Getting That Perfect Tactical Flashlight: Which One Is Right For You?

Whether you spend your weekends hunting and fishing in the wild, or you spend a lot of time working late at night, you need a sold tactical flashlight to illuminate the area in front of you. These Torch are especially popular with law enforcement and security professionals because they can use one to see clearly and to assist in the capture of criminals. A good one should have some heft to it but also be easy to carry.

Those are some of the reasons why the TC1200 (Check Price on Amazon.com) ranks as the best of all that are currently available. This product comes with updated technology that increases the output of light to help you see even better and a built-in reflector that helps that light expand to reach more areas. It’s the best for use during emergency situations like earthquakes as well as the best one for use at work.

Get an idea of how well the TC1200 works compared to other tactical flashlights and check out some of the top things to look for when choosing a perfect one.

ProductImageRank Score 
1TAC TC1200 Tactical Flashlight 9.8Check Price on Amazon
SureFire 6PX Defender Single Output LED Flashlight9.7Check Price on Amazon
Streamlight 75458 Stinger DS LED High Lumen Rechargeable Flashlight9.6Check Price on Amazon
Fenix PD35 TAC 2015 Tactical Edition 1000 Lumen CREE LED Flashlight9.5Check Price on Amazon
Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount Tactical Flashlight9.4Check Price on Amazon

How to Choose the Ultimate Option

Price

Before you invest in one of those torches that you can add to your order to qualify for free shipping, check out the price. You should never purchase a tactical flashlight that costs less than $10 because these ones feature cheaper components that will likely last for a few months or less. Though you don’t need to spend hundreds on a torch, you should prepare to spend at least $50 to $100 on a solid product.

Battery Type

Most manufacturers give you the option between using standard batteries or lithium batteries. Lithium batteries will last longer but may be harder to track down, especially if it uses the unique battery type. Those that uses AA or AAA batteries will require that you swap out the batteries more often.

Bulb Type

Older and cheaper ones usually come with a halogen bulb or a similar bulb. The location of the bulb forces it to absorb more heat, which will burn out the bulb faster and require that you either find a new bulb or replace the entire product. Modern torches use an LED mechanism to provide light, which will last much longer.

Military Torches

Military torches refer to a category of lights used by former and current military personnel. These models come with feature like a strobe mode that can temporarily blind or disorient an enemy and a firefly mode that reduces the amount of power required to give you months of use from a single set of batteries. Some come with a built-in SOS signal too.

Overall Brightness

The overall brightness provided by a this comes from its lumens. If you want something you can use around the house, you can get by with 40 to 50 lumens. If you want one that will help you take down a criminal or stop an attacker in his or her tracks, you need a spotlight with 500 or more lumens.

Mounting Options

You may want to look for a light that you can mount directly onto a weapon that you carry like a shotgun or handgun. Mounting the light on a shotgun helps you track and hunt easier, and mounting it onto a handgun lets you follow criminals without taking your hands off your gun.

Weight

The more that torch weighs, the more it can weigh you down in the heat of the moment. You generally want a one that weighs one pound or less. If you need a light that you can use as a separate weapon, opt for one weighing two or more pounds, but keep in mind that this larger weight can slow you down.

Waterproof Construction

No matter why you need or want to carry this, make sure that it has a waterproof construction. This will keep water away from the batteries and the light source. Waterproof flashlights can offer help when hunting in the rain or checking on your house during a flood.

Beam Distance

Check out the beam distance too, which tells you how far the light can reach. A longer distance means that you can stand further back and still have a clear field of vision.


Top Rated Choices

1TAC TC12001. 1TAC TC1200 (Check Price on Amazon.com)

For a tactical flashlight that you can use on the job at home, this 1TAC TC1200 is the best choice because it can help you in both professional and residential emergency situations. At less that six pounds, it has a convenient size that is perfect for tucking in your pant or shirt pockets when doing a walk through or your home or patrolling around your office. It comes with LED technology made in the United States that increases the light produced to generate up to 20% more light than similar products.

Made from the same anodized aluminum as aircraft vehicles, this model also features o-rings that are stronger than other types of seals to ensure that the light doesn’t come apart during even the most violent of altercations. It is both waterproof and damage-resistant. Whether you drop it when you trip over something or because someone tackled you from behind, it will retain its same great look.

At five-inches long, it will fit in any toolbox, utility drawer, backpack or even glove box. It comes with five different operational modes, including a bezel mode and a strobe mode for blinding enemies, and you can flip the product on and off with just one hand.

 SureFire 6PX Defender Single Output LED 2. SureFire 6PX Defender Single Output LED (Check Price on Amazon.com)

SureFire guarantees that the 6PX Defender Single Output LEDis practically indestructible because of the rugged case surrounding it. A LED light emitter inside regulates the amount of power required to make your batteries last longer and to give you a brighter light that lasts longer. A built-in precision reflector has a micro-texture surface that creates a smoother and more concentrated beam of light that helps you see in even the darkest of conditions.

A switch located on the tail cap lets you operate the 6PX in two different ways. Clicking this cap just once will turn the light on at its lowest setting and clicking it twice turns it up to its highest level, but you can also click that switch a third time to turn off the 6PX. The highest output produces 320 lumens, and the lowest output produces 15 lumens to use less of your batteries.

Made from a type of aerospace aluminum, the case of the 6PX will last for years, and that case protects the light from drops that might otherwise loosen the internal components. It measures just over five-inches long and weighs less that six pounds. You can pick up a SureFire clip for carrying this item on your belt too.

Streamlight 75458 Stinger DS LED High Lumen Rechargeable 3. Streamlight 75458 Stinger DS LED High Lumen Rechargeable (Check Price on Amazon.com)

The 75458 Stringer DS LED from Streamlight is one of the top model made by the company, which gets good reviews from hunters, campers and law enforcement. It can run for up to 50,000 hours, making it great for those who need light while working as well as those who want one for their emergency kits. You can keep it tucked away in your kit and only charge it once a season without worrying that it won’t have power when you need it.

This comes with both a rechargeable battery and a charger that can fully charge that battery quickly without overheating any of the parts of the the product. That battery will last for up to 1,000 charges, and you can easily replace it with a comparable battery. Though it uses anodized aluminum, it also comes with a textured grip that keeps your sweaty or otherwise wet hand from slipping off the handle.

Made from water-resistant materials, this 75458 Stringer can survive submersion at depths of up to one meter. A parabolic reflector concentrates and optimizes the light beam for use in different conditions, and it has a strobe mode that acts like a signal to help others find you in the dark.

Fenix PD35 TAC 2015 Tactical Edition 1000 Lumen CREE LED4. Fenix PD35 TAC 2015 Tactical Edition 1000 Lumen CREE LED (Check Price on Amazon.com)

When you need a flashlight that will help better prepare your home for an emergency, the PD35 from Fenix is a solid choice. It uses just one rechargeable Lithium Ion battery or two lithium batteries, and this set comes with both two rechargeable batteries and a charger that lets you charge those batteries in hours. You’ll also get a holster for carrying that PD35 with you and an adapter for charging the batteries in your car while hunting or camping.

With a lifespan of 50,000 hours, this can help you get through all types of emergency situations. When you use it in outdoor mode, it uses between eight and 1000 lumens, and in its eco mode, which is its lowest mode, you’ll get up to 140 hours of light. Its tactical mode has a low setting that lasts for more than 29 hours and a high setting that provides light for just over an hour.

Its strobe setting produces a powerful flashing light that you can use to disarm an attacker or as a signal to help rescuers find you when you’re lost in the wild. As with other tactical torches, it comes with a switch on the end for turning it on.

Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount5. Streamlight 69260 TLR-1 HL Weapon Mount (Check Price on Amazon.com)

One of the best options for those who want a tactical flashlight that they can mount to a weapon is the 69260 TLR-1-HL Weapon Mount from Streamline. The HL model offers the ultimate amount of brightness for hunting in the early dawn hours, the later twilight hours or any other time light conditions are darker. It uses 800 lumens to produce a 12,000 intensity to let you see anyone and everything around you.

The mounting hardware that comes with it ensures that you can mount it on almost any type of gun or weapon, and it comes with instructions that include diagrams and drawings that show you how to mount it. It lets you snap it right onto you weapon and use a knob on the side to tighten it to your weapon, which keeps your hands a safe distance away from the muzzle. The finish, which uses anodized aluminum, can hold up to most weather conditions and temperatures too.

A glass lens mounted to the front is shock-resistant and won’t break when exposed to sharp temperature changes or if you drop the 69260 TLR-1-HL. Designed with consistency in mind, this can last for up to 50,000 hours and gives you up to 2.5 hours of light at a time.

PLX Devices Luxor 2 Auto Focusing6. PLX Devices Luxor 2 Auto Focus (Check Price on Amazon.com)

This PLX Devices Luxor 2 Auto Focus is the only brand you’ll find with a built-in computer processor, which lets you automatically adjust the beam and the focus to get light exactly where you need it. Soft buttons on the center let you access and make changes to the digital interface, and its textured grip keeps your hand from slipping off. An impact-resistant lens made from a polycarbonate material keeps the lens from breaking during trips and falls too.

One reason you might really love this product is because it comes with seven smaller LED lights inside that provide just as much power and brightness as a 60W bulb, but those smaller bulbs provide the concentrated beam that you need when walking around in the dark. Simple buttons on itself let you adjust the width of your light beam up to 270 degrees.

PLX Devices added a reverse micro USB port, which makes it easier to charge. You can plug it into any USB port for fast charging, and you don’t even need to remove the included battery first. It also has a strobe feature for use in an emergency and an anodized aluminum body.

Streamlight 74301 Strion LED7. Streamlight 74301 Strion LED (Check Price on Amazon.com)

The high-temperature glass lens found on this Streamlight 74301 Strion LED absorbs some of the heat produced by the light to keep the lens from developing breaks or stress fractures. Streamlight uses aerospace aluminum in its case to extend the life of the product and to ensure that it can stand up to any of the conditions you put it through. Unlike traditional torches that use ordinary bulbs, the Strion uses C4 Photonic Crystal technology that produces a brighter and more concentrated beam of light.

At less than six-inches long and weighing less than six ounces with the battery inside, Streamlight 74301 lets you quickly illuminate the surrounding area without feeling weighed down. An anti-roll head forces the light to remain exactly where you aim and keeps the light from moving away. It comes with both a DC and an AC charge cord that let you recharge the included battery.

On its highest setting, which produces 260 lumens, it can run for up to two full hours, and using it on a lower setting will give you even more hours of use. The Strion has a textured grip around the barrel for your hands and a water-resistant design.

8. SureFire G2X Series LED (Check Price on Amazon.com)

A heavy-duty body made from Nitrolon is just one of the features you’ll appreciate about this G2X Series LED from SureFire. It comes with a light emitter that helps regulate the amount of light produced to ensure that you get all the light you need without the batteries running out of juice. The highest output level produces more than 300 lumens, which lets you see obstacles and hazards dozens of feet ahead of you.

Its body features a thinner and more streamlined base that fits solidly and comfortably in your hand and a larger end that expands the width of your light beam. Its click switch lets you press lightly to turn the product on for just a few seconds, but if you click and hold down, it comes on at full power. You can click again to either reduce the brightness of the light or to turn it off.

The polycarbonate lens/window has a stronger design to withstand some of the impact as you strike out with the light or from someone hitting you from the front or back. The G2X also comes in various color options, including a standard dark gray and a more vibrant bright yellow.

Streamlight 90540 Survivor LED Right Angle 9. Streamlight 90540 Survivor LED Right Angle (Check Price on Amazon.com)

The Streamlight 90540 Survivor LED Right Angle will make you feel like a survivor as you face challenges at home and at work. Unlike standard ones that you must hold, the Survivor comes with a flat and solid base that lets you sit it down on any surface to illuminate the area around you while keeping your hands free. It also comes with metal clips on the side and bottom that you can use for hanging the light.

A case made from high-impact nylon surrounds the product and absorbs any shocks to keep it working during emergencies, and o-rings seal away the internal working parts to protect the inside of the Streamlight 90540. Streamlight used Lexan in the lens, which is resistant to scratches and won’t break the way glass does when dropped. With its included light, it can last for up to 50,000 hours.

With a run time of up to four hours on its highest setting, the Survivor is great for use in emergencies like a power outage or an earthquake, and it can last for up to 15 hours on its lowest setting. The alkaline model of the Survivor uses standard batteries that you likely already own.

Maglite ML50LX LED 3-Cell C Matte Black10. Maglite ML50LX LED 3-Cell C Matte Black (Check Price on Amazon.com)

You might know the name Maglite because the company makes tactical flashlights used by the military and law enforcement, and its ML50LX LED 3-Cell C Matte Black is a great choice for security workers and those who want some added protection at home. It has a thicker and more solid feel that will make you feel more secure when you grab it. The ML50LX weighs nearly 13 ounces with its batteries and measures more than eight-inches long to help you more effectively fight back against attackers.

Turning the end of the ML50LX, which twists just like a standard knob, lets you adjust the beam to focus on a specific area, and it has a flood setting that expands the width of the beam to make it function more like a flood light. The corrosion-resistant design, which uses anodized aluminum, is safe for hunting, fishing, hiking or camping in the wilderness.

Its four functions are accessible via its patented Quick Click system, and those modes include law enforcement, military, general and outdoor. Each of those modes have different settings that can give you more light or drop the brightness to extend the life of the battery, which you can replace in minutes.

Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED Flashlight with Lithium Batteries11. Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED with Lithium Batteries (Check Price on Amazon.com)

Thanks to a built in clip located right on top of this Streamlight 88850 PolyTac LED with Lithium Batteries, you can clip the item to your coat or pants to search while keeping your hands free. The C4 LED technology used by Streamlight is shock-resistant to keep it working after a fall and to give you up to 50,000 hours of light over the life. Streamlight used a unique form of glass for the lens that is resistant to heat and moisture, and an o-ring seal around that glass keeps moisture from seeping inside.

A push button on the tail lets you turn the product on temporarily to get a better view, but clicking this button a second time will turn the light on at its brightest setting. It will remain on until you click that button again. Its lowest output setting uses just 10% of the power the flashlight has and gives you up to three continuous hours of light.

At just over four ounces, this item is so lightweight that you can actually use it at the same time that you carry a weapon. It’s also small enough for storing in your bag, glove box or pocket.

Rayovac OT2D-BC Virtually Indestructible LED 2D12. Rayovac OT2D-BC Virtually Indestructible LED 2D (Check Price on Amazon.com)

Rayovac is such a common household name that you might already have a few of its flashlights in your home, but if you need one, consider buying this OT2D-BC Virtually Indestructible LED 2D. Rayovac tested this item and found that it still performed perfectly after dropping from heights of up to 20 feet and that it can run for up to 30 hours when used with Rayovac brand D batteries. It requires two of these batteries, but you get a full set with the OT2D-BC.

High-performance LED lights inside let you see more than 280 meters in front of you and produce 320 lumens. Both the reflector, which extends the area the light can cover, and the lens itself have a shatterproof design that won’t break when you drop the OT2D-BC. Rayovac also designed the inside to better resist those drops to ensure that you can keep using it after a fall.

Made from an alloy of titanium and aluminum, It has rubber shock absorbing caps on both ends that absorb and evenly distribute those shocks through the entire product. With a water-resistant design, OT2D-BC is suitable for use both inside your home and in the great outdoors.

Maglite LED 3-Cell D13. Maglite LED 3-Cell D(Check Price on Amazon.com)

Also from Maglite is this LED 3-Cell D that comes in a universal camo design that features a pattern around the entire outside that looks just like the camo fatigues that real soldiers wear. Those lighter colors help this torch blend into your surroundings and your clothing to keep attackers from knowing that you have a way to defend yourself. It has a longer length of just over one-foot long and weighs 30 ounces to help you further defend yourself against attackers and criminals.

You can use this Maglite’s product with standard 3-Cell D batteries or with rechargeable batteries that you can remove and charge separately. A three watt LED bulb inside lasts much longer than your batteries and can give you up to 10,000 hours of bright light. The aluminum casing protects the product without adding to its weight and is resistant to both drops and water.

A built-in reflector works like a projector to increase the brightness of the beam and to make that beam go further. You can easily twist the ring around the lens to adjust that beam. Maglite makes this LED 3-Cell D easier to use with just a single operational button on the top.

800 Lumens By RemLite14. 800 Lumens By RemLite (Check Price on Amazon.com)

As it comes with a padded carrying case designed to protect the flashlight and all included accessories, this 800 Lumens by RemLife is great for storing in your emergency kit or for carrying in your trunk. The CREE bulbs inside the 800 Lumens will work for up to 100,000 hours to ensure that you always have light when the power goes out, and it has a water-resistant design that lets you use the light in the rain or snow. It is also drop-proof and will keep working after the steepest of drops.

It has textured metal bands around the end that help you keep a grip on the base when your hands are sweaty or wet, and it produces up to 800 lumens for illuminating up to 100 yards ahead or around you. It has five different zoom settings for seeing things further away from you and five brightness modes, including an SOS mode and a strobe mode.

The manufacturer bundles this model with a variety of accessories like a mounting kit for mounting the light onto a bicycle and a universal charger that will charge both the 800 Lumens and an iPhone. All included accessories fit inside the included storage box.

Maglite XL50 LED 3-Cell AAA15. Maglite XL50 LED 3-Cell AAA (Check Price on Amazon.com)

Get everything you love about Maglite’s products in a more convenient design with the XL50 LED 3-Cell AAA, which measures nearly nine-inches long and weighs under four ounces. Unlike other brands that come with multiple buttons and a dedicated space for your hand, this Maglite looks like a long tube and lets you put your hand anywhere you want without your hand sliding off. With this in your hand, no criminal or attackers stand a chance against you.

Designed for use in the home and in the field, it has certification from the National Tactical Officers Association. Anodized aluminum used on both the interior and exterior is resistant to corrosion, and it has a weather-resistant seal that keeps moisture out. One push of the button on the tail cap creates a light powerful enough for seeing hundreds of feet in front of you.

Maglite designed this XL50 LED for different situations too. One click turns the light on full force, a second click reduces its brightness by 25% and a third click turns on its emergency strobe setting. This smaller Maglite is one you can hold in and operate with just one hand, and it uses 3-Cell AAA batteries that are easy to replace.

PowerLead PCH004 Multi-function Stainless Cross Screwdriver Outdoor Camping Folding Pocket Knives with LED Light16. PowerLead PCH004 Multi-function Stainless Cross Screwdriver Outdoor Camping Folding Pocket Knives with LED Light (Check Price on Amazon.com)

We this this PowerLead PCH004 multi-function tool is a great option for campers, hikers and anyone else who loves the great outdoors because it functions like a torch but comes loaded with tools you’ll need on your trip. This tool has a funky design that features a thinner center that you can hold in your hand and a rubber covering that lets you use the tools when your hands are wet. You can access all the built-in tools right on the end.

Those tools include a small saw that is great for cutting through rope, pliers for making simple repairs and even scissors that let you cut off tags on new gear. A built-in metal stud just underneath those tools lets you use force and pressure to break glass when you find yourself locked out of your car or stuck in the water inside your vehicle. It even uses an ergonomic design to ensure that you feel minimal discomfort when using any of those tools.

This multi-tool is unlike others you might see because it comes with its own light on the opposite end of the tools. PowerLead PCH004 uses just three AAA batteries and can last for an hour or more.

Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Light 17. Streamlight 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Light (Check Price on Amazon.com)

For a smaller and more compact flashlight that will work in all conditions and situations, you won’t find a better choice than the 66318 MicroStream C4 LED Pen Light from Streamlight. Designed to look like the pen lights that doctors and other professionals use, it is so small that you can carry it with you everywhere you go. It weighs just over one ounce and comes with a built-in clip for attaching to your shirt pocket or belt.

This small pen light, which uses C4 technology for added durability has a 0.5W LED bulb inside that is brighter than you might expect and helps you see in cramped or crowded areas like under your desk or inside a hole in the wall. That bulb lasts for up to 30,000 hours. It comes with a polycarbonate lens that won’t break and a waterproof design that keeps the 66318 MicroStream safe.

A tale cap switch adds to its ease of use. When you need to turn on the MicroStream, you simply press that button and then press it again to turn it off.

LUMIZOOM LZ250g Tactical CREE LED18. LUMIZOOM LZ250g Tactical CREE LED (Check Price on Amazon.com)

As the LUMIZOOM LZ250g Tactical CREE LED comes with its own gift box, which does double-duty as a storage box, is a a great option for your own home or for giving as a gift to a loved one. The set comes packaged inside a box with it, a holster and a lanyard. The holster lets you carry LUMIZOOM LZ250g  on your belt or another part of your body, and with the lanyard, you can wear it around your neck.

It comes with a high-power mode that produces 250 lumens to help you see more than 200 feet in front of you, but it features other modes for using when more light is available. The medium and low modes are great for doing a quick inspection of your surroundings. You can also use it on a spotlight or flood light setting to increase the width of the beam for seeing deep into trees or bushes.

Designed for use in most weather conditions, this model has a weather-resistant design that protects it from rain, snow and wind. You’ll get three AAA alkaline batteries that power the LUMIZOOM LZ250g, but it works with standard AAA batteries too.

Captink T6 Outdoor Waterproof19. Captink T6 Outdoor Waterproof (Check Price on Amazon.com)

Priced so low that you can practically add it to any online order without going over your budget, the Captink T6 Outdoor Water-resistant will come in handy during emergencies at work and in your home. Made from a combination of metal and plastic, it has an adjustable focus that lets you use it as a spotlight for seeing a large area or as a concentrated spotlight that can help you see up to 600 feet away. It uses a single Lithium ion battery and can also work with three standard AAA batteries.

Made from the same aircraft aluminum as more expensive products, the T6 can withstand freezing temperatures as well as temperatures above the boiling point. It comes with modes like SOS, strobe, medium, low and high and is resistant to both water and shocks. At less than six-inches long, Captink T6 Outdoor Water-resistant has a convenient design that you can slip in your bag or purse or carry on you all the time.

iCoostor T6 Handheld LED Torches20. iCoostor T6 Handheld LED Torches (Check Price on Amazon.com)

Though we recommend that you spend a little more on a tactical torch, this iCoostor T6 Handheld LED Torch is fine for those who need a basic torch and want to save some money. It’s so small that you can literally fit it in the palm of your hand and still reach all buttons, and its small size makes it a good choice for those nights when you need to carry a small light with you at work. With its waterproof construction, you can carry this product in any condition and still get all the light that you need.

The five built-in light modes are all accessible via a bright green button on the back. You can use a traditional high, medium or low light setting as well as a strobe and an SOS mode. It even features a lotus design on the end that you can use to break glass in an emergency.

With an ultra-bright light, iCoostor T6 Handheld LED Torch can illuminate that area up to 600 feet in front of you, and you can actually extend the length of the light will a pull to zoom in on areas. The iCooster comes with a convenient strap for carrying around your wrist too.

Our Favorite Tactical Flashlight

The 1TAC TC1200

There really is no comparison when it comes to how the TC1200 stacks up against the competition. Weighing just 5.6 ounces and just a little more when you add in batteries, it is one you can carry while out on patrol or walking around your house without your hand cramping up. It comes with five modes that change the amount of light produced based on what you need to do.

You have the option of powering this product with either a lithium battery or three AAA batteries, and based on the batteries you choose, you can get up to 100,000 of light from the battery. Measuring five-inches long,it is small enough to slip in your pocket or store in your utility drawer, and you can even add it to your toolbox or emergency kit. With a recessed switch on one end, you can even turn it on and select the mode you want to use with just one hand.

Buy The 1TAC TC1200 on Amazon.com!