Best Large Handheld Torch
Last updated 15 June 2021
Here we’re looking at the latest version of Maglite’s 3 x D-Cell torch, a decades long staple of home owners and New York cops alike, alongside 3 competitors plus the smaller, lighter 3 x C-cell Maglite ML50L and a newer, brighter torch based on rechargeable batteries.
How we judge
All these torches are judged on the authors own, subjective view, partly based on specification and partly his personal experiences & preferences.
We’re looking for our ‘useful brightness’ of 600 to 1,000 lumens and a long runtime, in as efficient a package (size & weight) as possible, a high quality variable spot/flood beam, and we’ll also consider additional functionality, overall design, usability and how it feels.
Two Winners – LED Lenser P17 & Maglite ML50L
All 6 of these torches are excellent choices, depending on your specific requirements. But to my mind, 2 are better.
We can immediately disregard the Nebo and the Coast HP17 due to their low runtime, although notably the Nebo is the only torch here with an IPX7 water proof rating. All the others boast relatively high brightness levels for very long runtimes. The LED Lenser & Walther Pro XL1000 both have higher outputs than the Maglite ML300L, and excellent variable beams. But the LED Lenser is smaller and notably lighter than the Walther Pro, winning it a top spot.
The Maglite ML300L is lighter again and also has has 5 different features (high, low, eco, strobe & momentary), usefully grouped in feature sets of 3, making real world use extremely simple once a feature set has been selected.
However, the 3 C-cell Maglite ML50L is 290g lighter than even the relatively light Maglite ML300L with the same functionality. So the 3 C-cell ML50L (or LX) makes joint winner with the LED Lenser P17 in this group test.
LED Lenser P17 – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
The brightest and the tightest spot beam here if that’s your priority. Almost as light as the Maglite ML300L, feels very well engineered, a solid choice. A very close 2nd.
Maglite ML50L – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
My most recommended torch, 611 lumens for 16 hours, simple, practical and reliable. Not as compact as the others here, but it’s the perfect general purpose ‘house’ torch.
Although runners up in this group, the Maglite ML300L, LED Lenser & Walther Pro XL1000 are all excellent torches if you prefer the larger 3 D-cell torch format, perhaps as a bigger baton to bash intruders. The Nebo is also a great torch in it’s own right.
Maglite M300L – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
One of the best selling torches in the world still delivers. 625 lumens for 16 hours, simple, practical, and easy-to-use. For all the bumps & scratches you see below, mine has never failed to turn on.
Walther Pro XL1000 – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
A very bright, well built, solid performer with an excellent variable beam. Feels fine in the hand despite it’s weight, all 4 functions easily accessible.
Coast HP17 – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
A good competitor her in terms of brightness, functionality & variable beam. A bit light in runtime in this company.
No longer available
Nebo Redline Blast RC – 4 stars (see full review)
3,200 lumens is great, but with it’s wide spot and low runtime it falls well short in this company. The only torch with IPX7 waterproof rating here though.