In this post I share my choices for best tactical flashlight under 50 2016. Two of them I own, two of them are on my short list. I own multiple flashlight models of every brand of flashlight in this post. Calling anything the “best” is somewhat subjective in nature, so I’ll tell you what I like about two tactical flashlights I own and use for everyday carry. One of these I actually bought for less than $40. Ultimately, when you choose the best tactical flashlight under 50 2016 you need to pick the one that is best for your given application, be it hunting, camping, self defense, or general usage. If you have a limited budget and need a good flashlight, one of the four in this post should meet your needs.
I now consider the Eastshine T25 the best tactical flashlight for under $50. You can read my full Eastshine T25 review which includes a ton of detailed photos and beamshots.
Thrunite TN12 2016 edition
Is there a huge difference between the Thrunite TN12 2014 I reviewed earlier and the new Thrunite TN12 2016 edition? Not really. It has a new, supposedly better side switch. The output as you cycle through the lighting modes is more definitive (which is a nice improvement). There isn’t any change/improvement to the LED it is using which is a bit of a disappointment. BUT – the Thrunite TN12 2016 edition is still a great tactical flashlight for under 50 dollars.
The Thrunite TN12 2016 is what I would classify as a mid-size tactical flashlight and could be considered as an everyday carry flashlight. One thing that hasn’t changed on the Thrunite TN12 2016 model is the maximum output – a full 1050 lumens in Turbo mode. That’s what makes this such a great value. If you need a super bright flashlight and want it on the cheap, the TN12 fits the bill.
The new side switch is supposed to be an upgrade from the earlier version of the TN12. It is a design change although in all honesty I’m not clear it’s that big of an upgrade. The body of the flashlight features a nice knurling conducive for gripping in slippery conditions. The flashlight’s head design is supposed to be more heat resistant.
Thrunite TN12 specifications:
- Runs off two CR123a or one 18650 rechargeable battery
- Five lighting modes + Strobe
- Turbo: 1050 lumens
- High: 370 lumens
- Medium: 145 lumens
- Low: 11 lumens
- Firefly: .4 lumens
- Strobe: 800 lumens
- Aircraft grade aluminum body
- Smooth reflector
- Tail switch turns light on and off
- Side switch – press the side switch to cycle through each lighting mode
- Strobe – press and hold the side switch
WHY YOU WANT THIS FLASHLIGHT
Three reasons: Plenty of lighting modes, 1050 lumens, and everyday carry worthy.
I like Nitecore tactical flashlights and own a bunch of them. I bought the EC20 to see exactly what I’d get in a sub $40 tactical flashlight. The EC20 turns out to be a basic tactical flashlight with a whole lot of output (960 lumens maximum) for a very reasonable cost. It’s not exactly the most exciting flashlight out there. If it has a down side I’d say it’s the lack of a tail switch you’d normally find on most tactical versions.
The EC20 is turned on and off with the side switch. You use it to cycle through the lighting modes and the special strobe, beacon and SOS modes as well. It is a perfectly serviceable tactical flashlight user interface, although it takes a bit of time to get used to. The bottom line is the EC20 has every flashlight mode you’d want, it just may take a second or to longer to acquire the mode you want.
Nitecore EC20 specs:
- 960 lumens maximum output
- 222 meter beam distance
- Cree XM-L2 T6 LED
- Weighs 76 grams w/o battery
- Special modes – strobe, SOS and beacon
- 50% power battery indicator
- Four lighting modes – 960, 210, 50 and 1 lumens
- Operates on 2 CR123A or 1 18650 battery
WHY YOU WANT THIS FLASHLIGHT
Three reasons: It’s a Nitecore, it’s super cheap, it’s 960 lumens bright.
Two other under $50 tactical flashlights worth considering
Olight S2 Baton
I own Olight flashlights and have had good luck with them. In fact, I really think Olight is an underrated flashlight maker. The ones that I own and have given as gifts have proven to be excellent flashlights. The Olight S2 Baton is an excellent bargain with a bright 950 lumens of output and features:
- Maximum output of 950 lumens
- Side switch operation
- Magnetic tail cap
- XM-L2 U3 LED
- 4 lighting modes – 950, 400, 80, 10 lumens
Fenix E35UE 2016 Ultimate Edition
I own a variety of Fenix lights and they’ve all been very well made. This is cheapest and brightest flashlight Fenix offers. This flashlight has no tailcap switch. The biggest knock on this flashlight is the user interface as it takes a bit of time to get used to accessing all of the modes. In my opinion it’s a small price to pay to get a 1000 lumen output Fenix flashlight.
Best Tactical Flashlight under 50 2016 conclusion
If you need a tactical flashlight and you need one cheap the popular brands like Nitecore, Fenix, Thrunite and Olight all have an offering that fits that bill. Every one of these flashlights exceeds 900 plus lumens which gives you a ton of brightness for the money. I’d rather pay $40-$45 dollars for a flashlight from a name brand with a “real” lumens rating rather than a $25 off-brand flashlight with a lumens rating that might be inflated.