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A frequent topic of discussion in flashlight communities are not only specific models of flashlights but the brands themselves. New members often ask the question, “Which brand makes the best flashlights?” but the answers vary—which is normal.
The brands that are loved by enthusiasts are all great and which one is the best is often down to personal preferences. People prioritize based on their needs among things like light brightness (measured in lumens), beam distance, run time, impact resistance, battery type, and more.
So, instead of ranking the brands, we’ll just list the brands that are most frequently mentioned, owned, and trusted by the flashlight pros.
If you want a high-quality flashlight that will last you for years, if not decades, then you can’t go wrong with any of the brands on our list.
Based in: Guangdong, China | Established: 2006
Olight fills two main niches: flashlight enthusiasts and tactical lighting. Their range of flashlights have options for outdoor activities like hunting, but also have military and law enforcement tier lights. Olight keeps developing and reengineering their products to keep at the forefront of the industry, and that innovation is clear in their flashlights.
One of Olight’s priorities is efficiency in their products. They have a wide selection of power options for their flashlights, all of which are engineered to give great results with efficient power usage. Olight flashlights are compact, portable, and an excellent value for your money. Reliable functionality is a staple with this brand, and their flashlights are incredibly hardy.
Based in: Singapore | Established: 2007
Every Nitecore flashlight is the product of thousands of hours of careful design. Their product line changes entirely for each market they serve down to individual parts, so every flashlight is perfectly suited to whatever your needs are. Nitecore advertises itself as having the best user experience in the industry.
Related: Review: Nitecore T4K Flashlight
From industrial needs to recreation, Nitecore makes a durable and effective flashlight for your job. The brand covers outdoor sports, law enforcement, tactical lighting, industrial lighting, and more. With dozens of choices for size, power, and performance grades, Nitecore has one of the most expansive product lines of any flashlight brand. They have also won numerous design awards for their flashlights, as a testament to their innovative process.
Based in: Shenzhen, China | Established: 2004
Fenix is a leader in flashlight technology. From their home in China, they keep only the highest standards, from their design to their production. The result is a top-quality line of flashlights made with long-lasting materials like aircraft-grade aluminum.
Flashlights made by Fenix have a well-deserved reputation for being some of the most versatile, reliable, and durable products. They are a favorite among outdoorsmen, but also law enforcement and military customers. This is thanks in part to a committed design department that studies the needs of customers down to the tiniest detail, so every flashlight made by Fenix perfectly answers a real-world need.
Pelican / Peli
Based in: Torrance, California, USA | Established: 1976
The Pelican name is a guarantee of durability. You may have heard of them in Europe under the brand names Peli Products, S.L.U., and Peli BioThermal Limited. Aside from flashlights, they also make protective cases, temperature-controlled packaging, and more, all of which have led to technological breakthroughs that they then apply to their lighting designs.
Many professionals in extreme environments (firefighters, law enforcement, etc.) trust Pelican products with their lives. That is quite the reputation to live up to, and so Pelican has exacting standards for all of its products. They only sell the finest flashlight designs that get the job done right.
Based in: Eagleville, Pennsylvania, USA | Established: 1973
Streamlight is all about making flashlights that customers truly want. Their team of designers regularly gets their hands dirty, completing training courses and participating in outdoor sports so they can see what their flashlights need to be capable of. This has led to innovations like lighting equipment that can be safely used around explosive gas.
It is the customer-first approach of Streamlight that leads to their top-notch line of flashlights. They are very open about wanting to hear about customer dissatisfaction because that creates opportunities for Streamlight to improve on their existing products and fulfill needs they never knew existed. If you get a chance to speak with their salespeople, each one is fully trained in the nuances of all their products, so you get treated to a helpful, hassle-free experience.
Based in: Fountain Valley, California, USA | Established: 1979
This flashlight brand has an interesting origin. The founder of SureFire was the man who developed the first laser-sight for weapons. From there, he led the company to keep pushing forward, always on the cutting edge of technology. When they turned to flashlights, that approach followed.
SureFire’s range of flashlights is very comprehensive, from military and law enforcement lights to outdoor tactical uses, to everyday carry. They target intense users who demand the most from their flashlights. The combination of their long history of innovating with their forward-thinking approach makes for a company that only delivers the best in flashlights.
Based in: Ontario, California, USA | Established: 1979
Famously, then-CEO of Apple Computer Gilbert F. Amelio said he hoped Apple would be “essentially the Maglite of computers.” That sums up the company’s ubiquitous reputation with flashlights. Maglite were some of the first portable lights that were durable enough for professional use while also being widely available.
Maglite developed some of the first-ever heavy-duty flashlights, which quickly became popular with law enforcement, firefighters, and trade professionals. That has continued with their modern lineup, still made with anodized aluminum and still known for their ruggedness and reliability. Maglite changed the flashlight industry when it first started, and it remains one of the most well-known brands for good reason.
Based in: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China | Established: 2009
In 2009, now CEO David Chen began pursuing his dream to become an expert on the LED products he saw exploding onto the market. He named the company ThruNite to show how he wanted his products to help people through difficult situations.
Quality is the goal of ThruNite, and to that end, they are constantly outputting and retrofitting new flashlight models. Whenever ThruNite takes a step forward in pricing or quality, they release a new flashlight to take advantage of that advancement. This results in new products coming out around every two months. ThruNite has such confidence and pride in their products that they offer very generous warranty coverage on all flashlights.
Based in: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China | Established: 2011
Klarus was the brand that originally developed dual-switches on flashlights, bringing more adaptability to flashlight use than ever before. The company puts a premium on research and development to keep driving their technology forward and deliver better products all the time. Now they are the standard for countless law enforcement and military personnel around the world.
The Klarus brand is perhaps best summed up by its name, derived from the Latin word for “clear and bright.” Their ambition to always be innovating and to create high-quality flashlights that will serve you well is indeed quite like a light in the dark. The Klarus goal is to bring you products that you can rely on, knowing in full confidence that they will never fail, and they deliver on that.
Based in: North Carolina, USA | Established: 2004
Thanks to their high-grade construction and innovative design, JETBeam has built a reputation as a trend-setting flashlight brand. Whether you are an outdoorsman or a law enforcement officer, or even a marine or aviation engineer, JETBeam makes a flashlight perfectly suited to your needs.
JETBeam was the first flashlight brand in China to make use of magnetic sensor switches, know for their reliability. This was a huge innovation in making flashlights that could withstand impacts and raised the bar for the rest of the industry. By borrowing concepts from aviation lighting designs, the company has continued to strive to make flashlights that are smaller, brighter, more practical, and have longer battery life.
Based in: Lexington, Kentucky, USA | Established: 2012 (?)
Elzetta offers a unique take that should appeal in particular to flashlight enthusiasts. Each flashlight is built to order from a list of modular components. Simply pick which parts you would like in your flashlight to suit your needs, and Elzetta will construct it to their high standards of quality. Personalized engraving is even available.
Intense testing is part of all Elzetta designs, intended to give you only the most reliable and rugged flashlights. Most of their products are engineered in-house, but they also take designs from around the globe, upgrade them to Elzetta’s standards, and make them available to you. Elzetta offers a world of options for a custom-built flashlight.
Based in: Arizona, USA| Established: 1983
HDS Systems is constantly playing with new ideas to create the best flashlights. They are a small company that only produces small batches of their flashlights at a time so that they can try new designs and upgrade older models to keep them effective and cost-efficient. That said, they still make high-quality flashlights that can compete with those made by big names.
For such thoughtfully made flashlights, HDS Systems is also very affordable. Their flashlights are super tough and let you pick-and-choose a lot of options. With that in mind, the price is very good. If you want to break into the world of flashlight enthusiasts, this would make a great place to start.
Based in: Alabama, USA| Established: 2008
Looking for a flashlight that simply will not fail? Malkoff’s goal is straightforward: make reliable flashlights. This is part of the reason they are so valued by law enforcement, military, and emergency personnel, as well as hunters and sportsmen.
Malkoff only uses top-quality parts and construction in their flashlights. Rather than aiming for high-performance or battery life, every piece of a Malkoff flashlight is only included because it adds to the overall reliability. Above all else, Malkoff flashlights will not fail. That is why they have a lifetime warranty. In the unlikely event your flashlight breaks down, the repair or replacement is complementary.
EAGTAC / EagleTac
Based in: Washington, USA | Established: 2009
EAGTAC are enthusiasts themselves that know what customers love to see in flashlights. They have made a line of products that can conquer any job you throw at them. Whether you need toughness, brightness, battery life, or more from your flashlight, EAGTAC has you covered.
The company’s flashlights are designed to operate at full capacity even in extreme situations. Their in-house engineers only design efficient, high-performance flashlights. EAGTAC products are also very affordable thanks to their clever supply chains, though rest assured they still handle manufacturing and design themselves. EAGTAC offers a huge selection of lights, including some very uncommon, specialized models you will not find from other brands.
Based in: Oklahoma City, USA | Established: /
Okluma is owned and operated by one machinist who makes flashlights in his garage with just one other employee. Each flashlight is individually crafted, so while stock tends to be limited, the design is meticulous. When Okluma releases a new flashlight, it is because they know it will answer a need their customers have.
Quality is a top priority at Okluma, right next to customer experience. These flashlights are remarkably durable, but if yours does break, repairs and replacements are free. Even if you inherited one from a friend, the warranty is tied to the flashlight, not the owner. It is recommended you sign up for their mailing list to get announcements on new flashlight releases.
Based in: Austin, Texas, USA | Established: /
These flashlights are renown among enthusiasts for their excellent light quality. Muyshondt uses their proprietary Lumicron technology to achieve a beam that almost mimics sunlight. It is especially good at not washing out the colors of whatever you are illuminating. You can choose from a wide range of models to get specifications that suit your needs perfectly.
Muyshondt’s construction and design are some of their strengths. The company’s flashlights have seen action underwater, in deserts, at altitude, all without failing. They have even been flown to the edge of the atmosphere. If you want a flashlight built to high standards that can withstand absolutely anything you throw at it, look to Muyshondt.