My Top Torch Recommendations
Last updated 16 May 2021
About this list
This is the list of torches that are either the highest rated in their category, are the most frequently recommended by me, or that I actually give to friends most regularly. I also use these torches more than the others.
Maglite ML50LX – 4 1/2 stars (see full review)
This is my most recommended torch across all categories of torch. I’ve also given away more of these torches to friends than any other torch. For the broadest range of uses, as a house torch, to find the dog or cat, to camping for the weekend (not hiking). It’s 611 lumens isn’t as high as many other torches but the variable focus makes up for that, and the 16 hours runtime on one set of batteries is a very popular feature. It’s our Best Large Handheld Torch winner. A perfect general purpose torch, particularly as it has regular batteries (not rechargeable) so it’s less sensitive to being left in a drawer unused for months. I prefer the look of the matt ‘LX model shown below.
LED Lenser MT14 – 5 stars (see full review)
This LED Lenser is more powerful than the Maglite above and also has a particularly efficient focussable beam that lets you see further than other handhelds. It also has the biggest rechargeable battery – the 26650 – giving it an incredible 9 hours runtime at it’s brightest 1,000 lumens. That’s crazy high compared to other handhelds based on rechargeable batteries.
Finally, it screams high quality in it’s use and how it feels in the hand. The damping of the variable flood mechanism, the solid feedback of the button, this is an extremely high quality torch. And it charges via a built-in micro USB charging socket, so no need to carry around a rechargeable battery cradle. A very easy torch to recommend.
Nitecore MH10 V2 – 5 stars (see full review)
This is my favourite torch in this class of new, powerful, compact rechargeable handhelds that have a high water resistance (fully submersible) and are very tough. Based on the increasingly popular 21700 rechargeable battery, it’s relatively slim & light but manages a very respectable 1,200 lumens for 3 hours 45 minutes for its size & weight.
It’s also very rich in functionality – high, low, med, ultralow, strobe, SOS, Beacon – if that’s something you need. Built-in USB C charging socket on this latest 2021 model.
In summary, tough & waterproof, bright, great specification, relatively light & compact package. I’ve owned several of these Nitecore torches in the last 5 years and have found them reliable. A solid recommendation. It’s my current default choice for taking away the weekend.
Olight S30R III Baton – 5 stars (see full review)
Smaller and lighter again, than the torches above. This is another modern, rechargeable torch, based on the slightly smaller 18650 rechargeable battery. It is a miracle of packaging, only slightly bigger than the battery. A lower base specification of 500 lumens for 3 1/2 hours but it makes up for it with a 1,050 lumens turbo mode. It’s also tough and properly water resistant like the Nitecore above. I have many Olight products and am very comfortable with the brand and it’s torches.
This is arguably more useful than the others above because it’s so small and light that you’re more likely to have it on you when you need it. Mine lived in my commuting backpack for 2 years.
Replaced: By the Olight Baton Pro
LED Lenser TT – 5 stars (see full review)
Similar in length and weight to the Olight above, but wiith a lower base spec. of 280 lumens for 3 hours, this torch is based on 3 little AAA batteries, not rechargeables. You can stick it in a drawer on car glove compartment till you need it a year later and it’ll work.
In addition to the typical LED Lenser outstanding build quality, it’s key feature is the variable beam’s ability to produce a very tight spot that gives much greater beam distance than many more powerful torches.
A simple, low cost torch with just 2 brightness levels, that’s very easy to use (no complicated button click sequences to remember). Like the big Maglite above, this is an easy default recommendation when someone just wants a reliable, high quality, reasonably powerful, easy to use torch that feels good in the hand, and is no hassle to own. A little gem