Last Updated on September, 2023
It’s natural to prefer products made in your country. But the open market has paved the way for the world to become one massive mall.
The high-quality USA-made products make them desirable to customers outside the US.
So, if you belong to any of the groups seeking the best American-made flashlight, you’re in the right place.
We’re going to look at some of the best products from American companies.
All you need to do is read through and choose what suits you the best.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Maglite is the best American-made flashlight brand (Since 1982)
Streamlight is our second-best brand recommendation (Over 50 Years)
Our third best suggestion is SureFire (Since 1979)
Table of Contents
- 5 of the Best American-Made Flashlights
- How to Ensure Authenticity?
- Are Flashlights Made in the USA Better Than Flashlights Made in Other Parts of the World?
- Final Thoughts
5 of the Best American-Made Flashlights
1. Maglite (Editor’s Choice)
Maglite is the best American-made flashlight brand. Since 1982, they have been producing America’s finest flashlights based in California.
Maglite wants to keep the operational process simple. That’s why the light modes tend to vary between 2-3 modes at most. But the lumen output tremendously varies across those two or three modes.
This is a very simple operational system that makes using Maglite flashlights easier.
Maglite’s flashlight diversity is impressive. Their store has flashlights made for specific purposes such as EDC, outdoor and adventure, tactical and more.
Remember, you get a 14-day money-back guarantee with a ten-year limited warranty.
Now, let’s take a look at Maglite’s best products right now.
As mentioned earlier, the Maglite ML150LR(X) is the best seller.
This rechargeable LED flashlight features three lighting modes with a maximum lumen output of 1082lm for 458m of beam throw for 3h 15min. Its maximum runtime is 79 hours at 25 lumens output.
The batteries are included, which makes your life easier.
This is a full-size 10.6 inches long flashlight with 1m impact resistance and an IPX4 water resistance rating. It’s a special flashlight as it comes with the National Tactical Officers Association certification. Not only that, each ML150LR(X) is individually serial numbered, making it bespoke for you.
The Solitaire LED keychainflashlight is the next best product.
This comes in nine vibrant colors and features 47 lumens for a 46m beam throw for 1h 45min runtime. For a 3.2 inches long and 0.8oz small flashlight, these numbers are very impressive.
It’s designed to last with an impressive IPX7 waterproof rating and 2m drop resistance. Thanks to its premium aluminum body, you won’t have to worry about its durability at all.
With an attractive design, there’s no wonder the Solitaire LED keychain flashlight sells so well.
MagTac is another one of the best products in the Maglite store.
This rechargeable flashlight features 671lm at full power for a 185m beam distance. At 5.61oz and a head diameter of 1.05 inches and 5.8 inches, the flashlight is almost mid-sized. 1m impact resistance and IPX4 rating increase longevity.
While it only takes about 2.5hr to charge the MagTac fully, the flashlight has a remarkable 18hr runtime in the power-save 22lm mode. The cherry on top is the strong strobe mode made for self-defense.
In conclusion, Maglite is the best American-made flashlight brand, with a wide variety of flashlights.
Here you can check more flashlights from Maglite.
2. Streamlight (#2nd Best Choice)
For over 50 years, Streamlight has been providing the American community-based in Pennsylvania with the best flashlights. It’s our second-best brand recommendation.
Let’s see why it is so.
Streamlight’s best-selling flashlights are either medium or small-sized. Most of their EDC flashlights feature the TEN-TAP® programming, which lets you select three operating modes usually as high, strobe, and low.
That mimics the simple 2-to-3-mode operational system of Maglite too.
Almost all of their rechargeable flashlights are USB-C rechargeable. The pocket clip in many Streamlight flashlights is removable too.
You also receive Streamlight’s limited lifetime warranty for all products unless mentioned otherwise.
Let’s have a look at Streamlight’s best flashlights.
Streamlight ProTac 2.0 is their best-performing EDC flashlight. The flashlight is relatively compact at 6.1 inches in length and 8.25oz weight.
It features the TEN-TAP® system that makes it operate with three modes.
The highest mode features an impressive 2000 lumens output with a beam throw of 262m. The longest runtime is 25 hours, thanks to the Streamlight SL-B50® protected Li-Ion USB-rechargeable battery pack (included).
The design quality is top-notch in appearance and materials. The IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating and the 2m impact resistance only increase durability. The cherry on top is the removable pocket clip and the nylon holster.
Macrostream® qualifies as one of Streamlight’s best tactical lights. Lightweight compactness is certified as the Macrostream is only 4.5 inches long and weighs only 2.2oz.
You’ll like the highest mode, 500lm at 90m beam distance, out of the two running modes. Its maximum runtime is 8 hours, while it takes only 4 hours to charge fully. The lower mode emits 50lm at 30m beam distance.
The flashlight comes with a battery level indicator to ensure you don’t overcharge. The metal sleeve protects the charging port as well.
The removable pocket clip makes the flashlight more versatile.
Durability is very high thanks to the premium aluminum and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens. It only increases with an IPX4 waterproof rating and the 1m impact resistance.
Streamlight doesn’t let its customers down with keychain lights as well. The Pocket Mate® is the best example of that.
It’s such a small pocket keychain light that’s only 2 inches long and 0.5oz, available in four colors; red, silver, blue, and purple.
Despite its compactness, the Pocket Mate emits 325lm at 76m beam distance at the high mode. The low mode features 45lm, the longest runtime is 1 hour.
It also has a charging indicator.
The build quality is guaranteed with a strong polycarbonate lens, IPX4 waterproof rating, 1m impact resistance, and a high-quality aluminum frame.
The cherry on top is how the flashlight is imprintable with your logo for corporate gifts and such.
In summary, Streamlight makes the best American-made flashlights if not for Maglite.
3. Surefire (#3rd Best Choice)
Our third best suggestion is SureFire.
Since 1979, SureLight has been producing primarily tactical equipment, including EDC flashlights, weapon lights, headlamps, and even suppressors.
You’ll notice how even an EDC light has a unique knurling and shape. SureFire flashlights often feature multiple lighting modes than the first Maglite and Streamlight.
All SureFire lights come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a limited lifetime warranty unless specified otherwise.
So, let’s look at some of the best SureFire lights.
Stiletto® Pro is their best EDC flashlight as of now.
As you can see, it has a unique shape and a highly bespoke knurling pattern, ensuring the best grip. At a length of 4.5 inches and weighing only 4oz, the Stiletti Pro is a lightweight, compact flashlight.
This is a micro USB rechargeable flashlight with a battery level indicator.
It comes with the main side and tactical switch that lets you access across four modes.
The highest brightness level is 1000lm at 142m beam distance. It comes down to the lowest output of 25 lumens with a max runtime of 23.5 hours.
The fourth is the strong strobe mode.
The Stiletto Pro’s proprietary MaxVision Beam® reflector also projects a wide flood beam.
SureFire assures durability as the flashlight is made of premium Aluminum-polymer with an IPX7 waterproof rating. What more can you ask for?
For tactical flashlights, SureFire’s Fury Intellibeam® (Link) comes to the front.
The typical cylindrical shape with fantastic body knurls makes handling the Fury Intellibeam easy. It only gets easier thanks to the balance between the 5.6 inches length and 6.5oz weight.
The flashlight operates with a tactical tail switch. It’s extremely easy to adjust the light output between 15 to 1500 lumens seamlessly. This is possible thanks to the automatic IntelliBeam® technology. But you get a maximum runtime of up to 40 hours.
The peak beam distance is 315m, and that’s permitted by 16,700cd beam intensity.
There’s no problem with the durability as this tactical flashlight is made from premium Mil-Spec Hard Anodized. Durability further increases with an IPX7 waterproof resistance.
SureFire hasn’t forgotten their keychain flashlight fans; that’s why the Sidekick® is there for.
At a glance, it’s a unique shape with the placement of the keychain part and the USB port.
After all, the Sidekick is only 1.2oz with a length of 2.5 inches; that’s very compact.
But how many lumens do you think you will get? You get 300 lumens at a beam throw of 66m. Combine that with the smooth MaxVision Beam®, and it’s a picture-perfect light.
Not only that, there are three operational modes across which the lumen output drops to 5 lumens. That gets the maximum runtime to 45 hours.
The Sidekick is made from premium Aluminum-polymer with an IPX4 waterproof rating.
So, in inclusion, SureFire sure produces some of the best American-made flashlights.
First Light flashlights are American-made and based in Illinois. They specialize in high-performance tactical lighting systems. But their store has a variety of flashlights you’d love.
You’d notice how First Light doesn’t have the conventional streamlighting flashlights. Most of them are L-shaped, and the design is highly ergonomic.
However, the lumen output of First Light flashlights doesn’t exceed the 1000lm mark. On the flip side, it’s always three intensity levels in almost all the First Light flashlights.
First Light customers get a limited lifetime warranty for all flashlights unless specified otherwise.
So, let’s look at some of their best-performing flashlights.
The T-MAX Pro is one of their best-performing lights. FirstLight categorizes the T-MAX Pro as an EDC and tactical light.
This flashlight comes with these dimensions: 3.4 inches height x 2.4 inches length and 1.5 inches width. When you balance that with the 5.9oz weight, T-MAX Pro is a very compact and lightweight flashlight.
As mentioned earlier, the max output doesn’t exceed the 1000lm mark in First Light flashlights. But you get 750lm+ illumination in the T-MAX Pro. This is the highest mode out of the three progressive intensity levels.
Nonetheless, the maximum runtime is about 2 hours.
Apart from the standard white light, red, green, and blue are secondary color options.
This waterproof flashlight is made from aerospace grade Aluminum to ensure longevity. If that’s not enough, you also receive a limited lifetime warranty for the T-MAX Pro.
Liberator STT is First Light’s best tactical flashlight, explicitly made for law enforcement and military personnel.
The design permits hands-enabling usability that’s somewhat similar to hands-free operation.
Coming with dimensions of 4.9 inches in height, 4.4 inches in length, and 1.5 inches in width, the flashlight is very compact.
7.1oz for a tactical flashlight of this kind is definitely impressive.
Liberator STT comes with both white and red lights, and you should pick one type at the checkout. The maximum output is 500 lumens, and the light is quite clear thanks to the LED source.
The flashlight features momentary and constant-on with three brightness levels. The highest runtime is 60 hours (2 and half days) and the lowest runtime is 90 minutes.
The strobe mode is the cherry on top, making the STT even more valuable.
First Light doesn’t manufacture keychain lights. That’s why their TORQ LE flashlight deserves attention.
It’s very compact, with dimensions of 3.9 inches in height, 2.6 inches in length, and 1.4 inches in width.
Combine that with the 4.4oz weight, you get a compact and lightweight flashlight. TORQ LE isn’t rechargeable but works with two AA batteries.
The building design is very ergonomic, letting you use that 200lm max output with no wrist strain. The max runtime is 10 hours.
First Light brings more value to the flashlight with a 320 degrees rotatable head. With a strobe mode, a safety beacon mode, and three intensity levels, the TORQ LE is an impressive flashlight.
There’s a MOLLE-compatible steel clip too. MOLLE stands for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment. If your weapon/system uses modular attachments or uses U.S. general issue MOLLE components, the TORQ LE is compatible with that.
It’s safe to say First Light flashlights deserve to be on the list of best American-made flashlights.
5. Princeton Tec
Princeton Tec specializes in aquatic flashlights. Their story begins in 1975 with the first-ever underwater stopwatch for scuba divers.
For almost 50 years, Princeton Tec has been producing some of the finest American-made flashlights. Today, you can find EDC, tactical, and diving lights, headlamps, and lanterns in their store.
One of the main features of all Princeton Tec flashlights is that they are waterproof. However, none of them exceed the 1200-1300lm output. But the diversity and build quality are unique and worth it.
Unless mentioned otherwise, most flashlights have a limited lifetime warranty.
Let’s look at some of the best Princeton Tec flashlights.
Princeton Tec ATTITUDE can be named as their best EDC light.
This single-mode flashlight features a 400lm output at a 75m beam throw. Runtime in this mode is 2.5h, but it rises to 107h in reserve.
The flashlight weighs only 2.8oz, ensuring excellent handling convenience.
The twist bezel is a notable feature, along with the integrated clip that makes it easier to carry.
Princeton Tec ATTITUDE has an excellent build quality that ensures durability. Combine the limited lifetime warranty and the IPX8 waterproof rating, and it becomes a risk-free investment.
Their ALLOY-X qualifies as their best tactical light for many reasons.
For starters, it has that beautiful ergonomic shape with a handy pocket clip. The ALLOY-X is a compact, lightweight flashlight with a length of 7.24 inches and 1.5oz of weight.
The flashlight features a 400 lumens output at 72m throw. The ALLOY-X features three lighting modes with the 1 Maxbright LED power source. The lowest 5-lumen mode runs for 28 hours. The flashlight lets you access the modes by a tactical tail switch, as done by typical tactical flashlights.
You can recharge the flashlight’s 10900 Rechargeable Battery (included) with a micro USB cable.
But the ALLOY-X also runs on 2 AAA alkaline batteries. That comes in handy when you are unable to recharge. Remember, alkaline batteries can’t be recharged.
In addition to all these, It also has a battery level indicator.
With fantastic build quality, durability further increases with an IPX7 waterproof rating. With all these features, the ALLOY-X is a reliable flashlight
So, does Princeton Tec have a keychain light? It does! The IMPULSE is Princeton Tec’s best keychain light.
The shape is unique and represents the aquatic background of Princeton Tec flashlights. Although it weighs just 0.6oz, the IMPULSE emits 10 lumens by UltraBright LED powered by two lithium coin cells.
Not only that, the flashlight features three operational modes: high, low, and flash (strobe). In addition, the light comes with an IPX4 waterproof rating. That makes the IMPULSE suitable for a wide spectrum of uses.
The cherry on top is the five-year warranty for such a small flashlight. That’s the quality of brand value.
So, as a matter of fact, Princeton Tec is another reliable American-made flashlight brand.
How to Ensure Authenticity?
Know the Brands Based Outside the USA
Most of the most popular flashlights are based outside the USA. They’re manufactured mainly in China and operated based in the USA. Some of these most successful brands, such as Olight, Nitecore, Thrunite, Imalent, and even Fenix, are China-based.
Understand the Terminology
Manufactured in the USA, Made in America, Assembled in the USA, or America is not the same as American-made or Made in the USA.
Title 19 Chapter 4 Section 1304 of the United States Code and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) helps you clarify many doubts.
Check the Official Website and Social Media
The official website should display the USA flag somewhere proudly with a made-in-the-USA or American Made tag. The same situation with social media as the marketing teams will not lose that positioning tactic.
You can also check for the “contact us” area, where you can see the phone numbers and addresses.
Track the Website Domain Registration Details
You can search the website on domain lookup engines such as who.is, which lets you pinpoint the website’s source. If it’s not American-based, it’s safe to assume the brand isn’t American based either.
But just because the website is American-based doesn’t mean it’s made in the USA.
Are Flashlights Made in the USA Better Than Flashlights Made in Other Parts of the World?
This is a very subjective question when considering what “better” means. But a set of specific factors makes a flashlight perform better.
These are such as,
- The balance between the dimensions and weight
- The build quality and design
- Lumen output and corresponding beam throw
- Durability aspects in terms of IP waterproof rating and impact resistance
- Battery type (rechargeable or not), life, and charging method
- Extra features
- Warranty and money-back guarantee aspects
There can be other factors as well.
There’s no doubt; brands such as Fenix, Nitecore, Olight, and Acebeam have excellent performance characteristics.
If not, they wouldn’t be able to sustain the market if not for the high quality.
But when compared to the American-made flashlights, our evaluation is straightforward. Flashlights made in the USA are equal to or better than the popular Chinese brands, but never less.
There are certain reasons why American-made flashlights can be better.
The first reason is that they’re made from the highest quality materials. For example, two flashlights can have the same lumen output and have different beam distances. This depends on the LED quality. Usually, American flashlights use higher-grade CREE LEDs, which deliver better throws.
But that’s only one aspect — the higher quality applies to everything from the build material through performance to the package’s lanyard.
The second reason is the product variety. Princeton, for instance, specializes in aquatic flashlights. Resistance and design quality is unparalleled by typical Chinese brands. Sure-fire, on the other hand, specializes in both EDC and military lights.
Their shapes and design quality is impressive and unseen in Chinese brands.
The third reason is the after-sale services. All the Chinese brands might be operating in the US, but they’re based in China. In comparison, USA brands are based and operate in the USA — everyone is in the USA.
That’s the level of reassurance you get with USA products when you’re a US citizen.
This list could go on, but the conclusion is that American-made flashlights are of very high quality — but whether they’re objectively better than all flashlights made outside the US is situational.
The ultimate conclusion is that American-made flashlights are of supreme quality. Famous Chinese brands can sometimes cloud them. Now you’ve been exposed to the world of USA-made flashlights to a considerable extent.
In that order, Maglite, Streamlight, and SureFire are our best three picks for all-American brands.
Be sure to come back to Outlighter, and find out the latest and rarest flashlight wisdom you won’t find anywhere else.
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