The Best Penlights to Add to Your Collection

Penlights are one of the most underrated tools for simplifying everyday tasks. 

These handy lights can add value to many situations, all while being powerful, compact and convenient. If you find yourself working in an environment where a chunky flashlight isn’t ideal, this is the tool for you. 

The best penlights are used daily by  paramedics and firefighters in emergency situations, and your plumber when one of your water pipes needs attention. 

Regardless of how your penlight will be used, it’s guaranteed to conveniently illuminate your space. To learn more about how the best penlights can improve the efficiency of your everyday tasks, keep reading below. 

What Is A Penlight? 

It’s all in the name – penlights are flashlights that are small enough to have the same shape and size of a ballpoint pen. In some cases, penlights function even as both a flashlight and a writing tool. 

According to a survey conducted by Police Magazine, more than 98% of law enforcement personnel use flashlights daily. 

Because of their compact size and affordability, penlights are also used on the job by: 

- Doctors 
- Nurses 
- Electricians
- Engineers
- Handymen 

As you can see, penlights are common and beloved by those who take advantage of their convenience. These handy units are lightweight and almost undetectable if kept in your pocket, making them one of the best ways to shed some light on your daily tasks.

Benefits of Penlights 

Whether you’re looking for a tool to help do your job or just need a reliable light source to keep in your bag, a penlight is the way to go. 

Compact Design 

As mentioned previously, one of the main benefits of penlights is their compact size. Because of their design, penlights fit easily into shirt and pant pockets. This way, they are much more convenient to carry than larger units, especially when reliable light isn’t the only tool you need close by. 

pocket-size light

Image Source:


Because of their small size, penlights are easy to bring wherever you go. With features like pocket clips and key chains, keeping them with you is effortless. Considered an everyday carry light, these are ideal for any situation when you could use a little light.


Penlights are extremely versatile and great flashlights for anyone who wants to be prepared without too much baggage. From mechanical to medical, these units are powerful enough for heavy duty jobs yet small enough to meet the needs of everyday activities. 


Penlights can also be used as self-defense in dangerous situations. Penlights are legal for anyone to carry unlike other types of tools for protection. In the event that you face an attacker, you can use your light to temporarily blind them, so you have time to flee and call for help. 

Focused Light 

Penlights provide focused spot-lights, as opposed to flood-lights, and can be very helpful to illuminate hard-to-reach areas. For mechanics, electricians and doctors who need spot-specific lighting, penlights are convenient and reliable.

spot vs. flood lights

Image Source:

Features to Consider 

There are a few key characteristics to pay attention to when you’re shopping for the perfect penlight. 


As you know, convenience is one of the most beneficial aspects of keeping a penlight on your person. So when you’re deciding which unit is best for you, make sure it fits into your pockets, tool bags, backpacks and budget. You should be able to reach your penlight in seconds.


The overall design of your penlight is critical to its functionality. Not only should it be compact and portable, but also sturdy and durable. Look for a light unit that’s water and shockproof to ensure it will withstand any impact. 


You don’t want a penlight that doesn’t have long-lasting light. The runtime depends on batteries and the number of lumens, so penlights with adjustable brightness modes are often a good idea. This way, you can minimize power consumption when you don’t need the brightest light.


Before you commit to a specific unit, you’ll want to be sure it provides enough light for its intended purpose. Penlights generally offer between 10 to 250 lumens. Lumens (lm) are the unit of measurement used to determine brightness.

For close up tasks, 50 lumens is typically enough light to get the job done. In cases that involve hiking, camping or tactical work, you’ll need a penlight that has 100 or more lumens. Remember, it’s usually better to have too much light than not enough.

The Best Penlights 

After learning what aspects make up the best penlights, you’re ready to choose one (or two) of your own. You never know when having a penlight in your pocket, car or backpack could save the day! 

Fenix LD02 V2.0 


This unit offers 70 lumens of warm, white light to provide compact, lightweight illuminance in any situation. With a 75 hour runtime and several lumen output modes, the Fenix LD02 V2.0 is the best choice when it comes to powerful, long-lasting, affordable light.

Nitecore MT06MD 

Nitecore MT06MD

Image Source: Amazon

The Nitecore MT06MD LED penlight [affiliate link] is great for medical use at 180 lumens of light. With 35 hours of power and less than 1-ounce of weight, this unit is easy to clip onto a lab coat pocket.

Streamlight 88033 ProTac 

Streamlight 88033 ProTac

Image Source: Amazon

The Streamlight 88033 [affiliate link] is designed for both daily use and law enforcement purposes. This unit offers up to 250 lumens of light and has a max runtime of 43 hours. With three different lighting modes, the Streamlight 88033 makes powerful light easily accessible to anyone who needs it. 

Simplify Your Light

Penlights are reliable, durable and convenient tools that are more efficient than many flashlight options. Now that you know what to look for in a penlight, choosing one that best fits your needs won’t be difficult. 

Set yourself up for success and let Fenix provide you with all of the best tools for illuminating your space!

Please Note: Fenix-Store may receive an affiliate commission from the purchase of products linked from this page.