium alloy which is a mixture of titanium and other chemical elements. It is also very tough and the strength depends on the mixture.

I personally do not think that any type of keychain flashlight should be made from plastic as that spells for disaster.

4. Some can be used in the rain

It is very important for these types of flashlights to be somewhat waterproof as well.

There is nothing worse than having the experience when you are in the middle of the dark and it rains like hell. The only problem is that you cannot find the keyhole of your car.

And then it happens.

You take out your keychain flashlight and without a warning you see some smoke coming out of this device and it refuses to turn on.

What a waste.

This is why it is important that these flashlights have at least some form of protection against wet weather such as rain etc.

If you do not want to take any chances then I would highly recommend the Helius Flashlight.

Other good options include the LUMINTOP and also the UltraTac K18 LED Keychain Flashlight which is also great.

5. Some keychain flashlights can be recharged

Most of the flashlights will make the use of a Lithium-ion battery that can also be recharged.

keychain flashlights that can recharge

All of the rechargeable flashlights will also make the use of a USB cable that you can plug into a power bank or your pc.

You will also notice that the USB port is hidden for safety reasons in order to keep it unexposed from external water sources.

Most of the times the port will be revealed when you unscrew the head of the flashlight. The charging time will also range from 45 min up to 90 min depending on the battery.

Some of the common rechargeable flashlights are the Helius Flashlight which is the top pick and the NITECORE TINI and also the Maratac Peanut LED which is the smallest flashlight in this series.

6. The LED bulb also needs to be durable

The part of the flashlight that will do the most work is going to be the light bulb. This is also going to be the part that will be the first to break when overused.

light bulbs that are durable

It is going to be important to have a bulb that will also be very durable.

This is where the lifetime of the bulbs come into play. The lifetime will range from 10 000 hours up to 100 000 hours in general.

This will be equal to be just above 11 years of non-stop use.

Most of the flashlights will have a bulb lifetime of at least 10 000 hours.

7. What about the brightness adjustments?

Some of the flashlights will also have brightness adjustments that you can adjust by turning the head of the flashlight.

Brightness adjustment of flashlights

These adjustments or modes can include the following:

  1. Firefly. This setting is extremely dim and lower than low.
  2. Low. Very low brightness and is useful for when you want your batteries to last longer.
  3. Medium/Mid. Brighter than low and dimmer than high.
  4. High. Will be brighter than Medium and Low and will also use more energy.
  5. Turbo. Will be the brightest and will take the most energy.
  6. Strobe. This is when the light will automatically turn on and off. Will represent an SOS signal that is best used when you are distress.

Below are some of the flashlights that have at least 2 of these functions.

1. Helius Flashlight Low/High

2. LUMINTOP Low/Med/High

3. NITECORE TINI Low/Mid/High/Turbo

4. ThruNite Ti3 Firefly/Low/High/Strobe

Let’s start with the next feature which can also be important.

8. Some can be attached to your cap or glove

If you like to BBQ at night and you constantly need to use your iPhone to generate light in order not to burn your meat, then you might want to consider using one of the flashlights that can attach to one of your caps.

It is also important that the flashlight is small enough and does not put too much weight on your cap.

The way to do this is by choosing a flashlight that has a clip on the side that will attach to the bill/visor of your cap. These flashlights can also be attached to your gloves.

There are currently only 4 flashlights in this article that comes with a clip on the side and they include the following:

1. GLAREE E03 (Least Expensive) (150 lumens)

2. UltraTac K18 LED Keychain Flashlight (370 Lumens)

3. MecArmy PT16 (1000 Lumens)

4. ThruNite Ti3 (120 lumens)

And there you have it.

If you can take these 8 very important aspects to mind when buying a keychain flashlight then you will more likely to make the best possible choice. Next, let us compare some of the products in this article:

#1 Helius Flashlight (Top Pick)

If you liked the Maratac Peanut because of its size but it was too expensive for you, then the next best option would be the Helius miniature flashlight.

It is almost the same size but almost half of the price compared to the Maratac. This flashlight has a brightness capacity of around 130 lumens and has a length of 1.7 inches. It is also in the same price class as the TruNite and the UltraTac.

This device also comes in 4 colors which include Black, Blue, Grey, and Pink.

It has several features:

  1. Made to be tough and durable. This little device is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum which is both lightweight and strong.
  2. Somewhat waterproof. When it comes to being waterproof, it has an IPX8 standard which means it can be used in the rain or any type of wet weather conditions. This flashlight also comes with 2 waterproof O-rings.
  3. It can also be recharged. This flashlight makes the use of a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can be recharged with the use of a USB cable. The USB port can be revealed once the head is unscrewed. It also takes around 60 minutes to charge and can be used for 4.5 hours.
  4. Very durable LED bulb. This miniature bulb has a lifetime of 100,000 hours which can also be equal to just over 11 years if the bulb should shine non stop.
  5. Has 2 brightness adjustment settings. It has the option of either low or high which will also affect the amount of power being used.

This is a pretty good flashlight if you ask me. The only minor problem that I had was that it does not come with a keychain which can be very easily rectified. 

What we liked

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Can be recharged.
  • Is somewhat waterproof.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Does not come with a key chain.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#2 GLAREE E03 Keychain Flashlight

If you are somewhat limited when it comes to your budghet and you would also like to have the less expensive option, then I would highly recommend this keychain flashlight from Glaree.

This product is also the least expensive option in this article. This keychain flashlight also comes in 4 colors which include Black, Blue, Purple, and Red. It has a brightness capacity of 150 lumen which is not that bad. It is also very small with a length of 2.75 inches.

More of its features:

  1. Can be attached to your cap or glove. This flashlight also comes with a clip that enables it to be attached to any type of cap or a glove. This clip can also attach to your side pockets as well.
  2. It has an easy to use “switch”. You can either turn it on or of by turning the head. This also enables you to use one of your hands as well.
  3. Has 3 lighting modes. By turning the head, you can also change the brightness of this flashlight. It has 3 brightness settings which include moonlight, low and high where moonlight is the dimmest.
  4. It has a very long lifespan. The small light bulb of this flashlight also has a lifespan of nearly 10 000 hours. This is also equal to 27 years in total.
  5. Can use 2 types of batteries. This flashlight can use 2 different types of batteries which include the 1.2V Lithium AA battery and also the 3.0V 10440 battery.

One thing that I have noticed was that the clip and the keychain are not that strong. It is very important not to use too much force when trying to attach this keychain flashlight.

What we liked

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Has 3 brightness modes.
  • Has a clip

What We Didn’t Like

  • The and key chain is not that strong.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#3 Finware 5 Pack Mini LED Keychain Flashlight

If you are after a package that has enough mini flashlights for the whole family, then I would recommend the Finware 5 Pack keychain flashlight.

There are also 2 other packages available which include the 3 and 10 pack as well. They also only come in the color black. The lumen of this flashlight is unknown, but when you look at the type of battery and also the long battery life, then I guess that the lumens are pretty low. These keychain flashlights are also 1 inch long.

Some of its features:

  1. Easy to use the switch. This device also has 2 buttons which are very easy to use. You only need to press the ON/OFF switch or momentary press the larger button.
  2. The flashlights have a long lifetime. The bulb of these mini flashlights has a lifetime of around 100 000 hours which is pretty long compared to how small these light bulbs are.
  3. Very small and lightweight. This product is both 1 inch long and wide and also 0.4 inches thick. It also weighs 8 grams.
  4. The battery has a long duration. The battery has a duration of 12 hours and when it starts to dim, you will then need to replace the battery. The batteries are replaceable with CR2016 Batteries by removing the screws at the back.
  5. Is also somewhat water resistant. This product can be used outside while it rains but it will not be ideal to drop it into the swimming pool.

Overall, I think this was a great small flashlight that is ideal for the whole family. The only minor problem was the replacing the battery can be a pain.

What we liked

  • Ideal for a key chain.
  • Comes in a pack of 5.
  • List Element
  • List Element

What We Didn’t Like

  • Replacing the battery can be a nuisance.
  • Not that many features.

>> Check Price & Availability <<


Another decent miniature flashlight that is 2.83 inches long and can shine a beam of up to 110 lumens. It also comes in 4 colors which include silver, copper, green and pink.

It is also not that expensive compared to what it can do. It also has 3 different lighting mode that can make it even more useful.  The beam distance of the Lumintop is also 47 meters.

What the Lumintop flashlight can do

  1. The switch is very easy to use. This flashlight can be switched on or off just by turning the head of the flashlight which is very easy to do.
  2. Comes with 3 very useful lighting modes. This turning will also change the mode that you might want to use which include Low (5 lumens for 36 hours), Med (32 lumens for 4 hours) and High (110 lumens for 30 min).
  3. Also somewhat waterproof. It is also waterproof for where it can to depths of 1.5 meter. This is also ideal if using the flashlight when you are out in the rain.
  4. The bulb is also very durable.  The bulb also has a 50 000 hour lifetime until it will start to wear out. Just is very impressive compared to the size of the bulb. 
  5. Only uses 1 battery. When it comes to batteries, this flashlight will use one AAA batteries. It can also use AAA rechargeable batteries as well.

The only small problem that I found was the flashlight looked very cheap compared to the price that you have to pay. This statement also does not mean that it is of low quality.

What we liked

  • Good quality.
  • Comes in multiple colors.
  • Has 3 main modes.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The flashlight looked very cheap.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#5 UltraTac K18 LED Keychain Flashlight

If you would like to have a small flashlight that has an attachment clip and can also be used as some sort of lamp, then I would highly recommend the UltraTac K18.

It can project up to 370 lumens with a size of 3 inches and a weight is 0.64 ounces. This flashlight also comes in 5 colors which are black, blue, red, brass and green. This mini flashlight is also not that expensive and will vary according to the color.

More on the UltraTac K18 LED:

  1. It is made to be durable. The body and the button are made out of stainless steel which is much better than a rubber button.
  2. Very bright beam with long distance. It has a beam distance of up to 88 meters and also has a lumen of up to 370 lm which is not that bad for a mini flashlight.
  3. Runs on a single battery. It runs on an AAA Alkaline battery or a 10440 Li-ion rechargeable battery and also an AAA Ni-MH rechargeable battery and has a low battery indicator as well.
  4. Used as a keyring or headlamp. This flashlight can either be used as a keyring or it can also be attached to objects such as a baseball cap with its side clip
  5. Is somewhat waterproof as well. It is also waterproof for up to 2 meters underwater. Now you do not need to worry about rainwater that might damage the flashlight.

The only minor problem that I had was that it does not have any type of lighting modes such as Low, Medium, High or Strobe. Other than that, I think this is a great flashlight.

What we liked

  • Very high lumen.
  • Has battery indicator.
  • Can go underwater.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Might be a bit too expensive for some.

>> Check Price & Availability <<


What if you could have a keychain flashlight that can be recharged with the use of an USB cable?

This is where the NiteCore comes into play. I must also add that this mini flashlight looks completely different than all of the other mentioned in this article. It also has a maximum brightness of 380 lumens which is really not bad compared to the size.

It also has a length of 1.7 inches and a width of 1 inch (also notice that this flashlight is not tubular but has the form of a square). It also comes in 7 colors which include Black, Blue, Gold, Green, Silver, Red, and Grey.

More on some of the features:

  1. It might fit better in your pocket. Because this flashlight is square formed and is also 0.45 inches thick, it might fit into your pocket much easier.
  2. Very easy to operate. In order to turn it on, you need to hold the on/off button for a couple of seconds. If you also the “mode” button, the flashlight will jump directly to turbo mode.
  3. Is USB rechargeable. This is probably the biggest feature of this flashlight. It comes with a built-in ion battery that can last for up to 60 hours. It also comes with a USB cable that can be used to recharge this device.
  4. Has 4 brightness levels. This tiny flashlight also makes the use of 4 modes which consist of Low, Mid, High and also Turbo.
  5. Is also somewhat waterproof. This flashlight has an ip54 waterproof resistance rating. This rating will define the levels of sealing effectiveness against water. This means that the flashlight has somewhat protection against rainwater but cannot be submerged in water.

I, personally think that this is a great and also unique flashlight. The only problem that some people might encounter is the delay in activation when holding in the on/off switch.

What we liked

  • Is rechargeable through USB.
  • Has 4 brightness levels.
  • Very bright.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Activating the light can be a hassle for some people.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#7 Maratac Peanut LED

If you like the idea of recharging your mini flashlight but you did non like the shape of the NiteCore TINI, then I would highly recommend the Maratac Peanut LED.

This flashlight is also one of the smallest flashlights that you can ask for. It also only comes in the color silver and has a brightness level of 145 lumens. When it comes to the size, this flashlight is also 1.29 inches long which is very small. This flashlight is also more expensive than the NiteCore Tini.

More on the features:

  1. It is rechargeable. This flashlight has a USB port at the back that can be used by the included cable in order to recharge the flashlight. It also makes the use of a 10180 70mAh battery.
  2. Has 2 brightness levels. This flashlight makes the use of 2 brightness levels which include Low (12 lm) and High (145 lm). The can be adjusted by turning the head of the flashlight.
  3. Smallest flashlight in this series. This flashlight has a length that barely exceeds 1 inch and has a length of 1.3 inches. It is also 0.5 inches thick in diameter.
  4. Very durable. The very small bulb of this flashlight has a lifetime of 50 000 hours which is just under 6 years of continuous use which is not bad if you plan this flashlight a lot.

The only small problem that I had was that it might be too expensive for its size. Maybe it is because the parts inside are so small and it is also made in the US.

What we liked

  • Very small.
  • Is rechargeable.
  • Has 2 brightness levels.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can be too expensive considering the size of this flashlight.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#8 MecArmy PT16

If you would like to have a sturdier type of miniature flashlight that also delivers up to 1000 lumens, then you need to have a look at the MecArmy PT16.

This flashlight look somewhat different than the rest because it has a thicker build. This flashlight is also rechargeable and has a length of 2.66 inches. It also only comes in the color black. If I can mention anything about the price, then all I can say is that it is the most expensive in this series.

Some of its important features:

  1. It is so bright it can almost blind you. This miniature flashlight really packs a punch when it comes to its brightness as it can deliver up to 1000 lumen. I know of a lot of larger flashlights that cannot even reach half of that.
  2. Can be easily recharged. It can only be recharged through a USB cable. The port is also not visible and you need to unscrew the head in order to reveal the port. This is actually a very clever mechanism as it hides the port from water exposure. (USB port not included).
  3. The battery is included. This flashlight also makes the use of a rechargeable 16340 lithium-ion battery that is also included. It also needs to charge for a 90 minute period. It also has an indicator that will tell you when the battery is full.
  4. Is also very tough and durable. This small device is also made from an aero grade aluminum alloy which is a very lightweight and also durable material.

I think that overall, this is a very good flashlight that can really pack a punch. The only downside to this little device might be its high price.

What we liked

  • Is very bright (1000 lm)
  • Is rechargeable.
  • Very tough and durable.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can be too expensive for most people.
  • Also does not come with a key ring.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#9 ThruNite T01 Mini LED Flashlight

If you would like to have a small enough flashlight that will fit in your hand that also has 3 lighting options then I would highly recommend the ThruNite Ti3.

Even though the ThruNite Ti3 flashlight can fit in your hand, does not mean that it is not powerful. This flashlight has the ability to project a light that is 120 lumens.

This is not bad for a flashlight that is only 2.8 inches long. This flashlight also comes in the color black. It also has a keychain to which you can attach your key. 

More on the ThruNite

  1. Very easy to activate the light. This flashlight does not operate with a button. Instead, you need to turn the head of the flashlight in order to turn it on.
  2. Uses 1 AAA battery. This flashlight also gets its power from a single AAA battery which gives it a run time of between 30min to over 100 hours. This might seem like a massive difference but the battery life is heavily dependent on the mode that you use the most.
  3. Has 4 lighting modes. This miniature flashlight has 4 modes which include firefly which has an output of 0.04 lm, Low which has an output of 12 lm, High which has an output of 120 lm and also strobe which can be used for signaling. 
  4. Has a very long lifespan. The bulb of this flashlight also has a lifespan of more than 20 years which is not that bad.

What we liked

  • Has 4 main modes.
  • Lumen power not bad.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some people might complain about the durability.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

#10 SdeNow Keychain Flashlight

Last, but not least, I will introduce to you another very small flashlight that hasa brightness level of around 200 lumens which is not bad for its size.

Talking about size, this flashlight is around 1.65 inches long which is one of the smallest flashlights in this review. It also comes in 2 colors which include black and red. If I can say anything about the price, then all I can say is that it is one of the least expensive options in this article.

Some of the features it includes:

  1. It is somewhat waterproof. This flashlight has an IPX-7 waterproof level which means that it will not break when exposed to wet weather such as rain or snow.
  2. It is also rechargeable. This flashlight has a built-in lithium-ion battery that can also be recharged. In order for the USB port to be visible, you need to unscrew the head of this flashlight. It also takes around 45 minutes to recharge.
  3. Projects around 200 lumens worth of light. This flashlight is also equipped with XPG R5 LED lamp beads that will enable it to project light that is 200 lumens bright.
  4. Has a long working time. This flashlight can project light for up to 150 minutes non-stop before it needs to be charged again.
  5. Made to last. This casing of this flashlight is also made out of titanium alloy which is very tough and durable.

This is a pretty good flashlight comparing to how small it is. The only minor problem that I had was that it did not have multiple brightness modes that might also help you to save power.

What we liked

  • Is rechargeable through USB.
  • Is also waterproof.
  • Very inexpensive.

What We Didn’t Like

  • Does not have multiple brightness modes.

>> Check Price & Availability <<

10 Best Keychain Flashlights Comparison Table

Product NameLumenLengthPrice
1. Helius Flashlight (Top Pick)130 lm1.7″$$
2. GLAREE E03 (Least Expensive)150 lm2.75″$
3. Finware 5 Pack<50 lm1″$
4. LUMINTOP110 lm2.83″$$
5. UltraTac K18 LED Keychain Flashlight370 lm3″$$
6. NITECORE TINI380 lm1.7″$$
7. Maratac Peanut LED (Smallest Flashlight)145 lm1.29″$$$
8. MecArmy PT161000 lm2.66″$$$$$
9. ThruNite Ti3120 lm2.8″$$
10. SdeNow Keychain Flashlight200 lm1.65″$

Let us sum it up

You will notice when after reading this article that it is not that hard to find a good keychain flashlight that will not take up a lot of space inside of your pockets.

I have looked at the size, weight, lumens and also more on the batteries as well.

If you are like me and you cannot decide which one is the best fit, then I would recommend the Helius Flashlight which was my favorite. This flashlight definitely has the best value for money compared to the others.

Which one was your favorite?

Please leave a comment below and tell us which flashlight you have chosen and why. If you are not into small keychain flashlights but would still like to learn more, then please visit our tactical accessories page.

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